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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Travelling Devil

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/28/2009 12:55:00 am

Your humble Devil is briefly back at Hell Towers the now, and I would like to offer up a big thank you to those fine, upstanding contributors who weighed in with their excellent contributions over the last few days.

I have a great deal to write about... oh, loads of stuff. Especially CRUdgate.

However, tomorrow I am peripatetic once more: this time I am travelling to Bristol for the LPUK AGM.

Back on Sunday.

UPDATE: as some of you have heard extraordinarily quickly, your humble is, indeed, the new leader of the Libertarian Party of the UK. Thank you all for your good wishes—let us see what the new year brings...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/28/2009 12:55:00 am


Friday, November 27, 2009

CRUdGate - Why this can't be swept under the carpet

Posted by The Pedant-General at 11/27/2009 08:36:00 am

(NB, It's me, the P-G)

As others have commented, ad nauseam, the response from the proponents of AGW essentially boils down to the following main components:
  • The mail (often there is only one, not several thousand threads of multiple mails and it's usually only mail, rather mail, code, data and commentary) was hacked and that's frightfully naughty. Aren't hackers nasty? Particularly when they are Russian.

This does not merit any response beyond laughter.
  • The science is peer reviewed and it withstood that process.

Still an appeal to authority and, more importantly, dealt with damningly here.
  • This is but one part of the literature, it's only a handful of bad apples and the structure is utterly unchanged even without it.
This is the main charge that our great friend George Monbiot lays out here and that must be tackled. That is what, with your permission, I shall make a hesitant attempt to start the process to do.

Firstly, we must understand how the whole thing hangs together, because the edifice of AGW is very definitely not just pure science, boffins in white coats in labs and so forth. It spans the whole gamut from real pure science, through the applied sciences and Engineering, passing through economics and finally ending up in the dark arts of Politics and Diplomacy. That's a lot to take in, so I have created a handy diagram that explains. Never let it be said that your polymathematic Pedant-General makes you do the hard work.

Let's start at the top, and bear with me.
  • If the climate and recent changes are not unprecedented, then there's nothing to do. Let's go to the pub.

  • If it is unprecedented, then we need to know why. If we don't know if it is unprecedented or if we don't know why, we need to stop here until we can find out.
  • If it is unprecedented but it's not us, then we need to question seriously if there is anything that we can do about it and the answer to that is very very likely to be "no".

  • If it is us, we then to move into economics. Will the damage outweigh the benefit?

  • And even if the damage does outweigh the benefit, we still need to consider if the cost of stopping the climate change at source is less than the cost of adapting to the problem to minimise the damage.

  • And even if the mitigation does cost less than adaptation, we need to ask if our only option for mitigation is to subborn all our freedom to a putative benevolent world government.
Only if you can answer "yes" all the way down that chain can you get to Copenhagen. One misstep and you are looking at adaptation, either because we shouldn’t do anything, or it’s the best thing to do or the alternative is so appallingly ghastly, depending on which route you took to get there.

It is also useful to plot where you and your friends sit on this decision tree:
  • Whilst I wouldn't wish to claim to speak for our diabolical host, I suspect that he is in the box labelled, if not actually, "in the pub".

  • Steve McIntyre et al are in the "Find Out" box.

  • Interestingly, although the "Hockey Team" declare themselves to be at least on the "yes it is caused by man", they appear both to have been buggering about at the bottom in the politics and policy bits and yet the leak makes it clear that actually they are indeed right there in the "Find Out" box with the very chap they hate so much. They really don't actually know. They want to like to think they do, but they know that actually they don't.

  • Next, we get down to the economics and again, we find that there is a disconnect between stated and actual positions. The blogfather Tim Worstall—whatever his private views—maintains a carefully studied neutrality on the science, erring always on the side of "let's grant that it is correct". But he then falls off the "critical path" at the economics. If it's not clear that the downside of GW (whether "A" or not) are worse than the upside, it's similarly not at all clear that we have to do something (or that what we are already doing is not already enough). More importantly, the worse the climate situation is, the greater the cost of mitigation and the more attractive it is to go for adaptation. This is the oddity with the Stern Report. If his numbers are correct, we're either doing enough for mitigation already or we shouldn't be doing it at all. As the shrieking gets louder, the costs of mitigation inevitably rise and the argument gets stronger AGAINST mitigation.

  • Finally we get to the politics and the Bjorn Lomborg position. Even if it is all ghastly, there are many more important things to do with our resources. Millions really actually will die from preventable water-borne diseases, malnutrition and malaria and we really actually can do something about those. Buggering about with the climate, although it definitely will be expensive, is desperately uncertain both in terms of its effectiveness and the lives it will save. That's not a good trade off.

Simples.

Except of course it is and it isn't. If you do really accept the heavily-lauded consensus, then the decision tree changes quite a bit. Think about it in first aid terms. If it is the case that the climate is changing in an unprecedented manner and that change is driven predominantly by manmade CO2 emissions, then we really shouldn't be muddling about with adapting to effects: we should address the cause and that inevitably means finding a way to reduce manmade CO2 emissions. The problem with this is that everything becomes a bit too clearcut and the diagram now looks like this:

Because there is a skip from the straight science, straight to politics and policy, the science becomes absolutely essential.

As a result, no dissent can be tolerated because the wheels come off very quickly as soon as you have to make your way through the rest of the decision tree.

Suggesting that it's not unprecedented is straight denial and even doubt has to be censored.

But what of George's Knights Carbonic? How can this small number of scientists with "clever mathematical techniques", or "fudge factors" according to taste, affect the whole scientific foundation layer.

Richard North suggests historical parallels, but his analysis does not pull back the curtain, "Wizard of Oz"-style, on the Knights Carbonic.

Permit me to try. Here's how the process works:

Temperatures, CO2 levels, sun spot numbers et al are gathered currently using all the sophistication that we have today. We have the real measured data but only for a short (and geologically utterly insignificant) period.

Next, we try to see if we can find other things, with a longer history, that might be useful for telling us what those key measurements might have been if we had been there at the time with all our technology to measure them. We need proxies and we need to show that those proxies are a good match with the current data.

Once we have done that, we can then use the proxy data to fill back the history. At this stage, we can also say whether or not we believe the current data to be exceptional even without reading the entrails from the GCMs etc.

Now we can add some light seasoning of the real physics and chemistry that determine how things actually work, thermodynamics, mechanics, spectral absorption of different gasses and the lot.

Finally, we bake all the ingredients together in the models to try and tie all the inputs (CO2 levels, solar activity, orbital wobbles etc) with the outputs (particularly temperature, but also climate generally, plus sea levels etc). In particular you are trying to identify how the each thing interacts with everything else, given all the control theory horrors of signal delays (introduced by thermal capacity of the oceans that delays temperature rises by the massive amount of energy required to do so) and feedback couplings (that the solvency of CO2 in water changes with temperature, so the oceans absorb and release CO2 in response to temperature).

But this is where the game is. If the temperature today is NOT unprecedented, in particular relative to the MWP, then we have a big fat data point that says the unprecedented current level of atmospheric CO2 probably isn't tremendously relevant to climate. Or rather, there is some other input signal that is just as important that we are overlooking and therefore the impact of CO2 will be being overstated.

This is not about whether we are warmer than we were 100 years ago. That is undeniable. 30 years ago, almost every Christmas in Scotland was white. Memories of sledging after Christmas lunch cannot be false consciousness. That stopped in about 1980 and has not happened since. [UPDATE 23 Nov 2011 - actually scratch that. We have had two brutal winters since I wrote this and very little summer to speak of in between.] The question is whether or not we are warmer than we were when they spoke Norse in Perth. That we are denied post-prandial sledging tells us nothing about that.

This is where CRUdGate is so important. Just look at where CRU and more generally Phil Jones and Michael Mann have - and have had - an influence on the process:

The Harry Read Me file shows just how badly knackered the HadCRUT temperature series really is. HADCRUT is one of a tiny number of recognised ("peer reviewed" even?) global temperature sources. All of them feed off each other and the people implicated in the emails are linked to some of the others. RealClimate's Gavin Schmidt, for example, is a protege of the team, is extensively mentioned in the audit trail of shame and works for NASA's GISS - one of the other of this tiny number of recognised ("peer reviewed" even?) global temperature sources.

So that's goosed the first box.

"Hide the Decline" reveals the fact that the second box doesn't work properly, especially for the tree-ring proxies. Since there is almost no-one of any stripe publishing in the field of paleodendroclimatology (sod the trillions of dollars to be squandered, I want that on a triple word score) who is not very deeply implicated in this leak, it is clear that the failings of this step have been censored.

There is then ample evidence of the attempt to wipe the MWP from the dendro data and we now know that MBH relied on just 12 trees in North America and, when that was challenged, just 1 tree—one lone tree—in Yamal, Siberia.

In any event, the whole paleo data thing is probably onto a hiding to nothing as we can't trust the two steps that got it there. So (I'm being a bit flippant here) any genuine proxy data (ice cores, lake sediments etc) is knackered because it's trying to be matched to goosed temperature data. That's not to say that there aren't pre-existing shenanigans there too though. So even if you haven't actually attempted to censor your failings (and the mails contain plenty of evidence that this has indeed been happening), your results are going to be goosed anyway.

By this stage, you don't have to touch the actual hard science because, since all your input data is garbage, your models are going to be garbage no matter how carefully you understand the basic physics.

UPDATE 3 Dec: And that's not to say that there aren't pre-existing doubts there too, to accompany the doubts and shenigans in the current data, the calibration periods and the treatment of the paleo data - Squander Two reminds us of his excellent post on the dark arts of computer modelling. Note the dateline on the original post...

Lastly and as a slight aside, why so little from the MSM? That one is easy. You need to have a decent analytical brain just to deal with the chain of events. You need to have a decent analytical brain, a mathematical/scientific mind and a good grasp of some very hard statistics to understand what is being done to massage the numbers and to see how significant it is to the chain of events.

Slice your average environment correspondent through the middle and you're going to find a left-leaning liberal arts graduate who is utterly out of his/her depth. Their world view is being swept from underneath them and they are being shown—in ways that they do not really and have never had to understand—that the guys they thought were the goodies are in fact "at it" and that those they have spent a decade disparaging as deniers were in fact spot on.

I would find that hard to report too.

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Posted by The Pedant-General at 11/27/2009 08:36:00 am


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

CRU: How to stifle scientific debate

Posted by Mr Eugenides at 11/25/2009 06:03:00 am

[NB Author's note: I am not the Devil, merely a minor minion]

While DK is on the road, I'll take the liberty of pointing readers in the direction of two unmissable posts on the unfolding Climategate scandal. First up is a superb piece at Climate Skeptic which warns of the dangers of the monoculture or groupthink that has grown up around AGW. In particular, Warren considers the idea of "peer review", which alarmists constantly brandish as proof of the indisputability of their findings:

Peer review was never meant as a sort of good housekeeping seal of approval on scientific work. It is not a guarantee of correctness. It is really an extension of the editorial process — bringing scientists from relevant fields to vet whether work is really new and different and worthy of publication, to make sure the actual article communicates the work and its findings clearly, and to probe for obvious errors or logical fallacies.

Climate scientists have tried to portray peer review as the end of the process– ie, once one of their works shows up in a peer-reviewed journal, the question addressed is “settled.” But his is never how science has worked. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is the beginning, not the end. Once published, scientists attempt alternatively to tear it down or replicate its conclusions. Only work that has survived years of such torture testing starts to become “settled.”

The emails help to shed light on some aspects of peer review that skeptics have suspected for years. It is increasingly clear that climate scientists in the monoculture have been using peer review to enforce the orthodoxy. Peer review panels are stacked with members of the club, and authors who challenge the orthodoxy are shut out of publication, while authors within the monoculture use peer review as a shield against future criticism. We see in the emails members of the monoculture actually working to force editors who have the temerity to publish work critical of the orthodoxy out of their jobs. We are now learning that when alarmist scientists claim that there is little peer-reviewed science on the skeptic’s side, this is like the Catholic Church enforcing a banned books list and then claiming that everything in print supports the Church’s position.

History teaches us that whenever we allow a monoculture - whether is be totalitarian one-party rule or enforcing a single state religion, corruption follows. Without scrutiny of their actions, actors in such monocultures have few checks and little accountability. Worse, those at the center of such monocultures can become convinced of their own righteousness, such that any action they take in support of the orthodoxy is by definition ethically justified.

This, I think, is exactly what we see at work in the Hadley [sic] emails.

I think that's exactly right. And for a more in-depth look at the emails themselves we can go over to Watt's Up With That, where Willis Eschenbach takes us on a fascinating and disturbing trip along just one thread of the CRU emails, in which he asks UEA to release a list of the meteorological stations used in the preparation of the HadCRUT3 global temperature average, and the raw data for those stations. In response, UEA essentially tell him to go and fuck himself.

Eschenbach takes us through his sequence of letters and FOI requests to the university, and juxtaposes the unhelpful responses he gets with the emails flying around behind the scenes in which the climate scientists are urging each other to batten down the hatches and give nothing away. It's a long post, but I strongly recommend it to you if you haven't already seen it.

in 2005 Warwick [Hughes, climate researcher] asked Phil for the dataset that was used to create the CRU temperature record. Phil Jones famously replied:

Subject: Re: WMO non respondo
… Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. …
Cheers Phil

Hmmm … not good. Or as they say in “1984″, double-plus ungood. Science can only progress if there is a free exchange of scientific data The scientific model works like this:

* A scientist makes claims, and reveals the data and methods he used to come to his conclusions.

* Other scientists who don’t agree attack the claim by (inter alia) seeing if they can replicate the result, using the first scientist’s data and methods.

* If the claims cannot be replicated, the claim is adjudged to be false.

Obviously, if the data or the methods are kept secret, the claims cannot be verified. Attacking other scientist’s claims is what what scientists do. This adversarial system is the heart of science. Refusing scientific data because someone will attack it is an oxymoron, of course they will attack it. That’s what scientists do.

That's what they're supposed to do, certainly...

UPDATE: More good news, this time from the Daily Mash.

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Posted by Mr Eugenides at 11/25/2009 06:03:00 am


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More CRU code updates

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/24/2009 05:01:00 pm

Your humble Devil is still on the road with work: it's entirely typical, of course, that I should be near incommunicado at such an exciting time.

However, Bishop Hill is collating revelations from the CRU data. Do go have a look.

More later...

DK

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/24/2009 05:01:00 pm


Monday, November 23, 2009

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 04:26:00 pm

UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts concerning the CRU Emails.

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

UPDATE: posts are going to be a little more spamodic, as I am talking to other people about the analysis of the actual data.

UPDATE 2: Bishop Hill is still trawling the emails and I've added them to my post.

I am away travelling across the country with work for the rest of this week—typical!—so any updates are likely to be brief and sporadic. I do hope that my colleagues will keep the momentum up on this...!

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 04:26:00 pm


Reporting the CRU to the Information Commissioner

Posted by Mark Wallace at 11/23/2009 03:41:00 pm

Further to the excellent and intriguing work the Devil and others have been doing digging through the leaked/hacked CRU emails, Kitchen readers may be interested to know that the TPA are reporting Prof Phil Jones and colleagues to the Information Commissioner for what appears to be a deliberate attempt to breach the Freedom of Information Act. Our full post on the importance of defending FoI, and how it applies to this case is here.

If anyone is found to have deliberately destroyed information after an FoI request was made, the law states that they may be subject to a criminal conviction and a fine of up to £5,000.

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Posted by Mark Wallace at 11/23/2009 03:41:00 pm


Data horribilia: the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 03:56:00 am

With the CRU emails having been examined, it seems that some people—mainly techies—are really starting to dig into the data files. These files are, as far as we can tell, temperature data, modelling results and other such useful files, i.e. these are the files produced and worked on by the CRU teams, as well as considerable amounts of information on—and code from—the actual computer modelling programmes themselves.

In other words, these are the guts of CRU's actual computer models—the data, the code and the applications.

And they are, by all accounts, a total bloody mess.

++++ START INSERT ++++

So, come with me on a wonderful journey as the CRU team realise that not only have they lost great chunks of data but also that their application suites and algorithms are total crap; join your humble Devil and Asimov as we dive into the HARRY_READ_ME.txt (thanks to The Englishman) file and follow the trials and tribulations of Ian "Harry" Harris as he tries to recreate the published data because he has nothing else to go on!

Thrill as he "glosses over" anomalies; let your heart sing as he gets some results to within 0.5 degrees; rejoice as Harry points out that everything is undocumented and that, generally speaking, he hasn't got the first clue as to what's going on with the data!

Chuckle as one of CRU's own admits that much of the centre's data and applications are undocumented, bug-ridden, riddled with holes, missing, uncatalogued and, in short, utterly worthless.

And wonder as you realise that this was v2.10 and that, after this utter fiasco, CRU used the synthetic data and wonky algorithms to produce v3.0!

You'll laugh! You'll cry! You won't wonder why CRU never wanted to release the data! You will wonder why we are even contemplating restructuring the world economy and wasting trillions of dollars on the say-so of data this bad.

++++ END INSERT ++++

Via ever-prolific Tom Nelson, Soylent Green has picked up some geek reports on this material.
Got this from reader, Glenn. I’m out of my depth trying to read the code—and apparently so were several folks at CRU. If what he, and the techies at the links, say is true, it’s no wonder they had to spin this for 10 years—it’s all absolute bullshit.

Here’s Glenn’s take with links:
The hacked e-mails were damning, but the problems they had handling their own data at CRU are a dagger to the heart of the global warming “theory.” There is a large file of comments by a programmer at CRU called HARRY_READ_ME documenting that their data processing and modeling functions were completely out of control.

They fudged so much that NOTHING that came out of CRU can have ANY believability. If the word can be gotten out on this and understood it is the end of the global warming myth. This much bigger than the e-mails. For techie takes on this see:

Link 1

Link 2

To base a re-making of the global economy (i.e. cap-and-trade) on disastrously and hopelessly messed up data like this would be insanity.

Now, this stuff really is beyond me, but I have looked at the links given about and, from what little I can decipher, there do seem to be some issues.

The main issues being that the techies at CRU don't seem to have been able to tell what the hell was going on with the code, let alone anything else.

I shall quote user Asimov—from the top of the page of Link 1 [above]—to give you a flavour of the confusion that seems to have been rife at CRU.
There's a very disturbing "HARRY_READ_ME.txt" file in documents that APPEARS to be somebody trying to fit existing results to data and much of it is about the code that's here. I think there's something very very wrong here...

This file is 15,000 lines of comments, much of it copy/pastes of code or output by somebody (who's harry?) trying to make sense of it all....

Here's two particularly interesting bits, one from early in the file and one from way down:
7. Removed 4-line header from a couple of .glo files and loaded them into Matlab. Reshaped to 360r x 720c and plotted; looks OK for global temp (anomalies) data. Deduce that .glo files, after the header, contain data taken row-by-row starting with the Northernmost, and presented as '8E12.4'. The grid is from -180 to +180 rather than 0 to 360.

This should allow us to deduce the meaning of the co-ordinate pairs used to describe each cell in a .grim file (we know the first number is the lon or column, the second the lat or row - but which way up are the latitudes? And where do the longitudes break?

There is another problem: the values are anomalies, wheras the 'public' .grim files are actual values. So Tim's explanations (in _READ_ME.txt) are incorrect...

8. Had a hunt and found an identically-named temperature database file which did include normals lines at the start of every station. How handy - naming two different files with exactly the same name and relying on their location to differentiate! Aaarrgghh!! Re-ran anomdtb:

Uhm... So they don't even KNOW WHAT THE ****ING DATA MEANS?!?!?!?!

What dumbass names **** that way?!

Talk about cluster****. This whole file is a HUGE ASS example of it. If they deal with data this way, there's no ****ing wonder they've lost **** along they way. This is just unbelievable.

And it's not just one instance of not knowing what the hell is going on either:
The deduction so far is that the DTR-derived CLD is waaay off. The DTR looks OK, well OK in the sense that it doesn;t have prominent bands! So it's either the factors and offsets from the regression, or the way they've been applied in dtr2cld.

Well, dtr2cld is not the world's most complicated program. Wheras cloudreg is, and I immediately found a mistake! Scanning forward to 1951 was done with a loop that, for completely unfathomable reasons, didn't include months! So we read 50 grids instead of 600!!! That may have had something to do with it. I also noticed, as I was correcting THAT, that I reopened the DTR and CLD data files when I should have been opening the bloody station files!! I can only assume that I was being interrupted continually when I was writing this thing. Running with those bits fixed improved matters somewhat, though now there's a problem in that one 5-degree band (10S to 5S) has no stations! This will be due to low station counts in that region, plus removal of duplicate values.

I've only actually read about 1000 lines of this, but started skipping through it to see if it was all like that when I found that second quote above somewhere way down in the file....

CLUSTER.... ****. This isn't science, it's gradeschool for people with big data sets.

Now, I'm no climate modeller or even a professional coder, but it does seem to me that there is just a teeny weeny bit of confusion evidenced in the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file. I mean "teeny weeny" in the sense that whoever wrote this file obviously hadn't got a fucking clue what was going on—and not for want of trying.

But there's more—here's another taster, a few posts down from the one above, from Asimov's analysis of the HARRY_READ_ME.txt (I'm trying to give you a hint about what's going on: the paydirt's coming soon!).
Christ. It gets better.
So.. we don't have the coefficients files (just .eps plots of something). But what are all those monthly files? DON'T KNOW, UNDOCUMENTED. Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names. And that's useless.. take the above example, the filenames in the _mon and _ann directories are identical, but the contents are not. And the only difference is that one directory is apparently 'monthly' and the other 'annual' - yet both contain monthly files.

Lets ignore the smoking gun in a legal sense, and think about the scientific method for just a moment....

I do believe this is more than one gun and there's some opaque mist coming from the "fun" end. I won't claim it's smoke, but holy ****, this is incredible.

I think that we are all starting to get an impression of what is going on here, right? Piles and piles of undocumented and inconsistent datasets and the techies in CRU utterly baffled by al of it.

But what are they actually trying to do—what is this HARRY_READ_ME.txt all about...? Yep, it's over to Asimov, a few posts down again (what can I say: I like the man's style!)...
I'm just absolutely STUNNED by this ****. **** the legal stuff. RIGHT HERE is the fraud.
These are very promising. The vast majority in both cases are within 0.5 degrees of the published data. However, there are still plenty of values more than a degree out.

He's trying to fit the results of his programs and data to PREVIOUS results.

Yup, somewhere along the way, some stuff has got lost or corrupted. Badly.

This programmer—Ian "Harry" Harris—is attempting to recreate... What? The data? The applications and algorithms that ran the original data? It seems to be the latter, because Harry carries on.
TMP has a comforting 95%+ within half a degree, though one still wonders why it isn't 100% spot on..
...

DTR fares perhaps even better, over half are spot-on, though about 7.5% are outside a half.

The percentages below is the percentage of accuracy
However, it's not such good news for precip (PRE):
...
Percentages: 13.93 25.65 11.23 49.20

21. A little experimentation goes a short way..

I tried using the 'stn' option of anomdtb.for. Not completely sure what it's supposed to do, but no matter as it didn't work:

Oh yea, don't forget. He's getting 0.5 and 1 degree differences in results... while they are predicting temperatures to a supposed accuracy of tenths...

Unless I find something MUCH WORSE than what I've already posted, I'll leave the file for your to read and stop spamming the thread with this.

Needless to say, worse is to come...
Ok, one last bit to finish that last one off:
..knowing how long it takes to debug this suite - the experiment endeth here. The option (like all the anomdtb options) is totally undocumented so we'll never know what we lost.

22. Right, time to stop pussyfooting around the niceties of Tim's labyrinthine software
suites - let's have a go at producing CRU TS 3.0! since failing to do that will be the definitive failure of the entire project..

I eagerly await more reading to find the results of that.

Oh, same here, Asimov: same here. Shall we see some more? Why not...
You'd think that where data was coming from would be important to them... You know, the whole accuracy thing..
The IDL gridding program calculates whether or not a station contributes to a cell, using.. graphics. Yes, it plots the station sphere of influence then checks for the colour white in the output. So there is no guarantee that the station number files, which are produced *independently* by anomdtb, will reflect what actually happened!!

Well I've just spent 24 hours trying to get Great Circle Distance calculations working in Fortran, with precisely no success. I've tried the simple method (as used in Tim O's geodist.pro, and the more complex and accurate method found elsewhere (wiki and other places). Neither give me results that are anything near reality. FFS.

Worked out an algorithm from scratch. It seems to give better answers than the others, so we'll go with that.
...

The problem is, really, the huge numbers of cells potentially involved in one station, particularly at high latitudes.
...

out of malicious interest, I dumped the first station's coverage to a text file and counted up how many cells it 'influenced'. The station was at 10.6E, 61.0N.

The total number of cells covered was a staggering 476!

Keep in mind how climate models work. They split the world up into cells and treat each cell as a single object... (Complexity thing, only way to get any results at all in reasonable times, even with supercomputers.)

Seriously, this really isn't good.
Bit more to add to the last, then off to bed, so I'll stop spamming. :P
Back to the gridding. I am seriously worried that our flagship gridded data product is produced by Delaunay triangulation - apparently linear as well.

As far as I can see, this renders the station counts totally meaningless.

It also means that we cannot say exactly how the gridded data is arrived at from a statistical perspective - since we're using an off-the-shelf product that isn't documented sufficiently to say that.

Why this wasn't coded up in Fortran I don't know - time pressures perhaps? Was too much effort expended on homogenisation, that there wasn't enough time to write a gridding procedure? Of course, it's too late for me to fix it too. Meh.0

"too late for me to fix it"

I guess it doesn't matter that we're talking about data that's basically determining the way the WHOLE ****ING HUMAN RACE IS GOING TO LIVE for the next few CENTURIES?

TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

"Meh."

Like Asimov, I too much retire to bed—it's much too late, or early. But I shall continue trawling both these threads and the data—I might try to find and post the entire HARRY_READ_ME.txt file for starters—but I would just like to add one quick comment...

I have tried to keep my language moderate throughout all of these CRU articles—the subject matter is way too important for these posts to be written off as being "too sweary"—but there really is only one response to all of this.

Fucking. Hellski.

UPDATE: there's more from the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file—posted by Asimov again.
The problem is that the synthetics are incorporated at 2.5-degrees, NO IDEA why, so saying they affect particular 0.5-degree cells is harder than it should be. So we'll just gloss over that entirely ;0)

ARGH. Just went back to check on synthetic production. Apparently - I have no memory of this at all - we're not doing observed rain days! It's all synthetic from 1990 onwards. So I'm going to need conditionals in the update program to handle that. And separate gridding before 1989. And what TF happens to station counts?

OH **** 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.

Let me just repeat that final line:
There is no uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found.

And I will just sign off with another comment from Asimov...
My god people, have you just been skipping over everything I've posted from that HARRY_READ_ME.txt file!?!?

The data itself is a HUGE unknown, even to the researchers themselves as they attempt to decode what's gone before.

Sure, the emails indicate the possibility (and certainty in some cases) of fraud. That one file PROVES HOW UNRELIABLE THE DATA ITSELF IS!!

They "lost" the original data?? I believe it now. v2.10 was run with a ****ton of code that was undocumented, made no sense and was FULL of bugs. Is v3.0 better when half the data from 1980 on is SYNTHETIC?!? Or when it used the output from the buggy 2.10 version (which is all they had) to produce NEW data?!?!

This is a ****ing joke. The emails are FAR from the most damning thing in this. I can't wait for somebody familiar with the code to start going over it and seeing how many "So we'll just gloss over that entirely ;0)" instances exist.

What the hell has been going on over at CRU...? No wonder they didn't want to release their data...

I shall try to find some time to make a more succinct posting at some point over the next few days but, believe me, the main upshot is that none of the CRU data is worth a single shiny penny.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 03:56:00 am


Planning or coincidence?

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 02:38:00 am

The Global Warming Policy Foundation logo…

EU Referendum's round-up makes it clear that the MSM are just starting to pay attention to the CRU documents and coincidentally, Professor Philip Stott points me towards a new think-tank
Today, Nigel Lawson, Lord Lawson of Blaby, will launch a new, high-powered, all-party (and non-party) think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which he hopes, as he writes in this morning’s Times, “may mark a turning-point in the political and public debate on the important issue of global warming policy.” And so do I; we have long-needed such a body to fight for common sense about climate change in the UK. At last, as the Times headline reads, there is a senior politician in the UK brave enough to state that “Copenhagen will fail - and quite right too. Even if the science was reliable (which it isn’t), we should not force the world’s poorest countries to cut carbon emissions.”

Aims of the GWPF

The aims of the GWPF are simple. The “main purpose is to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant.” Further:
“The GWPF's primary purpose is to help restore balance and trust in the climate debate that is frequently distorted by prejudice and exaggeration.

Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and its economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.

We intend to develop alternative policy options and to foster a proper debate (which at present scarcely exists) on the likely cost and consequences of current policies.”

It is fortunate that Lord Lawson should have launched his new initiative this weekend of all weekends, eh?

Is it not also a massive coincidence that Dr Benny Peiser—the man who runs CCNet (apparently "the world's leading climate policy network") and who initiated this revealing CRU conversationshould be the director of GWPF?

You can join the Global Warming Policy Foundation for a minimum donation of £100 (my membership will have to wait: ironically, I've got the car tax to pay).

I shall save my pennies though, as we sceptics have been sorely missing such a body—in the UK, at least—which has the connections to be able to speak truth to power. Let's see if anything interesting comes out of it…

My, my—this whole climate change debate is really hotting up…

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/23/2009 02:38:00 am


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The significance of the CRU emails

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 11:30:00 pm

Whilst your humble Devil is waiting for the rest of the world to finish watching Strictly Come Dancing and the XFactor and catch up with the fact that something quite momentous has happened, I thought that I would point out the significance of the CRU emails.

The whole of the anthropogenic climate change reporting and response is co-ordinated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which produces substantial reports every few years on the current state of the science and economics.

The last of these reports—Assessment Report 4 (AR4, as it is referred to throughout the emails)—was released in 2007.

The scientific parts of the IPCC's reports have been based heavily on the research and reconstructions produced by The Club—particularly on the temperature reconstructions of Michael Mann and Keith Briffa. These reconstructions (usually involving a hockey stick graph) have been constantly attacked—and usually destroyed—by sceptics such as Steve McIntyre.

What these emails show is that members of The Club have presented, as fact, data which privately they have acknowledged to be, at best, flawed.

Further, many members of The Club are editors of the reports submitted to the IPCC, and the emails show that they have deliberately cherry-picked those that agree with their position—and conspired to discredit or reject those that do not agree with their political position.

The Club has also conspired to suborne journals, and to oust editors of other journals who are perceived as being unsympathetic to their cause. And they have been successful.

The emails show that, whilst claiming that sceptics' papers are not peer-reviewed, The Club have actively and deliberately used blackmail and smears to prevent such peer-review or, when review is unavoidable, to have conspired to skew the review process to discredit their opponents.

All of these actions render the scientific reports produced by the IPCC extremely suspect. At best.

And they most certainly destroy the concept of the "scientific consensus".

None of these emails disprove anthropogenic climate change: but they do shatter the idea that there is no dissent and, crucially, they absolutely annihilate the idea that scientists are impartial and uncorrupt.

And these emails most certainly explode the proposition that we should reorder the world economy because of an impending climate disaster.

Every single member of The Club needs to be removed from any post of responsibility; they need to be sacked from their jobs, ejected from the IPCC working groups, their data re-examined by independent assessors and their papers expunged from the IPCC reports—AR5 is due out quite soon and any inclusion of The Club's research—or reconstructions or models based on their research (as most of them are)—will lead to it being stillborn.

And then—maybe—we can make a proper, honest assessment of what is happening in climate science: until then, it is all just bunk.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 11:30:00 pm


Mike's Nature trick

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 09:01:00 pm

This post is mirrored from Watt's Up With That which is, inturn, from ClimateAudit.org which is terribly overloaded.

Mike’s Nature trick

by Jean S on November 20th, 2009

So far one of the most circulated e-mails from the CRU hack is the following from Phil Jones to the original hockey stick authors – Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes.
From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

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 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.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers

Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) xxxxx
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxx
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@xxxx.xxx
NR4 7TJ

UK

The e-mail is about WMO statement on the status of the global climate in 1999 -report, or more specifically, about its cover image.


Click to enlarge.


Back in December 2004 John Finn asked about “the divergence” in Myth vs. Fact Regarding the “Hockey Stick” -thread of RealClimate.org.
Whatever the reason for the divergence, it would seem to suggest that the practice of grafting the thermometer record onto a proxy temperature record – as I believe was done in the case of the ‘hockey stick’ – is dubious to say the least.

mike’s response speaks for itself.
No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstrution. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.

But there is an interesting twist here: grafting the thermometer onto a reconstruction is not actually the original “Mike’s Nature trick”! Mann did not fully graft the thermometer on a reconstruction, but he stopped the smoothed series in their end years. The trick is more sophisticated, and was uncovered by UC over here. (Note: Try not to click this link now, CA is overloaded. Can’t even get to it myself to mirror it. -Anthony Watt)

When smoothing these time series, the Team had a problem: actual reconstructions “diverge” from the instrumental series in the last part of 20th century. For instance, in the original hockey stick (ending 1980) the last 30-40 years of data points slightly downwards. In order to smooth those time series one needs to “pad” the series beyond the end time, and no matter what method one uses, this leads to a smoothed graph pointing downwards in the end whereas the smoothed instrumental series is pointing upwards — a divergence. So Mann’s solution was to use the instrumental record for padding, which changes the smoothed series to point upwards as clearly seen in UC’s figure (violet original, green without “Mike’s Nature trick”).


Click to enlarge.


TGIF-magazine has already asked Jones about the e-mail, and he denied misleading anyone but did remember grafting.
“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?”

Maybe it helps Dr. Jones’s recollection of the exact context, if he inspects UC’s figure carefully. We here at CA are more than pleased to be able to help such nice persons in these matters.

UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts concerning the CRU Emails.

Below is a list up to this point:
  1. Climate Alarmism revealed

  2. A selection of emails: Dr Keiller complains

  3. Real Climate responds

  4. Summarising the salient points of the emails

  5. The Englishman speculates

  6. Follow the money

  7. Harrabin leads the BBC fightback

  8. Random scandals: a conversation on dendroclimatology

  9. A note on the authenticity of the data

  10. Hacked? Or leaked?

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 09:01:00 pm


Were the CRU materials hacked—or leaked?

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 07:46:00 pm

Now the story about this CRU material is that a server was hacked: but what if that is not the case?

Although he is careful to state that he knows "nothing of the provenance of the FOIA.zip that is not in the public domain", Steve McIntyre seems to be implying that the file is, in fact, one that was examined under his FoI request.
On Nov 18, 2009, I received the letter attached below from Jonathan Colam-French, Director of Information Services of UEA, turning down my appeal. The letter is dated Nov. 13, 2009. In the letter refusing the appeal, Colam-French says that he consulted a file on the matter.

Now consider the following chronology.

On Nov 17, 2009 at 9.57 pm occurred the first public notice of the 63 MB CRU file entitled “FOIA.zip” came at Jeff Id’s blog by a poster called “FOIA”, who stated:
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.

We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.

The file contained emails up to and including Nov 12, 2009 (the most recent is 1258053464.txt) the day prior to the date on the letter refusing the appeal.

So, what if this material did not come from a server being hacked but was, in fact, the FoI file that was deliberately leaked by someone at UAE?

This BBC news story contains the following quote from someone at CRU.
"We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites," the spokesman stated.

"Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine.

"This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation.

"We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry."

Indeed. I am not going to go into the meaning of the word "hacked" in this context, but it is worth noting that I have heard many people—especially non-technical types—frequently use the word to mean "unauthorised release of material" rather than actual coder hacking.

However, were I to realise that certain sensitive material had been released into the public, I think that I might want to say that it was "hacked" in order to cast doubt on its authenticity.

Now, this is all just the wildest surmise but ain't it fun to speculate...?

UPDATE: it seems that The Examiner has come to the same conclusion.
The anonymous tipster, whom many people initially assumed had "hacked" into the computers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia (repeatedly called the "Hadley CRU," by mistake), might in fact be a CRU insider who released the files for his own reasons.

A lot more links are supplied in that article—this theory seems to be gaining currency.

UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts, so far, concerning this is posted below:
  1. Climate Alarmism revealed

  2. A selection of emails: Dr Keiller complains

  3. Real Climate responds

  4. Summarising the salient points of the emails

  5. The Englishman speculates

  6. Follow the money

  7. Harrabin leads the BBC fightback

  8. Random scandals: a conversation on dendroclimatology

  9. A note on the authenticity of the data

  10. Hacked? Or leaked?

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 07:46:00 pm


A note on the authenticity of the CRU emails

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 06:27:00 pm

It is worth noting that we still do not know for certain that the CRU leak is all genuine and unaltered. However, it does seem that 60MB of mainly text files would take a significant amount of time to fake.

Further, there are no "we know that AGW is fake but we shall propagate it anyway, aaahahahahaa haha haha!" type emails, so any alterations have been done very subtly. Further, much of the correspondence does confirm many of the statistical tricks that we know were used to boost the credibility of the AGW narrative.

And we do know, for instance, that Steve Mcintyre's correspondence is unedited and unaltered.

What is, I think, most telling is that Real Climate published a post which is pure damage limitation—and did so on the assumption that this material is genuine.

Which would be a a real "so what?" moment—and then you remember that Real Climate is run by Michael Mann and other members of The Club involved in the emails and documents.

A couple of FoI requests have now been put into the University of East Anglia (where the CRU is based) which should (eventually) go some way to proving the authenticity of the material.

As such, your humble Devil is proceeding on the basis that the material is—at least substantially—genuine.

UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts, so far, concerning this is posted below:
  1. Climate Alarmism revealed

  2. A selection of emails: Dr Keiller complains

  3. Real Climate responds

  4. Summarising the salient points of the emails

  5. The Englishman speculates

  6. Follow the money

  7. Harrabin leads the BBC fightback

  8. Random scandals: a conversation on dendroclimatology

  9. A note on the authenticity of the data

  10. Hacked? Or leaked?

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

I'm having so much fun...

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 06:27:00 pm


CRU Emails #8: an interesting conversation at random

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 06:01:00 pm

Looking through the CRU documents provides some enlightening conversations. Here's one that I'd particularly like to draw your attention to, since it illustrates a number of points worth considering.

The relevant bit starts, on October 2nd 2009, with Benny Peiser sending a round-up of articles and blogposts concerning the Yamal Implosion to a group called CCMedia (Climate Change Media?). In reply, Alan White (this Alan J White?) asks...
more of the same. what gives with these guys?

Surprisingly, it seems that Alan is not referring to the sceptics, but the people who have faked bollocksed up the Yamal data, i.e. Mann, Briffa and the rest of "The Club" (as I shall now call them), because Eugene I Gordon (a respected physicist) replies as follows: [All emphasis in this email and the following ones are mine.]
Thanks for the extensive and detailed e-mail. This is terrible but not surprising. Obviously I do not know what gives with these guys. However, I have my own suspicions and hypothesis.

I dont think they are scientifically inadequate or stupid. I think they are dishonest and members of a club that has much to gain by practicing and perpetuating global warming scare tactics.

That is not to say that global warming is not occurring to some extent since it would be even without CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions only accelerate the warming and there are other factors controlling climate. As a result, the entire process may be going slower than the powers that be would like. Hence, (I postulate) the global warming contingent has substantial motivation to be dishonest or seriously biased, and to be loyal to their equally dishonest club members.

Among the motivations are increased and continued grant funding, university advancement, job advancement, profits and payoffs from carbon control advocates such as Gore, being in the limelight, and other motivating factors I am too inexperienced to identify.

Alan, this is nothing new. You and I experienced similar behavior from some of our colleagues down the hall, the Bell Labs research people, in the good old days. Humans are hardly perfect creations. I am never surprised at what they can do. _I am perpetually grateful for those who are honest and fair and thankfully there is a goodly share of those._

-gene

Please note that all the suppositions above are merely speculation from Gene Gordon; please also note that he believes that anthropogenic global warming is occurring. But he is not one of the hysterics.

At this point, David Schnare contributes the following email to the conversation.
Gene:

I've been following this issue closely and this is what I take away from it:

1) Tree ring-based temperature reconstructions are fraught with so much uncertainty, they have no value whatever. It is impossible to tease out the relative contributions of rainfall, nutrients, temperature and access to sunlight. Indeed a single tree can, and apparently has, skewed the entire 20th century temperature reconstruction.

2) The IPCC peer review process is fundamentally flawed if a lead author is able to both disregard and ignore criticisms of his own work, where that work is the critical core of the chapter. It not only destroys the credibility of the core assumptions and data, it destroys the credibility of the larger work - in this case, the IPCC summary report and the underlying technical reports.

It also destroys the utility and credibility of the modeling efforts that use assumptions on the relationship of CO2 to temperature that are based on Britta's work, which is, of course, the majority of such analyses.

As Corcoran points out, "the IPCC has depended on 1) computer models, 2) data collection, 3) long-range temperature forecasting and 4) communication. None of these efforts are sitting on firm ground."

Nonetheless, and even if the UNEP thinks it appropriate to rely on Wikipedia as their scientific source of choice, greenhouse gases may (at an ever diminishing probability) cause a significant increase in global temperature. Thus, research, including field trials, on the leading geoengineering techniques are appropriate as a backstop in case our children find out that the current alarmism is justified.

David Schnare

In other words, Schnare believes that the tree ring proxies are useless—and that those studying them should know that they are useless. However, Schnare also takes the attitude that certain ideas should be explored, i.e. geoengineering, if humans have a problem in the future, i.e. mitigation not prevention.

In reply, Gene Gordon says...
David:

I concede all of your points but add one other thought. It is my grandchildren I worry about and I suspect their grand children will find it exceedingly warm because sunspots will return and carbon abatement is only a game; It wont happen significantly in their lifetime AND IT WONT BE ENOUGH IN ANY CASE. HENCE _WE WILL NEED A GEOENGINEERING SOLUTION_ COME WHAT MAY!

-gene

Gene Gordon obviously believes that the sun has a significant effect on the world temperature—something that the IPCC has consistently denied. Gordon believes that mitigation will be needed in the future.

Now it is time for Tom Wigley—who, as we know from these documents, is one of the members of "the club" that Gene Gordon refers to—to defend Briffa. Because, as Gordon put it in the email above, he has a need to be "loyal to [his] equally dishonest club members".
Dear all,

I think it would be wise to let Briffa respond to these accusations before compounding them with unwarranted extrapolations.

With regard to the Hockey Stick, it is highly unlikely that a single site can be very important. M&M have made similar accusations in the past and they have been shown, in the peer-reviewed literature, to be ill-founded.

Two recent papers you should read are those in the attached Word document (first pages only).

Tom.

As we now know, a single site was not just "very important" but absolutely crucial—because the entirety of the last decade was based on one or two trees—not even one site.

It is also worth noting that these emails go back ten years and show, in quite a lot of detail, how Wigley and other members of The Club spent their time stitching up the peer review process. They have done this by forcing out editors who disagree with the alarmist position; The Club have collaborated to discredit papers supposedly peer-reviewed by only one of them; and The Club have bullied and forced their opinions throughout the peer-review process.

In short, The Club have rigged the peer-review process to force their own point of view and dishonestly discredit any sceptics.

At this point, of course, Schnare, Gordon, Peiser and others cannot have known that Wigley was a member of The Club (or none of them would have been so indiscreet about the existence of "the club") but Wigley did, of course, copy in the other members in his reply—or else we would never have seen this exchange.

David Schnare, however, is having none of Wigley's prevarication.
Tom:

Briffa has already made a preliminary response and he failed to explain his selection procedure. Further, he refused to give up the data for several years, and was forced to do so only when he submitted to a journal that demanded data archiving and actually enforced the practice.

More significantly, Briffa's analysis is irrelevant. Dendrochonology is a bankrupt approach. They admit that they cannot distiguish causal elements contributing to tree ring size. Further, they rely on recent temperature data by which to select recent tree data (excluding other data) and then turn around and claim that the tree ring data explains the recent temperature data. If you can give a principled and reasoned defense of Briffa (see the discussion on Watt's website) then go for it. I'd be fascinated, as would a rather large number of others.

None of this, of course, detracts for the need to do research on geoengineering.

David Schnare

This is a fairly sharp—and to-the-point—response by Schnare, and it is obvious that he holds Briffa's research in contempt.

Nonetheless, Wriggly Wigley is back to defend his buddy, Briffa.
David,

This is entirely off the record, and I do not want this shared with anyone.

Whoops!
I hope you will respect this. This issue is not my problem, and I await further developments.

However, Keith Briffa is in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), and I was Director of CRU for many years so I am quite familiar with Keith and with his work. I have also done a lots of hands on tree ring work, both in the field and in developing and applying computer programs for climate reconstruction from tree rings. On the other hand, I have not been involved in any of this work since I left CRU in 1993 to move to NCAR. But I do think I can speak with some modicum of authority.

You say, re dendoclimatologists, "they rely on recent temperature data by which to *select* recent tree data" (my emphasis). I don't know where you get this idea, but I can assure you that it is entirely wrong.

Unfortunately, the Yamal IMplosion showed that this is exactly what had happened.
Further, I do not know the basis for your claim that "Dendrochonology is a bankrupt approach". It is one of the few proxy data areas where rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used and where reconstructions are carefully tested on independent data.

Note, please, the way in which Wigley equates statistical analysis with measured data. And also note that he thinks that the measuring of tree rings is one of the "few proxy data areas" in which "rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used".

Given how poor—and selective—we know the tree ring data to be, we must now start examining all the other proxy methods used by these climate scientists—they must all now be under suspicion.
Finally, the fact that scientists (in any field) do not willingly share their hard-earned primary data implies that they have something to hide has no logical basis.

Tom.

Except, of course, in Briffa's example, it was, in fact, the case that there was quite a lot to hide. And whatever the motivation for hiding the data, we know that members of The Club—including Wigley—had discussed how best to hide or destroy data that might be requested: even to the extent of destroying data that might be requested under the law.

Scientists may well guard their data jealously, but when you are considering, effectively, breaking the conditions of your employment (through defiance of your employer's responsibilities under the Data Protection Act) and of the law, then surely there must be more to your motivation that professional jealousy...?

Further, if you have nothing to hide then surely you would be happy to have others pore over your data and realise that your conclusion is correct? Unless, of course, you believe that said scientists will find problems with your data?

The last email in this conversation is from Phil Jones, who says nothing of any real interest—except that he justifies Briffa's results with reference to some other reconstructions. One of these is the "Moberg" reconstruction that he himself had criticsed in an earlier email (I will find the link)—for missing out the warm years from about 1500 to 1750.

All in all, a quite revealing little conversation, I think—on a number of levels.

And there are plenty more to come...

UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts, so far, concerning this is posted below:
  1. Climate Alarmism revealed

  2. A selection of emails: Dr Keiller complains

  3. Real Climate responds

  4. Summarising the salient points of the emails

  5. The Englishman speculates

  6. Follow the money

  7. Harrabin leads the BBC fightback

  8. Random scandals: a conversation on dendroclimatology

  9. A note on the authenticity of the data

  10. Hacked? Or leaked?

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

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Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 06:01:00 pm


Some CRU email summaries #4

Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 04:29:00 pm

ROLLING UPDATES
Last update at 15.23 21/11/09

Shug Niggurath's database has been updated to read the references that Bishop hill quotes: I shall be going through the list and applying links.


Bishop Hill has been trawling the communications and come up with some basic pointers—the reference number after the summary is the email number.
  1. 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)

  2. Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers. (1047388489)

  3. Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results. (0939154709)

  4. Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".

  5. Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request. (1212063122)

  6. 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)

  7. Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace. (0872202064)

  8. 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)

  9. Kevin Trenberth says they can't account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can't. (1255352257)

  10. Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi's paper is crap. (1257532857)

  11. 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)

  12. Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)

  13. Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)

  14. 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)

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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)

  18. Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate. (1139521913)

  19. 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)

  20. 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)

  21. Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community. (1102687002)

  22. 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)

  23. Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically. (1140554230)

  24. 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)

  25. 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)

  26. Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat. (1233249393)

  27. 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)

  28. 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]

  29. Jones says he's found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland. (1210367056)

  30. Wigley says Keenan's fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)

  31. 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)

  32. Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal. (0926010576)

  33. 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)

  34. 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)

  35. Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!] (1219239172)

  36. Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted. (1254259645)

  37. Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick. This back in 2004. (1096382684)

  38. 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)

  39. Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)

  40. Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report. (1089318616)

  41. 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)

  42. 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)

  43. 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)

  44. Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it. (1054756929)

  45. Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr "I'm not entirely there in the head" will not be at the AGU. (1233249393)

  46. 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)

His Ecclesiastical Eminence is currently updating this list as I write, so do feel free to refresh the page every now and again. I shall be adding more as the good Bishop does, so feel free to refresh The Kitchen too...

Is everyone enjoying themselves...?

UPDATE: as usual, Tom Nelson is monitoring the world's media for climate change stories—as well as plumbing the depths of these documents himself.

UPDATE 2: Bishop Hill is still trawling the emails and has pulled out some more items of interest...
  • Phil Jones having problems with explaining issues over the Lamb image of global temps in the early IPCC reports. Says it shouldn't be discussed openly at Real Climate. Says better left buried. (1168356704)

  • Phil Jones emails Steve [Schneider], editor of Climatic Change [plus others, editorial board of the journal?], telling him he shouldn't accede to McIntyre's request for Mann's computer code. In later email to Mann ("For your eyes only, delete after reading") Jones says he told Jones separately [presumably meaning without saying to the rest of the board] that he should seek advice elsewhere and also consult the publisher and take legal advice. (1074277559)

  • Briffa says he tried hard to balance the needs of the IPCC and science, which were not always the same.(1177890796)

  • An anonymous source says that robustness problems with the Hockey Stick are known to anyone who understands his methodology. The source says that there will be a lot of noise over McIntyre's 2003 paper and that knowing Mann'svery thin skin he will react strongly, unless he has learned from the past. (1067194064)

  • Giorgio Filippo (University of Trieste) says that IPCC is not an assessment of published science but about production of results. Says there are very few rules and anything goes. Thinks this will undermine IPCC credibility. Says everyone seems to think it's OK to do this. (0968705882)

  • IPCC review editor John Mitchell says that the issue of why proxy data for recent decades is not shown (he says it's because they don't show warming) needs to be explained. [Note to readers, this was not done Let's say that the explanation was nuanced - it said that the divergence problem, as this issue is known, was restricted to a few areas]. Also says that Mann's short-centred PC analysis is wrong and that Mann's results are not statistically significant. (1150923423)


UPDATING: a list of The Kitchen posts, so far, concerning this is posted below:
  1. Climate Alarmism revealed

  2. A selection of emails: Dr Keiller complains

  3. Real Climate responds

  4. Summarising the salient points of the emails

  5. The Englishman speculates

  6. Follow the money

  7. Harrabin leads the BBC fightback

  8. Random scandals: a conversation on dendroclimatology

  9. A note on the authenticity of the data

  10. Hacked? Or leaked?

And, just as a reminder, feel free to browse the searchable database.

Labels: , , , ,


Posted by Devil's Kitchen at 11/21/2009 04:29:00 pm


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  • "DK is a take-no-prisoners sort of libertarian. His blog is renowned for its propensity for foul-mouthed invective, which can be both amusing and tiresome by turns. Nevertheless, he is usually lucid, often scintillating and sometimes illuminating."—Dr Syn
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