Friday, November 20, 2009

CRU emails #7: Harrabin leads the BBC fightback...

Unfortunately, English graduate Roger Harrabin—who is well-known to regular readers of The Kitchen for the lack of rigour in his research—is on very thin ice.

That doesn't stop him struggling manfully on though—for lo! Roger has a source at CRU (he doesn't say who it is though: perhaps The Fink could help us out. The Fink loves outing people).
The CRU has been repeatedly asked to publish the entire data set from which it compiled an important grid-based record of global temperatures.

It says it will publish full details when it has clearance from all the world's meteorological offices whose permission is needed.

No, Roger: the taxpayers paid for this data to be collected—the taxpayers should have full access. This isn't a difficult concept to grasp, dipshit.
But speaking to my source at the CRU, it is also clear that the unit has been dragged down by what it considers to be nit-picking and unreasonable demands for data - and that there is personal animus against their intellectual rivals.

Ah, diddums...
My CRU source points out that its unpublished full data set is almost identical to the ones at the National Climatic Data Center and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

Both of these are in the US, where there are no restrictions on publication. The CRU view is that when the sceptics see the full data in due course they will be very disappointed.

Really? But so many of us have pointed out the problems with the data produced by the infamous Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)—James Hansen's custodians of the totally compromised US land station record (see Kitchen files here, here, here, here and here for starters)—that it is hardly as though the criticisms will stop.

Besides, it isn't just we sceptics who have criticised the GISS data...
From: Phil Jones
To: Tom Wigley , Ben Santer
Subject: Re: help please
Date: Tue Oct 6 13:35:34 2009


Agreed that NCDC must have some data gaps - but this isn't very clear from the website.

GISS is inferior - not just because it doesn't use back data. They also impose some urbanization adjustment which is based on population/night lights which I don't think is very good.

It's good to see that the CRU team and the sceptics agree on one thing anyway: we don't think that GISS's urbanisation adjustments are any good either.

Sceptics have pointed out that whilst urban heat island effect means that the raw data should be adjusted downwards, GISS have actually adjusted upwards!
Their gridding also smooths things out. Plotting all three together for land only though they look similar at decadal timescales. GISS does have less year-to-year variability - when I last looked.

I assume NCDC should add the back data in - although there isn't the need if infilling is going on OK.

I've never looked to see if NCDC changes from year to year.

I think you can say that GISS is inferior to CRUTEM3. In Ch 3 of AR4 I put the station number counts in.

GISS and NCDC have more, but almost all of this is more data in the US. Their non-use of a base period (GISS using something very odd and NCDC first differences) means they can use very short series that we can't (as they don't have base periods) but with short series it is impossible to assess for homogeneity. So some of their extra series may be very short ones as well. As you know the more important thing is where the stations are (and in time).

The paper I sent you by Adrian Simmons shows great agreement with CRUTEM3 when subsampled according to CRU grid boxes. Also shows that ERA-INTERIM is very good.

ERA-INTERIM's absolute is also within 0.2 deg C of the CRU 14 deg C value. It would give about 13.8 for 1961-90. Sometime I should write this up as more and more people seem to be using 15 deg C.

Away from tomorrow till next Tuesday.



So, let us summarise:
  • The CRU team say that the GISS data is "inferior" and that they "don't think is very good", but

  • the CRU's own "full data set is almost identical to the ones at the National Climatic Data Center and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies."

And they think that sceptics are going to be disappointed? Hardly.

What it will show is that—although CRU think that the GISS dataset is a bit crap—theirs is not substantially different. So either their data is "inferior" too, or they have altered their data in order to fit with GISS.

What is surprising is that CRU say that they are going to willingly release their data when in an email Phil Jones said...
... I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone...

Bit of a turnaround from Phil there, eh?

Never mind—let's return to Harrabin...
The scientific establishment is likely to support the CRU.

This would be an extremely stupid thing to do...
Despite continuing uncertainties in some areas of climate science, they say officially that their overall confidence that humans are warming the climate is now more than 90%.

One leading figure told me unofficially that confidence was now at 99%.

Because, of course, they are going to tell a media hack if their confidence was lower than that, eh?

It may well be that "humans are warming the climate" but the argument is over the extent; people like myself maintain that any warming effect by humans is insignificant and most certainly will not lead to global catastrophe. The alarmists—as the name implies—assert the opposite.

The thing is that the only people who have been proven to be correct so far are the sceptics: the world has resolutely failed to warm as much as the climate scientists have predicted—the world is nowhere near what Hansen predicted twenty years ago, for instance.

In the old days, if the outcomes of a scientific theory were proved to be wrong time and time and time again—as AGW has—the scientists might reassess whether their theory was right, people would laugh them out of sight.

In these days of stupidity and mediocrity, however, it seems that the utter failure to predict the temperature even a few years ahead is suddenly a reason for restructuring the entire world economy.

As this commenter at Real Climate says (quoting the original post)...
Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies.

That depends on whether or not people were trying to re-order the global economy on the basis of those butterfly studies. And whether or not some folks had tried to substitute the odd moth in order to “hide the decline.”

Quite. Everything that these people have said or published is now discredited; further, since the emails discuss (amongst other things) the co-ordination of peer reviews, all of the studies that they have reviewed are also suspect.

If I were a climate scientist, I would be rushing to disassociate myself from all of the people involved in these emails—they are now utterly tainted. The trouble is that alarmist climate scientists cannot afford to do that because so many of their own studies are based on data produced by Mann, Briffa, the CRU and others involved in these correspondance.

Either way, they're fucked.

Fucking hellski, but this really has been a good week.

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.


Matt said...

My week has been made, what has been obvious for a longtime has finally been spelled clearly

Unknown said...

I don't think the MSM can spike this.

Can they?

Andrew K said...

We're going to need more lamp posts . . . .

Chris B said...

But surely higher taxes and "green" measures would also affect these "scientists" personally. So they must be doing it to just stay in their job and put everything on their grants (just like MPs expenses)... On the other hand, if the public loses faith in scientists then the David Nutt case was for nothing.

Anonymous said...

According to Harrabin: They ask how many of us would feel completely comfortable if our own inboxes were emptied out for the world to see.

I don't remember the same concern being shared by the BBC regarding expenses; that was stolen data and included very personal information

P.S DK, I bet you haven't had ths much fun since your wedding night :-)

Mitch said...

Oh joy..deep deep joy, we were right.....sweet!!

knirirr said...

On the other hand, if the public loses faith in scientists then the David Nutt case was for nothing.

Indeed; it would be a shame if all scientists are tarred with the same brush as a result of this.
Still, if particular scientists are found to be up to no good they should be exposed.

microdave said...

To their credit, the paper you all love to hate have covered this, and included some of the email extracts:

At the end of the article Dave Britton of the Met Office said:
"We are not concerned about the robustness of the science we are pushing but we are worried about it being interpreted out of context."

So he doesn't believe it either....

Anonymong said...

Fucking hell.

Hiding data is bad science. Destroying data so others can't replicate your work isn't science at all, and presenting fraudulent data in order to mislead others is anti science.

There was a time when scientists would compare their theories to the results of experiment, and if the theory didn't match the reality, they'd change the theory oir admit it was completely wrong to begin with. (Assuming it was the right experiment, and barring experimental error)

In spite of what DK says about laughing them out of sight, we'd at least respect them for following the scientific method.

Unfortunately, it seems in climate change science, if the theory doesn't match the reality, then the reality is wrong and must be changed to fit the theory.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Indeed; it would be a shame if all scientists are tarred with the same brush as a result of this."

This is why I have tried, throughout these posts, to use the full phrase, i.e. "climate scientists".


knirirr said...

This is why I have tried, throughout these posts, to use the full phrase, i.e. "climate scientists".

Good point.
But - this leak only gives cause to accuse these particular climate scientists of malfeasance, rather than all climate scientists.

The very model of a modern scientific man

Your humble Devil was thoroughly amused by Neil Ferguson's fall from grace, and is very pleased to have found the time to outline Fergus...