More on those climate emails

Complete with a new name: Climaquiddick.

To get up to speed if you haven’t been following this story closely, here’s my post on it yesterday. Short version: A large batch of data from one of the world’s leading climate science centers was released on the Internet last week; this includes thousands of emails and other documents that reveal scientists at the center — people who have been intimately involved in the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — may have been manipulating their data, and certainly intended to foil Freedom of Information requests and keep contrarian researchers out of peer-review journals if possible.

The focus on the story has turned from the emails the scientists exchanged to the computer code their center was using to produce its data sets, which have been an integral part of the IPCC’s reports. Declan McCullagh at CBS News reports some of the findings so far:

One programmer highlighted the error of relying on computer code that, if it generates an error message, continues as if nothing untoward ever occurred. Another debugged the code by pointing out why the output of a calculation that should always generate a positive number was incorrectly generating a negative one. A third concluded: “I feel for this guy. He’s obviously spent years trying to get data from undocumented and completely messy sources.”

Programmer-written comments inserted into CRU’s Fortran code have drawn fire as well. The file briffa_sep98_d.pro says: “Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!” and “APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION.” Another, quantify_tsdcal.pro, says: “Low pass filtering at century and longer time scales never gets rid of the trend – so eventually I start to scale down the 120-yr low pass time series to mimic the effect of removing/adding longer time scales!”

At Pajamas Media, which has been producing some of the most in-depth coverage of this story, Charlie Martin examines the code further and concludes:

[P]ut this in the context of what else we know from the CRU data dump:

1. They didn’t want to release their data or code, and they particularly weren’t interested in releasing any intermediate steps that would help someone else

2. They clearly have some history of massaging the data — hell, practically water-boarding the data — to get it to fit their other results. Results they can no longer even replicate on their own systems.

3. They had successfully managed to restrict peer review to what we might call the “RealClimate clique” — the small group of true believers they knew could be trusted to say the right things.

As a result, it looks like they found themselves trapped. They had the big research organizations, the big grants — and when they found themselves challenged, they discovered they’d built their conclusions on fine beach sand.

But the tide was coming in.

Even if the CRU crew are only guilty of promising more than they could deliver, that’s still a hugely important turn of events in the climate-change debate — and reason enough to put the policy debate on pause while this new information is sorted out.

Finally, on a more humorous note, check out this video created for Minnesotans for Global Warming by the folks at JibJab.com:

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119 comments Add your comment

Peter

November 25th, 2009
10:19 am

Funny stuff Kyle !

Get out there and cut down all the trees in your neighbor hood …… be an activist !

Kyle Wingfield

November 25th, 2009
10:38 am

Peter: Thanks for avoiding the meat of the topic. Why not just try “first”?

jconservative

November 25th, 2009
10:42 am

“The University of East Anglia has released statements from Prof Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Prof Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit, and from CRU.

Statement from Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research

The publication of a selection of the emails and data stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has led to some questioning of the climate science research published by CRU and others. There is nothing in the stolen material which indicates that peer-reviewed publications by CRU, and others, on the nature of global warming and related climate change are not of the highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation. CRU’s peer-reviewed publications are consistent with, and have contributed to, the overwhelming scientific consensus that the climate is being strongly influenced by human activity. The interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice mean that the strongly-increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere do not produce a uniform year-on-year increase in global temperature. On time-scales of 5-10 years, however, there is a broad scientific consensus that the Earth will continue to warm, with attendant changes in the climate, for the foreseeable future. It is important, for all countries, that this warming is slowed down, through substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the most dangerous impacts of climate change. Respected international research groups, using other data sets, have come to the same conclusion.

The University of East Anglia and CRU are committed to scientific integrity, open debate and enhancing understanding. This includes a commitment to the international peer-review system upon which progress in science relies. It is this tried and tested system which has underpinned the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is through that process that we can engage in respectful and informed debate with scientists whose analyses appear not to be consistent with the current overwhelming consensus on climate change.”

Peter

November 25th, 2009
10:43 am

So Kyle the meat is about what ?

What do you have to say about Obama going to the climate summit ?

jtom

November 25th, 2009
10:47 am

Regardless of the ‘innocence’ of the hacked emails and programmer’s notes, clearly the muddled mess of the data (the programmer can’t figure out what files are what, what the right dates are, where some files are, which instrument station is which) screams that the results could not possibly generate results that are correct to a tenth of a degree globally – for any time period.

It can easily be inferred that the CRU scientists knew of the poor quality control of the data, considering the great lengths they went to hide it from review.

That these ’scientists’ claimed they could produce the results they published, with the uncertainty levels as low as they presented, is fraud all by itself.

The data these guys used became the basis and assumptions of many studies researched and produced by dozens of ethical, honest climate scientists around the world. All of their work is now tainted….and they are mad. Angry, too, are all the scientists who could not get published in peer-review literature because their conclusions were ‘not consistant with’ AGW.

Some people are facing a very big fall. Those on the periphery need to start coming clean to salvage their reputations.

Kyle Wingfield

November 25th, 2009
10:49 am

It’s not surprising. At this point, I can’t imagine that they will come up with anything meaningful in Copenhagen — probably a promise to come up with a plan — so if I were him I would skip it. But I won’t fault him for it the way I did his trip to the Olympics meeting in Copenhagen.

Jimmy62

November 25th, 2009
10:49 am

I’d say that, if nothing else, this should put to rest the idea that there’s any sort of scientific “consensus” on man-made global warming. And considering most of the scientists backing man-made global warming base at least some of their research on data from the East Anglia institute, making ANY laws based on this junk science would be the height of irresponsibility.

I guess some might call me a global warming denier. That’s not so. I merely want it researched more, as it seems like we were basing a major restructuring of the entire world on inconclusive data backed by science we hardly understand, and certainly haven’t mastered. So now that a lot of it turns out to be fake science, let’s open this up for real debate. Let’s get some solid data, have some reliable models created, and see what’s going on. And throw out any data that ever came from East Anglia, as it cannot be trusted.

Time for real debate and discussion, and time to ignore Gore, as he bases everything he says on data from East Anglia.

AGW Leftist Criminals

November 25th, 2009
10:56 am

The Scam Artists are in full panic and damage control mode. Entire careers are on the line and this causes extreme panic and stress for those who have now been caught. How stupid can they be to think they would not eventually be exposed?

They misled the entire planet. This is the exact same thing as the so-called bad and cooked intelligence for the Iraq war. The Left thinks its free to cook false data.

The Left is WRONG. So many people have bought into this lie through stupidity and trust in the “integrity” of “science”. Here’s a clue – so called “scientists” on the Left can be just as crooked as anyone else. They are not heroes. They are not saints. They are greedy, lying, petty little left wing dweebs who have now been caught RED handed.

hose who have said all along this is bogus are the heroes.

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:01 am

Hey……AGW Leftist Criminals Please go our side and cut down all the trees in your yard……That should keep your yard cool !

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
11:05 am

Peter, are you a vegetarian?

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
11:06 am

I treat global warming like I treat my in-laws. Avoid it at all cost and it will go away like the pet rock, the 8 track and Beta player. Rock on!

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
11:07 am

AGW Leftist Criminals, I guess Owl Gore and Tim Robbins will have to stick to acting. It’s what they do best.

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
11:09 am

Peter, hypocrite much?

You’ve been on Kyle’s blogs just as long as I have. Is your life partner out winning the bread?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:12 am

David eat your vegetables, and love your in-laws……don’t let your wife see what you wrote, or you may go hunrgy !

Jefferson

November 25th, 2009
11:12 am

Sometimes I think some of you folks only care about money and how you can get more.

Chris Broe

November 25th, 2009
11:16 am

Looks bad for global warming. But I think I can save the bumper sticker:

I wont vote GOP because of global war mongering.

Jimmy62

November 25th, 2009
11:20 am

Jefferson: You mean like Al Gore, who has profited more off global warming alarmism than anyone else in the world, while increasing his own carbon footprint?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:20 am

SO…… Kyle IF ALL the trees were cut down…….. nothing bad would happen ?

Would the earth get colder then ?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:22 am

Hey Jimmy62 …….doesn’t Al Gore have solar on his house ?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:26 am

Hey Kyle…….what do you make of this ?

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.

Experts say they are “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.

So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month.

If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/sep/04/climatechange

Jimmy62

November 25th, 2009
11:28 am

Peter: Al Gore’s house spits out far more carbon and uses far more energy per square foot than the average home. And add to that the fact that he flies around the world in private jets (HUGE carbon footprint) going from speech to speech polluting the world with more carbon and more bullshit, and what you have is a major hypocrite. If he was serious about all of this, and not just increasing his bank account, why doesn’t he hold big speeches over the internet instead of taking a private jet?

Jimmy62

November 25th, 2009
11:30 am

Hey Peter, when did anyone but you mention trees? As far as the ice, would it surprise you to learn that there was even less of it during the middle ages? Did the world fall apart when it warmer in the medieval warming period than the worst estimates of global warming put the Earth at in 100 years? Do actual facts make your brain hurt?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
11:33 am

Hey Jimmy62….. We are all talking about Man made Global warming ..are we not ?

Cutting down the trees is part of that scenario is it not ?

Please tell us who went to the arctic, and antarctic in the medieval warming period and mapped the ice there ?

I would love to read about the expedition !

JA

November 25th, 2009
11:40 am

From looking at some of the data and papers, itseems to me that these guys were mixing ordinal and nominal data sets at will without regard for sound mathematical principles. This is just plain bad science and not being careful.

The mathematical flaw is just one of about two dozen unsound scientific activities that these people were undertaking.

Chris Broe

November 25th, 2009
11:45 am

Is there one honest scientist left?

Was science always partisan?

Chris Broe

November 25th, 2009
11:50 am

CNN just reported that Sarah Palin is writing a second book about free government cheese: “Going Roguefort”.

Linda

November 25th, 2009
12:13 pm

Peter, According to the Nashville Electric Service, Al Gore’s average electric bill in ‘06 was $1359 per mt. According to the Nashville Gas Co., Al Gore’s average gas bill in ‘06 was $1080 per mt. His total electric & gas bills were $29,268 in ‘06 & $31,512 in ‘05. These are 20 times higher than the national average.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 25th, 2009
12:21 pm

The party’s over. Tell the last enviro-nut to turn off the lights when he leaves.

Linda

November 25th, 2009
12:26 pm

Peter, Obama said that if the Climate Change bill passes, it would cause our utility bills to skyrocket. That’s the word he used. The increases in utility bills of every company who uses energy would be passed on to you & I, the consumer. Everything we buy would skyrocket, according to the pres.

Do you believe in global warming?
If you believe in global warming, do you believe it it caused by man or nature?
If you believe in global warming & believe it is caused by man, do you believe it is harmful or harmless?
If you believe in global warming, believe it’s caused by man & is harmful, would you be willing to give up your life as you know it, pay twice as much for goods & services & risk our country go into a deep depression? What ARE you personally willing to sacrifice?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
12:28 pm

Hey Linda…… Gore’s has a big house, it has solar, and other energy saving features.

I would bet his house ig much bigger than the national average..maybe 20 times bigger ?

So did you cur all your trees down in your yard to keep it cool ?

Peter

November 25th, 2009
12:34 pm

Hey Linda I think it would be great to be off the grid !

I think America in general needs solar, and green energy. I think that should be a priority.

Donmen

November 25th, 2009
12:36 pm

Global warming is caused by the sun.
And to answer the question who would i sacrifice for the idea humans are somehow responsible?

All of those who believe that… Period

Peter

November 25th, 2009
12:39 pm

Hey Donmen “Global warming is caused by the sun.”……….HA HA HA……great stuff !

Jimmy62

November 25th, 2009
12:40 pm

Hey Peter: I no more went back to the middle ages to measure ice cover than these scientists went back to get the temperature estimates they are basing their global warming theories on. If my evidence isn’t admissible, then neither is their’s, by the same standard.

Not many people are talking about deforestation as a major contributor to global warming, thus again I don’t know why you brought it up.

Peter

November 25th, 2009
12:47 pm

Hey Jimmy62……… “Not many people are talking about deforestation as a major contributor to global warming, thus again I don’t know why you brought it up.”

I really think it has allot to do with global warming….. along with large black roof tops and large asphalt parking lots…….

Jake

November 25th, 2009
12:49 pm

The point is cap and trade will be yet another costly government intervention in what’s left of the free market economy and won’t lower worldwide temperatures 0.1 C.

Joan

November 25th, 2009
12:57 pm

There is money to be made by academia and other “think tanks”–those mossy liberals–in government research grants and contracts so long as the “global warming’ myth continues. It is also just another way for our government to figure out a way to tax you for drawing breath. It is all a great big, expensive hoax and Americans will suffer for it. You better believe the real polluters like China won’t give it a moment’s thought. They won’t pi.. off their money on this kind of stuff.

Peter

November 25th, 2009
12:57 pm

Jake…..do you suppose the energy companies, and corporations in general will just do the “Right Thing ” when it comes to energy and pollution ?

Linda

November 25th, 2009
12:58 pm

Peter@11:33, The global warming theory was supposed to based on science. It was more complicated than using a thermometer & a Fyrite device. You would be surprised how far science has come. Scientists have been drilling holes in the ice in Antarctica & Greenland for decades up to 3623 miles deep that record past environmental conditions stretching back 740,000 years covering up to 8 glacial periods. There’s proof that oxygen, methane, CO2, dust & temperatures rise & fall together & have been for hundreds of thousands of years.

Steve

November 25th, 2009
12:59 pm

Peter,
I believe the point Linda was trying to make is…Al Gore, considers himself to be champion of the Global Warming cause. Why wouldn’t he live in a resident where the energy footprint to cool/heat it would be much smaller. If he can make that happen in a large house, then great (but he certainly doesn’t seem to be). But for him to stand infront of the rest of the world lamenting the woes of Global Warming while his home uses huge amounts of electrical and gas energy seems very disingenious.

Peter

November 25th, 2009
1:00 pm

Gee Joan………have you been paying attention to the Solar sector in the stock market ?

China is one of if not the the largest promoter of Solar power today, and they have many projects in the works.

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:02 pm

Peter, that lovely lie of an article was from 2007. TWO YEARS AGO! Lots of things have changed in two years.

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:03 pm

Peter, also, you sure do know how to put your foot in your mouth. You whined about me commenting too much and here you are………doing the exact same thing.

Peter

November 25th, 2009
1:04 pm

Hey David……. Got Milk ?

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:04 pm

Peter, HAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAH!!!!!!!!!! China is the largest promoter of solar power? WOW! You win the “moron of the day” award. I’ve been to Beijing twice this year…….didn’t see any solar power anywhere in those factories.

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:06 pm

Oh, and Peter, you totally missed my point about meat. You eat meat. Meat comes from dead animals. So quite crying like a little girl about monkeys and wolves.

Eskimos kill wolves. Why don’t you go up to Alaska and tell them not to kill wolves. Can’t wait to hear about the spear in your gut!

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:06 pm

Hey Peter…………..Got brain? Nope.

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:07 pm

Peter, let me ask you one simple question. It’s a yes or no question.

Do you like the idea of communism?

David Axelfraud

November 25th, 2009
1:10 pm

Peter
Hey Donmen “Global warming is caused by the sun.”……….HA HA HA……great stuff !

Peter, wow, I simply don’t know how to answer this. What warms the Earth? THE SUN!

Linda

November 25th, 2009
1:11 pm

Peter@12:28, I think you’re getting Al Gore’s house & George Bush’s houses mixed up. Bush’s house is the one with the geothermal heat-pump that uses water (some from his roof) to heat it in the winter & cool it in the summer. Bush uses no fossil fuels to heat & cool.
No, Gore’s house does have solar panels. If he did (which he doesn’t), based on his utility bills, they ain’t working!