The global warming emails non-event

By Phil Plait | November 30, 2009 7:26 am

You’ve probably heard by now that a hacker got into the computer system of some climatologists and grabbed a bunch of files, including private emails, from the scientists. The global warming deniers have been trumpeting these as evidence of purposeful fraud, but in reality they are nothing of the sort. I’ve gotten some emails asking why I haven’t talked about this — some accusing me of being biased — but that’s not the case.

One reason I haven’t talked about it is because I think it’s a non-issue. These files are not evidence of fraud. I am a scientist myself, and I’m familiar with the lingo. When we say we used a "trick" to plot data (as one of the hacked emails says), that doesn’t mean we’re doing something to fool people. It means we used a method that may not be obvious, or a step that does something specific. Plotting data logarithmically instead of linearly is a "trick", and it’s a valid and useful method of displaying data (your senses of sight and hearing are logarithmic, for example, so it’s even a natural way to do things).

A more everyday example: a friend tells you that using two filters when brewing your coffee makes it taste better. When you relay this info to someone else, you might say "Using Alex’s double filter trick makes my coffee yummier." Same thing. It’s not exactly rock-solid evidence of scientific fraud.

The other reason I’ve left this alone is because others are deflating it quite well. My Hive Overmind co-bloggers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum over at The Intersection have done so, twice, in their articles The Climategate Burden of Proof and The Latest on the Swifthack.

And all these released files make no difference anyway. As they so succinctly out it:

Those of us who think this is all smoke and no fire are starting from the following position: There is a massive body of science, tested and retested and ratified by many leading scientific bodies, showing that global warming is real and human caused

In other words, these denialist claims are largely ad hominems, and don’t get to the core of the issue, and that’s the overwhelming amount of data supporting global warming. You need to ask: do these emails and other hacked files change the actual science, the actual conclusions drawn by those scientists?

As far as I can see, the answer is no. What I see are scientists doing science, reacting to vicious personal attacks, and discussing what they are doing in terms scientists always use.

On the other side, I’ll say I have no issue with the actual hacking situation itself; if I felt that the government were hiding some huge scandal with an equally huge impact on everyone on the planet, then the illegal act of hacking into someone’s computer becomes a relatively minor infraction comparatively. If the hacker actually thinks this, that is. I know a lot of the denialists think as they do because of partisan blindness, and not because they have reached their conclusion through the impartial examination of the evidence (an accusation, no doubt, that will be thrown at me in the comments). Without telepathy or a pile of evidence — or even his/her identity — we don’t know the motivations of the hacker. They don’t really matter to me at the moment; the more important aspect of all this is how the files are being twisted politically.

Bottom line? Yawn. Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Debunking, Science, Skepticism
MORE ABOUT: global warming

Comments (390)

  1. CNH

    I think there are some issues which leave people uneasy:

    1. The lack of original data – corrected data is fine, if you give the original and discuss what corrections have been made.

    2. The computer models: is the source code available? I don’t think it is, and without that, the predictions are meaningless. Errors in the programming, or correction factors that are not fully explained, cannot then be picked up.

    I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to say the climate isn’t changing – it’s always been changing, which is why we’ve had warm periods and ice ages. The question is how much of the present change is anthropologically driven, and the climate scientists need to do more to show how much, and how they have arrived at their conclusions.

    After all, the climatologists are demanding a very great deal from the public. If they are to make such demands, they need to be more transparent. If they were, then perhaps there may be more light and less heat [and no pun intended!].

  2. Spectroscope

    Well, finally. I disagree with your view here, BA – but I am glad you have finally, at long, long last, had the cajones to post & provide your opinion on this major scientific controversy. :-)

    Oh & yes, I love your blog and aren’t planning on going anywhere but intend to continue to argue the case for rational scientific skepticism against the “Gorebull” Warmer Alarmist side. ;-)

    As for your request for:

    “overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic.”

    Well I urge you all to visit the following sites and read carefully -preferably with the “Green Cult blinkers” off & brains fully activated:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/start.html
    Which has lots of great information and graphs via an enlightening quiz incl. the following information. Incl.

    [Quote] “From a geological perspective, global warming is the normal state of our accustomed natural world. Technically, we are in an “interglacial phase,” or between ice ages. The question is not really if an ice age will return, but when. Don’t panic when you hear global alarmists warning the earth may have warmed almost 1 degree in the last 200 years. Although this still hasn’t yet been proven, it is in fact exactly what should be happening if everything is normal.

    If Global Warming stops, then you can start worrying! It means our warm interglacial phase is over and we may be heading into another Ice Age!” [Unquote.]

    (Which sums up my view of this issue in a nutshell really.)

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hadley_hacked

    Which has plenty of links & commentary esp. on recent revelations that the Climate Alarmists have committed unscientific practices even extending to outright fraud.

    &

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/11/hacked-hadley-cru-foi2009-files.html

    An excellent summary & analysis on the Alarmists leaked emails etc .. & finally :

    http://www.icecap.us/

    (Yes, I know I’ve already posted some of these on other threads but this is the best & most appropriate spot to discuss and examine them in more depth.)

  3. Bill McElree

    As innocuous as these emails were they are fodder for the sheeple of the denialist mentality. They are like creationists in that they argue against things they so obviously don’t understand yet mud-slinging is something they do understand which is why this has caused such a furor. Soon they will go back to arguing their three main points once this debacle has been played out: Denial, denial that it’s our fault, denial that we can do anything about it. Sometimes all three will be present in the same rant. See Spectroscopes fine example above. These people deserve the same respect that Kirk Cameron gets.

  4. Jesse

    lol, I figured I’d see a post like this. Skeptical when you choose to be…pretty sad actually.

    I think YOU’RE missing the point. If there are people involved at all with the UN climate reports with the types of attitudes and mindsets of – ‘lets not let these people look at all the data’, or ‘lets prevent these people with different opinions from peer reviewing papers’ -doesn’t that go against everything you stand for? The scientific method, skepticism?

    How can you say this doesn’t change any of the science if now its being called into question that scientists have allowed everyone the same access to raw data? As a skeptic, how can that not bother you? This at the very least should warrant some investigation and data disclosure/review. I can’t understand why someone who supports the scientific method to have all data see the bright light of review by anyone, would think this isn’t a big deal.

    Well, I can understand if that person also is so blinded by their own perception of what they want to believe that they think all other positions are inferior…

  5. Brett from Canada

    You know, I hate to say this, but for me, the AGW deniers have won.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m firmly convinced that a) global warming is happening, and b) humans are the principle cause, but it’s clear that, despite all the evidence, the tide is turning in favour of the denialists.

    Between the CRU hack, this “it’s been cooling for the last ten years” BS, and god knows what else, the anti-AGW folks are clearly winning the public relations battle, by simple virtue of a) yelling louder than anyone else, and b) having a nice, appealing conspiracy theory that people can turn to as an excuse to stop worry about AGW.

    And so it is that they’ve won. They haven’t won on the science, since the facts don’t run in their favour, but they have won in the eyes of the public, and in the end, that’s all that really counts. And I predict the consequence will be a public policy that’s set back decades, resulting in humans delaying action until it’s simply too late to do anything substantive that could chance the course we’re heading down (assuming we haven’t already reached that point).

    So, Phil, good luck to you and your colleagues in your unending, sisyphean task of fighting for science literacy and *true* skeptical thinking, on this and many other topics. But I’m out. It just isn’t worth the trouble anymore.

  6. DavidCOG

    Phil,

    Disappointed that you “have no issue with the actual hacking”. Is there anything in your emails of the past ~13 years that you would not want broadcast for all to see?

    It’s a disgusting act of morally reprehensible people. There was no evidence to warrant this intrusion and no evidence has been produced as a result of the stolen emails – as you note.

    This was never about science or seeking truth, this is just gutter tactics by people who know they cannot fight the science, so they are now desperately trying to smear the scientists and the work they do. It’s just an exercise in creating doubt in the mind of the public to foster inaction.

    I’d recommend reading: http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2009/11/stolen_emails_climate_change_a.php and see if you still “have no issue with the actual hacking”.

  7. Cheyenne

    BA I think you have missed the mark here. People are upset about many aspects about this whole affair – but I think the greatest one is not the “is climate change real” question. It’s about the flagrant dishonesty and manipulation of the science. It’s about purposely distorting aspects of the peer review process. And BTW, there are many more damaging emails that you left out in your post (those can be reviewed in many places).

    “Global warming alarmist George Monbiot of the Guardian concedes that the e-mails “could scarcely be more damaging,” adding, “I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.” He has called for the resignation of the CRU director.”

    Global warming is very complex issue. Why would these scientists find the need to hide anything? To distort anything? I think they’re right, we need to get a handle on carbon output. But I, and many others, call BS on what they did.

    Congrats to Monbiot for speaking up about this. That took some real courage on his part given his position and past. I’ll trust what he has to say on climate change in the future. All the rest of the scientists that didn’t speak up? M’eh, not so much anymore.

  8. dcurt

    Cherrypicking. There’s more at issue here then the “trick”. The credibility of the Hockey Stick was destroyed long ago.

    What about the references to controlling the peer review process? And the fact that they have never released the data itself when the FOI requests have been made…and now that data supposedly has already been destroyed. (Seriously? What credible scientist actually destroys the data?)

    To call this a non-issue is nothing short of “spin”.

  9. Sean

    As a journalist, did you investigate the nature of this particular “trick” to determine whether it was innocuous or not? No you did not, because if you had you would see that the trick in question was to pad proxy data from tree rings to cover up (“hide”) the fact that the tree rings do not reflect current warming and therefore probably don’t reflect it in the past either. In other words, they are not a good proxy for historical temperatures and so the claim that they disprove the Medieval Warm Period is suspect.

    Why does that matter? Because the whole point of Phil Jones’ and Michael Mann’s research has been to claim that it is hotter now than it has ever been before, when in fact it was hotter during the Middel Ages (ie before the industrial revolution).

    While your at the word game,t hough, can you explain the use of the words “hide” and “delete”? I didn’t use either of them when ordering my coffee this morning.

  10. Spectroscope

    Oh & most dammingly, there’s the CRU emails themslves quote dwidely in awhole rnage of source sincl. major newspapers.

    The Alarmists and sadly the BA too keep trying to squirm away from pleading “context” and verbal wriggling when the self-evident truth is that there is just no getting away from the stark reality of statements like “Hide the decline” & “delete the emails!” & using “tricks” to make it look like temperatures have warmed when they haven’t, and this frank admission:

    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. ”
    – IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth privately telling Alarmist collegaues that the data simply doesn’t show what their climate models predicted.

    See more also via the funny “All Your Emails Are Belong To Us” parody videoclip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SWAytBHG90&feature=player_embedded

    Of course, that’s just for starters – there’s plenty more too! ;-)

  11. Dear Phil,

    I am surely going to treat you in the way that generous winners treat the losers. But still, if you don’t know, you are using an ostrich argument. You pick some things that confirm your beliefs and you ignore the rest of the evidence.

    That’s the case in the ClimateGate. You don’t see any problems because you haven’t looked. You haven’t quoted a single e-mail or document. You don’t want to read them.

    Those who have read some of the 4,000+ files know that the files show that a key group of researchers has manipulated the data and conclusions of the IPCC on all conceivable levels. Erasing inconvenient portions of graphs, replacing them with graphs taken from other sources, erasing individual points, doubling states in the Harry file.

    But also organized “muscle” events to fire inconvenient authors, editors, discover anonymous referees, redirect referees, liquidating inconvenient articles and whole journals. It’s extremely clear that climate science would look very different if this group of gangsters were not operating within it. The declines wouldn’t be hidden, all the graphs from consistent sources would show that there’s nothing unusual about 20th century changes, and journals would contain even more natural explanations of climate change than they contain today.

    Ostriches like you are doing your ostrich job so perfectly that you are going to suffocate in the sand. The correspondence – and other files – we have been shown undermines the credibility of “climate change science”. But we are at risk that if other scientists like astronomers won’t be able to isolate this sick subcommunity, the disrespect will hit all of science.

    The ideal science surely doesn’t deserve such a fate but the real one, represented by people like you, unfortunately mostly deserves the fate.

    Cheers for the dishonest loser Phil Plait
    LM, http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/11/hacked-hadley-cru-foi2009-files.html

  12. Paul Grainger

    Ah! That explains it. The word “trick” has a special meaning in scientific circles, then.

    Perhaps you would also like to explain which word(s) in the phrase “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?” has a special scientific usage which would not be understood by mere mortals who are not familiar with the lingo?

  13. Michael

    Seeing Global Warming skeptics labeled as deniers is annoying and is nothing short of an ad hominem. It also shows an extreme arrogance on the part of the person calling them deniers.

    A denier is someone who brings out the same-tired arguments against something, has them refuted, then brings out the same-tired arguments again after they have already heard them refuted. I just don’t see this happening with Global Warming.

    If the same-tired arguments are being used by global warming skeptics how about a nice high-level point-by-point rebuttal website that can be used by us non-climatalogists so we can see why the skeptics are actually deniers? (like there is for the moon landing deniers and the anti-vax scum)

  14. RationalZen

    BA,

    I think that you may have a bit of cognitive dissonance at play with your post here. They controversy isn’t that they are providing only ad hominem attacks because the science says otherwise. It’s not a question as to whether the conclusions based on the data are scientifically sound or not. What is happening here, is that there is seemingly very credible evidence that the science being used to prove the point has been compromised and manipulated. You of all people, being a scientist, and a skeptic should at least provide more than “It’s not rock solid evidence of scientific fraud”. While I disagree, I think that many of the emails that have been posted online (not the trick one as you’ve presented), but many do show signs of rock solid evidence of scientific fraud.

    Historically it’s a fine line between suppressing legitimate scientific claims against an institution that has been manipulating the masses, or simply crackpot scientists without viable claims. Reading through the several pages of emails that were posted, most of them appear to be the former.

  15. Dan Gaston

    Just a few comments on the comments so far. But first Phil: Good post. I agree with you completely. I will also state that I have mostly read commentary on the emails as opposed to lots of the emails themselves (lack of time). But I think one difference is the view those of us have “from the inside” of science versus those who don’t.

    1) Some scientists, like everyone else, can be rude and defensive. That will come across in how people express themselves in private emails

    2) It really wouldn’t be the first time that raw data has been tossed. It isn’t necessarily shady that that happened, especially if it was in the 80’s as I believe was claimed. Magnetic tape storage and paper storage takes space, which can be at a premium. I’m sure that lots of the data of my supervisors work from the 80’s is probably gone the way of the dodo does that make the results suspect?

    3) It isn’t manipulative to specify people who should not act as reviewers of your work if you have reason to believe that those people will not review it appropriately. Believe it or not there are fellow scientists that will reject your work out of hand given the chance based on personal dislikes and grudges. It happens.

  16. RL

    Does it bother you in the least that the original raw data was not kept, that other scientists unassociated with those making claims cannot attempt to duplicate their work and that the scientists involved attempted to avoid disclosures via the Freedom of Information Act? Especially since the data from CRU is so influential in policy decisions? At the very least, I’d hope a skeptic would have some concerns about that.

    Interesting read from CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/24/taking_liberties/entry5761180.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody#addcomm

    Normally, the supporters of the scientific process tout that claims in science must be supported by the evidence and must be repeatable by other scientists. Here, it seems clear, that this ideal process is not being followed. In fact, it is being violated. Supporting data is hidden and destroyed. Peer reviews are stacked. Attempts are made to keep dissenting research out of publication (along with the help of supportive editors and journalists). Those who do dissent are labeled “deniers” and insultingly grouped as holocaust deniers. CRUs actions and many science journalists and bloggers betray that. I guess it matters who’s jackboot is on the neck of science. Even George Monbiot agrees that this damages the credibility of scientists and journalists involved in the debate. I agree woth others who think that the damage will be beyond climate change unless its taken seriously.

  17. Scott B

    Couldn’t disagree more Phil. This isn’t the end of AGW as some people would like to believe, but these e-mails bring to light significant problems.

    The biggest issue is that CRU has been actively avoiding compliance with FOIA requests. Here’s a good account of one person that has been placing requests. This places some of these e-mails in context:

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    This doesn’t damn the entire science, but it does make one wonder why the secracy.

    Another issue is a suggestion of gaming the peer review process. This post on someone’s blog gives a glance at this issue:

    http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2009/11/cru-hacked-emails-and-peer-review.html

    Third is the lack of any real questioning of their beliefs in the e-mails. Nothing I could convict anyone on, but you don’t see a true curiosity and questioning of their assumptions in these e-mails. They seem to be trying to fit everything into their assumption rather than looking at the data, then determining a conclusion.

    Please take a look at the Wegman report here:

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf

    This was a federally requested review of past climate reconstructions and the validity of McIntyre and McKitrick’s paper that found many serious flaws in the most referenced paper. It supports the criticism and notes many problems in the climate science arena. It’s closed knit with only a few seperate groups of people. The reconstructions aren’t very independent. The people doing the analysis don’t have the appropriate statistical knowledge, nor work with statisticians to validate their work. Also, not enough detail is provided in their papers for outside people to validate their work. If you don’t believe this, read MBH98 yourself. See if you can exactly which proxies were used, how they were used (any error assumed with these proxies), how were they validated to be accurate proxies, and is the “trick” in the emails where they don’t show the divergence issue of the Braffia tree proxy documented? These e-mails are just further proof of this report’s criticisms.

    Also, in the leak was a pdf called rules of the game: http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/RulesOfTheGame.pdf

    Do scientists studying cosmetology have a document like this to make sure information is disseminated in a way to make sure people believeit? Of course not. Again, doesn’t damn the science by itself, but shows these scientists have been influenced by the political environment around this issue.

    I’ve just scratched the surface with this post. I haven’t even gone into the issues with climate models that have not been demonstrated to accurate reflect future climate. There’s also further issues shown in the e-mail and individuals’ own research that point to the fact that the true uncertainties in our knowledge of the climate and all of the factors that effect it have not been communicated. Given that, we don’t have enough information available to perform an accurate cost/benefit analysis to determine the appropriate course of action to take with policy.

    At the very least, can people on both sides please agree that the secrecy around CRU and climate science data in general be lifted so people on all sides have access to the data and methods being used to produce the data that is being used by politicians to change all of our lives?

  18. Joe

    Phil,

    I agree that the overall tone of the emails isn’t much different than you might expect from any group who understood they were conversing in private. The only exception to that being the discussions on how to avoid releasing data that was legally requested under UK law. That’s reprehensible, and should be investigated, but doesn’t necessarily (at least in isolation) suggest that the science might be bad.

    On the other hand, these people have been making grade-school errors in programming – including getting negative results from adding squared numbers (a mathematical impossibility in case you hadn’t heard). I’m not a climate scientist but I can write pretty neat code and I do understand databases. Frankly, what’s been revealed in some of these documents of the code they’ve been using to maintain their world-class temp series is below high-school competence level and demonstrably unreliable.

    Since much of the “vast body of scientific evidence” supporting AGW is based on that data, it follows that much of that evidence is also likely to be unreliable, as it’s founded on unreliable data.

    It would be like me taking photos of my neighbour’s garden, sending them to you in an envelope labeled “my house” and you concluding that I grow lovely sunflowers. No matter how often you examine those photos you’ll get the same conclusion – and so will almost anyone else who checks your work. In fact, I have a concrete yard but your data was corrupt.

    Without a complete audit of the data (starting from its source, not the already “adjusted” sets they say are available) and all the assumptions and programs used to homogenise it all the reasearch based on it means absolutely nothing.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  19. MForte

    The tone of many of the comments so far is unfortunate. Insults only resonate with those that agree with you already.

    That being said, I also agree that you are not giving these e-mails a balanced reporting. They seem to show unethical and possibly illegal behavior. They in no way disprove AGW but considering that the people involved are some of the biggest names in climate science it brings their work into question. The primary argument of the more reasonable AGW skeptics is that temperatures in the past have been trended down and current temperatures have been trended up. These arguments seem all the stronger given the bad behavior on display in these hacked e-mails.

    I also wish everyone would stop focusing on “hide the decline” and “mike’s nature trick”. The real issue centers around the deliberate hiding of data and the concerted attempts to circumvent FOIA requests. I also find the possible blacklisting type actions to be a bit disturbing but am reserving judgement. The defenders of these actions are saying that perhaps these people/journals that were targets for said blacklisting are not performing science in an ethical manner themselves. While two wrongs don’t make a right this does serve to temper my outrage.

  20. Spectroscope

    @ 2. Bill McElree Says:

    As innocuous as these emails were they are fodder for the sheeple of the denialist mentality.

    “Denialist”?

    Look who’s in denial of the stark reality of the CRU email revelations, trying to spin & plead and hide the undeniable here, mate?

    1998 was the warmest year on record – that’s over ten years ago when Co2 levels were lower – with 1934 (I think) the second warmest – the global average cooled during the 1970’s and then warmed slightly in the 1980’s-90’s before starting to cool down again and throughout this entire period industrial Co2 emissions were rising.

    Do you really want to try denying that you reality-denying Alarmist you? ;-P

    This fact above is enough to falsify – and, indeed, has falsified the claims made by the Gorebull Warmer Hysterics who want to terrify us and worse our kids into following their ideological political program which is fundamentally anti-science irrational eco-fascist-socialism.

    They want people messing themselves with fear over exxagerated hyped-up scare tactics so that people would do stupid things like vote for needless new taxes like the Aussie ETS tax. It is political ideology of the “watermelon green” variety – Environmentalist Green on the outside, Socialist Red on the inside – that is really behind the whole Gorebull Warmer Hysteria. If what *they* were saying back in the 1980’s was to be believed, then by now we’d just about all be dead on a frying toxic planet and … *ahem* … we’re still here. So FAIL.

    Here’s another few “inconvenient truths” for those in denial of the collapses of their Greenhouse hoax eco-nuttery faith:

    * Climatologists generally have a “jurisdictional blindness” issue and are too willing overlook geological and astronomical factors such as significant volcanic eruptions, meteor impacts,cosmic rays, Solar sunspot cycles (eg. the Maunder minimum caused the “little Ice Age”) and solar variations, Milankovitch orbital cycles, the role of the Sun’s Galactic orbit and neighbourhoods, eg. crossing the plane of the Galaxy, passing by dense dust clouds and nearby supernova, et cetera, et cetera ..

    (BA I would have thought you’d think of this & apply some skepticism to the Warmer hype & “theory”.)

    * We’ve always known climate varies big-time! Humans have endured significant climate change episodes both naturally cooling and warming like the Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD), the Medieval Warming (900- 1300 AD), the Dark Ages Cooling (535-900AD.), the Roman Warming (500 Bc-535 AD) and the Bronze Age Cooling (3,200-2,500 before present) to name just a few in an on-going very extensive list. None of these previous episodes occurred due to human industrial Co2 pollution – so why would this current one?

    * Over 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor (NOT Co2) in Earth’s atmosphere. But because water droplets held in suspension (clouds) make almost as good a reflector as they do a thermal insulator, there is little rise in daytime temperatures due to the greenhouse effect. Any greenhouse warming, if it does occur, is limited to primarily increasing night-time temperatures, which provides beneficial moderation of nighttime low temperatures, but no increase in daytime high temperatures. (Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, has demonstrated this phenomenon very effectively.)

    &

    * The world’s natural wetlands produce more greenhouse gas contributions annually than all human sources combined.

    Perhaps Bill McElree, you might try denying these (& many other) basic facts before you start calling climate skeptics or climate realists names which suit your side of this debate more than ours? ;-)

    Besides, whatever you think of us Anthropogenic GH FXT Skeptics you need to look at the reality of the science and the evidence of scientific malpractice and even outright criminal fraud revealed in the leaked CRU emails.

    Shooting the messenger will NOT change this evidence or make it go away.

    The Alarmists have been caught doing exactly what the creationists do – tailoring their “evidence” to match their pre-ordained conclusions rather than changing their conclusions to match the evidence.

    This is unscientific and proof that the Warmer Alarmist ideology is more a religion than a science. If you disagree then you’ll have to back up your assertions properly rather than just indulge yourself in silly ad hominam attacks.

  21. Telling that you focus on the easily dismissed claim that “trick,” used mathematically, doesn’t mean actual trickery, but ignore the phrase “hide the decline” in the same sentence. Also, you claim that none of this changes the actual science, but how about the discussions about keeping denialist papers out of peer reviewed journals and then the out-of-hand dismissal of those same papers for not being peer-reviewed? Since those papers may be “actual science” (or may not be, we don’t know, since they were never even really considered) you’re just guessing when you state that no scientific conclusions were changed. That’s not very skeptical of you.

  22. Lurker #753

    People are digging into the code and data now, and finding an abysmal mess. Undocumented fortran snippets from decades ago, written (but never documented) by long-departed colleagues, used in unknown ways on possibly lost but certainly unidentifiable data sets. They can’t defend their data with anything other than bluster, because they cannot reproduce the results, and they tried to avoid the FOIA requests to try and hide it.

    Look here: http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2009/11/data-horribilis-harryreadmetxt-file.html, which a discussion of a CRU programmer who spent 3 years trying (and failing) to reverse-engineer how certain data products had been computed, ranting about the mess the data was in.

    This isn’t about GW, this is about scientific competence and integrity. I don’t know what the formal definition of “scientist” is in 2009, but at least back to the time of Galileo, it meant somebody who could answer the twin challenges of “show me your data” and “show me your methods”. These guys can do neither: Resignations should be automatic.

  23. Now, where oh where did I put my tinfoil hat? Ah, yes! There it is, hanging on the Orgon box.

    Mmmmm. Snug fit.

  24. Mr. eX

    Thanks for arbitrarily bashing global warming deniers–since you’re so smart, how about you give us your evidence in favor of anthropogenic global warming? You post your arguments against antivax and the various studies that disprove vaccine-autism links all the time, but as far as I can tell you’re pulling your global warming views out of nowhere.

  25. Matt

    I guess “skeptics” ban can band together and write same post on all there blogs with with including same “yawn” at end, so that clearly there views are well thought out.

    I think this quote from Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook says more in a paragraph than that Phill does in his whole post.

    “Legitimate scientists do not doctor data, delete data they don’t like, hide data they don’t want seen, hijack the peer review process, personally attack other scientists whose views differ from theirs, send fraudulent data … See Moreto the IPCC that is used to perpetuate the greatest hoax in the history of science, provide false data to further legislation on climate change that will result in huge profits for corrupt lobbyists and politicians, and tell outright lies about scientific data.”

  26. “2. The computer models: is the source code available? I don’t think it is, and without that, the predictions are meaningless. Errors in the programming, or correction factors that are not fully explained, cannot then be picked up.”

    I actually worked in the field of climate modelling for a few years.

    What do you think climate scientists do most of the time? It’s not unusual to spend YEARS,
    full-time, writing, testing, debugging and running programs. Output might be in the
    region of a few terabytes.

    When I started out, I was surprised that one was considered a “big user” if one had more than
    100 MB. Even back in the early 1990s, that wasn’t THAT much disk space. Until I
    understood they were talking about source code. Similarly, I thought that 3 days of
    CPU time on a Cray (then one of the fastest computers in the world), while more than what
    I was used to, wasn’t THAT much CPU time. Then I realised they were talking about the
    time to COMPILE the program. It then runs for weeks or months.

    In other words, if I send you the source code, it’s not a matter of printing it out and flipping
    through it after breakfast to detect any possible errors.

    A legitimate question is perhaps how one can have confidence in programs which are so
    huge that no one person can understand all the details? There are many answers. One
    is that one can test them with a set of input data from the past where we KNOW (from
    observation) what happened later, and compare that to the output of the program. Another
    one is that the complexity can be an advantage: if one takes two or more such complicated
    codes and they lead to the same results, then the probability that they do so because they
    both made similar errors is essentially zero.

    As Richard Feynman said to a journalist: “Listen, buddy, if I can explain in one minute
    what I did, it wouldn’t be worth the Nobel Prize.”

  27. themos

    All that data and codes need to be independently audited. This is not a storm in a teacup, it’s serious. An awful lot of climate scientists must be very pissed off at the way the CRU people have conducted themselves. Codes must be open to scrutiny and data must be made available, anything else is just not up to scratch.

  28. calebthechemist

    Phil,
    I must admit I am disappointed. I agree that for the most part the emails are probably taken out of context and I, as a scientist, agree that “trick” really is a non-issue. I am even willing to overlook what may or may not be “stacking” reviewers. However, Phil can you really say it is a non-issue and “Yawn” with what is an attempt to hide or delete emails and data for a FOI request?
    Regards,
    Caleb

  29. Lukester

    Move along! Nothing to see here! Move along!

  30. Spectroscope

    “I know a lot of the denialists Alarmist Warmers think as they do because of partisan blindness, and not because they have reached their conclusion through the impartial examination of the evidence.”

    Fixed that for you! ;-)

    (an accusation, no doubt, that will be thrown at me in the comments).

    Probably a correct prediction, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

    Look at your views here calmly and rationally, please BA. Quite seriously, try. Start from the beginning if you can & take away your current prejudice towards the Alarmist side. Imagine looking at the real scientific evidence without preconceptions or political blinkers. Please, really, just try it.

    If you do then I think you (& anyone else that genuinely does this excercise) will find the facts are completely against the whole “Human-caused & Co2 caused warming” ideas.

    (For instance, the facts I mentioned in my last post (#22 – if its still @ no. 22 & not pushed down the list by any “awaiting mods” ones.) here.

    Without telepathy or a pile of evidence — or even his/her identity — we don’t know the motivations of the hacker.

    There is a lot of speculation that the “hacking” was an inside job and so the “hacker” may well be a disenchanted Alarmist turning whistleblower. So it is most likely someone who is sick of having to lie and distort the facts who is prompted by a guilty conscience.

    Some sources have suggested a likely name – & its a noted scientist on the Alarmist side – but until this whistleblower does step forward openly, I won’t be naming this probable source although it has been mentioned elsewhere.

    Investigations indicate the emails are genuine and even the Alarmist camp seems to be confirming this. We may well look on this moment as the beginning of the end of the whole Greenhouse hoax & it could well, in my opinion, mark a watershed in public understanding of the need to be more skeptical of extremist claims incl,. from the “Watermelon Green” Eco-nuts mob. (Well we can always hope can’t we?)

    I just hope the reputation of science and scientists more broadly isn’t irreparably damaged in the process.

    —-

    PS. Wow. So many posts on this already in so short a time – clearly this *is* something a lot of people do want to comment on & good thing you’ve finally discussed it here yeah! ;-)

    It took a while but you did the right thing eventually by blogging this, in my book anyhow. Thanks BA. Honestly. THX. :-)

  31. “All that data and codes need to be independently audited.”

    See comment #27. You are vastly underestimating the scale of such a project.

  32. Apparently Phil can since he’s had days to consider his response to the whole matter.

    “CRU should change its name to the Global Information-Gathering Organization, or GIGO”

    Perhaps Bad Astronomy should change it’s name to GIGO Astronomy.

  33. “Tricks” may be a casual reference to a clever shortcut, but remarks in the code labeled fudge factors…? Give us a break. Especially when said fudge factors miraculously push the data to fit exactly the doctrinally approved curves. Those of us whose BS alarms have been ringing loudly for over a decade are hardly surprised by this. What is (mildly) surprising is the depth of faith now being manifested by the true believers.

  34. JohnW

    The “trick” email doesn’t seem like a smoking gun to me. Nor do the peer review emails – AFAIK, there are only two such emails in the dump. One deals with a paper that is supposedly just complete garbage, and the other, dealing with the GLR journal, was just griping, it doesn’t seem like they actually did anything if you read the entire exchange. Which is in reverse chronological order (it took me 3 read throughs to figure that out!).

    The raw data/code issue is extrememly disturbing. This should all be open to the public for audit by statisticians like McIntyre. The fact that they’ve lost/discarded much of the original station data is damning IMHO. I don’t care if it’s normal for science or not – normal science does not demand that we reorder the world economy and our way of life based on its findings. If you’re making that extraordinary claim, you need extraordinary evidence, and that evidence needs to be gone through by others with a fine toothed comb.

  35. “This fact above is enough to falsify – and, indeed, has falsified the claims made by the Gorebull Warmer Hysterics who want to terrify us and worse our kids into following their ideological political program which is fundamentally anti-science irrational eco-fascist-socialism.

    They want people messing themselves with fear over exxagerated hyped-up scare tactics so that people would do stupid things like vote for needless new taxes like the Aussie ETS tax. It is political ideology of the “watermelon green” variety – Environmentalist Green on the outside, Socialist Red on the inside – that is really behind the whole Gorebull Warmer Hysteria. ”

    After reading such diatribe, I am confident that the “denialists” won’t be able to convince
    anyone with these tactics. Science 101: evidence, not name-calling.

  36. “Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.”

    So… the prerequisite for your skepticism is somebody has to prove a negative?

    Gonna take a while.

  37. themos

    I haven’t estimated anything so I can’t underestimate. Yes, independent programs are a valuable check. But they won’t help if the computation is fundamentally ill-conditioned and slight changes to the input data or model parameters cause large swings in the output.

  38. Scott B

    @Phillip Helbig: To validate the accuracy of models we need one of two things to happen:

    1. All of the code be released, or at least a step by step of the assumptions and data sets being used in the model so indepenent verification and criticing can be done. Just because it is hard does not mean we can just accept current results at face value.

    2. The models must demonstrate accuracy in predicting future climate. Simply being able to reconstruct past climate is not good enough. There are too many uncertainties of our knowledge of the past climate and the causes of various temperature decreases and increases to know why they occured.

    Weather models were originally tested against past weather also, and they only had around ~40% 5 day accuracy. Over the years, the results of the models have been constantly verified against actual weather observations to determine where the models are failing then models are updated and new models are created to resolve the errors found. This has allowed us to have about ~85% atmospheric height 5-day accuracy in the Northern Hemisphere (with the GFS and NAM, the UK models may be even higher). Still, even after almost 30 years of work, each model has their own unique biases and are not completely correct. I wouldn’t bet the money that cap and trade regulations would impose on the US on our 5 day weather forecast either.

    This same process must occur with climate models. The problem is that these models have to be verified against results that will happen decades from now and the politically motivated are unwilling to wait that long.

  39. Paul

    The Earth is warming up – this is undisputed. However, the science on whether this is unprecedented has come into question because the scientists at the CRU responsible for generating data points for the average temperature of the earth over the last 2000 years refused to publish their data and methods, preventing other scientists from replicating their results, or understanding their results when statistical anomalies were discovered (you can’t just do a fit and then not tell anyone what the chi^2 value is, for example, and then refuse to release that number on request). This is not good science – if I’d adopted their technique of opaqueness when I was a researcher (in particle physics), my working group would have dismissed me outright. In these meetings we were grilled over methodologies, statistics and data quality – it was utterly transparent, and access to data after publication was always given without hesitation – it had to be for scientists on rival experiments to replicate results). This appears not to be the case with the CRU when using tree ring data to estimate global temperatures over the past 2000 years (data that lead to the hockey stick plot in the IPCC paper on climate change). Have a read of this article at the register:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/29/yamal_scandal/

    This is why the CRU data had to be released – in many ways, it looks more like whistle blowing than hacking.

  40. Rob

    Phil, your argument is extremely unconvincing. Regardless of the truth of global warming, the emails and communications that were released clearly show a pattern of deception intended to promote a certain result.

    There should at least be a debate about climate change, but there’s a close-minded attitude among climate change proponents that the science is ‘settled’ and beyond debate. These emails seem to clearly show a continuing pattern of deception which leaves their outcomes very much in doubt. There’s a saying in computer science,” garbage in, garbage out”. If the data used for their conclusions is questionable, it does make their conclusion questionable as well. What’s especially concerning to me about the ‘trick’ (I agree it’s one of the less concerning emails released) is that it was seemingly used on only parts of their dataset, which smacks of cherry picking and hiding data that contradicts an already made conclusion. Scientists are every bit as human as the rest of us, and no less prone to deception, fraud, or allowing their personal biases to influence their results.

  41. Petrolonfire

    @ 30. Lukester Says:

    Move along! Nothing to see here! Move along!

    [tantrum-y toddler voice on.] NOOOO! I wanna stay! I wanna STAY! Don’t make me go Lukester! No! Bawww! Wanna stay right here! WAaaahhhhhhh! [/toddler voice off.] ;-)

    (What a weird post.) ;-)

  42. Theron

    And what exactly would the conspiracy be? What none of these denialists can give is a convincing explanation as to why such a giant conspiracy, involving thousands of scientists, would be carried out to lie about climate change. Sorry – scientists are not a bunch of hippie ant-capitalists who want to smash the machines. It’s just like the creationists – a fantasy about all those evil scientists.

    And anyone still flogging the “1998 hottest year therfore no global warming” is just sad. Seems 2007 has caught up — and look at that graph and weep:

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2772.htm

  43. Kevin

    Nornally I agree with your blog comments but you said one thing that is just outright wrong. (and yes, i believe the actions of men can change global temperatures). The comment that struck me was your requiring ‘overwhelming evidence’ to prove the negative? Since when does the person making an assertion (ie, “man is raising global temperture”) get the luxery of having others have to “overwhelmingly disprove” that assertion. The burden of proof should be on the person making the statement, not the other way around.

  44. Chris

    Don’t forget the “tricks” astronomers use all the time to make astrophotos more vivid.

  45. diane

    You want evidence that is skeptical of global warming? Here ya go, a list of 450 peer-reviewd papers: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/15/reference-450-skeptical-peer-reviewed-papers/

  46. badnicolez

    Phil – name-calling (denier, denialist, etc.) doesn’t make your “scientific data” stand up any better – it just proves you lack the tiniest pinch of skepticism in this matter. I find this behavior ironic in people who deride others based on their religious faith.

    A fair measure of whether something is reasonable is to turn it around – if the skeptics were found to have destroyed and manipulated data that “proved” their theories, how would you feel about that?

    Just as you would have a problem with laws based on somebody else’s religious beliefs, I don’t want to live in a world where laws are made based on bad science, which amounts to the same thing.

  47. T_U_T

    holy !$!%f ! What a crop of denialists here. Even the arch-crank Motl crawled out of his fetid sewer.
    Seems every sorry piece of reality denier comes out of the brushwork now.

  48. Monkey Deathcar

    It’s funny (sorry not funny, sad) that all the deniers still can’t provide a single bit of evidence that refutes anthropogenic global warming. Any article they find is easily refuted or just plain stupid, and any peer reviewed scientific literature typically contradict their claim or is just another known factor that is already accounted for (ok, sometimes it doesn’t come from a legitimate scientific publication).

  49. There was a good piece published in response to this last week:

    Consensus and controversy: Which makes the news?

    Even if the CRU is implicated in academic misconduct (which I doubt will be proven), it does nothing at all to change the state of the research done elsewhere around the world, including in countries hostile to the U.S. with no financial motives to support our proposed carbon tax schemes.

    Also, realclimate.org has begun compiling the data sources and code for models.

  50. adam

    you’re unbelievable, phil. the fact that leading climatologists–scientists whose findings influence policy, money, and public opinion–seem to have little to no idea what they’re doing (as evidenced by the emails and their own admissions within them) should ring at least a few alarm bells with you. you know, were you an actual skeptic and not just a hypocritical, discriminatory one. you could start making up by actually addressing the legitimate issues that are being brought up by the emails/data:

    http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2009/11/data-horribilis-harryreadmetxt-file.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20TheDevilsKitchen%20%28The%20Devil%27s%20Kitchen%29

    and then you could come down off your high horse and stop trying to marginalize anyone who disagrees with you:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/a-climate-scientist-on-climate-skeptics/?hp

    i mean, seriously. nobody WANTS the world to end. i’m a skeptic of anthropogenic warming (i love how we’re called “denialists” by the superior “believers,” as though we’re not deserving of the noble “skeptic” title because we don’t buy into crappy, manipulative science and hype the moment we see it). i don’t make any money off what happens either way. i’m a skeptic because i have done my own research of both sides and the conclusions i’ve come to are, to the best of my knowledge and ability, not swayed by the politicized science and propaganda of either side.

    scientists and skeptics who refuse to fairly take and refute criticism and skepticism of their own views don’t deserve attention. it’s hypocritical and disgusting.

    as for those of you crying about how “the denialists have won,” grow up. this isn’t about winning or losing. this is about making sure we know as much as possible before we make decisions that affect the lives of millions. the burden of PROOF OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING lies with you, and your leading experts are all but clueless, if these emails/data/models are any indication. not that you or they seem to mind fundamentally flawed and lazy science as the basis for public policy decisions. and if you think this ugly science is limited to “only” one of the leading climate change research centers, you’re naive.

    and about the hack: there’s evidence that these things weren’t stolen, they were leaked.

  51. Paul M

    Sorry Phil, would your broad dismissal of this story by arguing one (valid) point pass the same tests you use against the anti-vax & ID movements?

  52. BTW the original data is gone,

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece

    tossed out like so much trash to “save space” when Hadley CRU moved to their spiffy new building.

    As Richard Fernandez notes in

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/11/29/homogenized-sterilized-and-pasteurized

    Homogenized, sterilized and pasteurized “The main objective criticism of the carbon-based warming model is that it is not proved. That’s different from saying it’s not true. It may or may not be true.

    “However, until it is conclusively shown to be true and the results can be reproduced, it would be unwise public policy to embark on a trillion dollar amelioration program, with far-reaching economic, social and environmental effects. Government normally intervenes when there is a compelling public interest to do so. It should never intervene on the basis of an uncertain bet. Government is not the racetrack where bureaucrats can bet taxpayer money on the horses they fancy.

    “Nor can the ‘precautionary principle’€ be rationally invoked without recognizing the possibility that the climatologists, deprived of a real fact base, may in fact be getting their prescription wrong wrong. The precautionary principle would assign danger to both the chance you may get a cough and the possibility that the brown liquid in the unmarked bottle may not be what you think it is, because the label has peeled off long ago. Is it Nyquil or is it Drano? And do you feel lucky today? Robert de Niro and Christopher Walken illustrated the principle of dangerous living in the Deer Hunter. “€œClimate change. Click.” Then spin the cylinders again. But the question must be asked, is the world allowed to peek in to the chamber? Isn’€™t it allowed that much? Can we have the data please?

  53. Lukester

    Phil treats his blog readers as if they’re idiots.

  54. Gonzo

    Honestly, I now hope you all drown in a rising sea of global warming goo. I do not think I can read these comments ever again, it seems they have invaded here too.

  55. Dr. Rocketscience

    First, folks, please, go follow Phil’s links.
    Second, if you write “Let’s assume X for the sake of argument. I don’t believe X is true, but lets assume it.”, please understand that the second sentence is is redundant. Of course you don’t think X is true; that’s what “assume for the sake of argument” means. And if you’re trying to avoid being quote mined, quote miners don’t care. They will happily strip away all context and qualification to make your words mean something yu didn’t meant. That’s what quote miners do.
    Third, let me propose three scenarios:
    1) Toyota recalls a particular model of car. Are all cars now to be assumed unsafe? How about just all Toyotas?
    2)Manny Ramirez tests positive for a PED. Should you suspend every major league player for 50 games? How about just all of the Dodgers?
    3)The researchers of a particular climate lab are implicated in unethical behavior. Is all climate research now rendered invalid? How about just the research you disagree with?
    I would hope any reasonable person would find the responses I suggest to be unreasonable in all cases. If you don’t, what does that say about you?

  56. brian

    Can’t we just drop the whole “global warming” thing anyway?

    I would rather see a focus on what is in the air that we are breathing and poisoning our food and children with. I think that would get more peoples attention and is much harder to debate.

    No one cares that there is glacial melting on part of the planet that very few people have been to. People only care about what they can see in front of them (How this works with religion I do not know). All this debate seems to do is cause friction between people (is that causing GW?) and doesnt get anything done.

    But I guess its also true that people don’t really care about other people either, so trying to get people to recognize that their actions are killing people in a remote country is futile at best.

    Holy crap, what a conundrum!

  57. Michelle

    Phil, I love you and your work, but on this issue… you seem to be a ‘denialist’.

    I am disappointed that instead of seeing skeptics being skeptical when new information comes to light, I am seeing “No, I am not wrong. No way, no how. I am NOT WRONG!”

    As a scientist, isn’t it the job itself to analyze new data?

  58. Steve A

    This is so weak it isn’t funny. The idea that the decades of research has somehow been fudged all these years is laughable. The whole idea is laughable.

    I’ve been debating “denialists” for years, and its always the same tactic. Pick and choose information that is easy to misunderstand but applies in the wrong way. When you show them why its wrong you are always part of the “conspiracy” and brainwashed. What I really enjoy is the faux righteous indignation after attacking people’s characters and insulting them. You mention anything negative and then they try to act the victim.

    These people claim “look at the science,” but then now the science has been corrupted? No studies have come out saying anything like global warming is non-existent or natural.
    None. And don’t kid yourself that this is because of some “grand conspiracy.” Having studies in the field for a while, if the science was there journals would publish it. It would be a huge coup for them.

    @Spectroscope

    Your points are all false or connect points incorrectly. I know this from courses I’ve taken:

    “Climatologists generally have a “jurisdictional blindness” issue and are too willing overlook geological and astronomical factors”

    False. This is the first place they looked. When short term rises were seen in the temperature data, it was easy to figure out the sunspot cycle could be responsible. Scientists have looked at it and study after study has shown that the sun has not changed enough or in the right way to account for the warming. In fact the last few decades of warming have seen the sun have a lower solar output.

    “We’ve always known climate varies big-time! Humans have endured significant climate change episodes both naturally cooling and warming”

    Yes, but not on this timescale. It’s the rate of change over time that is exceedingly fast. And you see it begin with the start of the Industrial revolution. In fact, and here’s what the denier fail to grasp, is that all of the recent studies show that the changes are happening faster than the IPCC predicted. Look at the Arctic, and a studies have been coming out showing that Antarctica is also showing signs of melting.

    “Over 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor (NOT Co2) in Earth’s atmosphere.”

    I love this one because its the biggest misconception on the skeptics’ side. Everyone knows that water is the biggest greenhouse gas. No one is denying it and to imply people are is completely misleading. If you actually look at spectroscopic bands in the atmosphere, you see that the bands of IR energy that water absorbs are almost completely filled. That’s not the case of CO2. IR wavelengths that used to escape into space are now being absorbed.

    Deniers need to stop cherry picking details and actually look at the research being done. It’s actually more than just climate models, folks. Stop fooling yourself that this is somehow not based on science. It is. It’s real. Trust me, everyone involved would love for it not to be true but it is.

  59. Hey Spectroscope, a quick Spanish tip for you… “Cajones” are drawers, as in where you keep your socks. “Cojones“, with an O, are what you’re thinking about.

  60. Phil treats his blog readers as if they’re idiots.

    No he doesn’t. He treats them as if they were able to follow a logical argument. Unfortunately, the comment section has shown him wrong.

    Regarding the burden of proof being on the denialists – that’s no more than we demand of other people who tries to deny the current state of science. E.g. creationists and HIV/AIDS deniers.

  61. thornae

    To all those banging on about “you can’t prove a negative”, I would suggest you read the following article (link to pdf at page):

    http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articles/proveanegative.html

  62. The two main complaints I’ve heard about these e-mails are (1)the supposed hostility to compliance with FOIA suits in them, and (2)either the “bad” programming or the missing programming behind the models these scientists develop.

    To (1) I would say there is a damning lack of evidence on the part of deniers that any FOIA suits haven’t been honored in the required time period, that FOIA requests have been systematically ignored or whitewashed, or that the people issuing FOIA suits are actually aware of how much leeway scientists have in disclosing data on behalf of climate monitoring stations and the firms or governments that run them.

    Climate science is an international intra-organizational effort; in addition, it is quite competitive, as much so as being published anywhere in academia is. Scientists have high incentives to safeguard their novel sources of data (or so they say; I can’t really speak to this because all the datasets I use in my research are publicly available), and I can’t imagine actually understanding the property rights in toto behind them. This isn’t climate scientists being evil, this is a symptom of a wonky academic system and the tangled legality of who owns what.

    To (2) I have heard nothing other than a profound misunderstanding of basic statistics. To listen to the more rabid criticizers of what is in these memos, you’d think no climate denier would know what it means to apply a transformation to data, to normalize it, or to benchmark it against a reliably known figure. To date I have seen nothing even remotely dishonest about any of the models used to predict and understand weather patterns. This may be symptomatic of the cliche opposition between “hard sciences” and sciences that have a heavy statistics component. Those conducting the latter are prone to the fallacy from incredulity stemming from the claim that data does not speak for itself, and is misleading unless it is contextualized.

    To be honest I have to applaud climate change deniers for doing what many climate scientists should be taking the time to doing: making public everything they know they can. So far climate change has completely withstood the test of a hacker invasion, with a truly pathetic litany of claims being leveled against what has been revealed. If rigorous scientists keep pushing deniers on this issue, the revelation of these stolen data sets could actually end up closing the lid on conspiracy theories. Yes, climate change is a demonstrable phenomenon that can be replicated across data sets. No, climate scientists aren’t making things up.

    I think climate scientists should be addressing these concerns with a, “well don’t we look a little silly… but now that you have our data, here’s what we’ve been doing with it…”

  63. The constant harping on “denialists” seems to me to be getting much, much thinner. Indeed, as noted above, who is denying what is now very much up for reevaluation. To read the term now as in Wager’s note above is to ask who is fooling who on this issue.

    The “nothing-to-see-here” emails clearly show a years long pattern to command and control the debate on the part of rent-seekers and grant-hungry pseudo-scientists. The emails only hint at the real mindset lurking behind these savers of the planet. But they indicate what is the content of their private conversations, telephone calls, and late night bull-sessions.

    The long term value of the emails and the data dumps and the ham-fisted “programming” is that we will now know, from a mere question about any given scientist’s reaction to the Hadly material exactly how much credibility he or she has as a scientist.

    The “nothing to see here” position automatically reduces that persons credibility as a scientist (although not as a true believer) to somewhere around -300 degrees Kelvin.

  64. Michelle

    “It’s funny (sorry not funny, sad) that all the deniers still can’t provide a single bit of evidence that refutes anthropogenic global warming.”

    How can anyone? The only data that would dispute it has been tossed in the garbage.

  65. Jar-Jya Binks Killer

    @ 40. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “This fact above is enough to falsify – and, indeed, has falsified the claims made by the Gorebull Warmer Hysterics who want to terrify us and worse our kids into following their ideological political program which is fundamentally anti-science irrational eco-fascist-socialism. They want people messing themselves with fear over exxagerated hyped-up scare tactics so that people would do stupid things like vote for needless new taxes like the Aussie ETS tax. It is political ideology of the “watermelon green” variety – Environmentalist Green on the outside, Socialist Red on the inside – that is really behind the whole Gorebull Warmer Hysteria. ”

    After reading such diatribe, I am confident that the “denialists” won’t be able to convince anyone with these tactics. Science 101: evidence, not name-calling.

    Does anyone else see the irony in someone criticising name-calling* by using name-calling?

    (Ie. “denialist”) Pot Black meet Kettle Black. ;-)

    ‘Skeptic’, I think is the right word you are looking for there.

    There are two camps here which can, I think, be fairly & accurately termed:

    1. the ‘Alarmist’ camp – those wanting to scare people about the theoretical – or just possibly actual although that’s in dispute – hazards of global warming supposedly caused by human activity & esp. Co2 emissions.

    2. the ‘Skeptical’ camp, those that are doubtful of the Alarmists claims.

    This time it seems the camp the BA is in is, unusually for him, NOT the skeptical one. Pity. Both for him & those who expect better of him. :-(

    @56. Oroboros Says:

    Also, realclimate.org has begun compiling the data sources and code for models.

    RealClimate is implicated in the CRU emails and is a partisan Alarmist lobby group rather than an objective uninterested party. It’s reliability here is, to say the least, dubious.

    @ 28. Matt Says:

    I guess “skeptics” can band together and write same post on all there blogs with including same “yawn” at end, so that clearly there views are well thought out. I think this quote from Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook says more in a paragraph than that Phill does in his whole post.

    “Legitimate scientists do not doctor data, delete data they don’t like, hide data they don’t want seen, hijack the peer review process, personally attack other scientists whose views differ from theirs, send fraudulent data … See Moreto the IPCC that is used to perpetuate the greatest hoax in the history of science, provide false data to further legislation on climate change that will result in huge profits for corrupt lobbyists and politicians, and tell outright lies about scientific data.”

    I second that. Well said -or rather quoted – there, Matt.
    Easterbrook’s quote here is 100% spot on in my view.

    I am surprised & a little disillusioned that the BA isn’t more outraged by the CRU’s unscientific tactics and even, yes, outright fraud as revealed in these emails.

    Sorry Dr Plait but, yes, I do think your left-wing political bias is showing here.

    Like it or not, these emails are devastating to the Alarmist cause.

    Those in that sinking Alarmist boat would do very well to seriously reconsider their positions. For their own sakes and reputations saying “okay, sorry, we got this wrong” now, sooner rather than later, is probably their best course of action. As would be pinning the blame on the real culprits the CRU “scientists” and their political masters rather than shooting the messengers and abusing as “deniers” the AGW skeptics who now look pretty well vindicated.

    Same also goes for scapegoating and focusing on whoever leaked the emails. Exposing a hoax is far less a crime (an act of heroism & public service really) than perpetrating a hoax & there’s no getting past that truth.

    Yes, BA I’m talking to you here as well.
    ___________________________________

    * You could argue its actually not name-calling but analysis albeit angry & political analysis.

  66. Sean

    Fascinating. I find myself wondering how we can separate science from politics, and keep coming up with the Vulcan solution. It’s a pity Klingons vote. Then I realize that science must impact politics, and that what we really need, particularly here in America, is better education in science. An inability to distinguish between local maxima and long term trends is at the root of this portion of the global climate change “debate”. And now, I must work. Good luck, Phil, and never give up the good fight. Critical thinking must, in the end, win out, as it is a survival trait.

  67. Fred Z

    “…programmer’s comments below, remember, this is only a fraction of what he says.

    – “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 …” (Page 17)

    – “It’s botch after botch after botch.” (18)

    – “The biggest immediate problem was the loss of an hour’s edits to the program, when the network died … no explanation from anyone, I hope it’s not a return to last year’s troubles … This surely is the worst project I’ve ever attempted. Eeeek.” (31)

    – “Oh, GOD, if I could start this project again and actually argue the case for junking the inherited program suite.” (37)

    – “… this should all have been rewritten from scratch a year ago!” (45)

    – “Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!!” (47)

    – “As far as I can see, this renders the (weather) station counts totally meaningless.” (57)

    – “COBAR AIRPORT AWS (data from an Australian weather station) cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993!” (71)

    – “What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah — there is no ‘supposed,’ I can make it up. So I have : – )” (98)

    – “You can’t imagine what this has cost me — to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO (World Meteorological Organization) codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance …” (98)

    – “So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option — to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations … In other words what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad …” (98-9)

    – “OH F— THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done, I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases.” (241).

    – “This whole project is SUCH A MESS …” (266) ”

    Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun, November 29, 2009.

    Even the MSM are starting to get it.

    As for underestimating the scale off the audit, I say the above, plus the other juicy bits revealed elsewhere is enough. One does not have to assess every jot and tittle of code before pressing the reject button.

    I hope all you lads and lassies have been making a list and checking it twice (by which I mean finding and keeping the internet publications of the fraudsters and their foolish supporters before they manage to delete them), because many a reputation is on the way to ruin.

    To all of you who will lose promotions, grants, money, marriages, health, status, employment, even professional qualifications: tough luck,, be more careful next time. You tried to screw us over, or were complicit in it, and you deserve what’s coming at you.

  68. Chris B.

    And while we’re all arguing about whether or not it’s happening, we’ll reach the point of no return and civilization will be doomed. Do we really want to take that chance?

  69. Gary Ansorge

    Spectroscope:

    SO, I guess the data that says the Greenland Ice cap is melting is just BS? That will really confuse those who live there. They’ve already started mining ops in areas that were historically ice covered and totally inaccessible. Russia is laying claim to Arctic mineral deposits that were (prior to 1990s) inaccessible. I guess they haven’t heard the Arctic ISN’T really getting warmer?

    Earth IS getting warmer. Glaciers ARE melting. Ocean levels ARE rising(ask any Islander).

    WHY this is happening when we SHOULD be moving into another ice age(historically, interglacials only lasted 8-10 thousand years and we’re at the end of a 10,000 year interglacial) is consistent with the advent of human industrialization but, gee, that MUST be a co-incidence. Humans are just to small and paltry to have such planet wide effects(try telling that to the 10s of thousands of species going extinct as we invade their traditional ecologies.)

    We’re a much bigger player on the world stage than most people can consider. The human world isn’t just the next village over. We’re feeding, clothing, housing nearly 7 billion people. As hunter gatherers, earth was able to effectively support only 20 million people. Today we support over 300 times that number and we provide much more than just basic essentials. In order to do that we had to usurp the ecologies of 10s of thousand of other species. Yeah, our efforts to survive are SO insignificant.

    Have YOU ever tried to program in machine code? I have. Even 100 lines of machine code are confusing as hell. Try a million times that much. Who has the resources to re-analyze decades of original work? Millions of man hours of effort? Do YOU want to pay for that? Go ahead. Demand the original source code, for all the good it will do you.

    These climate models are just that. MODELS. They’re meant to give us an idea where we’re going and what we’ll find. No model can be 100% perfect. But EVERY model gives us a little more insight into the consequences of our actions.

    Earth IS getting warmer. By historical standards, it SHOULD be getting colder. What’s the unseen variable? Human industrialization which more or less tracks that warming. Gee. Maybe we’re doing something???

    As far as leveling off of temps in this decade are concerned, note that we still don’t understand all the phase changes occurring in various compounds, such as methane and H2O. Phase changes absorb energy w/o a temp rise. Of course, we’ve also had a couple of volcanos go off that MAY have had a temporary cooling effect, with the key word being,,,temporary. I predict this next decade(2010 – 2020) will see a DRAMATIC rise in world temps. If I’m wrong, sue me.

    Gary 7

  70. Steve A

    “Those in that sinking Alarmist boat whould do very well to seriously reconsider their positions. ”

    Ha! That’s funny. A bunch of emails undoing decades of research that continues to grow? Oh, right, these guys are also able to reprogram all the satellites and their data, too.

    “Sorry Dr Plait but, yes, I do think your left-wing political bias is showing here.”

    Haven’t you heard? Reality has a liberal bias. ;)

  71. Robert E

    The 1934 date mentioned numerous times above is based on the Continental US, not the global mean.

  72. Brett from Canada

    @Sean (#67)

    “And now, I must work. Good luck, Phil, and never give up the good fight. Critical thinking must, in the end, win out, as it is a survival trait.”

    ROFL, I wish. A large part of the world is run by religious groups. We have peoples who are actively trying to institute Islamic rule, while nations like the US are *very* strongly influenced by the Christian right. And then there’s the rise of psychics, faith healers, and on and on and on.

    No, if there’s one thing human history has taught us, it’s that critical thinking is most definitely *not* a survival trait. If it were, we would’ve wiped ourselves out long ago… In fact, given psychological studies showing an ingrained tendency toward confirmation bias and other non-rational cognitive processes, I would claim precisely the opposite: That critical think runs strongly *against* the grain of our basest instincts.

  73. Steve A

    @Gary Ansorge

    Totally agree with you here for the most part.

    One thing though:
    “As far as leveling off of temps in this decade are concerned…”

    We actually do not know that yet. Climate is a 30 year average so we’re still too close to the data points to actually determine if there is a cooling or even a leveling off.

    Here’s the funny thing that no one has touched on yet. The CRU data is where people get the idea that the greatest temperatures were in 1998. If you take NASA data, then 1998 was broken twice in 2005 and 2007. But I guess it’s findings will be used when convenient.

  74. Monkey Deathcar

    65. Michelle Says:

    “It’s funny (sorry not funny, sad) that all the deniers still can’t provide a single bit of evidence that refutes anthropogenic global warming.”

    How can anyone? The only data that would dispute it has been tossed in the garbage.”

    Haha, this is a joke, right? Ok, maybe it’s not a joke, then find the evidence, don’t just claim conspiracy. The data is available, we live on the same earth. Scientists don’t own it. I’m sure Exxon will give you some money if they think you can disprove it.

  75. Paul

    Anyone interested in this issue should read the Wegman Report – I think it has a pretty good overview of the criticisms of the output from the CRU:

    It can de downloaded here: http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

    There’s also a summary on wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#Committee_on_Energy_and_Commerce_Report_.28Wegman_report.29

    A team of statisticians led by Edward Wegman, chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, was assembled at the request of U.S. Rep. Joe Barton and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield .[41] The report primarily focused on the statistical analysis used in the MBH paper, and also considered the personal and professional relationships between Mann et al. and other members of the paleoclimate community. Findings presented in this report (commonly known as the “Wegman Report”[42][43]) at a hearing of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, chaired by Whitfield, included the following:

    MBH98 and MBH99 were found to be “somewhat obscure and incomplete” and the criticisms by McIntyre and McKitrick were found to be “valid and compelling.”

    The report found that MBH method creates a PC1 statistic dominated by bristlecone and foxtail pine tree ring series (closely related species). However there is evidence in the literature, that the use of the bristlecone pine series as a temperature proxy may not be valid (suppressing “warm period” in the hockey stick handle); and that bristlecones do exhibit CO2-fertilized growth over the last 150 years (enhancing warming in the hockey stick blade).

    It is noted that there is no evidence that Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

    A social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction is described of at least 43 authors with direct ties to Mann by virtue of having coauthored papers with him. The findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. Dr. Wegman stated this was a “hypothesis”, and “should be taken with a grain of salt.”[44]

    Many of the same proxies are reused in most of the “independent studies” so these “cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”[45]

    It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though its members rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to interact with the statistical community. Additionally, the Wegman team judged that the sharing of research materials, data, and results was done haphazardly and begrudgingly.

    Overall, the committee believes that Mann’s assessments, that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis.

  76. themos

    People, this is about reliable knowledge. If the situation is so bad that it would take an army of trained people years to understand the model , then IT IS NOT RELIABLE. We just had a financial train wreck based on false understanding of computer models.

  77. Brian

    I’d label myself as being pro-AGW, but when I read the details of what Mann, Jones et al. had done with their “Briffa reconstruction” (who even knew there *was* such a thing as dendrochronology?) I was appalled. You don’t *do* that to data. What they did was wrong, and apparently deliberate. I’m glad that links to the data archives and various codes have been made public on RealClimate.Org. That’s the only way to make any progress at this point – transparency and openness. I still think there is an overwhelming mountain of data supporting warming, and much to link it to human activity. But I wouldn’t trust any paper – peer reviewed or otherwise – by that particular crew. Denialism can cut both ways, apparently.

  78. ND

    Fred Z,

    How are we supposed to make sense of those comments without context? What’s being botched? What is a mess? What does “hopeless state of our databases” mean and how does that exactly falsify the CRU data? You’re reading into things. Do you work somewhere where everything runs perfectly and most efficiently?

    “… this should all have been rewritten from scratch a year ago!”. Common complaint at all computer programming departments and groups from my own experience. You don’t always have time to make perfect running and easy to use code.

    Has it been confirmed that the (selectively) released emails have not been tampered to begin with?

  79. Chip

    Phil writes: “I know a lot of the denialists think as they do because of partisan blindness.”

    I think that’s what we’re seeing in some of the posts here. Partisan blindness probably motivated by a fear or suspicion that somehow the years of scientific evidence for global warming is a threat to the poster’s politics. Many are otherwise sensible people who can’t get past their partisan beliefs and hide behind the word “skeptic”. They don’t seem to notice that the shouting crackpots are standing on their side.

    This all brings to mind the earlier tirades here from diverse reality-denying groups such as Moon Hoax Believers and Creationists, as well as the more esoteric “Relativity-is-a-fraud” people or the wacky Geocentric Universe arguments, all of whom imply or blatantly state that “scientists” as well as independent scientific data are in a secret conspiracy. Like Evolution, Anthropogenic Global Warming is a fact and interpreting its effects is left to good falsifiable theories, predictions drawn from them and experimentation.

  80. DrFlimmer

    Incredible; what is happening here?

    1) Phil, you are right! Nothing more to say!

    2) At all of you here who think that a little warming couldn’t harm:

    SHALL WE RISK IT?

    Just ask you some questions beginning with “What if….”. The conclusions are horrible to some extent.
    And even if the worst does not happen, or nothing happens, wouldn’t a healthier world be a better place for everyone?
    Do we really need cars that burn fuel at rate of 15ltr per 100km? A car that burns only 3ltr per 100km does also drive. And a car that burns no fuel at all, wouldn’t that work, too? Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper in the end?

    Again: SHALL WE RISK IT?

  81. Paul

    A timely article has just popped up on The Register today – it has a very clear overview of the CRU data – a good starting point to anyone who is interested in a quick recap of the leaked / hacked emails and data:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/30/crugate_analysis/

    As an aside, I just downloaded some data from realclimate.org – here are the first few lines of grid_mean_temp_1880_current.dat

    1 1880
    -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768
    -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768
    -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768 -32768

    Hmm, hardly fills you with confidence – this file was clearly never checked. I think someone needed a bigger INT somewhere.

  82. Utakata

    I think this would be equivelent of some religious nutter hacking into the RDF site to post parts of private conversations between Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers as proof they are covering up that the universe is only 6000 yrs old…

    …I’m with BA on this, “Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.”

  83. it’s like a big troll-emitting machine just horked all over the blog comments. weird.

  84. Gary

    Phil,

    You really need to step up to your claimed skeptic credentials on this one. The evidence is quite clear that the parties involved with the CRU temperatures series have engaged in tactics that are unscientific and unethical. How about giving it a careful review instead of falling back on the old concensus argument?

    Also, continuing to use the pejorative “deniers” label for the critics who have been calling for a release of the base data is unfair and dishonorable. Science is about replication and when the temperature series and adjustment programs are hidden, replication for the sake of quality control isn’t possible. The reputable critics (those with statistical, science, and engineering training) have been asking (politely at first and then with FOIA filings when denied on trivial grounds) for the information for over five years. Citizen scientists who you appreciate should be able to see and analyze data acquired through public funding with no questions asked. And yes, there are political partisans who will use anything to bolster their cause. These aren’t the people I’m talking about.

  85. I do wonder how much these people are being paid to attack you, Phil.

  86. Utakata

    @ 90

    …they where all attacking PZ last night too, Victor when he laid a smackdown on a useless poll. So it’s not just happening to BA.

    We may be witnessing where denialism is evolving into a fanatical religion./sigh

  87. Scott B

    @DrFkunner: It is your side which is taking the risk of trying to push through extremely expensive legislation based on an issue with many remaining uncertainties. The default is the status quo. Understand that money could be used for reducing the actual pollution of our air and water rather than reducing our emission of CO2.

    I’m all for more efficient vehicles and exploring alternate energy technologies. We have to in the near future anyway since fossil fuels will become more scarce. We need better battery technology. We need to move away from coal for energy production (to nuclear if it was my call). Fusion would solve all our problems if we can control it.

    Notice, none of that has anything to do with artificially limiting CO2 emissions while we still have cost effective fossil fuel options. CO2 is great for plant life. If it causes warming, this could generate more rains. It’s possible that warming could hurt some and hurt others. It’s possible future carbon sequestration technologies will be better than stopping emissions now. I don’t claim that is all true. It’s a multidisciplinary subject that is way too complex for any single person know. What I do know is that the IPCC reports do not provide a balanced review of the pros and cons and that historically, on average, warming is good for human life while cooling is destructive.

  88. @ 91: “We may be witnessing where denialism is evolving into a fanatical religion.”

    You say that like it isn’t.

  89. Dan M

    I love how all the people pushing that all global warming is man made are now using ad-hominem arguments to support themselves:

    #54. T_U_T : “…Even the arch-crank Motl crawled out of his fetid sewer”

    is one keen example.

    Well done.

  90. Cory Albrecht

    @#90

    Victor – i think you might be a little too paranoid there, but it would certainly be interesting to see how many of the people who have commented on this article are first-time commenters to Dr. Plait’s blog.

    It would also be interesting if there was some way we could associate Nym/Screen-name here with nyms on other blogs that accept teh data for Global Warming and see if they would also be first time commenters there. unfortunately, I can’t see any way to cross-reference things like that without privacy issues.

    If it could all be done, associating all the comments on different fora with meta-nyms, with anonymity guaranteed, I’m sure that everybody would agree that the data on posting habits and possible astro-turfing would would be very interesting.

  91. Gary Ansorge

    80. Steve A Says:

    “We actually do not know that yet. Climate is a 30 year average so we’re still too close to the data points to actually determine if there is a cooling or even a leveling off.”

    You’re correct however, I was referring to the popular conception of the last decade and pointing out that it don’t mean diddly.

    However, thanks for the clarification. That’s probably more useful than the direction I took.

    GAry 7

  92. Theron

    Brian@83; “who even knew there *was* such a thing as dendrochronology?”

    Umm, anyone who is reasonably scientifically literate. I’m an historian and I knew about it. Not exactly specialty knowledge.

  93. #80, DrFlimmer – Yes, we shall risk it, as long as the cure is not obviously better than the disease.

  94. tacitus

    Wow, if nothing else, the global warming deniers sure know how to pounce.

    1) For those of you accusing Phil of reneging on his vow of skepticism, do you really believe that a “skeptic” is required to be skeptical of everything? Creationists are past masters of jumping on the slightest shenanigans or dubious comments by evolutionists (no matter how many years ago they happened), yet I suspect none of you is calling for Phil to be an evolution skeptic — a field where even the experts cannot still fully agree on the precise mechanisms at play. Just because you are skeptical of something doesn’t mean Phil has to tow the line or else lose his skeptics membership card.

    2) Skepticism is a healthy questioning of the facts presented. Denialism is a unhealthly obsession with the idea that the scientists who are presenting the facts are part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to impose socialism upon the free nations of the world. The vast majority of what I see in the comments is of the latter variety — even if it’s not explicit, the underlying tone is obvious. Those accusing people who claim that global warming is real of being politically motivated need to ask themselves first if perhaps politics is driving their skepticism of the subject matter.

    3) I have been in the IT industry for 25 years. In that time I have been involved in development projects from small proof of concepts to massive, world-wide development of operating systems, all for a highly reputable computer company. Not one of these projects would have stood the scrutiny of a thousand pairs of eyes trawling through a document dump of all the emails and code associated with the project looking for hacks, arguments, insults, angry statements, off the cuff remarks, and the rest. I know for a fact that some dreadful code made it into all of those projects, and that a postmortem of the code base years after the fact would reveal large swathes of code that nobody could decipher any more. Terms in the comments like “fudge factor” and “what the heck does this do?” are not as uncommon as people might thing, even in working code.

    And I am sure the same goes for any large scientific undertaking. I can guarantee that if external layman eyes were to have access to the inner communications of scientific projects of anything from the new LHC to the control systems of experimental nuclear weapons programs would be shocked by what they would find without knowing the context and inner workings of the teams involved.

    So Phil is right, when you release a massive dump of internal documents, including emails that are about the least formal means of written communication, opponents are always going to be able to cherry pick some embarrassing moments — indeed, moments the people under scrutiny probably should be embarrassed about. But if everything the deniers have said in private communications and deliberations behind the scenes was similarly dumped into the public domain, they would be equally embarrassed by some of the things they said, not least concerning their political prejudices when approaching the subject.

  95. Steven

    I get so frustrated with the internet.

    I don’t have the time, and maybe not the intelligence, to go digging through all the one sided websites to try and figure out what the truth might be. From my perspective, I want to be able to live my life on planet that isn’t being shafted by the human race. I’d like a chance to raise a family and know that my kids will be able to enjoy the same wonderful world I enjoy.

    Assuming the science isn’t conclusive one way or another I’d rather live in a world where AGW people got their way and were wrong than a world where those who dispute the human influence got their way and were wrong. In the first instance we’ll, hopefully, not only have a cleaner world, we’ll also have a better culture of people taking responsibility for the impact they have on the earth.
    This could mean the impact we have on global warming, if any, the impact we might have on rivers and oceans with chemical run off or even the impact on air quality from everyone driving their own car. (I’m living in Auckland, New Zealand at the moment and due to the fact that the public transport system is so poor here when I drive on the motorway in peak traffic I spend alot of time looking around at all the cars carrying a single person, including my own, and thinking ‘there must be a better way’)

  96. Cory Albrecht

    @#96

    WRT “who even knew there *was* such a thing as dendrochronology?”

    While I am much more familiar with arguing against creationists than global warming deniers, in this I find a commonality. The deniers generally are not aware of all the science against which they try to argue.

    As to whether Brian is a a global warmign denier or accepter, I can never tell whether “AGW” mean “Anti-Global warming” or “Anthropogenic Global Warming”, so it’s not uncommong for me to confuse a person’s stance on the subject. Just not as involved in that debate, I guess, to catch “the lingo” common to participants.

  97. Cheyenne

    At least the BBC is reporting that an investigation into Climategate is potentially forthcoming.

    “One senior climate scientist told me that the chair would have to be a person accepted by both mainstream climate scientists and sceptics as a highly respected figure without strong connections to either group.”

    All the facts need to be brought out into the open and the cards can fall where they may. Let’s go with the “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” route. And get on with it already. This isn’t some minor issue of no consequence as many make it out to be. I for one don’t want to take any sides until all the facts are out – and found out by a disinterested, trustworthy group. What kind of scientist or anybody here would be against that?

  98. Reality Check Everyone

    Wow – what a disgusting joke the whole AGW concept is. Hey gang quick question – When did Global Warming start? Probably the day after the last ice age ended. And so goes the cycle.

    How silly will this era of so-called scientists look in the future; they will be looked back on as complete partisans and judged very harshly. Trying to change the temperature of the earth, what arrogance these people have!

  99. Paul

    I have read through the so called damaging emails, along with some other random ones. There isn’t anything in them that looks bad when you look at them in context. If they were actually trying to cover this up, or trying to do something real damaging there would be more e-mails and it would most likely be obvious. Not 3 cherry picked lines out of 1000+ emails that taken out of context sound like they could be damaging.

    Same thing goes for the data and the program, heck most of this stuff is already known and published before there was the hack. From what I have read it’s already been debated and known what was done. This so called news isn’t news at all.

    Anyone have a link to the “corrected” data, where the original was lost along with what sort of “corrections” were made?

  100. What we see here is the same tactics as the creationists/intelligent design people use. They use anything they can find to spread confusion about the subject at hand, instead of proving their claims in the arena of science.

    As a matter of fact, they are now using the hacked mails as some kind of evidence against evolution.

    All the things that people keep mentioning from the mails have been addressed repeatedly across the blogsphere. Go read RealClimate.org where Garvin Schmidt has explained things patiently, providing context and further information where needed.

    Someone up-thread mentioned that the hack has forced scientists to share they data and code – that’s absolutely nonsense. The data and code has been available all along, except for those cases where contracts kept the scientists from making it public (as was the case of some of the CRU data). Now, RealClimate is making a blogpost collecting the links to the data and code, but it has been available all along!

    Oh, and regarding the idea of this being the work of whistle-blowers – given the fact that the same people presumably responsible for hacking CRU also hacked RealClimate’s server and uploaded the stolen data there, there is little likelihood of this being the act of whistle-blowers.

  101. @Brian – “who even knew there *was* such a thing as dendrochronology?”

    *raises hand*

    I have a friend who studies Juniper and Piñon. You can’t date them in the same way because they are adapted to life in a desert. In the really dry years they may not make new rings.

    Once we were hiking in an area with a lot of petrified wood. She was a little excited and talked about how she tells her grad students that “wood is everywhere even where you don’t expect it”.

    I joked with her that I think of wood as merely being the juvenile form of rock and pointed to my evidence ;)

  102. Josh

    It is startling how many people posting here are so convinced that global warming is not happening in spite of the data coming from so many independent sources. The IPCC reports are excellent and represent a wide range of opinions on the matter. Read them. Then maybe get a degree in a scientific field or learn some modeling or mathematics and see if your bias that global warming is not happening stands up.

    Really sad to read these comments. Science education needs to be improved.

  103. Rob

    I really dislike the semantics used by believers. Requiring stringent proof of how our universe formed makes you a sceptic. Requiring stringent proof that the world as we know it is coming to an end makes you a ‘denier’. The difference? ‘Denier’ has a much more negative association, most commonly associated with those who deny the Holocaust. It’s a semantic game climate change advocates play that is way too transparent and very much makes them look untrustworthy. Trust us, not because the data is solid and open for anyone to see, but because we’ll call you names if you don’t fall in line. Their unwillingness to debate on the merits of the science itself makes them appear that their science is not solid. These emails, as much as advocates like Phil wish it wouldn’t, DOES make the science look less solid as well. And with good reason, as said before, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    The major difference between the ID discussion and global warming is that ID is basically intellectual masturbation, it doesn’t affect ANYONE’s life in any way. Global warming requires a worldwide change in how people live and how societies advance and enrich themselves. Not just the affluent like us in the U.S., but also changes for BILLIONS of impoverished people who may well see their road to a better life lengthened or torn apart. Shouldn’t global warming, then, require a much higher ‘bar’ before accepting it as fact? Treating doubters as intellectual lepers, as ‘deniers’ rather than ‘sceptics’, does a disservice to both sides of the debate.

  104. Gary Ansorge

    98. tacitus

    For your entire post I have only one thing to say:

    RIGHT ON!!!(especially Number 3)

    ,,,and for: 99. Steven:

    Me too!!!

    Which is why I’m a devout believer in getting human industrialization off this little Ball of Blue.

    GAry 7

  105. Acky

    Just from my own experiences (I’m no scientist, I work in an office), I’m of the opinion that global warming is a real threat. I didn’t need to look up any information to come to that conclusion, I just remember leaving school for Christmas in the snow and going back to school in the new year with snow still around. I remember playing in the snow in Winter for weeks at a time. I remember the snow being so heavy that there’d be 4″ of snowfall in one night. I live in York, the original one in England, hardly the Artic circle I know but still… That was only 20 years ago. I’m 27 now and any snow that falls now is so light it barely covers the ground. Yes, I know, anecdotes aren’t data but like I said, that’s just my experiences.

    The thing is… Because of the threat of global warming, real or not, regardless of your opinions, work is being done on lower emissions cars, reducing the amount of pollution, etc. Even if you don’t believe in global warming surely that’s a good thing, right?

  106. Phil, this is really shameful. If you think there was no attempt to silence scientists with differing ideas, call up Roger Pielke (either of them). Have a look at Hans von Storch’s web page.

    As for fraud, I don’t believe that Hansen, Mann, Jones, and Schmidt have been holding secret Climate SMERSH meetings to plan a conscious fraud. It’s much more insidious than that: they simply decided on the Right Explanation for the general warming trend (that nobody I know of questions), and then apparently ensured the “corrections” and splices matches that Right Explanation. They didn’t massage the data, they waterboarded it into submission. They then conspired to prevent people, even people like Pielke Sr who believed in general in both the warming and anthropogenicity, but who believed in other mechanisms for the anthropogenic forcings, from being published.

    Oddly, when we look at the data, we find that the corrections dominate the raw data signal, and constitute most or all of the temperature change that was then published as a “result.”

    On the FOIA front, they clearly conspired (in 20 emails rather than 2) to find ways to prevent their data from being released. Jones even requested certain emails be deleted after they were requested via FOIA.

    So, I suppose if you think manipulating data, misconduct in peer review, and what appear to have been multiple felonies are nothing, I can’t argue.

    But this isn’t climate science, this is climate scientology.

  107. S Binns

    How are the senses of sight and hearing logarithmic? Aren’t they inverse square?

  108. Cameron

    For those claiming conspiracy, at least read through the following link before deciding that all climate scientists are frauds:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack-context/

  109. TheBlackCat

    I gather a lot of people complaining about the lack of data haven’t actually bothered trying to get data. As pointed out earlier, a lot of the data is available online and has been for years. However, a fair amount of data they are not legally allowed to release. Data, for instance, from NOAA and other government and private meteorological services is given to scientists for free under the condition that they do not release it publicly. That is because these services sell this data to private individuals and industry. The reason scientists were resistant to the FOI requests is because those requests were demanding they release data they were not allowed to release. The data is not cheap, I know, I used it before (for a project in High School, I couldn’t get it for free because they only let people on university IP addresses access it for free).

    As for manipulating the peer-review process, as far as I have heard there are only two instances of the emails dealing with the peer-review process. One is the well-know case where an editor with an agenda pushed through an absolutely horrible article with undergraduate-level errors in basic statistics. If I recall correctly 7 editors resigned in protest, and other researchers decided that the journal was no longer trustworthy. It had nothing to do with it being an anti-GW piece, it had to do with it not being up to the level of an undergraduate essay, not to mention a peer-reviewed journal article. The other instance

    As for the bit about “hiding the decline”, this has been discussed over and over again. There is a well-known divergence between a small subset of tree-ring data from the measured temperature after 1960. It was published in Nature, one of the two most well-respected journals in the world. It is no secret. The idea that there was some sort of conspiracy to hide an issue when the issue was published in Nature is ludicrous. The other is debates about what data deserves to be in the IPCC, with people obviously being partial to their own data and some people having personal grudges. Neither is indicative of an attempt to manipulate anything.

    As for people who are claiming the models have not been validated, they have. Current climate trends are tracking towards the worse-case scenarios predicated by the models in pretty much every case.

    As for global warming being over or talking about 1998, please, please, please do at least a tiny bit of research on non-denialist pages. 1998 was an El Nino year, very warm. Using 1998 to prove that the world is cooling is like K9 is downhill because it is not as tall as Mount Everest. The claim is ludicrous. There are short-term fluctuations due to the 11-year solar cycle, but those have been going on throughout the warming period. That is why you need to look at trends over a couple of decades if you want to get any meaningful conclusions. We are in the deepest solar minimum on record, yet the warming trend is still continuing. The 2001-2008 have all been warmer than any year in the previous century besides 1998. I should add that another email that people are discussing regarding explaining why we aren’t seeing a warming is dealing with exactly this issue, trying to understand the short-term fluctuations in temperature. These are much harder to deal with than the long-term trends.

    And this completely misses the fact that the models are not even that important.
    As Gary Ansorge we can see that things are happening exactly as predicted, if not worse. The IPCC report now appears to be highly conservative in pretty much every prediction it made, things are going worse than it said they would, not better.

    The only thing I have seen that is even potentially problematic is the one about deleting emails, I have not heard an adequate explanation for it. But the emails in question were not actually deleted, and there may be context I am not aware of. But that at worst would be a case of a single person suggesting doing something unethical or maybe even illegal, it hardly disproves global warming nor does it implicate the entire field.

    @ Fred Z: I bet if you looked over my emails for the last 6 months alone you would find dozens of very similar statements. I’ve had annoying network problems, needed to put ugly hacks in the code to work around problems in the data I am working with (formatting problems), kept using code that I know should be rewritten, having to go talk to people in person to find out what undocumented code does (very little of the code I am working with is well-documented even though we have professional programmers working on it), being the first person to use parts of the program that ended up being horribly broken, etc. That is what happens when you write software for internal use and when your priority is getting good results instead of writing pretty code that outsiders can use easily. I am not doing anything related to climate, I am in biology. Heck, I’ve seen similar discussions in professional software development projects. I fail to see how this disproves global warming.

  110. adam

    To all those banging on about “you can’t prove a negative”, I would suggest you read the following article (link to pdf at page):

    uh, not the point. the point is that it is up to the claimants to prove their case. it’s a little like how you can’t go up to a stranger and say “you owe me money” and when they act incredulous, telling them they have to prove that they don’t. don’t f—ing tell me i have to prove that something doesn’t exist that you told me exists. the whole idea of it is absurd. you bring ME undoctored, unaltered, non-politicized science. i’m not even asking for it to be conclusive. let’s start with data that hasn’t been screwed with to make its point.

    Like Evolution, Anthropogenic Global Warming is a fact and interpreting its effects is left to good falsifiable theories, predictions drawn from them and experimentation.

    we’re equating evolution and AGW now? really? AGW is. not. a. fact. you can’t just go around saying stuff and then expecting it to be true. that’s called pretending. science is not pretending. unless the CRU is involved, apparently.

    Assuming the science isn’t conclusive one way or another I’d rather live in a world where AGW people got their way and were wrong than a world where those who dispute the human influence got their way and were wrong.

    would you? you’d rather live in a world were policy decisions that affect millions of people and billions of dollars are based on dubious science and outright falsities? i find it remarkable that you’d rather trust a bunch of deceptive goons over a group crying for more time, more research, more evidence prior to policy. seriously, call me crazy, but i thought science was about gathering accurate information, not improvising research methods and then making laws based on on the resultant models.

    2) Skepticism is a healthy questioning of the facts presented. Denialism is a unhealthly obsession with the idea that the scientists who are presenting the facts are part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to impose socialism upon the free nations of the world. The vast majority of what I see in the comments is of the latter variety — even if it’s not explicit, the underlying tone is obvious. Those accusing people who claim that global warming is real of being politically motivated need to ask themselves first if perhaps politics is driving their skepticism of the subject matter.

    i love this. “skepticism is healthy questioning if i agree with it, but if i don’t agree with it, it’s an unhealthy obsession with conspiracy. i can tell by the tone. the tone, i say!” get real. i’m not DENYING anything. who here is? we’re asking the same questions you people should have been asking all along. we’re not saying there’s a conspiracy. we’re saying that laws and legislation based on fatally incomplete and flawed data models IS A BAD IDEA. we’re asking for more and better research, more time, better methods. and we’re “obsessed”? give me a break. these emails coming out are only a CONFIRMATION of what many people have been saying and thinking for years.

    what this guy said:

    Global warming requires a worldwide change in how people live and how societies advance and enrich themselves. Not just the affluent like us in the U.S., but also changes for BILLIONS of impoverished people who may well see their road to a better life lengthened or torn apart. Shouldn’t global warming, then, require a much higher ‘bar’ before accepting it as fact? Treating doubters as intellectual lepers, as ‘deniers’ rather than ’sceptics’, does a disservice to both sides of the debate.

    this is obsession? this is crying about conspiracy? don’t be an a–hole, tacitus.

  111. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    There is, or rather is going to be, a “Tricks Wiki” for scientists:

    As many readers may already know, my good friend and fellow mathematical blogger Tim Gowers, having wrapped up work on the Princeton Companion to Mathematics (which I believe is now in press), has begun another mathematical initiative, namely a “Tricks Wiki” to act as a repository for mathematical tricks and techniques.

    “Mathematical tricks and techniques”! What will those durn scientists think of next. Physics tricks and techniques?

  112. shauna

    The way people are reacting, you’d think that the CRU was the only institute that had raw data on climate change, etc, and I believe someone noted that their data is used by most other climate change studies.

    That is simply not true. If you’re reading Phil’s post, and are confused as to why he’s considering this whole hacker thing a ‘non-issue’ instead of being a skeptic, then please pay attention:

    It’s a non-issue.

    CRU, however important they may be, are hardly the only organization studying climate change.

    Universities and think tanks and organizations ALL OVER THE WORLD are all conducting their own independent studies. And I mean, like, every single university. In the world. That’s a hell of a lot of studies.

    They study ice, they study trees, they study temperature and the oceans and the rocks and sunspots and EVERYTHING. ON THEIR OWN.

    Even in my bachelor’s degree, I conducted my own studies of forests and ice, and for anyone who is a skeptic of climate change I would tell you to do the same, because once you do, you understand what it is we’re facing.

    And it’s terrifying. You don’t have to believe me, in fact, you shouldn’t believe me- you should go to the library, read the peer-reviewed articles going back decades, (because they’re there. They exist, and they aren’t locked up.) look at the websites, find out for yourselves the depth of the evidence out there, and make up your own minds.

    My advice on this, however, is that the one thing you shouldn’t do is just rely on the stuff you read on the internet. Get off your ass and actually find out for yourself.

    As far as how the scientists at CRU conducted themselves, well, maybe they conducted bad science, and maybe they didn’t. There’s such a fog of rumours and blame around the whole thing it’s impossible to tell from where we sit at our computers what the truth of the matter is. Hopefully there’ll be an investigation and it’ll get sorted out. I say kudos to Phil for not fueling this fire.

  113. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Steven

    Assuming the science isn’t conclusive one way or another

    There’s your problem right there. Climate scientists have arrived at a conclusion; oh, back in the stone ages of -06 or -07; and everyone can read about it on the IPCC review in 5 s flat – it’s in the first pages of the summary.

    Or you can contact your national science bureau.

    Either way, the problem is that people “assume”, instead of ask the scientists, which is really easy: they want to get the facts out there!

  114. TheBlackCat

    I found this interesting:

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRUupdate

    Over 95% of the CRU climate data set concerning land surface temperatures has been accessible to climate researchers, sceptics and the public for several years the University of East Anglia has confirmed.

    “It is well known within the scientific community and particularly those who are sceptical of climate change that over 95% of the raw station data has been accessible through the Global Historical Climatology Network for several years. We are quite clearly not hiding information which seems to be the speculation on some blogs and by some media commentators,” commented the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Enterprise and Engagement Professor Trevor Davies.

    The University will make all the data accessible as soon as they are released from a range of non-publication agreements. Publication will be carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre.

    The procedure for releasing these data, which are mainly owned by National Meteorological Services (NMSs) around the globe, is by direct contact between the permanent representatives of NMSs (in the UK the Met Office).

    “We are grateful for the necessary support of the Met Office in requesting the permissions for releasing the information but understand that responses may take several months and that some countries may refuse permission due to the economic value of the data,” continued Professor Davies.

    The remaining data, to be published when permissions are given, generally cover areas of the world where there are fewer data collection stations.

    “CRU’s full data will be published in the interests of research transparency when we have the necessary agreements. It is worth reiterating that our conclusions correlate well to those of other scientists based on the separate data sets held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS),” concluded Professor Davies.

    So, exactly what I said. They release the data they are legally able to release, and don’t release the data they are not legally allowed to release because it is owned by various meteorological services that want to sell it. If you really want it so bad then you should put your money where your mouth is an buy it. If you think it is bad for meteorological services to try to make back some of the money they spent collecting the data, then you should take it up with them, the scientists have no control over that.

  115. In a discussion at Ars Technica last night, I ran across this very excellent link that I recommend to everyone who is interested in this discussion of “skeptic” vs “denialist”: The Relativity of Wrong by Isaac Asimov.

    And speaking of Ars Technica, I appreciate their attempts to provide more general science coverage to a community of computer enthusiasts. Also relevant to the debates here today are issues in their recent piece Examining science on the fringes: vital, but generally wrong

    I see much of the debate about the openness of science that is going on as a result of the theft of emails as being vitally needed. It is still very unfortunate that it took a criminal violation of people’s privacy to bring about the larger discussion. And I fear that the spin will cause continued decline in support by the general populace for action on climate issues, when there is no corresponding decline in what science believes.

  116. Bruce the Canuck

    Looks like you hit a nerve Phil – look at all the wingnuts!

    On the bright side, the swifthack has them all suddenly interested in the scientific method, or at least, their conception of it. Heck, they’re all of a sudden scientists themselves! Led by, of all people, an “econometrician”. Economists criticizing climate modelers. Sigh.

    Unfortunately this has more in common with McCarthyismthan anything else. Heck there’s a guy upthread threatening to create a list of everyone involved in hopes of stalking them and causing loss of career, health, and marriages. “Are you now, or have you ever been, a warmist?!?!?”

    But for the real scary, regular BadAstronomy readers, check out this link: Discovery Institute: The Mask Falls Away about the DI’s response to the swifthack.

    The crazification of the US right continues. Now they’re calling for a new inquisition and the end of the enlightenment itself.

  117. Lisa

    I found this article linked from a decidedly AGW twitterer (not sure if that’s the correct way to say it) and I find the whole situation very interesting but probably moot. The triumphant shouts from the antis, the silence from the pros and all the while no one is pursuing what I would consider be the more important course of action: finding out why and what to do about it. It seems that most scientists agree that our climate is changing and that it is probably through something we as a species are contributing. What I have seen to this point are plenty of data supporting a dramatic change in climate and soon. What I am NOT seeing to this point is a large body of research into exactly why or what, if anything, can be done about it. While we have been sitting on our haunches studying our climate, it has changed faster than any of the models have predicted and all the while, I am seeing very little useful information about what to do about that change. So perhaps instead of being outraged and arguing about a bunch of silly emails, our scientific community could better engage itself in how to effectively combat climate change? Assuming we haven’t wasted too much time already.

  118. Gary Ansorge

    109. adam Says:

    “it is up to the claimants to prove their case”

    As has probably been mentioned before, all we have is EVIDENCE. PROOF will have to wait until we’re under 40 meters of ocean,,,

    (“Glub. OK! MAYBE you’re right.”)

    Gary 7

  119. Quiet Desperation

    The computer models

    I’m not a denier, but the computer models have always been a weak point for me. I work with systems engineers who do nothing but write and run simulations, and I hear from them how difficult it is to get real world results for even mostly closed systems. The models have *not* predicted things very well.

    Simply being able to reconstruct past climate is not good enough.

    I dabbled in neural nets for stock predictions a few years back. I could train up nets that perfectly “predicted” a stock’s price for the past few years, and I mean it would track every little bump and ripple. When I’d run one for the future, it would diverge wildly with a couple days. :-(

  120. adam

    As has probably been mentioned before, all we have is EVIDENCE. PROOF will have to wait until we’re under 40 meters of ocean,,,

    this is another problem i have. i’ve yet to see solid evidence that, assuming the oceans will actually rise, will do so in any dramatic and inescapable fashion.

    i admit, there is evidence. there is also evidence of the contrary. who to believe? who’s presenting accurate information based on reliable models and repeatable experiments, and who’s presenting information based on incomplete and doctored data sets and findings from models based upon such?

  121. Emails a “non-event”?

    Err, how is the following a non event?

    ===
    The panel, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, now faces the inconvenient truth that it relied on scientists who violated scientific process. In one email, the Climate Research Unit’s director, Phil Jones, wrote Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, promising to spike studies that cast doubt on the relationship between human activity and global warming. “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” he said. He pledged to “keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
    ===

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574564291187747578.html

    I’d really, really like to see an explanation on how that is a non-event. But somehow I don’t think that will be forthcoming.

  122. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    To all those banging on about “you can’t prove a negative”, I would suggest you read the following article

    That article has a lot going for itself up to the point it leaves logic and ventures into empirical land. I hadn’t really realized the many number of definitions of “negative” people seem to consider; no one cares to explain what they “mean”. :-/

    But, as a true philosopher, Hales thinks we can use induction to learn about nature.

    Why this is wrong, and has been known to be wrong for decades if not centuries, can be studied in David Deutsch “The Fabric of Reality”. Long story short: science use testing. And this theory of science can easily be tested, as well as induction easily falsified. :-D

    Induction is “folk science” analogous to the “folk logic” of “can’t prove a negative”. In fact, I’m surprised that Hales didn’t realize the connection, by way of set theory.

    [A bit of advice: Deutsch is himself perverted by philosophy. For this reason, and it seems this reason alone, he claims that testing is subordinated “explanation”, or comparison of structure of a theory, when the reverse is clearly true. A theory that has failed testing doesn’t need one to study its structure.]

  123. Then there’s this:

    ===
    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!’”
    ===
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Sunday_Reflections/Climategate-denial-foundering-on-army-of-Davids-8595184-76420732.html

    More and more difficult to see how any of this is a “non-event” Phil.

  124. TheBlackCat

    @ Quiet Desperation: Well then it is a good thing that the veracity of global warming does not depend on the models. That being said, I have been shocked at how well very simple models can capture the properties of extremely complicated systems with minimal tuning. In the realm of climate, a basic single-compartment radiative forcing model is able to predict Earth’s temperature within a fraction of a degree. This is no good for predicting what will happen in specific locations, but it does indicate that modeling specific aspects of the climate is quite feasible. You aren’t going to be able to model on very small length scales or very small time scales, but neither of these is necessary to determine the general or even fairly specific effects of global warming.

    @ adam:

    this is another problem i have. i’ve yet to see solid evidence that, assuming the oceans will actually rise, will do so in any dramatic and inescapable fashion.

    What, exactly, would prevent this? There are two things that will drive sea level rises. One is that the glaciers over land will melt. This will inevitably raise sea levels, because there will be more water in the oceans. Second, liquids expand when they warm. As oceans warm, the same mass of water will take up more space. Both of these are based on basic middle-school level physics, there is nothing the least bit controversial or even questionable about either of these. The question is really how quickly the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will melt, the current opinion seems to be they will not collapse in a sudden, catastrophic manner but this cannot be conclusively ruled out, either.

  125. Mike

    Predictable. BA trots out a straw man (use of the term “trick” in an e-mail) to sweep this under the rug. I’m a professional scientist as well, and what is disturbing about this event is the hiding of data and the atrocious state of the CRU’s historical “data” and their modeling software (not to mention their bullying of editors, which while not unique to them is still indefensible). This may, in the end, turn out to be nothing, but BA’s immediate judgement to “move along, nothing to see here” demonstrates the group think mentality he ascribes to the AGW critics.

  126. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Without leaving references, this is clearly poisoning the well:

    The models have *not* predicted things very well.

    Besides, it is easily tested. IPCC 2007 Summary, p 23:

    “Of the more than 29,000 observational data series, from 75 studies, that show significant change in many physical and biological systems, more than 89% are consistent with the direction of change expected as a response to warming (Figure 1.2). {WGII 1.4, SPM}”

    Now it seems to me the review satisfies itself with 90 % uncertainty or ~ 1.5 sigma, which is well below usual physics testing of 3 sigma on theories. OTOH it is well above the 80 % uncertainty that epidemiologists have to satisfy themselves when trying to separate “healthy” from “diagnosed sick”. The world is (diagnosed) sick, not a parametrized physics experiment.

    Anyway, since ~26 000 data series have been consistent with models, it seems to me they *have* predicted things very well. At least, better than chance would have it. (o.O)

    [This is also the least number of data series that anti-GW anti-scientists need to predict before anyone takes them seriously. Famously, they have managed to model 0!]

  127. earth2allie

    On climate change:

    Totally agree with Doc Flimmer here… most of you are blinded by bias to a problem that will some day have profound effects. Change is necessary my friends, and we have nothing to lose by making it. I don’t even care if global warming is no threat. Carbon emissions affect air quality. Living in Atlanta in the summer, I have to walk the dog for the old lady next door because she can’t stay outside on high smog alert days. I hold my breath when a big truck drives by lest I gag from the exhaust. It doesn’t matter though, because when I get to work, I can smell the exhaust in my hair. Do you really want your kids breathing that stuff??

    Why not make a change that can have only positive effects? Are you going to miss your SUVs that much? I promise we won’t think your genitalia are any smaller if you’re driving a hybrid, or, god forbid, walking.

    On the hacking:

    As far as the hacking is concerned… HELLO! Emails can be traced and recovered even after they’re deleted. Hacking just expedited the process. Even the general public can request access to emails. The point is, once you write an email, it exists forever, whether or not you’ve cleaned out your sent items. That said, let’s look at the simplest scenario here. A group of famous climate research scientists fabricate data to support their hypotheses and then communicate about it through something as traceable as email – OR – A group of famous climate research scientists, attempting to protect valid data from misinterpretation by the general public, communicate about ways to do so thru email since they have nothing to hide. Do we really think these scientists (apparently clever enough to attempt fooling the rest of the world about global warming) would be naive enough to carry out some sinister plotting by means of email?! Ask yourself which makes more sense.

    On the scientists:

    Having objectively read through as many of the emails as time allows, I’ve seen nothing particularly incriminating. As a matter of fact, I could pick out at least as many examples of the scientists being careful not to misrepresent the data as the out-of-context examples many of you have picked out. I did see some examples of discussion on combating the counter-argument. There is nothing wrong with this, people! It’s called falsification (look it up), and we do it in order to check ourselves, to make sure we can’t find holes in our own arguments. We look for areas of weakness in our argument to make sure it still holds true in those spots.

    The only thing I think these scientists are guilty of is having a preference on the outcome of their work. Ideally, we shouldn’t care what the data shows, just in case we introduce a bias. However, we’re all human, and sometimes (more often than not) we do have a preference for what our data shows. Does that mean we should trust our data any less? No, because the data doesn’t lie. If the scientist lies, someone else is likely to find it through their own analysis. Maybe a little of their bias shows in their emails, but regardless of their preferences, data is data.

    Bottom line: show me some concrete evidence that something bad is going on here. By concrete evidence, I don’t mean weak, out of context quotes.

    Oh, and for all you naysayers, can you find me some scientific evidence supporting the scenario that global warming DOESN’T exist?!

  128. Markle

    Wow. Godwined in the second comment. It took me a while to figure out what the Gorebull thing was. Oh, Goebbels, gotcha. I’m glad Phillip Helbig read through the rest that I skipped because “eco-fascist-socialism” is a real screamer. How’s that supposed to work? Somebody slept through 10th grade Social Science.

    Spectroscope needs to gargle some Pepto-Bismol for that verbal diarrhea.

  129. Bruce the Canuck

    119: Mike says> …the hiding of data and the atrocious state of the CRU’s historical “data” …

    The data’s distribution was limited by agreements they had signed to access it. This is a much larger issue, and not specificaly CRU’s problem: please google “Guardian free our data”. Publicly collected datasets are made available only to those willing to pay for them. This infuriating halfbreed privatization of public assets also occurs in Canada, and I’m sure the USA as well.

    Re the bitching in “Harry”‘s notes, firstly as a software developer its all too familiar and somewhat funny, and most likely a work in progress less than reflective of the final product used. My main takeaway was that it’s evidence the CRU is underfunded.

  130. khan

    Crank convergence.

    Which kind of denialist are you?:

    A) There is no global warming

    B) There is global warming but it’s part of some natural cycle

    C) There is global warming and whatever the cause it is a good thing

    D) It’s part of God’s Plan™

    E) God wouldn’t let it happen

  131. Mike

    @Bruce the Canuck: My understanding is that they had no compunctions distributing the data to their allies. And frankly, in the end, I don’t care. If we’re going to rearrange the global economy on these guys so say, the world needs to see the data.

    Anyway, the data (except the data they “lost”, apparently) is out there now. They need to explain the basis for their corrections (just as I am required to do in my publications). If they’re adjusting older temperatures down and more recent temperatures up (as I understand they are) and then they find evidence for warming, this needs to be strictly scrutinized. They need to explain the reasons why they used the Tamal tree ring dataset and not the Taimyr dataset. They need to explain everything. This isn’t vindictiveness. It’s how we do science.

  132. TheBlackCat

    @ Mike: They are bound by agreements regarding who and in what way they can distribute some of the data. I have already explained this. It is not their decision, that data is owned by other people. If you have a problem with this then complain to the government bodies that own the data, not the the scientists who are required to follow those rules.

    As for not providing basis for their corrections or why they picked particular data sets, can you provide specific examples where they have not done so?

  133. Ron

    Unfortunately, the human brain is not very good at responding to perceived low intensity, long term threats. The result will be another ‘trajedy of the commons’.

    I think #5, Brett from Canada, has it right – the whole discussion about the e-mails is irrelevant. The deniers have spun the global climate story to the point that there will be no real political action to mitigate our impact on global warming until adverse climate impacts are so socially and economically expensive that governments are forced to change. Even then, change will not happen until adverse impacts directly affect the powerful in our societies – the poor and dis-enfranchised will , as always, be effected first but they have no power to impact change nor do they have the financial resources to protect themselves.

    What is being lost in these discussions are the facts that adverse climate change is happening (who or what is the cause is not relevent), our population is increasing, we’re escalating our carbon (and most other) emissions and we live in a closed system with finite resources. Oh, and we generally don’t like each other (and the wingnuts believe the end times are coming anyway).

    In comparison, what are a couple of e-mails amongst friends?

  134. Bruce the Canuck

    >: My understanding is that they had no compunctions distributing the data to their allies.

    My own understanding is that the distributed data was post-processed, ie, not the original datasets but rather the agreement-protected data merged with public data sources.

    >They need to explain the basis for their corrections (just as I am required to do in my publications)….

    From my reading of the emails, responses to same, and etc, the technical issues raised from them had already been talked about openly and extensively in peer reviewed papers. Further this is only one group out of many, and only one code base out of many, confirming the same outcomes. So it’s all old news. It’s just that the sheer volume of research involved allowed the right-wing blogosphere to pass off old technical issues as new scandals.

    What bothers me is that unlike people such as yourself new to the issues, the core bloggers, such as the econometrist revelling in the attention, knew that the issues were old news, and knew that they had already been discussed openly in the peer-reviewed literature. The real fraud is in the nature of their smear campaign, and that’s why such a wide spectrum of media and bloggers has largely ignored this non-scandal.

  135. Bruce the Canuck

    >there will be no real political action to mitigate our impact on global warming until adverse climate impacts are so socially and economically expensive that governments are forced to change…

    Sadly I think this was going to be the case anyways. We will change our behavior at the very last minute, probably when facing an energy crisis due to oil depletion. We will have to choose: total self destruction via coal and tar sands, or a shift to nuclear (probably thorium based) or large scale solar and better efficiency.

  136. Mike

    I still ain’t buying it. The reason the original data-holders required secrecy was …?

  137. I have a friend who is currently negotiating the terms of an NDA that will apply to his work with a private company that produces instrumentation. Often the people who collected the data place other commercial value on it, and are still willing to share it in the interests of science as long as their interests are protected too. That seems fair enough to me, particularly when the NDAs contain sunset clauses.

  138. TW

    Phil Plait Skeptic…

    except when he REALLY believes.

    Climate change/global warming/whatever in the heck you want to call it has become a political/economic issue more than a scientific issue.

    Those being paid by people with a political agenda will gather results that will support said agenda.

    People will dismiss facts that disagree with their political agendas, or do something much worse and ‘correct’, or ‘trick’, facts to fit with their agendas.

    This is nothing new though, it has been going on since the dawn of man. It happens on both sides.

    As always be skeptical of those with agendas, especially if they deny they have an agenda…

  139. TheBlackCat

    @ Mike: “I still ain’t buying it. The reason the original data-holders required secrecy was …?”

    As I have explained several times already, the original data-holders sell their data. They provide it to scientists free, but for anyone else they are expected to pay for it. Why is this so hard to understand?

  140. Mike

    @Oroboros: Old temperature records need to be covered by an NDA? Seems unlikely, but all I’m asking for is the explanation.

  141. Mike

    @TheBlackCat: So anyone could buy the data in question right now?

    It’s easy to “understand”. It’s just hard to believe that’s what’s going on in this case. But, since this is now such a hot topic, I look forward to reading about an interested party or government agency purchasing said data and confirming the CRU analysis.

  142. TheBlackCat

    @ Mike: “So anyone could buy the data in question right now?”

    Exactly. I bought meteorological data from the U.S. NWS myself years ago. It was for research purposes, but since I was still in High School at the time they I didn’t have access to a university IP address (which was what was required to get the data for free).

  143. ND

    Have all the stolen emails been released or are they still being posted selectively?

  144. tacitus

    I still ain’t buying it. The reason the original data-holders required secrecy was …?

    There are dozens of private companies who collect atmospheric data in order to sell it for profit and there is no shelf life for data. It doesn’t become public domain after a set number of years, and certainly won’t if they know that it’s of continuing interest to researchers.

  145. The Arquette Sisters

    As top notch of a science blogger you are, you are wearing blinders. If new data crops up that refutes the religion, I mean science of climate change then it should be fully examined and critically dissected. Climategate certainly points to cracks in the dam and only a fool would blow it off.

    These e-mails may be nothing, they may be everything… Maybe something in between, but your dismissal of climategate is certainly telling of your inability to apply your own wonderful brand of criticism to things you agree with.

  146. Yeah, “deniers”. How nice of you. So you FOR SURE know how the data was treated, and what the intent of scientists was. Do you own a crystal ball?
    Can you please write a sole post dedicated to “the overwhelming amount of data supporting global warming” (by the way, will that data be “tricked”?) and evidence, that GW is caused by humans?

  147. Paul

    @The Arquette Sisters

    the emails have already been released and you can read them. There are 1000+ emails, and people are taking 3 lines out of context to make there case that what these people are doing is wrong.

    If you actually take the time to look at some of the hacked stuff it looks like what they are doing is correct. They check if they see an what they don’t expect if it is high or low, they don’t just use random stuff ot raise the temperature. There aren’t a bunch of emails talking about hiding data of lower temperatures or talking about just adding some random numbers to make them fit what they want. They are trying to get it right and it’s shown in what was released.

  148. No you did not, because if you had you would see that the trick in question was to pad proxy data from tree rings to cover up (”hide”) the fact that the tree rings do not reflect current warming and therefore probably don’t reflect it in the past either.

    There’s no evidence, of course, that the “trick” that appears in the source code (the artificial correction) ever appeared in any graph published in the literature. That’s likely just temporary and rudimentary code.

    Whether reconstructions based on tree rings are inaccurate is a different topic altogether. If we assume they are valid, the “divergence” issue exists, and that’s what the correction is intended to address.

  149. TheBlackCat

    @ Rimantas: Global temperatures are rising. Global sea levels are rising. Ice sheets and glaciers almost everywhere in the world are retreating (with a handful of exceptions due to increased precipitation outweighing the increased melting). We are seeing large-scale changes in animal seasonal cycles and ranges.

    We know it is due to the greenhouse effect because of the pattern of warming. If it was due to the greenhouse effects, we would expect more warming towards the poles, more warming at night, and cooling of the stratosphere. If it were due to the sun, we would expect more warming towards the equator, more warming during the day, and stratospheric warming. These are predictions made before the measurements. When we actually looked at these, we see more warming towards the poles, more warming at night, and stratospheric cooling.

    We know that the change is due primarily to CO2 and to a lesser extent methane by measuring the values. Water is a more powerful greenhouse gas, but it is in equilibrium in the atmosphere. If you add more water, it just comes out again as precipitation in a period of days. So you can’t directly change the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. That means it can amplify changes in temperature, but not cause them directly (at least on the time scales we are talking about). Changes in CO2 and methane, however, have impacts that last for decades if not centuries. That is why changes in CO2 levels and methane levels matter. And we are seeing substantial increases in both CO2 and methane. Other gases can also cause warming but exist in far too small amounts to make much of a difference.

    We know that the CO2 and methane come from humans because of the isotope concentrations. Plants selectively use carbon 13, and carbon 14 decays after a period of time. So fossils fuels, old carbon derived from plants, should have more carbon 13 and little or not carbon 14. Based on the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere we can tell that the majority of the CO2 comes from old plant-based carbon (the only major source of which is fossil fuels), and the rest is from new plant-based carbon (the only major source of which is burning plants, and the only major change in that is due to humans).

    So the logic goes as follows: we know the world is warming, we know the warming is caused primarily by changes in the greenhouse effect, and we know the changes in the greenhouse effect are being caused almost exclusively by changes in CO2 and methane concentration, and we know that the change CO2 and methane concentration are being produced almost exclusively by humans. Therefore humans are the primary source of the warming.

    These are not hunches, they are not guesses, they are not just based on humans being here, they are empirically-measured facts. So if you want to dispute global warming you must show which of these facts is wrong, or show where the flaw in the logic is.

  150. @TheBlackCat

    Thanks for your explanations. They are quite clearly written. Hang in there!

  151. While we have been sitting on our haunches studying our climate, it has changed faster than any of the models have predicted and all the while, I am seeing very little useful information about what to do about that change.

    There is some work on that. It’s sort of a hopeless situation, in my view. You can slow down the change, perhaps. CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long time. If you want to halt the increase in the atmospheric concentration, you pretty much have to stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere altogether. This will only happen if we run out of oil. But then there’s coal.

  152. TheBlackCat

    If you want to halt the increase in the atmospheric concentration, you pretty much have to stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere altogether. This will only happen if we run out of oil. But then there’s coal.

    Don’t forget the slash-and-burn tactics being used in rain forests around the world. They are a smaller but still significant source of CO2.

  153. Jason

    I think some of you are confusing two different “pro” global warming camps: the alarmists, who are saying that we are doomed if we don’t do anything immediately, and the ones who are saying “Yes, global warming IS real, mankind IS contributing to it, but we don’t know what the effects will be”.

  154. 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.

    Why do you think there are comments there in all-caps, ending in “!!”, with words like “fudge”?

    Comments are meant to be read by yourself and the rest of your team. Clearly, these comments caution this code is rudimentary, probably temporary, and not meant to be used in final published work. Nor is there any evidence of a graph published in the literature where this artificial correction for the tree-ring divergence issue was applied.

  155. Lonny Eachus

    I, too, am disappointed at Phil’s apparent dismissal of this information as not being worthwhile. After having read much of it, there are some damning documents indeed.

    As for those here who refer to the “overwhelming” amount of science that supports AGW, I note that while they demand valid refutation, most of the time they have themselves refused to cite actual references to this “overwhelming” science. Over time, I have found that when it really comes down to it, most of those people being referred to here as Alarmists eventually fall back to the IPCC reports, which have repeatedly been shown to contain conclusions that are heavily politicized and that are not even supported by the actual scientific papers they rely upon for credibility. (See the letter from Chris Landsea on the subject, clear back in 2005. Note also that Dr. Trenberth has continued to push the idea of warming-driven cyclones even though there is still absolutely no evidence to support that claim… and even though we are actually at a 30-year low in global cyclone energy.)

    So, you “Alarmists” (I use that term only because others have been): other than the largely (and by now pretty thoroughly) discredited IPCC reports, what research can YOU cite? Give us something to actually refute, so that it can be refuted if possible. Simply claiming that the science is “overwhelming” carries no weight. Where is it? Cite it, or shut up.

    The issue at hand here is integrity in science. It is clear by now that intentionally or otherwise, data that might support AGW has been manipulated, improperly “adjusted”, and the actual raw data hidden from peer review. This is grossly unethical and calls some of the fundamental data that AGW is supposed to be based upon into question. What some others have already written here is true: it is the theories behind AGW that must prove themselves, not the other way around. And they have been increasingly failing to do so.

    Being a Skeptic means that I am skeptical of AGW theories, just as I would be skeptical and critical of Anthropogenic Global Cooling theories, were they presented. Some of you have obviously abandoned skepticism in exchange for faith in AGW, and choose to be blind to some of the genuine evidence of serious problems with the theories behind it.

    I have been looking at BOTH sides of the issue, and to be quite honest, AGW, or at least the CO2-based theories behind AGW, simply have not shown to have any actual predictive value so far. None. Neither is it possible to use it to extrapolate today’s situation from the raw data of past years, nor has it shown useful for predicting past years from the data of years before. And that says (practically screams): bad theory. That is how science works. Maybe in the long run we will see some change in that, but so far, as a theory, it has been completely worthless.

    And to the people who keep asking for evidence supporting the “other side” of this argument, I will reprint the link someone else gave above: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/15/reference-450-skeptical-peer-reviewed-papers/

    That is 450 PEER REVIEWED papers that question or refute current AGW theory. Nor were they printed in Women’s Wear Daily: I think sources such as Nature and National Academy of Sciences are fairly reputable.

  156. Anaconda

    The comments are an interesting read of the various positions.

    The bad astronomer didn’t want to get into this because it is so divisive and he wanted to do his part and suppress the story, but ducking the issue was sapping his credibility, thus, he weighed in, but parrotted the party-line.

    Sure, “trick” can be explained away, but, “hide the decline” can not. It is telling that Plait’s post ignores this second part of the e-mail entirely.

  157. Sure, “trick” can be explained away, but, “hide the decline” can not.

    The “hide the decline” part is quite clear, I think. I’ve looked at the data from Briffa et al. (1998). It’s in fact the case that while temperatures measured with thermometers increased considerably starting in the 1970s, temperatures estimated from tree-rings declined a little. This is the decline Phil Jones wanted to “hide” by means of a “trick”. Probably not the best choice of words.

    I’m also quite open to the idea that tree-rings are a poor temperature proxy. The “divergence” issue has helped me arrive at this evaluation, of course. I have other reasons to believe that.

  158. TheBlackCat

    Sure, “trick” can be explained away, but, “hide the decline” can not. It is telling that Plait’s post ignores this second part of the e-mail entirely.

    Not only can it be explained, I and several other people here already have already explained it. There is a well-known and well-publicized (published in Nature) divergence between a small subset of tree ring data and the measured temperatures after 1960. That is what the email was talking about. It is no big secret, no grand conspiracy, it is a well-known (amongst climatologists) problem. There is some bad data. Because the data is bad, people don’t want to use it. This has been discussed repeatedly in many places.

  159. @Joseph and TBC

    I wonder if Anaconda’s engaging in what Orac mentioned today over at Respectful Insolence: “the vindication of all kooks” corollary to crank magnetism. Anaconda usually only comments on astronomy issues, touting EU/PC stuff.

  160. Doug W

    The peer reviews in which I have been a participant, have been conducted anonomously and confidentially. I do not know who the author or other reviewers are and do not communicate directly with them. There is no talk about pressuring the journal or the editors one way or another. Every attempt is made to prevent “self pollenation” among groups of researchers.

    The emails make it clear that peer review in climate science has been conducted at a much lower standard. It is simply unacceptible for a subject which carries so much importance. To defend the current state as business as normal, or a minor fault, is a travesty of science.

  161. doofus

    “Using Clinton’s intern trick” made explaining my late nights at the office a lot easier.

  162. SLC

    Attached is an article from Sundays’ Washington Post about the opening of the Northwest Passage to shipping during the summer for the first time in recorded history of the Western Hemisphere. The shipping companies using the passage don’t need the output of climate models to know that the ice ain’t there during the summer.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/25/AR2009112503413.html

  163. Ken

    RE: “non-event”:

    – Hacking
    – Unauthorized disclosures
    – Collaboration on thwarting Freedom of Information (FOI) requests contrary to law
    – Project manipulation to secure funding, including government funding (i.e. misappropriation of government resources)
    – Manipulating the peer review process, including overt discussion to change it to get the desired results
    – Never mind the allegations, out of context or not, of overt data manipulation

    That’s NOT an “Issue” to those that agree with the scientists involved.

    BUT

    Imagine of Sarah Palin were accused of doing any of the above, would this blogger be equally casual? (the answer is “No”).

    Which goes to show the objectivity involved.

    When the science is important, its important it be done right–relative to ALL measures of acceptability. This clearly did not occur. That IS an issue, whether you agree with the findings or not.

    By the way, M. Mann is being investigated by Penn State regarding some of the allegations (per the Penn release). They wouldn’t be doing that if this was the non-issue alleged on this blog; but no doubt, they actually read enough to determine some indicators of malfeasance were apparent enough to prompt the inquiry.

    But you have to admire Phil for staking a claim so soon, given that the detailed analysis is just beginning–and the vast majority of the documentation with the most substantive content is NOT e-mail correspondence.

  164. ND

    Todd W.

    I’ve read Anaconda’s comments on the blog of an old friend named OilIsMastery and he has made his views on GW quite clear. He has committed more keystrokes to EU/PC it seems.

  165. Anaconda

    Joseph & TheBlackCat:

    Sorry, your attempt to excuse, “hide the decline”, or should I say, “hide the divergence”, explains why Plait did not. The attempted excuse identifies those making the excuse as complicit with the “hiding”.

    Plait maybe a lot of things, a popularizer, self-seeker, and conveyor of conventional thought wrapped in a veneer of “scepticism”, but he is not dumb.

    Your excuse doesn’t pass the smell test, Plait was smart enough to know that.

    And that doesn’t address the specifics about “deleting” documents.

    “Stick a fork in it — it’s done.”

    We all know what that means.

  166. Gary Ansorge

    From what I can see on this blog, The Black Cat,Joseph, and numerous others have done an admirable job of addressing all those supposed issues, yet for some reason, they keep getting brought up and re-hashed. I’m beginning to think the “denialists” are just posting to see their names in print.

    As Phil noted in the beginning,”It’s a non-issue.”

    Enough said.

    GAry 7
    PS. Since when can snakes read?

  167. ND

    Ken,

    “But you have to admire Phil for staking a claim so soon, given that the detailed analysis is just beginning–and the vast majority of the documentation with the most substantive content is NOT e-mail correspondence.”

    Doesn’t this mean it’s too early to say GW is a fraud?

  168. Lonny Eachus

    Here is a quote from Frank J. Tipler on the true significance of “Climategate”. Tipler is professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University. He was the author of my first college physics textbook.

    “The now non-secret data prove what many of us had only strongly suspected – that most of the evidence of global warming was simply made up. That is, not only are the global warming computer models unreliable, the experimental data upon which these models are built are also unreliable. As Lord Monckton has emphasized here at Pajamas Media, this deliberate destruction of data and the making up of data out of whole cloth is the real crime – the real story of Climategate. It is an act of treason against science. It is also an act of treason against humanity, since it has been used to justify an attempt to destroy the world economy.”

    The following, though, is purely for fun: Hide The Decline.

  169. Sorry, your attempt to excuse, “hide the decline”, explains why Plait did not. The attempted excuse identifies those making the excuse as complicit with the “hiding”.

    @Anaconda: Explain what exactly the problem is with the “hide the decline” explanations. It clearly refers to the tree-ring divergence issue.

    Which data is compromised by this? Where? How do you know?

  170. ND

    Joseph,

    This is typical Anaconda response technique. He falls back on rhetoric. He doesn’t know much of anything he talks about.

  171. Anaconda

    Joseph wrote: ” It clearly refers to the tree-ring divergence issue.”

    Exactly.

    The “divergence” discredits the AGW hypothesis and they wanted to hide it.

    That’s easy to understand.

  172. Anders Ehrnberg

    Why have faith in peer reviewed articles. The main purpose for every word in a scientific paper is to support its publication. The reason for the paper is to generate grants and tenure.
    Everything else is secondary. Seen it all in my former occupation. The link shows how important doubt is.
    Anders Eg, former medical researcher.
    http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band139/b139-2.html

  173. Jason

    The label on my tin just says “Skeptic – Seeker of Truth”. I can’t help but feel that this issue has fatally divided and decimated our ranks. My conclusion is that the “denialist” camp have scored a stunning, strategically brilliant PR victory ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit… but at what ultimate cost? There’s no denying that they’re tactically superior – we just have to hope that they’re RIGHT.

  174. The “divergence” discredits the AGW hypothesis and they wanted to hide it.

    That’s easy to understand.

    @Anaconda: That’s your interpretation, and it’s not a a likely or parsimonious one. The divergence, as far as the CRU researchers know, is a problem that exists starting in the 1960s or 1970s. Before that, there’s a pretty good correlation between tree-ring temperatures and real temperatures. It might be caused by something recent, like completely abnormal levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    So: (1) The “divergence” issue was never hidden. It’s a well known issue, discussed in the literature. (2) It doesn’t discredit AGW in the least, even if tree-ring reconstructions were completely invalid; there are several other proxies that can be used to reconstruct temperature historically, plus 150 years of thermometer-based data is informative enough. (3) They didn’t want to “hide” it for any nefarious reason; they simply wanted to correct it so that it more closely matches thermometer-measured temperatures, which obviously would be more accurate.

    Why make a conspiracy out of something that can be explained in a very parsimonious manner?

  175. Some people have a need to believe in conspiracies. There are so many threats in modern life that we have little control over. By fixating on a conspiracy, they hope to regain some measure of control with their secret knowledge.

  176. Lonny Eachus

    @Gary Ansorge (#173):

    Gary, if you would go and actually READ the emails, you will see that beyond any doubt, Jones et al. refused to honor a legal Freedom Of Information Act request for data that they could very clearly and quite easily have supplied. This was publicly funded research, and refusing to honor the FOI request was an illegal act.

    As the requester clearly stated in his requests, the data that is “available online” is incomplete in some respects, and redundant in others. The Freedom Of Information Act request was for a subset of the data that was ACTUALLY USED in the study, and only those involved with the study can supply that. But they flatly refused to do so, and discussed not only their refusal but an intent to erase it rather than supply it. (There is a phrase for that: “suppression of evidence”. There are also other phrases: “failure to comply”, “hiding data”, and “criminal acts”.)

    That is not the behavior of an honest and responsible scientist. Even worse, Jones stated in an email that his reason for not supplying the raw data was that he did not want his study “attacked” by someone with a differing point of view.

    BUT… that’s how science works! You publish an experiment or study — ALONG WITH THE DATA — and allow others to pick it apart. That is fundamental to science and the peer review process. It is EXTREMELY clear, from these emails, that Jones et al. had every intention of suppressing their actual data AND subverting any attempt at genuine peer review.

    This is not about just a couple of unfortunate phrases he used when he may have “technically” meant something else. This is a clear and consistent record of unethical practices. I wrote this before, up above, and I will do so again: this is not about a mere mis-statement or two, what this is really about is ethics in science. Important science.

    BlackCat and Joseph have not addressed that issue, nor can they… it is perfectly clear in the record. I suggest you go read it.

  177. TheBlackCat

    Gary, if you would go and actually READ the emails, you will see that beyond any doubt, Jones et al. refused to honor a legal Freedom Of Information Act request for data that they could very clearly and quite easily have supplied.

    Have you not been paying attention to what anyone has been saying? The data that they were legally allowed to release is online and has been for years. There is a fair amount of data, however, that they are not legally allowed to release because it is owned by groups that want to sell it. Why is that so hard to understand?

  178. @Lonny: The email where Phil Jones suggests that some emails should be deleted (and he obviously did not delete his own email) does sound like an attempt to circumvent FOIA. If that was illegal, I’m guessing the relevant authorities will get involved.

    With that said, it should also be pointed out that some FOIA requests can be overwhelming and they can be designed to harass and obstruct work. I understand the CRU FOIA requests were very difficult to comply with. Additionally, there is proprietary information which cannot be released via FOIA.

  179. Lonny Eachus

    @The BlackCat (#185):

    Did you not read what I wrote? Quote: “As the requester clearly stated in his requests, the data that is “available online” is incomplete in some respects, and redundant in others. The Freedom Of Information Act request was for a subset of the data that was ACTUALLY USED in the study, and only those involved with the study can supply that.”

    The request for information was for the data that was actually used. Yes, the raw data was available, even then. But the raw data alone, in the way it is presented, is completely useless. Only the data that was actually used in the study and similarly organized was what was being requested.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

  180. gss_000

    “BUT… that’s how science works! You publish an experiment or study — ALONG WITH THE DATA — and allow others to pick it apart. ”

    Wrong. You do allow others to pick it apart, but no one publishes their data. Have you actually ever been involved in writing a scientific paper? The amount of information that would entail would be insane. I’ve actually worked on several papers in different fields with 100% ethical scientists, and never has all of the data been published along with the study. That’s insane. No field that I know of does that.

  181. Lonny Eachus

    @Joseph (#187):

    No, Joseph, I am not referring to that. Why don’t you people go and actually READ the emails, and then maybe you would know what you were talking about?

    I am talking about an actual, clearly stated, repeated refusal to honor a genuine, clearly stated, and repeated Freedom Of Information Request that was legally presented.

    I am aware that some requests could be overwhelming. But — as you would know if you had actually read these things — that should not have been the case here. A simple script to pull data from the database (which they admittedly had at the time) should have satisfied the request. I can write such a script in a few minutes.

  182. Lonny Eachus

    @gs_000 (#189):

    I did not mean to say that the raw data must be published along with the paper. However, it is customary to supply it to reviewers when asked, AND, in this case, there was a legal Freedom of Information request in place. Remember, this was publicly funded research, and according to UK law, they were legally required to supply that data.

  183. Wrong. You do allow others to pick it apart, but no one publishes their data. Have you actually ever been involved in writing a scientific paper?

    That’s true. In climate science you’ll find a lot of raw data that anyone can try to pick apart – much more than in any other field of science.

  184. Why don’t you people go and actually READ the emails, and then maybe you would know what you were talking about?

    If you don’t point out the exact email you’re referring to, how should we know which one it is? There are hundreds of emails in the archive.

  185. TheBlackCat

    The request for information was for the data that was actually used. Yes, the raw data was available, even then. But the raw data alone, in the way it is presented, is completely useless. Only the data that was actually used in the study and similarly organized was what was being requested.

    First of all, that doesn’t help with data that they were not allowed to release.

    Secondly, no, that is not a scientist’s job. When using publicly-available databases like that scientists say what the data they used was, and they say how they processed that data. If someone wants to try to replicate the results, it is the responsibility of that person to get the raw data and reproduce the processing done on it. If there were changes done to the data that were not mentioned in the paper then that is a problem that should be rectified by having them fix the paper. But if someone is too lazy to replicate the results or too ignorant to follow the paper that is their problem, it is not the scientist’s responsibility to do it for them.

    In fact doing so is a waste of time for everyone, the best way to find flaws is to independently replicate the methodology and see if you get the same results. You don’t do the same analysis on the same data because you will get the same results (by definition). You do your own implementation of the methodology on your selection of the data to see if you get the same results. If you do, good, if not then one of you screwed up. The only times I could imagine someone sharing data like that is when someone else wants to do a different analysis, and I do not recall hearing of such a situation actually occurring.

  186. Anaconda

    Joseph wrote: “The ‘divergence’ issue was never hidden. It’s a well known issue, discussed in the literature.”

    Fine, then there is no reason to “hide the decline” or discuss hiding the “decline”, now is there?

    Joseph wrote: “They didn’t want to ‘hide’ it for any nefarious reason; they simply wanted to correct it so that it more closely matches thermometer-measured temperatures, which obviously would be more accurate.”

    Because to not correct it would suggest the tree ring data was unreliable — yes, that same tree ring data that relied on 12 trees and when a larger sample of 34 trees did not support the 12 tree data that 34 tree sample was ignored.

    Joseph, you are only digging a deeper hole. Number one rule when digging a hole for yourself — stop digging.

    Lonny Eachus: It is easy to understand for those not committed to AGW. For those committed to AGW it is impossible to understand because they are in denial.

  187. Ian

    It’s unfortuante that Phil did not actually dig in before spouting off.

    If so many other researchers relied on CRU data for their work and that data is now suspect due to their insistance on opaque methods then someone else needs to step in and redo the work.

    Many of these emails are prety damning. Read them.

    Since their work would be considered important and having a direct impact on global envirnmental policy (and therefor the economy), the fact that the code and the data is not avaiable is just wrong. They are essentially pulling the Ghostbusters Defense: “don’t mess with us, we’re scientists.”

    However, the FOIA requests against them were just out of hand. 50 a week in some cases. GW skeptics were using FOIA requests as a harassment tool and AFAIK group them in with the folks who continuously spam the USAF and CIA for UFO documents.

  188. gss_000

    @164. Lonny Eachus

    Well on your list of papers:
    “Nor were they printed in Women’s Wear Daily”

    Actually, many of them are close. A lot of them cite the journal Energy & Environment, a journal that is not even listed in the Institute for Scientific Information’s indexing service. Instead it’s listed as a trade journal by Scopus. The reason why people don’t list papers is there are so many of them. Check out any AGU publications, Nature, Science, etc and you’ll find a lot more papers quickly in actual journals. So before you start trumpeting your sources, do some research on what your citing.

  189. I for one salute the courage of our host Phil to post his opinion and then duck the responses for a long, long, long, long time.

    It’s the kind of passive aggressive engaged non-engagement I’ve noticed here several times before.

    Nothing like being so wrong you’re not even wrong to strike a man dumb. Especially a man of “science!”

  190. James Hudnall

    We’re going to have to push all the UN IPCC frauds and other AGW shills off on an ice floe during the upcoming nature-caused cooling period. They’ve outlived their usefulness, besides Obama care won’t cover the old ones anyway.

  191. TJA

    “In other words, these denialist claims are largely ad hominems,”

    Ouch, my irony detector just blew out from an overload!

  192. Wes Bowie

    Spoken like a true hypocrite.

  193. Lonny Eachus

    @Josep[h (#193):

    That still would not do much good since you hadn’t read any of them. Give me a break.

    @Ian:

    They may have felt overwhelmed, but that is still not the point. If the law is so onerous, then the law needs to be changed. That does not justify a flat refusal to comply with a request that was in fact reasonsable.

    For those who are interested in that issue, let me make it clear: here are excerpts from a couple of the emails to which I refer. Note that these were sent BEFORE they had received ANY Freedom of Information requests:

    [Phil Jones to Tom Wigley, approx. 01/21/2005]:

    … As for FOIA Sarah isn’t technically employed by UEA and she will likely be paid by Manchester Metropolitan University. I wouldn’t worry about the code. If FOIA does ever get used by anyone, there is also IPR to consider as well. Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any requests onto the person at UEA who has been given a post to deal with them.
    Cheers
    Phil
    ——–

    Now, there is nothing really damning in this particular email, except a stated intent to deliberately avoid compliance with the spirit of the FOIA. The statement that he intends to “hide behind” agreements could just be an unfortunate choice of words. But I should note that only an estimated 2% of their data was covered by the described agreements. And it gets worse:

    [Phil Jones to Michael Mann, 09:41 am, 02/02/2005]:

    Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.

    We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !
    ——–

    This is pretty clear. Phil Jones clearly states that he is willing to delete his raw data before supplying it to anyone in response to an FOI request. And this is BEFORE they had ever received any FOI requests.

    Is there anything unclear about that? And just to show that it is not a fluke, here is another email this time to Mann, and he copies to Bradly and Hughes (i.e., the “hockey stick” guys).

    [Phil Jones to Michael Mann]:

    Subject: Fwd: CCNet: PRESSURE GROWING ON CONTROVERSIAL RESEARCHER TO DISCLOSE SECRET DATA
    Date: Mon Feb 21 16:28:32 2005
    Cc: “raymond s. bradley”, “Malcolm Hughes”

    Mike, Ray and Malcolm,

    Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !
    Cheers
    Phil
    PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !
    ——–

    There are more, I could go on, but I think the point is made. There is clear and admitted intent to break the law, BEFORE any FOI requests had yet been received.

    @gss_ooo (#197):

    I was not “trumpeting my sources”. I mentioned that some of them appeared in Nature or were presented to the National Academy of Sciences. Some were. So what’s your point? Should I compare the percentage of these that have appeared in journals that are not listed by the Institute for Scientific Information’s indexing service, as compared to the percentage of pro-AGW articles that also have not? I do not know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the pro-AGW side would lose on that one.

    I am aware that pro-AGW papers are easy to find. I have read a great many. But my point, which I thought I made clear, was that almost nobody on the pro-AGW side of this discussion has been citing anything at all, yet they are demanding citations from people on the other side. That is hypocritical. I repeat: statements along the lines of “the science is overwhelming”, without any citations, carry no weight in a logical debate.

  194. Steve Huntwork

    Phil;

    If this is your concept of data quality control, then no wonder nobody has actually identified “Dark Matter” in a physics lab. Does “Dark Matter” only exist in PlayStation computer software?

    Perhaps it is time to put astronomy under the microscope also.

    GIGO ASTRONOMY!

    Yes Phil, “CimateGate” will have serious implications for all research projects. Please prepare yourself and insure that your raw data and analysis software is available for inspection.

    Or, are you a “REAL” scientist and nobody is allowed to see your raw data and software?

  195. Here’s AGW SUPPORTER AND TRUE BELIEVER Clive Crook at the Atlantic giving those “non-event” emails a second look: “In my previous post on Climategate I blithely said that nothing in the climate science email dump surprised me much. Having waded more deeply over the weekend I take that back.

    The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu [subscription required]. It goes to the core of that process.”

    http://clivecrook.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/11/more_on_climategate.php

  196. Gary Ansorge

    185. Lonny:
    So you couldn’t get the data? What data? Which Data? Are you going to pay for it? You know the Freedom of Info Act applies to unowned data, right? Not data that is OWNED by someone.

    Sheesh! I feel like I’m talking to Bozzo the clown.

    201. Steve. Oh hell, let’s just repeal the law of gravity while we’re at it, then we can jump off a cliff and flap our arms real hard and fly. After all, it’s based on 400 year old RAW DATA. Must be out of date by now and I’m pretty sure it’s in the public domain.

    You go first!

    Gary 7

  197. Steve Huntwork

    202. Gary:

    Other than in computer software, where has “dark matter” actually been observed? Measured in a physics lab, or actually photographed? How was this “dark matter” quantified?

    With “ClimateGate”, the problem of “REAL” scientists refusing to release their raw data or software has become rather obvious to anyone that actually looked. This has been known for a long time now, but finally, it has become well documented.

    As for the law of gravity, it has been measured rather well here on Earth. If you and I were to jump off of a cliff, no “dark matter” would reduce our rate of fall!

  198. @Lonny: I’ll grant that Phil Jones apparently tends to not choose words carefully and he just says stuff. He’s the “hide the decline” guy, when in fact what he was referring to was correcting the tree-ring divergence. He’s the “we should delete these emails” guy. Now you’re saying he’s also the guy who says he can “hide behind” data protection laws to avoid having to release data due to FOI requests.

    I have not seen this type of behavior from any of the other researchers at CRU, it should be noted. It’s possible Phil Jones is acting in ways that aren’t kosher or even legal. I said possible, not probable. We should give him the benefit of the doubt, I think. It’s also possible he just tends to say stuff that can be easily misinterpreted.

  199. Lonny Eachus

    @Gary Ansorge (#202):

    Gary, you should know better. Did you actually read the above? Did you actually read any of the emails, or research the background of the situation? You can insult me all you like, but the fact is that you have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe you should bother to find out, before going around insulting people.

    The data in question was from weather stations around the world. Only (as I mentioned) about 2% of it was “private” data that did not come from public sources. THAT data would indeed have been exempt from FOI, but not the other 98%.

    Have fun at the circus. Do you go there often?

  200. Chip

    Scott B Says: “Do scientists studying cosmetology have a document like this to make sure information is disseminated in a way to make sure people believe it? Of course not.”

    Its not a “document,” it’s a bunch of emails with no actual relevance. But in terms of “cosmetology,” there are a few scientists that have looked a bit windblown nevertheless the Einstein wild hair look really belongs to Einstein or Dirac and most modern scientists don’t want to be seen as coiffure copycats, though they admire the mathematical “figures” of those famous folks.

    Just in case you were referring to “cosmology” (instead of “cosmetology”) – yes, scientists do have papers to make sure information is disseminated. The papers go by names like “theory,” “research” or “proof,” appear in journals and are reviewed and published.

    What’s revealed in the course of this thread is that every current argument against the evidence of climate change is ultimately political in motivation and no matter how calm and rational some deniers try to sound, the irrationals, name-callers and trolls are also on their side of the aisle.

  201. Gary Ansorge

    Hey Phil. As of right now, this post has generated about 126 (screen pages) at 257 words/page. That’s 32,382 words. Do you think it will make it to book length? I think I’ll save this page so I can reference it whenever I need a character in one of my stories.There’s some really interesting counter point going on, the kind we like to include in adversarial relations in a story.

    Thanks,

    Gary 7

  202. Lonny Eachus

    @Joseph (#208):

    I agree that things like “hide the decline” and “hide behind” could easily be misinterpreted. But his other statements as quoted above are less subject to misunderstanding. And then, to go on and actually refuse an FOI request that was quite reasonable and should have been ridiculously easy to supply (it asked only for identification of the stations included in the data that was actually used) also does not seem subject to very much interpretation.

    I do understand that it is possible to be buried in things like FOI requests that are specious and/or unreasonable. But a low-paid database technician should be able to handle 100 requests like that per week with one hand tied behind his/her back. I know that I could, and I’m not even a database specialist.

  203. LukeL

    The AGW alarmists have said for years that the coasts would flood, cities would be under water, we could grow oranges in Wisconsin, deserts would expand to the Mississippi etc.

    The thing is these things have no happened, we can no better predict tomorrows weather let alone 50 years from now. The 80s and 90s we had scorching hear in the Midwest in this decade we have had summers where Milwaukee has not scene a day above 90. In 07 we had 100 inches of snow in Milwaukee, others years barely 36 inches.

    While I believe the data shows AGW is not happening anything we can do to reduce pollution is great. Getting rid of coal and going to natural gas and nuclear power is awesome and should be done, cleaning up rivers and landfills as well. However we must not do this at cost to human life. People in Africa, India, and rural China and other places cannot afford to live green as they are barely able to survive as is.

    Also any data and research will always have some bias if a financial or political interest is involved. Why is it that drug companies always have favorable studies for their drug, or government funded studies always show the billions they spend on programs is beneficial? Because they want to make more money and keep their job.

  204. Steve Huntwork

    210. Chip:

    I got involved in the climate debate a few years ago for a very simple reason: Something was seriously wrong with the data!

    My formal education is in meteorology, and some of the historical data around the world over the last 30 years have been measured by myself. I have personally recorded temperature readings in Germany, Japan, America and Iraq, to name a few.

    When I see that some of my own personally recorded weather measurements have been destorted and manipulated by someone, for the purpose of supporting their own theories, I tend to get rather upset.

    Damit, I took those measurements very carefully and how dare GISS or CRU alter them in the historical archives. Before they alter my measurements, they damn well better prove that I did something wrong!

    How specific do I need to be, before people start to realize that our official weather archives have been “manipulated” in ways that are not exactly scientific?

    Yes, this is rather personal….

  205. ND

    Lonny Eachus,

    I’m not familiar at all about the exact steps taken from an FOI reqeust to execution but I would think each request would have to go through CRU’s legal department, no? I doubt low-paid db technician would be allowed to decide on their own which data is is legally legit to be made free. I’m going to guess that it’s not just about running a script but tying up a legal department (time and money).

  206. @Gary 7

    There’s some really interesting counter point going on, the kind we like to include in adversarial relations in a story.

    I agree. I believe that once some people reach a certain point of fervency in a belief, they can no longer leave a discussion without having the last word. This applies to all sides of this argument. For some, not having the last word is tantamount to admitting defeat. I see this in forums all over the place.

  207. ND

    Oroboros,

    Yes, the urge to rub into someone’s face on how wrong they are is a deep down human trait shared by all and hard to grow out of. And the internet makes is all the more easier :)

  208. John

    “Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.”

    It doesn’t work like that Phil. We don’t have to prove AGW isn’t happening, we’ve just found out that the existing evidence for AGW has been seriously manipulated. The onus is now on the believers to prove a positive, and given that we’ve been lied to, that’s going to be an uphill struggle. I fail to understand your position, if this were any other area of science you’d be calling bullsh*t without hesitation.

    My fortran is a little rusty, but the comments in the code speak for themselves – the data was incomplete, duplicated and didn’t yield the graph they so badly wanted, thus the data had to be altered.

    Be a skeptic and remember – There’s probably no such thing as anthropogenic global warming, now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

  209. steve

    One of the more illuminating scientist-to-scientist exchanges in the emails

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/when-results-go-bad/

  210. Lonny Eachus

    @ND (#216):

    It is pretty clear that a responsible legal department would determine that the “private” data could not be released, but that the public data could (in accordance with UK FOI law). Even so, it need only be a one-time thing. It would be ridiculous to expect (or require) that to happen for every request. And so the legal department tells the technician: “Omit any records where the source is identified as ‘this’ or ‘that’. Include everything else.” In a case like this, where we are talking about relatively simple temperature data and locations, and it is very clearly known which sources are private and which are not, it is a very simple task.

    So, I could see legal getting involved in the first instance. There is no logical reason that they would need to afterward.

    Remember, we are talking about a publicly funded university, and mostly (98% or so) data gathered by publicly funded means. And if the resulting database is designed even halfway competently, it is trivial to tell which is which.

  211. ND

    Diane Rehm covers the emails and the Copenhagen conference (November 30)

    wamu.org/programs/dr/

  212. Grimbold

    The AGW deniers have been challenged to present scientific research that demonstrates AGW is false. They haven’t, and they can’t.

    The AGW deniers have been challenged to explain exactly WHY a vast cabal of scientists would be trying to fabricate the whole climate change thing. They haven’t, and they can’t.

    What the AGW deniers HAVE done is steal private emails and deliberately misinterpret them to provide the “smoking gun” that intellectually honest work can’t.

  213. Daniel J. Andrews

    So how has AGW been seriously manipulated? Which studies have been affected? Which journal articles are now wrong? If they are wrong, what bearing do they have on the other 30,000 plus papers in the peer-reviewed journals. How do manipulated temp records alter proxy records? Or glacier retreats? Or species migration? Or permafrost melting? Or Arctic ice decline? Or over 25,000broadscale biological indicators such as flower bloom, peak water flow from glaciers, all indicating the planet has warmed (www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06937.html).

    Assuming we have 19 scientists in a conspiracy, how does their bad behaviour affect the many thousands more in countries around the world who do their own research, number crunching, analysis, studies? [It is a conspiracy. They meet in Red Square on Tuesdays. It’s potluck. Bring something].

    Exactly where is this data altered? If it was altered, show where it was then used in published studies. Same with models. It is one thing to play around with models while fixing them, testing them, updating them. You need to show how results from these rigged models were published and demonstrate they used rigged models rather than solid models. And then even if they did, how does that affect the other mountains of data (as above) since warming is measured/seen in tens of thousands of other ways not reliant on temps or models.

    Taking a quick glance through the comments, I see many comments based on complete ignorance of what has happened. It is obvious many of you have not even looked at the explanations, the background and the context of the emails. You know where to look for answers, but you’re just rejecting them a priori because they contradict your worldview. You’re just repeating what you’ve read at some politically motivated ideologue’s site and haven’t applied any critical thinking skills.

    Many here (most?) are also sadly lacking in even the basics of the underlying principles of climate science (and physics), and it seems many don’t even understand how science operates. If you are unable to understand the absolute basics and apparently aren’t even making an effort to understand the basics, then you should be quiet and stop spreading so much disinformation, misunderstanding, and outright lies (not just about the emails, but the long debunked myths that keep recirculating).

    Ignoring the mountains of evidence and using out-of-context emails and facts, and complete lies (e.g. warming stopped in 1998, its the sun, glaciers are not retreating etc) to support your position is not skepticism.

    If you want to learn the basics, see Dr. David Archer’s introductory climate lectures online (geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/lectures.html). Buy or borrow his textbook (about 70 dollars) for more details. If you’re not willing to put the effort into learning the science for yourself then why are you wasting your and others time commenting about it? Even learning the basics will make you aware of how much nonsense WUWT and similar blogs spew forth.

    Edit: I see someone has posted a link to an email at WUWT. Illuminating? Really? How? What does it change? Maybe illuminating in that it once again demonstrates WUWT posts silliness. For goodness sakes, go read the whole email yourself, and read the other emails to determine context. You might also want to look at the history behind the email, and read Trenberth’s paper too. That’ll put other emails into context too. The paper is linked in many places…like RealClimate.org…you don’t need to read the “evil” scientists website, just use it to locate Trenberth’s paper. Good luck.

  214. Rambling Wreck

    Phil, looks like you have gone over to the Dark Side. At one point, thought you were a scientist!

  215. Lonny Eachus

    @Daniel J. Andrews (#223):

    Maybe you should take more than just a “quick glance” through the comments. There is a lot of very educational material to be had. While it is true that some comments are based on complete ignorance, you should try to be careful that your own are not among them.

    “Which studies have been affected? Which journal articles are now wrong?” See my own comments about the emails between Phil Jones and other scientists. Even better, follow the links supplied by others in these comments, and read for yourself how the data has been corrupted.

    To give one very brief answer (among many others), it appears now that the entire dataset used by many scientists who reported for the IPCC (from the CRU, known technically as HadCRUT3), was manipulated and distorted. A great many papers that relied on CRU data will probably now have to be withdrawn and redone, if they want any credibility. Considering the number of man-years that have now been devoted to analysis of this “data”, my guess is that many will simply withdraw, rather than trying to re-establish credibility where it may no longer be possible.

    For yet another very brief example, but which illustrates the same weakness and distortion of data, see the link given in the comment just above (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/when-results-go-bad/). It is very educational. And in fact, you should have done so before bursting in here and chiming in, before you really knew what is being discussed. That is rather bad form.

  216. It all reeks of absolute corruption. If you can’t smell it you have no nose.

  217. Steve Huntwork

    For me, this is not some theory about abuse of data, but something I was personally involved with.

    Task:

    Locate the RAW data from White Sands Missile Range between 1978 and 1994. Compare what was recorded in the military files with the GISS and CRU historical archives. You will find then under the U.S. Army’s Atmospheric Sciences Libratory, which has a very long history of quality data.

    With military weather records, all observations had to be submitted the following day to the “quality control” team before they could be submitted as official weather records. God help anyone that made the most minor error in their weather records, because it would be caught the next day.

    Now, compare those historical military weather records with what can obtained from the GISS and CRU databases.

    Any difference?

    This issue has always been about QUALITY CONTROL!

  218. “Dealing with the appearance of wholesale chaos is actually quite easy if you are willing to cut a few corners:

    1. Postulate a larger, controlling force.
    2. Claim dominion over it.
    3. Profit.

    This is, of course, religion in a nutshell. The universe is not chaotic, only complex owing to the grandeur (and thus incomprehensibility- and unexplainability) of its deity creator. Oh, and by the way, you can make him do what you like if you just ask the right way and with the proper repetition and volume. I’ll show you how… for a nominal fee.

    Nietzsche was wrong. God is not dead. We are all god now.1 If somehow climate change is primarily man-made, it must be primarily man-controlled and ergo can be man-prevented. How glorious for the species! And how convenient for a few wise experts who sounded the alarm- and just in time too.”

    http://www.finemrespice.com/node/71

  219. “On Positive Feedback

    Name three positive feedback systems in nature. Get back to me on that when you’re done.”

    http://www.finemrespice.com/node/71

  220. TheBlackCat

    Way back in post 158, about 9 hours ago, I gave a brief overview of some of the evidence and logic behind global warming. So far not a single person who denies global warming has even acknowledged that comment’s existence, not to mention attempted to address it. It seems to me to be a fairly air-tight case. If you disagree, I ask once again to point out exactly where the flaw in my analysis is, and exactly how you can explain the observed data without involving AGW.

  221. Steve Huntwork

    226: BlackCat:

    “So the logic goes as follows: we know the world is warming, we know the warming is caused primarily by changes in the greenhouse effect, and we know the changes in the greenhouse effect are being caused almost exclusively by changes in CO2 and methane concentration, and we know that the change CO2 and methane concentration are being produced almost exclusively by humans. Therefore humans are the primary source of the warming.”

    I wanted to reply to your question, but could not find a single factual statement. Actually, you have me rather stumped.

    What of your list of subjects, is actually known?

  222. TheBlackCat

    @ Steve: I don’t understand your question, as I explained in my comment all of those things are known. You quoted the summary paragraph, but in the preceding 4 paragraphs of the comment I explain how we know all of those things. Which of those things do you disagree that we know, and on what grounds do you say that?

  223. Lonny Eachus

    @TheBlackCat (#227, #229)

    You don’t understand his question because of your own assumptions. But maybe I can help: to start with, this whole discussion has NOTHING to do with whether the globe is trending warmer (we all know that), nor even, really, when it all boils down to it, is it about whether AGW is real.

    What this whole discussion is about, is whether certain people who are central to the whole AGW theory and argument manipulated or even fudged data, and/or tried to suppress data or dissent. And by now, the overwhelming evidence says “Yes” to all three.

    So trying to “prove” whether AGW is fact or not right now is rather a moot point. First we have to obtain some unbiased data. Until we do, you can argue until blue in the face, and it means nothing.

  224. Steve Huntwork

    228. BlackCat:

    That is perhaps the problem. Not a single item that you listed is actually KNOWN!

    There are theories and computer models, but your list is definatly not known.

    Let me give you a simple example:

    “We know that the change in CO2 and methane concentration are being produced almost exclusively by humans.”

    When you look at the historical CO2 records, have you noticed a little qualification that says: “Seasonally Adjusted Data?”

    Do you know why the CO2 records must be adjusted for the natural biological production of CO2 each year, and why? And if you do understand the huge amount of CO2 produced by vegitation each year, how could you classify the human contribution as being “almost exclusively?”

    Seriously, you have me rather stumped…

  225. Steve Huntwork

    After 30 years, I am rather “climate neutral” and only curious.

    I only get upset, when my data is abused because of horrible quality control standards. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    Get this data under some control (ask the military, if the “REAL” scientists do not know how) and THEN I will listen to this debate.

  226. Bruce the Canuck

    >And by now, the overwhelming evidence says “Yes” to all three…

    No, it doesn’t. You started with a presumption of guilt, and in a feverish hunt, that’s what you believe you’ve found.

    But the larger world has looked at the same evidence, and does not agree.

    >I only get upset, when my data is abused because of horrible QUALITY CONTROL!

    My own primary take-away from this fluffed up “scandal” is that the CRU is underfunded and undermanaged vs the importance of the work it does. Certainly the “Harry” document speaks strongly to underfunding.

  227. TheBlackCat

    Do you know why the CO2 records must be adjusted for the natural biological production of CO2 each year, and why? And if you do understand the huge amount of CO2 produced by vegitation each year, how could you classify the human contribution as being “almost exclusively?”

    Seriously, you have me rather stumped…

    If you read my post more carefully, you would have seen that the issue is about the change in CO2 levels. First, the balance of CO2 being produced and being consumed was basically equal before humans came on the scene. Yes, plants produced a lot of CO2, but they also used a lot. Volcanoes produced CO2, but subduction zones consumed it. All in all the CO2 levels have been fairly consistent for a long time (compared to recent changes). The problem occurs is when you upset that balance, when you put a lot more CO2 into the atmosphere than is being removed. That is when CO2 level increase. It is the difference between the amount of CO2 being put into the atmosphere and the amount being taken out that is making a difference, not the absolute amount being put in.

    Imagine a tank of water with a big hole in it. This hole is capable of removing 1000 gallons of water a minute. You divert a stream to put in 1000 gallons of water a minute. The water level will state constant because the rate at which water enters is the same as the rate at which water leaves. Now let’s say you turn on a water hose that puts in an additional 1 gallon of water a minute. This is tiny compared to the amount of water you were putting in before, but the tank will still overflow because you are now putting in more water than the tank can remove, resulting in an increase in water level over time.

    That is, more or less, what is happening to the atmosphere. There has been a huge, measured increased in CO2 over the last century. That is because we are now putting in much more CO2 than the system can remove, which was not the case before. It is not quite so simple because the ways that CO2 are removed were not completely exhausted yet, so a fair amount of the CO2 we had been dumping was absorbed instead of staying in the atmosphere. Indications are that these are running out, in fact they may already be out.

    Second, you completely ignored the issue with isotope concentrations. As I explained, CO2 produced by plants would not be deficient in carbon 14, but the CO2 we are seeing is. How do you explain that?

  228. Tash Corblain

    Actually, Phil, scientists sometimes do use the word “trick” to refer to something deceitful, just like everyone else. You aren’t seriously suggesting the fraternity of scientists is a flawless priesthood, are you? I don’t know yet what to conclude from those emails and documents, but there was at least enough ugliness in there to prove to me that the men involved fall well short of sainthood and easily meet the criteria for at least questioning their ethics.

    Phil, when someone does not agree with your conclusions, why must you resort to name calling? Calling those that disagree with you a “denialist” is juvenile and not compatible with claiming to be a man of science. Would it sit right with you if your opponents refer to you as a “promotionalist”? I don’t think so. You know damn well that your use of “denialist” is meant to be perjorative, to cast your opponents as irrational and ignorant, and to imply that those on your side are somehow superior. I’m not knowledgeable enough to be certain which side to believe. What I do know is that I should probably disregard anyone in a debate that resorts to name calling, innuendo, or personal attacks, on either side of the argument. The AGW argument is overwhelmed by people like that on both sides. And yes, there has been some seriously bad science done on both sides.

    “Bottom line? Yawn. Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk”. Would this be an example of civility and respect for one’s opponents or a dismissive raising of the middle finger? That would be a rhetorical question.

  229. The problem occurs is when you upset that balance, when you put a lot more CO2 into the atmosphere than is being removed.

    Exactly. As I see it, a lot of the oil and coal that has been sequestered in ancient times came from a much hotter world. We’ve been systemically extracting and processing it, 24x7x365 for what, hundreds of years now? It becomes hard to deny what you see with your own eyes. The brown cloud hanging over my city is not natural and is symptomatic of a much larger series of changes we’ve wrought. Humans are screwing up the earth in any number of ways, and to what degree the atmosphere is being impacted is the only real debate here.

    We’ve become a major new source of CO2 emissions on a permanent basis. That’s without figuring in the effects of so many other factors, such as how human development alters albedo. That’s without figuring in how deforestation and ocean acidification change our CO2 sinks. That is without figuring in methane released from ranching.

    Obviously some of our activities have counteracted others. We’ve done some reforestation. We’ve probably increased albedo in some places. But in the big picture I believe that we’ve done a lot more harm than good to the balance of our home planet, and if we like it habitable, the first course of business is to change how we produce, store and consume energy.

    I side with the Rocky Mountain Institute because they are focused on the business cases for sustainability. If it doesn’t make a profit, it won’t be adopted. Rather than complain about how evil companies like WalMART are, RMI views them as partners and helps improves how they use energy.

  230. Steve Huntwork

    One of the fun things about working at White Sands Missile Range, was working with some outstanding scientists. This was also the location of the first Atomic bomb at Trinity site.

    The half-life of radioactive decay is very precise measurement, if you know the original concentration and isotope ratios. Unfortunately, as most archaeologists have learned, the precise dating of an artifact depends upon knowing the exact carbon isotope ratio when the organic item was created. That is a rather fascinating subject of study in itself, because the carbon isotope ratio has been rather variable though history. Some of the most impressive studies that I have seen, were in the calibration of the carbon isotope ratios at a given date in history.

    Now, since ALL forms of carbon on Earth will have different combinations of isotope ratios, I never could understand this argument, without knowing the date of the object being tested. There is a reason why all C14 measuring instruments must be manufactured from metal forged prior to 1945.

    For that same reason, the life-time of weapon created C14 carbon spikes during the atomic bomb testing years, demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 is rapidly absorbed by the oceans.

  231. Lonny Eachus

    @Bruce the Canuck (#237):

    Quote: “You started with a presumption of guilt, and in a feverish hunt, that’s what you believe you’ve found.”

    Really? On what do you base this statement? Evidence, please.

    First, I did not start with a “presumption of guilt”. In fact, I had long assumed (and you know what that word means) that the dataset being used to support the AGW arguments was sound. My arguments against AGW have always been of the skeptical variety: show me.

    Well, I have been shown extremely good evidence now that this data is, in fact, not reliable.

    I base this solely on (what are now public) statements made by Phil Jones in his correspondence with others.

    One simply does not destroy one’s scientific data rather than cough it up to investigators. This is not a “Fifth Amendment” issue, especially considering that this was publicly funded research. That is nothing more than a tacit admission of guilt. That simply isn’t done… when it has been, it was ALWAYS because of dishonesty on the part of the experimenter. The last time I am aware of that an influential scientist refused to reveal his raw data was in the Korean clone scandal, which was also found to involve fudged data.

    Add that to their other actions: demonstrable attempts to unduly influence the content of peer-reviewed journals, etc. and what you get is, in the words of one scientist, “… not a smoking gun, but a mushroom cloud.”

    Being stressed and underfunded is one thing. Deliberately manipulated, BAD science is quite another. And the evidence truly does point to the latter.

    @TheBlackCat:

    As Steve Huntwork states, you are still wrong. For one thing, while it was admittedly very long ago, CO2 levels have been anything but constant. There have been times in the past when it was hugely higher than it is now, and yet macro-sized animals were still roaming the planet. Yes, I mean free CO2, in the atmosphere, not “absorbed” or “sequestered” by water, plants, or anything else. This is very clear in the geological and ice core records.

    Further, if a significant component of the CO2 being emitted is from our burning of coal, there would be plenty of Carbon 14 in the samples. If the CO2 in the atmosphere is anomalously low on Carbon 14, that would mean that coal emissions are somehow getting sequestered, while other emissions are not. Can you explain this?

    I think you need to read about the subject just a little bit more and get your facts straight.

  232. Steve Huntwork

    “There has been a huge, measured increased in CO2 over the last century.”

    Ok, this comment should be deleted…

    Do you fully understand the difference between 0.0280 and 0.0380 percent of the atmosphere?

    That is like some “dude” masturbating in an olypic size swimming pool, and having some “chick” claiming that she got pregnant because she was on the other side of the pool on the same day.

    Possible, but I would demand a DNA test!

  233. Bruce the Canuck

    >One simply does not destroy one’s scientific data rather than cough it up to investigators…

    The email in question was about deleting emails – here, yes, extremely unprofessional, and unwise. However, note that the email about deleting emails…still exists. There is in fact no evidence as of yet that Jones deleted anything.

    >Add that to their other actions: demonstrable attempts to unduly influence the content of peer-reviewed journals, etc…

    That issue is old news, the papers in question were outragously bad (hence the hotheaded emails), yet they did get published. Several people resigned in protest of their poor quality and what they believed was rigging of the peer review system in favour of the skeptics

    >For one thing, while it was admittedly very long ago, CO2 levels have been anything but constant. There have been times in the past when it was hugely higher than it is now, and yet macro-sized animals were still roaming the planet…

    Yes, and the climate was much more variable long ago. That will not be a good transition to go through. That we now have agriculture and a civilization is due to the “holocene thermal optima”, as it has been termed. The last 10k years or so are a minor miracle of climate stability. The previous climate instability was probably a major driver of our evolution – and not in a fun way. Via population bottlenecks, which our genome has evidence of.

    >Do you fully understand the difference between 0.0280 and 0.0380 percent of the atmosphere?

    Sounds like a 35% increase in an important trace gas to me. Or do you have trouble with basic math?

    >Carbon 14 in the samples. …Can you explain this?

    Honestly, no – I’m not a scientific expert on the topic! And neither are you, nor any of the other posters on this forum. Likewise, we are not really qualified to decipher the technical language in the emails, or judge their work as a whole. At this point letting some time pass for the actual science community to have a detailed look would be helpful.

    If you’re not interested in that process, then I’m sorry, but ironically, you’re guilty as charged of engaging in a smear campaign with the purpose of distorting public policy.

    Look at who your fellow travellers are in recent days – the “one world government” and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Doesn’t that give you pause? A few years ago that bunch latched on to the “peak oil” movement, and the crank-by-association took years for them to recover from.

  234. Steve Huntwork

    “Several people resigned in protest of their poor quality and what they believed was rigging of the peer review system in favour of the skeptics.”

    Cool, do you have any actual NAMES?

  235. Lonny Eachus

    @Bruce the Canuck (#243):

    No, Bruce, you simply have not read my posts. Try doing so. And try, just maybe, to follow some links that other people have posted, to some of the actual recent evidence which is THE SUBJECT OF THIS DISCUSSION. You have jumped into the discussion, obviously without having looked at the new evidence, and you are making yourself look like a fool.

    “The email in question” was actually a number of emails, and they are NOT the one to which you refer. Try going back and actually reading what has been going on here today.

    Further, the manipulation (not just “attempted”) of journals is also a matter of the new evidence, revealed by these leaked emails. I was NOT referring to the situation you are describing, but rather a clear, written, English statement by Phil Jones that he would do his best to influence the publication of papers in a completely different context. (And other evidence that he actually did so.)

    “Yes, and the climate was much more variable long ago…” While all this is true, it reinforces rather than refuting the point I was making.

    “Honestly, no – I’m not a scientific expert on the topic! And neither are you, nor any of the other posters on this forum.” Actually that is a false statement, but I will let it slide. Regardless, yet again it does not refute the point I was making. (And, by the way, the “scientific community” has had over 100 years to address that point.)

    No, I am not guilty of a “smear campaign”. Go look at the emails I quoted, THEN go read more of the whole collection yourself, and prove to yourself that they are not just a few anomalies in an otherwise clean record. Until you go look at the evidence yourself, accusations of “smear” are nothing more than so much hot air. YOU are guilty of jumping to conclusions without any evidence to back it up.

  236. @158. TheBlackCat Says

    That’s nice, that you KNOW. Do you also know that correlation is not the causation?
    Now where is the evidence?
    Your theory is as good as this one: http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

    “Ice sheets and glaciers almost everywhere in the world are retreating (with a handful of exceptions due to increased precipitation outweighing the increased melting).”

    So exceptions do not count, I guess.

    “We know it is due to the greenhouse effect because of the pattern of warming.”
    And how do you know what would be the patter in each case? Models? How reliable are they? Would tweaking
    a small variable somewhere change the output of the model completely? What happens to model which show
    different patterns?

    “Water is a more powerful greenhouse gas, but it is in equilibrium in the atmosphere. If you add more water, it just comes out again as precipitation in a period of days. So you can’t directly change the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere.”
    Hm, I wonder, why do we have hygroscopes, if amount of water is constant.

    “Changes in CO2 and methane, however, have impacts that last for decades if not centuries.”
    How do you know? How do you know there are no other factors besides greenhouse gases?
    How about the nonlinearity of the effect?

    “So the logic goes as follows: we know the world is warming”
    Except we don’t know the history. There was some historic data based on tree rings, now looks like that data did
    not exactly fit, so it was massaged to fit and the original source is gone.
    Interesting approach there: instead of looking WHY the data did not fit it was simply “adjusted”. I had a different
    impression how science works.

    “we know the warming is caused primarily by changes in the greenhouse effect”
    I don’t know. Your simplistic explanation did nothing to convince me. How about applying the scientific method
    there instead of just speculating?

    “and we know the changes in the greenhouse effect are being caused almost exclusively by changes in CO2 and methane concentration, and we know that the change CO2 and methane concentration are being produced almost exclusively by humans.”
    Do we?

    “Therefore humans are the primary source of the warming.”
    No, it is the number of pirates, see above.

    “These are not hunches, they are not guesses, they are not just based on humans being here, they are empirically-measured facts. So if you want to dispute global warming you must show which of these facts is wrong”
    Ok, measured facts: temperature since 1960 and concentration of gases.
    Hunches and guesses: warming patterns, effect of said gases.
    Concentration of CO2 goes steadily up, temperature fluctuates, hmm…
    Now, you seem to be well informed, can you tell, is it true, that global temperature is decreasing?

    “or show where the flaw in the logic is.”
    Stating guesses as facts, cherry picking, mixing correlation with causation.

    The funniest thing is I am not “denialist”, just skeptical. And this goes both ways. Calling hunches and guesses “overwhelming” evidence does not convince me. Calling skeptics denialists and accusing them of ad-hominem reasoning is plainly upsetting.
    Calling these emails “non-event” is plainly irresponsible and hipocrytic. Just imagine what would Phil write if those emails would come from opposite side.

    There may be AGW, there may be not: I don’t know. Neither does Phil, but he has already chosen his belief and that saddens me.
    What IF GW is true but AGW theory is wrong? That means that we will end up fighting against something we cannot change instead of preparing ourselves for a change. That’s why I’d prefer to know the truth based on solid data and analyzed by scientist with integrity and
    having scientific truth as the first priority, not beliefs or political agenda.

  237. TheBlackCat

    Now, since ALL forms of carbon on Earth will have different combinations of isotope ratios, I never could understand this argument, without knowing the date of the object being tested. There is a reason why all C14 measuring instruments must be manufactured from metal forged prior to 1945.

    It has nothing to do with dating anything. Many of our fossil fuels are old enough that they have essentially zero carbon 14. Living plants, however, should have carbon 14 roughly equal to atmospheric carbon levels. So if we see a sudden decrease in carbon 14 we must either be seeing a sudden decrease in carbon 14 production (which does not match with the shift in non-radioactive carbon 13 isotopes, nor am I aware of any observed mechanism proposed to explain such a shift) or we must be putting in a lot of CO2 with little to no carbon 14 in it. As I pointed out earlier, we are also putting in a lot of carbon that does have carbon 14, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still see a change in the relative amount of carbon 14 in the atmosphere.

    Do you fully understand the difference between 0.0280 and 0.0380 percent of the atmosphere?

    Do you? By my calculations that is a 35% increase, more than 1/3. That seems like a pretty big relative increase to me. I have trouble seeing how a 35% increase in a major greenhouse gas will have no effect. Or do you deny the basic physics underlying our understanding of the greenhouse effect too?

    For that same reason, the life-time of weapon created C14 carbon spikes during the atomic bomb testing years, demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 is rapidly absorbed by the oceans.

    This is directly contradicted by your own 35% increase (which is why I posted this out of order).

    As Steve Huntwork states, you are still wrong. For one thing, while it was admittedly very long ago, CO2 levels have been anything but constant. There have been times in the past when it was hugely higher than it is now, and yet macro-sized animals were still roaming the planet. Yes, I mean free CO2, in the atmosphere, not “absorbed” or “sequestered” by water, plants, or anything else. This is very clear in the geological and ice core records.

    Yeah, and the world’s ecosystems were radically different at those times. A good example is another case of a rapid increase in CO2 level and temperature during the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum, which also happened to be a mass extinction event which caused major disruption in world ecosystems (and a major acidification and deoxygenation of much of the world’s oceans leading to it affecting marine life in particular, but that is another issue).

    No one I know of is saying life on Earth will be destroyed, only that rapid large-scale changes in temperature have generally not gone over too well with many species on the planet. There of course have been periods of higher temperatures in that past, often accompanied by radically different forms of life dominating the planet. But all of human civilization has been based on a very consistent climate that has existed for the last 10,000 years or so, and there has not been any changes anything like this in orders of magnitude longer. Humans have never experienced anything remotely like this before.

    Further, if a significant component of the CO2 being emitted is from our burning of coal, there would be plenty of Carbon 14 in the samples. If the CO2 in the atmosphere is anomalously low on Carbon 14, that would mean that coal emissions are somehow getting sequestered, while other emissions are not. Can you explain this?

    How do you figure that? Even if all of our fossil fuel emissions were from “young” coal from the tertiary, much of it would still be tens of millions of years old, which would mean it has lower carbon-14 content than atmospheric CO2 and, by extension, modern plant CO2. So we would expect putting a lot of it into the atmosphere would still push down the percentage of carbon 14 isotopes somewhat. Add to that the fact that a lot of coal is much older, especially high-grade coal, and would not have any carbon 14 to speak of, and the relative reduction in carbon 14 in the atmosphere would be even more significant. Add to that the use of other fossil fuels which are also too old to have carbon 14 and the reduction gets even more significant. So I fail to see how the relative reduction at all contradicts the implication of fossil fuels.

  238. Bruce the Canuck

    >>“Several people resigned in protest of their poor quality and what they believed was rigging of the peer review system in favour of the skeptics.”

    >Cool, do you have any actual NAMES?

    I gave you the link! Here it is again, an essay written by Clare Goodess, one of the scientists who resigned in protest of shoddy skeptic science

    >“Yes, and the climate was much more variable long ago…” While all this is true, it reinforces rather than refuting the point I was making…

    No, you’ve just completely missed the boat here:

    1) The climate used to be much less stable than it has been during the holoceine – the last 10 k years, during which we developed agriculture and civilization
    2) Humanity in modern form is something like 250,000 years old.
    3) The genetic evidence shows we spent several periods, perhaps long periods, at very low (endangered species list) population levels within the last 100,000 years.
    4) Thus climate instability is clearly dangerous! In fact is is a suspected to be a key agent in driving our evolution. Note evolution is best driven by high death rates and low populations!

    The fact that the climate can and has shifted on its own does *not* get us off the hook! The climate has been snoozing for the last 10,000 years, and in the mean time we’ve built a civilization. This is not a coincidence! Giving it a good hard kick, perhaps the hardest it’s had in 20 million years, is immensely stupid.

    One more thing – I actually don’t give a flying f*** about Jones personally. He probably isn’t suited to managing the CRU. But like I said, Newton was a complete asshole by all accounts. It just doesn’t matter. This should not be politics.

  239. Lonny Eachus

    Just to reinforce my point, and make it easy for some of you lazy people who are just too tired (or whatever) to bother to look up any of this for yourself, try the link below. No, this is not the “evidence” from the emails that I referred to anywhere above. This is in addition to that:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/when-results-go-bad/

    Yes, this is from “wattsupwiththat.com”, but if you are a true skeptic (or scientist), you know that what you have to refute is the message, not the messenger.

    “I got intrigued by one of the hacked CRU emails, from the Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth to Professor Wibjorn Karlen. In it, Professor Karlen asked some very pointed questions about the CRU and IPCC results. He got incomplete, incorrect and very misleading answers. Here’s the story, complete with pictures. I have labeled the text to make it clear who is speaking, including my comments…”

    Have a look. Refute it if you can.

  240. Steve Huntwork

    This has been a fun topic tonight and I hope that I have not insulted anyone. That is never my intention.

    You know, an increase from 0.0001% to 0.0002% is a horrifying 100% increase. That seems like a pretty big relative increase to me!

    Ooops, I just farted and the methane in my home increased by 5,274% and everyone died.

    “Newton was a complete asshole by all accounts. It just doesn’t matter. This should not be politics.”

    Only one tiny little difference: Netwon documented everything that he did and allowed every other scientist to reproduce his work. That is a “REAL” scientist.

    Later, and thanks for the fun tonight.

    Steve

    “Do you? By my calculations that is a 35% increase, more than 1/3. That seems like a pretty big relative increase to me. I have trouble seeing how a 35% increase in a major greenhouse gas will have no effect. Or do you deny the basic physics underlying our understanding of the greenhouse effect too?

    For that same reason, the life-time of weapon created C14 carbon spikes during the atomic bomb testing years, demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 is rapidly absorbed by the oceans.”

  241. Lonny Eachus

    @TheBlackCat (#246):

    Are you just making figures up out of the air? It certainly seems so.

    “Many of our fossil fuels are old enough that they have essentially zero carbon 14…”

    Simply false. LOOK IT UP.

    “This is directly contradicted by your own 35% increase (which is why I posted this out of order).”

    No, it isn’t. (I am making the huge presumption of answering for Steve here.) His reference was clearly to the rapidity of the sequestering of Carbon 14, NOT to any overall increase in CO2.

    “Yeah, and the world’s ecosystems were radically different at those times.”

    So? That is completely irrelevant to the fact that you are directly contradicting yourself. Earlier you stated that the atmospheric CO2 content was kept stable by the environment. When I presented facts that contradict that, here you say, “Yeah, but…” Sorry but you can’t have that both ways.

    “How do you figure that? Even if all of our fossil fuel emissions were from “young” coal from the tertiary, much of it would still be tens of millions of years old, which would mean it has lower carbon-14 content than atmospheric CO2 and, by extension, modern plant CO2.”

    Simply wrong. Here is one source of information on the topic, which took me approximately 5 seconds to find with Google:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html

    Here is a brief summary:

    “Carbon-14 in Coal Deposits

    Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), a sensitive radiometric dating technique, is in some cases finding trace amounts of radioactive carbon-14 in coal deposits, amounts that seem to indicate an age of around 40,000 years. Though this result is still too old to fit into any young-earth creationist chronology, it would also seem to represent a problem for the established geologic timescale, as conventional thought holds that coal deposits were largely if not entirely formed during the Carboniferous period approximately 300 million years ago. Since the halflife of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, any that was present in the coal at the time of formation should have long since decayed to stable daughter products. The presence of 14C in coal therefore is an anomaly that requires explanation.”

    The fact is that, contrary to what you say, and regardless of whatever the time scale says it SHOULD be, there is still a significant presence of Carbon 14 in coal.

    As I said to others: don’t just spout, LOOK IT UP. I do.

  242. Gordon

    So, it is a non-issue because you say it is a non-issue? What happened to integrity?

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”….

    Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw.
    Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?
    Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?
    Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.

    Hiding data, scheming to avoid the FOIA, insulting rivals, deleting data, using code that is so kludged up that it is totally incomprehensible, trying to influence journals and referees,
    fiddling with data…..and this is a “non-event”. Shame on you.

    And for those above saying that none of this matters because we have to do something about climate change before it is too late—take heed of the quote from the Wizard of Oz above and try thinking rather than talking.

  243. thornae

    @Torbjörn Larsson (#131)

    That article has a lot going for itself up to the point it leaves logic and ventures into empirical land. …
    Induction is “folk science” analogous to the “folk logic” of “can’t prove a negative”. In fact, I’m surprised that Hales didn’t realize the connection, by way of set theory.

    Fair enough. My point was mainly to get people thinking a bit more, rather than screaming “You can’t prove a negative!” and assuming that it means they’ve won the argument.

    As for the rest of this, my eyes have glazed over. I am reminded of the old maxim about wrestling pigs. Best of luck, Phil.

  244. Chip

    @215 – Steve Huntwork wrote:
    “210. Chip: I got involved in the climate debate a few years ago for a very simple reason: Something was seriously wrong with the data!…”

    Hi Steve: You’re writing to me as post 210 but my post was number 211. Since you don’t seem to be addressing what I wrote about at 211, either the joke I made or the part about politics, you’re likely addressing poster 210 named “g6loq”. No biggie – just wanted to mention it. ;)

  245. Mark_O

    Unfortunately Phil, the quality of your blog has has been on a “decline” for a while now and this nonsense just made me sad. Most likely the last time I read this blog, not because we have different views on AGW, but because of your childish (yawn) attitude. I have thought of you as a scientist, but regards AGW you behave like you have blind faith. If you think all the AGW “deniers” (as you call us in a demeaning way) are just a just that, deniers, with no scientific approach to the subject, with no real evidence to disprove AGW and just a small bunch of guys being funded by big oil… you are soooo wrong it is not funny.
    First of all, big oil and energy companies are the ones profiting the most from the climate change, I know this for a fact, because I am in that business myself. Actually I am profiting a lot from the climate change bs, but just lying to the public is wrong in my opinion. The very same guys that you think are the bad guys (big oil) are just taking you for a ride on the AGW train and you don’t even know it.
    Have you ever bothered to read the wattsupwiththat.com blog lately? Does not look like there would be NO real evidence to disprove AGW. It is not a bunch of guys funded by big-oil. Even the Mann hockey stick has been disproved, part of data was used upside-down (the Tiljander series)… and then Mann lied about it over and over again, come on, does that pass your scientific criteria? Still feeling 100% confident that you need to yawn at the “deniers” and the science is settled for good? You are living in denial yourself and you have the audacity to call yourself a skeptic and a scientist. Over and out for good.

  246. Jeffersonian

    Obviously an orchestrated attack on this blog by the deniers who made themselves transparent. (Oops, your tactics are showing.)

    One of my favorite tropes :
    “Over 95% of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere.”
    Here’s one for you: “Acid rain is totally safe! Why it’s mostly WATER!!”

    Another favorite,
    “I’m…not swayed by the politicized science and propaganda of either side…”
    Yet I made up my mind and then looked for facts to distort and misrepresent!
    What was your claim 20 or even 10 years ago before the politics came on board?

    And now we have a new trope: “All evidence for climate change hinged on these emails = now all evidence is gone.”
    Hilarious.

    Note that not one denialist here mentioned the relative speed of warming periods since the last ice age.

    Not only did they come out of the woodwork for this post, but it’s the TYPE A denialists who espouse that no amount of carbon output is bad and that usage shouldn’t be regulated. Luckily they are a small percentage of denialists (if not for their awful grammar alone).

    Some people have a psychological need to feel as though they have special, world-affecting, secret knowledge. They fixate on conspiracies. They are a minority.

    And yes, anyone who sees their trope called-out as a sham repeatedly and then turns around and uses it again is a denialist, by definition.
    Anyone who thinks all scientists regularly meet in a secret club house in order to orchestrate a vast left-wing conspiracy is a CT.
    Anyone who thinks AGW is a new concept initially boistered by politicians is clueless.
    Those that think nobody cares if glaciers melt, I’m at a loss to describe.

    Science will work in the end due to the plethora of independent sources. Carbon reduction will happen regardless; out of necessity. Sooner is much better than later for all but the wealthy. Deniers seem to think that “business as usual” is best for all possible scenarios.

    Don’t miss this priceless CT quote from #210. You can’t make this stuff up:
    “Scientists have pursued the man-made global warming scheme as a way to destroy the entire capitalist, post-industrial infrastructure of the Western world.”

  247. “@Phillip Helbig: To validate the accuracy of models we need one of two things to happen:

    1. All of the code be released, or at least a step by step of the assumptions and data sets being used in the model so indepenent verification and criticing can be done. Just because it is hard does not mean we can just accept current results at face value.

    2. The models must demonstrate accuracy in predicting future climate. Simply being able to reconstruct past climate is not good enough. There are too many uncertainties of our knowledge of the past climate and the causes of various temperature decreases and increases to know why they occured. ”

    Do you read the literature?

  248. ” After reading such diatribe, I am confident that the “denialists” won’t be able to convince anyone with these tactics. Science 101: evidence, not name-calling.

    Does anyone else see the irony in someone criticising name-calling* by using name-calling?

    (Ie. “denialist”) Pot Black meet Kettle Black. ;-)

    Look up all the possible uses of quotation marks. :-) There is a reason I put “denialists” in
    quotation marks, namely to illustrate the silliness when such terms (which shouldn’t be used
    at all) are not put in quotation marks. Please get it; I’m not stupid. :-)

  249. Jean-Denis

    I am watching all this from Europe, and I wonder: “am I the same species?” I watch in disbelief all these sorry americans fighting each other over whether the stove in which they happily fight is on or off.

    Problem is, they might have the power to prevent all the planet from turning off the burning stove.

    Simply because they want to keep wasting natural resources for as long as possible, in order to afford taking their cars just to go around the corner, only because it’s their “way of life”.

    So sad.

  250. Anaconda

    Why are these e-mails and the data important?

    Because proxy temperature data is a major leg for AGW.

    And these guys produced the studies that most of the rest of the community relied on for proxy temperature data. Thus, if these guys data is faulty then EVERYTHING that relied on these studies is also faulty.

    Bruce the Canuck, the link you provided about “names” confirms that tremendous unethical political pressure was put on this journal to influence publishing decisions.

    Thanks for the evidence of unethical conduct.

    I gotta say, the defenders of the e-mail senders sound like lawyers for the accused on death row.

    But bad science isn’t entitled to a defense.

  251. themos

    I appreciate TheBlackCat’s contributions here. Keep it up!

    Can you help me understand this? “The reason scientists were resistant to the FOI requests is because those requests were demanding they release data they were not allowed to release.”

    Why be “resistant” to them? You just pass them to the legal department, saying “nihil obstat”.

    Also: “As for people who are claiming the models have not been validated, they have. Current climate trends are tracking towards the worse-case scenarios predicated by the models in pretty much every case.”

    That’s not validation. That just means they’ve been tuned to reproduce recent trends.

  252. Jacqueline

    From reading this thread I get the impression that the global warming deniers have only sniping and ad hominems to demonstrate their claims.
    Global warming deniers, why don’t you go out and get an education, then become climate scientists, collect data for a few years and then (after peer review) publish your papers.
    Or are you going to take the easy way out and attack someone else’s work instead of coming up with your own?

    JS;)

  253. There is a big logical fallacy in the abuse of the terms “denier” and “denialist”. The issue is not black-and-white…one can be convinced the world is warming and still be unconvinced we have only 91 months left to act or whatever number pops up in Charles Windsor’s head.

    One can be convinced human actions have a discernible effect on climate and still be unconvinced that focusing on CO2 emissions alone is a wise move.

    Etcetera etcetera.

    By dividing the world in two categories, Plait and many others are preparing a good argument creationists, UFO-ers, astrologers and all sorts of strange people might as well make their own. Please reflect on your actions.

  254. Lars

    The posting skill/reading skill ratio of the AGW deniers here is impressive.

    And the demands for the code reminds me of the fuss about Dawkins’ weasel program.

    SHOW US THE CODE!1111111oneone! What the program actually DID is irrelevant. The fact that we don’t have the code spoonfed to us yet proves that evilution AGW is wrong which in turn proves that goddidit it’s a conspiracy.

    Methinks it is like a wee zeal (uh-oh, the phrase just wootated).

    Update: Jacqueline #257 wrote: “Or are you going to take the easy way out and attack someone else’s work instead of coming up with your own?” – Aha, THAT’s what reminds me so about the creotards. It’s their favourite tactic, after all.

  255. And then, to go on and actually refuse an FOI request that was quite reasonable and should have been ridiculously easy to supply (it asked only for identification of the stations included in the data that was actually used) also does not seem subject to very much interpretation.

    This tells us Phil Jones was not trying to “hide” data that was falsified. He apparently just didn’t wish to comply with FOI stuff. Doesn’t it?

    Bottom line: There’s no evidence of data falsification at all. If you had this, you’d tell us which paper has falsified data, and how you know that.

    What we do see in the emails is evidence of a war between mainstream scientists trying to get work done and people trying to obstruct that work. (It’s not the only field of science where this goes on; anti-vaxers fight their war against mainstream medicine not only with FOIAs and quote-mining, but also law suits and death threats.)

  256. Do you fully understand the difference between 0.0280 and 0.0380 percent of the atmosphere?

    @Steve: There’s no question that’s a statistically significant trend. Click here for a graph. In the last 400,000 years, except for recent decades, the CO2 concentration has not been higher than 300 ppmv.

  257. Because proxy temperature data is a major leg for AGW.

    Tree-ring temperature data is not a major leg for AGW. It might be a major leg for a lot of the work done at CRU, but there are many other temperature reconstructions using other methods, such as boreholes, ice cores, glacier length, sediments, etc.

    Even if we had zero temperature proxies, you still have at least 150-years of thermometer-based temperatures and CO2 data. That’s plenty to be able to perform a statistical analysis.

  258. Cheyenne

    It would be interesting to see what the response to all of this would have been if instead of Global Warming it was vaccine data (or smoking/cancer, etc) that was distorted. Imagine if there were leaked emails from Dr. Wakefield stating that he used a “trick” to massage the data to show a tighter correlation between Autism and vaccination. Would people respond with “oh, it’s just science. That’s the way it works. No big deal”?

    Now even the Atlantic Monthly and the NY Times are commenting on Climategate (and not in a favorable way).

    “Bottom line? Yawn. Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.”

    Talk about completely and utterly missing the entire point. This is about integrity and the way science is supposed to work. The only course of action that makes sense now is to have an independent investigation over what these scientists did exactly.

  259. Lars

    “The only course of action that makes sense now is to have an independent investigation over what these scientists did exactly.”

    Don’t forget to investigate the Weasel program while you’re at it.

  260. Twofortea

    Finally! I though that I was loosing it arguing with all those “The Code Comments Say ARTIFICIAL” crazies.

    The people asking for “raw data” remind me of the Conservapedia folks who wanted a bucket of E.Coli sent to them to refute speciation research.

    If someone overhear their mechanic saying that he want to “disable” someone’s break system, should we jump to the conclusion that he want to kill a customer, or that maybe, just maybe, it’s necessary for the mechanic to do so to fix other part of the car? “Artificial” and “Corrected” in the context of statistical analysis doesn’t mean “fake” and “fraudulous”

    The HARRY_READ.txt file is about a programmer frustrated by the mess made by non-programmers (ei : climate scientists) made out of their file/code. He is trying to reconstruct known result based on rogue databases because he want to figure out what the original, non computer savvy scientists did, not because he plan to commit fraud. When he fail to figure out how it happened, HE JUST LEAVE IT UNDONE, nowhere in the email does he pretend to create a completely new set of data to replace something lost. You can see that near the middle, with France’s data, where he does a correction (based on a newly “re-found” database) and leave the still unknown results blank…

    It seem that the data was lost a long time ago, the CRU isn’t lying. This file is the proof that they aren’t, even though it’s seen as the proof that they are. It is NOT a scientist addressing other scientists about fraud. It is NOT the correspondence of a Evil Mastermind to his goons. It’s the note of a programmer frustrated with the stupid mess of mistakes of computer skill deficient people. This kind of note is found in every IT department across the country.

    Now, I want “raw data” to be made public, and more transparency from publicly funded bodies, but I do not want it more now that I wanted it before that email leak.

  261. Twofortea

    Cheyenne : In the Autism/Vaccine world, people saying that there is a link are the “deniers”.

    There will NOT be data leaked by that side, they work the same way as the climate deniers : They piggy back on the other side’s data, calling it fraudulent for no other reason than it doesn’t fit with their claim.

    You have your analogy backward.

  262. fred edison

    So how are these Earth change deniers any different from the Moon landing hoax crowd or the 9/11 inside jobbers? I don’t think they are that much different in their ways of thinking, apart from the topics of discussion. I’d bet more than a few are on the anti-vaxx bandwagon, as well. There’s a shared distrust of government, authority, and an definite anti-science aura about them. It’s no wonder they’d jump at the chance to use distorted information as their ally, once again, through idioms in emails that were not of their profession or expertise to decipher or understand. As with the groups I mentioned earlier, the GW/GCC deniers with their stolen emails, have embarked on an exciting and new inventive tangent that has little to do with facts or reality.

  263. Imagine if there were leaked emails from Dr. Wakefield stating that he used a “trick” to massage the data to show a tighter correlation between Autism and vaccination. Would people respond with “oh, it’s just science. That’s the way it works. No big deal”?

    That’s completely different. The whole provenance of the modern anti-vaccination ideology rests on Wakefield et al. (1998). Further, would the “trick” be something he actually used in the paper, or something he did during preliminary data analysis? If it’s the latter, I doubt it could be made a big deal of.

    Wakefield has been accused of falsifying data, in fact. But the accusations are about data published in The Lancet, and there are specifics detailed by Brian Deer as to which data was misrepresented/falsified.

  264. Huh?

    Non-event? The leaked CRU emails? 266 comments (267 now) says otherwise. ;-)

  265. Jar-Jya Binks Killer

    @ 253. Phillip Helbig Says:

    There is a reason I put “denialists” in quotation marks, namely to illustrate the silliness when such terms (which shouldn’t be used at all) are not put in quotation marks. Please get it; I’m not stupid.

    So let me get this straight; the term shouldn’t be used at all but you used it anyhow? WTF? :roll:

    Alarmists may call the AGW Skeptics “deniers” all they want but it doesn’t change the facts and is looking increasingly obvious as their diversionary derisonary dreary last stand.

    The greenhouse heretics and skeptics are winning because, unlike the Alarmist fanatics, they happen to be telling the truth. Q.E.D. – C.R.U.

    The CRU emails, like it or not, have discredited and forever tarnished the “Chicken Little” mob. (Oh look I can use quotation marks too!)

    @ Phillip Helbig : So, simple yes or no answer from you please – in your opinion is climate change “global warming” (or warming then plateau or even cooling post ten years since 1998) a phenomena that is mostly natural or mostly human induced?

    The Eeeend of the Wooorld or just a natural climate variation? Well?

  266. Spectroscope

    @ 75. Chris B. Says:

    And while we’re all arguing about whether or not it’s happening, we’ll reach the point of no return and civilization will be doomed. Do we really want to take that chance?

    Your whole premise there is wrong.

    We are not arguing over whether or not its happening – its not.

    Even if it is, (& 1998 =hottest year, 1934 = 2nd hottest despite Co2 levels rising constantly over past decade plus one year = Alarmists FAIL already ok.) big deal.

    Sheesh. Antartica gets a bit greener. NW passage opens. Oh shock horror! Climate gets nicer = AAAAIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!! THE SKY IS FALLLING! FALLING! AAAHHH! Run away! Panic! Bang your head against a rock it until it stops happening!!

    I don’t think so. :roll:

    As already noted we’re living – and have been fortunate enough to be living for a few millennia – in an interglacial period within a longer Ice Age epoch – its *supposed* to be getting warmer & when it *stops* getting warmer and starts heading towards an ice age (as it looked like it was doing back in the 1970’s) then *that’s* when we need to worry.

    Not that humans can do anything about climate anyway. Our input is swamped by natural forces over which we have no control.

    All we can do is adapt and we’ll manage that just fine same as the polar bears will – and have done through every other one of the very numerous and normal cooling /warming cycles.

    Climate Change Alarmism is such a stoopid beat-up that it burns – of Gore’s flatulence. ;-)

    So let me ask you – Do you want to destroy our economy & standard of living on the basis of faked and manipulated data produced by people driven by a misanthropist totalitarian socialist political ideology rather than any sound science?

    Really?

    Oh & then have the embarrassment of knowing you were suckered into living in caves and wrecking our nation by a pack of lying nutters as the climate inevitably cools down naturally or warms up naturally regardless of anything we do? Because, hey, folks it actually *is* the Sun and Earth that’s behind the climate not us as Blind Freddy could tell y’all anyhoo?

    See, the sound science puts this “Chicken Little” scare in a Copernican geological-astronomical perspective that says the 20th century was nothing special despite hubristic assumptions to the contrary. In the 1970’s it was cooling, in the 1990’s warming and overall, things stay much the same, despite whatever tricks the Alarmist use to “hide the decline” and whatever their “garbage in- garbage out” models say.

    Them’s the cold hard facts for ya – like it or lump it.

  267. Gary Ansorge

    ,,,and the last word is,,,

    Storm avoidance

    When come hurricanes and flood

    The liberal puts roof on boat and
    paddles like mad.

    A progressive grows gills.

    Conservative bails out
    his basement and

    Reactionary shoots holes
    in the storm.

    GAry 7
    11/25/2009

  268. Quiet Desperation

    Well then it is a good thing that the veracity of global warming does not depend on the models.

    *shrug* I said was not a denier. At the end of the day I’m a misanthrope who finds the whole thing funny. :-P I’m already looking at high altitude retirement properties. ;-)

  269. drhealy

    Phil, you think the “Trick” is harmless. See:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/30/playing-hide-and-seek-behind-the-trees/#more-13491

    I just hope the standards in astonomy are higher, or I will lose confidence in that field of science as well. “ClimateGate” may well be the biggest story since the cold fusion fraud.

  270. Huh?

    @ 118 TheBlackCat:

    We are in the deepest solar minimum on record, yet the warming trend is still continuing.

    Maunder minimum?

    Sporer minimum?

    Are you forgetting those because they (& the Durer [spelling?] and a few others too) were far worse I think you’ll find.

  271. ME

    First off, with all due respect to Phil and many others who claim the title of “skeptic,” you’re not really. Skepticism is a phiolosphical stance that assumes significant limits on human knowledge and is suspicious of absolute or comprehensive claims of such, regardless of the source. I suspect Phil is a religious skeptic, which unfortunately and innaccurately gets shortened to “skeptic” when often such types have a very comprehensive belief and often faith in the processes of science.

    Phil’s post here seems to reflect that position. The assertion that the e-mails scandal is a non-event strikes me as quite denialist in character. That they are accompanied by appeals to the “literature” and claims that the science is settled regardless of this candid glimpse into a very important gear in the AGW engine is hardly convincing.

    The problem with AGW alarmism is that it relies on a very thin slice of history. If CO2 levels and temperatures have been higher in non-industrial periods of history (including “pre-human history”), and if the earth is in a period where one would expect some warming as a historical trend (coming off the cool period during the Enlightenment era) it’s hardly reasonable to make broad and catastrophic assumptions about current periods of warming. Just as it was a few short decades ago to make catastrophic clims about cooling, which was the “settled science” of that period.

    It seems to me that the significance of temperature changes has been greatly overstated. It seems clear from the East Anglia mails that some of the supposedly impartial and objective scientists charged with measuring those changes and determining the significance have demonstrated a vested interest in that overstatement.

    Just reading the comments here one finds wild suggestions that call for action now “before it’s too late” or words to that effect. Such language is political in nature and not objective. Anyone who believes there is an impending danger is going to naturally be more receptive to claims that the data reflect that view.

    The reason one e-mailer wanted to “hide the decline” (and there’s no getting around that line, whatever one thinks of “tricks” in the scientific world) is not because the decline offers absolute proof of cooling, but because it calls into question the significance of change associated with the warming, and particularly with the assertion (assumption really, since the environment is so complex) that CO2 levels must drive temperature changes. Clearly that is not so simple a cause and effect chain as climate scientists would have us believe.

    That there has been warming is not actually questioned by the vast majority of AGW skeptics, even laypersons. Rather it is the anthropogenic causes ascribed to the warming that are viewed with skepticism, given the broad range of non-anthropogenic warming in the Earth’s history and the immense complexity of the environment. It is the AGW subscribers’ faith that we have a comprehensive body of knowledge that enables us to say with certainty man is warming the earth with dangerous consequences. This is not skepticism at all, and given the scandal there are many more questions to be asked about AGW science in general, most importantly, just how accurate and forthright are the temperature measurements being offered, and whether the East Anglia scandal is a sad one-off or more reflective of the poilitics and pressures of AGW science in general? Indeed, there have been more distressing signs of the latter in the past week than of the former.

    For me, the refusal of many (though certainly not all) AGW subscribers to accept nuclear power as feasible option gives away the seriousness or lack of said of this “crisis,” regardless of the warming and the actual causes. Nuclear power certainly has its risks but they do not currently include “runaway warming” or “massive flooding” or many of the other ecological and environmental disasters the more vivid of the AGW subscribers have claimed.

    We are very probably in more immediate danger from some kind of catastrophic collision than AGW but where are the calls for massive economic sacrifice and committment to address that danger?

    One would expect objective observers and skeptics to marshall resources where the danger is greatest, but rather we have seen scientists point towards the dangers that are most directly connected to economies.

    Faith in science is more than just faith in a process. It is faith that humans will carry out the process in ways that are selfless and objective. Science has a number rules and best practices with this aim in mind, but as with politics and governance, we find that those rules and practices don’t prevent the very human natures of those in charge of them from getting in the way.

  272. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE
    What Global Warming?

    What Global Warming?

  273. Cheyenne

    @ME- Well written. I for one completely agree with you.

  274. Even if it is, (& 1998 =hottest year, 1934 = 2nd hottest despite Co2 levels rising constantly over past decade plus one year = Alarmists FAIL already ok.) big deal.

    That’s misinformation. At a global scale (per GISSTemp) 2005 was the warmest year, followed by 2007, and then 1998. 1934 is not even close.

    2009 will probably be one of the warmest years on record. I bet either 2010 or 2011 will be record-breaking.

  275. As already noted we’re living – and have been fortunate enough to be living for a few millennia – in an interglacial period within a longer Ice Age epoch – its *supposed* to be getting warmer & when it *stops* getting warmer and starts heading towards an ice age (as it looked like it was doing back in the 1970’s) then *that’s* when we need to worry.

    Here’s the thing. Scientists are not complete jackasses. Of course everyone knows there was a “little ice age.” Could the current warming be simply the result of the culmination of the little ice age? Consensus is that no, it cannot. Or to put it another way, 2C/century is damn fast warming.

    I’ve analyzed the raw data myself, btw, and I conclude that the little ice age does not explain it:

    http://residualanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/07/hockey-stick-is-fine.html

  276. themos

    “I bet either 2010 or 2011 will be record-breaking.”

    I knew somebody would find a way of making money from this :-)

  277. TheBlackCat

    @Steve Huntwork:

    You know, an increase from 0.0001% to 0.0002% is a horrifying 100% increase. That seems like a pretty big relative increase to me!

    Ooops, I just farted and the methane in my home increased by 5,274% and everyone died.

    This is a simple question: do you accept that CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, or do you deny it? I asked you a straightforward question, please stop dodging and provide a direct answer.

    @ Lonny Eachus:

    Simply false. LOOK IT UP.

    You are correct, I see that there appears to be some carbon 14 even in o ld fossil fuels (due, apparently, to uranium or contamination). But even in the fossil fuels with the highest abundance of carbon-14 it is still well below atmospheric levels (your 40,000 years example would have have about 7% of the atmospheric concentration of CO2, and that seems to be the upper limit), so it does not actually change anything. It would still reduce the relative abundance of CO2.

    No, it isn’t. (I am making the huge presumption of answering for Steve here.) His reference was clearly to the rapidity of the sequestering of Carbon 14, NOT to any overall increase in CO2.

    If it was rapidly sequestered there wouldn’t be any increase, or at least not a 35% increase in 100 years. If it isn’t sequestered rapidly enough to make big a difference, why even bring it up?

    That is completely irrelevant to the fact that you are directly contradicting yourself. Earlier you stated that the atmospheric CO2 content was kept stable by the environment. When I presented facts that contradict that, here you say, “Yeah, but…” Sorry but you can’t have that both ways.

    Yes, over human time scales it has been kept constant for a long time. There have been changes over geologic time scales, but the changes we are seeing right now are not happening over geologic time, they are happening over human time scales, so that is the relevant time scale for the discussion. I admit I should have specified “a long time” being in human terms, but in my defense I assumed that when we are talking about changes taking place in a century, people would understand 10,000 years or so is a long time, and certainly that 100,000 years would be.

    The fact is that, contrary to what you say, and regardless of whatever the time scale says it SHOULD be, there is still a significant presence of Carbon 14 in coal.

    And it is still considerably lower than atmospheric concentrations, so it would still reduce the relative amount of carbon 14. You were right about it having more carbon 14 than its age implies, but you are still wrong about it not affecting the relative amount in the atmosphere.

  278. Melanie

    AGW positions aside Phil, this is not a ‘non issue’. this is a very real issue for the future of science. Try explaining the value and nature of science to kids in a class with this degree of lack of scientific and intellectual integrity in the media and discussed at home. It is even harder when respected voices for science shrug it off as a non issue. If it is bad here, I can only imagine what it is like to try and teach science in the USA. Thankfully, I do not.

    I can console myself by teaching my students that for all the dispassionate value of the scientific process, scientists have shown that they are, in fact, no different from the lesser beings.

  279. It is the AGW subscribers’ faith that we have a comprehensive body of knowledge that enables us to say with certainty man is warming the earth with dangerous consequences.

    There is, and you’d probably need to be someone who works in climatology to be aware of most of the lines of evidence. That CO2 blocks infrared radiation has been known for at least a century. What is not known for certain is climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling. The best estimates put it at 3C.

    You might say, well, that CO2 and temperatures have increased simultaneously could be coincidence. There are ways to control for trends in statistical models.

  280. Huh?

    @ 287 Joseph :

    At a global scale (per GISSTemp) 2005 was the warmest year, followed by 2007, and then 1998. 1934 is not even close.

    Would that be CRU “data”? :roll:

    Sorry but quite frankly anything that the CRU or other Alarmist sites discredited in “ClimateGate” say is now highly suspect.

    Caesar’s wife is looking like she’s wearing a very stained blue dress with cigar burns in it. ;-)

    I think its time someone in power (eg. Congress/Govt / Royal Commission) did hold a serious, open, transparent comprehensive non-partisan investigation to establish just exactly what the blazes *is* really going on here because something sure smells rotten in denmark CRU- Alarmist land.

    There is now a very serious cloud over the credibility & trustworthiness of “climate science” and that can not be dismissed a “non-issue”.

  281. Would that be CRU “data”?

    No, that’s data from NASA, which actually shows a bit more recent warming than CRU data.

  282. Spectroscope

    @ 137. Markle Says:

    Wow. Godwined in the second comment. It took me a while to figure out what the Gorebull thing was. Oh, Goebbels, gotcha.

    WTF? Never crossed my mind.

    Its Gore as in Al Gore – y’know the sour loser failed Democrat 2000 election presidential candidate, self-proclaimed “inventor of the internet”, lead spokesman for the Anthropogenic Global Warmer hysteria via his ridiculously inaccurate self-promoting ‘Inconvenient Truth’ movie (a movie about as accurate as his claim to inventing the net) & all round big fat liar.

    Plus “bull” – y’know as in bull excrement or colloquially utter nonsense. ;-)

    Hence Gore + Bull = Al Gore’s bull about “Global Warming” = Gorebull warming.

    I really didn’t think that would need explaining being a pretty obvious joke – & I may add not one original to me at all but rather one that someone else (Paul, I think his tag was?) came up with on another thread here which I liked & thought worth adopting as a meme.

    It does after all sum up the Alarmist tripe – Its Gore’s bull about Gorebull Warming that is about as reliable & believable as anything else that lying clown has ever spouted.

    No Nazi connection whatsoever & where you get that idea from is just .. well whatever your smoking I wouldn’t post after smoking it if I were you! ;-)

    I’m glad Phillip Helbig read through the rest that I skipped because “eco-fascist-socialism” is a real screamer. How’s that supposed to work?

    It won’t. ;-)

    Unfortunately, those seeking to impose it on us all are just too dumb to realise that truth. :-(

    [Politics 101 for dummies] It’s “eco” because on the surface it’s driven by & excused as “environmentalism” and “ecological” activism. This is really more a PR cover than an actual belief but that’s another story. See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hftsk4gWqI&feature=related for something of that.

    ‘Fascism’ because it destructively tries to deny people choice and rule by authoritarian degree and ‘Socialism’ because of the anti-capitalist, anti-democratic totalitarian nature. Socialism and fascism are actually not opposite poles but quite similar in that both are essentially tyrannical anti-democratic movements which use an ideological authoritarian cult as a replacement for thinking and acting freely democratically & independently as you’d know if you knew much politics. You might for starters – now that you’ve raised it – note that the nazi’s were actually Socialist too! The word ‘Nazi’ meaning National (lunatic right) Socialist & the party being both allied to Italy’s fascist party and itself having a fascist character. Left & right wing extremists actually have more in common than their words to the contrary suggest just as ID-iots & Warmer Alarmists share many of the same traits and are both quasi-religious political movements rather than scientific ones. [/Politics 101 for dummies off.]

    Plus needless to say (or is it ?) my use of terminology whether humerous, acerbic, apt or whatever is a side issue to the irrefutable facts that have been revealed by the AGW Skeptics & CRU emails showing that the AGW idea is pure bunkum, humbug, tripe, rubbish, garbage, baloney, (Gore)bull and a few other words that I ‘m not allowed to use here! ;-)
    ;-)

  283. Lonny Eachus

    @TheBlackCat (#291):

    I will concede your point about the Carbon 14. I thought the levels were higher than they were.

    However:

    “If it was rapidly sequestered there wouldn’t be any increase, or at least not a 35% increase in 100 years. If it isn’t sequestered rapidly enough to make big a difference, why even bring it up?”

    I think you missed the point. The rapid decline in the atmospheric Carbon 14 shows that the rate of sequestration by the ocean is very high. Steve’s point (or so I thought, at least) was not whether we were pumping out more than it can handle, but only that the turnover rate is very high.

  284. From mah sophisticated climate models, 2009 will be a year of record colds.

    Nonsense. Where did you see this? Even 2008, a relatively cold year relative to the trend, was warmer than all of the 1980s and most of the 1990s.

    However, the utter lack of hurricane activity for the past two years is a clear sign of warming at the global level including such planets as Mars.

    Storm series are quite noisy. You can’t draw any inferences from a few years with low storm counts. You need at least a 15-year running average to see a trend.

  285. TheBlackCat,
    I’m glad you’re still around. First I want to thank you for a lot of illuminating posts (really).
    I did notice one of your posts, though, that made me want to invite you to our weekly poker game. I only take two cards out of the deck before my guests arrive so you will have more than 95% of the data to work with as we play.

    Phil Plait,
    I applaud you posting on the issue; but can’t help wondering how would you react if a Jesus in the toast believer told you to disprove the existence of god and prove the invalidity of all former claimed apparitions before commenting on his particular image?

    James Randi must be weeping if he read your post. Few of us believe the emails or loss of data invalidate all of climate science; but it is disheartening to have a self proclaimed skeptic deny that they give him pause and make him want to revisit the issue of who else was involved with the data and methodologies in the emails.

  286. Essen

    While I was on the fence before those emails and especially the pathetic quality of the CRU team code evidenced in the harry_read_me.txt has made me very skeptical of climate scientists involved in this mess.

    Given the importance of the issue for humans the code should have been made bulletproof and subjected to rigorous external validation. Instead it’s a bug ridden mess and even the scientists who created it cannot reproduce the results. This is beyond appalling.

    Anyone defending those scientists please answer one simple question – how can anyone trust a scientist who would rather break the law by deleting the data subjected to a FOI request then release it for outside scrutiny?

  287. Bruce the Canuck

    2009 is expected to be one of the top-five warmest years on record, despite continued cooling of huge areas of the tropical Pacific Ocean, a phenomenon known as La Niña – UK Met Office

    “Eppur si muove” – “Nonetheless, it moves”
    – muttered by Galileo during his inquisition.

    The forces of anti-science and conspiracy kookery are strong, but remember to speak to the rational lurkers, not to the hopeless wingnuts. Give em’ hell, Joseph & Blackcat.

  288. Lonny Eachus

    @Twofortea (#271):

    Even if what you say is true, it demonstrates gross incompetence on the part of the CRU staff. One simply does not throw away one’s intermediate data. The bulk raw data may still be available, but that is irrelevant. Only a subset of that data was used in the study. Exactly which subset is very important.

    It is impossible for peers to tell if “adjusted” data was adjusted properly, if the non-adjusted data is not available. And if that is so, then it is impossible to tell if the study was conducted in an even moderately responsible manner. In other words: the results are not reproducible. Which makes the adjusted data (from a scientific standpoint) nothing but garbage.

    Take a look at this exchange between Dr. Kevin Trenberth and Professor Wibjorn Karlen of Upsala, who asked for clarification of some points.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/when-results-go-bad/

    It starts:

    “Dear Kevin,

    In short, the problem is that I cannot find data supporting the temperature curves in IPCC and also published in e.g. Forster, P. et al. 2007: Assessing uncertainty in climate simulation. Nature 4: 63-64.”

    It is quite clear from the correspondence shown at that link that the data set known as “HadCRUT3″, which is central to CO2 warming theory, contains data that is inconsistent with the claimed methodologies of the researchers. In other words, there are APPARENTLY (I do not say “proven”) serious problems with the data set that is most central to the whole CO2 warming argument.

    Either this data needs to be clarified, or the study must be redone, in a more scientific and responsible manner.

    This quibbling over code comments and such is just trivial, in light of the less equivocal transgressions of responsible science that are revealed by many of the other emails.

  289. adam

    257. Jeffersonian Says:

    Obviously an orchestrated attack on this blog by the deniers who made themselves transparent. (Oops, your tactics are showing.)

    you think this is orchestrated? seriously? wait a second, aren’t WE supposed to be the conspiracy nuts?

    Another favorite,
    “I’m…not swayed by the politicized science and propaganda of either side…”
    Yet I made up my mind and then looked for facts to distort and misrepresent!
    What was your claim 20 or even 10 years ago before the politics came on board?

    what the? who the hell do you think you are? do you just enjoy putting words in people’s mouths or do you actually get off on it? say whatever you want about me if it makes you feel better, the facts of the story don’t change just because you are still stuck in Muppet Babies land where whatever fantasies you have are true, just because you REALLY REALLY want them to be.

  290. Spectroscope

    @ 289. Joseph Says:

    Of course everyone knows there was a “little ice age.” Could the current warming be simply the result of the culmination of the little ice age? Consensus is that no, it cannot. Or to put it another way, 2C/century is damn fast warming.

    I’m not talking about the “Little Ice Age” here, Joseph. That was merely one of many “blips” in our current interglacial warm spell. No, I’m talking the last – or actually current – full blown honest-to-goodness full-on ICE AGE the sort with the mammoths and mastodons, saber toothed tigers and neanderthal cavemen.

    The one that got going once the continent of Antartica got trapped around the South Pole splitting from Australia and after the Arctic Sea got blocked off by Russia and America meeting near the top of the world as South America met North and isolated the Atlantic from the Pacific.

    One thing the current Warmer hysterics lack is any sense of the vast span of geological (& astronomical) time.

    All human history and most of our pre-history has taken place within this recent interglacial a short break between the worst Ice Age conditions. Within this time, we’ve had conditions both far hotter and far colder than now and sometimes at far faster rates. (Eg. the Younger Dryas event.)

    All this without humans adding more than a few breaths of Co2 to the air.

    There have been times in this geological eyeblink when the river Thames was frozen over and Londoners held frost fairs on its banks (eg.the Little Ice Age) & also times (eg. the Neolithic), when the earliest inhabitants of the land that would be London hunted hippos and rhinos in a near tropical environment there.

    The lull in this greater Ice Age we’re living in will eventually end – probably but not certainly in a few millennia’s time. When (not ‘if’) it does we will look back incredibly fondly on this eras warmth and be appalled at the folly of those who thought a warm Earth was somehow a bad one.

    If there is any truth at all to the idea that human C02 emissions do contribute anything towards warming us – and that’s doubtful – then we’ll one day be grateful and keen to add to and keep those Co2 levels as high as possible. Who knows that day might come sooner than we think! Carbon taxes, ETS schemes and other economically suicidal rubbish? Hah! Never mind that Gorebulloney! Drive your SUV’s, burn that coal & be proud of it – you might be saving our planet from something far worse than the pleasant warm interlude that has Gore & his Alarmist fellows wetting their pants in unwarranted fright! ;-)

    The Alarmists have deliberately tried to make us forget these geological truths. For instance, we know they’ve tried to remove the entire Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from their graphs – which is nothing short of outright dishonesty.

    They and the data they provide simply are not credible any more.

    I’ve analyzed the raw data myself, btw, and I conclude that the little ice age does not explain it:

    Raw data from where? The CRU? The IPCC priesthood? Some other Alarmist body?

    Unless you took your very own measurements independently & have a real understanding about geological history and timescale Joseph, I’m afraid to say I’ll be taking your claims there with a big pinch of salt. ;-)

  291. ND

    “I think you missed the point. The rapid decline in the atmospheric Carbon 14 shows that the rate of sequestration by the ocean is very high. Steve’s point (or so I thought, at least) was not whether we were pumping out more than it can handle, but only that the turnover rate is very high.”

    I think I’m the one missing something here. How does the decline in C14 mean a high rate of sequestration? C14 is an isotope and sequestration should not prefer C14 or C13, no? How is a high turnover rate (I take this to mean the carbon cycle) how is C14 naturally reduced in ratio? Clarification from anyone is welcome.

  292. Lonny Eachus

    @ 299 Joseph:

    “Storm series are quite noisy. You can’t draw any inferences from a few years with low storm counts. You need at least a 15-year running average to see a trend.”

    Well, here’s your trend:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/22/global-warming-more-hurricanes-still-not-happening/

    We are currently at a 30-year LOW for global cyclone energy. There was a peak period from about 1990-1997, and it has been trending LOWER ever since. Just like — dare I say it? — temperature.

  293. Bruce the Canuck

    Swamp-fever crazy:
    >So let me ask you – Do you want to destroy our economy & standard of living …produced by people driven by a misanthropist totalitarian socialist political ideology…

    And smearing so wide it amounts to hatred of the entire scientific community involved:
    >Raw data from where? The CRU? The IPCC priesthood? Some other Alarmist body?…Unless you took your very own measurements independently

    That’s spectroscope. Not worth the time to debate.

  294. Lonny Eachus

    @306 ND:

    You most definitely did miss something.

    241 Steve Huntwork:

    “For that same reason, the life-time of weapon created C14 carbon spikes during the atomic bomb testing years, demonstrated that atmospheric CO2 is rapidly absorbed by the oceans.”

    He wasn’t referring to preferential sequestration, only to the fact that the rate of sequestration of the Carbon 14 spikes showed how rapidly CO2 overall gets sequestered.

  295. Paul

    This is sad. I though Phil was a scientist. It turns out he’s just a politician. I also thought he was a skeptic….boy was I wrong again.

    “He is a skeptic, and fights misuses of science as well as praising the wonder of real science. ” He IS supporting the misuse of science!! James Randi should remove Phil as president of JREF.
    Since the only “real” empirical evidence was the “hockey stick” which has been obliterated like protons at the LHC, how can Phil just blow this off as a “non-issue”. I’m also disappointed with Phil and his superiority complex. I’m a skeptic not a “denier”.
    Just remember Phil, and the other AGW people…..when you have your head stuck in the sand, don’t forget what is still exposed.

  296. @Lonny Eachus (307)

    He wasn’t referring to preferential sequestration, only to the fact that the rate of sequestration of the Carbon 14 spikes showed how rapidly CO2 overall gets sequestered.

    Then wouldn’t that mean that all carbon isotopes are getting sequestered at the same or similar rates? If so, then why would C14 ratios be lower?

  297. Lonny Eachus

    Well, folks, I am out of this debate. I have other things to attend to.

    I would like to say that despite being on the “opposing “side” of some of these exchanges, it has been interesting and I have learned some things.

    One thing I would like to say before I go, though, is this: for comments on a “Skeptical” blog, I was quite surprised at some of the people who seemed to simply “knee-jerk” defend the CO2-warming side of the argument, without ever having looked at the evidence involved.

    (Please do not assume I mean you. I am generalizing, not pointing fingers at any individuals.)

  298. Lonny Eachus

    @311 Todd W:

    Todd, that is all out of context. I have to go, and it would take too long to explain. If you want to know, please go back and read the original exchanges. The short answer is yes, all isotopes should be sequestered equally. The Carbon 14 is just a way to track it.

  299. jorge c.

    dear mr.phil. please!!! take note that even the “warmist” george monbiot from London “The Guardian” asked for the resignation of phil jones. clive crook, andrew sullivan, megan mcardlee, from the atlantic, george tenney from N.Y.T., express concern about the mess that the mails show and ask clarification, because they hurts science. and they are not neither “warmist” nor republicans!!!!
    have you read what dr.judith curry wrote in andy rivkin dot.eart (new york times?) she a SCIENTIFIC and she is not a “denier” she spoke abour “climate tribalism” and “about circling the wagon and pointing the guns inward against other ‘tribes'” PLEASE MR PLAIT READ HER before writting this mess. because nor you are a member of a shaman of a “climate tribe”. ande the sammans are “priest” not scientifics!!
    really a pity your article

  300. Most people tend to believe their side is correct which means all others are wrong.

    I’ve been willing to read widely on this subject and believe that all sides have at least some valid concerns. Calling someone a denialist is always bad because it fixes a label to them and defines their identity by their behavior. I don’t have a problem with addressing denialism as it relates to a person’s behavior however. That is easier to change than identity.

    Some of the best discussion on the largest issues of peer review can be found here and here.

  301. Ismael

    http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/12/01/tech-climate-east-anglia.htm

    It’s ok! Go back to sleep, it’s just a non-event, no one is going to lose their job over this!!!

    (You scepticsim is dogma)

    Cut it out

  302. jorge c.

    mr.plait: WOWWWWWWW!!!!
    UK climate scientist to temporarily step down
    (AP) – 1 hour ago

    LONDON — Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.

    The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.

    The allegations were made after more than a decade of correspondence between leading British and U.S. scientists were posted to the Web following the security breach last month.

    The e-mails were seized upon by some skeptics of man-made climate change as proof that scientists are manipulating the data about its extent.

    yawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  303. I’m not talking about the “Little Ice Age” here, Joseph. That was merely one of many “blips” in our current interglacial warm spell. No, I’m talking the last – or actually current – full blown honest-to-goodness full-on ICE AGE the sort with the mammoths and mastodons, saber toothed tigers and neanderthal cavemen.

    You’re talking about completely different timeframes. It takes apparently about 10 to 20 thousand years to fully get into a major ice age that last close to 100,000 years. That’s maybe half a degree for every 1,000 years, or 0.05C / century. That’s almost two order of magnitudes from the sort of climate change speed we’re discussing.

    If there is any truth at all to the idea that human C02 emissions do contribute anything towards warming us – and that’s doubtful – then we’ll one day be grateful and keen to add to and keep those Co2 levels as high as possible.

    The speed of change is what’s unusual now. I don’t doubt species could evolve and even thrive with much higher CO2 concentrations and temperatures, if the change occurs much more slowly.

  304. Well, here’s your trend:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/22/global-warming-more-hurricanes-still-not-happening/

    We are currently at a 30-year LOW for global cyclone energy.

    I’ve seen that, and I’m not surprised Anthony Watts would pick that series. It’s not clear to me why storm counts have increased and correlate nicely with temperatures, while global cyclone energy does not. It might be an issue having to do with the way cyclone energy is estimated.

  305. Jacqueline

    ME wrote:

    “First off, with all due respect to Phil and many others who claim the title of “skeptic,” you’re not really. Skepticism is a phiolosphical (sic) stance that assumes significant limits on human knowledge and is suspicious of absolute or comprehensive claims of such, regardless of the source. I suspect Phil is a religious skeptic, which unfortunately and innaccurately gets shortened to “skeptic” when often such types have a very comprehensive belief and often faith in the processes of science.”

    First off, you start with an ad hominem.

    “Phil’s post here seems to reflect that position. The assertion that the e-mails scandal is a non-event strikes me as quite denialist in character.”

    Or maybe the opinion of a scientist that knows about how actual scientists behave.

    JS;)

  306. Cheyenne

    Looks like the “non-event” has led to today’s announcement that both Penn State and the CRU are launching their own independent investigations.

  307. Whooosh….. that’s the sound of credibility on all things scientific you hear leaving the (Very) Bad Astronomy deep fraud probe.

    At over 320 comments I can’t be sure but has author Phil been back to visit this dog’s dinner of a train wreck he unleashed? Or is he just hiding behind an external tank on the space shuttle hoping the blast off will sanitize the whole scandal?

  308. When the Arctic melts completely by 2050 or so, this will definitely be a “non-event.” Right now it’s a very annoying distraction.

  309. Don Gisselbeck

    It’s interesting that the one link I read from an AGW sceptic (to Talk Origins on C-14) does not in fact refute an old carbon source for atmospheric CO2 despite the poster’s claim. Since most of the sceptics are using standard fringe arguments (we good few against evil scientist conspirators, we good few defending good hyper-rich people against venal scientists, we good capitalists fighting commie-fascists) why should I bother reading other links?

  310. Paulo

    LOL

    This blog is funny.

    Phil Plait try hidden the sun with his finger.

  311. Colonel Travis

    Sez Phil – “Get back to me when you have equally overwhelming evidence that global warming is not happening, or if it is it’s not anthropogenic. Then we can talk.”

    Hey, here’s a kooky idea – how about you get back to me when your consensus friends stop trying to blackball dissent and allow all the data they’ve manipulated over the years to real scrutiny. If this is such a big yawner, why are the resignations starting to trickle in from every corner of the consensus universe? Why the shell games? Why the consensus wagon-circling?

    You’re not a scientist, you’re a propagandist.

  312. Why should you bother reading anything. Go my sun Don and sin no more.

  313. It’s obviously more than a non-event. Look at this, 320+ comments? Climate will change, that’s a fact. Even if we all lived in huts for the rest of eternity (ie Sun gets too hot and we all burn alive), it would change.

    AGW though? It should be debated. The world is a big big place and it’s a hell of a complicated problem.

    Yet people are 100% sure we’re to blame? Nothing else in the world (and space) has affected our climate? Nothing? Zero? That’s what people are saying?

    I think some people are a little too modest. ;)

  314. There’s been far too much black and white thinking. False dichotomies have created this entire mess.

    I have hope that some good can come out of it yet. We need to change the way that people think about science. The government should promote more general science education. I want the equivalent of CSPAN where I can hear about everything from evolutionary theory to vaccines to climate change and beyond. Let’s have a REAL marketplace of ideas. The Internet appears to be almost the perfect forum, if we can grow up beyond our partisan views and embrace the wisdom of Aristophanes: The wise learn many things from their enemies.

    As you’re doing that, try to find a way to not think of your fellow humans as enemies. We all love our children. We all want them to have a habitable planet AND sound economy. Pitting those things against each other is the most devastating form of false dichotomy humans have yet to devise. Oppose it wherever you find it!

    I care about language and etymology. Economy and ecology are linked in more ways than one, if there is any doubt about the falseness of the dichotomy.

  315. flynjack

    Phil, I have said that you are a candle in the darkness, but now the candle flickers. How can you in good conscious support the poor scientific method demonstrated in these emails? You should be outraged as many of us are. It isn’t whether global warming, AGW or otherwise is correct or not, its the abuse of the scientific method in supporting ones conclusion. You of all people should show some backbone and support science as a discipline rather than scientist. When the data is corrupted to support the paradigm (consensus) one should be ever the more suspicious of the conclusion and you should know that. Your failure to come to the defense of solid scientific method is clearly evidence of your own bias in the matter. Your failure to show enough courage to respond to these post in your blog is disappointing.

    Do you fail to realize the damage that this scandal will cause the image of the scientific community with people? This should concern you as a self professed educator of science and reason. How can you expect people to have confidence in what the scientific community says on the issue of climate change when other scientist fail to cry out for proper use of scientific methodology? Sorry Phil but this seriously hurts your own credibility.

  316. kaonashi

    While I don’t consider myself to be a denier, I am an AGW doubter. I understand and accept that we are in a warming period, but as a layman with an interest in the sciences but no real experience, I haven’t been convinced yet that the warming is our fault.

    I have read through all of these posts, up through 322 which was the last one when I wrote this, and I have seen posts from both sides that made sense (to me at least). So I am still on the fence. One thing that does bother me though, is the sense that the AGW club seems to be telling me that in order to understand their side of the argument, I need to spend years in school and years taking measurements and years doing research. How do they expect me to agree with them if their position is seemingly so far out of reach of the ordinary person?

    I’m of the opinion that even if GW is not our fault, how bad can it be to get a head start at developing alternate fuels and alternate energy generation technologies? Sure the motivation for exploring solar, wind, tidal, etc. energy may turn out to be false, but at least we’re getting the research started before it becomes an emergency. And if we can get ourselves weaned off of fossil fuels quickly, then the developing nations can use what we don’t to continue their development while we chug merrily along in our electric and hybrid vehicles.

    If you saw a news report telling you that a major storm was predicted to strike your area, and that motivated you to make some repairs to your house that you have been putting off, if the prediction turned out to be false would you get mad at the weatherman, or would you be glad you finally got things fixed?

    So while I’m still waiting to be convinced that GW really is our fault, I’m glad it’s finally gotten us off our butts and looking for ways to live more responsibly.

  317. Mark

    I’d say the melting polar ice caps are pretty good evidence that the earth is warming. And there are satellite pictures of that-something that’s hard to deny.

    A lot of you guys are forgetting that carbon emissions are easily measured and currently range at 380ppm. Ice core samples can show that they were much lower and stable for thousands of years before the industrial revolution.

    I think skepticism is great. I consider myself a skeptic. However, when the overwhelming majority of evidence shows what scientists have been saying, regardless of some e-mails. global warming caused by human produced carbon emissions is pretty hard to deny.

    I think it’s hilarious that everyone on here is so quick to point fingers and yell “A-ha, gotcha!” at Phil, like you’ve been waiting for the moment to pounce for such a long time. And you scream “You’re not a true skeptic!” It seems like you’re all embracing the Anti-Global Warming movement rather than being skeptical of that too. Anything to absolve you of your responsibility for your pollution I guess.

  318. ArtD0dger

    Sorry Phil, you are flat-out wrong on this one. The significance of this affair goes far beyond the AGW issue, it calls into question the very reliability of purportedly scientific institutions in informing public policy.

    I encourage every reader of this blog to spend some time reviewing the actual hacked material if they don’t want to be blind-sided by the inevitable future developments. Denialism is not going to make this one go away.

  319. skepitcscienceteacher

    To all deniers out there a few questions:

    1) Do you have Phd’s in a scientific area?

    If the answer to the above question is no then please leave the postulations on “data tricks” to people like the BA with this higher degree of education.

    2) Have you ever thought of thinking for yourself?

    Any 5 year old can repeat the talking points of others

    3) Have you looked at the actual studies?

    4) Are you smart enough to analyze the data?

    Oh just one more comment well logical argument really:

    A: CO2 (carbon dioxide to the layman, most of the deniers) is a greenhouse gas

    B: CO2 is released during the burning of fuel; if you are confused on this look up the equation for the burning of any hydrocarbon (again for the layman compounds with a backbone structure of hydrogen and carbon)

    C: Heck I’ll even give you a hand here: hydrocarbon, remember that one from before, + oxygen (this is burning folks) yields CO2 and H2O(that last one is water vapor) plus some other stuff if there were to be nitrogen or sulfur or something else in the hydrocarbon.

    D: Humans since the industrial revolution have been taking hydrocarbons, coal, oil, and natural gas which have been locked away from the carbon cycle for millions and sometimes billions of years, and burning them in ever increasing quantities using the above reaction.

    E: As stated above these will create ever increasing levels of CO2 and H2O (water vapor is also a green house gas btw) in earths atmosphere.

    F: Coming back around to point A CO2 is a greenhouse gas there for increased CO2, and H2O btw, means increasing greenhouse effect.

    As a side note can we please stop calling it global warming? It is global climate change some areas may actually become cooler due to disruption of the oceanic conveyer by the infusion of less dense fresh water into the denser salty sea water.

    That is all: end communication

  320. When the data is corrupted to support the paradigm (consensus) one should be ever the more suspicious of the conclusion and you should know that.

    To make statements like that, you should show that the data has been falsified in the literature. Hypothesis-testing the researchers were doing in their private codebase does not count. You need to show that published data is bogus.

    So far, no one has been able to demonstrate this. If nothing like this comes out of ‘climategate’, it’s frankly a waste of time for everyone involved, and in the end it will only discredit the contrarians.

  321. Sorry if this has been posted already. I just found it via Google:
    The Swifthack Scandal: What You Need to Know

    Seems to summarize quite well. Pseduo-skeptics, take note.

  322. Ding

    It’s all politics.

    Pick a side and ramp it up.

    Use over-the-top language to enforce your POV. Denier has more punch than skeptic. It’s like a memo went out to use that word or something.

    When Gore got in the mix, the line between science and politics was blurred even further. His self serving entry into the debate did the AGW cause more harm than good. Man-Cow-Pig.

    And what to call the hacks? Swifthack or Climategate? Both terms are drawn from political events.

    Can’t we come up with something new?

    Observe and define please. Don’ t overstate to push your agenda.

    We are poles apart. We fill a role that someone has created for us.

  323. Ah yes, the old reductio ad Goreum. For someone complaining that “it’s all politics”, you just said exactly *zero* about the actual state of climatology. Does that concern you or not? Have you done your own wide sampling of the peer-reviewed literature? Ever touched a research journal database? That to me seems like the clear path to making it *not* politics, and it also makes it easy to “pick a side”.

  324. Paul

    skepticscienceteacher:
    “To all deniers out there a few questions:

    1) Do you have Phd’s in a scientific area?

    If the answer to the above question is no then please leave the postulations on “data tricks” to people like the BA with this higher degree of education.”

    You are overly impressed with the PhD thing. In this case it is obvious it means Piled higher and Deeper.
    You are as arrogant and elitist as Phil and Gore are. Get over yourself. CO2 is plant food. We have to have plants because many things eat things that eat plants.
    Climatology is a questionable science anyway. These guys who claim to be experts because they have a PhD really don’t know what they don’t know. Too much conjecture using proxies. A real scientists knows that something can not be proven 100%. We can only look at the evidence to support a hypothesis or theory. With the evidence having no integrity, it does not support the claim of AGW so a new hypothesis must be made and tested.

  325. Ding

    For what it’s worth Brock, I spent fifteen years collecting climatology data at sea.

    You know nothing about me and yet you feel free to question my credentials? Based on what? A comment in this silly thread? This is what I’m talking about dude, knee jerk reaction to political opposition.

    All your chips are in!

    Groupthink!

    Step away from the flock and be an individual, man!

    Overpopulation is the problem.

    You are who you hang out with. Find diverse friends.

  326. Anaconda

    Joseph wrote: “So far, no one has been able to demonstrate this [data falsification].”

    False. Also, in the wake of a scandal of this nature, it is up to AGW proponents to demonstrate the veracity of ALL work that has been done — not the other way around.

    Data falsification is being untangled from the computer code which makes multiple references to setting aside data from a source because it didn’t support AGW.

    As much as raw data, it is the computer code that is the source of the manipulation.

    That and a great deal of the raw data was destroyed (how convenient).

    I’m sorry Joseph, but you and your ilk have been exposed, not by sceptics, but by the corrupt leaders of your movement — they cut the branch of credibility from beneath you and now your movement is hurtling down at the pavement.

    I only hope for the sake of Phil Plait’s personal credibility and reputation, for reputations are at stake in this scandal, that he pens another post that admits he wrote a hasty post before all the information could be digested and now he calls for a full investigation.

    (Anything less and Plait becomes complicit in this scandal.)

    Otherwise, his readers, his fans, will know that it’s all been an act (scepticism) and Phil Plait is nothing but an attention seeker bent on self-promotion so as to further his income stream and notoriety.

    Joseph, is your last name Goebbels, it’s clear you wanted to keep Plait’s readers on the reservation, but it is you and the others of your ilk which are using tortuous reasoning and the true sceptics that are using common sense application of reason and logic.

    Joseph, you are attempting to force a square peg into a round hole and it’s not working — the longer you sit at your keyboard struggling to force that peg into the hole, the more the audience laughs at you.

    Think Elmer Fudd :-)

  327. @Anaconda: Much of what you’ve written is simply false. First of all, no one has pointed out any published paper that has a data or graph that can be shown to be manipulated. It should be easy to do this if anything like this exists, given the stolen information is now public.

    Second, I’ve looked at the source code and so have others. The “artificial correction” that everyone is talking about is clearly marked with all-caps cautionary comments and so forth. This is clearly temporary hypothesis-testing code of some sort. You would never add comments like that if you’re trying to obfuscate wrong-doing. Where do we see the results of these corrections in the published literature?

    Third, no raw data has been deleted. That’s just misinformation that’s floating around. Copies of files containing data have been deleted. That’s very different.

    Finally, I’m not part of any “movement” and I don’t have any leaders of any sort. I’m just someone with knowledge of science and statistical analysis who happens to have analyzed raw data and has an interest in the topic.

  328. Ding said: For what it’s worth Brock, I spent fifteen years collecting climatology data at sea.

    That’s cool then. Perhaps I was a bit off the mark. But without that fact, your post taken on its own still struck me as a hypocritical “yuck, it’s all politics; now here are MY politics!”

    You know nothing about me and yet you feel free to question my credentials? Based on what?

    The same reasons I’d question anyone’s credentials. Plus your post was all about politics and “tone”, with no mention of actual science, giving me the impression that you were clueless on the latter. Try being more upfront about your background.

    And if you HAVE trawled research databases and have come to any conclusion other than that AGW IS a scientific consensus, please elaborate. I don’t take nearly as much issue with that as with the masses of people who don’t bother to look in the first place. I’m sure you can appreciate the distinction.

  329. Dear Joseph, of course that people know lots of papers that have been manipulated.

    Fired Mr Phil Jones has reproduced the trick due to Michael Mann, from Mann Bradley Hughes (MBH) 98, see

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/mbh98.pdf

    It’s not just “a” paper but the very key paper of the 2001 IPCC report which gave the report its iconic image on the cover. Together with variations such as MBH99 and many others, MBH98 is the only known argument that the changing climate in the 20th century was unprecedented. And it’s completely wrong, too.

    It contains the flawed hockey stick graph. Jones “simplified” the trick Mann did by saying that “Mann just deleted the newest portion of the reconstruction and replaced it by thermometer readings” to hide the recent decline in temperature that would otherwise appear from the reconstruction. That’s not exactly what Mann did, but in its effect, it is equivalent.

    There exist irreversible, detailed proofs showing that Mann’s methodology was flawed and the authors have probably always known it.

    A Mathematica notebook, and its PDF preview, showing how you get a hockey stick out of red noise if you prefer the series that show warming at the end:

    http://cid-9cd81cfa06ff7718.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/mann-hockey-fun.pdf

    http://cid-9cd81cfa06ff7718.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/mann-hockey-fun.nb

    The problem of the MBH98, MBH99, and similar papers was (and is!) that the algorithm preferred proxies – or trees (or their equivalents) – that showed a warming trend in the 20th century, assuming that this condition guaranteed that the trees were sensitive to temperature.

    But even if such a 20th century trend occurred by chance for a certain tree or another proxy (and a fraction of the trees inevitably satisfies this condition, by the very laws of statistics), the corresponding tree would influence Mann’s final graphs a lot. Effectively, the algorithm picked a lot of trees that didn’t show any correlation with the temperature but they were rather composed out of random data – red noise – before 1900, and an increasing trend in 1900-2000. They just happened to show an unusual warming in the 20th century which gave them the weight by Mann’s flawed algorithm.

    You can’t be surprised that the average of such trees looked like a hockey stick even if the temperature didn’t. The noise before 1900 averages to a constant temperature or something close to it while the 20th century warming survives.

    It’s very likely that this mechanism wasn’t invented – or this mistake hasn’t been done – “by chance”. Michael Mann was almost certainly looking for methodologies that would produce hockey sticks with small variations in the past and large variations in the recent era. The ClimateGate correspondence shows that Phil Jones had a simpler idea about what Mann did. Jones summarized the situation by saying that Mann simply replaced the actual proxies by the thermometer readings in the recent decades. Because the proxies understate the variability in the past, one automatically obtains a hockey stick graph by this inconsistent combination of graphs taken from different sources.

    The CRU correspondence is full of comments that make it clear that the hockey stick climatologists were doing deliberate “tricks” to obtain the hockey stick that wouldn’t appear otherwise. And they were aware of the fact that the resulting graphs were untrue. For a relatively unknown example, note that

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=538&filename=1119957715.txt

    Tom Wigley wrote in 2005:

    “A word of warning. I would be careful about using other, independent paleo reconstruction work as supporting the MBH reconstructions. I am attaching my version of a comparison of the bulk of these other reconstructions. Although these all show the hockey stick shape, the differences between them prior to 1850 make me very nervous. If I were on the greenhouse deniers’ side, I would be inclined to focus on the wide range of paleo results and the differences between them as an argument for dismissing them all.

    But because he is not on the “deniers’ side”, he will hide the evidence available to him that suggests that the hockey sticks are uniformly wrong, right? This single sentence proves that its author, Tom Wigley, lacks the very basic scientific integrity.

    At any rate, it’s completely crazy today to claim that the hockey stick graphs were unimportant for the AGW cause, or that they were correct. They’re completely essential for the AGW story and they’re completely wrong.

  330. Anaconda

    Joseph wrote: ” First of all, no one has pointed out any published paper that has a data or graph that can be shown to be manipulated.”

    False.

    The whole “hocky stick” graph has been shown to be manipulated that’s why it was REMOVED from the U.N. report.

    Joseph wrote: “I’m just someone with knowledge of science and statistical analysis who happens to have analyzed raw data…”

    Really, a lot of people have wanted the opportunity to analyze the raw data, but the corrupt leaders refused to provide the data.

    I suggest that if you’ve been so close to the center of this scandal as to have analyzed the raw data (all of it?) when so many others have been refused, then you are in no position to be objective.

    Which is evident enough from your series of comments on the subject, tortuous reasoning and all.

    But keep attempting to force that square peg into that round hole — it’s entertaining.

    Like Elmer Fudd :-)

  331. macbrooks

    Of all the posts I’ve read in this thread, I think the most important was the post regarding the veracity of the scientific method being threatened. The scientists involved need to man up (and woman up) and explain these emails. If it takes down their careers, so be it. Science is about discovery and truth – that’s what makes scientists uber cool.

    Also – skepticism is a healthy trait; to see people bashing skepticism, ESPECIALLY about science, is extremely disturbing.

    Lastly – Phil, I admire you but this post of yours appears condescending and arrogant. A scientist with such a gift for explaining science to non-scientists shouldn’t read like he really doesn’t have the time nor the patience for them.

    mac :]

  332. 332. kaonashi Says: “So while I’m still waiting to be convinced that GW really is our fault, I’m glad it’s finally gotten us off our butts and looking for ways to live more responsibly.”

    This is the most reasonable comment in this entire thread.

    – Jack

  333. 335. skepitcscienceteacher Says: “To all deniers out there a few questions:

    1) Do you have Phd’s in a scientific area?”

    No, but I have a BSc. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley, several industrial degrees and 35 years field experience.

    “4) Are you smart enough to analyze the data?”

    Yes.

    “A: CO2 (carbon dioxide to the layman, most of the deniers) is a greenhouse gas

    “B: CO2 is released during the burning of fuel

    “C: hydrocarbon + oxygen yields CO2 and H2O.

    “D: Humans since the industrial revolution have been taking hydrocarbons, and burning them in ever increasing quantities using the above reaction.

    “E: these will create ever increasing levels of CO2 and H2O.

    “F: Coming back around to point A CO2 is a greenhouse gas there for increased CO2, and H2O btw, means increasing greenhouse effect.”

    I’ve edited out your snarky, condescending comments and now leave you with a logical question:

    A – What is the total CO2 load going into the atmosphere each year from all sources?

    B – What percentage of that is from human combustion activities?

    C – Establish the casual link between that fraction and the current climate change and that the other “natural” sources have no effect.

    Sorry, but you can’t use water, methane or any other substance in your argument because the simplistic “CO2 in = temperature up” model is the one that politicians have been using to draft all of these draconian measures. Even if we stopped ALL human combustion, not just cars, but everything from third-world cooking fires to space shuttle launches, it would be within the margin of error of measuring atmospheric CO2. In other words, undetectable. Please explain how an undetectably tiny reduction is going to reverse a global condition.

    – Jack

  334. It contains the flawed hockey stick graph. Jones “simplified” the trick Mann did by saying that “Mann just deleted the newest portion of the reconstruction and replaced it by thermometer readings” to hide the recent decline in temperature that would otherwise appear from the reconstruction. That’s not exactly what Mann did, but in its effect, it is equivalent.

    That’s not the same thing at all. There’s nothing wrong in using the instrumental record for the last 40 years or so, unless that record is completely wrong. If you ask me, I think thermometers might be a bit better at telling temperature than tree rings.

    There exist irreversible, detailed proofs showing that Mann’s methodology was flawed and the authors have probably always known it.

    That’s another falsehood that floats around the blogsphere. In fact, I have personally verified that the “hockey stick” is reproducible with a simple 25-year central moving average; nothing fancy that can be “manipulated” and so forth. I know the “skeptics” bend over backwards to discredit it, sure.

    Finally, it’s simply nonsense to say that MBH (1998) is the only way to get a hockey stick. There are dozens of other reconstructions based on different methods. There are also a number of other papers by Mann et al.

  335. TheBlackCat

    It contains the flawed hockey stick graph. Jones “simplified” the trick Mann did by saying that “Mann just deleted the newest portion of the reconstruction and replaced it by thermometer readings” to hide the recent decline in temperature that would otherwise appear from the reconstruction. That’s not exactly what Mann did, but in its effect, it is equivalent.

    Wait, what? We have proxy records, for long time periods, and direct temperature records for other time periods. We know that under a very specific time period a very small subset of one particular proxy contradicts the directly recorded temperature record. Remember, the proxy records are used as proxies for the temperature record, they are used to infer temperature records when none are available. So in this one limited case they decided it would be better to use the actual temperature record instead of something that is supposed to represent the temperature record but doesn’t. So in short they replaced data they know is wrong with data they know is right. They did not hide this fact, it was mentioned in the scientific literature. You however, think they should use known wrong data? Why should anyone use data they know is wrong, and was been publicly declared as wrong long before?

    Even if we threw out this particular subset of this particular proxy (specific tree rings from a specific tree) or even if we threw out the entire proxy (tree rings), the other proxies all agree on the same conclusion. This in no way invalidates the “hockey stick” plot.

  336. TheBlackCat

    A – What is the total CO2 load going into the atmosphere each year from all sources?

    That is totally irrelevant. What is important is the difference between the quantity of CO2 being released into the atmosphere (sources) and the CO2 being removed from the atmosphere (sinks). And currently the natural sources of carbon are actually less than the natural sinks. Humans produced about 8.9 gigatons of CO2 from fossil fuels and 1.5 net from land use change in 2008. 57% of this is taken up again by various sinks, and all the CO2 produced by natural sources is taken up by sinks (in terms of net contribution, of course there is mixing in the atmosphere so some CO2 produced naturally is not taken up and a bit more CO2 produced by humans is taken up). Note that this is 57% of the net CO2 produced by humans is taken up by natural sinks each year, the increase in CO2 levels that was left over from the previous years remains. And it looks likely 90% certain) that the percentage of CO2 that is absorbed is dropping at the same time that the amount of CO2 humans produce is growing rapidly, meaning the rate of increase in global CO2 levels will increase.

    See here: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n12/abs/ngeo689.html

    B – What percentage of that is from human combustion activities?

    Combustion activities are not the only human-caused source of carbon. Things like deforestation and marine dead zones also release a lot of CO2.

    C – Establish the casual link between that fraction and the current climate change and that the other “natural” sources have no effect.

    No one is saying that natural issues have no effect whatsoever, only that the change in temperature is due much more to humans than to natural causes. There are indications that a much smaller fraction may be caused by natural effects.

    Whatever the case, considering natural sources and natural sinks are about equal (actually the natural sinks outstrip the natural sources currently), and that there are essentially no man-made net sinks, any change in temperature due to increased carbon dioxide must be due to humans because humans are the ones driving CO2 levels (nature is actually reducing the human impact while contributing nothing on its own).

  337. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE

    @ #288. g6loq:

    Very obviously this Administration hates White Folks. How do you explain the slow response otherwise…

    That storm formed on January 25th, 2009, just a few days after President Obama’s inauguration. What did you expect him to do in such a short space of time? Wave a magic wand(!)?

    Meanwhile hundreds of thousands were without power and dozens died.

    According to Wikipedia, that storm produced widespread power outages for over 2 million people due to heavy ice accumulation. The hardest hit areas were Kentucky with over 500,000 residences without power during the height of the storm, including 100,000 without power for over one week, and northern Arkansas, with 300,000 residences without power.

    I think that was mainly due to the ageing U.S. power grid system, which is anywhere from half a century to a century old, that has been seriously neglected by successive administrations over the years. You can’t blame President Obama for that!

    As for the deaths, that ice storm killed 65 people nationwide, 35 in Kentucky. Most deaths were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to power generators or kerosene heaters being used indoors without proper ventilation. Compare that to over 42,000 people that get killed on U.S. Highways every year.

  338. James the militant agnostic

    Phil,

    with 300+ comments I figure you’ll never read this… but I want to say thank you anyway for the calm perspective.

    I was getting really upset over the stupidity of people (especialy journalists) jumping all over this when the emails clearly don’t say what the denialists are claiming, and anyone bothering to read them carefully could see that.

    But you’re right: in the end it’s just more of the same, from people that have no more influence or credibility than we choose to give them, and I’ll just be giving it legs by ranting about it.

    I’ll just take a deep breath and continue making the world a cooler, funner place to live

  339. Lonny Eachus

    @351 Joseph & @353 TheBlackCat:

    Actually, Joseph, I have to call a number of your statements into question. In particular, if you are so familiar with the subject, why is it that you don’t know that after coming under fire for using flawed statistical methods, Bradley and Hughes (the original creators of the “hockey stick” graph) admitted their error and OFFICIALLY WITHDREW that graph from their paper?

    To state that “First of all, no one has pointed out any published paper that has a data or graph that can be shown to be manipulated.” demonstrates that you are simply ignorant of the subject matter at hand. Hell, this all happened a long time ago. More than a year, for certain.

    To BlackCat, I will also mention that the error they were guilty of had little to do with the data. It was their methods that were flawed… in such a way that deliberate manipulation cannot actually be proven, but it sure is suspicious. In fact, one team of researchers, using exactly the same treatment of data described by Bradley and Hughes, created a very similar graph even though they fed it RANDOM DATA.

    So technically, Joseph, I suppose you are correct in that it has not been proven to have been “manipulated”. But can you say “discredited”? Sure. I knew you could.

    This is not some “rumor”. Ask Bradley and Hughes themselves. They have publicly admitted that their graph was in error and withdrawn it. (As others pointed out a long time ago above, which I am surprised you missed, there have been efforts to “revive” this graph… which would not be necessary if it were not long DEAD.)

    Come on, folks, get with the program. This is all old news. Why is it being debated now? And why did you not know about it?

    Joseph, if you can recreate this graph with a simple moving average, please do so and let us see it. I am also interested in the raw data that is behind it… that is, if it is data that was actually used in “HadCRUT3″.

  340. Lonny Eachus

    @356 James:

    Really? They don’t say what “the denialists” claim? Hmmm… Have you actually read them? (I suspect not, since if you had, you would not be saying that. As usual, we have another “knee-jerk” defender who has not looked at the evidence.)

    I repeat: this is not about some misunderstanding of phrases like “hide the decline”. This is about much more serious issues, as shown in OTHER emails.

    By the way, everybody: I noticed that one of the links I supplied up above was broken. It should be:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/when-results-go-bad/

  341. Lonny Eachus

    Apologies for a string of posts (apparently nobody else has posted for a while). I retract what I stated in #357, and beg your pardon. My source was in error. Apparently MBH did not in fact retract their hockey stick.

    At least I made an attempt to verify what I thought was the truth, and I am glad I did.

    After study, the National Academy of Sciences have called the hockey stick graph “plausible”, but that the data is “uncertain”. Critics McIntyre and McKitrick claim that 7 of their 10 criticisms were confirmed by the NAS. The Wegman review called the McIntyre and McKitrick criticisms “valid and compelling.”

    I do not usually use Wikipedia much as a source but the citations are apparently genuine. It should be noted that in regard to the temperature proxies used by MBH, many of the same proxies are reused in most of the “independent studies” so these “cannot really claim to be independent verifications.” (Wegman report).

    What it boils down to, folks, is still the same thing: most of the work done involving climate change relies on this same data, and the data is now seriously in question. It is quite apparent that the CRU data has been handled unprofessionally, and very probably in a biased manner. If there is to be any credibility in the field, much of this work will have to be re-done, starting from scratch with “unadjusted” raw data.

    And in a much more open and transparent manner.

    The Wegman report summarizes: “Overall, the committee believes that Mann’s assessments, that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis.”

    Note that the Wegman report has been criticized for not being “peer reviewed”. The very idea is ludicrous. The Wegman report WAS peer review. Any demand that all peer reviews be peer reviewed is ridiculous on its face.

  342. A question for the AGW skeptics; aren’t some species colonizing territory further north than they had lived before? Have they adapted to colder temperatures, or have things warmed up for them.

    And wasn’t there a time when alligators just weren’t seen anywhere near Virginia?

  343. 354. TheBlackCat Says:

    ” ‘What is the total CO2 load going into the atmosphere each year from all sources?’

    That is totally irrelevant. What is important is the difference between the quantity of CO2 being released into the atmosphere (sources) and the CO2 being removed from the atmosphere (sinks).”

    This is why I generally stay out of these debates. Every time I get into one, though, I ask these three questions (how much CO2 total, how much is human caused and why is that a problem). I have never gotten an answer. What I get is either rhetoric or a long winded explanation as to why my question isn’t necessary because the problem is so serious. In TBC’s longer answer, he throws out some numbers for the human part (without citing sources) but never gives the total.

    While the study of climate is a scientific endeavor, “fixing” it (if that is even possible) is an engineering problem. The first thing you do to solve any problem is to characterize it . How big? What are the factors? What do you have control over and what don’t you?

    In this case, the first thing we need to know is how much are we responsible for since this is the only thing we have control over. Telling me how many gigatons humans contribute doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t know the total. And if the total load is terratons, we’re lost in the noise.

    The point is moot anyway. The Earth’s climate is a massively complex system with five or six (or more) fundamental active elements all interacting chaotically. It’s hard to get people worked up over that when their eyes glaze over halfway through the explanation. OTOH, if you can reduce it to a simplistic “CO2 in, temperature up”, then you have something that can make a good sound bite. You can posture and pontificate to great effect. The fact that it all means nothing never comes up.

    – Jack

  344. 361. Alan Kellogg Says: “A question for the AGW skeptics; aren’t some species colonizing territory further north than they had lived before? Have they adapted to colder temperatures, or have things warmed up for them. And wasn’t there a time when alligators just weren’t seen anywhere near Virginia?”

    What’s your point? How does this prove that humans are responsible? Half a million years ago hippos lived in what is now Great Britain.

    – Jack

  345. Jacqueline

    Colonel Travis Says:

    “You’re not a scientist, you’re a propagandist.”

    Colonel Travis, you’re the propagandist. All you have is whining about the (cue creepy theramin music) CONSPIRACY. You’re too lazy to go out and get an education and then do your own climate research, and get it peer reviewed and published. You wouldn’t know what science was if it bit you on your denialist rump.
    Whining and conspiracy theories doesn’t equal scientific evidence.

    JS:)

  346. It’s interesting to note that in all of the emails the word ‘denialist’ is only used three times. The word ‘sceptic’ & ‘skeptic’ is used more times than I care to count.

    If you wish to search the terms for yourself: http://www.eastangliaemails.com/index.php

    So, stop calling the people who question AGW ‘denialists’. We’re just people who aren’t fully convinced that the human race is the sole cause of changing the climate. We are skeptical! Duh?

    Yes, there are some that do completely deny it. They’re likely the same people that think the Earth is 6000 years old. I’m talking about the people who are generally well versed and interested in science itself.

    The enormous response to this blog proves one thing though: the debate is far from over (no matter which side you are on).

  347. Bill

    Phil, you’ve officially jumped the shark.

  348. Danny

    “’All that data and codes need to be independently audited.’

    See comment #27. You are vastly underestimating the scale of such a project.”

    Consider that legislation is being pushed around the world (Cap and Trade here in the US) that will cost TRILLIONS of dollars and affect almost every person on the globe, shouldn’t that review be done?

    To put another way, if we are to spend that much money and affect everyone’s energy costs, doesn’t it make sense that we VERIFY that the science it is based on be correct?

    I do.

    Danny

  349. Paul

    Hey Phil, how do you know the CRU site was hacked? Where’s your proof? Another plausible hypothesis is there was a whistle blower on the inside who posted the material. Don’t throw out accusations with out proof.

  350. TheBlackCat

    In TBC’s longer answer, he throws out some numbers for the human part (without citing sources) but never gives the total.

    Please read my post again, I did cite my source.

    If you are really so keen on irrelevant numbers, then I can provide them. They weren’t that hard to find if you bothered to look for yourself. All number are in metric gigatons per year (of carbon, not CO2).

    Natural (-3):
    Sources (150):
    Plant growth decay: 60
    Ocean/atmosphere exchange: 90
    Volcanoes: 0.2

    Sinks (-153):
    Plant growth/decay: -61
    Ocean/atmosphere exchange: -92

    Human (6.5):
    Sources (7):
    Fossil Fuel emissions: 5.5
    Land use changes: 1.5

    Sinks (-.5):
    Land use changes: -0.5

    Total: 3.5 gigatons a year, all due to humans.

    As you can see, the natural sinks are larger than the natural sources, and human sources are about 4% of natural sources. This means that overall nature is removing some of the carbon we produce.

    Geological sources and sinks are negligible on this scale (0.2 gigatons of CO2, not carbon) but completely cancel out over geological time scales.

    Sources appear in a second post because of moderation.

  351. TheBlackCat

    @ Paul: The university confirmed that there was a hack of their servers, and took the affected servers down.

  352. Andrew

    It’s sad that e-mail depicting manipulation of the scientific peer review process as well as deleting relevant data after Freedon of Iformation requests is considered a non-event

  353. Don

    Phil seems to be so out of it he’s not aware or doesn’t care that

    a lot of the basic, raw temp data he refers to has been destroyed by CRU.

    How can anyone know the “conclusions drawn” [his words] are valid without the basic

    data on which all of these “conclusions” hinge? Duh …. simple logic, really …

    Geeze ….Don

  354. Johann

    “I am a scientist myself…”

    Phil: You WERE a scientist. You aren’t anymore. Stop claiming.

  355. Spectroscope

    Spot on Don.

    Given what we now know about the CRU’s practices, *NOTHING* the so-called “scientists” promoting the Alarmist side say can now be believed. It really is that simple.

  356. ND

    I still don’t get this data destruction stuff. Did they destroy the only existing copies in the world? Was this data from CRU’s own measurements or third parties?

    A lot of hatemongers have come out of the woodworks. All their prejudices of commies are confirmed so easily.

  357. Lonny Eachus

    @377 ND:

    The idea is very basic: they took a bunch of raw data (most or even perhaps all of this “raw” raw data is still available). But for their study, they used EXCERPTS of the raw data, as well as other data that is NOT publicly available, to make their working data set. Okay so far? (Those were their first mistakes… one thing they should have done, at least, was ensure that the “private” data they used would be available to the public afterward, because this was PUBLICLY FUNDED research. The law says that the data has to be public… but they made agreements to keep the data private.)

    Now, THEN what they did, is make adjustments to some of the data, and throw out some of the data, to make their next iteration of a working data set… and then threw out the original, which by then was not the same as all the available “raw” data. Okay? So while the “raw” data might still be around, we don’t know what part of it was used and what was thrown out. The dataset famously used for the IPCC is designated HadCRUT3, indicating that it has gone through at least several such “adjustments”.

    The problem is, since they threw out the data set that they ACTUALLY USED to derive their own data (as opposed to the whole set of raw data), it is now impossible to reproduce the original set of data that was used to generate their current data. If we do not know what the original data was that they started from, then there is no way to tell whether the “adjustments” that were made to create their current data were in any way valid. Which then leads to one simple and inescapable conclusion: their results are simply not reproducible by others.

    Reproducible results are what science is all about. If their results cannot be reproduced, then their science is junk. Period. Plain and simple. That is the single biggest principle behind the scientific method. There is a reason that the journal printed by the committee for the humorous IgNobel Prize is called the Journal of Irreproducible Results: if it’s not reproducible, then it’s nothing more than a joke.

    Unfortunately, in this case it’s a very sad joke. Nobody is laughing.

  358. Lonny Eachus

    @377 ND:

    I should point out that according the the Wegman Report (a Congressional inquiry into this matter), most of the “independent studies” that seemingly verified these results were working from the same generated data. If you use the same data, of course you are going to get similar results. If the data is corrupted (as we now know it very well may be), you will get the same ERRONEOUS results. So they cannot honestly be called “independent” in any real sense, and they did not really “verify” anything.

    Which means, most likely, that all this is going to have to be re-done from scratch. And which also means that “anthropogenic global warming” is very much in doubt. The case for it was very weak to start with, and now it is almost non-existent.

  359. Sewil

    So Lewis, not a denailist eh? You sure do sound like one. In fact you sound a bit like a creationist. With that in mind you copuld have written this:

    So, stop calling the people who question the Big Bang ‘denialists’. We’re just people who aren’t fully convinced that the Big Bang is the sole cause of the universe. We are skeptical! Duh?

    Yes, there are some that do completely deny it. They’re likely the same people that think the Earth is 6000 years old. I’m talking about the people who are generally well versed and interested in science itself, so that they can better deny the Big Bang.

    The enormous response by fellow denialists on this blog proves one thing though: the debate is far from over (no matter which side you are on). So teach the controversy, OK?

  360. anthony Asiniero

    i have to say that people who still think that AGW is real, you have lost your common sense.

    i mean take a look at your surroundings and just observe the temperature. is the air around you burning like fire in an oven?

    are the snow in the North Pole really melting? are the tides rising and sea levels rising?
    are all polar bears now extinct?

    COMMON SENSE PEOPLE! COMMON SENSE!

    last time i heard, its free at the checkout aisle in your nearest grocery store.

  361. TheBlackCat

    i mean take a look at your surroundings and just observe the temperature. is the air around you burning like fire in an oven?

    No, but then again no one is claiming it should. Go on, keep beating that strawman. I know you want to.

    are the snow in the North Pole really melting?

    The ice is, snow comes and goes.

    are the tides rising and sea levels rising?

    Sea levels are definitely rising, but since global warming doesn’t have any impact on the moon or earth’s orbit then it shouldn’t alter the tides (except in specific unusual places).

    are all polar bears now extinct?

    Not yet, but they are heading in that direction fast.

  362. observer

    Two points I’d like to make here:

    1) I tend to side with folks who favor continued examination of the evidence rather than flatly assert that their case has been made even while debate still rages, and pepper their argument with name-calling like “denialist”

    2) I am further influenced by the fact that the human-caused global warming folks have such a difficult time convincing anyone outside their own field, and retreat into claiming that they are the only ones in a position to truly understand

    I would point out that astronomers, say, don’t face similar difficulties in convincing scientists in other fields that they have a good handle on topics like stellar evolution and are happy to share evidence on things like black holes and the big bang.

    If it’s so blindingly obvious, then why did places like CRU have such a huge problem with sharing original data and refereeing papers? I’m sure they’d have had no problem finding someone to store their data rather than have it thrown away. I think it’s quite significant that they didn’t even TRY.

  363. In light of all that’s happened in the past week, we’ll be waiting patiently for Phil to get up the nerve to broach this subject again.

  364. Paul

    Phil is leaving JREF. Maybe it will get some integrity back after the “non-event”.

  365. Chris Winter

    Spectroscope (post #1) wrote: “Well, finally. I disagree with your view here, BA – but I am glad you have finally, at long, long last, had the cajones to post & provide your opinion on this major scientific controversy.

    Oh & yes, I love your blog and aren’t planning on going anywhere but intend to continue to argue the case for rational scientific skepticism against the “Gorebull” Warmer Alarmist side.”

    Right… There’s an indication that you’re a true skeptic, with an open mind. (Not.)

    And by the way, it’s spelled “cojones.”

    I won’t bother to address your other points; they’re based on misleading statements much akin to the proverbial “I see you’re still beating your wife.” And the sites you reference have an agenda.

    ========
    dcurt wrote: “The credibility of the Hockey Stick was destroyed long ago.”

    Wrong. Do try to keep up!

    ========
    Lukester (#60) wrote: “Phil treats his blog readers as if they’re idiots.”

    In this thread, most of them are acting like idiots. At least up to post 80 or 90, when the SNR started to improve.

    ========
    Dan M (#97) complained that “all the people pushing that all global warming is man made are now using ad-hominem arguments” and cited a single one-line example to prove it.

    Dan, grab a clue! If ad hominems were money, we’d be thrifty like Scotsmen compared to your side.

    ========
    Markle (#136) theorized: “Oh, Goebbels, gotcha.”

    I think it’s a play on “global”, actually. No need to invoke Godwin’s Law.

  366. Paul

    Chris, you have got to be kidding. The whole AGW argument is ad-hominem. How can policy be based on bad data. Remember, when you have you head in sand what is still exposed.

  367. Bob Faulks

    176. Lonny Eachus Says:

    “Here is a quote from Frank J. Tipler on the true significance of “Climategate”. Tipler is professor of mathematical physics at Tulane University. He was the author of my first college physics textbook.”

    Tipler is also out there with the fairies, or should I say Jesus:

    http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Christianity-Frank-J-Tipler/dp/product-description/0385514247

    “The now non-secret data prove what many of us had only strongly suspected – that most of the evidence of global warming was simply made up. That is, not only are the global warming computer models unreliable, the experimental data upon which these models are built are also unreliable. As Lord Monckton..”

    You mean Viscount Monckton, the man who wrote a pseudoscientifc “paper” for the Sunday Telegraph, that got panned for being unscientific BS?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/nov/14/science.comment

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/moncktons_triple_counting.php

    http://duoquartuncia.blogspot.com/2008/07/aps-and-global-warming-what-were-they.html

    You might want to research someone before you quote their BS!

  368. trotwe

    @TheBlackCat re: post 157. I have been a AGW skeptic for a long time, haven’t read anything that would change my mind or even really get me to think too terribly hard about it. Screaming “Denier” and such just hardened my feeling that there was nothing to it as people who really have something important to say don’t use ad-homs. Then I noticed one of Black Cat’s posts and thought Finally, A logical argument I can understand! I dusted off my science hat and I have been working diligently on a point by point rebuttal, complete with using as many primary sources as I have access to.
    As I am unemployed at this time, I have been able to put in some 80 hours into this effort over the past week or so. Unfortunately something strange happened along the way, I started to understand AGW and how the data supports it. By the time I was finished, I was an AGW believer. Imagine That. Not easy to switch sides, but as a skeptic that what the information demanded.
    To everyone that uses the label “denier”. All you’re doing is hardening the opposition against you, trust me on that one, I speak from experience.
    Well, I’m off, got a few engineering and comp sci friends to bring into the fold….

  369. Bob Faulks

    #381. Paul Says:

    “Chris, you have got to be kidding. The whole AGW argument is ad-hominem. How can policy be based on bad data. Remember, when you have you head in sand what is still exposed.”

    And what good data does the denialist crowd have? Chris Monckton the amateur climate “scientist”?

    Maybe CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas because a denier chooses to ignore over a hundred years of real science? The deniers seem to be the ones with their heads in the sand.

  370. Chris Winter

    Paul wrote: Chris, you have got to be kidding. The whole AGW argument is ad-hominem. How can policy be based on bad data. Remember, when you have you head in sand what is still exposed.”

    Oh, I see: To a Denialist, scientific facts are equivalent to ad-hominem arguments.

    This reminds me of something Harry “Give-em-hell” Truman said: “I never gave ‘em hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

  371. andrew ansari

    It seems to me that the warmers simply can’t let go of their fear!
    CRU has been exposed by a whistle blower.
    The e mails suggest there was an attempt to corrupt the peer review process.
    All the world data sets are under scrutiny. It seems unscientific to pick and choose stations and lose stations over time. NIWA in new zealand have been caught using only seven stations and adjusting a station upwards.
    I have a minor background in science (MEDICAL) Whats going on is dodgy!
    Climate scientists are harming science.
    To call people denialists when they are simply pointing out flaws in alarmist science is lame.
    Global warming is ocuring but and has been since 1690 in england.
    Satellite data suggest about a tenth of a degree a decade.
    Yes CO2 is a green house gas , Duh!
    The question is how sensitive is the climate to CO2?
    About a degree without positive feedbacks isn’t it?
    Any empirical evidence confirming positive feed backs ?I think not
    Is it worth us ruining third world development over?
    Adding major cost’s to energy?
    Dont think so.
    Cheer up and and read Lindzen and Choi 09.

  372. Mike J.

    Funny that the number of “believers” in AGW has taken a hockey stick turn downwards… now the only hardcore “followers” of human caused global warming are left—-

    only the people who put all their eggs in one basket are holding on to the “old data”… and man oh man does it really show in the comments. Phil, you even straight up forgot to mention the “delete the data” emails… hahah… you cherrypicker you!

    A message to the global climate change believers, the “old data” has been falsified.

    yawn! tired of these “religious” GW’s and their dogmas…

    Finally, phil, dude, truely pathetic response having to do with the definition of “trick” …. lol ….. now we KNOW the whole thing is a lie…..I’m reminded of Bill Clinton, when he said “it depends on what your definition of IS is”

  373. Cody

    “the anti-AGW folks are clearly winning the public relations battle, by simple virtue of a) yelling louder than anyone else, and b) having a nice, appealing conspiracy theory that people can turn to as an excuse to stop worry about AGW.”

    Gee, psychological projection much?

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