HadCRUT4…not what it pretends to be!

Ungracious loser James Annan couldn’t wait posting about the new all-singing all-dancing HadCRUT4 dataset, showingthat reports of the death of global warming have been somewhat exaggerated“.

It’s really really hard to avoid laughing when adjustments come out of thin air but anyway…let’s consider HadCRUT4 less of a joke for a moment.

Since temperatures go up by including the upper Arctic, it is obvious that the rest of the world, and especially the inhabited regions, have not warmed as expected.

And a 5C increase in an area where the average is -20C is _not_ the same thing as a 5C increase where the average is +10C. The former is inconsequential, the latter a change in all seasons.

So HadCRUT4 simply confirms things are going as predicted only in faraway places where there are few measurements and nothing is really changing anyway.

If this doesn’t kill global warming, it certainly helps putting it in the right place.

Job Openings In IT Support At The CRU And Nature Publishing Group

Email management boffins, and more or less anybody that has ever fathomed the extremely-complex (or not) world of how to archive messages using MS Outlook or any other email package, are urgently sought at world-famous UEA’s CRU and at the Nature Publishing Group, following a plea for help by a computer-challenged climate modeler and a critical-thinking-challenged scientific journalist:

Climate researcher Tim Osborn is next door, struggling with a familiar problem. “My inbox is full and I need to delete some e-mails.” Then, with a thin smile: “But I’m not allowed to now, am I?

It’s really heartwarming (without even having to surround one’s internal organs with greenhouse gases!!) to find that people that want to save the world by running complex computational models on supercomputers, are so (un)familiar with using common features of simple apps; and that people assigned by major international scientific publications to keep us informed about a problem that might engulf the planet, are (in)capable of showing much intelligent reasoning and to probe a situation with thoughtful questions and unprecedented insight.

ps On a more serious note, it’s telling that:

Same old, same old?

(h/t Lazarus at Steven Goddard’s Real Science)

Climategate: Mr Bean At The UEA

If I had to bet money on Climategate, most of it would go to back up Fred Pearce’s interpretation, as described in Damian Carrington’s blog about the Jul 14 Guardian debate:

Pearce was passionate in arguing that ‘Climategate’ was a very human tragedy, in respect of scientists feeling under siege and becoming fiercely defensive – which only spurred on the sceptics, who thought there must be something to hide. But he thought many CRU critics were not sceptics at all: “They are actually data libertarians, rather than climate sceptics, still less climate deniers. It turned into data wars.” Pearce’s conclusion was that at this turning point for climate science, more “candour” was needed from all.

Count me in as Data Libertarian!

Scientists feeling under siege and becoming fiercely defensive – which only spurred on the sceptics, who thought there must be something to hide“? Just like Mr Bean at the airport then…

And yes, I would recommend medication for anybody still trying to smother FOI and/or in the business of hiding any data directly related to published scientific papers…

Report From Climategate Guardian Debate with Monbiot, McIntyre, Pearce, Watson, Keenan and some uea guy

As posted by Latimer Alder in my previous post:

Just back from the Climategate debate run by the Guardian tonight. We’re assured that the Guardian website will have a full video of the whole proceeding sometime tomorrow. So just some very sketchy impressions.

Steve obviously read the remarks from last night’s meeting and insisted on speaking from a lectern. This was a good move as it gave him more ‘authority’. And he was (mostly) crisper…making his points more directly. The others spoke while seated.

George Monbiot chaired the meeting and I think he did a fair job of it. He tried hard to be unbiased, and only once or twice strayed into partisan territory. And he managed to keep the speeches and questions mostly to time and to the point

Fred Pearce took a longer perspective than the others. He spoke well and described Climategate as a tragedy rather than a conspiracy…the tragedy being that the CRU guys had adopted siege mentality. Climategate has certainly widened his perspective.

Trevor Davies representing UEA/CRU was appallingly bad. He mouthed platitudes by the shedload, but was unfamiliar with the details of any of the subjects likely to be raised. And was several times embarrassed by doing so. Apart from the fact that he had a sharp suit. I can find nothing positive to say about him. Struck me as a devious smooth cove.

Bob Watson opening remark was that he hadn’t read the e-mails in question. This was a bad mistake – many in the audience were very familiar with them, and not happy to be lectured by somebody who wasn’t. IPCC was imperfect but the best that could be devised 95% of scientists agree…it is now just a risk management exercise. Errors corrected quickly…As good as having Ravendra, but no need for the extra slot at Heathrow for him to land his jet. Very much the Scientific Establishment figure.

Keenan was interested in research fraud and the lack of accountability in science as a whole. He accused Jones of committing fraud, even after being given a chance to withdraw the remark. Davies tried to defend Jones but had no details. Keenan showed a more street-savvy business approach than any of the other participants. I’d like to have heard him at greater length.

Overall conclusion: there was no conclusion. Everybody agreed that openness and transparency were good, that debate should be with all parties and that uncertainties should be made more clear.

But my own view is that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This one still has legs and will run and run.

CRU Who? Or…Can The IPCC Survive The Oxburgh Review?

Forget Phil Jones and the CRU…for all intents and purposes, Lord Oxburgh’s “International Panel” has hit the IPCC itself with quite a broadside.

This is what the friendly Panel has just deemed necessary to write about the IPCC (my emphasis):

Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain oversimplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors. For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined

And here’s what the IPCC says about the IPCC (my emphasis again):

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the leading body for the assessment of climate change, established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.

Clearly, it has now been established beyond all doubt that the IPCC has been a failure regarding the provision of “a clear scientific view” on the “peer-reviewed papers” by CRU researchers. Those papers said one thing, the IPCC another.

With Climate Change too serious an issue to be left in oversimplifying hands,  the Fifth Assessment Report is unlikely to be any good unless substantial organizational changes are implemented in the IPCC.

Preternatural Climate News And Other Tweets

(If Revkin can do it… 8-)  – my Twitter account in English is ‘omnologos’)

1- @bbcworld there is something preternatural in seeing every good climate news invariably more than compensated by some badclimate news refers to “Temperature and CO2 feedback loop ‘weaker than thought‘” by Roger Harrabin, which includes:

The authors warn, though, that their research will not reduce projections of future temperature rises.

2- Total rout for AGW : UK Science chief John Beddington calls for honesty on climate change refers to “Science chief John Beddington calls for honesty on climate change

3- another case of gross misrepresentation of the literature, thereafter conveniently disregarded? refers to my comment “Himalayagate 2

4- Building a broad climate coalition of scientific/professional organizations reminds of “100 Scientists against Einstein” refers to “Climate change activists work to regain momentum” by Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle

5- Science : “Brown Clouds over South Asia: Biomass or Fossil Fuel Combustion? (answer: mostly biomass) refers to
Science 23 January 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5913, pp. 495 – 498 “Brown Clouds over South Asia: Biomass or Fossil Fuel Combustion?” by Örjan Gustafsson et al

6- ClimateDepot “warmists” have been scoring own goals for quite some time – and still they do – refers to “The Disastrous Setback for Climate Advocacy of Late 2009″ by Chris Mooney in “The Intersection” where I comment

I fully agree with redlink18…disparaging any comment that falls outside of the party line and concentrating on blaming a handful of well-paid individuals when there has been a clear and massive change in public opinion in the USA like in the UK, all of that will lead Mooney’s “camp” nowhere.

On the other hand, given that the “warmists” have been scoring spectacular own goals for quite some time now, no wonder they show no chance of getting anything right at the moment.

7- “try and change the Received date! Don’t give those skeptics something to amuse themselves with” refers to “East Anglia Confirmed Emails from the Climate Research Unit – 1189722851.txt

8- Using religious language to fight global warming refers to “Using religious language to fight global warming” by Helen Grady, Analysis, BBC Radio 4

9- @Revkin: Watts is at third of Gandhi’s four stages: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win” refers to “Poorly sited U.S. temperature instruments not responsible for artificial warming” on Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog

Cantiamo Insieme Per Copenhagen!

Sono passati un bel po’ di anni dalla canzone di beneficenza degli “Italy for Africa” o come-si-chiamavano (era il Natale 1984 o il 1985?).

Visto che la canzone era “Volare” ma adesso l’interesse e’ tutto sul clima, mi sono consentito una liberta’ di troppo (possa Modugno perdonarmi!) in onore del recente Climategate:

Truccare

Penso un grafico cosi` non ritorni mai piu`,
io ne aggiustavo i primi valori all’ingiu’.
Poi d’improvviso venivan dal cielo rapiti,
e incominciavan a salire pressocche’ infiniti.

Truccare, oh oh,
aumentare, oh oh oh oh.
Nel caldo sempre piu’ su,
felice di vederli lassu`.

E truccavo truccavo felice
piu` caldo del sole ed ancora di piu`
mentre il mondo reale non mi interessava
lontano laggiu`.
Un finanziamento dolce arrivava soltanto per me.

(per il resto della canzone, cliccare qui)

Willis vs. The CRU: A History of (FOI) Evasion

(a guest blog by Willis Eschenbach, originally posted to the Climate Sceptics mailing list. Published almost completely as-is).

An excerpt for those without time to read it all

the issue is not Trenberth or scientists talking smack. It is the illegal evasion of legitmate scientific requests for data needed to replicate a scientific study. Without replication, science cannot move forwards. And when you only give data to friends of yours, and not to people who actually might take a critical look at it, you know what you end up with? A “consensus” …

Freedom of information, my okole…
by Willis Eschenbach

People seem to be missing the real issue in the CRU emails. Gavin over at realclimate keeps distracting people by saying the issue is the scientists being nasty to each other, and what Trenberth said, and the Nature “trick”, and the like. Those are side trails. To me, the main issue is the frontal attack on the heart of science, which is transparency.

Science works by one person making a claim, and backing it up with the data and methods that they used to make the claim. Other scientists attack the work by (among other things) trying to replicate the first scientist’s work. If they can’t replicate it, it doesn’t stand. So blocking the FOIA allowed Phil Jones to claim that his temperature record (HadCRUT3) was valid science.

This is not just trivial gamesmanship, this is central to the very idea of scientific inquiry. This is an attack on the heart of science, by keeping people who disagree with you from ever checking your work and seeing if your math is correct.

Continue reading

The CRU Hacking Song (With Apologies To George And Ira Gershwin)

(And no…I am not going to leave my day job)

 

 

 

It ain’t necessarily so

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so
The t’ings dat yo’ li’ble
To read in de IPCC,
It ain’t necessarily so.

Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
He fought Big Solar Influence
Who lay down an’ dieth !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !…

Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Fo’ he made his home in
Dat institute’s warming.
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU.

Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
He floated on bristlecones
Till Ol’ Briffa and colleagues,
They saved him, they said, and dat trend.

Wadoo …

Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De skepticism’s a villun,
But it ain’t necessarily so !

To get with the Science
Don’ bet your emissions!
Live clean ! Don’ have no pollution !
Oh, I takes dat IPCC gospel
Whenever it’s pos’ble,
But wid a grain of salt.

Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
But who calls dat writin’
When no reality will give in
To no man with nine hundred blogs ?

I’m preachin’ dis sermon to show,
It ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t necessarily … so !

Raise Your Hands If You're Ready To Handle (Dishonest) Data Tampering

(comment posted at Greenfyre’s)

Greenfyre: if there is a subsequent release and it contains actual credible evidence of data tampering, I will say so

And that’s good enough for me.

After “ClimateGate” the consensus is still there, the AGW science is still there, COP15 will still take place, etc etc. What is dead is the notion that climatological alarmism is a nicely consensual necessary conclusion of an unbiased reading of the data, rather than a reasonable worldview based on observations but that might just as well be supplanted by a different one.

I just hope that in the eyes of all, “catastrophical AGW” is now a little less like “General Relativity” and a little more like “String theory”.

And even if the work of hundreds hasn’t been invalidated, still there is enough ongoing “power politics” activity at CRU (and elsewhere) to warrant a different approach to AGW skepticism. The problem is in fact not much in scientists that have an “ideology of science”, rather with scientists whose ideology involves stifling debate and censoring those who do not follow orthodoxy.

How many of those quoted would be prepared to “say so” if any “credible evidence of (dishonest) data tampering” were to surface?

The CRU…CRU…CRU…el Destiny Of Climatology

Twenty-four hours later, we can be pretty sure that of “smoking guns” in the leaked CRU documents there are none. Everyone can read that information any way they please, as evidence of a global conspiracy or demonstration that climate science is solid and honest.

Whatever…now there’s a little bit more people aware that Science is done by humans, with their preferences and dislikes, their personal beliefs, and capable to use all the tricks of “power politics” to isolate opponents and to support friends. At the end of the day, the problem is not much in scientists that have an “ideology of science”. There’s plenty of it in history, from the controversy about the wave-particle nature of light to the patriotic debates about who invented calculus.

The problem is with scientists whose ideology involves stifling debate and censoring those who do not follow orthodoxy.

Let’s just hope there will be less of that…especially because the alternative is the piling up of yet more revelations, transforming it all in some kind of “climate tabloid journalism”.

About Yamal

Non-casual readers already know I do not like to dwell into topics covered in great depth elsewhere. I will make a very short exception to that “policy”, simply because the McIntyre/Briffa story is too big.

Too big, that is, not to warrant some huge dose of skepticism before getting carried away with it.

We have a saying in Italian, “if they’re roses, they’ll bloom”. AKA “time will tell”.

As much as I admire McIntyre’s relentless quest to go always back to the original data, I am sure I am not the first one that has seen apparently-straight forward things turn around all of a sudden. There’s no reason to celebrate… if the Briffa reconstruction will implode, it will implode anyway.

Now we have a blog on the topic, by Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate, and a brief note by Briffa himself.

Gavin is his usual self, the worst enemy of AGW that is, with a blog post choked by its own sarcasm. Through the deep, rather undignified fog, one can get a glimpse of what appears to be a potentially strong riposte to Steve McIntyre (but with Schmidt’s emotions running so raw, I am afraid McIntyre will always have the upper hand).

Briffa is very calm and measured, therefore making his decision not to share the data sooner even more puzzling

Right now, it looks like there will be a “war of words” with claims and counterclaims. On that, I have no interest whatsoever. And too many people already are “jumping in” in ways that can only dent their credibility.

I might come back to the story after the battle. For now, this is my comment at RC:

Kudos to Briffa for having decided to “review the details of [McIntyre's] work”.

Is it too much to state that most of what has happened, would not have happened had the data been made available upon (first) request?

On that topic, I believe that NASA changed its policy regarding space probes a decade ago or more, in order to avoid (crackpot) accusations of being in the business of airbrushing aliens out of the photos. That is why mission websites like MER’s _prominently_ show the just-received “raw images”, especially in the first days of the mission (please correct me if I am wrong).

Wouldn’t it therefore make sense to apply the same rules to all just-published papers, i.e. presenting the “raw data” to the visitor, rather than simply leaving it “available for anyone who cares to look”? Especially in a field such as climate change, where any accusation/finding is bound to elicit plenty of reaction.