Over on Climate Audit, there’s an interesting thread going on about Lonnie Thompson and his wife Ellen, who Steve McIntyre describes as “serial non-archivers” due to their overt refusal to put their ice-core data online is spite of grant rules that require them to do so.
Steve begins with:
Recently, Geoffrey Boulton’s report and Nature editorial provided more pious language urging data archiving by hoarding scientists. As I mentioned in my initial comments on Boulton’s editorial, there have been many such pious pronouncements over the years without the slightest impact on, for example, the serial non-archiving couple of Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, who, as it turns out, is an even worse offender than husband Lonnie, if such can be imagined. Their long career of non-archiving has flourished despite clear U.S. federal government policies dating back to 1991 which, on paper, require thorough data archiving by the climate community as a condition of receiving grants. Unfortunately, the U.S. climate funding bureaucracy has been thoroughly co-opted by the climate industry and has failed to enforce regulations that, on paper, would require the Thompsons and others to archive data. Unfortunately, Boulton failed to do any assessment of why even apparently mandatory government policies have been insufficient to deter to serial non-archivers.
There’s an interesting discussion around that, but what really caught my eye was this thread revealed in the Climategate emails where McIntyre becomes the target of defamation by Michael Mann, simply for trying to get data. The mendacity is truly disturbing.
Here’s the comment thread, bold mine:
- Steve McIntyre On October 19, 2003, I wrote to her, cc Lonnie Thompson:
Dear Dr. Moseley-Thompson,
I noticed that you have not contributed data from Dunde, Guliya or Dasuopo ice cores to the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology or your 10-year series on Huascaran and Sajama. I presume that this is an oversight. If so, I think that these would be worthwhile contributions and that it is important to support the digital archiving program of WDCP.
I have forwarded your comment to Lonnie Thompson as these are his data sets.
Indeed our philosophy in the past few years has been to release all the data that are published in a peer-reviewed journal. Witness that all the data from the Kilimanjaro cores that were presented in Science are in the data center. Some of the older cores do need to have the data deposited and we appreciate you bringing that to our attention. As time and resources allow us to pull those together, we will deposit them.
cc: Lonnie Thompson
Thanks for your reply. I realize that time and resources are always limited. However some of these older datasets are being currently used in multi-proxy compilations such as Bradley, Hughes and Diaz and it would be worthwhile to ensure that the information already being digitally distributed is also at WDCP.
Pending the eventual archiving at WDCP, I would appreciate a digital version of the Guliya, Dasuopu and Dunde O18 datasets and of the 10-year versions for Huascaran and Sajama. Thanks for your attention. Steve McIntyre
She replied on Oct 20:
Stephen – two things
1) I see that you have copied Lonnie Thompson and that is good as these are his data sets.
2) I see not affiliation for you – where are you located? You did not provide a signature and yahoo of course gives no information about the sender.
This inquiry to Mosley-Thompson was a result of a comment that I had posted on a Yahoo blog about non-archiving of data used in Mann and Jones 2003:
> “…2) the use of digitally unpublished data is highly frustrating. Of
> the 23 datsets referred to here, I can only locate 7 at the World Data
> Center for Paleoclimatology. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ . Some of the
> worst offenders in this respect include Mosley-Thompson, Cook, Hughes
> and Briffa….
Timo Hameranta circulated this comment to a lengthy email list. I responded to him that I would ask the authors criticized to archive their data and did so, sending the above email to Mosley-Thompson among others. This got notice in the Climategate emails and is the second time that I’m mentioned. ( CG2 1566. 2003-10-20). Mann wrote Jones and Briffa, cc Bradley, Hughes, Diaz, Rutherford (this is 2 weeks before publication of MM2003):
At 11:14 19/10/2003 -0400, Michael E. Mann wrote:
FYI–thought you guys should have this (below). This guy “McIntyre” appears to be yet another shill for industry–he appears to be the one who forwarded the the scurrilous “climateskeptic” criticisms of the recent Bradley et al Science paper.
Here is an email I sent him a few weeks ago in response to an inquiry. It appears, by the way, that he has been trying to break into our machine (“multiproxy”). Obviously, this character is looking for any little thing he can get ahold of. The irony here, of course, is that simple composites of proxy records (e.g. Bradley and Jones; Mann and Jones, etc) give very similar results to the pattern reconstruction approaches (Mann et al EOF approach, Rutherford et al RegEM approach), so anyone looking to criticize the basic NH temperature history based on details of e.g. the Mann et al ’98 methodology are misguided in their efforts…
The best that can be done is to ignore their desperate emails and, if they manage to slip something into the peer-reviewed literature, as in the case of Soon & Baliunas, deal w/ it as we did in that case–i.e., the Eos response to Soon et al—they were stung badly by that, and the bad press that followed.For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’m forwarding an interesting email exchange from John Holdren of Harvard that I got the other day. He summarized the whole thing very nicely, form an independent perspective…
p.s. I’m setting up my email server so that it automatically rejects emails from the “usual suspects”. You might want to do the same. As they increasingly get automatic reject messages from the scientists, they’ll start to get the picture…
I’ve had several emails from Steve McIntyre. He comes across in these as friendly, but then asks for more and more. I have sent him some station temperature data in the past, but eventually had to stop replying to me. Last time he emailed me directly was in relation to the Mann/Jones GRL paper. That time he wanted the series he used. I suspect that he is the person who sent the email around about only 7 of the 23 series used by Ray et al. being in WDC-Paleo. I told him then that he needs to get in contact with the relevant paleo people. It seems only Mike, Ray and me got this email from Timo, so I’ll forward it.
He names the worst offenders (ie those not putting data on WDC-Paleo) as being Cook, Mosley-Thompson, Hughes and Briffa !! He clearly should go to a few paleo meetings to find out what is really out there. Last week I saw the Patzold Bermuda coral record again. It is now 1000 years long and all there is an unwritten paper !
Steve McIntyrePosted Jul 3, 2012 at 3:50 PM
Another point in this respect is that authors have complained about being “pestered” for data. Or that one request simply leads to another. The climate community has by and large closed ranks in solidarity with the idea that requests for data were “distracting” scientists from their “real” work. I asked authors to archive their data as a solution to this supposed imposition,
Mann libeled McIntyre by making an unsupported claim that he was trying to “break into our machine (“multiproxy”). “
The claim is laughable. Here’s why.
First, some background about what I know about Steve McIntyre, and this should not be taken as a criticism, but as a statement of fact. Everyone has their areas of expertise, Steve’s happens to be mathematics and statistical analysis, mine happens to be weather and PC technology. Steve needed help to run Climate Audit. That help was provided by many people, John A, Mr. Pete, myself and others. When CA was running on a single box, I’d routinely get emails from Steve with questions about how to do certain things, concerns about what appeared to be glitches, and other related day to day computing questions.
From those experiences I can conclude that Steve McIntyre is no more capable of breaking into a computer system than I am of running a PCA analysis on Mann’s data. That’s not a slam, just a recognition of expertise (and also of Steve’s ethics).
He is however quite capable of writing R scripts to scrape available data off of web and FTP sites, which can cause the jittery folks like Mann who see “big oil funded skeptics” under every rock and behind every tree to erroneously conclude that such wholesale data downloading is an “attack”. This has happened before, when GISS shut off McIntyre’s access for downloading large reams of data in 24 hours. See GISS Interruptus. McIntyre wrote then:
I have been attempting to collate station data for scientific purposes. I have not been running a robot but have been running a program in R that collects station data.
The idea that Mann would demonize McIntyre, simply for trying to get data for replication, reveals the black soul of Mann’s scientific mendacity towards making data available for replication.
UPDATE: Steve McIntyre weighs in via the comments -
Anthony, the highlighted Mann email (new in CG2) refers back to a pre-MM2003 incident and a very strange incident. In my first entry to paleoclimate analysis, I had asked Mann by email for the FTP location of the data for MBH98. Mann said that he had “forgotten” the location but that Rutherford would get it for me. Rutherford said that the data wasn’t in one location, but that he would get it together for me. This was my very first contact with the Team and I was amazed. Rutherford then gave me a link to a dataset at Mann’s FTP site. I downloaded this data and analyzed it.
Some months later, after noticing problems with the principal component series, I sent Mann the data set that I had downloaded and asked him to confirm that this was the actual data used in MBH98. Mann said that he was too busy to answer and that no one else had any problems. At the same time, I renewed my efforts to examine his FTP site for data related to MBH. His site was blocked to google search and the directories were not searchable.
When we published MM2003, Mann accused us of using the “wrong” dataset. Two days later, at David Appell’s site, a link was given to the “right” data set. Mann said that the “wrong” dataset had been prepared by Rutherford because we had supposedly asked for data in an Excel spreadsheet – an untrue smear that caused many smirks and sneers within the community. In fact, I hadn’t asked for an excel spreadsheet. The data set that we had loaded was also date stamped long prior to my request. Mann then deleted this version without any annotation or apology. Even though I published the correspondence, Mann’s smear was accepted by the “community” – Jones sneered at me about this in an email over a year later.
Mann also (falsely) asserted that the “right” dataset had been available all along and that we should have used it (though the URL now given had never been previously referred to in a webpage or anywhere else). I had diligently parsed his website and was convinced that Mann had simply moved data from a private protected area to a public area in response to our article but this could not be demonstrated unless the university investigated. The CG2 email that you refer to shows quite clearly that the “right” data set was not publicly accessible in September 2003.
The issue of the “wrong” data set ultimately proved to be moot as the problems with MBH98 did not turn on the differences between these two versions. However, the incident did make me that much more careful in asking members of the Team for the precise version of a data set used in article.
Most of all, I was amazed at Mann’s baldfaced untruthfulness in claiming that we had asked for an excel spreadsheet and that the version that we had been given access to had been prepared especially for us. Both because of the untruthfulness itself and because of the ease with which the untruthfulness could be demonstrated (merely by producing my original email request which made no reference to an excel spreadsheet and asked directly for an FTP location). The credulous acceptance of this untruthfulness by the community was amazing and perhaps Mann was counting on this. Remarkably, seven years later, Mann re-iterated this untruthful story to the Penn State Investigation Committee rather than just letting sleeping dogs lie. The Penn State committee accepted the false story at face value without doing any investigation.
A strange incident indeed.
NOTE: I’ll give Dr. Mann equal space here on WUWT should he wish to respond – Anthony