Met Office / Hadley CRU discovers the mole

In case you are just joining us, here is some background on the story below. I know the identity of the mole. The ball is now in CRU’s court. Steve McIntyre reports below and throws down the gauntlet.

Met Office/CRU Finds the Mole

by Steve McIntyre on July 28th, 2009

More news on the Met Office/CRU molehunt.

Late yesterday (Eastern time), I learned that the Met Office/CRU had identified the mole. They are now aware that there has in fact been a breach of security. They have confirmed that I am in fact in possession of CRU temperature data, data so sensitive that, according to the UK Met Office, my being in possession of this data would, “damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”, interfere with the “effective conduct of international relations”, “hamper the ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations” and “seriously affect the relationship between the United Kingdom and other Countries and Institutions.”

Although they have confirmed the breach of security, neither the Met Office nor CRU have issued a statement warning the public of the newCRU_tar leak. Nor, it seems, have they notified the various parties to the alleged confidentiality agreements that there has been a breach in those confidentiality agreements, so that the opposite parties can take appropriate counter-measures to cope with the breach of security by UK institutions. Thus far, the only actions by either the Met Office or CRU appear to have been a concerted and prompt effort to cover up the breach of security by attempting to eradicate all traces of the mole’s activities. My guess is that they will not make the slightest effort to discipline the mole.

Nor have either the Met Office or CRU contacted me asking me not to further disseminate the sensitive data nor to destroy the data that I have in my possession.

By not doing so, they are surely opening themselves up to further charges of negligence for the following reasons. Their stated position is that, as a “non-academic”, my possession of the data would be wrongful (a position with which I do not agree, by the way). Now that they are aware that I am in possession of the data (and they are aware, don’t kid yourselves), any prudent lawyer would advise them to immediately to notify me that I am not entitled to be in possession of the data and to ask/instruct me to destroy the data that I have in my possession and not to further disseminate the sensitive data. You send out that sort of letter even if you think that the letter is going to fall on deaf ears.

Since I am always eager to help climate scientists with these conundrums, I’ll help them out a little here. If, prior to midnight Eastern time on Thursday, a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia notifies me that I am in wrongful possession of the data and directly requests me to destroy my copies of the CRU station data in question and thereby do my part in the avoidance of newCRU_tar proliferation, I will do so.

I will, of course, continue my FOI requests since I do not believe, for a minute, that their excuses have any validity nor am I convinced that the alleged confidentiality agreements actually exist nor, if they exist, am I convinced that they prohibit the provision of the data to me.

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MattN

A picture of the mole can be found here: http://www.google.com/images?q=tbn:LxZ3JvggKS-IPM::www.ratemyeverything.net/image/5298/0/Rate_My_Mole.ashx

Neo

So does this data endanger the “Alan Parsons Project” ?

Barry Foster

We’re secrecy-mad here in the UK. It used to be the case (don’t know if it still is) that the day’s food menu at the Houses of Parliament was a secret. I’m not joking. You struggle to find out anything here as we have a ‘Data Protection Act’. It’s really funny when it comes up against the Freedom of Information!
As for the Met Office, I’m still trying to get them to answer why they still say that “Temperatures are continuing to rise”. http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/bigpicture/fact2.html When their own data says they’re not http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt That first link includes, “A simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1 °C per decade.” I’ve emailed them a number of times to tell them that that IS NOT the latest decade – and that if they include 2008, it actually shows a fall. But they refuse to reply to my emails now. We also have a problem with the Central England Temperature (CET) – which shows a biased and misleading anomaly. According to them, 2009 is showing as a plus anomaly. But if you average the last 10 years of temperature (which I have done) you get a figure that is almost 2.5 degrees C down!

Jerry

If the above story had been posted on any other web site I would have suspected tom-foolery, a hoax, a story lifted from the old TV show “Get Smart”.

Ken S

If I were you I’d say that I would destroy the data and then if they formally request you to do so, I’d ignore them. Wait a second, you might have that in mind and
if so I shouild not have mentioned that. (Backspace Snip, backspace, Snip,,,,,,,,)

Evan Jones

according to the UK Met Office, my being in possession of this data would, “damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”
1.) Too funny.
2.) D’ya think?

The mole is actually a friend of the coal industry, see the documentary movie produced in my homeland, The Mole and the Coal:

I am afraid that the mole, despite his old friendship with kids of three generations, is gonna become politically incorrect.
http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/09/mole-and-coal-becomes-politically.html

bil

evanmjones
Waaay too funny.
What I find funniest is the fact that the majority of the climate-change $cientists are completely dependent upon public money – so, in effect, they are all employed by the public sector and must have no trust in themselves.

Pamela Gray

So what they are saying is that privately generated data used in publicly funded research cannot be divulged? This reminds me of the past when secret use of toxic chemicals were used on unsuspecting victims to determine deleterious affects. We CANNOT allow this kind of research to ever happen again. All data, all methods, and all proposed and current applications MUST be made free to the public, be it privately or publicly generated for public application, or else the public is at risk of being duped as it has in the past, and to GREAT harm!
There is such a thing as informed consent. Before I paid a carbon tax on something someone said was harmful to me, I would insist on informed consent. That means show me the raw data, the methods used, and its applications. For free. Can you imagine taking a drug that has had such a secret past?

Boudu

I now have an image in my head of Steve M dressed a la Clint Eastwood, the man with no name, complete with poncho and hat. He is calmly chewing his cheroot as he stands outside the Met office waiting for the cowardly bad guys to show. Meanwhile, Anthony Watts (looking remarkably like Lee Van Cleef) is outside the saloon holding the horses.
I wonder what’s going to happen next.

KlausB

re.: Boudu “…I wonder what’s going to happen next.”
We’ll enjoy the movie. Title “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Stephen Wilde

Data is just data.
What makes temperature information ‘sensitive’ ?
How can it’s mere availability have the consequences they describe ?
Only if it has been incorrectly manipulated could it have any damaging effects.
As a lawyer, if asked, I would advise them that when in a hole it is best to stop digging.

will

Barry Foster – the CRU data has 2 lines of data for each year – the first appears to be an anomaly, the second is?

You’ve got to be kidding.
Put the data up on the Internet!
Now!!!

AnonyMoose

MattN – Don’t steal the picture. Give people an opportunity to Rate My Mole: http://www.ratemyeverything.net/post/5298/Rate_My_Mole.aspx

Ron

I think you done it, Anthony. No ‘soap opera’ could match the intrigue on this one. Your hits are likely to go through the ceiling. Better bring another server online for load balancing. lol
I also hope that Steve is going to get a good look at that dataset before he considers destroying it and at least lets us know in some manner just how bad it is (if it is) even if not in some formal analysis.
You never know how these things can blowup in the MET’s face if they handle this wrongly and the press sees a story.
according to the UK Met Office, my being in possession of this data would, “damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”
As if any scientist takes seriously anything the MET puts out.

Fred from Canuckistan . . .

“I wonder what’s going to happen next.” . . . I suggest we use this as fodder for a remake of the classic British Sit Com “Yes Minister”
Working title “Mr. Minister, We Have Been Exposed”
Lots of storyline possibilities.
Episode One, “The Obfuscation Ball” . . . where the Minister’s Staff create ever more whacky ways to refuse to release “secret” data that they have. Rambling memos, incomprehensible rules based on circular logic and magical incantations and spells . . what will they think of next to cover their backsides
Episode Two, “The Great Mole Hunt” . . . . where the British MET hires two those famous WARMongers, Al Gore and Prof. Phil Jones, to find who’s is leaking the badly tortured weather “data” to unwashed “Non-Academics” – and a colonial lower class non-academic to boot. When will those beastly colonials learn their plavce. We only want them around when the Germans get uppity and let their armies march West (we can’t count on the French anymore to stop them)
Anybody want to do Episode 3 ??

Chris D.

They caught the culprit. Quick, Mr. President, call back the bombers!

Somehow a feeling creeps up. What if Steve McIntyre is not the only one who has recieved this data?
The data could become useless for anyone outside, you can’t use it after the Met Office demands it to be destroyed and Steve would look bad because it could suggest that he might have send around copies of that data whereas in fact it is someone else spreading that data.
What if the Met Office did leak those data-sets on purpose? All in all they don’t have to disclose who this mole is and no one will then step forward claiming that he was/is the mole. At that point the Met office can simply claim that measures are being taken and that the mole is being handled out of court and out of sight, or better say nothing at all about this so called mole.
In the meanwhile the Data is quite useless and tainted, its there but it can’t be used. Storming the frontdoor this data becomes much harder since already is shown that you are a party wich in the eyes of the Met office is suspect at the very least.
Now if they where te talk of the town they could not get away with it, but they aren’t.

Gary Hladik

Boudu, my image of Steve and Anthony is more like Woodward & Bernstein, who broke the Watergate story, as portrayed by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the film, “All the President’s Men.”
So who’s playing Nixon this time?

rbateman

They haven’t done all the things that are nomally associated with state secrets because the weather is not a state secret. It’s public phenomena.
Hundreds of millions of ordinary people have thermometers, barmometers, anemometers and rain gauges.
All they are using the weather for is cover for a FUD campaign.
Smoke screen.
Why bicker over what color the smoke is when the intent is to obscure thier real objectives?
If you admit that the real data got out, then you admit that what you have been telling people is not the truth.
This goes the same way IPCC hides it’s models, in obfuscation.

AnonyMoose

Can the Met Office now trust the data it gets from its suppliers, or will the suppliers be altering the data so it is of less value than the data which they sell? Or have suppliers already been damaging their submitted data? We can’t check that without the Met’s data.

Today’s yup environmentalists were the same idiots who thought the world was flat until the late 1400’s. Face it people,
you can speculate until doomsday; but no matter how you look at it Mother Nature, and the atmosphere are always going to be beyond your comprehension. You can follow Al Gore right to the center of hypocrisy and you’ll still be guessing wrong. Live with it…

M White

Barry Foster (10:01:33) :
“As for the Met Office, I’m still trying to get them to answer why they still say that “Temperatures are continuing to rise”. ”
This graph — Hadley Annual Mean Central England Temperatures.
http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/HadCET_an.html
is derived from this data
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat
When I first came accross the data I remember the maximum temperature of any year being 10 degrees centigrade. Perhaps they are manufacturing a hockey stick.

Shoreliner11

Not sure why Steve “accepted” the data in the first place. He knows that this is not public data, and having some “mole” steal the data and give it to him is illegal. What are you trying to accomplish by this anyhow? Do you think you are going to expose some vast scientific conspiracy with your limited ability to analyze this data?

MattN

Has the mole been fired?

crosspatch

I would say now is a great time to invest in popcorn futures.

Nogw

Should not it be better, and easier, transparency?..in the land of Sherlock Holmes and haunted houses…:-)

Thomas J. Arnold.

Metaphorically speaking they know one day you will blow them and their phony stats out of the water Mr. McIntyre, so keep your aim steady, a cool head, (debunk torpedo’s loaded) and prepare to fire!!!
On a more serious note, I know you are altruistic and a dedicated man in pursuit of the truth, not given to cut and thrust of environmental (de)- activism do not be deflected, I for one (and many others I trust) am reliant upon your cogent, logical, forensic analyses.
At the end of the day what can they do??????

M White

The met office today issued its forecast for what I thought was going to be the final one for the British summer. The story so far.
Summer forecast 2009
Tue 31 Mar 2009
Temperature
For the UK and much of Western Europe temperatures are likely to be near average
Rainfall
At this stage forecast signals are too weak to provide an outlook for summer rainfall.
Thursday 30 Mar 2009
Temperature
For the UK and much of Europe temperatures are likely to be above average.
Rainfall
For the UK and much of northern Europe rainfall is likely to be near or below average. A repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely.
Average or below-average rainfall is also likely over Eastern Europe
Thursday 30 May 2009
Temperature
For the UK and much of Europe temperatures are likely to be above average
Rainfall
For the UK and much of western Europe rainfall is likely to be near or below average. A repeat of the very wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely.
Below-average rainfall is likely over eastern Europe.
Thursday 30 June 2009
Temperature
For the UK and much of Europe temperatures for the rest of the summer are likely to be above average
Rainfall
For the rest of summer, rainfall is likely to be near average over the UK. A repeat of the very wet summers of 2007 and 2008 remains unlikely.
Over other parts of western Europe rainfall is likely to be near average or above average, while below-average rainfall is favoured over much of eastern Europe.
Seems they’ve given up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Early indications for Winter 2009/10
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/seasonal/2009/winter.html
Winter forecast 2009/10
Tue 31 Mar 2009
Temperature
Early indications are that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. For the UK, Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder than last year.
Rainfall
Early indications are that winter precipitation is likely to be near or above average over much of northern Europe. For the UK, Winter 2009/10 is likely to be wetter than last year.

Ray

Fred from Canuckistan . . . (11:27:09) :
Episode 3: Revenge of MET
Episode 4: A New Mole
Episode 5: MET Strikes Back
Episode 6: Return of the Mole

grayuk

I love it!
Go get em!

Michael Newton

KlausB (10:49:52) : We’ll enjoy the movie. Title “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
Or “For a Few Dollars More”

DaveF

Messrs. Watts and McIntyre:
I’m a UK citizen and you certainly haven’t damaged relations with me – quite the opposite. ” Hamper the ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations” – complete nonsense! Keep up the good work.

Tim S.

It’s possible that some of the temperature data in question has been copyrighted. If one of the private temperature data providers has an international copyright on 72 degrees Fahrenheit or it’s Celsius equivalent, then Steve could be sued for damages.
Fight piracy. Destroy the data. Buy that DVD.

40 Shades of Green

Re: Fred From Canuckistan 11:27
I would like to submit an additional epsisode synopsis for the sitcom.
Minister Hacker visits an Island to observe the effect of global warming on the Island’s Mole Population. While there he meets the local Climate Cleric and Parish Priest, Father Ted, who has persuaded all the islanders to abandon their cars in favour of Battery Powered Milk Floats….
That is a wonderful idea. A Sitcom, paying suitable homage to Yes Minister, but with Jim Hacker as the minister for Climate Change tasked with getting a Cap and Trade bill through the houses of parliament and being stymied by an independent senator (well Lord as it is the UK – Monckton perhaps)
Oops, sounds a bit like what is happening with Penny Wong and Senator Fielding in Australia.
Anthony, why not run a thread soliciting episode ideas, of no more than 200 words.
40 Coats

Mark

What a way to breed distrust of the AGW science…

crosspatch

I believe records of the confidentiality agreements themselves would be required to prove a criminal charge. Didn’t they say in response to the FOI request that such records were not kept and that they, in effect, “just knew” there were such agreements but weren’t sure what data was covered? This would place them in a bit of a double-bind because if they were to produce the agreements in order to press a criminal charge, it would mean they lied in response to the FOI request. So to press a criminal case they would need to admit to a crime.
And if the data Steve is in possession of was modified in any way to make it “unreliable”, then a crime has also been committed according to section to subsection c of The Computer Misuse Act (UK) of 1990.
There won’t be any criminal charges, I don’t believe, because they would need to admit having committed a crime to bring such charges.

Boudu

“I wonder what’s going to happen next.” . . .
Episode 3 “The Hunt for Red HadCrut”.
A Russian double agent plans to defect but needs the help of top statitician Stevie Mack. Hilarious antics ensue as the mole and Stevie confuse authorities on all sides with the release of secret information, vital to national security, that turns out to be the train time-table for the East Coast Mainline.
Come on, three more synopses and we have a series !

henrychance

Should never let the truth get out. People spent a lot of money on cover and now it leaks.
They will have to shame and destroy the leaker.

Paul

I am a statistician working on publicly funded grants (NIH). I realize this type of data (specifically, health data on hypertension) is not really interesting to most people, so we don’t have foreign researchers pounding down our doors for data. But we do not need to make our data public. This is so that our investigators can have the first crack at analyzing it. It would peeve me greatly to have spent the past 2 years working on collecting data only to have someone else take our research ideas and publish them. That said, we work with whoever is interested in analyzing the data. To me, it is not that interesting that they don’t want to make the data public. It is perplexing that they will not let you even have a small piece of the data or work with you on it. Ignorance is one thing, willfull ignorance is another.

Shoreliner11 (11:53:56) :

What are you trying to accomplish by this anyhow? Do you think you are going to expose some vast scientific conspiracy with your limited ability to analyze this data?

That is exactly what happened when Steve McIntyre analyzed very limited data and exposed Michael Mann’s bogus hockey stick, which the UN/IPCC had spread far and wide before they were forced to withdraw it when the truth came out.
Why are you concerned that Steve might get to the bottom of this stonewalling by the Met Office? Aren’t you interested in finding out if the Met is “adjusting” the data for its own self-serving reasons? Isn’t the truth everything in science?
If the Met Office has been truthful with the public, there is nothing they have to fear. They are acting scared.

Leon Brozyna

Temperature data – a state secret?
I can see it now on the evening news –
Today’s high temp – Classified
Today’s low temp – Classified
Forecast for tomorrow’s weather – Classified
Unclassified guidance for tomorrow – Wear sweaters and have rain gear handy.

bill

When are you going to realise – this is not secret data, it is COMMERCIAL data. i.e CRU would have an agreement not to pass it on to others as it would wreck its COMMERCIAL value. If they have allowed this commercial data to be distributed then they would have broken a legal agreement. Isn’t this obvious?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Read this document the ECA have the same problem with almost half their data sources
http://eca.knmi.nl/documents/ECAD_report_2008.pdf
Climate variables
At present the data set includes series of
nine climate variables: daily …
About 52% of the series is publicly available
from the ECA&D website. The other
48% comes with restrictions: these series
are for ECA&D indices calculations and
gridding purposes only.
Data flow
Participant data comes in various file formats.
Importing this data into the database
tables is done by running relevant
scripts for the conversions. The conversions
differ for each data source. Dependent
on the permissions granted by the
data providers, data series can either be:
public, or for indices plus gridding only.
Public data are published on the web in
addition to the indices results.
Please give up on the secret jibes.

David L. Hagen

Judge White enjoined Wikileaks to “from displaying, posting, publishing, distributing, linking to and/or otherwise providing any information” that the Bank Julius Baer considers to be confidential. Now:

WikiLeaks.org is back. In a blow to Bank Julius Baer’s censorship attempts, Judge White has now denied the bank’s request to silence WikiLeaks. Judge White also denied the bank’s request to require that WikiLeaks remove the bank documents that had been revealed by Wikileaks to draw attention to alleged tax evasion and money laundering in the Cayman Islands.
In his new order, Judge White had the maturity to reverse his earlier rulings, having realized that those rulings trampled the First Amendment. etc
The ‘wikileaks.org’ domain was ably represented by attorneys James Chadwick, Roger Myers, Guylyn Cummins with Joshua Koltun representing Wikileaks writer and human rights activist Daniel Mathews. The First Amendment was further represented by all of those entities that filed amicus briefs, including the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press and eleven other media organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen, the California First Amendment Coalition and the Project on Government Oversight. We give thanks to these extraordinary efforts.
Louis Brandeis, one of the greatest Justices to ever sit on the United States Supreme Court, wrote that: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” (Other People’s Money, and How the Bankers Use It, 1933). Those words ring even truer today.
WikiLeaks will not be cowed by those who would silence the truth. It shall continue to be a forum for the citizens of the world to disclose issues of social, moral and ethical concern.
WikiLeaks encourages everyone who believes in shining that disinfecting sunlight on wrongdoing to Support its mission.
The case continues next month, although Baer has received a stern warning from Justice White that the case may be dismissed entirely.

To further the cause of Science, and to ensure his efforts for posterity, perhaps Sir. MOLE would care to use the services of WikiLeaks.
In light of: Leaked Media Defender e-mails reveal secret government project
Sir. MOLE may also wish to explore the services of BitTorrent.

Michael Newton

Leon Brozyna (12:56:59) : “Unclassified guidance for tomorrow – Wear sweaters and have rain gear handy.”
Wear sweaters? Who will need sweaters when global warming arrives. Oh wait, I forgot that cold weather is also caused by global warming.

David L. Hagen

Thanks for the reference Crosspatch
Here are some links:
GUIDANCE ON COMPUTER MISUSE ACT and
Computer Misuse Act 1990
1990 CHAPTER 18

D. King

Leon Brozyna (12:56:59) :
Temperature data – a state secret?
I can see it now on the evening news –
Today’s high temp – Classified
Today’s low temp – Classified
Forecast for tomorrow’s weather – Classified
Unclassified guidance for tomorrow – Wear sweaters and have rain gear handy.
We could tell ya, but then we’d have to kill ya!

henrychance

How about we take a collection for the mole who is in the deepest of trouble.
He may get sentenced to siberia and hard labor. If it is siberia, he may need some beach chairs to enjoy the balmy weather going on up there soon.
Wearing my psychologist hat, I ponder the danger of humans knowing what the temps were. Will there be a lithium shortage diverting lithium from batteries to pills. Peak lithium.

Tenuc

Well done that mole for doing the decent thing and sharing the data we need.
I think that obfuscation wll be the order of the day until after Copenhagen for the Met and other clmate info providers. I’m just hoping that the current quiet sun will keep the winter weather really cold.
Meanwhile I see glimmers of CYA syndrome appearing in the press as our climate continues to ignore the IPCC climate models.