Taking a bite out of climate data

The Dog Ate Global Warming
Interpreting climate data can be hard enough. What if some key data have been fiddled?

By Patrick J. Michaels, National Review Online

http://enviralment.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/dog-ate-my-homework.jpg

Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.

Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all, saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very vague language.

It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by 50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).

Enter the dog that ate global warming.

Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:

Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.

The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.

If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.

— Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.

h/t to WUWT reader Bill Kurdziel

144 thoughts on “Taking a bite out of climate data

  1. Quote from the article:
    “Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded”.

    Should this not refer to Anthony Watts ? Or did Roger Pielke also perform such an audit?

  2. As a Brit, I have alternately cringed with embarrassment and erupted with anger as this shoddy tale has unfolded.

  3. All I want for Christmas is peer review.

    This chap is afraid of peer review. he knows very well why he is afraid of sharing details. When lawsuits start flying against the EPA, they of course can obtain a court order for the data. I am sure the legal eagles at the EPA will want to have raw data and more before they sieze control of emissions.

  4. The plot thickens!
    I do not pupport to be an expert but I certainly can smell the whiff of ‘dodgy scientific’ process, damned lies maybe.
    Mr. McIntyre is an exhaustive and perceptive investigator, a mathematician and a good one at that. If he was on my case I would worry, because he senses concoction (BS), I’ve mentioned the perception (not unfounded) of lack of scientific rigour at East Anglia. These revelations do not surprise me. The manic drive to secure funding at seemingly any cost, means the defenestration of real science.
    Is any politician listening? Answer – there came none.

  5. “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Some people call this “junk science”, surely it is more accurate to remove the word science and simply call it “junk”?

  6. It is a sad day to be sure. Everybody put your tin hats on. I think the conspiracy theories maybe true.

  7. [snip – if you wish to make those accusations against Mr. Michaels, put your name to your words so that they can be properly attributed to you]

  8. In the UK our government has systematically attacked civil liberties over the last 12 years. Every new intrusion or requirement is justified on the basis that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

    EM Smith has recently speculated about “group think” in the people re-constructing the temperature record, and that probably 10 people in 4 groups are responsible:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/gistemp-pas-dun-coup/

    Jones’ behavior is at best unprofessional. At worst – well, surely he doesn’t have anything to hide?

  9. None of this is new to regular readers of CA and WUWT, but when assembled into a narrative like this it is breath-taking nonetheless. I predict that the responses to this will be to talk about the worthiness of the National Review and the Cato institute rather than address the not-so-thinly veiled charges Michaels is making.

  10. Somewhat OT – speaking of temperature date, what is with the spike in the Arctic temperature according to the DMI site? Gremlins, gauge failure, or is Jones messing with those records also?

  11. Henry chance said (14:29:00) :

    “All I want for Christmas is peer review.”

    No good, the peer review would probably be done by people working on GISSTemp.

  12. mike sander (14:15:34) :

    Mike, the spike looks shocking when compared to the averaged curve, but clicking on the years to the left of the graph shows that dramatic ups and downs are quite common. I’ll get worried if it spikes above the melt line.

  13. I can only wonder what the scientists in 100-200 years will say when looking back at the temperature data… “We have this huge hole in the data, what did they think? But luckily, we now have a computer model that can produce data where there were erased data.”

  14. [quote] Henry chance (14:29:00) :[/quote]

    The EPA is a government agency. They are more concerned with expanding their reach than whether or not they are justified to do so.

  15. All businesses and individuals who are asked to pay for carbon allowances, credits or are told they will need to operate on a ration, need to band together to take government to court and challenge the science right there. Make the case big, so big that the media can’t even try to ignore it without looking far more Orwellian than they already are.

  16. Another good example of the shoddy scientific method which lies behind much of the ‘consensus’ AGW Climatology. The time is long over-due for one of our senior icons of science to take this on, for example Freeman Dyson, so the ineptitude (or worse) can be exposed publicly.

    The whole AGW house of cards is starting to totter. Removal of this foundation card will bring the whole lot down.

  17. The spike on the DMI graph has leveled out now with today’s update, usually on that graph what goes up must go down, a down-spike shouldn’t be too far away.

  18. As I understand it, the Admiralty has recently released hundreds of years of global temperature records, contained in the RN ship’s daily logs. Why not use those records instead; they will not need ‘adjusting’.

    And then it will be possible to see how ‘accurate’ the CRU claim of ‘global warming’ actually is….

    Shouldn’t take too long.

  19. Well, according to the front page of FoxNews.com right this minute, both Greenland and Antarctica are experiencing “runaway” melting.

    This despite the fact that there is more Antarctic and Arctic ice today than there was a year ago on this date. Go figure.

  20. jack mosevich (14:14:43) : Roger was the first person to note that many stations were poorly sited in the literature-back in 2005:

    http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-274.pdf

    Anthony is waiting to finish his analysis I believe before trying to get published anywhere, but truth be told, you ALL deserve credit. And by you all, I mean all the surveyors.

  21. Just staggering. When you throw in this stuff; pro nuclear Thatcher hatching Hadley; Hansen; hockey sticks; The Maldives; and other AGW scams, I can see the makings of a best seller.

  22. Well am I the only one who is sensing some “go straight to jail” skullduggery starting to come to light here.

    And all this time I have only worried that they were ignoring the Nyquist theorem.

    Now it appears they aren’t even that smart; and just making up data as they go along; well new stories anyway.

    Maybe comparing “climate science” to “ancient astrology” is an insult to ancient astrology.

    Gee if it ain’t Dr Roy Spencer pointing outr the varmints, it is Dr Patrick Michaels to the rescue.

  23. It sure would be nice if there was some organization doing real climate science; taking mesurements, accumulating data, saving the data, making it available to everyone, letting others argue about what it means… Science-y stuff. If one was set up now then in a few decades we would have a few decades of data that everyone could use. Too bad it won’t happen.

  24. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    It looks like that evidence never actually existed, extraordinary or otherwise.

  25. I view these revelations as breathtaking admissions and analogous to a house of cards lacking the carsd that make up the foundation.

    The question that must follow is: “Now what?”

  26. I prefer the cock-up theory to the conspiracy theory here. I think the management of the data has been slapdash and nobody bothered to keep proper records. Oh dear!

  27. Greg, San Diego, CA (14:42:48) :
    Somewhat OT – speaking of temperature date, what is with the spike in the Arctic temperature according to the DMI site? Gremlins, gauge failure, or is Jones messing with those records also?

    Robert E. Phelan (14:45:21) :
    mike sander (14:15:34) :

    Mike, the spike looks shocking when compared to the averaged curve, but clicking on the years to the left of the graph shows that dramatic ups and downs are quite common. I’ll get worried if it spikes above the melt line.

    In browsing thru the DMI temp archive a while back there seemed to me to be a recurring pattern of upspikes in temp coinciding with both of the equinoxes. The upticks show up frequently, if not consistently, and in the case of the vernal equinox they would seem to make some sense, as the Sun is at that point emerging from its Winter slumber. Conversely, at the autumnal equinox the Sun disappears, as it just has, which makes those rises in temp rather counterintuitive, at least in my estimation. Has anyone ever seen a reasonable explanation of these seemingly common jumps in temp at this point in the calendar?

  28. Mr. McIntyre is an exhaustive and perceptive investigator, a mathematician and a good one at that. If he was on my case I would worry,

    If people like McIntyre are on your case there is be no need to worry.

  29. For the US, the raw USHCN data shows an average of +0.14C warming per station. With TOBS adjustments, the average is +0.31. With FILNET it is +0.59.

    I figure the Global data would show much the same. Arguably, some sort of TOBS adjustment is necessary. But as for the rest . . .

  30. Henry chance (14:29:00) :

    All I want for Christmas is peer review.

    Be careful what you wish for. If enough people search the term there will soon be a gay stripper called ‘Peer review’ that gives the girls/boys what they want.

  31. The Global Warming, Climate Change, AGW, call it what you will, story in a nutshell is,

    Data of questionable accuracy influenced by many effects was processed and adjusted by Jones et al’s secret algorithm, fed in climate models of unknown validity to produce the projections/predictions that the greenleft promoted as a vehicle for the transnational policies they wanted through the UN’s IPCC.

    What is remarkable is the world’s politicians allowed themselves to be stampeded into this psuedo-scientific charade. But then arguably the most serious problem in all democracies is that public policy invariably gets captured by special interest groups.

  32. Don’t you guys understand? What is the point of being rich if your country club is crowded or the grass is damaged?

    It’s as simple as this. The bankers have created a lot of destruction with their government backed cartel and now fear they may have damaged the planet too much.

    But don’t worry. They are willing that the poor should suffer to make up for it.

  33. “…issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data. …”

    Yep, they kept the cooked data and the dog got raw data.

  34. I can’t believe these believers, thinking that they are going to significantly alter our way of life over science of which part of it has been closed off to independent reviewers.

    Yeah right. Bring it on…

  35. Robert E. Phelan @14:42:14

    I agree with you. The novelty here is that Michaels is pointing out that any EPA regulation of CO2 will be at risk, vulnerable to law suite, if the supporting data aren’t available.

  36. I’ve made it clear time and again that the Jones data will not contain any big surprises, but it will almost certainly be subject to some very interesting statistical treatments that might not be straight out of the stats textbook.

  37. Supercritical @15:18:29

    Hansen and Jones are already plotting the corrections required to make the Admiralty data “trustworthy”.

  38. The nonsense of the 1850 (Hadley) and 1880 (GISS) temperatures are something I have often written of here. (Although global temperatures have nothing on the highly embroidered ‘tidal gauges to 1700’ information the IPCC use in their assessments)

    Sometime ago I bought the archives of GS Callendar who -as well as his seminal work on co2- was also a noted amateur meterologist. He complained about the very small number of reliable weather stations on which to base his work, and the fact that stations were often closed, moved, new uncalibrated equipment installed, and generally the data was highly inconsistent.

    In 1850 in the whole of the NH there were 60 weather stations and in the SH there were 10. G S Callendar wrote his co2 thesis in 1938 and used only a total of 200 stations worldwide, many of which he was not impressed with.

    By about 1900 we theoretically had 50% coverage in the NH (if you accept very large gridded squares as ample coverage) and it took until 1940 for the same in the SH.

    The SST has been hotly contested due to the nature of the ships data being used-you might have followed the long debate on CA about Buckets and water intakes. (As an aside, quite by chance I met someone who served on a ship and took these water temperatures and the word haphazard is far too kind a word)

    This is the very good-but somewhat dated -paper from Hansen that is one of the pillars of IPCC thinking. A year after writing his paper was when he testified in front of Congress and his aides chose the warmest day and turned off the Aircon

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf

    If you look at figure 4 (after first reading how many times the word ‘estimates’ is used to excuse the interpolation of data to compensate for the lack of numerical or spatial coverage) you will see that it shows the number of stations used in the 1850 and 1880 reconstruction.

    This rebuittal from Vincent Gray
    http://www.fcpp.org/pdf/The_Cause_of_Global_Warming_Policy_Series_7.pdf

    This from CA
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2015

    This refers to the fuss about McKitricks paper.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Talk:Ross_McKitrick

    To use data from 1850 is meaningless due to their incompleteness, tiny numbers and lack of reliability. Since then there has been a whole series of changes in the stations, number, and locations, and measurements at UHI hot spots are not fairly adjusted for. In addition there is a severe problem with general siting of many stations-that is the prime focus of surfacestations.org

    Of course the value and meaning of a ‘global’ temperature in the first place could easily fill its own thread.

    tonyb

  39. crosspatch (15:25:46) :

    Well, according to the front page of FoxNews.com right this minute, both Greenland and Antarctica are experiencing “runaway” melting.

    This despite the fact that there is more Antarctic and Arctic ice today than there was a year ago on this date. Go figure.

    The article is based on a recent paper in Nature reporting on laser measurements of elevation, i.e. glacier thickness, in Greenland and the Antarctic. That’s different from sea ice extent.

    It would be interesting to see an objective critique of the paper posted here at WUWT.

    Greenland, Antarctic Ice ‘in Runaway Melt Mode’

  40. I wish I could say this was a surprise….but it really isn’t.

    Science died (at least climate science) sometime in the last decade.

  41. Dave Wendt (15:52:19) :
    “In browsing thru the DMI temp archive a while back there seemed to me to be a recurring pattern of upspikes in temp coinciding with both of the equinoxes. The upticks show up frequently, if not consistently, and in the case of the vernal equinox they would seem to make some sense, as the Sun is at that point emerging from its Winter slumber. Conversely, at the autumnal equinox the Sun disappears, as it just has, which makes those rises in temp rather counterintuitive, at least in my estimation. Has anyone ever seen a reasonable explanation of these seemingly common jumps in temp at this point in the calendar?”

    I dont know as such, but if the north behaves much the same as the south at equinoxes. I would imagine it would have something to do with the gales… you know how the warm air starts dropping down on the pole as it cools rapidly and blasts out and away to lower latitudes. Maybe causing a kinda syphine effect :-) but just the mussings o an ignorant farmer im afraid.

  42. One comment I can make without seeing the paper: It appears the study ended in 2007, and particularly involves the thickness near the edges, so that would seem to be a pretty good cherrypick. What has happened since?

  43. “Anthony, I humbly suggest we can do without Back2Bat conspiracy based economic ‘insights’.”

    Who said anything about conspiracy?

    Ben Bernake admitted the Fed caused the Great Depression. The Great Depression is a major cause of WWII. WWII killed 50 – 80 million people and caused a lot of environmental destruction too.

    The PTB know their economic system is unstable and dangerous. It is no stretch to suggest they might inspire a little environmental hysteria as a diversion and as a crude and cruel way to dampen economic growth.

  44. But Philip,
    I appreciate the methodical, deliberate approach you guys are taking. It takes all kinds.

    But really, I was wise years ago when CO2 was first called a pollutant. I reckon that was sometime between 1994 and 2002.

    So, might my insights have a little bit of truth in them?

  45. Finding the records is easy if you have someone at the top with guts. You start by interviewing Jones and work your way down. Anyone who does not know where the original data is gets fired. Data turns up quickly.

  46. Greg Cantrell (14:36:46) :

    It is a sad day to be sure. Everybody put your tin hats on. I think the conspiracy theories maybe true.

    Hi Greg, Why attribute to Conspiracy what can be attributed to Incompetance?

    Occams Razor suggests that Incompetance is much more likely than Conspiracy.

    The whole episode of “AGW Science” reeks of small minded academics being puffed up with false authority and set into positions of “Grandiose Expertise” that they are manifestly incapable of transforming into Real Expertise. These are people, for whom, if AGW did not exist, they would have led lives of obscure mediocrity, publishing papers that that would be nothing more than wallpaper in their own offices.

  47. KBK (16:25:52) :

    how can Greenland and the Antarctic be accelerating in their melt when the sea level rise is reducing.

  48. Graeme, quite so. But the historical example of this is Lysneko. Many died due to Lysneko being “small minded ” and ” puffed up with false authority and set into positions of “Grandiose Expertise”

  49. Graeme Rodaughan (17:29:22) :

    thats a major factor today ever since we established these Climate Change centers.

    Yesterday when the east coast of Australia had a red dust storm the ABC interviewed one such person – a dust expert from a Climate Change organisation. He said that the dust storm was extremely rare and attributed it to climate change.

    A quick search of the BOM site showed there was a consistent history of dust storms throughout our country’s history.

    It’s getting to the point that according to the media if you work for a CC organisation you are an expert, if not your opinion isn’t worth anything.

  50. If a group of scientists faked data that ended up being used to justify the spending of $billions and millions of job losses, then it`s pretty safe to assume that when the poo-poo hits the fan, the journalists and politicians (the real promoters of AGW) will unite to cover each other`s backsides. The public of course will not believe them, so they will go after these frauds with a vengance.

    I predict that when this all crumbles around them, the politicians and journalists will call for serious jail sentances for the scientists they will say “conned and fooled” them into believing AGW was real. We, of course know that the politicians and meida are the real culprits, but they are the ones who control the news and media, and they will deliver the heads of these scientific frauds as a trophey of their fight against those evil doers who conned the world into believing in AGW. The public will demand people be brought to account, and the politicians and media will do just that.

    If Jones and Wigley had any brains, they would come clean ASAP, and they would start publicising that many other scientists have for a long time been telling the media and politicians that AGW science is incorrect and the the politicians deliberately chose their data over the other scientists.

    That might cover their arhssses to some extent. But from reading the contradictory lies these people have spun, I doubt these two have the intelligence to comprehend the consequences to them.

  51. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” PaulH

    Indeed, but in our panic stricken world, many economically illiterate scientists see no harm in erring on the side of “prudence”.

    The problem is, that as far as economics go, they don’t know what prudence is.

  52. It would be interesting to see an objective critique of the paper posted here at WUWT.

    The Antarctic circumpolar vortex is (part of) the mechanism by which heat from mid-lattitudes is transferred to Antarctica where it is lost to space. There is some evidence that the vortex has increased in intensity and this is the cause of Antarctic Peninsula ice melt which has certainly happened.

    An increasing vortex is probably caused by a greater temperature differential between the mid-latitudes and the Antarctic proper. We know Antarctica has cooled and this is probably the cause of a warmer Peninsula.

    The problem in the Greenland paper is interesting. The study itself and its conclusions seem sound. However it provides no evidence of a trend. But then the author when interviewed launches into wild speculation with no basis in fact.

    Scientists say it’s a natural process — in one period the cold waters will have the upper hand, and in the next it’s the other way round. But the rapidly increasing temperatures of the subtropical oceans suggest that the balance could be tilted beyond natural variability, Curry says.

    There is no evidence the temperatures of the sub-tropical oceans are rapidly increasing.

    The problem is scientists making alarmist statements that have no basis in the science they have performed.

  53. “These are people, for whom, if AGW did not exist, they would have led lives of obscure mediocrity, publishing papers that that would be nothing more than wallpaper in their own offices.”

    And that sadly is the truth. Reading the spiteful and childish comments made by members of the self described ‘team’ in response to any challenges to their maunderings reveals how immature and unworthy of respect many of them are.

    ‘Scientists’ once had the respect and admiration of most people – unfortunately the squabbling ineptitude of climate science has reduced their reputation to rank below that of used car salesmen.

    It’s not just ‘climate scientists’ either, the whole sector has been tainted. Where once a ‘white coat’ represented objective and careful research; now it is seen as the ‘dress du jour’ of political activists, bumbling incompetents and preachers of ‘chicken little’ catastrophes.

    /rant

  54. Greg, San Diego, CA (14:42:48) :

    Somewhat OT – speaking of temperature date, what is with the spike in the Arctic temperature according to the DMI site? Gremlins, gauge failure, or is Jones messing with those records also?

    No messing required. That amount of water freezing has to release its energy somewhere & the deep oceans isn’t it!

    DaveE.

  55. George E. Smith (15:33:02) :

    “Maybe comparing “climate science” to “ancient astrology” is an insult to ancient astrology.”

    Indeed. At least astrology was based on observation. The planets were in alignment. With AGW, it appears the observations are questionable, to say nothing of interpretation.

  56. “The article is based on a recent paper in Nature reporting on laser measurements of elevation, i.e. glacier thickness, in Greenland and the Antarctic. That’s different from sea ice extent.”

    I am aware of that. But how can you have both increasing sea ice AND runaway melt of land ice? You can’t have both increasing and decreasing temperatures at the same time. Also, ice is accumulating in inland Antarctica and Greenland. Temperatures for all but the western “arm” of Antarctica are cooling. I am willing to bet it is another joke of a paper (a la Steig’s paper).

  57. Tenuc (15:02:43) :

    Another good example of the shoddy scientific method which lies behind much of the ‘consensus’ AGW Climatology. The time is long over-due for one of our senior icons of science to take this on, for example Freeman Dyson, so the ineptitude (or worse) can be exposed publicly.

    Unfortunately, Dyson has been dismissed as a senile crank by the fraternity.

    DaveE.

  58. While the handling and openness of a global temperature record has severely lacked scientific professionalism, we can safely assume that for most of the world, average temperatures have increased in the last 250 years. That would seem to be a logical conclusion from the retreat of glaciers. Perhaps some would quibble that glaciers do not cover the whole world, but I am willing to accept that typical temperatures have increased since the LIA.

  59. Einstein was a proponent of making things as simple as possible, but not simpler. In other words, it is important to use Occam’s Razor, but just as important to not cut too deeply. If you look at the big AGW picture, which includes truly bizarre and frightening political proposals, it is difficult to chalk it all up to incompetence. Incompetent people spew their incompetence all over the place every day and it doesn’t threaten to destroy western civilization.

  60. With simple errors, an honest scientist will:

    a) Correct the errors when new information is provided.

    b) Admit that the author did not have enough education on that subject to catch that error first.

    A dishonest scientist will:

    a) Hide behind authority and refuse to disclose the raw data and methodology.

    b) Rely upon other people to adopt a “defense lawyer mentality” to defend and deflect any errors.

  61. ‘Scientists’ once had the respect and admiration of most people – unfortunately the squabbling ineptitude of climate science has reduced their reputation to rank below that of used car salesmen. PeterW

    I pretty much predicted this too. I referred to it as a “deep plot to discredit science” a while back.

    You see, science was all well and good as long as it gave the “right” answers but some in high places don’t like the current answers so science has to be discredited.

  62. From the article;

    “What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?”

    Thatcher was a control freak and since the 80’s successive British gummints have become even more so. They fear the public and what they are capable of (Poll Tax riots). One reason why there are now police posted around The Houses of Parliament 24 x 7. Another example, there are some 15 million surveilance comeras installed in the UK. Broken communities + broken familes + dumed down society + welfare dependency + information control = Total control. The authorities in the UK are almost there with their goal of their Owellian dream.

  63. “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Isn’t that, in a nutshell, SCIENCE?????

    begin
    data theory = dup if publish else rewrite then
    until

    (sorry, an old FORTHer)

  64. Patrick Davis (19:43:53) : “…Another example, there are some 15 million surveilance comeras installed in the UK…The authorities in the UK are almost there with their goal of their O(r)wellian dream.”

    This war will be won or lost in the media. This Big “Brother” is a creation of the media and is their WMD.

  65. Then I was thinking, in a conspiratorial sort of way, about the ‘words of mass destruction’.

    The media is to blame because they were the bridge between the scientists and politicians, constantly ramping up the hype. They are all bankrupt on AGW alarmism, possibly criminally negligent if the weather turns decidedly nasty.

  66. Media? Once upon a time I was called “scientificist” by an anchor in a TV debate when I was explaining how science works.

    Many of them, but not all of them, do think that science can be modified according to the perspectives of the man in power. They use to say, “Those who own the voice, own the power”. They have the voice, they then have the power.

    It’s as simple as to severely questioning to honest scientists and smiling to dishonest scientists, or blocking honest scientists from participating in their programs, or to invite to honest scientists for debating in programs where the honest scientist would be a solitary voice on the side of clean science.

  67. University administrators’ preferred tactic:
    Build in delays.

    Alarmists’ preferred tactic:
    Build in menacing delays by promoting endless discordant exchanges about typos, semantics, strawmen, …

  68. Thomas J. Arnold. (14:31:46) :
    Is any politician listening? Answer – there came none.

    “But answer came there none–
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.”

    Lewis Carroll was referring to oysters, but it seems to apply to dogs eating global warming data in this production of “AGW in Wonderland .”

  69. Extraordinary claims are more often than not based upon faith and belief rather than hard evidence.

    It’s shocking that the original raw data would be lost. It’s also shocking that they wouldn’t keep meticulous records of their “manipulations” or “adjustments” to the original data to know if they are on track or not. How can you check your scientific work if you don’t keep an audit trail? How can others verify it if you don’t present the data. Shocking isn’t the half of it.

    Much like the Pathologists of late who messed up criminal cases with sloppy or fraudulent work the comments and quality of Phil Jones work is now in question. Imagine his entire career going down the drain because of sloppy science work? Not too good.

    All science data must have an audit trail with the original data kept intact and all manipulations of it fully documented and justified. Open Public Science.

    Were any laws broken by these behaviors of these scientists who lost the data they manipulated and lost the reasons for their manipulations? Certainly they’ve lost the trust they would expect to engender. Isn’t there a duty, such as a fiduciary duty, for those engaged in public science to uphold? What are the consequences if they don’t? I fear we are finding out; mass climate hysteria and a waste of human resources all over the planet?

    Due to tilting at climate windmills we end up like the people of Easter Island? Extinct.

    There are real threats to Earth, ourselves and things like asteroids that we can actually do something about. While we tilt at climate windmills will ignore the real threats?

  70. Pops (19:06:59) :

    Einstein was a proponent of making things as simple as possible, but not simpler. In other words, it is important to use Occam’s Razor, but just as important to not cut too deeply. If you look at the big AGW picture, which includes truly bizarre and frightening political proposals, it is difficult to chalk it all up to incompetence. Incompetent people spew their incompetence all over the place every day and it doesn’t threaten to destroy western civilization.

    “Pops” maybe you are right, the level of incompetence is organized above and beyond reasonable denyablity, and there is a very large bandwagon effect. Hopefully that song is nearly over. I’m finding the undecided and some warmers have turned sceptic. It’s tough to fool all the people all the time.

  71. Good point above. Astrology data is reliable. Just the interpretation is on a par with Climate Science. Make it up as you go along.

  72. I wonder, now that the dog ate raw data, how Jones et al gets the +/– 0.2°C uncertainty range in the “unprecedented” warming, does it come from the dog’s [snip]?

  73. Patrick J. Michaels wrote:
    “Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him.”
    Has someone asked Stephen McIntyre?

  74. Do you know the term ‘gobsmacked’?

    Definition: flabbergasted, astounded, shocked;
    Etymology: from gob ‘mouth’ + smacked ‘clapping hand over in surprise’

    Well I am gobsmacked by the combination of monumental stupidity and monumental gall exhibited by the so-called caretakers of climate data such as Phil Jones

  75. OT
    It appears that we have a new COLD RECORD for Greenland.
    -46 right now this morning, old record -43,9 C for summit, september:
    The record low:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/part-2-opdaterede-sol-is-temp-hav-data-d12-e1066-s40.php#post_14837

    I still have not seen any official reaction to this little problem, so i cannot guarantee that this record will not somehow be “omitted”.
    But it seems to be the real deal, coldest september temp ever measured on Greenland.

    temp right now:
    http://www.summitcamp.org/status/weather/index?period=day

    The records:
    http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/gronland/ekstremer.htm

    K.R. Frank

  76. Dear crosspatch,

    you were wondering if sea ice can increase while land ice can reduce.
    Well that is you course possible, because as far as I understand it sea ice is very sensitive to sea water currents. Also I have heard that the low in 2007 is related to an unusual wind pattern und the sea ice seems now to partially recover from that.
    If you look at the anual mean ice area over several decades I think you can agree that the Artic sea ice is declining as you would expect as a result from a temperature increase up till at least the end of last millenium. NOA seems to be a key factor for the Artic sea ice.

    Cheers,
    LoN

  77. I find this story quite astonishing.

    If the IPCC is using the CRU data as the global standard, surely there should have been put in place a fail-safe mechanism for collecting, collating and storing the data.

    What we are hearing is that this appears to be an ad hoc process by the original scientists, who despite being the world’s data centre, do not have an administrator whose job is to handle data requests from third parties, nor a streamlined mechanism for accessing it and supplying it.

    At the very least, this is grossly incompetent and poorly planned. Something for the CRU funders to address perhaps?

    At worst, it is fingers in the dyke.

    I know full well how unscrupulous scientists can be in accessing others’ data and then stealing their research thunder. Which is why MTAs usually prescribe very clearly what the data can be used for. It’s not hard to set that up.

    So the questions that should be being asked are these:

    1. What do Jones et al have to fear from properly controlled, application limited data sharing exercises?
    2. Why are the funders of CRU not funding proper data management functions in a world-leading repository?
    3. Why are politicians not kicking up a stink about their great ‘project’ being underpinned by scientific mismanagement and incompetence??

  78. Nothing unusual about the “DMI-spike” in the Arctic. It is all about winds. A stalled low pressure pushed in warm Atlantic air northeast of Greenland. The build up of cold air in this area was temporarily stopped. The temperature will go down in a couple of days.

  79. I too have requested Data from CRU under the F.O.I. Act
    This is the first reply;

    ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-128; EIR_09-19)
    Your request for information received on 14 August 2009 for a “A copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2009” and “A copy of any instructions or stipulations accompanying the transmission of data to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2009 limiting its further dissemination or disclosure” has now been considered and it is, unfortunately, not possible to meet your request.
    In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice, and I am not obliged to supply this information and the reasons for exemption are as stated below:
    Exception Reason

    Reg. 12(4)(a) – Information not held Some of the requested information is not held by the University

    Reg. 12(4)(b) – Request is manifestly unreasonable Information is available elsewhere

    Reg. 12(5)(a) – Adverse effect on international relations Release would damage relations with scientists & institutions from other nations

    Reg. 12(5)(f) – Adverse effect on the person providing information Information is covered by a confidentiality agreement

    We believe that Regulation 12(4)(b) applies to your request for the data because the requested data is a subset of highly similar data already available in another format from other sources; namely the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN ) , and the Climatic Research Unit . Both sources make the requested information available in a gridded format. We believe, following DEFRA guidance, that it is unreasonable for the University to spend public resources on providing information in a different format to that which is already available.
    In regards Regulation 12(5)(a), much of the requested data comes from both individual scientists and institutions from countries around the world. If this information were to be released contrary to the conditions under which this institution received it, it would damage the trust that other national scientists and institutions have in UK-based public sector organisations and would likely result in them becoming reluctant to share information and participate in scientific projects in future. This would damage the ability of the University and other UK institutions to co-operate with meteorological organisations and governments of other countries.
    Regulation 12(5)(f) applies to the data requested because the data was received by the University on terms that limits further transmission. We believe that there would be an adverse effect on the institutions that supplied data under those agreements as it would undermine the conditions under which they supplied the data to the Climate Research Unit.
    In regards your request for any stipulations accompanying the transmission of the data to academics at Georgia Tech, Regulation 12(4)(a) applies as no such instructions or stipulations are held by the University. Any such conditions were verbal and between the parties involved at that time. All the written agreements that we do hold in relation to the station data within the CRUTEM data set are available on the Climate Research Unit website at: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/
    Regulation 12(1)(b) mandates that we consider the public interest in any decision to release or refuse information under Regulation 12(4). In this case, we feel that there is a strong public interest in upholding contract terms governing the use of received information. To not do so would be to potentially risk the loss of access to such data in future as noted above. In regards Regulation 12(4)(b), we believe it is not in the public interest to divert public resources away from other work to provide information that is available elsewhere. Finally in regards Regulation 12(5)(a), we feel that there is a clear public interest in neither damaging nor restricting scientific collaboration between UK-based scientists and institutions with international colleagues.
    I should note, however, that the University is commencing work, in concert with the Met Office Hadley Centre, to seek permission from data suppliers in advance of the next update of the CRUTEM database in 2010 in order to provide public access to this data. This work has been announced on the CRU website and further updates on it’s progress will be available there.
    I apologise that your request will be met but if you have any further information needs in the future then please contact me.
    If you have any queries or concerns, or, if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact me at:
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich
    NR4 7TJ
    Telephone: 0160 393 523
    E-mail: foi@uea.ac.uk

    I then appealed against the decision on the following grounds;
    Regulation 9(1) states
    “A public authority shall provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to applicants and prospective applicants”.
    In particular I want to know why you think it is unreasonable to ask for the exact dataset, as described in a peer- reviewed published paper, on a subject of great public interest and where the usual scientific convention is that authors must provide sufficient detail to allow others to replicate their work. How can you possibly claim it is “manifestly unreasonable” to send me the same data that you have sent elsewhere without any actionable undertakings from that recipient?

    I also require UEA to justify its assertion that disclosure of said information and data, which virtually all Academies of Science and most journals regard as essential, would have an “adverse effect on international relations and would damage relations with scientists & institutions from other nations”. This assertion requires evidence to support it, otherwise it appears to be merely a convenient excuse.

    Finally I note that there is an obvious contradiction in your claim that you are trying “to seek permission from data suppliers in advance of the next update of the CRUTEM database in 2010 in order to provide public access to this data” and the fact that you are unable to show anything other than a couple of rather old and ineffectual documents to support your claim that this is a significant problem.

    Accordingly I ask that you immediately publish or send me the data for which you cannot substantiate that an actionable restrictive contract exists.

    I have had an acknowledgement that my request will now be internally reviewed. If I do not get a positive reply, I will take the appeal to the Information Commissioner.

    Personally I believe that this obstrufication by Jones strikes at the heart of the scientific method, in that research work must be reproduceable and testable. My advice to all readers of this Blog is to deluge Jones with F.O.I. (actually Environmental Information Regulation) requests so that he becomes a liability to his employers.

  80. Anyways, folks know whats going on. At some point it becomes like voyeurism, like watching a robbery or rape and closing the curtain just a bit so nobody sees you peeking. Maybe if folks start talking about motives. It is not just profit or politics.

    The problem with the theory they are discrediting the scientists is most folks are content to accept what scientists say is fact. Most scientists are honest folks, but they are limited to what they know, which is their specialty, and they need to eat too. The only ones speaking out seem to be the retired scientists.

    Thats why a handful of mathematical physcists have been able to hijack climate science with their models using data from many different disciplines, but choosing their own assumptions (free parameters). Enough free parameters and they can model an elephant that flies, or show that sub-primes are good for the economy. If their models give the right answers, they get more government funding. Government controls the data collection and storage. 1+ 1 = 3 so says the models. And much of the science is behind paid for subscription firewalls, and peer review is not the guaranty of good science that folks have been told it is, most get approved without anyone seeing all the data, so long as the conclusions have the right stuff (wink).

    What it is all about folks is lowering standards of living in developed nations, preparing the world for a cosmological secular pagan religion (called scientism) encompassing human sacrifice, where humans are sinners against pagan gods like Gaia and must reduce consumption in order to avoid a Green Hell, and platonic philosopher kings ruling the people under one government on behalf of Gaia, and a global currency called the carbon dollar (with a carbon tax), not to mention the neo-malthusians who would like to cull the herd (energy deprivation = starvation and lower life expectancy).

  81. Ray (14:50:04) : I can only wonder what the scientists in 100-200 years will say when looking back at the temperature data… “We have this huge hole in the data, what did they think? But luckily, we now have a computer model that can produce data where there were erased data.”

    Um, I don’t know how to break this to you… but… GIStemp already does that.

    When spicing various series together and “homogenizing it” and doing UHI “correction” it casts about up to 1000 km to get a “reference station” it can use to make up the “missing” temperature data.

    Further, in the first application of gridding and boxes (2 degrees lat /long on a side IIRC) in STEP3 it uses any old thermometer it has to make up the temperature for a “box” up to 1200 km away. Even if that thermometer has large spans of “data” that were made up in earlier steps… This is particularly heinous in the case of islands in the sun where the thermometers are nearly universally at airports near the tarmac and THAT temperature is used to represent the ocean temperature over clear water as much as 1200 km more toward the poles… A single thermometer at, oh, Guam or Diego Garcia can have a major impact.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/gistemp-islands-in-the-sun/

    There are 2 or 3 different places (prior to the Hadley CRU SST merger in STEP5) that GIStemp fabricates data.

    I know that isn’t the word they use for it, but having gone through the whole thing, that is the best term to describe what the program does. Repeatedly. Even when the original data isn’t actually missing it will fabricate a replacement… No, I’m not making that up. For example, in Pisa, the past gets re-written about 1 1/2 C colder than it is in the actual records (thus making the warming look steeper). This is asserted to be an Urban Heat Island correction. Except it goes the wrong way…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/gistemp-a-slice-of-pisa/

    Oh, and they use a lot of airports for UHI “correction” treating acres of tarmac as pristine rural locations:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/agw-gistemp-measure-jet-age-airport-growth/

    Like this “rural” airport that is used a few hundred times to fabricate new temperatures for “nearby” locations up to 1000km away:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/most-used-rural-airport-for-uhi-adj/

    Just because it has a new industrial park going in and is home to a Civil Defense squadron is no reason to think it isn’t rural.

    The upshot of all this? If you think you can skip HadCrut and just use GIStemp instead, you are just going from one broken series with no history to a worse series that is more fabricated than collected.

    IMHO, the best thing you can do is go to the GHCN data directly from NOAA and completely ignore GIStemp. Most of what it does is complete garbage.

    No, that is not hyperbole. The decisions made in the code are mindless at best and malicious at worse. It is all I can do to keep Hanlon’s razor in mind: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” In STEP0 they glue together USHCN and GHCN data with a horrid algorithm that sometimes keeps one, sometimes the other, and sometimes makes a bastard hybrid out of it by gluing together bits that have had chunks starting from about 20 years ago and further back in time “adjusted” by an offset between GHCN and USHCN in the last decade or so. Any recent equipment change, for example, can change all past time… for SOME of the records…

    Now the nutty bit is that the GHCN data came from the USHCN in the first place but with a different “modification history”. So sometimes you keep one mod history, sometimes the other, and sometimes a fabrication based and the delta between the two in a recent decade applied to all prior decades. This makes sense how? The reason given is to remove the UHI correction in one series by applying the other. Right… GHCN from NOAA has an “adj” and a non-adjusted set available.

    IMHO, you ought to just take the NOAA GHCN data (your choice of UHI adjusted or not) and run with it. Maybe add in the arctic data (which STEP0 also does), but that’s about it. Forget all the “reference station method” fabrication of data where there are none and all the “correcting” that is really distorting based on airport growth.

    The bottom line is that for both HadCrut and GIStemp, we have no temperature record that is usable. Best you can do is walk away… just walk away…

  82. Personally I hope the conspiracy theorists are right, cause I prefer to believe that the earth is reasonably stable with regards to its average temperature, because I do know we sentient beings live in a fairly narrow range of temperature galactically speaking, and a change of only 5deg in average could change a lot of stuff which we have no data on at all, obviously. Apart from the Antarctic Ice record, now there is a bunch of data about all sorts of things, CO2 levels among them.
    Maybe some of the conflict is about competing for the govt money that is available for the main info suppliers, because to me who lives in the Pacific I know there are Islands that are threatened by rising sea levels. The bad science could be due to the unhealthy state of info competition.

  83. Would it be possible to set up an equivalent project to http://www.surfacestations.org/ which starts to collect the original raw data from as many temperature recording stations around the world as possible and make it available online? A proper peer reviewed reconstruction of temperature past could then be produced.

    Data for CO2 levels could also be collected as I understand that accurate records have been kept since 1820 which contradict the IPCC’s reconstruction from ice core samples.

    I see no reason why such a project could not apply for funding from a huge variety of sources. If funding were not made available then would help to highlight the fact that such a record does not already exist – something that would surprise even most alarmists. Even without official funding I imagine that the project could be funded from donations provided it had worldwide scope. There are plenty of Chinese billionaires out there who have a great deal to loose if the truth doesn’t come out soon.

    I suggest calling this project http://www.realclimatedata.org :)

  84. Moderator, I will understand if you think this is too far afield of the topic to be posted, but:

    [not offensive in any way, but it my opinion, as you say, too far afield ~ ctm]

  85. SUmmit data only goes back to mar 2004. But still februar temperatures in september. Sunday pronosis: -48 C…

  86. As far as ice loss goes, any putative ice loss belongs more logically to soot, i.e. “black carbon”, and its effect on light absorption by the surface of the ice.

    This is a non-issue as the “answer” to the problem is economic and technological advance in Africa and Asia which is not the warmist’s aganda.

  87. It really seems to me now like the whole AGW stuff is going to crumble around the OTT data records, that haven’t allowed sufficiently for UHI, that have been “corrected” using faulty methods re UHI, that have station siting warming biases, that are missing, truncated, in airfields, etc. And stuff that has not been available for public scrutiny.

    Not a conspiracy. Except insofar as occasional conspiracy energy is a part of life, like influenza. More the combination of coincidental issues.

    I’m hoping Jeff Id will post my next temperatures piece “Circling Yamal” today. I’ve still been catching up with replies to the last, but it seems that the temperature data stuff is really coming out now and it seems important. I’ve been corresponding with Ellie from Belfast on the GISS UK records, and well, it’s like not just “dog ate my homework” but “and poo’d in my satchel” so I’m checking these records and their provenance and “completeness” as carefully as possible first, because I think there’s another post in all of this.

  88. Regarding the spike: Arctic temperatures vary a lot, just have a look at the Longyearbyen statistics: http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Longyearbyen/statistics.html

    As you can see, the last week or so was colder than (the Airport-based…) average until the recent mild weather. The long term forecast indicates a return to colder than normal weather: http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Svalbard/Longyearbyen/long.html

    The weather in one place doesn’t explain the whole of the arctic, but as others have mentioned, the reason was mild air flowing into the Arctic east of Greenland.

  89. Regarding the conspiracy theories, here is what I struggle with, hoping it isn’t so.

    While the Soviet Union was in existence, the vast majority of its so-called espionage budget – 85% by one account – was spent training subversives. A subversive is a pliable citizen of a free nation who is recruited, indoctrinated in Marxism and, well, subversion, and returns to or remains in a respectable position in free society as a sleeper. At some future date, they rise up and behave in precisely the manner exhibited by Jones, Wigley, Schneider, Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, Gore, Obama, et. al, to undermine the basic institutions of free society with the goal of causing their collapse.

    When subversion of this nature is threatened with exposure, one counter-attack employed by the subversive is to use the McCarthy defense, which is to mock those who expose their perfidy as being on a witch-hunt. This is usually quite effective, given that a strategic advantage of using subversives is that they operate under cover of plausible deniability. The McCarthy defense is even more effective if the issue on which the subversion is based can be framed as an internal ideological conflict, e.g. conservative vs. progressive.

    This is a science blog and needs to remain so, but I think it is worth stating that Occam’s Razor suggests that perhaps Green _is_ the new Red. [Watch for the rebirth of the Soviet Empire as Russia sheds its disguise as a “democratic” nation.]

  90. “with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit”

    Initially, I was very surprised at the source of funding…

    Why not create a Climate Research Unit with US dollars in the USA?

    Then the penny dropped…

    Perhaps the British are credible fall guys when you need a dodgy dossier or some dodgy data…

    As for scientists coming clean…. remember Dr David Kelly…

    So anyone going to Copenhagen needs to be extra careful…
    It’s not just teddy bears picnics that happen in the woods today…..

  91. Pops (03:34:10),

    Exactly right. When the Berlin Wall came down, the KGB changed its acronym to the FSB. But the same people working to destroy the West didn’t change. And now the former head of the FSB rules Russia.

  92. All is not lost. In reality, CRU did not measure so much as collect. Many of the original records are kept by the collectors, often Meteorological organisations, who passed them on to CRU. (The Brits were good administrators and would often start weather stations each time they invaded a country). Indeed, some of it is even in unadjusted form. In theory, it should be possible to recreate the story and use proper adjustments if they are needed.

    Also, there are other places where temperatures have been taken for some time. Some countries with missile capability had an interest in local silo conditions all the time, in case they had to target and launch. So there is a set of temperatures going back some decades in several countries, under somewhat standardised conditions. I’m sure an interested Gov’t could shake these loose.

    There’s a lot of aviation and sea ship data as well. I think we can presume that some of this has been kept in mothballs until now. Then there are newspapers, which would commonly report a daily temperature. Some private farms have long records. And so on and so on.

    It’s an organisational problem more than a data loss problem. I have written on CA how the early work on Australian data by CRU appeared to cherry pick UHI stations to create the original alarm that “we are all going to die”. Warwick Hughes picked this up. He was the one who got the famous reply.

    While on Australia, I have looked at the last 40 years of Tmax and Tmin of a few dozen stations that are really rural, before GISS got to them. About half of them show essentially no trend from zero. Some even fall. It’s almost enough to falsify the whole temperature rise theory.

  93. It may be a silly question to ask, but doesn’t that data still exist at source? I mean, Hadley is just a processing centre. Is it not possible that individual nations still house the original raw datasets? But on the other hand, as I’m writing this, it’s beginning to sound like an impossible minefield to navigate.

    Oh, well. Lets hope it is forced out one way or another by litigation.

  94. MartinGAtkins (15:56:20) :

    Mr. McIntyre is an exhaustive and perceptive investigator, a mathematician and a good one at that. If he was on my case I would worry,

    If people like McIntyre are on your case there is be no need to worry.

    you only have to worry if you have something to hide.

  95. If there is an yearly uptick in temperature at the same time as the equinox’s, it is possible that there is a physical cause but it is also very possible that the code is now going into a different path and the temperature spike is a programming problem probably due to seasonal adjustments at the equinox.

  96. >>>As I understand it, the Admiralty has recently released
    >>>hundreds of years of global temperature records, contained
    >>>in the RN ship’s daily logs. Why not use those records instead;
    >>>they will not need ‘adjusting’.

    Now that would be a game and a half. Plotting the temperatures for monitoring stations that are never in the same place twice and could be anywhere in the world in any one year.

    Rather you than me, but perhaps a super-computer and super-software might get something out of it.

    .

  97. I would like to ask Tom Wigley to please step in and clear this up. I have always felt that while his job tended to make him a bit too easy to convince on AGW, that he was none the less an honest scientist. If we can not replicate your work Tom, then it isn’t science at all.

  98. I long gave up on the trend maps of NOAA (thier monthly maps with colored dots); GISS or HadCrut. I doesn’t surprise me in the least bit that Hadley “lost” the raw station records.

    However, if someone had the money and the political clout they could request from the USAF its archived data. The USAF was tasked decades ago to collect and transmit weather information via its Automated Weather Network (AWN). The other DOD services depended on this network to get not only hourly observations, but also rawinsonde data, numerical guidence, etc… I worked with the AWN in the mid 1980s at Carswell AFB, TX. I heard it moved to Offutt AFB NE in the 1990s when Carswell closed.

    I pretty sure the USAF has fairly complete data base of archived wx reports going back to at least WWII. This would include weather intercepts from the Warsaw Pact, Africa, and Asia as well as any artic reporting stations and the old DEW reporting stations.

  99. “ralph (05:38:38) :

    >>>As I understand it, the Admiralty has recently released
    >>>hundreds of years of global temperature records, contained
    >>>in the RN ship’s daily logs. Why not use those records instead;
    >>>they will not need ‘adjusting’.”

    I’ve mentioned this before, and the records show not one jot of significant change, at all, over longer timeframe the IPCC likes to use (In their models).

  100. A regulation has to be based on something. If there is no data on which to base it on, then it ought to be challenged.

  101. Anybody hear about this new movie called The Age of Stupid? It is a pro-AGW climate change diatribe reflecting their level of desperation. The irony is, you have to be stupid to believe climate change is really our fault, but they are calling us stupid. If you can’t with with facts, try to win by making the other side look bad. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.

    But, sadly for them, most people are reasonable enough to be won over with facts. I have turned several global warming proponents into skeptics just by rattling off fact after fact after fact, and all they had was “the science is settled” type arguments. Unless you encounter a devout believer or a member of the clergy of AGW, you can generally win them over with facts.

  102. pft (01:27:54) :

    Most scientists are honest folks, but they are limited to what they know, which is their specialty, and they need to eat too. The only ones speaking out seem to be the retired scientists.

    I have noticed this too. It is not insignificant that those with absolutely nothing to lose (in terms of income), and the most experience to boot, are the most ardent sceptics.

    Government controls the data collection and storage. 1+ 1 = 3 so says the models.

    Actually, 1 + 1 can equal 3, but only for extremely large values of ‘1’….

  103. Would it be possible to set up an equivalent project to http://www.surfacestations.org/ which starts to collect the original raw data from as many temperature recording stations around the world as possible and make it available online? A proper peer reviewed reconstruction of temperature past could then be produced.

    In the U.S., look at the Land Grant Universities. University of MO, Texas, etc. University of MO has weather records that are truly rural, going back to at least the turn of the century. Time to get away from all this “official record” and start putting together some alternatives. I can contact the Meteorology dept at MU, if requested, or alternatively, call and ask for Pat Guinan, head of the dept. He’s a nice guy, and originally the one who got me started on this quest.

  104. I’ve done it for 7 sites. No trend.

    Yep.

    Although, just don’t take the averages, do the highs, and the lows. IIRC, what I found, was the highs actually decreasing, and the lows increasing, which kept the averages more or less in tact, which is pretty much how I would expect temperatures to act if they were responding to cloud cover. I wish the series went back further on line.

  105. I would love to see them merge the NEMS and SCAMS data into the microwave sounder record. It would extend the record backward to the early 1970s instead of just starting at 1980. But given reality, I suspect that the tapes of both raw data and retrieved profiles have been thrown in the trashbin long since.

  106. An enquirer, that there has been warming and that some of the shrinking of glaciers is caused by the warming is possible. There are two questions to be answered though. Was that warming caused by man rather than othe reasons and is it significant? Neither has been shown yet and not by a long way

  107. KBK (16:25:52) :

    “crosspatch (15:25:46) :

    ‘… both Greenland and Antarctica are experiencing “runaway” melting.’

    The article is based on a recent paper in Nature reporting on laser measurements of elevation, i.e. glacier thickness, in Greenland and the Antarctic.”

    My understanding is that an ice sheet above a critical height compresses vertically and pushes out horizontally, which is how a glacier “grows.” So the natural condition of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets is that they lose height.

    They “replenish” their height by snowfall on top. It would seem to make sense that, when snow is falling, the ice sheets would get taller, but when there’s no snow falling, they shrink in height.

    Shrinking because of lack of snowfall certainly isn’t the same as melting. But, is this what they’re measuring when they say the sheets are melting?

  108. This is possibly a monumentally stupid suggestion, but why not define a new standard set of measuring elements for UHI areas, and then get them applied to private or amateur sites. Documented with images, and tested by site monitors from this group. Quit messing with organizations with a vested interest in keeping information hidden.

    When local digital weather stations are available – here on WUWT for example, for the modest prices asked, there’s not much reason for us to keep gnashing our teeth about poor siting of government stations.

    Amateur information acquisition was the rule in the US long before NOAA, we can do it again, and we can do it better. We just need to know the quality of the data.

    REPLY: not a stupid idea at all, I’ve been looking into just such a project. – Anthony

  109. This is outrageous, but not unpredictable for those who have been following this story. I support President Obama on many issues (as well as on his integrity and ability), but he’s making a terrible mistake to become the champion of the global warming when it is based on this kind of dodgy “science.”

  110. Wade:

    “Anybody hear about this new movie called The Age of Stupid?”

    Yep. The plot (if you can call it that) is about an historian in the future who ponders the question of how society during the period we call the present, have been so stupid.

    The film maker is exactly right. This IS the age of stupid – but for reasons that are the exact opposite to what he believes. Don’t you just love the irony? I bet he isn’t even aware.

  111. This is just slightly o/t, but still a good read.
    In a article I read today about damaged TAO bouys from http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090923/full/461455a.html, a couple of lines from the article stood out:

    1. Meanwhile, forecasters are scrambling to work out how the missing data will affect their El Niño predictions. In August, NOAA predicted a mild El Niño this autumn that will strengthen through the winter, but other models forecast a more extreme event.

    2. NOAA spends an estimated US$1 million each year to repair the array.

    If NOAA base their predictions with missing, vandalised, damaged and in effect, 55 unreliable bouys, how can any prediction be anything but a guess. And if other modellers are sharing the same data, how can they predict this El Niño to be more extreme?
    It seems to me that TAO is a waste of taxpayer money. If repairs are that costly and TAO has to use data from other sources, annually, why do we need the project at all ?
    If there is any scrambling being done by these scientists, it should be for duck and cover.
    -David Alan-

  112. Geoff Sherington (05:09:12)
    “While on Australia, I have looked at the last 40 years of Tmax and Tmin of a few dozen stations that are really rural, before GISS got to them. About half of them show essentially no trend from zero. Some even fall. It’s almost enough to falsify the whole temperature rise theory”.

  113. Geoff Sherington (05:09:12)
    “While on Australia, I have looked at the last 40 years of Tmax and Tmin of a few dozen stations that are really rural, before GISS got to them. About half of them show essentially no trend from zero. Some even fall. It’s almost enough to falsify the whole temperature rise theory”. Sorry, not familiar with posting comments! Geoff, I’ve just done the same thing (albeit only one long record station – 1912 to present) and found as straight a trend line than you could possibly imagine, for both Tmax and Tmin. It’s a useful thing to do just to check what they are telling us. Media reports about the “worse than we predicted” antartica melting were everywhere here in Australia yesterday however the report mentioned “new” satellite data to 2007! The problem is that the headlines grab the attention and unless you know what is really happening (or are interested enough to find out) you accept what you are told. The days of true journalism are gone and we are fed a constant roll-out of press releases with no investigation of the real facts. The public broadcasters here are among the worst offenders.

  114. Kaz and Geoff Sherington, could you share your findings with us?
    Sound interesting.
    You have UNadjusted rural stations from Australia?

    Would very much like to see your work.

    K.R. Frank Lansner, fel@nnit.com

  115. wsbriggs and Anthony:

    A new work of getting UNadjusted temperature series from around the world, etc. From sound stations, yes its so obvious it should be done.
    I will happily help and so will many many others.

    K.R. Frank Lansner

  116. In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature.

    Hold on —– It was formed 10 years earlier.
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    History of the Climatic Research Unit
    The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was established in the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich in 1972…
    Since its inception in 1972 until 1994, the only scientist who had a guaranteed salary from ENV/UEA funding was the Director. Every other research scientist relied on ‘soft money’ – grants and contracts – to continue his or her work. Since 1994, the situation has improved and now three of the senior staff are fully funded by ENV/UEA and two others have part of their salaries paid. The fact that CRU has and has had a number of long-standing research staff is testimony to the quality and relevance of our work. Such longevity in a research centre, dependent principally on soft money, in the UK university system is probably unprecedented. The number of CRU research staff as of the end of July 2007 is 15 (including those fully funded by ENV/UEA)…
    The area of CRU’s work that has probably had the largest international impact was started in 1978 and continues through to the present-day: the production of the world’s land-based, gridded (currently using 5° by 5° latitude/longitude boxes) temperature data set. This involved many person-years of painstaking data collection, checking and homogenization. In 1986, this analysis was extended to the marine sector (in co-operation with the Hadley Centre, Met Office from 1989)

    So the CRU was set up without US funding and the gridded set was begun before US funding

    I love accurate blogs!

  117. From: Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed
    temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT3_accepted.pdf

    Worth a read as much info on corrections is described.

    For some stations both the adjusted and unadjusted time-series are archived at CRU and so the adjustments that have been made are known [Jones et al., 1985, Jones et al., 1986, Vincent & Gullet, 1999], but for most stations only a single series is archived, so any adjustments that might have been made (e.g. by National Met. services or individual scientists) are unknown.

  118. Bob Shapiro (10:10:42) :

    Shrinking because of lack of snowfall certainly isn’t the same as melting. But, is this what they’re measuring when they say the sheets are melting?

    Another question…how fast is Greenland sinking because of the amount of ice?

  119. Sep 24, 2009
    Chasing a More Accurate Global Century Scale Temperature Trend

    By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

    “The long term global temperature trends have been shown by numerous peer review papers to be exaggerated by 30%, 50% and in some cases much more by issues such as urbanization, land use changes, bad siting, bad instrumentation, and ocean measurement techniques that changed over time. NOAA made matters worse by removing the satellite ocean temperature measurement which provide more complete coverage and was not subject to the local issues except near the coastlines and islands. The result has been the absurd and bogus claims by NOAA and the alarmists that we are in the warmest decade in 100 or even a 1000 years or more and our oceans are warmest ever”.

    You can find the full article and download a PDF at http://www.icecap.us First column


  120. psi (11:04:58) :

    This is outrageous, but not unpredictable for those who have been following this story. I support President Obama on many issues (as well as on his integrity and ability),

    I think we all do; but prior DRE has, I think, unalterably and permanently skewed his perception of all around him (reality: he sees it not).
    .
    .

  121. JER0ME (07:17:22) :

    I have noticed this too. It is not insignificant that those with absolutely nothing to lose (in terms of income), and the most experience to boot, are the most ardent sceptics.

    I see the very same thing with respect to the Drug War. The police officials publicly speaking out against it are for the most part retired. We also saw this with the Drug Czar McCaffrey. Once he was retired he said he didn’t care about adults smoking pot, he just wanted to keep it out of the hands of kids.

    Or as the Chinese say: “Honor dies where interest lies.”

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