Climategate: "Men behaving badly" – a short summary for laymen

Several people have asked me to write a summary for laypeople of the entire CRU hacked emails and files affair, since it is so complex. They wanted something they could send to mom, dad, aunts, uncles who haven’t a clue about the hockey stick, CRU, HadCRUT, PCA, and YAD061.

You are a very bad man!

I started to do so, but noticed that a blogger in my own hometown, Lon Glazner, who writes “Commission Impossible” dealing with local issues, had written up a pretty good summary on the issue, so I asked if I could print some excerpts of it. He gladly obliged. Here are excerpts from his post “Men behaving badly“.

What’s the hubbub? It all comes down to men behaving badly. Emails and files related to top scientists that support man made global warming theory were released in the hacked files. These scientists have authored/co-authored many of the studies relied on by the UN IPCC, and world governments. The studies have been used to pronounce global warming an immediate, and therefore taxable, threat.

Here are some of the highlights of the documents released.

1. The scientists colluded in efforts to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests (across continents no less). They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific internet sites. Big brother really is watching you. He’s just not very good at securing his web site.

2. These scientists publicly diminished opposing arguments for lack of being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the background they discussed black-balling journals that did publish opposing views, and preventing opposing views from being published in journals they controlled. They even mention changing the rules midstream in arenas they control to ensure opposing views would not see the light of day. They discuss amongst themselves which scientists can be trusted and who should be excluded from having data because they may not be “predictable”.

3. The scientists expressed concern privately over a lack of increase in global temperatures in the last decade, and the fact that they could not explain this. Publicly they discounted it as simple natural variations. In one instance, data was [apparently] manipulated to hide a decline in temperatures when graphed. Other discussions included ways to discount historic warming trends that inconveniently did not occur during increases in atmospheric CO2.

4. The emails show examples of top scientists working to create public relations messaging with favorable news outlets. It shows them identifying and cataloging, by name and association, people with opposing views. These people are then disparaged in a coordinated fashion via favorable online communities.

What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real. They don’t preclude many studies from being accurate, on either side of the discussion. And they should not be seen as discrediting all science.

Kudos to Anthony for being there, online, and being prepared to handle the traffic this topic generated. I would hope that this event would precipitate a greater openness regarding publicly funded research. It would be nice to see better adherence to scientific method. At the very least it has exposed some well funded, ivory tower thinkers, behaving very poorly.

I should mention that we all owe Lon Glazner a debt of gratitude, because it was a discussion with him on the science and engineering of thermometer systems that got me thinking about the surface measurement systems in place today used to record climate, and the problems they might have.

See it here, one of my early blog posts: In search of the perfect thermometer.

About two months after that discussions, the project started.

Be sure to drop a note of thanks for building that fire under me on Lon’s blog, he deserves a traffic flood 😉

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40 Shades of Green
November 25, 2009 3:45 pm

You need to add a short piece about the Harry Read Me file. If what is emerging about this is true, it basically proves that the foremost global temperature record, that of HADCRUT3, is riddled with bugs, errors and spurious adjustments. And that is just the software code. The data the code is analysing is even worse. Missing and manufactured are two of the kinder comments poor Harry makes about the state of the CRU databases.
The implications of this are huge. The only evidence left to prove the case for AGW is that various computer models of climate (big spreadsheets) have modelled the global temperature over the past 150 or so years (the hindcast) and are in very good agreement with HADCRUT3. Based on this hindcast agreement, we are to assume that the models (spreadsheets) will be accurate in forecasting future climate and that we are all going to fry.
If HADCRUT3 is full of bugs, errors, spurious adjustments and operates on missing and manufactured data, then the hindcasts are invald, which means the forecasts are invalid.
Bear in mind too that the models (keep thinking big spreadsheets) have not been audited and are likely to have similar standards of software engineering as poor old Harry faced.
40 Shades

George E. Smith
November 25, 2009 3:45 pm

Did you say HadCRUT; or was that HatCRUD ? Is that Concocted Remanufactured User Data ?
Just asking

November 25, 2009 3:45 pm
Joseph in Florida
November 25, 2009 3:47 pm

Great post. Thanks to Lon!

George E. Smith
November 25, 2009 3:48 pm

Meanwhile the JAXA Ice made it back to 10 on time. But it is yet to be determined whether that is all first year or whether there is some second year or older ice there.
Can you ever have all just first year ice, if the previous year(s) never made it to zero ?

November 25, 2009 3:59 pm

Now the image gave me hope but I really think you have no idea how dumbed down the sheeple really are, especially in the UK. As an example, my 8yr old didn’t get 100% in his spelling test last week but the teacher refused to tell him which one was wrong. You need to explain it in X-factor language or shood I say langwidge, Respect Mann.

Troels Halken
November 25, 2009 4:01 pm

Thx guys,
However if someone would post the piece with references to the various mails, I would be happy, as it gives it the look-for-your-selves documented view, instead of the trust-us-it-is-in-the-mails-we-read-em…
Geat work btw 🙂
Rgds Troels

slow to follow
November 25, 2009 4:02 pm

40shades –
“You need to add a short piece about the Harry Read Me file. If what is emerging about this is true, it basically proves that the foremost global temperature record, that of HADCRUT3, is riddled with bugs, errors and spurious adjustments. And that is just the software code. The data the code is analysing is even worse. Missing and manufactured are two of the kinder comments poor Harry makes about the state of the CRU databases.”
Has anyone seen claims over the validity of the Harry and code files? It seems the emails aren’t being contested but I’ve missed reference to Harry and code. Sorry to state the obvious but I think getting validation should be a priority. I know that won’t be straightforward but, as noted when the story first broke, there could be some “salted stuff” here.
Apologies if this has been covered and I’ve missed it.

Chris Edwards
November 25, 2009 4:02 pm

I just emailed a couple of head scientists (thank you google [snip]) if we all email these lofty jerks the might just get the idea the genie is out of the bottle and the only way to cover their sad asses is to come clean and denounce the politicians

November 25, 2009 4:12 pm

Thanks this for this post, us ‘layfolk’ do need it simple.

November 25, 2009 4:20 pm

The term “plausibly deniable accusation” (in quotes) appears exactly once on Google. It’s a term that has likely never been used as spin in any news article in recorded history.

Gary Hladik
November 25, 2009 4:30 pm

“In one instance, data was [apparently] manipulated to hide a decline in temperatures when graphed.”
As I understand it, the “decline in temperatures” was actually a decline in the temperature proxies (i.e. the “divergence problem”). After that point in the graph, thermometer results were substituted for the inconvenient treemometers, making the proxies seem more reliable than they really are.
I can understand the oversimplification, however. Trying to explain dendroclimatology to a layman is a whole ‘nother can of warms. 🙂

R Taylor
November 25, 2009 4:41 pm

Gavin says he has gone home for Thanksgiving, but there’s a rumor that he and Jim are dumping files into the East River. So non-delusional drivers should keep a look out for cardboard boxes on East River Drive.

November 25, 2009 4:54 pm

An example of what happens with scientists/engineers cover up and ignore the science:

Pat Moffitt
November 25, 2009 4:56 pm

The issue of AGW was allowed to become too complex- too many issues to argue over. The accuracy of the temperature data was and is the first question that needed to be answered. Claims are made that temperatures have risen over the last hundred years by an amount less than 0.9deg C however the Cru code seems to show an accuracy of +/-1C. Published claims are as tight as 0.05C. At +/-1 deg C why are we even discussing the topic- its noise.
There is no need of anyone’s gridded data, no names of stations -simply look at the precision of the sampling method, changes in sample location numbers, time of sampling errors, equipment changes and the precision of the various equipment used etc. The temperature rise cannot be seen above the noise (although I do believe there has an increase as we came out of the LIA). There should be no further controversy based on temperature readings, no UHI adjustments- we simply don’t have the temperature measurements to make the assessments that we claim. If we don’t have the temperature measurements about which all arguments are based then the arguments are also just noise.
One issue that has not been discussed in terms of temperatures is a process I used to call “ghosting” in the water and wastewater treatment field. Water temperatures are required by permits to be taken several times per day however it became obvious when reviewing many logs that on cold nights or for other reasons- operators seemingly took no readings and simply logged a temperature that seemed reasonable. (Used to suspect it with pH as well) The recorded temperature seemed to be a “ghost” of a recent temperature input. So one last variable- how judiciously did the temperature station monitors actually record the temperatures?

Tsk Tsk
November 25, 2009 5:02 pm

I just read the blog piece from SciAm on the alleged CRU e-mails.
I find the dismissal of the attempt to thwart FOIA requests by deleting e-mails as merely an “embarrassment” extremely disturbing coming from a publication that claims to respect science.
Sour grapes make the sweetest whine.

Jeff L
November 25, 2009 5:05 pm

What this summary doesnt address is the code & potential data manipulations.
Yes, the email isn’t going to disprove AGW – it’s only going to prove Men behaving badly.
But the code – that’s a different story. Depending on how the data has been manipulated , it very well might disprove AGW (or at least diminish it to a point of not being a problem worth spending trillions of dollars on). Given we clearly have men behaving badly, it is not a stretch to think the data has been manipulated to show a desired result. Hey, we have already seen that before with one of the main characters (Mann) and the hockey stick.
Let us not be fooled again!

November 25, 2009 5:07 pm

We really need to make sure that these accusations are repeatedly backed up by references to the source materials. For example:
“They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific internet sites.”
Each one of these should have a link to the appropriate email, because I’m very concerned that exaggeration is about to set in here. For example “manipulating data to make it more annoying to use.” I have not seen emails relating to that. I also have not seen evidence that they hid source code from requests.
I’m totally on WUWT (et al) side on this. But we cannot afford to have mistakes or exaggerations lessen the impact of this critique.

Tor Hansson
November 25, 2009 5:19 pm

Science is done by scientists. If the scientists behave badly we have no choice: we must suspect the science they have done as well. Nay, we must throw it out and start over.
Isn’t it that simple?

Robert M. Marshall
November 25, 2009 5:30 pm

I work in the nuclear quality assurance industry. The terms we use are fairly easy to understand.
If it’s good, it called “acceptable”, “qualified”, or “conforming” and there’s a ton of paper from “independent” and “competent” oversight to attest to that moniker. It is acceptable to use for its intended purpose.
If it’s bad, it’s called “defective”, “deficient”, “nonconforming” and its required that we generate a ton of paper attesting to the deficient condition. The item is tagged, segregated, and may not be used until dispositioned and the disposition verified, again, by “independent” and “competent” oversight.
If its indeterminate, its called “suspect/counterfeit” and treated the same as “Bad”.
These definitions apply to materials, items, components, systems, and the people, processes, services, calculations, and, yes, software associated with those items.
The purpose of nuclear quality assurance programs is to prevent errors and fraud from causing a serious accident. Considering the significant, catastrophic consequences of getting the measurement of climate change wrong, far worse than any nuclear accident to date, I should think the same care is warranted in climate science. At this point, the concept of AGW is suspect and counterfeit. As such, it is unfit to use for its intended purpose and should be clearly lable as such and segregated to prevent inadvertent use. Were such errors, data manipulation, documentation destruction, and collusion discovered in a nuclear facility, federal law requires a “stop work” to prevent further risk. Any person who observes such conditions in a nuclear facility has the authority to issue a stop work and is protected by federal law from any repercussions or retribution. All of this is common sense.
The entire scientific community should be shamed by this episode and many should also be prosecuted.

November 25, 2009 5:30 pm

This summary of bad behavior needs a paragraph on the misuse of a process called “peer review.” Instead of being a way for knowledgeable experts in the field to find and correct flaws in research papers submitted for publication in scientific journals, peer review has been used as a fence to keep out investigators who aren’t part of the insider’s club. It prevents dissenting but properly researched viewpoints from being heard and used to challenge the prevailing understanding of scientific theories. Because this clash of ideas is the way science is supposed to work, short-circuiting it by collusion and political influence is an assault on the scientific method, honest scientists, and the general public that depends on ethical behavior. To make matters worse, the insiders have challenged their opponents to publish in the peer reviewed literature in order to gain respect for their ideas, all the while knowing that they were able to (and in some cases actually did) stop any such efforts. This not only is hypocritical, it’s fraudulent by pretending their is a level playing field on which to advance one’s ideas. Peer review is terribly flawed and broken. It now has been exposed as a rigged game.

Kevin B.
November 25, 2009 5:39 pm

I am a long time subscriber to Scientific American. It has been noticeably dumbed down since the 1980’s. For pure science such as particle physics, astrophysics etc. it is still OK. For any subject that potentially requires “political action” or “political will” it has an unmistakable leftist slant.

November 25, 2009 5:39 pm

From the scientific american article linked by Tsk Tsk
The past decade recorded nine of the warmest years in recent history as well as the rapid dwindling of Arctic sea ice, surely the result of imminent global cooling if climate change contrarians are to be believed.
David doesn’t get it

Allan M R MacRae
November 25, 2009 5:47 pm

This was (mostly) snipped on CA – upon reflection I don’t see what was so bad about it, so here it is:
I see Dr. Judith Curry’s comments as disingenuous – a apologist’s view of Mann et al “hockey team” behaviour that was not only dishonest, but criminal.
Let us start with the misappropriation and misallocation of billions of dollars in research funds.
Add to that the misallocation of a trillion dollars in misguided, ineffective energy projects such as corn ethanol and wind power.
Finally, let us talk about threats of violence, and worse, perpetrated by “hockey fans”. I can speak of the death threats made against Dr. Tim Ball, because these are a matter of public record. I can also mention a threat that was made against me, after I wrote an article on the science of global warming in the National Post. I am not at liberty to mention other such assaults against eminent climate scientists, but I can assure you these did occur.
So this “boys will be boys” apologia does not wash – these boys belong in prison.

Allan M R MacRae
November 25, 2009 5:54 pm

Title spelled “bahaving” – please fix.
[Fixed, thanks. ~dbs, mod.]

November 25, 2009 6:16 pm

In the 1950’s doctors could do no wrong. They were universally placed on a pedestal. No one questioned a doctor’s diagnosis.
The discovery and widespread use of penicillium deuteromycotina made doctors into supermen. In an era when a simple sore throat could escalate and kill the patient, and everyone knew of someone who had died from an infection, practically overnight doctors had the means to quickly cure most bacterial infections.
Doctors even endorsed cigarette brands in magazine ads.
But now, when there is a serious diagnosis that claims to threaten the entire human race, no second opinion is even tolerated. The mainstream media routinely denigrates all climate skepticism [and all good scientists are skeptics], and allows no opinion other than that of the UN’s IPCC and its clones such as the CRU.
Any evidence contrary to the official diagnosis: that [human emitted] CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming, is casually hand-waved aside, usually with a derogatory comment followed by an appeal to authority — the authority very often being these very same CRU data fabricators.
Now we have extremely strong evidence that the CRU ‘authority’ simply invented data out of whole cloth. They “adjusted” the raw numbers to always show warming, never cooling.
After being caught red handed engaging in what clearly appears to be fraud in return for grant money and status, just like Dan Rather they’re now claiming that their diagnosis was ‘fake but accurate.’
That’s not good enough when their predictions, based on their faked numbers, is cited as the reason for raising everyone’s taxes by trillions of dollars.
Taxpayers deserve a second opinion.

November 25, 2009 6:16 pm

The most frequently mentioned evidence of anthropogenic global warming was that the computer models could not explain the warming that they were seeing. Approximately half of the warming over the last century could be explained as natural. If the the effects of ‘greenhouse’ gasses was added they could account for all of the warming. Now if the warming in the temperature records was inflated the models might work fine without the anthropogenic effect. Does anyone have the ability to use clean temperature records and compare it with a model run without the greenhouse gas effect?

November 25, 2009 6:34 pm

Does anyone have the ability to use clean temperature records and compare it with a model run without the greenhouse gas effect?
No. Because although the original paper records should still exist somewhere, Phil Jones et al. have flat out stated that the original untampered-with raw data transcribed from the paper records has been lost irretrievably.
That is why some of the comments about “I’d rather delete than hand over XYZ.” are so flipping infuriating. Having a solid grasp of the modifications would be nice – but having access to the actual raw data is crucial. You can’t turn what is available – things like a table of “Yearly Averages” – back into the original charts of daily measurements. Too much data has been subsumed in the averaging process itself.
Some of the raw data exists electronically, but it isn’t directly equivalent.
I do agree though – a ‘Surface Stations’ like project to identify, tabulate, and wedge all of this back together from the original paper records would be most excellent.

November 25, 2009 6:43 pm
November 25, 2009 6:47 pm

The debate about the contents of the HARRY_READ_ME.txt and the validity of the programming and modeling techniques is something only experts and argue over.
However, the main thing the lay person needs to know about the software/data at CRU revealed by the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file (which they can verify for themselves from the file at the links below), is that this file is a THREE YEAR journal of a CRU programmer describing everything he tried with the data and models in an attempt to REPRODUCE existing results CRU had published. Comments in the file make it clear that “HARRY” tried FOR THREE YEARS (2006-2009)to recreate CRU’s published results AND FAILED.
Do you all see the REAL significance of this because it is absolutely fatal to the credibility of anything CRU has produced.
What we have here is a documented THREE year effort by a CRU programmer, who had access to all the data, access to all the code, access to all the people who developed the code and the models and still HE could still NOT duplicate CRU’s OWN results. If he can’t it simply means the CRU’s results cannot be reproduced even by themselves and so there is no point anyone else even trying — CRU themselves have proven it’s a waste of time and so they themselves have proven their own results are plain rubbish. That means any “peer reviewed” document CRU produced along with any other papers that cited the CRU papers are based on data the CRU themselves can’t verify.
Besides, the data manipulation, the absolutely sorry state of affairs in the data handling and software management the HARRY_READ_ME.txt reveals, the utter and total mess of CRU data and software this document reveals is WHY CRU has not released its data and model software.
Given the CRU is one of the most, if not the most cited sources of climate data — upon which trillions of dollars of economic policy is being set, the importance of what the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file reveals becomes scary.
A very nice layman’s summary of some of the issues in the HARRY_READ_ME.txt can be found here
Details on the data manipulation can be found here
the programmers comments are self explanatory

November 25, 2009 6:52 pm

Robert M. Marshall (17:30:06) :
It’s the same in the Pharmaceutical industry. In house QA exists, but that’s just to maintain standards. It is NOT a substitute for independent outside verification, and the tons of paperwork required of every single monitoring event and it’s result, including whether it passed or failed, etc., as you have detailed. Copies of all are required to be kept and maid available to federal inspectors on demand, and they had better be consistent and up to date, or else!
The fact that they were not subject to external Q.A. audit was a train wreck waiting to happen.

November 25, 2009 7:08 pm

anon (18:47:18) basically stated what I’ve determined.
It’s ALL about the Harry file.
And the Harry file completely devastates ANY AND ALL credibility they may have had. The “temperature record” as used by virtually every climate researcher is a fabrication, thus the entire field is invalidated, and MUST start again, from zero. Oh yeah, we all know that’s never going to happen, but it would be the only way to gain any credibility or accuracy.

Arn Riewe
November 25, 2009 7:37 pm

This is more than boys behaving badly. That can’t be blamed on too much alcohol and testosterone. This is the application of sheer force and power, and not very pretty at that.
To me, the whole concept of this release of information can be encapsulated in the issue of peer review. Here, the team exhibits their hubris and the attempts of total control and gatekeeping. In short, they stack the deck. Start to play the game and rules may change at their option at any time.
You are not to be considered a serious climate scientist unless you have peer reviewed literature. Just ask Andrew Revkin (who’s been prompted) or check out the real scientists at Real Climate (who are owned). What, you say, a publication is going to put up an opposing view. We have to get that editor fired. What, that didn’t work, we’ll just embargo the publication so they don’t get content from the “real climate scientists”. What, still not working, let’s get them excluded from the list of approved peer reviewed literature. What, still not working, we’ll just redefine the meeting of peer reviewed literature.
Sorry Team if I took any of your implications out of context.

Reed Coray
November 25, 2009 7:39 pm

Alvin (17:39:53) :
From the scientific american article linked by Tsk Tsk
The past decade recorded nine of the warmest years in recent history as well as the rapid dwindling of Arctic sea ice, surely the result of imminent global cooling if climate change contrarians are to be believed.

I suggest they change their name to “Scientific La-La Land”

Bob T
November 25, 2009 7:57 pm

Actually I think it might be all about Dr. Tim Mitchell. He is the one whose work Harry is trying to replicate. Here is a link about CRU 2.0:
Dr. Tim Mitchell appears to have worked as a climate scientist at CRU and Tyndall center since 1997. He is an author on a Tyndall paper as late as 2008. He is not listed as working at CRU or Tyndall anymore. Oddly enough he seems to have vanished. Certainly his help does not seem available to Harry. Links don’t “work” due to the server crisis and even cached pages are blank (just /head stuff in source):
Anyone have any idea where Dr. Mitchell has gone? Not to NCAR or any obvious climate center.
A few days ago a google search I did for “Tim Mitchell CRU” turned up two links, one a job in the US (computer modeling but not climate) and one a community award. I didn’t bookmark either and now can’t find them using any search engine. It may be there are so many new references that those two are buried.
If I were a reporter, I would sure want to find and talk to Dr. Mitchell. I suppose Pulitzer’s Prizes are not so valuable any more either. Could Dr. Mitchell be ClimageGate’s “Deep Throat”?

Third Party
November 25, 2009 7:57 pm
Bill Marsh
November 25, 2009 8:25 pm

Purposely deleting or hiding any information subject to FOIA, especially AFTER the FOIA request has been filed is a criminal act, at least in the US it is. It is one of the few things public servant can go to jail for.

Skeptic Tank
November 25, 2009 8:38 pm

Can we stop referring to the data as “hacked emails and files”? It’s bad enough we have to get that unfounded charge from the MSM, we shouldn’t be jumping to that conclusion here, with all the evidence to the contrary. For one thing, the proper term is “cracked” not “hacked”. And it is almost certainly not the work of an external cracker. That cover story certainly suits the CRU, portraying themselves as the victim. But I haven’t heard any definitive evidence of an intrusion.
Information this comprehensive, relevant and inculpatory was almost certainly selected and organized by someone on the inside who knew what they were doing and where to look. A leak by a whistle-blower. I can’t prove it but what does it look like to you?
(Disclaimer: If I missed something, never mind.)

Jose Martinez
November 25, 2009 9:24 pm

Thanks so much for the extended comments and coverage of this incident. There’s much to digest and follow, and to date, I’ve seen little coverage of some of the interesting comments in the files.
Of particular interest, has been the summary of review comments for IPCC WGI THIRD ASSESSMENT REPORT (see the title in the link below – APRIL-JUNE 2000)
This is subtitled “Collated Expert Comments”.
Now I – the layman – was lead to believe that the concensus was settled. That the expert scientific establishment had reviewed and approved these IPCC reports. Frankly, I thought the support was basically unanomymous.
So, the comments from this rather short file are exceptionally interesting – and include the names and institutions of those making the comments.
On quick review, I count 16 separate comments in this review. Some of these are fascinating. Here’s a few examples:
“My primary concern is with the misuse of a particular non-peer-reviewed report: Spouge and Vaughan (2000). One misuse is the assignation of “majority” to a view of the report participants that I believe will be read to imply a majority view of the community. This occurs not only in Chapter 11, but also in the Summary for Policymakers and in the Technical Summary. The second misuse is in a quantitative statement of collapse probability made in Chapter 11 that has already been extracted by the media–a tragic violation of a document not yet intended for the public. I state my objections more specifically below. – Robert Bindschadler, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA, (Exp.)”
“In light of the second assessment which concluded that “….the balance of the evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate….”, the balance of the evidence suggests that the findings of the third assessment will be just as strong or stronger. I believe that sentiment is too strong given the uncertainties and gaps that still exist in our knowledge regarding climate change issues. Nonetheless, the real argument may yet be the extent to which the current climate changes are naturally forced versus anthropogenically forced. Given what we know today, and the uncertainties in properly assessing climate and measuring change, I would have to lean toward the former being far more prevalent (see comments below on chapter 1). – Anthony R. Lupo,University of Missouri , USA, (Exp.)
“The idea that climate without human intervention can only undergo “natural variability”, and that “climate change” can only result from human activity is false and fallacious. It is in conflict with all that we know of evolution and geology. It is simply wrong to assume that “ climate change” automatically implies human influence on the climate.
This fallacy is embraced by the Framework Convention on Climate Change, but the IPCC (Footnote to “Summary for Policymakers. Page 1) claim that they are prepared to accept “natural variability” as “climate change”. They are, however, unwilling to accept the truth, which is that climate can change without human intervention.
This fallacy renders worthless several conclusions of the Report, notably, that “there has been a discernible human influence on the climate”. The surface temperature rise, however “unprecedented” could be “natural”, and the entire Chapter 12 “Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes” should be rejected as based on a false premise.
An additional fallacy adopted by the IPCC is the claim that it is possible to “attribute” cause and effect from a correlation. Science can assign probability levels of the likelihood of a cause and effect relationship, but it can never attribute a cause and effect relationship with certainty. This Report does not assign any quantitative probability levels to correlations.
(snip – much more in this comment)
There is undue emphasis throughout on the importance of surface temperature trends measured by weather stations. Chapter 2 has 10 diagrams showing these data, but only one thoroughly confusing diagram (Figure 2.12) for other methods of global temperature measurement. The fact that satellite and weather balloon measurements in the lower troposphere do not show a warming for the past 21 years suggests strongly that the surface data are influenced by proximity to human habitation, rather than by greenhouse warming. There is insufficient attention paid to the evidence that this is so, which is
•A quadrupling of human population and increases in human prosperity in the last century have led to a great increase in buildings, fuel consumption and vehicles in the vicinity of weather stations.
•Weather stations do not take any precautions against these influences
•Many remote weather stations do not show a warming
•Much recent warming has been from a rise in the minimum temperature rather than the maximum
•Recent warming took place mainly in cold climates, in winter, and at night
•Two thirds of the weather stations operating in 1975, mainly rural, have been closed down
•Many scientific studies have identified “urbanization” effects, but these have been underestimated, because “rural” stations are assumed to be free of such effects.
•Vegetation growing around stations usually increases, but is rarely reduced.
•Airports have made a transition from “rural” to “heat island”
•Surface temperature compilations make inadequate corrections for urban effects
A human influence on climate from these effects is highly likely. An influence from emissions of greenhouse gases is yet to be established.
– Vincent Gray, Climate Consultant, New Zealand, (Exp.)
While it is still the best chapter in the WG1 document, I find that the quality of Chapter 2 has declined some, with comments detailed below. By extension, the rest of the document suffers greatly. The Policymakers Summary contains several rhetorically alarming statements that are sure to misused in the hue and cry that will result from the leaking of this document at a critical time in the American election cycle. Some of the SRES scenarios are simply politically correct fantasies that are logically inconsistent.
-Patrick J. Michaels, University of Virginia, USA, (Exp.)
This individual review paper focuses on IPCC’s three most essential modelling and core parameter errors. The impacts on all modelling results would be so tremendous that if the TAR would be corrected for these errors, there would hardly be any more justification for it. So this paper addresses only few individual TAR fallacies, but focuses on the nondisclosed flawed science it is based on. (snip discussion of several issues)
I suppose IPCC can hardly cope with my arguments. So as I basically do not consent with the TAR, please do not use my name within the listing of reviewers.
– Peter Dietze, Germany, (Exp.)
Some concensus.

David Harrington
November 25, 2009 9:57 pm

I have started a petition for Uk residents and expats on the Number 10 web site. If you are a UK resident or national please support it.
if we make enough noise we can get a hearing.
REPLY: There’s another at No. 10 already in progress , see the WUWT front page, your effort is a duplicate and likely to confuse.

November 25, 2009 10:03 pm


November 25, 2009 10:05 pm

Surely you could have found a still shot from classic UK sitcom “Men Behaving Badly” instead of US classic “Sinfeld”?
REPLY: I write for a mostly American audience, but as you’ve demonstrated (even though spelled incorrectly) Seinfeld has international appeal, and the Babu scene where he says “You are a very bad man” is a classic.
Tell you what – instead, maybe we’ll put up a picture of you riding a bike? With your previous uniformed comment about the use of “deniers” it is you who are now behaving badly, especially if you are using your university address (and the IP says you are) during work hours on the taxpayers dime? See the policy page – Anthony

November 25, 2009 10:33 pm

Veddy bad man, you a veddy bad man.

November 25, 2009 10:51 pm

Has anyone else noticed- trolls are pretty quiet lately!

November 26, 2009 12:06 am

The essence of this FRAUD is soooo very straight and plainly visible.
By adding data from the true warming period, 1921-1935, with ’34 being the warmest of the 20th century, all of the numbers being presented are contaminated. This plain and simple manipulation of the numbers is the actionable fraud. All of the rest confirms this.
The motives are clear-a pretend problem needing continued funding for employment. The kinship of criminals involved in this hoax-that is what this is-stuns the unwashed masses.
Barney Frank should take lessons on concealment from this group.
Political types should be running away in terror, for the Tea Party people are going to have NO PROBLEM increasing membership now.

November 26, 2009 12:42 am

Lon / Anthony:
You are overlooking in your summary the outright manipulation of records & data sets and the fact that they cannot replicate the results, which IS IN FACT DAMAGING to their claims of Man Made Global Warming. This is more than just “Men Behaving Badly” , its FRAUD, and it would not be tolerated in another field of work.

November 26, 2009 12:51 am

I was astonished to discover that the uncorrected views per day chart for WUWT on Lon’s blog shows a distinct “hockey stick” shape. We can reliably predict from this that unless drastic global action is taken, over half of all Internet page-views will be of your site by 2050.
We would suggest that an international conference be set up to set policy for the reduction of the influence of your site by, say, 80% Giga-Watt’s hits by 2015.

Mike McMillan
November 26, 2009 1:38 am

Hi, denier here.
Given the current revelations, I found this warmist video most poignant, as it destroyed illusions about global warming with undeniable facts.
Poor fellow must be wondering how he can pull a video off Youtube.

November 26, 2009 1:55 am

Am I the only one to have a growing conviction that these emails were not hacked by some mysterious Russian? To me, it looks like an inside job and that this data was leaked.
Also, there would be no purpose served for the UEA to call in the police to investigate their security breach if they believed the Russian hacker version of events. Our detectives can’t arrest anyone in Russia.

Roger Knights
November 26, 2009 2:46 am

Anyone remember “wild about Harry”?

Gregg E.
November 26, 2009 2:49 am

Something this mess reminds me of is how in several cases contractors being paid to develop new military hardware have falsified their test results in order to keep the money coming in.
The difference is those companies have mostly really believed they could get the problems resolved, given enough time and money. In some cases (the Bradley Fighting Vehicle) the bugs eventually did get fixed and the product ended up being quite good, though at a huge cost overrun. In some cases taking shortcuts has cost lives, see Apollo 1 and the Therac 25. (Therac 25 is often used as a case study in how NOT to design a software control system.)
In contrast, these scientists *know* they’re peddling crap and their “fix” is to make it stink even worse.

November 26, 2009 4:52 am

R Taylor (16:41:21) :
Gavin says he has gone home for Thanksgiving, but there’s a rumor that he and Jim are dumping files into the East River. So non-delusional drivers should keep a look out for cardboard boxes on East River Drive.
Well, he *did* predict the river would be 20 feet higher by 2010, and he’s only got another five weeks to raise that water level up…

November 26, 2009 6:19 am

I’d still like to make sure my understanding is right about some particulars. If I remember correctly something I gleaned from WUWT, there are about 4 major metrics of the “temperature of the globe”, and one of them is Hadley CRU — is that right? And is Hadley CRU owned by the institution that got hacked? And is Hadley CRU the metric that is usually showing warmer temperatures than the other major metrics?

November 26, 2009 6:43 am

“What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real.”
Of course climate change is real. The default state of climate is that of constant change in a random, variable extent and rate.
And although the emails do not “completely destroy” the man-made climate change hypothesis, (all they do is remove any credibility from the peer-review pronouncements of that change), the data (in the raw code and comments and read me files), itself kills the temperature record that the MMGW hypothesis hangs upon. As posters above state, the raw data contained data elements, some of which were either incomplete, missing, wrong, duplicated, or utterly unintelligable (eg not being able to decipher what continent a particular station was located on) in other words, a complete and unreliable mess!
Based on this there is no way to reconstruct a reliable definitive record, but they needed to prove that the earth has warmed, (rather than prove what really happened regardless of bias) and in the code and comments of the program, appear damning comments that show wilful and deliberate falsification of temperatures. Lowering temperatures in earlier years and inventing other sets of temperatures from missing databases and raising recent temperatures in ways that “hide the decline” (yes that song is still going through my head).
Based on that alone, how can anyone have any confidence that the temperature record is an accurate reflection of what has actually happened in history? The code and the comments show, clearly, that the temperature record is false. It is no longer showing the same data as the originating station’s temperature data. The record HAS been altered.
If you are basing your hypothesis that the earth has warmed, on a temperature record which we now know to be false, then that hypothesis is wrong, it is void, it is shamefully a fraud.
As far as I can tell, there is nothing else that MMGW can be measured against other than the actual temperature record. IF the temperature record does NOT actually show warming, then man-made global warming cannot exist and we are only left with Mann made global warming.
This is the specific and absolute heart of the MMGW hypothesis. If the increase in atmospheric concentration of CO2 from 200ppm to 380ppm over the last 150 years has actually NOT seen a significant increase in global temperature, then there can be NO evidence whatsoever to support the hypothesis. The hypothesis fails. Is is false. It is dead.
let’s look to this story : which actually shows that an ‘unadjusted-by-man’ record of the temperature at least in one location has NOT warmed significantly at all over that timescale. The only temperature records which do show ‘significant’ warming appear to be ones which have been adjusted.
So yes, a combination of the emails (which discredit the entire peer-review process in climatology) and the data (which demonstrates that the temperature record itself is false) DOES completely destroy the possibility that MAN MADE global climate change is real.
Any warming is entirely coincidental to CO2 increases, not causative.
Now can we all, finally dump and destroy this fraudulent AGW dream once and for all, and agree to CLEAN UP the planet? Plant more trees, restore areas blighted by real chemical pollution? save the millions of species threatened with extinction by the destruction of natural habitats? Hmmmmmmm? All this CO2 distraction is an evil and dangerous sideshow.

Skeptic Tank
November 26, 2009 7:04 am

Kate (01:55:02) :
Am I the only one to have a growing conviction that these emails were not hacked by some mysterious Russian? To me, it looks like an inside job and that this data was leaked.
Also, there would be no purpose served for the UEA to call in the police to investigate their security breach if they believed the Russian hacker version of events. Our detectives can’t arrest anyone in Russia.

Agreed, as I stated in my previous and other posts. Plainly the work of an inside whistle-blower and hero.

RR Kampen
November 26, 2009 8:35 am

Re: Ken Hall (06:43:22) :
” the data (in the raw code and comments and read me files), itself kills the temperature record that the MMGW hypothesis hangs upon.”
So how come almost all the glaciers in the world are melting?
It looks like global warming was underestimated.

John Phillips
November 26, 2009 9:19 am

M. Marshall (17:30:06) :
I have some of the same experience as you in the nuclear industry. I’ve been looking at the science of global warming for about 6 months now, reading the IPCC reports, etc. If you do the same, I suspect you will find its definitely amature hour with these climate so-called scientists. They have no clue what a configuration management program is, what a truly rigorous, structured oversight process is, or what a quality assurance and control program is. In the nuclear industry we learned a long time ago that the scientific peer review process is a joke.

November 26, 2009 9:39 am
November 26, 2009 9:48 am

I am curious as to how much of this “mountain” of evidence and studies for AGW remains after you take out all of the studies/statements/models/etc that were in anyway affected by the scientists implicated in this exposure.
The supporters keep saying that there is a mountain of evidence out there even without this group, I ask that somebody proves it.

November 26, 2009 10:09 am

Ken Hall
Thanks for your post. It takes effort to express things simply, and you have done it brilliantly. I have taken a copy, and I wish it would appear in the MSM.

November 26, 2009 12:10 pm

Bishop Hill Smoking gun?
November 26, 2009
Climate On the code thread, James Smith has just posted this comment:
From the file check what the code is doing! It’s reducing the temperatures in the 1930s, and introducing a parabolic trend into the data to make the temperatures in the 1990s look more dramatic.
Could someone else do a double check on this file? Could be dynamite if correct.
Update on November 26, 2009 by Bishop Hill
This is what all the fuss is about, but the reader who sent it thinks perhaps it may be a storm in a teacup. Still, it is strange that one would want to put an adjustment like this through a temperature series.

Power Grab
November 26, 2009 12:38 pm
Roger Knights
November 26, 2009 12:58 pm

Here’s an oldie but goodie:
Dave Wendt (13:44:31) :
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to believe.
–Laurence J. Peter

Roger Knights
November 26, 2009 1:10 pm

RR Kampen (08:35:07) :
Re: Ken Hall (06:43:22) :
” the data (in the raw code and comments and read me files), itself kills the temperature record that the MMGW hypothesis hangs upon.”
“So how come almost all the glaciers in the world are melting?
It looks like global warming was underestimated.”

This is why we have to avoid the temptation to overstate and declare victory–it sets us up for counterpunches like that. In particular, we must avoid implying that the world isn’t warming, because there are clear natural proxies that show that it has been.
We must instead merely play for time, and ask only that some panels of non-Team scientists hold hearings on this whole CAWG business for a year or two and rout out the rot. It’s the least that science can do. That’s an offer they can’t refuse.
Given time, and a neutral forum, sanity will reassert itself.

November 26, 2009 2:04 pm

Bob T
re tim mitchell and your searches:
Climate Cat out of the Bag? Potentially dynamite revelations
Yes, this is the guy harry is referring to in that Harry_Read_Me.txt file, ‘what did tim do’ while trying to make sense of all the code, recreate data, etc,etc,etc.
“On we go.. firstly, examined the spc database.. seems to be in % x10.
Looked at published data.. cloud is in % x10, too.
First problem: there is no program to convert sun percentage to
cloud percentage. I can do sun percentage to cloud oktas or sun hours
to cloud percentage! So what the hell did Tim do?!! As I keep asking.”..
EXCERPTS: Dr. Tim Mitchell,
Highbury Baptist Church;
formerly of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research…
Tim Mitchell bio: ( a little bit changed to CAPS by me)
In 1997 I moved to Norwich to carry out the research for a PhD at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. My subject was the development of climate scenarios for SUBSEQUENT USE BY RESEARCHERS investigating the impacts of climate change. I was supervised by Mike Hulme and by John Mitchell (Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office). The PhD was awarded in April 2001. – Cached ..
just an observation, Tim Mitchell isn’t by any chance RELATED to Dr John Mitchell(now Professor John Mitchell OBE – Director of Climate Science – Met Office), his supervisor… probably not, just possibly bizarre coincidence, anybody want to find out….
So basically 12 years ago , a phd student working on thesis, put together some code, which has evovoled into the mess ‘harry’ is trying to sort out make sense of, reproduce results of previously published data….
Did anyone think, it was teams of professional programmers developing robust code?
testing models, etc,etc,etc…

Chris Edwards
November 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Today the Toronto Sun had a half page column on this, opinioning that the facts do not matter as they say “it not about science but money and power, your tax money and their power” and went on to say this will not stop them and advised its readers to email PM Harper and gave contact details for email, phone and fax. This seems a good strategy we perhaps should all start on it at home.

Robert M .Marshall
November 26, 2009 10:32 pm

Roger Knight said, “so why are almost all of the glaciers in the world melting…”
Were you watching Fox Business Channel?
That excuse was used by one of their Liberal commentators today.
Many of those glaciers are at altitudes that are never above freezing. From what Ikve read here and elsewhere the cause is (I hope I get this right) ablation where ice Evaporstes. The shrinking of the ice caps is due to lack of precipitation to replace the missing snow. Corrections. Welcome from any real climate scientist.
As for your plan to play nice and let a “neutral” panel sort it out, I respectfully submit that, at this point there can be no such thing as neutrality in this environment. Rest assured, AGW advocates will exploit any sign of wait and see on our part as a weakness to be exploited. They must be aggressively exposed as the frauds they are. We cannot let this chain of event fade into history as the one chance we had to restore integrity to science passed us by. .

November 27, 2009 12:55 am

RR Kampen (08:35:07) :
So how come almost all the glaciers in the world are melting?
It looks like global warming was underestimated.

They’re ablating, not melting. That’s what glaciers *do* during Interglacial Periods, and we’re living during one.

November 27, 2009 12:45 pm

The problem is that WE, THE PEOPLE, are being blamed and the ELite scum are intending to tax us to death, and reduce us back to serfdom, like the Dark Ages.
These Elite/ptb SCUM-are hand in glove, one and the same as the CORPORATIONS, the VERY ones who are responsible for the detriment of the Planet, in the first place.

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