While cap and trade dies, NASA GISS gets a congressional amendment

Amendment to NASA Bill Seeks to Ensure Climate Data Integrity after Climategate

Washington, D.C. –The House Science and Technology Committee today required NASA to provide more details on how much of its temperature record overlaps with data collected from the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the research body at the center of the ongoing Climategate scandal.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., sponsor of the amendment to NASA authorization legislation (HR 5781), said the measure is needed to ensure the integrity of the agency’s temperature data following the scandal.

“Climategate revealed a pattern of suppression, manipulation and obstruction that pushed climate science towards predetermined outcomes in order to promote hysteria and, in my opinion, justify a heavy-handed regulatory response,” said Sensenbrenner, ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

“I think it is important that we clear the air on whether NASA records ended up being polluted as a result of the scandal.”

The amendment requires NASA to report to Congress on “the extent and degree to which NASA’s temperature records overlap with the records at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the reasons for and sources of that overlap, and the possibility that NASA’s temperature records have been compromised.” It was approved by voice vote.

The Climategate scandal centered on 160 megabits of data containing over 1,000 e-mails and 2,000 other documents from the CRU, which is based in the U.K. Many of the e-mails and other documents raised questions about the integrity and accuracy of CRU’s climate data, which is one of three major climate databases and was extensively in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that advocated higher energy taxes and regulations to address global warming.

In one e-mail, a research talked of a “trick” to “hide the decline” in temperature data. Another e-mail shows a researcher seeking to sidestep freedom of information request and avoid fairly disclosing their government-funded data. In another example, a researcher lamented on his need to balance the needs of science and the politically-motivated IPCC.

“The scandal was not confined to the one British university, as it is widely-acknowledged that there is substantial overlap between the CRU’s temperature records and the temperature records at NASA.  Therefore, if CRU’s records are suspect, NASA’s might very well be too,” Sensenbrenner said.

====================================================

The amendment is attached:

AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. SENSENBRENNER OF WISCONSIN

Page 9, after line 11, insert the following new paragraph:

NASA’s temperature records substantially overlap with the records of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

Page 62, after line 20, insert the following new section:

SEC. 304. REPORT ON TEMPERATURE RECORDS.

Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a report to Congress detailing the extent and degree to which NASA’s temperature records overlap with the records at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the reasons for and sources of that overlap, and the possibility that NASA’s temperature records have been compromised.

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54 thoughts on “While cap and trade dies, NASA GISS gets a congressional amendment

  1. Oh we already know the answer…it’s all “independently verified.” Case closed.

  2. I’m afraid that this is written in such vague language that the Team will simply put up smoke and mirrors. What temperature records are they talking about? What does ‘overlap’ mean? Its all very vague. SMc could have come up with much better language if consulted.

  3. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, thank you for initiative. Should you perchance read this, please ask Mr Steve McIntyre of climateaudit.org if he is willing to give of his time, as he is expert in the field. Also, please keep in mind that the sets of global data in common use might already have been pre-adjusted by donor countries, so that part (a) of the exercise might be to see how USA agrees with other complilers, but part (b) might investigate the very origins of the raw data. It is easy to make lists seem alike if they are pre-adjusted by mutual agreement between parties.

  4. I just finished reading the Wegmen Report which is available online.
    Recommendation 2 (p. 51) ends with “But data collected under federal support should be made publicly available. (As federal agencies such as NASA do routinely.)”
    Why would NASA use IPCC temperature data? Isn’t it the other way around?

  5. The real question is whether this will affect NASA’s primary goal: to help Muslim nations “feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering.”

  6. Being only slightly sarcastic, I think the response will be:
    We are unable to determine the degree of overlap, as CRU will not disclose the details of their temperature database.

  7. The point Steve McIntyre’s been making recently will probably move to the fore, now. Though there is source data overlap, it’s the arbitrary adjustment on that data which is the issue. Steve has said that he doesn’t suspect CRU of maladjustment, he suspects CRU of NON-adjustment (eg. failure to adjust for UHI). GISS’s erroneous adjustments – adjusting temperatures UP for UHI, shaping the sample network purposefully to create upward trends and so on – are, AFAIK, independent of CRU’s non-adjustments on the same source data.
    So probably nothing good or of benefit will come from this assessment, since the overlap of temperature record data with the CRU is not in fact the core scientific problem.
    On the bright side, it’s clear that the Oxburgh, Parliamentary and Russell enquiries have not had the soothing effect that they’d set out to deliver. Questions remain and red flags are waving, as evidenced by the easy passage of this hand-vote, and this itself is good for the science – or terminal for the science, depending on how you set your jaw. Anything that creates reasonable doubt about climate science, and which might ultimately result in the introduction of SOME standards of integrity and adherence to the scientific method, can only be good for everyone in the long run.

  8. Zeke,
    My question is just what difference does that make? The data that GISS uses is not collected or processed by CRU. So whatever CRU does with the data once it gets it from GHCN does not have anything to do with what GISS does with the same data. But I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that your numbers are right.

  9. Will NASA work on this item before ramping up their Muslim outreach?
    “feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering.”

  10. Maybe a standard for the data? location ID and alias, Raw value type of instrument comment flags datetime stamp,adjustment value flags and reason datetime stamp.
    Each data set datatime stamp revision number and by whom for reason why. Online archive.

  11. Republicans have a tendency to play the game as well as Democrats. What bill is this amendment in? Can we stomach that bill?

  12. This resolution is focused to narrowly to be of any value. NASA GISS and CRU use GHCN data so they come from the same source primarily. An independent audit of GISS results is what is needed.

  13. Pamela Gray:
    “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, ……..” – the unbridled wisdom of Nancy Pelosi.

  14. CRU has data that NASA/GISS, NOAA and it subsidiaries do not have that belongs in the USHCN. Specifically, records of the US Weather Bureau, Army Signal Corps and volunteer observers that data back to the early 1870’s. These records show the warm period prior to the 1880’s and would surely tip the back end of the climate record up. The net effect is embarassing for AGW and hockey-stick based models. Congress, and especially Rep. Sensenbrenner, should demand Phil Jones give a detailed account now. Make him explain the CRU 91/94/99 data sets and where he got the records. These data sets are not rocket science, and I’m quite sure they are well within the grasp of Congress to examine.

  15. If NASA is going to participate in the climate debate, they need to get their house in order. It is an administration that is by definition a scientific enterprise and this temperature/climate issue shows they are no longer doing science. Just bowing to someone’s agenda for funding. I really hate to see them come to this.

  16. Interesting that Congress pretty much paid for the CRU data already. Now its time to pay the piper. Perhaps putting Dr. Hansen in charge of the CRU data collection and manipulation will be the response.

  17. One thing about Australia… well two… is that our Prime Ministers (leader of the Federal Government over here) only get to serve a blissfully short 3 years (if they get that far… unlike Rudd), and we tend to have very short election campaigns. Just as well, because Aussies don’t have much tolerance for teh garbage that comes out of politicians at the best of times.
    Case in point is Julia Gillard and speking today on climate policy:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate-protesters-disrupt-pms-speech/story-fn59niix-1225895949173
    She wants to randomly select 150 citizens to assess the climate science:
    “Labor’s climate change policy also includes the creation of a Citizens Assembly to forge a national consensus and a commission of experts.”
    Online polls show about 90% of people think this is spin and hot air.

  18. Mr. Sensenbrenner, if you by chance read this, thank you from myself and family for starting the cleansing and clarification of responsibilities of these various science agencies and funded institutions. They seem to have veered off coarse and according to all information and data I have analyzed are out of control forcing them out of the realm of proper science.

  19. I have no time for people who do not vote,and then whine about government policies.If the presiding government is so bad then to not vote is to not care about your descendants,there is plenty of options,but to just give up is depressing.I read that 30 million Poles voted in the last election,that from a population of 38 million.Some people cherish the right to vote,especially when that right has been denied them for years.
    What has ideology got to do with how a government is handling the economy?
    Prosperity enables ideology.

  20. Bulldust says: July 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm
    One thing about Australia —- Aussies don’t have much tolerance for the garbage that comes out of politicians at the best of times.
    Case in point is Julia Gillard and speaking today on climate policy: She wants to randomly select 150 citizens to assess the climate science: “Labor’s climate change policy also includes the creation of a Citizens Assembly to forge a national consensus and a commission of experts.”
    Online polls show about 90% of people think this is spin and hot air.
    There is the answer to those who have given up voting in despair. An informed public that looks at politicians with a critical eye is needed. You not only vote the b—s out – you let them know why. Despite its faults, democracy at least gives you this opportunity. Well, the Aussies sure as hell do that! Maybe you Yanks should lake a leaf out of Bulldust’s book!
    Doug

  21. The probable answer:
    “We can’t tell. We tossed the original data set. But we’re sure everything is just fine. Trust us, we’re scientists.”

  22. Cap and trade
    Cap and trade
    Labor’s plan – the emissions trading scheme (ETS) – would set a cap on pollution, then penalise businesses who broke that limits but reward those who stayed under.
    Prices would rise because those charges would be passed on. And high-polluting industries would be compensated while they cleaned up their acts.
    Julia Gillard urged Kevin Rudd to shelve the plan until 2012. She now says she wants a panel of 150 ordinary Australians to decide what happens next.
    She says she will still push the merits of the ETS, but if she can’t convince the 150 then it won’t go any further. There’ll also be a Climate Commission to keep up to date with what’s happening overseas.
    There’ll also be rewards for businesses who cut pollution in the meantime.
    The Coalition say it’s all camouflage for a carbon tax. The Greens say the panel is a cynical waste of time. See more on their plans in the other parts of this tab
    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/julia-gillard-to-hand-over-climate-policy-to-citizens-assembly/story-e6frfllr-1225895870006#ixzz0uUeDNjbp

  23. It’s a step forward if politicians now want to check the trustworthiness of the records, and are not satisfied to take them on trust any longer.
    Next steps are to ensure that politicians’ checks include checking with those who have been challenging that trustworthiness, and with the basic scientific issues under dispute, as explained by the challengers.

  24. Wasn’t “trick” to “hide the decline” in fact a reference to dealing with “the divergence” problem – ie, the divergence between the tempaerature and proxy record – rather than an attempt to hide a decline in temperatures?

  25. Good move Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner!!
    This is the “first step” i.e. legislation that will allow congressional examination of the work of NASA and the integrity of the data and temperature record. The second step is convening the congressional examinations to publicly subject the NASA records and processes to scrutiny to establish the degree of integrity in the compilation of the historical records and their suitability for purpose, be it data manipulation, modeling or predictive analysis.
    The “proof” of congressional oversight will be the willingness to probe, and ask sceptical questions rather than blindly accept, science by authority and mythical consensus.

  26. Please contact Jim Sensenbrenner directly, with comments and suggestions for an effective audit of the NASA GISS data base. Be a part of the solution!
    http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/
    Geoff Sherrington and others – Good comments! Please forward to Mr. Sensenbrenner. Remember – reference the legislation (HR 5781) and the relevant amendment. Keep your comments on topic and to the point.
    It would be really great if Anthony’s post could be the genesis for injecting qualified participants from this web site into the audit committee! Go For It!

  27. Cap And (Tax) Trade is NOT dead. It only went underground. It will return soon after the election is done in November.

  28. Big Jim tries; got to admit he tries. But the problem is that NASA doesn’t listen to anyone but the President (sometimes) and the President –whoever that may be– doesn’t listen to anybody at all (usually). Nope! No hope! No change! No way! More important to rub noses with the Arabs. That’s where our future lies.

  29. Lot’s of luck with that, Senator Sensenbrenner. Even if the bill passes, given the lawlessness of the present administration its mandate will be ignored.

  30. John from CA says:
    The article is from 2000, but it actually promotes real science (e.g., alternate hypotheses) to expain ice loss. Of course, a lot has happened since then.
    From the article:
    “The overall result: The ice sheet lost at least 51 cubic kilometers of volume during that five year period. Greenland appeared to be melting!
    Many newspaper headlines cried the discovery as a sign of global warming — which most readers presumably took to mean “anthropogenic,” or human-caused, global warming.
    But is that the right conclusion?
    “What you can say is, yes, carbon dioxide (in the atmosphere) is at levels higher than ever before, and carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, so it’s reasonable to say that there’s warming associated with the increase of carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Waleed Abdalati, co-author of the paper that announced the Greenland discovery.
    “But you can’t make the leap yet that all the cars in the world have led to what we’re observing in the thinning of the Greenland ice sheet,” Abdalati said.
    If there’s one lesson to be learned from science, it’s that things are usually much more complex than they at first appear. The warming trend of the last century may seem to be the obvious explanation for the thinning seen on Greenland, but scientists are considering other possibilities.
    “That’s what science is about,” said Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson, a research scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center at The Ohio State University.
    “Just because you have an hypothesis and immediately your experiment produces support for it, you can’t simply accept those results (without a degree of skepticism),” Mosley-Thompson said. “The whole idea is to play devil’s advocate on your own research before your colleagues do.”
    Last century’s warming trend is not the only possible explanation for the thinning that Krabill’s team saw on Greenland.
    In fact, ice cores taken as part of another NASA-funded study suggest that natural variation in snowfall may be partly to blame, Mosley-Thompson said.”

  31. Noelrne says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:13 pm
    I have no time for people who do not vote,and then whine about government …
    What has ideology got to do with how a government is handling the economy?
    Prosperity enables ideology.
    _____________________________________________________
    An awful lot when the prevailing ideology for the last forty years is as expressed by Obama’s Science Czar, John Holden:
    In the 1973 book “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions,”
    “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-devolopment means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”
    “The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge,” they wrote. “They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

    Since 1970 the US labor force with manufacturing jobs has decreased from 24% to 7.6%. Today the biggest job category in the USA is “sales clerk” (selling Chinese manufactured goods no doubt or flipping Brazilian slaughterhouse burgers)

  32. Doug in Dunedin says:
    July 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm
    ….There is the answer to those who have given up voting in despair. An informed public that looks at politicians with a critical eye is needed. You not only vote the b—s out – you let them know why. Despite its faults, democracy at least gives you this opportunity. Well, the Aussies sure as hell do that! Maybe you Yanks should lake a leaf out of Bulldust’s book!
    Doug
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Most of us have a phone. It is a US election year. So pick up the phone call the office of each senator or Congressman and each candidate. Ask what is their stand on each key issue you are interested in and if they are mealy mouthed, can not answer , do the political two step, then BLAST them with both barrels. If you like a candidate offer your time or your money.
    However the biggest key is to get rid of the Diebold “what vote do you want” machines.

  33. Well I will be sending an email to Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner telling him he’s barking up the wrong tree. GISTEMP doesn’t rely on anything CRU can alter.

  34. PaulH from Scotland says:
    July 23, 2010 at 5:18 am
    If you’re the type that’s interested in the intersection of Cap and Trade, financial fraud and geo-politics, Bob Chapman has a spine-shivering assessment here:
    http://theinternationalforecaster.com/International_Forecaster_Weekly/The_Fed_Participates_In_The_Destruction_Of_The_Economy
    It wasn’t so long ago that I used to discount all this stuff as conspiracy theory. I’m not quite so quick to judge these days.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    The more I learn the less I discount because the more connections I find and it scares the heck out of me.
    For the “economic/financially challenged” I would recommend the following:
    A very short piece:
    Money Is Created by Banks: Evidence Given by Graham Towers, Governor of the Central Bank of Canada
    A very well written long piece. A Primer on Money is written for the complete novice and although long, it is very readable.
    A Primer on Money: by the Sub-committee on Domestic Finance, House of Representatives, Committee on Banking and Currency
    A short entertaining easy read:
    A Talk by G. Edward Griffin
    Author of The Creature from Jekyll Island

    A very good history (long):
    SECRETS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE: The London Connection by Eustace Mullins, former member of the staff of the Library of Congress
    This is the origin of the “fractional reserve” a form of swindling, that has been robbing the masses for centuries. (If WE print money and use it to pay bills it is called counterfeiting and we go to jail if caught. If the BANKS print money it is called the “fractional reserve system” they do not go to jail instead they confiscate your wealth that is your labor and/or property.
    The Origins of Fractional Reserve Banking

  35. Chris1958 says: “Wasn’t ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ in fact a reference to dealing with the divergence problem – ie, the divergence between the tempaerature and proxy record – rather than an attempt to hide a decline in temperatures?”
    Yes, the trick was designed to hide just how useless treemometers are for reproducing historic temperatures. No scientist worth a Zimbabwean dollar would try to publish any of that rot.

  36. “Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a report to Congress”
    Does “the Administrator” have a name??

  37. NASA is a [snip] government agency actively engaged in the promotion of junk science. It should be shut down.

  38. As independent temperature records ginned up by skeptics using raw temperature data are close to and some even higher than the official records, what ‘scandal’ is the House referring to? Even the UAH team acknowledge there is little difference between their temperature record and the surface records. Comparing Jones’ analysis and his own work on the surface record, he said,
    “I’ll have to admit I was a little astounded at the agreement between Jones’ and my analyses”
    It would appear that if there was any bias in the CRU record, the impact is small or non-existent, and in any case, GISS temp trends is lower than any of the skeptical records made with raw data (depending on the period selected).
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/comparing-global-land-temperature-reconstructions/
    The team at the Air Vent (Jeff Id, Roman etc) find a warmer centennial trend than any of the surface records using raw data.

    First the obvious, a skeptic, denialist, anti-science blog published a greater trend than Phil Climategate Jones. What IS up with that?
    Several skeptics will dislike this post. They are wrong, in my humble opinion. While winning the public “policy” battle outright, places pressure for a simple unified message, the data is the data and the math is the math. We”re stuck with it, and this result. In my opinion, it is a better method.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/thermal-hammer/
    While there are minor differences, the surface and satellite records are about the same as serious reconstructions done from raw data – and done by climate change skeptics. The scandal here is not about temp records, but that the ‘climategate’ smoke machine has led to governments trying to put out non-existent fires, wasting your tax dollars.

  39. On the topic of temp records, I’m looking forward to the comparative analysis of the US temperature trend using the best rated stations as assessed by the surfacestations.org project.
    How is the paper progressing, Anthony? Has it been submitted yet?
    REPLY: Well that’s for me to know and you to find out. We’ll make an announcement when we are ready. After having NCDC “borrow” our data just to preempt the paper we have been writing, I’ve learned not to trust anyone (especially anonymous trolls like yourself) with further details until we can announce it. Given what we’ve read in the Climategate emails, I have no doubt that some team members would lobby a journal to keep it out. See below:
    ===================================
    From: Phil Jones

    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
    Date: Thu Jul 8 16:30:16 2004
    Mike,
    Only have it in the pdf form. FYI ONLY – don’t pass on. Relevant paras are the last
    2 in section 4 on p13. As I said it is worded carefully due to Adrian knowing Eugenia
    for years. He knows the’re wrong, but he succumbed to her almost pleading with him
    to tone it down as it might affect her proposals in the future !
    I didn’t say any of this, so be careful how you use it – if at all. Keep quiet also
    that you have the pdf.
    The attachment is a very good paper – I’ve been pushing Adrian over the last weeks
    to get it submitted to JGR or J. Climate. The main results are great for CRU and also
    for ERA-40. The basic message is clear – you have to put enough surface and sonde
    obs into a model to produce Reanalyses. The jumps when the data input change stand
    out so clearly. NCEP does many odd things also around sea ice and over snow and ice.
    The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also
    losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see
    it.
    I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep
    them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

    Cheers
    Phil
    ========================
    Reference: http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=419&filename=.txt
    – Anthony

  40. REPLY: Well that’s for me to know and you to find out.

    Indeed, that’s why I’m asking you. The surfacestations project is a worthy contribution. I’m sorry that your experience has led you to fear even giving a hint as to when you may submit the paper for review. I sincerely wish you the best with it, whatever the outcome.
    REPLY: Thanks. Experience has demonstrated that scientists, especially Peterson, Menne, and director Karl of NCDC have no scruples. – Anthony

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