Top Secret NOFORN Restricted Access Climate Model Results

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Y’know, some of these climate games are getting kind of boring. I’m tired of people who are paid with my taxes hiding their data, results, and findings. Case in point, the “Community Earth System Model” of the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  They describe their model as:

The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a fully-coupled, global climate model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth’s past, present, and future climate states.

Figure 1. The forcings and major flows in the CACM1.0 model. Source

OK, fine. This new CESM model is the successor to the CCSM3.0 climate model. People always tout the fact that the CESM code is open source, so you can investigate their results. I wanted to find out more about the CCSM3.0 model, in particular the forcings used in the AR4 simulations of the 20th century. What could go wrong?

Well, the first thing to go wrong is that you have to register to read their data. I don’t like that, but I can live with it. But then I find out that I can’t just register—I need to be approved by the good folks at UCAR to even view their holy climate results, we wouldn’t want just anyone reading them I guess …

About 95% of the UCAR funding comes from my taxes, and I need their approval to see their results??? C’mon, fools, this is not secret Al-Qaeda documents or the floor plan to Fort Knox, it’s just your stupid model results. Why are you making it hard to access?

Having no option, I applied to get access to the repository where they store the sacred results and forcings of the model runs. I figured OK, I can play their games. So I applied for the lowest level of access, read-only.

But this being climate science, today it got worse, viz:

  • From: XXX <>
  • Subject: Your request for access to the CESM repository was declined.
  • Date: May 6, 2011 12:49:13 PM PDT
  • Your request for access to the CESM repository was declined.You still have access to all public releases of CESM. Go to for access to the public model releases.
  • Title:
  • First Name: Willis
  • Middle initial:
  • Last name: Eschenbach
  • Account name: XXX
  • My position: climate researcher
  • Primary working group: Climate Change and Assessment
  • Relevant working groups: Atmosphere Model:Climate Variability:
  • Type of access: Level-1: Read-only
  • Summary of work: Analyzing the relationship of forcing to output of cesm models
  • List of CESM collaborators: None
  • Start date: Now
  • End date: 2 years after starting
  • Submission date: 5/6/2011
  • Acceptance status: Declined
  • Password issued: no
  • Remarks on status: please use released cesm1 code base

Oooooh, that angrified my blood mightily, and I waxed wroth. I am ashamed to say that I generally disturbed the peace of the neighborhood with my voluble speculations on the species and personal habits of their ancestors, and with my loud suggestions that the good folks of UCAR should perform anatomically improbable forms of sexual auto-congress …

And Judith Curry and other people wonder why the public doesn’t trust climate scientists, and why their message is so widely disbelieved? In general, the public rightly assumes that people who hide something … have something to hide. Bozo logic, I know, but strangely, people believe it.

I can’t tell you how tired I am of this petty, provincial, and anti-scientific ‘you have to say the secret password before I’ll show you my results’ point of view. I have linked to this post in my response to the charming UCAR fellow … we’ll see how it plays out. Yeah, I know I should have written to them to straighten it out before posting, and if this were my first rodeo I would have done that. At this point, I’ve been stuffed around by this kind of nonsense too many times, I’m tired of being Mr. Nice Guy.

And more to the point, there is absolutely no reason for them to restrict access in the first place. It is non-secret, non-sensitive public data paid for by public money, and the public should have full and unfettered access to read it any time, without preconditions.


[UPDATED May 7, ’11] If anyone else would like to join in the hunt, what I am looking for are the numbers underlying the graphics shown on this page. Month-by-month global values for the forcing variables. I’d prefer if they were in GISS style, where all of the forcings are expressed in W/m2, but raw concentrations (e.g. ppmv) are fine too.

[UPDATED May 8, ’11] Well, the powers that be have decided to let me in, and I’ve found what I need. My thanks to Steven Mosher and Derecho64 for the assistance. I’ll post up the results in Excel form once I convert them (the ozone data alone is almost 2 GBytes).

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May 6, 2011 2:33 pm

The problem, Willis, is that you have no middle initial. Without one, your identity is too readily identifiable. 😉

May 6, 2011 2:34 pm

“And more to the point, there is absolutely no reason for them to restrict access in the first place.”
Actually, there are lots of good reasons: You are going to look at their data and find stuff wrong with it, and then ask more questions, and find stuff wrong with their answers, and such behavior will financially harm them, cause some politician, who controls the purse strings may cut them off.
Everything would be so much better if would just SHUT UP, and get out of the way of those dedicated scientists feeding at the public trough.
And so for those reasons, you won’t be able to see the data.

John Trigge
May 6, 2011 2:43 pm

Why is there no reason given for declining your request?
How do you further your argument if you don’t know the basis for being declined?
Sounds like you might hit the child’s rationale of “‘cos I said so”.

May 6, 2011 2:44 pm

Well, I just applied as a “taxpayer who helped fund this research”. Let’s see what response I get.

May 6, 2011 2:46 pm

I have in a past life had a top secret NOFORN CRYPTO clearance. Maybe I can get it.

Scott Covert
May 6, 2011 2:46 pm

Aparently their best model isn’t quite “best enough” for peeping eyes and the light of day.
NORFORN slowly waving a hand…”These aren’t the GCMs you are looking for”.

May 6, 2011 2:48 pm

OK then, UCAR should not get any more public funding until they allow free access to their data. Can someone start that process going?

Russell Duke
May 6, 2011 2:48 pm

Position: Concerned citizen that pays taxes that pays YOUR salary
Maybe if you tried that…

Laurie Bowen
May 6, 2011 2:49 pm

I like your model of how the money flows in this kind of scheme . . . . You must realize Bernie Maddoff was playing his game 30 years before it exploded in everyone else’s accounts and he was goooooood at his game . . .
I do have my hobbies . . . . and one of them is trying to predict where trends are going or seeing patterns in charts of data . . . and then projecting the future of those patterns . . . and when it comes to ponzi con schemes of any kind they must have a maintain a certain momentum until a saturation point . . . then just like a rain cloud it rains itself out . . . .
And just like people like Bernie Madoff destroyed the confidence of Wallstreet’s . . . everyone suffered!

May 6, 2011 2:50 pm

What data are you looking for exactly?
model source code or forcing inputs?

May 6, 2011 2:53 pm

Why should they give it to you, you might find something wrong with it.

Philip Peake (aka PJP)
May 6, 2011 2:54 pm

Ok – put in a FOIA request asking for a list of the components of the system which are covered by GPL.
My bet is there is at least one.

David L. Hagen
May 6, 2011 2:56 pm

At least they appear to be trying to do something right:
“Capturing heat islands in climate models. A team of scientists led by NCAR’s Keith Oleson has incorporated urban areas into a global climate model. The development is important because most models used for predicting future climate change do not account for the urban “heat island” effect. The study will be published in the International Journal of Climatology. Oleson and colleagues used the Community Climate System Model, an NCAR-based model that uses trillions of calculations to simulate the chemical and physical processes that drive Earth’s climate.”
However, please join me in writing our legislators asking that they withhold funds from UCAR until they comply with public access to data and models for public funded research.

Peter Miller
May 6, 2011 2:59 pm

Not sharing data, analysis techniques and computer codes are the hallmarks of those who participate in the ‘science’ of the climate industry.
This is an understandable philosophy for those making hi-tech nuclear weapons or rockets – but for climate ‘scientists’?
So clearly there is lots to hide, lots to keep from the prying eyes and minds of those real scientists and statisticians who can readily shred the fraudulent logic/findings of the climate ‘scientists’.

May 6, 2011 2:59 pm

The Community Climate Model (CCM) was created by NCAR in 1983 as a freely available global atmosphere model for use by the wider climate research community.
The long-term goals of the CESM project are simple but ambitious. They are:
to make the model readily available to, and usable by, the climate research community, and to actively engage the community in the ongoing process of model development;
UCAR is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and, as such, is subject to specific federal, state, and local laws regarding sources of income, political activities, use of property, and similar matters.

May 6, 2011 2:59 pm

“The electrical dust is starting to rust
Her trapezoid thermometer taste
All the red tape is mechanical rape
Of the TV program waste
Data control and IBM
Science is mankind’s brother”
Jefferson Airplane
It is all about data control.

David, UK
May 6, 2011 3:01 pm

Just another case of “we have too much invested in the data to share it with those whose only objective is to find something wrong with it.” As Willis has said in his own way, it is OUR TAXES they have invested in it. The stupid models are OURS. The meaningless results of the stupid models are OURS. Stupid.

May 6, 2011 3:02 pm

As somebody else said (I’m paraphrasing), if the planet is in deep peril from global warming, why hide data and model results?

May 6, 2011 3:06 pm

“Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” Phil Jones

Ed Fix
May 6, 2011 3:11 pm

The only thing really surprising about this is that you were surprised by it. Sadly.

May 6, 2011 3:12 pm

Willis, you should stop waxing wroth. Let Roth wax you this time.
[from one of my favorite movies, with apologies to S.J.Perelman]

May 6, 2011 3:13 pm

May 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm
I have in a past life had a top secret NOFORN CRYPTO clearance. Maybe I can get it.
But did you also have COSMIC ATAMOL and CNWD?
BTW, do you know what a Bi-Stable Ferromagnetic Switching device (Bi-mag) is, or if you are too young for that, what a KIK-26 is?

May 6, 2011 3:15 pm

Entirely new definition of open source.

May 6, 2011 3:17 pm

Downloading input data
Input datasets are needed to run the model. CESM input data will be made available
through a separate Subversion input data repository. The username and password
for the input data repository will be the same as for the code repository.
Note: The input data repository contains datasets for many configurations and resolutions
and is well over 1 TByte in total size. DO NOT try to download the entire dataset.
Datasets can be downloaded on a case by case basis as needed and CESM now provides tools to check and download input data automatically.
A local input data directory should exist on the local disk, and it also needs to be
set in the CESM scripts via the variable $DIN_LOC_ROOT_CSMDATA. For
supported machines, this variable is preset. For generic machines, this variable
is set as an argument to create_newcase. Multiple users can share the same
The files in the subdirectories of $DIN_LOC_ROOT_CSMDATA should be writeprotected. This prevents these files from being accidentally modified or deleted. The
directories in $DIN_LOC_ROOT_CSMDATA should generally be group writable, so
the directory can be shared among multiple users.
As part of the process of generating the CESM executable, the utility,
check_input_data is called, and it attempts to locate all required input data for the
case based upon file lists generated by components. If the required data is not found
on local disk in $DIN_LOC_ROOT_CSMDATA, then the data will be downloaded
automatically by the scripts or it can be downloaded by the user by invoking
check_input_data with the -export command argument. ”
So basically Willis you have to register for the public release of version 1.
That is dead easy.
Then you have go to the special subversion repository ( same username and password) for input data. Then you have to run some programs to download the input data. see page 13 of the user guide.
Hope that helps. Its not like you get to an FTP site and get to click on files

May 6, 2011 3:28 pm

Now lets be fair willis.
There are TWO versions of the model.
1. The public release which I got access to in 10 seconds.
2. the DEVELOPMENT version.
To get the development version you have to fill out the form that you did.
But here is what they say.
“Access to developmental versions of CESM and its component models can be requested by filling out an online form. (Access is restricted to only CESM developers and close collaborators.)”
The point is rather simple. You have code that is in the process of being worked on. You dont want access to that because it may change. You want released code.
Input data is available from the public access version.
Since you dont intend to do any code development or collaborate closely with them, it seems reasonable that they would not give you access to Beta code.

May 6, 2011 3:30 pm

got access to the data in 15 seconds using the public 1.0 release registration.

Robert A
May 6, 2011 3:31 pm

That is where you have gone wrong:
Studies show that you have no right to your money in the first place. It is theirs.
By what right, then, do you claim viewing rights over the product of funds that were never really yours to begin with?
This has been recognized as an accident of process. Someday soon your paycheck will be sent in directly as a move to streamline and make government more efficient in this last desperate effort to save the planet.
Their mission is one of supreme importance that overrides everything. If the planet dies and you’re not paying, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
They’ve got a job to do too. Where they’re going you can’t follow. I’m no good at being noble, but it’s easy to see that the problems of one little person doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.

James Sexton
May 6, 2011 3:44 pm

“It is non-secret, non-sensitive public data paid for by public money, and the public should have full and unfettered access to read it any time, without preconditions.”

May 6, 2011 3:50 pm

Did you try “Open Sesame”?
Naw, just add them to the list of budget items to get pruned off the money tree.
Here ya go, Mr. Boehner, these fellers are known to bite the hand that feeds them.

Theo Goodwin
May 6, 2011 3:54 pm

Has Josh done a cartoon of climate scientists, UN dudes, and similar filth feeding at the public trough? If not, he should do one. Show us some REAL HOGS, Josh, please.

Tim W.
May 6, 2011 3:56 pm

Well done Mosher. Ball is in your court Willis.
Never attribute to malice…and all that

May 6, 2011 4:01 pm

In my experence noforn means it doesn’t work and we don’t want any one to know

May 6, 2011 4:02 pm

you want forcing data? for Ar5?
see the xls file 20c3m

May 6, 2011 4:03 pm

It looks like S. Mosher cracked the defence perimeter. Good work!

May 6, 2011 4:12 pm

Write you Congressperson everyone!!

May 6, 2011 4:12 pm

Send a note to Senator James Inhofe’s, Congressman Joe Barton’s, and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s office’s requesting support. It may take a little time but federal-supported program offices respond very quickly when they receive an inquiry from Congress and/or the Senate. This is particularly true when funding is on the line like it is now. I would do this whether UCAR responds or not. Those approving program funding need to know how taxpayer supported programs respond to taxpayer’s requests for information.

May 6, 2011 4:14 pm

the version willis was denied access to is the DEV version.
so, if you want the released code, you can get the release 1.0
if you want input data.. two options.
1. go to rev 1 SVN and run the programs for downloading data. there is a TERABYTE
of data for all the models.
2. if you want atmospheric forcings, see the excel file I linked to. That gives you
all the historical forcings for atmosphere models.

May 6, 2011 4:14 pm

If it’s so easy, why did Willis get this return email…………
Subject: Your request for access to the CESM repository was declined.

May 6, 2011 4:24 pm

If it is released under an open source license such as GPL it HAS to be made available. Those are the legal terms of the GPL

chris b
May 6, 2011 4:29 pm

steven mosher says:
May 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm
I saw this bit of info on the last line of the page I was directed to by the last link Steve Mosher posted.
“CCSM4 1° Last Glacial Maximum 1499-1900 simulation
Case Name: b40.lgm21ka.1deg.003
Data Release Date: 6/20/11 (Full)”
I’d love to see the “data” for the last Glacial Maximum that will be released on June 20th, 2011. Are model projections considered data, or simply projections that are totally dependent on the inputs of the projector? I suppose they could be using a tree ring thermometer the accuracy of which is so good that the world is willing to spend many trillions of dollars based on their ancient readings. LOL
When I see the words Climate Model I see wasted tax money.

May 6, 2011 5:34 pm

the code is publicly available as demonstrated by the links in steven mosher posts, for once they have done nothing wrong.

May 6, 2011 5:45 pm

Why would they deny access to the development code? This is public money and it is public policy that will be changed as a result of the code and the data.
Is it possible that there is big money riding on this in other senses? More grants etc.?

May 6, 2011 5:51 pm

As a young student I was amazed that I could walk into the main library, visit the reference section and read detailed results of the US Census going back centuries. Volumes and volumes and shelves and shelves of data. Data down to the city block. I could see when my house (or any other house in the country) was built and detailed demographic information on the people who had lived there. I didn’t even need a library card.

James of the West
May 6, 2011 6:15 pm

Why couldnt the person rejecting Willis request explain it a little bit like Steve Mosher?
Then Willis might have been satisfied and not been inspired to this unfortunate article. I hope Willis has read Steves comments. If it were me I’d be apologising to the folk at UCAR for accusations but berating them for not explaining their decision which would have avoided all of this. I spose looking on the brightside we can all learn a valuable lesson here, both sides.

Brian H
May 6, 2011 6:30 pm

Ah, yes; you’ve just been subjected to a full-bore “strawman” defense/assault. It’s the standard gambit.

May 6, 2011 7:22 pm

Gidday Willis – I have just had an FOI request refused downunder.
“Australian FOI law keeps secret the construction of New Zealand seven station temperature series”

Mike Bromley the Kurd
May 6, 2011 7:46 pm

“C’mon, fools, this is not secret Al-Qaeda documents or the floor plan to Fort Knox, it’s just your stupid model results. Why are you making it hard to access?”
I have visions of Mr. T from the A-Team. Rather funny, given the seriousness of the matter. My bet is that they have a defense order against Willis in particular, but hey, what do I know.

Bob Johnston
May 6, 2011 7:54 pm

I should probably mind my own business but it sure seems like Steve Mosher has been in a real snit lately… and it’s rather annoying.

CP Gundelfinger
May 6, 2011 8:00 pm

Willis says:
> No. I’m not looking for that at all. I’m looking for forcing data for AR4 that
> corresponds with the CMIP data for the CCSM3 20th century hindcast. I found a
> location for it somewhere in the CESM maze, but when I applied for it, you saw what I
> got.
1) Your application does not state that you are looking for the AR4 data. If you had, the UCAR folks probably would have let you know that the repository to which you were seeking access does not contain that data.
2) The AR4 data is old. It was originally distributed in tar files, maybe someone still has it laying around but you would have to find someone who is still using CCSM3. I’m pretty sure it is not used as input data for the CESM1 (the CESM input data is available via svn).
3) It is still unclear why you were looking for development code. While the scientists and software engineers are working hard putting new physics into the model, the code is not yet in a state where it can be subjected to the stringent testing it must undergo before it is released to the climate-research community (and yes, to the public, it all happens at the same time).
Ob. Disclaimer: I do not work for UCAR and am not a climate researcher. I am an interested citizen (like yourself) and have taken the time to learn the facts about what is going on there.

May 6, 2011 11:04 pm

“Oh, go away with your ridiculous assumptions. I was trying to get access to the forcing data for CCSM3. What is it with you guys? Take a breath and let me answer before peddling your Lemmingcycle over the cliff …”
That’s not what you requested in your request form. Ar4 forcing data is not tied to a particular model. Also you asked for access to CESM source CODE repository which is why I ASKED MY QUESTION. do you want code or data. TWO DIFFERENT REPOSITORIES . It says as much on the page you link to.
Willis here is what you wrote”
“Y’know, some of these climate games are getting kind of boring. I’m tired of people who are paid with my taxes hiding their data, results, and findings. Case in point, the “Community Earth System Model” of the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). They describe their model as:
The Community Earth System Model (CESM) is a fully-coupled, global climate model that provides state-of-the-art computer simulations of the Earth’s past, present, and future climate states.”
The link you provided takes you to a page discussing CESM
For CESM there is a public version. Version 1.0
Your request says you are looking for CESM. Not CCSM3.0
They tell you to use the public version. the RELEASED CODE.
Also, you want the input data, which they point to at the bottom of the page YOU LINKED TO. some MAZE
I accessed that in seconds.
Now, lets look some more at your request.
Start here:
Is this the form you filled out
Thats the form to the DEVELOPMENT CODE.
Input data is in a different subversion repository. That’s a very common approach to keeping code and data separate.
Basically. You talked about the new model and wanting access to the AR4 forcing data. You requested access to the DEV CODE and they pointed you to the public release code. Had you followed their instructions you would have been given a password to the released code AND the data subversion tree. Different trees, same access password. had they given you access to the DEV tree, you’d still be at a loss, because it looks like they keep code and input data in different repositories. standard operating proceedure for many folks.
Access to the Dev tree? You’re not a developer. You wanted data and you asked for development code. Giving non developers access to dev code is not a good practice, typically because they create support nightmares and dev code is just that. Things IN PROGRESS.
if You wanted ar4 forcings for CCSM.
So, use your openid or register.
Or you can find the ar4 forcings at other locations.
But your request wasnt exactly clear. I’d use the Ar5 forcings, they go good with crow.

May 6, 2011 11:12 pm

Fact 1: UCAR has announced the existence of CCSM3.0.
Fact 2: Some folks not working for UCAR have been granted permission
to view CCSM3.0.
Fact 3: At least one person (you) has been denied viewing permission.
You may have to go through the National Science Foundation (NSF) with
a FOI request to see the unseeable:
Since the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a
creature of the NSF and federal funding, they should be subject to the
Freedom of Information Act. If not, go the long way around through
NSF for the grant applications, codes, and results to date.
While you’re at it, ask NSF for the parameters in place, and a
description of the process use to establish the granting of
permission to view the NCAR model/material. Ask for the
appeal procedure in place for denial of permission cases.
You’d really make their week by asking in a separate
request for a list of those individuals already authorized to read the
material under the UCAR limited viewing procedure.

May 6, 2011 11:44 pm

The indispensable Shub Niggurath has summarized the problem:

When the world is coming to an end, the first thing to do is to use your secret climate data to write as many papers in high-impact journals as possible

May 7, 2011 12:04 am

see Warwick Hughes (above)
Where gyptis444 recommended applying for a job ….
Dear Sir,
I am inquiring about the possibility of employment at the University.
I was recently sacked from my previous job for conspiring to distort company figures. Before that I was fired for gross incompetence and for losing critical corporate data; and before that for attempting to corrupt audits by getting my mates assigned to the role, and for attempting to cover-up my dishonesty by criminally inciting others to delete incriminating files and emails.
I was thinking maybe something in your Climate Research Unit, but I’m concerned I
may be over-qualified.
I also have two convictions for fraud. Is this enough?
Please advise soonest.
Yours Sincerely,
Add a PS about being good at concealing things and you might get a highly paid position, and be recommended to the IPCC.

May 7, 2011 1:56 am

There seems to be no clear standardised policy for access to public work product. NOAA for example were only too happy to give me (a UK resident!) access, so indeed were your NSA. Without forging academic credentials the UK MO was out of bounds though – go figure.

val majkus
May 7, 2011 2:12 am

I see Warwick has been here before me; here’s a comment I’ve just left on Jo Nova’s blog
check out Australian FOI law keeps secret the construction of New Zealand seven station temperature series
(hiding behind peer review)
for those of you who believe in transparency by Govt funded organisations please check out Warwick’s post and make a comment
NIWA is also hiding behind ‘peer review’ check out the link on Warwick’s post
and Jo, this is worth a post on its own
how can two entities each paid by the public purse hide behind ‘peer review’ which is a process of self regulation by a profession preliminary to being published as a scientific article worthy of publication
and you will see the same problem at
Top Secret NOFORN Restricted Access Climate Model Results
Posted on May 6, 2011 by Willis Eschenbach
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
Y’know, some of these climate games are getting kind of boring. I’m tired of people who are paid with my taxes hiding their data, results, and findings. Case in point, the “Community Earth System Model” of the University Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
I urge Aussies and NZealanders to visit Warwick’s blog (he has links to the NZ situation) and leave a comment
is this the preliminary to nothing is transparent in Government entities

Tim James
May 7, 2011 2:43 am

In the Dark Ages, the Bible was only written in Latin and Greek. Only scholars could understand the meaning and the schools were run by the Church. The Congregation (you & me) were too stupid and uneducated to be allowed to know what was going on but we had to be kept in awe of the Word Of God so that our tithes were paid regularly.
After the first common language versions of the Bible were printed, they were still kept secure by the Church and were commonly padlocked.
See where I’m going?

May 7, 2011 3:18 am

a strike of genius chart. You should peer review publish it :))

May 7, 2011 3:25 am

it does lack some arrows from climate industry to activist scientists and NGO-s though and 2 unfcc to ngos and scientists, and a big fat one from climate industry to UN. Would make the scheme a bit messy but more accurate

May 7, 2011 3:37 am

There’s a cure for much of this: stop giving them tax money.

May 7, 2011 3:38 am

We need a political party in this country with one and only one platform plank “To pass Laws that revoke Laws in the reverse order to which they were passed and going back to January 1, 1800” (Hey! It’s better than another Civil War ain’t it?;-)
PS: There’s almost always, usually, sometimes, a little, or a lot of some truth in humorous quips such as the above. Think about it! What do you do when you’re driving around and get lost? Most gals stop and ask for directions. Most guys just keep driving around in circles until they need some gas and then ask for directions. Well guys, the gas tank is almost empty and we’ve been driving around in circles for far too long. January 1, 1800, just seemed like a good, simple place to start over, otherwise it’s not significant in any way. OK! OK! How about January 1, 1900?

May 7, 2011 4:51 am

Out, out, damned spot!

Geoff Sherrington
May 7, 2011 5:06 am

Willis, you ask “BTW, do you know what a Bi-Stable Ferromagnetic Switching device (Bi-mag) is?”
About 1976 I flew from Sydney to LA with an electronic engineer mate, to the back door of a large factory where a boss let us in to watch a lady with magnifiers take out all of the up, down and diagonal wires, replace the broken core and re-assemble. IIRC it was a 256 core piece. Took about 3 hours. That’s how valuable memory was. Then we all went out and got drunk – except for the lady, whose work depended on hands with no shake. It looks like you have met some people whose hands are reluctant to shake yours.

John Silver
May 7, 2011 5:06 am

Just shut up and pay your taxes.

Charlie A
May 7, 2011 5:17 am

Headpost by Willis E.: “I wanted to find out more about the CCSM3.0 model, in particular the forcings used in the AR4 simulations of the 20th century.”
Comment by Steve Mosher: “you want forcing data? for Ar5?
Mosher — Why do you believe that the forcings data at PIK for an AR5 run is identical to the forcings for the specific AR4 related run at UCAR that Willis want to look at ?

May 7, 2011 5:42 am

One needs to draw a distinction between accessing the code (which is what your intro sounded like it wanted to do) and accessing simulation output – they are two different things. I for one would likewise not want just anyone accessing experiment output until a) I had a chance to verify that they are not garbage due to some finger trouble on my part ( and there will be some output that falls into that category), and b) that I had a chance to analyze the output for which I put the effort in. Then I would open up access to the output data. I think you’ll find this is normal in science.
I think you’re just being paranoid.

Frank K.
May 7, 2011 5:49 am

“RTFM” – Steve, please don’t make customer support your career choice…
I’ve been poking around the CESM source code and documentation, and it confirms my belief that NCAR knows how to properly program in FORTRAN (with lots of comments!) and document what they do – which in STARK contrast to the junk at NASA GISS…

James of the West aka The International Fool
May 7, 2011 7:14 am

I am sorry you took my comment personally and let your temper cloud your judgement once again – this time berating me as an “International Fool”.
You wrote the article titled “Top Secret NOFORN Restricted Access Climate Model Results” and publised it on the most popular science blog in the world before UCAR has provided any explanation for the rejection of your valid request to you and you admitted as much yourself within the article.
regardless of Steve being wrong about the nature of your request the lesson I spoke of for you is – waiting for that full explanation before assuming its a conspiracy and making public accusations. For UCAR I felt the lesson was to properly explain their decisions when denying a request. I made the comment that Steve Mosher at least tried to explain why he thought the request was rejected, unlike UCAR. Explanation like that from UCAR might have meant you were able to resolve the issue right then and there but sadly their rejection gave almost no explanation. Maybe they will turn out to be players for the Team but I think the timing at this stage is a little early to go public until you understand what went wrong at their end.
You seem to take my observation personally, which is a shame. Do you think UCAR ,like Steve, may have actually misunderstood what you requested access to?
I wish you luck in your quest for the data and look forward to your analysis.

View from the Solent
May 7, 2011 8:46 am

re: Desert Yote @ 3:13 pm
I’ll see your Bi-Stable Ferromagnetic Switching device, and raise you a mercury delay line. (aah, memories..)

May 7, 2011 9:49 am

My computer keeps freezing every time I try to submit a comment here — one more try…
The CCSM3 hindcast runs were forced with the Large & Yeager 2004 “CORE” forcing dataset, which can be freely downloaded (no password etc) from
You want the interannual (not normal year) forcing, and the corrected version. Is this what you are looking for?

Roy Weiler
May 7, 2011 10:18 am

I believe I have received access to the data you are looking for by following Mosher’s last link:
It took about 20 secs to register, and in. I am not sure which set you need, but CCSM3.0 and forcings are clearly labeled in the sub directories.

May 7, 2011 10:44 am

Government agencies should not be witholding tax funded data for any reasons except demonstrated national security measures or public safety. These tax funded climate cathedrals of academic and governmental true believers are due for demolition and a thorough post-mortem.
Who is signing Mosher’s paycheck? Or is there another explanation for his scurrying around shoveling the manure for UCAR besides “follow the money?”

Gary Krause
May 7, 2011 10:46 am

So we pay for their basic needs, their wages, their research, their findings, their everything else,…; yet are arrogantly snubbed through riduculous exercises in application process. I see also we must repay to read their publications. WUWT?
My continuous mantra: Take away their gravy train funding.

Gary Krause
May 7, 2011 11:08 am

Some of you are missing the point. It is simple. First AND last “there is absolutely no reason for them to restrict access in the first place.”
Willis has good reason to post his frustrations over the constant misbehavior of public funded elitists filling their bottomless coffers with no accountability, oversight or reasonable access to what we the tax payer pay for repeatedly…over and over and over again.

May 7, 2011 11:41 am

Willis, as Steve pointed out, you’re looking in the wrong place.
The CESM SVN repository has two parts – the release code, which is public, and the development code, which is accessible only to model developers and collaborators. If you want access to the development code, become a collaborator in the CESM effort.
The CCSM3 (previous version) code and input data are available via the Earth System Grid, not the CESM SVN repository. You can cancel the request for the certificate (ESG is now part of a large federation of sites, and OpenIDs are an allowed form of access) and simply log in with your username and password.
Steve already pointed you to the ESG URLs for the old CCSM3 code and AR4 input datasets, but here they are again:
CCSM3.0 source code
CCSM3 input forcing files
There’s nothing hidden or secret going on.
The reason registrations are required is to provide metrics to the CESM project and management; these metrics allow for more efficient utilization of resources.

May 7, 2011 11:49 am

Specific ESG URL for the files used to create those plots.

May 7, 2011 4:11 pm

Are you sure their computer doesn’t have schizophrenia?
You know a good conspiracy theory is made by lots and lots of connections, an overload of connections that really don’t necessarily have relevance or correlation. Its the interpretation of those connections that make the difference between rational and irrational thought. So it is with AGW. A computer model can give you any result you want given enough connections. See chaos theory on adding extra numbers behind the decimal.

May 7, 2011 5:18 pm

Derecho64 says:
May 7, 2011 at 11:41 am

The reason registrations are required is to provide metrics to the CESM project and management; these metrics allow for more efficient utilization of resources.

As Willis has since pointed out, he tried to register, and was refused access.
I, like others may, have to assume that this allows for “more efficient utilization of resources” by preventing him from finding out what is wrong with the data 😉

Bob Shapiro
May 7, 2011 6:32 pm

After I read this post, I Googled the email address for the chief scientist at UCAR, Jim Hurrell, and dropped him a note. Here’s what I said, and his reply. Hope this helps.
BTW, I put copy email addresses for my Congressional Rep and my two Senators for Jim to see.
> Hi Jim,
> A climate researcher that I follow regularly, Willis Eschenbach, has
> applied for a permit to have read-only permission to see the actual
> CCSM3.0 model output “data.” He explains that, although the information is
> created through tax funded programs, and the information is hardly top
> secret “National Security” output, his request was declined.
> I expect that this was a clerical error, and that the mixup will be fixed
> quickly. Or, should I just advise Willis to start filling out a Freedom of
> Information Request?
> Thank you for any help you can provide.
> Best regards.
> Bob Shapiro
> Andover, MA
Dear Bob,
Thank you for writing. I will reply formally soon. All people are
granted access to our RELEASE code — the code used to create climate
simulations. The data from these simulations are also available.
Willis did not request access to the release code.
Best regards,

May 7, 2011 6:40 pm

Bob Shapiro,
I see, Willis didn’t know the secret handshake. But they still spent his tax money.

May 7, 2011 7:37 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
May 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm
“I find it laughably pathetic. Others defend it as a justifiable and reasonable practice … you make the call.”
The whole idea behind these models, is that (given enough information) we can learn to control the weather.
Call me skeptical. And tired of wasting my tax dollars on foolishness.

May 7, 2011 11:18 pm

I like your chart, but there seems to be a big hole in the middle.
Where are the Big Money Boys? Where are the banks, finance companies, and ENRON types who want to make a fortune selling “carbon credits” and the like?
They will suck at least as much money out of us as the governments do?

May 7, 2011 11:20 pm

Further to my previous pose, the “carbon trading” bit at the side is far too small.

May 8, 2011 3:43 am

Love Figure 1 but couldn’t find Al Gore in there where I expected him to be, at the end of a money flow arrow!

Richard S Courtney
May 8, 2011 5:46 am

At May 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm you say;
“Usually I do an end run around this kind of nonsense by just digitizing their graphs, and I may end up doing it yet. It’s some hours of work … but at this point, I’ve put more than that into trying to do it the right way.”
I write to thank you for this thread and to ask you to keep “trying to do it the right way” and to report what happens so not to do your usual “end run”.
My reasons for my thanks and request are not technical but are two-fold.
Firstly, and importantly, this thread clearly demonstrates some of the problems confronted by anybody attempting verification of climatological model studies. This demonstration needs to run its full course if others are to use it as a case study and/or for reference purposes.
Secondly, (and of little importance except to me) the excuses, red herrings and obfuscations from notably Steven Mosher and Dercho64 are very, very funny so have given me several belly laughs and I hope to get some more.

Pamela Gray
May 8, 2011 7:09 am

Once again, I am either pathetically stupid and way behind the times of ethical practice, or in my lowly station of ex-researcher life, I clearly understood that raw data should be made available on request, and thus should be stored for some period of time.
I still have my raw data (kept nearly 30 years) and will provide it post haste with a simple written request. I no longer work for the government agency I was employed by, but I still have my input data. In fact, I welcomed another pair of eyes (though if I do say so myself, just try and find an error in my data). To the credit of others, the premise of the study was done again by others, using different subjects, and resulted in similar conclusions.
So I find this current situation puzzling. Just by coincidence, are we having the same problem with climate career scientists in this field that we have with career politicians? Or are we having this issue because they are one and the same and sleep in the same biased right vs wrong bed?
As a parent, it is giving me a headache to hear this constant “Are too!…Are not! argument. So here it is: “Give the man a look at the data, then go stand in the corner until you have learned to cooperate like a big boy! And NO desert!”

May 8, 2011 7:28 am

I love how the defenders of UCAR want to claim that their plain vanilla ice cream science and their dog crap “register for access and deny nonsense” can be mixed together and come up with vanilla ice cream …
They are hiding … end of story … there s no reason a scientist in their position should be doing that …
They are con men and propagandists looking for power and or money and will soon be ridden out of town on a rail if they don’t end up in jail …

mike g
May 8, 2011 7:47 am

@steven mosher says:
May 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm
registered for access to SVN. got it in 10 seconds
Yeah, but you’re one of them as was readily apparent when your brown-nosing blew up in your face (nasty imagery, there) a few weeks ago… For you to be trying to stick your nose up this guy’s deep dark, you can’t expect any respect.

May 8, 2011 8:26 am

What Willis –
– did you appear on their ‘no fly’ list or something?

May 8, 2011 8:48 am

It’s easy to get the file you want.
See the link “Download” on the page Mosher referred to?
It’s here:
How hard was that?

May 8, 2011 3:02 pm

EllisM says:
May 8, 2011 at 8:48 am
It’s easy to get the file you want.
See the link “Download” on the page Mosher referred to?
It’s here:
How hard was that?

And i got the screen asking for username and password.
Not as easy as you make it sound, that’s for sure.

James Allison
May 9, 2011 12:32 pm

Hi Willis. You were slagging Steve M now thanking him. For all the popcorn munchers watching this story unfold pray tell how the little golden locks were made to release their hold on the data you wanted? Thanks.

May 9, 2011 1:43 pm

The user interface is unintuitive. So much so that it threw an individual as intelligent as Willis Eschenbach. It is more like a private intranet page within an organization than a public web page aimed at a general audience.
If you are registered, then the link that Steve Mosher provided should download the required files, but if you are not registered you will only encounter the login page. Even without registering you can still check that the files in question are available by going to this page:
and searching for ’20C3M’ using the search box (but if you try to download these, you will be asked to log in).
It is typical for code and data under version control to have two levels of privilege. Private access allows you to alter the data in order to work on it, while public access allows you to read the same data without being able to change it, and possibly corrupt it. Willis mistakenly attempted to gain private access and was justifiably refused. They even gave him the link to the public repository in the refusal notice.
You have made an error here Willis. They didn’t relent and ‘let you in’ just because you made a fuss – they weren’t blocking you in the first place. You always had access. You should retract and apologize. Acknowledge your mistake, move on, and keep up the good work.

Gary Pearse
May 9, 2011 4:01 pm

Willis, it might interest you and others that, at least in Canada, even private enterprise trading shares on stock exchanges have a legal obligation to reveal results of their development work to the public through press releases of fairly stringent format. The principle is continuous disclosure. For example if a mining exploration company plans a drilling program, they must report it – planned footage and purpose, etc. They then are obliged to report the results good or bad. If they undertake a feasibility study it must not only be reported on, the finished study-good or bad results- must be published on a site known as SEDAR. The ratioale is that …wait for it! … the shareholder paid for the work and the non-shareholder may be attracted to buy shares and therefore must also be fully informed. Hey, even big oil has got to inform y’all of its plans and what they are spending your money on.

May 9, 2011 9:44 pm

Charlie A.
Mosher — Why do you believe that the forcings data at PIK for an AR5 run is identical to the forcings for the specific AR4 related run at UCAR that Willis want to look at ”
Probably because I read the ar5 design of experiments and understand the historical forcings used for Ar4 and Ar5. You’ve read that document right?
anyway, since willis has his data and has thanked me I imagine some of you will think twice before challen

Charlie A
May 10, 2011 4:44 am

Steve Mosher, in his reply to my question why he believes the AR5 forcing data at PIK is identical to the AR4 forcing data at UCAR says “Probably because I read the ar5 design of experiments and understand the historical forcings used for Ar4 and Ar5. You’ve read that document right?”
No, I have not read the document. That is irrelevant. Even if PIK does describe the forcings for their AR5 related runs as being identical to those used for earlier AR4 runs by UCAR, it is still best practice to obtain the forcings data from the same set of files as the outputs you wish to review.

Latimer Alder
May 10, 2011 6:01 am

Some may remember this from the 1980s:
Mister Prosser wishes to demolish Arthur Dent’s house. Arthur isn’t keen:
But Mister Dent the plans have been available in the planning office for the last nine months!
Yes! I went round to find them yesterday afternoon. You’d hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to pull much attention to them have you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.
The plans were on display.
Ah! And how many members of the public are in the habit of casually dropping around the local planning office of an evening?
Er – ah!
It’s not exactly a noted social venue is it? And even if you had popped in on the off chance that some raving bureaucrat wanted to knock your house down, the plans weren’t immediately obvious to the eye were they?
That depends where you were looking.
I eventually had to go down to the cellar!
That’s the display department.
With a torch!
The lights, had… probably gone.
So had the stairs!
Well you found the notice didn’t you?
Yes. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the Leopard”. Ever thought of going into advertising?

May 14, 2011 10:40 pm

Fortran 90. You’re ____ kidding me. How pathetic.
As a software engineer designing and implementing a new advanced safe parallel multi-threading distributed object oriented programming language for use in business, engineering, scientific and other applications that are highly demanding it’s a shock to see that these alleged state of the art climate models are being written in primitive ERROR PRONE Fortran 90. Very shocking.

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