Climate Science: Separating Mistakes From Malfeasance

Cartoon_Climate_ScienceGuest opinion by Dr. Tim Ball

An important problem in climatology involves determining how many points are required to establish a pattern or a trend. It parallels the societal challenge, how many mistakes before a pattern or trend is identified? The societal question applies to climate science, but the line appears unclear. How many scientific mistakes separate incompetence from malfeasance? After watching the corruption of climate science for over 30 years, I believe we crossed the line with creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its procedures were established to prove the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis. This resulted in the malfeasance of eliminating or evading scientific checks and balances. The question is why is the malfeasance still not fully exposed? Why can people who were exposed and admitted their errors, continue to have credibility, at least in their own minds? Why is there no accountability?

A recent article on Climate Audit examines whether a graph was knowingly, or unknowingly used upside down. The opening comments ask,

Does it matter whether proxies are used upside-down or not?

Maybe not in Mann-world (where, in response to our criticism at PNAS, Mann claimed that it was impossible for him to use series upside-down).  But, unlike Mann, Darrell Kaufman acknowledges responsibility for using proxies upside-up. Unfortunately, he and the PAGES2K authors don’t seem to be very diligent in ensuring that they do so.


This story parallels the Tijander graph, an earlier upside-down presentation in the “hockey-stick” debacle that was designed to rewrite history by eliminating the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). Climate Audit also identified and exhaustively examined the Tijander graph.

McIntyre and McKitrick (M&M) are credited with exposure of the inappropriate statistical techniques used by Mann et al, to produce the hockey stick that brought the misuse of climate science by the IPCC into the public forum. However, the late great Australian skeptic John Daly identified the larger problem, before their identification of the technique used. I urge people to read Daly’s remarkable analysis in his article, “The ‘Hockey Stick’: A New Low in Climate Science”. Notice that this article is pre-McIntyre and McKitrick, as there is no reference or citation to their work. Instead, it is a synoptic climate analysis of what is wrong.

I understand McIntyre saw the “hockey stick” graph at a conference and, not knowing it was about global temperature, recognized the form as potentially manipulated, from his statistical experience. M&M’s analysis identified the specifics of how it was created. For some time, commentators on McIntyre’s web site criticized his apparent unwillingness to say Mann’s actions were deliberately deceptive. McIntyre, correctly, initially gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed it was lack of knowledge and understanding. Ethically, there is a difference between a mistake and a premeditated error. This was the theme of my presentation to the 6th Heartland Climate Conference in Washington D.C, but there, it was the argument that the entire IPCC process was premeditated, as were the results of their computer models.

The misuse of specialized methods and procedures is a fundamental problem caused by climatology being a generalist discipline. Most are specialists in a single component, who then, inappropriately, call themselves climate scientists. When they try to link pieces of the massive system together, they invariably have to use unfamiliar techniques and procedures. The chance of error is high. It is most problematic for computer modelers.

The IPCC brought together such specialists and charged them with proving, rather than disproving, the hypothesis that humans were causing global warming (AGW). It was an unholy alliance that provided an environment for misuse and abuse. They produced scientific proof in subjects they know little about, using techniques and procedures they know even less about. With massive funding and politics it became a recipe for disaster, as evidenced in the leaked Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails. The end justified the means; do whatever was necessary to show human CO2 was the cause of global warming and temperatures were the highest ever. CRU was a small group and a classic example of Groupthink fuelled by politics, as I explained at the time

Irving Janis explains the concept of Groupthink, which requires unanimity, at the expense of quality decisions. [A recent WUWT post touched on the problem of groupthink in the field of Physics -ed]


“Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups.  A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision-making.”

Lubos Motl reported Benjamin Santer’s April 25 comment that,

I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.


This is the same Santer who, as lead author, changed a pre-agreed IPCC Report. Avery and Singer noted in 2006,

“Santer single-handedly reversed the ‘climate science’ of the whole IPCC report and with it the global warming political process! The ‘discernible human influence’ supposedly revealed by the IPCC has been cited thousands of times since in media around the world, and has been the ‘stopper’ in millions of debates among nonscientists.”

It is hard to believe Santer didn’t know what he was doing. When his changes were exposed, a rapid response was created that appears to be a cover-up. Here is what I wrote, with slight modifications, about the actions taken.

On July 4, 1996, shortly after the disclosure the apparently compliant journal Nature published, “A Search for Human Influences On the Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere” with a familiar list of authors – Santer, Wigley, Jones, Mitchell, Oort and Stouffer. It provided observational evidence that proved the models were accurate. A graph is worth a thousand words as Mann’s “hockey stick’ showed and so it was with Santer’s “discernible human influence”. John Daly recreated Santer et al’s graph (Figure 1) of the upward temperature trend in the Upper Atmosphere.


Figure 1

Then Daly produced a graph of the wider data set in Figure 2 and explains, “we see that the warming indicated in Santer’s version is just a product of the dates chosen” (Daly’s bold).


Figure 2

Errors were spotted quickly, but Nature didn’t publish the rebuttals until 5 months later (12 Dec, 1996) after the article discussed above was released. One identified the cherry picking; the other provided a natural explanation for the pattern. However, by that time the PR cover-up was under way. On July 25, 1996 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) sent a letter of defense to Santer. The letter appears to be evidence of CRU influence and a PR masterpiece. It said there were two questions, the science, and what society must do about scientific findings and the debate they engendered. Science should only be debated in “peer-reviewed scientific publications – not the media.” This was the strategy confirmed in a leaked email from Mann. “This was the danger of always criticizing the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Then AMS wrote, “What is important scientific information and how it is interpreted in the policy debates is an important part of our jobs.” “That is, after all, the very reasons for the mix of science and policy in the IPCC.” Daly correctly called this “Scientism”.

The rebuttal appears to indicate that Santer knew what he was doing in his original changes to the IPCC Report. He clearly knew about the cherry picked start and end points of the graph. Every graph must have a start and end point, but this example was included in an article written to salvage exposure of his rewording.

Defense of Santer was apparently orchestrated and set a pattern pursued whenever malfeasance was exposed. Use of official agencies to cover malfeasance, explains much of the continuance. It also explains why the perpetrators continue to believe they had done nothing wrong.

Phil Jones called the police following the release of emails. In order to claim they were hacked, he had to admit they were genuine. Results were meaningless, because the investigation dragged out until the Statute of Limitations expired. In a contradictory conclusion the police said,

“The international dimension of investigating the World Wide Web especially has proved extremely challenging.”…“However, as a result of our enquiries, we can say that the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack on the CRU’s data files, carried out remotely via the internet.”


This is simply not believable, given the degree of spying and snooping done on ordinary citizens and the amount of knowledge required to select 1000 emails from some 220,000 There are three choices; they are incompetent, deliberately misleading, or both. Regardless, it was too slow to counter the loss of credibility of the entire IPCC operation.

As a result, an all out blitz of five controlled investigations were initiated, all orchestrated to mislead and divert. Hans van Storch wrote about the 3 UK inquiries,

“We have to take a self-critical view of what happened. Nothing ought to be swept under the carpet. Some of the Inquiries—like—in the UK—did exactly the latter. They blew an opportunity to restore trust.”

Lord Oxburgh was appointed to chair one inquiry.

Oxburgh was compromised because he is a Fellow of the Royal Society, but more important, he is CEO of Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable Resources that benefit from the claim that human CO2 is causing warming. He also promoted the warming claim as UK Vice-Chair of GLOBE International, a consortium of Industry, NGOs’ and Government that lobbies for global warming policy.

A list of problems with the Oxburgh Inquiry follows.

· The Oxburgh Inquiry was directed to examine the CRU science, but to do that.

· There were no public hearings.

· There was no call for evidence.

· Only 11 academic papers were examined, a list vetted by Phil Jones, Director of the CRU, the agency that was being investigated.

· Only unrecorded closed interviews with CRU staff were held.

· There were no meetings with CRU critics.

· UEA had effective control of the Inquiry throughout.

· The UK House of Commons Select Committee grilled Oxburgh on the shallowness of his study and report, and its failure to review the science as promised.

For more information read Andrew Montford’s detailed summary of limits of all the Inquiries. The Muir Russell inquiry was so bad even the Guardian’s Fred Pearce wrote,

“Secrecy was the order of the day at CRU. “We find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness,” says the report. That criticism applied not just to Jones and his team at CRU. It applied equally to the university itself, which may have been embarrassed to find itself in the dock as much as the scientists on whom it asked Russell to sit in judgment.”

Everybody makes mistakes in science, but normally, they are identified in the ideally impersonal and professional peer review process. In Santer’s case, his fellow authors did the peer review. He chose to override their concerns and got caught. The hockey stick article was peer reviewed, but as Professor Wegman, in his report to a congressional committee wrote,

In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface.

This finding was confirmed in the leaked CRU emails. Corruption of that process by CRU scientists meant mistakes, deliberate or unintentional, entered the scientific record. In addition, cover-up and refusal to disclose data became a standard. Wegman wrote,

It is not clear that Mann and associates realized the error in their methodology at the time of publication. Because of the lack of full documentation of their data and computer code, we have not been able to reproduce their research. We did, however, successfully recapture similar results to those of MM (McIntyre and McKitrick). This recreation supports the critique of the MBH98 methods, as the offset of the mean value creates an artificially large deviation from the desired mean value of zero.

They knew why people wanted the data. Phil Jones 21 February 2005 replied to Warwick Hughes’ request for data as follows.

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

Later Jones said he had lost the data. Will other data go missing?

What is important is the nature of the error. If it was pivotal to a thesis or a scientific conclusion, then the error was due to incompetence or intent. Either way, the person responsible is professionally inadequate for their position and their claims.

Pivotal to IPCC’s objective was the need to prove human production of CO2 was causing temperature increases and creating temperatures higher than any in history. Is it coincidence that these are the areas where science was created to predetermine the result? It appears they trace out a pattern of errors that are evidence of malfeasance. Unfortunately, I am unaware of any accountability, but that is general situation with the connected dots of malfeasance in today’s society.

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October 12, 2014 11:22 am

Everybody makes mistakes in science, but normally, they are identified in the ideally impersonal and professional peer review process…..
Not at all…..especially when it involves “new” science…peer review is nothing more than an advanced spell check and it’s not the responsibility of the peer review process to duplicate the science prove or disprove the science/paper…..that happens after it’s peer reviewed and put out there for other groups to work with it
This is a bastardization of peer review and it’s what’s used in climate science…..

Chip Javert
Reply to  Latitude
October 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Apologies if my comment is off-topic for this current thread…
…as a non academic (I’m a Ga Tech educated retired CFO), I have a fuzzy and (I suspect) naive understanding of the academic “peer review” process and its expected results. I suspect others in the WUWT audience may benefit from a brief tutorial (separate thread?) on this topic so I (we?) can better understand the dynamics of what appears to be a failed system.

Reply to  Chip Javert
October 13, 2014 4:44 am
chip Javert
Reply to  Chip Javert
October 13, 2014 9:39 am

Matt (I cannot see a “reply” button on your comment to me, so I’m replying in the dark):
Thanks for the reference; I’m a long-time admirer of Dr Brown’s WUWT commentary. He always impresses with on-topic content, logic, depth, and understandability (gotta be a better word). Some readers nit-pick details of his statements, but I’ve seldom seen a serious reader attempt a frontal assault on an entire “rgb” statement.
The 5000-word reference had limited commentary on the peer review process, but what he described was very different than what I’d previously assumed. If I’m summarizing properly, peer review exists to “encourage” authors to clearly define the issue(s) under discussion as well methods, results and conclusions such that independent and properly skilled parties can reproduce the work (I incorrectly assumed peer review leaned more toward actually verifying some of the work).

Reply to  Chip Javert
October 13, 2014 5:26 pm

I once posted a fairly substantial comment about peer review in the real world, as I have been involved in it. If people submit comments about what they want to know, or what beliefs they have that they want to check out, I would be willing to provide a guest post.
However, this can only reflect three things: my experience reviewing several articles a year for over a decade for a range of peer-review journals, the handful of articles I have set aside as a reference on this subject, and my experiences being peer-reviewed.
Peer review varies greatly by field. So, a representative view would need to come from people in different fields. In my areas, peer review is NOT the research-cop, policing to make sure you actually have the data you purport to write about. I have never requested anyone’s original data set. I might if I heard something hard-to-believe. I have asked that a relevant finding to worked into the article – as has been done by other reviewers reviewing my submissions.
As a reviewer, I have asked that data be analyzed in a somewhat different manner, or more data to be reported. As far as I can remember, this has always been on studies by newcomers or those in one professional area wanting to move into research – they simply do not know what they are doing, although they own a computer and a stats package.
For MBH98, I would have wanted a great deal more step-by-step explication – it includes a lot of trust-me and hand-waving and little to no basic data presentation to support the entire endeavor. But realistically that would have had to be in some sort of appendix – MBH98 is “long” as it is/was.
Peer review is nowadays all online. I usually submit private comments to the editor, and also submit a set of comments to the author(s). I have, on a few, said to the editor that I don’t think that the article should be published, and I say why – in those cases, I also note that if the journal wants to publish, they are welcome to find a reviewer to replace me – this is difficult, since it is hard to recruit reviewers – we do it for free. But it is not my journal, and they are free to do whatever they want, within legal parameters.
Leadingly, I understand and believe in science, and use that as my guiding principle.
[Anthony: Bookmarked for consideration as a longer-length topic on its own, perhaps with rgbatduke adding a supplemental. Too short as-is, but a very important start. In particular, Such a paper also needs to also establish: Does peer-review actually verify: Is the data actually checked? Is the data and equations and logic “correct” and verified? Are the conclusions “the best science” now available? Is this paper “Truth” ? Or is it “assumptions and summaries, written to get a paper published”? .mod]

Chip Javert
Reply to  Chip Javert
October 13, 2014 9:05 pm

Anthony: I strongly support your conceptual approach for a “peer review” tutorial.
Of course I realize academics on the site don’t need this, but the rest of us might. My reference point(s) for this topic are Feynman’s extensive comments on the scientific method (starting with “Cargo Cult”). I’ve incorrectly assumed peer review ensured the methodology was followed.
Other logical topics for peer review: is there an obligation to disclose data? Is there an obligation to document & disclose methodologies?

Reply to  Latitude
October 13, 2014 10:56 am

Of course other groups won’t try to replicate the “experiment” because there is no government funding for replicating other’s works.

Max Totten
Reply to  Latitude
October 14, 2014 10:26 am

One area of hidden data I’ve not seen referenced on wuwt. You might want to check epa degree days. The data was once listed on but has since been concealed. Its also on page 74 of an epa puff piece but that specific page wouldn’t download. To quote the epa, “Overall, cooling days have not increased significantly over the past 100 years.” EPA claims that heating degree days have declined as a result of AGW but the decline is less than many annual variations. I originally found the epa data when searching for degree days in 1980 and found a 5 page report with graphs. EPA’s 118 year study found more mild temperatures

October 12, 2014 11:26 am

John Daly (who died early in 2004) was onto the manipulators very early and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Viking Explorer
Reply to  Ken Coffman
October 12, 2014 7:52 pm

Amen. The Phil Jones quote is the essence of anti-scientific method mentality.

Reply to  Ken Coffman
October 13, 2014 10:57 am

From Phil Jones to Mike Mann, on the death of Australian sceptic John Daly:

“In an odd way this is cheering news!”

Daly must have been doing a damned good job Phil to feel cheery.

October 12, 2014 11:30 am

the amount of knowledge required to select 1000 emails from some 220,000 There are three choices; they are incompetent, deliberately misleading, or both. Regardless, it was too slow to counter the loss of credibility of the entire IPCC operation.
This observation is obscured by the palace guards of the MSM.

Mike Smith
October 12, 2014 11:48 am

In climate science, the issue has more to do with noble cause corruption than simple mistakes or malfeasance.

Ian W
Reply to  Mike Smith
October 12, 2014 1:00 pm

I don’t think the Climategate emails showed ‘noble cause’ corruption; more a basic lack of ethics and intention to ‘win the argument’ rather than do good science. Perhaps you can show where these emails showed attachment to a ‘noble cause’? There may be some now outside the central team who actually believe what they are publishing, but none of the names in the Climategate team come close, it’s all about publishing cleverly skewed results that will scare the uneducated, support the political line, and result in ‘a win for The Team’ – perhaps I misread them when they were trying to change peer review to prevent contrary papers, hide declines, and get editors removed from post.

Reply to  Ian W
October 12, 2014 1:43 pm

What they show is that what they are doing is NOT science and thus IMO they are not “scientists”. They make used car salesmen look good.

Reply to  Mike Smith
October 12, 2014 8:36 pm

Chesterton said in his book on Eugenics and Other Evils,
“Evil always wins through the strength of its splendid dupes.”
“Evil always takes advantage of ambiguity.”
Two interesting comments from gk

October 12, 2014 12:02 pm

Summing up, a handful of people (whose names are known by all) have bullied their way to control “climate science”. Since there is ample evidence that violent hysteria is used against outsiders, it is safe to assume that heads are rolling on the inside. At best, no funding for those that speak up. At worst, your career is over.
The entire mess is a copycat of many others throughout history. Those of us with experience in the academia spotted the ethical transgressions right away years back… even when the topic itself, climate, was unexpected. In that sense, topic-wise, we were blindsighted. The modus operandi, however, is all but remarkable. It’s an orchestrated lynching whose purpose is to take the brunt of attention from the plundering taking place.

NZ Willy
October 12, 2014 12:08 pm

Mods: about 60 comments have vanished. Could you check.
[Reply: No idea what happened. WordPress glitch? ~ mod.]

NZ Willy
Reply to  NZ Willy
October 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Apologies — I confused this article with “The Trouble with Physics” one. Please delete my comment if possible — don’t wish to clutter.

F. Ross
October 12, 2014 12:10 pm

Excellent essay Dr. Ball.
Sadly, it would seem that the following quote from your post is also extensible to almost any governmental individual/group misbehaviour at any level:

Defense of Santer was apparently orchestrated and set a pattern pursued whenever malfeasance was exposed. Use of official agencies to cover malfeasance, explains much of the continuance. It also explains why the perpetrators continue to believe they had done nothing wrong.


Steve Case
October 12, 2014 12:20 pm

One of my favorite cartoons

Michael Wassil
October 12, 2014 12:24 pm

Thank you, Dr Ball! This is a thorough summation of the ‘great climate scare scam'(TM). And thank you for inadvertently reinforcing what I said here yesterday:

They’re lying, James. They’ve been lying all along, they’re lying now and will continue to lie as long as they can get away with it. Reputable scientists are bailing out. When the Airship CAGW crashes and burns it won’t be pretty for those still onboard.

Which I can state even more forcefully: They knew they were lying from day one; they corrupted and suppressed contrary evidence and demonized critics to support their big lie. Even now, as the planet shows multiple indications of beginning to cool, they continue to lie. They then insult our collective intelligence by proffering 50+ reasons we’re all too dumb to notice how hot it’s getting.
This nonsense can’t end soon enough.

Reply to  Michael Wassil
October 14, 2014 11:59 am

“They knew they were lying from day one”
Nonsense. First of all, what is “day one”? If you look at the literature, in the early 80’s Wrigley and Jones seem to me like any ‘young turks’ in an area of science eager to promote their own ideas. They may not have been entirely well-balanced in this, but nothing at that point strikes me as outside the bounds of the normal scientific activity – in a field where a lot of things were still fuzzy – and therefore many ideas were hard to evaluate in a compelling way.
Frankly, comments like this strike me as owing more to a primitive tendency to think dramaturgically than to any real insights into human nature.

Steve Case
October 12, 2014 12:26 pm
Reply to  Steve Case
October 12, 2014 12:32 pm

Still waiting for global warming…

October 12, 2014 12:40 pm

Nice read, but I miss the Steig et al 2009 Nature paper affair. 6 authors, at least 2 reviewers (I guess, since the paper appeared in the cover) and none of them seemed to notice that Harry, the outlier AWS station that raised the warming trend to their desired levels showed data that predated its installation year. Harry was installed in 1995 and it had produced data since 1979, yet. nobody seemed to notice the problem. Mistake or malfeasance?

David Holland
October 12, 2014 12:51 pm

I will bet dollars to doughnuts that within a hour of Trevor Davies hearing about ‘Climategate’, he knew all there was to know. It was obviously a walk-in hack. Almost a year before Climategate, I reported a bug in the CRU’s web server search routine that dropped Internet users into the command prompt. I am sure it was not the only time the front door was left unlocked all night. The Russell Review ( he had been Principle at Glasgow and a trustee of Universities UK) and Police enquiries were just window dressing.
John Daly, incidentally, is the reason I started to look seriously into climate change.

Reply to  David Holland
October 12, 2014 2:04 pm

It sounds as though you could tell a tale?

Reply to  David Holland
October 13, 2014 6:13 am

That phrase originated from a time when donuts were, literally, a dime a dozen. As long as we continue in this anti-energy (anti-human) hysteria the cost gap will continue to close – as it is a donuts now costs about a quarter or a little more. Drill baby, drill. And get a rational foreign policy, and stop taxing innovation and creativity, and stop giving away the farm for votes – and after all that maybe donuts can back to a dime a dozen!

Robert O
October 12, 2014 12:51 pm

An excellent review to which one can only draw the conclusion that they are a bunch of crooks, not scientists. What puzzles me is that the media has accepted the global warming theme and will not publish anything to the contrary: this in turn has influenced public opinion and the politicians who follow opinion. Do they all have shares in carbon companies or are they just plain dumb?

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Robert O
October 12, 2014 6:59 pm

Robert O – you should read reputable newspapers! Try taking “The Australian”. Editorial line still is in favour of ‘global wartming’ but it is quite willing to publish articles by scientists such as Professors Ian Plimer and Bob Carter who disagree with the IPCC view, plus articles by Bjorn Lomberg, who agrees with Global Warming but totally disagrees withe the IPCC view that “we must cut carbon dioxide or perish”, plus letters from readers – who seem to be mostly against the CAGW scam.
I read it in print, but you can be your digital version if desired.

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
October 12, 2014 7:00 pm

Sorry, should be ‘warming’ not “wartming”

Robert O
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
October 13, 2014 12:45 am

Yes Dudley I do read the Australian which is the only one to offer some alternative views and I have read Prof. Carter’s and Plimer’s books. I don’t read Fairfax papers, but I am thinking more about the TV presenters where, apart from Andrew Bolt, seems to be totally biased in favour of the global warming theory. Anybody with a little knowledge of organic chemistry surely realises that photosynthesis is responsible for the synthesis of carbohydrate, which is the basis of life itself, and requires carbon dioxide as well as giving us oxygen to breathe.

Reply to  Robert O
October 13, 2014 10:33 am

That really is the question isn’t it? Why is the MSM so accommodating of AGW and why have the political class been so quick to embrace it?
I have for a long time put it down to the Frankfurt School and the ideological brain washing it brought about. There are many themes that came out of Frankfurt and all of them have degraded western civilisation and this continues today in organisations like Common Purpose, policy proposals like Agenda 21, Browns Global Financial Tax, Carbon Trading and so on. All of them coming from reasonable sounding premises but all removing our self confidence and strengthening those whose objectives are inimical to our own.
It may not be a conspiracy but it certainly has all of the hallmarks of one.

October 12, 2014 12:55 pm

The climate fraud started much earlier than the IPCC. The 1967 ‘model’ used by Manabe and Wetherald (M&W) was nothing more than a mathematical platform to facilitate the development of radiative transfer algorithms. M&W were perfectly honest about their assumptions. They are listed on the second page of their paper. The basic assumptions are an ‘equilibrium atmosphere’ [24 hour average solar flux], blackbody surface with zero heat capacity and a fixed atmospheric relativity humidity distribution. By definition these assumptions produce global warming with feedback when the CO2 concentration is increased. This is nothing more than a mathematical artifact of the model.
In the 1970’s, after the moon landings, NASA had no clearly defined mission and needed funding, so Goddard, among other institutions started in with the global warming scare. Various research groups just took the M&W model and ‘improved’ it with a complete and arrogant disregard of climate physics. The first fraud was the addition of an ‘ocean’ to the M&W model. This just added heat capacity and a diffusion coefficient to the ‘blackbody surface’. Physical reality was ignored. The increase in LWIR flux from CO2 cannot heat the oceans. An early version of this ocean ‘model’ is described by Hansen et al [Science, 1981]. The second fraud was the creation of ‘radiative forcing’ and the creation of a ‘climate sensitivity’ to CO2. This was not part of the original M&W analysis, but begins to appear in Hansen’s work by about 1980 [Lacis et al, 1981], although it took a long time for this concept to mature as described in Hansen [2005].
The fraud however could not take off until the climate record cooperated, and the oceans did not begin to show warming until about the mid 1980’s. This allowed the IPCC scam to flourish. The current ‘pause’ is not a ‘pause’ but the start of a cooling trend. The Earth itself has revealed the climate fraud to those that chose to read the data.
Manabe, S. and Wetherald, R. T., J. Atmos. Sci., 24 241-249 (1967), ‘Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity’.
Hansen, J. et al, (45 authors), J. Geophys. Research 110 D18104 1-45 (2005) ‘Efficacy of climate forcings’
Hansen, J.; D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind and G. Russell Science 213 957-956 (1981), ‘Climate impact of increasing carbon dioxide’
Lacis, A.; J. Hansen, P. Lee, T. Mitchell and S. Lebedeff, Geophysical Research Letters 8(10) 1035-1038 (1981), ‘Greenhouse effect of trace gases’

Viking Explorer
Reply to  Roy Clark
October 12, 2014 7:57 pm

Most insightful comment award nomination.

Reply to  Viking Explorer
October 14, 2014 12:01 pm

Only for those on the skeptic side who “want to believe”.

October 12, 2014 12:57 pm

There are those who believe that if the cause is just then anything they do is justified. The old saying that the ends never justify the means is not something that humanity has ever really believed, or they believe the other guy should listen to that and not themselves.
The people who are climate alarmists must know that they are committing crimes against humanity and against science but they seek to “save the whole world” and in doing so their conscience is not bothered as they are part of a great and glorious cause — or so they believe. (much like the crazy man who hears voices and think god is talking to him)
A few scientists like Dr. Ball have been trying to get the truth of this massive delusion/scam out there for some years now, but most of the science establishment is just worried about their own reputations and the flow of grant moneys. I respect Dr. Ball and the few others willing to challenge the overwhelming power structure to try to tell the people the truth.

Chip Javert
Reply to  markstoval
October 12, 2014 7:16 pm

I can understand low-knowledge non-scientifically trained laymen getting conned into believing the CAGW fraud, but I simply cannot accept that any academically trained scientist, especially at the PhD level, could possible believe this crap.
My view is this is simply a crowd of unethical academics who have found a means for continued funding and power; most of these guys would probably sell their children into slavery to keep the gravy train rolling.
This is not a mis-guided desire to save the world; it’s a willful, deliberate fraud.
Just saying…

October 12, 2014 1:10 pm

Tim, a big thank you for your persistent labours in exposing the magnitude of the delusion which is threatening the stability (such as it is) of the whole world. It requires (as you know) an entire book even to sketch out the history and structure of this phenomena. To say it is a movement to replace the defunct Marxist ideology is a poor simplification of the reality. The Global Warming Narrative is the “big idea”, so universal, so comprehensive and so fertile that it attracted a new “rainbow coalition”, broad and powerful enough to advance its cause to the point where the contradictions inherent within the motivations of the various ideologies are beginning to break into the dialogue. The sheer impossibility of the objective – decarbonisation and the rejection of industrial civilisation – initially its strength, is now its achilles heel as the economic and social consequences of its pursuit
are becoming apparent . The scale of the deceit is beginning to emerge as some of the MSM are perceiving that “catastrophe” has been exhausted and “deceit and corruption” are better sellers.
The “accountability” you seek has only been postponed . The recent political “protectors” of the malfeasants are beginning to build shields for their own arses. All it needs is a distraction, like a pandemic, energy crisis or political treat and “climate change” will be down the memory hole.

October 12, 2014 1:16 pm

Dibs on the movie title, “Global Warming: Scam or Hoax?”

October 12, 2014 1:20 pm

Dr Ball,
Thanks, any information on your trial with Mann?

October 12, 2014 1:42 pm

Climate data and IRS emails – a pattern of lost data.

Reply to  philjourdan
October 12, 2014 2:03 pm

Add the EPA to that list phil.

Reply to  rah
October 13, 2014 6:36 am

How’d that work, having the CIA involved with the EPA?
Shouldn’t the EPA hold in abeyance any BS rules and regulations where John Beale was involved?
More corruption in Obama’s government.
Although Beale goes back to Clinton and Bush, Obama’s EPA now knows the truth so ALL Beale’s lies must be cancelled.

October 12, 2014 2:08 pm

With massive funding, for the professionals working the area that is the key . Climate ‘science’ has gone [from] little know and less cared about offshoot to the physical sciences to the big leagues very quickly . And with it has come almost more funds than [they] knew what to do with , lots of very nice jobs , with big expansion in departments and students queuing up-to study. For some [this] meant having influence way beyond their pay grades, even being able to pick the phone and talk to any politician direct and have the press hanging on their ever word . Given that massive ego seems to already be standard requirement to be a leader in this area , you can image how all that went to their heads and for some their bank balances. And how many millions has gone into the MET etc on the bank of ‘the cause ‘ to buy all those super computers to run those ‘models ‘ ?
There is no chance of some given up all of that , even if their was no ideology involved , its far to rich a and comfortable a gravy train to ride for that to happen . And lets be fair if not AGW what else , many have no chance of getting work in other academic areas especially one that has such slack standards but pays so well. The Team will have to metaphorical be dragged out kicking and screaming, sadly it take them dying off or ‘retiring’ but outside seeing their lives work kicked into the long grass , their not going to actual pay any price for their little ‘tricks ‘ Its is others and science in general that will end up picking up the bill.

October 12, 2014 2:33 pm

‘Pivotal to IPCC’s objective was the need to prove human production of CO2 was causing temperature increases and creating temperatures higher than any in history’
For simple reason that if was not the case there would be no IPCC , an UN organisation with all the incompetence and corruption that usual means , that is wholly parasitic on the body of AGW.

David A
Reply to  KNR
October 13, 2014 4:32 am

“Pivotal to IPCC’s objective was the need to prove human production of CO2 was causing temperature increases and creating temperatures higher than any in history’
Yes, a warming planet to the point of catastrophe was the original idea. First it was “CAGW” or at least AGW, with the “C” being a universal theme. Then it became C.C. as the warming was absent, but when this first was changed, they did not officially blame events on CAGW.
Then, as the “pause” continued, the science spokesmen began to associate almost all climate events with C.C. with the anthropogenic only assumed. In their official papers however they still maintained that the real disaster would not begin until the earth warmed two degrees C. Now that that looks unlikely, they are beginning to say the 2C is not important. The theory is CAGW, but slowly they have eliminated every acronym.
Even though it appears skeptics have won, we have not. Why? Because politicians will not let the tax revenue go. Long after even C.C. is no longer mentioned, the tax basis will remain, and maybe even grow. \
It will be renamed or rebranded again into a basic environmental tax, but it will not go away unless the public truly throws the bums out.

October 12, 2014 2:35 pm

Interesting post from Pekka Prilia on ClimateAudit on effect of inversion of a single proxy on Pages2k.

October 12, 2014 2:39 pm

The question is why is the malfeasance still not fully exposed? Why can people who were exposed and admitted their errors, continue to have credibility, at least in their own minds? Why is there no accountability?

Quite simply, because there has been no effective competition in Climate Science. Most researchers, grant funding agencies, universities, journals, popular press, and politicians are on the same side. That’s a powerful block. Until mainstream dissenters gain more than the toehold they have now, the questions above are easy to answer.

October 12, 2014 2:45 pm

Reminds me of the old sailor who wet his finger, hold the hand up in the air saying it seems that the windspeed is rising. we will have a sunny but windy day tomorrow.

October 12, 2014 3:35 pm

Benjamin Santer’s April 25 comment:

I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.

I’m 57 and I volunteer for a preliminary meeting with Santer in that “dark alley” … I won’t need to talk much! 😉

michael hart
Reply to  Streetcred
October 12, 2014 6:20 pm

Do you think he meant one at a time, or a group audience? 😉

Reply to  Streetcred
October 12, 2014 10:31 pm

I’m 61, and would not like to brawl like I did in my younger day. However Santer is 59, and if he tried to mug me in an alley I think I could take him out, providing the brawl didn’t last longer than ninety seconds. (After that I’d be wheezing.)
Not that I’d pick a fight. He looks like the sort you don’t antagonize, at a bar. However he looks like he over-estimates his reach. My arms are likely longer than his, and by back-peddling, while throwing long jabs, I fear I could close both of his eyes before his flailing blows could do more than bruise his knuckles against the brick walls at the sides of the alley.
What exactly this has to do with math, I do not know. I did very poorly at math, in school, (though I did fairly well, in terms of statistics concerning Carl Yastremski and the 1963 Boston Red Sox, somewhat to the amazement of my Math teacher, though my English teacher told me I didn’t spell “socks” correctly.)
My shortcomings in terms of math meant I used to get trashed, on a regular basis, back at the start of the Climate Wars. However I gradually learned a surprising amount, for an old dog who supposedly can’t learn new tricks, and I now think I could hold my own with Climate Scientists, regarding the level of math that matters.
The very fact Santer once suggested he wished he could depart the non-violent arguments involving math, and instead suggested entering the world of blue-collar persuasion, suggested he is insecure about his ability to battle with math.
However I think it would be a complete disaster if Climate Scientists actually entered the world of blue collar persuasion. They haven’t a clue what life is like on that level. They would have less chance of surviving than a cat thrown into a lake full of alligators at feeding time.
This demonstrates the dangers of getting too much media praise, and too many grants from places like The Department Of Energy. Fellows like Santer actually believe they are the cat’s pajamas, and can take on the world.
Poor fellow. He is learning differently, and has more to learn, very soon.

October 12, 2014 3:46 pm

That Ben Santer could use a little refinement. I wonder if his colleagues at work have ever encountered this sort of thuggishness from him.

October 12, 2014 3:48 pm

A good honest post – thank you Tim.

george e. smith
October 12, 2014 3:58 pm

The very first axiom of Projective Geometry, says: “Two Points define a line.”
So I’ll take two points as sufficient to define a trend.
The second axiom says that “two lines define a point”; and the third says that “.there are at least four points”
From that, you can prove there are seven points; but you can’t prove that there are any more, distinct from those seven.

Chip Javert
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2014 7:42 pm

If you accept 2 points as a trend, you don’t understand the meaning of “trend”.
For the record: 2 parallel lines do not define a point.
What may have been demonstrated here is that Projective Geometry is not a highly useful way to understand climate statistics.

Chip Javert
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2014 7:49 pm

Mathematically, there are an infinite number of points between any two points, so I don’t understand the significance of “…there are at least 4 points…”.
The statement, while true, is about as useful as “all living organisms are alive”.

Chip Javert
Reply to  george e. smith
October 12, 2014 7:59 pm

Proof there are more than 7 points:
Step 1: Take any number (X); divide it by any other number (Y);
Step 2: divide the result by Y
Step 3 to infinity: repeat step 2
What any of this adds to the conversation escapes me.

October 12, 2014 4:45 pm

george e. smith
October 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm
Rather, the First Six Laws of Climate Science say:
“Any One Line Can Project A Climate Trend Into The Future.”
“Any Two Points Can Create That Climate Trend.”
“Any Three Pals Can Create A Peer-Reviewed Paper About That Future.”
“Any Four Points Can Accelerate That Trend Into The Future.”
“Any Five Votes Can Create A Nobel Prize.”
There is no Sixth Law, because before the Seventh Law was created, Mann rested.

David A
Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 13, 2014 4:37 am

Thanks ! Now I am following this recent conversation.

October 12, 2014 5:51 pm

Since the symptoms are nearly identical, in order to properly determine whether it’s Global Warming or Global Cooling, you have to stick your finger in the air and see which way the policymaker’s wind is breaking.

October 12, 2014 6:44 pm

A NOBEL Prize winner has revealed how he was interrogated by airport security because his medal raised suspicions as he traveled to show it to his grandmother.
Brian Schmidt, who won the 2011 Nobel Physics Prize, was flying to visit his grandmother in the American town of Fargo, North Dakota, when airport security became alarmed by the mysterious object in his luggage, he says.
Professor Schmidt, who works as an astrophysicist at the Australian National University in Canberra, was recounting the tale at an event in New York City last month, Scientific American reports.
Should Michael Mann be worried?

Jean Parisot
October 12, 2014 7:56 pm

It’s a shame these questions aren’t being asked by an SEC investigator with access to their personal and related corporate investments.

October 12, 2014 8:04 pm

In the end I think it will be seen that, of the three sorts of lies, (White lies, Damn lies, and Statistics,) so-called “Climate Science” involved a disproportionate amount of Damn lies.
I know this is a harsh thing to say, but I have been saying it for seven years, and I stand by my guns.
I recognize there is the danger of painting all Climate Scientists with too broad a brush. There are some good ones, who are honorable. However extending the benefit-of-doubt to the bad ones is straining at a gnat to swallow a camel.
After all, John Daly recognized the fraud before he died in 2004, and that was more than a decade ago.
Ten @&%$$@ years!
I thank you very much, Dr. Ball, for your courage and persistence, and your kindness, and your care to dot every “i” and cross every “t” when it comes to criticizing fellow scientists. However some of the fellows you criticize deserve no such respect.
They have shown no such respect for their critics. The Climategate emails show them rejoicing when John Daly died in 2004. They are thoroughly bad fellows, and the best I can muster is a sort of pity for them, even as I assert they deserve time behind bars.

October 12, 2014 8:23 pm

One. The rest are supporting statements to CAGW. It reminds me of some dark regimen where they torture the facts until they get the truth they want.

October 12, 2014 9:55 pm

You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence. — from a lecture by Richard Feynman

October 12, 2014 10:12 pm

Dr Ball,
Excellent post.
Due to MSM’s complete and utter failure to cover mainstream climate science from Climategate 1.0 to the present (with notable exceptions; I was led onto the fakery of mainstream climate science shenanigans by an article in the Wall Street Journal on Climategate 1.0). So we must simply tell, and hear, the story over and over and you have had a front row seat to the sorry spectacle of modern climate “so-called” science.
It is advocacy, even marketing, to simply search for cases confirming a conjecture. Said conjecture must be submitted to hypothesis testing to be called science. In mainstream climate science the null hypothesis is never stated, and no evidence presented to reject it.
Pivotal to IPCC’s objective was the need to prove human production of CO2 was causing temperature increases and creating temperatures higher than any in history. Is it coincidence that these are the areas where science was created to predetermine the result? It appears they trace out a pattern of errors that are evidence of malfeasance. Unfortunately, I am unaware of any accountability, but that is general situation with the connected dots of malfeasance in today’s society.
I recently finished reading your book, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science (ISBN 978-0-9888777-4-0) and recommend it highly – particularly to those who may be new to the topic; actually everyone should read this book – it’s excellent. It is the kind of work MSM should be doing; but sadly is not.

Travis Casey
October 12, 2014 10:51 pm

The John-Daly site appears to be down.

stewart pid
Reply to  Travis Casey
October 12, 2014 11:41 pm

Try this
It worked for me just now.

October 12, 2014 10:51 pm

The problem with this field of “science” – no audit.
The peer review system is simply not designed to find fraud, does not even pretend to have an interest in uncovering it, and will only very rarely uncover it by accident, owing to the fact that the people doing it are generally rather intelligent. This problem is only multiplied because the general public has no awareness that there is simply no fraud check applied at all. They believe peer review clears an intended article of fraud, when in reality, it does not even look.
You know what would be really interesting…temperatures from newspaperss on microfilm. Establish a trend at a billion locations. UHI be damned. Just go with the actual numbers as published. Do they match up? Y|N

Peter Fraser
October 13, 2014 12:25 am

Once is happenstance, twice is circumstance, three times is enemy action!

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Peter Fraser
October 13, 2014 1:19 am

The ANU has decided to divest from certain companies. My response is:
“I am not surprised, just disappointed at this ‘divestment’ stance. This may be been a credible position to take in 1994, when the threat of “Global Warming” was still real. However, 20 years later, science has advanced and our knowledge of climate science is better. We have seen the Climategate emails, the Hockeystick fraud, and it is now realised that the temperature response to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not linear, but sharply declines with increased concentration. As a result, it has become increasingly unlikely that we can manage to get a desirable 2 to 3 degrees Celsius increase in global temperature. Satellite photos have shown the ‘greening’ response of the planet to the fertilizing effect of increased carbon dioxide, and this is helping to feed the poor and poverty stricken in third world countries. As I say, I am just disappointed that the ANU is taking such an unfortunate step.”
for the Vice Chancellor’s statement and many supportive comments of the ANU position.
To Peter, “twice is coincidence” – “The Saint” aka Leslie Charteris. A much lamented writer.

David A
October 13, 2014 4:44 am

“twice is coincidence”
Well a certain gentlemen was overpaid on his monthly check. A month later he was underpaid by a different amount. He then went straight to his boss to complain about the underpayment. His boss got back to him and told him, “It is strange that you did not complain when you were overpaid the month before.”
His reply was instant, “Well one mistake is forgivable, but two in row, why that is simply to much.”

Robert of Ottawa
October 13, 2014 10:37 am

Tom Daley was the first person I came across to seriously study and critique climate science.

Robert W Turner
October 13, 2014 11:19 am

“The misuse of specialized methods and procedures is a fundamental problem caused by climatology being a generalist discipline.”
Exactly. I have argued this before. The self-proclaimed “climate experts” often make claims that they are not nearly qualified to make. My favorite is the “solar influence has been ruled out” claim appearing in papers without a citation.

October 13, 2014 3:03 pm

Tim Ball said in his concluding paragraph of the main post,
“Pivotal to IPCC’s objective was the need to prove human production of CO2 was causing temperature increases and creating temperatures higher than any in history. Is it coincidence that these are the areas where science was created to predetermine the result? It appears they trace out a pattern of errors that are evidence of malfeasance. [. . .]”

– – – – – – – –
Tim Ball,
I agree with your view as applied to the scientists whose work is quoted and endorsed by the IPCC and of the IPCC’s self-selected team of scientists who synthesize some climate scientist’s work into its assessment reports, but I only agree up to a point just prior you mentioning error and potential malfeasance.
What if those many hundreds (even thousands) of scientists participating in the climate science community’s processes (in universities, scientific institutes, journals and scientific societies/associations) are intentionally (premeditatedly) using a concept of science that allows them to think they are within the professional behavior norms and integrity of that concept of science? If so, the question is what is the philosophy of science that allows them to do so?

October 13, 2014 6:13 pm

My blood boils whenever I see the Jones quote: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”
Lets just be very clear: he does not have “invested in the work”. He has been paid well to perform work, largely at the expense of taxpayers in the U.S., Great Britain and around the world. It has been THEIR investment which was his source of generous income and privilege. Yet he would presume ownership of the fruits of their investment. Anyone who has worked in a real business environment knows how sick to the core this statement and this man are.

Reply to  Sciguy54
October 13, 2014 6:24 pm

25 years “invested in the work”

October 13, 2014 11:54 pm

Science is often objective, or at least the data can be. Can we ask the same question about Government? Are they idiots, or are they evil? Either way, they should be fired.

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Hoser
October 14, 2014 1:14 am

Have you finished beathing your wife? Similar question. Governments, like science faculties and research bodies, are comprised of people. Most know very well what they are doing. Some, especially when they get into government, have to learn about their portfolio very quickly. The best will have learnt about it already, while in opposition. However, there is always the believe that the “experts” are right.
Experts, just like politicians and public servants, have their own axes to grind. Sometimes evident, sometimes hidden. The wise take in information from all comers, look carefully at it, test it against common sense and logic, and discard what seems to be wrong – preferable after having grilled the ‘expert’ who has produced the odd info. Then the wise act on the best of the information he has distilled, all the while taking care to look out for contrary data, and unforeseen circumstances. Not just the knowns, also the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns.
Very few are idiots, even fewer are evil. They are people, usually doing the best they can.
Remember that science gets it wrong! Start with Galileo, who could not get the scientists of the time to accept that Jupiter had satellites. Think of Phlogiston. Think of anticlines and geosynclines, opposition to Continental Drift. This of the scientists who interpreted the evidence of glaciation as flood deposits, or vice versa! Think of the scientists who considered that Venus would be a warm, water world, so wwell described by C S Lewis in “Perelandra”. Or the view that the Moon was covered in dust into which spacecraft or moon vehicles could get bogged. Or the view that since Jupiter was so far from the sun it must be cold and so there could not be radio noises emanating from it. Or the ‘scientists’ who said that the Babylonians (and others) had remarkable good observations and had done things like calculating the length of the year, and predicted eclipses so well – as good as in modern times, but ruled that their observations of Venus could not be possibly true, on a priori grounds. Things change – while studying at Uni a lecturer said “Things change fast. If it is a book it is probably wrong!” (Or words to that effect.)

Dudley Horscroft
October 14, 2014 1:20 am

Oh Dear!
‘beating’ not ‘beathing’, ‘belief’ not ‘believe’, ‘preferably’ not ‘preferable’, ‘Think’ not ‘This’. ‘well’ not ‘wwell’,
Shocking proof reading. Mea culpa.

October 14, 2014 7:54 am

Dr Ball,
Thank you for the excellent post. It led to interesting commentary.

Max Totten
October 14, 2014 10:35 am

check out degree days at EPA and EIA. EPA admitts there has bee n no warming in the last 100 years. Data was at but you might have to search now as that 5 page article is gone.

Reply to  Max Totten
October 14, 2014 8:53 pm

Thanks for the link.
It looks like all the various charts provided on the site that I looked at show no obvious changes to be concerned about.
Why are the leaders at EPA listening to the likes of greenpiece?

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