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  1. Best wishes to RC and the relevant scientists – no professional deserves the violation of privacy done by these virtual thugs.

    Please persevere; knowledge and information beats special interests in the long run.

    Comment by Steve — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:33 AM

  2. Gavin:
    i’m going to repost the question in response to your question about my interest in a 10 year old graph.

    Thanks for responding. There are several reasons I care about the 10 year old graph, but the foremost one is simply credibility. I’m reading charge and counter charge in these websites, and my degree is in physics, not statistics or climate. So unless I can duplicate the work that you or MM do, I have to depend somewhat on my interpretation of credibility to decide who to beleive. Just like, if I was sick, I would go to the credible doctor, instead of getting my own medical degree. . The CA website threads ongoingly assert that climate science is closed system, doesn’t correct its errors and shouts down criticism. I don’t know if it is true or just internet breeze that I should ignore. So, I thought I would simply ask you the direct question and get the answer from you directly.

    Even without a degree in climate science, I can see that mixing proxy data onto temperature data yields results that may not mean much, and the CA guys are making a big deal about this. So I wanted to check if it really is that simple. That is, was it done and not clearly acknowledged? And if so, why?

    Again, I appreciate very much your attention to my comment.

    [Response: Ok, last word on this before I turn in. This 10 year old graph is irrelevant to any current readings of the science. The caption describing what was done is unclear and should have been more complete. I have no personal knowledge of how smoothing was done in any of a hundred different variations of this particular theme. The rule should be that what ever is done, and for what ever reason, the description should match. The latest version of this kind of figure in IPCC AR4 is very clear about what is done, and it does not merge the two kinds of data. However, if you have two kinds of data showing similar things I am not surprised that people want to plot them together and I don't see why that is - in principle - problematic. I'd be much more interested if this actually mattered. - gavin]

    Comment by Leonard Herchen — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:45 AM

  3. [Response: That would only be true if they had in fact produced convincing evidence that solar effects were larger than thought. They did not, and so the conclusion does not follow. - gavin]

    I remind you of what is was replying to:

    [Response: ...Hint: if you assume that only one factor matters, then it is rather predictable that this is what you think is important.]
    You seem to have gone backwards in your argument here.

    And I’ve already posted the link to the rebuttal of Benestad and Schmidt’s criticism.

    [Response: (I'm Schmidt if you didn't realise). You aren't getting this. Scafetta's work assumes that only solar can be responsible for the trends and very unsurprisingly comes up with a conclusion that it does! However, this doesn't mean anything. In a proper attribution study you need to include all of the factors otherwise you risk conflating two elements which might both have a trend. In model results where you know the answer, Scafetta's kind of technique does not work in extracting a true solar signal. Thus it demonstrates nothing about the real world. As for the 'rebuttal' we were promised a comment on the paper would be submitted within days of that blog posting. No such comment has emerged. Neither has a copy of Scafetta's code that would allow us to reconcile our calculation and his. Maybe you'd like to complain that he's 'hiding' something? - gavin]

    Comment by J — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:46 AM

  4. Could I recommend http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/cru-hack-time-to-hit-back-hard/ to anyone who invests time arguing against the Deniers? We’re going to suffer them quoting words and phrases from these emails for quite some time, so it’s good to be clear on how to respond. Basically, just reply:

    “So? How does that refute any of the *science*?”

    Comment by DavidCOG — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:58 AM

  5. From the previous thread, about any credible anti-ACC science, and illogical behavior wrt ACC science:

    re: ccpo 1031

    Doesn’t the IPCC say there is a 90% chance that the change in temps is anthropogenic? Therefore doesn’t this mean there is a 10% chance it isn’t. Is that 10% chance of it not being anthropogenic “to any degree at all” for you?…

    Regards

    Michael

    Comment by Michael — 22 November 2009 @ 9:56 PM

    Actually, Mike, it does, but shouldn’t. There was a lot of discussion at the time about the political aspect of the final edition. The scientists wanted to use the term they defined to mean, essentially, zero doubt. The US gov’t, among others, objected and the next lower one was used.

    I’d go get the sources, but what’s the point? 90% certainty for you people means, “Stop! Do nothing!!!” while for the rational it means, “90%? OH MY FREAKIN’ DEITY!”

    An analogy (or two): 90% chance a car will hit you if you don’t move out of the road: you move.

    90% it will rain: you take an umbrella.

    90% you will die if you eat a poorly-cleaned puffer fish: you don’t eat it.

    90% chance you will be in an accident and go to the hospital: you change your underwear.

    A, what? 10%, or much less, chance you’ll be in a car accident in the next 5 years: you keep insurance.

    A, what? 1% chance your house will burn down in the next 5 years: you keep insurance.

    But, for you folk, a 90% chance of the increases in CO2/CO2e being human-caused, and dangerous to our current civilization and global sustainability? Party on, Dude!! That that chance is actually 100%, but scientists have been politically prevented from saying so in a documented form makes it that much more absurd.

    If you can’t see your own ilogic staring you in the face, god help you. And us.

    Re: Hank Roberts: “J, be skeptical..”

    Thanks Hank, I think I am being. We now (if my last post was accepted) have the paper, it’s rebuttal and the response to the rebuttal.

    I ask that you bear in mind the discussion this is part of. It’s was in response to a request for: “ANY scientific paper, or set of scientific papers, that disprove, to any degree at all, the anthropogenic influence on climate..”

    Now, if you logically arrive at the requests assumption you have: “There is NO scientific paper, or set of scientific papers, that disprove, to any degree at all, the anthropogenic influence on climate..”

    As you can see, this is far from your sensible request to be skeptical.

    Comment by J — 22 November 2009 @ 11:42 PM

    How is it not sensible? You deny ACC (Anthropogenically forced Climate Change) despite an amount of evidence that is truly astounding and offer two poor papers in response. Not only was my request sensible, it was prescient.

    And you are right, I did assume you could not answer. This was sensible. There literally is not one single paper that disproves any aspect of what is currently known about ACC. Not one. At least, not that I know of or have ever heard about, and I’ve been asking for one for three years.

    This simple fact should be the refrain from every ACC activist AND scientist: There is not even one scientifically sound paper that puts ACC in doubt, not even one small aspect of it.

    What I find totally typical and unsurprising is that you don’t seem to understand what “disprove” means. You keep presenting papers you think challenges the science, but don’t, and don’t even come close to disproving anything.

    I’m not surprised that scientists won’t make this same statement as they cannot possibly personally review every paper. But I can say this because it is true, and I’m not bound by absolute certainty. Very, very, very close is good enough. In fact, virtually all policy decisions other than climate change depend on a degree of certainty far, far below what we have for ACC, yet, we act on them all the time.

    There is no logically tenable foundation for ACC denial. Caution? Sure. Denial? Truly a form of… well, it isn’t skepticism.

    Comment by ccpo — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:08 AM

  6. Best Wishes as well to the RC moderators. The wave of disinformation is pretty intense. An ordinary reader of RC ought not be required to read all the purloined email to refute some of the trolls who express crocodile tears over “fraud” in climate science. When I learned that Hank Roberts had dug into one such claim and discovered that the “fraud” being discussed by the CRU scientists was one of the many flawed papers co-authored by the denialist Fred Singer, I could truly smell the crocodile.

    Comment by Jeffrey Park — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:09 AM

  7. Thanks for your efforts.
    It’s good to have some responses, but at some point it’s probably best to let this be. The “skeptics” are far off in la-la land and are refusing to listen to any explanations for anything. They have their mind set as “the scientists are dirty and nothing can be trusted anymore”.

    One question came up which I haven’t seen answered or talked about.
    There’s some controversy about tree ring data from new zealand oroko swamp. I don’t have the email about this but here is a graph and the “problem” is that it doesn’t show the hockey stick… The graph contains the emails number though (or the file contains the CRU data). So the presumption probably is that CRU has hidden this info somehow

    http://wep.fi/pic/OROKO_SWAMP_NEW_ZEALAND.jpg

    [Response: No idea why this is interesting. I think this ended up as series 6 in figure 6.12 in AR4 "New Zealand tree rings". And this has nothing to do with CRU in any case, it is from an Ed Cook paper. There is no discussion of any 'problem' with this data as far as I can see. - gavin]

    Comment by KTB — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:11 AM

  8. This is why we are going to need polar cities in 500 years. Nobody ever listened to me. Pay attention now. http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

    Comment by Dan E. Bloom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:14 AM

  9. As I understand, there are approximately 1000 emails in the leaked archive. Spanning over several years and comprising of communications among a number of people, 1000 emails tells me that this is a very small selection from the big picture.

    People should keep that in mind, and make their own judgment considering the hacker’s intention of releasing these particular emails.

    The trouble is, whatever context is added now, it still leaves a taint of suspicion about the rest of the unseen communication. Some will wonder if the kinds of communication we’ve seen are par for the course, the tip of the iceberg, or just cherry-picked for their eyebrow-raising value.

    The bottom line should be whether any of the scientific conclusions are affected, and not what was meant by any particular word or exchange. Unfortunately, it’s too political for that.

    Comment by Andrew — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:16 AM

  10. >>>CCPO: “Seriously, even one, that in any way challenges anthropogenic warming as the cause of warming since 1850?”
    Non-anthropogenic are not at least *part* of “the cause of warming since 1850?”

    Can you see this is an exaggerated claim?

    It’s also cooled since 1850. And it’s been warming since the end of the last ice age. And it’s been warmer before 1850 – and colder.

    Hyperbole detracts from credibility.

    Comment by J — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:18 AM

  11. Gavin, you may want to edit #74 in the prior thread, noting the obscene pseudonym used by the commenter.

    [Response: Maybe I'm getting old, but google gives no such interpretation as I can see....? - gavin]

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:23 AM

  12. [Response: (I'm Schmidt if you didn't realise)...]

    I do realize and I’m very aware that you are referring to your own work and that this is your site.

    Comment by J — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:30 AM

  13. You guys just don’t stop spinning, do you? The context is there for anyone with English as a first language.

    What part of stacking the peer review process don’t you understand is wrong?

    What part of the email from Phil to Michael 1077829152.txt which reveals both men essentially in a position to peer review their own work (or challenges to their work or department’s) don’t you see as a conflict of interest?

    [Response: Editors very commonly send papers critical of someones work to the author of the work being criticised. The editors also know that this needs to be weighed appropriately along with reviews from other parties. - gavin]

    Comment by Ian Wishart — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:43 AM

  14. Re #74 :Gavin, say the poster’s name slowly. Hint: It starts “Hey, would ya…”, and yes, it’s lame.

    Well, on the bright side, I was getting kind of tired of debunking the same old, same old. At least there’s something new to talk about…

    [Response: Ah... - gavin]

    Comment by BCC — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:48 AM

  15. What was the ‘context of this comment

    The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

    [Response: The 'mad Finn' is very likely to be Timo Hameranta, a finnish lawyer, who for years regularly sent out hundreds of clippings of supposedly anti-GW abstracts to all and sundry. De Frietas was the editor on the Soon and Baliunas (2003) paper - but I'm not sure what is referred to here. MM is likely to be McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) in E&E (a very poor choice of journal if they wanted to be taken seriously). This last one was cited in IPCC AR4 (though against my suggestion in my review - based on it's unclear status as a possibly un-peer-reviewed paper). - gavin]

    [Further response: As noted below, the MM paper is McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and the first paper being discussed is Kalnay and Cai (2003). Both of which were cited and discussed in Chapter 2 3. - gavin]

    Comment by dukeofurl — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:51 AM

  16. Re #74

    Just say the name quickly and you will agree with Steve Bloom.

    You have the patience of Job.

    Paul Middents

    Comment by Paul Middents — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:51 AM

  17. Gavin,

    Have you had a look through the coding comments in Harry_Read_Me.txt? There’s a lot of speculation in the blogosphere about this. I have to admit I had a chuckle.

    http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/2009/11/data-horribilis-harryreadmetxt-file.html

    [Response: That file is obviously just a notebook for someone piecing together work legacy code made by other people. Messy for sure, but certainly not the 'final version' of the code. It was probably produced in moving from the CRU TS 2.1 to 3.0 version (which is a completely separate data set from the standard HadCRUT numbers by the way) and involves a lot more interpolation. See here: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/hrg.htm (when their server comes back up), also Mitchell and Jones (2005). - gavin]

    Comment by Chris Byrne — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:54 AM

  18. This is crazzzzy. I don’t understand the logic of folks who are so quick to dismiss ACC. As an environmental activist it can be extremely frustrating to see the rules of inference perverted to such a degree. Think about this. If Albert Einstein created an equation that accounted for the relationship between mass and energy, or light and gravity, but failed to provide one that accounted for the expansion of the universe… would you deny the existence of the universe??? The denialistas are so full of non-sequiturs its scary…

    Comment by Mark — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:58 AM

  19. I think it better not to discuss hacked, stolen personal messages at all, even if they pertain to science. What use they have is dubious, and discussing them only encourages further hacking. Why not discuss public comments, and now commercials such as from friends of science, with their “10 year of cooling since 1998″ radio advert, due to the sun, Arghhh guys, we got work ahead not from stolen past messages which have meaning only to the writers, these were not meant for public discourse. We need discuss peer review papers and climate events and grasp their meanings, before enlisting the help of sordid hackers…

    Read,:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/22/global-warmings-impacts-h_n_366994.html

    That is a correct version of things, I personally confirmed this warming by independent refraction method.

    Then in the same POST:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/20/inhofe-to-boxer-we-won-yo_n_365465.html

    dont you think that present discussions are much more important?

    Comment by wayne davidson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:17 AM

  20. Are there any plans to make all your climate data publicly available?

    [Response: Already there. GISTEMP, ModelE. We'll put up a more comprehensive listing in the next post. - gavin]

    Comment by Seb — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:22 AM

  21. I am really sorry that this happened and I want to say that I am fully behind you people. What has been done is unacceptable and everyone knows, as you say, that what is written in private emails is not what you would say in a public statement. The whole context, how you feel when writing for example, can make a great difference in how you write. And between colleagues, in private, you might talk about tricks and seem to take things lightly. This by no means is a sign that the research you are doing is biaised or unscientific. I find nothing shocking about the selection that was leaked when one really thinks about them for what they are. I’m really thankful for you taking the time to comment on all this and taking this seriously. I really hope the effects of this can be minimized and the press and the public opinion come to their senses. Thank you again for your great work.

    Comment by Nicolas — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:30 AM

  22. Mark, wishful thinking is an incredibly powerful force.

    Gavin, I’m amazed at your endurance — get some sleep, dude! Well done with the responses, and hang in there. I suspect this whole thing is going to backfire… of course, that could just be wishful thinking on my part. ;-)

    The important thing to remember in the response to this is to try to keep everyone’s eye on the ball. The laws of physics are not going to change because somebody hacked somebody’s email. That this is even being discussed just goes to show that “reality is what you can get away with.” — RAW

    Gavin, I’m going to pass on some words of encouragement that a very wise person once gave me in trying times. They may seem a bit odd, but perhaps you will find some use in them. It is worth remembering that, given the circumstances, scientists studying climate at this juncture are likely among the most important humans extant. You will be held to a higher standard, and maybe that’s OK, because when the stakes are this high, you can’t make a lot of mistakes. Keep in mind that you are genuinely, without hyperbole, here to save the world.

    Anyway, some words of wisdom from an old friend:

    “You are a Jah Warrior, a Light Messenger. You are here to spread love and light in the world. You need to remember who you are and why you are here!”

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:31 AM

  23. In reply to Ian Wishart:
    > The context is there for anyone with English as a first language.

    That’s the problem with the sceptical argument, right there. How can you argue against it?

    Comment by cbp — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:31 AM

  24. cpb, exactly. Ian, the context is _never_ that simple. The amount of unspoken assumptions, shared experience, background knowledge etc involved in any discourse, especially among people who know each other, is astounding. It is sheer folly to try to interpret any text without knowledge of the underlying information flow.

    This is not an excuse, it is simply the way it is: you weren’t there, and neither was I, and you simply can’t tell what someone meant by something said offhand like this, especially if you don’t analyze the context carefully.

    In any case, it doesn’t ultimately matter unless data is revealed that affects the actual science. So far that has not happened, and until it does, we’re pretty much just arguing about our opinion of somebody’s character. Try to have some sense of perspective.

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:41 AM

  25. Hi Gavin & RC

    I can’t believe you have to fight this rear-guard action rather than just get on your your job, but fight it you do have to.

    I wonder whether you can comment on some of the comments within code, that Watts has moved onto having accepted the emails are no ‘smoking gun’. These new accusations amount to suggesting the code has been fixed to ignore ‘inconvenient’ data:

    datathresh=datathresh
    THIS WORKS WITH REMTS BEING A 2D ARRAY (nseries,ntime) OF MULTIPLE TIMESERIES WHOSE INFLUENCE IS TO BE REMOVED. UNFORTUNATELY THE IDL5.4 p_correlate FAILS WITH >1 SERIES TO HOLD CONSTANT, SO I HAVE TO REMOVE THEIR INFLUENCE FROM BOTH INDTS AND DEPTS USING MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION AND THEN USE THE USUAL correlate FUNCTION ON THE RESIDUALS.
    ;
    pro maps12,yrstart,doinfill=doinfill
    ;
    Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.

    and:

    Plots (1 at a time) yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.

    Finally, the dastardly ‘hidden’ decline:

    From documents\harris-tree\recon_esper.pro:

    ; Computes regressions on full, high and low pass Esper et al. (2002) series, anomalies against full NH temperatures and other series. CALIBRATES IT AGAINST THE LAND-ONLY TEMPERATURES NORTH OF 20 N
    ;
    ; Specify period over which to compute the regressions (stop in 1960 to avoid the decline,

    [Response: At least since 1998, the producers of a single MXD series (Briffa and colleagues) have counseled against using their series past 1960. Finding that, in fact, they don't use that series past 1960 in doing analyses is hardly surprising. If you don't like this, don't give it any weight in your assessment, and look at the other series instead. But finding code that supports exactly what is in the literature is hardly a smoking gun. - gavin]

    Comment by Wadard — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:44 AM

  26. Neophyte Request:

    I hope everybody is doing well. I take it, your not.
    For some years I have been searching for an ACCESSABLE book that explains AGW.
    The books I have consulted rely way, way to heavily on argument from authority. “Smart people say this, so you are wise to believe it.”

    If I could order a book its outline would be like:
    1.Remembering your high-school earth science – explaining the radiative balance and heat distribution throughout the world. The roles of clouds, currents, etc. etc.
    2.CO2’s role in that balance and its significance/magnitude against other factors.
    3.Measuring temperature from Ancient times (the past 1000’s of years.) The insight and problems of using proxy data. It would list the proxies. It would list the pro’s and con’s of each proxy.
    4.Measuring temperature in modern times. Weather stations, satellite, others. Getting this temperature at the Earth’s surface, significant altitudes and land vs sea.
    5.Explanation of the various forecasts and the significant factors that explain their difference.

    No AGW book that I have ever seen does this. Instead, they throw up a bunch of graphs and quote a lot of studies and say “now, we must act.” This is an argument from authority. As such, it is unpersuasive.

    I have had my eye open for such a book but one has never found me, nor I it.

    Books not worth recommending to me:
    1. Al Gore’s various books. Too political, even if it is good science.
    2. M Mann’s Dire Predictions. Just throws up the usual graphs. Does not explain the underlying pro’s and con’s of proxy data, for example.

    [Response: Try mine! ;) - gavin]

    Comment by TD — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:48 AM

  27. Dave Mc said Nov 22 @6:44PM: “Experts from across the the world in Climate should be invited to take part in peer review, irrespective of their standpoint.”

    Not if their standpoint has been bought and paid for by Big Oil and King Coal.

    “The opinion of an AGW ’sceptic’ is as valuable as that of a AGW ‘believer’.”

    Again, not if their standpoint has been bought and paid for by Big Oil and King Coal.

    http://tinyurl.com/22go3n
    http://tinyurl.com/yzgojux
    http://tinyurl.com/2kzqd7
    http://tinyurl.com/2ozbrc
    http://tinyurl.com/yhealhs
    http://tinyurl.com/mrmb9j
    http://tinyurl.com/yfq5tam
    http://tinyurl.com/yhuhceh
    http://tinyurl.com/yf8pekp

    Comment by Ron R. — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:53 AM

  28. Sorry, it is happening regardless of whether one tries to deny it. To #284 Damian and #320 Jack, you had better hope that the taxes and restructuring you fear comes to pass, or much worse awaits. T#346 Robert, they should have cracked down on that coal mining a decade ago. #680 Jere has already been answered, but, how can you not see the difference in time scale for acidity in the oceans? And to #371 JLC well, we all hope you are right but the oceans seem to be rising faster and higher than anyone expected.

    Comment by Steven J Heimel — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:59 AM

  29. Thi is the same Ian Wishart who wrote the sceptical book Air con and who says
    >if you believe that (species can evolve), then you’ll believe life is not special and mankind is the master of all her surveys. You’ll believe there is no God and free yourself and your family from any moral code.”

    Comment by Thomas Roberts — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:15 AM

  30. Re #23: I had thought that the language spoken in New Zealand (wherefrom Wishart hails) was a dialect of English, but now I stand corrected! :)

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:45 AM

  31. I read the leaked emails much differently than what is reported in some media: If this is the worst they can come up with after a full decade of email harvesting — there is no conspiracy. Period.

    Falsifying data is the most serious of scientific crimes, I’ve heard that these emails prove that this has happened and if that’s true I depise it, but I haven’t seen any of that so far in the leaked emails that have been published.

    But I have to react on your last blog post where you said “releasing private information is illegal, and regardless of how they were obtained, posting private correspondence without permission is unethical.” That is unethical in itself!

    Wikileaks and other whisteblowers has done truly good deeds over the years. In fact, not leaking data if you know about a coverup or corruption somewhere is the unethical and immoral thing to do.

    Comment by Jonas — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:57 AM

  32. Now that there’s been some comments on Scafetta, I take the opportunity to ask for references regarding his latest paper. I’ve seen very informative comments on his previous papers (SW 2006a, SW 2006b and SW2007), but I haven’t read anything specifically dealing with S09 in which, disregarding previous criticism about his 25-35 % solar contribution since 1980, he even pumps the possible contribution up to 65 % since 1980! I imagine that this paper keeps the previous flaws, but I’d like to know if there is any paper or blog post addressing this latest paper in more detail. Thanks!

    Comment by PeterPan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:59 AM

  33. 90% certainty for you people means, “Stop! Do nothing!!!” while for the rational it means, “90%? OH MY FREAKIN’ DEITY!…That that chance is actually 100%…

    I’m going to argue for the “Stop! Do nothing!” position.

    You guys use a “30-year” reference period for climate because that’s the scientific standard that we somehow evolved over time, right? Well, many of us use “95%” as our scientific standard for minimum reasonable certainty for much the same reason. It’s an arbitrary choice to be sure, but it’s important to have made such a choice and to stick to it rather than change it at a whim based on circumstances.

    Forget climate science for a moment. Let’s say there are TEN scientific disciplines all looking for trends that might indicate imminent disaster. Astronomers, biologists, virologists, geologists…I’m sure we could come up with ten without too much effort. Now suppose there’s some random variation – due to chaos or factors we can’t measure well – that affects the trends being examined, and in each case the randomness is of sufficient magnitude that there’s a 10% chance of the random-noise trend appearing calamitous to the small group of scientists looking at it.

    For each individual discipline, that’s not too bad. But for the sum of them taken together, it’s terrible; there’s a very good chance that *one* of those ten disciplines will be able to tell us a very scary story that – if we follow your “90% is good enough” rule – could cause us to spend vast amounts of resources attacking a problem that ultimately turns out to have been random noise. The trend was real, but not ultimately significant.

    The cost of action in that case is that we waste resources fighting a fake threat which leaves us less able to fight real ones later.

    Given that dynamic, 90% probably isn’t good enough. 95% is the minimum we’d want to see. So: could you elaborate on *why* you think it’s “really 100%”? (Hint: if you’re not comfortable taking bets at 50-1 odds, it’s not “really 100%”. It’s not even “really 98%”.)

    Comment by Glen Raphael — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:01 AM

  34. I see a lot of contradiction right here (see below). I am by no means a sceptic, but I do question just how much of the climate change we are experiencing is natural vs AGW? More importantly, I’m keen to know more about CRUs refusal to provide info in a FOIA request. Science should always be open – the moment it gets conducted behind closed doors is the moment you open yourself up to scepticism!!

    Your responses to the below interest me – one moment you know, and then another you’re not sure.

    Jay says:
    20 November 2009 at 1:54 PM
    Again, I write to the moderator. What did I write that was so inflammatory that you would not post it? I have not attempted to stir anything up? I would like to know the truth. Thats all. The truth needs no moderation nor to be covered up. What is wrong with my saying that? Maybe you can post this and a response as I don’t see what could possibly be wrong with this post.

    My only questions now is…

    I hear a lot about the FOIA and data that was being withheld that is now lost or destroyed. Is there an explanation or a reference to that which would answer what I have been hearing on the other end?

    [Response: No data has been lost or destroyed. - gavin]

    John Masher says:
    20 November 2009 at 2:12 PM
    Can you explain the multiple references in the emails to evading FOIA responses, for example as in “delete all email [on certain topic] and I will do the same”?

    [Response: No. But I am not party either to those FOIA requests, nor the timing and nor do I know what happened or what the scope was. - gavin]

    Comment by Ms Hansen — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:11 AM

  35. There is a crucial cultural/historical point that some of the posters here of the “open up everything and let the world see your raw data and all your notes” or the “you’re government employees and work for me and I wanna see everything you’ve ever written” persuasions don’t seen to appreciate. Which is that, since the second world war, geophysics has existed within a sort “dual-purpose” continuum between military and civilian science.

    At its best this leads to a swords-to-plowshares repurposing of military data for civilian scientific breakthroughs. The classic example here being plate tectonic theory arising from the submarine-warfare-inspired sea floor mapping and nuclear-test-monitoring seismic networks. Remember too that of the first three purposes to which computers were put–nuclear explosion simulations, cryptography, and numerical weather prediction–only one even had a civilian component to it. A third example off the top of my head would be the monitoring of bomb-derived radiocarbon after the 1960s to estimate planetary-scale fluxes within the carbon cycle.

    Or consider the telling mistake that some early reporters of this story made, that the data theft occurred at the Hadley Centre, and not the University of East Anglia. The Hadley Centre operates under the British ministry of defense, and thus have extremely tight security procedures that would surely have prevented this sort of thing from ever happening in the first place. The UEA is a university, and the CRU there collates and analyzes data from contacts in governments around the world and does an enormous service to the community by making their derived data sets available to the public.

    The point being that all geophysicians I think have an innate appreciation for the fact that sometimes there is data out there that someone might be willing to share to a limited degree but not make public, and are willing to respect that. Because we work within a system where we are reliant on government support for data, supercomputers, etc., we must respect it when someone says something is confidential. The fact is that some governments consider weather/climate data to be a state secret. Scientists who work in a purely civilian field have no such constraints, and I suppose that scientists who work on purely military things are probably secret enough that the problem doesn’t come up at all.

    Comment by charlie — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:18 AM

  36. As many others, I’ve followed the theory of AGW, this website and many other sources. I’ve read mounds of gibberish posted here for years. I’ve watched this website change it’s arguments to fit the whatever direction the wind happens to be blowing for the day. I’ve remained silent with my disagreements, but I would like to point one out to the ones running this website. You wish to claim hacking into that email server was a crime… You may wish to bone up on recent UK precedents and what makes it so ironic is we have you and others like you to thank for it:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/11/activists.kingsnorthclimatecamp

    If at anytime those hackers are found and can show they were acting to protect themselves (society at large) from fraudulent ‘science’ coming from this organization they will have comitted no crime at all under UK law.

    I do have a question though. Where has your top 10 list of skeptic’s myths debunked gone? You know, the one where you claim CO2 overwhelms natural variance? Maybe quote something from Hansen?

    Because according to your claims and your models, the world should be heating up faster than ever since CO2 levels are higher than ever, but the Earth’s actual temperatures are refusing to agree with you.

    I’ve also noticed you now use a 10-year running average for your global temp numbers when in 2005 you used 5-year running averages. I don’t suppose the recent switch was because the 5-year average wouldn’t give you the results you wanted would it?

    [Response: Please check your facts. Still using a 5 year mean. We've never had a 'top 10' skeptic arguments, but these people do. - gavin]

    Comment by Sir Hopalot — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:22 AM

  37. I wonder what RC thinks about the possible ultimate impact of this email theft on public opinion? It seems to me that most denialosphere activity is a very closed world – how much of it gets through to the real world? I know some does – recent media reports on cooling and Delingpole’s crazed MASSIVE LIE stuff must sow enough doubt to make some believe action isn’t urgent.

    But compare to, say, the denialosphere’s obsession with Deming’s “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”, parroted by Monckton and others as (another) smoking gun/bombshell/final proof that climate science is a fraud. A google search for that phrase gives 150,000 hits. I’m sad enough to have gone through about 200 of them – I was trying to find evidence of someone asking sensible questions about this quote. Did Deming actually get that email? If so, what was the context? Who was it actually from? Even if everything Deming said is true, would it make any difference overall? I’ve yet to find one Google link from that search that asks sensible questions: mostly, it’s just an uncritical denialosphere echo chamber.

    Imagine the reverse situation: Al Gore claims he received an email from a prominent climate critic. Someone asks, “was it McIntyre?” – Gore merely replies, “you might say that, I couldn’t possibly comment.” Gore tells us the email said: “we have to get rid of the hockey stick.” How would the denialosphere react? Lies! Slander! Show us the email or shut up! We’re being persecuted!

    We know all this of course: the double standards on show are just gobsmacking. Insinuations like the MWP email are broadcast across the denialosphere, many pick it up and immediately rush to sound the big red “BOMBSHELL” klaxon – with little or nothing to back it up, and certainly not even the most basic critical questions asked. Yet it’s fine to be obsessively, minutely critical of one tiny part of the evidence base for AGW, year after year, despite the fact that even if that whole section of work was magically subtracted from the universe by an act of God, the evidence for AGW would be almost entirely unaffected.

    So we know, don’t we, that these attacks will continue? People who, through some combination of malice or stupidity, don’t understand that niggling at one line of evidence is never going to undermine the evidence for AGW, will continue with their blog version of Chinese water torture, dripping on the same point over and over. With this email hack, you can see the same: there are occasional genuine questions about some of the content, but it’s mostly just noise: “BOMBSHELL! MASSIVE LIES! SMOKING GUN!”

    These people are not going to suddenly grow a logic module. So – what are the actual points where this nonsense may actually affect wider public opinion? That’s where the results matter, isn’t it – not in the denialosphere echo chamber? That being the case, what could be done to keep the focus on those public-opinion forming points? And is there a danger of mistaking blogosphere argument for making a difference to public opinion? I suppose one might respond, “blogs are public opinion too!” – and I’d be interested to hear how much RC readers think it does matter, ultimately, to way the AGW survey numbers have been changing in recent months. Who knows, they may in fact be mostly affected by economic downturn and have nothing to do arguments like this either way.

    cbp asks of the skeptic arguments, ‘how can you argue against it?’ I wonder, how can one decide what to target, and when to just pull back and let the denialosphere vent, given that we’re often dealing with Gish Gallop tactics? There’s a finite amount of time to spend, how do we maximise it?

    Comment by Dan Olner — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:25 AM

  38. Fantastic thread Gavin – appreciate your stamina. I’d almost stopped reading RC because I felt (perhaps wrongly?) that many reasoned but critical comments were lost in moderation. Clearly not the case in this thread so please keep up the excellent and very light-handed moderation policy!

    Comment by Joseph Hunkins — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:37 AM

  39. #20 “Are there any plans to make all your climate data publicly available?
    [Response: Already there. GISTEMP, ModelE. We'll put up a more comprehensive listing in the next post. - gavin]”
    Is this really all of it? Have you deleted some? Have you altered some? Is the sensor accurate? How do you know there wasn’t a computer glitch? This can’t be all of it. And what’s this statistical analysis? How does that work? …….

    Comment by David Horton — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:43 AM

  40. CCPO: “Seriously, even one, that in any way challenges anthropogenic warming as the cause of warming since 1850?”
    Non-anthropogenic are not at least *part* of “the cause of warming since 1850?”

    Can you see this is an exaggerated claim?

    It is in no way an exaggeration. Not one. Oreskes found this in ’04 and nothing has changed since. Care to post some more bad science and get slapped down yet again?

    It’s also cooled since 1850.

    Only if you choose to take a view that “…since 1850…” doesn’t mean the long-term trend.

    And it’s been warming since the end of the last ice age.

    Except that from the time of Christ until 1850 we appear to have been in an overall downward trend in temps. I used to think the same, tho, so won’t hold that one against you. Much.

    And it’s been warmer before 1850

    No, it hasn’t. Check the recent lit. At least 2k years last I heard. CO2 levels haven’t been this high in 2,000,000.

    Hyperbole detracts from credibility.

    Comment by J — 23 November 2009 @ 1:18 AM

    At least you have a sense of humor. Enough, j. You aren’t up to the task.

    Comment by ccpo — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:58 AM

  41. Protecting this behavior is a little ridiculous. I’m an academic and I consider colluding to keep manuscripts out of the literature and colluding to replace ‘unfriendly’ editors entirely unethical. In fact, the entire tone of uncertainty (with respect to the science) contrasted with the facade presented to the public is equally disingenuous.

    Surely, admitting mistakes (especially with the lack of openness of data) and resetting the agenda will aid science and the community overall.

    Comment by WDS — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:00 AM

  42. So is security being upgraded at university servers or are old emails being taken off line or the opposite? I really get annoyed at receiving 10 phishing attempts a day. Are there any genuine attempts to police the internet or is the IRS phishing detective and the like just for show? Does Congress care? Is there a petition in the works?
    Is there a way we can actually help?

    Comment by Edward — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:05 AM

  43. Gavin,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to respond to the firestorm of comments here. You really have provided a lot of valuable context. I have a feeling that one of my “skeptical” friends will be speaking to me about this affair very soon, and thanks to your hard work I’ll have some answers for him.

    Best wishes that this blows over soon.

    Comment by Chris L — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:12 AM

  44. English is my first language, I’m educated up to tertiary level, written reports and emails galore over the last decade, have a vocabulary that is extremely wide and so on, and I still don’t see any context in the purloined e-mails.

    Comment by guthrie — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:17 AM

  45. I have seen emails where a magazine editor is urged to delay the publication of a “skeptic” paper so that a different paper can be presented at the same time critizising it, instead of by means of a comment to the paper, so that the author of the “skeptic” paper doesn’t have the opportunity to respond to the critizism.

    Exactly what is the right context we should see such a thing in so that, once clarified, it can be understood that no conspiration was taking place? On what basis should we not consider such a thing as completely contrarian to the spirit of the rules, the scientific method or just plain ethics? Why are these people so afraid of the defense that the skeptic author could do of his own paper, as to consider that he should not have the opportunity to defend it against a direct attack that he won’t be able to be aware of before print?

    Comment by Nylo — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:24 AM

  46. Please do continue. I realize this takes time from science, but these people are determined and can adversely affect all climate research in future. Going back to the Dark Ages won’t keep warming from happening, but it will suit the suits who fund these political attacks, for the next couple of decades — until it’s too late to do much of anything about it. So, it’s time well spent, giving the context to those of us who need the explanations in order to push back with any effect. Thank you. You could detail a bright grad student to do some of it??? :-)

    Comment by Heather — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:28 AM

  47. I thnk there are two questions which come into focus from this (1) is the tree ring historical climate data as reliable as it has been protrayed? (2) How significant is this data to the understanding of climate change?

    On the first issue I am deeply disappointed to discover this “divergence problem”, if tree rings can’t record the recent climate warming how can we assume they would have recorded warming events in the historical record? If the data has been over-hyped then it needs to be admitted

    [Response: If you want a fair assessment of what the real issues are and what is being done to deal with the imperfections that exist in any idea about what happened in past climate, read the relevant chapter in the IPCC report. The 'divergence problem' doesn't affect every tree ring series and many attempts have been made to see how far you can get without using tree rings at all. - gavin]

    Comment by John Y — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:32 AM

  48. Thanks for these posts. A quick quote from them can do wonders to derail “denialist” arguments which I think will be influential with those who are still not sure, one way or the other.

    http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9085.0.html

    Comment by Ed Davies — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:56 AM

  49. Eli Snyder: “Keep in mind that you are genuinely, without hyperbole, here to save the world.”

    That’s no good advice to give a scientist. Let the scientists establish the science, but leave the savior role to activists and politicians. Allegedly, some of the leaked mails and documents show that some of the scientists may have mixed these roles, and that this may have influenced the quality of the science.

    Comment by Espen — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:56 AM

  50. Gavin

    I’ve just been looking at the 1940′s spike is being addressed within the problem of matching the dissimilar collection methods for SST (Buckets vs Sea-Water-Injection temperatures). It was suggested that rather than choosing the correction to match the land data through the coupling, that it would be better to do the experiment on a couple of ships with a couple of these buckets and take a 100 or so samples to work out the difference and what correction to actually use. I think there’s a couple of minor points to favor this.

    First is that there is an implicit assumption that the sst-land coupling is constant. It is likely to be a really minor correction if it is not, but if it IS changing, wouldn’t we like to know? Tying to the existing coupling makes analysis of such things more difficult. It WOULD be a pretty cheap (comparatively) experiment to do.

    The other argument is scientific purity. This is an unknown for which we CAN get pretty good data.

    … or did I totally misunderstand what was going on there?

    I want to say bless you, for everything you’ve done here because I have really REALLY needed this support. Of course, being an atheist I can’t say THAT :-) but you are going to be wallowing in positive karma no matter what else happens in your life.

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:59 AM

  51. Gavin, you have some ‘splainin’ to do.

    Cheers. Oh, I hope you weren’t having your morning tea/coffee.

    Comment by Deech56 — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:59 AM

  52. I apologize for my misleading statement on the previous thread. Structuring transactions for the purpose of avoiding currency transaction reporting requirements is indeed illegal in the U.S. (since 1986). Thanks to “bz” for setting me straight and the moderator for letting through this off-topic apology.

    Comment by CM — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:06 AM

  53. The basic problem with the denialist arguments is that the proponents are so utterly ignorant of the science. For God’s sake, we now have people contending that the rise in CO2 is not due to human activity! Folks, come on. Humans have produced more CO2 than can be accounted for by the increase in the atmosphere and we have acidification of the oceans that accounts for the rest. We know the carbon is from a fossil source by the fact that it is enriched in light carbon isotopes. We KNOW these things, and to claim we do not is not skepticism but ignorance at best.

    Frankly, IMHO, you would all be welcome to comment here at RC if you were more inclined to actually learn the science before accusing the entire scientific community of fraud! Fergodsake! People spend decades learning this stuff. Don’t you think you ought to at least spend a couple of years familiarizing yourself with the subject matter before you consider yourself sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on it?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:12 AM

  54. What’s scientific about this…..?

    “So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!”

    From HARRY_READ_ME.txt …….you’ll find it…..

    [edit]

    [Response: Anyone who has worked on debugging code tests things and sometimes find odd behaviours that are obviously wrong. You then fix them, as 'Harry' goes on to do. No "smoking gun" in finding that debugging code finds bugs. - gavin]

    Comment by Bas — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:49 AM

  55. A small reply to ccpo:

    Why it is necessary to have a good understanding of climate science that is beyond doubt? Well, there are several reasons. First, most political decisions are made while being unaware of the respective science. You claim that is not true, but you just have to look at energy production. Most political choices are either special interests or are counter to what science says is a good way to manage an electrical grid (e.g. wind power over nuclear power). Or let’s change the subject to labour markets, again, science says that minimum wage hurts low skill labour, but they are still upheld. Third example, recycling is done despite the known fact that energy-wise this is the worst kind of recycling.
    So, there you go on your criticism, that politics act on the basis of much less certain science. They actually DO NOT act on it.

    Yes, there are nut jobs out there that deny any kind of warming and say it doesn’t exist. But such nut jobs can be found on BOTH sides of the line. You shouldn’t argue with them. However, there are people that are a lot more sensitive. They believe that there is man-made warming, they just think that the amount of warming is exaggerated in the methods we have nowadays. This criticism stems from the physical sciences that conclude CO2 drives a certain amount of warming depending on the ppm-count (f.e. approx. 0.6 °C at our current ppm-position). But they believe that the complex system of radiative forcings and feedbacks doesn’t easily have an amplification of much more than 1. They want to calm down the debate to a more rational and sensible level, which should be in your interest, too, if you consider yourself to be a man of science.

    Comment by Max — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:53 AM

  56. Is a Freedom of Information Request necessarily the act of a sceptic?

    Discuss…..

    Comment by Alexander Davidson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:20 AM

  57. Copenhagen is looking more and more like a potentially disastrous catastrophe should the US and Chinese Administrations fail to commit to making significant changes. None of us want it to fail, but even the organisers are now beginning to thing of contingencies…

    http://tommygilchrist.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/why-copenhagen-will-fail/

    Comment by Tommy — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:21 AM

  58. Interesting as the e-mails are, from a point of view of group-dynamics and as Judith Curry’s post over at Climate Audit shows, a “Circling of the Wagons”, the real interesting material is contained within the documents, the one labelled HARRY_READ_ME about the computer programming behind the CRU data.
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/hadley-hack-and-cru-crud/ being specially interesting.
    Is it not high time, that this archaic, patched, botched & distorted set of models was consigned to an electronic dustbin and a new model started, with proper inputs?

    [Response: What 'Harry' was doing is exactly that - upgrading legacy code so that it actually works and can be used by others. And these aren't 'models' in any case. - gavin]

    Comment by Adam Gallon — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:27 AM

  59. Oh, a further addition.
    I see that there are many posters decrying the release of these data & e-mails.
    If a similar set were to pop up, showing conivance between (insert name of major company) and (insert name of blogger or politician) to subvert publication of real evidence of AGW, would thye be equally vocal in their denounciation?
    It seems much like the recent leaking of UK MP’s expenses, where the MPs couldn’t see what the fuss was about and were disgusted that the non-redacted information had been released.

    Comment by Adam Gallon — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:36 AM

  60. During the traffic jam this morning I was flicking the radio when I stumbled across and interview with one of the female scientists involved in the CRUgate (missed name..sorry). I think it was 4BC or one of those dodgy talk back stations (In Australia).

    Anyway the conversation was along the lines of what is the Australian government doing talking about emissions trading that will ruin our way of life, and why are they following these climate schemers, keeping secrets from the public. The interview with the female scientist was reasonable and the usual basics of climate change were covered, the answer to the leaked emails was the abhorrence towards the hackers and that they had deliberately selectively quoted comments out of context. The interviewer went further twisting the words into a conspiracy and claiming that it was an “inside job”. News to us. They went onto downplay the relevance to the upcoming ETS agreement.

    The programme then interviewed my favourite journalist Andrew bolt who proceeded to announce that global warming is not real that the hottest year was 1998, that there is no scientific consensus, and all manner of completely fabricated defunct arguments that make my blood boil. The problem is that years after the controversy the media have turned the science into a debate which bears no resemblance to the actual science but creates a circus that sways public opinion.

    The only thing that calmed me down was the excellent write up by Mungo MacCallum about Bolt and the Liberal party in my local rag this week. Pure Gold. http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/11/23/mungo-ets-decision-crunch-time-for-turnbull/

    Comment by Christian King — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:38 AM

  61. The denialists seem to think that crime on their part is evidence of crime on the part of their victims. That’s toxic.

    There’s a number of people who call this a heroic act, invoking Daniel Ellsberg’s and the Pentagon Papers–bah! It might be heroic if the subject was a current war fought on false pretenses with thousands dying, with an administration lying, lying, lying, and a real risk of prosecution and mistreatment by corrupt officials. None of that obtains here.

    Comment by The Raven — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  62. Reality vs. Modell:

    http://i50.tinypic.com/301j8kh.jpg

    Is this true?

    Regards
    Georg F.

    [Response: I don't think so. See here. (which is where I think that picture is derived from). - gavin]

    Comment by Georg Filzmaier — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:56 AM

  63. E-mails and so on aside, what exactly is the problem with publishing all the raw data and model code? Surely this is just what ought to normally happen? How else can anyone verify the conclusions?

    [Response: Nothing is wrong with it. All of my code and data is available in public archives. Not everyone is free to do so however. - gavin]

    Comment by mdc — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:11 AM

  64. Gavin said …

    “MM is likely to be McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) in E&E (a very poor choice of journal if they wanted to be taken seriously). This last one was cited in IPCC AR4 (though against my suggestion in my review – based on it’s unclear status as a possibly un-peer-reviewed paper).”

    Let us dispense with this argument. The one thing that is abundantly clear from the released documents / emails is that this gaggle of climate scientists doesn’t WANT him to be published … precisely so that they can keep making this self-serving argument.

    The fact that you are (willingly?) blind to the utter hypocrisy … well.

    [Response: Well let's get rid of this argument altogether. Progress in science occurs in the peer-reviewed literature which provides a filter that usually a) forces the authors to be logically clear, b) makes sure that conclusions actually follow from the analysis, c) makes sure that assumptions are specified and tesed, and d) tries to keep the discussion focussed on the science rather than on personalites. McIntyre has had years to produce clear arguments for his claims, and yet chooses not to, instead he appears happy to make claims on no other basis than his say so for which any justification and assumptions are buried in a mass of rambling, disjointed blog posts. Papers are not difficult to write (I am involved in about 10 a year), and actually do improve the quality of the arguments presented. Every paper I have ever written has been improved in clarity and logical and science by the peer-reviewed process. Some papers have indeed even been rejected. The reason therefore that IPCC requires peer-reviewed literature to cite is because it improves the process. And it is precisely because the end product is improved that it is worth maintaining. People who don't want to play by the rules can't be surprised when they are not welcomed on the field. Do people want to be criticised? No. But if they are going to be, the criticisms are much better when they are concise, scientific, logical and valid. Peer-review is what makes that happen - however imperfectly. - gavin]

    Comment by Brian Rookard — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:12 AM

  65. I see posters over on WUWT they are calling for Phil Jones, Head of CRU, to be fired and talking of sending the archive to an MP ….

    ‘Hello, this is Sir Bufton Tufton MP, how can I help you’
    ‘Hi – I am calling to alert you to the fact that the the scientific basis for global warming is flawed and to demand the resignation of Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU at UEA for manipulation of scientific data …’
    ‘Very odd, our Chief Scientific Advisor assures me the scientific case is solid, his predecessor described climate change as a bigger threat than terrorism. And that is an exceedingly serious allegation, what is your basis? ‘
    ‘He has admitted as much in an email, look …. “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline”
    ‘I see the Professor has explained the meaning of this quote on the UEA website … http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRU-update It seems perfectly innocuous to me …’
    ‘Well, he has deleted data rather than release it under the Freedom of Information Act’
    ‘Another very serious matter. What data was destroyed?’
    ‘Well, actually we don’t know. But he certainly wrote mails that we can make sound very much like he was going to delete some emails ….’
    ‘I see. Do you have the full record of the correspondence, is it possible there are others that provide more context and background…?
    ‘I don’t know’
    ‘Excuse me?’
    ‘Well we only have a selection of the mails ….’
    ‘I see. These mails, I am sure you are aware that under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 an email is classed as a literary work and anyone reproducing it without permission of the copyright owner, that is, the author is committing an offence? I assume you have received such permission from Professor Jones … ‘
    ‘Well, not exactly. We acquired the mails from an anonymous individual who removed them from the UEA server without authority …’
    ‘I see, look, would you mind awfully supplying your name and address, the police would like to have a word with you regarding an ongoing investigation. Just routine you understand …’

    Comment by pjclarke — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:27 AM

  66. Are there any signs yet that emails have been fabricated by the hackers? Some denier in Holland comes up with this email:

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    To: Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa
    Subject: update
    Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:51:53 -0500
    Cc: Gavin Schmidt

    guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

    You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…”

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun

    I’m wondering if this is real of fabricated. Any comments?

    [Response: Real. The post referred to is "A new take on an old millennium". The comment thread is substantive and with multiple questions and answers on various issues arising. No apologies needed for that. - gavin]

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:41 AM

  67. Mark #18,
    You are absolutely correct that any skeptic who uses this to disprove all AGW/ACC theory is insane. However you are absolutely incorrect in assuming that is the big-picture view of all skeptics. Sane skeptics are using some of these questionable emails to push for what they have always been pushing for: transparency in the data, adjustments, and reasoning/assumptions behind the science. You might be surprised to find out that many skeptics are actually on the fence and question why all of this data is under wraps when it is ultimately going to be used to affect us so greatly.

    To me, I see many crazy parts.
    Skeptics who think this ends the debate and we don’t have to worry about it anymore are crazy.
    Activists who read through the sane skeptical viewpoint (not the one presented on this blog) and don’t find reason to question are crazy to me.
    Politicians who call skeptical scientists “flat-earthers” or jump to the conclusion that they must be paid by “big oil” are crazy to me.
    The fact that this data is not public, which may affect us so greatly, is crazy to me.

    [Response: What data do you want? Raw temperature records? Go to GHCN v.2. Code for putting that into a global average? Go to GISTEMP. - gavin]

    Comment by hmmm — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:45 AM

  68. One sympathizes with Dr. Trenberth that CERES data post-2005 isn’t yet available.

    Since Exxon, the Scaife Foundation, et al., want the truth about GW to come out, perhaps they could pony up to hire a few more researchers to speed up the data processing–? Surely that would be more productive than hiring PR firms?

    Someone should let them know. . . hey, I know! How about WUWT does a post on this?

    –What do you mean, I sound bitter?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:02 AM

  69. What is FOI? I read something elsewhere about emails wanting to deny FOI requests for data.

    [Response: Freedom of Information acts - specifically in the UK. - gavin]

    Comment by Mike — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:02 AM

  70. I wonder what would turn up if the emails of Inhofe, Palin, Dick Lindze, John Christie, Roy Spencer, Pat Michaels, Glen Beck, Rupert Murdoch, and other denialists emails were hacked.

    I think that the libelous rhetoric of the media against science needs to stop. Perhaps a giant law suit would do it.

    Or, as one of my colleagues suggested, let’s just name our newest and best research centers after these fools. How about an Inhofe Climate Research center (a temporary station) set up on a large ice shelf that is becoming unstable? We can invite him (publicly) to the christening. And publicize the heck out of it when it calves into the Southern Ocean. I’d give money to see that happen! Perhaps we could rename CRU to the Roy Spencer Climate Research Center?

    It is becoming increasingly frustrating to be a professional in a field that is being dragged through the mud! Could you imagine Glen Beck giving medical advice contrary to what every doctor says and then referring to doctors as a bunch of conspiring idiots? Why do we let them get away with this??

    Comment by Todd Albert — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:06 AM

  71. Denial Depot provides even more context: NASA Fakes Email Leak

    …what makes me deeply suspicious is the complete lack of correspondence with Al Gore in these released emails. Where are all the emails showing Al Gore’s involvement? Even more bizarrely there is no plotting and planning on how to raise taxes. I don’t see any mention of the social-ist new world order that these scientists are trying to bring about. Not once do they talk about how to best achieve wealth redistribution or world government.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:12 AM

  72. pjclarke says:
    22 November 2009 at 7:15 AM

    “Firstly a huge thank you to Gavin for devoting his time, energy and expertise”
    (the rest of that comment was good too)

    Deech56 says:
    22 November 2009 at 8:01 AM

    Gavin, your work since this incident broke has been outstanding.

    I agree Gavin deserves a medal.

    To navigate the first thread I suggest that you start by searching for the string Gavin, then some of the emails start to make sense and you may even learn a bit about the subject.

    After that try :
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-17/#comment-143251
    and
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-7/#comment-142545
    Then try your luck with the rest.
    ———————————–
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-18/#comment-143359
    Scott A. Mandia
    Excellent lecture notes. (But shouldn’t it be spelt correlation?)

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:28 AM

  73. Re: My previous comment. It should have been

    I suggest that you start by searching for the string Gavin]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:35 AM

  74. Perhaps I’m missing the point here. As a confirmed and devout man-made GW sceptic I think the hacker managed to very nicely expose the fact that “science” as defined by the media should not be seen as providing conveniently straightforward answers to questions on world climate. Science in many areas is continually evolving. Physics for example has moved on significantly from where it was when I studied it at university. By providing the public with an insight into this fact; that scientists are only human and easily capable of making mistakes, taking risky judgement calls and bad-mouthing ideas they oppose. This fallability may seem a patently obvious fact to anyone with half a brain, however the fanatical fervour with which some people have jumped on the man-made climate change bandwagon suggests that many people are happy to take a scientist’s word on faith alone, with no pause to consider things like accuracy or possible political or financial agendas.
    The IPCC have been quoted in the media repeatedly stating that the consensus of views on GW was overwhelming, with the subtext being that this was yet more evidence of the accuracy of their views. This is a logical fallacy of the most basic kind, and is not the sort of sentiment I expect any science-based quango to want to associate itself with. It is clear that “good science” is not, and never has been at the heart of this subject. This hack has at the very least exposed the fact that sceptic’s questions still remain relevant….as is right and proper for any scientific exploration

    I may yet be proven wrong, and a link between CO2 and global average temperature may exist, but I doubt it, and even the most media savvy pseudo science committee’s comments on the subject will not move me without providing hard evidence which relies on something more reliable than ice-gas readings and tree ring studies. In the meantime, hopefully exposing the “niceties” of scientific debate like this may convince a few of the hardliners that their absolute faith in the current model is mis-placed, and may yet prove to be a costly mistake.

    Comment by Chris K — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:44 AM

  75. Brian Rookard,

    Here is a link to one of the papers that climate-scientists would like to have kept out of the peer-reviewed literature: http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2003/23/c023p089.pdf

    If you cannot figure out why that paper is complete garbage (we are talking college freshman f***ups here), then you have no business passing judgment on the climatology community.

    Comment by caerbannog — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:53 AM

  76. Gavin, people involved in this can try as hard as they like to side-step the flack and spin their way out of trouble but this is most unlikely to go away quietly. It’s a bit like the UK MP’s expenses scandal. They’re trying like anything to divert attention elsewhere but it keeps coming back to bite.

    If the science of climate processes and drivers was adequately understood then the revelations within that leaked file would have minimal impact globally, however, as you are fully aware, the science is very poorly understood. This is evidenced by all of the uncertainties acknowledged in the IPCC AR4 WG1 scientific report and in many of the more recent papers (I give an example later).

    This is the fundamental reason why there is this continuing debate between scientists over The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. As the Australian government’s chief climate advisor Professor Brook acknowledged back in April (Note 1) QUOTE: There are a lot of uncertainties in science, and it is indeed likely that the current consensus on some points of climate science is wrong, or at least sufficiently uncertain that we don’t know anything much useful about processes or drivers UNQUOTE. Scientists on both sides of the debate are able to identify flaws in the others’ arguments, not because anyone is necessarily being dishonest but merely because of this lack of understanding about global climate processes and drivers. This is not a sound basis for politicians to make potentially damaging policy decisions (unless they have some other agenda).

    Professor Brook threw in a figure of 95% relating to understanding climate science during that comment of his and he never explained where it came from. He added to the above QUOTE: But EVERYTHING? Or even most things? Take 100 lines of evidence, discard 5 of them, and you’re still left with 95 and large risk management problem. UNQUOTE. Do you guys dream up these figures (just like the IPCC does when using “expert opinion” to quantify uncertainty) or do you have some secret knowledge hidden away that you aren’t prepared to disclose (even under FOI legislation)?

    There is an extremely interesting 2009 paper (Note 2) “WATER VAPOR AND THE DYNAMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGES”. Although the paper mentions greenhouse gases numerous times it not once mentions AGW, carbon dioxide or fossil fuel. The paper starts with QUOTE: Water vapor is not only important for Earth’s radiative balance as the dominant greenhouse gas of the atmosphere. It is also an active player in dynamic processes that shape the global circulation of the atmosphere and thus climate. UNQUOTE.
    It then goes on to say QUOTE: Although the mechanisms are not well understood, it is widely appreciated that heating and cooling of air through phase changes of water are integral to moist convection and dynamics in the equatorial region. But that water vapor plays an active and important role in dynamics globally is less widely appreciated, and how it does so is only beginning to be investigated. UNQUOTE.

    It concludes with QUOTE: Devising a theory that is general enough to be applicable to relatively dry and moist atmospheres remains as one of the central challenges in understanding the global circulation of the atmosphere and climate changes. UNQUOTE

    In this paper they really are discussing CLIMATE science, not simply global temperatures. It clearly highlights the poor understanding of climate processes and drivers and in my opinion destroys Professor Brook’s implication that perhaps 95% is understood.

    NOTES:
    1) see http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/04/23/ian-plimer-heaven-and-earth/ especially the lead item paragraph starting “There are a lot of uncertainties in science” and comments on 8 June 2009 at 1.24, 12 June 2009 at 20.42, 21 June 2009 at 0.09, 23 June 2009 at 5.02, 24 June 2009 at 6.12. (NB: I believe that this comment is highly significant and repeatedly but unsuccessfully tried to get Professor Brook to clarify what he was saying. The only response that I had from him was an objection to me using this quote “out of context”, so please see his blog comment of 23 June 2009 at 5.02 for the full quote).
    2) see http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0908/0908.4410v1.pdf
    Pete Ridley, human-made global climate change agnostic

    Comment by Pete Ridley — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:54 AM

  77. Interesting analysis in The Guardian today and indicative of why those involved in this affair should be concerned rgardless of the raw facts.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2009/nov/23/leaked-email-climate-change

    Comment by David Harrington — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:58 AM

  78. Gavin,

    The point, as I’m sure you are well aware, is that this group of climate scientists say “you are not published … therefore your findings lack credibility” while at the same time seeking to keep those out who are critical. That is what has become evident. Even those who are sympathetic realize that there is a perception that the climate scientists are “hiding” something. This is certainly so given the emails which talk of deleting emails, not turning over *anything* as it relates to data, code, etc.

    While I can certainly appreciate that peer-review can be a way for science to advance, it is certainly not the ONLY way. If you want peer-review, then the peer-review should at least be honest and open. It is not clear that that is the case anymore. What has been revealed is a group of people who are trying to keep dissenters out.

    This is what gives your “publish it” schtick a ring of hollowness. And I think you know that.

    Too, the fact that climate scientists later correct the work after mistakes are pointed out (in a non-peer-reviewed format such as the internet) shows that peer review is not the only method for science to advance.

    [Response: You are right that it doesn't take a peer-reviewed paper to note that an error bar might not have included the impact of auto-correlation, or that URL was missing, or that a caption was wrong. These things do get noted and fixed quickly. But if the argument is that a whole approach is flawed, or that the paper was misguided from the outset, then you need to do it properly and make the arguments correctly because it is going to be more complicated and you are going to have to justify your position in depth. For instance, the McLean et al paper earlier this year was fundamentally flawed in multiple ways. No corrigendum is going to be able to fix that - so we wrote a comment for peer review. The point is, it isn't hard to do this properly. And so if McIntyre et al want to move beyond getting minor corrections made, they need to do it properly. I'll grant that this gets easier with practice, but that is not an argument for not starting. - gavin]

    Comment by Brian Rookard — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:02 AM

  79. As far as the language, imagine a group of cancer researchers sending one another emails that belittle tobacco company scientists and warn about the need to keep their dishonest and biased studies out of the scientific literature – would that be a big deal, or an example of responsible behavior on the part of the scientific community?

    Or, consider AIDS researchers worried about the Peter Duesberg effect on public health and AIDS epidemiology (he’s the UC Berkeley professor who claims that AIDS is not virus-related – a kind of medical version of Richard Lindzen)? Would it be surprising if they sent emails to one another full of negative commentary about Duesberg.

    The emails change no scientific conclusions whatsoever. Furthermore, this is a coordinated PR push, along the lines stated in Jack Gerard’s American Petroleum Institute memo to contributing members:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/aug/14/us-lobbying

    The email from Gerard lays out ambitious plans to stage a series of lunchtime rallies to try to shape the climate bill that was passed by the house in June and will come before the Senate in September. “We must move aggressively,” it reads. The API strategy also extends to a PR drive…

    Modern PR drives involve lots of bloggers and calls to reporters in an effort to generate “buzz” – but this story has no substance whatsoever. There is no evidence of intent to deceive or manipulate – but try this 1998 API strategy document for an example of what shady backroom maneuvering looks like.

    Despite ten more years of multi-million dollar expenditures by fossil fuel lobbies, they’ve never come up with anything other than tobacco science – and a lot of smears and insinuations and baseless accusations aimed at silencing professional climate scientists – even including efforts by the previous administration to keep climate scientists from talking to the press.

    Similarly, attempts to claim that action on climate will hurt the economy have fallen flat – because the large-scale construction of renewable energy infrastructure across the U.S. will eliminate all fossil fuel imports, from Canadian tar sands to Iraqi light crudes to West Pacific LNG supplies. This will clearly help the vast majority of people – except those who see their fossil fuel sales income plummet – but then, the same thing happened to horse-drawn carriage manufacturers and coal-fired steamship operators. It’s called progress – and using energy sources that don’t destabilize the climate and pollute the air, water and soil with mercury and arsenic and carcinogenic residues?

    Yes, that’s progress. What isn’t progress? When the science and the economics both work against you, the only options is to use dirty tactics – lies, smears, etc. The API encourages lying to the public to maintain the status quo, as per the 1998 API memo:

    “When informed that “some scientists believe there is not enough evidence to suggest that [what is called global climate change] is a long-term change due to human behavior and activities,” 58 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to oppose the Kyoto treaty.”

    See, if we lie to the public, they will be deceived! We can win! The heart of their plan?

    National Media Relations Program: Develop and implement a national media relations program to inform the media about uncertainties in climate science; to generate national, regional and local media coverage on the scientific uncertainties, and thereby educate and inform the public, stimulating them to raise questions with policy makers.

    Was the National Media Relations Program run by API (and likely ACCCE as well) used in an effort to give this non-story about emails maximum coverage? Probably – but why did the reporters and editors go along with it? Are they just parrots?

    The obsession with media influence and control at the API is pretty high. One of their “action points” is as follows:

    Convince one of the major news national TV journalists (e.g., John Stossel ) to produce a report examining the scientific underpinnings of the Kyoto treaty.

    Meanwhile, a lot of real science news is being ignored by “science journalists” in favor of covering this non-story – for example, here is new data on the carbon cycle.

    An international team of researchers under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project reports that over the last 50 years the average fraction of global CO2 emissions that remained in the atmosphere each year was around 43 per cent — the rest was absorbed by the Earth’s carbon sinks on land and in the oceans. During this time this fraction has likely increased from 40 per cent to 45 per cent, suggesting a decrease in the efficiency of the natural sinks. The team brings evidence that the sinks are responding to climate change and variability.

    For real journalists, here’s the web site for the Global Carbon Project that produced this:

    http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/08/references.htm

    Here’s their central PDF presentation:
    http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/08/presentation.htm

    So, can we now get back to real science? Or is it going to be email discussions from here on out, which is what the API and ACCCE would prefer – not discussions about the ability of renewables to replace fossil fuels, something the API and ACCCE do NOT want to talk about.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:04 AM

  80. Has there been any explanation given for charge that there was a request for emails to be deleted to avoid an FOI request? All I’ve heard is that no emails were deleted, but the request itself is completely unethical and most likely illegal. Everything else I’ve seen seems to due to poor word choice and/or lack of context. The FOI avoidance would be a big blow to CRU, even if it doesn’t affect climate science.

    [Response: In my opinion that email was very ill-advised. - gavin]

    Comment by penn — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:04 AM

  81. Glen Raphael #33, perhaps you should study statistics instead of fantasizing over it. The reason we know this thing is real is because the physics tells us so. We’re not randomly looking for a trend, we’re looking for a trend we know is there — just what we don’t know, with any great precision, is how big it is.

    Just like we know that asteroids can and do impact the Earth, but getting precise probabilities and damage estimates may be a bit of a challenge. No reason not to prepare.

    The days of hypothesis testing are long past, we’re in parameter estimation mode now. Google up on “silly nulls”. And one other thing we know for a fact, irrespective of parameter values, is that you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:07 AM

  82. What has become obvious is this has now gone from a minor news blip to “the appearance of impropriety” by climate scientist. We are all aware, that we that believe have been losing the information war. The many polls show more people now DO NOT believe in AGW and their side is growing. The only way we will regain the trust of the public is demand a full blown top-to-bottom investigation so we can prove without a doubt the information leaked is out of context and there has been no foul play.

    We may not like it, but we have to prove our innocence, if we don’t these documents will be used for decades to thwart our cause. The public will never believe us again. I have friends that have been on the fence and right now they we don’t look very honest.

    I would encourage us to all demand an open investigation. If we only piecemeal defend this one email or that one sentence we lose…it comes off as spin. We have to prove we did noting wrong. We should be out in front of the deniers demanding all the facts. We have to do so to maintain any degree of credibility.

    Comment by I belive — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:12 AM

  83. Reply to #091 Tom Fuller

    It was me, not Dr. Schmidt, who postulated that this hacker event is part of a larger, sophisticated campaign intended to increase public confusion and uncertainty and slow inevitable government actions.

    It’s a postulation based upon the evidence; but I hope many would agree that the tools and skills of policy analysts, social scientists, political pro’s, and Scotland Yard are what is most needed to begin to resolve this controversy, not statisticians and climatologists.

    Comment by Sloop — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:13 AM

  84. The denyalists will realise they have been totally misinformed and misguided or just plain ignorant within a decade I would bet. Or maybe when superstorms or freak weather events are globally commonplace they will still lay the blame on solar cycles or whatever nutzy ideas they have dreamt up by then. Even when the ominous foundations of a global perfect climatic storm are forming like they are now they still cannot or will-not perceive what is to come. I would like any denyalist to refute the following facts: CO2 has rizen from 280ppmv in the pre-industrial era to >385ppmv at present. Arctica is dissapearing at a astonishing rate. Antarctic on the presumably west side now is showing disturbing continental and sea ice loss. (the denyalists will say there’s nothing to worry about because the additional water just loves to soak up CO2..problem with that argument is one of scale (how much the extra open ocean can sequester vs how much additional Carbon/CO2 is being pumped into the atmosphere each year..the ratio is a little lop-sided isn’t it!) The rate of coral polyp and inverebrate deformation due to weak Calcium carbonate matrices is now common in most parts of the world caused by ocean acidification. There is global glacial retreat at a speed and scale that is unprecedented. High temp. records now more that double that of low temp records in the US (in a stable climate both highs and lows should be pretty much equal). I would say that the majority of countries are experiencing a similar trend. If you keep your eyes on the news you will see regular extreme weather conditions almost everywhere.recent example NW United Kingdom has the heaviest rain and flash flooding in their history (and English history unlike american goes back a long-long way!). Do I have to go on or can you begin to see a picture happening here! You can ask gavin et-al for all the hard scientific facts. He has been completely transparent with all of you as he in a top notch climate scientist with impeccable credentials and thus has absolutely nothing to hide as you might all agree.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:21 AM

  85. One question about the comments in code posted earlier.
    “but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.
    Could you explain what exactly “will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures” means.

    [Response: It depends what their timeseries had in it. If it was the proxy record until 1960 and then the observed temperatures after, plotting it past 1960 would make it look artificially like the real temperatures. But they said to not do that. - gavin]

    Comment by Jarkko Nieminen — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:22 AM

  86. Ill advised is a very strange term to use. It is a criminal offence in the UK to destroy information that is the subject of an FOI request.

    [Response: I have no knowledge of what the scope of the request was, what would be responsive to it or indeed whether anything was destroyed. But clearly making such a suggestion is ill-advised. I don't think we are in disagreement here. - gavin]

    Comment by Arthur Dent — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:30 AM

  87. re: 83.
    I would go so far as to say it is also strong evidence of the continued anti-science meme of the denialists. Which fits their political and theocratic beliefs.

    Comment by Dan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:31 AM

  88. For the record also this one showed up on a Dutch newspaper climate blog: real of fabricated? About the slow-down in warming this decade:

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=1048&filename=1255352257.txt

    Any comments?

    [Response: Read the trenberth paper link in the top post. - gavin]

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:45 AM

  89. Gavin – this is from the presenting of your book:

    ‘In this groundbreaking book, published by W.W. Norton & Company in April 2009 NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt and photographer Joshua Wolfe illustrate as never before the ramifications of shifting weather patterns for human society.’

    You provided the link to someone here who set up a list of what would be the necessary content of a book that actually demonstrated WHY CO2 in the atmosphere is THE single driver of climate change.

    [Response: Complete strawman. There are many different drivers of climate change, and indeed my last post was specifically about some of the other forcing (like methane and aerosols). -gavin]

    But the text above provides nothing of the sort – is just yet another Al Gore ‘the sky will fall’ with pretty pictures to stir sentiment.

    Can you or anyone else point me to a text stating THE physical evidence linking CO2 to ‘warming’ with any degree of necessity?
    And could you point me to a text stating what would FALSIFY this? Of course, these two would have to be in the same text, if it is to be considered hard evidence.

    [Response: The evidence that CO2 specifically is having an impact on climate comes from radiation measurements and in particular temperature trends in the stratosphere (which are cooling in contradiction of almost all other drivers). Combine that with expected changes predicted decades ago that have actually happened, you end up with a strong case that CO2 (along with the other GHGs and aerosols) are having an impact, and that will increase in decades to come. If you want to falsify this, you'd have to show that spectral data on CO2 absorption is wrong, that the stratosphere is not cooling as expected (this is a cleaner test than the surface temperatures because there are less extraneous factors), or improve the satellite measurements by an order of magnitude and have the fluxes not look like what is expected. Tall order, but conceivable. - gavin]

    Comment by John Henriksen — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:51 AM

  90. Eli Snyder:

    “Keep in mind that you are genuinely, without hyperbole, here to save the world.”

    It is exactly this attitude, that we must save the world, that has caused these people to forget their scientific training, so that the end justifies the means, and science violations occur. You are not helping anybody. Keep your secret knowledge of impending doom to yourself, and let some real science ensue. This is not an anti AGW statement… just a call for reason. After all, everything is justifiable when “saving the world”.

    [Response: Much as I appreciate the sentiment, I am not engaged in saving the world. The world is going to have to save itself - though hopefully with as much science guiding it's choice as I and other scientists can supply. - gavin]

    Comment by G. Karst — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:55 AM

  91. “All of my code and data is available in public archives” (Gavin)

    One of the problems with that line of defense is that we´ve all seen you right here at RC go to extraordinary lenghts at defending Hansen´s or Steig el at´s refusal to provide code and data. You adamantly defended that GISTEMP algorithms should not be given out…until Hansen finally did release them. So yes, now they are public but not precisely thanks to you. Same thing with Steig, even Michael Tobis expressed his disagreement with you here and at CA re. not disclosing data.

    [edit]

    [Response: Go back to the '1934 and all that' thread and read the comments and conversation. I never made a statement saying that the code should not be released. I did say that it wasn't going to help much and that people who really wanted to check the code would do much better to try and do it from scratch themselves. The point being that learning what the issues really are is very quick when you actually have to work through them yourself. Subsequently, there have been two very minor errors fixed in the code with no noticeable impact on the results. The vast majority of people clamouring for the code have made no significant efforts to explore it. Instead they just moved on to the next target, while the number of attacks on GISS and Hansen does not appear to have diminished. I still think that a truly independent analysis of the raw data either from GHCN or elsewhere would be very useful. -gavin]

    Comment by Mikel Mariñelarena — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:56 AM

  92. I just want to express my deepest sympathy to the RC scientists that became the subject of a malicious and unprovoked attack. Publishing private correspondence and discussing stolen letters is immoral and heinous. I count myself as a skeptic, though I am more interested in paleoclimate and planetary science than GW, but I always find your posts interesting and worthy of thought, informing me of many new developments that did change my mind on a few subjects – and I thank you for that. Whatever moral lapses these e-mails possibly reveal (I am not going to read this correspondence or descriptions of its content), the moral lapses of people making pilfered private correspondence into a propaganda tool are incomparably greater. I am dismayed that your opponents do not understand such elementary ethics. I wonder if you gain anything in involving yourself into polemics on such terms. Once more, I use this opportunity to express my gratitude and sympathy to your undeserved plight.

    Comment by Eli Shkrob — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:00 AM

  93. #33, Glen Raphael:

    Your proposal is that no action be taken when the probability of a calamity in an area amenable to scientific concern is 90%; better wait until 95%.

    Let’s see, if we take 10 areas of phenomena (as you do), and in each area the probability of NOT having a disaster is = 100% – 90% = 10%, then the probability that there will be NO CALAMITY in ANY of the 10 areas is
    = (10%)^10 = 10^(-10)= 0.0000000001, so the probability of a calamity is
    = 1 – 10^(-1) = 0.9999999999.

    So you don’t think that degree of certainty of calamity is worth doing anything about.

    But in your view, it makes sense to act if it’s 95%; that gives you the probability of calamity of:
    1 – (1 – 0.95)^10 = 1 – (0.05)^10 = 1 – (.5)^10 * 10^(-10) = 1 – 9.76e(-14)
    = 0.9999999999999

    So to summarize your position:
    - Probability of catastrophe = 0.9999999999: “Better not to act, might disturb the bond market.”
    - Probability of catastrophe = 0.9999999999999: “Let’s invest in a little insurance.”

    Uh huh…

    Comment by Neal J. King — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:04 AM

  94. #26 a book that has nothing to do with current warming but explains the science of climate and how scientists operate (in a very human way) is “Snowball Earth” by Gabrielle Walker. It examines the controversy of Precambrian cooling and how bad it really was. While the author is somewhat biased to the conclusions of the researcher she’s profiling, what I found important about the book is that it really explained Earth systems balance in clear laymen’s term, and the back story between researchers and their escapades keeps it entertaining. I think it’s an excellent climate primer, and also helps to make clear why and how climate has changed in the past. Because it’s not about current ACC, it might be a good “first step” for someone who isn’t sure, a primer to go on and tackle the modern scenario. And, as a budding climate researcher, I also cringe when I hear Al Gore’s name. His name induces the same kind of reaction that Newt Gingrich’s or might in others – too polarizing, too political. Average people don’t seem to realize that climate researchers don’t think about him much.

    But some people, it seems, can’t be reached. I’ve just begun the application process to a graduate program in paleoclimate. At 39 years old, I am about to finish my BS in geology and environmental analysis. My sister is i her 50s, and could probably represent “the average American” as well as anyone. She’s divorced, has two adult children, lives in the middle of the country, works in health care, is overweight, likes to shop, likes to dance, wine tasting, etc. I hadn’t seen her in a while and when I brought up what I’m pursuing in grad school (assuming I get accepted… a lot of nail biting and stomach flopping in my life right now) and despite the fact that she knows that this is an issue I have really, really investigated over the last three years in a serious way, she insisted on babbling things to me about “well maybe the dinosaurs…” and “well how do we know…” without pausing for an answer. She was spewing ignorance to someone whom she knows understands the issue, and she expected me to take her seriously. When I said one grant the program I’m looking at has applied for has to do with quantifying and qualifying methane release in the Arctic, instead of realizing it’s being released now because of ACC, but it’s instead maybe a cause she can add to her “arsenal” of paper tigers. I knew the conversation was hopeless when she said “Well maybe god is doing it…”

    What I think it comes down to is that there are a whole lot of people out there enjoying their lives, r trying to enjoy their lives, and they don’t want any bad news. They want to be happy and not make changes in their lives unless there is a clear and immediate benefit. They don’t want to feel like they’re doing anything bad – they already have enough to feel guilty about, like drinking, eating too much of the wrong foods, spending too much on things they don’t really need, etc. They don’t want the added burden, so refuse to face it. It will take some obvious catastrophe to turn around their thinking (like massive beach loss in their NC vacation spot or sudden in availability of oysters dying off from acidification) but I don’t know that will even change their habits or create a willingness to wean off fossil fuels.

    As I write all this, I ask myself like I sometimes do, why this has become my calling, and I don’t have an obvious answer. I don’t/won’t have kids, convincing the public often seems an insurmountable task, but I just keep going back to the research and can’t stop looking at the train wreck. Over the years, I’ve delved into every denier claim, with the thought going into it that “maybe they have something” and each time, come out the other side after a few days of scouring research, considering all the variables (denier arguments I’ve noticed tend to focus on no more than three) I come out the other side more resolved. Why do I care? I don’t know exactly… part of it is that I have always had a strong compulsion to try and leave the world better than the way I found it. I want my life’s legacy to be constructive, not destructive. In slightly different language, I liken all of this to a old saying, purportedly native American but who knows. In slightly different language, it goes like this: “You don’t (foul) in your own tent” and this is what we’ve been doing, not just in regard to ACC, but I dare anyone to bring me water from a river, pond, lake or stream that isn’t full of artificial toxic chemicals and hormones. We’re living in a grand experiment, and despite not having any vested interest in the long term future (no kids), I care. And I guess I know that someone has to pursue these things, and since I can, I feel I must.

    On another note, I like to be clear about the difference between a skeptic and a denier. Deniers claim to be skeptics, but to be skeptical of something, one must hold out the notion that an argument could go either way. I’ve seen some of them get angry for being called deniers and not skeptics (D’Alleo comes to mind) but they don’t hold out that ACC researchers could be right. There don’t seem to be many genuine skeptics out there. I can’t even call my “everyday people” sister a skeptic, as she was clearly, actively looking to cherry pick things to make the case against ACC. In some cases, they outright lie, and misrepresent the argument. Monckton, with who I’ve argued in person, frames it as a debate between him and Al Gore, and laughed at me when I asked about the 100s of other climate scientists out there, implying there aren’t that many, trying to get his audience to think he’s the big cheese and it’s a showdown at high noon and nothing more. I’m convinced he doesn’t even believe his own garbage, and is on an ego trip to prove to himself he can convince people of anything so long as he presents with with enough grandeur and self confidence. The other ones who don’t seem to be as nuts present arguments that always leave out one huge aspect/climate variable that is understood. If they say the Antarctic isn’t warming, they leave out the ozone hole and that positive feedback loop between the cold from the continent and the hole. If it’s solar variability, they leave out CO2 entirely, and ignore the decoupling of solar influence since the 70s, and “lag times” that are inconsistent. I could go on, but I have gone on enough already.

    Gavin and others, thank you for doing all that you do and for fighting the good fight. This too shall pass.

    Comment by Shirley — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:05 AM

  95. CCPO
    Here’s a theory, the world is naturally warming, land use changes to the environment has regionally changed temperatures, some extra CO2 in the atmo has added +.4C to the overall global temp and it’s effect is now maxed out and the UHI effect creates the perception of some additional temp increase that accounts for the balance of the +.6C increase in temperatures since the end of a little ice age. Temps are now are not increasing and the integrity of some of the people keeping track of all of this seems questionable.
    I’m proud to be skeptical based on the above.
    Thanks
    Ed

    [Response: Well you should be skeptical of the above. Where is the evidence for any of it? Note. global land use effects result in a cooling because the biggest issue is the chopping down of forest (dark) to make cropland (bright) - gavin ]

    Comment by edward — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:15 AM

  96. How can the writer of this blog say “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy” in the body of leaked emails. This email sent by Edward Cook to Keith Briffa dated 09:50 AM 6/4/03 -0400 is only one example demonstrates the degree of sneaky, unprofessional behaviour (see below).

    I have always been concerned about anonymous peer reviewed journals. HEY FELLOW SCIENTISTS—How many times in your career have you had a paper rejected even though you know in your soul it is the right paper, written in the right manner with the right substance? Or how many times have you submitted a paper only to have it rejected and then in the future find another “distinguished” scientist publishing on the same topic? Or as this email demonstrates, your work is often forwarded outside the assigned reviewer for critique or help in reviewing your work.

    [edit] Hopefully, this expose will open the dialogue on updating the much antiquated peer review process, or on an even bigger scale, the proposal funding process

    [edit]

    Hi Keith,
    Okay, today. Promise! Now something to ask from you. Actually somewhat important too. I
    got a paper to review (submitted to the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and
    Environmental Sciences), written by a Korean guy and someone from Berkeley, that claims
    that the method of reconstruction that we use in dendroclimatology (reverse regression)
    is wrong, biased, lousy, horrible, etc. They use your Tornetrask recon as the main
    whipping boy. I have a file that you gave me in 1993 that comes from your 1992 paper.
    Below is part of that file. Is this the right one? Also, is it possible to resurrect the
    column headings? I would like to play with it in an effort to refute their claims.
    If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to
    review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It
    won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically,
    but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies,
    without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a
    practical sense. So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of
    their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show
    how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced.
    Your assistance here is greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I will let Tornetrask sink into
    the melting permafrost of northern Sweden (just kidding of course).
    Cheers,
    Ed

    [Response: Cook's request is a check to see whether he has the right data with which he can check the claims of a submitted paper. Neither the authors, nor the paper were shared. Even if they had been, it is permissible to discuss reviews with colleagues as long as that is noted on the review. Some times there are issues in a paper that a reviewer needs help with. This sounds like Cook, while not very impressed with the submission is preparing to do a very thorough job assessing its importance. The review that would result would be of great help to the authors in improving their paper and making sure it is relevant and significant to the field if and when it is revised or resubmitted. - gavin]

    Comment by William — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:16 AM

  97. You know, I might have some sympathy for the calls for openness if the denialist community had taken any steps to actually address or understand the mountains of data and evidence already in the public domain. And yet all that data and evidence remains as a silent testament to their failure. So, given that they don’t know what to do with available data, why do they want all this other data they won’t know what to do with either?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:22 AM

  98. CCPO:>> [And it’s been warmer before 1850] No, it hasn’t. Check the recent lit. At least 2k years last I heard.

    2k is before 1850. And the MWP was about 1k before.

    Comment by J — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:23 AM

  99. If proxy temperature data diverges significantly with instrument temperature data in recent times, why should we think proxy temperature data is accurate in pre-instrument times?

    [Response: Some proxy data diverges in unexpected ways. Others do not. Why that happens makes all the difference to whether those proxies are useful going backwards. If it is due to some unique late 20th C effect (ozone pollution, acid rain, an end point effect or something), they'll be useful going back. If it is related to a physiological effect that makes their response to temperature very non-linear it will be more complicated. See this review paper for a discussion of the issue (page 10). - gavin]

    Comment by John Phillips — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:23 AM

  100. Prior to reading this stuff my assumptions about “the AGW debate” were:

    1. There is too much ignorant twaddle and “noise” coming from the sceptical camp to be bothered sorting it out.

    2. There is too much emotional manipulation and table thumping “official science” coming from the “save the planet” camp to be bothered sorting that out.

    3. Anyone unqualified in the relevant fields (including me) should stay out of the actual scientific debates among those who are.

    4. Consequently it is reasonable for governments to rely on the consensus reported by the IPCC even though there are strong indications of a tendency towards resorting to “official science” and government approval to add weight to the views of the large majority against those of the small minority among those qualified to debate the issues.

    5. None of the above sheds any light on what, if anything, should be done about it. Those are matters on which climate scientists have no special expertize.

    After reading the recently published information and taking a look at Gavin’s reference to “Model E” most of my preconceptions above are unchanged, but items 3 and 5 have to be modified.

    3′. It is still necessary to stay out of debates on the actual scientific issues among people qualified to debate those issues. But it is clearly necessary for outsiders to intervene and insist on proper standards being enforced for peer review in that field as those previously responsible are too committed to their own views to be entrusted with editorial responsibility.

    5′ The obvious economic illiteracy of climate scientists is not just irrelevant to the climate science itself but actually problematic for it. Education on the sophisticated and very large scale stochastic partial differential equation models used by large teams with very highly paid PhDs in physics and mathematics as “quants” to shed no light whatever on the Global Financial Crisis should be mandatory.

    Comment by Arthur — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:23 AM

  101. Speaking of the “slow-down in warming this decade”:

    Dr. Mojib Latif, who was, until the present matter blew up, the climate scientist most often taken out of context, was interviewed on NPR Sunday.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120668812&ft=1&f=1007

    NPR interviewer Guy Raz: . . .Do you think your work is being misused?

    Dr. LATIF: Yes. It is misused. I must say this, unfortunately, because these changes we are talking about, these short-term changes, you know, their amplitudes are much smaller than the long-term warming trends. . .

    BAU, denialist style.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:23 AM

  102. @Pete Ridley, #76. Thank you for posting that excellent paper on water vapor in the atmosphere. It contributes to climate researcher’s understanding of the many feedback mechanisms involved in climate research. However, you miss the overall point of that article, which is that while everyone knows water vapor is an important GHG, and water is more likely to evaporate in warmer conditions when the air can hold more moisture, but quantifying the rate at which this occurs with temperatures changes, in their research, is not monotonic, meaning it can’t be plotted in a straight line on a graph. It does nothing to dispute ACC – it’s shedding light on a well known piece of the puzzle, opening up some of its lesser-known nuances. It’s good science and many climate researchers no doubt incorporate such ideas (and others as they come along) where pertinent. You also claim they make no mention of ACC, but on the first page:

    “For instance, there is evidence that the width of the Hadley circulation has increased over the past decades [e.g., Hu and Fu, 2007; Seidel and Randel, 2007; Seidel et al., 2008], and it also increases in many simulations of climate change in response to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases [e.g., Kushner et al., 2001; Lu et al., 2007; Previdi and Liepert, 2007; Johanson and Fu, 2009]. This widening of the Hadley circulation is often linked to the decrease in the moist adiabatic temperature lapse rate with increasing surface temperature, which results in an increased tropical static stability and can lead to a widening of the Hadley circulation, at least in dry atmospheres…”

    so you seem guilty yourself of picking out some data and throwing the rest away. I’m glad you posted it though, as I’ve been too busy with school work (and today, this distraction) to catch up on all of my AGU (and GSA) reading. Well done.

    Comment by Shirley — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:27 AM

  103. #53: Ray Ladbury says:
    23 November 2009 at 6:12 AM

    Quote: The basic problem with the denialist arguments is that the proponents are so utterly ignorant of the science. For God’s sake, we now have people contending that the rise in CO2 is not due to human activity! Folks, come on. Humans have produced more CO2 than can be accounted for by the increase in the atmosphere and we have acidification of the oceans that accounts for the rest. We know the carbon is from a fossil source by the fact that it is enriched in light carbon isotopes. We KNOW these things, and to claim we do not is not skepticism but ignorance at best. /Quote

    That’s a thing that has long fascinated me.

    We burn ~84,000,000 barrels of oil a day. Colossal tonnages of coal and volumes of gas. The figures are huge, mind-bogglingly so. One would think that burning hydrocarbons in air would produce oxides of hydrogen and carbon. You folks with me so far?? (/sarcasm)

    I wonder where all that carbon dioxide is supposed to go. Perhaps there is an invisible black hole into which it all disappears? Because in the world of the denialist, it must end up in a parallel dimension somewhere!

    Keep up the good work, Gavin!

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  104. Gavin: Judy Curry has some kind comments about you, here: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7826#more-7826

    Her take on some of the data availability:

    “The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various “hockeystick” analyses stand out as lacking such transparency. Much of the paleoclimate data and metadata has become available only because of continued public pressure from Steve McIntyre. Datasets that were processed and developed decades ago and that are now regarded as essential elements of the climate data record often contain elements whose raw data or metadata were not preserved (this appears to be the case with HADCRUT). The HADCRU surface climate dataset needs public documentation that details the time period and location of individual station measurements used in the data set, statistical adjustments to the data, how the data were analyzed to produce the climatology, and what measurements were omitted and why. If these data and metadata are unavailable, I would argue that the data set needs to be reprocessed (presumably the original raw data is available from the original sources). “

    Comment by J — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:33 AM

  105. Ill advised is a very strange term to use. It is a criminal offence in the UK to destroy information that is the subject of an FOI request

    The comment was ill-advised because, taken at face value, it is suggesting that people ought to break the law.

    In itself, though, it does not prove that the law was actually broken. Perhaps people responded saying, “no, think this through, we can’t do that” and those who feloniously purloined the e-mail didn’t include this response. Perhaps Jones, on further thought, agreed and retracted his suggestion and you’re not being shown that by the agenda-driven hackers.

    Or, perhaps they did break the laws.

    The point is that from the files, we don’t know. So saying “the comment was ill-advised” is certainly accurate. Claims that Jones broke the law go beyond what we currently know.

    If he did, no sympathy on my part, he should know better. If he didn’t, the e-mail still makes him look foolish.

    Either way:

    It has no effect on the science whatsoever. CO2 isn’t going to suddenly stop absorbing long-range infrared radiation out of embarrassment over Phil Jones’ e-mail.

    It also has no bearing on the obvious fact that someone committed a felony in breaking into CRU’s server and distributing the contents.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:40 AM

  106. “That’s no good advice to give a scientist. Let the scientists establish the science, but leave the savior role to activists and politicians.”

    Yes, I considered that angle, but decided on balance it is better to give encouragement and try to establish a sense of perspective.

    Obviously the best thing a scientist can do to promote the well-being of the species is to provide accurate data — otherwise we will be making decisions based on faulty information. Keep in mind that it cuts both ways: if scientists can prove that AGW is false, they will save us from massive wasted effort. Either way they have provided an invaluable service to society. I think Gavin understands that.

    However, the role of providing accurate data is crucially important. It’s easy to get caught up in the petty details of the argument. I was trying to call attention to the big picture. What these scientists are doing is incredibly important regardless of the results of their research, and they are being attacked by opponents with no scruples or intellectual honesty. They should stand proud and remember that they are doing humanity a great service.

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:41 AM

  107. Lawrence Coleman says: 23 novembre 2009 at 10:21 AM

    [huge paragraph full of statements without sources] then

    > Do I have to go on or can you begin to see a picture happening here!
    > You can ask gavin et-al for all the hard scientific facts.

    C’mon, Lawrence. Posting a collection of assertions without cites, then telling people they can bother Gavin about getting the facts?? This is rude.

    If you take each sentence in that huge dump and look it up, I’d guess you can support half those claims or less. Some of them are incoherent, like

    > rate of coral polyp and inverebrate deformation due to weak Calcium
    > carbonate matrices is now common in most parts of the world
    > caused by ocean acidification.

    Please, you can do much better than asserting things and expecting others to find the evidence for them. That’s just wasting everyone’s time.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:42 AM

  108. I think there are a few other groups whose email correspondence would be worth viewing…

    1) American Petroleum Institute

    The budget for their 1998 latter project included $600,000, partially to “identify, recruit and train five independent scientists to participate in media outreach.”

    If you want to find out who those 5 media-oriented tobacco scientists are, just check Andy Revkin’s blog at the NYT – he usually cites one or two of them in every post. That’s an important point – the tobacco scientists need access to media, and guess who is there to provide it? Can we see a collection of emails sent to Andy Revkin?

    In fact if the NYT email accounts were hacked and put on file somewhere, the NYT would probably refuse to discuss it, citing the need for journalists to protect their sources!

    API shadiness has few limits – recall the 2006 story on how the National Science Teachers Association refused to distribute free copies of An Inconvenient Truth? Here’s an API blurb on that from their 1998 memo:

    Organize under the GCSDC a “Science Education Task Group” that will serve as the point of outreach to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and other influential science education organizations. Work with NSTA to develop school materials that present a credible, balanced picture of climate science for use in classrooms nationwide.

    The scope is quite breathtaking – but with millions of dollars to spend, that’s what happens.

    2) American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

    Bonner Associates forged letters from various public groups on ACCCE’s behalf, but there was no legal response – ACCCE was not censured or banned from lobbying or fined. For more on this dishonest coal front group:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pete-altman/accce-the-american-chambe_b_322677.html

    “ACCCE gets its turn in the barrel later today when it will enjoy the spotlight of a Congressional hearings on letters that were forged on its behalf this summer and sent to members of Congress.

    Yes, and Andy Revkin at the NYT was all over that story – multiple blog posts, front page headlines – right? Wasn’t he? Actually – no, he didn’t. Not an issue, those forged letters… but climate scientist emails, oh, that’s big news, we gotta run with that, it’s very “sinister.”

    I’ve sent a letter to the NYT ombudsman on this, I suggest others do so as well.

    3) FutureGen Industrial Alliance, Inc.

    FutureGen is a public-private partnership to design, build, and operate the world’s first coal-fueled, near-zero emissions power plant, at an estimated net project cost of US $1.5 billion. The commercial-scale plant will prove the technical and economic feasibility of producing low-cost electricity and hydrogen from coal while nearly eliminating emissions.

    Reporters might want to submit FOI requests to the DOE on this Sept 2009 story:

    The FutureGen Alliance and the U.S. Department of Energy today signed a Cooperative Agreement allowing for the continued development of a cutting edge, low emissions coal-fueled power plant in Mattoon, Ill.

    In particular, reporters should be asking if what is really going is the construction of a coal-to-gasoline plant under the guise of a zero-emissions coal plant.

    The reason? It’s all coal gasification technology, and the component parts of FutureGen are to be auctioned off to Illinois coal producers after the $2 billion “demonstration project” is completed. That is to say, there is no plan to keep FutureGen operating as a zero-emissions coal plant – which makes sense, since the technology doesn’t work – like fusion, it’s “fifteen years in the future.”

    What happens to coal-to-gasoline plans under binding emission limits? They evaporate.

    4) The CO2 Capture Project.

    The CO2 Capture Project (CCP) is a partnership of the world’s leading energy companies, working with academic institutions and government organisations to research and develop technologies to help make CO2 capture and geological storage (CCS) a practical reality for reducing global CO2 emissions and tackling climate change.

    Here you have your tar sand syncrude and liquified natural gas concerns, and since both are emissions-intensive, a PR effort has been mounted (as with coal) to portray them as “clean” and to promote the myth that the emissions have been captured, so tar sand imports can go forward. Interestingly enough, this was the same rationale that the State Department used when granting a recent tar-sand import permit to Canada.

    A complete list of all correspondence from these institutions – particularly that involving their DOE partners and their press partners – would make for far more interesting reading than the CRU email, I think…

    Comment by ike Solem — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:49 AM

  109. I always get fascinated by the conclusion some of the AGW-skeptic/denier/whatever group:

    “We do not understand climate, therefore we are safe to continue CO2 emission without limit”

    Maybe I am extremely risk averse, but for me this is more logical:

    “We do not understand climate, therefore we should not mess with it”

    Comment by Varga Endre — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  110. Thanks to RC for putting this light breeze in a small teacup to bed.

    But, Gavin, you may be buzy over the next few days. Knowing how some of these things work – that’s the opinion management people (=PR)- there may be more selected leaks coming out in the next few days, now the story has international traction.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:57 AM

  111. Holy moly! It’s like something parodied on the The Simpsons:

    “Er, it’s an angry mob, ma’am. Could you step outside for a twinkle while we knock down your house?”

    It’s amazing how hard people will work to dumb themselves down for the thrill of being mean.

    “Ah, there’s no justice like angry mob justice.”

    Comment by Radge Havers — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:09 PM

  112. Arthur Dent says in #86 : “Ill advised is a very strange term to use. It is a criminal offence in the UK to destroy information that is the subject of an FOI request.”

    However, if the data had already been deleted before the FOI request then there is no issue.

    If the data cannot be passed on due to binding legal agreements with the IPR owners of the data, the party making the FOI request can obviously approach the same agencies who are the owners of the IPR rights for that data, and no party has been coerced into exposing themselves to litigation.

    If appropriate civil servants of the UK goverment review the FOI requests and judge that the requests are unnecessary, the requestors are free to appeal.

    Comment by JBowers — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:09 PM

  113. Re #s 80 and 86: The email advising deletion of confidential emails seems problematic only if taken out of context. Note that it starts with the FOI officer advising one of the scientists that correspondence (specifically with Caspar Ammann and Mike Mann) that is considered by CA and MM to be confidential is exempt from the British FOI law. Presumably CA and MM did say so, as a consequence of which the deletion was perfectly legal. That it would have also been appropriate given concerns about the ultimate security of emails kept on the UAE server has been made obvious by recent events.

    It’s worth noting that many of the released emails would fall under the same exemption.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:14 PM

  114. Some of the inequalities in Trenberth can be explained by melting “anchor ice” on the fringe of Antarctica.

    Anchor ice is sea water that is rapidly cooled so that it freezes without expelling it the salt in the water; has a density greater than sea water; and, a melting point below 0C. At one time, there was a good deal of such anchor ice. Now, there is less.

    Southern Ocean currents can deliver large amounts of heat to subsurface ice, the melting of which could absorb large amounts of heat with minimal change in the temperature, volume, or density of the surrounding waters. This is not a process you will find — unless you are looking for it. However, the melting of the anchor ice could absorb large amounts of heat, and by the by, may protect the base of the WAIS from warm currents.

    I have no evidence except what my slide rule tells me, but that slide rule has always been as reliable as a virgin with a mouth full of fresh bay leaves. It is just a matter of asking the right question – and believing in the oracle. Most will not like this answer, and therefore will not believe it.

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:21 PM

  115. Dan E. Bloom: This is why we are going to need polar cities in 500 years.

    BPL: There won’t be a North Pole in 500 years.

    Antarctica will still be covered with ice. You need farms to feed cities.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:21 PM

  116. I want to thank RC for fighting this fight (among all the others that you find yourself fighting), and extend sympathy and solidarity to the researchers whose privacy was violated and who find themselves having to defend their professionalism due to this illegal action.

    In the long term, I think that the shrill nature of the deniers is doing them far more harm than good. They keep crying wolf and RC keeps, calmly and rationally, showing them that, well, not a wolf.

    Keep it up.

    Comment by Tobbar — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:31 PM

  117. Saying these are “private emails” and the normal banter of colleagues (I agree with that for 98% of the emails) omits that the University of East Anglia’s written Freedom of Information Act policy states that all email should be considered public and staff should always strive to be “clear and professional” in their email correspondence.

    The best approach now is for the participants themselves to ask for an independent investigation of the statements made in the emails – the comments in the source codes and other documents. If there is nothing to hide, this will be easily resolved.

    Dr. Trenberth says these emails are just a few selected to make people look bad. An easy solution, then, is to release all or most of the email correspondence since the rest will presumably present researchers in a better light. Per the UEA FOI policy, the rest of the email is now likely to be requested via FOIA anyway.

    In the future, proceed with as much transparency and openness as possible (per Dr. Judith Curry and commonsense) – release the data and code where ever possible. Open source has shown that many eyes help produce more reliable code – and help find the truth.

    Refrain from any appearance of “stacking” the peer review process in the future. Again, focus on openness and transparency.

    Climate scientists have suffered a huge black eye. The best way to re-establish credibility and reputations is to change the mindset from secrecy and tribal behavior to openness.

    Comment by Ed — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:34 PM

  118. Max: they believe that the complex system of radiative forcings and feedbacks doesn’t easily have an amplification of much more than 1. They want to calm down the debate to a more rational and sensible level,

    BPL: Why is it either rational or sensible to use a figure that isn’t correct? That’s like Woody Allen’s line about a guy who thought humans would never progress until they lowered their body temperature from 98.6, which he felt was unreasonable.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:34 PM

  119. It might be helpful to focus on the basics of the science underpinning the idea of AGW to counter the skeptics. The greenhouse effect is a real phenomenon and human activity releases GHGs into the atmosphere. No amount of statistical nit-picking about tree ring proxies can change those two facts. Human activity causes the earth to warm because it has to warm without violating really fundamental physics.

    Comment by Rod — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:34 PM

  120. Chris K: I may yet be proven wrong, and a link between CO2 and global average temperature may exist, but I doubt it

    BPL: Try here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:40 PM

  121. The denyalists will realise they have been totally misinformed and misguided or just plain ignorant within a decade I would bet.

    My guess is that many of them will continue to deny that humans are affecting climate change, arguing its a natural phenomena and thus we don’t have to do anything. Those that do realize it probably just won’t speak up – “victory has a thousand fathers, but failure is an orphan”, that type of thing.

    Comment by Brett — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:41 PM

  122. I have a question for the ‘AGW supporters’ (let’s use that shorthand for now)

    Why do you want the globe not to warm up?

    [Response: That is a reasonable question and is based on the fact that society is adapted to the climate we have (though not perfectly of course). Where we build cities, where we grow crops, how we live are all based on assumptions about the climate - the temperature, the rainfall, the tides, the expected storm surges, the variability etc. Changes to that background will likely require shifts to how we do all of those things and some changes will be hugely expensive in terms of people and infrastructure to adapt to - even if that is possible. Coupled with the uncertainty of exactly a planet that would be warmer (say 3ºC) than at any time in the last 3 million years would look like (and note that sea levels were ~60 ft higher then!), I don't want to take the risk. YMMV. - gavin]

    Let me also, address the converse side of the question. If you believe your data and research indicates that there is anthropogenic global warming, why do you want ‘Copenhagen to succeed’?

    Why do you want to see immediate, concrete, legislative or normative action taken on the basis of your scientific findings?

    [Response: See above. - gavin]

    For a AGW-supporting climatologist, failure of Kyoto-ish protocols and laws taking root in governments around the globe is considered a personal/professional failure. Why?

    [Response: Not sure about that. I am not involved in drafting legislation or treaties and so I have no personal stake in their passage, other than my hope as one citizen among many that politicians might, occassionally, be able to look forward beyond the next election cycle. - gavin]

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:44 PM

  123. WDS — 23 November 2009 @ 5:00 AM:

    I am an academic (biological science, retired) and I disagree with you. If an incident like that in CR occurred in a journal I published in, I would have acted the same. Scientists should be very upset when the review process fails so catastrophically. Read the CSI piece Gavin linked to above (issues) where this, and another incident in my area of interest are discussed.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:47 PM

  124. Wow…Ray Ladbury is still posting…so much for non-insulting.
    Gavin…I appreciate your efforts in a very daunting task. For what it’s worth, I have spent years working for a state environmental agency and finally gave it up after seeing my sections mission change from working for the tax payer to becoming predatory towards the tax payer.On top of that, having to deal with people like Mr. Ladbury on a daily basis made for a very hostile work environment. I also realize that there are two sides to every debate. The main problem I see with the continuance of this discussion both here and in public is the attitude exhibited by people like Mr. Ladbury, who demand that everyone agree with him or face his wrath. The scientific community can learn from this little hacking incident. If you don’t want it hacked…get rid of it. Dropping dimes in any hackers chat room can provide amazing results.
    If all you want to do is insult people with legitimate questions Mr. Ladbury, have Gavin give you my email…you’ll be toast by noon.

    Comment by Tim — 23 Nov 2009 @ 12:50 PM

  125. Re 87: There’s nothing at all anti-science about some deniers (although you get your fair share of nuts in both camps I’m sure).
    In fact the main problem I have is that, as #81 so fortuitously provides in his ill-advised comment, most climate change believers feel that the science is looking to prove a trend “they already know is there”. His words, not mine.

    Now, as a scientist (we just need a science degree to call ourselves that these days don’t we!! :)) I would say that this is equivalent to the logic behind intelligent design devotees. They see proof where there is none because they already know what they want to see.

    I saw a programme once about some idiot who believed the temples at Angkor Wat were a massive early star map. He saw patterns and trends of temple placement which he felt fitted with the stars…because that’s what humans do. They pick out patterns and trends in order to try to understand the things they see around them. Of course he was talking utter rubbish and his claims were a total nonsense.

    Just as I have a problem with creationists and the like hijacking science’s reputation by claiming some pseudo-science basis for their own folly, I also have a problem with man-made global warming believers using unproven science to drive massively debilitating and expensive political policy that will affect everyone.

    Perhaps global warming is man-made. I’ve said it before..I doubt it is…but all I am waiting for is better proof before banging my fists and demanding punitive taxation as the answer.

    Comment by Chris K — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:10 PM

  126. [Response: No data has been lost or destroyed. - gavin]

    [Response: No. But I am not party either to those FOIA requests, nor the timing and nor do I know what happened or what the scope was. - gavin]

    Given your second response, or first is a guess, not what you know. Presenting unknowns as known facts is what got you in this mess.

    Comment by Tim Teitenberg — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:17 PM

  127. In our paper’s
    supplementary information, we state that we used the HadCRUT2
    temperatures for this purpose, which combines land air temperatures
    with SST observations. In fact, we used the CRUTEM2 land-only
    temperature data set for this purpose. These should be identical
    where the proxy locations are not coastal. For these correlations,
    we did not filter the data, nor did we detrend it, and we used the
    *full* period of overlap between the proxy record and the available
    instrumental record.

    We excluded records that did not show a *positive* correlation with
    their local temperatures.

    “So WHY!? state that you used HadCRUT2 when you in fact used CRUTEM2″

    [Response: I assume that you have never made a mistake? And if you did, you never corrected it? - gavin]

    Comment by Jonas Henriksson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:21 PM

  128. This is why I do not believe we will come to some consensus to try and ward off some of the worst effects of global warming. We have individuals with no science background, and no basic scientific understanding, looking for one quick soundbite that will confirm that AGW is a lie. Context not needed. A large majority of this country will never believe because the science looks at temperatures over 6,000 years ago. In their mind, anything further back is a lie by the devil because the earth is only 6,000 years old. There is no explaining to them. Unfortunately, this group is a majority in the US. They get their “science” from the bible and Glen Beck. The day Stephen Schneider gets invited on the GB show to explain how peer review works, the scientific method, and why we must do something now, I will start believing in a god. [Please note: I will not start believing if this invitation occurs after the evidence becomes so overwhelming that you would have to belong to the flat earth or gravity denying groups to think otherwise].

    Comment by Samuel Steinmetz — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:32 PM

  129. I’d be interested in any comments you may have on this – 1201724331.txt – an email from Caspar Ammann to P. Jones:

    “Fodder for the critics: all these modelers, they always put in too much energy – no wonder it was warming – and now they want to reduce the natural component?”

    It seems it’s not only contrarians who harbour doubts the validity and predictions of climate models.

    Additionally, I’ve yet to see convincing evidence that the start of the supposed current warming period being coincident with the start of the industrial era, is anything but a coincidence.

    [Response: The previous line is helpful: "And regarding TSI, it looks like that 1361 or 1362 (+/-) are going to be the new consensus. All I hear is that this seems to be quite robust. ". He is talking about the uncertainty that exists about the absolute calibration for the solar 'constant' (see the PMOD site for more info). His comment above is tongue in cheek because a change in the base TSI level has very little impact on the sensitivity of the models to changes in GHGs - everything else gets changed slightly to get the model into equilibrium. This would only be fodder for sceptics who didn't know what the issues were, and I'm sure there aren't any of those. - gavin]

    Comment by Scottie — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:48 PM

  130. Can anyone deny that politics is involved on BOTH sides? I for one would like to know the true facts. Skeptics looking for the truth should not be put down as “deniers” any more than proponents of the theory should be praised as defenders of “settled” science. All of this is theory on both sides. None of this is settled science. I think that both sides should be open with their findings and methods, and transparency should replace accusations and posturing. I have not seen any proof that greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming, and I have not seen any proof that they are harmless. We need more science and less politics.

    Comment by Tim Smith — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:49 PM

  131. Why cant they just ged rid of those bad apple scientists, and get on with the work? copenhagen is waiting, there are thousands of scientsist, who cares if a couple of them made som bad decisions?

    Comment by John — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:52 PM

  132. One of the hacked emails appear to address a recent, narrow controversy. Perhaps Dr. Schmidt or another RC moderator could comment?

    Lakebed sediments (“varves”) can be informative about paleoclimate. The varve records from Lake Korttajarvi in Finland were described by Tiljander et al. (Boreas, 2003); they have been used as proxies in recent long-term temperature reconstructions. Some of them were used in an “upside-down” orientation by Mann et al. (PNAS, 2008). Kaufman et al. (Science, 2009) initially made the same mistake, then corrected it upon online publication, when the error was brought to their attention.

    This topic has been discussed at a number of science-oriented blogs, notably Stoat. Also ClimateAudit, Roger Pielke Jr’s blog, Delayed Oscillator, and Cruel Mistress.

    The original email (with two replies) is coded 1252154659.txt, reproduced as Comment #28 at this thread at Pielke’s blog. It appears to show Kaufman and a coauthor candidly conferring with CRU colleagues about how to handle the upside-down Lake Korttajarvi proxy that Steve McIntyre originally identified.

    Is this email genuine, do you think?

    If it is, then all parties seem to have concluded that the use of certain Lake Korttajarvi proxies in building the climate reconstructions in Mann et al (PNAS, 2008) was mistaken.

    If this is the case, should Dr. Mann and the other authors of the peer-reviewed PNAS article issue a notice that reflects this consensus? Should PNAS’ editors request such a correction?

    [Response: This issue was discussed ad nausem at Stoat - bring it up there. However, note that Kaufmann's study and Mann's study were different studies with different methodologies. Kaufmann's used a straight up average of a priori selected and normalised temperature proxies - in that case there is no calibration step nor a valdiation step as there is the method used by Mann et al. In that case, the calibration of the records to the instrumental record is needed and that determines how a specific proxy fits in the scheme. If the varved proxy is contaminated by new non-climatic issues over the calibration period, it can't be used in the Mann methodolgy (though the truncated version could still be useful for Kaufmann). Thus it is important to test whether the Mann results were robust to the non-inclusion of the potentially problematic proxies. Which he did. There is no other possible reconstruction that would use the proxy in another orientation. It is either in the way it was, or it isn't included at all. Both options were published together in the PNAS paper. No correction needed. For Kaufmann the issues are different and he does have a choice about how to enter it in the process. Hence the correction in Science. - gavin]

    Comment by AMac — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:57 PM

  133. How do you guys avoid overfitting your computer models to historical data ? I know there are a number of techniques. How have the computer models from years earlier predicted the temperatures in the years that follow ?

    [Response: Good question. Some answers in our FAQ. And yes, look at the Hansen et al results. - gavin]

    Comment by steve — 23 Nov 2009 @ 1:58 PM

  134. My questions is this,

    With the computer models, would it be fair to say that they model all of the natural variations and mechanisms that we know of, i.e. Solar Energy, Volcanos, etc.?

    [Response: Yes. There are details that make this a little more than straightforward. - gavin]

    Also, if they don’t lead to the warming that we are evidencing that there must be another forcing of the climate other than what is already accounted for?

    [Response: Pretty much. Just using these changes creates a large and growing divergence in surface, stratospheric temperatures, water vapour etc. - gavin]

    And finally, humans are attributed as the forcing that is unaccounted for in the model? If there is a forcing that we are not taking into account in our models currently that is not attributable to humans, i.e. Cosmic Rays, Sun-Cloud connection, ocean current variability, wouldn’t that look the same in the model?

    [Response: Not really. We put in the human forcings that we can quantify and see whether this better explains the changes (and they do). These experiments suggest tests and observations that can be used to distinguish this hypothesis from others. Other changes (such as CR effects) can be explored to see whether they would also help improve the match (they don't). However, you are only left with plausible explanations of what has happened, not proof that this is an exact match. Different models and different groups come up with equally plausible explanations and the collective predictions from this group of models can be examined to see what is robust. -gavin]

    From what I understand about models, and correct me if I am wrong, is that they reflect the inputs they are given and show the conditions that would exist with said inputs. Then we attempt to attribute any variations that we see which differ from what the model predicts. If it is warmer than the model suggest then it must be because of an external forcing. Why does this forcing have to be greenhouse gas levels? This would help satisfy a lot of questions I have. Thanks Gavin.

    Comment by Jay — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:17 PM

  135. There is nothing inherently (intrinsicly) wrong with the scientific method and its entire literature of which climate science is a part is all treated equally by each and every science that uses its method. Science is septical and shooting down orthodoxy (AGW) is what it is all about so if orthodoxy is not shot down by the peer review then it stands and stand it does.

    These leaked emails just show some of the politics of the practitioners of science I am sure but say little of the masses of data collected by CRU/GISS (seperate records)and hence say nothing tangiable about climate change.

    Science is not suffering here. A few of its practitioners might be feeling a little uncomfortable perhaps as quotes and work is taken out of context to try and make them look like they are doing something wrong or colluding together to make the believe something it should not be.

    Comment by pete best — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:18 PM

  136. So Gavin now claims that “trick” means “a good way to deal with a problem.” That’s odd. Back in a November 9, 2006 post entitled “Cuckoo Science” criticizing Christopher Moncton, “trick” meant “absurdities that occasionally pass for serious ’science’ on the web and in the media” and “concepts are being mangled, logic is being thrown to the winds, and completetly unjustified conclusions are being drawn.”

    Gavin said in November 2006 that:

    Sometimes on Realclimate we discuss important scientific uncertainties, and sometimes we try and clarify some subtle point or context, but at other times, we have a little fun in pointing out some of the absurdities that occasionally pass for serious ’science’ on the web and in the media. These pieces look scientific to the layperson (they have equations! references to 19th Century physicists!), but like cuckoo eggs in a nest, they are only designed to look real enough to fool onlookers and crowd out the real science. A cursory glance from anyone knowledgeable is usually enough to see that concepts are being mangled, logic is being thrown to the winds, and completetly unjustified conclusions are being drawn – but the tricks being used are sometimes a little subtle.

    See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/cuckoo-science/

    [Response: Your theory is that once someone has a used a word with multiple meanings in one way, they are forever barred from using it in any other context or sense? Now keeping track of that would be a neat trick! - gavin]

    Comment by Terry — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:26 PM

  137. I also want to express my thanks to the RealClimate team for their hard work in what is, I’m sure, a difficult time. A perspective on this debate from the vantage point of anthropology and science studies may not be welcome right now, but FWIW I’ve blogged about this issue here: http://borderlandsofscience.typepad.com/rhetoric-on-the-borderlan/2009/11/the-cru-hack-controversy.html

    Good luck and thanks for fighting the good fight.

    Comment by Thomas J Nevins — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:27 PM

  138. To be fair, “trick” is sometimes used by RealClimate in a non-nefarious context:

    “The trick is to do this carefully so that as much climate information is retained while the growth function is discarded, and dendroclimatologists know how to do this quite well.”

    Comment by Terry — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:39 PM

  139. So since all this stuff is supposedly cherry picked to have things taken out of context the only way you can prove everybody wrong is to open up your data and make whatever you have that the hackers missed open and public. I’m sure you’ll have a million excuses not to do so that of course have nothing to do with hiding anything but it’s the only way I’ll ever have any respect for this website or the CRU. Although I half believe it’s just all taken out of context I find it hard to believe there are so many things that sound so suspicious, I can tell you for a fact that not one of my e-mails sounds remotely that sinister.

    Then again 70% or more of meaning is lost in a written message due to lack of voice inflection and body language, but now you’ve got 2 things to prove, human caused climate change and your own intentions/integrity.

    Comment by DaHamMan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 2:58 PM

  140. Take a look at Figure 2 of this article:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-is-Greenlands-ice-loss-accelerating.html
    Basically, before 2000, Greenland wasn’t really losing much ice mass. However, SINCE 2000, Greenlands mass has dropped off the deep end. It’s really quite a remarkable difference: pre-2000 and post-2000. Perhaps this graph is reproduced for Antarctica, etc. (I don’t know). My question is: if, in the last 10 years, we’ve seen an acceleration in global ice-melting, wouldn’t that as a simple matter of physics HALT global warming over the same 10 years? Systems do not change temperature while constituents within them are changing phase: its a thermodynamic no-no (I believe its Gibbs Law, or something).

    As to the email ‘controversy’: I guess I understand why RC feels a need to summarize and explain the 13 years of pilfered ‘private’ conversations, but I feel personally soiled to read any of it. As I indicated yesterday, everyone now knows that if you tortured someone, the denier community would be OK reading his confession, as long as you splashed it all over the internet. That’s just where their heads are at. But it doesn’t surprise all of us that they are just that morally bankrupt.

    Comment by ubrew12 — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:02 PM

  141. As an active researcher in the medical field I have a few general comments to the whole climate science story. My main concern is that there is too little caution applied to the interpretation of the ongoing science.

    While I agree with you Gavin that the peer review process is necessary and helpful, I think that anyone who has conducted and tried to report contradicting science in any field has run into problems with getting their message out. This problem tends to increase when the field is prestigious and gets lots of attention. This is mainly due to the fact that influential researchers control the whole process of peer review and they have a strong incentive to propagate their own views, both due to financial interests and plain vanity. The same people usually control the review process at the funding agency as well, which amplifies the problem. These problems always create an exaggerated picture of consensus within a field. This is a fact and if you do conduct science at a certain level you will know about this. Hence it is not impossible that a whole field will be flawed for a long time and this has happened a lot of times before. Paradigm shifts due to the emergence of new technologies also occur at a regular interval and to be sure about anything in science is to expose yourself to later ridicule.

    It seems to me that the science that is being conducted within the climate field is extremely difficult. To simplify it the whole field seems to be about correlations. Causality is theoretically extremely hard to dig out. You have no hard endpoints, no real experimental models where you can test your theories (apart from mathematical ones) and the timeframe you are working with is completely un-human. It is like trying to catch the influence of tobacco smoking on the development of lung cancer during 5 minutes of smoking.

    The current controversies makes for interesting reading though and as has been pointed out previously there are a number of good reasons to move away from fossil fuels apart from the possibility of the AGW theories to be accurate. Just to be able to halt the current monetary enrichment of Norway would in many peoples eyes be reason enough=).

    Comment by Jobnls — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:20 PM

  142. Was there an actual attempt to “hack” RealClimate or was there just someone attempting to post (as was done at other blogs)? If an actual hack attempt, has it been reported to the police? Details?

    [Response: Yes. No. Here. - gavin]

    Comment by TCO — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:21 PM

  143. Re:
    27
    Ron R. says:
    23 November 2009 at 2:53 AM
    Dave Mc said Nov 22 @6:44PM: “Experts from across the the world in Climate should be invited to take part in peer review, irrespective of their standpoint.”
    Not if their standpoint has been bought and paid for by Big Oil and King Coal.
    “The opinion of an AGW ’sceptic’ is as valuable as that of a AGW ‘believer’.”
    Again, not if their standpoint has been bought and paid for by Big Oil and King Coal.
    ***************
    Ron, are you more comfortable with a standpoint paid for by Big Government? Keep in mind government has access to a lot more of your money than Big Oil/Coal, is always looking for ways to get more of it, and for expanding its control of everything (lots and lots of cushy jobs at stake here). Anyway, let’s get out of the search for motivation (at best it’s a saw-off) , accept that a source of information is no guarantee of its truth and let the best science available go about its proper business of discovering truth wherever it can be found.

    Ron

    Comment by Ron — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:27 PM

  144. Gavin,

    Nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of science. (Well, some of Marie Curie’s love letters with a married man were published in a newspaper and she had to hide in the countryside to escape reporters, but that’s a mere anecdote.) I hope your institution is supporting you whole-heartedly in this work — people may not realize how important it is. Aside from weird cranks like Velikovsky and their coteries of crankish supporters, never before has an entire scientific community been accused of dishonesty. And yes, you represent the scientific community, not just the handful of folks named in the stolen emails. The logic of the attack is to undermine the personal credibiilty of each of the thousands of researchers who participated in the statements of the IPCC, National Academy of Sciences, American Physical Society, etc.

    The real issue is trust, as many of the comments have pointed out. Social scientists will tell you this has become key in all science-technology-society relations. After all, government leaders are planning deep changes in the world economy based, essentially, on trust in the scientific community. They sure can’t run climate models themselves.

    Attacks on the integrity of climate scientists contribute to a broader suspicion of scientists in general. This suspicion has enormous potential for harm; consider for example the resistance to vaccination. So Gavin, you are on the front lines in a battle of the highest significance.

    How best to conduct it? We don’t understand very well how to respond to such attacks, as politicians on both left and right who lost elections thanks to calumnies can tell you. One thing we know is that it’s important to answer criticism immediately with facts — and immediately means within 24 hours or less. So your labors are of the very first importance. We could wish that many more scientists would join the effort, but people turn to science because they desire the objective, impersonal, painstaking pursuit of the truth; most are temperamentally unfit for such controversies and prefer to stick to their work.

    One bit of gratuitous advice. Resist the temptation to answer, for the Nth time, any query that the questioner can quickly resolve by searching realclimate.org or a dozen other places. You just don’t have the time for such lazy people. Concentrate on detailed answers to the specific criticisms raised by the emails. And resist the temptation to repeat your answers if you can do it more quickly by saying, “Please see response to #xxx” or, “Please search this thread for the words ‘zzzz’.” This can not only save you time and emotional/intellectual energy, but will help readers notice the extent of repetition and the failure of many to even bother to search the thread.

    Say, do any of you readers want to help by suggesting additions or revisions to the listing at the top where responses to common attacks can be found, whether on realclimate or elsewhere? I’d do it myself but I’ve got this paper to write…

    Cheers,
    Spencer

    Comment by Spencer — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:33 PM

  145. Well, I’ve run out of social science explanations. This hacking, and all the other frenetic denialist pranks and tactics in the run up to Copenhagen appears to be the work of the devil himself. And I’d really like to pin it on the culprits, but…

    A great TWILIGHT ZONE episode, “The Howling Man” (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Howling_Man ), explained how we all do bad things due to our human nature, but when REALLY bad things happen (like world wars, or the denialist war on climate science), it’s the devil who’s gotten loose and gone a rampage.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:33 PM

  146. Re 79&81
    Martin Vermeer has pretty well nailed it- the basis of debate has moved beyond hypothesis testing to the “It’s the physics, stupid!” stage , but that does not mean we are out of the woods on parameter estimation.

    A threefold range ( 1.5-4.5 K) was the best 4AR could do on climate sensitivity , and until the historical spectrum of peer reviewed estimates stops rattling around in a multi-K range , and starts to converge on a two decimal place ‘consensus’ value, policy analysts may continue to view the 90% rhetoric with condign skepticism.

    It matters not whether the letters were purloined from the Climate Research Unit, the American Petroleum Institute-, or their respective PR firms.

    That both sides in the present controversy should stoop to reading other peoples’ mail reflects as little credit on the honor of the scientific profession as some of the emails in question.

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:35 PM

  147. From one of the E mails.

    One prominent IPCC researcher concerned about this gap in knowledge is Simon Tett from the Hadley Centre for climate modelling at the Meteorological Office, home to one of the world’s five leading global circulation models, capable of recreating a mathematical version of how the atmosphere works and of running simulations of climatic changes over decades or even centuries. He says that “in the past, our estimates of natural variability have been based on climate models.” But this autumn [date?], he says, those estimates have been thrown into turmoil by a paper published in the journal The Holocene. In it, Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California at San Diego, compared model estimates of natural temperature fluctuations over the past 400 years with the best evidence from the real world — from instruments in the past century and “proxy data”, such as Briffa’s tree rings, from before that.

    The result was bad news for the modellers. The two models examined — one German, the other American — generated a natural variability of around 0.1 degree C per century. This was less than half that revealed in the proxy data. “Of course we don’t have to believe the proxy data. They certainly have problems attached to them. But my belief is that they both models, and proxy data too, underestimate real variability,” says Barnett

    The models’ error was not, perhaps, too surprising. As Barnett points out, they do not include vital “forcing” mechanisms that alter temperature, such as solar cycles and volcanic eruptions. Nor can they yet mimic the strength of the largest year-on-year variability in the natural system, the El Nino oscillation in the Pacific Ocean, which has a global impact on climate.

    Nonetheless, the findings should serve as a warning, Barnett says, that “the current models cannot be used in rigorous tests for anthropogenic signals in the real world”. If they are they “might lead us to believe that an anthropogenic signal had been found when, in fact, that may not be the case.”

    Explain please.

    [Response: This is a piece by Fred Pearce, for New Scientist, written in..... 1996. He still has a compuserve email address! Things have changed (just a little) since then, and you can read about that in the IPCC AR4 (2007) report. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:37 PM

  148. I read the email with this comment from Phil Jones in (1189722851.txt). I think it’s interesting that he suggests backdating documents.
    ——–
    Ammann/Wahl – try and change the Received date! Don’t give those skeptics something to amuse themselves with.

    Cheers
    Phil

    [Response: Context is all. The published Amman and Wahl paper had (has?) a typo in the "Received By" date, saying that it was received on 22 August 2000, when that was actually received in 2006. Amused? ;) - gavin]

    Comment by Thor — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:46 PM

  149. Hi there,

    I’m kinda right down the middle on climate change. I think the planet’s climate is slowly changing, but I’m not positive its all because of man. When this story broke, I wasn’t really sure what to believe because I know people will spin this in any direction they can. But I have the following questions:

    1. What effect does solar radiation have on the climate of the planet, and how do climate models take this into account? How is solar radiation measured?

    [Response: See some of our papers on the topic i.e Shindell et al (2006) or Schmidt et al (2004). - gavin]

    2. What effect does geothermal activity have on the climate of the planet, and how do climate models take this into account? My thought here is that how do we measure for changes in temperature and pressure below the earth’s crust?

    [Response: Generally this is ignored in the global models. It is a very small term 0.07 W/m2 on average compared to 240 W/m2 absorbed from the sun. In specific applications - deep sea vent communities, borehole analysis, permafrost stability, it is important, but it isn't thought to be relevant to climate change. - gavin]

    3. As someone who builds financial models, I know there are a great number of assumptions that have to be made in order for them to work. What are some standard assumptions made in climate models, and could these assumption lead to a materially different result if they were changed?

    [Response: See our FAQ on the topic. - gavin]

    Thanks for responding if you get a chance.

    Comment by Bill Teufel — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:49 PM

  150. There has been a lively exchange here and on other sites about the legal ramifications of the leak of illegally hacked personal correspondence of scientists working directly or indirectly for the public domain, and possibly themselves on shaky legal ground WRT the FOIA.

    The legal aspects are really not that pertinent, as it is highly unlikely that anyone on either side is going to be prosecuted.

    The suggestion has been made that the timing of this leak was politically orchestrated to present an already shaky Copenhagen conference even greater difficulties in arriving at any binding decisions to stop man-made global warming.

    I agree that the fallout here will be political, rather than legal.

    There is no question that Copenhagen will suffer from the exposé that a relatively small group of highly influential publicly employed scientists who control and interpret the scientific data being used by the IPCC to support the AGW premise, who peer review each other’s reports and influence what does and does not get published in scientific journals, are colluding in their own interest and as political activists.

    And even more damning is the evidence, which shows that they are doing so rather arrogantly with an apparent intolerance for dissent or differing scientific opinion.

    It has been suggested that this leaked personal correspondence only shows that scientists are human, like everyone else.

    I believe it goes much further than that, and that these scientists have hurt the very cause, which they are championing by their ill-advised and arrogant behavior.

    This is quite apart from the validity of the science supporting (a) potentially alarming AGW, (b) minor AGW with no alarming consequences or (c) no appreciable AGW at all, which is a totally independent question

    But I would welcome others’ opinions on this (particularly those of Gavin).

    Max

    Comment by manacker — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:51 PM

  151. Gavin, Thanks for your prompt reply to my previous question (post 1075: RaymondT 22 Nov2009 at 10:45pm ) and congratulations for your excellent website. The paper by Kevin Trenberth (An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy) has rekindled a question I have about the methodology used in climate modelling concerning the tuning of the radiative forcings used in history matching the temperature history. Dr Trenberth in his paper outlines a multitude of potential explanations for where the radiative forcing has gone in order to explain the stabilization of the surface temperature in recent years. This paper shows that we are just starting to understand natural variability. Mojib Latif in his power point presentation given at the WCC3 asks: “How much did internal decadal variability contribute to the warming during the recent decades ?
    My question is then: How do we remove the natural variability beyond the ENSO time scale (i.e. on a multi-decadal scale) from the temperature record ?

    [Response: Great question. And if you have a good answer, write it up and submit it to Science straight away! Joking aside, it is a hard problem. There are multi-decadal variations in both the internal variability and the forcings. Our measurements of the historical variations don't extend back over more than one or two multi-decadal cycles so it is almost impossible to do a statistical separation. Therefore you are left with a model-based approach, but there is quite a lot of variation in the model realisations at this frequency, and so it is not particularly definitive. One could theoretically extend the instrumental data with the proxy records - at least for a couple of centuries - to get some bounds on the magnitude though, and that indicates that it is relatively small in the global mean, but larger in certain regions. But of course, that comes with its own issues. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:52 PM

  152. the really interesting bits appear to be the programmers’ notes in HARRY_READ_ME.TXT. No idea if they are real, but a summary here appears to be damning.

    Excerpt:

    Here, the expected 1990-2003 period is MISSING – so the correlations aren’t so hot! Yet the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical (or close). What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)

    ..You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance (which, er, they all are and always will be)…

    [Response: Read the full transcript starting a page or five up. The issue he/she is working with is that different databases had different metadata and had been updated differently. He is then trying to reconcile the data as best he can with "reference to the good databases". These things happen. The issue is whether he was able to fix this and reconcile the issues. Note too this is a reference to the CRU TS 3.0 dataset which is not the same as the more commonly used HadCRU data - it includes different stations, and does much more interpolation. Errors in databases are inevitable (try working with one over 30 years), but these work records indicate that there is a thorough and ongoing attempt to update and check them. What would you have them do instead? - gavin]

    Comment by Charles Nash — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:53 PM

  153. The why and how of the information release is disturbing. The abuse about skeptics and manipulation over contrary publications is human – if sometimes verging on the infantile. But it is unsurprising when folk who hold a strong opinion position feel challenged – regardless of whether they are right or wrong.

    These are not the issues for me. The law is. The people at CRU are public servants, and there is no case for their work correspondence to be “private”. In UK, government officials’ correspondence is “in the public domain” from the moment it is signed off.

    The FOI in UK is a very strong law and non-compliance has to be based on the national interest (security). I doubt whether climate science can invoke that as a cause for exemption. Even the University of East Anglia (UEA – home of CRU) states on its website:

    “What does the Freedom of Information Act mean for the University?
    There are two main obligations imposed by the Act on the University:

    1. That UEA must maintain a Publication Scheme, which lists the types and format of information the University routinely provides to the public

    2. That any individual making a request for information is entitled to be informed in writing by the University whether or not the University holds the information, and if it does to have the information communicated to them within the specified time limit of 20 working days.”

    The e-mails show that:

    - there was encouragement to stop people being told that UK has a FOI;
    - there was instruction to delete e-mails, and;
    - the UEA FOI administrator was persuaded by Prof Jones not to comply with a FOI request.

    These appear to show clear intent to pervert the law. The UK Information Commissioner has been asked to investigate, and if he finds against CRU, UEA or an individual, they can be heavily fined. This is what may cause the lasting damage and could be the mud that sticks.

    So it is all fine and dandy decrying tha hacker/leaker. If Jones or his employers are found guilty of a crime, that will be the real issue.

    Comment by Ghillie — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:55 PM

  154. Quick note of support from an ordinary member of the public.

    As someone who has been subjected to commercial advertising for most of my life and seen how politicians distort facts, in my opinion you don’t need to worry too much about this affair. Us ordinary citizens have a gut feel for when a ruler or merchant lies to us and they do that often. Always when I see a scientist say something, the sentence has a very precise meaning. It almost seems as if it can be either true or false and the person who says it has made sure of the facts before the time. To me it shows the integrity of the speaker. For trying to make a difference, you are my heroes. Good luck in your battle of defence against those who would attack your work.

    Comment by Tsai Chi — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:56 PM

  155. Re #79: Speaking of tobacco, the Washington Post has a very nice interview with Spencer Weart, who points out just how weird this is:

    Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers. In blogs, talk radio and other new media, we are told that the warnings about future global warming issued by the national science academies, scientific societies, and governments of all the leading nations are not only mistaken, but based on a hoax, indeed a conspiracy that must involve thousands of respected researchers. Extraordinary and, frankly, weird.

    He goes on to emphasize: Historians … spend countless hours trying to understand the context; scholarly reputations have been ruined by interpretations that turned out to be mistaken. The risk of misinterpretation is far greater with emails, and compares this to the recent Bear Sterns trial: hedge fund managers who were accused of misleading investors. The prosecutors based their case on a few seemingly incriminating sentences drawn from a mass of emails. When the jury saw the whole set of emails, they quickly found that there was no crime, just ordinary business chatter.

    Comment by Jonathan Gilligan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 3:57 PM

  156. There seems to be some doubt about the timeline of events that led to the emails hack. For clarification and to save me going through this again, this is a summary of my knowledge of the topic. At around 6.20am 7.20am (EST) Nov 17th, somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file FOIA.zip to our server. They then created a draft post that would have been posted announcing the data to the world that was identical in content of the comment posted on The Air Vent later that day. They were intercepted before this could be posted on the blog. This archive appears to be identical to the one posted on the Russian server except for the name change. Curiously, and unnoticed by anyone else so far, the first comment posted on this subject was not at the Air Vent, but actually at ClimateAudit (comment 49 on a thread related to stripbark trees, dated Nov 17 5.24am (Central Time I think)). The username of the commenter was linked to the FOIA.zip file at realclimate.org. Four downloads occurred from that link while the file was still there (it no longer is).

    The use of a turkish computer would seem to imply that this upload and hack was not solely a whistleblower act, but one that involved more sophisticated knowledge. If SM or JeffID want to share the IPs associated with the comments on their sites, I’ll be happy to post the IP address that was used to compromise RC.

    Comment by gavin — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:00 PM

  157. has realclimate done an article on the divergence problem and it’s relevance to paleo reconstructions? I have found separate points on it, but not an overall article, although I may have missed it. I ask because there are a lot of arguments around to the effect that the problem makes paleo temperature reconstructions impossible, but these arguments are given without context to published science and sound a little extreme. An article laying out some scientific context about the subject would be cool.

    [Response: Try this review (page 10) - gavin]

    Comment by Infinity — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:10 PM

  158. Gavin, lets be honest.

    You are obviously very well connected to the people and interests of CRU. While on this blog you claim to only filter noise, you until recently have used your position of moderator to filter most differences of opinion. While I understand how as a blogger you would want to push your point of view, I raise issue with the fact that this website is run by Climate Scientists. WUWT and other don’t claim to be scientists, although many contributors are. Therefor it is less important that they remain unbiased. The efforts here at RC are meant to sway the public and involve activism rather than pure science. The reasons for this are numerous including involvement with Fenton Communications. I am not trying to be insulting, I am just frustrated when those whom you trust to give unbiased information, much like doctors, have vested interests in the outcome of their research and experiments. I understand that you and the other climate scientists are no different than any of us in your humanity, we all look a little rough under a microscope.

    [Response: We are unbiased when it comes to the science. We are not when it comes to politically-motivated nonsense that passes for science in forums where people seem to be most frequently motivated by wishful thinking. And Fenton did our press release.. ooh... 5 years ago. We've never talked to them since. - gavin]

    Comment by Jay — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  159. #53 Ray Ladbury says:

    Don’t you think you ought to at least spend a couple of years familiarizing yourself with the subject matter before you consider yourself sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on it?

    Ray, no doubt you’ve read about the Dunning-Kruger effect, “a cognitive bias in which ‘people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.’” It’s a hypothesis with great explanatory power.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:12 PM

  160. The E mails make fascinating reading, especially:
    0889554019

    [Response: Really? It is likely a draft of this, rather dull, report. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:25 PM

  161. “1. There needs to be a clear statement of why the instrumental and proxy data are shown on the same graph. The issue of why we dont show the proxy data for the last few decades ( they dont show continued warming) but assume that they are valid for early warm periods needs to be explained.”

    - 1150923423.txt

    Can anyone please point me to a paper/discussion on why this data is not valid now, but is valid for early warm periods? Thanks.

    Comment by Bob — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:34 PM

  162. Saw your response on #17, makes sense

    Are you going to post the updated code to dispel this mess?

    [Response: Not my code or project. Ask 'Harry' ;) - gavin]

    Comment by Dialla — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:41 PM

  163. What do you guys think, should I tell him?

    Comment by jeff id — 23 Nov 2009 @ 4:58 PM

  164. Is this so-called “hacking” being investigated by the authorities?

    Comment by Steve LeMaster — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:01 PM

  165. It’s troubling that realclimate seems to be single-mindedly defending all the data and emails from the CRU hack as being “no big deal… all of this happens all the time”. I suspect more credence would derive from a bit less-obvious defense of the status quo on the AGW side. The fact that data has not been released, peer-review has been affected, and so on, should result in some calls from Real Climate for oversight and not so much “nothing here folks… move on”.

    Comment by Mike Sigman — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:06 PM

  166. Is publicly posting IP addresses a wise choice here? Assuming there is some sort of investigation here into what happened, you might want to consult with whoever is doing that investigation.

    Comment by tharanga — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:07 PM

  167. On why not all data is public: this was raised about HadCRUT after a bit of a tussle with deniers. CRU had 2 reasons for not releasing all raw data: some of it was paid for with limited use licenses, and data processed in the 1980s could not be kept because of the cost of disks. At the time that issue was doing the rounds, I calculated what it would have cost in 1980 to store one year of climate station raw data and the amount was in the millions of dollars. Hard to believe today when you can buy a 1TB USB disk for next to nothing, but this is the effect of an ongoing exponential drop in the price of computer technology; my bottom of the range cell phone has more computing power than a 1975 $5-million Cray.

    No serious nature-based science project at the cutting edge of available data volumes can afford to store all its raw data indefinitely. Today we could store all the data from weather stations, but we should also be pushing the envelope by including more data from more diverse sources. I would be surprised if absolutely all that data were stored long-term, professionally curated and easy to find. I’ve certainly run into problems in research in areas less in the public eye than climate science where data isn’t where it’s supposed to be, the wrong version was uploaded to the repository, everyone doing related work has a different standard for data layout or the software that used the data is now in a new version, and no longer works to reproduce the reported result. Despite all this, good discoveries are made and science advances. Why? Because scientists are for the most part jealous of their reputations and highly competitive. If they make a major mistake, most try to make good before someone else spots it. There are exceptions of course, many of which are found in the climate denial camp like those who have no compunctions about flatly contradicting themselves or talking complete rubbish (e.g. Bob Carter recently in The Australian said we should be planning for rising sea level based on local tide gauges rather than global averages: excuse me Bob, but didn’t you notice that the oceans are all connected)?

    Sadly, we live in a world where science funding is constrained. Presumably the people who are demanding that every scrap of raw data be preserved, easy to find, well documented and free to access are utopian social[not spam]ists who believe that the sciences should be funded to whatever degree necessary to achieve good results, but the rest of us live in the real world where we have to live with these imperfections. Good on Gavin and those who do go the extra mile to make their data accessible.

    In Australia, the denial camp for some time has been demanding a Royal Commission (an enquiry with wide powers to assemble evidence) into the alleged manipulations of climate scientists. I’ve countered by proposing a similar investigation into their campaign, at which point they fall very silent.

    What we are dealing with here is developing all the characteristics of a war, without the shooting. Why should we be surprised? The rational response to AGW is to move rapidly to renewable energy, a hard but not impossible project even with currently known technologies. The fossil fuel industry and their acolytes don’t want this to happen any time soon, and are willing to risk the biosphere for a few more years of profits. The sorry thing is that if we reach a point where extreme measures are called for, they will go out of business very fast, rather than slowly over decades – and this will most likely be at the point where catastrophe is undeniable. This isn’t like the tobacco companies’ war on health, where it was always possible to find a new gullible group once old markets were tapped out and regulated to the extent of making expansion hard. This is all or nothing, because the fossil fuel industry wants it that way. If some magic pudding solution (unknown to us and certainly unknown to them, otherwise they would have produced it by now) saves us from extreme climate change, they keep on as before. If not, they go down with the rest of us.

    The thing they seem to forget is that they don’t have another planet any more than the rest of us do.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:11 PM

  168. UEA should share all the data-sets? Yes that would be a good goal. But not now!

    We don’t know the cause of the break-in. But
    whatever the answer, appeasing the anti-scientific campaign now, would be seen as the success of a highly aggressive campaign which assumes that it is entitled to do anything and tell any lie. What would the next stunt be ? I don’t think this gang should appear to be rewarded for its misdeeds or it will just escalate them. Any group of people might be discredited this way by harrassment, invasion of privacy, hyping and misrepresenting the revelations.

    This morning BBC’s Radio 4 interviewed Nigel Lawson and Prof. Robert Watson over the issue. The former argued for a public enquiry to avoid British science being tainted! I think we should first have an enquiry into the lack of proper science reporting on Climate issues by Channel 4 and BBC 2. For years, Lawson , who has been trying to emulate James Inhofe, has been campaigning for the abolition of the IPCC with a knowledge of climatology based on short term trends with no value and the hockey stick libel (see RC and Open Mind on both issues).

    Prof. Watson was quite effective in the short time available but of course had to give priority to defending the UEA so that the short term temperature behaviour got rather too little attention. This is a bad omen. The contrarians are using this ad-hom nonsense to flood the media so that there is no time to deal with their climate convusionism… just as planned.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:19 PM

  169. The hack is a shame, and so are all these “skeptics” comments. I just hope it will appear that the hackers were paid by some wuwt or morano…

    The worse is that none of these stupids will recognize they’re wrong when the temps go higher than 1998 in 201X.

    Anyway, I hope this stupid noise will stop soon. It seems another occurrence of their “delay” strategy. Isn’t this a bit too close from Copenhagen ? Will we see other stolen emails, from, say Jim Hansen, in the following days ?

    Hope you can soon go back to your terrific real work we badly need !

    Comment by FredT34 — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:27 PM

  170. Hi Gavin,

    I hate to bother you with more questions about the attack, but perhaps you might have a few more details:

    1. Who initially discovered the hacking and prevented Real Climate from being hijacked?

    2. Did this same person identify the offending IP as originating in Turkey?

    3. Are you aware of any measures being taken presently to track down the offender?

    4. It sounds like a fairly sophisticated attack; are you confident the hole has been plugged by IT or are the methods used by the hacker still obscure?

    5. Is there any additional reason–besides the obvious–to suspect the timing of the attack might be suspicious?

    [Response: Me. Me (via ARIN Whois for what that's worth). No. Yes... errr... maybe. Not really (though see the BBC blog by Hudson). - gavin]

    Comment by Mike C. — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:50 PM

  171. There are claims from spokespeople defending the criminal acts in this case.
    Several have suggested that these criminal actions were the work of whistleblowers. These spokespeople suggest in fact, that the hacked file was prepared under a FOI (Freedom of Information) directive. If that is the case, then it opens up some intriguing possibilities:

    A whistleblower is someone in an organization, that realizes that it is hiding or concealing information from legal authorities and decides to go directly to the legal authorities. Or alternatively, the whistleblower realizes the organization is publicly saying one thing, and internally has information saying significantly different. The second case is damaging, if opponents or critics don’t have access to the information.

    In this case, apparently the emails were contained in a file that was assembled for a FOI demand in Britain. The British authorities apparently turned down the request, likely because the information wasn’t material to use as requested by the applicants, i.e. it isn’t useful for scientific purposes.

    Surely the attorneys for the applicants saw this information during discovery, so agents for the applicants did have private access to the emails. But the British courts said no to public disclosure.

    It is possible that in order to get around the British courts, the emails were \”hacked\” and used for cyber sabotage. If so, any legal defense of these criminal acts disappears. And in no way, can these acts be considered whistleblowing. Only if the information was illegally withheld from the British authorities, could whistleblowing be considered justified.

    It appears possible, that the applicants didn’t like the decision by the British authorities, and decided to do an illegal end run. The possibility exists that court documents have been illegally disclosed.

    It also interesting to note, that some of the spokespeople defending these criminal acts, received the hacked files either before or contemporaneously with the cyber sabotage attack on RealClimate.

    Comment by Paul Klemencic — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:53 PM

  172. George Monbiot at the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/23/global-warming-leaked-email-climate-scientists is more or less suggesting that the emails change everything, and calling for the resignation of Jones, and apologising to his readers. I have taken him to task – others might like to have a quiet word to him too. The thread, is, not surprisingly, full of triumphant denialists, including one, bizarrely (or perhaps not) saying that not only is AGW all a hoax, but so was the evidence for tobacco causing harm, and all of that nonsense about anti-smoking campaigns should be stopped. We are in fantasy world once again.

    Comment by David Horton — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:55 PM

  173. The Wall Street Journal put an interesting spin on the editors of Climate Research resignation in protest of the publication of the Soon & Baliunas paper. “The result: Messrs. Soon and Baliunas were treated as heretics and
    six editors at Climate Research were made to resign.” Making it appear that editors were forced to resign because they supported the paper instead of resigning to protest that such crap got published over the objections of peer reviewers. Of course the “true skeptics” buy this kind of subtle misinformation hook, line, & sinker.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 23 Nov 2009 @ 5:58 PM

  174. Interesting, Gavin, have you double checked that this IP isn’t a proxy server?

    I can’t see how this information about the RC hack, which you already vaguely mentioned, squares with the screeching about how this was a legitimate whistle blowing by a concerned FOI officer. This was a malicious attack perpetrated by someone aiming to cause humiliation.

    Comment by Paul H — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:08 PM

  175. Where does coal come from? Does coal contain carbon? Where did the carbon in the coal come from? Where was the carbon before it was in the coal?

    Comment by Jimmy — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:12 PM

  176. “Climate scientists have suffered a huge black eye.”
    Ed — 23 November 2009 @ 12:34 PM
    You mean they’ve been mugged? I couldn’t agree more.

    Comment by Moira Kemp — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:15 PM

  177. George Monbiot has just written that Phil Jones should resign for unscientific behaviour, and he apologises to his readers because “I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.”

    (He then engages is some of the most leaden satire I have read in quite a while). I think he is jumping the gun and I’ve expressed this in the comments (PhilClarke).

    Comment by pjclarke — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:17 PM

  178. BBC 2 Newsnight just came on with this as its lead item. Poor and shallow. Bob Watson was confronted with Fred Singer who made the same demands as Nigel Lawson, without any reservations, and managed to combine it with an attempt to rubbish MMGW (he does not want the public to know there is such a thing as science , only data-sets).

    Bob Watson said that there were two other data-sets which showed similar results. The public will not know about Singer’s record as lobbyist as a campaigner for the tobacco and CFC manufacturers. The item was introduced by its BBC science correspondent Susun Watts and Jeremy Paxman, the main presenter. On this occasion Jeremy seemed better clued up (or less timid?) than Susan.

    Someone said that one climate model forecast no warming for a couple of decades ; isn’t this just a continuation of the misunderstanding over Latif’s talk? It was not contradicted. What has it to do with the emails?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:20 PM

  179. Perhaps global warming is man-made. I’ve said it before..I doubt it is…but all I am waiting for is better proof

    Since you equate climate science with intelligent design and other pseudo-science it seems clear that nothing will convince you. Your post also makes it clear that it’s the political implications that lead you to the position that it must be pseudo-science.

    Meanwhile, whether you believe it or not …

    1. Burning fossil fuels adds CO2 to the atmosphere

    2. CO2 absorbs IR

    If it were possible to prove either of these statements wrong, it would’ve been done long ago. The truth of both makes it clear that our activities will warm the planet, the only question is, “how much?”.

    And, of course, going back to this absolutist statement:

    Perhaps global warming is man-made

    This is a strawman because no scientist in the field would make such an absolutist statement. Human emissions of CO2 and other changes to the planet *contribute* to climate change. Obviously other factors like changes in the sun’s output, orbital factors, etc also contribute.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:27 PM

  180. Gavin (125) — Unfortunately one cannot assume just because the IP address used was one assigned to a computer in Turkey that in fact that (or any other specific) computer was actually part of the attack. The ability to “spoof” IP addresses is rather widely known and attempting to track down the computers actually used is rather a nightmare and best left to speciialists.

    Instead, I have a quaetion: if the attempt on RealClimate a crime in the locality of the server hosting RealClimate? If so…

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:28 PM

  181. I think that both sides should be open with their findings and methods …

    I have to admit that the skeptic side is extremely open with their findings and methods … of course, this is because they have none to speak of, making the task easier …

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:29 PM

  182. I’d never heard of RealClimate until today, when I was reading through posts on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). The e-mail hack was already being jumped on by “skeptics”, and someone referenced this site for an explanation. I’m glad he/she did.

    I’m literally bored to tears with the ongoing “debate” over AGW. How there isn’t still a global debate over whether smoking causes lung cancer is beyond me, given the lengths to which the “skeptics” will go.

    Anyway, please keep up the good work, gavin et al. It is a powerful thing to see someone SMART deflecting one moronic comment after another. I wish I could do as well on the CBC!

    Cheers.

    Comment by Antocalypse — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:55 PM

  183. Re: 90

    “It is exactly this attitude, that we must save the world, that has caused these people to forget their scientific training, so that the end justifies the means, and science violations occur. You are not helping anybody. Keep your secret knowledge of impending doom to yourself, and let some real science ensue.”

    I’m sorry, I think I’ve been misinterpreted, which is not surprising. I don’t have any knowledge that anybody else lacks — I do think that the question of what is going on with our climate is the most important question facing our species at the moment. As my background is in science, I assumed it would go without saying that the greatest service a scientist can provide to the species is to provide accurate information about the physical world. Apparently it does not go without saying, and needs to be stated explicitly.

    I don’t think any scientist would be doing the world any favors by distorting data or misrepresenting science, and I get the impression Gavin understands that.

    I did not intend to imply that scientists should allow these considerations to influence their judgment on scientific issues — rather, quite the opposite, they must hold themselves to a much stricter intellectual standard.

    My point, and I admit I put it in a rather eccentric manner (it was quite late at the time) was simply that, given the extremely high stakes of this matter, scientists working in this field can expect to be held to a higher standard of behavior than others, and maybe that’s a good thing. My intent was to provide encouragement and inspiration to continue this vitally important work despite the stiff opposition they are currently facing.

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 23 Nov 2009 @ 6:58 PM

  184. David Appel:
    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2009/11/cru-hack.html

    —–excerpt follows—–
    I saw that my name popped up in a few places in the emails. I don’t have much to say about them (which is neither a confirmation or a denial of whatever was claimed) except I do not at all recall ever threatening Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen (editor of Energy & Environment) with “litigation” (mail file 1068239573.txt) I can’t imagine doing that as a journalist, and even if I wanted to I don’t know what I’d threaten, unless it was to tell her I was going to file a FOIA, which I certainly did not do in this case since (a) I didn’t think that that any of her internal journal correspondence was subject to a FOIA, as it was unrelated any government function, and (b) I don’t even know if an American can file whatever the equivalent of a FOIA is in Britain. I do, though, plead guilty to having called her multiple times, whether it annoyed her or not. That’s my job.
    —–

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:00 PM

  185. 1089, That’s OK Hank, I wouldn’t say a word you peak at WUWT. However the point is whose curves are more realistic? Whose shows the global temperature flattening over the past 8-10 years, as shown on the figure below?
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/climate4u-lt-temps-Ljbug.gif

    Comment by J. Bob — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:01 PM

  186. It seems to me that the science that is being conducted within the climate field is extremely difficult. To simplify it the whole field seems to be about correlations. Causality is theoretically extremely hard to dig out.

    The physical basis- causality – for AGW was first proposed about 150 years ago, and the physics for CO2s direct contribution more or less fully worked about by the 1950s.

    The correlation – the signal separating from the noise – followed.

    In other words, warming due to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere was a prediction by science which observations have borne out.

    Modern climate science has made other predictions, i.e. stratospheric cooling, which observations have also borne out.

    Where are you getting your [mis]information?

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:03 PM

  187. Hi, been reading more and more global warming stuff lately. Came to this blog from a link from the Guardian newspaper. Nice site. Just thought I would post my two pennies. I love the subject of global warming; it must be an absolute nightmare for policy makers who are being asked to decide to make policy that will be seriously damaging to the quality of life enjoyed by those in the developed world who elected them based on statistical science. I am left rather bemused by the focus on “proving” that people are responsible for global warming. Surely this adds very little to the debate? Obviously no computer model will be able to (I work in computer modelling for electronics) “prove” global warming (p.s I’m not saying that their is no value in climate science – I’m very impressed by it). Therefore why bother to argue with those who hold a sceptical position on this point? Surely it is enough for policy makers to say that we are a species heavily dependent on a particular ecosystem and we have decent evidence that our activities might be altering that ecosystem. No one (to my knowledge) has been able to convincingly show that human activity does not affect the climate therefore we should stop (or try to reduce) harmful activities until such time that either someone is able to show this or until our level of technology has advanced to the point where we could mitigate any effects? Why do we not hear this sort of argument more often? I think it is much more convincing than hearing the latest confidence factors of the latest climate models quoted or the percentage of leading scientists currently convinced etc… This sort of argument is used to justify other difficult to quantify policies. For example (not a very good example probably) it would be very difficult to “prove” that we will be invaded in the future but we have convincing evidence to justify that we might be – and so we maintain the armed forces? Ben.

    Comment by Ben — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:13 PM

  188. hy folks,

    why didn`t you make all of the date and codes free open to anybody?

    if it is the turn of global meanings, it should be, you do not think like me?

    sorry, but here is much to explain and i do not see a positiv reaction by those peoples involved in all these thinks. why are you defending? what ist to defend?

    Comment by Angelika Maier — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:13 PM

  189. On the first issue I am deeply disappointed to discover this “divergence problem”, if tree rings can’t record the recent climate warming how can we assume they would have recorded warming events in the historical record? If the data has been over-hyped then it needs to be admitted

    [Response: If you want a fair assessment of what the real issues are and what is being done to deal with the imperfections that exist in any idea about what happened in past climate, read the relevant chapter in the IPCC report. The 'divergence problem' doesn't affect every tree ring series and many attempts have been made to see how far you can get without using tree rings at all. - gavin]

    —————————-
    Gavin, if I may ask a follow up question. I don’t understand how correlated, reliable temperature proxies can be gathered from Tree-rings, regardless of where they are in the world. My (probably limited) understanding of what affects tree ring growth can include a combination of Sun, Cloud, Wet, Dry, Shade, Not Shaded, Forest Fire, Nutrients Supply etc etc. Given this, why would we use tree rings as a temperature proxy? Surely with the influences above, it would impossible to know what the climate is like year on year for a thousand years. (Was it Sunny and Wet, Sunny and Dry, Sunny, Dry and with a forest fire that year?)

    [Response: All of the above. But the use of tree-rings for temperature means looking for places and situations where temperature is the dominant control. See here for instance. There is also a book by Fritts that is worth googling. - gavin]

    Comment by Robert.I — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:14 PM

  190. Tim Smith
    23 November 2009 at 1:49 PM

    I for one would like to know the true facts.

    If you haven’t found them, I think you have never looked for them. The scientific publications underpinning the AGW theory are public and for all to see and falsify. What have you done to find those facts? You could start with this one.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:14 PM

  191. What do you guys think, should I tell him?

    Naw, the news is already out: Jeff ID thinks that Ball and Watts are credible, insightful people.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:15 PM

  192. [removed to prevent confusion]

    Comment by Paul H — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:16 PM

  193. It’s troubling that realclimate seems to be single-mindedly defending all the data and emails from the CRU hack as being “no big deal… all of this happens all the time”.

    It’s troubling that you’ve missed the fact that gavin has, more than once, described Jones’ e-mail suggesting people delete e-mail as “ill-advised”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:19 PM

  194. The fact that data has not been released

    I’m still waiting for a rational explanation as to why researchers should release data they’ve only gotten access to by signing agreements stating they wouldn’t release it.

    I’m still waiting for a rational explanation as to why, if researcher A says “I can’t release data from B”, denialists just don’t get off their lazy ass and ask for data from “B” rather than file FOI requests trying to force researcher A to violate the agreement entered into. And then why the FOI filer bitches when the FOI compliance officer says “sorry, we can’t do that”.

    Explain it to me in baby-steps so I can understand, please.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:22 PM

  195. Hi

    As a fellow scientist I would be horrified to find my email account had been hacked. I have no doubt I’d be sacked forthwith. We often email internally regarding data etc and how best to present data. Even sending GM cells to other labs require a group meeting to discuss the potential political implications of sending material to potential competitor collaborators.

    However badly I feel for fellow scientists this is a lesson to us all. Do not ignore FOI requests. This is where I fear it will all ends in tears. This is no longer about science. When the government become involved heads will roll. It will get the headlines off their corruption and point it to the ‘mad’ scientists. The people involved have failed to recognise they are nothing but political puppets regarding climate change.

    This will become too political and the sceintists involved are finished. See the writing on the wall and walk away. You know what will happen if you don’t.

    Goodluck.

    BTW: to the PhD student asking if he has a future in science after this mess…..if he needs to ask….that’s a good sign. Asking questions is what science is all about. The world goes on, and is not about to end because of this debarcle.

    Comment by James Tait — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:23 PM

  196. If SM or JeffID want to share the IPs associated with the comments on their sites, I’ll be happy to post the IP address that was used to compromise RC.
    Comment by gavin — 23 November 2009 @ 4:00 PM
    —————————-
    Gavin, I would suggest that in the spirit of co-operation, you should email JeffID and Steve Mc with the IP details. I am sure they will do the honarable thing and respond in kind. At times like this, sometimes you need to trust that the right things will happen.

    #

    What do you guys think, should I tell him?
    Comment by jeff id — 23 November 2009 @ 4:58 PM
    —————————–
    What do you have to lose? I would do this privately even though we know comments are moderated here. (Sorry Gavin!)

    Comment by Robert.I — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:23 PM

  197. Hi, I’m new to all this and find the controversy fascinating. I downloaded the files and inspected them (what I could understand, anyway) myself, since I don’t like to have anyone else telling me what to think.

    One thing I am curious about is the file 1256760240.txt, which contains two emails from a Dr. Don Keiller. He asks six questions in the two emails.

    Can you please tell me if his emails were responded to? If so, may we see the response? If not, why not?

    Thanks,
    David

    [Response: You know as much as we do. And we aren't privvy to the rest of everyone's emails. However, the answers to his questions are probably addressed in the pages that Briffa put up in response to the Yamal brouhaha. The cru server is down but the Google cache still has them: google "briffa yamal site:uea.ac.uk". - gavin]

    Comment by David Gordon — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:26 PM

  198. I read Hudson as meaning he recognised an email thread that he was party to back in October in the released archive, rather than seeing the whole thing then. But the man is not the most lucid journalist in the world so I could be mistaken.

    Comment by pjclarke — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:27 PM

  199. I don’t know Gavin, but it’s dubious even if it’s not illegal.

    Meanwhile, WUWT is demanding firm evidence that RC was hacked.

    Comment by Paul H — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:29 PM

  200. Hi Gavin,

    First, kudos to you for this marathon, I understand it must not be fun, and appreciate the huge effort.

    I have been a programmer for 20 years plus, but like most people looking at this stuff not a climate expert in any way. That said, I do understand working with data and the daily travails of code massage. A lot of things causing arm waving are just normal day in the life stuff imo, but I do have two questions.

    1) Just to verify my assessment of the fortan code, it seems that through out the code there is a cutoff of about 1960 (not always exactly that) where proxy data is replaced, weighted, or blended with other more accurate measurements due to the proxy data not matching a known signal. Some of the comments use unfortunate language in retrospect, but people should try to make comments clear in any case so I have no issue with those. So it isn’t a comment issue, just I want to be sure that I understand correctly that the pre-1960 and post-1960 data is coming/influenced from two different sets… is that a fair assessment?

    2) The Harry file seems normal enough (not best practices I’m sure, but the poor guy had his work cut out for himself with that data, ugh! Hat tip to him). It seems to have started as just improving existing code, but for most of the remainder been a log of creating the 3.0 datasets and code (is that correct?). It seemed to me in general the new set isn’t considered correct until is gives a close match to the old set. Was that the goal (and I understand that can be a legitimate goal), or was 3.0 meant to be a second set of data/code to compare and verify the first?

    Thanks very much for your time,
    Robin

    [Response: The 1960 issue only applies to a single reconstruction (Briffa et al, 1998), but not more generally. In the WMO figure, pre 1960 was proxy, post 1960 was observed, and the smoothing was done assuming they were coherent. For your point 2), there is no reason why TS 2.1 should be the same as TS 3.0 - new data, fixes etc. will all make a difference. Obviously you would want to know what the reasons for the differences were. - gavin]

    Comment by debreuil — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:31 PM

  201. From point 174:

    FOI requests regarding data/confidentiality agreements. Pass the FOI onto the RO of your sponsor. Let them deal with it. You cannot release confidential data that does not belong to you nor should you put your head in the sand.

    Comment by James Tait — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:35 PM

  202. Just want to add my name to the list of those who have congratulated Gavin in particular and RealClimate as a whole for their work here.

    Also to support the pithy comments on skeptics made by dhogaza in comment 156:)

    Comment by Paul Harris — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:36 PM

  203. I’m still waiting for a rational explanation as to why researchers should release data they’ve only gotten access to by signing agreements stating they wouldn’t release it.

    I’m still waiting for a rational explanation as to why, if researcher A says “I can’t release data from B”, denialists just don’t get off their lazy ass and ask for data from “B” rather than file FOI requests trying to force researcher A to violate the agreement entered into. And then why the FOI filer bitches when the FOI compliance officer says “sorry, we can’t do that”.

    Explain it to me in baby-steps so I can understand, please.
    Comment by dhogaza — 23 November 2009 @ 7:22 PM

    ——————————-
    I would suggest that it isn’t just about the raw data. It’s also about the processes that “B” employed to produce their results. I am sure you will agree that transparency in science is critical for searching out the truth. Science only becomes credible when independent verification of Data + Verified Methods = Results is achieved. I must admit, I don’t understand why there needs to be agreements in place between A and B except for revenue purposes. Surely the agreement, if not for revenue, is a direct violation of the scientific method? On this basis, results that are not verifiable from data + method are not credible.

    [Response: Not true. You can verify using other methods and other data and in the end that's much more important. - gavin]

    Comment by Robert.I — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:44 PM

  204. I wrote Comment #128 (23 novembre 2009 @ 1:57 PM, supra) on the use of Lake Korttajarvi varve proxies by Mann et al (PNAS, 2008). Gavin, thanks for addressing this question. While your response is detailed, it unfortunately contains some assertions that may mislead readers unfamiliar with these issues.

    (1) Upside-down is upside-down–truncated or not.

    [Response: Kaufmann et al fixed it in their correction as they discussed in the email. - gavin]

    (2) Mann et al’s main test of the potentially problematic proxies was the original Fig. S8a, which showed their exclusion made no difference at al. At the Penn State website but not at PNAS.org, the corrected Fig. S8a shows that the inclusion of Lake Korttajarvi proxies do affect the reconstruction.

    [Response: Your threshold for a significant difference is clearly different from mine. I don't see one if you remove the '7 problem' proxies. - gavin]

    (3) The reasoning you offer after eyeing Mann et al’s first-round non-inclusion results has interesting implications, beyond the scope of this brief comment.

    (4) The peer-reviewed literature stands in error. Hacked CRU email 1252154659.txt appears to demonstrate that the PNAS paper’s authors are aware of this error. Should it be corrected?

    [Response: The issue was acknowledge and the appropriate sensitivity test is already included in the PNAS paper. There is no point in anything else. - gavin]

    I concur that this topic was covered at Stoat; interested parties can follow arguments there, profiting as well from reading other blogs where dissenting viewpoints are better-tolerated.

    Comment by AMac — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:45 PM

  205. 160 – “nfortunately one cannot assume just because the IP address used was one assigned to a computer in Turkey that in fact that (or any other specific) computer was actually part of the attack. The ability to “spoof” IP addresses is rather widely known and attempting to track down the computers actually used is rather a nightmare and best left to speciialists.”

    I agree, and I sent Gavin an email on the subject.

    I don’t know how much time the FBI would be willing to commit to an investigation of a security breach on a blog. The CRU hack will be taken far more seriously. I would send the IP to them in case he or she used different IP’s in the attacks.

    Comment by EL — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:46 PM

  206. However badly I feel for fellow scientists this is a lesson to us all. Do not ignore FOI requests.

    They weren’t ignored. McIntyre’s FOI request was turned down by the compliance officer (not the correct bureaucratic label, which I forget, but functionally that’s the person’s job). McIntyre appeal. Rejection: upheld.

    Comment by dhogaza — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:46 PM

  207. Kind of interesting how all of this came up around the time that McIntyre started to have an epiphany that was leading him to doubt the viability of tree ring proxies.

    Comment by Rod — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:50 PM

  208. Paul Hudson – that rings a bell, because he wrote one of the most atrocious articles on climate I’ve ever seen recently:

    Headline: “What happened to global warming?”

    “But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures…

    A disingenuous appeal to tobacco scientists? Yes:

    But one solar scientist Piers Corbyn from Weatheraction, a company specializing in long range weather forecasting…claims that solar charged particles impact us far more than is currently accepted, so much so he says that they are almost entirely responsible for what happens to global temperatures. He is so excited by what he has discovered that he plans to tell the international scientific community at a conference in London at the end of the month. If proved correct, this could revolutionise the whole subject.”

    The “global cooling” myth was repeated by Andy Revkin at the NYT:

    The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years… The plateau in temperatures has been seized upon by skeptics…

    Dates?
    NYT – 23 Sept 2009
    BBC – 9 Oct 2009

    Such myths have been dispelled, thanks to RC. Here’s an excerpt:

    “It is noteworthy in this context that despite the record low in the brightness of the sun over the past three years (it’s been at its faintest since beginning of satellite measurements in the 1970s), a number of warming records have been broken during this time. March 2008 saw the warmest global land temperature of any March ever recorded in the past 130 years. June and August 2009 saw the warmest land and ocean temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere ever recorded for those months. The global ocean surface temperatures in 2009 broke all previous records for three consecutive months: June, July and August. The years 2007, 2008 and 2009 had the lowest summer Arctic sea ice cover ever recorded, and in 2008 for the first time in living memory the Northwest Passage and the Northeast Passage were simultaneously ice-free. This feat was repeated in 2009. Every single year of this century (2001-2008) has been warmer than all years of the 20th Century except 1998 (which sticks out well above the trend line due to a strong El Niño event)…”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

    So, what do we have here but deliberate distortion of the facts by these major press reporters assigned to the climate beat? These two reporters might as well be employed by some fossil fuel think tank as by “legitimate and reputable news sources.”

    Is there some reputable news source we can use to put this little event into context? Sure – but we have to go back a few years:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/19/ethicalliving.g2

    To spell it out:

    There are clear similarities between the language used and the approaches adopted by Philip Morris and by the organisations funded by Exxon. The two lobbies use the same terms, which appear to have been invented by Philip Morris’s consultants. “Junk science” meant peer-reviewed studies showing that smoking was linked to cancer and other diseases. “Sound science” meant studies sponsored by the tobacco industry suggesting that the link was inconclusive. Both lobbies recognised that their best chance of avoiding regulation was to challenge the scientific consensus. As a memo from the tobacco company Brown and Williamson noted, “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.” Both industries also sought to distance themselves from their own campaigns, creating the impression that they were spontaneous movements of professionals or ordinary citizens: the “grassroots”.

    Clearly, this is just such an event – but apparently, the fossil fuel lobby has far more sway over what reporters at the NYT and BBC cover than these institutions pretend – conclusion, they are not independent “news sources” but are rather acting more like “perception managers” who spin stories to please their advertisers and shareholders.

    By the way, there’s only one reason for Paul Hudson to keep it secret – timing. The fossil fuel lobby wanted to release this directly before Copenhagen in order to make the maximum impact on the discussions and hopefully kill off legally binding climate agreements.

    If Paul Hudson and others went along with that plan, then they are merely PR agents posing as reporters, very similar to those PR agents who pose as scientists.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:51 PM

  209. Can anyone tell me if this paper is published and/or peer reviewed?:

    ————————————————————————-
    “Recent unprecedented tree-ring growth in bristlecone pine at the highest elevations and possible causes

    1. Matthew W. Salzera,1,
    2. Malcolm K. Hughesa,
    3. Andrew G. Bunnb and
    4. Kurt F. Kipfmuellerc

    + Author Affiliations

    1. Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721;
    2. Department of Environmental Sciences, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225; and
    3. Department of Geography, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

    1.

    Edited by Harold A. Mooney, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved September 28, 2009 (received for review March 19, 2009)

    Abstract

    Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) at 3 sites in western North America near the upper elevation limit of tree growth showed ring growth in the second half of the 20th century that was greater than during any other 50-year period in the last 3,700 years. The accelerated growth is suggestive of an environmental change unprecedented in millennia. The high growth is not overestimated because of standardization techniques, and it is unlikely that it is a result of a change in tree growth form or that it is predominantly caused by CO2 fertilization. The growth surge has occurred only in a limited elevational band within ≈150 m of upper treeline, regardless of treeline elevation. Both an independent proxy record of temperature and high-elevation meteorological temperature data are positively and significantly correlated with upper-treeline ring width both before and during the high-growth interval. Increasing temperature at high elevations is likely a prominent factor in the modern unprecedented level of growth for Pinus longaeva at these sites.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————-
    Author contributions : M.W.S. and M.K.H. designed research; M.W.S., M.K.H., and A.G.B. performed research; M.W.S., M.K.H., A.G.B., and K.F.K. analyzed data; and M.W.S., M.K.H., A.G.B., and K.F.K. wrote the paper.

    The authors declare no conflict of interest.”

    Full text:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/11/13/0903029106.full.pdf+html

    [Response: Yes. See here. - gavin]

    Comment by JBowers — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:55 PM

  210. Gavin–

    [Response: Now that's interesting. Is there a shield law in the UK? Otherwise not reporting knowledge of ongoing criminal activity might be a little tricky to deal with. - gavin]

    There appears to be a shield law for whistle blowers discussed in comments at VC. I don’t know if there are other shield laws.

    Until we know the identity of the person who leaked the information and how they obtained it, it’s difficult to speculate whether a reporter holding the information since October and not reporting it would have been involved in anything tricky to deal with.

    One might imagine any BBC reporter would have had access to legal staff with whom to share information when deciding how to proceed with investigation of the story.

    [Response: Note: My above comment is withdrawn after the confusion pointed out above. - gavin]

    Comment by lucia — 23 Nov 2009 @ 7:58 PM

  211. Re: 90

    “It is exactly this attitude, that we must save the world, that has caused these people to forget their scientific training, so that the end justifies the means, and science violations occur.”

    I have one more thing to say about this. I think you are completely mistaken — if anybody has stepped outside the bounds of legitimate scientific behavior (I am not willing to stipulate that, but for the sake of argument…), I think it is in response to the highly unscrupulous attack made against these scientists by people of… shall we say, questionable moral character.

    That has been the most distinct impression I’ve had in going over these emails — I think the ruthlessness of the attack and its complete lack of intellectual integrity threw these scientists for a loop, causing them to become overly defensive and closed off.

    Scientists are used to defending themselves from attack from other real scientists, which is not truly hostile in intent and can be defended with logic, reason and evidence. They are not normally subjected to brutal assault by political hacks who will twist and distort any defense they attempt to make to serve an obstructionist agenda.

    In my experience scientists are normally quite open in talking about their work, but you find in these emails instances of people telling each other things to the effect of, “don’t talk to these people, you know how they’re going to use anything you say.” That’s not normal or healthy, and to the extent that the usual openness of the scientific process has been subverted, I think that’s why.

    This current episode is certainly not helping. If you actually want to encourage genuine scientific openness, stop viciously attacking scientists for everything they say and instead engage in honest intellectual discourse!

    Judy Curry posted a good essay about this over at CA actually, and I think she made some very good points.

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:00 PM

  212. [Response: All of the above. But the use of tree-rings for temperature means looking for places and situations where temperature is the dominant control. See here for instance. There is also a book by Fritts that is worth googling. - gavin]
    ————————————

    Gavin, thank you for the link. One observation is that ring width at -1800 is very nearly the same for 2000. Let’s assume that ring widths are dominantly influenced by temperature. This suggests that -1800 was nearly equally as warm as 2000 and suggests a primary influence of natural origins (-1800, that is) Would this be a reasonable assumption?

    Secondly, How do we differentiate dominant temperature to optimal growing conditions/ influences caused by previous suggestions? Why would there be a divergence from 1960 onwards?

    Comment by Robert.I — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:01 PM

  213. Ben,
    23 November 2009 at 7:13 PM

    to make policy that will be seriously damaging to the quality of life enjoyed by those in the developed world

    I don’t expect to suffer much from charging my electric car with solar/wind/nuclear power instead of filling it up with petrol. Even at twice the current energy price, that electric car will be cheaper to run. But thanks anyway for your concern.

    (B.t.w. I think the ‘back to the stone ages’ argument is alarmism of the other kind)

    I agree with you on the rest of your post. Climate models have their value in predicting what is heading our way so we can prepare. But you definitely don’t need them to decide whether to cut CO2 emissions or not.

    Humanity fiddling with the climate feels about as safe as Homer Simpson at the control panel of a nuclear plant.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:02 PM

  214. “politically-motivated nonsense”

    But you feel obligated to label everything you don’t like as such?

    [Response: Not in the slightest. I have many scientific disagreements with colleagues but these are usually about real uncertainties about which we have still to come to a satisfactory conclusion. Obviously I think I'm right and they're wrong - but that isn't always how it works out of course. But constant and strident claims that 'it's all the sun'/'CO2 is saturated'/'CO2 rise is natural'/'It's volcanoes'/'Models can't be trusted!' etc. etc. is politically motivated nonsense. Not something I hear much of at conferences funnily enough. - gavin]

    Comment by Johny — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:06 PM

  215. Gavin,

    I’m withdrawing my comment regarding Paul Hudson. For the record Paul Hudson did not mean this current set of emails in his blog post (i.e. the FOIA.zip) he was referring to a set of emails sent to him as a chain from various commentors within the climate community. I apologise for any negative aspersions I cast.

    [Response: Noted. I'll remove the comment to prevent confusion spreading. - gavin]

    Comment by Paul H — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:10 PM

  216. Re: earlier two Comments on the Lake Korttajarvi varve proxies.

    The corrected version of Mann et al. Fig. S8a that is currently at the Penn State website has two Temperature Anomaly traces that are nearly-identical: “original NH CPS” (black) and “NH CPS minus 7″ (green).

    The corrected version of Mann et al. Fig. S8a that I downloaded from that site circa 11/4/09 had two Temperature Anomaly traces that were not wholly superimposable: “original NH CPS (green) and “NH CPS minus 7″ (black).

    I have uploaded these files to BitBucket: earlier version and later version.

    I am not aware of text at the Penn State website or at PNAS that explains why or when the one file was replaced by the other. I am not aware of an explanation for the discrepancy between the two “NH CPS minus 7″ traces (green line in the earlier file, black line in the later one).

    Comment by AMac — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:15 PM

  217. Okay, you answered my question in the last thread, but I fear that you may not have understood me. Basically, despite one of the graphs being “prettied up” for presentation, the original data in constructing the graph remains unaltered. Am I correct in assuming that? Sorry for repeating the question, but when I first posted it, it was grammatically awful and incoherent. Though you did answer “of course”. Much appreciation in advance.

    [Response: Yes. All of the original data is downloadable from NOAA. - gavin]

    Comment by Juan — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:16 PM

  218. Ghillie says, “These are not the issues for me. The law is. The people at CRU are public servants, and there is no case for their work correspondence to be “private”. In UK, government officials’ correspondence is “in the public domain” from the moment it is signed off.”

    Bullshit. You are as ignorant in matters of law as in matters of science. The emails and all other records belong to the institution employing the scientists unless the grant explicitly states otherwise.

    However, the real question is why scientists should be treated as criminals merely for doing their job!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:17 PM

  219. >[Response: You know as much as we do. And we aren't privvy to the rest of everyone's emails. However, the answers to his questions are probably addressed in the pages that Briffa put up in response to the Yamal brouhaha. The cru server is down but the Google cache still has them: google "briffa yamal site:uea.ac.uk". - gavin]

    Thanks for the response. There are a lot of hits on that search term, but when I add “+Keiller” or “+Kieller” no results are returned. If you are in communication with someone who can provide an authoritative answer, please pass on my email address and question.

    Comment by David Gordon — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:17 PM

  220. [edited to prevent escalation of confusion]

    —————————————————–
    May be pertinent:

    “In the UK, journalists are protected from revealing their sources by the Contempt of Court Act of 1981. It provides that: “No court may require a person to disclose … the source of information contained in a publication for which he is responsible, unless it can be established to the satisfaction of the court that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime.”

    In 2001, the High Court in London ruled that the Contempt of Court Act did not protect individuals who wrote anonymously on the discussion boards of finance websites Motley Fool and Investor International.

    Ordering the disclosure of the identity of individuals who made anonymous, libellous comments, Mr Justice Owen reasoned that the Act did not apply because the sites neither took responsibility for what was posted on their discussion boards nor exercised editorial control. He also believed that, in any event, disclosure was necessary “in the interests of justice.””
    http://www.out-law.com/page-9426

    At the end of the day, it’s up to a judge.

    Comment by JBowers — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:19 PM

  221. Great. So the phrase “it’s all the sun’s increased activity” you don’t hear much at the conferences and is hence politically motivated nonsense.
    I call it: “Denial”.

    [Response: Yup. - gavin]

    Comment by Johny — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:19 PM

  222. So while the deniers fiddle, the Earth burns. I see that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is rather more sensitive to AGW than previously thought.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2009/091118/full/news.2009.1094.html

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo694.html

    Comment by Andrew Hobbs — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:24 PM

  223. Thanks for the reply! It will be interesting to see what happens. Personally I think the best thing about global warming us that action will require global cooperation; which can only be a good thing. You have got to be feel sorry for the third world countries though! They are getting told tha we have built a giant computer network and have applied it to the climate (just running the climate models and gathering the data probably produces more CO2 than some contries emit) and the conclusion is that they should not be allowed to industrialise their economies since we have already caused too much damage. Probably won’t go down too well!!!

    Comment by Ben — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:44 PM

  224. Gavin, I have long admired the tireless work of you and your colleagues at RC. You provide a unique and invaluable service to those of us who are trying to understand the science. My admiration has only grown as a result of your handling of this disgraceful hack business. I cannot imagine how you could have handled it better. I am frankly in awe of your energy and patience. But what is really important is how your personal and professional integrity have shined through. Only the real paranoids, who are more in need of therapy than scientific explanations, would fail to recognize that.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 23 Nov 2009 @ 8:49 PM

  225. You know, the more I look at all of the details and parsed out snippets of emails, I think to myself, that if this is the best ammunition deniers can come up with, then it really should be a good day for science.

    Seriously. The people who are dancing around over this stuff are really making fools of themselves, like desperate thieves who’ve broken into a house expecting to find money and jewels, and instead finding a grocery list, a stack of bills and unfolded laundry, while pretending to be thrilled about the cache. It’s mind blowing, actually.

    As others have said, there is no smoking gun here. Nothing. All of the most “damning” words and phrases are not only pulled out of context, but very small snapshots of a much larger process. Compiling data is not easy, and it is time consuming. Large data sets – regardless of what they’re from – climate, economic, or otherwise – will be full of weird blips and wild anomalies that don’t really reflect reality.

    This is why I’m disturbed by those calling for an all out expose of all data from “everyone” whoever that may be. Why? Because raw data is just that: raw and unprepared. Data must be reviewed first by those involved in collecting it (and again, not just climate – anything), because despite the sophistication of any instruments or people/etc. collecting it, there will be errors. During and after data collection, all of it must be scrutinized for errors – days machines weren’t working correctly or interfered with by some other factor, human error, etc., etc., etc. This takes time.

    Oh yeah… and that other pesky problem with releasing data. Most researchers don’t own the data they collect. The institution or grant-bearing agency or combination thereof owns it. I’ve read of cases where a researcher published data later in life which they collected as a grad student and got sued because their grant contract specified that they didn’t own the data. Contrarily, it seems that Gavin and others make their data available once they’ve published on it. Suggesting they do so beforehand is absurd.

    Comment by Shirley — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:05 PM

  226. Hacking is low and I’m always wary of arguments such as, “the ends justifies the means”. However, illegal manoeuvrings such as this have been perhaps triggered by a slight lack of transparency in the field. The long-term damage to the scientific process and reputation is what worries me most.

    Comment by ClimateReview — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:06 PM

  227. so was it a whistleblower or a hacker? team inhofe or team Morano? concerned UK professor whistleblower, or failed love affair angry person?
    my guess is whistleblower. his or her photo will be on cover of TIME and NEWSWEEK soon.

    Comment by Dan E. Bloom — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:09 PM

  228. Ray Ladbury says:
    23 November 2009 at 8:17 PM
    Ghillie says, “These are not the issues for me. The law is. The people at CRU are public servants, and there is no case for their work correspondence to be “private”. In UK, government officials’ correspondence is “in the public domain” from the moment it is signed off.”

    When I worked at a university in the UK we certainly were not “public servants”, nor “government officials” either! As far as I know that hasn’t changed since.

    Bullshit. You are as ignorant in matters of law as in matters of science. The emails and all other records belong to the institution employing the scientists unless the grant explicitly states otherwise.

    Correct.

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:09 PM

  229. Climate change email hacking to be looked into by University of East Anglia:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/23/climate-change-emails-uea

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:24 PM

  230. As more uncertainty is injected into the political debate as a result of this hack, there will be increased calls to “slow down” and “not take drastic action”.

    I’d just like to go on the record as saying that we need to take drastic action to solve the problems of air pollution as soon as possible. The health effects of burning organic material indoors to create heat are well known, and can be resolved by development and electrification.

    We need to take advantage of current political situation and electrify as much as possible as soon as possible. If with solar panels, fine. If with coal- just as fine. But action must be taken sooner than later, as people are dying.

    Comment by Dirk — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:41 PM

  231. > The corrected version of Mann et al. Fig. S8a that I
    > downloaded from that site circa 11/4/09
    see http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/11/tiljander_again.php#comment-2096655

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:42 PM

  232. Why don’t people start spinning this the other way around? It seems to me that the hackers have provided pretty good evidence that the only conspiracy among climate scientists is one to get the science done.

    I have no scientific background, so I can’t comment much on the scientific issues raised in all this. However, I am a historian, expert in handling and assessing archival collections, which this has essentially become.

    The hackers appear to have got into the university’s computer and stolen a great many emails, dating back to 1998. They posted a selection of about a thousand of these on the Internet. I have no idea how many emails they stole (there must have been many thousands available) or how they decided which ones to steal. Selectivity is the first thing any historian thinks about when looking at any archival collection. In this case, I have little idea what their methodology was — a description of the methodology does not seem to have been posted on the Internet.

    I glanced through a portion of the 1,000 posted. Some are as important as the grocery list I made last Saturday. Some might be very interesting to scientists in the various fields.

    People making an issue of this seem to quote at most 10 or so of these emails over and over again, the ones they can find that just might indicate something questionable, often vaguely questionable. There are few topical associations one can make among the 10 or so quoted; you can’t add them together to make any good point.

    If that is all there is, I think any historian (or good police detective) would conclude there is likely nothing at all that one should waste time following up.

    With regard to the silly arguments about the meaning of the word “trick,” just tell people to look at the Oxford Dictionary. Consulting the dictionary is one of the tricks of my trade.

    Comment by Bob Beal — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:48 PM

  233. Gavin,

    It looks like George Monbiot at the Guardian has plunged into the fray. Not productive at all.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/23/global-warming-leaked-email-climate-scientists

    Comment by ML — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:49 PM

  234. Comment by Max — 23 November 2009 @ 6:53 AM
    A small reply to ccpo:

    Why it is necessary to have a good understanding of climate science… blah-blah-blah…

    most political decisions are made while being unaware of the respective science. You claim that is not true

    Incorrect. Your reading comprehension is the issue, thus your screed following is irrelevant. By your logic, nothing should be decided without absolute knowledge and agreement. This is ridiculous. No public policy, of any kind, anywhere, is decided at such levels of certainty. Red Herring.

    Your position is all the more ridiculous because the changes we are seeing are so blatantly obvious, it boggles the mind that those of your ilk pretend you don’t see them simply to fill your pockets or remain slavishly chained to your ideology.

    they just think that the amount of warming is exaggerated in the methods we have nowadays.

    First, there is no evidence they “believe” any such thing. It’s a smoke screen. And they are wrong even if they do actually “believe” it. Logic tells you so: the changes we see are larger and sooner than expected. Climate sensitivity has to be at least 3C.

    Besides, this is just Denial Lite. A new twist on an old theme of delay, obfuscate, confuse.

    But they believe that the complex system of radiative forcings and feedbacks doesn’t easily have an amplification of much more than 1.

    They are wrong. See above.

    a more rational and sensible level

    Uh-huh. You all want to wait for that truck to hit you. I guess suicide is rational for some.

    Comment by J — 23 November 2009 @ 11:23 AM

    CCPO:>> [And it’s been warmer before 1850] No, it hasn’t. Check the recent lit. At least 2k years last I heard.

    2k is before 1850. And the MWP was about 1k before.

    Please don’t be childish.

    Comment by ccpo — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:54 PM

  235. Update on the RC hack. The IP address used turns out to come from a free proxy server based in Turkey and the CA comment came from a similar server in Russia. Since anyone can use these, the trail probably goes cold there. http://www.freewebproxy.org.ru/proxy-country/Turkey-01.htm

    Comment by gavin — 23 Nov 2009 @ 9:58 PM

  236. Reality vs. Modell:

    http://i50.tinypic.com/301j8kh.jpg

    Is this true?

    Regards
    Georg F.

    [Response: I don't think so. See here. (which is where I think that picture is derived from). - gavin]

    Comment by Georg Filzmaier — 23 November 2009 @ 7:56 AM

    Georg, apply your synapses: Modell? Egad…

    Comment by ccpo — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:02 PM

  237. From the previous thread:
    939
    tharanga says to Gavin Schmidt: 22 November 2009 at 3:23 PM
    “I hope you have a grad student or somebody helping you with this deluge of comments. It’s not as if this is your job.”

    Gavin is a US Government employee, working for NASA. We are paying his salary. I agree with you that moderating a blog is probably not his job.

    Comment by Charlie — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:13 PM

  238. Ron said at 3:27PM: “Ron, are you more comfortable with a standpoint paid for by Big Government? Keep in mind government has access to a lot more of your money than Big Oil/Coal, is always looking for ways to get more of it, and for expanding its control of everything (lots and lots of cushy jobs at stake here).”

    Hmmm, so then the real motivation behind all of climate change science is the protection of a few thousand “cushy” government jobs??? That would be the biggest most elaborate hoax ever if true. But it’s also a pretty ridiculous notion don’t you think? So then tell me, what does the government (or governments) stand to gain from AGW theory? We know what the petroleum and coal industry stand to gain. That’s crystal clear and requires no explanation on my part. Further, don’t you think that it’s maybe just a bit of a conflict of interest to be on the take from the very industry which is implicated in climate change while simultaneously making scientific pronouncements about climate change? Knowing that they are on the take from industry should anyone with half a brain take the skeptics pronouncements seriously?

    “Anyway, let’s get out of the search for motivation (at best it’s a saw-off) , accept that a source of information is no guarantee of its truth and let the best science available go about its proper business of discovering truth wherever it can be found.

    Unfortunately one need always “consider the source”. I, for one, would like to know if an article on human evolution was written at the Discovery Institute. Does that mean that I would instantly toss it? No, but it means that I would be much more critical about the contents. One needent publish in Science or Nature to make a positive mark on science. If one’s ideas are solid and testable and stand up to review they will rise to the surface, no whining necessary.

    An example was when Berkeley’s Ignacio Chapela and David Quist published a paper in Nature on the appearance of GM transgenes into indigenous Mexican maize. The paper was immediately attacked by the biotech industry as flawed. Under tremendous pressure Nature even retracted the paper. C&Q however were vindicated when it became evident that introgression had indeed occured. Here’s the story: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Monsanto%27s_Mexican_Maize_Mischief

    But I do agree with your comment that we should always be open to other ideas no matter the source and be ready to revise our own when necessary IF those holding other views can provide good evidence for them. If we weren’t nothing new would ever be learned.

    But it’s a safe bet that openness to the idea that the world may indeed be flat would be rather stupid.

    Comment by Ron R. — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:14 PM

  239. I am not really a skeptic, I’m just some random EE that knows diddly about climate change.

    My question is: Is this recent divergence problem unique? Or are there other times when the tree ring data doesn’t match up with other proxies?

    Oh yeah, given all available data, what kind of error bars do you guys get when talking about temperatures lets say greater then 300 years ago?

    [Response: Not clear. Some discussion of this in this recent review. As for mean temperature uncertainty in previous centuries, you can get a sense from the IPCC compilation figure (6.10). - gavin]

    Comment by Star — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:15 PM

  240. Since this was just a “random sample” of emails, one might wonder how many iterations of this debate the future holds.

    Comment by DaveS — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:28 PM

  241. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125902685372961609.html
    “Lawmakers Probe Climate Emails

    By KEITH JOHNSON and GAUTAM NAIK

    Congressional Republicans have started investigating climate scientists whose hacked emails suggest they tried to squelch dissenting views about global warming.

    An aide to Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said investigators are studying the documents, which unknown hackers stole last week from the computer of a prominent British climate-research center…..”
    “….Separately, Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.), an outspoken critic of the view that humans are causing global warming, said that in light of the emails, he will call for an investigation into the state of climate science if the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works doesn’t act soon….”

    “….Hans von Storch, editor at the time of “Climate Research,” had his own objections to the paper mentioned by Dr. Mann, and resigned shortly after it was published, citing a breakdown in the peer-review process. But Dr. von Storch, now at the University of Hamburg’s Meteorological Institute, said Monday that the behavior outlined in the hacked emails went too far.

    East Anglia researchers “violated a fundamental principle of science,” he said, by refusing to share data with other researchers. “They built a group to do gatekeeping, which is also totally unacceptable,” he added. “They play science as a power game.”

    Comment by SE — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:29 PM

  242. Since you mention Hans Von Storch, you should know that he had the following item on his website today:

    “Interesting exchanges, and evidences, are contained about efforts to destroy “Climate Research”; that we in the heydays of the hockeystick debate shared our ECHO-G data with our adversaries; and that Mike Mann was successful to exclude me from a review-type meeting on historical reconstructions in Wengen (demonstrating again his problematic but powerful role of acting as a gatekeeper.)
    “I would assume that more interesting issues will be found in the files, and that a useful debate about the degree of politicization of climate science will emerge. A conclusion could be that the principle, according to which data must be made public, so that also adversaries may check the analysis, must be really enforced. Another conclusion could be that scientists like Mike Mann, Phil Jones and others should no longer participate in the peer-review process or in assessment activities like IPCC.”

    [Response: There is a history here, but let's not get into personality issues here. Thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by theduke — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:41 PM

  243. Jonas #31:

    <Wikileaks and other whisteblowers has done truly good deeds over the years. In fact, not leaking data if you know about a coverup or corruption somewhere is the unethical and immoral thing to do.>

    Perhaps, but don’t you think there’s a big difference between (a) leaking materials to which you have legitimate access and (b) illegally hacking into someone’s network with the specific intent of stealing private documents?

    Comment by Chris Dunford — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:42 PM

  244. “Update on the RC hack. The IP address used turns out to come from a free proxy server based in Turkey and the CA comment came from a similar server in Russia. Since anyone can use these, the trail probably goes cold there.”

    Email them and see if they keep logs. Remember to send the date, time, and urls. May want to convert it to their time.

    Comment by EL — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:52 PM

  245. It would appear that Great Britain has its own version of James Inhofe…

    This morning Lord Lawson, who has reinvented himself as a prominent climate change sceptic since leaving front line politics, demanded that the apparent deception be fully investigated.

    He claimed that the credibility of the university’s world-renowned Climatic Research Unit – and British science – were under threat.

    “They should set up a public inquiry under someone who is totally respected and get to the truth,” he told the BBC Radio Four Today programme.

    “If there’s an explanation for what’s going on they can make that explanation.”
    ….
    Last week Lord Lawson, who served as chancellor for six years under Margaret Thatcher, told The Daily Telegraph that he planned to establish a think tank to challenge the consensus that drastic action is needed to combat global warming.

    Lord Lawson calls for public inquiry into UEA global warming data ‘manipulation’
    By Matthew Moore, Published: 8:45AM GMT 23 Nov 2009
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/globalwarming/6634282/Lord-Lawson-calls-for-public-inquiry-into-UEA-global-warming-data-manipulation.html

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:57 PM

  246. Gavin, In reference to your reply listed below, if we don’t know which part of the temperature history is due to the natural variability how can we be sure that the selection of the radiative forcings obtained during the history matching is unique ? Thanks.

    [Response: Great question. And if you have a good answer, write it up and submit it to Science straight away! Joking aside, it is a hard problem. There are multi-decadal variations in both the internal variability and the forcings. Our measurements of the historical variations don't extend back over more than one or two multi-decadal cycles so it is almost impossible to do a statistical separation. Therefore you are left with a model-based approach, but there is quite a lot of variation in the model realisations at this frequency, and so it is not particularly definitive. One could theoretically extend the instrumental data with the proxy records - at least for a couple of centuries - to get some bounds on the magnitude though, and that indicates that it is relatively small in the global mean, but larger in certain regions. But of course, that comes with its own issues. - gavin]

    [Response: We don't know that it is unique. There could be a range of net forcings, and indeed a range of climate sensitivities, and a range (though not unlimited) of the magnitude of internal variability. We use the various other constraints - ocean heat content uptake, paleo-climate at the LGM etc. to try anc constrain these values, but there is still a range - which leads of course to a range of projections. For the medium term (~20-30 years) they are robust, but over the longer time scale, they begin to diverge. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 23 Nov 2009 @ 10:58 PM

  247. I find it reprehensible that anyone would publicly post personal emails. While I respect RealClimate for keeping true to the science, we should be making a bigger stink about this.

    Libelous talk about climate scientists in the media go unchecked.

    Hacking our emails and posting them all over the Internet goes unpunished.

    And the files are STILL available to download.

    Can I find another habitable planet without such morons? Earth 2.0?

    Comment by Todd Albert — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:00 PM

  248. #1063 – michael,

    “Anderson’s First rule of ecosystem consequence dynamics.
    “Any physical, chemical, thermal, biological, or mechanical contribution to any ecosystem other than those derived through natural processes; forces exponential dynamic adaptation, evolution, and creation of new species and the extinction of existing species.” [Anderson, et al]”

    All contributions are nutural. Nothing can be outside of nature. This is the fallacy that corrupts all – that nature and humankind are opposers. Again, nothing can be outside of nature. What we as a species do, is natural for us as part of nature.

    If as you contend, that we as a species, are helping to evolve super bacteria/viruses, that will lead to our extinction, then that too must be a natural progression.

    We as a species, need to drop this biblical assumption that we are at the top of the ladder. No, we are just another rung within nature. Nature has no feelings, nor does it have a plan. It just is. If we disapear, no notice will be taken. Life will go on

    Comment by DeNihilist — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:01 PM

  249. Let people see the code. And the remarks written to indicate the changes.

    function mkp2correlation,indts,depts,remts,t,filter=filter,refperiod=refperiod,$
    datathresh=datathresh
    ;
    ; THIS WORKS WITH REMTS BEING A 2D ARRAY (nseries,ntime) OF MULTIPLE TIMESERIES
    ; WHOSE INFLUENCE IS TO BE REMOVED. UNFORTUNATELY THE IDL5.4 p_correlate
    ; FAILS WITH >1 SERIES TO HOLD CONSTANT, SO I HAVE TO REMOVE THEIR INFLUENCE
    ; FROM BOTH INDTS AND DEPTS USING MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION AND THEN USE THE
    ; USUAL correlate FUNCTION ON THE RESIDUALS.
    ;
    pro maps12,yrstart,doinfill=doinfill
    ;
    ; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
    ; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
    ; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
    ; the real temperatures.
    ;

    [Response: We discussed this below. Since the authors of this code and proxy have told people not to use that data beyond 1960. why are you surprised that the code is consistent with what is in the papers? - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:08 PM

  250. The following was posted by Tom Fuller in comments on Andrew Revkin’s blog:

    Tom Fuller
    San Francisco
    November 23rd, 2009
    5:44 am
    I was one of several who received these files early. I said then and I’ll say now that it was probably not a hack. It was, in my opinion, a whistleblower who had access to the files and posted them anonymously on the Internet. I speculate that it is the Freedom of Information file collected by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, and that when the decision to reject Steve McIntyre’s request for information was released that the whistleblower downloaded the file and went off with it. The file was named FOIA, the message accompanying it referenced the FOIA, and there are no strictly personal messages in the file. I obviously cannot prove it, but it seems much more likely than a hack.

    Tom’s page at the Examiner is here:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner

    I find the statement “I was one of several who received these files early” quite interesting as it implies that a number of people who could be counted on to be sympathetic and had access to a media megaphone were also fed the files at a very early stage.

    Gavin, please feel free to post this or not as you see fit.

    Comment by CB — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:16 PM

  251. I haven’t read all of the comments on these threads (and I’m impressed by gavin’s cast-iron stomach that allows him to read not only all of the published comments, but those that don’t get through moderation), but in those I have read only one, by Russell Seitz, comes close to reflecting my view that (to put it in an old-fashioned way) a gentleman does not read other people’s mail. Unlike Seitz, I exempt gavin from the dictum on the grounds that he is merely responding to the bad manners of others to protect the innocent, but, really, I think anyone who would make a case based on the unauthorized reading of the correspondence of others is beneath contempt.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:18 PM

  252. There has been much back and forth about whether or not the associated principals of RealClimate are willing or unwilling to share some of their data with the public.

    Gavin has written numerous comments assuring us that no one is hiding anything, and that the only data unavailable for public inspection is certain unimportant data, that can be constructed from other available data, within the public domain. The reason Gavin gives for not making all data available, is that certain legal agreements exist, precluding the supply of the data in question.

    Well, this assertion could easily be true. As soon as I see a notarized affadavit from a legally knowedgable party to such an alleged agreement, attesting to same, I am willing to believe it.

    Until then, I am not.

    P.S. If this post doesn’t appear on Realclimate, it will appear within multiple venues within 24 hours.

    [Response: Well, heaven forbid someone should cross post a comment. But in lieu of signed affadavits try the FOI officer himself:

    ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (Our ref: FOI_09-44; EIR_09-03)

    Pursuant to Mr. Palmer’s letter of 21 September 2009 to you regarding the handling of your appeal of 24 July to our response of the same date in regards your FOI request of 26 June 2009, I have undertaken a review of the contents of our file and have spoken with Mr. Palmer and other relevant staff involved in this matter. I apologise for the delay informing you of my decision but we were awaiting the ‘further particulars’ in relation to this matter that you mentioned in your email of 2 September. Having not received such particulars, I have decided to proceed, given the passage of time, with my decision in their absence.

    As a result of this investigation, I am satisfied that our overall decision to not disclosethe requested information is correct.

    In response to your first point in your email of 24 July regarding the non transmission of data to non-academics, I have concluded that the reference to non-academics was in error and that the status of yourself, or any other requester, is irrelevant to the factors to consider regarding disclosure of the requested information.

    Turning to the points you raised in your email of 2 September, you note that other earlier versions of this data are available on the US Department of Energy website and that Dr. Jones had sent an earlier version of the data to you and had mounted it on FTP server.

    In regards the information provided to the US Department of Energy, my investigation has revealed that this was done in the early 1990s prior to the imposition of the restrictions now pertaining to the data pursuant to a contractual obligation at the time. Therefore, the analogy you are drawing does not apply to the data that is the subject of this request.

    In regards your second point regarding the provision of the data to yourself, and the fact that the information was mounted & left on our FTP site & also provided to Georgia Tech without securing consent of the institutions that provided it, we would, upon reflection, consider this an action that we not choose to take again. However, having made errors in past does not, in our eyes, justify making the same errors again.

    I note that in your email of 2 September, you state that your request was ‘for the current version of the data set’ but in your original request, you asked for the subset of data that was sent to Georgia Tech University. I would advise that the many of the same restrictions apply to the full CRUTEM dataset as apply to the subset sent to Georgia Tech, but this analysis and answer is based on your original request.

    In regards the substance of the exception claimed under Reg. 12(5)(f), I would maintain the position taken to date. There are restrictions on the release of at least some of the data cited, and our opinion is that any release would be contrary to the agreements, and release would have an adverse effect on those organisations. DEFRA guidance notes that the Aarhus Convention, which contains the origins of the Directive on which the EIRs are based, protects information volunteered by a third party and requires their consent to disclose it. The purpose of the exception is to encourage the free flow of information from private persons or institutions in order to protect the environment where making it available to the public could inhibit that process. To provide information that has a restriction on further transmission on it would not only damage CRU’s ability to secure such information in future, but would also harm the interests of the organisations providing the information, who clearly have an interest in restricting transmission of the information due to the very existence of the restrictions.

    Regulation 12(11) requires that we provide as much requested information as is possible outside the coverage of any applicable exception. After consultation with Phil Jones and other relevant staff in regards the nature and composition of the requested dataset, I have concluded that the data is organised in such a way as to make it extremely difficult and time-consuming to segregate the data in the manner that you suggest and would indeed, in our view, amount to an unreasonable diversion of resources from the provision of services for which we, as an institution, are mandated. Further, we would maintain that where no such segregation has, or will occur, we should not release any of the data for fear of breaching such restrictions as do exist.

    I would note that we are, however, proceeding with efforts with the international community to secure consent from national meteorological institutions for the release of the information that they provide us with, and it is fully our intention to publish such data where, and when, we have secured such consent. This is in line with guidance from DEFRA that suppliers of volunteered information should be encouraged to consent to release where appropriate, and where it is lacking, such consent can be sought later in response to a particular request or in order to proactively disseminate the information.

    In regards our obligation to assess the public interest in applying these exceptions, I am of the opinion that the public interest balance is in favour of non-disclosure of the requested information. As noted above, the public interest in maintaining the flow of information from institutions to CRU, and maintaining good working relations with international organisations, outweighs, in this case, the interest in the release of the data.

    We have contacted the Information Commissioners Office in regards this matter and their advice is that if you are still dissatisfied with this response, you should, at this time, exercise your right of appeal to the Information Commissioner.

    Yours sincerely
    Jonathan Colam-French

    - gavin]

    Comment by Biff Larkin — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:24 PM

  253. I’ve read that we can expect a certain rise in temperature for every doubling of CO2.

    If that is true, why is the CO2 concentration change not plotted on a log scale when it is being compared with modern temperature, instead of being plotted linearly?

    [Response: You are right. And it's even more accurate to plot the forcings themselves (which are logarithmic in CO2, but go like square root for methane, and linearly for CFCs) so that you can see everything on an equal basis. - gavin]

    Comment by Just Another EE — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:30 PM

  254. dhogaza said

    Meanwhile, whether you believe it or not …

    1. Burning fossil fuels adds CO2 to the atmosphere
    2. CO2 absorbs IR

    Ah! If only it was that simple;)

    Comment by Carmen S — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:41 PM

  255. A good scientist says “could be” until getting enough data to disprove a hypothesis.

    While it may seem obvious to reject “the world is flat” out of hand, somehow NASA was convinced to put resources into WMAP, and we now know within a 2% probability that the universe is, indeed, flat.

    BTW, what is the reason for rejecting out of hand the Soon 2004 graphic that seems to clearly tie climate to the sun, and not to C02?

    [Response: It is a very clear cherry-pick. First off it's just the Arctic - not 'climate'. Secondly, the correlation crumbles if you just include a few more stations slightly to the south. Thirdly, the solar proxy he used is hopelessly out-of -date (solar people no longer think the underlying assumptions are valid). Want more? - gavin]

    Comment by Dirk — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:47 PM

  256. One of the more disturbing emails is from Michael Mann:

    thanks Phil,
    Perhaps we’ll do a simple update to the Yamal post, e.g. linking Keith/s new page–Gavin t?
    As to the issues of robustness, particularly w.r.t. inclusion of the Yamal series, we actually emphasized that (including the Osborn and Briffa ’06 sensitivity test) in our original post! As we all know, this isn’t about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations,
    m

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting but that seems like an admission that RC is being used to spread disinformation, not to explain the science.

    [Response: Not in the least. The post was 'Hey Ya!(mal)' which was in response to insinuations and accusations regarding a single tree ring record that Keith Briffa had worked on. 'Keith's page' was Briffa's exploration of the real science in the face of multiple smears. - gavin]

    I’d also like to hear your thoughts about George Monbiots call for Jones to step down.

    Thanks

    Comment by Kazinski — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:52 PM

  257. I belive — 23 November 2009 @ 10:12 AM:

    I agree with your sentiment, but disagree with your solution. Please explain what forum would provide an unbiased evaluation of the e-mails, but would also not be denigrated by the deniers if they didn’t like the decision?

    The minds of the deniers have been captured by an irrational mind set, relative to the real world, but is maintained by focusing on an internally consistent set of ideas. It is a new sort of religion that is dependent on absolutes, and avoids real world complexity and external verification.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 23 Nov 2009 @ 11:55 PM

  258. CCPO
    Here’s a theory, the world is…
    I’m proud to be skeptical based on the above.
    Thanks
    Ed

    [Response: Well you should be skeptical of the above. Where is the evidence for any of it? Note. global land use effects result in a cooling because the biggest issue is the chopping down of forest (dark) to make cropland (bright) - gavin ]

    Comment by edward — 23 November 2009 @ 11:15 AM,

    Argumentation by assertion. Brilliant. As Gavin said, where’s the beef?

    Comment by ccpo — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:01 AM

  259. Bottom line on CRU emails:

    NOVEMBER 24, 2009
    Lawmakers Probe Climate Emails
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125902685372961609.html
    EXCERPT:

    But Dr. von Storch, now at the University of Hamburg’s Meteorological Institute, said Monday that the behavior outlined in the hacked emails went too far.

    East Anglia researchers “violated a fundamental principle of science,” he said, by refusing to share data with other researchers. “They built a group to do gatekeeping, which is also totally unacceptable,” he added. “They play science as a power game.”

    Comment by MG — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:08 AM

  260. Gavin,

    Thank you for the response to my question regarding the Soon graphic, I will follow up just as I have to the McIntyre explanations for why other certain graphics are errant, and hopefully arrive at a point where I can agree with everyone on this important issue.

    Comment by Dirk — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:14 AM

  261. grrr.

    going back 150 years or so is long

    Wrong, not long.

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:17 AM

  262. Kazinski says:
    23 November 2009 at 11:52 PM
    One of the more disturbing emails is from Michael Mann:

    “thanks Phil,
    Perhaps we’ll do a simple update to the Yamal post, e.g. linking Keith/s new page–Gavin t?
    As to the issues of robustness, particularly w.r.t. inclusion of the Yamal series, we actually emphasized that (including the Osborn and Briffa ‘06 sensitivity test) in our original post! As we all know, this isn’t about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations,
    m”

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting but that seems like an admission that RC is being used to spread disinformation, not to explain the science.

    Seems to me that it’s a statement that SMcI uses CA to make ‘plausibly deniable accusations’, where do you get the ‘disinformation’ from?

    Comment by Phil. Felton — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:24 AM

  263. one, bizarrely (or perhaps not) saying that not only is AGW all a hoax, but so was the evidence for tobacco causing harm, and all of that nonsense about anti-smoking campaigns should be stopped. We are in fantasy world once again.

    Comment by David Horton — 23 November 2009 @ 5:55 PM

    Given the historical reality that many of the same players in the nicotine denial machine created the climate denial machine, isn’t this expected?

    Comment by ccpo — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:30 AM

  264. Gavin I commend your ability to field all these comments–it is truly, truly amazing. Though unfortunately the deniers may eventually win the public opinion–humans have a knack of not doing the right thing the first time, this problem is too subtle for most of them to understand, and too antagonistic with a selfish view of liberty–I have the utmost confidence that you and your colleagues have a disinterested, expert grasp on this science in a way the deniers never will. Take comfort that you are doing the right thing, no matter how unpopular some make it out to be.

    Comment by 96%climateScientistsBelieveInAGW@email.com — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:32 AM

  265. Well, this assertion could easily be true. As soon as I see a notarized affadavit from a legally knowedgable party to such an alleged agreement, attesting to same, I am willing to believe it.

    Well, Biffy, as soon as I see a notarized affadavit (sic) from a legally knowledgable (sic) party that these accusations are accurate, I’ll be willing to believe it.

    Got it, Biffy? Or are notarized affidavits (not sic, because I can spell) only needed for things you don’t like?

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:35 AM

  266. Wait a second, I asked about how to plot data in the most appropriate way. OK, you agreed. Thre is no such thing as perfect data, but at least it is measured.
    But in the very next sentence, you were jumped onto (?modelled?) ‘forcings’, and linked to a plot where the units of many mysterious quantities where ploted on a common axis of w/m**2. What is the labelling convention in ‘real’ climatology to differentiate measured data vs. modeled parameters?
    Do not the modeled parameters rely on some unstated, simplified physical assumptions?

    TL

    [Response: Sorry, I thought I was being responsive! The change in CO2 producing a forcing on the climate (i.e. the change would produce a change in the radiation balance at the top the of the atmosphere). This forcing, which is logarithmic in the concentration is measured in W/m2 i.e. F_CO2 = 5.35*log(CO2/CO2_orig). To first order, the global mean temperatures are a linear function of the forcings (with a lag), so this is the appropriate thing to plot against temperature. However, it is not just CO2 that is changing, and the planet will respond to the net effect of all the changes. The figure I showed was a compilation of all the 20th C changes. The estimates of the the forcing come from here - http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/, while the temperature record is available here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/ along with all the data. There are papers decribing each set of data you can read for more details. Feel free to plot them up together. The scale on the y axis should be something like 0.7 W/m2 per degree C. - gavin]

    Comment by Just Another EE — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:44 AM

  267. Most likely will get sensored but nice to give it a try so much for being objective!!!!

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    To: Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa
    Subject: update
    Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:51:53 -0500
    Cc: Gavin Schmidt

    guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold
    comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

    You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…

    Comment by AJ — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:52 AM

  268. I’ve found a searchable version of the emails at http://www.eastangliaemails.com — I don’t know how long that will last but it provides an opportunity to see how denialist cherry picking works. Search for “travesty that we” and sure enough the first email that pops up contains Kevin Trenberth’s quoted comment: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” But it also finds follow-ups that answer it well. Part of the denialist’s world is to stop examining the evidence when you find something to agree with.

    Could we perhaps persuade Senate Inhofe to make all his personal emails accessible for scrutiny (#241)? That would make for interesting reading. Or is it the Senator’s view that private communications are only in the public domain if they are stolen?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:58 AM

  269. Gavin, perhaps you might go on the record and clear a lot of suspicion that many have at the moment.
    Have you, or have you ever directly or indirectly, ever participated in any discussion of any nature about ways of altering, recalculating, dismissing or discussing anything about ameliorating the MWP problem.

    Bob

    [Response: Very strange question. The temperatures in medieval times were what they were and no amount of discussion will change that. However, there are many different estimates of medieval temperatures from different parts of the world and combining them into a global or hemispheric mean is difficult. I don't work in paleo-reconstructions so I have no input into the methods people use to do that. Of course, I have discussed these estimates, their interpretation and the implication for climate sensitivity or natural variability, but the uncertainty in both the forcing and the reconstructions make it difficult to constrain very much. The 'problem' of the MWP is not what you think it is. There is plenty of discussion on this topic elsewhere on the site. - gavin]

    Comment by Bob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:59 AM

  270. How does anyone know hackers are responsible? It could have been an insider. In response to an earlier comment, if the emails are accurate, they are very damning to the “science” since they suggest that data was manipulated. May I suggest complete transparency: Publish the real emails and compare them to what has been published. Then the public can judge whether the currently published emails are authentic. At the very minimum, be more transparent and share your data. Don’t tell interested parties “the data is lost” or the dog ate it. Excuses are a sign of weakness.

    Cheers.

    [Response: It is still hacking even if the emails you steal are on your own institution's server. You want data? Go to NOAA. - gavin]

    Comment by GJ — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:06 AM

  271. The minimum damage you can say about this is that it has caused Gavin an awful lot of work firefighting! Some explanations from Gavin to put in context are appreciated and give a better framework, but it has to be said that some of these do not, or cannot be made to look good and do rather leave a bad taste in the mouth.

    Science is supposed to be about truth and beauty and that it stands by itself in the logn run, it shouldn’t need all this propping up and Machiavellian type actions to promote it, that does not give confidence to the general observer in it as a theory.

    As a neutral rather disappointed to be honest.

    Andy

    Comment by zakelwe — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:10 AM

  272. They have some good posts on this issue.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/11/025011.php

    Comment by DchuckB — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:14 AM

  273. RE CB #250: Tom Fuller’s “theory” lacks credibility as the RC server was hacked.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:29 AM

  274. Time for a little reality.

    1. These e-mails give no evidence that would put into question even one study that supports the evidence of anthropogenic forcings in the warming since 1850. I think Gavin, et al., have demonstrated that well.

    2. By contrast, whereas there are literally thousands of papers that do support the evidence for anthropogenically forced warming since 1850, there are none do not. No denialist has ever been able to provide any paper that can survive a quality review. Their acceptance of poor, clearly biased “science” is driven by ideology. It is a well-established fact that human beings make their decisions far more often based on beliefs than on facts. Denialists are an excellent example of that.

    2B. Indeed, contrary to the crap sputtered about these e-mails, which do nothing to undermine the AGW science, we know for a fact that a majority of anti-AGW “science” has, in fact, been paid for by interested parties. That is a clear conflict of interest, one which, again, is not generally found in AGW supportive research. The science appears to be paid for by… scientific institutions.

    3. In fact, we know from the NYT that the GCC misled the public about the science even after knowing their own scientists accepted the reality of AGW. (This was no suprise, of course.)

    Yet, not one of the people trying to make hay out of this issue ever seems to say a word about industry-financed, highly flawed research. Nor do they say a word about the lies. Of all the times I have retorted to claims of bias and influence in AGW-supporting research, not one denialist has ever responded to the NYT-published memo, to the fact that the papers they claim disprove AGW have, themselves, been shown to be wrong, or to the contradiction and hypcorisy of constantly crying, “Conspiracy!” when they, themselves, are the progeny of a massive fraud – if not the progenitors.

    4. A number of research projects/investigative reports support all of the above.

    4A. Oreskes’ 2004 literature review. 1000 papers, all supported or were agnostic as to AGW. None supported anti-AGW claptrap. To my knowledge, this has not changed.

    4B. Union of Concerned Scientists’ Smoke and Mirrors.

    4C. Oreskes’ The American Denial of Global Warming.

    4D. NYT’s Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate
    ***I cannot stress enough that this article literally included a smoking gun proving that the anti-AGW stance was not supported by the science, yet, this massive fraud is ignored by hypocritical denialists.***

    There are more, but it comes down to this: The only answer any denialist deserves is, “Show us the science, for there is none supporting your stance. Every paper you cite has been shown to be seriously flawed.”

    And if they persist, they should be reminded of the PROOF of their conspiracy vs, the mere unsupported accusations they make.

    As for Congress, if they would investigate e-mails that in no way undermine AGW climate science while ignoring the known collusion and lies of the anti-AGW, very real, conspiracy, then their hypocrisy and obvious bias is proven beyond doubt.

    Those conspiring to spin good science as lies, bad science as legitimate, good scientists as liars and hucksters, bad scientists as saints… they have taken off gloves – hell, actually dropped the knife for a flamethrower – and it is well past time to allow them to dangerously delay action on these matters.

    No more false equivalencies.

    Comment by ccpo — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:40 AM

  275. I’m sure others have thought of this, but here is one way to put the current tempest back in its teapot:
    Notice that rational thought and critical analysis reduces all your denier claims to nothing. And remember to search your trove of emails for the one that lowers the oceans. Or brings back the arctic ice. Or reduces the acidification of the oceans.
    The facts do not change – regardless of what stunts the deniers pull.

    Comment by Thoughtful Tom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:42 AM

  276. My opinion based on reading clares piece and some of the leaked emails around the time.

    It’s interesting to read Clare’s view of the situation. It seems what motivated her to take action was not the publication of the paper per se but the level of “unsolicited complaints and critiques”.

    reading the leaked e-mails around that time (march-august 2003) it appears this collaborating group where certainly mentioning this paper alot and spending some time reacting to it. they also appear to have been at least some part of the complaints process. There is even evidence that they were corresponding with Clare

    “De Freitas will not say to Hans von Storch or to Clare Goodess who the 4 reviewers were.” …….
    “Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 09:29:22 +0100
    To: c.goodess@uea,phil Jones
    From: Mike Hulme
    Subject: Fwd: Re: Climate Research
    Clare, Phil,
    Since Clare and CRU are named in it, you may be interested in Chris de Freitas’ reply to the publisher re. my letter to Otto Kinne. I am not responding to this, but await a reply from Kinne himself”
    (1057944829 Jul 11th)

    Hulme in this e-mail is also sharing a response from de Fritas with some of the gang as well as clare, not the most professional thing to do.

    It may well be that Clare and Hans acted independantly in their desisions to resign. But it is still quite clear that this group were very keen to intervene in the peer review process of this journal.

    I see evidence of

    1) Intention to complain to the journal
    2) Complaints to the publisher
    3) Correspondance with at least one editor (who went on to resign)
    4) Wish/Intention to destroy the name of the journal amoung the wider community
    5) Responding in an alternative journal with an expediated editorial process

    The lack of completeness to the leaked e-mails stops us knowing just how far all these processes go.

    As a scientist the intervention in the peer review process is one of the more disturbing aspects of all this

    [Response: Read the actual statements of the editors (linked in the head post). The disturbing element was the abuse of the peer review process by a single editor with a number of papers in order to get truly bad papers into the journal. As a scientist, doesn't that bother you in the slightest? If it does, what would you do to restore the integrity of the review process at that journal? - gavin]

    Comment by HR — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:46 AM

  277. http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/5399648/__Jarenlang_geknoeid_met_klimaatfeiten__.html?p=2,1

    Comment by information=data — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:13 AM

  278. Gavin and Mike:
    Thank you again for your response in 2 and Mike’s further response in 1081:

    Sometimes these debate seem to decline into the lacunae of definitions and word usage, but the question has to be asked:

    What’s the difference between “grafting” instrumental record onto the proxy data and using the mean of the instrumental record to manage the boundary conditions?

    Secondly and probably more importantly, as you know that readers throughout the world will use this data and how they are presented for important policy decisions. Doesn’t that knowledge, in and of itself, behoove you to make all the mathematical and statistical workings behind the presentations so that those who advise those policy makers can make fully informed advice to those policy makers. Your work isn’t about the pollination of Colombian orchids or capture cross section of thermal neutrons, you know it has major public policy impact. Doesn’t that fact, in an of itself, create a duty to be more open about methods, data, and source code than regular “science”?

    Additionally, I think openness beyond the normal call of duty creates allies when “science” has broad public policy implications. Just as if a professional engineer designs a dam, his drawings are released for public comment, not just a detailed description with his professional stamp.

    If the Minister of environment in country X gets a letter saying that your work is not to be relied upon for reason x, if your work is easily reproducible then you can have a lot of allies in refuting such attacks. For example, if the accusation is that the graph is manipulated by splicing data, then anyone with the source code and data, can simply say well, this is the result with different boundary conditions, and everything is unchanged. Now, as I see it, they have to wait for the peer review process to grind slowly on. You can’t possibly respond to all criticism, whether solidly based or not. If your work can be easily reproduced (and errors corrected), it gains allies founded on independent analysis, not just allies based on faith in peer review? I suspect that the public policy implications of your work is important to you, and you lose allies when those who, for whatever reason, are uncomfortable with simple faith in peer review. I know that if I were a government minister, and someone came to me with a serious problem based on scientific analysis, I think I would have a duty to find independent verification.

    For example, If that 10 year old graph could have been easily reproduced by any mathematics or statistics professor at any university or research group, then all the issues about unclarity, or small mistakes would have been managed in the moment, instead of lingering for 10 years.

    Your comments and answers are much appreciated.

    Comment by Leonard Herchen — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:38 AM

  279. Hi Gavin,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my code questions, much appreciated. You mentioned that the two sets of data (one for history, one for recent) only happened in the Biffa98 code, however I’ve noticed it actually happens in pretty much all the code that is there:

    harris-tree:
    (stop in 1940 to avoid the decline
    osborn-tree5:
    (stop in 1940 to avoid the decline
    osborn-tree6:
    Remove missing data from start & end (end in 1960 due to decline)
    osborn-tree6/mann:
    *BUT* don’t do special PCR for the modern period (post-1976),
    since they won’t be used due to the decline/correction problem.
    osborn-tree6\summer_modes
    …1920 or 1930 or whenever the decline
    was corrected onwards from.
    briffa_sep98_e
    APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE
    osborn-tree4:
    (uses refperiod=[1701,1940])
    osborn-tree3:
    This directory is for chronologies and regional timeseries
    normalised over 1901-40, not 1901-70.

    Apparently these tree studies are also used as proxy data in other multi proxy studies, so that would mean at least in some part they do the same. I went over some of the graphs at realclimate and other places again, and I must say I’m surprised at how they are made to look like a single data source. I know I’m out of my depth in climate science, but with any data I can think of I would be really really hesitant to combine two sets into one contiguous chart like that (especially knowing that the overlaps did not match!) It strikes me as a bit manipulative to be frank.

    Maybe I’m just lucky enough to deal with things that are more concrete in my day to day life. I do understand the need for scientifically educated guesses in all this, but I guess between the graft and the data it self (and all the liberties Harry needed to take with it) I wonder about where this extremely high level of confidence is coming from. Even with compilers I’ve written that have hundreds of regression tests (and which are **much** simpler pure logic), there always remains a lot of doubt. Would you consider this tree data to be a very good proxy, or maybe I could look into some different types of proxies that have a more solid foundation?

    Thanks again for your time (and patience!)

    [Response: All this is related to a single kind of proxy - maximum latewood density (MXD) whose problems have been discussed in the literature since 1998. If you want more variety in proxies, go to the NOAA Paleoclimate pages and start playing around. They have just set up a homogenous set of proxies that anyone can use to do reconstrucitons in any way they like. Knock yourself out. - gavin]

    Comment by debreuil — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:02 AM

  280. Re 107 Hank Roberts, Point taken Hank. All I want these skeptics to do is look at things objectively and the mounting accumulation of changing climatic conditions. Once again as you are quite aware of..we cant wait around until the scientific communtity says..’Yes we are 100% that what we see all around us is ACC’. Science deals with varying degrees of probablity. There will still be thousands of sceptics who will say in their opinion the truth lies outide the 95% certainty mark. What I want these guys to do..is not to stick their heads in the sand and say..what we see isn’t acutally happening..and to use unbiased commen sense (Ok! not very scientific..but no amount of scientific reasoning will sway these idiots anyway). What we need is a coherent and urgent message by the majority of world leaders that they understand the science or believe their scientific advisors at least and accept the reality of ACC and AGW with an emphasis on Anthropogenic!. I’m not a climate scientist Hank but I am an electronics engineer and later on a medical student and thus my interest and passion in of the sciences so my apologies for the rather loose collectoin of statements.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:15 AM

  281. Gavin- Do you write your own code? If not, who does?

    [Response: Mostly me. The GCM is a collective long-term effort though and so many people have contributed code. -gavin]

    Comment by jamesglendinning — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:26 AM

  282. For the lurking laypersons-

    Lack of transparency on how datasets constructed and maintained and what they mean? Lack of metadata? Sounds pretty troubling to the layperson, and especially troubling to scientists practicing in other fields.

    If you’re so troubled, have a look at the data web pages from the UEA CRU website, http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk (off emergency server). Note the detail, the clarity, the comprehensiveness of the data offered, explanations of its sources, its precisions, its significance. Note the literature references. Spend the time it takes to understand the richness and importance of the data and its analysis.

    No transparency? Sure about that?

    The CA scenario is that “SteveM” has been denied access to raw data etc because doing so would reveal scientific fraud or at least stupidity. In doing so, he is portrayed a scientific hero cutting through disinformation and lies being spread by a cabal of pinko science frauds, all the while doing so in a most gentlemanly, honorable manner despite being vilified at every turn. So noble and insightful he deserves a Nobel!

    Please, please, please don’t jump to such a conclusion just because he sounds articulate, technically sophisticated, and compassionate when you read through his blog.

    Is it possible there might be an alternative scenario to what has been happening for the past decades between SteveM, his cohorts, and mainstream climatologists? Do you think it’s possible that he’s been shut out of this science community because he is a pseudo scientist? How would you test that scenario for validity? Well, you could actually read the science. Doing so is hard and time-consuming. It takes a lot study to really have insight and confidence in your understanding of what is being discussed. But it’s possible and in important ways your responsibility to do so. Perhaps you’re reading this blog because you realize that.

    You could also look in more detail as to whether legitimate scientists have been prevented from accessing the data? Why would they be any less likely to expose the supposed fraud than SteveM? Because he’s the only credible statistician around?

    With the massively increased universal access to the workings of science, thanks to internet based technologies that have emerged in the last twenty years, comes a massively increased responsibility on the part of those doing the accessing to understand fully and analyze accurately what they are reading, who wrote it and their motivations.

    I work in water resources management in New England. My colleagues in management and science see the physical, chemical, and biological impacts of climate change everywhere, and changes seem to be accelerating. Reading the denialists trumpeting the emails hacked out of CRU is a sad, infuriating, and angering experience.

    Somebody wrote here a couple of days ago that this incident will inspire a massive outpouring of effort and explanation from the scientific community regarding CC. Judging from my own evolving reactions, that person may have been prophetic

    Nevertheless, the Truth shall prevail. How soon will determine our collective future.

    Comment by Sloop — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:32 AM

  283. I wonder how long it will take for those e-mails to be altered and/or all sorts of “revelations” appear as taken out of those e-mails. Seeing how conspiracy theorists work on all subjects they offer their expert views, I can safely predict all sorts of insanities attributed to those e-mails…

    Comment by Elias — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:08 AM

  284. Gavin

    Thanks for your efforts to clarify this mess however isn’t it just futile? Honestly after being subjected to in gross invasion of privacy maybe you should respond by on-mass giving up the IPCC work. Let the skeptics write the next one seeings as they know more about climate science than you do.

    It is quite possible that the die is now cast, due to these skeptics efforts, and the climate will change no matter what we do. Isn’t the some part of you that just wants to admit to the great global hoax, even though GW is real, just to say I told you so in 20 years time? At least this way you might get some peace because this is only the start. Bouyed by this success and the fact of getting away with criminal activity scott free, the more unhinged of the skeptics will only hack more and more of your datastores for information. You cannot count on morals stopping then as they obviously have none.

    I think the only way to stop such attacks is to prosecute however you have the problem then of creating a martyr – god knows there are enough skeptics with a martyr complex.

    Comment by Stephen Gloor (Ender) — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:39 AM

  285. A simple question from an admitted skeptic. We regularly see the various associations between temp and CO2 made. With all kinds of pretty charts and data. And it is true that temps and CO2 do largely seem to generally track each other.

    But I have yet to see a clear, simple explanation that proves which is the cart and which the horse – who leads and who follows?

    In fact the longer term records I’ve seen all appear to show that CO2 follows temps rather than vice versa. In the last interglacial warm peak appx 130,000 years back CO2 continued elevated long after temps peaked and for 15,000 appx years after as temps quickly plummeted.

    By all appearances we are at a similar interglacial warm peak now – the warm period appears to have peaked appx 10,000 years ago and unlike past peaks the tmps have remained near that peak for appx the last 10,000 years rather than plummeting into a glacial cold period. Yet during that time period C02 has continued to increase substantially.

    This link is to a crude paste up of various graphs overlaid on a time line that has helped me as a layperson gain some perspective: http://tinyurl.com/vostokcomposite

    Today’s warming proponents and scientists seem to focus on the recent very temp record – largely hundreds of years – which as I understand it is really almost meaningless in the scope of “climate” change.

    The simple question I have is what am I missing?

    Where is the link, the data or other evidence, that shows warming is -driven- by CO2 increase – especially when it seems, when looking at longer term temp and CO2 record, that CO2 is re-active to temp change and not leading?

    [Response: No one disputes that temperature changes affect the carbon cycle - how could they not? Thus if temperature changes for an independent reason (say, umm... orbital forcing), then the carbon cycle will react and the CO2 levels will change. No disputes either (hopefully) that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Changes in greenhouse gases change climate - and in fact we get even get close to explaining how cold the ice ages were unless we include that amplifying process. Thus you have chickens and eggs and they feed back on each other. More eggs leads to more chickens leads to more eggs etc. Now the modern situation is different - we have reanimated a huge number of fossil chickens and thrown them into the coop. More eggs are likely to emerge! - gavin]

    Comment by 220 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:56 AM

  286. Shirley #94,

    best of luck with your application! Good people are always in short supply. You surely already know, but hey, you’re in for a ride… suffice to quote (again) a remark by handle ‘lazar’, over at tamino’s:

    Climate is the most breathtakingly beautiful thing that I have seen and studied. I can’t believe people choose politics over science. What poor taste.

    What more to say?

    Please keep us informed.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:00 AM

  287. I’m not a scientist but i do use computer models and lately have been studying initial conditions problems with any open ended non-linear systems – which i would assume is the basis for any climate modelling.

    Now i feel i have a pretty good understanding of the unpredictability problems inherent in these systems as I’ve been playing with fine tuning to 5 or 6 decimal places and the results are always different.

    So my question is if the accuracy of initial condiitons is vital in achieving accurate predictions, how can anyone possibly claim that our current understanding of initial conditions pertaining to longterm climate change are accurate enough to make catastrophic predictions?

    If climate is based on open ended non-linear dynamics then i just cant see how anyone can be certain either way.

    Even qm has an uncertainty built into it and so do chaotic systems like the weather and climate, so any cliams of certainty appear wishful thinking, and contrary to what we know about the inherent unpredictability of these systems.

    So if someone could explain to me why climate predictions escape the same unpredictable properties found in all similar systems i would be much appreciated.

    PS: I am agnostic on whether humans are responsible and to what extent for climate change.

    Comment by Mike M — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:04 AM

  288. How many jobs around the world depend directly on the assumption that AGW is the threat that Prof Jones et al would have us believe?

    How many careers and reputations of those in government, multi-lateral agencies, corporate social responsibility, journalism, lobbyists etc etc would be ruined if the science became settled to the contrary?

    Everyone can and will draw their own conclusions about the effect of this on people’s motivations – all I want to know is what the raw data is.

    Comment by Giles — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:25 AM

  289. CCPO @258 – you quoted Gavin as saying “Note. global land use effects result in a cooling because the biggest issue is the chopping down of forest (dark) to make cropland (bright)”

    Well, that’s not actually true. Here’s a press release for a new paper from Georgia Tech, showing how 50% of the warming across the US is due to land use changes.

    Original reference for Gavin’s comment was from Edward’s post @95.

    Cheers.

    [Response: A statement in a press release is not a scientific result and the paper referred to does not show this to be true (and in fact I doubt very much that it is true). There are many papers on the global impacts of land cover change - Pondgratz et al is good, and all such papers show that land use at the global scale drives a cooling. - gavin]

    Comment by Ted — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:49 AM

  290. If Kazinski’s ability to understand what he reads (message 23 Nov 11:52 PM) is typical of those who claim to be outraged by these messages then I see no reason to take such people seriously.

    Michael Mann writes “As we all know, this isn’t about truth at all, it’s about plausibly deniable accusations”

    To anyone who knows the first thing about the (very recently discussed) context, Mann is obviously referring to McIntyre, claiming that McIntyre isn’t interested in the truth, but only in making veiled accusations (about scientific misconduct) that he can later deny that he meant.

    What is slightly surprising to me is how mild this comment is, considering the things Mann has been subjected to from commenters at CA and elsewhere.

    Kazinski seems to think that Mann is admitting that his own work (or Briffa’s? Or RC? — it’s not clear) is not about the truth, but about plausibly deniable accusations. Which makes no sense at all — why would he call a defence of the robustness of a dendro reconstruction an “accusation” of any kind?

    Only villains in Hollywood movies make such “admissions”, not normal human beings, as any rational person would know.

    Comment by Andrew Goreing — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:54 AM

  291. Not for posting: It would be handy, please, to have an acronyms index, as there are so many being tossed around (eg CA, FOI, FOIA, WUWT, AGW, etc.). Such a file could be listed in the column at right under, say, Extras, and of course it could be updated as needs be.
    Thanks, and a wonderful site.

    Comment by Mike E — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:13 AM

  292. re: 131 John. I think you put it very succinctly. The big picture here is to create something concrete and meaningful in Copenhagen. Ok! it will still be using IPCC data which is based on stuff Climate scientists understand with 100% certainty which is only the very macro veiw of the mechanics of climate which will exclude much of the effects of a thawing tundra(CH4)release, the ocean’s CO2/carbonic acid saturation threshold beginning to be reached and effects of the flourine compounds at the upper atmosphere to name a few. I fear the projections to be mentioned at Copenhagen will still be way too conservative. Climate scientists are really caught in a catch22 paradox here. All their training to to deal with the facts-facts and then the facts. Problem..we need Copenhagen to be the driver of sweeping and rapid change around the globe and unless the IPCC has the guts to creep out a little futher on the proverbial limb and say ‘we don’t fully understand the workings yet but we are very concerned about the additional and potentially significant climatic effects of these CC forcers such as CH4, Flourines incl. Hydroflourocarbons’ and give some future climatic projections of their cumulative effects. If we compromise at Copenhagen we will lose the fight; the denyalist camp will use the failure there to fuel their cause and we will then be too far behind the 8 ball to having any hope of stabilising the climate before mass extinctions begin. We gotta get Copenhagen right!!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:13 AM

  293. Might like to know that for November ’09 most of Autralia’s population in (NSW, SA and Victoria) has been averaging 6.03C above normal. Many temp records broken or equalled. Adelaide had 8 consequtive days above 35C ( the previous record was 4 days).

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:23 AM

  294. Gavin, thanks for posting the response letter to Steve McIntyre’s FOI request. It clearly spells out that Hadley CRU’s continuing access to data from those he already had legal obligations to far outweigh M&M’s needs. Quite rightly so, in my opinion, as a British taxpayer.

    It would be interesting to know at some point if M&M appealed. It’s a simple step to take after all.

    What also intrigues me is, if the data were so vital to their research, why didn’t they just follow the same procedure and acquire the data from the owners in the same manner? Surely having the data itself is more important than the procedure used to acquire it?

    A bit bizarre.

    Best.

    Comment by JBowers — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:26 AM

  295. Jimmy,

    Coal, oil, and natural gas come from the highly compressed and heated bodies of dead plants and animals, mostly plants, from about 100 to 300 million years ago. The bodies fell into swamp water, the swamps dried up, the material (now dissociate and spread all over) became peat, then soft coal, then hard coal, then oil, then natural gas, depending on the pressures and temperatures it was subjected to.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:28 AM

  296. I read the Trenberth paper and far from mitigating his email comments it seems to strengthen them. He is a climate scientist I respect and we quote some of his work on our web site at:
    http://www.climatedata.info/Emissions/introduction.html

    As you have said elsewhere he fully accepts AGW but he is querying the fact that our climate monitoring systems are inadequate to explain where the heat is going since temperatures are not rising at the projected rate.

    If anything good comes out of this I hope it will be investment in climate monitoring. Asking the world to spend trillions combatting AGW at the moment is like asking a patient to undergo an operation on the basis of a dodgy thermometer and no X-ray.

    Comment by Ron — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:33 AM

  297. Ed (#117) said:

    An easy solution, then, is to release all or most of the email correspondence since the rest will presumably present researchers in a better light.

    That’s a bad solution.

    First, there’s principle. If someone spreads your mail around to smear you, it damn well doesn’t make the rest of your mail anybody else’s business.

    Second, there’s collateral damage: the personal relations and reputations of other people who will be mentioned in these emails, sometimes in less than flattering ways and with sensitive personal information: for whatever reason, however rightly or wrongly, whatever their public profile or lack of it, and whether their work “supports AGW” or is fodder for the “skeptics”. Want examples? I can’t stop you — you’ll find them on ClimateAudit etc., with no attempt to protect identities.

    Third, it would balance nothing. Who is going to read those thousands of boring emails that are so bland that even the deniers can’t distort them into something suspicious? As the people orchestrating this sordid affair know very well, dirt sticks, soap suds slide off.

    Comment by CM — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:46 AM

  298. #255:

    BTW, what is the reason for rejecting out of hand the Soon 2004 graphic that seems to clearly tie climate to the sun, and not to C02?

    [Response: It is a very clear cherry-pick. First off it's just the Arctic - not 'climate'. Secondly, the correlation crumbles if you just include a few more stations slightly to the south. Thirdly, the solar proxy he used is hopelessly out-of -date (solar people no longer think the underlying assumptions are valid). Want more? - gavin]

    Boy, I wish there were a site/wiki with very specific information like this. There are plenty of sites with generic myth-debunking information, and they are very useful, but a wiki with specific refutations of specific tables, graphs, and statements would be a powerful tool.

    Comment by Chris Dunford — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:53 AM

  299. Ben: the conclusion is that they should not be allowed to industrialise their economies

    BPL: Oh, garbage! They can industrialize all they want using non-fossil-fuel sources of power.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:01 AM

  300. re 251 & 146

    S. Molnar should note that my post did not mention Gavin , and that I think he has acted gracefully in a situation disturbing enough for even vocal supporters of Copenhagen like George Monbiot to raise the specter of resignation as a remedy – this matter has already moved beyond climate wars comedy of manners into the realm of parliamentary question time.

    The API seemed a relevant counterpart to the CRU because its internal documents were cited earlier in this thread.

    Comment by Russell Seitz — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:18 AM

  301. AJ, hope this doesn’t dash your “white knight” fantasy trip of breaking through the “sensorship” (sic), but the text you post has already been posted here and thoroughly discussed.

    RTFT, dude. Don’t just drive by.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:53 AM

  302. Gavin, can I suggest that a new section be added to the RC site that has lists of all the publicly available data and code. It may allay some of the concerns some people have about it all being hidden. Clearly many (most) people outside of the fields are unaware of just how much is readily available for download.

    [Response: Our thoughts exactly. It will be up soon. - gavin]

    Comment by Craig Allen — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:54 AM

  303. Expect to see a lot of this happening with the stolen emails:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKFtNuGt4rw
    (Dawkins on Quote Mining)

    Comment by Wag the Dog — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:55 AM

  304. Gavin

    Monbiot’s calling for Jones to resign would seem justified on the basis of the texts of the e-mails he cites.

    He points out that this doesn’t influence AGW science, but he is I think, offended for the same reasons I am. Monbiot found some mail that I had not yet seen in that package, specifically relating to the FOIA efforts of Jones and Michael Mann.

    Between the two of them they have IMO done more damage to the reputations of good scientists and the effort to actually inform people about AGW than a hundred McIntyres. I am not sure the field needs either of them any more. They have ZERO remaining credibility and nothing they do from now on will add value to any actual science being done. Nobody will believe them. With good reason.

    Meaning that I am going to be doing locally, a lot MORE work to keep people focused on the science rather than the scientists… and we can expect climate science to be widely discredited and discounted.

    This needs a hell of an effort to clean up and regain credibility. We have to be seen to accept that there was a problem there, and clean house thoroughly. I even toyed with the notion that McIntyre should have a role as a watchdog on the process. It HAS to be seen to be done thoroughly and openly.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:59 AM

  305. “… our inability currently to track small year-to-year variations in the radiative fluxes.”

    I have a question relative to the direct measurement of the earth energy budget (and I couldn’t find an answer after some web browsing) :
    Is gaining one order of magnitude in the precision of the measurement (I.e. measuring net balance with 0.1 W/m2 accuracy) a physically impossible endeavor (captors completely out of current technology range) or “simply” a question of cost (bigger and more expensive instrumentation on satellite, or need to launch an array of satellite to perform simultaneous measures over the globe).

    When I see what is possible on the space telescope, 1% relative uncertainty seems a lot to me.

    Comment by charles monneron — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:06 AM

  306. I’m assuming that most here don’t spend a lot of time reading comments on stories on newspaper websites, newspaper blogs and the bbc website…

    Well, perhaps now you need to. Lately any commentable story or blog entry mentioning climate change has been 90% about ‘it doesn’t exist’ on these – and after the CRU hack it has changed to ‘it’s finally been proved a lie’. The people posting to the mail, Telegraph etc are the backbone of British public opinion, like it or not.

    I believe there is a major shift in public opinion going on & anyone who can needs to get out there and prove there is climate change, with maximum reference to original data.

    The government of New Zealand no longer believes in climate change. I see 6 years from now the next UK goverrnment voted out by climate change deniers.

    Comment by Ed Griffiths — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:10 AM

  307. AJ
    24 November 2009 at 12:52 AM

    Posted twice before on RC:
    20 November 2009 at 1:55 PM

    23 November 2009 at 8:41 AM

    As you might have noticed, discussions on climate change attract a lot of people with no knowledge and an unsuppressable urge to make themselves heard. Did it ever occur to you that Micheal Mann might haver referred to suppressig the quacking, not the inconvenient questions or opposing viewpoints? What makes you think the Osborn & Briffa paper would not survice critical questioning?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:17 AM

  308. Giles asks, “How many jobs around the world depend directly on the assumption that AGW is the threat that Prof Jones et al would have us believe?”

    Fine, draw your own conclusions, but is it too much to ask that they not be based on utter ignorance? Dude, the unemployment rate for PhD physicists, chemists, etc. is about 2%. We have jobs for experienced technical people going begging. Do you really, honestly think that if these guys weren’t trying to understand climate change that they’d be driving a frigging cab? Do you really think that climate science would cease to be a subject of interest if anthropogenic climate change were not an issue?

    Dude, get a friggin’ clue!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:30 AM

  309. Data
    I demand some data,
    no, not that data,
    that other data,
    oh, you’ve already given me that Data…
    well now I want this other data, OK, smartypants?
    oh, I can get that too huh?
    Dammit.
    How about…
    Could you give me some data about some other data that you have not given me and then I can want that data?
    I could really use that data.
    OK?
    Please?
    Come on, be reasonable!
    Data is really not much good to me unless I can’t have it.
    It is unethical of you to deny me this data about the data I haven’t got,
    because if I don’t have the data on the data I don’t have,
    I don’t know what data I want, that I can’t have, that you are denying me.
    Stop denying me.
    You are denying me data.
    Release the data on the data.
    I demand some data,
    Data.

    Comment by Hans — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:30 AM

  310. charles monneron
    24 November 2009 at 8:06 AM

    0.1 W/m2 resolution on ~1365 W is better than 0.01% accuracy, not 1% as you state.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:31 AM

  311. How do you react to Mr. Monbiot’s comments: “It’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.”

    Comment by imapopulistnow — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:32 AM

  312. Mike M. asks about determinism in climate systems based on his experience with computer modeling.

    First, if you really are doing computer modeling, you will realize that there are many different types of computer model. GCMs are dynamical models that put in the best physics and go with that. Because climate studies are interested in average properties, the outcome of any single run is not particularly relevant. What matters is the average behavior and the spread of behaviors, any skew, etc.–in other word the statistical properties of many realizations over varying initial conditions, etc.

    I think you will agree that it is much easier to predict averages–at least you will do so if you are relying on a 401K rather than a lottery ticket for your retirement.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:37 AM

  313. Ed Griffiths says “The government of New Zealand no longer believes in climate change.”

    You know, funny thing about the physical world: It doesn’t give a damn whether we believe in it or not. Mother nature isn’t changing her story. Maybe the Kiwis will change their mind once they look out their windows:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091123/ts_afp/australianzealandantarcticaclimateiceberg

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:41 AM

  314. re 304 and Monbiot’s calling for Jones to resign…

    What absolute hogwash. Since when does Monbiot has any credibility at all in climate science? Just because non-scientists do not understand the processes or vocabulary involved with scientific research does not mean the denialists have any credibility with their nefarious hacking. The science is unequivocal.

    “They have ZERO remaining credibility and nothing they do from now on will add value to any actual science being done. Nobody will believe them. With good reason.”

    No, stop with the ridiculous, anti-science hyperbole. Publishing many papers in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at many scientific conferences and backed by every major climate science organization around the world more than establishes their superb credibility. Science is not about popularity polls.

    Comment by Dan — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:50 AM

  315. by the way.
    you still haven’t shown anyone, one shred of data.
    you showed me a link to some graphs and tables that were made as a result of the data. and that’s fine.
    but you’re not showing anyone the data that was collected to make those graphs and tables.
    and that’s what we need to see.
    that’s where the lies and the manipulations took place.
    as mcintyre has well shown you.
    data.
    actual data.
    not a table.
    not a graph.
    the data that was used to make the graph.
    the data that was used to make the table.
    that’s data.

    [Response: Data. More data. Even more data. - gavin]

    Comment by Larry Thiel — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:55 AM

  316. Mike M #287:

    that’s surprisingly simple. It’s not an initial value problem, like weather prediction; it’s a boundary value problem.

    Look, I cannot predict the weather 20 days in advance even with a supercomputer and the finest satellite data. But I can predict that next summer will be warm and next winter cold — that’s climate. Not precisely how warm or how cold… that’s weather again. Some summers are just hotter than others, but they are consistently warmer than winters.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:59 AM

  317. Gavin:

    Is there the posibility of anything else “damaging” comming out after all of this?

    Or is this the worst that we should expect to see?

    Comment by Joe — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:03 AM

  318. Maybe this has already been addressed – I haven’t been able to follow this entire chain – but the original post that started this off here said this:

    “…these emails (a presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence…”

    My interpretation of “edited” as opposed to “selected” is that individual emails had sentences or paragraphs removed or altered so as to give a misleading impression. This would be different from just providing a subset of emails but providing them in a complete and unaltered form.

    Is there any actual example of that?

    Comment by Jim Cross — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:06 AM

  319. Mike M #287:

    I’m not a scientist but i do use computer models and lately have been studying initial conditions problems with any open ended non-linear systems – which i would assume is the basis for any climate modelling.

    Nope… it’s not an initial value problem, like weather prediction; it’s a boundary value problem. Weather is chaotic, climate is not.

    Look, I cannot predict the weather 20 days in advance even with a supercomputer and the finest satellite data. But I can predict that next summer will be warm and next winter cold — that’s climate. Not precisely how warm or how cold… that’s weather again. Some summers are just hotter than others, but they are consistently warmer than winters.

    I can make this prediction with little more than common sense — no supercomputer required. Why? Two reasons:

    1) historical experience, and
    2) astronomical understanding.

    It’s the same with the greenhouse effect and global warming:

    1) we know from geological history what changes in CO2 concentration do to temperatures: increases drive them up; decreases drive them down. Lots of examples in the literature: snowball Earth, PETM, glaciation/deglaciation, Venus, Mars.
    2) understanding what greenhouse gasses do in the atmosphere. The basics is 150 year old science based on laboratory measurements; then there are quantum theoretical computations (in agreement); current understanding is integral to remote sensing measurements of the atmosphere from aircraft or satellite (some expensive remote sensing and intelligence gathering equipment would be in trouble if we got this wrong!), etc.

    I suspect you are confused by the software codes used for climate simulation being very similar to the codes used for numerical weather prediction. This is true. The difference is the way they are being used. For climatology use, the long term trends are extracted e.g., by ensemble averaging. The weather averages out, as does the initial condition choice and its effects.

    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:18 AM

  320. Even though I have a technical math/physics/software background, I am not qualified to fully judge the science. I am somewhat skeptical, but that is my standard mode to be in for everything.

    My problem is, regardless of the science, I just cannot accept the liberty-destroying political outcomes that are favored by the global-warming fearists. Giving governments around the world even more power to control the economy and impede productivity is more dangerous than slow, predictable warming of the planet.

    I have great faith in the idea that individuals, working together in communities and companies, will be able to adapt and prosper. There is enough time to do that, if people are free enough to try things. Under the grip of command and control economies that would result if all the fear-based global-warming policies are enacted, our ability to adapt will be retarded.

    Comment by Mark Gibb — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:24 AM

  321. [edit]

    - Dan, the MWP was understood as truth for decades. It was overturned for some (others, Briffa included, apparently did not agree) reasons with the advent of the MBH work. To question that would in no way be the same as to question (or try to get rid of) the hockey stick…this analogy fails, IMO.

    [Response: This is just wrong. You are confusing Lamb's initial description of medieval temperatures in England (and maybe Northern Europe) with some imaginary consensus on a globally coherent climate event. The inconsistencies in that picture was known to people well before Mann's paper in 1998. (For instance, Hughes and Diaz in 1994). - gavin]

    #38, Dan “I’d almost stopped reading RC because I felt (perhaps wrongly?) that many reasoned but critical comments were lost in moderation.”

    - this was the case for certain, that critical posts were edited and/or removed. Things apparently have changed for now. Lets hope it stays this way and I too congrat Gavin on the new format…presuming that he will permit more critical posting.

    Comment by Steve Geiger — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:24 AM

  322. After CRU all the data and correspondence need to be made public. If anything is hidden all credibility will be lost.

    Comment by JAY963 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:30 AM

  323. #282 Sloop

    First, why don’t you go to CA yourself or email and ask Steve specifically which climate and paleoclimate data set or paper is lacking data, metadata, code, methodology, etc. After he tells you then you can check the claims yourself if you want to.

    Second, it sounds like your actually trying to rationalize that data/code etc should not be made avaialble to SM because he does not “qualify”. Good luck with that argument.

    Comment by Layman Lurker — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:31 AM

  324. RE 309

    Well done Hans!!! That’s the first chuckle I have had in days. :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:36 AM

  325. Is it true that CO2 lags behind temperature change in ice core study samples? If so, might we not expect a decline in CO2 levels in the coming years if the atmosphere continues cooling? And if that happens without a reduction in manmade CO2 emissions, would that mean that CO2 doesn’t trap heat the way we think it does?

    [Response: No. The carbon cycle feedback is roughly 20 ppm per degree C after a few hundreds years. The change in CO2 currently is 2 ppm per year - related to human emissions. The temperatures are rising at around 0.2 deg C per decade - which would translate to ~4 ppm increase hundreds of years later. That's not negligible, but it isn't enough to overturn the rise due to fossil fuel emissions even if the planet cooled substantially for some unknown reason for decades (which it won't). - gavin]

    Comment by Tim S. — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:39 AM

  326. In response to comment #122 Anand Rajan

    The current rate of warming and predicted increase in the rate is too fast for many species of animals and plants to either adapt or acclimate to. There are currently multiple stressors on biodiversity (habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, over-exploitation, invasive species, pollution). Many species experience several of these stressors simultaneously. Adding a warming climate to the mix of stressors is predicted (and probably already has) to drive many to extinction. In addition to the loss of species, we can expect ecosystem structure and function to change in ways that could have serious consequences for human well being.

    Comment by Peter Houlihan — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:41 AM

  327. #310 Although the measurements may have 0.1W/m^2 resolution, the absolute accuracy is much worse.

    If you compare the readings of various satellites, you will find discrepancies of a few WATTS/sq meter.

    They know that their base calibration constants are off significantly, but don’t know who, if anybody, is correct. This isn’t an insurmountable problem in tracking changes is solar radiation. They simply cross calibrate by comparing results across a common time period.

    But the ABSOLUTE accuracy is horrible.

    Comment by Charlie — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:43 AM

  328. The SST corrections with the 1940s blip, in the e-mail it looks like the amount of correction is to be chosen by the user, in this case Phil Jones. They want to keep some correction to match the land blip, but not too much.

    [Response: Wrong and wrong. Tom Wigley is trying to get Phil to estimate how much of an effect it is likely to be once the corrections are made. The mismatch between land and ocean are likely to get smaller as a consequence - which will be a validation of the corrections. - gavin]

    Comment by Journeyman — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:04 AM

  329. Most likely will get sensored but nice to give it a try so much for being objective!!!!

    … or the moderator may just use you as an example of the kind of idiots he’s up against. Thanks for the content.

    Comment by JM — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:09 AM

  330. It would be interesting to know at some point if M&M appealed. It’s a simple step to take after all.

    Yes, he did, and the appeal upheld the rejection of his FOI request.

    What also intrigues me is, if the data were so vital to their research, why didn’t they just follow the same procedure and acquire the data from the owners in the same manner? Surely having the data itself is more important than the procedure used to acquire it?

    It really depends on whether one is interested in the science or something else, doesn’t it?

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:11 AM

  331. So it looks like Inhofe wants hearings. That’s great. Go for it — Boxer will be calling the final shots on that one.

    Some points to make in the hearings (assuming that they happen).

    1) The Brits (CRU) did act inappropriately in response to continuous, dishonest attacks from the deniers. Don’t use that to excuse the Brits’ actions here — but highlight the deniers’ dishonest tactics in order to put some context here. Context, not excuses here! Emphasize that it was a British, not an American, institution that got caught out. No offense to the Brits, but you’ll be playing to a big audience of yahoo Yanks here — so it will be Brits’ turn under the bus this time.

    2) American institutions (NOAA, NASA) have been much more open — point out the tremendous amount of data and code that “we American scientists” have been putting out for public scrutiny for *many years*. Once again, apologies to the Brits for the “we Americans” bit here, but you will be playing to a *very* provincial audience (putting it kindly). Point out that in all the years that NASA/NOAA have made their data and code available, the climate-denial community hasn’t done anything with it. When it comes to rolling up sleeves and doing real work, the denialists …well… don’t!

    3) As for accusations of journal censorship and pressure on journal editors, the best response is “Soon/Baliunas 2003″. That paper is so pathetically bad that you could explain its flaws to a high-school student (or Senator). Make the denial community own that paper. Lay out in Senator-friendly detail, all the problems with the papers’ methodology. Boxer would have lots of fun pointedly asking Inhofe’s witnesses if they would be proud to be listed as co-authors on that paper. The deniers have slipstreamed other garbage into journals, but most of the other garbage papers require some math/science background (calculus, etc) to fully understand why they are garbage. Soon/Baliunas 2003, however, is in a class by itself. Like I said, make the denial community *own* that paper.

    4) The out-of-context stuff. Pick a bunch of examples that would be easy for Senators to understand. I like Mann’s “contained” MWP. Go back 1,000 years and you get half a MWP. Go back 2,000 years and you get it all. That should clarify the meaning of “contain” here. Much of this out-of-context stuff, if presented correctly, will make the denial community look downright stupid. Light-hearted explanations that draw laughter from the Senate floor would be most effective here.

    Anyway, these are suggestions from someone who doesn’t do PR or anything like that for a living — so take them for what they are worth!

    Comment by caerbannog — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:13 AM

  332. Chris Dunford says: 24 novembre 2009 at 6:53 AM (re Gavin’s reply in #255)

    > I wish there were a site/wiki with very specific information like this.

    There’s a good start — click “RC Wiki” at the top of the page.

    Homework for someone: copying detailed information out of these comment threads to the links already waiting there (some of which, like Soon, are not yet filled). Many of the links do contain details and links already.

    Whoever’s been doing the work, thank you. Holler if I can help in some way.

    [Response: If people want editing privileges, create an account, email us and I'll set you up. - gavin]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:15 AM

  333. It’s is clear that both sides in the climate debate have become more polarised. Nothing has changed says the team; it’s a smoking gun say the deniers. Some months ago I and a colleague set up a web site to try and present an objective balanced view. It is at:
    http://www.climatedata.info
    We’ed much appreciate any constructive criticism.

    Comment by Ron — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:17 AM

  334. This is a little off-topic, but with the “decline” after 1960, has the impact of pollution (or lack of) been investigated? It would depend in part upon prevailing winds, local temperatures, elevations, etc as to whether it is an issue or not. I’m not familiar with the geography of the area(s) in question, I’ll add.

    Comment by Donald Oats — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:22 AM

  335. How is it that every one of the comments that I have read have totally ignored one factoid which no one can dispute: The totality of all CO2 molecules in the world were at some time a form or carbon or oxygen either entrained in the earth’s crust or floating about in the atmosphere. Therefore, at some point in time, all of the CO2 that went to create carbonaceous materials on earth, such as coal, natural gas, and oil, was in the atmosphere. If is had not been in the atmosphere, then the plants that grew and died could not have been made into coal on earth. The animals that ate the plants and died could not have been combined with plants to have made the oil on earth. So all of this carbonaceous material that we are now burning is just being converted back into CO2 and put back from whence it came… i.e. the atmosphere.

    Did lots of the carbon or oxygen come from some where else and was transported to earth from another planet or star so as to make it possible for humans to burn up their home planet by creating Co2 that was not here before?

    Give me a break! Everything that is here, has always been here and just moves from one form to another. We are not GENERATING anything that has not been here since the beginning of time and we are not putting anything some where in which it was not situated at some time in the past. Such egocentric, megalomaniacs, thinking that people are creating something when there was nothing there before!

    [Response: Actually, most of the carbon is in the form of carbonate rock. Not something that has much of an impact on climate. There is a very small flux of organic carbon into sediments that sometimes go on to form oil and gas and coal. The accumulation of that carbon over millions and millions of years is being released into the atmosphere at something like 150 times faster than it accumulated. You don't think that might have some effect? - gavin]

    Comment by kenlovorn — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:25 AM

  336. DchuckB says:

    “They have some good posts on this issue.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/11/025011.php

    I would beg to differ. The scientific conversation in the e-mails is interesting but the “spin” put on it by the blogger is pretty silly in my view.

    First of all, the fact that uncertainties in the forcing due to SO2 (and other aerosols) is considerable (and that it actually makes it difficult to constrain the climate sensitivity from the 20th century temperature record) is nothing new. You need look no further than the IPCC report to find plenty of discussion on this.

    Second of all, the concern that most scientists have with the possibility that SO2 emissions could be offset much of the warming due to CO2 is that, while such offsetting can work for a while, it is not a long term solution because unlike CO2, the sulfate aerosols don’t accumulate in the atmosphere. This means that in order to increase the cooling effect, you have to keep emitting ever-increasing quantities of SO2 and, while the Chinese may want to do this for a while, they will eventually not want to do this if they also want to be able to breathe the air. (There is the geoengineering solution of injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere but that has its own problems, as has been discussed here before.) Hence, what you have is really a “masking” of the problem…I.e., the full extent of the warming due to CO2 is being masked by the cooling effect of the aerosols.

    Third of all, it is kind of silly to be talking about what scientists do or do not “want” the global temperature to do and what this means in regards to their motivations. He seems to put a lot of interpretation into what they actually say and, furthermore, what the scientists “want to happen” does not in any way affect what will happen. And, I think to the extent that some of the scientists in that conversation seem to be hoping that temperature don’t remain flat for too long, that can be explained by their concern that the problem is being masked by the cooling effects of aerosols, which does not represent a long-term solution to the problem of the warming due to greenhouse gases. They presumably believe that society needs to act to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions but that the masking of the warming in the short-term will help the “skeptics” continue to sow doubt and thus prevent the political will to take action to address the long-term problem.

    Comment by Joel Shore — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:33 AM

  337. Mark Gibb, Want to preserve freedom? Great, then come up with some ideas of how to solve this problem the promote freedom. The science is real, and sound. It is the solutions that have yet to be determined. Please, learn enough about the science so that you can responsibly exercise your duty as a citizen. Your progeny will have you to thank if they in fact inherit a working civilization.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:49 AM

  338. This development is not surprising to anyone who has any experience in working in the combined areas of science-engineering and public policy.

    Both those who support and those who are against many controverial subjects cannot over time help but converse in terms that may seem somewhat biased to outsiders. Science is replete with examples of researchers becoming emotionally attached to their research and their views, especially if they believe the research has social consequences.

    This is not bad. It is simply being human. While all credible researchers try to follow the scientific method as much as possible, anyone who has ever conducted science knows how the real work often intrudes on the results of studies and models and experiments. This does not mean the underlying hypothesis may be incorrect, but it does complicate things in a world where the public is increasingly skeptical and has access to scientific studies and debate that would never have been possible even 50 years ago.

    This at a time when it can also be argues the average person actually understands very little about science and the scientific method.

    So, let the debate continue. It may cause some to be a bit more careful about their email thoughts…and both sides of this debate will find plenty of grist for a while, and then it will subside…..

    Comment by Ed — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:54 AM

  339. For those who don’t know, “Glenn”, in following e-mail, is the Chief Editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJC) Glenn McGregor:

    P. Jones wrote to Ben Santer (LLNL), “With free wifi in my room, I’ve just seen that M+M have submitted a paper to IJC on your H2 statistic – using more years, up to 2007. They have also found your PCMDI data – laughing at the directory name – FOIA? Also they make up statements saying you’ve done this following Obama’s statement about openness in government! Anyway you’ll likely get this for review, or poor Francis will. Best if both Francis and Myles did this. If I get an email from Glenn I’ll suggest this.” (See 1233245601.txt)

    Gavin, you stated earlier that submitting the names of possible referees, to an editor, is an acceptable technique in the peer review process. The preceding e-mail implies that Jones is recommending referees, to the Chief Editor of IJC, for a paper that he is not the author of. Do you consider this an ethical practice w.r.t. the peer review process?

    Before “Ray Ladbury” gets a chance to lob a volley of incendiary and least common denominator accusations, I’d like to point out that I’m not anti-science. On the contrary, I’m very pro-science, having received my Ph.D. in theoretical physics two decades ago. I’m also quite familiar with the peer review process, with most of my papers published in IOP journals and Physical Review. I was also a referee for an IOP journal for 5 years before moving into a different field of study.

    Comment by Prince_Prospero — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:54 AM

  340. 320
    Mark Gibb says:
    “I have great faith in the idea that individuals, working together in communities and companies, will be able to adapt and prosper. There is enough time to do that, if people are free enough to try things. Under the grip of command and control economies that would result if all the fear-based global-warming policies are enacted, our ability to adapt will be retarded.”

    That may well be the case in developed and wealthy Western economies, (although the unprecedented* deluge in Britain in the past week has left people dead and local infrastructure in tatters including the destruction of bridges in one area). Unfortunately, that’s only a certain percentage of the world’s population, and the less fortunate have very problems to deal with. Have a read of this: “Climate ‘is a major cause’ of conflict in Africa”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8375949.stm

    *By saying “unprecedented”, I am being unashamedly literal:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8376031.stm

    Comment by JBowers — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:02 AM

  341. I strive to adhere to purely scientific principles in my professional work (albeit not in climate science). I have long suspected that the lack of transparency in sharing data, code, and methodology among certain climate scientists indicated a lack of certainty in the integrity and resilience of their work. Reading these emails (especially those referring to the dodging of FOI requests and deleting emails) turns the dial up on these suspicions.

    Two questions for Gavin (or other climate scientists):

    1. Let’s assume for a moment that the work of those scientists implicated in these emails is ultimately discredited. If we assume by default that other publications based heavily on that work must also be set aside, what impact does that have on our certainty of climate change as we understand it now?

    [Response: Very little. Warming is unequivocal and seen in dozens of data sets - the vast majority of which are open access and which curiously the 'skeptics' exhibit no interest. Paleo-reconstructions are made by groups all around the world, and are again based on publicly accessible data, and that all show very similar things. Their role in the detection and attribution of human caused climate change is minimal in any case. The important point is the case for AGW is based on multiple lines of evidence, none of which are exclusively the work of anyone at CRU. That isn't to say that they haven't made great contributions - they have. But like everything that is robust, those conclusions have been evaluated and validated in many other research centers. - gavin]

    2. Wouldn’t this be a good time for folks in the climate science arena to publicly and openly commit to increased transparency in the scientific process? Why not give honest “skeptics” a chance to preview code, data and methodology prior to publication? Wouldn’t that just make the final result more robust, reliable, and durable?

    [Response: The clamour for 'more data' is insatiable and will not stop however open and transparent we are (and we actually are very open and transparent). It's just too powerful a political club. Nonetheless we should always strive to be as open as is possible. Should the National Met services allow CRU to release their data? sure. Should countries share satellite and observational feeds in real time? sure. Write to your representatives to push for it. But don't blame the scientists who are caught in the middle. Not sure about pre-publication vetting of scientific results though. The few honest skeptic there are might have their hands full! Note too that the issue of replication is not one of arithmetic checking - some errors might exist there, but true replication of results comes about when people support the conclusion through independent means - and that takes more time and a more constructive attitude. - gavin]

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Jeff — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:05 AM

  342. By the way, I should have commented on one other aspect of the Powerline blog post: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/11/025011.php

    They purport to show that the prediction that 2009 would likely be one of the top 5 warmest years has not come true by giving a link to something showing only U.S. temperature data. Since the prediction was for the global temperature, this is comparing apples and oranges. I am not sure if 2009 is still in the running to be one of the top 5 warmest years globally but it is certainly running a fair bit warmer than 2008 and, just eyeballing the data available, it looks like the year will at least be in the top 10…and might still be in the running for the top 5.

    Comment by Joel Shore — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:08 AM

  343. Ted, from the press release you link, this study appears to be dealing essentially with UHI warming, which is stated to be twice the warming rate observed globally. Hence, “50%” of this higher warming rate due to land use means a wash–no net global warming down to land use. Just analyzing what they say in the PR. . .

    That said, Gavin’s point about “science by press release” is highly apropos. (Even if the press release quotes the lead investigator, as here, there’s no guarantee they got the quote correct, or that the quote, if correct, embodies a good description of what was actually meant.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:16 AM

  344. “…Coupled with the uncertainty of exactly a planet that would be warmer (say 3ºC) than at any time in the last 3 million years would look like (and note that sea levels were ~60 ft higher then!), I don’t want to take the risk.”

    Sort of a late response but…

    So my question again, was, what stake does a scientist have in the ‘planet’s well-being’? I believe the answer should be none. But, by your own words, you seem to have a stake. Why?

    [Response: Because I'm a human being? I'm sorry, but what kind of a person doesn't have a stake in the planet's well-being? Which planet do you propose moving to? - gavin]

    Mind you, the polluters are not doing what they do to primarily pollute or warm. It is a byproduct, if it is. What you do, as a scientist is otherwise. Why do I say that? Because you believe that your findings indicate that we will all warm up and probably drown, and therefore you want to stop the process, or have at least a say in it yourself.

    That leaves you, the climatologist/researcher, an interested party who does the science. A position the oil companies for example, dont find themselves in. If they perform and create ‘denial science’, it is to save their livelihoods. If you perform AGW science, it is to save your ‘livelihood’ so to speak, which is the science itself.

    To me therefore, it appears very difficult to get away from the fact there is an agenda a priori. There is an agenda to cool the globe from the scientists. There is no agenda to warm the globe on the warmers’ table.

    How do you expect then, to convince anyone of your findings? The agenda lends to your people (the climatologists) the conspiratorial blush that’s evident to an outside observer. Add to that the extremely bogus shoring-up of defenses by harping about ‘peer-reviewed’ literature only discredits AGW further. Do you believe, in today’s ‘networked world’ that it is difficult for a bunch of people to bandy up together and call themselves ‘peers’? Too much reliance on peer-review alone to support one’s contentions shows weakness, not credibility.

    Laws, must ultimately speak to man and his life. Maybe it will affect the lives of his children. Nothing more. We may speak big things but we must all go home to rest and wait for tomorrow. To pass draconian laws issued from the mouth of a quasigovernmental body that will affect the whole globe and the future of ‘humanity’, to want to do that, is wrong.

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:21 AM

  345. To date, there has not been a single credible journal article that shows a natural cause for the modern day warming while also showing how record high greenhouse gas concentrations are not significant.

    NOT ONE.

    Do people really believe that the scientists at CRU are able to squelch every scientist on the planet who tried to publish this landmark anti-AGW paper? Is there no sense of the low probability and the large scale of this conspiracy for this to be true?

    If one throws out the HadCRU data and all papers by these folks, there is still a mountain of evidence for AGW.

    Do the rapidly melting ice sheets and glaciers have access to these emails and joined in on the conspiracy?

    Do the various climate models that show GHGs as the dominant forcing mechanism have access to these emails and joined in on the conspiracy?

    Do the GISS, UAH, RSS data have access to these emails and joined in on the conspiracy? Certainly Spencer and Christy would not align themselves with AGW and yet their satellite-derived measurements track reasonably with GISS, RSS, and HadCRU.

    Does the ocean read these emails and magically increase its heat content?

    Does the cooling stratosphere (even accounting for ozone loss) read the emails and join in on the hoax?

    Do the plants and animals read these emails and decide to die off and/or change their migratory habits so that they can support the conspiracy?

    I could go on ad infinitum.

    For quite a long time, we have known that a doubling of CO2 will warm the climate at least 1C and there is fairly good certainty that the resulting feedbacks will produce at least 2C additional warming with 3C more likely. We are also measuring CO2 increases of 2 ppm and climbing (except last year where there was a slight decrease due to the global recession) and we have levels that have not been seen in the past 15 million years.

    Are we to conclude that these emails deny all of this evidence?

    It is obvious that pre-Copenhagen, the tried and true method of “if one does not like the message then attack the messenger or redirect the conversation” practiced by Big Tobacco and now Big Oil and their front groups (Heartland Institute, George C. Marshall Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, etc.) is alive and well.

    Scott A. Mandia – Professor, Meteorologist, Concerned Citizen
    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/

    Comment by Scott A. Mandia — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:21 AM

  346. [satire]An urgent call for a public enquiry was made this morning into the revelation that some simple mathematical equations that guide UK economic policy might be flawed and the flaw deliberately concealed. For many years, it has been accepted by the establishment that if you put two and two together, you get four. But the recent appearance on the internet of some papers allegedly hacked from a computer network at the mathematics department of one of the UK’s leading universities have thrown things into confusion. The papers show how, repeatedly, leading bank executives have added the two numbers together and produced a variety of results, often with no obvious trend. Some of the numbers have a single nought on the end, some two noughts or even as many as eight, the latter appearing in a paper entitled “how much money can you lend to people who cannot afford to pay you back?”

    At the same time, the BBC has come in for criticism for giving airtime to a prominent addition sceptic, who said on this morning’s Today programme that, in the case of two and two, the maths was far from settled and that it could quite possibly make five. The BBC defended their position, stating that their inclusion of the sceptic argument was “in the interests of balance”. But critics say that the situation is too dangerous to allow any more confusion of what should be acknowledged as settled elementary mathematics. “If we continue allowing this sort of thing to happen, we will end up with a gigantic and unsubstainable credit bubble which when it bursts will have catastrophic impacts all over the world”, said one mathematician, who did not want to be named.

    [/satire]

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:22 AM

  347. “that’s where the lies and the manipulations took place.”

    And your credibility in climate science is? Research? Peer-reviewed papers in established, credible journals? Conferences?

    Thought so. Google Scholar: .

    It bears repeating: The idea that a layman somehow thinks they know something about climate science that literally thousands of peer-reviewed climate science researchers (who have spent literally decades studying the issue) and every major climate science professional society including the AGU, the AMS, the RMS, the NOAA, the AMOS, the EPA, and the NSF (for starters) is ludicrous and the height of arrogance.

    Comment by Dan — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:25 AM

  348. Just curious… I’m starting to see this piece of code show up on a lot of denier’s posts elsewhere. What exactly was the purpose of this code. People familiar with IDL will know exactly what it is doing. If it was to adjust for tree-ring data and ring width decline… why does it start adjusting data in the 40s instead of the 60s?

    From:
    \FOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\briffa_sep98_d.pro

    yyy=reform(comptemp(*,2))

    ;mknormal,yyy,timey,refperiod=[1881,1940]

    filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy,tslow=tslow

    oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=22

    yyy=reform(compmxd(*,2,1))

    ;mknormal,yyy,timey,refperiod=[1881,1940]

    ;

    ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

    ;

    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]

    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$

    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

    if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’

    ;

    yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

    ;

    ;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow

    ;oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=20

    ;

    filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy,tslow=tslow

    oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=21

    Comment by Chris — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  349. Mark Gibb writes: “regardless of the science, I just cannot accept”

    giving the most likely reason for the Fermi Paradox in a nutshell.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  350. I just wanted to post a couple of thoughts.

    An earlier post claims that science is based on an open and honest exchange of ideas (which I agree with whole-heartedly) as justification for some of the email content. However, being a bit naieve, I don’t understand why this doesn’t apply between the pro-AGW and Skeptics (for want of better descriptions)? There doesn’t appear to be a lot of scientific discussion between the 2 sides – just personal attack and obstruction.

    There has also been a lot of talk of peer reviewed papers and articles but I wonder how a scientific article can be peer-reviewed if the data that the article is based on isn’t made publicly available along with supporting notes regarding the data sources and analysis taken. I would have thought that any of the CRU data would be made freely available to the reviewing peers for open scrutiny. Otherwise it can’t be ‘peer-reviewed’ can it? Surely this is basic science? Therefore I find the stories (which is all that they are at the moment) of data being with-held, hidden or deliberately massaged before release extremely puzzling and worrying (if true).

    [Response: Peer-review is not the same as the manual checking of every calculation. That would be a huge and impossible burden to manage. Instead, it is there to check the logic, make sure that the paper properly refers to the literature, that the calculations are appropriate and the the conclusions follow from the analysis etc. Note too that peer-review is simply the first stage of review. Once papers are published (and if they are interesting or important enough), people generally pile on with either supportive or conflicting evidence and a dispute can rage on in the literature for years. If needed the data used in a paper is put online or sent to whoever asks if possible. - gavin]

    Comment by rgi — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  351. OK, I’m not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV. But I do brew my own beer, and am therefore continually dealing with Henry’s Law in getting my beer carbonated. Wouldn’t Henry’s Law show CO2 in seawater as a lagging indicator of global warming? Wouldn’t it also therefore have to do greatly with increased atmospheric CO2 levels during periods of warming? Why don’t I see this discussed?
    Thanks

    [Response: Rest assured that brewing beer is carbon neutral. The CO2 produced by the yeast was taken out of the air by the barley. Solubility effects do contribute to the carbon cycle response to climate change, but they aren't the whole story (there are lots of biological effects and also ocean circulation changes). It is relevant to what happens to the natural CO2 fluxes as the climate warms though and it may start to make it harder to have the human CO2 absorbed into the ocean. - gavin]

    Comment by Tom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:41 AM

  352. I posted this on greenfyre’s, and thought it might be worth reposting here:

    I’ve been thinking about strategy and Sun Tzu, and I think it’s always wise to check against Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.

    I admit I’ve been thrown off balance by the strength and viciousness of this attack — but the stronger the attack, the more it puts the opponent off balance. Keep one point, maintain equilibrium, and the opponent will defeat himself.

    I tend to forget this in the heat of battle, but it is good to revisit it:

    “If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.” — Morihei Ueshiba

    Perhaps instead of striking back, we should bend and flow and absorb this attack, allowing the opponents to throw themselves off balance and ultimately defeat themselves. Here’s a possible frame for that:

    In science, we welcome all forms of criticism. Criticism and skepticism make science stronger. Let us, by all means, investigate this to the fullest extent, make all of the data and methods as open as possible, and we will see what the scientific conclusions are.

    You want openness of data? By all means, let’s have openness of data. You want an investigation? Let’s investigate thoroughly. Let’s check and double-check the science and find out for sure what the evidence really shows.

    If the science is sound (which it probably is), then the claims of fraud will be exposed for the unfounded lies that they are, and their proponents will look all the more foolish for jumping to conclusions without evidence.

    A good example of how off-balance the opponent is right now was provided by Glenn Beck (who has not, in my opinion, been keeping one point lately.

    “If your gut said, “Wait a minute, this global warming thing sounds like a scam.” Well, I think you’re seeing it now. We told you this was going on, without proof, because we listened to our gut.” — Glenn Beck

    That’s an outright admission that he’s not living in an evidence-based reality, and that he makes unfounded accusations without proof.

    Ironically, he seems to be getting this from Stephen Colbert, who said this in a performance for the Bush administration:

    “it is my privilege to celebrate this president, ‘cause we’re not so different, he and I. We both get it. Guys like us, we’re not some brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We’re not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut. Right, sir?

    That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. Now, I know some of you are going to say, “I did look it up, and that’s not true.” That’s ’cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that’s how our nervous system works.” Stephen Colbert

    Only Beck is serious!

    Maybe we shouldn’t strike back. Maybe we should just keep on giving them more rope…

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:47 AM

  353. “Nope… it’s not an initial value problem, like weather prediction; it’s a boundary value problem. Weather is chaotic, climate is not.”

    !!!

    The mathematical equations derived to study the evolution of climate change will be non-linear. We have observed instabilities and tipping points in the climate history of the earth. Therefore I think it is clear that the climate is chaotic in a mathematical sense. (please correct if wrong?)

    [Response: Actually it's not clear. And in fact there is significant evidence against it. First off, why are any climate changes predictable? The cooling of Pinatubo, the seasonal cycle, the mid-Holocene, the temperatures at the last ice age, the similarity of the interglacials etc. Climate models - even though they are chaotic in the classical Lorenz sense (individual trajectories diverge very quickly), have stable statistics regardless of the initial conditions. Thus climate - the statistical description of the model state - does not seem to be chaotic. The model climate does not have a sensitive dependence on initial conditions for instance. This isn't a proof that the climate isn't chaotic, and indeed simpler models show parameter regimes where it is, but it certainly isn't 'clear' that it is. - gavin]

    I think what you are trying to say is that given a set of models and assuming stability you can predict the likehood, according to those models, of the temperature being warmer or colder this time next year. That’s the best prediction that can be made at our current level of technology. However the prediction may well be incorrect once we observe the real temperatures next summer.

    [Response: There is little evidence that models have much skill at predicting summer temperatures a year in advance. They might improve, but for the moment that is a little speculative. Those predictions however are still based on known initial conditions, not the forcing from GHGs or the sun or whatever. The expectation, given the observed and modelled signal-to-noise ratio is that you need a decade or two to get skillful projections of global mean T. - gavin]

    Comment by ben — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:48 AM

  354. Shorter Steve Geiger #321: Gavin stopped bashing his wife.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:55 AM

  355. Gavin, Thanks for your reply (listed below) to my question (251 RaymondT 23 November 2009 at 10:58 pm). When you use the ocean heat content and paleo-climate to further constrain your history match you also run into the problem of not knowing the contribution of the natural variability. Because your projections agree in the medium term does not mean that you have explored all the possible ranges of forcings and climate sensitivities. One issue that came up in the email exchange was that of testing the climate models. If we do not know the contribution of the natural variability on average temperatures how can we test the models ? Your answers are really helping me understand better the complexities of climate modelling. I appreciate your scientific honesty in discussing the uncertainties in the climate models.
    [Response: We don't know that it is unique. There could be a range of net forcings, and indeed a range of climate sensitivities, and a range (though not unlimited) of the magnitude of internal variability. We use the various other constraints - ocean heat content uptake, paleo-climate at the LGM etc. to try anc constrain these values, but there is still a range - which leads of course to a range of projections. For the medium term (~20-30 years) they are robust, but over the longer time scale, they begin to diverge. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  356. Mark Gibb wrote: “My problem is, regardless of the science, I just cannot accept the liberty-destroying political outcomes that are favored by the global-warming fearists.”

    With all due respect, I suggest that you have succumbed to a corporate-sponsored pseudo-ideological propaganda campaign that equates ExxonMobil’s profits with “liberty”.

    What exactly is it about a vision of individuals, communities, small businesses, farmers and others owning their own solar and wind based energy generation systems, with which they can independently harvest free energy rather than having to buy scarce, expensive fuel from giant corporations, that you feel threatens your “liberty”?

    Besides which, if you don’t like the solutions that are being proposed, then the rational response is to put forward your own proposals, not deny the facts of physical reality.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:57 AM

  357. #280, 292,293 – Lawrence, as a former EE, I assume you have some background in Signal Processing, to sort out the signal from the noise. So here are a couple of neutral sites to get some info on this whole discussion. Staring with global temps.
    http://www.climate4you.com/
    Go to global Temp, Comparing global air temp estimates. In this figure you will notice the temp has pretty much flattened over the past 8-9 years, in spite of all the CO2, and other gases emitted. It’s interesting to use several analysis methods, yourself, to see what information underlies the raw data. Another good site for temp data is
    http://www.rimfrost.no/
    where they have long term data (over 200 years), Uppsala, Berlin, Paris, etc. to get a direct measurement perspective.

    Now go to these and check sea ice levels. For whatever reason they seem to have stabilized. It does not look like the Arctic will be ice free in my lifetime, or some time thereafter.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    Comment by J. Bob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:59 AM

  358. Look, I cannot predict the weather 20 days in advance even with a supercomputer and the finest satellite data. But I can predict that next summer will be warm and next winter cold — that’s climate.

    The best analogy to illustrate the difference between weather and climate that I’ve come across is this one: i can’t predict the next b l a c k j a c k hand, or the one after that, & so on, but I know at the end of the year that the c a s i n o is going to be profitable.

    Excuse the spelling, necessary to get around a spam guard.

    Comment by encs — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:05 PM

  359. “Giving governments around the world even more power to control the economy and impede productivity is more dangerous than slow, predictable warming of the planet.”

    And what if the warming is neither slow nor predictable? What if it is greater than 0.2 C / decade, and terrestrial ecosystems collapse?

    Comment by Mark Hersh — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:15 PM

  360. Gavin,

    You said, [Response: No data has been lost or destroyed. - gavin]

    How on earth can you state that with even smidgeon of honesty? If you can state that, in truth, then you must have complete control of every action taken on every server in question. Do you want to make that claim?

    Comment by Pencil Neck — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:25 PM

  361. Numerous comment here suggest that those files that were leaked are private, but they are not necessarily so. As I understand it, in the UK E-mails exchanged using your employer’s facilities are not personal or private but available for legitimate scrutiny by your employer – who employs the researchers at the UEA. As a previous comment points out, the UEA CRU Policy on FOI states that such E-mails are not private property. Even if it is illegal for an unauthorised individual to steal or leak these files, it is quite possible that such an action would be considered justified under the circumstances. The English courts have recently ruled in favour of environmental terrorists who attacked an industrial installation QUOTE: Cleared: Jury decides that threat of global warming justifies breaking the law UNQUOTE (Note 5). It is possible that the courts would find that the threat of unwarranted taxation and economic damage in the guise of global warming justifies breaking the law.

    The UK’s Lord Lawson today announced the formation of The Global Warming Policy Foundation (Note 2) of which Dr Benny Peiser said QUOTE:The Foundation’s aim is to become the most trustworthy and readily accessible source for those, whether in politics, the media or among the wider public, who wish to be informed of the most reliable and authoritative analysis of both the claims of climate alarmists and the policies currently in place or being discussed, whether in Copenhagen or elsewhere UNQUOTE.
    The only problem with this Foundation is that involves politicians, which immediately makes thinking people suspicious of its motives.

    A more reassuring development is that QUOTE: TaxPayers’ Alliance Reports Phil Jones et al to Information Commissioner UNQUOTE (Note 3 and 4). The involvement of the UK’s TaxPayers’ Alliance is long overdue. I tried to get it interested months ago but it didn’t want to know. Well, better late than never.

    Today the University of East Anglia issued statements (Note 6) which included complaints about the “illegal” manner in which those files were leaked. including one from Professor Phil Jones which acknowledges QUOTE: My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues. UNQUOTE. He has a very difficult task to persuade us to accept his closing words and would have an equally difficult task to convince a jury if his own actions are considered to be illegal.

    No matter how hard Realclimate’s Gavin Schnidt tries to stem the flood, this will not go away. As is said elsewhere (Note 7) QUOTE: Gavin over at realclimate keeps distracting people by saying the issue is the scientists being nasty to each other, and what Trenberth said, and the Nature “trick”, and the like. Those are side trails. To me, the main issue is the frontal attack on the heart of science, which is transparency. UNQUOTE.

    NOTES:
    1) see http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cleared-jury-decides-that-threat-of-global-warming-justifies-breaking-the-law-925561.html
    2) see http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/11/the-global-warming-policy-foundation-gwpf-launched-today/
    3) see http://climateresearchnews.com/2009/11/cru-foi-emails-taxpayers-alliance-reports-phil-jones-et-al-to-information-commissioner/
    4) see http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/campaign/2009/11/cru-emails-reveal-inconvenient-truths-about-foi.html
    5) see http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cleared-jury-decides-that-threat-of-global-warming-justifies-breaking-the-law-925561.html
    6) see http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRUupdate
    7) see http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    Pete Ridley, Human-made global climate change agos(cep)tic

    Comment by Pete Ridley — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:26 PM

  362. 320 – “I just cannot accept the liberty-destroying political outcomes that are favored by the global-warming fearists.”

    How is the regulation of pumping chemicals into the atmosphere an attack on liberty? The release of greenhouse gasses is taking away liberty. A small group of people are making profit by damaging your future and the future of your children. If someone was putting radioactive waste into your water supply, do you believe that is an act of liberty? How can you possibly buy into the liberty argument? When someone is granted rights over other people, he or she is not enjoying liberty but totalitarianism.

    Aside from liberty, most nations in the west are having to import much of their energy. Fossil fuels require us to burn up most of our capital. Shamefully, we have the technology to solve the global warming problem, create a lot of much needed jobs in the west, and stabilize some of the worst regions in the world, but irrational human behavior stands in the way.

    Comment by E.L. — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:30 PM

  363. I don’t really understand Monbiots angle on this. It looks like a massive overreaction. He seems surprised that scientists discuss how to present their work and how to keep bad science out of the spotlight. Weird.

    Comment by thesheikhofalamut — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:39 PM

  364. Gavin, has anyone requested e-mails and files from Goddard/NASA through FOIA?

    Bob

    [Response: Sure. The was a request for materials related to the peer review of the EPA Endangerment Document last year, and one for materials associated with the Bush-era media crackdown in 2004/2005. There may have been more. -gavin]

    Comment by Bob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:43 PM

  365. Prince Prospero, Far be it for me to lob incendiary rhetoric at someone who clearly has a reading comprehension problem. Note the last sentence, “If I get an email from Glenn I’ll suggest this.”

    Haven’t you ever been solicited by an editory to suggest referees for a paper? I certainly have, and I usually sought to recommend those most knowledgable in the field–that is the competitors of the author. It is beyond me how you can read anything else into this email.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:43 PM

  366. 326 – “we can expect ecosystem structure and function to change in ways that could have serious consequences for human well being.”

    I’m very concerned about this subject as well. I worry that we may see a biodiversity collapse. I think the additional stress on biodiversity is the greatest threat we face from global warming. The Red List did a sample of around 45,000 different species not long ago, and they found 38% of the species are in trouble. The 38 percent number is just astronomical. In truth, we are witnessing nothing short of a extinction level event triggered mostly by human influence. I don’t think people comprehend how fragile our ecosystems are at the moment nor how much we depend upon them.

    Comment by E.L. — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:45 PM

  367. Gavin,

    those Turkish proxies are listed as transparent. Was the hacker’s proxy also transparent?

    Comment by Molnar — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:46 PM

  368. “If I get an email from Glenn I’ll suggest this.” (See 1233245601.txt)

    Gavin, you stated earlier that submitting the names of possible referees, to an editor, is an acceptable technique in the peer review process. The preceding e-mail implies that Jones is recommending referees, to the Chief Editor of IJC, for a paper that he is not the author of. Do you consider this an ethical practice w.r.t. the peer review process?

    The way this reads to me is that if Jones gets an e-mail about being a referee, he’ll recommend Francis (Zwiers?) and Myles (Allen?) as referees. Standard statement from every editor I’ve ever dealt with or any time I’ve requested reviews as an editor: “If cannot or do not want to do the review, please recommend other possible reviewers.”

    Jones never says he’s going to contact McGregor about these people as reviewers. He only says something about if McGregor e-mails him (presumably to be a reviewer). Not only ethical, but expected, behavior.

    Comment by Harold Brooks — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:49 PM

  369. Niels A Nielsen posted a comment 20 november 2009 at 1:26 PM, referring to a CRU email describing deliberate adjustments to the ‘warming blip’ for the 1940′s. A response was published as follows:

    [Response: This relates to the known problem in the SST records (as discussed here) related to changes in measuring technology and attempts to assess how important it is. The reworked raw data with corrections for this has not yet been released, and so people want to have a heuristic that might help see what impact they will have on any analysis that relied on the original (uncorrected data). - gavin]

    Comment by David Reese:
    It is fortunate that the ‘data glitches’ existed or Captain Henry Larsen wouldn’t have been able to sail the Northwest Passage with his wooden vessel the St Roch, twice, back in the 1940′s

    Comment by David Reese — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:51 PM

  370. Anand Rajan, Wow, did you study doublespeak under Orwell, himself?

    OK, Anand, I’ll cop to the charge of wanting to keep planet Earth habitable for human beings. How about you? That on your agenda or are you too “disinterested” for that?

    Now as to the charge that this constitutes an agenda for climate science, that is false. The goal of climate science is to understand climate. Period. It just so happens that the only theory we have that accomplishes that goal tells us we are warming the planet by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. So the discovery that humans are causing climate change is a by-product of climate science. The desire to save the planet is a by-product of being human. Try it sometime.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:53 PM

  371. Brewing beer takes heat. Having visited breweries, the heat to roast the grain and to bring up brewing temps also is energy intensive. In the case of brewing ethanol. a lot of heat is used to distill the qalcohol which has a lower boiling point than water.

    Comment by Henry chance — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:56 PM

  372. #321 Steve Geiger wrote: “…is more dangerous
    than slow, predictable warming of the planet.”

    Where in the world did you dig up this
    delusional fallacy of “slow and predictable warming?”
    You don’t have the slightest idea of what you
    are talking about.

    The following facts show that your idea of slow
    and predictable warming is totally wrong.

    Frozen methane and CO2 deposits, the provable
    rapidly increasing exponential human-made
    CO2 levels, the inability of the warming oceans
    to keep absorbing CO2 as well, the fact that
    many warming ecosystems start giving off CO2
    instead of absorbing it, the nearly, if not totally
    unprecedented world wide speed of the current
    warming (it has taken 5000 years in the past to
    do the warming of the last 200 years), all point
    to a dangerously unstable and unpredictable
    and unprecedented current warming pattern due
    to the virtual artificial tsunami of Co2 being forced
    into the long-term CO2 cycle.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:59 PM

  373. kenlovorn: Dude, brilliant satire! I mean completely missing the fact that the last time CO2 levels where this high, our ancestors were about 2 feet long and had prehensile tails. Brilliant!

    Oh! You didn’t know that! Oh! So, you want to say “Never Mind,” or do you want me to say it for you?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 12:59 PM

  374. Gavin, you stated earlier that submitting the names of possible referees, to an editor, is an acceptable technique in the peer review process. The preceding e-mail implies that Jones is recommending referees, to the Chief Editor of IJC, for a paper that he is not the author of. Do you consider this an ethical practice w.r.t. the peer review process?

    No, if you bothered to read carefully, you’d see that Jones says that IF ASKED TO BY THE EDITOR, he will recommend referees.

    Now, why do you think that if the editor e-mails him to ask for suggestions for referees, he should respond by saying “no! I won’t! I won’t help you by recommending a referee!”?????

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:00 PM

  375. Or, additionally, if the editor were to e-mail Jones asking if Jones would referee the paper, why on earth would it be considered unethical for Jones to say, “no, I’m not available, but I recommend Prof X and Prof Y be asked” ???

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:02 PM

  376. So, Hank Roberts, you actually believe that the effects of global warming will be so catastrophic that humanity will not survive long enough to become known to other star systems? Hyperbole.

    Assuming that all the science behind AGW is as good as human foibles allow, I still don’t believe the catastrophic outcome is likely. The belief in catastrophe seems to be based on a very static conception of human potential, and underestimates the ability of humans to solve problems, adapt, and thrive.

    [Response: I'm sure someone used that line with the Easter Islanders too. - gavin]

    Trying to force adaptation by enabling governments to have more power is making a deal with the devil, and will fail.

    Comment by Mark Gibb — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:02 PM

  377. An urgent call for a public enquiry was made this morning into the revelation that some simple mathematical equations that guide UK economic policy might be flawed and the flaw deliberately concealed. For many years, it has been accepted by the establishment that if you put two and two together, you get four. But the recent appearance on the internet of some papers allegedly hacked from a computer network at the mathematics department of one of the UK’s leading universities have thrown things into confusion

    Actually, recent hacking of internet servers has uncovered this proof that 1 = 0.

    By induction, 1 = 2 and therefore 2+2 = 1+1 = 2.

    They’ve been hiding this from you for YEARS. This should expose, once and for all, the algebraist plot to impose a one-world communist government. Since 1 = 0, in this government, every ONE of us will have ZERO rights or property.

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:08 PM

  378. 342 Anand Rajan KD says:
    “Laws, must ultimately speak to man and his life. Maybe it will affect the lives of his children. Nothing more. ”

    Well, I guess the Laws of Physics will certainly be affecting the lives of his children, then.

    Comment by JBowers — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:10 PM

  379. Rest assured that brewing beer is carbon neutral. The CO2 produced by the yeast was taken out of the air by the barley.

    I would be more worried about non-fermentable sugars, which contribute to flatulence.

    Comment by JM — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:11 PM

  380. Hope you have an attorney Gavin, you and realclimate are being named in this lawsuit……..

    http://spectator.org/blog/2009/11/24/climate-gate-development-cei-f

    Today, on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, I filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies’ refusal – for nearly three years – to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

    - those relating to the content, importance or propriety of workday-hour posts or entries by GISS/NASA employee Gavin A. Schmidt on the weblog or “blog” RealClimate, which is owned by the advocacy Environmental Media Services and was started as an effort to defend the debunked “Hockey Stick” that is so central to the CRU files. RealClimate.org is implicated in the leaked files, expressly offered as a tool to be used “in any way you think would be helpful” to a certain advocacy campaign, including an assertion of Schmidt’s active involvement in, e.g., delaying and/or screening out unhelpful input by “skeptics” attempting to comment on claims made on the website.

    [Response: 'A certain advocacy campaign'? These guys are smoking something. And I like the idea that people can be sued because they moderate a forum. Perhaps we could move on to the WSJ letters page? - gavin]

    Comment by pete — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:14 PM

  381. I loved the fellow in #117 who assured us, several times in a rather short post, using very grave and responsible-sounding language, that everything anybody does anywhere is best when it is transparent and open.

    Then he signs himself ….. “Ed”.

    Comment by Ric Merritt — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:17 PM

  382. It seems fairly clear to a casual observer that these “hackers” are among your own ranks, and that bias is too easy to introduce in the face of complexity. Rather than trying to calm the storms (whether in a teacup or not), perhaps you should all be considering providing greater openness to data sets and computer model algorithms. If the fear of the rising tide is justified, then the science will hold up to scrutiny. Maintaining datasets as secretive intelletual property has only resulted in this scandal. The flood gates will be open.

    Comment by Ed — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:18 PM

  383. “Because I’m a human being? I’m sorry, but what kind of a person doesn’t have a stake in the planet’s well-being? Which planet do you propose moving to?”

    The kind of person that doesn’t have a stake in the planet’s well-being is the kind of person who minds his own business. Sorry to put it bluntly, but therein lies the whole crux of the issue.

    Climate scientists have taken it upon themselves to ‘care for the globe’. You refuse to see through this. Any manipulation, twisting of the facts, lies, deception would seem noble in such a high stakes game. The science most certainly would seem honorable. Is it difficult to see that a scientist who sets himself up to save the world would stop at anything? I see the CRU crusading evangelists to fit this mould. You do the science to save the world and the opponents to the science look like haters of humanity. Now, is that a tricky situation for a scientist to be in or what?

    All practitioners of prediction, including those who want to legislate based on predition, have only one suitable response. They are probably allowed a ‘See, I told you so’ – nothing more. Legislation should impact on palpable realities, not things like ‘future of the planet’, ‘planet’s well-being’ and their ilk.

    Wanting to care for the whole planet is just overarching hubris and power hunger in disguise. Such a motive should not lie at the root of climate research, but unfornutately it does, as your own words seem to indicate.

    [Response: This comment should be framed and placed somewhere on Easter Island to serve as a warning to society. This attitude is so completely abhorrent to me, that I find it almost incomprehensible that you genuinely think it is a defensible intellectual position. I can understand people having different views on how to care for the planet (or a child), but not the callous shrugging off of any responsibility at all. You want me to mind my own business when my and others research shows the potential for great risk? I feel sorry for you. - gavin]

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:19 PM

  384. I find the fallout from this leak really quite depressing, and I was wondering if scientists do, too? I mean, by what mechanisms do leaked emails, brilliant rhetoric, and so on, have the slightest effect on CO2 levels? If person A “wins” on Newsnight over person “B” or vice versa, it doesn’t really make the slightest difference except, perhaps, to sales of their book. I’m not an expert on the isotopes of Carbon, but I’m pretty sure that the finest spectrometer in the world can’t distinguish anthropogenic form natural. It seems like people are decided on their opinions now, and all this public waffle isn’t going to change anything. This is why I ignore climate change articles now, and am breaking a pledge in posting here, it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. Who wins debates or argues the most compellingly in politics / media / the blogosphere / townhall meetings is nothing at all to do with reality. There is zero correlation between outcome of debates in fora like this and what eventually comes to pass.

    I’m not going to tell you which side I’m on, that would be hypocritical given the above, but I act/vote/buy appropriately, and quietly. We all know all the (publicly comprehensible) arguments, it’s not through lack of info that we act, and to add to them only reinforces the legitimacy of the illegitimate and unfounded general debate.

    The last people on earth will be two pundits arguing whose fault it was.

    I therefore recommend that the responders completely ignore this comment and others in this thread, and get on with proper work, unless they’re working here primarily for their own satisfaction, in which case do what you will! :)

    Comment by Dan — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:21 PM

  385. I see Mr. Schmidt is mentioned in a lawsuit against NASA.
    http://spectator.org/blog/2009/11/24/climate-gate-development-cei-f

    [Response: Fame at last! Not that they are 'playing the man' and not the ball or anything... ;) I'd be more impressed if they submitted a comment on one of the 20 papers I've authored or co-authored in the last 2 years. 'Cos I'm sure they are really interested in the science. - gavin]

    Comment by Jay Reynolds — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:27 PM

  386. I think the biggest unknown is clouds. I think all will agree that water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas, and cloud cover has a significant effect on global temperature. Can anyone say for certain that cloud cover is properly accounted for in the models. Have these computer models, that everyone relies on to predict the future, been validated for accuracy in predicting cloud formation? Can they properly model historic data?

    Comment by Tim Smith — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:33 PM

  387. This is off topic but, don’t you think it’s time to update your homepage comment “…that anti-science schlock meister Michael Chrichton…” – the man’s been dead for over a year! “De mortuous nil nisi bonum”

    Comment by monty — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:40 PM

  388. The saddest thing about the way the GW debate is coming off is that if science is right it’s because we’ve understood something whereas if the ‘deniers’ are right it’s only because science got it wrong (in most cases anyway).

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
    – Benjamin Franklin

    Comment by Mike Bauer — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:50 PM

  389. Gavin, help is on the way; The ‘Keystone Cops’ are on the case!
    Charles the Moderator at WUWT has put up a post suggesting and analyzing different scenarios of how the email file was released. He suggests:

    I have a theory.
    With the blogosphere all atwitter about the emails and data “stolen” from the Climatic Research Institute at the University of East Anglia, two theories have become dominant describing the origin of the incident.

    1. CRU was hacked and the data stolen by skilled hackers, perhaps an individual or more insidiously some sophisticated group, such as Russian agents.
    2. An insider leaked the information to the NSM (non-mainstream media)

    Theory number one is the preferred explanation of the defenders of CRU. This allows them to portray CRU as victims of illegal acts. It allows them to scream bloody murder and call for an investigation of the crime. How can we take the fruits of hideous crime seriously? The end does not justify the means!

    Theory number two is the preferred explanation of, for want of a better term, the Skeptics Camp. It is a romantic thought. Some CRU employee, fed up with the machinations, deceit, and corruption of science witnessed around him or her, took the noble action of becoming whistle-blower to the world, bravely thrusting the concealed behavior and data into the light for all to see. This theory is attractive for all the right reasons. Personal risk, ethics, selflessness etc.

    I would like to offer a third possibility based on a bit of circumstantial evidence I noticed on the Web Saturday afternoon.
    There’s an old adage, never assume malice when stupidity or incompetence will explain it.

    A short time ago there was a previous leak of CRU data by an insider. In this case, Steve McIntyre acquired station data which he had been requesting for years, but someone inside CRU unofficially made the data available. …

    So this is my theory is and this is only my theory:
    A few people inside CRU possessed the archive of documents being held in reserve in case the FOI appeal decision was made in favor of Steve McIntyre. They shared it with others by putting it in an FTP directory which was on the same CPU as the external webserver, or even worse, was an on a shared drive somewhere to which the webserver had permissions to access. In other words, if you knew where to look, it was publicly available. Then, along comes our “hackers” who happened to find it, download it, and the rest is history unfolding before our eyes. So much for the cries of sophisticated hacking and victimization noted above.

    If I had to bet money, I would guess that David Palmer, Information Policy & Compliance Manager, University of East Anglia, has an even chance of being the guilty party, but it would only be a guess. …

    I have a different theory than Charles the Moderator, so I spelled it out in a comment:

    Paul K2 (09:29:12) :

    Charles – I think you are being too simplistic, and ignoring the most likely scenario. The idea that a file created for FOI purposes, i.e. legal reasons, was left unprotected, and someone came along and just stumbled over it is pretty naive.

    Other commentators seem to be reading too many romantic novels, if I have “been watching too many movies”. They have the idea that this is the work of a HadCRU insider. OK, perhaps a misguided worker would take the risk of releasing the file, but why would they orchestrate a cyber attack on RC? They would be taking too many risks and committing too many felony acts.

    I like the name ClimateGate for these events. Like Watergate, we know a ‘burglary’ was committed. Now we need to find the ‘burglar(s)’, and their bosses. It is pretty easy to identify the prime suspects; clearly suspicion should fall on McIntyre’s group who lost the appeal for the FOI release.

    I believe the FOI compliance authorities knew about the file of emails, but declined to release it since the emails are not useful for scientific purposes, the reason M’s group sought FOI release. It is likely HadCRU has already addressed some of the FOI concealment concerns.

    The most likely scenario is M’s group also knew about the file, and few days after losing the appeal, orchestrated the release in violation of the FOI appeal decision. This is similar to the kidnapping of a child, a few days after a father loses a custody trial… the suspicion would immediately fall on the father.

    Are you certain that people associated with McIntyre didn’t release the information?

    UPDATE: At this point in time, Charles the Moderator hasn’t responded to this theory, which I call Question the Prime Suspects.

    Comment by Paul K2 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 1:55 PM

  390. Thanks for the link Gavin, I did go the the NOAA site and I am knocking my self out : ).

    One thing, they have 92 proxies there, and it seems all of them (where possible) have done the same temperature grafting thing at the end, am I reading that correctly? I went into the data, and much of it was truncated before the alarming upswings we see in the graphs, still looking for full data that shows that (not doubting its there, just still working through it).

    The main graph there is very misleading imo [1]. It has the data in color, and actual temps at the end in black (which is fine). However it then blends the measured data in with recorded temps to modify it at the end. They are upfront about doing this in the notes, but that really seems to be graph manipulation at its worst imo. Knowing how some of those original graphs have been massaged now makes it even more suspect. People are smarter than given credit for, I think an honest graph and a good explanation would do more for the science long term than this kind of thing.

    Also I looked again, and I believe all the CRU tree code in the CRU files is compensating twice — once for inaccuracies vs recent measured temps (aka the decline) and once when grafting on the current temp records. Is that right as well?

    So far from casual looking at code and data:
    - all CRU code available manually adjusts data post 1960, or 1940, or sometimes later
    - the data is also blended with a second (more accurate but certainly hotter) set of data at the end
    - the IPCC charts for historical temps also do this.

    Is there a published or even online chart of what the raw data for in these studies look like? I understand that isn’t necessarily accurate for reasons given in the papers, but it would be good to know where we are starting from too.

    [1] http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/pcn/fig6-10b.png

    [Response: All the raw data are there in the NOAA Reconstructions page, and there is no blending in that figure. The proxy records don't go up to the present, and so when there is a 20 year smooth they end prior to the 1990s. - gavin]

    Comment by debreuil — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:21 PM

  391. Re #331: Caerbannog, I don’t think it’s at all clear that anyone at CRU acted inappropriately. If you’re referring to the FOI business, note that the (apparent) deletions were of material first identified as exempt by the FOI officer. This identification was contingent on the two U.S. scientists involved saying that they believed the emails to have been confidential, but I’m confident that would have happened.

    This situation is all too analogous to driving down the road and seeing someone jumping up and down and pointing into a building while shouting “Fire!” Even lacking any other evidence such as smoke or actual fire, we are wired to respond as if the assertion was true until we see firm indications otherwise. The media have been responding in that way, but let’s try not to join them.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:26 PM

  392. Re: #285

    “Where is the link, the data or other evidence, that shows warming is -driven- by CO2 increase – especially when it seems, when looking at longer term temp and CO2 record, that CO2 is re-active to temp change and not leading?

    [Response: No one disputes that temperature changes affect the carbon cycle - how could they not? Thus if temperature changes for an independent reason (say, umm... orbital forcing), then the carbon cycle will react and the CO2 levels will change. No disputes either (hopefully) that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Changes in greenhouse gases change climate - and in fact we get even get close to explaining how cold the ice ages were unless we include that amplifying process. Thus you have chickens and eggs and they feed back on each other. More eggs leads to more chickens leads to more eggs etc. Now the modern situation is different - we have dug up a huge number of fossil chickens and thrown them into the coop. More eggs are likely to emerge! - gavin]”

    With all due respect, Dr. Schmidt, your answer is a non-answer. The poster asks for evidence and/or analysis on this key point–which is in fact the lynchpin of the entire AGW argument–and you respond with the chicken and egg analogy?

    I have been trying to dig into the science here on both sides of the argument, and my assessment is that from an evidential standpoint, there is more in common than anyone would care to admit. In particular:

    -No one disputes that the earth’s temperature warmed in the 20th century.
    -No one disputes that carbon dioxide emissions have increased substantially during this period.
    -No one disputes that the source of the increased emissions is the combustion of fossil fuels by human beings.
    -No one disputes that the earth’s climate is one of the most non-linear, chaotic systems imaginable, subject to a multitude of forcings and spanning time scales ranging from hours to hundreds of millions of years.
    -No one disputes that the forcings in question include, but are not limited to, solar flux, orbital perturbations of both the earth and the solar system, greenhouse gas concentrations (of which water vapor is the most important contributor), cloud cover, volcanic activity, albedo effects, and ocean phenomena such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

    Based on what I have read, there are only two main points of contention in the debate:

    1) The exact sensitivity of the climate to increases in carbon dioxide relative to other forcing mechanisms (i.e. the thrust of the question in post #285.)

    2) The state of our current climate relative to the paleoclimate; i.e. are we experiencing unprecedented temperatures relative to, say, the Medieval Warm Period, or is our current climate within a historical range?

    It seems that McIntyre & McKitrick are focused primarily on question #2, but in my mind, the most important issue is question #1, because of its implications for our society, government, and economy. AGW proponents insist that both questions have been irrefutably resolved, but my own reading of the science suggests that this is far from the case, and in fact a vigorous debate still remains. In particular, the exact magnitude and sign (positive or negative) of the heat flux feedback “gain” in response to CO2 increases remains contentious. General circulation models all seem to assign positive values to these feedbacks, yet there is new evidence that they may be closer to zero or even negative.

    On the surface, this would appear to be a simple matter of letting the science continue to shed more light on the issue. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the rancor and elitism which is apparent in the released e-mails, the AGW proponents’ desire appears to be to shut down all debate and skepticism and let the politicians proceed with dismantling our current way of life. I can’t say whether this attitude is motivated by politics, money, genuine altruism, or simply the desire to be right–but given the magnitude of the proposed policy changes, I find the underlying scientific foundation to still be lacking. Your glib response to the poster’s serious question reinforces my belief.

    [Response: Don't talk wet. Point 1) is a valid goal in science and multiple groups all around the world are focussed on it. Your point 2) is a complete red herring. It is irrelevant whether the MWP was 0.1 deg C warmer than the late 20th C or 0.1 deg C cooler. If you want a time in the past that was warmer than today, try the last interglacial, or the Pliocene, or the Eocene or the Cretaceous. There is no ambiguity there. If you want evidence of non-CO2 forcings, look at the 8.2 kyr event or the mid-Holocene. Similarly. No conceivable revisions of the medieval temperatures are going to constrain either sensitivity, or solar forcing or internal variability - the differences are just too small to be useful. As for M&M tackling the MWP, they have done nothing of the sort. They have never published a single reconstruction. Never mind one that goes back to medieval time. The issue is not one of shutting down debate - there is debate a-plenty at science conferences and workshops across the world. it's that the 'skeptics' keep talking about non-issues - however loudly they declare that they are being repressed. - gavin]

    Comment by DJK — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:35 PM

  393. 281 –
    Gavin- Do you write your own code? If not, who does?

    [Response: Mostly me. The GCM is a collective long-term effort though and so many people have contributed code. -gavin]

    Re the above, what kind of configuration management system do you use to track changes to the source code? PVCS, RCS, ClearCase, Source safe?

    [Response: CVS. why? - gavin]

    Comment by Rob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:40 PM

  394. “It bears repeating: The idea that a layman somehow thinks they know something ”

    Laymen are being asked ^H^H^H^H^H forced to pay for it. It would behove everyone involved to have a clear, concise explanation for them.

    Comment by anon — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:43 PM

  395. Is this it? It appears as if you are in a need to spin this each time the subject arise. ( Sorry for being insinuative..;-) )

    89 –
    Can you or anyone else point me to a text stating THE physical evidence linking CO2 to ‘warming’ with any degree of necessity?
    And could you point me to a text stating what would FALSIFY this? Of course, these two would have to be in the same text, if it is to be considered hard evidence.

    [Response: The evidence that CO2 specifically is having an impact on climate comes from radiation measurements and in particular temperature trends in the stratosphere (which are cooling in contradiction of almost all other drivers). Combine that with expected changes predicted decades ago that have actually happened, you end up with a strong case that CO2 (along with the other GHGs and aerosols) are having an impact, and that will increase in decades to come. If you want to falsify this, you'd have to show that spectral data on CO2 absorption is wrong, that the stratosphere is not cooling as expected (this is a cleaner test than the surface temperatures because there are less extraneous factors), or improve the satellite measurements by an order of magnitude and have the fluxes not look like what is expected. Tall order, but conceivable. - gavin]

    285 -
    Where is the link, the data or other evidence, that shows warming is -driven- by CO2 increase – especially when it seems, when looking at longer term temp and CO2 record, that CO2 is re-active to temp change and not leading?

    [Response: No one disputes that temperature changes affect the carbon cycle - how could they not? Thus if temperature changes for an independent reason (say, umm... orbital forcing), then the carbon cycle will react and the CO2 levels will change. No disputes either (hopefully) that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Changes in greenhouse gases change climate - and in fact we get even get close to explaining how cold the ice ages were unless we include that amplifying process. Thus you have chickens and eggs and they feed back on each other. More eggs leads to more chickens leads to more eggs etc. Now the modern situation is different - we have dug up a huge number of fossil chickens and thrown them into the coop. More eggs are likely to emerge! - gavin]

    Comment by Rob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:44 PM

  396. Gavin, you are the next on their hitlist.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/24/cei-files-notice-of-intent-to-sue-nasa-giss/

    CEI sought the following documents, among others, NASA’s failure to provide which within thirty days will prompt CEI to file suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia:

    - those relating to the content, importance or propriety of workday-hour posts or entries by GISS/NASA employee Gavin A. Schmidt on the weblog or “blog” RealClimate, which is owned by the advocacy Environmental Media Services and was started as an effort to defend the debunked “Hockey Stick” that is so central to the CRU files. RealClimate.org is implicated in the leaked files, expressly offered as a tool to be used “in any way you think would be helpful” to a certain advocacy campaign, including an assertion of Schmidt’s active involvement in, e.g., delaying and/or screening out unhelpful input by “skeptics” attempting to comment on claims made on the website.

    shouldn t they at least pretend, to be interested in science?

    Comment by sod — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:49 PM

  397. #345 Dan says:

    It bears repeating: The idea that a layman somehow thinks they know something about climate science that literally thousands of peer-reviewed climate science researchers (who have spent literally decades studying the issue) and every major climate science professional society including the AGU, the AMS, the RMS, the NOAA, the AMOS, the EPA, and the NSF (for starters) is ludicrous and the height of arrogance.

    It does indeed bear repeating: you’re describing the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:57 PM

  398. Thanks Gavin for all the time and effort you have put in to dealing with this.

    I don’t know how many have seen it, but there is a real head of steam building in the media over this – first Monbiot’s spinelessness and now this:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704888404574547730924988354.html

    The science is being discredited in the eyes of the general population and this is sure to lead to change of political will in short order unless some kind of offensive is launched. I have no idea how this could be done, but it seems that (as “the best defense is a good offense”) it is a step that must be given serious consideration.

    Comment by subgenius — 24 Nov 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  399. George Monbiot’s recent post on this e-mail thing is rather interesting. He doesn’t blow it out of proportion as some skeptics have, but he does explicitly state that it puts a dent in the credibility of a handful of scientists. I think his reaction is a bit hasty. Maybe he should talk to some of those scientists himself?

    Comment by Chris Colose — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:05 PM

  400. Mark Gibbs
    24 November 2009 at 9:24 AM

    My problem is, regardless of the science, I just cannot accept the liberty-destroying political outcomes that are favored by the global-warming fearists.

    Some skepticism towards the political and economical fearists would be a good idea.

    What is your opinion about the liberty-destroying dependence on foreign fossil fuels?

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:13 PM

  401. Given that the tree ring studies are so controversial (rightly or wrongly) as regards the extent and magnitude of both the MWP and the “Little Ice Age,” what other methods are, or could, be used to put this issue to rest with the non-scientific public? I’m particularly thinking of something similar to the ice cores but with greater resolution on the small (relative) timescale involved. For example, can historic CO2/Temperature data be pull from soil?

    Comment by Andy — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:20 PM

  402. Gavin,

    Since it is apparent that you’re trying to be as open and transparent as possible, could you please address my concern as a tax paying citizen (in a small way, your employer) and your involvement during business hours on this site?

    The following statement tends to run counter to your evident involvement as a labor of love on Real Climate:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/about/

    “The contributors to this site do so in a personal capacity during their spare time and their posts do not represent the views of the organizations for which they work, nor the agencies which fund them. The contributors are solely responsible for the content of the site and receive no remuneration for their contributions.”

    Comment by Jose — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:40 PM

  403. PS: PS: As is said at climatechangefraud.com (Note 8) QUOTE: If the leaker/whistleblower is one of the CRU staff members listed below, it seems that they may enjoy protection under the UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998, which was enacted to protect whistleblowers. UNQUOTE.

    It has often been suggested by sceptics (ridiculed by their opponents) that data is manipulated by climate researchers. Well, the UEA CRU does have a member of research staff with specific rsponsibility for this (Note 9) QUOTE: Mr. Ian (Harry) Harris .. Dendroclimatology, climate scenario development, data manipulation and visualisation, programming UNQUOTE.

    NOTES (cont.):
    8) see http://climatechangefraud.com/editorials/5657-if-the-cru-leak-was-an-inside-whistleblower-heres-the-line-up-of-potential-suspects-heroes
    9) see http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/

    [Response: Really, don't you get tired playing semantic word games? And you wonder why we don't pay you any attention? - gavin]

    Comment by Pete Ridley — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:45 PM

  404. RE: point 206.
    The FOI may be seen to have been whitewashed…such comments suggesting the appeals judge was a friend of the defendents does not help the case.

    Can’t you see this is not good conduct?

    Comment by James Tait — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:45 PM

  405. Here’s an interesting point on the CRU hack – but it requires a little history.

    Here’s a quote from the pre-Kyoto days, courtesy of Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, 1997

    Temperature records from the Arctic

    One demanding test [their words] of the validity of the computer simulations of the climate of the earth is based on temperature records from the Arctic. According to the computer forecasts, the polar areas are very sensitive to global warming…

    That was twelve years ago – but since a handful of denialists and “science reporters” are claiming that the earth hasn’t warmed in 11 years, nothing must have changed in the Arctic? Here was the situation in 1997, according to Soon and Baliunas:

    …the temperature measurements show that there has been no net warming over the last several decades, especially in the winter, which is the season projected by the computer simulations to have the fastest increase in temperature. Specifically, the observational evidence shows that “greenhouse-induced warming is not detectable in the Arctic troposphere for the 1958-1986 period” (Kahl et al. 1993: 825)…

    This was a legitimate issue in 1993:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v361/n6410/abs/361335a0.html

    Kahl et. al “Absence of evidence for greenhouse warming over the Arctic Ocean in the past 40 years”

    However, they didn’t have access to the ice thickness data collected by the US Navy, which was released in the late 1990s. That’s published in Rothrock 1999 (pdf), Thinning of the Arctic Sea Ice, Figure 3 – which clearly shows a downward trend over that 40 year period.

    Of course, since 2000 the Arctic warming has become ever-more-evident – So, have Soon & Baliunas ever acknowledged that climate models did indeed pass that, quote, demanding test?

    Just to check (the answer is no), I looked at Google News – and what popped out but this email, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal…

    “The Soon & Baliunas paper (2003) couldn’t have cleared a ‘legitimate’ peer review process anywhere. That leaves only one possibility—that the peer-review process at Climate Research has been hijacked by a few skeptics on the editorial board…”

    Shocking? For comparison, here is an ‘urgent alert’ sent out over Peter Duesberg’s publications on HIV and AIDS.

    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
    Office of the Secretary
    MEDIA ALERT
    April 28, 1987

    An NCI grantee scientist, Dr. Peter Duesberg of California/Berkeley, has published a paper in a scientific journal which concludes that the HTLV-III/HIV virus identified by Dr. Gallo and Dr. Montagnier is not the cause of AIDS and that the disease is caused by “a still unidentified agent” which may not even be a virus…

    Dr. Duesberg has been an NCI grantee doing research in retroviruses and oncogenes for 17 years and is highly regarded. He is the recipient of an “outstanding researcher” award from the Department. The article apparently went through the normal pre-publication process and should have been flagged at NIH…

    The point here is that if climate journal editors start twisting the peer review process in order to get their pet articles into the scientific literature, then climate science journals will end up in the same pit that a lot of the medical science journals did – heavily beset by conflict-of-interest issues. Editors who take part should be asked to resign – particularly when the paper’s authors have track records like those of Soon & Baliunas.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 24 Nov 2009 @ 3:47 PM

  406. In 239, you cite P.D. Jones et al.: “High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium.” I am trying to get a sense of just how the peer review process works in climate science. Could you share with us the original manuscript that was submitted so that we can compare it with the published version? If not, why not?

    Can you also share the comments (feel free to delete the names of the reviewers if they were not anonymous to you)? If not, why not?

    The best way for outsiders to get a sense of the rigor of the peer-review process in climate science is to look at it in action. If the reviewers made substantive comments which led you to improve the article, that would tell us one thing. If the reviewers made limited comments and you had to make almost no changes, that would tell us something else.

    [Response: Hmm... I can't really do that without asking the other authors, but I will tell you that the end-product was a better paper than the first submission. There were three reviewers (two of whom signed their reviews and are acknowledged in the credits), and their comments were very helpful (generating about 4 pages of responses as well as numerous edits). This paper might have been special since it had a lot of internal reviews among the author team though. - gavin]

    Comment by David Kane — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:01 PM

  407. Tom #275:

    I’m sure others have thought of this, but here is one way to put the current tempest back in its teapot: ….

    I don’t think there’s any way to do that. The “skeptics” are now utterly convinced that they’ve found conclusive, irrefutable proof that the whole thing is a scam. There’s no logic in that, but no words, sites, papers, speeches, books, or movies are ever going to change their minds. Only actual warming is going to do that, and not before it gets very bad. I’m very much afraid that this is a disaster of the first magnitude.

    Comment by Chris Dunford — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:08 PM

  408. Steve said:Best wishes to RC and the relevant scientists – no professional deserves the violation of privacy done by these virtual thugs.

    Please persevere; knowledge and information beats special interests in the long run.

    ################

    No citizen deserves the deliberate withholding of data because it is “inconvenient” to your cause….of course, I don’t expect you’ll approve this post.

    [Response: No data is being withheld because it is inconvenient to some supposed cause. Evidence? - gavin]

    Comment by TJ — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:16 PM

  409. I love how Real Climate.org filters even reasonable comments that disagree with them. I need to start recording the posts I made on here that were moderated away – it’ll make for a good article some day.

    I posted a comment that says that the CRU hack validates Michael Crichton’s claim in State of Fear that the “establishment” alienates and excludes opposing viewpoints, which I believe Gavin (or another RC.org editor) said was a ridiculous claim in the State of Confusion comment thread.

    [Response: It is still ridiculous. 'Opposing viewpoints' on huge arrays of subjects exist within the ''establishment' without being alienated. People who do bad science are alienated for sure, and they are often oppositional, but your claim reverses the causality. - gavin]

    Comment by Foobear — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:19 PM

  410. Thank you for all the clarifications.
    I have heard about this hacker fiasco briefly in the news talking about our country’s stance on global warming, and of course they mentioned that perhaps global warming is a scam. I’m not really surprised of the lies and half-truths of our media, but it’s a shame that most of the people out there will simply believe what they’re told, due to lack of awareness or interest to find correct information.
    I live in Israel by the way, so there is a very strong right-wing bias in most of the medias. No surprise that the main owners of that TV channel are a family that also owns most of our chemical industry that has a long history of bribing the authorities and concealing its toxicity data alongside with failing to submit to international regulations.
    It’s practically a mafia, sadly.

    Truly a shame, but the ones who can see the whole picture try to fight back and at least stay positive.

    Good day.

    Comment by Daniel — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:19 PM

  411. If you look for solar effect that’s what you find, but if you look for CO2 its pure and objective? I know of two instances, plate tectonics and cataclysmic floods of the Columbia, where paternalistic attachment to a theory delayed finding the truth.

    Comment by DLaurentz — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:20 PM

  412. Joel Shore #340:

    I am not sure if 2009 is still in the running to be one of the top 5 warmest years globally but it is certainly running a fair bit warmer than 2008 and, just eyeballing the data available, it looks like the year will at least be in the top 10…and might still be in the running for the top 5.

    So far (Jan-Oct), it’s #4 in GISTEMP’s hot 100. With a bullet: May-Oct is #1.

    Comment by Chris Dunford — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:21 PM

  413. Martin Vermeer (new 81), you struck on my primary area of skepticism. You say, “….irrespective of parameter values, …. you ain’t seen nothing yet.” That’s a contradiction in terms. You’re saying we don’t know the [precise] values (to which I concur), but none-the-less they are really going to be big. Huh?

    Comment by Rod B — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:35 PM

  414. Could you direct me to papers that discuss the ability of the atmosphere to store energy based on its composition?

    Thank you in advance.

    Comment by Paul Swanson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 4:39 PM

  415. Not a scientist at all but just wanted you to be aware that a meteorologist named Chuck Weis has just accused RC of deleting comments and even entire threads whenever a skeptic asks a question or challenges data that would discredit AGW. This was done on the Lars Larson radio program (just before 2 pm PST). There seems to be a very intense campaign to completely undermine the credibility of climate change science and scientists.

    Comment by Allen Mullen — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:02 PM

  416. Ok, I’ll bite. The CRU was clearly in a catch-22 situation. If the e-mails had been encrypted, it would be published as “proof” of some great vast conspiracy. If the e-mails had been boring, it’d be “proof” the real conversations were taking place in backroom deals. Either that, or we’d be getting soundbite versions that sounded juicy to the tabloids.

    We all know that. We’ve all seen media manipulation in one form or another, be it spiced-up news reports, doubiously-edited Wikipedia pages or snake-oil salesmen. This attack really isn’t anything new. It’s more dangerous than most forms of con-artistry, be it a Nigerian Scam or a politician’s promises, but ultimately it boils down to editing facts to make them the sort of fiction people want to see.

    My challenge to the climate scientists, and all others interested in the field, is therefore this: to get more people interested in seeing what’s really there than in seeing what’s fictionally comforting.

    (And that’s all AGW is about – the fiction that everything’s ok, that even if there was a problem, Hollywood will solve it somehow. Confronting this fiction with truth won’t help, because illusionary comfort still feels comforting. People won’t change, they will always go towards what feels safest and easiest. It follows that the only solution is to show AGW to be unsafe and disturbing and that solving the problem is easier and simpler than ignoring it. Since AGW likes Hollywoodesque happy endings, it’s safe enough to say whether they took the red pill or the blue pill.)

    Comment by Jonathan Day — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:18 PM

  417. #298, #255, Mike Powell has looked at a slightly later version of Soon and Baliunas in detail with pictures.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:36 PM

  418. Re: 148
    [Response: Context is all. The published Amman and Wahl paper had (has?) a typo in the "Received By" date, saying that it was received on 22 August 2000, when that was actually received in 2006. Amused? ;) - gavin]

    I stand corrected, and am slightly less amused of course. I’d like to withdraw my comment and offer my apologies.

    Comment by Thor — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:40 PM

  419. This is sooo depressing. We have just witnessed the spawning of a million bull$hit memes. This is a major PR victory for the denialists in their war on science. They will be muddying the waters with this dishonest character assasination for years. Without actual science, PR and character assasination is all they have but the time wasted by scientists defending themselves from these attacks will make it just that more difficult to communicate. Meanwhile the media will side with the scandal rather than the truth. I feel deep sympathy for all those scientists who have dedicated their lives to such an honourable cause, having their reputations trashed by a bunch of sociopathic greasy hacker-nerds that have never done an honourable thing or worked for something meaningful in their pointless little lives.

    Comment by Dr.Harry Borlsachs — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:47 PM

  420. I looked at the CRU website, and specifically the staff list. Discounting research students, support staff and individuals whose email implies they are primarily affiliated elsewhere, they have 19 staff on climate research. 19! And some of them are listing their primary interest as ’social and economic consequences’. So one of the four primary contributors to the science that is intended to justify the bet on what happens in the future which affects *everyone* is based on the work of 19 people! For expletive’s sake! How many people are working on the LHC? How many people are supporting the space shuttle? How can anyone in their right mind say that the work of 19 people is enough. Even if it is 4 x 19!

    [Response: I don't see anyone stating the CRU is the only research institute in the world. It's not even close to the only one in the UK. There are literally thousands of people working on this stuff. Could still be a lot more though! - gavin]

    Comment by The Lawyer with a physics degree — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:48 PM

  421. Anand,
    24 November 2009 at 11:21 AM

    You seem to be thinking that papers are confined to some CIA bunker after peer review. No. After peer review they are PUBLISHED. As in: out there in the open for everyone to see and verify and falsify. Tell me, if AGW is the scam that you are so certain of, where is the proof in all those thousands of PUBLISHED papers? You make an accusation, you prove it. You sound awfully confident of yourself, so it shouldn’t be hard.

    The ultimate peer reviewer is nature. If scientists publish a number like 1.5-4.5 degrees per doubling, that doesn’t mean: “pick a number that conforms your political view”. That means: “nature will pick a number to her liking”. And nature WILL make that choice. The only chance we have is finding out in time what the choice will be.

    Comment by Anne van der Bom — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:55 PM

  422. J. Bob claims: Now go to these and check sea ice levels. For whatever reason they seem to have stabilized. It does not look like the Arctic will be ice free in my lifetime, or some time thereafter.

    Graph of the Day: Trend in Winter Multi-year and First-year Sea-ice Fractions, 2004-2008
    Arctic Ocean: ‘We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades’
    Graph of the Day: Northern Hemisphere Ice Extent and Snow Cover Extent, 1960s to Present
    Graph of the Day: Arctic Sea Ice Thickness in 2003 and 2008
    Graph of the Day: Arctic Sea Ice Extent, 1979-2009
    A child’s treasury of sea-ice news

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:59 PM

  423. Prince_Prospero (3##), you say: “The preceding e-mail implies that Jones is recommending referees, to the Chief Editor of IJC..”

    Umm, didn’t the stolen email say this: “Anyway you’ll likely get this for review, or poor Francis will. Best if both Francis and Myles did this. If I get an email from Glenn I’ll suggest this.”

    So, he’s saying IF the chief editor of the journal asks him for advice he will actually give advice, right?

    Not that I can see any evidence that actually happened, but what would you recommend he do in that situation, tell the editor to go take a running jump?

    And what would you have done if an editor had emailed you and asked you to suggest referees? Lectured him about the moral depravity of actually seeking advice?

    And when you were an editor of a journal, did you just routinely accept whatever referees were proposed by an author? or did you ask for advice from people who you thought might be able to help? And, when you did, how did you feel when, exhibiting the highest ethical standards, they presumably told you to get lost?

    Comment by Garry S-J — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:04 PM

  424. 5 years ago some of my friends were pushing
    the idea that global warming would soon
    lead to world wide catastrophe.

    I asked them to make a bet:

    Choose 5 weather stations from the publicly available
    sites in North America. Put down $100. If after 5 years
    the average temperature went up, I pay them. If it
    went down they pay me.

    No one took me up on it.

    That says two things: Even the believers don’t believe,
    and I would today be $100 richer.

    Would you like to take the bet?

    Comment by Chris — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:25 PM

  425. This call for more data keeps coming up and I’ve addressed it here before but once again in more detail … I moved from general computer science to bioinformatics just over a year ago, and in that time I’ve run into the following problems:

    no consistent standards for similar kinds of data
    programs made available as part of the supplementary information for a paper not the same version as was used for the results (and hence giving different answers)
    wrong versions of data files uploaded to repositories
    a pointer to data in a paper no longer works because the academic who set it up has since changed jobs
    more than one publicly available program to do data analysis with the same name, that does something different

    And this was with only three data sets.

    From what I read here, the state of climate data is vastly better. Sadly, data curating is an extra, often not explicitly funded in science projects. Yet somehow we still get good cross-checking of results. Why? Because people check on each other and repeat experiments (as Gavin has often pointed out) with different data sets, a vastly superior way of checking reproducibility than using the same data set (with the same errors in deriving the data).

    There’s been quite a feeding frenzy (predictably) on the letters pages of The Australian, including online comments: I’d appreciate any follow-ups on my blog commenting on them.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:29 PM

  426. lol! Read Hans satire post at 309. Then jump down to Larry T’s post at 315. I’d like to nominate Hans for the Nostradamus Clairvoyant Award. Well done, Hans.

    Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:30 PM

  427. The Deniers will not publish the fact that the major funding of anti-science hysteria on human accelerated climate change is from Exxon Mobil. Fred Singer!!!??? Give me a break…This is the harlot that fought for the tobacco industry for years saying there was no proof nicotine is dangerous. Recently he was advocating the “safety” of GMO foods. He now has found some new suckers in the religious fanatical anti-science stance of “Global Warming is a scam” nonsense. The politics of the situation is this… “Cap and Trade” vs “Global Warming is not real”

    The science says something different than Rush Limbaugh, James Inhofe, and Al Gore.

    Comment by Dormammu — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:37 PM

  428. RE: Paul K2

    Gavin, help is on the way; The ‘Keystone Cops’ are on the case!

    I can see the Mystery Van pulling up now, fresh from their latest caper, “The Yamal Chronology.” It’s a guy in a ghost suit!

    Comment by Deech56 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:53 PM

  429. @J. Bob — 24 November 2009 @ 11:59 AM”Now go to these and check sea ice levels. For whatever reason they seem to have stabilized.”
    By “stabilized”, J. Bob means “after recovering from record low in 2007, 2008 and 2009 are still below the OLS projection of declining ice” http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2008.jpg

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:53 PM

  430. @Anne van der Bom 310

    Maybe the formulation of my question was too difficult to read. To be clearer :
    0.1W/m2 precision is the target , it would be enough to prove directly a radiation unbalance.
    1% existing precision came from the GERB design specification. Unless I misinterpret the document, of course
    High end digital camera have a better dynamic range than 0.01%, so I wondered why the dynamic range of satellite captors was so low.

    Comment by charles monneron — 24 Nov 2009 @ 6:59 PM

  431. Where goes the credibility of the realclimate blog, as it can be seen influenced by those same scientists involved in this scandal, read this piece below, one of the emails sent by Michael Mann, regarding the article of BBC’s Paul Hudson questioning the GW on the face of the current cooling trends:

    Michael Mann wrote:
    Subject: BBC U-turn on climate
    extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

    We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here?

    Source:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1048&filename=1255352257.txt
    They are discussing about this article:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8299079.stm

    [Response: What's your point? Is Mike not allowed an opinion about a blog post? Is he not allowed to think about what RC might post on? (we didn't do anything on Paul Hudson specifically, though we did do a post on the general topic). Weird. - gavin]

    Comment by emerson cardoso — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:02 PM

  432. Gavin says “there is debate a-plenty at science conferences and workshops across the world.”

    Evidently he’s not paying attention. If you don’t go along, you get shut out. (READ THE EMAILS.)

    Many of the skeptic ‘crack pots’ were part of the establishment, before they dissented. Landsea, Gray, Spencer, Lindzen, etc, etc.

    [Response: Reference to anyone calling these people 'crack pots'? And how has Landsea been shut out? He quit IPCC of his own accord. Gray is emeritus. Spencer and Lindzen both publish in standard journals (GRL, JGR, JCLIM). What is your point? - gavin]

    Comment by 007 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:12 PM

  433. I’m not a “skeptic,” insofar as I’m not a scientist and have no way to say whose claims are correct, but I’m dismayed by the overly secretive and combative attitudes of the climate change science community. Is there a reason for the bunker mentality? Why is transparency and openness so difficult for you guys? I can’t help but think of contrast between this issue and the evolution vs. intelligent design “debate.” There, there’s no dispute over releasing raw data or anything of the sort, there’s no secret fossil record that a few scientists refuse to reveal. I’m far more apt to accept that there is no credible challenge to the theory of evolution because, well, you don’t see stuff like this CRU hack. In the end, the defensiveness, deception, and derision hurt your credibility.

    Comment by JTHC — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:13 PM

  434. quoting @1091 from the original thread:

    “Gavin, you’ve done good work on this thread. Well done.

    [Response: Thanks. But I don't know what comment response you are referring to, and your claim that WUWT and CA have no agenda is laughable. - gavin]”

    two things:
    1. he didn’t claim that they don’t have agenda, obviously they do, as do you; only that they aren’t well funded or highly organized.
    2. I don’t think he is referring to a specific comment response, but instead he is commending you for totality of your actions in response to this whole fiasco.

    I agree, you have done a very respectable job responding to this very difficult situation. And I don’t normally appreciate your efforts ;-)

    You have won some grudging respect. For what it is worth…

    best wishes & happy Thanksgiving!

    Comment by Eric Hansen — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:16 PM

  435. Re #399

    I’m sure it’ll be fascinating reading. I’m considering a book myself – just one of those little novelty ones normally found between the chicken soup books and the mini-collections of dirty sexist jokes – consisting of a collection of all the posts on RC which claim “I bet this gets censored”, or “you never print my posts, but…” or “Time for Glasnost, RC”. Or my favourite, “if you will not let me through moderation this post will be all over teh internetz in 24 hours”. I’m a bit to late for this Christmas, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of material to keep me going until next.

    Comment by Bud — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:20 PM

  436. Re: 373
    I’ve noticed the emphasis changing to a whistleblower who released a file that was set up for FOI purposes.
    Now looking at some of the comments which included snippets of these emails (I haven’t looked at or for them), I get
    the impression that some of the scientists had an unfavorable opinion of Mr McIntyre.

    So, my question is, why would these people who supposedly want to do all these terrible things to keep him from
    getting this data all of a sudden decide to stop working, gather all this data, and place it in a file just in
    case his FOI request is approved?

    Oh, and this previous leak. What was that about? Would that be a file that was inadvertently left in a directory
    where it wasn’t protected from unauthorized access?

    Comment by jerryg — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:27 PM

  437. Paul Swanson (410) — Your question does not seem to make much sense, at least to me. The total heat content of the atmosphere is about the same as a mere 2.5 meter depth of ocean, so look to the oceans. If you are looking for basics about climatology, try reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
    after Andy Revkin’s review:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E7DF153DF936A35753C1A9659C8B63

    Comment by David B. Benson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:29 PM

  438. Is there a reason for the bunker mentality?

    How about a constant stream of personal attacks claiming that leading climate scientists are guilty of scientific fraud (for instance, recently by McKittrick in Canada’s “FInancial Post”, regarding work by CRU scientist Keith Briffa).

    How about Michael Mann being harassed by Senator Joe Barton?

    How many examples would you like?

    Comment by dhogaza — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:44 PM

  439. regarding the chart at NOAA http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/pcn/ you mention that “there is no blending in that figure” (wrt adding temperature data to proxy data). Maybe I misunderstand, but the caption says:

    “IPCC Figure 6-10b, comparing published annual temperature reconstructions.”

    and then in the blurb is says the reconstructions are:

    “Individual temperature recalibrations of reconstruction time series files are available. These files contain the PCN reconstructions calibrated to HadCRUT3v 5×5 degree temperature data”

    and
    “[The recalibrations were fitted by ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression using all years that had both reconstruction data and spatially-averaged HadCRU data appropriate to the spatial coverage of the reconstruction. ..."

    Being that HadCRUT3v is temperature data (and the convergence in the final years), I assumed there had to be blending - is that something else? Maybe just calibration (where all data in a set stays the same relative to itself, but changes in absolute terms)? What would explain the converging in the final years if that is the case? I could see that in measured data (say standardizing ways of data collection over time), but not in proxy data which should be a single pass on historical data.

    [Response: The issue is that different records may be more or less sensitive to different seasonal windows. Doing a different calibration to summer or winter temperatures allows for a different balance of proxies to inform those seasonal changes in the past. Calibration in this case is simply finding the best OLS regression for a scaling of the proxies. - gavin]

    Also I noticed Biffa98 is in that set which we can see has been manually adjusted from looking at the code… It would be really great to see the code that generated the other data given that, but I understand that generally may not be available (but just in case it is : ).

    Thanks again for the data links, it is actually fairly fun coding for/playing with it : ).

    ((As an aside, you guys should think about putting out a call for the volunteer help with things like what Harry went through. Regardless of strong opinions all around, this is an important issue and I’m sure you would get a great response from the whole community. Programmers are used to working together on these types of tasks and I think you would get a much higher quality data set in a much shorter time. Also you get the million eyeballs thing going on the data and process, which I think would help a lot with the perceptions/credibility of the whole endeavor. Just a thought)).

    Comment by debreuil — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:53 PM

  440. Dunno if this has been posted here before, but if it has, here it is again!.

    An individual who goes by the handle of “nonhomogenized” has gone through the emails and has demonstrated that most of the email messages have been subjected to creationist-style quote-mining: http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/a6zdw/summary_of_notable_emails_from_the_cru_hacking

    “Really pissed off” can come across as something more sinister when things are lifted out of context.

    Comment by caerbannog — 24 Nov 2009 @ 7:57 PM

  441. Oh gawd, it ain’t never gonna stop. I almost wish I were a science teacher just so I could flunk some denier’s obnoxious little brats!

    http://spectator.org/blog/2009/11/24/climate-gate-development-cei-f

    Comment by caerbannog — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:05 PM

  442. the publishing of these e-mails and the out of context conspiracy theorizing by the various bloggers has been unfortunate. But sooner or latter these denialist folks would have found something they could take out of context to bolster their paranoid ideas, and alowing them to continue denying global warming is happening.

    Comment by Larry Saltzman — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:07 PM

  443. Ray Ladbury says, “Prince Prospero, Far be it for me to lob incendiary rhetoric at someone who clearly has a reading comprehension problem…”

    Your conduct on this site is deplorable. The vast majority of your comments on these threads are abusive, elitist, confrontational, and exclusionary. Regarding the dissemination of scientific knowledge to the general public — your unprofessional behavior is harmful, and constitutes a disservice to the stated goals of our professional societies. You should step back, take a moment to reflect, and contemplate whether your actions are in accord with your professional ethics.

    That brings me to the topic at hand – ethics and the scientific method. In fifty years the current predictive models for climate change will either be validated or consigned to the waste-bin of history. We, as scientists, do not control this aspect of our legacy, but we do have control over our ethical behavior now, decisions that will shape how we are perceived in the future.

    Case in point: do the actions, depicted in this recent e-mail release, constitute ethical scientific behavior? If your sense of ethics says no, then you’d better get on the right side of history now…or let the historians of science decide for you.

    Comment by Prince_Prospero — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:19 PM

  444. Paul K2:

    I responded to your comment about 2 hours after you made it:

    Quoted as follows.

    Paul K2

    Are you certain that people associated with McIntyre didn’t release the information?

    Uh, yeah, because I am the one that told him about the existence of the file, and my roommate spent hours on the phone with Steve reading the contents of the emails to him because I wouldn’t even forward a copy or forward the link to the Russian ftp server. As I noted in the original post, we only began to even refer the to file publicly after, and only after it began circulating on the Internet and CRU was in the process of notifying its personnel internally.

    Comment by charles the moderator — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:25 PM

  445. Guys. In terms of PR…..it’s, er, like…..game over.

    FIRSTLY: this is a PR DISASTER. I don’t know about climate change. But I know about PR. Enter the word ‘climategate’ on Googletrends and weep.

    All the UEA whistleblower (let’s dispense with this delicate nonsense about ‘hacking’) did was take a pin to the balloon.

    So this has happened for three reasons (I thought of other reasons too but after consideration I put these at the top):

    1. The arrogance of the AGW evangelists (and I don’t mean you, the contributors to the above posts or even the chaps at UEA)
    2. The greed and hypocrisy of government with regard to environmental and climate issues
    3. The nanny brigade [edit] so prevalent in this country (UK), who, with ever more shrill voices over the last twenty years, have taken it upon themselves to remind citizens of environmental duties (as well as the usual stuff they harass people with)

    We might not like people acting on these reasons, like we don’t like people voting for the BNP. But ignoring the reasons whilst continuing to pontificate and deliver infallible dogma from ivory towers is very, very dangerous.

    SECONDLY: it’s too late to do anything about it!

    Prognosis: I’m probably right about the first bit, and my predictive models suggest that I could be right about the second bit. But personally I’m not arrogant enough – yet – to deny that there may be an alternative to the future I foresee.

    Comment by Neil22 — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:29 PM

  446. Thanks Gavin for taking the time to answer all four of my questions in what must be long days for you. Much appreciated.

    Comment by debreuil — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:31 PM

  447. I’m struggling to get my head round one of, if not the, main allegation arising from the hacked emails.

    The claim is Phil Jones of the CRU deleted emails discussing the AR4 IPCC review, because of a Freedom of Info Act request for all his emails mentioning AR4. The evidence for the claim is an undeleted email with AR4 in the title.

    So the claim is we know he deleted emails because he didn’t delete an emails.

    apologies if this has already been flagged up – I’ve read a lot of the comments but didn’t make it to the end – great thread and great site too.

    Comment by inks — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:32 PM

  448. Prince Prospero, Sorry, Dude, but your eagerness to accuse real scientists of fraud when in fact they are doing their jobs just pisses me off. In fact, you were so eager to levy this charge that you didn’t even bother to read the email you cited, missing that critical word IF. And frankly, I don’t care to make nice with those who would charge scientists with fraud merely for doing their job.
    RC is an educational site. Most of us who regularly frequent it are here to benefit from the experts. I have always been more than ready to help folks learn when I can. However, your agenda of character assassination is inconsistent with fostering education. Feel free to come back if you ever find yourself actually wanting to learn, though.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:50 PM

  449. #426 Daniel – you should nominate me for a much earlier “Nostradamus Clairvoyant Award” – see my comment at #39. Perhaps the satire was too close to the bone, judging by Larry, and you all thought I was serious!

    Comment by David Horton — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:51 PM

  450. JTHC says: “Why is transparency and openness so difficult for you guys?”

    Ferchrissake, dude, the research is published in open journals. Most of the data from NASA, NOAA and other US Govt. organizations is available on the Internet. And as has been said REPEATEDLY, the reason the Hadley center cannot release their raw data is because of prior agreements. Why do you want even more data you wouldn’t know what to do with if you were buried in it?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 8:58 PM

  451. Chris @424 It’s called GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. Hows about we structure the bet a little differently. How about $200 that the next decade will be warmer globally on average than the current one? That is, that the current warming trend will continue. Up for that? Willing to give odds?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:03 PM

  452. Gavin, someone, above, asked whether you were doing any of this moderating during your working hours for the US government.. It’s a fair question, and as you probably know, now the subject of a Freedom of Information Act Request.

    Are you?

    Comment by Biff Larkin — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:06 PM

  453. Neil22 (445) — And yet it warms:
    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Fast-Melting-Glaciers-Expose-7-000-Years-Old-Fossil-Forest-69719.shtml
    Nature doesn’t care what you think about it.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:06 PM

  454. Since this is the site by and for real climate scientists, would somebody please explain the scientific basis for applying the “fudge factor” in the tree ring data programs below:

    Lets take a look at exactly how the FORTRAN (glad to see someone still appreciates the
    original programming language) programs briffa_sep98_e.pro & briffa_sep98_d.pro

    “****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********”

    my comments are within [[[ ]]], otherwise the code snippets are as they appear in the file.

    ;
    ; PLOTS ‘ALL’ REGION MXD timeseries from age banded and from hugershoff
    ; standardised datasets.
    ; Reads Harry’s regional timeseries and outputs the 1600-1992 portion
    ; with missing values set appropriately. Uses mxd, and just the
    ; “all band” timeseries
    ;****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********
    ;
    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]

    [[[ this creates 20 consequtive 5 year subsets (possibly averaged) of the tree ring data by date starting in year 1904 ]]]

    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,
    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

    [[[ these are the 20 different "fudge factor(s)"-the programmer's words not mine - to be applied to the 20 different subsets of data, so here are those fudge factors with the corresponding years for the 20 consequtive 5 year periods:

    Year Fudge Factor
    1904 0
    1909 0
    1914 0
    1919 0
    1924 0
    1929 -0.1
    1934 -0.25
    1939 -0.3
    1944 0
    1949 -0.1
    1954 0.3
    1959 0.8
    1964 1.2
    1969 1.7
    1974 2.5
    1979 2.6
    1984 2.6
    1989 2.6
    1994 2.6
    1999 2.6

    a little further down the program adjusts the 20 datasets with the corresponding fudge factors: ]]]

    ;
    ; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
    ;
    yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x)
    densall=densall+yearlyadj

    [[[ So, we leave the data alone from 1904-1928, adjust downward for 1929-1943, leave the same
    for 1944-1948, adjust down for 1949-1953, and then, whoa, start an exponential fudge upward (guess that would be the "VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE" noted by the programmer).
    [edit]

    [Response: Without any context, you have no basis for your statements. What was this for? what paper did it appear in? was it even ever used? Track that down and then we can talk. - gavin]

    Comment by Mark Sawusch — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:10 PM

  455. RichardC wrote:

    “The physics are pretty simple – CO2 reflects infrared. The planet radiates heat as light from the Sun bounces off of it. The more CO2 the more radiated heat stays here and less radiates to space. Result – warming. None of that is undermined by anything in the hacked files. How quickly the planet will heat under what CO2 concentrations is not pinned down yet to absolute certainty yet, but these files neither significantly contribute to nor really undermine the efforts to pin that down”

    The physics are not in question and never really has been. Rather, the scientific question orbits around the significance of the anthropogenic effect. The political question is whether we will reorder society in order to counter the [unproven] consequences predicted by computer models.

    Climate scientists are reaping this whirlwind because they have allowed the Al Gores of the world to [prematurely?] declare the scientific question closed while using scare tactics to advance their agenda.

    Comment by Michael Peterson — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:20 PM

  456. caerbannog says: 24 November 2009 at 7:0 PM
    … “nonhomogenized” has gone through the emails and has demonstrated that most of the email messages have been subjected to creationist-style quote-mining:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/a6zdw/summary_of_notable_emails_from_the_cru_hacking

    Bump. It’s well done. I hope it gets pulled together into a single reference with index.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:23 PM

  457. Ray Ladbury
    “So the discovery that humans are causing climate change is a by-product of climate science. The desire to save the planet is a by-product of being human. Try it sometime.

    How about we try this? The discovery that the globe is warming is yours. Let someone else ‘desire’ to save the globe. You may believe that no scientist is or can be truly ‘disinterested’, but that is no excuse to gleefully jump in and become an interested party.

    Gavin
    “…This attitude is so completely abhorrent to me, that I find it almost incomprehensible that you genuinely think it is a defensible intellectual position.”

    It is perfectly defensible.

    [edit - OT]

    To do nothing is all the more appropriate considering the dubious parallels between the above two examples and what’s going on with AGW. Especially when we know that it is the poor of the world who will pay the price, whether it be because of global warming or the bill to cool the globe.

    Whether the globe is warming or not, is decided by a certain set of rules (those of science). What to do about it, or whether at all anything should be done is, by another. It is not watertight, but there should be no revolving door between the two either.

    Happy holidays!

    [Response: You have changed your argument, from one that professed no care even as a human being for the fate of the planet, to now discussing the best method to prevent harm. These are completely antithetical. If you genuinely believed your first argument, there would have been no hope for you. If instead, you now believe your second argument - that there are decisions to be made on how best to prevent harm, well then we can start talking. Since I made no statements on specific methods required to deal with the risk of climate change above, I'm not sure why you think my work on the science is somehow compromised by my non-expressed opinions. - gavin]

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:30 PM

  458. Hello, trying to learn more here, hope you don’t mind.

    Reading through the available material, the questions from Dr. Keiller struck me as particularly insightful and that they get right to the heart of the matter in dispute. These questions are:

    1) Are the reconstructions sensitive to the removal of either the Yamal data and Strip pine bristlecones, either when present singly or in combination?

    [Response: Yes. The further back you go the more important the long tree ring records are, but the general patterns are robust. - gavin]

    2) Why these series, when incorporated with white noise as a background, can still produce a Hockey-Stick shaped graph if they have… a low individual weighting?

    [Response: Not sure what you are actually talking about here. - gavin]

    I seem to be having an awful lot of trouble getting a straight answer to this question, so if there is no other answer on record I’d appreciate if one of the experts here took a stab at it. Thanks!

    Comment by David Gordon — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:31 PM

  459. Thanks for your answer in 406. I think that the more transparent you can be in showing exactly how the peer review process works, the better. Showing the changes made during the process is one way of doing so.

    [Response: No data is being withheld because it is inconvenient to some supposed cause. Evidence? - gavin]

    People aren’t accusing you of withholding data. They are accusing CRU. Have you read this post by Willis Eschenbach? It is quite persuasive in arguing that CRU withheld data from him (and others) that should not have been withheld.

    Although your indefatigable energy is answering stupid critics is impressive, I would focus your efforts on the most impressive/coherent complaints. How would you answer Eschenbach? This is a complex enough topic that it might merit a new thread.

    PS. We enjoyed dinner courtesy of SAC several years ago. I have been following this debate ever since. Kudos to you for all your efforts in increasing code transparency and data-sharing.

    [Response: Eschenbach was told in 2007 exactly why they couldn't release the stuff that included the restricted data from the NMSs but that the vast majority of the data was online already. Nothing has changed except that CRU have been harassed with perhaps 100 vexatious FOI requests for exactly the same thing, and which received (unsurprisingly) exactly the same response. How this is supposed to encourage CRU to work together with these people to get the NMSs to rescind their restrictions, I'm really not sure. Funnily enough, continually threatening people with lawsuits is not something designed to get them to go out of their way to help you. It is instead a recipe for them doing the absolute minimum, and even that grugdingly. Not smart maybe, but eminently understandable. - gavin. (PS. Good dinner!).]

    Comment by David Kane — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:37 PM

  460. This is a PR disaster and the climate scientists have themselves to blame. What’s amazing to me is the continued arrogance in the face of this growing scandal.

    Complete transparency is the only way to recover your damaged reputations. Release everything and explain how you arrive at your conclusions so that nonscientists can undersand.

    Comment by Terry Rambrine — 24 Nov 2009 @ 9:42 PM

  461. Rad Ladbury And as has been said REPEATEDLY, the reason the Hadley center cannot release their raw data is because of prior agreements.

    “Trust me” doesn’t sound like science. If they can’t release their data the papers should be rejected.

    [Response: Let's start with all the Spencer and Christy papers perhaps? Or can you point me to their source code and raw data? And if not, why not? - gavin]

    Comment by BlogReader — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:01 PM

  462. Hi Gavin

    What annoys me about people in this debate are the assumptions that all AGW sceptics think GW believers think the apocalypse is upon us, and that all AGW believers think all AGW sceptics think zero AGW has occured.

    The truth, is somewhere in between. This is not a relgious or moralistic debate, as some people are determined to make this out to be.

    Personally, I think there has been AGW since 1850, combined with us being in a natural warming period. How much more will temperatures rise? Well given they have risen by 0.76 since the beginning of the industrial revolution, I am thinking another degree, or two at most. (basing this on what has happened already).

    The emails found, are not good, and paint a picture of a AGW cult to some degree, in that they would prefer to see warming and catastrophic consequences to be proven right. I am afraid this is not science.

    This does not discredit AGW, nor does it mean we should hold off on action in reducing emissions, but what it does show is that people are conspiring to show things in as catastrophic a light as possible to scare people into action, worried that unless they create worst case scenario’s, nothing will be done.

    [Response: This is nonsense and there no evidence whatsoever for this statement from the emails. - gavin]

    We know that a rise of 1.7-2.7 degrees will cause major problems (though not the end of the world), but to the man on the street it may not seem like much of a big deal, which is why we get these sexed up graphs to try and get the layman on side.

    Comment by Alex — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:08 PM

  463. DJK (#392) says: “General circulation models all seem to assign positive values to these feedbacks, yet there is new evidence that they may be closer to zero or even negative.”

    What you really mean is that if you can cherry-pick a few papers from the recent literature that make this claim. However, you can find many more papers from the literature, both very recent and less so, that support the positive values to the feedbacks. You don’t just get to ignore all of the evidence that you don’t like and look at only that which you fancy.

    Furthermore, the supposed evidence seems pretty weak: If you are referring to Lindzen and Choi, even Roy Spencer is skeptical of their work: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/03/spencer-on-lindzen-and-choi-climate-feedback-paper/ If you are referring to Roy Spencer himself, he seems to be a moving target with claims of a climate sensitivity of ~ 0.7 C but his latest claim was a climate sensitivity (on a timescale relevant to the issue at hand) is on the order of 1.6 to 2.0 C, which borders the IPCC “likely” range of 2.0 to 4.5 C. And, if you are referring to Christopher Monckton, well,… never mind!

    Overall, the body of the evidence still favors the range given by the IPCC. Could it be less? Possibly. Could it be greater (or could there be some nasty surprise of some sort that we have not even contemplated)? Possibly too.

    Comment by Joel Shore — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:12 PM

  464. Re: Response to post #392

    First, thank you for the response. I’ve included the two points I made in the original post here for reference:

    “Based on what I have read, there are only two main points of contention in the debate:

    1) The exact sensitivity of the climate to increases in carbon dioxide relative to other forcing mechanisms (i.e. the thrust of the question in post #285.)

    2) The state of our current climate relative to the paleoclimate; i.e. are we experiencing unprecedented temperatures relative to, say, the Medieval Warm Period, or is our current climate within a historical range?”
    ___________________________________________

    Now, my comments to your response:

    [Response: Don't talk wet. Point 1) is a valid goal in science and multiple groups all around the world are focussed on it.]

    Your comment implies that you agree with me that vigorous debate on this point remains. That’s great, and exactly what I would expect from the scientific community. The question that follows is: If this matter has not been settled scientifically, why are we now in the process of transforming our society on the basis of the unfledged results?

    If I’m misreading you on this, then I’d refer you back to the question raised by the poster in #285:

    “Where is the link, the data or other evidence, that shows warming is -driven- by CO2 increase – especially when it seems, when looking at longer term temp and CO2 record, that CO2 is re-active to temp change and not leading?”

    [Your point 2) is a complete red herring. It is irrelevant whether the MWP was 0.1 deg C warmer than the late 20th C or 0.1 deg C cooler. If you want a time in the past that was warmer than today, try the last interglacial, or the Pliocene, or the Eocene or the Cretaceous. There is no ambiguity there.]

    I agree that point #2 is largely irrelevant from a purely scientific standpoint; i.e. the physics today is what it is regardless of what the climate was like in the past. I even commented to the effect that point #1 was the more important of the two. Unfortunately, rather than addressing point #1 in any depth (which is what I was hoping you’d do), you jumped all over point #2. Not sure why.

    With that said, I would argue that point #2 has greater importance from a public perception standpoint; i.e. that the public would be more willing to buy into an AGW theory–and its associated policy implications–if it can be shown that temperature fluctuations in the paleoclimate were relatively benign relative to the present, and less so if it were shown to be more dynamic–agree?

    [If you want evidence of non-CO2 forcings, look at the 8.2 kyr event or the mid-Holocene.]

    Okay.

    [Similarly. No conceivable revisions of the medieval temperatures are going to constrain either sensitivity, or solar forcing or internal variability - the differences are just too small to be useful.]

    I never claimed that point #2 had any impact on point #1. Why refute a nonexistent assertion?

    [As for M&M tackling the MWP, they have done nothing of the sort. They have never published a single reconstruction. Never mind one that goes back to medieval time.]

    Again, I never made this claim. I said that they were focused on (not ‘tackling’) the state of our current climate relative to the paleoclimate. I concede that their methodology has been to criticize published reconstructions–most notably MBH 1998 and Briffa 2000, 2008.

    [The issue is not one of shutting down debate - there is debate a-plenty at science conferences and workshops across the world. it's that the 'skeptics' keep talking about non-issues - however loudly they declare that they are being repressed. - gavin]

    My reading of the released e-mails suggests that “debate” does not take place quite as freely as you claim. I’ll grant you that some skeptics may deal in “non-issues”, but some–Richard Lindzen, for example–are busy exploring point #1, which you acknowledge is a valid goal.

    My apologies if I continue to “talk wet”–whatever that means.

    Comment by DJK — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:12 PM

  465. Hi there,
    Is the validity of climate models tested by comparisons to the historical temperature record? In particular, the historical temperature record that is derived solely by proxy studies?

    [Response: Sure. See fig 6.13 in AR4 Chapter 6 (bottom panel). - gavin]

    As well, could someone point me to a historical reconstruction that does not graft instrumental temperature data? All I’m looking for is a study that does not suffer the pitfalls of divergence. Thanks

    [Response: Any of them. See the NOAA list. - gavin]

    Comment by Sean — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:18 PM

  466. #422 – Jim, so you think the Arctic will be ice free soon? Let’s start with looking at a average temperature of the Arctic since 1950. Go to http://www.rimfrost.no/
    and click on the
    Country/Region –Arctic
    Weatherstation – RIMFROST – AVERAGE
    This shows an initial drop in temps from 1950 to about 1970.A gradual rise from 1970 to ~1995, and a more noticeable increase from 1995 to ~2007, and now what appears to be a drop in temps. So depending on your point of view, one could say there is a gradual rise of about 1 deg., in the past 60 years, or there is part of a periodic oscillation with a period of about 50-60 years. This 50-60 year cycle seems to show up in a number of places. The figure below shows the E. England data from 1659-2008 with a 40 year Fourier filter. Again this 50-60 year oscillation shows up. In fact the pattern from 1950 forward, resembles the Rimfrost Arctic average.
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/t_est_28-bGGxs.gif

    Looking at the Arctic sea ice information, while you references are interesting, I prefer looking at a “strip” chart presentation. I think you can get a lot more info, and it’s probably a carry over from using analog computers a few decades ago. The figure below is from the Cryosphere sea ice anomaly time history from 1979.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/sea.ice.anomaly.timeseries.jpg
    From the chart, it would appear the arctic sea ice remained relatively stable from 1979 to about 1995, after which there was a decline until about 2007. After that it appears, to increase. So if I were to draw a straight line from the fall of 1979 (0. mkm) to the fall of 2008 (-0.75 mkm), I would be hard pressed to say Arctic will disappear very soon. This is in spite of the increase of CO2. Seems to be a contradiction here.

    #429 Brian, if CO2 is increasing so much, why is the Arctic sea ice “recovering”?

    Comment by J. Bob — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:34 PM

  467. Anand Rajan KD said @ 1:19 PM “Legislation should impact on palpable realities, not things like ‘future of the planet’, ‘planet’s well-being’ and their ilk.”

    I see, so if you became aware through observation that a certain disaster is likely to happen fairly soom, let’s say like, oh I don’t know, how about the imminent collapse of a major bridge (really one can think of any number of scenarios), your philosophy is that you would say nothing about it to anyone because it hasn’t actually happened yet right, it’s still in the future?

    You also apparently believe that there should be no legislation protecting the environment. WOW! What does one say to that? Lucky for you though that others with more concern for their fellow man and creature have fought, and continue to fight, to ensure that you and yours have safe water to drink and clean air to breathe. That dumping of toxic waste in the vacant lot next to you is illegal because it could cause you harm. That you have as robust an EPA and FDA as possible. That you have national parks to visit should you ever need to get away from it all. That other species besides humans are allowed to exist, which interestingly enough ensures you own survival, etc.

    “Wanting to care for the whole planet is just overarching hubris and power hunger in disguise.”

    So you feel not an iota of appreciation or respect for the planet that gives you existance? Not an ounce of awe for the complex and diverse web of life that has evolved over the last three and a half billion years? Not a smidgen of feeling for the majesty and beauty of the only living planet that we know of and possibly the only one we may ever be able to inhabit (without protective gear)? You have no sense of of the wholey avoidable trajedy of the current sixth extinction? Of millions of years of evolution down the drain? Again, wow.

    ———–
    Before I flew I was already aware of how small and vulnerable our planet is; but only when I saw it from space, in all its ineffable beauty and fragility, did I realize that human kind’s most urgent task is to cherish and preserve it for future generations. –Sigmund Jähn, Astronaut German Democratic Republic

    Comment by Ron R. — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:36 PM

  468. Some new climate modelers have presented a newer simpler model looking at raw, untreated temperatures only, going back 150 years or so. They use a day over day moving average much like stock traders use (this metric has proved one of the most accurate historical indicators of stock performance). Their model’s conclusion, is categorically opposite to the warming predictions we regularly hear, that being that temperatures changes have not been extreme or drastic, and forecasting a century out look to stay the same.

    Perfectly modeling every conceivable system that drives climate is an impossibility, I don’t care what you think you can do. Furthermore attempting to do so to predict future TEMPERATURES seems extremely foolish, when temperatures alone can be modeled much more accurately than the entire Earths energy profile.

    So why all the complication? And can you refute the methodology of these new modelers (in principle, obviously you don’t have all the specifics) and why the complicated (and highly suspicious) way is better?

    [Response: Nothing is more suspicious than people claiming to have a new perfect model without showing any details, linking to a publication, and apparently having the ability to look into the future without paying any heed to the scenarios and then demanding that we refute their (likely non-existent) efforts. Right. Show us the data! ;-) - gavin]

    Comment by Petey — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:37 PM

  469. “We are predicting the extinction of about two-thirds of all bird, mammal, butterfly and plant species by the end of the next century, based on current trends.” –Peter H. Raven (1999), former President of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Comment by Ron R. — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:40 PM

  470. Neil22:Guys. In terms of PR…..it’s, er, like…..game over…. Enter the word ‘climategate’ on Googletrends…

    Uh huh. Did you try entering it along with *any other* news item search term? It turns into a speck of sand.

    The deniers are excited because they’re having free reign in the private conversations of the climate scientists they’d love to demonize. This is so exciting that they’ve failed to notice that there’s very close to nothing there. A few quotes you can pull out and read into what you wish was there – but weak tea.

    The fact is this will turn into an urban legend within the extreme right – but the majority of people don’t care.

    This is because what it confirms is the opposite of what you wanted to see, what the majority of educated readers have already noticed – you pulled away the curtain and there is no conspiracy. No hoax. No falsification. Just hardworking scientists, as human as any of us, in a few cases losing their cool in private. The goons of the right broke into their server and found very little of note.

    The balloon burst here is the last of the credibility of the conspiricy theory crowd.

    As noted above by another poster, the true similarity to watergate, is that someone among the reactionaries stooped to committing a criminal offence. My vote for the role of Nixon in this case is Marc Morano, of swift-boating fame. It’s his style, and he works at that level of morality.

    A comment to the scientists behind RealClimate, if you read this refuse:

    In last-ditch activist efforts on both the right and the left a common tactic, sometimes even spoken of openly, is to just “keep the pressure on” as the euphimism goes. Frivolous lawsuits, personal attacks, harassing family members, throwing mud. The goal is *not* to win via debate, nor even to cause delay. The goal is to push your opponent to the point of a stress breakdown. Please don’t let them do that, and know when to disengage from their “debate”. Your work is too important, and well appreciated by the sane majority, no matter what its conclusions are.

    Comment by Bruce the Canuck — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:53 PM

  471. I am perplexed to how anyone here can claim there is no issue at all here. I mean really? You all think everything in these emails is completely above board?

    Comment by Alex — 24 Nov 2009 @ 10:57 PM

  472. Thanks for the ad-hominem attack Gavin. The data is being made available, but that’s wasn’t the point anyway. I was hoping you could offer a scientific viewpoint as to how/why one method of modeling would/could be predictably more accurate than the other. To the extent that modeling is even scientific anyway. Maybe something in terms of math or physics if those terms mean anything to you.

    Apparently you’re not in that business. Excuse me for assuming you were…

    [Response: (Look up 'ad hom' - you have no idea what it means). But still, you haven't provided a reference. Without one, nothing can be said other than if you aren't basing your model on physics, it will have no useful predictability at all. But since no one knows what your model is or does, even that statement is moot. Please supply a reference before bothering to further engage. - gavin]

    Comment by Petey — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:05 PM

  473. Give the savior role to activists and politicians? are you serious?

    Comment by Dave K — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:12 PM

  474. As a long time proponent of anthropogenic climate change, and someone who has put my own credibility on the line many times to argue for the science, I have to say that I am really appalled at what these emails reveal.

    Yes, I understand that they appear to have been obtained by theft and I condemn that. But what it does show me is a cabal of scientists deliberately conspiring to stifle the transfer of data and knowledge, spinning data to justify preconceived notions, and generally just subverting scientific method.

    Ironically, it appears your efforts will have the opposite effect from what you intended, and justifiably so, in my opinion.

    I think you folks–you know who you are–need to come forward and apologize. I can understand that perhaps you acted on nobler motives, but all the same it appears that you subjected good scientific practice to political expediency.

    George Monbiot reflects my feelings well, and does so much more articulately than I could. I hope you read his piece.

    [Response: I think that you, like Monbiot and many others, are jumping to conclusions without thinking very much. You might try reading this for a bit of perspective.--eric]

    Comment by Adam — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:17 PM

  475. 383 – 0.o “The kind of person that doesn’t have a stake in the planet’s well-being is the kind of person who minds his own business”

    The kind of person you refer to is nothing more then a leech on society.

    “Climate scientists have taken it upon themselves to ‘care for the globe’. You refuse to see through this. Any manipulation, twisting of the facts, lies, deception would seem noble in such a high stakes game. The science most certainly would seem honorable. Is it difficult to see that a scientist who sets himself up to save the world would stop at anything? I see the CRU crusading evangelists to fit this mould. You do the science to save the world and the opponents to the science look like haters of humanity. Now, is that a tricky situation for a scientist to be in or what?”

    I bet you trusted the science and its predictions when you started your car, turned your lights on, typed on your computer, put on clothing, and used every other technology that has been built by scientists. When your health is in danger, I bet you put your life into the hands of doctors and machines.

    I think you are confusing mystics with scientists.

    Comment by EL — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:38 PM


  476. #429 Brian, if CO2 is increasing so much, why is the Arctic sea ice “recovering”?

    Comment by J. Bob

    Maybe because it is getting on to winter?

    And as for sea-ice “recovering”, it is clear that you haven’t kept up to date with the data. Sea ice coverage for this time of year is nip-and-tuck with the 2007 all-time lows: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    Comment by caerbannog — 24 Nov 2009 @ 11:58 PM

  477. Stolen material, information not gathered legally is not admissible in any credible court that I know of,
    yet the US repubs, will comb through what should be banned in court… Says volumes about their tactics, cheating is acceptable if it serves their political goals.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:05 AM

  478. Gavin,

    Thanks again for all your replies. This long-time question of mine relates tangentially to the contentious email from Dr. Trenberth and to your previous responses to it. To me, that email just looked like good scientific enquiry from Trenberth, so I take no issue with it.

    My question is instead, when are we going to see an updated plot of the temperature record compared to the model record, such that the model record is broken down into the various model contributions (CO2, methane, aerosols, etc.)?

    That particular plot is great for the lay person because it shows us in detail where you climate scientists think the temperature rise over, e.g., the past 50 years has come from.

    I have been unable to find a more recent version of this plot than the outdated one from Wikipedia Commons. The latest IPCC report only seems to have 1) a timeline plot without a breakdown into components, as well as 2) a bar graph of each of the contributions with error bars, where each contribution is integrated over time.

    You must routinely make such plots for yourselves when you run the models, no? Do you perhaps feel (a la Trenberth) that your understanding is insufficient for a ‘model average’ of such a plot to be usefully made for public release?

    I would like to see such a plot anyway, even if the error bands on the individual terms are large and highly correlated.

    Thanks, s. wing

    [Response: For individual contributions, look at Hansen et al 2007. It takes a lot of time to do those kinds of experiments (14 individual effects, 5 simulations each, 150 years, plus a few sensitivity tests = ~11,000 model years, assuming 10 runs simultaneously is roughly 250 days continuous computation, plus a few months to process all the output). Oh, and just in case anyone cares, the output is here, and the code is here. - gavin]

    Comment by s. wing — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:05 AM

  479. Gavin, I’ve been following the thread here but haven’t posted yet. But I have posted some thoughts over at DotEarth including this proposition: For the sake of argument, let’s ignore any papers associated with the scientists whose emails are at issue. Sureley there are many, many (thousands and thousands?) of other peer-reviewed papers by scientists not associated with those of the CRU group who have independent data sets and models not associated with the data and models related to the CRU group that point to the conclusion that human activities are causing global climate change. (Not that I am questioning their validitgy but just for the sake of argument.) Is it possible to point us to a few of the main ones so that people can see how scientific consensus does not depend on one group of scientists and a select few papers? I believe this might help illustrate a broader point that is relevant to the “debate.” Thank you for remaining a voice of reasoned critical thinking through all the madness.

    Comment by Loren — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:14 AM

  480. #474 – caerbannog. Don’t forget nip & tuck with 03 & 05, plus above 06, for this time of year.
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Comment by J. Bob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:16 AM

  481. 472
    “I was hoping you could offer a scientific viewpoint as to how/why one method of modeling would/could be predictably more accurate than the other. To the extent that modeling is even scientific anyway. Maybe something in terms of math or physics if those terms mean anything to you.”

    If you are asking a general question about models, I’ll explain some to you.

    First and foremost, scientific theories are mathematical models. From a mathematical perspective, models do not have to have physical limitations, but from a scientific perspective, models are required to have physical limitations. For example, the square root of 25 will result in +5 and -5 (A square root has 2 answers). The two answers are fine as far as mathematics is concerned; however, both answers may not be suitable in a physical problem. If the square root of 25 results in the length of a computer monitor, a -5 does not make sense. How could you have a computer monitor that had a -5 inch side? So the value is ignored in the computation because of a physical limitation.

    Scientists do observations of gravity, electricity, climate, heat, cold, and other physical phenomenon so that they can find limitations and place them upon models. Physical theories are models that predict the outcome of events given certain conditions. I think a lot of people are confusing “prediction” with some kind of mystical ability.

    Comment by EL — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:28 AM

  482. Re 468 Petey

    “Some new climate modelers have presented a newer simpler model looking at raw, untreated temperatures only, going back 150 years or so. They use a day over day moving average much like stock traders use (this metric has proved one of the most accurate historical indicators of stock performance).”

    Why would the climate system behave so much like the stock market? Sure, there are similarities and potential analogies between any two things, but…

    Why would looking only at temperatures over 150 years tell you what will happen in the future depending on what external forcings transpire?

    “Perfectly modeling every conceivable system that drives climate is an impossibility, I don’t care what you think you can do.”

    Imperfect models are used with great benifit.

    “Furthermore attempting to do so to predict future TEMPERATURES seems extremely foolish, when temperatures alone can be modeled much more accurately than the entire Earths energy profile.”

    You need to know energy fluxes in order to predict temperature changes.

    And the temperature change is only part of what has scientific and practical importance.

    “So why all the complication?”

    Because the physics gets complicated! But you can simplify the model if you’re willing to settle for a lower-order approximation.

    “And can you refute the methodology of these new modelers (in principle, obviously you don’t have all the specifics) and why the complicated (and highly suspicious) way is better?”

    It sounds like this new model is a statistical model. Those have their place, but not so much in modelling climate changes.

    “To the extent that modeling is even scientific anyway. Maybe something in terms of math or physics if those terms mean anything to you.”

    Yes, a model based on math and physics would be in order. Thankfully, there are some.

    Comment by Patrick 027 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:39 AM

  483. prince_prospero,

    Here’s a short (not out of context) snippet from one of the papers that Mann and Co. got all worked up about. (linky: http://climatedebatedaily.com/southern_oscillation.pdf)


    To remove the noise, the absolute values were
    replaced with derivative values based on variations.

    Does the use of a derivative operator to “reduce noise” in temperature data not raise your eyebrows a bit? Especially temperature data where you are looking for the influence (or non-influence) of a long-term trend?

    Comment by caerbannog — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:45 AM

  484. How is it the GISP ice core temperature data shows like in Al Gore’s movie temperature in the N.H. has been relatively flat for 800 years with a .5 C spike the last 100 years. However why do they stop at 800 or so years because the rest of the data show drastic temperature change as much as 2.5 degrees C in less than 200 years. For example it shows 1 degree C higher 1000 yrs ago, 2 degree C higher 2000 yrs ago and 3 degree C higher 3300 yrs ago with many ups and downs in between. Oh Al all the polar bears are still here and the earth did not flood 3300 years ago.

    I know the proxy data tries to dampen these spikes shown in the GISP ice core but most of that data is highly flawed after 1000 years and running them through a 40 year filter is a nice “Trick”

    PS – all the data from the southern hemisphere or Volstok ice core shows no extended time period of flat temps like the NH the last 800 years, matter of fact the last 800 years it has had 3 major temp changes over 2.5 degrees C. So how is it CO2 only effects the Northern Hemisphere and not the Southern Hemisphere?

    Comment by Missinggwdotcom — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:56 AM

  485. I just have to say that Rob is obviously not a professional software developer. If he was, the first SCM systems he would have mentioned would have been CVS and Subversion.

    Personally, I hate CVS and use a commercially sourced system called Perforce, which works much better than CVS and handles directories better than SVN. The reason for the question was just to throw mud on the quality of the code.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:00 AM

  486. [[[ So, we leave the data alone from 1904-1928, adjust downward for 1929-1943, leave the same
    for 1944-1948, adjust down for 1949-1953, and then, whoa, start an exponential fudge upward (guess that would be the "VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE" noted by the programmer).
    [edit]

    [Response: Without any context, you have no basis for your statements. What was this for? what paper did it appear in? was it even ever used? Track that down and then we can talk. - gavin]

    Gavin, while I can appreciate the desire for context in order to comment in a meaningful way, what explains your pounding down on Mark S. (“no basis for your statements.”) If you will read carefully, Mark made no statements! (apart from describing the working of the code…)

    Why so defensive? That was uncalled for.

    Comment by Ryder — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:11 AM

  487. Wayne Davidson:

    Were the Pentagon Papers stolen? What did you think about the fact that the Supreme Court deemed them printable?

    Comment by asdf — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:26 AM

  488. Baloney.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the press is well within its First Amendment protections when it publishes information obtained by a third party, even obtained illegally.

    Remember when the NY Times felt duty to leak CIA memo’s on the Bush admin?

    Says volumes indeed watching all the phony self righteousness indignation now.

    Comment by mistermj — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:28 AM

  489. >Says volumes about their tactics, cheating is acceptable if it serves their political goals.

    This is off topic, but if you want to understand the american right, read swimming with sharks, an article about how republicans train their young. Sourcewatch’s entry about Marc Morano is also quite eye-opening.

    Comment by Bruce the Canuck — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:28 AM

  490. Okay, I’m in the process of addressing these claims to some denialists. What’s the deal with this excerpt:
    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report,” Jones writes. “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    [Response: Both papers were cited in the report - MM either refers to McIntyre and McKitrick (2005, E&E) (Ch6), or more likely McKitrick and Michaels (2004) (Ch. 2), and the other paper was Kalnay and Cai (2003), also cited (Ch. 2). No redefinition apparently took place, which is unsurprising. - gavin]

    Comment by Juan — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:29 AM

  491. “#429 Brian, if CO2 is increasing so much, why is the Arctic sea ice “recovering”?”
    The snarky answer is that Poe’s Law is alive and well, and propagating into global warming skepticism. I guess I should have put double quotes around “recovery” or a smiley after the conflation of “recovery” with “below the OLS projection of declining ice”. Would I have had to put a smiley up if I had said “the patient has made a remarkable recovery; he’s still dying, but he was almost dead”?

    A more relevant answer is that most of the multiyear ice has already disappeared from the Arctic. http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/tre59s3lt-us-climate-canada-arctic/
    The remaining ice is so thin that the summer minimum and trajectory by which it is reached has become responsive to wind, cloud cover, humidity, and other weather effects – this year, the rate of melt dropped 50% in about 10 days in mid July, when the weather changed. There have been other short “recoveries”in the past – 60-63, 67-69, 81-83,90-92, but they didn’t last, and each successive peak has been lower. It’s just short term fluctuations, internal variability, not real trends.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:36 AM

  492. Please explain this (if you can…)

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/crus_source_code_climategate_r.html

    [Response: What do you want explained? That post is a litany of incorrect assumptions, mis-attributions and full of fury that people actually do what they've said they've done in the literature. The apparent visceral need for some people to blame Mike Mann for anything they don't understand in someone else's work entirely is as puzzling as it is stupid. - gavin]

    Comment by mike — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:39 AM

  493. charles [edit - don't vent]

    It was pretty clear from the beginning that McI was not part of this (although he may have been cheered by it, much as PJ found news of the passing of Daly cheering).

    Of course, RC, The Air Vent and CA pretty much all got links at the same time, all apparently from a variety of anonymous proxy servers. Hours reading the emails because you wouldn’t forward copies of the text you were reading?
    [edit]

    Sorry Gavin, self-aggrandizing stupidity is something I can’t deal with. Sort of like Prince_Prospero, who obviously does not share the same dialect of English that the rest of us do. [edit]

    Finally on a more serious and less insulting note. The bozo at the Spectator is filing suit against GISS for what? Correcting an error found by McI and acknowledging that? Oh yeah, the correction was huge (according to McI) and completely rewrote the temperature history of the planet. Oh wait. You mean it moved the anomaly for the lower 48 for 1998 from a statistical tie with 1934 to 1934 being in a statistical tie with 1998? And it had no effect whatsoever on the global record? That’s obviously actionable!

    This is obviously phase two. It is clear that harassing scientists with FOIA requests has pissed them off and to some extent kept them from doing “dangerous” “research” which might show that we are “up shit creek”. However, ill-formed FOIA requests are too easy to blow off. But a lawsuit? Unless the judge, as he should, laughs this off, GISS will be brought to a halt by disclosure proceedings. This is not a pretty sight, even though the lawsuit will eventually be tossed.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:18 AM

  494. caerbannog (474) is wrong.

    Go back and check the NSIDC figures for Arctic sea ice extent (at September end of melting season).

    2007 4.29 million sq. km.
    2008 4.67 (+9%)
    2009 5.36 (+25%)

    The record shows that there has been a significant recovery.

    Will it last? Will it increase? Who knows?

    [edit]

    [sea ice trends are OT - go talk about this somewhere else]

    Comment by manacker — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:21 AM

  495. I find this response interesting. Possibly telling.

    Even without a degree in climate science, I can see that mixing proxy data onto temperature data yields results that may not mean much, and the CA guys are making a big deal about this. So I wanted to check if it really is that simple. That is, was it done and not clearly acknowledged? And if so, why?…

    [Response: Ok, last word on this before I turn in. This 10 year old graph is irrelevant to any current readings of the science. The caption describing what was done is unclear and should have been more complete. I have no personal knowledge of how smoothing was done in any of a hundred different variations of this particular theme. The rule should be that what ever is done, and for what ever reason, the description should match. The latest version of this kind of figure in IPCC AR4 is very clear about what is done, and it does not merge the two kinds of data. However, if you have two kinds of data showing similar things I am not surprised that people want to plot them together and I don't see why that is - in principle - problematic. I'd be much more interested if this actually mattered. - gavin]

    Gavin leaves us with the impression that reports claiming global warming was going to dramatically increase from 10 years ago were ‘irrelevant’, which I assume means ‘incorrect’. That would certainly explain why the data used to come up with the flawed reports has not been made publicly available. Who wants to be shown to be telling falsehoods? But the ‘telling’ part is that the data used to determine CURRENT global warming beliefs is also not being made public. Why so? There is only one conclusion that we can draw. You should allow anyone access to the data so that we can determine whether or not global warming is the snake oil that so many scientists are claiming that it is.

    Will this post get tossed or delayed by Gavin as the data from the FOI emails suggest? It will be interesting to find out!

    [Response: Yawn. If you want raw data go to GHCN. If you want current temperatures from exclusively public-domain sources go to GISTEMP. If you want all the raw data that went into those figures go to NOAA Paleoclimate. If you just want to rag on scientists, go somewhere else. - gavin]

    Comment by Kevin — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:30 AM

  496. “473. Give the savior role to activists and politicians? are you serious?”
    Scientists are only meant to report the data. Whatever it says. It’s not their business to do anything else. Telling people what to do for the “good of mankind” is church business.

    Do you know how serious particle physicists do their work, for example? They keep a few parameters of their experiment unknown to everyone in the collaboration. That way no one can do any pre-fitting to insure that the results will agree, or that they are even on the right track. They do all the calculations, and only when that is done, they check the final parameters. And there’s no turning back. If you get a wrong answer, that’s what you get. Needless to say, you won’t publish it.

    That’s science. Cutting the last years to make the average look warmer is not science. It’s s**t.

    [Response: Agreed. All the data up to and including the last months' number is visible at GISTEMP. - gavin]

    Comment by gigel — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:36 AM

  497. Anand Rajan 383:
    “The kind of person that doesn’t have a stake in the planet’s well-being is the kind of person who minds his own business.”

    Setting aside the moment the moral bankruptcy of your stance, which Gavin already noted — isn’t it obvious that the well-being of the planet is everybody’s business? If you take an action that harms the planet, you are harming me and my children. How can that possibly not be my business? This point simply makes no sense, whatever your moral stance.

    You stated in an earlier comment that you think climate scientists have an agenda a priori. I think you have a basic misunderstanding of the philosophy of science (shared also by other commenters on the issue of “saving the world”). Science is based on the philosophy of Empiricism, in which knowledge is held to come from evidence and experimentation, not a priori.

    Therefore it would be counterintuitive for a scientist to approach a question with an a priori agenda and then distort the science to fit that agenda. You appear to think that the “bias” of scientists arises from genuine concern for the well-being of the planet. However, to a scientist, the only way to determine what constitutes the well-being of the planet is through accurate science — through empirical evidence obtained from experimentation and observation, and logical theory based on that evidence.

    To put this another way, how can a scientist possibly know what is best for the planet if they have distorted the science to serve an a priori agenda? In that case, the information obtained from the science would be unreliable, and so the scientist would have no way of knowing what would be best for the planet.

    Therefore the motivation of a scientist who is genuinely concerned for the well-being of the planet (which you appear to think Gavin and others are) would be to make sure the science is as accurate as possible, so as to be able to determine correctly what would constitute the planet’s well-being.

    It makes no sense to say “scientists distorted the evidence because they wanted to save the world” when to a scientist the only way to find out how to save the world is to have accurate evidence.

    The only way I can see that you can logically support the idea that there is an a priori agenda underlying the science is if you assume that the scientists involved are not genuinely concerned with the well-being of the planet, and instead have a particular political goal that they want to achieve irrespective of the effect on the planet. If that is what you think, you should say that and we can discuss it. But that is not what you said, and without that assumption your argument makes no sense.

    Comment by Eli Snyder — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:58 AM

  498. As somebody who has done distinguished research in a different field for years, your spin on the emails, saying it lacks context, is disappointing to say the least. Entire email threads in their full glory are available in some instances. The language is explicitly clear in many instances, even if you didnt know the first thing about the science.

    1. Here’s a quote from one of the emails : I got a paper to review (submitted to the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences), written by a Korean guy and someone from Berkeley, that claims that the method of reconstruction that we use in dendroclimatology (reverse regression) is wrong, biased, lousy, horrible, etc. … If published as is, this paper could really do some damage … It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically (…) I am really sorry but I have to nag about that review — Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting.” Im assuming this is about MBH98 or 99? Even if it is not, Pls dont try to spin this one. It is an obvious attempt at suppressing a paper critical of one of their work, at the review stage, by the folks whose work he is finding fault with. The reviewer, it seems actually doesnt have a case for rejecting but rather would like other non-reviewers to make one up. Instead he should have actually accepted the paper pointing out whatever issues he uncovered for corrections. Calling this malfeasance doesnt do justice to the word malfeasance.

    [Response: You are missing context. The first is from someone in the middle of a review asking a colleague whether he has the right data to do a test of a particular method in the un-named, and un-sent paper he was reviewing. One of those emails is from the editor asking his reviewer to get a move on with a review for a paper the other reviewers have suggested rejecting. Calling this malfeasance indeed, doesn't do justice to the word malfeasance (i.e. it isn't malfeasance). - gavin]

    2. Heres another quote: ““The two MMs [Canadian skeptics Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.” Why so? if these guys are not good climate scientists, then you should be able to supply them the data you have and if they come up with bogus objections to your claims, then you should be able to show them up for who they are by pointing out the flaws in their analysis. While at it, you could have other genuine climate scientists publically analyse the data and confirm your claims. Why dodge the data request, if you knew your data can withstand the scrutiny? i have shared data with others who wanted to replicate my claims as is std practice for many branches of science. MBH98/99 being critical paper for some of the earlier IPCC findings, why would you resist scrutiny, if you know the data is solid?

    [Response: Please read the background on this. The FOI requests started in 2007 and they were turned down then (and again as recently as Nov 13) not because there is anything wrong or embarrassing about the data, but because some of it is restricted by agreements with third parties. The public domain source data is available to all and sundry and has been for years (GHCN) and is the basis of the other temperature records (i.e at GISTEMP). As for MBH98/99, the data and code is all available, and again, has been for years. This is also true for the more recent and comprehensive reconstructions. - gavin]

    Here’s another quote: “I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board”

    what the ..? Who died and made these guys kings and king makers? If a journal is of such a bad quality, let the majority researchers in the field conclude such after a) pointing to flaws in the papers they publish b) and seeing that the journal doesnt take action over a period of time, even after their publications have been shown to be bad.

    [Response: Sure. That is indeed what happened. But talking about the quality of a journal and informing your colleagues of your feelings is not unethical. - gavin]

    Science is all about dissenting voices and hard scrutiny. These guys were clealry attempting to get rid of all dissenting voices and scrutiny of their models and data, which forms a key foundation of a lot of the IPCC claims. Imagine Einstein and many others like him trying to silence the quantum mechanics crowd, because he didnt believe god played dice. This is not even some esoteric n-dimentional math that avg joe has no use for. This is something that governments are going to take hard action on, that affects everybody. THe science should go through the toughest scrutiny we can put on it, before billions of people are affected, either due to the climate change or due to the actions taken by govts to deal with climate change. If the science and the scientists on your camp are superior, why dodge the scrutiny and attempt to get rid of people critical of your models/data?

    [Response: You are projecting here. The criticism was of very specific (and bad) papers, not everyone who is critical. Lot's of critical articles get published all the time, but in the cases discussed here - maybe 4 or 5 papers - the studies weren't just critical, they were fundamentatlly flawed. Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008), McKitrick and Michaels (2004), McLean et al (2009) etc. Where does anyone say that no critical papers should be published? Where? - gavin]

    “Something is rotten in the state of denmark” indeed.

    Comment by Shiv — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:16 AM

  499. Hello again and thank you for the previous response to #458.

    Follow-up questions to [Response: Yes. The further back you go the more important the long tree ring records are, but the general patterns are robust. - gavin], if I may.

    a) How much weight are the long tree ring records given in the reconstructions, in the different time periods?
    b) How many individual trees’ samples were directly included in the reconstructions, does this vary by time period and/or affect weighting in the reconstruction?
    c) What establishes those records as valid temperature proxies?
    d) In the absence of tree ring histories, what alternatives could be used to reconstruct historical temperatures over a similar timeframe?
    e) What precisely is the technical definition of the word ‘robust’ in this case? Is there a specific, commonly used threshold for the standard of robust with respect to this speciality? Can that term be quantified?
    f) Has verification of the trends established by the reconstructions been performed using independently-sourced data?

    [Response: This recent review covers most of this. - gavin]

    Comment by David Gordon — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:39 AM

  500. While some of this particular “scandal” looks like a storm in a teacup to me, it has highlighted one important factor:

    If our governments are going to be making important decisions on future economic ground, eg for taxation, carbon credits etc, then we have to view the problem as a mix of scientific and financial.

    It is prudent to submit the underlying data to the same sort of stringent auditing process applied in an accounting context. There needs to be a very clear and transparent “audit trail” for all the datasets – and appropriate penalties applied for any that have been found to be falsified, hidden etc.

    This does not mean I think that any data *has* been supplied in a wrong fashion, but I think it is important that we have safety checks in place to ensure we’re basing our decisions on the highest-quality and most-reliable information.

    Comment by DeanB — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:42 AM

  501. Okay thanks for the various answers to my question about whether climate modelling physics is chaotic or not.

    It seems there are different views on this which is in itself disturbing since if we cannot agree on the type of physics on which we base climate modelling then one has to wonder about the accuracy from a foundational perspective.

    But seeing how Gavin has stated that the jury is out on whether climate is chaotic, i have a follow on question.

    If its not chaotic and does not abide by the same unpredictability inherent in non linear dynamics then why are terms such as “tipping points” being used to describe climate change? As far as Im aware tipping points are a property of chaotic systems. Can someone please explain why chaotic properties are being used in descriptions if the climate is not chaotic?

    [Response: Not quite the same concept. An upside down pendulum has a tipping point (from whence the term derives), but it isn't chaotic. There are plenty of non-linearities in climate, and a lot of hysteresis. It's much harder to grow and ice sheet than it is to melt it. It's harder to warm an ocean than it is to cool it. It's easier to kill a forest than it is to regrow one etc. But read my take on 'tipping points' as used in the public discourse. - gavin]

    One more thing i noticed, which is someone said in an above post something along the lines of: “because climate science is based on averages that smudges out the sort of unpredictability seen in open ended non linear systems”.

    But then they went on to say that climate models can accurately predict the temperatures for next year. If thats the case why has the Met Office got their predictions so wrong. Here in the Uk we were told it would be a Barbecue Summer this year. Well it was the opposite and certainly no BBQ summer (more the pity).

    So how can we claim to be able to predict temps next year when the Met Office gets its longrange climate predictions so wrong?

    Comment by Mike M — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:52 AM

  502. re 314

    Dan

    I don’t think this can be looked at without taking the viewpoint of the public. That’s a shame because I think that there is damned little in here that actually SHOULD lead either of them to step down. However, my comment stands. There is never again (for a lot of people) going to be any acceptance that anything Mann or Jones touch has validity. OTOH, for them to step down is to give the appearance of validity to the claims… so it is really a first-class political issue.

    The cost of openness – giving them data, and letting them have enough rope to hang themselves and then stringing the bad science up for all to see when it inevitably appears, is admittedly high. However this is now seriously worse.

    Stonewalling doesn’t cut it for a public research group. Its the wrong philosophy to apply, and it appears that it is one promoted and supported by Jones and Mann. With openness McIntyre would have had his fangs pulled and might even have done us some good. He is a decent statistician… and it is easy to make a mistake trying to deal with these datasets. We would have been made busier answering him, but the denialsphere would have festered and died without the poisonous atmosphere we helped to create by trying not to answer him.

    The science became political the instant that public policy needed changing to account for it. That means that we very much DO have to worry about what people think and at the moment, they don’t think a lot of us. We have to do better. Jones is going to have to go through a very public grilling and release process to get the public back on side, and I don’t think that it will work anyway. It might be worth a try though.

    Basically this: Jones has to answer ALL the questions. We’ve sort of provided a practice run for the process here with Gavin answering… and I can’t imagine how this has been a nightmare of the first order for him. At this point the worst is not that bad and the answers are known… so it is likely Jones COULD answer. It isn’t a question of whether he wants to or not. At this point he has to defend each of these points publicly and in doing so defend his integrity. It would get messy, but I am also afraid that the answer would be that he cannot. Not because he doesn’t have the answers, but because it goes against his nature to do it.

    respectfully
    BJ

    [Response: Your criticism of Mann and Jones is completely misplaced. For starters, Mike has never been under an FOI request and can never have deleted anything that was under a non-existant request, furthermore he has been very clear that nothing was deleted in any case. Getting an email asking you to do something is not the same as doing it. With respect to Jones, his comment was clearly ill-advised but whether anything was actually done is unknown. As for a poisonous atmosphere.. let me just state that the first post McIntyre made about me was to question my honesty - because of a comment he made on RealClimate on Christmas Eve night that I didn't get around to posting until the day after the holidays. And that is not an isolated incident. - gavin]

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:54 AM

  503. Alex #471

    I am perplexed to how anyone here can claim there is no issue at all here. I mean really? You all think everything in these emails is completely above board?

    As a scientist, having read — and I felt dirty doing it — a dozen or so of the supposedly worst ones, my answer is: Yes. Yes! This precisely is how hard-working, honest scientists passionate about their science communicate and collaborate. Anyone should be proud to be a part of that.

    There is nothing there. You thinking differently without even understanding the substance of the mails just shows that you have an dirty mind. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:23 AM

  504. Petey said in #468:

    “They use a day over day moving average much like stock traders use (this metric has proved one of the most accurate historical indicators of stock performance).”

    So, I take it you have by now made tons of money in the stock market using your “most accurate historical indicator of stock performance” and are now comfortably retired?

    “…forecasting [global temperature] a century out look to stay the same”

    Again, using your simple but “most accurate historical indicator of stock performance”, can you tell me where Dow Jones or S&P 500 will be tomorrow, in 1 month, 1 year, 100 years? Should be a pretty simple thing to do if you have such a reliable model, right?

    Comment by Igor Samoylenko — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:34 AM

  505. RE David Cordon @458 (for now):

    Hello, trying to learn more here, hope you don’t mind.

    Reading through the available material, the questions from Dr. Keiller struck me as particularly insightful and that they get right to the heart of the matter in dispute. These questions are:

    1) Are the reconstructions sensitive to the removal of either the Yamal data and Strip pine bristlecones, either when present singly or in combination?

    I would direct you to Mike Mann’s PNAS paper and supplemental information in PNAS and his PSU web site.

    There is also a recent paper covered on this site that tackles the robustness of the bristlecone pine reconstructions. For Yamal, Keith Briffa and Tom Melvin has a series of posts (starting here relative to their reconstructions. Unfortunately, these pages are down along with the rest of the CRU pages, but I hear they are cached.

    These should provide the context for Gavin’s answer.

    Comment by Deech56 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:55 AM

  506. Gavin, You are clearly working hard. I presume that you judge that your actions are of high ethical standards. But I would like to ask you to consider the possibility that behaviour that would be acceptable in an ordinary acedemic setting may need modification if your conclusions will be affecting (one way or the other) the lives of billions of people.

    Two specific points
    Peer reviewing – confering between reviewers, so not having independent reviews
    Abrupt dismissal of people of different (possibly less informed) opinions e.g. from your comments above ‘Playing semantic word games’, ‘Weird’

    I would suggest that, given the importance of climate science
    - Peer reviews be carried (in so far as possible) independently
    - There is a modification of tone from some climate scientists – communicating more of an effort to try to understand the concerns of the unconvinced, if only to explain these away. (After all, the question of why many people come to these different conclusions is a valid scientific question in itself, whose answer lies in a mixture of climate science and various fields of psychology / analysis of decision making).

    A hill-walking analogy – you are used to going on long walks by yourself or with other fit adults. But now you are in charge of a large group of children and need to help get them safely down off the hill. Its a very different role.

    I am sure you are aware of your (huge) responsibilities – this blog is a major undertaking in itself in that direction. Your work is a key underpining of decisions that involve trillions of dollars (equivalent to millions of lives saved or lost). This is so serious a task that it would not be surprising if it required and requires changes in ways of doing things. Please consider whether you can find such improvements.

    Best wishes
    Peter Cunningham
    (If you are interested, I am a mathematician by background, now working as a consultant engineer in the oil industry. In case any readers are wondering, I have not been paid to make this comment. In fact, I am running a small risk of losing business, since my clients would prefer to avoid even indirect links to climate change controversy).

    Comment by Peter Cunningham — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:03 AM

  507. 220,

    Try here: http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Lag.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:29 AM

  508. Hans: ROFLMAO!!! I love it! Terrific free verse!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:36 AM

  509. Does this help or hurt your predicament?
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-11-24-copenhagen-united-nations-emails_N.htm
    “A controversy over leaked e-mails exchanged among global warming scientists is part of a “smear campaign” to derail next month’s United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, one of the scientists, meteorologist Michael Mann, said Tuesday.”

    How does this much differ in its attempt to influence the Copenhagen meeting than the release of the emails?

    “Somerville, Mann and 24 other scientists released a report Tuesday with what they said was new evidence of climate change and its effects. Among their findings:”

    You have a pile of lemons. Why would you want more? Why not make lemonade? What was it the other day 9 million hits on this web site? I can see you are doing that with the links at the top of this comments section.

    How about the authors of the emails stop complaining about the “evil hacker in the pay of the “evil conspirators of industry” and acknowledge that the emails sound bad. — But while they are at it take advantage of the spot light to “come clean” and at the same time explain why it is that they believe they are correct in the long term?

    I have seen a lot of talk previously that Global dimming from the 40′s until the late 70′s did not happen. Not sure where that info was coming from. However if you are trying prove your case to the public that Man Made Global warming is a serious issue the largest problem you have is proving that man can have a large scale effect on the climate. Not that the climate can change or not.

    You are asking the people of the world to trust you while demanding that they make huge sacrifices in their lives. They have the right to know all the facts whether it is felt that they have the right to know and discuss them or not. Without people making them out to be stupid for discussing it. That is the real reason the emails matter.

    Solar power is fast becoming a better option than burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. Not because it is greener, but because it is cheaper. Seems like it is much better to use carrots instead of sticks.

    And in case it was missed the last time I posted it and to drive it home: “The humble shall inherit the earth”. Unless “climate scientist” and “humble” are a contradiction in terms, you should not have a problem with the emails. Why are you wasting your time in the spot light trying to deny their significance?

    Comment by SE — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:36 AM

  510. You published on this site “Fred Singer!!!??? Give me a break…This is the harlot that fought for the tobacco industry”
    I had rather thought you were, allegedly, serious about what you do and publish.

    Comment by Dr BR Lawrie — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:04 AM

  511. Anand Rajan: To pass draconian laws issued from the mouth of a quasigovernmental body that will affect the whole globe and the future of ‘humanity’, to want to do that, is wrong.

    BPL: What Draconian laws and what quasigovernmental body would that be? I’m not aware of any.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:10 AM

  512. Re:357 J.Bob. I don’t what I’m even bothering to refute your pathetic comments. Umm..sea level rise is 80% higher than the previous IPCC projections (oh! of course Bob..the whole planet’s landmass is sinking..why didn’t I think of that before). I have just been to the Australian Bureau of Meterology web site..www.bom.gov.au and saw the frequency of min temps vs max temps in australia over the past 40 years. Check it out and for Christsake Bob put a permanent sock in it will you!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:11 AM

  513. Mark Gibb: “regardless of the science, I just cannot accept”

    Hank Roberts: giving the most likely reason for the Fermi Paradox in a nutshell.

    BPL: I’ve thought about that a lot lately. I used to be very interested in the Fermi Paradox. I had my own solution for it, which got turned down by the journals. But the “Where are they?” question has always haunted me since I started studying habitable planet astronomy.

    Nuclear war killing civilizations off never seemed too likely to me, despite the three we almost had on Earth (1962, 1971, 1983). There was no incentive for them; too many obvious losers and no clear winners. But in global warming, the advantage from denial is huge–a trillion dollars a year. Maybe this is the bottleneck advanced civilizations have to go through. The ones able to summon enough social responsibility to go to renewables continue to advance; the ones who let their climate go to hell decline to the point where they can’t make or use radio telescopes any more.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:15 AM

  514. “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline”

    I see for defending this email you’ve concentrated on the the word ‘trick’, but surely the important part of this sentence is ‘to hide the decline’?

    Sure a ‘trick’ might be a clever bit of science or whatever, but it doesn’t really matter what it is if it’s only there to hide parts of the actual data.

    Quite a clever piece of psychology going on about the word trick though, it almost made me overlook the rest of it.

    [Response: They 'hid' the decline in a paper in Nature. How clever of them. - gavin]

    Comment by Tim — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:16 AM

  515. “You have changed your argument, from one that professed no care even as a human being for the fate of the planet, to now discussing the best method to prevent harm. ”

    Gavin,
    You thought a good portion of my post was colorfully incendiary and deleted it, and you are calling it off-topic?

    Do you believe there can be situations where one has ‘foreknowledge’ but not to act on it is the best thing to do?

    And to top it, you let Ron R post his example of the falling bridge. Isn’t that ironic?

    Let me list the parallels that I see:
    1)Excessive action based on premises that seemed shaky to a lot of people
    2)A small group of individuals who control the debate and shut out opposition with appeal to sentiment.
    3)Endless discussion of data, noise and data. Lots of circumstantial and indirect evidence but none otherwise.
    4)Doomsday predictions if action were not taken immediately
    5)And finally, people who admitted in private to having doubts, but kept a strong public front with the exact opposite opinion.

    And all this was an example of whether to take action or not, by demonstration of its consequences. There is a better reason why scientists should not ‘care for the planet’. It interferes with their work, this messianic attitude. Deny to me the numerous comments which goad you on to ‘keep up the good work’ because you are on a mission to save the world. What do they mean indirectly? Ignore the email requests that ask for data/conclusions to be deleted before FOI requests, that’s what. I am repeating this, anything would seem justifiable to a scientist who sets himself up to ‘save the world’ – that is the seed of totalitarianism for you.

    If a small ‘slip’ like this were to happen in a competitive academic environment, the sharks will tear you to shreds. I don’t know what kind of scientific community the climatologists move in. Maybe you all ‘work together to save the world’.

    You may actually be working to save us all, and the conclusions from your science may be correct, but you are still suspect.

    Is is really that difficult for scientists to understand that they *have* to remain detached from their work? Irrespective of the exactitude of foreknowledge they might possess? Is that really too much to ask for?

    Ron R
    So when I question the powers of a vague international body to pass laws that impact the whole world, you come back with a personal angle – something toxic dumped in my backyard. Do you what you just did is called? ‘Scare tactics’. I think the question I raised initially (why should the globe not warm up at all?) requires a better response from the climatologist community, than just scare tactics.

    “Not a smidgen of feeling for the majesty and beauty of the only living planet…”
    I believe the earth is just a blue ball with some green stuff stuck on it and humans crawling all over. Feeling miserable all the time. And looking for something to strike out at.

    That’s is my perspective.

    Now my question is: Why should your perspective (a fawning worshipping one) be the lens through which we see the world we both live in? And pass laws which impact me? And perform science which generates data (and Fortran programs) that support your conclusions?

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:22 AM

  516. pete: Today, on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, I filed three Notices of Intent to File Suit against NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), for those bodies’ refusal – for nearly three years – to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

    BPL: Bravo! You are finally standing up to this nonexistent conspiracy. It’s about time we fought back against the reality-based community and their attempt to force sanity on the rest of us! Human freedom depends on our ability to space out and live in the world inside our heads! Don’t let them take it away!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:27 AM

  517. Sean @465 asked: “As well, could someone point me to a historical reconstruction that does not graft instrumental temperature data? All I’m looking for is a study that does not suffer the pitfalls of divergence. Thanks”

    Gavin responded: “Any of them. See the NOAA list.”

    Well, just to pick one, I had a look at “Global & Hemispheric Temperature (CPS & EIV: Tree Rings, Multiproxy), 2,000 Years, Mann et al. 2008″ Clearly, only the temperature record is at the end of this series … the ‘hockeystick’ portion.

    Of course, this graph makes it hard to tell exactly where the temperature record comes in. The CRU instrument record is bold, in red, which obscures all the other endpoints. Perhaps a clearer graph would be warranted, one that shows how well these proxies compare to instruments for the last 20-40 years?

    [Response: All of the individual data series are in the files. Plot them up and see for yourself. - gavin]

    Comment by Ted — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:27 AM

  518. Ed: It seems fairly clear to a casual observer that these “hackers” are among your own ranks, and that bias is too easy to introduce in the face of complexity.

    BPL: It seems especially clear after a few hits of LSD.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:28 AM

  519. Re: 376 Mark Gibb; I am with a similar opinion to that of Hank. Sure human’s have great potential..but to get that potential focussed on a single cause with all the countless other’s with a very different veted interest will be I believe be quite impossible to achieve. With the significant timelag in trying to change/alter global climate not to mention to get the oceans back to a sort of crude equilibrium will take thousands of years, they will become sterile anyway without the millions of forms of biomass needed for it’s homeostasis. We know there is at the very least 100-150+ years of increasing ocean acidification hardwired into the system and at least 100 years of climatic atmospheric warming built into the system. What was the gross tonnage of global GH emmissions in 1909 to what it is now?. Don’t forget that 100 years ago most of that pollution was carbon soot based and so should have a cooling effect on climate, now it is largely chemical and nano particualte compounds including our ol buddy CFC’s which are still buzzing around up there and all the other flourine compounds which are blocking the ability of the sun’s energy radiating back into space. So yes human’s have heaps of potential..but we simply have left it far too late. I dunno know..is the world worth saving if most of fauna and flora is dead or dying..all we would be be creating is a virtual hell on earth of our future children for many centuries to come…do we really want that for them?

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:31 AM

  520. RE Jose

    Since it is apparent that you’re trying to be as open and transparent as possible, could you please address my concern as a tax paying citizen (in a small way, your employer) and your involvement during business hours on this site?

    Gavin’s hours spent on his grant work and on this site are between him and his supervisor. As taxpayers, we give oversight authority to granting agencies, delegated to the program officer and grants special-ist (NIH titles; YMMV) and their concern is the investigator’s progress towards the milestones that were delineated in the approved grant application. The metrics for this are generally the number and quality of his publications and more detailed information is generally contained in the reports that he furnishes to the granting agencies. I do not know Gavin, but I do know science from the practicing end and the granting end, and I can make a couple of inferences:

    1. For scientist of Gavin’s stature (deduced by his grant support and publications), a 40-hour work week is almost like a vacation. Besides the number crunching, paper and grant application writing, reporting, staff oversight, etc., there are the responsibilities in being a “peer” for “peer review” of manuscripts and grant applications. Further support depends on the success of these tasks.

    2. For the return on our investment, we can look at Gavin’s publication record. In 2009 Gavin has 14 papers published and 1 paper in press. He is the only, first or senior author on 9 of these papers. Oh yeah, also a book (highly recommended, BTW). During this time, he has also been doing the RC thing. By any measure, he has not been slacking.

    The metric of Gavin’s public service in devoting his time to defending climate science is incalculable, and his willingness to engage us and his patience in a time when he and his colleagues are under attack is impressive. Gavin, I’ve tried to get the numbers right; if any of this is in error, please correct.

    [Response: Thanks. Only 11 of the papers this year (but there are a few more in press) are peer-reviewed. One is a pop sci. article, one is a News and Views, one is an encyclopedia entry (which was reviewed but not in the same way). And you are right, a 40 hour work week would be a vacation. - gavin]

    Comment by Deech56 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:32 AM

  521. Hi Gavin,
    Seeing as lots of people complain about the emails being “taken out of context” I would like to point you guys to one of the players in the email drama and his requests for information under FOI Act. His name is Willis Eschenbach. He lays out his emails and requests for information from CRU and their replies in light of some of the leaked emails. Very illuminating about the scientific method.

    Warning: this is not flattering for CRU at all.
    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    I hope this post gets through as it adds something to the debate and there is nothing offensive here.

    Comment by Jimbo — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:43 AM

  522. Paul Swanson: Could you direct me to papers that discuss the ability of the atmosphere to store energy based on its composition?

    BPL: Heat content is:

    H = m cp T

    where m is the mass of the object (in kilograms in the SI), cp the specific heat at constant pressure (Joules per Kelvin per kilogram), and T the absolute temperature (Kelvins). Clearly the product is in Joules.

    The specific heats for the various gases, along with their molecular weights, are here:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/GasDatabase.html

    The total mass of the atmosphere is 5.148 x 10^18 kg according to one recent estimate. Other estimates are very close to that.

    The mass fraction of a gas is the volume fraction times the molecular weight divided by the air’s mean molecular weight:

    F = X (M / Mair)

    For a list of volume fractions, try here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_atmosphere

    If you want a quick-and-dirty estimate, the mean cp for the atmosphere is about 1007 J/K/kg, so the atmosphere at a mean temperature of 260 K holds

    5.148e18 x 1007 x 260 = about 1.35 x 10^24 Joules.

    To get a more accurate estimate, divide the atmosphere up into layers each with its own mean temperature and composition, recalculate, and average. Then change the composition to see how the heat capacity alters.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  523. Gavin, Mike, Ray, Eric et al. — the fact that you are being sued and publicly slandered on radio programs implies that the deniers consider you a chief enemy — which probably means you’re being really effective. There’s always a silver lining. As someone in a thriller put it, “Wow, we must be really close to something important if they’re trying to kill us!”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:47 AM

  524. from the CRU emails:

    “I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through…. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

    [T]hink of RC as a resource that is at your disposal…. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don’t get to use the RC comments as a megaphone.”

    Is this site about science or propaganda?

    [Response: Science. But the signal is drowned out by anti-science and noise if the comments are un-moderated. No apologies for that. If questions come in that we don't know the answer for, we asked the authors of the study in question to respond. No apologies for that either. This is the thread in question. - gavin]

    Comment by Dubya Bee — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:51 AM

  525. #447 – inks says (24 November 2009 at 8:32 PM): “So the claim is we know he deleted emails because he didn’t delete an emails.”

    Good one. Bears repeating!

    I also look forward to weeks and weeks of this:

    - CRU showed climate science can’t be trusted because they won’t let outsiders check their work.
    - But NASA’s climate scientists their data and code public?!
    - That just proves the CRU had something to hide.
    - Well, whatever you think about those emails, the planet’s still warming.
    - No it’s not. It hasn’t warmed for the past twelve years. It’s cooled.
    - Yes, it has. NASA GISS shows warming.
    - Well, obviously you can’t trust that.
    - So where do you get your “cooling” data?
    - From the prestigious HadCRU temp record… the Had… cru… waitaminnit… dammit….

    Comment by CM — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:05 AM

  526. #466 J. Bob… ” more noticeable increase from 1995 to ~2007, and now what appears to be a drop in temps. So depending on your point of view”

    Why don’t you ask an Arctic fellow, like myself, if its a cooling? I can tell you that it isn’t. When its 10 to +15 degrees above normal for prolongued periods , we notice over here. But don’t take my word for it… What point of view do you need to use to interpret this:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmpmer_30b.fnl.gif

    Does it look like its cooler here?

    Or this for the year?

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/fnl/sfctmpmer_365b.fnl.gif

    Cooling you say? ….. Wow! I must live in Disneyland… Or is it Arctic land in Florida?…

    #474, totally agree with Eric, although you don’t have to read stolen e-mails to be confused. The process of discussing any subject of endeavor may appear to be messy, its intimate between colleagues, and its not a conspiration to fake data, rather its the data, needing to be slowly put together with a lot of dedication which conspires to reveal the truth, which at one time or another may defy current thinking.

    Why not read published data?

    …..Open to scrutiny, and not an invasion of privacy! Before acting like a peeping tom, or worse , like a propagandist, looking for a flaw in order to assassinate careers, to make this theft worse than it already is, conspiring with criminals to prove a point is a new low in the contrarian world…

    Comment by wayne davidson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:09 AM

  527. This is an excerpt from George Monbiot in the Guardian:

    “But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

    Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.”

    What are these statements based on? I would like to see links to the actual e-mails so I can judge for myself. Let me see the “worst” ones in their proper context.

    Comment by Blair Dowden — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:00 AM

  528. Dear Gavin – as more evidence comes out of the FOI2009 data, it becomes increasingly difficult, IMO, to defend some of these comments.

    Here is a tidbit from the file data4alps.pro: “IMPORTANT NOTE: The data after 1960 should not be used. The tree-ring density’ records tend to show a decline after 1960 relative to the summer temperature in many high-latitude locations. In this data set this “decline” has been artificially removed in an ad-hoc way, and this means that data after 1960 no longer represent tree-ring density variations, but have been modified to look more like the observed temperatures.”

    [Response: Fine, but what was this used for or in? Was it simply an internally used calculation or what if? The post 1960 decline in a single proxy (the MXD series) is well known and has been discussed openly for over a decade. What has been hidden? - gavin]

    It’s not conclusive by itself of course. But taken in combination with many other bits (“hide the decline”) a robust pattern is beginning to emerge, indicating that the proxy data has been cherry-picked to an astonishing degree, in order to reinforce a pre-conceived notion. (For an example of such a pre-conceived notion: efforts to “contain” the Medieval Warm Period – a quote from #1054736277 seems to confirm David Deeming’s statement to Congress about [edit - this is not what Deeming said] [the] desire to “get rid of” the warm medieval period: “…addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”…”)

    [Response: Read that email again. In it Overpeck denies categorically ever making the statement that Deeming has discussed. Perhaps Deeming would like to make his email public? And yes, the MWP as a global phenomena is 'putative'. - gavin]

    I wonder, Gavin, if you can ask around, maybe get a copy of “the memo” for us to see (and Peck’s comments on it, if he’s willing to share)? Apparently there are quite a few people (Mann, Jones, Wigley, Crowley, Briffa, etc.) who were a part of this conversation, and should probably understand the reference.

    [Response: Only Deeming knows about this email and he has never disclosed its text, nor its origin, nor its context. I suggest you ask CEI to sue him for you. - gavin]

    Comment by Ted — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:14 AM

  529. #491 Well Brian we will just have to wait and see. However looking at the more recent global temp info
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/climate4u-lt-temps-Ljbug.gif
    and the Arctic temp data from my above Rimfrost ref., coupled with the modest Arctic “recovery”, I don’t think Santa and elves will be waterlogged soon, and if I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

    Almost forgot, I have to compliment Gavin for opening the “gate”, seems I was “persona non grata” until recently.

    Comment by J. Bob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:30 AM

  530. Prince Prospero,

    Speaking of ethical conduct by scientists, what’s your real name and where are you employed? Where and when did you get your degree? What articles have you published in peer-reviewed journals? Try as I might, I can’t remember ANY physics articles with “Prince Prospero” or “Prospero, P.” or “P. Prospero” as an author or co-author.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:55 AM

  531. Were the Pentagon Papers stolen? What did you think about the fact that the Supreme Court deemed them printable?

    The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government couldn’t stop the NY Times from printing them based on a presumption that a crime had been committed. Prior restraint of this kind was deemed in violation of the First Amendment.

    The ruling didn’t say anything about not being able to go after the Times *after they’d printed* the content.

    Ellsberg faced 150 years of prison time for releasing the secret materials. He won not based on any principle or legal ruling that what he did was OK, but rather due to the FBI and administration having broken so many laws in their effort to determine who did it that when all that illegally obtained evidence was tossed out of court, the DOJ no longer had a case.

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:58 AM

  532. I sit on a panel that reviews scientific information, and makes recommendations to government based on that information. For the record, I am NOT a scientist, but have worked with that community for over 2 decades, so I certainly understand protocol and procedure, and especially what peer review is.

    I am also pervue to the discussions that the scientists have prior to their findings being forwarded to our panel.

    Never have I seen this type of discussion… ever. The scientists I have had the privilege to work with would be horrified.

    Let me give you one example. A certain study came up with a result that appeared to pass peer review, however, when the statistical analyses was looked at again, rather than forwarding the results, the whole exercise was sent back for re-evaluation. To the embarrassment of the primary researcher, it required another 2 year intensive re-evaluation, and then different, but similar, results that were now substantiated were received.

    The issue did not involve climate change, but a similar issue of public interest with just about as much controversy. There were many people who had made foregone conclusions which the initial study seemed to substantiate, and I know the researcher personally, and I know he has prejudices that probably influenced the original outcome. Fortunately, he was able to overcome his prejudices to produce a proper study.

    Why can’t these scientist, rather than obfuscating the issue, do things the proper way?

    [Response: What are you referring to? Your example is fine, but what paper in climate science do you think needs to be sent back for a do-over that hasn't been? McLean et al (2009)? Douglass et al (2008) perhaps? - gavin]

    Comment by JohnA — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:07 AM

  533. One of the most interesting of the leaked e-mails is, to my eyes, the one which includes reference to the 1910 – 1940 ‘problem’.

    “It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip,
    but we are still left with “why the blip”.

    Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol
    effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced
    ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling
    in the NH — just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols.

    The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note — from
    MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can
    get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal
    solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987
    (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s
    makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it
    currently is not) — but not really enough.

    So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem?
    (SH/NH data also attached.)”

    This 1910-1940 issue goes to the heart as to what level of confidence we can have in the AGW theory and the associated GCMs.

    Upto now it seems that certain AGW scientists and advocates have been happy to wave their hands a bit whilst muttering Solar and Aerosols as the answer as to why global temperatures increased at a similar rate during this period as compared to the latter part of the century, with little help from increasing CO2 levels.

    I have known all along that this is rubbish. If you believe in AGW then you can only allow a small fraction of the observed increase in temperatures to be attributable to increased solar activity. As far as aerosols go, this is a direct lie. Aerosols increased very sharply during this time. This is a fact confirmed by the Greenland ice cores.

    Now we can see, in writing, that this problem is unresolved by scientists at the heart of the AGW hypothesis and they do not believe the meme they have happily allowed to become established as the answer to this ‘problem’.

    So we know for certain that we have a situation where an unknown combination of climatic factors caused the global temperatures to rise at a significant rate comparable to the late 20th century and this remains unresolved.

    I am sure that most people here can see what this means for the AGW hypothesis. Logic dictates that if you cannot explain one rise over a similar period then you cannot explain another rise over a similar period. Unless you can identify and isolate the significant factors in the earlier period then you cannot know whether these unknown factors are driving the rise in the latter period, it is unarguable logic.

    This disconnect has been hidden in my view. It needs to be addressed and made known and highlighted in all discussions with policy makers etc. Willful failure to do so would be similar to sticking fingers in your ears and going “La La La……”!

    I would appreciate someone at RC addressing this issue and justify pushing ahead with very costly change to society whilst this huge issue lies unresolved at the heart of the AGW hypothesis.

    Please don’t give the glib answer that ‘Just because we don’t know everything, doesn’t mean that we know nothing’ Can there be a more fatuous and vacuous statement when it comes to science?

    Is there any other area of science that would give a free pass to a theory that had huge uncertainties, unresolved crucial issues and downright conflicts in emperical observations at the centre of the arguement just by using the phrase ‘Just because…….’?

    Alan

    Comment by Alan Millar — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:17 AM

  534. Can’t HadCru just release a version of their temperature analysis that doesn’t use the commercial data sets (which I gather are supplementary, but not necessary, as GISS doesn’t use them)? Or do they already do this? It might take a bit of work to create yet another product, but at some point, it becomes worthwhile to deprive McIntyre of a talking point. He’d just invent another one, but you do what you can.

    On the other hand, couldn’t McIntyre just sweet-talk the CEI into buying him the commercial data sets?

    Comment by tharanga — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:28 AM

  535. Let me give you one example. A certain study came up with a result that appeared to pass peer review, however, when the statistical analyses was looked at again, rather than forwarding the results, the whole exercise was sent back for re-evaluation. To the embarrassment of the primary researcher, it required another 2 year intensive re-evaluation, and then different, but similar, results that were now substantiated were received.

    The denialsphere screaming over peer review leads to the position that this paper should’ve been published as is, rather than sent back for correction.

    Because the Evil E-mails show that climate scientists have worked to limit publication of bad work, by discussing possibly pressuring editors who do so, and apparently this is wrong. Apparently half of the editorial board of Climate Research resigning in protest is wrong.

    The trash must be published, not rejected or sent back for correction before publication.

    Or do you read the screaming over this differently than I do?

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:30 AM

  536. I have known all along that this is rubbish. If you believe in AGW then you can only allow a small fraction of the observed increase in temperatures to be attributable to increased solar activity

    Of course, the e-mail you are using to describe this as “rubbish”, is describing OBSERVED CHANGES IN SOLAR ACTIVITY.

    If it’s not changed sufficiently to explain warming, then it’s not the source of observed recent warming.

    Apparently you want to replace observation with your belief that “it is all solar”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:34 AM

  537. Gavin, I would be interested in answering some questions I have (feel free to send to my e-mail instead of the comments thread which is rather full).

    1. These e-mails surely do show something of an academic clique in climate science? Does this clique actually exist?

    [Response: Ummm... if you hack into a server of emails and publish some of them from one or two senders/recipients, it might be expected that you would get a set of emails that reflect those people's contacts and colleagues. Why is that a clique? There are thousands of other researchers whose emails are not present and who do climate science - people from NCAR, GISS, Jamstec, Scripps, WHOI, MPI, Hadley Centre, GFDL, IPSL, CNRS, Kiel, Bremen, Edinburgh, Chicago, U. Washington, Irvine, Bristol, Jena, Georgia Tech etc. etc. I'm sure they all discuss issues in climate science too. - gavin]

    2. Rightly or wrongly, can you see why these e-mails actually put off neutral observors (i.e. people from other disciplines being asked by climate scientists to trust their findings)? I mean if many, if not most, disciplines rely on information from climatologists – many will have completely natural doubts perhaps based on ignorance (they are not ‘stupid’ simply unexposed to particular material).

    3. As a student, what worries me most is the e-mails regarding the journal (cannot remember the name), where (I think) Michael Mann suggests getting 50+ academics to pressure the *publisher* and force resignations from the editorial board. Was this petition put to the publisher? Can you cite any other example (in other disciplines) of when this has occurred?

    [Response: No petition was organised, and nobody was forced to resign. The resignations were because of the editors own problems with how the journal was being run. Given that Hans von Storch was the chief editor who resigned, the idea that he was doing so at the urging to Mike Mann is, frankly, rather difficult to contemplate. See the links above for the editors own statements on this. - gavin]

    In short, surely when anyone talks of ‘neutral’ observor, you actually mean departments/disciplines that have to trust the diagnosis of another discipline. Surely, you must see that these e-mails play to the intuitive doubts that academics have when being confronted with a resource demands of another discipline.

    Comment by Alastair — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:37 AM

  538. “s there any other area of science that would give a free pass to a theory that had huge uncertainties, unresolved crucial issues and downright conflicts in emperical observations at the centre of the arguement just by using the phrase ‘Just because…….’?”

    Try reading the data sheets that come with medications, just for one example. Often huge uncertainties and unresolved issues with drugs yet people use them all the time without question. The research and science that supports global warming is much stronger than most science that is accepted with little question. Thus, another example of why denialists are simply political tools because they fail to understand the science and they fail to understand how science is conducted through the scientific method.

    Comment by Dan — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:39 AM

  539. The grandiosity of the agenda which a party of climate activists has drawn up is quite alarming. At the same time, there is mounting evidence that the scientists advising them are neither wholly disinterested nor wholly scrupulous. The co-dependent appeal to a politician’s fantasy of omnipotence, embedded in any campaign calling for action to save us from our sins of intemperance, is a potential risk-factor which should not be dismissed out of hand. Loss of trust is as great a danger as global warming. Therefore the need, to validate their claims, and to do so beyond reasonable doubt, is now imperative. If we cannot demonstrate seriousness in tackling that problem, how can anyone believe that we are capable of changing the climate, or justify the severe taxation envisaged to fund the attempt?

    Comment by tonydej — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:44 AM

  540. I’ve attempted to give my readers some context into the conflict between scientists and contrarians in regards to this hacked email affair by tracing the history of the Manufactured Doubt industry in my latest blog post. Regarding the hacked email affair, I state:

    “You’ll hear claims by some contrarians that the emails discovered invalidate the whole theory of human-caused global warming. Well, all I can say is, consider the source. We can trust the contrarians to say whatever is in the best interests of the fossil fuel industry. What I see when I read the various stolen emails and explanations posted at Realclimate.org is scientists acting as scientists–pursuing the truth. I can see no clear evidence that calls into question the scientific validity of the research done by the scientists victimized by the stolen emails. There is no sign of a conspiracy to alter data to fit a pre-conceived ideological view. Rather, I see dedicated scientists attempting to make the truth known in face of what is probably the world’s most pervasive and best-funded disinformation campaign against science in history. Even if every bit of mud slung at these scientists were true, the body of scientific work supporting the theory of human-caused climate change–which spans hundreds of thousands of scientific papers written by tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of different scientific disciplines–is too vast to be budged by the flaws in the works of the three or four scientists being subject to the fiercest attacks”.

    Manufactured Doubt campaigns are an inevitable result of our corporate system of law, and we can expect any company that makes a dangerous product to protect their profits by waging a disinformation campaign against the science saying that their product is dangerous.

    Jeff Masters, Weather Underground

    Comment by Jeff Masters — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:48 AM

  541. Blair Dowden #527:

    I would like to see links to the actual e-mails so I can judge for myself. Let me see the “worst” ones in their proper context.

    Satisfy your voyeurism at Monbiot’s site. Remember though that there’s still no proper context — these have been selected by criminals with an agenda.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:54 AM

  542. Blair Dowden #527:

    Sorry, that’s

    Monbiot’s site

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:55 AM

  543. Followup from #458, #499: I am trying to figure out the truth of the matter here to my own satisfaction, and being directed to papers which don’t address the questions I am asking, or to key documents which are not available, does not serve to convince me that the conclusions drawn from this data and these methods are valid.

    I will repeat the key issues I am trying to resolve so that there should be no confusion.

    #1 Sample size: a) Are the 10-15 cores from Yamal considered enough to produce statistically significant results in this field of study? b) are the 16 sites noted in the referenced paper sufficient to establish statistically significant results for the planet as a whole?

    [Response: The more trees the better. The later period (post 1990) when there are only 12 would not be as well characterised as the earlier period. But Briffa's comment on his website (google for the cached version) shows the results are very similar even when you add in more recently collected material. Note that we don't need tree rings to know that the temperatures have warmed since 1990. - gavin]

    #2 How much influence in the reconstruction do the tree rings actually have, on a scale of 0=none to 1=total?

    [Response: Which reconstruction? and for what time period? There are some examples in the Hey Ya!(mal) thread. For recent centuries, you generally don't need tree rings at all. The further back you go, the more important they become. - gavin]

    #3 Is there any independent source for reconstructions which able to confirm the Mann/Jones/Briffa global temperature reconstruction?

    [Response: There isn't just one reconstruction. There are many, and some are completely independent (Oerlemann's for instance). See the NOAA page for some examples. - gavin]

    The classic saying goes ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’. I would not think any would doubt that the temperature predictions claimed are extraordinary. What concerns me greatly is the the proof is not only not extraordinary, but has key weaknesses which are not being acknowledged by the assertion that we must act on this information immediately in order to avert a catastrophic man-made climactic disaster scenario.

    Please assist me in resolving these concerns. Surely someone must be independently verifying these claims – is that not a prerequisite for establishing confidence in the conclusions?

    [Response: What extraordinary claim do you think is being made? And of course, the literature is full of papers testing the reconstructions. None of them are making 'extraordinary' claims - they are simply trying to piece together a coherent history of climate over time. See Chapter 6 in IPCC AR4 for some more discussion. - gavin]

    Comment by David Gordon — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:55 AM

  544. > I have known all along that this is rubbish. … Can there be
    > a more fatuous and vacuous statement when it comes to science?

    What he said, except for the stuff in between. Asserting your belief and finding stuff to fit it is bad. It’s even worse though when you assert your belief there must be something there that nobody can see that explains what’s happening. The mysterious hidden force in the shadows? Right.

    I’ll try to look that solar work up for you when I have time, Alan, if someone doesn’t get to it first. You should try skepticalscience.

    But along the same line, Alan, you must have missed this, for example:

    5 Climate Studies That Don’t Live Up to Their Hype
    By Andrew Moseman
    Published on: July 1, 2009
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4323558.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:58 AM

  545. So all we need now is full release of ALL source code and raw data, so the results can be independently generated, audited and reviewed, as they should have been from Day 1 (ala Scientific Process 101). This is publicly funded research, so denying access to data and methods is evasive and unacceptable, and always has been.

    [Response: Tell that to the Met Services who commercialise their data and whose restrictions prevent CRU from passing on their raw database. Credit where credit is due. - gavin]

    Comment by jcl — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:11 AM

  546. Being an agnostic on this issue which i believe makes me a neutral observer ):-)

    My take on the CRU emails is that most of the focus has been on the comments such as the “nature trick” which i think is silly since that can easily be seen in another context and i believe Jone’s point about using the term “trick” for clever short cuts etc…

    However, i think what is far more worrying is the FOI requests were suppressed and there were discussions about deleting important files relating to those, and also convincing FOI officials that the people making the requests were sceptics.

    For instance when Bohr and Einstein argued over foundational qm they shared information and certainly did not politcise or tribalise the for and againsts. They did not discuss strategies for elimating all thought contrary to their own within the peer review process, and they did not attempt to shut down punlications or get editors fired who were of a sceptical nature.

    Why not just hand all the raw data over to the likes of climate audit’s Steve because if its solid then he will not find anything amiss.

    I dont understand why he is hated since he has spotted genuine errors in climate data before. Nothing he has corrected has ended up being a major game chganger so i cannot see why Mr Jones et al are so worried about this one guy and his calculator.

    Comment by Mike M — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:14 AM

  547. Gavin, In reference to your response (shown below), to what extent is the divergence between the computer runs due to different material balance errors in the water vapour and CO2 for each run leading to different radiative forcings ? What is the range in material balance errors for the water vapour and CO2 over a 100 year period for the different runs?
    [Previous Response: We don't know that it is unique. There could be a range of net forcings, and indeed a range of climate sensitivities, and a range (though not unlimited) of the magnitude of internal variability. We use the various other constraints - ocean heat content uptake, paleo-climate at the LGM etc. to try anc constrain these values, but there is still a range - which leads of course to a range of projections. For the medium term (~20-30 years) they are robust, but over the longer time scale, they begin to diverge. - gavin]

    [Response: Not quite sure what you're asking. The difference in the forcing from a CO2 change in different models is about a 10% uncertainty (3.5 to 4.0 W/m2 or similar). The difference in the net water vapour/lapse rate feedback in different models is also small. So the divergence in sensitivity and outcome isn't dominated by either of those two effects. It's mostly cloud feedbacks that control the divergence, and they are less well constrained. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:15 AM

  548. Alan Millar (#533) illustrates what the real problem is with the global warming “debate.”

    He confuses the “1940s blip” with the temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 — because he really doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. But he still feels qualified to conclude that climate science has “unresolved crucial issues.”

    He further utterly fails to understand the nature of the 1910-1940 warming. His statement about “muttering Solar and Aerosols as the answer” reveals that either he’s ignorant of the influence of the volcanic lull, or he chooses to omit mention of it because he’s deliberately trying to deceive people.

    He also is either ignorant of, or chooses to turn a blind eye to, the fact that using only known forcings and our current understanding of climate science, we get an outstandingly good fit to the entire 20th century — not just the recent warming, but the 1910-1940 warming as well. THERE IS NO “1910-1940 ISSUE” — Millar just claimed there is, again either through ignorance or deliberate deceptiveness.

    Millar is not just ready, but eager to indict climate science, despite all signs pointing to his failure to understand it. And that’s the real problem with the “debate”: Alan Millar and those like him are steeped in arrogance even greater than their ignorance.

    Comment by tamino — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:17 AM

  549. In response to Gavin’s comment on post 532, I am referring to issues surrounding endangered species, which can be as controversial as any climate change issues.

    I am not qualified to advise or comment on which climate change studies may need to be re-assessed, however, as I advised in post 532, I AM aware of the discussions that the scientific panel has with regards to the endangered species issues I am referring too, and must reiterate, never in 2 decades have I seen the type of discussions that the emails seem to refer to.

    BTW, I did ask one of those scientists how prevalent it is to use the terms “trick” and “hide” in an innocuous manner when attempting to define a study, and I got an answer that said, “Who are they trying to sell a used car too?”.

    Perhaps that was a telling comment?

    Science must not only be credible, it must appear credible, otherwise the rigor that has been built up over decades dissipate, and that would do us all irreparable harm.

    Comment by JohnA — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:21 AM

  550. RE: 520 -
    All due respect Gavin and Deech56, but I didn’t ask how hard you work and, no, Gavin’s work is subject to review by the public as he is a public employee.

    More explicitly, I asked the question of Gavin if he was using his work time(paid for with tax dollars) or his work resources(also, paid for with tax dollars) to moderate this sight?

    This will be the third time you’ve been asked the question and you have yet to answer this very simple question.

    If you’re not responding due to legal concerns, you can answer that you’re declining to answer on legal grounds.

    [Response: How I manage my time, and what I do with it and what gets done is an issue for me and my line managers with input from NASA and Fed. Govt. guidelines on the issue. It is not something that is going to be discussed in blog comments. Sorry. - gavin]

    Comment by Jose — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:26 AM

  551. Dr. Schmidt, you had mentioned in the original post that you would post the figure relating to the PCM runs underlying the IPCC AR4.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-18/#comments
    Comment #871

    The figure’s original posting has been removed. Where are you going to post the figure? I apologize if I have missed it as there is so much to look through. Can I see the model runs elsewhere in detail (I believe covering the recent decade?) besides the figure in the AR4? I know the models are not designed for short term use, however paleoclimatology, in its current state, offer no real comparison. Is a thirty year run appropriate?

    I know you are very busy trying to answer so many questions so I don’t expect an answer in the near future. I will keep looking for the figure in the meantime. Your efforts in light of the recent news are appreciated by many. Thank you for your time.

    Comment by Seth Pinto — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:35 AM

  552. Gavin, Thanks for your patience in answering my questions. For a given run what is the material balance error in the CO2 and water concentration when summed over all the grid blocks after running the model for a 100 year period ? And how is this material balance error different for each run ?

    [Response: Not quite sure what you're asking. The difference in the forcing from a CO2 change in different models is about a 10% uncertainty (3.5 to 4.0 W/m2 or similar). The difference in the net water vapour/lapse rate feedback in different models is also small. So the divergence in sensitivity and outcome isn't dominated by either of those two effects. It's mostly cloud feedbacks that control the divergence, and they are less well constrained. - gavin]

    [Response: Sorry, still not clear. Are you asking whether the models conserve water? Yes. To machine accuracy. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:37 AM

  553. Blair Dowden #527:

    “I would like to see links to the actual e-mails so I can judge for myself. Let me see the “worst” ones in their proper context.”

    You “ain’t” going to get them. The criminals cherry picked them and didn’t release…mmmm maybe 90% of them, right?…they only released maybe 10% if even that, right?

    So what’s in the other 90% or so? If my memory serves me right after having personally and privately talked with some of the senders/recipients over the years, some would show a sense of urgency over future damaging climate change effects that would make your hair turn white…

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:38 AM

  554. Release all the data and all the models. Let everyone, even big oil and king coal, take a crack at it. What is there to hide? If the skeptics play games like the proponents do it will only weaken their case.

    Trying to argue it out here is a waste of time.

    A co-worker once got a theory in his head on what moved stock prices. He build model, collected data, and refined and refined until the backtesting was perfect. He sent the output to me. I said fine, send me the models and data sets so I can check it out. He said he would not because they were proprietary. He still wanted my help selling is “product.” That really is the situation the CRU people are in. They simply have to toss open ALL the data, models and code. If it is correct it will stand if not it will not.

    BTW, his model apparently did not account properly for LIBOR spread gaps circa 2008. LOL.
    Google LTCM if you want another example of too much faith in proprietary models.

    Comment by EconRob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:39 AM

  555. J. Bob, what’s important is the ratio of multi-year (old) ice to first-year (new) ice, shown here. Perennial ice used to have an average age of about 10 years but now averages about 3 years.

    J. Bob also says: So if I were to draw a straight line from the fall of 1979 (0. mkm) to the fall of 2008 (-0.75 mkm), I would be hard pressed to say Arctic will disappear very soon.

    Of course I’m sure you’re aware that you can’t just draw a line between endpoints and end up with a statistically meaningful slope. When you compute a proper trend, by including all the data points, the trend is strongly negative, as shown here and here.

    This is why Dr. Mark Serreze, director of The National Snow and Ice Data Center, says that “You are probably looking at ice-fee summers by 2030. I’d call that a death spiral.”

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:42 AM

  556. This is quote-mining plain and simple, isn’t it? If you have a sufficiently large body of email exchanges, you are bound to find something with the appearance of being dodgy.

    I’ve seen this before, in the autism science world. See here.

    Comment by Joseph — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:43 AM

  557. Dear Gavin: Thank you for your comments. Let me clear up mine. You’re right that Deeming did not express a desire to get rid of the MWP (Medieval Warm Period) … what I meant to express was that Deeming testified that someone else had expressed this to Deeming in an email. Sorry for the confusion.

    This statement – about “getting rid of” the MWP – was later attributed to Jonathon Overpeck (“Peck”), which – as you pointed out – he has refuted, particularly in #1206628118. However, the email I cited (1054736277.txt) was, rather, a different email that referred to Peck’s comment as follows: “…addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”…”

    So, it was some memo that Peck commented on that I thought would be useful to produce, along with his actual comments. Especially since, taken on its face, Peck and others seem concerned with undermining the argument that the MWP had higher temperatures than today.

    [Response: Read the chapter (p 468, box 6.4) as it came out instead of hypothesising. - gavin]

    Comment by Ted — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:56 AM

  558. Black Norway rat: Unless the judge, as he should, laughs this off, GISS will be brought to a halt by disclosure proceedings. This is not a pretty sight, even though the lawsuit will eventually be tossed.

    BPL: THAT’S THE POINT. Climate science is saying something that threatens them, so they are trying to shut down climate science. Hacking East Anglia was the act of desperate people who know they’re losing–but that is NOT necessarily good news for our side. It means they’re willing to try anything now. I would saddened, but not even slightly surprised, if someone took a shot one or more leading climate scientists–probably Mann or Hansen. And I don’t mean verbally.

    We’re looking at the diversion of about A TRILLION DOLLARS OF INCOME from established industries to new ones. I imagine the established companies will do a lot before they’ll give that up.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:58 AM

  559. I’ve found a site that posts the emails by date. Not going to post the URL here; in my opinion, I feel dirty for perusing them in the first place. In the end, however, I feel that, this is much ado about nothing, except for those who feel it necessary to cut-n-paste so that it matches their world view (they do the same with religion, incidentally).

    Comment by VagabondAstronomer — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:58 AM

  560. Gavin: “It’s harder to warm an ocean than it is to cool it.”

    That’s a hysteresis I didn’t expect. For a radiative forcing of +X W/m^2, ocean warming be slower than the ocean cooling under a RF of -X W/m^2? Why – something related to thermal exchange with the deep ocean, or other circulation patterns?

    [Response: The ocean is stratified (lighter water on top), so if you make the surface water lighter (by making it wamer) you increase stratification (and decrease mixing), while cooling it makes it denser and so increases mixing. - gavin]

    Comment by tharanga — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:08 PM

  561. Another denier: I am a mathematician by background, now working as a consultant engineer in the oil industry.

    BPL: WHAT a SURPRISE!!!

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:10 PM

  562. What I’m wondering is when most of you people are going to realize you’re dealing with a bunch of very angry, ignorant and illiterate borderline fascist bible thumping teabaggers who are right on the verge of subverting the established government of the United States of America, again, for another eight years. These people are going to make the tenure of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney look ‘quaint’. Is that the kind of America you people want?

    If not, speak up. It’s not just about climate science.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:11 PM

  563. SE: How about the authors of the emails stop complaining about the “evil hacker in the pay of the “evil conspirators of industry” and acknowledge that the emails sound bad.

    BPL: Because they only “sound bad” to conspiracy-theory lunatics.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:12 PM

  564. 393
    [Response: CVS. why? - gavin]

    Configuration management is SW meta data, most often it is more interesting and revealing (both ways of course) than the code itself. A good way to understand the evolving of SW is to look at the comments/changes and branching of it.

    I understand your code is released somewhere, is it released as a snapshot of the latest version solely or is the entire CVS repository released? Do you have a link?
    Thanks!

    [Response: Snapshots. - gavin]

    Comment by Rob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:13 PM

  565. Why not just hand all the raw data over to the likes of climate audit’s Steve because if its solid then he will not find anything amiss.

    How many times does it need to be said that CRU doesn’t have the right to do so for all the data (it was clearly stated in the FOI rejection, posted here earlier), and that McI needs to go to those who supply the data if he wants to get it before CRU’s effort to get the right to distribute it bear fruit?

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:13 PM

  566. Blow back.

    Some of this is also the public’s frustration with academia in general. Parents know that college costs go up but it is doubtful the results improve – where does this money go. Then we have guys like Ward Churchill and obvious credential fraud. Most parents helping their kids get into and pay for college know that AA unlevels the playing field and is blatant discrimination against Asian kids. Then you have PhDs and experts all over the place wrong on macro and micro issues (Larry Summers, Ben Bernanke, etc.) all the time. The current credit crises can be seen as a major failure of the wall street quants. I for one am amazed guys like Van Jones graduated from Yale Law. How many times do you hear suchandsuch was higher/lower than EXPERTS were predicting.

    People are getting weary of “pointy” head know-it-alls just being wrong after rigid certainty.

    Now they hear that the AGW crew are hiding things. I’m telling you the AGW proponents have to open it up. All data and all models and if this delays the agenda so be it.

    Saying AGW is settle science just sounds arrogant. Even if it was true. Much of the major scientific thought over the ages has been reversed. Not saying AGW is or is not, but the track record is not good and the perception is worse.

    Comment by EconRob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:14 PM

  567. I just HAVE to respond to Mike M (#546 at this moment):

    The issue at hand is not that Steve McIntyre is a sceptic. The issue is that he is obfuscating. Yes, he has found mistakes before, great. But he’s taken those mistakes and enlarged them to superhuman proportions. Sometimes he has also claimed mistakes (see the whole Briffa issue) where there essentially were none, and resulting in allegations of fraud uttered by his cheering crowd. He *could* have been a valuable asset to climate science (and science in general) if he had a constructive attitude. He doesn’t.

    Do remember that the mistake he found in the GISTEMP series is STILL widely reported (by skeptics) as evidence that Jim Hansen (and Gavin Schmidt by extension) don’t know what they are doing, and that none of their results are to be trusted.

    Comment by Marco — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:19 PM

  568. BTW, I did ask one of those scientists how prevalent it is to use the terms “trick” and “hide” in an innocuous manner when attempting to define a study, and I got an answer that said, “Who are they trying to sell a used car too?”.

    Perhaps that was a telling comment?

    Franky, I suspect that you’ve misrepresented the statement or aren’t telling the truth.

    Tricks of the trade are common from physics to carpentry.

    Comment by dhogaza — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:22 PM

  569. Another denier: Being an agnostic on this issue which i believe makes me a neutral observer

    BPL: That’s like saying being an agnostic on whether the Earth is round or evolution happened makes you a neutral observer.

    Listen and learn: AGW denial is pseudoscience on a par with believing aliens built the pyramids. Capiche?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:25 PM

  570. Hi again Gavin,
    479 by Loren is not commented.
    Me also think he has an interesting point. Could you comment?

    Comment by Rob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:28 PM

  571. Another denier: Release all the data and all the models.

    BPL: Gavin et al. — Please, plesae, block any post in the future that tells anyone to “release all the data and all the models.” This has been answered about forty times now in two threads, and they’re still doing it. Don’t give these SOBs a platform! They’re still pushing that “scientists are concealing data!” meme. It’s a crock and anyone competent in the field knows it.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  572. Am I missing something in the von Storch story?
    http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/

    Or is he criticizing researchers for contacting Scientific journals and telling them that they think their publishing system needs improvement because they are publishing crap? (or is it that he thinks they focused on person?)

    While he think it is fine that he made a lot of fuss about the same thing in a journal that he worked for which finally made him quit it?

    Comment by Magnus Westerstrand — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  573. Gavin, I mean the numerical material balance error that occurs because of the numerical discretizations of the PDE’s used to solve the continuity equation. I work in the numerical modelling of enhanced oil recovery processes in which the material balance error is very important. The maximum MBE you want is approximately 1 %. To reframe my question, suppose that you had an error of 1% weight fraction in your water vapour concentration what range of a temperature increase would that correspond to in your different runs after 100 years ?

    [Older Response: Not quite sure what you're asking. The difference in the forcing from a CO2 change in different models is about a 10% uncertainty (3.5 to 4.0 W/m2 or similar). The difference in the net water vapour/lapse rate feedback in different models is also small. So the divergence in sensitivity and outcome isn't dominated by either of those two effects. It's mostly cloud feedbacks that control the divergence, and they are less well constrained. - gavin]

    [Newer Response: Sorry, still not clear. Are you asking whether the models conserve water? Yes. To machine accuracy. - gavin]

    [Response: All of our discretisations use a flux form for solving the equations, thus the conservation constraints are built in. There is no mass balance error in the sense you describe. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:30 PM

  574. dhogaza says:
    25 November 2009 at 12:13 PM
    How many times does it need to be said that CRU doesn’t have the right to do so for all the data (it was clearly stated in the FOI rejection, posted here earlier), and that McI needs to go to those who supply the data if he wants to get it before CRU’s effort to get the right to distribute it bear fruit?”

    You just have to stop digging. Obstruction is obstruction. http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    Comment by Bernie — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:31 PM

  575. Following up from #543

    >[Response: The more trees the better. The later period (post 1990) when there are only 12 would not be as well characterised as the earlier period. But Briffa's comment on his website (google for the cached version) shows the results are very similar even when you add in more recently collected material. Note that we don't need tree rings to know that the temperatures have warmed since 1990. - gavin]

    I would like a direct answer please. Is a sample size of 12 tree rings sufficient to meet the threshold required to produce high-confidence and statistically significant results in this field?

    >[Response: There isn't just one reconstruction. There are many, and some are completely independent (Oerlemann's for instance). See the NOAA page for some examples. - gavin]

    Reviewing Oerlemann’s reconstruction, he is quite straightforward about a +/- 20% uncertainty level, which appears to make his results a rough guess at best. Also, a little background research shows that he has been working with the IPCC since nearly 1990, which does not seem to qualify under any reasonable interpretation of the word “independent” – he appears to be a member of the same professional-social circle of the authors whose work is in question. The concern here being confirmation bias, where individual researchers working in collaboration with each other tend to reinforce each others’ biases. This is why the independence of verification is important, to be able to confidently rule out such bias when ascertaining the validity of the result. So again, can you identify any actually independent – as in having no direct professional and/or personal connection – source that verifies the reconstruction advanced by the UEA CRU as the basis for claims of present decade (1998-) and predicted future warming?

    >[Response: What extraordinary claim do you think is being made? And of course, the literature is full of papers testing the reconstructions. None of them are making 'extraordinary' claims - they are simply trying to piece together a coherent history of climate over time. See Chapter 6 in IPCC AR4 for some more discussion. - gavin]

    The main extraordinary claim is self-evident, the claim that human activity is the cause of ahistorical global warming, and that this warming will continue as projected by UEA CRU. The scope of the political and economic changes proposed on the basis of this claim are so broad as to encompass the activities of the entire human race. The concern with the literature is that the same small group of individuals, and the same data and the same methodology whose validity is in dispute, and that the conclusions on the 1998- and future projected warming, when references are traced through to their origins, seem to lead right back to the elements in dispute. Self-reference cannot meet any reasonable standard of independent validation (please tell me now if you disagree with this statement, as if you do, we have a fundamental disagreement as to the nature of scientific inquiry itself which cannot be resolved through this question and answer session).

    The second extraordinary claim concerns the amplitude (and existence?) of the Medieval Warm Period, which appears to contradict anthropological data on the same subject. For example, evidence of wineries at latitudes presently too cold to grow wine appears to contradict the assertion that present temperature levels have no equal over the past thousand years.

    We have two quite extraordinary claims and they appear to be backed up, ultimately, by a) a study with insufficient sample size to be a valid basis from which to draw firm conclusions on global temperature; and b) a dendrochronology method the validity of which is disputed, and the dispute yet unresolved. And rather than standard scientific validation we have evidence that contradictory studies are responded to by political retaliation and not scientific rebuttal.

    Do you understand how bad this looks from the point of view of an engineer?

    [Response: With all due respect you have things very confused. Nothing depends on the 12 trees in the Yamal record. Toss them out completely if you aren't happy with them. The instrumental temperature records are plenty enough to demonstrate the warming since then without recourse to trees. You don't like dendroclimatology at all? Fine, toss that too. It just isn't that key to anything important (see here). And I think you may be a little confused about CRU does - they chiefly collate one version of the instrumental temperature data. They don't make projections, and they don't have one of the main climate models. Your statement about vineyards in the medieval period is very out of date as well. In fact, your whole argument neglects the fact that CRU are just a very small part of the climate science establishment, and every single one of their important contributions has been replicated by independent groups around the world. - gavin]

    Comment by David Gordon — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:33 PM

  576. Anand Rajan KD said @ 7:22 AM “So when I question the powers of a vague international body to pass laws that impact the whole world, you come back with a personal angle – something toxic dumped in my backyard.

    Certainly, since the macro is merely the micro on a larger scale. If one can dump toxic waste anywhere they please without the regulations you apparently despise then why not your own back yard?

    ” I think the question I raised initially (why should the globe not warm up at all?) requires a better response from the climatologist community, than just scare tactics.”

    Consider that the average global temperatures since the last ices age was about 5 degrees C. cooler. That’s not much. Just 5 degrees since the ice was a half mile high or so in Yosemite Valley. Ok, reverse that, and add a few degrees, how much warmer will that make the earth?

    “Now my question is: Why should your perspective (a fawning worshipping one) be the lens through which we see the world we both live in? And pass laws which impact me?

    “Live”, or the desire to, is the operative word here.

    “I believe the earth is just a blue ball with some green stuff stuck on it and humans crawling all over. Feeling miserable all the time. And looking for something to strike out at. That’s is my perspective.”

    Dr Mengele would be proud.

    Comment by Ron R. — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:37 PM

  577. Gavin,

    I did not read all the posts from both threads, but probably a few hundred from the various days. Most of the comments have to do with the science and more technical than a lay person such as myself to agree to or refute. I will trust the professionals.

    It is interesting that two camps are clearly identified -
    True Believers – usually publicly funded through government and university grants – pushing ACC as bringing on catastrophe.
    Deniers – accused of being funded by “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” arguing there is no ACC and the 10 year hiatus on warming is a large enough sample to “prove” ACC doesn’t exist.

    It seems the truth is in between – from what I understand, the earth has been warming since the last ice age 10-12,000 years ago. There was the MWP and subsequent cooling and warming has been the general trend for the last 700-800 years. I hope that is close to the general trends.

    Science does show that man has put CO2 into the atmosphere at alarming rates the past couple centuries, but there should have been some natural variations as well, volcanos, forest fires, the Indonesian peat bogs buring, etc. Both camps seem to scream “all or nothing” when it comes to ACC.

    The leaked emails do not refute the science, as much as it shows how protective those scientists, by denying FOI requests, were to preserve their point of view (necessary for employment and grant funds to keep coming in) instead of allowing others to recreate the results. This creates a distrust in the process. From the postings of Barton Paul Levinson and Thomas Lee Elifritz, they would prefer not having independent review of the original data as well, attacking the messenger. No TLE, I am not a “teabagger” or denier.

    Exaggerations such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Day after Tomorrow,” and the cover of Al Gore’s new book (with Cuba gone, the hurricane at the equator, and the hurricane by Florida spinning the wrong way) only give strength to opponents that ACC in only hype and doesn’t exist. Boring, gradual effects don’t sizzle for the media. I don’t think the average person believes the disasters will happen, as technology is going to continue to evolve and pollution will slow down as a matter of technological advancement. And most people don’t want to increase their taxes, food costs, utility costs and suffer the decrease in standard of living that comes with it.

    I am sure if the emails of “Deniers” were leaked, they would be spinning scientific evidence to refute the affects of increased CO2 and how to get that side published. I’m betting they would not open up either.

    What would be nice, is that all data be transparent for review and recreation of results. I always learned that was key in the scientific method. Then the reality between natural and ACC would be in the open and even the deniers would have a difficult time spinning that there is no ACC.

    Comment by Kyle Tingle — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:44 PM

  578. BPL (563): Because they (the hacked emails) only “sound bad” to conspiracy-theory lunatics

    Wake up, BPL. Sticking your head in the sand won’t do it.

    Many posters here (for example EconRob 566) see that the exposed arrogant approach of some AGW scientists, manipulating the data, blocking dissenting views and being less than transparent has cost the AGW movement dearly. As ER wrote “the track record is not good and the perception is worse”.

    This event has been a game changer. It is no longer possible to get by with “the science is settled” rhetoric. More openness and public scrutiny will now be required.

    Those scientists that accept the new rules will survive and succeed. Those that stick their heads in the sand will not.

    Max

    Comment by manacker — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:54 PM

  579. Gavin,

    I have repeatedly tried to post comments on your website asking you to respond to the following statement:

    If the first rule of science is to question everything, and another fundamental rule is that no hypothesis can be proven true, regardless of imposing the precautionary principle, why is the first rule and another fundamental rule being discarded, and any SCIENTIST (SKEPTIC) vilified or or censored for practicing what can only be considered good science.

    [Response: The simple act of asking questions doesn't make for good science. Here's an example. Gravity is pretty well accepted and yet has some fundamental questions still outstanding. How good is the science involved in asking why a bird flying undermines Newtonian physics? And then asking it again? And again? And again? On the contrary, good science is about asking interesting questions that push the science forward, not simply jumping up and down and screaming 'uncertainty!' That's fine once, maybe twice, but people will be more interested in constructively reducing that uncertainty (which always exists) than in paying attention to someone who simply repeats truisms. - gavin]

    I am a Climate scientist with a degree in applied science wildlife biology and a masters in climate change and sustainability and I am not convinced by anything I have read, seen, studied or experimented that there is a definitive correlation between CO2/Greennhouse gases and climate variability.

    Also I have read much of this information from this hack/screw up/whatever and I clearly see what i would consider malpractice and unethical collusion. PArticularly in the case where advice is given in ways to avoid taxes.

    I believe in Climate Variability, I also believe that humans as a whole cause irreparable environmental harm to the planet, however I am skeptical of the hypothesis that is Anthropogenic Climate Change and believe that more research and a more open and debatable approach needs to be undertaken to achieve real results in understanding this. Why is this wrong and why are so many other skeptics with the same opinion vilified and persecuted. Why have you censored more than 6 previous posts I attempted to put up on this topic.

    Can you not see how this topic risks the credibility of science as a whole!!!!!!

    Comment by JCS Bsc Msc — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:58 PM

  580. We’re looking at the diversion of about A TRILLION DOLLARS OF INCOME from established industries to new ones.

    Am I the only one old enough to remember the FRAM commercials? “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

    Comment by encs — 25 Nov 2009 @ 12:58 PM

  581. I guess I find it utterly ironic, Anand, that we would be beside ourslves with glee if we found the tinyest bit of protolife on another, otherwise sterile planet while here on earth we are rapidly causing the decimation whole ecosystems. Forests and species turned into mere numbers in some fatcat’s swiss bank account, groundup on a one way trip to the dump.

    http://www.well.com/~davidu/extinction.html

    “Where do we stand in our efforts to achieve a sustainable world? Clearly, the past half century has been a traumatic one, as the collective impact of human numbers, affluence (consumption per individual) and our choices of technology continue to exploit rapidly an increasing proportion of the world’s resources at an unsustainable rate … during a remarkably short period of time, we have lost a quarter of the world’s topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing them. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century.” -Peter Raven, past president of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    http://atlas.aaas.org/index.php?sub=foreword

    Comment by Ron R. — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:04 PM

  582. Do you imagine that the people who are suing Gavin et el are the same who complain about fivolous law suits

    Comment by Dale — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:11 PM

  583. To whom it may concern,

    In regards to sea-level rising. How can one tell, for certain, the actuall hiegth of the sea; when one takes tidal activity into account? Or can it be accuratly measured at all?

    -Mark Milion

    [Response: You need to average over the tidal cycles, but you can do that using the satellite altimeters (see http://www.sealevel.colorado.edu ) and long tide gauge records. - gavin]

    Comment by Mark Million — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:26 PM

  584. #565
    It appears perhaps that McI just wants data he’s told he can’t have. I mean, what has he done with the Briffa data he said he wanted and didn’t have, until he had to admit he did have it? Anything?

    It seems to be all about the appearances he can create. He was asked why he hadn’t audited any “skeptic” papers (on Curry thread mirror site) and he replied he was just concerned with IPCC-referenced papers. I was dumbfounded. Here are these papers that allegedly refute some of the IPCC papers, but they’re not germane to the IPCC?

    Comment by wildlifer — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:27 PM

  585. “563
    Barton Paul Levenson says:
    25 November 2009 at 12:12 PM

    SE: How about the authors of the emails stop complaining about the “evil hacker in the pay of the “evil conspirators of industry” and acknowledge that the emails sound bad.

    BPL: Because they only “sound bad” to conspiracy-theory lunatics.”

    Or not. Depending on which conspiracy theory you are invested in.

    IE A person that views the world in black and white which does not allow for any opinions in between and blanket denies all views from the other extreme and demands that they be silent.

    Sounds like intolerant religion to me.

    Which says nothing about the science. Yet stops people from looking at it closer.

    Does that Sound like a real consensus building strategy BPL?

    My “spin” is that the release of the emails has done much good for the science even if individuals are attacked by their own words written in private. I find it highly doubtful that anyone in the UK is going to lose their job over them. Though that may not be completely the case in the US.

    People are now paying attention. Seems like a big waste of time at this particular point in time to evangelize over spilled milk.

    Comment by SE — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:30 PM

  586. SE: How about the authors of the emails stop complaining about the “evil hacker in the pay of the “evil conspirators of industry” and acknowledge that the emails sound bad.

    BPL: Because they only “sound bad” to conspiracy-theory lunatics.

    RH: They only DON’T “sound bad” to global warming lunatics. And I thought the skeptics were the deniers.

    Comment by Rob Heron — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:34 PM

  587. Reply to #323 “Layman Lurker”

    First, Dr. Schmidt and others have covered ad nauseum the “data access” red herring on this blog and I’m sure elsewhere. I’m not going to repeat them.

    Instead, I’ll respond as someone who has professionally evaluated, funded, and utilized environmental science and monitoring projects.

    First, yes, I don’t think SteveM is qualified to pursue his ‘arguments’, not because he doesn’t possess adequate skills in statistics (although clearly many scientists would argue that.), and not because he fallaciously portrays himself as the noble contrarian expert, the lone gunman standing up against cattle rustlers. Credible scientists who articulate and pursue contrarian views to accepted theory abound in science. IT’S HOW SCIENCE WORKS. I’m working on the policy and research implications of the arguments of a group of contrarians in estuarine science right now.

    Furthermore, contemporary science values more than ever work that is interdisciplinary and pursued by multiple scientists, or teams of scientists; that is always looking for alternative explanations, for errors in models, incorrect or obsolete methods, faulty sensor measurements, poorly understood boundary conditions, incorrectly applied statistical methods or data analysis, etc. Contemporary science is now so complex that opportunities abound for such kinds of errors; so it is only professional practice to be constantly on the lookout for them. In estuarine science we’re still fighting over the meaning of chlorophyll measurements! Our best and only tool: The more heads looking carefully and honestly at the problem, the unknown, the trend etc. the better. Simple but true. That kind of teamwork is one thing I look for in assessing scientific research for management and funding. As an evaluator of science I always look for the contrarian view in order to make a more informed judgment about where policy, management, science communications, and research funding programs should go. I’m always hoping to find and learn from the type of scientist SteveM portrays himself as. Finding such a person or team is very valuable to me.

    If SteveM were truly interested in and cognizant of the science, he would have long ago utilized a very different approach to working with the community of climatological research and numerical modeling, understanding that the quality of his thinking and arguments is for the most part all that is required to join the Republic of Science.

    I, in the context of biophysical science research, don’t need or wish to ascribe nefarious intent to his motivations. He may be smart, sincerely convinced he’s right, and that he is pursuing a noble cause. Yet he could still be, and is, totally wrong. Has he found a few “gotcha’s” in the statistics? Sure. Is that contrarian science? No.

    In the context of social sciences and policy analysis; his motivations and communications strategies would be of great interest to me.

    I feel bad for folks, scientists, engineers, laypeople, ideologues, etc. That trumpet this man’s campaign. You’ve been sold down the river.

    So here’s what I propose for someone without damaged credibility who wishes to pursue SteveM’s arguments legitimately. Put together a proposal to pursue the lines of research that result logically from his criticisms. If that proposal entails a new assessment of met and climate proxy data logs and metadata information, etc., that would be great and given all his rhetoric, necessary. SteveM’s successor would have to develop partnerships with the scientists who’ve done the proxy research that SteveM has repeatedly defamed; but given the hell they’ve been put through (and it does come with the territory given the socio-political consequences of their findings) they’d possibly be happy to go back to the basics; especially since funding for the time needed to do this re-validation would be provided (see below).

    O and absolutely this new team should suggest reviewers to me of their forthcoming proposal. I’ve received and valued many negative reviews from reviewers suggested by the writers’ of proposals I’ve worked on and funded. That doesn’t mean I won’t find other reviewers, but I always welcome suggested reviewers as it makes it easier for me to delve into scientific discipline/community when evaluating a proposal. Over the years I’ve developed all sorts of “tricks” to efficiently and accurately assess the state of a scientific discipline and how a particular proposal relates to it.

    Once I’ve collected say five written reviews, I’ll give the research team the opportunity to review them (reviewer names expunged) and submit a written rebuttal. Then I’ll assemble another team of qualified reviewers who will look at the proposal, the reviews, and the rebuttals. I’ll ask them to give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down on funding the proposal; if a thumbs down I’ll ask them to provide recommendations on how the proposal can be improved sufficiently to make it worth funding. Then I’ll take all that and sit down with executive management professionals who work on environmental issues, both from government and external to government, and I’ll ask them to review the conclusions of all the independent reviewers and my own analysis of the proposal. Once I have their thumbs up for funding, I’ll go out and help the team find the funding for the proposal. Because if this proposal successfully executed means that federal and state governments won’t have to worry about global atmospheric/ocean/climate change in the future as much as that “cabal of fanatics at GISS, CRU”, etc., are telling us I would be incredibly grateful professionally and personally. It would be well worth me devoting the next ten years of my professional life to funding such a proposal, if it ever could be produced. And I do know how to cultivate research funding too so my services would be of value to your team.

    Finally, would this be considered special treatment of the proposal: an overly harsh, unfair review? No. This is exactly the process undertaken for the millions of dollars worth of research I have been involved in funding, even if that proposal is asking for as little as $50,000.

    Fair enough?

    Comment by Sloop — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:40 PM

  588. David Gordon wrote: “The classic saying goes ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’.”

    Which is by far the worst thing that Carl Sagan ever said, since the question of what constitutes an “extraordinary” claim is entirely subjective, as is the question of what constitutes “extraordinary” proof.

    For the obstinate and ignorant deniers of anthropogenic global warming who laughably call themselves “skeptics” while they uncritically and unquestioningly believe everything they hear from Rush Limbaugh or read on a right-wing blog, there is of course NO amount of evidence that is sufficiently “extraordinary” to establish the reality of anthropogenic global warming. They’ve been told by the corporate-sponsored, so-called “conservative” propaganda machine that AGW is a “liberal hoax”, and that is “settled science” as far as they are concerned.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:42 PM

  589. First of all, thank you for putting so much of your valuable time to responding here.

    RE: [Response: Both papers were cited in the report - MM either refers to McIntyre and McKitrick (2005, E&E) (Ch6), or more likely McKitrick and Michaels (2004) (Ch. 2), and the other paper was Kalnay and Cai (2003), also cited (Ch. 2). No redefinition apparently took place, which is unsurprising. - gavin]

    I may have missed something in these long threads and I’m not thoroughly familiar with the IPCC process, so pardon me for probably asking the obvious or repeating a question:

    1) Why exactly did prof. Jones state “he can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report”?

    2) Why did he try to “keep them out somehow” in the first place?

    For simply bad science, the reasons should be obvious, but for the other paper prof. Jones writes that he himself urged the authors to send the article.

    Thanks in advance!

    [Response: The space in the IPCC reports is limited, and so I doubt you want the whole thing taken up with showing that particular papers are wrong. However, where there are serious (if often flawed) points that need to be covered in order to give a balanced picture, then they will be discussed (as they were). This process is very widely spread out amongst the authors, reviewers, re-reviewers etc. and so individuals don't have that much influence regardless of their initial feeling. - gavin]

    Comment by heko — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:49 PM

  590. “Of course, the e-mail you are using to describe this as “rubbish”, is describing OBSERVED CHANGES IN SOLAR ACTIVITY.

    If it’s not changed sufficiently to explain warming, then it’s not the source of observed recent warming.

    Apparently you want to replace observation with your belief that “it is all solar”.”
    dhogaza”

    You have totally missed the point. I am not saying the content of the e-mail is rubbish.

    I am saying that if you believe in AGW you cannot attribute the 1910-1940 warming to Solar activity and that it was the failure of the said scientists to point this out that is the problem. It has been conveniant for certain sections of the scientific community to let this meme go unchallenged.

    Alan

    Comment by Alan Millar — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:50 PM

  591. Hate to add to the workload here, but I am sure it is a simple question.

    When looking at many of the AGW graphs, they are often expressed as an anomaly, +, -. I have had trouble however figuring out what the “zero point” is to which the data are being compared against. Is if from some particular year or set of years that the Zero level is being determined?

    Thanks for anyone who can help! (Gavin is doing enough already!)

    Kevin

    [Response: It's usually a 30 year period climatology - 1951-1980 in GISTEMP, 1961-1990 in HadCRU for instance. The trends are insensitive to this baseline though, and you can readjust very easily. - gavin]

    Comment by Kevin — 25 Nov 2009 @ 1:52 PM

  592. 548 Tamino
    “He confuses the “1940s blip” with the temperature increase from 1910 to 1940 — because he really doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. But he still feels qualified to conclude that climate science has “unresolved crucial issues.”
    His statement about “muttering Solar and Aerosols as the answer” reveals that either he’s ignorant of the influence of the volcanic lull, or he chooses to omit mention of it because he’s deliberately trying to deceive people”

    I did not mention the 1940 ‘blip’ problem, a separate issue altogether. I mentioned that part of the e-mail that refers to the 1910-1940 ‘problem’.

    I am aware that some people refer to an alleged lull in vocanic activity during that period rather than directly mentioning aerosols. However, they and you are indicating that meant aerosols were low during that period. That is unless you are postulating another way that lack of volcanic activity can cause global temperatures to rise.

    However, aerosols did not fall during that period, they rose and quite sharply.

    I am sure you know that volcanoes are not, by a long way, the only source of aerosols in the industrialised 20th century.

    [Response: Actually you aren't quite right about the aerosol issue. If you look at the Greenland ice cores, the peak of black carbon deposition is the 1930s (McConnell et al). - gavin]

    You, Tamino, cannot explain the problem away with this sort of hand waving. The e-mail shows that certain scientists recognise that the problem is currently unresolved.

    Alan

    Comment by Alan Millar — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:19 PM

  593. EconRob (566) — Here is some of the settled part, from BPL.

    Barton Paul Levenson:
    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958).
    3. The new CO2 is mainly from burning fossil fuels (Suess 1955).
    4. Temperature is rising (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, UAH, RSS, etc.).
    5. The increase in temperature correlates with the increase in CO2 (60–76% for temp. anomaly and ln CO2 for 1880-2007). See
    http://bartonpaullevenson.com/Correlation.html
    More graphs are found here:
    http://chartsgraphs.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/excel-chart-misrepresents-co2-temperature-relationship/#more-1687

    Comment by David B. Benson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:20 PM

  594. “Much of the major scientific thought over the ages has been reversed. ”

    No. It is progressed, not been reversed. Science is a method of making hypotheses, gathering and analyzing data, making conclusions based on those data, subjecting the analysis to peer-review, and making new hypotheses. When new data comes forth that provides new conclusions, that is not “reversing”.

    Comment by Dan — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:22 PM

  595. It has occurred to me that these emails, whatever else they may be, also comprise an easily accessible record of denialist abuses. I’ve been having fun with this fact in other fora.

    One example: http://tinyurl.com/y8f73m4

    I’m convinced that, in more capable hands than mine, this event and its widespread coverage represent an opportunity to chronicle these abuses for the world. =)

    Comment by cmb — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:23 PM

  596. “What Draconian laws and what quasigovernmental body would that be? I’m not aware of any.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 25 November 2009 @ 7:10 AM

    Try the ministerial proposal that Her Majesty’s Government impose individual carbon rationing starting in 2020, with rations shrinking to a few kilos a day in a generation,

    Last year, 350 and related UNEP quangos began publicity campaigns demanding the global imposition of a zero carbon regime as well. As limiting annual CO2 rise to 1 ppm works out to a global daily carbon ration under a Kg, don’t hold your breath awaiting transparency from Copenhagen on calling carbon prohibition what it is.

    Inconvenient Youth or Bill Mckibben’s good intentions notwithstanding, should enforcement outstrip technical progress, and alternative energy fail to take up the kilotonne a year slack of carbon intensive heating, lighting, and food transport, heroic carbon cuts could indeed lead to draconian outcomes.

    Especially if , a propos of Jef Masters concern true believers succeed in

    ” waging a disinformation campaign against the science saying that their product is dangerous.”

    Some may be object that alternative power may not materialize in time, and if it fails to , others may object that freezing to death in the dark is not an acceptable price to pay for slowing global warming by ten microdegrees a day. However, these are mere details of enforcement , and we should therefore celebrate the carbon footprint of the UK’s six million electronic surveillance cameras as a worthwhile investment in catching carbon scofflaws.

    Perhaps GISS should follow the CRU’ssocially responsible example by welcoming more overhead cameras to provide real time email surveillance today, and deter carbon tax evasion tomorrow.

    Comment by Sven Errantius — 25 Nov 2009 @ 2:51 PM

  597. #518

    After a few hits of BPL the average smart alec sceptic must feel like a tugboat against the Bismarck.

    BTW comment #540 (Weather underground) I’ve got to copy/paste that elsewhere – such resonance with my own thoughts.. Why thunk up bon mots when cleverer peeps do the hard work for you? It does put it into context though. This most ferocious vilification of scientists :-

    “probably the world’s most pervasive and best-funded disinformation campaign against science in history”

    Is a phrase I’ll remember for sometime.

    Still, despite the artistry displayed, there’s a school of thought that whackamole and projecting future doom and gloom aint the way to go.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2009/nov/23/climate-denial-strateg

    and indeed there’s a solar panel plant near Detroit no less.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/opinion/24herbert.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=detroit%20solar%20&st=cse

    So maybe “a future of hope” – tough call I know – might persuade a few rather than entrench beliefs. Call me naive…

    Comment by Mike Donald — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:14 PM

  598. Back to the old ‘hiding the divergence’ chestnut
    - up until this CRU scandal erupted, I hadn’t really appreciated that ‘divergence’ was a well known issue
    - I *had* noticed that the ends of the proxy data plots didn’t seem to follow the real temps very well, but since the plots usually seem to have nice up-ticks to them, and end in 1980 or 1960 or thereabouts, I assumed, I am sure like a lot of people, that, had these plots continued, they would probably track the actual temps.
    - actually, I assumed they would follow the actual temps, because that is how you guys do a proxy plot – you tune the last bit to the real temps, so everything looks believable.
    - but now I realise that even the little up-tick at the end is an product of the artificial up-lift added by the fortran code, which is in the FOIA data.
    - without the blending operation in the code, the end bits of the proxy plots would droop embarassingly downwards.

    So, although you maintain that the ‘divergency problem’ is well known, and indeed, discussed in the Nature article, and in AR4, when one looks at the plots it’s easy to miss it.

    So this is why I think it is right to focus on the phrase ‘hide the decline’.

    - I would request that when hockey-sticks are generated in future, the ‘hide the decline’ code is removed, and so we can see what the actual proxy results are, and not the blended ones.

    Also, in order to make things clearer still, I think you should refrain from plotting the real-temps in large black lines or red lines over the proxy data, as this only serves to draw one’s eyes’ attention away from what the proxy data is actually doing.

    - there are plenty of places where we can see what the real temps do, so it doesn’t help transparency to have them plotted over the proxy data.

    [Response: All the data series are available separately, you can put them into gnuplot or Excel yourself. Smoothing timeseries near the end is always tricky, but this figure shows what difference the technique makes. - gavin]

    Comment by Phil M — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:22 PM

  599. Biff Larkin asks: “Gavin, someone, above, asked whether you were doing any of this moderating during your working hours for the US government.. It’s a fair question, and as you probably know, now the subject of a Freedom of Information Act Request.”

    You know, Gavin, since, like most scientists, I am sure you are pretty much always working on your research–or at least thinking about it, I suggest that you save time by making monitoring of Biff’s contributions a REALLY LOW priority. I guarantee it will not subtract from the information on the blog.

    Oh, and Biff, I’m on Thanksgiving Break.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:28 PM

  600. Hello, I am wondering if you would ask Michael to respond the this article.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

    [Response: What does it have to do with Mike? This is code related to the MXD tree ring series from, I would guess, Tim Osborn. No-one here was involved with that at all. The decline of which you speak is not hidden at all (Briffa et al, 1998, Nature). - gavin]

    Comment by Hide the Decline — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:45 PM

  601. Who wants proof? … of astroturfing.

    (Related topic).

    Near the end of a report by Justin Rowlatt on Obama’s energy policy (BBC2, 7PM), the recent activities of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity were described. (Apologies to those who know about this already). Congressmen received letters from various grass roots organisations who expressed opposition to the Climate Bill. It turns out that these letters were fakes. The ACCCE disowned the fakes and claimed that they had told congress about this (but only after the vote on the bill). Was it their fault ? ; No, after all, they have ‘clean’ in their title. Perhaps it was a bit of independent action by the PR firm they had hired? No? Because that PR company had hired another PR firm. Not them either? It appears that they are pinning the blame on an employee. I trust that the ACCCE refused to pay the first PR firm and they in their turn refused to pay the second PR firm.

    This recent hack may turn out to be harder to explain than diagnosing the causes of GW.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 25 Nov 2009 @ 3:45 PM

  602. #454 (and others on “decline” and “hiding” thereof)

    Since this is the site by and for real climate scientists, would somebody please explain the scientific basis for applying the “fudge factor” in the tree ring data programs below:
    ….

    ; PLOTS ‘ALL’ REGION MXD timeseries from age banded and from hugershoff
    ; standardised datasets.
    ; Reads Harry’s regional timeseries and outputs the 1600-1992 portion
    ; with missing values set appropriately. Uses mxd, and just the
    ; “all band” timeseries
    ;****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********
    ;

    etc. etc.

    [Response: Without any context, you have no basis for your statements. What was this for? what paper did it appear in? was it even ever used? Track that down and then we can talk. - gavin]

    I’ve omitted the code and the OP’s comments.

    I’ve had an admittedly cursory look at the code above and that posted at WUWT. Some of the latter even includes what appears to be *output* warnings that certain series should not be plotted beyond certain dates as the results are not valid.

    So why the “fudge factors”? Admittedly, this is just preliminary speculation. But notice that these routines *plot* various series (no calibration or calculation). If one is plotting a series that stops in, say, 1960 or even 1980, alongside an instrumental record that is baselined to 1961-1990, one needs some way of baselining the proxy series to match up. But obviously one can’t use the deprecated part of the proxy series to do this.

    As I say, at this point it’s just speculation on my part. And I don’t even know where this code was used.

    But if I’m right, what we have here is yet another frothing tempest in a teapot.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:00 PM

  603. #383 Anand Rajan

    I join in the abhorrence of any such callous and ignorant attitude. It is a sad state of affairs that reason should be abandoned to such extent of inconsideration in discourse of such matters of import. Your argument here simply has not coherence with regard to knowledge and understanding of the science of climate as now understood.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:02 PM

  604. #320 Mark Gibb

    Global warming itself has more potential to destroy liberties than most other threats simply because it can not be so easily changed by a mere shift in thinking but requires a paradigm shift that translates to sufficient action that suffers from the law of diminishing returns over time. The longer we wait, the less capable we are to meaningfully reverse the course of the inertia and feedbacks in time to reasonably preserve civilization as we might like it to be.

    The subtle suggestion you make that free-market solutions will be a ‘cure all’ ignores the fact that our economy is predicated on a regulated fiat based market system that is polluted by special interests and legislative infiltration of conflicts of interest between objective transparent markets and the the current legislated reality which is in conflict with the premise of achievement of such liberty as one might desire.

    Ignorance is not bliss in this case, it’s dangerous and deadly.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  605. GISS GCM
    - I didn’t realise until this evening that the GISS GCM is available from your web-site
    - I think this is a commendable act of openness

    I am not sure how long this has been available, but I would be interested to hear what sort of feedback this has generated?
    - do you find that you get bombarded with nit-picking questions?
    - does it provide you with useful feedback (i.e. allowing others to run & verify your algorithms)?

    - obviously, this is WRT the openness with which CRU has operated….

    [Response: A little, people download it and run it and sometimes find issues with datasets or options. But it is a very minor part of our public communications. The people who worked on EdGCM had a much harder time of it. - gavin]

    Comment by Phil M — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:11 PM

  606. “Much of the major scientific thought over the ages has been reversed.” he opines via electromagnetic signal internally reflected in total through umpteen thousands of miles of optical fiber, received and interpreted by a miniaturized electric circuit capable of making billions of calculations per second for display and distribution to a world wide network of such machines.

    Irony is not your forte, is it sport?

    Comment by Majorajam — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:13 PM

  607. GISS GCM again
    - the other question is – do you find that knowing that the GCM is published on an open network, encourage you to make sure that all the data & algorithms are well maintained, commented & documented sufficiently?

    [Response: Maybe a little, but it's already a full time job doing the development we need to do for ourselves, and so improvements in legibility, interfaces etc. are mostly driven by our own internal needs. - gavin]

    Comment by Phil M — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:14 PM

  608. RE David Gordon (sorry about the earlier typo):

    Followup from #458, #499: I am trying to figure out the truth of the matter here to my own satisfaction, and being directed to papers which don’t address the questions I am asking, or to key documents which are not available, does not serve to convince me that the conclusions drawn from this data and these methods are valid.

    I will repeat the key issues I am trying to resolve so that there should be no confusion.

    #1 Sample size: a) Are the 10-15 cores from Yamal considered enough to produce statistically significant results in this field of study? b) are the 16 sites noted in the referenced paper sufficient to establish statistically significant results for the planet as a whole?

    [Response: The more trees the better. The later period (post 1990) when there are only 12 would not be as well characterised as the earlier period. But Briffa's comment on his website (google for the cached version) shows the results are very similar even when you add in more recently collected material. Note that we don't need tree rings to know that the temperatures have warmed since 1990. - gavin]

    The cached version is somewhere (the text looks like it’s posted at Watt’s place as well), and the “caution” is here. The additional analysis which includes more living trees (up to 120) by Hantemirov and Shiyatov hasn’t been published, but the preliminary data can be found here (scroll down to the second Oct 8 update).

    For an answer to your sample size question, check out Esper 2003 (pp92-3). According to Esper, a sample depth of 5 or 6 samples at some times may be sufficient to produce a signal is RCS is used.

    One last thing – independent confirmatio nis a powerful tool. A number of proxies show similar results – it becomes difficult to attribute this to coincidence. Mann, et al. 2008 is a powerful paper, especially when viewed in the light of the NAS findings from several years before that. It is a good lesson on how science progresses.

    Comment by Deech56 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:21 PM

  609. RE EconRob

    People are getting weary of “pointy” head know-it-alls…

    Have you seen the pictures of Gavin and Michael Mann? “Pointy” head indeed! (Being follicularly challenged myself I am allowed to make that statement.)

    Comment by Deech56 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:26 PM

  610. Richard Barrett (1067 of thread-1), I don’t strongly disagree with much of what you say, though your examples are sloppy. Except your last point (which is kinda on topic)” the public are the employer of civil servants only in the symbolic sense. In the specific and legal sense, like if they have carte blanche access to their emails e.g., they are not.

    Comment by Rod B — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:30 PM

  611. “We’re looking at the diversion of about A TRILLION DOLLARS OF INCOME from established industries to new ones. I imagine the established companies will do a lot before they’ll give that up.”

    Not as much as the new ones are doing to get it.

    Comment by Kate — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:32 PM

  612. #432 007

    Note that Lindzen is associated with Singer, and possibly, or even likely involved in the hack job that Singer pulled on Revelle. Singer admitted in testimony that he may have received comments from Lindzen, but his response was ambiguous. Lindzen himself is standing on his ‘Iris Effect’ which, by all reasonable indications, is an unsupportable hypothesis.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen/carolyn-revelle

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/richard-lindzen

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:38 PM

  613. Maybe some scientists should release all of their correspondence with certain denialists. For instance, how many stupid things has McIntyre written over thw last few years?

    But I suppose much of it would need annotation.

    Comment by Holly Stick — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:47 PM

  614. Mr. Elifritz,

    You are correct it is not just about science; it is about the perversion of objectivity, which is known as science. FYI other individuals beside the so called “teabaggers” are interested in the credibility of these rogue scientists.

    Comment by m miller — 25 Nov 2009 @ 4:57 PM

  615. “Progressed” “reversed” whatever. The point is in science the truths we hold are often transitory. The AGW hypothesis is out there, data has been gathered, so why not continuous analysis by SKEPTICS? Seems like it would only “progress” the science. Something as big as AGW should attract the skeptics. It cannot hurt.

    Comment by EconRob — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:01 PM

  616. Thank you for giving me ammunition for three correspondants who are serious deniers and are crowing about the news of the emails. I sit through the likes the effite Earl/Viscount Monckton that they sent me. And I send them references like this site. Still they nit pick. In that they think Fox News is fair and balanced, I should not be surprised facts do not deter their denials.

    Comment by Sigrid Benson — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:03 PM

  617. #474 Adam
    #498 Shiv (this generally applies to you as well)

    It seems you are not being considerate of the contexts involved in the perspectives of the discussions. How can there be anything wrong with discussing and questioning things in the context of what the scientists know and see in the potentials of the science, as well as the means, methods or perspectives that may enable greater clarity in addressing a particular solution?

    Further, isolating specific lines (in the emails) outside of the overarching context is a disservice to substantive reason.

    Context is key.

    Also, Adam, since you did not post your full name, I wonder just how you have risked your reputation?

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:17 PM

  618. How peer review really works!

    HT to Hank Roberts.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:19 PM

  619. Gavin, I genuinely like you. You have taken the brunt of this with calm aplomb. You are a great scientist. We both know that Svensmark is right. For the sake of your discipline please stand up like a man and admit that you were wrong. All you did was make a mistake, there was no malice involved, noone would have suspected cosmic rays. End this charade while “Hopenhagen” can still be easily averted. You’d be a hero just like Henrik, you know that. Happy Thanksgiving in any case. Have a good time.

    [Response: Thanks! But no thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by FergalR — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:25 PM

  620. Gavin, have you and the rest of the team ever heard of the earthworm? In North America it was all but wiped out during the previous ice-age. It was introduced by the European colonists.
    Earth worms change the growth of all the plants that they share soil with. The European earth worm is a slow mover, about 1/125 of a mile per year. They are pretty slow mountaineers, but they do climb up to the snowline.
    They have a profound impact on tree growth*; generally in hardwoods, they increase the average growth, but at the same time they increase the sensitivity of the trees to moisture. Trees become less nutrient limited and more water limited.
    One cannot use dendroclimatology in North America unless one knows when the European earthworm was introduced at a particular site.
    However, you obviously must know about the impacts of earthworms on tree rings; so when did they appear in the White Mountains, the Inyo Mountains, and the Panamint Range in California?

    *DOI 10.1007/s10530-009-9523-3
    Tree rings detect earthworm invasions and their effects in northern Hardwood forests

    Comment by DocMartyn — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:25 PM

  621. In comment #15, Gavin suggests some missing context, as follows:

    [Response: ... De Frietas was the editor on the Soon and Baliunas (2003) paper - but I'm not sure what is referred to here. MM is likely to be McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) in E&E (a very poor choice of journal if they wanted to be taken seriously). ...]

    Given the date on the email and the mention of De Frietas, I suggest that MM in this case is more likely to be a reference to McKitrick, R., and Michaels, P.J. (2004): A test of corrections for extraneous signals in gridded surface temperature data, in Climate Research, 26: pp 159–173.

    De Friestas is an editor of Climate Research and likely implicated in the publication of lousy papers like this one. There is a realclimate blog from 2004 on this: see Are Temperature Trends affected by Economic Activity?

    Comment by Duae Quartunciea — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:34 PM

  622. In case you haven’t heard: Competitive Enterprise Institute to sue RealClimate blogger over moderation policy

    Great, a nuisance suit to occupy Gavin’s time further. Time to organize a legal defense fund?

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:53 PM

  623. [edit]
    Question: Does the RC community yet have a rebuttal to all the computer programmer types who’re analyzing HARRY_READ_ME.txt and the related code which ought to be able to, but apparently is not able to, replicate the published results from CRU?

    I ask, because when that community starts throwing around words like cluster**** and kluge and laughing about the utter unworkability of it all, it makes me wonder how the data was produced the first time around…?

    [Response: Have these savants realised that 'Harry' was working on CRU TS 3.0, a completely different product than the HadCRUT? Have they never worked on databases that bring together multiple sources of incompatible source data? Or ever debugged code (over a 4 year period)? Or occasionally got frustrated? Hmmm... - gavin]

    Comment by R.C. — 25 Nov 2009 @ 5:55 PM

  624. To Dan@567:

    “When new data comes forth that provides new conclusions, that is not “reversing”.”

    Well, no, it’s progress as you say.

    But that doesn’t mean the original poster was wrong; their intent was to point out that the new conclusions can turn out to be the complete opposite of the old ones…or, can turn out to contain the realization that we have insufficient data to MAKE conclusions (the equivalent of NULL results in database-speak).

    It seems to me that some deniers are saying, irresponsibly, that were the data widely available and the process for producing the published results replicated, the conclusions would be the opposite of what they were before. I’m not sure if they mean by that that the conclusions would predict cooling, or that the conclusions would predict no appreciable warming (presumably the latter).

    But the less-irresponsible ones seem to mean that the conclusions would somehow demonstrate that we have insufficient data, or insufficiently reliable models, to come to any conclusions with any amount of reliability. They’re predicting a “NULL” conclusion.

    This would not be a reversal of the previous conclusion. But it’d pretty well put the kibosh on any policy recommendations.

    Comment by R.C. — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:03 PM

  625. Since George Monbiot has been brought up here…

    His whole shocked apology is way out of proportion, and has been slingshot around all the far right denier sites. As good as he usually is, Monbiot suffers from liberal guilt delusions.

    This has enabled deniers to do things like frame the language (climate change, not global warming, skeptics, not deniers, etc), and even the terms of the debate itself- in spite of the fact that they have no scientific reality to support them. Liberals roll right over, wave their paws, and apologize, like Monbiot did here.

    Why engage them in nonsensical “debates” at all? Why pay attention to their outrage over the contents of personal emails that were most likely unearthed in the same manner as a Black Ops exercise? Why, in other words, treat them as equals in any fashion, since this is the crowd that basically has denied simple temperature readings and the radiative forcing characteristics of CO2?.

    Comment by mike roddy — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:05 PM

  626. Okay, it looks like “Copenhagen” is now closed for comment, so I’ll make it hre.

    I really appreciate all the hard work the climate scientists are doing under terrible TERRIBLE time constraints, so thank you for THE COPENHAGEN DIAGNOSIS.

    My meta-science science of this, having followed climate science since 1990, is there is a definite trend, which amounts to “It’s worse than we thought.” It seems almost a non-linear, accelerating trend, perhaps, “It’s much much worse than we thought.”

    Sort of reminds me of how the timeline divergence between chimps and humans kept getting shorter over the many decades I’ve been studying anthropology…..even scientists have a hard time accepting reality. Except, of course, in the case of climate change we’re talking about the life & death fate of the biosphere, not just how close certain monkey-face relatives are to us.

    BTW, those commie denialists are really bad actors. They’re a bunch of commies (an epithet I developed for a scifi novel, DOOMER, set in 2080….meaning “pro-commerce guys”). So, you commies, just keep away from decent folk, and stop making Eric mad.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:24 PM

  627. I have a question in regards to the data that cannot be released. (since it is owned by people selling it, as are most intellectual properties int he world right now…)

    Would a non-scientist be allowed to purchase such data from the source?

    Would the “Denier” scientist in the pay (directly or indirectly) of big oil and coal comapnies be allowed to purchase and use this data?

    (Provided they sign and follow the non-disclosure agreements of course.)

    If the answer is yes, then why haven’t the deniers done their own models and studies using the data? Wouldn’t the best response here be to show that the “mainstream” scientists are simply incorrect by doing better work?

    Just something I have been wondering really. Because if they can purchase the data (and even if pricey, you can’t tell me that Exxon can’t aford it!) then what is the problem with not realeasing the raw data again?

    Comment by Dale Power — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:30 PM

  628. I do think one has to account for the huge body of people who have concern about whether this science makes sense. Unfortunately science has been overtaken by spin, politics, and money for the funding of good research or taxes.This tends to result in the polarised argument we are witnessing. Most people it seems, rely on the media for an explanation of science which is no longer reliable. I believe the sicentists discussions freely express this
    The research is a particular type of science which is very problematic indeed and I salute them for all the hard work and publications. However as in many areas a small group becomes the power brokers and exceptionally so in this case.
    [edit]
    Personal view is it is like programs fed by data which can not produce an easy answer
    Good science never mocks or scorns a skeptic for it is impossible to progress without them. Perhaps good will come of this for the data and emails speak for themselves.I do hope individuals will not be judged for loose talk but the science will stand or fall on its own merits

    [Response: The science does stand on it's own. But not all sceptics are created equal. All you need to do to see this is to look at some of the other sites discussing this - there is all manner of crackpot theories and long debunked talking point getting a new airing. There is a reason why peer-review is there to screen the more inane stuff, and no-one should be apolgising for that. This clearly conflicts with our natural democratic urge to have a voice heard and not to restrict anyone's free speech. But as Daniel Moynihan said "You can have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts". Science is tough on non-facts. That is just how it works. - gavin]

    Comment by PKerr — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:42 PM

  629. Gavin

    I am observing a poisonous relationship because one exists. I actually reckon it to have existed since Mann and McIntyre first mixed it up, and I would be surprised if it mattered who fired the first barbed comment. The relationship is what it is. You are associated with Michael Mann, so McIntyre isn’t going to see you as anything but an enemy from the very start.

    I apologize for coming on harsh about this but I have changed my mind 4 times in the past week about what would best repair the PR problem we have. I am VERY grateful for the work you are doing here, as this is a resource without parallel. I am considering that “the best defense is a good offense”.

    The point with Michael Mann is that he is very much tied into the stoush with McIntyre… and replied in the affirmative to that FOIA e-mail. NOT a good look… yet I think now I was wrong about ANY resignations helping (you convinced me), but the alternative plan has to be that Jones puts himself on the line and answers questions raised and does so very comprehensively AND publicly, so there is a definitive rebuttal to the accusations in the public record that the press and the denialsphere cannot ignore.

    Unless you can think of something better.

    I’m sorry for coming across harsh but I’ve had about 15 hours of sleep in the last 5 days, largely over this, and largely because I DO NOT have personal knowledge of any of the individuals involved. I am trusting YOU in this because in your online presence here you have exhibited patience and have been providing real answers with science that I am able to understand. So I have learned to trust your judgment… and this IS about trust.

    What I said about this being a political issue is quite real… dealing with it is a matter of dealing with public perceptions, NOT with science. Can the public trust the protagonists? In order for us to get any traction with the public, success in the Senate, or at the Copenhagen conference they HAVE to… it isn’t like the average person understands the science. The APPEARANCE of anything that undermines that trust is quite sufficient to do great damage.

    I know that what Professor Jones does next is up to him, not you or me, but this is a PR problem that is unmanageable unless he moves and moves first – before there is a subpoena or an official political inquiry. A good offense, not reacting to official questions but meeting the challenges head-on.

    After Jones defends this e-mail record as I am sure that he can (I only hope that he understands that he MUST). He invites the opposition to a conference. We need something LIKE a conference or meeting, at which idiots like Wishart and Plimer and yes McIntyre state their case and those arguments get shot to pieces by Jones, and Briffa, and Hansen and Mann and yourself in near real time. A public debate in which the PUBLIC sees that the people who are working on naked opinion and shoddy analysis are not actually able to answer the science… that the scientists are real people who answer questions.

    I don’t know how to organize it, or where the money for it comes from (the news organizations?) or anything else… just that it is needed.

    What we cannot do is get angry. That is what worries me. You have the temperament for this. Not everyone does.

    You have my utter respect for the work you are doing.
    Don’t stop.

    Gratefully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:53 PM

  630. After reading through the emails and reading a few blog posts at skeptics websites I’m wondering if it actually impossible to get the raw data for calculate the global mean temperature. I went to CRU and could only find intermediate data. Is it true that the original data was destroyed?

    [Response: No. All the original data is with the National Met services who it belongs to. - gavin]

    Comment by Jonathan Fischoff — 25 Nov 2009 @ 6:57 PM

  631. Gavin,

    If you could entertain a novice question that would be great. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

    I fish the atlantic ocean and the upper and lower Delaware bay regularly. A few years ago, the bay vater temps columns never inverted leaving the first few feet at or slightly below air temp but anywhere between 20 to 100 feet the water temp could only be described as frigid. Pulling a fish from depth was like holding on to a beer can just pulled out from the tailgate cooler!

    This anomaly lasted the entire summer. The bay was as expected void of dinner fish and most of the old salts thought the bay was dead.

    Local reports were blaming everything from AGW to dumping but it was obvious to anyone that knew anything was that the rules of the road for bait fish had changed that year.

    I checked with those in the know and for the most part the unusual temp profile was caused by persistent off shore winds. However, that did not stop the universities in question to speculate and forward some rather interesting causes, most bogus.

    My question to you Sir is this; How can we produce accurate measures on climate change when in effect our universities can not distinguish true natural phenomenon from man made activity? Like the local On-Air Meteo, that does not bother to look out the window for his short term forecast, I believe there is much common sense being lost to brain cell deducements.

    I digress, what my question is how much can anyone in your field be sure OF AGW when,(when not one Local Scientist bothered to report the truth that year)there are just so many variables that we do not have record of, and like the wind variation on Delaware bay that year, are so impactful and not forecasted yet never mentioned?

    Cheers(lol)

    JDZ

    [Response: Get yourself a better informed local university! There is no excuse for some of the 'pop' attributions that people sometimes make when there some event and a microphone is thrust under someone's nose. Proper attribution is hard, and it isn't going to be done on the morning news. - gavin]

    Comment by JDZ — 25 Nov 2009 @ 7:38 PM

  632. OK, this is getting stranger and stranger. This is slightly off topic but bear with me… I left a supportive comment earlier in this thread (comment #8 on “The CRU hack”) and I’ve had two emails today, both disagreeing with my comment. I supplied my web address with the comment and my website has a “contact me” form. Has anyone else had any private contact as a direct result of posting on this thread?

    Here are the emails I received today in response to my RealClimate comment:

    ——–EMAIL 1———–
    DATE = 25 November 2009 03:51 (GMT)
    FROM = me
    IP = 207.69.139.150 resolves to
    “ca03-ch02-bl08.ca-sanfranc0.sa.earthlink.net” (geolocation = San Francisco)
    Top Level Domain: “earthlink.net”

    SUBJECT: “e mails”

    BODY: “what a pile of crap”

    ——–EMAIL 2———–
    DATE = 25 November 2009 21:18 (GMT)
    FROM = John
    IP = 208.98.201.204 resolves to
    “208-98-201-204.cable.dynamic.sunwave.net” (geolocation = canada)
    Top Level Domain: “sunwave.net”

    SUBJECT = “sick with fear”

    BODY = “Jack…..get a grip….what are you sick about….that the data used to ‘predict’ climate change has proven to be falsified, that your high priests have been exposed, that climate change can’t be stopped by humans…..you’re afraid, according to your post, that non-existant AGW can’t be stopped. You are confused.”

    —————————

    (my original post on this thread ended with “I feel sick with fear at our chances [of] averting dangerous climate change.”)

    —————————

    This is just getting wierder and wierder. I have never, ever had anyone contact me privately to disagree with me due to a comment I left on a blog post (and I’ve been commenting on blog posts for roughly as long as blogs have existed). Of course, it is entirely possible that these two emails were sent by completely separate individuals who are both convinced that AGW is false and that I’m an idiot for “believing” the evidence. But the language is too strange (how can *data* be falsified? I though *theories* were falsified?!?) I could be entirely wrong and I’m about to indulge in the kind of conspiracy theory that I accuse sceptics of flirting with but this smells like a concerted anti-Copenhagen campaign to me. Has anyone else received emails like list?

    Comment by Jack Kelly — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:08 PM

  633. 203: [Response: Not true. You can verify using other methods and other data and in the end that's much more important. - gavin]

    Gavin, I have given this response a lot of thought and the conclusion I have come up with would be to generally disagree. Please let me explain my reasoning.

    1) Comparing between proxies, datasets, mothodology etc would not be comparing like for like. If two cats breed and two dogs breed, the cats are not going to give birth to dogs!

    2a) Part of the scientific method and peer review is to ensure that other parties can, without bias, replicate the original findings, verify there are no mathematical errors (for example) in the method and verify the same conclusions.

    2b) It is a requirement of all major science journals that methods/data/code etc is published to enable verification. It is false to assume that papers published in the peer reviewed literature are correct until verified, hence the requirements.

    However, I do agree with you on the following point;

    3) Verification of general, but not direct outcome can be made using other methods, however the criteria would have to be very precise. Tree rings in Yamal verified by local raw weather station data around the Yamal samples + local lake sediments etc should in theory correlate together in a general way, but we would have to presume a reasonable error margin for this to be acceptable.

    I hope that you see where I am coming from and would appreciate feedback.

    Happy thanks giving from over the pond!

    [Response: Let me give you an example. A Greenland ice core is drilled, the samples analysed and very surprising amounts of climate variability is found in the last ice age and the last interglacial. What is replication here? rechecking all their ice (now water) samples and looking in detail at their code to do the 20 year smoothing they published? Maybe. But far more interesting is a completely independent effort, done by different people, with different mass specs, drilled 50 km away. The results end up replicating almost exactly down to about 100,000 years ago, and then diverge dramatically. Conclusion? The ice age stuff is solid, the earlier stuff is not. Much more satisfying and much more informative than the simple and uninformative approach you suggest. The key here is that the specific core is only an means to an end (understanding climate change), and it is the end that needs replicating, not each of the specific means. - gavin]

    Comment by Robert.I — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:16 PM

  634. God, REALCLIMATE has now turned into any other site which gets swamped by self-(badly)taught, unscientific, preening Global Warming denialists. I hope you can soon return to the scientific and informative site you used to be (free from the swarm of self-appointed ‘guardians of tax-payers dollars’ and ‘freedom-fighters against elitist scientists’) because it is now boring and tiresome trawling through the denialist chaff.
    Bring back the science – that’ll scare off the denialists !

    Comment by J SMITH — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:21 PM

  635. Who are “those who supply the data”, and why do they not release it to the public? After all, this is data about the temperature of the Earth, probably gathered by research paid for by public funds. And how can papers be published based on data that cannot be verified?

    [Response: National Met Offices around the world (though not the US) often have a mandate to commercialize their data and their forecasts. Thus they often provide academics with data on the understanding that it won't be passed on to third parties which might undercut their commercial services. I think this is mostly unnecessary, but it is hard to change. Write to your representatives and tell them. - gavin]

    This all seems so unnecessary. I do not believe there is anything to hide, but it sure can be spun to look that way. I think the only solution to this circus is to have a fast and impartial public inquiry. What I have seen so far suggests an attitude problem, but I doubt there is any real misconduct. Lets prove that, and get on with the real science.

    Comment by Blair Dowden — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:32 PM

  636. Hi Gavin,

    Have you seen this?: http://esr.ibiblio.org/

    FYI — The author is a well-known figure in the open source software community: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_S._Raymond

    I don’t know what to make of the code he is analyzing, and I’d welcome a response from someone at RC.

    The real problem I’m having with this episode is gauging its relevance within the larger context of the science of ACC/AGW. You seem to be taking the position that it’s irrelevant. Not being a climate scientist, I don’t have the full context and knowledge of the extant work, or the logical hierarchy of the various findings, datasets, etc.

    I take it that your position is that there is no data spinning, cherry-picking, or biased modeling documented by the e-mails that undermines any critical assumptions that underlie the broader findings in the science of ACC. Correct?

    The big issue here is that we need to be able to trust climate scientists to police themselves — because no one else is in a position to do it. If climate scientists are going to hide data, ignore requests for data, spin data, or demonize dissent, then we have a credibility problem. Now maybe this whole thing is overblown, but some of the e-mails sure seem to raise a trust issue in the reasonable layman. It’s a very strange situation.

    Comment by Joe Duarte — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:37 PM

  637. 1600 comments and counting. And 386 in-line reponses (I made that up).

    Your stamina is breathtaking. Erstwhile Eric needs some of it, over on that other thread. (Congrats to his team, and UNSW, for one of the clearest summaries of a complex matter for a non-speċialist audience that I’ve ever seen.)

    Comment by GlenFergus — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:41 PM

  638. Free the data and the code that make up the models.

    Publish properly documented code and the data into a public repository.

    You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Comment by Willie — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:47 PM

  639. Gavin, I’m not sure you realize it, but this is too big of a jam to dismiss with “none of it was really wrong”. Maybe a tad bit of judicious “this part was wrong and this part was justified”? Otherwise your reputation, such as is left, will go down in infamy. This is too big and there was too much obvious partisanship on the part of RealClimate’s pronouncements:

    [edit]

    [Response: We are interested in the science. Not in debating whether particular scientists are nice to their colleagues or not. None of that will matter a damn in a year's time. Does this impact the science? No. (If you think differently, then point out which one of these points you think have been refuted in the last week). But clearly, there are some real concerns out there about peer-review and data accessibility. They need to be acknowledged, regardless of my opinion about whether the cause of those concerns are really valid or not. - gavin]

    Comment by Mike Sigman — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:49 PM

  640. The coders are going through the data files now and by all reports they are a mess and there are some pretty damning comments. What do you have to say about the samples below? Thx for your response.

    The problem is that the synthetics are incorporated at 2.5-degrees, NO IDEA why, so saying they affect particular 0.5-degree cells is harder than it should be. So we’ll just gloss over that entirely ;0)

    As far as I can see, this renders the station counts totally meaningless.

    It also means that we cannot say exactly how the gridded data is arrived at from a statistical perspective

    Worked out an algorithm from scratch. It seems to give better answers than the others, so we’ll go with that.

    These are very promising. The vast majority in both cases are within 0.5 degrees of the published data. However, there are still plenty of values more than a degree out.

    [Response: Work in progress. Why is this shocking? - gavin]

    Comment by charles — 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:52 PM

  641. “this is a PR DISASTER”

    And this is blaming the victim.

    Comment by The Raven — 25 Nov 2009 @ 9:10 PM

  642. CO2 and IR. That is all that is really needed to make the case. All the computer modeling and additional surface temp stations were money consuming and energy wasting and unnecessary. Some genius thought it was a forgone conclusion what the stations would show. And another set of geniuses thought the models would work (and with a 50/50 chance of being randomly right, they all still missed). As someone who has seen teams with virtually unlimited Cray time trying to model how car parts “should” behave, I can tell you there’s no chance of modeling ‘climate’ in any fashion that will withstand skeptic scrutiny or the test of time. It is a fool’s errand.

    Now, since the models failed to predict what the surface stations showed, we’re stuck having to lie and cajole. We are way off-message.

    “Hide the decline” ??? How’s that as fodder for the skepticsphere? What genius could write such a phrase? Gavin, your apologetic energy is amazing, almost Jesuit-like, but what do you do with that one? There is no context in which that would be defensible. Sorry, Mann and Co. are being hoisted on their own petard and deserve no mercy. Good riddance. If the movement doesn’t come clean, police itself, deal with this harshly, it will invite others to do so and be weakened, and possibly even fail. This is a defining moment.

    Comment by rockpaperscissors — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:25 PM

  643. In 534 Theranga says:

    On the other hand, couldn’t McIntyre just sweet-talk the CEI into buying him the commercial data sets?

    I personally doubt McIntyre even wants the data. It sounds to me like he knows there’s nothing to be gained from it vs the freely available sets.

    If he gets the data he’ll lose the whole story line that they’re hiding something.

    Comment by David Miller — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:34 PM

  644. Re: 545

    Gavin,
    Taxpayers fund your research. Nondisclosure is not an option, if you want to retain your credibility. It seems to me climate scientists should acknowledge the inherent problem of nondisclosure and work hard to fix it. It really does not matter why you cannot release the data. Nonscientists will not trust the science until the process is 100% transparent.

    Comment by Terry Rambrine — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:36 PM

  645. I guess I’ve been around long enough to see more than a few scientific “facts” be later found to be mistakes, and theories that we were fairly certain of be ultimately disproven. So whenever I see scientists or pseudo-scientists on either side of an issue become absolutely convinced that they are right, and others are wrong, my alarm bells go off. And when those scientists begin arrogantly demeaning those who disagree, I realize that science has taken a back seat to ego.

    I would caution those involved in these discussions, no matter how highly you regard your own expertise on the issues, to remember that a true scientist is always questioning, and is always open to the possibility that he/she might be wrong. Especially on an issue that can likely never be proven in any of our lifetimes.

    Comment by JimM — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:43 PM

  646. Jeff Masters

    Thank you! That is an excellent site documenting the way the science and scientists are being slimed.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1389

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:46 PM

  647. Gavin,

    Reasonable explanations on the technical matters, but I wish you had a better answer regarding the apparent FOIA denials. When you get a chance?

    -CRT

    Comment by ctwardy — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:48 PM

  648. Manacker #494 and J.Bob in 529:

    If you think Arctic sea ice has recovered you might take a peek here. We may not have hit the lows in ice extent at the end of September, but for the last month we’ve been matching its lows in re-establishment.

    Given the 2007 low during the 2006-2007 el-nino, and that we’re currently entering an el-nino, and that we have significant lows for both ice extent and ice thickness, I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that we will see a record low arctic ice extent in 2010.

    What I’m really curious about is the effect a more-open arctic will have on weather patterns in the northern hemisphere. I’m afraid that’s one of Rummy’s “unknown unknowns” and that we have no historical data with which to test models. I’d love to hear I’m wrong on that count.

    Comment by David Miller — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:54 PM

  649. VERY HARSH WORDS from George Monbiot, a leading environmentalist, said Phil Jones should resign
    from the Climatic Research Unit over leaked emails that appear to show
    researchers suppressed scientific data.

    Monbiot: ‘I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and
    deeply shaken,’ he said. ‘There are some messages that require no spin to
    make them look bad. There appears to be evidence of attempts to prevent
    scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that
    was subject to a Freedom of Information request. Worse still, some of
    the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate
    sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change. The head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign.
    Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.’

    The defenses put forth on RC are so much like the Wizard of Oz…
    “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

    These pourloined e-mails reflect terribly on the case for AGW, and
    it’s amazing to me to read the cries for prosecuting the “Deep Throat.”

    Comment by Roger — 25 Nov 2009 @ 10:56 PM

  650. Gavin,

    Is there any truth to the NZ temperature raw data being adjusted to increase the appearance of warming? This is being discussed on WUWT at the moment and I’d like to know how you explain this kind of raw data adjustment.

    In the field i am in, adjustment of raw data is a fairly large no-no.

    Thanks.

    [Response: No clue. But if WUWT thinks it wrong, odds on it's fine. On your more general point, there is a long way between raw weather records that were made for immediate use in understanding weather and turning that into a climate quality data set. Stations move, the instruments change, the time at which the measurements are taken, cities grow, trees grow etc. All of these things can create false trends. Therefore everyone needs to homogenise the data before you can trust it for climate trends. Unfortunately we can't go back to the 19th Century to do it properly, and so we have to make do the best we can. - gavin]

    Comment by Gnrnr — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:19 PM

  651. (A little humor)

    I wonder why some contrarians haven’t jumped to the much less obvious conclusion (rozaR s’maccO – backwards) that these emails are not a result mainly of changes in solar activity. Fossil fuel energy supplied to the computers is from the sun, and cosmic rays could certainly affect electronic equipment. Why should anyone infer human behavior from these emails – after all, they can’t predict what P. Jones will have for breakfast tomorrow morning, so how could they possibly know what his job description is? There are some neural networks in the heads of scientists that have yet to be fully described – the anthropic models are incomplete and can’t reproduce the Hoola Hoop fad in simulations! And sensitivity to emails is only 0.9 times what it was thought to have been. Which means it is really only 0.9*0.9*0.9*0.9 … about 0.3 times what it was thought to have been. Not to mention that having more emails automatically boosts the rate of scientific discovery, regardless of content, or of funding for labs, computers, and satellites! In fact, the internet can’t have any net effect on our lives, because people managed to survive the Stone age. There have been changes in emails in the past, so people sending emails now can’t be responsible for them. Climate science has been around for over 100 years, while emails have been around a fraction of that time – clearly, emails cannot have any affect on science; science causes emails. Besides which, the Second Law of Infodynamics dictates that emails can only flow in one direction, so any back-and-forth must be a fraud – and anyone who says otherwise must have delusions of grandeur! (The first law of Infodynamics requires that information has to come from somewhere, and since the exchange of emails results in accumulation of information, this violates physics). An email can’t even really exist – if you print it out, it looks different on paper than on screen. And we don’t really know they’re from the UK, so we should assume these were written in Aramaic. Hey, they don’t make any sense at all in Aramaic. I guess these people don’t know any language at all, since in Aramaic, it is all gibberish. Anyway, the vast majority of all emails are written about volcanic eruptions and have nothing to due with climatology (please ignore contradiction with beginning of paragraph).

    Comment by Patrick 027 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:39 PM

  652. Gavin, in your response

    -[Response: With all due respect you have things very confused. Nothing depends on the 12 trees in the Yamal record. Toss them out completely if you aren't happy with them. The instrumental temperature records are plenty enough to demonstrate the warming since then without recourse to trees. You don't like dendroclimatology at all? Fine, toss that too. It just isn't that key to anything important (see here). And I think you may be a little confused about CRU does - they chiefly collate one version of the instrumental temperature data. They don't make projections, and they don't have one of the main climate models. Your statement about vineyards in the medieval period is very out of date as well. In fact, your whole argument neglects the fact that CRU are just a very small part of the climate science establishment, and every single one of their important contributions has been replicated by independent groups around the world. - gavin]

    I see nothing in your response to indicate that the main drivers of temperature increases since the time frame after the Yamal records were mainly driven by the warm cycles of the PDO and AMO. Since I can not find a single post to dispute that any warming has taken place in that time frame, why are you posting general statements about warming without indictating the forces behind it. What is expected to happen now that we have shifted to a cold PDO? What happens in 10 to 15 years when the AMO goes cold? Will we go back to tree ring data?

    [Response: Huh? A temperature record on it's own does not prove any attribution to a cause. That requires some kind of model - statistical, GCM or whatever, but attribution is a whole different thing. But there is no evidence that AMO and PDO have cause the long term trends in the data. (Hint, look at how they are defined). No one is going to use trees in lieu of modern instrumental and satellite data for temperatures today or tomorrow or even in 15 years time. - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:53 PM

  653. “will have for breakfast tomorrow morning, so how could they possibly know what his job description is?”

    Of course, if he has cereal at 6:00 AM one morning, we can infer he has cereal every morning at 6:00 AM.

    That about covers it.

    Comment by Patrick 027 — 25 Nov 2009 @ 11:54 PM

  654. FYI — The author is a well-known figure in the open source software community:

    Who is also a well-known far-right libertarian crank who is very, very busily demonstrating that he doesn’t know squat about what he’s posting on, regarding the snippet of code he believes totally destroys all of climate science.

    I made a handful of posts there, bid adieu, and won’t be back.

    My software engineering cred is at least comparable to ESR, but despite that, I don’t think (as he does) that this means I know more about climate science that professionals in that field do.

    He’s an ass, and he’s wrong, and if you spend just a few moments thinking about his “oh my god, this proves all of climate science is wrong, because I found a snippet of code demonstrating hacks to account for the divergence problem which is a huge smoking gun secret” followed, later, by his saying “oh, I’ve known of the divergence problem for a long time” … it’s all BS.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:08 AM

  655. Free the data and the code that make up the models.

    Please go away until you’ve studied GISS Model E’s documentation and code.

    And quit telling people to “free the code” that’s been online for … a long time, now.

    Oh, and also, please stop beating your wife and free her. We know you must be, just like you know that GCM code is not “free”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:11 AM

  656. Hey Ron R,

    Which of the gratuitus assertions made in the quote by your guru, Peter Raven, (other than the fact that the earth is overpopulated) can stand the test of verification to be anything other than pure hyperbole!

    He claims that mankind has altered the composition of the atmosphere ‘profoundly’. Well, I guess that if increasing the concentration of a trace gas by a few hundredths of a percent is profound then he’s correct.

    Come on! A quarter of the topsoil, a fifth of the agricultural land? I’d like to see the basis for the calculations that genreated those numbers. His claims about the loss of a ‘major proportion’ of forests and increases in species extintion by ‘several hundred times’ sound like they come from the hysterical folks at WWF or NRDC.

    By the way, did you intentionally leave out the part about his eugenic solutions to these problems?

    “Where do we stand in our efforts to achieve a sustainable world? Clearly, the past half century has been a traumatic one, as the collective impact of human numbers, affluence (consumption per individual) and our choices of technology continue to exploit rapidly an increasing proportion of the world’s resources at an unsustainable rate … during a remarkably short period of time, we have lost a quarter of the world’s topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing them. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century.” -Peter Raven, past president of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Comment by FHSIV — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:13 AM

  657. [Response: Huh? A temperature record on it's own does not prove any attribution to a cause. That requires some kind of model - statistical, GCM or whatever, but attribution is a whole different thing. But there is no evidence that AMO and PDO have cause the long term trends in the data. (Hint, look at how they are defined). No one is going to use trees in lieu of modern instrumental and satellite data for temperatures today or tomorrow or even in 15 years time. - gavin

    Sarcasm!

    As for the PDO...

    Christy, J. R., R. W. Spencer, W. B. Norris, W. D. Braswell, and D. E. Parker (2003),
    Error estimates of version 5.0 of MSU/AMSU bulk atmospheric temperatures, J.
    Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 20, 613- 629.

    Douglass, D.H., and R. S. Knox, 2005. Climate forcing by volcanic eruption of Mount
    Pinatubo. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, doi:10.1029/2004GL022119.

    Forster, P. M., and J. M. Gregory (2006), The climate sensitivity and its components
    diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget data, J. Climate, 19, 39-52.

    Gregory, J.M., R.J. Stouffer, S.C.B. Raper, P.A. Stott, and N.A. Rayner (2002), An
    observationally based estimate of the climate sensitivity, J. Climate, 15, 3117-3121.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007), Climate Change 2007: The Physical
    Science Basis, report, 996 pp., Cambridge University Press, New York City.

    Schwartz, S. E. (2007), Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of the Earth’s
    climate system. J. Geophys. Res., 112, doi:10.1029/2007JD008746.

    Spencer, R.W., W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy, and J. Hnilo (2007), Cloud and radiation
    budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations, Geophys. Res.
    Lett., 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698.

    Spencer, R.W., and W.D. Braswell (2008a), Satellite measurements reveal a climate
    system less sensitive than in models, Geophys. Res. Lett., submitted.

    Spencer, R.W., and W.D. Braswell (2008b), Potential biases in cloud feedback diagnosis:
    A simple model demonstration, J. Climate, November 1

    [Response: Is that sarcasm too? Not one of those papers has anything to do with the PDO. And you think that citing the IPCC report supports your case? Funny! - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:13 AM

  658. #613
    The CRU emails contain an email from McIntyre accusing a scientist (not Mann) of blocking his personal IP address. As some of you may know, these types of accusations have been made at various times by McIntyre.

    That reminds me of the time where McIntyre devoted a blog post to speculation that his ClimateAudit website was blocked in a parental control blacklist database.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6217

    This was back in the days when I commented occasionally. I proved convincingly (or so I thought) that the problem was triggered by specific content, and there was no “blocking” as such:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6217#comment-344660

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6217#comment-344860

    But some people just want to believe what they want to believe:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6217#comment-344880

    Comment by Deep Climate — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:14 AM

  659. Gnrnr:

    In the field i am in, adjustment of raw data is a fairly large no-no

    In your field, instrument calibration isn’t ever necessary?

    In your field, long-term data series don’t confront instrument calibration issues as technology changes over century timescales?

    I don’t believe this, either. On the other hand, I will believe you if you tell me that in your field, field conditions (which gavin mentions) aren’t a problem, because maybe you’re just sticking a probe up some person’s ass, or are instrumenting some laboratory, rather than working in the field.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:17 AM

  660. He claims that mankind has altered the composition of the atmosphere ‘profoundly’. Well, I guess that if increasing the concentration of a trace gas by a few hundredths of a percent is profound then he’s correct.

    Come to my lair, my friend, and I’ll teach you everything you need to know to convince you that you’re right, that no change in the concentration of a trace gas by a few hundredths of a percent could possibly be profound.

    Bring a blank will and be prepared to sign over your assets to me first, though.

    You’ll have no reason not to if you have the faith of your convictions …

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:28 AM

  661. Re: unable to release data from Met data belonging to other countries… read Willis Eschenbach’s account of his request to you for just the list of stations and how your team stonewalled him. Surely the station mapping data was not proprietary since it wasn’t the station data itself and you could’ve easily complied with his request without forcing him to pursue an FOI request. This looks really bad – it looks like you are hiding something or at the very least acting far outside of the spirit of honest science. I can’t wait to hear an explanation. Read it here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/24/the-people-vs-the-cru-freedom-of-information-my-okole%E2%80%A6/ (skip down to “Guest post by Willis Eschenbach …”).
    I agree with many posters here…treat this as you would open source software..in cases where you aren’t allowed to release data, you can still release code and instructions on how you can reproduce the analysis/models so someone who does buy the data can replicate your results. Something so important as this demands this level of behaviour at a minimum.

    Comment by Stork — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:44 AM

  662. To Gavin – RE my comment 602: answers to your questions:
    what was this for? and what paper did it appear in? it appears to be (do I know absolutely for sure – no – how could I -but appears to match the content of the papers

    Note one program is dated 3/4/99 just prior to the 2000 paper and is called “briffa_sep98_d.pro” so might have been authored by or involved Briffa’s data. The latest paper states “To overcome these problems, the decline is artificially removed from the calibrated tree-ring density series, for the purpose of making a final calibration. The removal is only temporary, because the final calibration is then applied to the unadjusted data set (i.e., without the decline artificially removed). Though this is rather an ad hoc approach, it does allow us to test the sensitivity of the calibration to time scale, and it also yields a reconstruction whose mean level is much less sensitive to the choice of calibration period”

    please therefore publish the remainder of my post with the code and please can you or anyone explain the following:

    1. why didn’t the papers reveal the “fudge factor”(s)- not my words the programmer’s- used to produce the calibration of tree ring density? They happen to show an almost exponential rise post 1958. I find no justification of this.
    2. why do said “fudge factor”(s)-there are twenty to be applied to different time periods – increase some years, decrease others, and leave others the same whereas the papers say in effect only increase because of a recent decline – and why is that even permissible?
    2. why is it permissible to apply a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” adjustment to the “DECLINE” because of the “problems otherwise induced by” the “recent decline in high latitude tree-ring density?”
    3. Although the 2 papers only mention “adjusting” the data for purposes of obtaining a “temporary” “calibration”, is it not true that when a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” adjustment is used to create a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration, and this “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration is then applied to the raw data, what you end up with is “VERY ARTIFICIAL” data?
    4. Why does the code I cited proceed to plot the “fudged” data with the “VERY ARTIFICIAL” adjustments and does not plot the raw data with the “fudged” calibration (as the paper states)? If you are only using the “fudged” data for calibration purposes, why plot it?
    5. The programming files also use the words “VERY ARTIFICIAL…” , but the papers make this sound so routine and don’t use that adjective. Why use the word VERY unless you are implying “too much?”
    I’m really just curious and don’t have any agenda or axe to grind, so please, anyone, assure me that there is a reasonable scientific rationale for these issues. Thanks!

    [Response: (I reformatted for clarity). The issue is that unless you look at the papers (and one seems not to be online anywhere, and the other only the CRU webserver (which is down), you can't tell what was done and why and whether it was in fact justified. Maybe if someone has actually read the papers, they can comment? - gavin]

    Comment by Mark Sawusch — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:18 AM

  663. DocMartyn says: 25 novembre 2009 at 5:25 PM
    > [invasive European] earthworms … did they appear in the White Mountains,
    > the Inyo Mountains, and the Panamint Range in California?

    No mention of them that I can find, but you should ask a reference librarian to help you with this kind of question. None appear in those areas on this map, which has some further references: http://www.archbold-station.org/abs/staff/pbohlen/publications/Hendrix&Bohlen_Bioscience_2002.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:42 AM

  664. #587 Sloop

    Thanks for the interesting and thought provoking response.

    First off, on the issue of accessability of publicly funded climate research data, code, and methods – as a matter of principle, I have a hard time accepting that accessability should be limited in any way. The issue of Steve’s “approach” to dealing with the climate research “community” should not detract from this fundamental principle. With perhaps very limited and trivial exceptions, publicly funded data, code , etc needed for independant verification does not belong to the “community”.

    I commend you for recognizing the potential value of “contrarian” science. I think the concept in your proposal is interesting although I don’t share your view on SM’s credibility. In any case, perhaps the best interests of the concept would be better served with independant participants who do not have vested interests in the outcome.

    Comment by Layman Lurker — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:53 AM

  665. Re: ccpo, 1085, 5, 40 etc and others
    You should get a proper historical or preferably geological context to what you are preaching. I have been reading these posts in utter amazement. Here’s my favorite quote from this evening’s time spent reviewing comments about this email hack:

    “Where I’m sitting was once the bottom of a shallow sea with a near tropical climate. Today it’s snowing and the sea is 1000 miles away. Now that’s some serious climate change and man had nothing to do with it”

    Get some perspective. Take off the blinkers.
    BTW, If it sounds like a duck and looks like a duck …..

    [Response: Logical fallacy. If forest fires can occur naturally, does that mean arson does not exist? Quack. - gavin]

    Comment by Ian Tomlinson — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:57 AM

  666. regarding 650

    NZ raw data vs Corrected.

    http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/global_warming_nz2.pdf

    Here is a link to the paper in question.

    In short it contains no corrections for anything. We know that AT LEAST the met stations were changed from min-max thermometers to hourly recording. Exactly when I don’t know. NIWA has yet to respond, but since the question was raised in Parliament it IS likely that they actually WILL have to pull themselves together and answer.

    There is no particular reason to expect that the NZClimateScience organization got it completely right. They have a strong bias. I personally am surprised a little, to see the more rapid increase here that NIWA reports. We’re in the middle of the Southern Ocean, and not a big enough Island to have strong climate trends that are very independent of that ocean.

    It’s curious enough, on the other hand, our vinyards are thriving (where have I heard that song before?). Matter of fact that reminds me that we cracked open a very nice red and there is some left :-)

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:01 AM

  667. With all the attacks going on here I think it is time to bow out. I am not here to argue the science anyway, just the ethics. But I will leave you with this highly negative story from CBS(BTW Gavin you are mentioned by name):

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/24/taking_liberties/entry5761180.shtml

    The irony of this situation is that most of us expect science to be conducted in the open, without unpublished secret data, hidden agendas, and computer programs of dubious reliability. East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit might have avoided this snafu by publicly disclosing as much as possible at every step of the way.”

    Comment by SE — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:02 AM

  668. I hit send before I was finished Good Luck Gavin. I hope everything works out for the best.

    Comment by SE — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:03 AM

  669. Mark: The code you cite does not apply the correction factor. The line where it is applied is commented out.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:11 AM

  670. [Response: (I reformatted for clarity). The issue is that unless you look at the papers (and one seems not to be online anywhere, and the other only the CRU webserver (which is down), you can't tell what was done and why and whether it was in fact justified. Maybe if someone has actually read the papers, they can comment? - gavin]

    Would you take a look at them gavin, when you’re able? And if you find that it was unjustified, would it change your view on the strength of global warming evidence?

    Comment by Jere Krischel — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:40 AM

  671. [Response: Yawn. If you want raw data go to GHCN. If you want current temperatures from exclusively public-domain sources go to GISTEMP. If you want all the raw data that went into those figures go to NOAA Paleoclimate. If you just want to rag on scientists, go somewhere else. - gavin]

    I’m sorry that you are tired. But you misunderstood my request. I am not requesting raw data. I want to be able to recreate exactly the global warming that you are predicting. I want to see the modeling software and the data that was input into it to determine that we have serious global warming issues. Preferably without the comments removed from the software since it appears to mostly be spaghetti code.

    And I don’t want to disparage scientists at all. At least, not the traditional type of scientist that shows his methodology and data to anyone who asks for it. Please don’t put words in my mouth, Gavin. I love them, and am one. Thanks in advance!

    [Response: If you want to run models used in AR4, try either GISS ModelE or NCAR CCSM - both source codes are publicly available. The NCAR model is better documented. That code is exactly what was used in the AR4 runs. - gavin]

    Comment by Kevin — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:50 AM

  672. I’ve been doing some of my own global temperature anomaly models (which are relatively simple, with variables for the sun, greenhouse gases, aerosols, volcanoes, and ENSO). All I can say is that 2010 is going to surprise a few people. Given the projected El Nino forecast, it’s not just going to be the hottest year on record. It’s on pace to get shattered by more than 0.1C. And with the Sun the coldest it’s been since the 1930s, I’m curious how this is going to get spun. (If the Sun was at a solar max as per the last couple of solar cycles, the temperature record is estimated to be broken by 0.25C, according to my model). Now, who knows for sure what the actual ENSO activity will be, and who knows when the next time the next big strato-volcano comes, but it’s going to take quite a bit for it not to happen.
    (ENSO forecast found here at NOAA’s website):

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/images/nino34SSTMon.gif

    Comment by Todd Friesen — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:01 AM

  673. Gavin,
    The lawsuit that is being filed against you could beused as an opportunity to grill its denialist sponsors. What I would suggest is an attempt to expose the fact that the a sceptics because they are letting political ideology control their beliefs on scientific matters.

    Don’t attack their ideology. They seem to be people who do not understand the inexorability of natural processes. Theybdo not understand that the Universe has no politics and it doesn’t matter how good they are at convincing people. They are looking for reasons to continue believing what they want to believe and cannot understand that this is wrong.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:42 AM

  674. Quoting from “Mail Online”. I hope that Hudson will reveal who sent him the stolen emails:

    Climate change scandal deepens as BBC expert claims he was sent leaked emails

    The controversy surrounding the global warming e-mail scandal has deepened after a BBC correspondent admitted he was sent the leaked messages more than a month before they were made public.

    Paul Hudson, weather presenter and climate change expert, claims the documents allegedly sent between some of the world’s leading scientists are of a direct result of an article he wrote.

    In his BBC blog three days ago, Hudson said: ‘I was forwarded the chain of emails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the world’s leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article “Whatever Happened To Global Warming”.’

    That essay, written last month, argued that for the last 11 years there had not been an increase in global temperatures.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1230943/Climate-change-scandal-BBC-expert-sent-cover-emails-month-public.html#ixzz0XxC2ToVf

    [Response: This came up before, Hudson was forwarded a single chain of emails involving his piece, which subsequently was part of the hack. He wasn't saying he saw all the stolen emails. - gavin]

    Comment by Alan Burke — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:55 AM

  675. Re: CRU data accessibility.

    National Meteorological Services (NMSs) have different rules on data exchange. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) organizes the exchange of “basic data”, i.e. data that are needed for weather forecasts. For details on these see WMO resolution number 40 (see http://bit.ly/8jOjX1).

    This document acknowledges that WMO member states can place restrictions on the dissemination of data to third parties “for reasons such as national laws or costs of production”. These restrictions are only supposed to apply to commercial use, the research and education community is supposed to have free access to all the data.

    Now, for researchers this sounds open and fine. In practice it hasn’t proved to be so.

    Most NMSs also can distribute all sorts of data that are classified as “additional data and products”. Restrictions can be placed on these. These special data and products (which can range from regular weather data from a specific station to maps of rain intensity based on satellite and radar data). Many nations do place restrictions on such data (see link for additional data on above WMO-40 webpage for details).

    The reasons for restricting access is often commercial, NMSs are often required by law to have substantial income from commercial sources, in other cases it can be for national security reasons, but in many cases (in my experience) the reasons simply seem to be “because we can”.

    What has this got to do with CRU? The data that CRU needs for their data base comes from entities that restrict access to much of their data. And even better, since the UK has submitted an exception for additional data, some nations that otherwise would provide data without question will not provide data to the UK. I know this from experience, since my nation (Iceland) did send in such conditions and for years I had problem getting certain data from the US.

    The ideal, that all data should be free and open is unfortunately not adhered to by a large portion of the meteorological community. Probably only a small portion of the CRU data is “locked” but the end effect is that all their data becomes closed. It is not their fault, and I am sure that they dislike them as much as any other researcher who has tried to get access to all data from stations in region X in country Y.

    These restrictions end up by wasting resources and hurting everyone. The research community (CRU included) and the public are the victims. If you don’t like it, write to you NMSs and urge them to open all their data.

    [Response: Halldor, thanks. I'm going to move this up to the top. - gavin]

    Comment by Halldór Björnsson — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:47 AM

  676. If I can add one thing to this now ridiculously overblown topic: Gavin et al.: the attacks on your work are on a scale unprecedented since the Inquisition. Not even the tobacco industry had the gall to haul scientists before the senate multiple times, attempt to silence senior research scientists by using a stooge government to rewrite their press releases and now this. I don’t know how you keep going but a lot of us really appreciate that you do.

    One thing I am convinced of: if there is a serious alternative hypothesis to explain the climate, the denial bunch had the resources to find it, and the fact that they are using this sort of tactic instead says it all.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 26 Nov 2009 @ 5:19 AM

  677. May I suggest editing out the whole of comment #133 by Alan Millar (25 November 2009 @ 8:34 AM) on the now-closed Copenhagen thread as it is *identical* to his #533 (25 November 2009 at 10:17 AM) on this thread.
    It got soundly thrashed here (e.g. Tamino at #548, 11:17 AM), and makes no more sense when reposted unchallenged on a fresh thread just before closing time. Besides which, it is off topic there according to Eric’s clear strictures.

    Obviously, I do hope you are not reading this today…

    Comment by CM — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:05 AM

  678. Marco,

    Just listen to yourself:

    “567.I just HAVE to respond to Mike M (#546 at this moment):

    The issue at hand is not that Steve McIntyre is a sceptic. The issue is that he is obfuscating. Yes, he has found mistakes before, great. But he’s taken those mistakes and enlarged them to superhuman proportions. Sometimes he has also claimed mistakes (see the whole Briffa issue) where there essentially were none, and resulting in allegations of fraud uttered by his cheering crowd. He *could* have been a valuable asset to climate science (and science in general) if he had a constructive attitude. He doesn’t.

    Do remember that the mistake he found in the GISTEMP series is STILL widely reported (by skeptics) as evidence that Jim Hansen (and Gavin Schmidt by extension) don’t know what they are doing, and that none of their results are to be trusted.” End quote

    So what that some idiots made a mountain out of a molehill regarding Steve McIntyre’s uncovering of some errors in the data? Some idiots make the same mountian out of a molehill in order to make silly alarmist statements. So what? The fact you are so defensive about Steve McIntyre is really worrying.

    Also the grand feeble excuse about the CRU data not being theirs to release through FOI is really ridiculous. Since when is publicly funded climate data secret information? If we are all being asked to drastically change our lives over a “theory” based on a “computer model” then there should be no embargo on that data. You cant have your cake and eat it at the same time, which is what you imply by defending Phil Jone’s deplorable attitude toward a full and vigourous independent analysis of the data used to make very serious longterm decisions which will effect every human being on this planet.

    The longer you guys support this suppression of data, FOIs and properly critical and independent peer review process the more agnostics such as myself will become sceptical.

    Really you guys are your own worst enemies. And this is coming from someone who agrees that global warming is occuring and believes its perfectly feasible that humans are responsible for some of it.

    [Response: There is much publicly collected data outside the US (which is much better in this regard) that is not available without payment. The Ordanance Survey maps in the UK for instance. Met Offices are often tasked to be revenue generating and so restrict access to some data to paying customers except in some academic uses (such as the data sent to CRU). While understandable, this is antithetical to the openness and transparency that people are (rightly) demanding. But you are blaming the wrong people here. (Note that the CRU data is not a computer model in the sense you imply - by the way, all computer model output used in AR4 is publicly available at PCMDI or ClimateExplorer). - gavin]

    Comment by Mike M — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:11 AM

  679. I can’t help but admire your perseverence, Gavin. I disagree with some of your more regular contributors – opening up the discussion has been helpful.

    I don’t find your explanation of the FOI-request refusal satisfactory, given the contents of the emails concerned and the divergent (ho ho) explanations that were given at the time. I’m sure that this issue will develop over the coming weeks.

    [Response: The response to the 2007 FOI request is the same as the response in Nov 2009. - gavin]

    In any case, the only way to achieve lasting closure will be for an independent review to take place. I wonder if you’d support this?

    Comment by Mark Yoxon — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:57 AM

  680. JCS: I am not convinced by anything I have read, seen, studied or experimented that there is a definitive correlation between CO2/Greennhouse gases and climate variability.

    BPL: Then you can’t have spent much time on it–about 15 minutes, maybe? Try here:

    Houghton, John T. 2002 (1977). The Physics of Atmospheres.

    Petty, Grant W. 2006 (2002). A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation.

    Goody, R.M. and Y.L. Yung 1989. Atmospheric Radiation.

    Hartmann, Dennis 1994. Global Physical Climatology.

    Weart, Spencer 2008 (2003). The Discovery of Global Warming.

    Philander, George S. 1998. Is the Temperature Rising?

    You might also try going to Google Scholar and checking out the names Kasting, Walker, Hays, Berner, and Lasaga.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:58 AM

  681. Hi,
    I was told yesterday that the data sharing agreements between CRU and the national met services don’t exist after all, and that where they do, they’re verbal only.

    [Response: Not quite true. Some of the written agreements were provided as a response to an FOI request, but many of them are apparently based on more informal practice and agreements. I don't see how that means they can be ignored with impunity. It would be better if they didn't exist, but just imagining that they don't is not a solution. - gavin]

    Granted, I was told this by Ross McKitrick (following a seminar he gave in which he was very well restrained but did appear to be a little gleeful at the whole situation), but it got me thinking.
    Why do people go to the middle people for information? Isn’t it obvious to go straight to the NMSs?
    I’ve learnt this week that continuing to follow climate change science after my degree is fun, but frustrating. I’m getting more than a little downhearted by it all, so RealClimate has to keep doing what it’s doing to try and keep some sort of sensibility on the web. Thanks Gavin et al!

    Comment by Vicky I — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:13 AM

  682. JimM says, ” guess I’ve been around long enough to see more than a few scientific “facts” be later found to be mistakes, and theories that we were fairly certain of be ultimately disproven.”

    OK, JimM, I’ll bite, hows about you tell us cite some theories where better than 90% of the researchers in the field agreed AND where the theory had been examined by the entire scientific community and found to be solid AND where the basic theory had been the same for about a century AND where there were mountains of empirical data supporting the theory…

    The choice is really very simple: We can make policy consistent with the science or we can go 180 degrees against the science. Science or Anti-science. Pick.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:26 AM

  683. RE Joe Duarte @ 636

    Have you seen this?: http://esr.ibiblio.org/

    FYI — The author is a well-known figure in the open source software community: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_S._Raymond

    I don’t know what to make of the code he is analyzing, and I’d welcome a response from someone at RC.

    Via Open Mind, I found this bit of information. Apparently, the line of code (below the ESR-quoted section) that uses this “artifical” adjustment is actually a comment (preceded by a semi-colon). Caveats: I haven’t seen the whole program and I am not a programmer and couldn’t pass for one on television. As “wingding” notes:

    They haven’t even shown their quoted adjustment was used, let alone what it’s purpose is. A proper analysis of this would require knowing what the adjustment was based on (it clearly isn’t arbitrary), why it was done (perhaps nothing more than an experiment), and not to forget – whether it was even used at all in published results.

    And Happy Thanksgiving, Gavin and US-based RC crew. I’m kinda thankful for their research contributions and that RC is around.

    Comment by Deech56 — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:44 AM

  684. Darn. The link didn’t go through. It’s here:

    http://allegationaudit.blogspot.com/2009/11/mining-source-code.html

    Comment by Deech56 — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:45 AM

  685. The human capacity for deception is bizarre at times.

    It’s sad, how easy it is to take quotes out of context and manipulate public perceptions. I hope that you and your colleagues handle it well, because public perception is going to have a strong influence on decisions that policy-makers make. It seems that some are deluded enough to believe that there’s a global conspiracy of some sort.

    I read an editorial about this leak that basically said that responding to these criticisms with scientific explanation is like responding to being called a bastard by showing someone your birth certificate. Getting angry won’t be useful, but it should still be recognized that this is a PR attack more than anything, so responding as if its a scientific criticism may not be the most rational course of action. Don’t know what else to say, because I know nothing about PR.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving. Best of luck.

    Comment by Greg — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:50 AM

  686. FHSIV, #64

    If you don’t think that “Trace gas” has much significance (385 parts per million CO2) then take that insignificant amount out of the atmosphere and the Earth becomes a frozen ice cube.

    Comment by Dale — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:01 AM

  687. Just to say what a good model of calm thinking this whole thread is. thank you, Gavin

    Comment by bill mckibben — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:36 AM

  688. I saw this comment:

    “It really does not matter why you cannot release the data. Nonscientists will not trust the science until the process is 100% transparent.”

    And I second it.

    You’re going to keep getting hell, until *everything* is documented, released and open.

    That aside. Well done to the guy “Gavin” who is responding to all these comments. I can imagine its hard work!!!

    Comment by Willie — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:53 AM

  689. OK, Patrick that’s a really funny bit of parody. Some may not appreciate it–this hack is, after all, a serious incident–but I sure do. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, after all.

    Or turkey, in the US–happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:15 AM

  690. Mark Yoxon asks: “In any case, the only way to achieve lasting closure will be for an independent review to take place. I wonder if you’d support this?”

    OK, first, lasting closure of what? Do you really think denialists will every STFU, no matter how strong the evidence against them?

    And what do you mean by “independent review”? It seems to me you got a problem here, since you pretty much have to be a climate scientist to understand the science, and they’ve pretty much already reached a determination–as of 50 years ago.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:18 AM

  691. May I suggest a way of dealing with FOI requests for data locked up by national weather organizations. Write up a form listing all the weather services that have placed restrictions on the usen of their data with space on it for them to give their release. Send it to the person making the FOI request and tell them to get all the appropriate weather sevices to sign it. Release the data if they successfully do so.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:20 AM

  692. It’s funny that near no-one is acknowledging the very large and smelly gorilla in the room..that is human population. In 1900 it stood at 1.65 Billion, now it’s 6.8 Billion. The rate of multiplicity of this large mammal over the last 100 years is unprecedented. With each nett human addition to our population there is another Co2 factory being born. Also the problem is there is getting such little space in the cities for burials of the dead that the vast majority of our dead are cremated releasing more CO2 and microparticulate compounds. Humans after all take a lot of energy to turn into ash. How much CO2 and greenhouse gasses does the average human produce through their lifetime?. I am talking here on rate of change of our pop. Not the equilibrium. For every new human over and above the death rate there is more livesotck bred, whether it be goat, chicken or if you are lucky enough beef. There is more rice farmed, more vegetables and fruit etc. Every additional human is doing their share of climate forcing. As more countries become importers as their standard of material well being is increased there is an exponential increase in their wastage.
    I’ve been reading Dr Tim Garret’s study from the Univ. of Utah and he says that stabilizing the climate with the uncontrollable ‘heat engine’ of human and allied livestock popultions’ will be impossible. A global complete collapse in all regional economies for a very sustained period is our only hope. Another words..turn off the heat engine..turn off capitalism. Before you all ridicule this study..sit quietly for a while and ponder this concept..isn’t that what your inherent intuition knows is true?

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:22 AM

  693. Hiding the decline again

    This web-page shows very clearly the effect that hiding the decline has:
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRUupdate

    At the bottom of the page, the upper diagram shows 3 hockey-stick plots with the ‘hide the decline’ algorithm in place
    - so it gives the impression the proxies all have very good correlation in the 20th Century, and they diverge somewhat going back in time.
    - so the effect of ‘hiding the decline’ is to make these proxy-plots appear more ‘skilful’ than in fact they are.

    This is illustrated very clearly by the lower plot, which shows (I think) the same data plotted without a real-temp blending operation.

    This shows that, actually, the proxy-plots don’t track real-temps very well, and in particular none of them seem to be able to track temps accurately above the 0.0C baseline.

    The green Briffa plot is particularly bad, relying as it does, entirely on tree-rings.

    Note: these plots are all cut-off at 1960 or 1980 to avoid showing too much divergence
    - which, still, therefore, has the effect of implying greater ‘skill’ than in fact they possess.

    So I am note sure how one can reasonably make claims about temperatures 1000 years ago, if we know these proxies (in particular tree-ring proxies) have not been demonstrated to be capable registering temperatures higher than a certain level.

    (i.e. like most complex biological processes, isn’t it reasonable to assume that tree-ring growth has an ‘optimum’ temperature range, above and below which growth rates will diminish)

    Just to re-iterate, it seems to me that the ‘hide the decline’ algorithm has the effect of making hockey-stick plots appear to be more skilful than in fact they are.
    - and the effect of this is to mislead the viewer of these results.

    [Response: We can disagree about that, but that was a figure from 10 years ago. The equivalent figure that is up-to-date is figure 6.10 in the IPCC AR4 report. There is no blending of data in those smoothed plots. - gavin]

    Comment by Phil M — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:26 AM

  694. Re: 634 J Smith. Well said! I’m with you on that one!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:29 AM

  695. You know, the level of ignorance reflected in the posts of the denialists makes a pretty strong argument against releasing data, code, emails or anything else to them.

    How about it, guys? Prove me wrong. Why don’t you actually produce an analysis of value–one that actually advances the state of understanding of climate–with the data that are already available. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:32 AM

  696. Re #681 and elsewhere, the thing about oral ongoing data sharing agreements, is that you break them and you don’t get anymore data, so oral or written, they are enforced.

    The Mc’s are, as usual, both wrong and political in this. Other words appear to apply also. The same thing was true about data sharing wrt the Yamal tree rings. McIntyre had the data almost as soon as he asked for it, Eli would bet that somewhere in the actual CRU Emails, is one that McIntyre was forwarded or sent, which shows that he should have known that he got the exact same set that was used in Briffa’s papers.

    McIntyre’s incessant whinging that he was not told in detail about various national met services data being proprietary, something that is obvious, where the devil did he think the data came from, is just another indication of his goals.

    This was obvious early, and it has a lot in common with the commented out line discussed above.

    Scientists often carry out what-if models, in other words, if I do this, what happens. Often you do things that you expect to move the result in a certain way as a stress test of your model. Sometime surprises turn up, your result and your expectation are different so you investigate which was wrong. These lines get left in and commented out so you can come back to them later if needed.

    When Mann told McIntyre where his FTP site was (there are indications that the original site was open earlier) McIntyre whined for months that the batch files were not exactly the same as the ones used in the MBH papers. Why should they have been? That was a working archive, not a museum piece.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:53 AM

  697. Eli’s greatest compliments to Gavin. As long as we are discussing the motives of scientists, an important thing to keep in mind is that the denialists have never been on the side of an issue that was not harmful to health, wealth and happiness alone or in the various possible permutations. The best that could be said for them is that they have an extreme pro-big-corporation slant (whether defense, tobacco, fossil fuel, CFCs and more).

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:59 AM

  698. Just to cheer you all up, I wrote a poem for you all. It starts:

    The night Mike wore his lab coat,
    and made scientific discoveries of one kind and another,
    the denialists called him a fraudster
    and Mike said: “I’ll prove you wrong!”
    So they sent his emails to the media without any context.
    That very night on his blog,
    a jungle of obfuscating comments grew,
    and grew,
    until the discussions became enflamed,
    and spilled out into the internet all around.

    (read the rest here: http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/?p=990)

    Comment by Steve Easterbrook — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:11 AM

  699. #648, David, You might try these sites for more up to date and comprehensive, try these. You might catch a interesting upward trend. You then might correlate this with the flattening of global temp.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icecover.uk.php
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.area.jpg

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for the Arctic to be ice free. However what will be interesting to see is if the upward trend continues. As I said above, we will just have to wait and see, and have to remember “nature” does what it wants, regardless of the politics.

    Comment by J. Bob — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:15 AM

  700. Only those with ideological blinders on will get their predetermined notion of widespread fraud confirmed.

    What do you do if you don’t agree with the science (or with the perceived political implications thereof), but don’t have any real evidence to back up your position?

    You could try breaking in the computer system of a renowned institute, to then release the stolen emails and documents via internet. If your catch is big enough, there will surely be something that could be spun to embarrass the scientists in question (and, by extension, discredit the whole field). Especially emails written before they had their morning coffee serve that purpose really well.
    More here: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/scientists-under-attack/

    Gavin, I don’t envy the task you’ve taken on, but I have the utmost respect for how you’re handling this, both in providing needed context, answering numerous questions, and remaining calm and collected while doing so (at least in appearance…).

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:27 AM

  701. That NZ stuff. See
    http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-sceptics-lie-about-temp-records-try-to-smear-top-scientist/

    Comment by Gaz — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:31 AM

  702. “….We both know that Svensmark is right. For the sake of your discipline please stand up like a man and admit that you were wrong….” “…End this charade while “Hopenhagen” can still be easily averted….”
    Comment by FergalR — 25 November 2009 @ 5:25 PM

    [Response: Thanks! But no thanks. - gavin]

    We will know soon enough after the CLOUD EXPERIMENT testing the Cosmic Ray Theory of Svensmark.
    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Research/CLOUD-en.html

    Real science at work. Real observations whatever the results. [edit]

    [Response: Well, the theory is from Nye and Dickinson decades ago, and as Bart described a few months ago, the CLOUD experiment has a pretty tall mountain to climb. We'll see. - gavin]

    Comment by Jimbo — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:42 AM

  703. You may want to add the link in #701 to the front page post too. The combination of the flat line + word “adjusted” is making people go crazy.

    I also would like to thank people here at RC. I am a neurobiologist and in the last week I found myself arguing a lot with people around trying to explain how things are. RC has been a fantastic source of information. People talk a lot about data policy release: I wish they would talk about the openess and the availability shown here at RC. I know nothing even remotely similar when it comes to other discipline in science.

    Comment by Giorgio Gilestro — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:47 AM

  704. Regarding the National Meteorological Services I was wondering if there is an international organization and there is -
    http://www.wmo.int/
    They have expressed concerns about commercialization and data sharing here -
    http://www.wmo.int/pages/about/Resolution40_en.html
    This is obviously a bigger issue than can be dealt with by individual scientists, but maybe bringing it into the public domain might help in getting some of those issues resolved.

    Comment by Moira Kemp — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:48 AM

  705. 1)I am sorry, but I cannot believe that not making data public because it was obtained from meteorology services around the globe is a good excuse, for the following reason: Most weather services are involved with predicting weather. Any weather data loses it’s commercial value as soon as it is history. After that the data has purely academic value. Reading through Harryreadme a more obvious reason is that the data was hopelessly corrupted/in disarray. Phil states in his emails: “We will hide behind…” and “Delete it rather than handing it over.” If the excuse was true he would rather have said: “I forwarded your request to such and such for release of the data into the public domain…”
    2)Peer review: Your assessment of the quality of papers that were rejected cannot be believed, and with this I am not implying that you are wrong;I simply state that IF your institution did subvert the peer review system, you would definitely call any paper not passed hopelessly inadequate. Even if the staff of the publication in question resigned it could still only mean that they are true believers or caved in under pressure. You have to do better than that. While you are free to read, recommend and publish in any journal you like the email suggests much more than that: It suggests malevolent punishment of dissent, especially in the contexts of (historical) statements by non-AGW climatologists.
    3)I am a scientist, but not a climatologist. Correct me if my understanding of this is wrong: Using tree ring data is ok pre 1960 but it becomes unreliable post 1960. The reason could be a)All the tree ring data is wrong, and the reason it looks right pre-1960 is because the thermometer measurements were not that accurate. I mean, how many weather stations were there in the 19th century and how accurate were they? b) The tree ring data is correct but the surface data post 1960 is wrong, maybe because of urban heat islands? In both cases the data proves nothing. What is the correct answer? c) The trees suddenly started growing differently due to an unknown (Anthropogenic – gasp)factor. This is seriously stretching it. You have to do better than that.
    4)It is obvious that your models did not predict the current cooling spell. We always say the most exact scientific instrument is the retrospectoscope. So it may be correct to say that it is natural cooling superimposed on global warming. BUT it still leaves serious doubt about the validity of you modeling software. It does not inspire confidence at all.

    [edit - stick to science]

    [Response: 1) It's clear that Jones was frustrated - something to do with the ~100 FOI requests for data that isn't his to give perhaps. But nonetheless the facts remain. You are incorrect about the data losing value outside of the weather forecast time-period. If that was true, there would be no problem, but in fact, small-scale localised information on climatology, variability, extremes etc. (which require timeseries) is actually very valuable to businesses, planners and the like. 2) Peer-review. You have got this completely wrong. None of the emails were complaining about papers that *didn't* make it through peer review - but instead the duff papers that did. And they were right to be worried about the possible breakdown in the system. 3) Tree ring data comes in many forms. The post-1960 divergence problem is a real issue for some kinds of proxies in some areas. It is not a blanket statement about all tree rings. There may be some other anthropogenic factor at work, an analysis artifact, or it might simply be how those trees respond - it remains to be seen what the conclusion is. In the meantime, feel free not to pay any attention to those tree ring records that show this. 4) the current cooling spell is no such thing, and the spread of the models over that same time shows that similar excursions happen all the time. There certainly were models that had 1998-2009 trends that were lower than the observations. - gavin]

    Comment by bielie — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:52 AM

  706. WRT the CLOUD experiment, not only do they have a tall hill to climb, they have dug themselves into a very large and easily predicted hole. Wall effects (what happens when molecules and aerosols hit the wall of the apparatus)and outgassing have long bedeviled attempts to study slow processes such as formation of cloud nucleation, they are also very well known, but appear to have surprised the folk at CERN. Why they didn’t spot this in proof of concept experiments on a smaller and less expensive apparatus is hard to say (actually it’s easy:).

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:25 AM

  707. Mr. Miller (#604), fine then, if that’s what you think, who are these scientists, specifically, by name, and how exactly did the ‘pervert objectivity’ exactly, with references, in proper context, of course.

    I need a good laugh on a holiday, at your expense. I’ve even brewed up a nice hot cup of tea awaiting your astute response. Science is self correcting, because the methods it uses vary widely and ‘evolve’. What you are doing isn’t science, it’s ‘propaganda’. Now I’m giving you a chance here to use credible modern scientific methods to bolster your case with actual evidence. This is your big chance, go for it.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:32 AM

  708. Reply to #664 by a layman no longer lurking

    The irony of your comment for me is that in my work I nearly always advocate for environmental data accessibility no matter whether generated by public or private organizations. As an aside, It is not true at all however that just because data generation is publicly funded that it should be released for all to see. Yes I agree in principle that should the case for environmental data, but not for many other types which for example could have homeland security implications or would contribute to the problem of international corporate espionage.

    There is a political dimension to the met data restrictions. If governments don’t adequately fund meteorological systems, including met data collection, analysis, and storage, then meteorological organizations are forced to find ways to commercialize their work and assets in order to keep functioning.

    Alors, this problem of met data restriction arises out of the need to protect the marketing of data required to keep the met systems going! We’ve made our own bed as governments as now the science we desperately need conducted and reported out is being impeded for political reasons. An example of how the consequences of government policy decisions previously are rarely fully characterized.

    Furthermore, many reactionary politicians know that if they can squeeze the monitoring and science institutions, they have a better chance of maintaining the status quo. This goes on constantly across all issues of public health and safety that governments must address.

    What’s unique about this area of science and policy is the unprecedented implications of climatology for our collective future. Arguably, not even the science and engineering that produced and maintains nuclear weapons systems has had the impact on human economies and society that this science is and will have.

    I’m taking a break for Thanksgiving. I encourage everyone to find space for repose, meditation, and restoration; I beginning to think that we’re at an important turning point and we’ll need all our strength and wits in the coming months.

    Sloop

    Comment by Sloop — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:46 AM

  709. I am sorry, but I cannot believe that not making data public because it was obtained from meteorology services around the globe is a good excuse, for the following reason: Most weather services are involved with predicting weather. Any weather data loses it’s commercial value as soon as it is history. After that the data has purely academic value.

    It’s not your data. It’s not for you – or CRU, or Steve McIntyre – to decide whether or not the weather data has lost its commercial value.

    It is solely in the hands of the service that owns the data.

    You may look at an old car sitting on concrete blocks in my yard and decide, “oh, it’s worthless, I’ll take it!” but sorry, I get to make that determination, and I’ll charge you with theft whether or not you think it’s reasonable.

    Don’t like the fact that you don’t get to decide what is or is not of value? Tough. This thinking that denialists get to decide what is, and what is not, proprietary is tiresome crap.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:05 PM

  710. Gavin, In reference to my previous message @573RaymondT (25 November 2009 at 12:30 PM)And your response
    [Previous Response: All of our discretisations use a flux form for solving the equations, thus the conservation constraints are built in. There is no mass balance error in the sense you describe. - gavin]

    All numerical solutions to partial differential equations involve a numerical error. Suppose that you start your numerical simulations in 2000 and that there are x moles of water in the atmosphere. Suppose that during the run y moles of water were transferred to the atmosphere from all other sources apart from the atmosphere over a period of 100 years. Because of numerical errors, the total number of moles of water in the atmosphere will not be exactly x + y in 2100. I would like to know the numerical error in calculating the number of moles of water in the atmosphere at 2100?

    [Response: Machine accuracy (a few parts in 10^15). We spend a lot of time making sure that there are no mass conservation errors. The numerical errors that are an inevitable part of solving PDEs on a grid are all in the magnitude of the fluxes, not in how the fluxes are applied. Think of it as if we are discretising the volume integral of the conservation equations and using the divergence theorem to related the consevation solely to the boundary terms in every grid box. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:19 PM

  711. “Which of the gratuitus assertions made in the quote by your guru, Peter Raven, (other than the fact that the earth is overpopulated) can stand the test of verification to be anything other than pure hyperbole!”

    Read the book the Raven is introducing.
    http://atlas.aaas.org/

    “He claims that mankind has altered the composition of the atmosphere ‘profoundly’. Well, I guess that if increasing the concentration of a trace gas by a few hundredths of a percent is profound then he’s correct.”

    And continuing to alter it: http://co2now.org. (note: Real Climate could probably use something like this on the homepage. Here’s the code http://co2now.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=29&Itemid=33.)

    “Come on! A quarter of the topsoil, a fifth of the agricultural land? I’d like to see the basis for the calculations that genreated those numbers. His claims about the loss of a ‘major proportion’ of forests and increases in species extintion by ’several hundred times’ sound like they come from the hysterical folks at WWF or NRDC.”

    See http://earthtrends.wri.org/features/view_feature.php?theme=7&fid=34. Also see the book Raven is introducing. Lots of work went into it :-)

    “By the way, did you intentionally leave out the part about his eugenic solutions to these problems?”

    Really? I assume you have a link to to that?

    Comment by Ron R. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:29 PM

  712. Gavin, what’s your reaction to this comment (Note 1) – if the graph (which rather flattens the top of the hockey stick from 1970 – 2000) doesn’t post you can see it at the reference.

    QUOTE:

    Hiding the Decline: Part 1 – The Adventure Begins

    From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

    ;
    ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
    ;
    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
    if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’
    ;
    yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

    This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s 1930s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

    All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.

    UPDATE2: Now the data is 0.75 scaled. I think I interpreted the yrloc entry incorrectly last time, introducing an off-by-one. The 1400 point (same as the 1904) is omitted as it confuses gmuplot. These are details; the basic hockey-stick shape is unaltered.

    UNQUOTE.

    Note 1) see http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1447

    [Response: Way overblown. Everyone knows (since it was published in Nature) there is a problem the MXD proxy post 1960. It makes perfect sense that the scientists involved would try a number of things to attempt to correct for the problem. The code highlighted is structured to produce two plots. The first is entitled "Northern Hemisphere temperatures, MXD and corrected MXD" and the second is "Northern Hemisphere temperatures and MXD reconstruction". In the code as available, the "corrected MXD" plot and the artificial correction is commented out (note the ';' on the line ;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow. Instead the program will quite happily plot the temperatures and MXD reconstruction with no correction. As for where the correction comes from, it appears to be based on a PCA technique described in briffa_sep98_decline1.pro and briffa_sep98_decline2.pro:

    ; On a site-by-site basis, computes MXD timeseries from 1902-1976, and
    ; computes Apr-Sep temperature for same period, using surrounding boxes
    ; if necessary. Normalises them over as common a period as possible, then
    ; takes 5-yr means of each (fairly generous allowance for
    ; missing data), then takes the difference.
    ; Results are then saved for briffa_sep98_decline2.pro to perform rotated PCA
    ; on, to obtain the 'decline' signal!

    ; Reads in site-by-site MXD and temperature series in 5 yr blocks, all
    ; correctly normalised etc. Rotated PCA is performed to obtain the 'decline'
    ; signal!

    I guess the initial reason to do this would be to see if there is a spatial pattern to the divergence that might reveal something about it's cause. The weighting of that pattern (the 'yearlyadj' PC weights) could be used to correct for the decline, but I'm not sure what use that would be. More importantly, I have no idea if that was used in a paper (I have no access from home), but since the graph would have read "Corrected MXD", I don't see how anyone would have been misled. It certainly has nothing to do with Jones' comment or the 1999 WMO plot, nor the published data. This is just malicious cherry picking. - gavin]

    Comment by Pete Ridley — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:30 PM

  713. We need more transparency; much more!

    And I am not referring to the public sector For example who really understands the information discussed e.g. by Tim Chase here?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/climate-cover-up-a-brief-review/comment-page-7/#comment-139467

    and in subsequent comments by him on the same thread. This sort of secret funding is subverting both science and democratic decision making. Seeing the tip of an iceberg is insufficient. Of course it is expensive running an outfit which requires thousands of lobbyists :

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/global_climate_change_lobby/key-findings/

    and of course many of these lobbyists may be nice honest people correctly reporting the science, but if only we could use an extended FOI act to find out what advice these lobbyists are giving and how much they get paid in return. Thats not all. Just as there is some concern about what happens to streams which appear to disappear into moulins at the top of glaciers so also we need to know what happens to the rest of these funds as they trickle down to the astroturfers.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:42 PM

  714. It seems to me that if there is a conspiracy afoot to create the impression that Earth is getting hotter then scientists are shooting themselves in the foot with all these graphs showing a basically flat temperature trend for the past decade. Some conspiracy.

    xDxEx

    Comment by The Enemy — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:45 PM

  715. Has anyone else noticed that the people who “…will not trust the science until the process is 100% transparent.” are the same right-wing idealogues who demand government functions pay their own way or become privatized, thus guaranteeing profit driven obfuscation? If you dingbats got your way, and all the data became IP for sale (at a price you can’t afford*), so the science couldn’t be “100% transparent”, how would you suggest making policy decisions? Flipping a coin? Rolling dice? Privatizing that function as well, and contract Exxon/Mobil/Heartland/CEI Policymakers Inc. to decide for us?

    *I worked for a non-profit institution which purchased a complicated piece of patient care equipment that I was going to maintain. Our purchasing department ordered a $250 service manual, and the company said that it could only be supplied after I took their $2500 training course. The legal beagles at our purchasing department said that they were obligated under FDA regs to provide a service manual, here’s our purchase order, we expect to see the manual ASAP. We then received a letter from the company’s legal department(CC’d to all customers) saying that due to a clerical error the pricing on service manuals was incorrect; that the price of the first copy of a service manual was $2500, and included one free training course[which it was strongly recommended customers take since patient safety was involved]; and that additional hard copies of the basic service manual would be provided at a discount to $250. The non-disclosure agreement that I had to sign to take the course prohibited me from publishing or revealing to any third parties any research results or knowledge obtained from use of their equipment or contained in the service manual or from the training course without the company’s prior consent. I was probably required to sign personally in addition to whatever blanket agreement had been made by some “responsible party”(head of purchasing?) because they were paranoid about me stealing trade secrets while at their factory for training.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:46 PM

  716. Gavin: First off, I’d like to commend you on the professionalism you’ve shown in addressing these issues. I for one would have lost any sense of civility a long time ago. One statement you made in the last thread I must, however take issue with. You stated something to the effect that $30 per person is a small price to save the planet. As history has shown over the course of many millions of years, it is the life on the planet that needs to be saved, not the planet itself. The planet has survived many mass extinction events, only to spring back to life time and time again. Humanity along with other species may not be so lucky this time around. In short, if anything needs to be “saved”, it is us.

    With that said, I think it is fantastic that we have so many scientific minds working on the issue of climate change and the environment. With only a handful of people (many part-timers) watching the skies for cosmic debris that could wipe out life on this planet in the blink of an eye, it is refreashing to have at least one life-threatening issue being given the attention it well deserves. Skeptics should really be appreciative that someone’s got their back on this one.

    I find it immensely humorous that people think there is hidden or secret data lurking about, being held by the prophets of global warming just to hide their hoax to enable them to carry out their evil and nefarious plans while getting filthy rich in the process. This issue is real. The data is real, and guess what? ANYONE can get access to the data, the code, etc. – most everything but the few datasets that require purchasing. But hey, you can fork over some coin for that as well. Noboday is hiding anything. These are scientists, doing what they do. Nothing more. Any assumption of wrongdoing in those illegally obtained emails, is unfounded. It is nothing more that what goes on in the real world of science. The computer or mobile device you are reading this on, was brought to your proudly by acts science. Give some credit to these people that work tirelessly on environmental issues that may someday save you, your children’s and/or your grandchildren’s future on this planet.

    There are many more interesting conspiracy theories out there that need more attention … did you hear NASA uncovered an ancient base on the moon when they were searching for water? And I read it on the internet, so it has to be true …

    Happy Thanksgiving for those in the US.

    Comment by Jeffrey Byrd — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:48 PM

  717. Jimbo (702),

    It always surprises me when people think that the CERN experiment will give the final answer to the cosmic ray – climate question. Granted, it’s an important and noteworthy experiment, but surely it won’t provide the last word on it. Its results will still have to be combined with what’s already known about the various topics at hand (see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/04/aerosol-effects-and-climate-part-ii-the-role-of-nucleation-and-cosmic-rays/) and withstand the test of time, e.g. through replication efforts with different means.

    Since you’re so eager about the CERN results, I’m sure you have seen the recent paper discussing the initial results: http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/18235/2009/acpd-9-18235-2009.html The results are rather inconclusive one could say: Some experiments suggest a role of ion induced nucleation; many don’t. As Eli mentioned, the initial set-up suffered from unexpected wall effects. Though this was not, as he suggested, because the people involved didn’t realize the importance of wall effects. The CLOUD collaboration includes many atmospheric scientists with plenty of experience in smog chamber research. I took part in the initial stages of the CLOUD project, and am very well aware of the importance of wall losses (it’s the topic I have often stressed in aerosol smog chamber research, see e.g. http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/6/2927/2006/acp-6-2927-2006.html)

    The chamber used in the initial CLOUD experiment though may have suffered from previously encountered compounds, which may have contaminated some of the results, causing some of the wall effects that Eli referred to. As described in the paper, several experiments conducted towards the end gave better results, and some of them suggested a role of ions in aerosol nucleation. Hardly earth shattering, and still a far stretch from proving that GCR substantially influence climate (as explained in the first link).

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:52 PM

  718. You know, people really need to see this as what it is, an unethical and politically motivated hit orchestrated just before Copenhagen. The oil companies must really be desperate, but considering their tactics in the past this shoud really come as no surprise.

    As to the lawsuit against Gavin and the continuing Inhofe/M&M/BigOil/KingCoal harrassment of climate scientists it’s really starting to border on, well I’ll say it, persecution imho.

    What gets me is the stooges that post here and elsewhere who knowingly or unknowingly are being used as pawns by the aforementioned gang. This is just another example of people going against their own best interests. Kind of like the teapartiers, many of which are dirt poor, raging against efforts to make health care more affordable even using the insurance industrys own talking points. Meanwhile many are going bankrupt and even homeless due to soaring medical costs.

    http://www.webmd.com/news/20050202/medical-bills-can-lead-to-bankruptcy

    About the occasional filling in of tiny bits of missing data to get a whole picture that seems to be such a sticking point for some, correct me if I’m wrong but I kind of look at it like this – the world, including climate science is a big jigsaw puzzle. Thousands of pieces. Sometimes though a piece is missing or defective. Yet because the rest of the puzzle gives a clear picture of what’s going on it’s fairly easy to know what’s missing.

    Kind of like these puzzles:
    http://bltchemistry.com/wp-content/puzzle_bush.jpg
    http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/puzzle_dick.jpg

    Comment by Ron R. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 12:57 PM

  719. sorry, but I cannot believe that not making data public because it was obtained from meteorology services around the globe is a good excuse, for the following reason: Most weather services are involved with predicting weather. Any weather data loses it’s commercial value as soon as it is history. After that the data has purely academic value.

    It’s not your data. It’s not for you – or CRU, or Steve McIntyre – to decide whether or not the weather data has lost its commercial value.

    It is solely in the hands of the service that owns the data.

    You may look at an old car sitting on concrete blocks in my yard and decide, “oh, it’s worthless, I’ll take it!” but sorry, I get to make that determination, and I’ll charge you with theft whether or not you think it’s reasonable.

    Don’t like the fact that you don’t get to decide what is or is not of value? Tough. This thinking that denialists get to decide what is, and what is not, proprietary is tiresome crap

    Read the rest of my sentence: The did not act (as is clear in the emails as if they wanted to comply. Phil did not say “lets work out a way to get this crucial data, on which the future of the planet depends, out in the public domain.”

    [edit - don't put words into people' mouths]

    Comment by bielie — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:04 PM

  720. 2. Rightly or wrongly, can you see why these e-mails actually put off neutral observors

    That’s the point of all this, isn’t it? It is a fairly well established fact that people respond to emotional appeals much more readily than fact. The process has been all along to do nothing more than create doubt, thus inaction. That’s all they want and all they need.

    The scientists and the activists all need to bear the above in mind. Appeals to intellect do not, and will not, work outside of absolute proof, i.e., massive disruption. The situation itself proves this. To wit, it is virtually impossible to look at the scientific evidence and conclude there is not warming and that any warming measured is not mostly anthropogenic. Just knowing the basics of the carbon cycle Gavin posted above is enough. So why isn’t it?

    Ideology and, in too many cases, cash, pure and simple.

    I would like to specifically ask Gavin, et al., to respond to the following:

    I am fond of pointing out – because I, too, prefer logic to hyperbole – there is no paper I am aware of that has been through peer review, publication, and post-publication review that puts any aspect of the essentials of the science supporting a strong anthropogenic component to climate change, at this time warming.

    (Note this is not meant to imply every detail of climate and climate science is understood and settled.)

    To your knowledge, is this accurate?

    Cheers

    Comment by ccpo — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:04 PM

  721. Gavin in response to my last email.
    “All numerical solutions to partial differential equations involve a numerical error. Suppose that you start your numerical simulations in 2000 and that there are x moles of water in the atmosphere. Suppose that during the run y moles of water were transferred to the atmosphere from all other sources apart from the atmosphere over a period of 100 years. Because of numerical errors, the total number of moles of water in the atmosphere will not be exactly x + y in 2100. I would like to know the numerical error in calculating the number of moles of water in the atmosphere at 2100?” and your [Response: Machine accuracy (a few parts in 10^15). We spend a lot of time making sure that there are no mass conservation errors. The numerical errors that are an inevitable part of solving PDEs on a grid are all in the magnitude of the fluxes, not in how the fluxes are applied. Think of it as if we are discretising the volume integral of the conservation equations and using the divergence theorem to related the consevation solely to the boundary terms in every grid box. - gavin]

    The method which you use to correct for the mass conservation error may not be physical. If you have to add a flux correction to each block you are not solving the same differential equation.

    [Response: We discretise the flux form of the equation, not the straight PDE. It's the difference between solving dT/dt = dF/dx(x) by saying T_i_new = T_i_old + dt*(dF/dx(x_i)) or integrating and solving it as int(dT/dx)_i = (T_new-T_old)/dt = F_(i+1/2) - F_(i-1/2). They are the same equation, but one discretisation preserves mass balance automatically, while the other one doesn't. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:09 PM

  722. It is useful to remember in discussions of met data that quite often the weather forecasters’ offices are in Department of Commerce (US for example) or Agriculture, which are commercially not scientifically oriented. This has always been a tension for NOAA (as well as NIST).

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:16 PM

  723. Ray Ladbury (695), in a surprising sort of way (and without the vitriol), you have a good point. It seems to me that most of the folks demanding all of the reams of raw data couldn’t do much with it if they got it.

    Though, for the record and to reiterate and earlier point, just because I don’t have my own multi-million dollar grant, a large supercomputer, and have coded my own GCM doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to question some of the science.

    Comment by Rod B — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:19 PM

  724. DOGGONE IT!!! DO YOU PEOPLE ABSOTIVELY, POSILUTELY, HAVE TO BE SO FREAKIN’ DRY? YOU NEED TO GET OUT HERE AND FIGHT!

    Comment by Chuck L — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:21 PM

  725. Ahem. We each do our part.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:46 PM

  726. [edit - stick to science]

    [edit - as above]

    [Response: 1) It's clear that Jones was frustrated - something to do with the ~100 FOI requests for data that isn't his to give perhaps. But nonetheless the facts remain. You are incorrect about the data losing value outside of the weather forecast time-period. If that was true, there would be no problem, but in fact, small-scale localised information on climatology, variability, extremes etc. (which require timeseries) is actually very valuable to businesses, planners and the like.

    Most local weather data is in the public domain anyway. Farmers are fed weather data by government agencies worldwide. Shipping companies get weather data for free from the same agencies. To use Phil's own term: You are "hiding behind..." whatever. Read my other post.

    [Response: See Bjornsson's statement above. - gavin]

    2) Peer-review. You have got this completely wrong. None of the emails were complaining about papers that *didn’t* make it through peer review – but instead the duff papers that did. And they were right to be worried about the possible breakdown in the system.

    You miss my point. If the allegations are true that the peer review system was subverted by your group your response would be exactly the same than if the papers were really worthless and the review system was subverted by the skeptics. You cannot win the argument by saying “those papers were crap anyway”.
    The whole purpose of peer review is that there should be diversity of views. That is why scientific papers are reviewed by panels, and not single persons. Believe me, I have experience of academic rivalry, and egos trying to prevent other people to publish. An intact peer review system prevents it. If a specific editor who reviewed an article felt it was worth publishing it is completely unethical to boycott that editor. The paper, if published, will rise or fall on its own scientific merit. And remember, peers are not always right. Much of the peer reviewed articles in my field (medicine) is crap (duff)anyway. But the system has to publish some crap so that the true breakout science can rise to the top. Think Helicobacter Pylori!!. The fact is: This was unethical interference in the system. You are guilty of exactly the crime you charged that editor with. If you cannot see that, you are ethically challenged.

    [Response: Ridiculous. Peer-review does not demand that bad papers be published so that good stuff stands out. The good stuff stands out anyway. And how, precisely, have I interfered with the peer review system? (Cite please?). Discussing whether journals have good peer review systems is a perfectly valid discussion, and journals reputation's are part of why you decide to publish there or not. Take E&E - no peer-review to speak of, terrible reputation, => very few serious submissions. That is not 'unethical', it is scientific market place. - gavin]

    3) Tree ring data comes in many forms. The post-1960 divergence problem is a real issue for some kinds of proxies in some areas. It is not a blanket statement about all tree rings. There may be some other anthropogenic factor at work, an analysis artifact, or it might simply be how those trees respond – it remains to be seen what the conclusion is. In the meantime, feel free not to pay any attention to those tree ring records that show this.

    I promise you the trees did not decide on new years eve 1959 to start growing in a different way. I submit that the answer is either a) or b) I suggested. (Hey, at least I suggest a solution, unlike the CRU!) Both explanations have serious implications for AGW. The problem is, you cannot see it because you are too emotionally invested in the outcome, so you have to “hide the decline”

    [Response: Again, "I" have done nothing. And since I have never been an author on any paleo-reconstruction, I don't have a personal stake in this in any case. But you are wrong in every particular. AGW does not need trees to be demonstrated. 90% of the detection and attribution on this issue is done with 20th C instrumental data. How many trees are needed to show stratospheric cooling? - gavin]

    4) the current cooling spell is no such thing, and the spread of the models over that same time shows that similar excursions happen all the time. There certainly were models that had 1998-2009 trends that were lower than the observations. – gavin]

    Then why is it a “Travesty” that you can’t explain it?

    [Response: Read Trenberth's paper linked above. - gavin]

    Comment by bielie — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:47 PM

  727. Read the rest of my sentence: The did not act (as is clear in the emails as if they wanted to comply. Phil did not say “lets work out a way to get this crucial data, on which the future of the planet depends, out in the public domain.”

    The FOI rejection explicitly states that CRU is working to amend distribution agreements so they can release the 2% or so of raw data that they’re currently unable to provide.

    This refutes your claim.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 1:56 PM

  728. A few low-key, non-techical observations on UK laboratory customs and word use from a biologist who worked for many years in a neuroscience lab, analysing noisy data sets and measuring awkward structures:

    1. ‘Tricks’. Any new piece of maths or computer code that made a procedure faster or more accurate was referred to as a ‘trick’. A ‘neat trick’ or a ‘clever trick’ referred to a particularly elegant or admirable piece of work.
    ‘Trick’ could also mean a crucial, make-or-break step in a technique, as in: ‘For getting a good seal, the trick is to keep the tip of the micropipette absolutely clean.’

    2.’Fudge factors’. Our work required the use of several correction factors to overcome unavoidable and well-documented errors in the original measurements. These had technical names, of course, but in lab discussions (and in remarks or comments in computer code) they were often referred to as ‘fudge factors’, ‘fiddle factors’, ‘wiggle or wriggle factors’.

    I actively encouraged the use of such terms, for several reasons. They fostered an ethos in the lab of self-criticism and self-scepticism which I regard as entirely healthy. In computer code, they drew the attention of new or unfamiliar users to steps in the analysis that warranted close scrutiny. I felt it was good to wear our problems and weakensses on our sleeves.

    Would these expressions be embarrassing in the hands of an unscrupulous hacker or rival – undoubtedly yes. Were they evidence of falsification of data – absolutely not. On the contrary, they were intended to make sure that the assumptions and corrections in our analyses were never concealed, forgotten or overlooked.

    I’d like to think that if I had intended falsification, I wouldn’t have been so dim as to advertise it quite so clearly.

    Dendrite.

    Comment by Dendrite — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:11 PM

  729. When I was a computer programmer (of commercial – not scientific – applications) in the 1960s it was gradually realised that use of the “GO TO” instruction led to “spaghetti” code that by dint of its impenetrability was virtually impossible to debug thoroughly. The correct working of such programs could not be assured other than in response to necessarily limited sets of specimen data. See “Go To Statement Considered Harmful” by Edsger W. Dijkstra (Communications of the ACM, Vol. 11, No. 3, March 1968, pp. 147-148).

    Gavin, can you assure me that times have moved on similarly in the scientific community and that GCM programs are properly structured into hierarchies of “IF THEN ELSE” and “DO UNTIL” subroutines, each properly annotated in terms of its input, output and function?

    Since we’re talking about programming practice that has been accepted for 40 years I’m sure my misgivings must be groundless. I should still like your reassurance though.

    simon abingdon

    [Response: It's a work in progress. - gavin]

    Comment by simon abingdon — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:11 PM

  730. 636 – “I don’t know what to make of the code he is analyzing, and I’d welcome a response from someone at RC.”

    His position is indefensible. He has no idea of the purpose or usage of the code, nor does he have any clue about how the results were presented. For all he knows, the code was used to create an artistic cover for a book.

    Computer scientists and applied computer scientists (programmers) are two very different animals. Many programmers are autodidacts, and the rest mostly come from applied computer science institutions. Programmers tend to confuse mathematical models with their idea of programming. They think climate scientists just sit down and create climate models on computers as they would a video game.

    As for his comments on peer review, computer science has yet to establish peer review (Though there is quite a few trying to push it). In fact, most research in computer science is published through conferences.

    Comment by EL — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:38 PM

  731. FHSIV says: 26 novembre 2009 at 12:13 AM
    > his eugenic solution
    You’re likely confusing birth control, or population control, or evolution, or biodiversity with “eugenics” — there’s a long sorry history of confusing them:
    E.g. look at http://www.google.com/search?q=Darwin+eugenics+“Peter+Raven”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:42 PM

  732. > FOI requests

    For context, is there anywhere a list of the FOI requests (and the content to see if they were different or overlapping) that were filed asking for CRU information? It’d help to have the requests, dates, who made the requests, and the responses. Then people could judge their worth.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:47 PM

  733. Bart, to be honest, I have real trouble believing a lot of smog chamber experiments on the slow end of things. The interaction of the aerosols with the walls has to be a lot more chemically and physically complex than what goes on in the center of the chamber and you can’t keep the aerosols away from the wall. A lot of what is claimed in the literature for limiting these effects comes down to magic. YMMV but think of the definition of an ideal solution, one in which the solute (the chamber) has the same interaction with the solution (the aerosols) as the solution has with itself. You can get close, but differences accumulate over time and almost by definition CLOUD will be looking at long time issues.

    Even worse, could you explain to Eli what the “new” physics/chemistry coming out of this experiment will be that depends on using high energy beams. Everyone knows that CR ionize the molecules in the atmosphere. We even have a good idea of the ionization efficiency as functions of the energy and identity of the CR and the atoms. We even (should, this seems clear although I’m not an expert here) have measurements of the types of ions formed by CR, and the various collision processes that take place until they are thermalized. This is all short time stuff. So how will the growth process differ for cosmic ray formed aerosols and others formed by ionization, such as by lightening? If the answer is no difference, CLOUD is a political boondoggle. I’ve read the CLOUD proposals and progress reports and see nothing about such issues beyond simple handwaving.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:48 PM

  734. Rod B., I would not dream of taking away anyone’s right to question the science, but is it too much to ask that they have even a nodding acquaintance with the facts, evidence and scientific methodology first?

    In these 2 threads we have seen people question
    1)whether the planet is warming, 4 separate global temperature reconstructions based on very different methods that all show warming; despite trillions of tons of ice lost globally, despite tons of phenological evidence,…all showing warming.

    2)whether the warming is anomalous in history, despite dozens of independent paleoclimate reconstructions, despite receding glaciers, despite borehole records, stalactite studies, and even a historical record showing earlier and earlier dates of first bloom of cherry blossoms on Mt. Fuji

    3)whether CO2 can account for the warming, despite the fact that we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas, despite simultaneous tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling and despite about 10 separate lines of evidence all favoring a CO2 sensitivity around 3 degrees per doubling

    4)whether we are responsible for the increased CO2, despite the fact that humans have produced more than enough CO2 to account for the increase and despite the fact that isotopic changes in atmospheric carbon show the increase must have come from a fossil source.

    If people are ignorant of this and thousands of other pieces of evidence, or if they refuse to consider it, it is hard for me to see how they can contribute much value to a scientific discussion. If they cannot be persuaded by all of this evidence that anthropogenic causation is a reasonable conclusion, it is difficult to believe that any amount of evidence would persuade them.

    As for myself, all I would require to abandon anthropogenic causation would be a theory that explained the above evidence at least as well as the current consensus theory and did not imply that adding CO2 would cause significant warming. Still waitin’.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:51 PM

  735. Gavin, Suppose that you set all your feedbacks to zero, assume that the solar heat flux is constant and run your model for 500 years or 1,000 years would your temperatures drift ?

    [Response: You can't set your feedbacks to zero, they are fundamental to the whole thing (how can I turn off evaporation and still have a reasonable climate?). But you don't need to. If you run the models out with no change in solar flux, or CO2 or whatever, then yes, the temperatures are stable (in a statistical sense). 500 years is about the minimum time you need to equilise the deep ocean, but residual drift after that is very small. - gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:53 PM

  736. Thank you, RC, for the excellent debunking of what was posted. Your eloquence takes all the steam out of the hackers’ allegations, at least for anyone equipped with simple common sense and reason.

    I have a challenge for the hackers: why don’t you hack into the proceedings of the Catholic Church while the archbishops and cardinals debated how to handle the pedophilia issue, and post all that private correspondence? (Remember to include notes in personnel files regarding transfers of pedophilic priests). And then, when you’ve done that, please do the same with our Congressional representatives and their staff. Please be sure to cherry-pick the emails and limit what you post to the most potentially damning items.

    Comment by Heather — 26 Nov 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  737. Re:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/graphics/ar4-wg1/jpg/fig-6-10.jpg

    - it’s good that the ‘hide the decline’ algorithm is no longer used…
    - data is data, let it speak for itself…

    - since this thread isn’t about how great the HS is, I’ll leave it there
    - other than to say, it certainly looks to me like the proxies have real trouble in tracking temps above a certain threshold, which happens to be the 0.0C line…
    - so it would be difficult to say much about the MWP from these plots other than place it at 1000 years ago…
    - but that is OT for this thread…

    Comment by Phil M — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:08 PM

  738. Regarding the hockey stick graph, am I reading it incorrectly, or does the unbelievably wide confidence intervals surrounding the projected temps going back more than a few hundred years render that portion of the analysis nearly invalid, in that it appears that at any given time, it could range from the lines provided, (below current temps) to at or above them (or well below?)

    ie, the further back you go, the data becomes subject to the possibility that it may vary by what looks to be several standard deviations from the mean? and therefore its comparison to temps from this and the last century is almost meaningless?

    I would appreciate a better explanation of the display and significance of those confidence intervals.

    Comment by John — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:24 PM

  739. Eli,

    The nucleation studies which are one of the aims of CLOUD are short time experiments. I am aware of long time experiments into aerosol ageing processes that look much more into chemical transformation processes over time. Wall loss is absolutely important there, and it potentially interferes with a lot of interpretations. For chemical characterization however, it may be less important. For those issues where it is important we just have to account for it as best as we can. Not much different in principle than accounting for the meteorlogy as best as we can when interpreting atmospheric measurements. Actually, wall losses are simple in comparison, one could argue. (not to trivialize things, though)

    As to new physics: Since GCR are the primary source of ionization in the atmosphere, and since the mechanism and contribution of ion induced nucleation is still very uncertain, there is a lot of value in these kind of experiments even apart from any climate related issues. (That’s actually how I got involved; I later found out about the climate connection hypothesis.) I am more skeptical about the prospects of a smog chamber study elucidating the whole chain of climate relevant processes; the nucleation is perhaps the ‘easy’ part of that whole chain.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:29 PM

  740. Gavin, thanks for your last answer, I am still following up on it.

    If I may make a suggestion, were I you I would bar further ad hominem types of posts on this board, they make this site look very political and not scientific in nature. Name calling doesn’t help anybody who is trying to figure out what is going on; rather it gets in the way and dilutes the quality conversations that are conducted in between. This goes for name-calling on both sides – ‘deniers’ and ‘alarmists’, ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’, and so on and so forth. If I wanted to see political poo-tossing there are many places where that can be found; but there are few where serious discussion of the science can be found.

    Comment by David Gordon — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:33 PM

  741. Given that many (not absolutely all) AGW skeptics seem to be even more adept at malicious misinterpretation of the English language than they claim “the team” to be at misinterpretion/massaging of the statistics (and that’s even without the lunatic fringe), may I take the opportunity of that thanksgiving thing on your side of the water to echo the profound thanks of many others for the calm and informative moderation and editing of these hack-related comments strings. That’s not the same thing as saying there are no problems in the hacked e-mails to be considered. Just that anyone with a low BS-tolerance level owes you a debt of gratitude for not allowing this thing to turn into the usual exchange of ignorance-fueled hot air and agenda-generated verbal toxins from either side. Thanks.

    Comment by iain — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:34 PM

  742. What we are seeing here is the fruit of a generation-long, multi-multi-million dollar media campaign to create an audience of “Ditto-Heads” who have been systematically brainwashed to unquestioningly believe whatever they are told by the so-called “right wing” media and to regard all other sources of information as not only suspect, biased and untrustworthy, but as promulgators of deliberate, malicious, un-American “liberal” lies.

    Once created, this symbiotic system of the “right-wing” media and its audience of gullible “Ditto-Head” mental slaves, can be readily enlisted by wealthy, powerful corporate interests who need a “mass movement” to advance or obstruct political agendas to their benefit. Whatever message they wish to transmit to the Ditto-Head grassroots — for example, denial of the reality of anthropogenic global warming and “Swift Boat” like attacks on climate scientists — they simply brand it “conservative” and broadcast it through the “conservative” media, and all the Ditto-Heads obediently and unquestioningly take it up.

    There is no “ideological” basis for denial of AGW. There is only the naked greed of those who stand to rake in trillions of dollars in profit from the continued business-as-usual consumption of fossil fuels and are determined to do so at any cost to humanity and life on Earth. The “ideology” and the laughably misnamed “skepticism” is just corporate-sponsored, scripted, focus-group-tested fodder for the Ditto-Heads.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:35 PM

  743. #728 [Response: It's a work in progress. - gavin]

    Sorry Gavin, it won’t wash. You have to structure your programs properly from the outset. You can’t incorporate good practice retrospectively.

    Every “spaghetti” program has untold errors waiting to rear their ugly heads (or remain forever unsuspected while erroneous results are acted upon with misplaced confidence).

    [Response: Thanks! I'd never have thought of that. All legacy code should be tossed out immediately, and then everyone can wait 10 years while we start again from scratch. Brilliant! - gavin]

    Comment by simon abingdon — 26 Nov 2009 @ 3:35 PM

  744. I guess I find it utterly ironic, Anand, that we would be beside ourslves with glee if we found the tinyest bit of protolife on another, otherwise sterile planet while here on earth we are rapidly causing the decimation whole ecosystems. Forests and species turned into mere numbers in some fatcat’s swiss bank account, groundup on a one way trip to the dump.

    Why would you be happy if there were life on other planets? A common misconception is to view humankind to be the custodian of all life on earth. Why not look at life for what it is – just a special case of death? There is nothing special or wondrous about life and life forms; its just chemical reactions.

    Dont be so happy with life. It is life that caused the warming in the first place.

    If you want to cool, do your bit and move on. Drive a Prius or something. Remember every day you breathe and move, “you have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughter-house is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity,…”

    I join in the abhorrence of any such callous and ignorant attitude. It is a sad state of affairs that reason should be abandoned to such extent of inconsideration in discourse of such matters of import.

    How have any of my comments shown ignorance? I asked a simple question as why the climatologists wouldn’t want the globe to warm up. I get an answer that since they have data and knowledge that predict it and it’s all going to be a really bad thing to happen.

    I said three things:
    1) It is not for you [climate scientist] to declare what might happen in the future to be *bad* for humanity. Much less for other species.
    2) It is most certainly not a wise thing to declare that, given the fact that you are generating the data that helps you say that.
    3) Because you dont want the globe to warm up, there is a possibility that you might have cooked the data to suggest warming so as to support action to prevent it.

    Geoge Monbiot is absolutely right. If you are a climatologist you have to remember that big oil has all the money, you only have your integrity. Leaving out all the banter in the emails (which contains lots of subtle incriminating details which we all would love to gloss over), the desire to delete data to avoid FOI requests is by itself enough to ask for Phil Jones’ head. It is not to save his career because he’s such a nice guy and all that, but to save the reputation of climate science. The fact that many of the AGW proponents and scientists have not stepped up and asked for the same indicates the incredible naiveté of the field. And their herd mentality.

    Could it be because climatology is a young field, and this is its first major challenge?

    You guys think your reputations are unquestionable because you are ‘working to save the earth’? Looks like it is not just the polar bears that are standing on thin ice.

    - “But Nature is no sentimentalist -…we must see that the world is rought and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or a woman…”

    - “But these shocks and ruins ae less destructive to us than the stealthy power of other laws which act on us daily. An expense of ends to means is fate;-organization tyrannizing over character.”
    -Emerson

    Gavin, please do not delete. I believe I should be allowed to respond to posts that address me.

    Comment by Anand Rajan KD — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:06 PM

  745. #742 [Response: Thanks! I'd never have thought of that. All legacy code should be tossed out immediately, and then everyone can wait 10 years while we start again from scratch. Brilliant! - gavin]

    Sorry if I touched a raw nerve.

    simon

    Comment by simon abingdon — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:16 PM

  746. Response: Thanks! I’d never have thought of that. All legacy code should be tossed out immediately, and then everyone can wait 10 years while we start again from scratch. Brilliant! – gavin]
    - good idea!
    - move over to C++ !
    - fortran always looks so ugly!
    :o)

    Comment by Phil M — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:19 PM

  747. Forget it Heather (735).

    Trying to slam the Catholic Church to get the eyes off of this scandal won’t work, although they probably have plenty of skeletons in the closet, as well.

    The only thing that will work now is a few mea culpas and total transparency.

    Denial and arrogance will only make things worse.

    Max

    Comment by manacker — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:23 PM

  748. Every “spaghetti” program has untold errors waiting to rear their ugly heads (or remain forever unsuspected while erroneous results are acted upon with misplaced confidence).

    Bull. As a professional software engineer with 40 years of experience, I’ll stand by that one word evaluation.

    Poorly-structured code is harder to read, harder to debug, harder to maintain but none of this makes it *impossible* for poorly-structured code to work properly.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:37 PM

  749. correction to the first question asked in my post #662:

    1. why didn’t the papers reveal the “fudge factor”(s)- not my words the programmer’s- used to produce the calibration of tree ring density? They happen to show an almost exponential rise post 1939 (granted level with the highest “fudge factor” between 1979-1999). I find no justification or explanation of this.

    I made at least 3 errors interpreting the code in briffa_sep98_d.pro per my original post (only part of which was allowed to be posted here):

    errors 1&2. the program data sets actually appear to start in 1400 with the first containing all data 1400-1903, so here are the 19 remaining consecutive data subsets by first year, with the “fudge factors” and the “fudge factors”*.75 which is really what was used:

    Year Fudge Factor Fudge Factor*.75
    1400 0 0
    1904 0 0
    1909 0 0
    1914 0 0
    1919 0 0
    1924 -0.1 -0.075
    1929 -0.25 -0.1875
    1934 -0.3 -0.225
    1939 0 0
    1944 -0.1 -0.075
    1949 0.3 0.225
    1954 0.8 0.6
    1959 1.2 0.9
    1964 1.7 1.275
    1969 2.5 1.875
    1974 2.6 1.95
    1979 2.6 1.95
    1984 2.6 1.95
    1989 2.6 1.95
    1994 2.6 1.95

    3. the program does print only the “Northern Hemisphere MXD” without the “VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR THE DECLINE.” The command to plot the “fudged” data is commented out. But again, I ask, referring to the text in the second paper that this is admittedly a “rather” “ad hoc” approach my question #3: Although the 2 papers only mention “adjusting” the data for purposes of obtaining a “final calibration”, is it not true that when a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” adjustment is used to create a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration, and this “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration is then applied to the raw data, what you end up with is “VERY ARTIFICIAL” data? i.e. GIGO? Just asking.

    Comment by Mark Sawusch — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:43 PM

  750. Gavin, Thank you for your answers. Another question I have is on the variability of the temperature and precipitation when you run the models. I understand that in climate models you are mostly interested in average behaviours. When you run the climate models what is the maximum temperature or precipitation that you can reach. Do you get into situations where you have to reject a numerical solution because it leads to temperatures which are too high or too low ?

    [Response: Not in the standard models. Sometimes if you are trying somthing new, you can put in bugs that cause problems, but obviously that is non-physical, and goes away when you fix the bug. -gavin]

    Comment by RaymondT — 26 Nov 2009 @ 4:49 PM

  751. #659

    “In your field, long-term data series don’t confront instrument calibration issues as technology changes over century timescales?

    I don’t believe this, either. On the other hand, I will believe you if you tell me that in your field, field conditions (which gavin mentions) aren’t a problem, because maybe you’re just sticking a probe up some person’s ass, or are instrumenting some laboratory, rather than working in the field.”

    You mention “which gavin mentions” above. When did he reply to me? I also note that you resort to attacking myself and deriding me for asking a question.

    I have those issue where a certain type of instrument is no longer available and data needs to be compared from one time period to another and corrections or adjustments are made, but guess what, we DO NOT alter the original readings in anyway shape or form. We account for it in the analysis and comment on it clearly. The raw data is the raw data.

    Either the instrument is calibrated at the time of recording or it isn’t. Provided I’m using a calibrated probe it wouldn’t matter if I stuck it up someones arse this year or 20 years ago. If the body temp is the same the probe reading should be the same.

    No point in changing the data after the fact if you didn’t have it calibrated at the time of reading it. If I come back along in 10 years time and then try and calibrate, how can it be possible to know how much each reading should be presicely adjusted by?

    I would expect that data being used for science on this scale is being taken from calibrated equipment. Hence the reading is the reading and does not require readjustment later. Also I would expect that data being released as “RAW data” would not have any corrections added. Hence my original query.

    I understand the with atmospheric temperature readings the sites of some guages have been changed over the years and some adjustment of the readings may be considered on that basis. I presume that you therefore also remove the effects of local heatsinks such as roads, and buildings from the data (hey we are calibrating aren’t we).

    Comment by Gnrnr — 26 Nov 2009 @ 5:08 PM

  752. John, don’t assume everything about climate change relies on “the hockey stick” — whichever one of many different climate charts you’re looking at.

    Lots of things get called “hockey stick” (it’s always helpful if you provide a link or name of the source you’re using so others can look at it).

    Have a look at the various different charts here, for example — this speaks to the question you’re asking about uncertainty:

    http://www.image.ucar.edu/~nychka/manuscripts/hockey.pdf

    If you read each page — a big image and a few lines of text — and get up to the page that says:

    “rate lines of evidence
    Reducing uncertainty depends on the convergence from distinct sources of information”

    you’ll have a much clearer idea what the gray area around the black line means in those various charts, and I think will understand why this is useful information.

    If you haven’t taken Statistics 101, it’s important to realize that there’s a good semester’s classwork, at least, assumed on those few pages. If you haven’t done it, you won’t believe a lot of it. Ask more questions and people can point you to more information appropriate to where you’re starting from, if you want to say.

    Also, if you’re coming here after reading something somewhere else — it always helps to say where you came from and what you read there and if you’re considering it reliable.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 5:16 PM

  753. Your response to Simon Abingdon (742). Waiting ten years might be preferable to re-ordering the world economy on less than ideal science.

    Bob

    Comment by Bob — 26 Nov 2009 @ 5:36 PM

  754. Simon Abingdon wrote in 728:

    When I was a computer programmer (of commercial – not scientific – applications) in the 1960s it was gradually realised that use of the “GO TO” instruction led to “spaghetti” code that by dint of its impenetrability was virtually impossible to debug thoroughly. The correct working of such programs could not be assured other than in response to necessarily limited sets of specimen data. See “Go To Statement Considered Harmful” by Edsger W. Dijkstra (Communications of the ACM, Vol. 11, No. 3, March 1968, pp. 147-148).

    A bit on the dated, don’t you think?

    C# includes the goto statement:

    19. Jump Statements

    Not many surprises here, apart from perhaps the infamous goto. However, it’s really a distant relative of the evil goto statement we remember from basic 20 years ago. A goto statement must point to a label or one of the options in a switch statement. The first usage of pointing to a label is similar to the usage of a continue : label statement in Java, except with a little more freedom. Such a goto statement may point anywhere within its scope, which restricts it to the same method, or finally block if it is declared within one. It may not jump into a loop statement which it is not within, and it cannot leave a try block before the enclosing finally block(s) are executed. The continue statement in C# is equivalent to the continue statement in Java, except it can’t point to a label.

    C# Compared to Java and C++
    Ben Albahari
    http://randysolutions.com/csharp_comparative.html

    The use of the Goto-statement is not automatic proof that code is spaghetti or that it can’t be debugged thoroughly. It really depends upon how the goto-statement is used. And you can invoke rules that may even be written into the DNA of a language which prevents goto-statements from being misused.

    No, what makes it practically impossible to thoroughly debug a program is complexity, particularly where there is the potential such interaction between different parts of the program that the possible sequences of events grows super-exponentially. And of course beyond a certain level of complexity (arithmetic) one is running up against Godel’s theorem.

    So one tests a program that encodes a climate model against simpler models. One tests it against the empirical evidence. One compares it against other models And if there are important errors they should stand out. But as in so much of life, there are no iron-clad guarantees. But fortunately most people are able to move beyond the stage of staring unbelievingly at their own hand. Even Descartes — although arguably for the wrong reasons.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:04 PM

  755. PS, John, I’m sure someone will come along with a better answer; I just picked that link out of a bunch of likely-looking pages found by doing a Google Image search for “hockey stick” uncertainty — then looking at the sources given to find one at a real science site rather than an opinion blog.

    There are a lot more opinion blog sites in the result than science sites. You’ve got to watch carefully. You can also do a Google Scholar search and get useful information.

    Also, use the “Start Here” link at the top of the page, and use the Search box at top right, along with the first link under Science in the right hand sidebar.

    Uncertainty is difficult; statistics takes some study to grasp.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:04 PM

  756. Your response to Simon Abingdon (742). Waiting ten years might be preferable to re-ordering the world economy on less than ideal science.

    GOTO statements don’t affect the science one way or the other.

    And, of course, the science will never be ideal, so essentially you’re saying – we should never do anything about anything.

    Comment by dhogaza — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:16 PM

  757. In my opinion the whole issue was that MM should not get access to tha data. They did not fear that the data were flawed. Just that MM would find the tiniest problem and then they would use that as proof that the whole datases is problematic and boast about it in news channels, blogoshpere.

    And yes I totally agree with hiding this information from people like MM since they are not interested in truth, they have an agenda and that is what they care about.

    Comment by Richard Mike — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:23 PM

  758. Regarding spaghetti code, the vast majority of software of any kind is badly written. And yet it works (more or less). Furthermore, just because code is well written does not mean that it does not hide bugs. There are a couple of ways to check that code actually works :
    (1) test it against known input/output
    (2) Test it against other code that has been written to do the same thing by someone else.
    (3) Test that certain conditions that should never happen don’t actually happen (either using formal proof methods or by test cases)

    These are the methods used by companies such as Intel to produce (usually) bug free microprocessors consisting of hundreds of millions of transistors.

    Not sure about (3), but the (1) and (2) have certainly been done for climate models.

    Comment by david — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:24 PM

  759. Gavin, just to add a tinch of context before my point, 25 years ago I was planting trees and tree seeds on land that was not mine and where I had no permission to be. Anywhere I thought they would grow. I was alone and no pioneer of anything. Just profoundly concerned by the destruction of our world. I am now probably in the same group as Monbiot. Appalled. Onto my questions, if you would be kind enough to take a moment to answer them please.
    1. A comment please: Dendroclimatology is the weakest of the climate proxies, isn’t it? (I’m being kind there). I know a bit about trees, and, as every plant scientist can tell you, tree growth in non-tropical latitudes is regulated by (in descending order) soil moisture content via precipitation or otherwise, temperature in spring (although they have a remarkable ability to catch up for a late spring), followed by random factors such as fire, felling (reduction of competition) etc. There is absolutely no linear relationship between temperature and tree growth. This was simply a supposition by a climatologist who didn’t consult the plant scientists. [edit]

    [Response: No. Tree rings studies do show climate changes and have been replicated many times against independent data. The issue with MXD that seems to be the focus here, is a real issue, and is being studied by many groups. - gavin]

    2. Climate science is in its infancy, is it not? Why is it impossible for all to agree that we simply don’t know exactly why the temperature rose until about 10 years ago, and we don’t know or can’t explain why it hasn’t risen since. But we should all agree that as the factors are unknown, or not understood, it is sensible to apply the precautionary principle as espoused in the Rio Treaty, namely that if it’s possible that we are a malignant element in the climate, we should change our ways. Just like if you come home and smell gas, you don’t start by analysing the cause, you first of all switch it off at the mains just in case.

    [Response: That's fine as argument if you don't know anything. But we do know stuff and so we can do better than that. - gavin]

    I could ask many other things, but those two will do for now. Thanks Gavin.

    Comment by Alasdair Green — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:25 PM

  760. SecularAnimist wrote in 741:

    What we are seeing here is the fruit of a generation-long, multi-multi-million dollar media campaign to create an audience of “Ditto-Heads” who have been systematically brainwashed to unquestioningly believe whatever they are told by the so-called “right wing” media and to regard all other sources of information as not only suspect, biased and untrustworthy, but as promulgators of deliberate, malicious, un-American “liberal” lies….

    As much as I might like to argue with you on this point (as someone who still considers himself pro-capitalism but no longer what might be termed “libertarian”), the evidence would appear to fit. The only point that I might argue is that some of those who finance the mentality that you describe may very well fall for their own propaganda.

    Along these lines I would like to call attention to the following:

    Competitive Enterprise Institute to sue RealClimate blogger over moderation policy, comment 19
    November 26, 2009 at 1:49 pm
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/11/25/competitive-enterprise-institute-to-sue-realclimate-blogger-over-moderation-policy/#comment-212305

    … where I outline a possible response by the pro-science community to the personal attacks upon individual climatologists including the hacking of email belonging to climatologists at Hadley CRU for the purpose of a disinformation campaign and the declaration of the intent to launch a lawsuit against Gavin Schmidt of Real Climate. I also give figures for the funding of the Competitve Enterprise Institute by Exxon, Scaife, Bradley, Koch and Coors foundations and, more broadly, funding received by denialist organizations from the Scaife, Bradley, Koch and Coors foundations where the denialist organizations are also part of the Exxon-funded network for attacking climatology.

    In the comments I identify funding sources and touches on the ideology that such funding buys — although I and most certainly others have gone into considerably more detail on the latter. And obviously a great deal more is possible, e.g., identifying various other oil and coal interests that are funding similar organizations, and scientists and organizations that are involved in climate denialism, where involved in denialism with respect to the medical consequences of tobacco use. And given the connections to the Religious Right, some of these foundations were undoubtedly involved in the funding of attacks upon evolutionary biology and even the funding of religious extremism.

    In any case, actual names, dollar figures and years to support your statements. Oh, and Media Matters “Transparency” is back but at a new web address:

    http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/

    It is where I got most of my dollar amounts.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:37 PM

  761. > Waiting ten years might be preferable to re-ordering
    > the world economy on less than ideal science.

    Unfortunately that’s already happened, and the current order isn’t sustainable.

    Are you recommending adoption of the Precautionary Principle for anything that changes the world economy? That would be radical.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Nov 2009 @ 6:39 PM

  762. Further to the comments on data accessibility; many governments dealing with deficits, especially during the 1990s, tried to make their various departments self-funding or even sources of revenue, so the decision to make data a commodity goes above even the National Meteorological Services and directly to national governments. Budget cuts also led to the closure of many weather stations, which led to many of the problems discussed in trying to compile global temperature records, such as calibrating series, sorting out changing WMO station identifiers, and trying to account for changing spatial coverage over time. There were more observing stations in the 1960s and 70s then there are now. This ought to be a scandal; we should be at least maintaining existing weather stations, instead having fewer as time goes on. If you’re going to write letters, write also to your local politicians about closing down the very weather and climate stations which are telling us what is going on!

    Comment by VickyS — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:03 PM

  763. You say: “McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and Kalnay and Cai (2003) were both cited and discussed in Chapter 2 of the IPCC AR4 report.”

    In my version, these papers are discussed in Chapter 3, p 244.

    Comment by James C. Wilson — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:06 PM

  764. Bob, (751)

    No, the longer the wait the higher the potential for significant
    economic dislocation once we are 99.9% sure of the science and are forced into draconian cuts in emissions over a short time frame.

    A lot of energy companies are actively investigating wind, goethermal and
    other projects in anticipation of transitioning to a carbon constrained world, the last thing that is needed is more uncertainty on the regulatory front.

    Comment by PHG — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:08 PM

  765. #742 and others. The programming language is nowhere near as important as the programmer in building structured code though the language can make things easier. Fortran 90+ is probably the best language for building numerical codes IMHO due to it’s array handling and it is fairly straightforward to evolve a code from fortran 77 to fortran 90+ over time. It is also fairly easy to intermix fortran, C and C++. What is more difficult is replacing working legacy code. Whenever I get the urge to rewrite some old piece of physics code, I think twice. There is a lot of “wisdom” hidden in legacy code and requires careful study to make sure it is preserved in any new code.

    Gavin, I am amazed at your patience and endurance. I enjoy reading about climate science on this web site and am thankful for all the work you put into it.

    Comment by andre — 26 Nov 2009 @ 7:54 PM

  766. This is like listening to Colin Powell’s tape recordings of private conversations that were intercepted and used as evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Some guy was on a walkie talkie telling some worker that the inspectors were coming so they should get rid of a pile of scrap metal because the Asshole Americans might act like it was an atomic or chemical bomb. The Americans proved that they were indeed that stupid, even stupider, when, without even looking at that pile, or having any evidence whatsoever of what was in that pile, assumed that Powell’s recording of that conversation was a smoking gun of an atomic or chemical bomb.

    Comment by Peter Pitchford — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:08 PM

  767. Gavin,

    You work at the NASA right? I hope you explain something for me, i was wondering about the paleo datasets that are available for download from NASA. One of them is a dataset comprised out off data from picking drapes in france. I came across a article recently where the guy put down a peer-reviewed article to say something against the authors off the first article. Can you explain to me why the data is still availeble, or have i been fooled in to thinking that he had a point ?

    Thanks

    Comment by arnold — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:30 PM

  768. Response to RaymondT

    The equations solved in GCMs are discreetized using a technique called “Finite Volumes”. This technique uses a different form of the equations based on fluxes and conservation laws. The advantage of Finite Volumes is that mass and what-not are conserved absolutely (in finite arithmetic). The equations, despite being cast in a different form, are identical. An analogy is the Maxwell equations in electrodynamics. These are often written in integral form (which is like flux form used in Finite Volumes) or differential form (which is more commonly used when solving equations using finite difference or spectral methods).

    Finite Volumes is the technique du jour in many commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics programs (such as AnSys, starCFD ect…). I’ve written micro-scale meteorological models myself using this technique. The solution is physical.

    For an introduction to Finite Volumes, I recommend the book by Ferziger and Peric.

    Comment by ChrisC — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:39 PM

  769. #758, Hank, your comment “Unfortunately that’s already happened, and the current order isn’t sustainable” is interesting. If your referring to man causing “global warming”, how do you explain the flattening of global temperatures and the recent rise in sea ice. So why spend trillions of $’s on some AGW theory that’s look very questionable?

    By the way, you never did respond to the comparison between the EMD (Empirical Mode Decomposition) filter and the Fourier filter (#1071 previous thread). Remember that post showed a peaking of the Hadcet and E. England data.
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/cru-fig-6-NMyC0.gif
    http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/climate4u-lt-temps-Ljbug.gif

    Comment by J. Bob — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:44 PM

  770. To PHG (761)So you do not even think it is a possibility that the science is just plain wrong. Do you realize how many hundreds of millions of lives would be dislocated for wrong science? Why don’t we plan now for a direct meteor hit? You can’t be serious.

    Comment by Bob — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:48 PM

  771. #762, One good way to check computer code for structure and readability, it to go back after say 5 years, and see if you can understand it, and make corrections. I liked FORTRAN, but when all is said and done, I still like BASIC the best. It may not be the fastest (due mainly to the poor compilers), but it still seems to me the most readable for maintenance.

    Comment by J. Bob — 26 Nov 2009 @ 8:50 PM

  772. Anyone trying to call the CRU being tied up by agreements with the various Met offices nonsense needs to rethink. One of the difficulties here is EXACTLY that. Everything is user-pays. The National led government likes it that way, but the result, that there is little or no transparency for the science, is “disgraceful”… even though THEY THEMSELVES SUPPORT IT. They just don’t connect the dots. Since NZ came up and I am here in NZ, I did go about the exercise of trying to work out what was going on and wound up jammed into a “put the money in the slot” page with almost all approaches (I wanted the SST around NZ).

    Fortunately someone HAD done a paper which evaluated the trends. Note that the NZClimateScience coalition paper was falsified by NIWA with the publication of data regarding station changes in Wellington. From Sea Level to 350 Meters up… it wasn’t done that well, nobody calibrated the change properly so a new site had to be set up to do calibration and it is not likely perfect, but it IS as good as it can be.

    NZClimateScience had simply asserted that there wasn’t any reason to correct the data… at all… oops.

    The Fraud is plainly there, its just all on the other side.

    Which still doesn’t let Jones off from having to go head-to-head on this. He has to grab the Bull by the Tail and face the situation.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:19 PM

  773. This resent paper seems to disput all theories on stratospheric cooling (positive feedback?). What are your thiughts Gavin?

    Stratospheric warming in Southern Hemisphere high latitudes since
    1979
    Y. Hu1 and Q. Fu2
    1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
    2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
    Received: 26 November 2008 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 16 January 2009
    Revised: 17 June 2009 – Accepted: 22 June 2009 – Published: 3 July 2009

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/9/4329/2009/acp-9-4329-2009.pdf

    [Response: The pattern of stratopsheric cooling associated with increasing CO2 is a radiative effect, peaking at around 1mb, and strongest at the equator. Near the poles, dynamic can play a much stronger role than elsewhere. Having dynamical influence much lower down and at the pole, is therefore interesting, but not really contradictory. In fact our group published a paper years ago postulating a dynamic impact on polar vortex temperatures (Shindell et al, 1998). - but I think it might have gone the other way. I'll have to go check. - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:31 PM

  774. Also, new research on factors driving stratospheric temp. changes.

    Sudden stratospheric warmings seen in MINOS deep underground muon data. Osprey, S.M. et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2008GL036359

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL033875.shtml

    [Response: The first paper is demonstrating the opposite causality - stratospheric changes affect muon counts (not the other way around), while the second discusses the thermosphere - way, way above the stratosphere, and nothing to do with climate at all. - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:57 PM

  775. #762

    My experience with scientists and development and coding is that they should do the algorithms but probably SHOULD leave the rest to software engineers. Two reasons. One is that it would be more efficient for them NOT to worry about mundane details like naming conventions and data organization, and the other is that those same engineers would be the ones who would put together responses to any request for data and code once the algorithms had been checked and validated. All the scientist has to say is “do it”. Much easier to delegate this stuff… and much easier to make the

    The problems Harry had included endian-ness which indicates he was hitting new hardware as well as a new OS. With legacy from a decade prior. Dialects… and pretty clearly the original authors who knew what went where and did which to those other things weren’t available to help him. Legacy code and data is one of the most nit-picky jobs there is. I’m pretty damned impressed at what he did with it.. and I have no real doubts about the result.

    respectfully
    BJ

    Comment by BJ_Chippindale — 26 Nov 2009 @ 9:58 PM

  776. Anand Rajan, Dude, you really need to get help. Your lack of empathy borders on the pathological, and may well cross that border. Scientists are not machines. We cannot be expected to be dispassionate when it comes to questions of the continued existence or viability of civilization. And the thing is that the scientific method does not require us to be. Perhaps if you understood more about science, you might understand that it works without giving up our humanity.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:08 PM

  777. Gnmr,
    Whether adjustments are appropriate in the “data” (which by the time the it is climate data isn’t raw data in any case) depends on the purpose for the data. If absolute values are important, then you don’t want to make adjustments. However, if it’s long term trends, mere entries in log books ain’t gonna cut it.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:17 PM

  778. In the spirt of today’s importance I belive a grateful thank you is in order to you Gavin. The time you have taken out of your busy schedule to not only respond but to educate is definitely above and beyond the call. I am one who would never question anyone with your qualifications as to whether or not you are on the “company’s dime” responding to personal blog posts. I don’t have access nor do I wish to have access to your time card. So thank you for helping me understand these issues. You are a prime example of scientific discussion.

    New relaesed emails seem to be in conflict with your previous post:
    [Response: They 'hid' the decline in a paper in Nature. How clever of them. - gavin]

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html

    From: Tim Osborn
    To: mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx,imacadam@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Briffa et al. series for IPCC figure
    Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 16:18:29 +0100
    Cc: k.briffa@uea,p.jones@uea

    Dear Mike and Ian

    Keith has asked me to send you a timeseries for the IPCC multi-proxy
    reconstruction figure, to replace the one you currently have. The data are
    attached to this e-mail. They go from 1402 to 1995, although we usually
    stop the series in 1960 because of the recent non-temperature signal that
    is superimposed on the tree-ring data that we use. I haven’t put a 40-yr
    smoothing through them – I thought it best if you were to do this to ensure
    the same filter was used for all curves.

    The raw data are the same as used in Briffa et al. (1998), the Nature paper
    that I think you have the reference for already. They are analysed in a
    different way, to retain the low-frequency variations. In this sense, it
    is one-step removed from Briffa et al. (1998). It is not two-steps removed
    from Briffa et al. (1998), since the new series is simply a *replacement*
    for the one that you have been using, rather than being one-step further.

    A new manuscript is in preparation describing this alternative analysis
    method, the calibration of the resulting series, and their comparison with
    other reconstructions. We are consdering submitting this manuscript to J.
    Geophys. Res. when it is ready, but for now it is best cited as:
    Briffa KR, Osborn TJ, Schweingruber FH, Harris IC and Jones PD (1999)
    Extracting low-frequency temperature variations from a northern tree-ring
    density network. In preparation.
    Keith will be sending you a copy of the manuscript when it is nearer to
    completion.

    I have also attached a PS file showing the original Briffa et al. (1998)
    curve, with annotation of cold years associated with known volcanic
    eruptions. Overlain on this, you will see a green curve. This is the new
    series with a 40-yr filter through it. This is just so that you can see
    what it should look like (***ignore the temperature scale on this
    figure***, since the baseline is non-standard).

    With regard to the baseline, the data I’ve sent are calibrated over the
    period 1881-1960 against the instrumental Apr-Sep tempratures averaged over
    all land grid boxes with observed data that are north of 20N. As such, the
    mean of our reconstruction over 1881-1960 matches the mean of the observed
    target series over the same period. Since the observed series consists of
    degrees C anomalies wrt to 1961-90, we say that the reconstructed series
    also represents degrees C anomalies wrt to 1961-90. One could, of course,
    shift the mean of our reconstruction so that it matched the observed series
    over a different period – say 1931-60 – but I don’t see that this improves
    things. Indeed, if the non-temperature signal that causes the decline in
    tree-ring density begins before 1960, then a short 1931-60 period might
    yield a more biased result than using a longer 1881-1960 period.

    If you have any queries regarding this replacement data, then please e-mail
    me and/or Keith.

    Best regards

    Tim

    Calibrated against observed Apr-Sep temperature over 1881-1960
    averaged over all land grid boxes north of 20N

    Year Reconstructed temperature anomaly (degrees C wrt 1961-90)
    1402 -0.283
    1403 -0.334
    1404 -0.286
    1405 -0.350
    1406 -0.152
    1407 -0.124
    1408 -0.220
    1409 -0.175
    1410 -0.100
    1411 -0.129
    1412 -0.226
    1413 -0.115
    1414 -0.386
    1415 -0.319
    1416 -0.277
    1417 -0.136
    1418 -0.172
    1419 -0.294
    1420 -0.280
    1421 -0.335
    1422 -0.406
    1423 -0.312
    1424 -0.207
    1425 -0.136
    1426 -0.354
    1427 -0.222
    1428 -0.305
    1429 -0.322
    1430 -0.282
    1431 -0.143
    1432 -0.212
    1433 -0.234
    1434 -0.076
    1435 -0.309
    1436 -0.411
    1437 -0.122
    1438 -0.272
    1439 -0.159
    1440 -0.330
    1441 -0.160
    1442 -0.105
    1443 -0.080
    1444 -0.308
    1445 -0.138
    1446 -0.317
    1447 -0.270
    1448 -0.301
    1449 -0.357
    1450 -0.137
    1451 -0.183
    1452 -0.207
    1453 -0.485
    1454 -0.265
    1455 -0.358
    1456 -0.241
    1457 -0.199
    1458 -0.366
    1459 -0.397
    1460 -0.252
    1461 -0.230
    1462 -0.252
    1463 -0.209
    1464 -0.174
    1465 -0.174
    1466 -0.280
    1467 -0.256
    1468 -0.256
    1469 -0.222
    1470 -0.237
    1471 -0.094
    1472 -0.122
    1473 -0.056
    1474 -0.320
    1475 -0.376
    1476 -0.133
    1477 -0.075
    1478 0.037
    1479 -0.161
    1480 -0.379
    1481 -0.513
    1482 -0.286
    1483 -0.354
    1484 -0.327
    1485 -0.208
    1486 -0.125
    1487 -0.380
    1488 -0.193
    1489 -0.245
    1490 -0.466
    1491 -0.244
    1492 -0.146
    1493 -0.278
    1494 -0.394
    1495 -0.526
    1496 -0.275
    1497 -0.264
    1498 -0.233
    1499 -0.169
    1500 -0.128
    1501 -0.415
    1502 -0.306
    1503 0.011
    1504 -0.013
    1505 -0.378
    1506 -0.226
    1507 -0.428
    1508 -0.192
    1509 -0.312
    1510 -0.157
    1511 -0.162
    1512 -0.188
    1513 -0.135
    1514 -0.418
    1515 -0.258
    1516 -0.381
    1517 -0.134
    1518 -0.180
    1519 -0.166
    1520 -0.035
    1521 -0.384
    1522 -0.302
    1523 -0.541
    1524 -0.371
    1525 -0.183
    1526 -0.289
    1527 -0.224
    1528 -0.247
    1529 -0.432
    1530 -0.291
    1531 -0.467
    1532 -0.343
    1533 -0.586
    1534 -0.183
    1535 -0.417
    1536 -0.350
    1537 -0.257
    1538 -0.451
    1539 -0.398
    1540 -0.497
    1541 -0.406
    1542 -0.584
    1543 -0.448
    1544 -0.317
    1545 -0.312
    1546 -0.289
    1547 -0.114
    1548 -0.459
    1549 -0.335
    1550 -0.009
    1551 -0.074
    1552 -0.047
    1553 -0.207
    1554 -0.285
    1555 -0.116
    1556 -0.141
    1557 -0.419
    1558 -0.174
    1559 -0.465
    1560 -0.287
    1561 -0.169
    1562 -0.231
    1563 -0.270
    1564 -0.347
    1565 -0.116
    1566 -0.202
    1567 -0.278
    1568 -0.445
    1569 -0.488
    1570 -0.465
    1571 -0.434
    1572 -0.674
    1573 -0.324
    1574 -0.493
    1575 -0.273
    1576 -0.623
    1577 -0.483
    1578 -0.521
    1579 -0.551
    1580 -0.473
    1581 -0.436
    1582 -0.382
    1583 -0.345
    1584 -0.280
    1585 -0.565
    1586 -0.409
    1587 -0.580
    1588 -0.530
    1589 -0.534
    1590 -0.354
    1591 -0.377
    1592 -0.407
    1593 -0.337
    1594 -0.591
    1595 -0.459
    1596 -0.436
    1597 -0.475
    1598 -0.152
    1599 -0.134
    1600 -0.381
    1601 -1.169
    1602 -0.403
    1603 -0.414
    1604 -0.472
    1605 -0.393
    1606 -0.564
    1607 -0.529
    1608 -0.822
    1609 -0.789
    1610 -0.617
    1611 -0.681
    1612 -0.670
    1613 -0.364
    1614 -0.733
    1615 -0.428
    1616 -0.698
    1617 -0.479
    1618 -0.485
    1619 -0.524
    1620 -0.706
    1621 -0.671
    1622 -0.714
    1623 -0.662
    1624 -0.387
    1625 -0.566
    1626 -0.671
    1627 -0.665
    1628 -0.759
    1629 -0.654
    1630 -0.379
    1631 -0.466
    1632 -0.330
    1633 -0.377
    1634 -0.521
    1635 -0.222
    1636 -0.265
    1637 -0.252
    1638 -0.396
    1639 -0.382
    1640 -0.400
    1641 -1.152
    1642 -1.067
    1643 -1.092
    1644 -0.649
    1645 -0.588
    1646 -0.632
    1647 -0.554
    1648 -0.368
    1649 -0.572
    1650 -0.215
    1651 -0.317
    1652 -0.529
    1653 -0.268
    1654 -0.343
    1655 -0.400
    1656 -0.372
    1657 -0.332
    1658 -0.359
    1659 -0.182
    1660 -0.260
    1661 -0.258
    1662 -0.433
    1663 -0.433
    1664 -0.353
    1665 -0.440
    1666 -0.837
    1667 -0.857
    1668 -0.816
    1669 -0.779
    1670 -0.871
    1671 -0.463
    1672 -0.434
    1673 -0.631
    1674 -0.663
    1675 -0.870
    1676 -0.523
    1677 -0.670
    1678 -0.794
    1679 -0.768
    1680 -0.701
    1681 -0.380
    1682 -0.518
    1683 -0.364
    1684 -0.369
    1685 -0.688
    1686 -0.178
    1687 -0.481
    1688 -0.351
    1689 -0.229
    1690 -0.254
    1691 -0.221
    1692 -0.545
    1693 -0.263
    1694 -0.316
    1695 -0.955
    1696 -0.816
    1697 -0.687
    1698 -1.054
    1699 -1.005
    1700 -0.630
    1701 -0.818
    1702 -0.510
    1703 -0.377
    1704 -0.420
    1705 -0.527
    1706 -0.328
    1707 -0.257
    1708 -0.465
    1709 -0.493
    1710 -0.288
    1711 -0.344
    1712 -0.345
    1713 -0.242
    1714 -0.390
    1715 -0.305
    1716 -0.390
    1717 -0.309
    1718 -0.270
    1719 -0.194
    1720 -0.110
    1721 -0.427
    1722 0.005
    1723 -0.193
    1724 -0.249
    1725 -0.497
    1726 -0.381
    1727 -0.241
    1728 -0.133
    1729 -0.261
    1730 -0.633
    1731 -0.723
    1732 -0.426
    1733 -0.371
    1734 -0.104
    1735 -0.373
    1736 -0.330
    1737 -0.206
    1738 -0.557
    1739 -0.291
    1740 -0.734
    1741 -0.594
    1742 -0.808
    1743 -0.378
    1744 -0.372
    1745 -0.418
    1746 -0.501
    1747 -0.150
    1748 -0.389
    1749 -0.328
    1750 -0.168
    1751 -0.343
    1752 -0.227
    1753 -0.218
    1754 -0.377
    1755 -0.328
    1756 -0.221
    1757 -0.259
    1758 -0.431
    1759 -0.340
    1760 -0.335
    1761 -0.261
    1762 -0.466
    1763 -0.291
    1764 -0.473
    1765 -0.378
    1766 -0.212
    1767 -0.429
    1768 -0.544
    1769 -0.343
    1770 -0.341
    1771 -0.265
    1772 -0.547
    1773 -0.421
    1774 -0.048
    1775 -0.289
    1776 -0.186
    1777 -0.288
    1778 -0.178
    1779 -0.550
    1780 -0.339
    1781 -0.251
    1782 -0.164
    1783 -0.757
    1784 -0.142
    1785 -0.141
    1786 -0.179
    1787 -0.432
    1788 -0.207
    1789 -0.235
    1790 -0.612
    1791 -0.163
    1792 -0.086
    1793 -0.023
    1794 -0.030
    1795 -0.243
    1796 -0.028
    1797 -0.565
    1798 -0.049
    1799 -0.228
    1800 -0.287
    1801 -0.413
    1802 -0.117
    1803 0.020
    1804 0.036
    1805 -0.094
    1806 -0.251
    1807 -0.089
    1808 -0.241
    1809 -0.460
    1810 -0.582
    1811 -0.353
    1812 -0.459
    1813 -0.545
    1814 -0.458
    1815 -0.588
    1816 -0.855
    1817 -0.861
    1818 -0.629
    1819 -0.680
    1820 -0.289
    1821 -0.351
    1822 -0.159
    1823 -0.246
    1824 -0.276
    1825 -0.263
    1826 -0.140
    1827 -0.293
    1828 -0.033
    1829 -0.087
    1830 -0.173
    1831 -0.045
    1832 -0.621
    1833 -0.660
    1834 -0.141
    1835 -0.647
    1836 -0.775
    1837 -0.771
    1838 -0.359
    1839 -0.267
    1840 -0.144
    1841 -0.077
    1842 -0.337
    1843 -0.435
    1844 -0.101
    1845 -0.412
    1846 0.106
    1847 -0.079
    1848 -0.346
    1849 -0.393
    1850 -0.261
    1851 -0.165
    1852 -0.100
    1853 -0.174
    1854 -0.138
    1855 -0.418
    1856 -0.250
    1857 -0.538
    1858 -0.126
    1859 -0.195
    1860 -0.231
    1861 -0.029
    1862 -0.555
    1863 -0.303
    1864 -0.407
    1865 -0.256
    1866 -0.437
    1867 -0.413
    1868 -0.119
    1869 -0.321
    1870 -0.213
    1871 -0.352
    1872 -0.163
    1873 -0.183
    1874 -0.372
    1875 -0.247
    1876 -0.487
    1877 -0.192
    1878 0.120
    1879 -0.152
    1880 -0.346
    1881 -0.184
    1882 -0.200
    1883 -0.183
    1884 -0.717
    1885 -0.534
    1886 -0.485
    1887 -0.281
    1888 -0.261
    1889 -0.153
    1890 -0.341
    1891 -0.313
    1892 -0.138
    1893 -0.301
    1894 -0.134
    1895 -0.128
    1896 -0.241
    1897 -0.016
    1898 0.065
    1899 -0.574
    1900 -0.218
    1901 -0.049
    1902 -0.287
    1903 -0.142
    1904 -0.205
    1905 -0.308
    1906 -0.034
    1907 -0.412
    1908 -0.048
    1909 -0.214
    1910 -0.147
    1911 -0.194
    1912 -0.631
    1913 -0.161
    1914 -0.294
    1915 -0.074
    1916 -0.277
    1917 -0.297
    1918 -0.460
    1919 -0.013
    1920 -0.272
    1921 -0.114
    1922 -0.036
    1923 -0.305
    1924 -0.141
    1925 -0.258
    1926 -0.115
    1927 -0.198
    1928 -0.018
    1929 -0.161
    1930 0.086
    1931 0.104
    1932 0.081
    1933 -0.057
    1934 0.007
    1935 -0.037
    1936 -0.019
    1937 0.060
    1938 0.163
    1939 -0.075
    1940 0.113
    1941 -0.200
    1942 0.128
    1943 0.053
    1944 -0.080
    1945 0.059
    1946 -0.016
    1947 -0.188
    1948 -0.038
    1949 -0.107
    1950 -0.269
    1951 -0.100
    1952 -0.118
    1953 0.161
    1954 -0.235
    1955 -0.127
    1956 -0.308
    1957 -0.194
    1958 -0.308
    1959 -0.224
    1960 0.076
    1961 -0.104
    1962 -0.289
    1963 -0.173
    1964 -0.479
    1965 -0.474
    1966 -0.171
    1967 -0.200
    1968 -0.599
    1969 -0.355
    1970 -0.353
    1971 -0.328
    1972 -0.563
    1973 -0.262
    1974 -0.336
    1975 -0.507
    1976 -0.558
    1977 -0.363
    1978 -0.698
    1979 -0.289
    1980 -0.612
    1981 -0.195
    1982 -0.522
    1983 -0.234
    1984 -0.335
    1985 -0.423
    1986 -0.430
    1987 -0.424
    1988 -0.161
    1989 -0.286
    1990 -0.275
    1991 -0.169
    1992 -0.175
    1993 -0.341
    1994 -0.320

    Attachment Converted: “c:eudoraattachBriffa et al.ps”

    Dr Timothy J Osborn | phone: +44 1603 592089
    Senior Research Associate | fax: +44 1603 507784
    Climatic Research Unit | e-mail: t.osborn@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    School of Environmental Sciences | web-site:
    University of East Anglia __________| http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/
    Norwich NR4 7TJ | sunclock:
    UK | http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timo/sunclock.htm

    Comment by Joe V. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:23 PM

  779. Sorry for not attachin the code.

    BRIFFA VERSION

    url<-"ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/treering/reconstructions/n_hem_temp/briffa2001jgr3.txt&quot;
    #readLines(url)[1:50]
    Briffa<-read.table(url,skip=24,fill=TRUE)
    Briffa[Briffa< -900]=NA
    dimnames(Briffa)[[2]]<-c("year","Jones98","MBH99","Briffa01","Briffa00","Overpeck97","Crowley00","CRU99")
    sapply(Briffa, function(x) range( Briffa$year[!is.na(x)]) )
    # year Jones98 MBH99 Briffa01 Briffa00 Overpeck97 Crowley00 CRU99
    #[1,] 1000 1000 1000 1402 1000 1600 1000 1871
    #[2,] 1999 1991 1980 1960 1993 1990 1987 1997
    Briffa= ts(Briffa,start=1000)

    Hacked file version

    loc="http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=146&filename=939154709.txt&quot;
    working=readLines(loc,n=1994-1401+104)
    working=working[105:length(working)]
    x=substr(working,1,14)
    writeLines(x,"temp.dat")
    gate=read.table("temp.dat")
    gate=ts(gate[,2],start=gate[1,1])

    #Comparison
    briffa=ts.union(archive= Briffa[,"Briffa01"],gate )
    briffa=window(briffa,start=1402,end=1994) #
    plot.ts(briffa)

    X=briffa

    plot( c(time(X)),X[,1],col=col.ipcc,lwd=2,ylim=c(-1.2,.5),yaxs="i",type="n",axes=FALSE,xlab="",ylab="")
    for( i in 2:1) lines( c(time(X)),X[,i],col=i,lwd=1)
    axis(side=1,tck=.025)
    labels0=seq(-1,1,.1);labels0[is.na(match(seq(-1,1,.1),seq(-1,1,.5)))]=""
    axis(side=2,at=seq(-1,1,.1),labels=labels0,tck=.025,las=1)
    axis(side=4,at=seq(-1,1,.1),labels=labels0,tck=.025)
    box()
    abline(h=0)
    title("Hide the Decline")
    legend("topleft",fill=2:1,legend=c("Deleted","Archived"))

    [Response: The data 'showing the decline' is in the file: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/treering/reconstructions/n_hem_temp/nhemtemp_data.txt (Briffa et al, 1998) (different scaling and baseline though). Nothing was 'hidden'. - gavin]

    Comment by Joe V. — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:33 PM

  780. Simon Abingdon, speaking from the land of Faery: You have to structure your programs properly from the outset. You can’t incorporate good practice retrospectively. Every “spaghetti” program has untold errors waiting to rear their ugly heads (or remain forever unsuspected while erroneous results are acted upon with misplaced confidence).

    Code doesn’t have to be provably correct to be useful. Else we would have no commercial software industry to speak of. Or everything would be written in a declarative language; have fun with that.

    My experience has been that academic code tends to be less maintainable/well-factored/engineered than code in the private sector. I have it on good authority that little of Carnegie Mellon’s code has a CMMI maturity level above 1. This doesn’t mean those products are useless. Science and most of industry would grind to a halt if you were to require level-5 code.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 26 Nov 2009 @ 10:52 PM

  781. Many important issues have been raised and discussed in this and related blogs, but I think we need to spend a great deal more time discussing what I think is the most important and debatable point made in this blog. I refer to Gavin’s response in #122 to the question of why we do not want the globe to warm up any further, where Gavin says:

    …[S]ociety is adapted to the climate we have (though not perfectly of course). Where we build cities, where we grow crops, how we live are all based on assumptions about the climate – the temperature, the rainfall, the tides, the expected storm surges, the variability etc. Changes to that background will likely require shifts to how we do all of those things and some changes will be hugely expensive in terms of people and infrastructure to adapt to – even if that is possible. Coupled with the uncertainty of exactly a planet that would be warmer (say 3ºC) than at any time in the last 3 million years would look like (and note that sea levels were ~60 ft higher then!), I don’t want to take the risk.

    Let’s assume that the science of climate is mature, robust, and can support predictability.

    1. Whose society? The Western world? The developed nations? The Saharan? The Tibetan? Why should Greenland remain snow-bound? or Antarctica? At least in America, our infrastructure is collapsing and we’re going to have to either repair or, better, re-design and implement much better infrastructure anyway.

    2. Assuming that what you mean is the status quo, what we have now, do you mean to suggest that everyone would agree that we have the “best of all possible worlds” now and that no shift towards either cooling or warming could make any of it better? Why must the seashore remain where it is? Why would it not be better to have the sea level 2, 10, 60 meters higher or lower than now? Why must our cities remain where they are? Why must we freeze time and change? Why is it better to try to revert to an earlier age than to adapt to a new one?

    [Response: Who want's to revert to an earlier age? (How is new solar technology going back to Middle Ages?). But to answer your question, there are 100's of millions of people living less than 1 m about sea level. Billions of peoples within 6m. Trillions and trillions of dollars of infrastructure. Sea level rise is a lose for everyone, there are no benefits. Just adaptation costs that increase dramatically as the rise becomes more rapid. - gavin]

    3. Can we maintain the status quo with declining production of oil (Peak Oil)? Are our current cities, agriculture, transportation modes and so on sustainable when oil is unavailable?

    [Response: Don't know. But there is a lot of fossil fuel in non-traditional sources (oil sands, tar shales, methane hydrates etc.). - gavin]

    4. If we were able to limit anthropogenic warming and CO2 to 350ppm, would we then maintain this status quo? Will there be any sort of time lag between 350ppm and the “ideal” climate you wish to retain? Might it get quite a bit hotter before it cools down, thus forcing us to change our cities, infrastructure and so on anyway?

    [Response: Depends on the trajectory, and sea level is very much a lagging indicator. - gavin]

    5. Suppose it started to get demonstrably cooler (after all, we are in an interglacial that should have ended some time ago), would increasing CO2 then be your recommendation? Is your climate model sufficiently accurate and precise to be able to support the idea that CO2 causes cooling or warming?

    [Response: You don't climate models to understand why CO2 causes warming - basic physics and a little bit of spectroscopy does the trick nicely. If we were cooling for some reason, increasing CO2 would still not be smart. Much more powerful GHGs are available that don't interfere with ocean chemistry or the carbon cycle (various HFCs etc.). But this is not a subject of current concern. - gavin]

    Comment by Dayahka — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:08 PM

  782. One group of scientista maintain they have data that proves there is a warming trend while othe scientists maintain there has been no warming since 2000 and cooling since 2005. Some cite Arctic ice retreat while others cite Antarctic ice growth. Since both sides have the same data with which to work, I can only conclude global warming/cooling trends are based on opinion and not the facts. Therefore, it would be foolhardy to take actions based on this inconclusive “science”.

    [Response: I suggest you look at the data yourself. - gavin]

    Comment by John Magurn — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:28 PM

  783. On GOTO statements:

    Just about every single computer program uses GOTO statements. Although most modern languages attempt to restrict the statement from being used by programmers, the compiler is still using GOTO statements behind the scenes. The GOTO statement is equivalent to the JMP statement in assembly language. There are certain problems where a GOTO statement is the best solution. For example, a GOTO statement may offer a quick way out of a very deep nest. In fact, many languages offer restricted GOTO commands for such purposes. For example, C++ offers the break command so that programmers can terminate a loop early. The break command is essentially a goto statement, and will be a jump statement in assembly. Also, some switch statement optimizations by compilers create a jump table in order to speed things up.

    “Furthermore, just because code is well written does not mean that it does not hide bugs”

    The proper way to code is never done by anyone. Quite a few computer scientists have been bitching about it. All bugs in software can be completely and totally eliminated by using mathematical rigor. Nobody proves their code; as a result, software is plagued with bugs and security flaws. The proper way to code is to prove the entire code mathematically. Comments are also nice for keeping up with direction and flow of the program.

    Comment by EL — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:31 PM

  784. [Response: National Met Offices around the world (though not the US) often have a mandate to commercialize their data and their forecasts. Thus they often provide academics with data on the understanding that it won't be passed on to third parties which might undercut their commercial services. I think this is mostly unnecessary, but it is hard to change. Write to your representatives and tell them. - gavin]

    I think it’s clear from the emails that at least some scientists at CRU expressed an interest in actively searching for reasons to deny FOI requests.

    Your claim would carry much more weight if you could provide a link to a statement from a decision maker at just one of these National Met offices to the effect that, yes, they explicitly precluded the further distribution of data that they had provided, or that if the data they provided was redistributed, that they would no longer provide such data. Without that, surely you realize that you run the risk of being seen in the same light that these emails are – as someone looking for a reason to say no.

    Comment by AC — 26 Nov 2009 @ 11:46 PM

  785. “Distribution for Endorsements —
    I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500 signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000 without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a different story.”

    Do you have a link to a document which lists the either 1000, 600, 1500 or 2000 endorsers referenced in the above section of email? I would like to check their credentials.

    [Response: This seems to be related to possible statement prior to the Kyoto discussions in 1997. I have no idea whether this was set up or who signed it. Sorry - just too long ago. - gavin]

    Comment by conversefive — 27 Nov 2009 @ 12:57 AM

  786. correction to the first question asked in my post #662:

    1. why didn’t the papers reveal the “fudge factor”(s)- not my words the programmer’s- used to produce the calibration of tree ring density? They happen to show an almost exponential rise post 1939 (granted level with the highest “fudge factor” between 1979-1999). I find no justification or explanation of this.

    I made at least 3 errors interpreting the code in briffa_sep98_d.pro per my original post:

    errors 1&2. the program data sets actually appear to start in 1400 with the first containing all data 1400-1903, so here are the 19 remaining consecutive data subsets by first year, with the “fudge factors” and the “fudge factors”*.75 which is really what was used:

    Year Fudge Factor Fudge Factor*.75
    1400 0 0
    1904 0 0
    1909 0 0
    1914 0 0
    1919 0 0
    1924 -0.1 -0.075
    1929 -0.25 -0.1875
    1934 -0.3 -0.225
    1939 0 0
    1944 -0.1 -0.075
    1949 0.3 0.225
    1954 0.8 0.6
    1959 1.2 0.9
    1964 1.7 1.275
    1969 2.5 1.875
    1974 2.6 1.95
    1979 2.6 1.95
    1984 2.6 1.95
    1989 2.6 1.95
    1994 2.6 1.95

    3. the program does print only the “Northern Hemisphere MXD” without the “VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR THE DECLINE.” The command to plot the “fudged” data is commented out. But again, I ask, referring to the text in the second paper that this is admittedly a “rather” “ad hoc” approach my question #3: Although the 2 papers only mention “adjusting” the data for purposes of obtaining a “final calibration”, is it not true that when a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” adjustment is used to create a “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration, and this “VERY ARTIFICIAL” calibration is then applied to the raw data, what you end up with is “VERY ARTIFICIAL” data? i.e. GIGO? Just asking.

    [Response: I have it on good authority that this 'correction' was never used in any paper, and was simply an internal test to see what it looked like. Thus the strong language in the code warning against it's use, the fact that application of this correction is commented out, and indeed, it's absence in the literature. - gavin]

    Comment by Mark Sawusch — 27 Nov 2009 @ 1:22 AM

  787. > your claim would carry much more weight if you could provide a
    > link to a statement from a decision maker at just one of these
    > National Met offices

    Are you perhaps suggesting a fishing expedition in their correspondence?
    You have seen CRU’s statement that they are trying to get permission.
    What more do you think anyone here at RC can provide you, and how?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Nov 2009 @ 1:30 AM

  788. In this comment (now #770), AC says:

    I think it’s clear from the emails that at least some scientists at CRU expressed an interest in actively searching for reasons to deny FOI requests.

    For certain vexatious FOI requests, yes, they did. As long as the reasons are legitimate and legal, what is wrong with that? Hint for those who need it spelled out: NOTHING.

    See Vexatious and repeated requests; a guide at the ministry of justice. You can’t just declare something to be vexatious, of course; it still takes time to evaluate everything properly. But checking for this and looking for how to limit the scope of sweeping requests is perfectly ethical and legal, and the problem is recognized in the legislation.

    This is certainly not the same as seeking to deny all FOI requests; nor can that be presumed. The problem these scientists faced was a massive flood of poorly presented FOI requests from closely related applicants, and for which there was good reason to assume bad faith on the part of applicants and that the requests were part of a wider deliberate harassment campaign. Many demands were manifestly excessive and with so many of them all at once, looking for reasons to reject them is the right thing to do; as long as it is all done in proper compliance with the legislation and with legal obligations to comply with a valid request.

    The CRU has been working to try and make the datasets more available; but they are constrained by their own legal obligations to other data providers. The issues with distributing all the data have been clear from the start, and have quite properly meant that many requests were denied; not that this has preventing ongoing repetitions, appeals and wider fishing expeditions for material of highly dubious relevance — such as sweeping requests for correspondence. There is no automatic presumption that all FOI requests must be actively encouraged; and there are proper procedures for managing them which were followed.

    Many of the internet discussions appear to presume that any request under FOI must be legitimate and that any failure to give anyone precisely what they want at once brings with it a presumption of guilt or impropriety. That is ridiculous — like so much else about this whole stolen files affair.

    The elephant in the room which is fundamental if anyone is serious about ethics is that there has been a campaign of harassment, even before the harassment extended itself into the outright felonious theft of files.

    The University of East Anglia has been overwhelmed with a flood of improper requests which have been properly processed and mostly denied, but which still involve a lot of wasted work and effort in the procedures to evaluate everything. The University is legally and ethically obliged to evaluate and handle all of these properly; and we have no indication whatever that these has not occurred.

    But there is also an ethical issue with misusing the FOI legislation to harass or disrupt an organization… and that has undoubtedly been the case here.

    Comment by Duae Quartunciea — 27 Nov 2009 @ 1:38 AM

  789. As a geologist, I have a much longer perspective of weather than climate science. Admittedly, my understanding is heavily dependent on proxy data. I became an AGW skeptic the moment I read the Kyoto Protocols because I knew that CO2 content in our atmosphere had reached levels more than 10 times that today. The Mesozoic was for the most part much warmer than today. Life on land thrived and evolved and there is no fossil recored of extinctions until the meteor strike 65 my ago. Then there is the world wide temperature decline beginning 50my ago (attributed to plate tectonics). Ice formed at the poles beginning around 14 my ago. The Pleistocene ice age began 1.75 my on in the N. Hemisphere. The 6th glacial stage, Wisconsin, melted back beginning only 13,000 years ago, a mere moment of geologic time. We are now in the 6th interglacial of the Pleistocene. Technically we’re still in a glacial climate. Until we can understand the Pleistocene and its intermittent stages,you are lost in the noise of a probable normal interglacial weather pattern in which the periods of warming appear to be decreasing in intensity. I see no reason to assume our ice age is over and I believe you have wasted a huge chunk of the worlds money on the supposition you can micromanage a geologic process

    [Response: The huge release of fossil carbon at rates ~150 times faster than it was accumulated is not a 'geologic' process. Closest Cenozoic analog is possibly the PETM. That doesn't give you even a moment's pause? - gavin]

    Comment by Robert R. Reynolds — 27 Nov 2009 @ 1:45 AM

  790. yep:

    http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/RulesOfTheGame.pdf

    Comment by information=data — 27 Nov 2009 @ 2:03 AM

  791. Anand, just so you know, I do agree with your basic premise that science needs to always strive to be objective and accurate. That its conclusions should not be driven by pre-conceived notions nor influenced by emotion.

    The thing is that climate science meets this criterion as best I can tell, and no one, despite enormous effort, has been able to show otherwise. And it’s science is such that it has, so far, stood the test of time.

    Does that mean, though, that climate scientists should (even if they could) be emotionless automatons? That they shouldn’t care about the wonderful planet that they have learned, and continue to learn, so much about? Of course not. Every breakthrough in science was, I’m sure, welcomed by it’s discoverers with emotion, all cared about their work, and that care did not lessen the science one bit.

    You say, “A common misconception is to view humankind to be the custodian of all life on earth.”

    Were we meant to be the custodian of all life on earth? I don’t think so. I do believe though that because we have and are causing so much destruction we should, if we have any sense of decency, do what we can to rectify the situation. Not only that, if just for selfish reasons alone we want to continue on this planet it would be wise to change our destructive habits.

    I believe that we modern humans have no idea what we have already lost. As an example here’s a comment from French explorer Pierre Esprit Radisson written in around 1652 in his description of his journey across parts of the future United States: “The further we sojourned the delightfuller the land was to us. I can say that in my lifetime I never saw a more incomparable country….The country was so pleasant, so beautiful and fruitful that it grieved me to see the world could not discover such enticing countries to live in. This I say because the europeans fight for a rock in the sea against each other, or for a sterile and horrid country. Contrariwise, these kingdoms are so delicious and under so temperate a climate, plentiful of all things, the earth bringing forth its fruit twice a year, the people live long and lusty and wise in their way.” How much has changed since then. If we go back even further, 10 or 12 thousand years ago, pre-holocene extinction we’d find the earth a wonderous place. Anything but dull.

    Today though we are disconnected from nature and thus it’s no wonder that so many people seem to have no feeling for it. Check out this page, http://tinyurl.com/ybsfz6d.

    You don’t seem to think that life is worth living and to me that’s sad. As if instinctually most living things seem to want to live and will fight to survive if it come to that. Why? The triumph of life on earth, science shows, has been one of evolving in order to survive an ever changing planet. Again why?

    Could I recommend that you, if possible, at least temporarily toss your cynicism, find some local trails and start hiking? With time you might begin to find that there is more to nature than meets the eye. You might begin to understand why some people fight so hard to preserve it. That in addition to a brain we also have a heart.

    Comment by Ron R. — 27 Nov 2009 @ 2:49 AM

  792. J. Bob re: “Remember that post showed a peaking of the Hadcet and E. England data.”

    No, to me it haven’t! I work with time series every day (market price data) and I see you approach the data simply wrong: you can’t use 14 years average (no matter how you call it) to claim anything about longer time trends. And you can’t watch a graph of only a few years to claim anything.

    You don’t need any program or advanced calculation to see from the “raw” data that:

    1) we’re in the hottest period of all since long ago

    3) there’s no indication of the long-time tendency of trend to change.

    If you look at any plot, it’s obvious that short-term (14 years are very short term) there can be downward movements but they really don’t mean anything for longer term. Last hundred years significantly raised the average temperature. Short term, it’s normal that there can be oscillations, but that means nothing to the longer trend. You didn’t “show” anything.

    Comment by aceq — 27 Nov 2009 @ 3:01 AM

  793. omment by Joe V. — 26 November 2009 @ 10:23 PM

    I’m no scientist, but what do you see there? I see nothing. Enlighten me.

    Comment by ccpo — 27 Nov 2009 @ 3:41 AM

  794. Halldór Björnsson of the Icelandic Met. Service:
    “The ideal, that all data should be free and open is unfortunately not adhered to by a large portion of the meteorological community. Probably only a small portion of the CRU data is “locked” but the end effect is that all their data becomes closed. It is not their fault, and I am sure that they dislike them as much as any other researcher who has tried to get access to all data from stations in region X in country Y.

    These restrictions end up by wasting resources and hurting everyone. The research community (CRU included) and the public are the victims. If you don’t like it, write to you NMSs and urge them to open all their data.”

    That the CRU cannot release all of its data due to confidentiality agreements with various national meteorological authorities has been mentioned many times by Gavin, as well as many other commenters elsewhere. Apologies if the following questions have been asked before, but I am very curious to know answers to these questions:

    1- Why should the whole data set be closed for examination by other researchers if only a small portion of it is “locked” by confidentiality agreements? As a lay person, I can see that there may be problems with incomplete data, but I cannot understand why the data not covered by commercial confiendiality agreements cannot be released.

    2- What percentage of data is “locked”, and what percantage of all the national meteorological authorities prevent the CRU from releasing their data? These questions are relevant because -and I am speculating here- if only 10 percent of the data is covered by confidentiality agreements with 10 or 20 national meteorological offices, the CRU’s excuse for not making it available weakens considerably. I am wondering whether the cost of breaching such an agreement, following an FOI request, is so much greater than its potential benefits to climate science.

    3- Which national meteorological offices prevent the CRU from releasing its data? Has the CRU mentioned the name of any particular national met office so far that makes its data available only on commercial basis? All that the CRU has to do is release whatever data not covered by commercial confidentiality agreements AND provide the names of the other met offices with which it has such agreements. The missing part could then be purchased separately by other researchers who want to conduct a review of the science produced by the CRU.

    4- And now the question that I’m most curious about. How could there be more than 20 years of international cooperation in the past regarding climate change, and a potentially binding agreement next month as a result, there has been neither international cooperation nor an agreement between national meteorological authorities to make their data freely available to all researchers?

    It is quite astonishing that Halldór Björnsson of the Icelandic Met. Service would advise us to write to our NMSs and “urge them to open all their data”. This is something the scientists who are now urging action on climate change should have done themselves decades ago. That there is not a simple, international “open data” agreement in place already is a finding I did not expect. Climatatologists could learn something from genetic scientists who made the Human Genome Project such a shining example of international scientifc cooperation.

    Comment by sHx — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:07 AM

  795. Hi,

    Well as a result of the other thread on the email hack I have a question about global warming ( I could have posted there but with 778 posts I suspect noone would notice my question).

    [Response: moved back to be on-topic. sorry - gavin]

    There is something I do not understand about this business with using tree-rings as temperature proxies.

    From what I can tell there is this “divergence problem” where the tree rings do not reproduce the measured temperature (with thermometers) after 1960. I found the 1998 Nature paper on this which seems to say noone really understand why this is and presents some speculation as to the cause.

    Now my question is given all of this – why should I believe the tree rings are a good proxy from the year 1000-1850 (I think 1850 is when the temperature record starts) if we do not understand why it does not work from 1960-2009? How can we be sure the same problem is not present at earlier times thus rendering the reconstructed temperature record invalid?

    Looking in wikipedia I see a hockey stick graph with 10 different temperature reconstructions – so I guess many independent groups have made this graph and got compatible anwsers? Are a sizable fraction of these graphs *not* using the tree-ring proxy, but some other more reliable proxy?

    Does each graph just use one proxy or multiple proxys? If the latter why include the tree-ring one at all if it is not reliable and instead just use all the others if they are more robust proxys?

    Thanks,

    Mark

    Comment by Mark — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:31 AM

  796. #729 “Computer scientists and applied computer scientists (programmers) are two very different animals. Many programmers are autodidacts… Programmers tend to confuse mathematical models with their idea of programming.”
    #747 “Poorly-structured code is harder to read, harder to debug, harder to maintain but none of this makes it *impossible* for poorly-structured code to work properly.
    #752 “what makes it practically impossible to thoroughly debug a program is complexity, particularly where there is the potential such interaction between different parts of the program that the possible sequences of events grows super-exponentially”
    #756 “Regarding spaghetti code, the vast majority of software of any kind is badly written. And yet it works (more or less). Furthermore, just because code is well written does not mean that it does not hide bugs.”
    #762 “The programming language is nowhere near as important as the programmer in building structured code”
    #772 “My experience with scientists and development and coding is that they should do the algorithms but probably SHOULD leave the rest to software engineers.”
    #776 “My experience has been that academic code tends to be less maintainable/well-factored/engineered than code in the private sector.”
    #777 “The proper way to code is never done by anyone.” “… software is plagued with bugs and security flaws.”

    All a bit worrying really.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:40 AM

  797. “All bugs in software can be completely and totally eliminated by using mathematical rigor. ”

    Well, up to a point. If you prove your code, you know it is doing what the spec says it should be doing. It doesn’t mean that the spec was correct.

    Comment by Jaydee — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:48 AM

  798. Dear Gavin,

    I would like to understand your claim repeated above that the data wasn’t Jones’ to give. In the emails Jones is directly quoted as saying that he’d rather delete the data than release it, and that others should “hide behind” various things in order to not release data.

    1107454306.txt 1106338806.txt

    [Response: Not every FOI request is valid and other laws and various exemptions also need to be taken into account. Plus after ~100 FOI requests, most of which are asking for the same data that was justifiably rejected back in 2007, I think it is understandable that Jones was frustrated and defensive. This isn't necessarily the 'proper' reaction but I see no evidence that this had any material effect. - gavin]

    Comment by berkeley_statistician — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:56 AM

  799. All bugs in software can be completely and totally eliminated by using mathematical rigor. Nobody proves their code; as a result, software is plagued with bugs and security flaws. The proper way to code is to prove the entire code mathematically.

    This made me laugh! Clearly you are unfamiliar with the halting problem, and any number of other undecidable problems. If all software was “provable”, then all our lives would be a good deal simpler.

    Technicalities aside, it is true that small parts of software can be rigorously analysed and tested. If NASA, Hadley, and others had unlimited resources, I’m sure they would invest more in regression testing. But, given that the model code is mostly public, sniping is pointless. If you have time or money to spare, put it where it will do most good.

    Personally, I differentiate between code used to solve a problem, and code that is intended for wide release and everyday use. It annoys me no end when academics venture into the popular software arena, and don’t see any problem in using the same practices and techniques that they would use in the lab. But this gripe has nothing to do with climate modelling. I just wish more people were able to make this distinction.

    Comment by Didactylos — 27 Nov 2009 @ 5:59 AM

  800. on GOTO (re EL, 777)
    I use a programming language that doesn’t have GOTO statements. It does have a BREAK statement, but it does not have a RETURN statement.
    A BREAK statement is NOT essentially the same as a GOTO or RETURN. A BREAK statement takes you to the end of the scope of a loop, it does not take you out of the scope of the loop. Consequently, a BREAK statement does not cause a change of scope. GOTOs and RETURNs can take to almost anywhere.

    Comment by antonyclark — 27 Nov 2009 @ 6:43 AM

  801. EL said ” All bugs in software can be completely and totally eliminated by using mathematical rigor.”

    I’m a computer programmer with formal university training, an engineering degree, mathematical background, and 20 years programming experience in C and C++, and it is completely untrue that “all bugs in software can be … eliminated by using mathematical rigor”.

    The majority of bugs in software are outside of the code. They are things like a misunderstanding of requirements, poor mappings from requirements into design, inaccurate validations on input, inaccurate specifications etc. None of these problems can be solved with mathematical rigor.

    The problems I’ve just described exist in the interface between humans and code. Proving the code to be correct is only a minor part of the battle.

    Comment by Jason — 27 Nov 2009 @ 7:32 AM

  802. Gavin:

    Thanks for your reply on the RC crack attempt the last time. I have another question (if you have the time): was the FOI2009.zip file that the cracker tried to upload the same as the zip file that’s now floating around at megaupload and elsewhere?

    Incidentally, I found that most of the files in the zip archive (which I downloaded from megaupload) seem to be created under a timezone of -0500 or -0400, and a uid and gid of 1,002. Hope this helps. :-)

    bi

    [Response: Yes. - gavin]

    Comment by bi -- IJI — 27 Nov 2009 @ 7:52 AM

  803. Concerning your comment, “More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, … no admission that global warming is a hoax….”

    So? There’s also no evidence in the e-mails that the Earth is a spheroid instead of flat, that organized crime actually exists, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun instead of the other way around. Does that mean those things aren’t true, and that meanwhile we should ignore the evidence that is there? Really, that’s the flimsiest defense I’ve ever read.

    Comment by Gradivus — 27 Nov 2009 @ 8:49 AM

  804. I have the suspicion that “Climategate” is a last ditch effort by the sceptics in the USA to influence Copenhagen.

    Although it’s not very scientific I put “Climategate” into Google insights.
    If you can’t be bothered… large interest in the US… and that’s it.

    If you go to a deeper level, it primarily seems to be California. WUWT?

    http://www.google.com/insights/search/#q=climategate%20%2Ccru%20hack%2C&date=today%201-m&cmpt=q

    Comment by turbobloke — 27 Nov 2009 @ 9:51 AM

  805. Bob, (770)

    “To PHG (761)So you do not even think it is a possibility that the science is just plain wrong.”

    I’d like to believe it’s wrong but I work hard at not letting my personal beliefs get in the way of
    reality. It is a well established fact the CO2 is a greenhouse gas, therefore more CO2 means more
    warming. Out of curiousity I read skeptic/denialist sites that attempt to discredit the science but I have yet
    to see anything credible and the chances of some n