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Where’s the data?

Filed under: — group @ 27 November 2009

Much of the discussion in recent days has been motivated by the idea that climate science is somehow unfairly restricting access to raw data upon which scientific conclusions are based. This is a powerful meme and one that has clear resonance far beyond the people who are actually interested in analysing data themselves. However, many of the people raising this issue are not aware of what and how much data is actually available.

Therefore, we have set up a page of data links to sources of temperature and other climate data, codes to process it, model outputs, model codes, reconstructions, paleo-records, the codes involved in reconstructions etc. We have made a start on this on a new Data Sources page, but if anyone has other links that we’ve missed, note them in the comments and we’ll update accordingly.

The climate science community fully understands how important it is that data sources are made as open and transparent as possible, for research purposes as well as for other interested parties, and is actively working to increase accessibility and usability of the data. We encourage people to investigate the various graphical portals to get a feel for the data and what can be done with it. The providers of these online resources are very interested in getting feedback on any of these sites and so don’t hesitate to contact them if you want to see improvements.

Update: Big thank you to all for all the additional links given below. Keep them coming!


407 Responses to “Where’s the data?”

  1. 51
    Silke says:

    http://coast.gkss.de/staff/zorita/

    [edit – link available]

    [Response: Unfortunately, this episode is being seen as an opportunity by some to imbue their personal and professional conflicts with particular researchers with a greater importance than they have. I am not going to comment on the history of tension between certain people, nor doubt the sincerity of people’s clearly deeply held views. But talk of blacklisting scientists from assessment bodies is, at best, foolish. These panels require a full spectrum of the community to take part in order to constructively come up with language that all can accept. Excluding people because they have criticised your work in the past (and vice versa) is not the way to go. Lindzen took part in the 2001 IPCC and the NAS 2002, John Christy was on the CCSP panel on tropsohperic trends – excluding them because of a history of disagreements or perceived personal failings would have been a mistake. The same goes for the scientists mentioned in the above link – especially since one of them at least has no apparent connection to any of the issues raised by these emails. This is not a topic for further discussion. Sorry. – gavin]

  2. 52
    Alan of Oz says:

    I hold a degree in computer science and have been a software engineer for 20yrs. All the talk about making code available to reproduce the reults is utter nonesense.

    Sure it’s nice to have the code but the code itself is irrelevant to the science. Software configuration practices and OSS are not particularly usefull for reproducing results in the scientific sense since the same code will always produce the same results and you will be stuck with the impossible task of demonstrating the code is bug free.

    Reproducing the same results with the same data and different code is a much more powerfull test because it provides confidence that the results are independent of a particular implementation of the methods.

    I find it more than a little ironic that climate scientists have to educate programmers on the benifits of multiple independent source trees. It’s not a hard concept to grasp, double entry bookeeping works on the same principle and even an accountant can do that ;)

  3. 53
    Jiminmpls says:

    Fair is fair. I demand that the Heartland Institute, George Marshall Institute, American Petroleum Institute, Western Fuels Association, Sen Inhofe, McIntyre, Singer, Ball, Michaels, and all other organizations and individuals attempting to influence public policy in regards to climate change IMMEDIATELY make their entire email archives available for public scrutiny and analysis.

  4. 54

    There are three GCMs with source code available from the University of Hamburg here http://www.mi.uni-hamburg.de/Projekte.209.0.html?&L=3
    They are SAM, PUMA and PLASIM.

  5. 55
    Esmeralda Dangerfield says:

    This is “feeling” better, Gavin…. written as a lay person who felt badly trashed by this site a bit ago when
    I pleaded for openness.

    I do not understand — care, even — about the data links you’ve provided now. What is confusing to me is
    why, if it is now this easy, has it taken so long for
    Steve McIntyre, who runs a pretty disciplined,
    gentlemanly, albeit technical site, to have questions
    answereed?

    Wasn’t there a Congressional hearing some years ago
    where Mann tried to withhold data, but was compelled
    to free some…? I don’t know, except it seemed that
    quiet Steve McIntyre “won” that exchange, altho Mann’s
    side claimed victory, also.

    I can’t believe it is this easy now… was there all
    along….

    And I did try to read the poor CRU programmer’s Harry Read-Me file with a sigh and a laugh.

    And remember: this isn’t about “winning.” This is
    about advancing science.

  6. 56
    chris says:

    Bottom of the page under “Much bigger indexes of data sources:” the last item reads “Comments Off” which leads to an Error 404 page.
    So, smartypantses. what are you trying to hide?
    J/K Great work all. Thank you.

    [Response: Fixed. thanks! – gavin]

  7. 57

    debreuil #35:

    Any idea why there are so many fewer stations now that before? I would have thought it would be the opposite.

    As I understand it, reporting delays. Climatology is not the first priority for most of these stations.

    [Response: That is true for a few months, but the reason why there is a big drop off in the 1990s is that around that time there had been a coordinated push to gather data from all the different stations and digitise a lot of stuff that hadn’t been available before. Many of those stations were subsequently closed as met services consolidated their networks. However, absent another big push to gather neglected data (something that is possibly overdue), the current station network is determined almost exclusively by what the met services choose to put out on the CLIMAT network. This is a summary service where just the monthly means – calculated in a specific way – are sent out to the met services. It is a separate network from the SYNOP notifications that are used daily for weather forecasting purposes and for which there are many more stations. If people were looking for a ‘citizen science’ project to work on, coming up with a way for the SYNOP data (available via WeatherUnderground etc.) to be made commensurate with the CLIMAT data (available via GHCN), would be a great one. There are some subtleties involved (definitions of daily and monthly means vary among providers), but that would provide an interesting back-up and comparison to the CLIMAT-derived summaries from GISTEMP, HadCRU or NCDC. – gavin]

  8. 58
    PatrickG says:

    Clever way to make it appear that you are complying with the requests to “free the data, free the code”. What you have posted is nothing new. These are just link to data and code that always been public.

    [Response: Yes. That’s is exactly the point. – gavin]

  9. 59
    Esmeralda Dangerfield says:

    Gavin…. Thanks for posting my comment, typo and all.

    I am *very* concerned about the future — forget the AGW problem; I’ll be dead…smile — the future of the quality of the minds and the education of future scientists, if this is perceived by newbees as a rigged game, only for the follower-type lesser lights.

    There have been some true greats. Hank Stommel, with
    less than stellar peer-review credentials was one of
    them. And a friend.

    I have been thinking and w/ some creative ideas might
    be able to help reform this process.

    If you wish, we might talk. I could consolidate the
    email to a central professional-only intl system and
    accept and transfer data streams through a central
    point, making data available post-publication.
    I think…. smile.

    I would need some fairly modest help.

    If you would like send me a phone number and I will
    call you.

    This comment is not for attrition. …Ez
    PS: My name isn’t Esmeralda Dangerfield. smile…

  10. 60
    caerbannog says:

    I think that it’s important to point out that computer model results are *not* the most important evidence linking CO2 and other greenhouse gases to large-scale climate-change. The most important evidence is the physical evidence left in the Earth’s crust by major climatic events like the PETM. The real smoking gun evidence linking carbon emissions to global-warming has been produced by paleontologists, not computer modelers.

    If every single climate model were thrown away, there still would be a mountain of (direct physical) evidence linking carbon emissions to large-scale climate-change.

  11. 61
    Ron Broberg says:

    Tides:
    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global.shtml

    Sunspots:
    http://sidc.oma.be/sunspot-data/
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsunspotnumber.html

    Code/Tools:
    http://www.ncl.ucar.edu/

    I’m going to rebuild a Ubuntu box and see where I left off with the GISTEMP reconstruction.

  12. 62
    dhogaza says:

    Clever way to make it appear that you are complying with the requests to “free the data, free the code”. What you have posted is nothing new. These are just link to data and code that always been public.

    My irony meter just exploded.

    However, I think this is going to be pretty much the standard response among followers of Steve McIntyre’s “disciplined, gentlemanly” web site …

  13. 63
    caerbannog says:

    Patrick G,

    All the raw data and methods needed to reproduce GISS’ global temperature estimates have publicly available for years. Over at the GHCN repository (google is your friend here), not only are there all the raw and homogenized temperature data, but there’s also source-code that will parse and extract data from the data files. You can compile the code (out of the box) with the free gfortran compiler. It will run on a Linux box (and almost certainly Macs and Windows boxes with cygwin installed.)

    If you wanted to, you could perform your own completely independent check of GISS’s work for no more than the cost of a laptop and a two-dollar cup of coffee (for access to the coffee-house’s WIFI access point).

    And you have had that ability for years (whether or not you realized it).

  14. 64
    Ron Broberg says:

    @caerbannog#60: I tell people the mirror image. That you can through away all the paleo-data and you still haven’t disproved AGW since it is a physical theory arising from the radiative properties of the CO2 molecule.

    And that’s the point, isn’t it. Skeptics think that AGW is a house of cards and if they can just pull one card out, the whole thing collapses. They have no idea of the explanatory power of CO2 warming/cooling and the diversity of data supporting it.

  15. 65
    PaulinMI says:

    “But talk of blacklisting scientists from assessment bodies is, at best, foolish. These panels require a full spectrum of the community to take part in order to constructively come up with language that all can accept. Excluding people because they have criticised your work in the past (and vice versa) is not the way to go”

    Well, isn’t that rich?

  16. 66
    mike roddy says:

    I hope this well thought out gesture is picked up on by the mainstream media. Ideally, it would then be Issue Resolved, except for the real extremists, who always believe that government scientists are “hiding” something.

    Most likely the deniers will attempt another line of attack in the next few months. They certainly have the time and money to do so. I’m sensing that a lot of people (including myself) are getting a little frayed from the constant battling lately. Since evidence does not always prevail, I wish I knew the answer about how to address the deniers in the future.

    As many have pointed out, they have become noisier as the evidence continues to make their basic positions completely untenable. This leads one into a strange world of arguing about someone’s fantasies. The truth always prevails eventually. I fear that this time it could be in the form of further deterioration, not increasing enlightenment.

  17. 67
    Rod says:

    Great work as always Gavin. I anxiously anticipate the next attempt to move the goalposts.

    Alan of Oz brings up a great point, code and data availability isn’t going to help. Replication of studies is the only thing that will confirm of deny those studies.

    [Response: Oh the irony… – gavin]

  18. 68
    mauri pelto says:

    For satellite records of snowcover. A key source is the Rutgers Global Snow lab

  19. 69
    Jason S says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but I am an American Citizen having a hard time sifting through all of the ‘data’ myself. I have no way of looking at any of this with real objectivity. I have created the cardinal sin, and listened to what many of the deniers are saying. What makes it easy for me to listen the skeptics? When I hear that we are going to have crazy hurricane activity, or no arctic ice, or global warming killed 300,000 people last year, or we will warm 6C – 10C in the next 100 years… and then I look at reality… can you blame me? I know not all agw climate science is extreme. Anyone care to show me one prediction that came true from your models? What is your biggest fear that has been realized up to this point? I don’t mean to be rude, or take up your time. I am sincerely looking for information. Thank you.

    [Response: Read more mainstream stuff from actual scientists. David’s book is good, mine or Mike’s would do as nicely. The IPCC FAQs are good too. There is none of the hysteria that you are rightly wary of, but lots more detail on how the science really works, what scientists really do and why they’ve come to the conclusions they have. -gavin]

  20. 70
    HenkL says:

    Datasets for stations in Europe, both raw and processed:
    http://eca.knmi.nl/

  21. 71
    Paul UK says:

    Would it be useful for another nation to set up a similar facility as the CRU?

    eg. China maybe?

    It seems like it would be a good idea to have a more dispersed setup. If CRU is going to be out of action for a bit, we seem to be down to two American establishments for the near future.

  22. 72
    Ron says:

    On our web site we have a lot “pre-digested” climate data converted to CSV in a format that allows for easy plotting and anlysis. The data all come from respected sources and the original reference is given. It is at:
    http://www.climatedata.info

  23. 73

    Real Climate,

    Many of the Hadley CRU e-mails and the infamous HARRY-READ_ME.txt include deeply disturbing content. Almost as troubling is the under-reaction of Real Climate as this scandal expands. This scandal deserves an immediate and fully transparent response from the climate science community, not the “circling of the wagons” approach cited by some.

    While I am not a professional climate science, I design atmospheric monitoring instruments and have used them to create a 20-year time series of calibrated measurements of the ozone layer, column water vapor, aerosol optical depth, direct UV-B and various other parameters from South Texas. I have worked under various assignments for NASA GSFC in the US and Brazil and have just completed a major book for NOAA. I was a co-PI for GLOBE for 6 years and have been a USDA UV-B network site manager for 6 years. My findings have been published in the refereed literature, and I have served as a reviewer for several leading scholarly journals. I have also reviewed an array of technical books for McGraw-Hill, Prentice-Hall and Academic Press.

    I trust that this background will establish that I and others who practice traditional, objective climate science–and the public that has paid many of our expenses–are fully entitled to a prompt end to the blacklisting, withholding of data, destruction of e-mails, ad hominems, threats and other misconduct so blatantly displayed in many of the leaked Hadley CRU documents by scientists who somehow found time to communicate with one another between their many trips around the world. Real Climate was created by some of those whose troubling correspondence is now before the world. So Real Climate is where reform should begin.

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Late last night I received a poignant inquiry from a student requesting advice about being a “climate science grad student in the IPCC era.” Some climate scientists have written that they, too, are receiving similar questions from students who are troubled by the content of the leaked e-mails and certain other documents and who are even being asked to “tweak” their data to fit preconceived notions. What steps can be taken by societies, journals, universities and government agencies to protect scientific integrity and peer review, permit dissenting views, end blacklisting, provide transparent access to methods and data, and restore public trust in climate science? Will Real Climate sincerely advocate and openly promote these and other essential reforms?

    2. Your recent posts are a welcome improvement from what can be found in even a cursory scan through Real Climate. You also seem to be allowing comments and questions from a much broader audience, and this is also very good news. My concern, however, is that the tone and ad hominem nature of some Real Climate comments before last week are disturbingly similar to that of some of the leaked e-mails. (This is not surprising in view of the tone of some e-mails from a Real Climate founder in the leaked CRU e-mails.) Will Real Climate hereafter follow the friendlier and more open approach that you have recently exhibited and end the disparagement of those whose positions Real Climate views as incorrect? Will Real Climate follow the lead of Judith Curry in responding to questions from the climate science community in general and grad students in particular? Will Real Climate sever its relationship with scientists who have damaged climate science by advocating the misconduct revealed in many of the Hadley CRU e-mails and documents?

    Thank you for considering these questions. Based on a lengthy telephone conversation this morning, I am far from the only practicing climate observer who will be highly interested in your responses.

    Forrest

    Forrest M. Mims III
    Editor, THE CITIZEN SCIENTIST (www.sas.org/tcs)
    http://www.forrestmims.org
    http://www.sunandsky.org
    twitter.com/fmims

  24. 74
    tamino says:

    Esmerelda Dangerfield (#55) tells us that she “felt badly trashed by this site a bit ago when I pleaded for openness.”

    Now she says, “I do not understand — care, even — about the data links you’ve provided now.”

    The conclusion is obvious.

  25. 75
    Glenn says:

    The entire underlying basis for AGW is called into question by this paper in the International Journal of Modern Physics
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    In short the authors conclude the whole idea of a CO2 driven green house effect violates the laws of physics.

    [Response: Something which has apparently eluded all other physicists since Fourier? Really. And you think this is credible? (Hint). – gavin]

  26. 76
    Holly Stick says:

    #10 Lawrence Coleman:
    Here is a media report about David Barber:

    “…His findings, to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggest a transformative change in Arctic ecosystems is accelerating and that safe shipping in polar waters during the summer and fall will begin much sooner than many experts predict…”

    http://www.canada.com/technology/Arctic+meltdown+remains+severe+report/2276659/story.html

  27. 77
    David Heigham says:

    Surely the key data set for dealing with denial is just CO2 at Mauna Loa. That data, plus the physics which tells us that more CO2 in the atmosphere implies more retained heat, tells us that we are en route to a problem which will, sooner or later, become very serious. All the rest is about how serious? how soon?

    Since I have never understood the word ‘believe’, I am always a sceptic. The proper attitude for a sceptic is to go by the evidence, not by the assertions. Those who call themselves ‘sceptics’ over global warming are either confused or are going by the assertions; the evidence is against them.

    Unfortunately, as in many a scientific controversy, there are scientists in this field who act for at least part of the time like believers – preferring assertion to evidence. Insisting on making the evidence available to any serious enquirer is the traditional and effective way of checking those impulses.

  28. 78
    The Obnoxious American says:

    Gavin,

    As others have noted, you definitely have a dismissive tone. Terms like “meme” and “denial” or referring to the hacked emails as “illegal” coming from a publication that was actually mentioned in those same emails for being a part of the scam, is disheartening.

    It seems like you want to appear open and honest but without really acknowledging that the problems here are larger than just mere context. You’re clearly having a hard time understanding just how serious the revelations by way of the CRU emails really is. I’m no scientist and I have no understanding about the numbers. But I can tell when someone is BSing me. And my BS meter is in the red right now.

    Regards,

    The Obnoxious American

    P.S. making jokes about my character, or my name only reinforces my point.

    [Response: I’m clearly not the only one who PR-challenged then. – gavin]

  29. 79
    Jim Torson says:

    GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) is a project designed to monitor the world’s glaciers primarily using data from optical satellite instruments.

    General GLIMS website:
    http://www.glims.org/

    GLIMS glacier database:
    http://glims.colorado.edu/glacierdata/

  30. 80
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Just for fun, shall we start keeping a count of the denialist posts that claim victory and the moral high ground while utterly faililing to deal with the evidence that contradicts them?

  31. 81
    cer says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put all these links together. But I would like to echo the point a couple of people already made that this is NOT new data – it’s been available for ages to anyone who bothered to spend a few minutes on Google (obviously too much like hard work for the “skeptic” community).

    It might be worth highlighting this fact in the blog entry in case anyone gets the impression you are suddenly rushing to release data as a result of the email hack.

    Certainly the CMIP3 model data has been available for download for years (since 2004 IIRC, and CMIP2 before that) and KNMI climate explorer has been around – providing an ever-growing amount of model and observational data – since 2000 I think. I’m not sure how long the proxy stuff / GISTEMP station data has been online for, but I expect it’s been up for a similarly long time.

    And many thanks to Gavin for patiently putting up with all this rubbish, you deserve a medal.

  32. 82

    The Obnoxious American: Terms like “meme” and “denial” or referring to the hacked emails as “illegal” coming from a publication that was actually mentioned in those same emails for being a part of the scam, is disheartening.

    BPL: Read my lips, TOA. Hacking into the CRU computers without CRU’s permissions was ILLEGAL. AGAINST THE LAW. A CRIME. If they can find out who did it, those people are going to jail. That’s what “illegal” MEANS.

  33. 83
    David says:

    The people asking for the unreleased data they needed to attempt to reproduce CRU’s work already knew about these links.

  34. 84
    David Horton says:

    “Forgive my ignorance, but I am an American Citizen having a hard time sifting through all of the ‘data’ myself” – quite right AC, it’s appalling that these so-called scientists insist on having all their data available and then expecting you to do something with it.

    Gavin there is some other stuff that has been kept hidden all these years – long past time that you made available full lists of all universities around the world that have courses/degrees in climatology, physics, biology, geology, oceanography, chemistry, mathematics, ecology, meteorology. There is no doubt that all of the denialists could have done these degrees themselves if they had only known they existed, I mean, how hard could they be. But in the meantime don’t you go thinking that releasing data and expecting people to “sift through it themselves” gets you off the hook. Why don’t you ever think of having a web site where all sorts of information (and data) and ideas about climate science could be published and discussed? There, that’s brought you up short, smarty pants, didn’t think of that, did you!

  35. 85
    Mark A. York says:

    I’ve made a tour of the denial blog triumphalist sites and found that this graph is commonly used to refute the whole AGW theory.

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/eia_co2_contributions_table3.png

    771,000 metric tons of CO2 from natural sources and 23,000 from humans. For them, end of story. Watts put it up for this reason alone.

    The one-liner response would be?

    [Response: Note the absorption number and the net accumulation in the air – around 50% of the human addition. And this is the same thing, year after year. – gavin]

  36. 86
    The Raven says:

    “some of the emails are strangely truncated”

    The content has been altered. Since this was done entirely anonymously, we have no way of judging the honesty of the criminals who broke in, or the people who have posted the archives. Serious accusations are being leveled at scientists based on anonymous, unsourced, unreliable texts. I wonder, really, that there is not more shame and doubt on the part of the people who are trying to use the archives as evidence. And why do more people not wonder at the criminals who did this? It is unlikely they are in it for anyone else’s health!

    [Response: Still not sure about this – though there is some investigation of this. My comment referred to the website linked only where there are some discrepancies with the emails in the original zip file. – gavin]

  37. 87
    Hansen says:

    Gavin can you confirm that the CRU raw data that is at the center of the dispute has not been released In this post?

  38. 88
    David B. Benson says:

    Jimi Bostock (50) — There are plenty of resources for actually learning climatology. You might care to start with “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
    after reading Andy Revkin’s review:
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E7DF153DF936A35753C1A9659C8B63

  39. 89
    Silke says:

    here is the “DATA”:

    1. The term “climate change” itself. Thirty years ago, the term “climate change” would have meant natural climate change, which is what climate scientists mostly studied before that time. Today, it has come to mean human-caused climate change. The public, and especially the media, now think that “climate change” implies WE are responsible for it. Mother Nature, not Al Gore, invented real climate change.

    2. “Climate change denier”. A first cousin to the first annoyance. Again, thirty years ago, “climate change denier” would have meant someone who denied that the Medieval Warm Period ever happened. Or that the Little Ice Age ever happened. What a kook fringe thing to believe that would have been! And now, those of us who still believe in natural climate change are called “climate change deniers”?? ARGHH.

    3. The appeal to peer-reviewed and published research. I could go on about this for pages. Yes, it is important to have scientific research peer-reviewed and published. But as the Climategate e-mails have now exposed (and what many scientists already knew), we skeptics of human-caused climate change have “peers” out there who have taken it upon themselves to block our research from being published whenever possible. We know there are editors of scientific journals who assist in this by sending our papers to these gatekeepers for the purpose of killing the paper. We try not to complain too much when it happens because it is difficult to prove motivation. I believe the day is approaching when it will be time to make public the evidence of biased peer review.

    4. Appeal to authority. This is the last refuge of IPCC scientists. Even when we skeptics get research published, it is claimed that our research is contradicted by other research the IPCC has encouraged, helped to get funded, and cherry-picked to support its case. This is dangerous for the progress of science. If the majority opinion of scientists was always assumed to be correct, then most major scientific advances would not have occurred. The appeal to authority is also a standard propaganda technique.

    5. Unwillingness to debate. I have lectured to many groups where the organizers could not find anyone from the IPCC side who would present the IPCC’s side of the story. I would be happy to debate any of the IPCC experts on the central issues of human-caused versus natural climate change, and feedbacks in the climate system. They know where to find me. (For the most common tactic used by the IPCC in a debate, see annoyance #4.)

    6. A lack of common sense. Common sense can be misleading, of course. But when there is considerable uncertainty, sometimes it is helpful to go ahead and use a little anyway. Example: It is well known that the net effect of clouds is to cool the Earth in response to radiant heating by the sun. But when it comes to global warming, all climate models do just the opposite…change clouds in ways that amplify radiative warming. While this is theoretically possible, it is critical to future projections of global warming that the reasons why models do this be thoroughly understood. Don’t believe it just because group think within the climate modeling community has decided it should be so.

    7. Use of climate models as truth. Because there are not sufficient high-quality, globally-distributed, and long term observations of climate fluctuations to study and better understand the climate system with, computerized climate models are now regarded as truth. The modelers’ belief that climate models represent truth is evident from the language they use: climate models are not “tested” with real data, but instead “validated”. The implication is clear: if the data do not agree with the models, it must be the data’s fault.

    8. Claims that climate models have been tested. A hallmark of a good theory is that it should predict something which, upon further investigation, turns out to be correct. To my knowledge, climate models have not yet forecasted anything of significance. And even if they did, models are ultimately being relied upon to forecast global warming (aka ‘climate change’). As far as I can tell, there is no good way to test them in this regard. And please don’t tell me they can now replicate the seasons quite well. Even the public could predict the seasons before there were climate models. Predicting future warming (or cooling) is slightly more difficult, but not by much: a flip a coin will be correct 50% of the time.

    9. The claim that the IPCC is unbiased. The IPCC was formed for the explicit purpose of building the case for global warming being our fault, not for investigating the possibility that it is just part of a natural cycle in the climate system. Their accomplices in government have bought off the scientific community for the purpose of achieving specific policy goals.

    10. The claim that reducing CO2 emissions is the right thing to do anyway. Oh, really? What if life on Earth (which requires CO2 for its existence) is actually benefiting from more CO2? Nature is always changing anyway…why must we always assume that every single change that humans cause is necessarily a bad thing? Even though virtually all Earth scientists believe this, too, it is not science, but religion. I’m all for religion…but not when it masquerades as science.

  40. 90
    Holly Stick says:

    I seem to recall quite a while ago somebody on the intertubes having a list of major scientific institutions with statements supporting the science of AGW. Does anyone know of such a list? One argument I’ve been making is that CRU is only one of many science groups.

    [Response: Here. – gavin]

  41. 91
    Radge Havers says:

    Thank you. It’s good to see responses to accusations quickly presented in a concise and comprehensive way.

    It may not make a dent in the truly obstinate, but it should help quell some of the inflamed nonsense. FWIW, the tack on talk radio (they move like a herd of hooligans) is now to refer to AGW as “crank science.” Climate scientists are portrayed as hateful fools covered in egg, back pedaling behind their “new mantra that it’s OK to be a skeptic but not a denialist.” This is followed by derisive laughter, since it’s assumed to be self-evidently ridiculous in its immense stupidity.

    In other words, “I’m rubber and you’re glue. What you say bounces off me and sticks to you.” It’s a sad commentary that adults can make a living behaving this way.

  42. 92
    Roger LaPrelle says:

    DH: “There, that’s brought you up short, smarty pants, didn’t think of that, did you!”

    At a time when clear thought and considered action are necessary to counteract the AGM Denier noise machine, here is more infantile hissy-fit behavior as a distraction. I worry that there really is no way to counteract the damage done in the minds of people who are caught in the middle in all of this. Simply publishing the raw data does nothing to ease the minds of non-scientists. Public outreach to these people is incredibly important. An information kit that puts activities such as statistical analysis in clear language would be a good start.

  43. 93
    Tom Franklin says:

    I’m guessing that if someone had hacked into Bernie Madoff’s email account and discovered he was fudging the numbers, people wouldn’t be screaming, “Leave Bernie alone! You’re a thief, what you did is illegal, and your GOING TO JAIL!!!”

    This is a straw man argument to take away form the substance of the email correspondence that there is a coordinated attempt among the climate change community to only present data that shows an expected, and desired, outcome: AGW.

  44. 94
    David Horton says:

    Um, Roger (#91), it was satire … and a bit of irony.

  45. 95

    Mark York,

    One lines responses regarding human addition of CO2 being only a small portion of the carbon cycle:

    Same difference as between turnover and profit. It’s the latter that matters to the growth of the company, even though it’s usually much smaller than the former.

    If two elephants are sitting on a wip-wap, it’s kept in equilibrium (i.e. natural fluxes of carbon). Now you (the human contribution) go sit on top of one of the elephants. What happens, and why? Who is to blame for your side of the wip wap going down, the elephant or you? And who is heavier?

    [Response: Note: wip-wap in this context is a see-saw. Do not look up the other definition in urban dictionary. – gavin]

  46. 96
    Dave C says:

    Is anybody else amused by the fact that certain people have become so convinced that the CRU emails contain indisputable evidence of scientific fraud on a massive scale that they no longer feel the need (if they ever did) to provide any evidence that this is the case?

  47. 97
    Alfio Puglisi says:

    Gavin, comment #89 by Silke is a copy&paste of this page on Roy Spencer’s blog:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/11/my-top-10-annoyances-in-the-climate-change-debate/

    [Response: Thanks for spotting. – gavin]

  48. 98
    debreuil says:

    Here is a great post from, as it happens, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met (I had no idea he was an expert in climate science too). I think he sums up the main problem with all this pretty well here — continually presenting your data in a skewed way erodes your credibility.

    http://nierenbergclimate.blogspot.com/2009/11/copenhagen-diagnosis-is-dissapointing.html

    I think it would go a long way towards recovery if a) that stopped and b) people from here would step up and rebut some of the more extreme wild claims you hear in the media. I see that happening a wee bit in some of the comment replies here, but maybe a ‘what we are not saying’ post would help everyone delineate where the science stops and cheerleading begins.

    Just a thought…

  49. 99
    David says:

    Mark A. York,

    Since you know so much, perhaps you could tell me why the oceans have not been warming after 2003 — or if they have why it’s a very slight warming contrary to the projections of the IPCC’s models. Also, do you think that ocean heat reconstructions based on ARGO array data will show ocean heat catching up to IPCC projections because of the current El Nino (because of bias effects introduced by there being fewer sensors at the lower depths)?

  50. 100
    Holly Stick says:

    Thanks, Gavin. It turns out wikipedia has what looks like a more recent version of the scientific opinion, plus a small page on economic opinion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_opinion_on_climate_change


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