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First CRU inquiry report released

Filed under: — group @ 30 March 2010

The first (of three) inquiries on the CRU email affair has reported, and this thread is for discussions of the UK Parliamentary Select Committee report. The conclusions are not un-expected, but there is bound to something for everyone to chew on. Get gnawing!

p.s. there is a useful summary at DeSmogBlog.


269 Responses to “First CRU inquiry report released”

  1. 101
    Brian Dodge says:

    “The report has come out on a day when it is snowing in the south west of England. Which it ‘shouldn’t be’. “Theo H — 31 March 2010 @ 1:14 PM

    I’ll see your measly snowfall and raise you tenfold in weather anomalies! &;>)

    United Kingdom area 242514 km2
    Western Australia area 2525500 sq km

    Australia in February 2010 -http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml
    “The strongest maximum temperature anomalies were in Western Australia, reaching +5°C (locally highest on record) in parts of the inland Pilbara and at least +2°C over most of the state’s inland areas except the east Kimberley. These temperatures were mostly in the highest decile.”

    If it weren’t for all that latent heat being released by water vapor from the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic condensing into snow, you’d be complaining about frostbite.

  2. 102
    Kris says:

    #1, Robert: [Fox News]

    May I suggest a little conspiracy theory, please?

    How to smear a scientist in 3 easy steps:
    1. Establish that there is a discrepancy between 2 data sets.
    2. Ask the scientist which one is better.
    3. If he says…
    a. …the other set is better — say he’s incompetent [this happened]
    b. …his set is better — say he’s dishonest

    Is anyone else feeling disgusted, or it’s just me?

    [Response: You are not alone!--eric]

  3. 103
    MapleLeaf says:

    Bob @ 83, you hit the nail on the head when you say:

    “The bar is set high… but I think this applies to deniers as well as real scientists. The risk is as great for science or advocacy that argues against action as science or advocacy that argues for it. The standard applies to everyone, and I think this conclusion should be quoted over and over where applicable (beginning on CA and WUWT).”

    Yes, the standard should apply to everyone, and if we are going to delay taking action based on the ‘science’ of those in denial about AGW, then we should be sure that their ‘science’ is irreproachable. Thus far, their track record has shown their research and ‘science’ to be the very opposite. Yet, their failure to present a credible alternative to the theory of AGW is largely ignored by the media and some governments. So is the bad behaviour and scientific misconduct by some in denial for that matter.

    Someone called for a hearing into the dubious tactics used by those in denial. I’ll second that. McKitrick and McI are Canadians (ugh!), but there should be calls to have them pulled before a committee on The Hill (Ottawa), and have them grilled, and hold them held to account for any misconduct. They have been casting stones without consequence for too long and gliding under the radar, and it is high time to push back and take them to task.

    So contact you MP (not a Harper MP) and request a hearing into the conduct of McIntyre, McKitrick, Ball and others.

    [Response: For what it's worth, I'm Canadian too. --eric]

  4. 104

    @86 Theo,
    Well, point out to anyone who complains about the snow that Greenland has spent a good portion of the last three months above freezing:

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/BGBW/2010/1/1/CustomHistory.html?dayend=31&monthend=3&yearend=2010&req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

    Notice how the red Temperature graph stays very consistently *outside and above* the blue normal high/low bands? How the hell does a denier dispute that?? This spot in Greenland has spent more time above freezing than below, and the *normal high* for this portion of the year is -1 to -5C. I’d love to take printout of this to shove down Faux News’ throat.

  5. 105
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Good. But I am delaying my celebratioms for a while.

    The pressure on Phil Jones has lightened a bit. On the other hand I am not sure that he will relish the fact that Nigel Lawson is campaigning for the next stage to be public. That appears to be a reasonable enough demand, from somebody who devotes his time trying to get into the public eye, but it is different for someone who has not sought this publicity and does not thrive on it.

    One stated conclusion of round 1 is that the focus should be taken off Phil Jones. In that case it follows that round 2 should be held (at least partly) in private. All that we are witnessing is that the whole experiment with FOI legislation, the holding of quasi-legal inquiries into science, the freedom of the media to distort (I call it libel) with impunity is a dangerous mixture which will one day produce some very unjust and unexpected consequences.

    Phil Jones has suffered an unecessary ordeal already, first by being harassed by FOI requests, then by being misrepresented by all and sundry, including some supposed ‘allies’ and then by being hauled before a Parliamentary select commitee.

    The inquiry mongers have not damaged the science, but have succeeded in exacting a penalty from their chosen enemies at little cost to themselves. They do not have to suffer the stress and take no risks; they can walk away claiming victory, whatever the outcome, and they can summon up more propaganda to support demands for a divergent series of inquiries.

    Civil litigation may also be stressful but at least it is more symmetrical. There ought to be some risk attached to all this harrasment.

    It is not the snow Theo H (#84) that matters, but whether Sir Muir Russell will be up to the job required of him for round 2. I would have preferred to have had an active researcher in some scientific discipline rather than a civil servant/ administrator with a record of sacking lecturers.

  6. 106
    Margaret says:

    I would have thought it was worth thinking of some guidelines for the comments here. Could I suggest:

    1. Who funds the research is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned — what matters is whether the research is done to a high scientifical standard.

    2. Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.

    3. The character and employment status of the researcher is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether their research is done to a high scientific standard.

    I know such guidelines would reduce both the volume of comments and the fun in contributing them, but they would make this blog sound more like it was frequented by a scientific community.

  7. 107
    Ron Broberg says:

    re: Garrett Jones — 31 March 2010 @ 13:01: Second, has anyone besides Jones and CRU got their climate model up and running?

    Not exactly what you have asked, but I have reformatted and fed GHCN unadjusted data into the published CRU gridding and global averaging scripts released by CRU on the MET page.
    http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/crutemp/
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/subsets.html

  8. 108
    Witgren says:

    Margaret says:
    31 March 2010 at 3:26 PM
    I would have thought it was worth thinking of some guidelines for the comments here. Could I suggest:

    2. Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.

    The problem with this one is that motives can figure into whether the FOI needs a response. If an organization is spammed with several dozen FOI’s in a week by people who have no intention of using it for scientific purposes and are doing it purely for harassment, their motives should be highly relevant.

  9. 109
    Bill says:

    re#101.We will see your mini-Australian area and raise you with Russia, Siberia and Mongolia with the coldest and longest winter …desperate times!

  10. 110
    MapleLeaf says:

    Bill @ 109, OT, but what the heck, I’ll see your Eurasia and raise the the planet:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    Warmest march on record, courtesy Dr. Roy Spencer.

    Also, see this for a truly global perspective (it is global warming after all, increase of mean temp of the planet):

    http://tinyurl.com/ykyswyk

    Yes, those in denial about AGW are indeed quite desperate and having to resort to cherry-picking.

  11. 111
    Hank Roberts says:

    Margaret, please look at the research on your idea, it’s been looked into:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=funding+source+research+results

  12. 112
    Theo H says:

    Richard Hendricks

    “”@86 Theo,
    Well, point out to anyone who complains about the snow that Greenland has spent a good portion of the last three months above freezing:”"

    Thanks, but my laptop background is the global temperature anomalies for December – when I was snowed-in for five days in SW England (quite unheard of). However, it was 8C above normal in central Greenland.

    Thanks to the person who gave me a link here on RC.

  13. 113
    Bill says:

    re~110. GISS ‘picture’ still looks like regional warming ( and cooling), but it may be the terminology is the problem.

  14. 114
    Joseph Sobry says:

    The report is released on a day when it is raining around Calgary on march 31, 2010 and it shouldn’t, it should be snowing. Nor is this a one day anomaly. This anomaly has been going on since at least august 2009. Nor is this anomaly local only, it has been happenning allover the place in large parts of the United States and all over Canada. It has been very warm for many months.
    Environment Canada’s meteorologist David Philips is quoted here:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Canada+warmest+winter+ever+beyond+shocking/2667678/story.html
    So if it is snowing in southern England enjoy it and prepare for the heat waves that are surely coming.

  15. 115
    MapleLeaf says:

    Bill, you are not interpreting the graphs correctly. The AMSU data are the means for pretty much the entire globe, and for March the mean global tropospheric temperatures are at record highs.

    That after, Globally, we just had the second warmest DFJ on record (NASA), with 2007 the warmest DJF on record to date.

    Go to the NASA GISS site and look at the data yourself.

  16. 116
    Theo H says:

    @ Joseph Sobry

    “”So if it is snowing in southern England enjoy it and prepare for the heat waves that are surely coming.”"

    Isn’t that one of Newton’s laws? “Heat gotta go somewhere”?

  17. 117
    Jon P says:

    Bob #87 I copy and pasted an entire paragraph from the report an I am “misrepresenting” the report? lol whatever. It is clear that if CRU had dealt with the original FOIA requests it would have never reached this point, email would not have been released to the public and so on. And since the Chairman of this “investigation” labeled the other side as “deniers” and announced what the findings would be before it started. I find paragraph 103 quite revealing.

    Mapleleaf #110 Thanks for the weather update.

  18. 118
    Deep Climate says:

    Climategate investigations, round 1: CRU exonerated

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/31/climategate-investigations-round-1-cru-exonerated/

    The findings are crystal clear on the most crucial points: The committee found absolutely no evidence to support accusations of scientific dishonesty, even going so far as to state that there “was no case to answer”. And it also rejected accusations that CRU scientists had attempted to pervert the peer review system.

    Contrarians took comfort in maverick Labour MP Graham Stringer’s objections to some of the findings. But even here, there is little for the contrarians to cheer about, as Stringer appeared at pains to avoid any appearance of endorsing the plausibility of any of the specific accusations of dishonesty. That’s just as well, because it turns out that Stringer appears to be relying for his understanding of the issues, not on the submitted evidence, but rather – wait for it – the “quickie” book on Climategate written by Thomas Fuller and Steven Mosher.

  19. 119
    jonesy says:

    Re: #1 from Robert
    Hate to be the bearer of bad news. This is off-topic but fox is running a story which slams GIStemps and links to a bunch of articles which claims Gavin and Hansen are involved in all this…
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/30/nasa-data-worse-than-climategate-data/?test=latestnews

    Ugh, this is just more either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the situation, much like with “hide the decline,” purporting something to mean what it doesn’t. From the article, “The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data ‘was more accurate’ than other climate-change data sets.” The article helpfully provides a link to the emails and you can see the point of the answer from NASA was that GISS’s analysis is trying to show something different than NCDC’s. In short, NCDC is better for one answer, GISS is better at another.

  20. 120
    JiminMpls says:

    #88 Yeah, and it’s 73F in Minneapolis, which it “shouldn’t be”.

    So what? It’s weather.

  21. 121
    David Horton says:

    If you want to feel really depressed about this check out the swarming deniers responding to the Independent’s reports on this http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-scandal-mps-exonerate-professor-1931631.html. And almost as depressing is the subhead to the article – “Committee defends scientist who sent emails admitting flaws in data”. Save us from our friends on The Independent and the Guardian.

  22. 122
    BlogReader says:

    Tough to say. Giving away stuff to your competitors might seem like you’re giving them a competitive edge. On the other hand, if you give them stuff that’s useful they have to cite your work every time they use your stuff.

    I would think that the value of a professor / researcher is how good their results are and how quickly they can pump them out. That has nothing to do with input data or past reports — universities hire because of the potential value of that employee.

    The value of a good researcher isn’t exactly the produced code but rather the ability to produce the code or ask the right questions, etc.

  23. 123
    Margaret says:

    A couple of comments on the comments on my post and then a final comment:

    My post:
    Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.
    The comment from Witgren
    The problem with this one is that motives can figure into whether the FOI needs a response. If an organization is spammed with several dozen FOI’s in a week by people who have no intention of using it for scientific purposes and are doing it purely for harassment, their motives should be highly relevant.

    Not so. The law is clear on when information must be released or not – and you would have to prove that the people asking for it had no legal reason for requiring it. “Must be used for Scientific purposes” is not one of the legal requirements.

    Hank Roberts link — again your link makes my point and not yours. The focus should be on whether the research stands up scientifically — not who funded it.

    So my final comment:

    This is not my site so I have no right to do anything but suggest, but I would recommend that if you are wanting to be treated as serious scientists, your comments should sound like they come from serious scientists. At the moment they sound like they come from the worst kind of politician — ie the one who is always impugning the opposition’s character using slurs and taunting language regardless of the merits of the Opposition’s case. That might have worked when everyone believed every word this community said — but now it is undermining your own credibility. I would have thought that would be of concern to you when you have such a enormous credibility gap to fill – a gap which, for the benefit of the progress of scientific research in this field, it is vital that you do fill.

  24. 124
    jonesy says:

    Correction for my #119. The full quote from the article I mean to use is,

    “The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.”

    “Unequivocal.” What a lie.

  25. 125
    Doug Bostrom says:

    jonesy says: 31 March 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Ugh, this is just more either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the situation…

    That Fox piece is a rehash of a previous attempt to inject CEI’s oh-so-dull FOIA output into the public cortex. Apparently it was too blatantly uncontroversial to cross the gulf between Fox and real news outlets; the lack of readily combustible fuel meant it failed to catch fire the first time so CEI’s “Senior Fellow of Politically Motivated Litigation” (aka hack Libertarian ambulance chaser) Horner has apparently applied the lash to Fox, forcing them to dump some flammable adjectives onto the story and hold a match to it again, hoping for a repeat of the CRU idiocy.

    Of course I was among those who confidently predicted that no reporter would be so foolish as to be seriously gulled by the CRU matter, sigh. Instead we see several who’ll be remembered not for their other excellent work but instead for having been led down the primrose path of credulity, never to return, their reputations permanently besmirched, labeled forever as “Tool.”

  26. 126
    Daniel the Yooper says:

    Re: Hunt Janin @ 32 on 31 March 2010 at 5:45 AM

    Unsure if you got the response you were looking for as far as feedback, so here’s my top 5 (for what it’s worth):

    1. Spencer Weart’s History of Global Warming
    - http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    2. Real Climate – Starting Point
    - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    3. IPCC 4th Assessment – The Physical Basis of Climate Change (Working Group 1)
    - http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch

    4. Skeptical Science – to separate the wheat arguments from the chaff
    - http://www.skepticalscience.com

    5. One of the best & most up-to-date of the climate blogs, Climate Progress
    - http://climateprogress.org

    Gas up on the backgrounders with Spencer Weart’s History, follow that up with the basics from RC’s Start Here section, delve into the current accepted understanding of the peer-reviewed science in the IPCC – AR4 site, then into John Cook’s Skeptical Science for the appropriate context in differentiating legitimate questions from denialism, and finally onto Joe Romm’s Climate Progress blog for cutting edge commentary and insight.
    Also, don’t forget Open Mind for hard-edged analysis. Tamino does a wonderful job in relating why certain statistical analysis’ are valid or bogus, but in terms the average person with a decent high school science & math background can at least follow:
    - http://tamino.wordpress.com

    If people would bother to at least give lip service to this path, most misunderstandings of climate vs weather could be avoided.

    As an aside, this was the mildest winter in living memory here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (warm temps & record low snowfall & precip). So those unfortunate people suffering through cold & snowy winter (still) elsewhere: Thanks for taking it off of our hands (heh, heh)!

    Appreciating the late-May weather for all of March thus far,

    Daniel the Yooper

  27. 127
    Rod B says:

    re Gavin’s response in #54: Aw, shoot!

  28. 128
    Bulldust says:

    Bob @ 103:
    “Yet, their failure to present a credible alternative to the theory of AGW is largely ignored by the media and some governments.”

    There are quite a number of alternatve theories out there, incorporating a number of other potentially important climate variables (as well as, or instead of, CO2). Sure there are a few oddballs out there with nutty alternatives, as there are on both sides, but there are definitely other credible theories out there.

    Have you found every one of them to be incredible perhaps?

    [Response: The idea that 'the theory of AGW' is all about CO2 is a classic strawman argument. But even the most basic book on climate change understands that the complete climate change picture includes quantiative understanding about all kinds of forcings (greenhouse gases, yes, but also land surface changes, for example), as well as feedbacks (e.g. sea ice) and dynamics (e.g. ocean circulation). To suggest that there is some 'alternative' to this comprehensive understanding, developed over the last 150 years, is like saying "there are alternatives to physics; it's not all E=mc2 you know", as if physicists aren't also aware of F=ma or div(B)=0.

    Now it is reasonable to hypothesize that something has been overlooked, that would change the way we understand the relative importance of CO2. For example, perhaps solar irradience changes over the last century are greater than we currently think. Or perhaps there is an important feedback in tropical cloud structure, as entirely reasonably suggested by Richard Linzden, which would limit the magnitude of temperature change for a given CO2 change. But there is currently no evidence to support either of these arguments, so they can hardly be cast as 'credible alternative theories'. At best, these are interesting hypotheses that, to date, hasn't stood up against the hard data.--eric]

  29. 129
    barry says:

    I’m aware that Phil Jones has suffered enormously from the despicable invasion of privacy that started the ‘climategate affair’ and especially the media storm that followed, not to mention the thoughtless comments from some in the science community, who obviously didn’t trouble to look further than the surface reporting. The whole affair has been utterly disgusting and my heart went out to Professor Jones after his more personal interview.

    I hope this the HoC review is restorative to him. I would like to send him best wishes and strength, and hope that he will soon resume his position at the Climate Research Unit. I’d also like to honour him for his outstanding contribution to the field of climate science.

    If others feel inclined to express something similar, perhaps the moderators here will pass it on.

  30. 130
    barry says:

    The greatest consolation for Professor Jones would probably come from fellow scientists who spoke rashly. I would hope they reflect and apologise.

    [Response: I wouldn't hold your breath, though I certainly would be pleased to see that happen. More realistically, I suspect that if Phil Jones has any consolation, it is that some of us did not speak rashly in the first place.--eric]

  31. 131
    Sou says:

    @ #92Andy S says: (31 March 2010 at 1:40 PM)

    (snip)…NASA, in contrast, seems to have a much better culture of data disclosure. Can the NASA scientists disclose what think about that culture at CRU?

    Just an observation from one who has worked with and observed numerous organisations across a multitude of sectors.

    CRU is a small research unit in a regional university in the UK with a staff of three full time researchers, AFAIK, (and a miniscule budget compared with NASA). NASA is a very large research organisation in the USA. It is not a University. It has a multi-billion dollar budget (presumably). The two are not comparable in regard to ‘culture’ (by which I assume one means norms of behaviour).

    IMO, the University ‘culture’ is unique. The closest I’ve observed is that of large (Australian) public hospitals that have a research and training component. Both have more features of a collegial model rather than a corporate model. (Because of this collegial structure, it is often very difficult to introduce many business practices considered desirable by corporate sector and mainstream government agencies.)

    Research institutions (not universities) usually have a hierarchical rather than a collegial structure (although they use ‘organic’ project teams within this structure). As a consequence they have operational policies and norms of behaviour that is a bit closer to the corporate world in comparison to universities, though not identical. They also share some characteristics with other (non-scientific) central government agencies. New business/operating policies and practices are much easier to disseminate in such organisations.

  32. 132
    Hank Roberts says:

    (Random spaces thrown in to try to evade the youknowwhat)

    Margaret, you’ve misread the research on f unding. What’s been found consistently in the studies done, mostly p harma research, is that fun ding does predict research outcome. Company fu nding doesn’t find problems with products.

    That’s epidemiology in action. All the research looked good and got published over a long period; nobody found problems with the research itself.

    What turned up was a strong bias in the overall results. This may simply be because companies never let bad news go to publication — we don’t know.

    That’s what you’re missing — it’s clear something about the source of fun ding changes the results, overall, even when individual studies look okay.

    So people look at the source of the fu nding knowing it has an effect, even if we aren’t sure what’s happening. Something about payi ng for research changes the outcomes in a way that needs to be looked at and understood.

    If you hide the source of the fundi ng, you don’t know that’s happening.
    That’s why it matters and why it’s disclosed more and more routinely.

  33. 133
    Hunt Janin says:

    My thanks to those who gave me their suggestions for climate-related websites to use in my introductory survey on global warming.

  34. 134
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Bulldust@128 says of alternatives to the consensus “..but there are definitely other credible theories out there.”

    Like…?

    [crickets chirping]

    Yes, maybe you can add up a whole bunch of unlikely influences or posit a questionable mechanism and get a large temperature rise for awhile. You don’t get simultaneous stratospheric cooling with your global warming or shorter winters or warmer nights or as much polar amplification…

    And the greenhouse effect due to CO2 is a forcing we know for certain is operant, and you have multiple independent lines of evidence all pointing to the same range for CO2 sensitivity.

    Got anything like that?

  35. 135

    So nobody but me lists my Climatology pages as a good site? Some friends you guys are. See if you get invited to my birthday party! [bursts into tears and stomps upstairs]

  36. 136

    #16, #39:

    Did you read the following in the report, which is typeset in bold for emphasis:


    We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements.

  37. 137

    This may be a good moment to draw attention again to my pro-science petition. It won’t change much, but let’s show the scientists under attack they aren’t alone.

  38. 138
    Dikran Marsupial says:

    [Response: I wouldn't hold your breath, though I certainly would be pleased to see that happen. More realistically, I suspect that if Phil Jones has any consolation, it is that some of us did not speak rashly in the first place.--eric]

    Indeed, RealClimate did a big favour to Phil Jones, CRU and climatology in general by being the voice of reason following the email hack, and I for one appreciate your efforts. I hope that the other two enquiries are able to come to similar [i.e. correct] conclusions in the near future so that Prof. Jones can get back to his research.

  39. 139

    Lynn Vincentnathan #80: Newsweek calling for “toughen up standards”? Wasn’t that the magazine that published a 1970s global cooling scare aarticle based on scant evidence, when the mainstream view of climate scientists at the time was that there was more evidence for warming?

  40. 140
    Alan of Oz says:

    RE #21, Boy do I feel like a fool. My apologies.

  41. 141
    JiminMpls says:

    #123 Margaret

    Character matters. When someone lies about their credentials (e.g., Tim Ball) or allows someone else to lie about their credentials (e.g., Akasofu) – especially if these persons receive financial compensation as a result of the misrepresentation – then it is fully reasonable to be extremely suspicious about anything they write.

    What I really don’t understand is the general public’s willingness to trust people who are paid to lie, yet distrust those who are paid to reveal the truth.

  42. 142

    On the subject of releasing code, very little academic code is production-quality. I work in a group that releases its code and makes available a range of web services based on that software, but that is unusual. I’ve just spent much of the past week battling through getting a pipeline of research software from various other sources working, including finding obscure bugs. If I didn’t have a smart PhD student sitting next to me who was already far advanced in using the tool chain, I would still be pulling my hair out over code with single-letter variable names and patchy comments. And this is in a field (bioinformatics) where there is a broad expectation of code and data availability; some journals specifically require that you include code and data when submitting a paper for review.

    The academic grant process does not readily recognise software engineering as a research expense. Many academics don’t have the computer science or engineering expertise to understand how to do this right, even if it’s in their grant. Maybe we could demand this, but a lot of academics who are really good at what they do would struggle to meet yet another requirement. And you would need to add considerable extra costs onto most research projects to do a good job consistently.

    And I am only talking about production-quality coding. Getting data into good usable formats with adequate standards for inter-changeability, clear documentation, etc. is another whole nightmare. Despite the massive advantages in bioinformatics in common data formats, naming standards, etc. just trying to find all the known roles of one protein for example can require major detective work.

    Despite what’s been said about CRU, climate science is in general in better shape than most other applied sciences. CRU has been picked on because they were the weakest link in the sense of relying on a relatively large amount of proprietary data. For this reason, they, not NASA, were targeted by the saboteurs. Saboteurs? This is clearly and obviously political, because the whole theory of climate change does not rest on one data set and as has been explained many times before, and repeated in the UK report, there is enough freely available data to work up your own model and check it for consistency with published model outputs.

  43. 143
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “It is clear that if CRU had dealt with the original FOIA requests it would have never reached this point”

    No, they’d have reached the same result at a different point.

    The FOI requests were answered fully with “here’s the data we have, you can use that to check the results” and was ignored. Repeatedly.

    Additionally, how many of those FOI requests were paid for out of MY TAXES for foreigners? only 22% of the requests were definitely from the UK, 39% of them were from obfuscated locations.

    Too right I don’t want MY MONEY wasted on people who aren’t and haven’t looked at the data (by the way, wasn’t McIntyre going to fix the problems in his paper? What’s happened to that..?).

  44. 144
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “We consider this to be unacceptable.”

    But we don’t have a law that says “if you do something we think is unacceptable, you have broken the law”.

  45. 145
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “So freedom of the press, does not include asking publicly funded scientists to show the taxpaying public”

    Freedom of the press doesn’t mean you get to see the plans for the next Strategic Fighter for the USAF just because it’s public money.

    Nor does it mean you can ask for MS Windows because the government use it.

  46. 146
    william says:

    re#113 and 115, I was looking at the GISS colour contour picture for temp anomalies,(not the line graphs), which, unless I’m colour blind shows a large red (+) anomaly over E Canada and a large blue/mauve (-) anomaly over E Asia. Hence my comment. We can do much better in presenting our case rather than keep banging on about deniers & alarmists or whatever the current vogue happens to be.
    The colour anomaly picture is very like the one presented by Spencer and the satellite folks,I believe.

  47. 147
    Ron says:

    Eric’s comment on #128 touches on what is one of the unspoken scandals of climate change – lack of data. It is almost 2 decades since the first IPCC report and still there are big data gaps. Copenhagen failed in part because of lack of agreement on how to help poor countries hard hit by climate change; yet often these countries have non-existent meteorological networks and consequently major uncertainties in climate projections. Sceptics still talk about heat-island effect on temperature measurement; a couple hundred well placed and maintained stations set up 20 years ago would have settled the issue for once and for all. One of the big uncertainties is how extra water vapour will form clouds yet our knowledge of clouds is still hazy. I am sure you and others could add to this list.

    A typical figure for the cost of combating climate change is 2% of global GDP which equates to 1 trillion a year. A small fraction of this on spent on climate measurement and satellite sensors would have narrowed the range of uncertainties considerably. It should now be a priority.

  48. 148
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “We can do much better in presenting our case rather than keep banging on about deniers & alarmists or whatever the current vogue happens to be.”

    Nope, you’re wrong there. Because any graph shown will be shouted down by deniers as either incomplete, or if that is obvious bunk, too complicated for “the people” to understand. Any graph will have “GIVE US THE CODE” until the code is there then it will be “GIVE US THE DATA” until the data is there, then “GIVE US THE RAW DATA” which will morph into “GIVE US ALL THE RAW DATA, INCLUDING STUFF THAT ISN’T DATA”.

    Then the graph is out of date.

    And it starts all over again.

  49. 149
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “CRU has been picked on because they were the weakest link in the sense of relying on a relatively large amount of proprietary data.”

    No, they were picked on because they have a three-man team. Easier to DDOS a server running on a 486 than Google…

  50. 150
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “142
    Ron says:
    1 April 2010 at 7:29 AM

    Eric’s comment on #128 touches on what is one of the unspoken scandals of climate change”

    It’s not spoken about Ron because it doesn’t exist.

    More data wanted? Yes.
    Scandalously limited data? Hell No.

    ‘course with all the data having to be given away to all and sundry (even if they don’t pay taxes for it) and that revenue loss being political suicide to take from taxpayers, this means that the future data requirements will be unmet to a noticeable degree…


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