Monday, November 30, 2009
I don't think this genie is going back in the bottle...
I was not alone:
Up to this point, it was difficult to challenge the conclusions of AGW-believing climate scientists because most geeks don't have much expertise in climatology. We tend to consider ourselves scientists and to give other scientists in other areas of expertise the benefit of the doubt. Without a great deal of experience in climatology, it's hard for a geek to justify spending much time questioning the modes and methods of professional climate researchers.Read the whole thing here and here.
However, the email leak has changed all this. Along with a hoard of emails, some source code for the computer climate models was also hacked and released to the public -- and the source code is an unusable mess. It doesn't take expertise in climatology to look at source code and determine that the code is garbage. There are many more geeks with software expertise than with climate expertise, and the geek community will go through every line of code and likely conclude that the computer models are so flawed that any conclusions drawn on them are without merit.
Despite the liberal tendencies of many geeks, I believe that the source code evidence will be insurmountable for most. Some will continue to cling to AGW because of a devotion to left-wing politics, but the majority of geeks will abandon their belief, and that abandonment by geeks will truly spell the end for AGW.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Miki, our youngest field spaniel, came along with us. He's seen snow before, but only a couple of times; it's still a novelty to him. We stopped near the high point of the road and had a delightful romp in the snow with Miki (photos below). Toward the end, I throw a few snowballs at him when he wasn't looking – it took him five snowballs to figure out that I was doing it!
In the wake of the ClimateGate leaks, the CRU has now reversed course, and says it will release all data (other than what they've lost – see earlier post) just as soon as they get releases from all involved.
Their somewhat self-serving announcement is here. As you're reading it, remember that this crowd is desperately trying to portray their innocence...
Given their past behavior, I'm a bit skeptical that the data will actually end up being public. We'll see...
We shouldn't read too much into this. Launching an investigation is pretty much a reflexive action of bureaucracies; they're a time-honored way of deflecting blame from those in charge. Once we see the results of the investigation, we'll know whether this was an exercise in obfuscation or a genuine inquiry...
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.Mistakes happen, and this fact by itself doesn't really prove anything. But it is mighty suspicious looking when combined with all the other attempts at hiding and obfuscation employed by the CRU gang.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
The article goes on to say that the loss of this data means that other scientists can't check the CRU's work. That's not quite true – the lost data can be regenerated by re-doing the studies. This will be time-consuming and expensive, but it's practically free by comparison to the climate change mitigations being considered based on conclusions drawn from the data. Re-doing the studies seems like a no-brainer...
Winter in Lawson Valley has arrived...
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Jeez, it feels good to have this most affirmative end to the fire season!
A few photos from our patio (taken with a crummy cell phone camera):
This is already more than enough rain to declare the official end of the 2009 fire season. Whew! We escaped without any serious fires this year!
Best of all: we're expecting even more rain today and tomorrow. And the snow level is supposed to be down to 4,500 feet (about 1,500 meters) this afternoon – we may have to go for a little drive to see the snow!
Look for the peer-reviewed label! And then just believe whatever it is they tell you!Mr. Steyn has caught rather exactly one of the central horrors of ClimateGate: the success of the CRU in perverting the standard science check-and-balance of peer-review. Go read the whole thing!
The trouble with outsourcing your marbles to the peer-reviewed set is that, if you take away one single thing from the leaked documents, it's that the global warm-mongers have wholly corrupted the "peer-review" process. When it comes to promoting the impending ecopalypse, the Climate Research Unit is the nerve-center of the operation. The "science" of the CRU dominates the "science" behind the United Nations IPCC, which dominates the "science" behind the Congressional cap-and-trade boondoggle, the upcoming Copenhagen shakindownen of the developed world, and the now-routine phenomenon of leaders of advanced, prosperous societies talking like gibbering madmen escaped from the padded cell, whether it's President Barack Obama promising to end the rise of the oceans or the Prince of Wales saying we only have 96 months left to save the planet.
But don't worry, it's all "peer-reviewed."
Here's what Phil Jones of the CRU and his colleague Michael Mann of Penn State mean by "peer review". When Climate Research published a paper dissenting from the Jones-Mann "consensus," Jones demanded that the journal "rid itself of this troublesome editor," and Mann advised that "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."
So much for Climate Research. When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the "consensus" reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley ("one of the world's foremost experts on climate change") suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to "get him ousted." When another pair of troublesome dissenters emerge, Dr. Jones assured Dr. Mann, "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
Friday, November 27, 2009
At the time the Mayaguez was captured, the USS Long Beach was in the port of Sattahip, Thailand, and much of the crew (including me) was in Bankok. The crew was recalled and the ship got underway on the second day of the four-day incident. We sailed just over 200 miles to the southeast, to Koh Tang island, some 60 miles off the coast of Cambodia (modern satellite photo at right). I remember seeing the island from the deck of the ship, watching the air support and ship-based bombardment in action.
Forty one Americans died in the Mayaguez incident, including eighteen who died in heavy fighting on Koh Tang.
Just recently it occurred to me that at this remove their might actually be a book about the incident, and in fact I found two, which I bought and read: The Last Battle, by Ralph Wetterhahn and The Four Days of Mayaguez by Roy Rowan. Both were fascinating reads for me, the former for its rich content, the latter for the human story of the captured crew.
One thing about both books absolutely floored me: neither of them contains any mention of the USS Long Beach, or any other US Navy ships besides the USS Holt, the USS Wilson, and the USS Coral Sea (all of which were direct participants in the battle). I don't know for certain how many other US Navy ships were present, as my memory of events almost 35 years ago is a bit shaky. But my best estimate is that at least six US Navy ships were there (and I think one Australian ship as well).
My role on the ship kept me in CIC (Combat Information Center) most of the time, and I had access to some information as the battle progressed. On reading these books, I realize now that what I “knew” at the time was very sketchy and often inaccurate. The USS Long Beach's primary role was air defense control, and that's the main involvement I remember us actually having in the incident. However, there was discussion of our Marine detachment (roughly 60 men) participating in the rescue effort, and also there was the possibility that the 5 inch guns on board would be used in supporting the troops on Koh Tang.
It was quite a strange experience to read two books about an incident that I was a witness to...
If you're at all interested in ClimateGate and the AGW debate, I highly recommend regularly visiting Climate Audit (Steve McIntyre's blog)...
The response to this among the defenders of Mr. Mann and his circle has been that even if they did disparage doubters and exclude contrary points of view, theirs is still the best climate science we've got. The proof for this is circular. It's the best, we're told, because it's the most-published and most-cited—in that same peer-reviewed literature.It's a good, short piece – read the whole thing here.
Even so, by rigging the rules, they've made it impossible to know how good it really is. And then, one is left to wonder why they felt the need to rig the game in the first place, if their science is as robust as they claim. If there's an innocent explanation for that, we'd love to hear it.
Here's an excerpt:
Millions of measurements, global coverage, consistently rising temperatures, case closed: The Earth is warming. Except for one problem. CRU’s average temperature data doesn’t jive with that of Vincent Courtillot, a French geo-magneticist, director of the Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris, and a former scientific advisor to the French Cabinet. Last year he and three colleagues plotted an average temperature chart for Europe that shows a surprisingly different trend. Aside from a very cold spell in 1940, temperatures were flat for most of the 20th century, showing no warming while fossil fuel use grew. Then in 1987 they shot up by about 1 C and have not shown any warming since. This pattern cannot be explained by rising carbon dioxide concentrations, unless some critical threshold was reached in 1987; nor can it be explained by climate models.
Courtillot and Jean-Louis Le Mouël, a French geo-magneticist, and three Russian colleagues first came into climate research as outsiders four years ago. The Earth’s magnetic field responds to changes in solar output, so geomagnetic measurements are good indicators of solar activity. They thought it would be interesting to compare solar activity with climatic temperature measurements.
Their first step was to assemble a database of temperature measurements and plot temperature charts. To do that, they needed raw temperature measurements that had not been averaged or adjusted in any way. Courtillot asked Phil Jones, the scientist who runs the CRU database, for his raw data, telling him (according to one of the ‘Climategate’ emails that surfaced following the recent hacking of CRU’s computer systems) “there may be some quite important information in the daily values which is likely lost on monthly averaging.” Jones refused Courtillot’s request for data, saying that CRU had “signed agreements with national meteorological services saying they would not pass the raw data onto third parties.” (Interestingly, in another of the CRU emails, Jones said something very different: “I took a decision not to release our [meteorological] station data, mainly because of McIntyre,” referring to Canadian Steve McIntyre, who helped uncover the flaws in the hockey stick graph.)
Nothing about the revelations surprises me. I have maintained email correspondence with most of these scientists for many years, and I know several personally. I long ago realized that they were faking the whole exercise.Read the whole thing.
When you enter into a debate with any of them, they always stop cold when you ask an awkward question. This applies even when you write to a government department or a member of Parliament. I and many of my friends have grown accustomed to our failure to publish and to lecture, and to the rejection of our comments submitted prior to every IPCC report.
Just a few considerations in addition to previous remarks about the explosion of the East Anglia Climategate e-mails in America. The reaction is growing exponentially there. Fox News, Barack Obama’s Nemesis, is now on the case, trampling all over Al Gore’s organic vegetable patch and breaking the White House windows. It has extracted some of the juiciest quotes from the e-mails and displayed them on-screen, with commentaries. Joe Public, coast-to-coast, now knows, thanks to the clowns at East Anglia’s CRU, just how royally he has been screwed.“Al Gore's organic vegetable patch” – gotta love that British humor... Read the whole thing.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Among the many great amusements of the Climategate scandal are the myriad imaginative excuses being offered by the implicated scientists and their friends in the MSM as to why this isn’t a significant story. Here are some of the best:Just go read it. You know you want to...
The more I discover or read about these “scientists”, the madder I get at them...One can only imagine the angst suffered daily by the co-conspirators, who knew full well that the "Documents" sub-folder of the CRU FOI2009 file contained more than enough probative program source code to unmask CRU's phantom methodology.
In fact, there are hundreds of IDL and FORTRAN source files buried in dozens of subordinate sub-folders. And many do properly analyze and chart maximum latewood density (MXD), the growth parameter commonly utilized by CRU scientists as a temperature proxy, from raw or legitimately normalized data. Ah, but many do so much more.
Skimming through the often spaghetti-like code, the number of programs which subject the data to a mixed-bag of transformative and filtering routines is simply staggering. Granted, many of these "alterations" run from benign smoothing algorithms (e.g., omitting rogue outliers) to moderate infilling mechanisms (e.g., estimating missing station data from that of those closely surrounding). But many others fall into the precarious range between highly questionable (removing MXD data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line).
In fact, workarounds for the post-1960 "divergence problem," as described by both RealClimate and Climate Audit, can be found throughout the source code. So much so that perhaps the most ubiquitous programmer's comment (REM) I ran across warns that the particular module "Uses 'corrected' MXD - but shouldn't usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures."
What exactly is meant by "corrected” MXD," you ask? Outstanding question -- and the answer appears amorphous from program to program. Indeed, while some employ one or two of the aforementioned "corrections," others throw everything but the kitchen sink at the raw data prior to output.
This all reeks of conspiricism to me, and it's in my general nature to be skeptical of such claims. Stupidity and avarice, it seems to me, are perfectly sufficient to explain everything I've seen so far in ClimateGate.
But here's an observation that I must admit lends a little weight to the contentions of these commentators. I'm going to start watching this a little more credulously than I have been...
Our Thanksgiving Day feast this year will be with our friends and neighbors, Jim and Michelle Barnick (who live just up the hill from us). They're having a few dozen friends and relatives over. Our contribution is the pumpkin pie, which Debbie and I just finished making.
We had some help from the dogs. I made the pie crusts (a simple crust made of ginger snap crumbs and butter). I accidentally brushed a few crumbs off onto the floor, where Race (our border collie yearling) found them. You could see him immediately take on a wondering look, as if to say “Where the hell has this been my whole life?”
Then a little while later I had the job of mixing the filling. After pouring the filling into the pies (and a couple of extra custard cups), I had a nice, big mixing bowl coated with the filling mixture. Basically that's eggs, evaporated milk, and pumpkin, with some spices and sugar. If you're a dog, I don't think it gets any better than that. Suffice it to say that the mixing bowl was shortly extremely clean, at a molecular level. I could have just let it dry and thrown it back in the cabinet, but for form's sake I actually did wash it off...
Now the pies are in the oven, the dishes are all washed, and we're just relaxing for a bit. In a few hours we'll wander up the hill to start our feast. A few hours after that, we'll be painfully full of excellent food and drink, and we'll be smiling from the good company of our friends...
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, on this beautiful day in the chaparral of Lawson Valley, just east of Jamul...
If you're wondering how the robot-like march of the world's politicians towards Copenhagen can possibly continue in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed "climategate," it's because Big Government, Big Business and Big Green don't give a s*** about "the science."Go read the whole thing.
They never have.
Can citizens win against the warmenists? I think that maybe, just maybe, the answer is “yes!”
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Expect much, much more of this sort of disclosure...
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Well, now he's speared ClimateGate. And I'm just now recovering. If you enjoy satire, and you have a working knowledge of the AGW debate and ClimateGate, then put down your morning beverage, swallow, and go read.
One little sample:
Many of those behaviors are on display in the security film, as we see a sexless group of drone graduate students processing a raw datum with saliva, sawdust and Fortran code. After each iteration the time series is presented to the Alpha Grantwriter to see if fits inside his graph. Several graduate drones die of exhaustion, but the data eventually fit the template.Lordy, that man can throw those words around...
Next the Alpha Grantwriter flies to an international climate research conference with the completed PowerPoint template, where he will share his guano with other Alpha Grantwriters over cocktails in the hotel lounge. This is a process metascientists refer to as "peer review."
Well, not so fast. There are two separate lines of evidence that the poor man is actually conscious. One of these lines of evidence is based on brain scanning, which the researcher involved cautions is “experimental” and “speculative”. The other line of evidence is based on “facilitated communication” – the notion that a skilled facilitator can assist the patient in communicating.
Facilitated communication (FC for short) has a long and heart-breaking record. Hundreds of parents of autistic children were bilked out of thousands of dollars by supposed FC experts claiming they could help their children communicate. Experts have thoroughly demolished every claim of FC, yet it persists (though thankfully at a much reduced level). Basically the FC experts just made it all up, collecting a nice fee in the process.
So when I heard that the Belgian man was communicating “with the assistantance of an FC expert”, all my red flags went up. My favorite debunker of FC was James Randi, the magician and well-known skeptic, famous for his debunkings of junk science in general. So this morning I went poking around at his web site, and voila! – Mr. Randi has been writing about this incident already, calling it a cruel farce and a vehicle for the FC expert to get a lucrative book deal.
Read the whole thing, and watch this little video of the FC expert in action. Then make up your own mind about whether this poor Belgian man is being exploited or assisted...
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- Those who, like me, feel betrayed by the corrupt science on exhibit – the manipulation of data, the suppression of honest debate, the withholding of information. These people tend to view the CRU revelations as casting doubt on the “science” production of the CRU participants – which include most of the leading lights of pro-AGW science.
- Those who dismiss everything exposed in the CRU documents as merely the human side of science. These folks seem to believe that all science is conducted in this fashion, and that the CRU documents simply expose this in an unusually candid fashion for the public to see. Sheesh, I certainly hope these people are wrong!
- Those who see the CRU revelations as a blow to pro-AGW science, but think there's enough untainted science remaining to sustain their pro-AGW beliefs. To me, this sounds like grasping at straws – the work tainted by the CRU documents is foundational work that remains, so far as I know, the only direct evidence of long-term global warming that is correlated to human activity. I deliberately exclude climate models, as they are not observational science at all, but rather an attempt to project hypotheses into the future.
Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit is clearly enemy number one in the CRU documents. These must be very interesting times for him. His site has been overwhelmed with traffic, and he's set up a mirror site to handle the volume. Some of the most interesting – and sober – analysis of the CRU documents can be found up there. If this is a topic that interests you, I recommend monitoring his site.
It's going to be interesting to watch how this all shakes out...
Monday, November 23, 2009
I have enjoyed reading your posts on climategate, and am quite sympathetic to your position. I am very skeptical about the science underlying the various global warming claims. I am also sympathetic with your claim that publicly funded researchers should release their software codes to the public.Here's my response (slightly edited from the original to remove personal information):
Nonetheless, the counter of these scientists is that other scientists can produce their own code and see what results they obtain. I was wondering whether you knew if such attempts at reproduction have occurred, and if not, why not. Is it that it is very expensive to undertake these studies and the ordinary funding sources do not want to fund such efforts? Or do you think something else is goind on. I would love to know the answer. Thanks.
In any event, keep up the good work.
Not only do they claim that other scientists could reproduce their results, they claim that two groups (one in Russia, and one in Australia) have already done so. But I'm very skeptical of these results, as the two groups are hardly independent of the CRU crowd -- they're "insiders" in every sense.
It's an interesting question you raise, though, and one I've pondered a bit as I read through those CRU emails. Reproducing their results has several possible meanings. In the purest scientific sense, "reproduction" would mean that the same results were obtained with independently acquired and analyzed data. In this sense, the CRU's results have NOT been reproduced, and they do not claim that they have been. I believe reproduction in that sense would be quite challenging, as the CRU's claim is that virtually all available proxy temperature data was assessed in their efforts. One step down on the reproduction scale would be for independent groups to take the same data but independently analyze it. I can't be certain, as I don't have access to the actual studies, but from the emails it sounds like this approach is also NOT the kind of reproduction that the two groups did. So one more step down on the reproduction scale would be for independent groups to take the same data and use the same general analytical approach. I believe that this is what Mann et al are referring to when they claim their results have been reproduced, and could be reproduced by any qualified scientist. Essentially that means someone checked their math, not exactly what I would call a validation of the approach.
What Mann et al have consistently refused to provide are detailed descriptions of exactly how (and why) they selected and adjusted their data sets. Other researchers (like Steve McIntyre) with access to the raw data have been unable to reproduce the CRU's results with anything that resembles unbiased data selection or adjustment. In fact, in some cases they come to very different results that would lead one to very different conclusions. Hence the debate on Climate Audit, which has become increasingly informed over the past couple of years as McIntyre and his cohorts get more and more educated.
Speaking as a concerned citizen whose pocketbook is highly at risk here, I believe that what is urgently needed is for a truly independent and skeptical group of scientists to attempt to reproduce the CRU's results in the first, purest sense I described above. We should not be considering sweeping and expensive mitigation efforts until we have done our very best to confirm the accuracy of the underlying science.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The lamestream media has fallen on its face with this one, as they have with so many other scandals that required even the tiniest bit of research and imagination. Also, as with some of the past scandals (such as “RatherGate”), they seem to believe they have a vested interest – this time, in a pro-AGW stance. Pajamas-clad amateurs have showed up the “pros” once again...
;Where to start? Here, I guess:
; Calibrates, usually via regression, various NH and quasi-NH records
; against NH or quasi-NH seasonal or annual temperatures.
; Specify period over which to compute the regressions (stop in 1960 to avoid
; the decline that affects tree-ring density records)
perst=1881. ;note 1
thalf=10. ; filter to use to give extra hi & lo pass info
; Select season of the temperature data against which to calibrate
if n_elements(doseas) eq 0 then doseas=0 ; 0=annual, 1=Apr-Sep, 2=Oct-Mar
; Select record to calibrate
if n_elements(dorec) eq 0 then dorec=0
doland=0 ; for Mann et al. only, 0=use NH mean, 1=use land>20N mean
if recname[dorec] eq 'mann' then begin
if doland eq 0 then openw,1,'recon_mannNH.out'+seasname[doseas] $
endif else begin
if !d.name eq 'X' then window,ysize=800
; Compute the >20N land instrumental temperature timseries and filter
; Compute the northern hemisphere >20N land series
; First extract >20N rows
kl=where(gtemp.y gt 20.)
; Compute latitude-weighted mean
; Compute seasonal/annual mean
case doseas of ;note 2
0: lvy=mkseason(nhmon,0,11,datathresh=6) ; could try 9,8 (Oct-Sep annual)!
; Filter it
; Read in record and filter
case recname[dorec] of
if doland eq 0 then begin
endif else begin
'iwarm': begin ; use warm-season instrumental series as the predictor!
kl=where((x ge datst) and (x le daten))
if total(abs(yrtemp-x)) ne 0 then message,'Incompatible years'
; Now correlate and regress them
printf,1,'Correlations and regression coefficients for '+seasname[doseas]
keeplist=where(finite(y1+lvy) and (x ge perst) and (x le peren),nkeep)
printf,1,'AR1 for MXD and NHEMI:',mxd_ar1,nht_ar1
xtitle='Scaled Esper et al. anomaly (!Uo!NC)',$
ytitle='Northern Hemisphere temperature anomaly (!Uo!NC)',$
; Now compute the rms error between the reconstruction and the original
rmserr=sqrt( total( tserr^2 ) / float(n_elements(tserr)) )
printf,1,'RMS error between land>20Napr-sep temperature and Esper et al. reconstruction'
printf,1,'Uncertainties surrounding regression coefficients'
printf,1,'Computations carried out over the period ',perst,peren
printf,1,'To separate low and high frequency components, a gaussian weighted'
printf,1,'filter was used with a half-width (years) of ',thalf
1. Another arbitrary-looking choice of limits. In this case, they've selected the period 1881 through 1960 to correlate the two data series. The comment above, however, is very suggestive of why the 1960 cutoff was chosen.
2. This piece of code looks like classic cherry-picking and fudging. Here the software writer is choosing arbitrary months and data thresholds when sampling the annual mean of the instrumental data (which will be used to calibrate the tree-ring data. The comment reinforces this notion.
Something that strikes me as I read through all this code: it looks amateurish, not at all like what I'd imagine code written by scientists expecting peer review would produce. I'm no scientist, so it may well just reflect my naiveté about things scientific. But I'm quite disappointed in it...
;Well. Where to start? I guess I'll just dive right in...
; 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] ;note 1
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'
if !d.name eq 'X' then begin
endif else begin
; Get regional tree lists and rbar
for i = nreg-1 , nreg-1 do begin
ml=where(densadj eq -99.999,nmiss)
kl=where((x ge 1400) and (x le 1992)) ;note 3
densall=densadj(1,kl) ; all bands
densadj=densadj(0,kl) ; 2-6 bands
; Now normalise w.r.t. 1881-1960
; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x) ;note 2
; Now plot them
cpl_barts,x,densall,title='Age-banded MXD from all sites',$
; Restore the Hugershoff NHD1 (see Nature paper 2)
; gets: x,densadj,n,neff
; Extract the post 1600 part
kl=where(x ge 1400)
; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x) ;note 2
; Now plot it too
cpl_barts,x,densadj,title='Hugershoff-standardised MXD from all sites',$
; Now overplot their bidecadal components
yrange=[-6,2],thick=3,title='Low-pass (20-yr) filtered comparison'
; Now overplot their 50-yr components
yrange=[-6,2],thick=3,title='Low-pass (50-yr) filtered comparison'
; Now compute the full, high and low pass correlations between the two
printf,1,'Correlations between timeseries'
printf,1,'Age-banded vs. Hugershoff-standardised'
printf,1,' Region Full <10 >10 >30 >50 >100'
kla=where((xband ge perst) and (xband le peren))
klh=where((x ge perst) and (x le peren))
for i = 0 , ntry-1 do begin
if i eq 0 then r2=correlate(tshi1,tshi2)
printf,1,'Correlations carried out over the period ',perst,peren
1. This code constructs a pair of 20 element arrays that are used later as inputs to an interpolation routine. As the comments "fudge factor" and "very artificial correction for decline" would seem to indicate, these values appear to be completely arbitrary, and unsupported by any underlying theory about why the raw data should be manipulated this way. I'll tell you what it looks like to this ancient, gray-bearded software who has constructed many software models in his career: this looks like someone manipulating the input to a model to get the desired results. Publicly such a modeler would proclaim: “Lookee here! I crunched the tree-ring data and got this result!” – when the reality is that the modeler “fudged” and “corrected” the data until the results matched his preconceived and desired result. Smoking code gun number one.
2. These two places are where the “very artificial correction” is being applied.
3. This code limits the data in the results to the years 1401 to 1991. It would be interesting to know why those particular years were chosen. I'm especially intrigued by the 1991 cutoff, as I've read elsewhere that the tree ring data from the late 20th century doesn't support the notion that tree ring width is a good proxy for temperature. Could this be the reason for the early cutoff?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
So when I read this email (1256760240.txt) in the collection hacked from CRU, I was most interested. Again, I've bolded and footnoted the sections I found interesting:
From: Phil JonesOne thing that's clear from reading a hundred or so of these emails: the warmenist scientists are quite obsessed with, and defensive about, the Climate Audit web site by Steve McIntyre. I've long linked to McIntyre's site as one of the best global warming skeptical sites I'd found. I consider now that my choice has been completely validated!
Subject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Date: Wed Oct 28 16:04:00 2009
There is a lot more there on CA now. I would be very wary about responding to this person now having seen what McIntyre has put up. You and Tim talked about Yamal. Why have the bristlecones come in now.
This is what happens - they just keep moving the goalposts.
Maybe get Tim to redo OB2006 without a few more series.
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Subject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 15:39:48 -0000
Thread-Topic: Yamal and paleoclimatology
From: "Keiller, Donald"
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Dear Professor Briffa, I am pleased to hear that you appear to have recovered from your recent illness sufficiently to post a response to the controversy surrounding the use of the Yamal chronology;
and the chronology itself;
Unfortunately I find your explanations lacking in scientific rigour and I am more inclined to believe the analysis of McIntyre1
Can I have a straightforward answer to the following questions
1) Are the reconstructions sensitive to the removal of either the Yamal data and Strip pine bristlecones, either when present singly or in combination?
2) Why these series, when incorporated with white noise as a background, can still produce a Hockey-Stick shaped graph if they have, as you suggest, a low individual weighting?
And once you have done this, please do me the courtesy of answering my initial email.
Dr. D.R. Keiller
From: Keiller, Donald
Sent: 02 October 2009 10:34
Subject: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Dear Professor Briffa, my apologies for contacting you directly, particularly since I hear that you are unwell.
However the recent release of tree ring data by CRU has prompted much discussion and indeed disquiet about the methodology and conclusions of a number of key papers by you and co-workers.
As an environmental plant physiologist, I have followed the long debate starting with Mann et al (1998) and through to Kaufman et al (2009).
As time has progressed I have found myself more concerned with the whole scientific basis of dendroclimatology2. In particular;
1) The appropriateness of the statistical analyses employed
2) The reliance on the same small datasets in these multiple studies
3) The concept of "teleconnection" by which certain trees respond to the
"Global Temperature Field", rather than local climate
4) The assumption that tree ring width and density are related to temperature in a linear manner.
Whilst I would not describe myself as an expert statistician, I do use inferential statistics routinely for both research and teaching and find difficulty in understanding the statistical rationale in these papers3.
As a plant physiologist I can say without hesitation that points 3 and 4 do not agree with the accepted science.
There is a saying that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".
Given the scientific, political and economic importance of these papers, further detailed explanation is urgently required.
Dr. Don Keiller.
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I don't know anything about the Dr. Donald Keiller who wrote two of the emails in this thread, other than that I was able to confirm (via Google) that Dr. Keiller indeed exists, and works in the field implied in his emails.
1. Dr. Keiller read of the controversy regarding the tree ring data being used in the temperature series on McIntyre's Climate Audit site. He wrote to the authors for clarification. They never responded, though they did post comments to the articles on Climate Audit. Dr. Keiller finds McIntyre (a skeptic) more credible.
2. But more interestingly to me, Dr. Keiller questions the entire basis of dendroclimatology (using tree rings to infer anything about the climate). The Wikipedia article I linked to explains the questions pretty clearly. This is a big problem for the warmenists, as a major element of their models is the temperature series, which is in turn partly compised of dendroclimatology data.
3. Dr. Keiller is one of many scientists who have called BS on the warmenists creative use of statistics. It's too bad that this hijacked email contained no more specifics.
From: Tom Wigley
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Klaus Hasselmann
, Jill Jaeger , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST)
Reply-to: Tom Wigley
Cc: Mike Hulme
I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of
this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the
IPCC "view" when you say that "the latest IPCC assessment makes a
convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions." In contrast
to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting
arguments in support of both "immediate control" and the spectrum of more
cost-effective options. It is not IPCC's role to make "convincing cases"
for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers
would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the
emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your
This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.
Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal
views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No
scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever
endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully
themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just
this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief
that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science
-- when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords
with IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on
Let me remind you of the science. The issue you address is one of the
timing of emissions reductions below BAU. Note that this is not the same
as the timing of action -- and note that your letter categorically
addresses the former rather than the latter issue. Emissions reduction
timing is epitomized by the differences between the Sxxx and WRExxx
pathways towards CO2 concentration stabilization. It has been clearly
demonstrated in the literature that the mitigation costs of following an
Sxxx pathway are up to five times the cost of following an equivalent
WRExxx pathway. It has also been shown that there is likely to be an
equal or greater cost differential for non-Annex I countries, and that the
economic burden in Annex I countries would fall disproportionately on
Furthermore, since there has been no credible analysis of the benefits
(averted impacts) side of the equation, it is impossible to assess fully
the benefits differential between the Sxxx and WRExxx stabilization
profiles. Indeed, uncertainties in predicting the regional details of
future climate change that would arise from following these pathways, and
the even greater uncertainties that attend any assessment of the impacts
of such climate changes, preclude any credible assessment of the relative
benefits. As shown in the WRE paper (Nature v. 379, pp. 240-243), the
differentials at the global-mean level are so small, at most a few tenths
of a degree Celsius and a few cm in sea level rise and declining to
minuscule amounts as the pathways approach the SAME target, that it is
unlikely that an analysis of future climate data could even distinguish
between the pathways. Certainly, given the much larger noise at the
regional level, and noting that even the absolute changes in many
variables at the regional level remain within the noise out to 2030 or
later, the two pathways would certainly be indistinguishable at the
regional level until well into the 21st century.
The crux of this issue is developing policies for controlling greenhouse
gas emissions where the reductions relative to BAU are neither too much,
too soon (which could cause serious economic hardship to those who are
most vulnerable, poor people and poor countries) nor too little, too late
(which could lead to future impacts that would be bad for future
generations of the same groups). Our ability to quantify the economic
consequences of "too much, too soon" is far better than our ability to
quantify the impacts that might arise from "too little, too late" -- to
the extent that we cannot even define what this means! You appear to be
putting too much weight on the highly uncertain impacts side of the
equation. Worse than this, you have not even explained what the issues
are. In my judgment, you are behaving in an irresponsible way that does
you little credit. Furthermore, you have compounded your sin by actually
putting a lie into the mouths of innocents ("after carefully examining the
question of timing of emissions reductions, we find the arguments against
postponement to be more compelling"). People who endorse your letter will
NOT have "carefully examined" the issue.
When scientists color the science with their own PERSONAL views or make
categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such
statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what
they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is,
in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than
the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics, Michaels, Singer et al. I
find this extremely disturbing.
On Tue, 11 Nov 1997, Tim Mitchell wrote:
> Reference: Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect
> Global Climate
> Dear Colleague,
> Attached at the end of this email is a Statement, the purpose of which is
> to bolster or increase governmental and public support for controls of
> emissions of greenhouse gases in European and other industrialised
> countries in the negotiations during the Kyoto Climate Conference in
> December 1997. The Statement was drafted by a number of prominent European
> scientists concerned with the climate issue, 11 of whom are listed after
> the Statement and who are acting as formal sponsors of the Statement.
> ***** The 11 formal sponsors are: *****
> Jan Goudriaan Hartmut Grassl Klaus Hasselmann Jill J‰ger
> Hans Opschoor Tim O'Riordan Martin Parry David Pearce
> Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber Wolfgang Seiler Pier Vellinga
> After endorsements from many hundreds of other European climate-related
> scientists are collected (and we hope that you agree to be one of these), the
> Statement will be brought to the attention of key decision-makers (e.g. EU
> Kyoto negotiaters and Environment Ministers) and other opinion-makers in
> Europe (e.g. editorial boards of newspapers) during the week beginning 24th
> November. The UK and other European WWF offices have agreed to assist in
> this activity, although the preparation of the Statement itself has in no
> way been initiated or influenced by WWF or any other body. This is an
> initiative taken by us alone and supported by our 11 Statement sponsors.
> WHAT WE ASK FROM YOU
> We would very much like you to endorse this Statement. Unfortunately, at
> this time we can no longer take into account any suggested modifications.
> Nevertheless, we hope that it reflects your views closely enough so that
> you can support it. If you agree with the Statement, then:
> 1. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY FILL OUT the form below and either reply via email
> (preferably) or telefax (only if necessary) to the indicated fax number.
> Replies received after Wednesday 19th November will not be included. If
> replying by email please do not use the 'reply all' option. If this
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> We realize that you are very busy, but this action may have a very positive
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> With best wishes,
> Michael Hulme, Climatic Research Unit, UEA, Norwich
> Joseph Alcamo, University of Kassel, Germany
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> Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect Global Climate
> In 1992, the nations of the world took a significant step to protect global
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> carried out by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The
> IPCC reported that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human
> influence on global climate". They also gave examples of observed climate
> change up to now, including:
> ∑ Global mean surface air temperature has increased by between 0.3 to 0.6
> degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, and recent years have been the
> warmest since 1860.
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> and society may be able to adapt to some impacts, such as by building dikes
> against rising sea level. But many, if not most, climate impacts will
> increase risks to society and nature, and will be irreversible on the human
> time scale. Among the possible changes are further increases in sea level,
> the transformation of forest and other ecosystems, modifications of crop
> yield, and shifts in the geographic range of pests and pathogens. It is
> also possible that infrequent but disastrous events, such as droughts and
> floods, could occur more often in some regions. At particular risk are
> people living on arid or semi-arid land, in low-lying coastal areas and
> islands, in water-limited or flood-prone regions, or in mountainous
> regions. The risk to nature will be significant in the many areas where
> ecosystems cannot quickly adapt to changing climate, or where they are
> already under stress from environmental pollution or other factors.
> Because of these risks, we consider it important for nations to set limits
> on the increase of global temperature due to human interference with the
> climate system. We recommend that European and other industrialized nations
> use such long-term climate protection goals as a guide to determining
> short-term emission targets. This approach has been adopted, for example,
> by the European Union and the Alliance of Small Island States.
> Some may say that action to control emissions should be postponed because
> of the scientific uncertainties of climate change and its impact. Our view
> is that the risks and irreversibility of many climate impacts require
> "precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent, or minimize the causes of
> climate change", as stated in the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
> We also acknowledge that economic arguments have been put forward for
> postponing the control of emissions in Europe and elsewhere. However, after
> carefully examining the question of timing of emission reductions, we find
> the arguments against postponement to be more compelling. First, postponing
> action could shift an unfair burden for more severe reductions of emissions
> onto future generations. Second, it will lead to a greater accumulation of
> greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and hence make it more difficult to
> prevent future climate change when action is finally taken. Third, the
> latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate
> control of emissions.
> Rather than delay, we strongly urge governments in Europe and other
> industrialized countries to agree to control greenhouse emissions as part
> of a Kyoto agreement. Some controls can be achieved by reducing fossil fuel
> use at little or no net cost through accelerated improvements in the
> efficiency of energy systems, the faster introduction of renewable energy
> sources, and the reduction of subsidies for fossil fuel use. Moreover,
> reducing the use of fossil fuels will also reduce local and regional air
> pollution, and their related impacts on human health and ecosystems.
> We believe that the European Union (EU) proposal is consistent with long
> term climate protection. This proposal would reduce key greenhouse gas
> emissions by 15% from industrialized countries (so-called Annex I
> countries) by the year 2010 (relative to year 1990). Although stronger
> emission reductions will be needed in the future, we see the EU, or
> similar, goal as a positive first step "to prevent dangerous anthropogenic
> interference with the climate system" and to lessen risks to society and
> nature. Such substantive action is needed now.
> *Third Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate
> Change, Kyoto, Japan, December, 1997.
> Jan Goudriaan Hartmut Grassl Klaus Hasselmann
> Jill J‰ger Hans Opschoor Tim O'Riordan
> Martin Parry David Pearce Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber
> Wolfgang Seiler Pier Vellinga
> ** This message originated from the
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