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Dec 7, 2009

Not Just One Rotten Climate Apple

Riddle Me This
12/07/09 - Chicago Boyz by James R. Rummel

ClimateGate is about the emails and practices of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia Univeristy, Britain. It is a large and previously prestigious institution.

Logicians now say that this scandal does not necessarily invalidate the work of the other climate centers. I suppose that this is the difference between fine academic logic and a more realistic view of human bias, politics, and politicized Big Science.

The climate scientists will have to prove their work, as they should have from the beginning. They must reveal their data, theories, methods, and computer codes. There must be no more splicing of different data series to get a graph showing what is politically correct.

[edited] Most climate scientists speaking on news programs or writing op-eds offer a general defense. This scandal might cast doubt on more than 10 years of work at CRU, but they say it does not invalidate research by other scientists supporting catastrophic global warming caused by humans.

This is why it invalidates the work of other scientists:

  • The Hadley CRU boasted the largest and most comprehensive collection of climate data in the entire world.
  • This massive collection of data inspired, if not directly influenced, just about every other climate scientist’s work.
  • The people who wrote the emails are the most prestigious and influential climate scientists in the world. The emails show their dirty tricks, data manipulation, and collusion to hide problems with their research.

Why should anyone take any climate scientist’s word for his own integrity and the soundness of his work? Isn’t the onus on him/her to prove that he isn't a crook and liar, like the big guys are?

A comment by Shannon Love [edited]:

The revelations invalidate the work of other scientists:

  1. They all claimed to have reviewed and reproduced the CRU’s work, and
  2. They defended that work against scrutiny.

(1) causes doubt about their competence, and (2) causes doubt about their integrity.

Fast Facts About Climategate
12/06/09 - Pajamas Media by Charlie Martin
A convenient overview of the emails and issues of ClimateGate.

Government Funds Distort Climate Science
07/22/09 - Science and Technology News

Quip: We don't fund studies critical of our policies.

The Science and Public Policy Institute:

[edited] The US Government has spent $79 billion since 1989 on research and support for climate change studies. Yet, scientific review and criticism is left to unpaid volunteers, who have repeatedly exposed major errors.

Dedicated, uncoordinated scientists around the globe test the integrity of global warming theory. They compete with Government, a lavishly funded, highly organized, centralized purchaser of climate research.

The government pours money into a single, scientifically baseless agenda. It has created a self-fulfilling prophecy, not an unbiased investigation. Sound science cannot easily survive this grip of politics and finance.

Jo Nova Finds the Medieval Warm Period
12/07/09 - What's Up With That by Jo Nova (Via Don Surber)

The sharp upward swing in temperature was due to a single tree in Yamal, Russia.

In 2009, McIntyre analyzed Briffa’s Hockey Stick graph of sudden warming. He waited three years for the data he asked for. It took just three days to expose it too as baseless.

Briffa had concealed for nine years that he only had 12 trees in the sample from 1990 onwards, and that one freakish tree transformed the graph. When McIntyre graphed another 34 trees from the same region of Russia, there was no sudden warming.

Craig Loehle used 18 other proxies. (Proxies are measurements of physical processes that should have been sensitive to temperature. -ag) Temperatures were higher 1000 years ago and cooler 300 years ago. We started warming long before cars and powerstations were invented. There is little correlation with CO2 levels.

Hockey stick observed in NOAA ice core data
09/12/09 - WattsUpWithThat by Anthony Watts

J. Storrs Hall is at the Foresight Institute. He made some interesting graphs from NOAA ice core data:

[edited] Let's look at the temperature record as read from this central Greenland ice core. It gives us about as close as we can come to a direct, experimental measurement of temperature at that one spot for the past 50,000 years. As far as I know, the data are not adjusted according to any fancy computer climate model or anything else like that.

Watts comments on graphs of the temperature record from this single ice core, going back 500 1,200 4,000 10,000 12,000 and 40,000 years. Other data shows temperature for the past 400,000 years.

The 500 year record shows a wiggling, slow decline in temperature, then rising steadily by .7 degrees F in the 80 years from 1840-1920. That +.7 F is the total increase, not yearly. Watts says with humor: "a hockey stick".

True understanding comes from looking at temperature over longer time scales going into the distant and geologically distant past. On that scale, our current temperature fluctuations are nothing special. The Earth has been much colder for most of the last 400,000 years, and somewhat warmer for part of that time.

We don't need CO2 by humans to explain changing global temperature. The Earth has had large fluctuations all by itself. We should be glad it is warm for us now.

Galilean Peer Review
12/06/09 - Throckmorton's Other Signs

A doctor teaches his residents how to read published, peer-reviewed papers in medical journals.

[edited] In our journal club, we all take recent papers in our field and present them to the group. This is a great exercise for the residents. First, you look at what question the research is hoping to answer. You then see how they are getting the data and if analysis of the data will lead to an answer. You then check the statistics on the data. Only then can you say if the research is of merit.

I stress that the comments and discussion are just that, or better expressed as an editorial. It is amazing how many of the papers don't support the conclusions.

I can't help but feel this way about Climategate. This seems to be a classic example of researchers having an opinion and then trying to backtrack to make the research support that opinion.

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