Monday, December 07, 2009

The IPCC shares the blame for Climategate

An email from Madhav Khandekar [] below. (Khandekar was an expert reviewer for the IPCC 2007 Climate Change report)

Does the IPCC share some responsibility in this climategate? Most cetainly it does.

The problem of access to full and unprocessed raw temperature data from around the world has NOT developed over just last few weeks. It has been brewing for long, perhaps for months and years. Several scientists and professionals, not directly connected with climate science were denied access to the data for no valid reasons. Why did the IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri NOT intervene at the time and made sure that the basic raw data must be made available to anyone and every one? Does one have to hold a Ph D degree in atmospheric science or meteorology to get access to the data?

The CRU has defended its policy of NOT sharing data to anyone on grounds of "growing cost of servicing so many requests!" This is nonsense! The IPCC , a UN Body is supported by funding from all member countries and as such a person of any nationality can and must have full access to the data.

If the IPCC Chair had intervened long ago and made arrangements to transfer adequate funds from its overall budget to the CRU, we would not be in this sordid mess by now. The whole science of global warming & climate change rests with accurate determination of temperature trends and its independent verification by other scientists not necessarily connected with IPCC.

The IPCC Chair seems to have completely forgotten the basic tenet of weather & climate science, namely independent assessment of weather data NOT from within BUT from without. The IPCC Chair has dropped the ball on mean temperature calculation! it is a sad state of affairs for climate science!


Suspicions were growing last night that Russian security services were behind the leaking of the notorious British ‘Climategate’ emails which threaten to undermine tomorrow’s Copenhagen global warming summit. An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has discovered that the explosive hacked emails from the University of East Anglia were leaked via a small web server in the formerly closed city of Tomsk in Siberia.

The leaks scandal has left the scientific community in disarray after claims that key climate change data was manipulated in the run-up to the climate change summit of world leaders.

The row erupted when hundreds of messages between scientists at the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and their colleagues around the world were placed on the internet along with other documents. The CRU is internationally recognised as one of the most important sources of information on the rise in global temperatures. Its data is relied on by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body which co-ordinates the world response to climate change. But now the CRU’s findings are under suspicion.

The leaked emails appear to show that CRU director Professor Phil Jones and colleagues attempted to manipulate the figures and hide their raw data from researchers with opposing views. Prof Jones has stepped aside from his post while claims are investigated that he wanted certain papers excluded from the United Nations’ next major assessment of climate science.

Russia – one of the world’s largest producers and users of oil and gas – has a vested interest in opposing sweeping new agreements to cut emissions, which will be discussed by world leaders in Copenhagen tomorrow. Russia believes current rules are stacked against it, and has threatened to pull the plug on Copenhagen without concessions to Kremlin concerns.

The Mail on Sunday understands that the hundreds of hacked emails were released to the world via a tiny internet server in a red brick building in a snow-clad street in Tomsk. The original internet link was quickly removed after the information spread from it like wildfire on to international websites. A message written in English accompanied the leaked package of emails. It read: ‘We feel that climate science is too important to be kept under wraps. 'We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.’

Climate-change sceptics in the West seized on the emails as evidence that the books were being cooked by the global-warming lobby. Stories highlighting the ‘scandal’ began to appear from November 21, three or four days after the information was first released on to the server. Some of the leaked emails date back to March, 1996.

Tomcity – the server – and Tomline, its parent company, were unavailable for comment yesterday. The firm offers an internet security business to prevent hacking and bugs and the ‘compromising of confidential information’. Other divisions of the firm are involved in laying the cable which provides high-speed internet access to companies in the Siberian city. The server is believed to be used mainly by Tomsk State University, one of the leading academic institutions in Russia, and other scientific institutes.

Computer hackers in Tomsk have been used in the past by the Russian secret service (FSB) to shut websites which promote views disliked by Moscow. Such arrangements provide the Russian government with plausible deniability while using so-called ‘hacker patriots’ to shut down websites. In 2002, Tomsk students were said to have launched a ‘denial of service’ attack at the Kavkaz-Tsentr portal, a site whose reports about Chechnya angered Russian officials. The FSB office in Tomsk put out a special Press release saying that what the students had done was a legitimate ‘expression of their position as citizens, one worthy of respect’.

A Russian hacking specialist said last night: ‘There is no hard evidence that the hacking was done from Tomsk, though it might have been. 'There has been speculation the hackers were Russian. It appears to have been a sophisticated and well-run operation, that had a political motive given the timing in relation to Copenhagen.’ And news website, having received information about the Tomsk server connection, said: ‘Presumably it was Russian hackers who broke into the servers of the university.’

The university said that there was strict security on its server, heightening the theory that an extremely sophisticated hacking operation was carried out to obtain it.

East Anglia University has gone out of its way to promote itself to students from the former Soviet Union. Its website says that 33 Russian students currently study there. It is not known if they have fallen under suspicion as part of the police investigation.

Tomsk – 2,190 miles east of Moscow – was closed to foreigners during the Soviet era. Its population of 630,000 includes the secret satellite city of Seversk, formerly known as Tomsk-7 and seven miles to the north, which houses strategic uranium and plutonium plants and remains shut to Westerners. It was built in the Fifties by 20,000 prisoners from nearby Siberian labour camps. Today, the city, and especially Seversk, remains closely monitored by the FSB, the successor security service to the Soviet-era KGB....

The Mail on Sunday tracked down Professor Ross McKitrick, a world-renowned expert on the economic effects of climate change, who said Prof Jones had tried to stop his findings being published in an influential UN report. Prof McKitrick concluded that Jones and his colleagues at the CRU had overstated the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures by failing to take account of external factors linked to population growth and urbanisation.

The attempt to silence McKitrick was revealed in an email from Jones to a US colleague in 2004, when the UN was preparing for a major report by the IPCC. After describing McKitrick’s findings as ‘garbage’ and dismissing another researcher’s work as inaccurate, Prof Jones wrote: ‘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! Cheers, Phil.’ ‘Kevin’ is understood to refer to Dr Kevin Trenberth, a Jones ally and climate analyst at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.


IPCC investigation likely to be biased

The United Nations panel on climate change has promised to investigate claims that scientists at a British university deliberately manipulated data to support the theory of man-made global warming. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said that the allegations raised by leaked e-mails in the so-called "climategate" controversy were too serious to ignore. "We will certainly go into the whole lot and then we will take a position on it," he told BBC Radio 4's The Report programme. "We certainly don’t want to brush anything under the carpet. This is a serious issue and we will look into it in detail."

The controversy was sparked by the publication two weeks ago of hundreds of hacked e-mails to and from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Climate change sceptics around the world jumped on the e-mails as proof of a long-running conspiracy to skew the science of global warming and have prompted a public debate on the real threat from climate change ahead of next week's summit in Copenhagen.

Critics of the IPCC, which has spent more than 20 years engineering what it says is a now global consensus on climate change, today questioned whether it could be trusted to make an unbiased examination of the case. "I don't think anyone can trust the IPCC on this particular issue," said Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which was set up by the former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson. "Obviously the IPCC has a vested interest in this," he added. "It's not transparent and it's inherently biased on this issue. We welcome the independent inquiry, but we are spectical about the IPCC."

The UEA has already appointed a former civil servant, Sir Muir Russell, to head an independent inquiry into allegations of misconduct by its scientists. The director of the CRU, Professor Phil Jones, has announced that he will stand down for the duration of that inquiry.

One of the leaked e-mails suggested that Dr Jones wanted certain papers excluded from the UN's next major assessment of climate science. Dr Jones strenuously denies this was his intention and says other e-mails have been taken out of context. He labelled suggestions of a conspiracy to alter evidence to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming as "complete rubbish".

Sir Muir's review will also look at CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, reviewing and publishing data and research, and its compliance with the university’s rules on freedom of information inquiries. The investigation would review and make recommendations on CRU’s security and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds, the university said. It would be completed by spring next year and its conclusions made public.

Critics of the CRU say that it was instrumental in rewriting the historical record of climate change to erase what is known as the "medieval warm period" from the graphs to make it appear that the rise in global temperatures in the industrialised era are unprecedented and more than just a normal statistical deviation. The medieval warm period was followed by a period of cooling in which the Thames froze over.

The row has coincided with a hardening of positions before the Copenhagen summit, which is due to hammer out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol to be signed by 192 states on December 18. Speaking at an event at the Natural History Museum in London, the Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, welcomed the IPCC's decision to look at the CRU e-mails but said that it would not affect the scientific consensus. "We need maximum transparency including about all the data but it’s also very, very important to say one chain of e-mails, potentially misrepresented, does not undo the global science," he said. "I think we want to send a very clear message to people about that. The science is very clear about climate change and people should be in no doubt about that."

Mr Miliband warned that in the run-up to the crunch talks in Copenhagen, where world leaders will attempt to secure a new deal on cutting the emissions causing climate change, there were attempts to "throw dust" in people’s eyes over the issue. "We must resist that, and keep listening to the science and not subscribe to people who are frankly flat Earth-ers," he said. "There will be people that want to use this to try and undermine the science and we’re not going to let them."

He said reports that Saudi Arabia believed the e-mails cast doubt on the evidence of man-made global warming and would have a huge impact on the climate talks in Copenhagen did not tally with his conversations with ministers from the country.


Which side do you trust?

Despite the unfolding international "climate change" scandal involving the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, President Barack Obama's ideological presuppositions on global warming remain unshaken, and he will still happily attend the Copenhagen global warming conference.

This unprecedented fraud by a "team" of politicized scientists whose research has generated some $20 million in research grants for the CRU hasn't deterred Obama from his energy- and economy-destroying agenda any more than double-digit unemployment figures have dissuaded him from his failed Keynesian policies. Nor is Obama bothered by the incestuous relationship among the CRU, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Copenhagen summit.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sniffed that corruption at the highest levels of climate change intelligentsia -- corruption, mind you, that bears directly on the underlying science -- doesn't alter the president's firm opinion that "climate change is happening." "I don't think that's anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore," said Gibbs. "I think there's no real scientific basis for the dispute of this."

Oh? Is this administration so myopic as to be dangerously ignorant? So arrogant that it deems dissenting opinions unworthy of acknowledgment? Or just old-fashioned liars?

The intellectually honest can't deny there is widespread debate over the existence of man-made catastrophic global warming. More than 31,000 scientists, 9,000 of whom have Ph.D.s, signed a petition urging our government to reject the Kyoto Protocol, and 100 more endorsed an ad by the Cato Institute disputing the president's "facts" on global warming. Also, countless books have been written refuting the exaggerated, distorted claims of the warming lobby.

Just this week, Australian professor Ian Plimer, author of "Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science," skewered the global warming movement for treating the public like "fools" and using climate change fears to increase taxes. The "climate lobby," he said, is committed to keeping the "gravy train" going. Plimer told his London audience: "Climates always change. They always have, and they always will. They are driven by a number of factors that are random and cyclical."

Plimer dismissed the notion that man-made increases in CO2 levels are the driving force behind temperature changes, saying they are instead caused by natural events, such as the shifting of the Earth's orbit, cosmic radiation and volcanic eruptions. "Carbon dioxide levels have been up to 1,000 times higher in the past," he said. "CO2 cannot be driving global warming now."

Also contradicting Gibbs' pronouncement are Craig Idso, S. Fred Singer and dozens of their scientific colleagues, who authored the scholarly 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, "Climate Change Reconsidered."

The NIPCC was established "to examine the same climate data used by the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" in support of its three-volume report alleging the catastrophic effects of global warming.

The NIPCC rejected the IPCC's finding that "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." The NIPCC, like professor Plimer, concluded just the opposite -- that "natural causes are very likely to be the dominant cause."

None of this would be that newsworthy but for the fact that the left, including the Obama administration, is trying to make fundamental changes to our political system and our economy based on this highly disputed, secular, faith-based alarmist "science."

Indeed, the Copenhagen summit seeks to secure what the Kyoto treaty could not: a binding commitment of the United States to forfeit and delegate its sovereignty through international treaties that would require us to radically reduce our CO2 emissions and damage our economy more than Kyoto would have while exempting major developing countries and producing negligible environmental benefits. (The Heritage Foundation reports that an Energy Information Administration study projected costs of U.S. compliance with Kyoto to be between $100 billion and $397 billion annually. Heritage also reveals that since Kyoto in 1997, its signatory countries have increased their emissions faster than the U.S., which declined to ratify it.)

In light of ClimateGate, serious people studying the global warming issue and the staggering consequences of political decisions based on it should consider the relative credibility of the opposing sides of this debate. Which of the two sides insists, despite vigorous dissent, that there is no debate; uses intimidation and ridicule to suppress and discredit this dissent; refuses to hold itself accountable for repeated false alarms (e.g., Paul Ehrlich, Ted Danson, Al Gore, etc.); has often been caught manufacturing data to fit its predetermined conclusions; has an economic and political agenda driving its science; has been tainted by millions of dollars in corrupting research grants; and is recommending policies that are objectively imprudent and to the manifest detriment of the United States?

Which side do you trust?


Himalayan Glacier Melt Timetable in error

The UN panel on climate change warning that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035 is wildly inaccurate, an academic says. J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario Trent University, says he believes the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years. He is astonished they "misread 2350 as 2035". The authors deny the claims.

Leading glaciologists say the report has caused confusion and "a catalogue of errors in Himalayan glaciology".

The Himalayas hold the planet's largest body of ice outside the polar caps - an estimated 12,000 cubic kilometres of water. They feed many of the world's great rivers - the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmaputra - on which hundreds of millions of people depend.

In its 2007 report, the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said: "Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. "Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2035," the report said. It suggested three quarters of a billion people who depend on glacier melt for water supplies in Asia could be affected.

But Professor Cogley has found a 1996 document by a leading hydrologist, VM Kotlyakov, that mentions 2350 as the year by which there will be massive and precipitate melting of glaciers. "The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates - its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometres by the year 2350," Mr Kotlyakov's report said.

Mr Cogley says it is astonishing that none of the 10 authors of the 2007 IPCC report could spot the error and "misread 2350 as 2035". "I do suggest that the glaciological community might consider advising the IPCC about ways to avoid such egregious errors as the 2035 versus 2350 confusion in the future," says Mr Cogley.

He said the error might also have its origins in a 1999 news report on retreating glaciers in the New Scientist magazine.


Australia: Climate backlash hits a government in denial

When Julia Gillard faced the media outside Federal Parliament in Canberra on Wednesday she looked shell-shocked. She then proceeded to give the most jittery, hollow, nonsensical performance of her career. It was pantomime of the lowest order. "Today the climate change extremists and deniers in the Liberal Party have stopped this nation from taking decisive action on climate change," the Deputy Prime Minister said, deadpan, into a thicket of cameras and recorders.

Extremists and deniers. In case anyone had missed the point, she repeated the phrase five times. "Now [we] have been stopped by the Liberal Party extremists and the climate change deniers. This nation has been stopped from taking a major step in the nation's interests by Liberal Party extremists and climate change deniers." This is clearly going to be the mantra the Rudd Government uses to describe anyone who opposes its pointless legislation on an emissions trading scheme.

Gillard used the terms "denier" or "denial" 11 times, pointed words because they carry the connotation of Holocaust denial. The last time that tactic was used in the national debate, after the release of the Bringing Them Home report, it exploded on those who used it.

So this is going to get interesting because the political ground has shifted in the past six months. It is now the Rudd Government that appears to be in a state of denial. And not just the Rudd Government. The election analyst Malcolm Mackerras told The Australian on Friday: "I think there will be a big swing against the Liberal Party in both Bradfield and Higgins [byelections on Saturday]. The effect of that swing will be that the Greens will take Higgins from the Liberals … Higgins and Bradfield would be the electorates in which people most strongly feel resentment at climate change denialists. That is why electing Abbott was a complete disaster. They will get a terrible shock on Saturday night, they really will."

In contrast to this nonsense, Australia's top election expert, Antony Green, predicted on his ABC blog that the Liberals should win both races comfortably. After the results were in, Green found no discernible swing to the Greens. So who is in denial now? Tony Abbott's political manifesto, Battlelines, published on July 28, confronted the subject of climate change. He quoted and supported the Swedish climate dissident, Bjorn Lomborg: "Natural science has undeniably shown us that global warming is man-made and real. "But just as undeniable is the economic science, which makes it clear that a narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions could leave future generations lumbered with major costs, without major cuts in temperatures."

Abbott reiterated this position at his first press conference as leader on Wednesday: "I think that climate change is real and that man does make a contribution … [But] the last thing we should be doing is rushing through a great big new tax just so that Kevin Rudd can take a trophy to Copenhagen."

Abbott is thus neither an extremist nor a denier on climate change. He is a sceptic about emissions trading schemes. It is a defining difference, because there is much to be sceptical about. The Greens, in voting down the legislation, said they would rather have no scheme than this scheme. At the other end of the analysis spectrum, the noted business commentator Robert Gottliebsen wrote: "Finally the full horror of Kevin Rudd's carbon trading legislation for business is starting to dawn on some Liberal Party politicians."

The public mood has also shifted. There is now majority support for waiting until after the Copenhagen climate summit this month and the setting up of a global template for action.

The upswelling of grassroots opposition to the Rudd's ETS was impressive in both its scale and vehemence. Here, too, there has been a great deal of denial. When I wrote last week that more than 400,000 emails had been sent to Coalition members urging them to vote down the ETS, some people commented that this was a bogus number and a bogus campaign, driven by the technology of mass emailing. This, too, is wishful thinking. As the Liberal senator Cory Bernardi explained: "These are not spam emails. They are not like the junk mail campaigns that the Greens run and Get Up! run. These are real people writing about their personal situations." Coalition members have been logging the email traffic because it is a precious electoral resource, and most of the emails are individually written, not group mail. I've looked at hundreds of them. "I've never seen any like it," Bernardi said. "My office has received more than 10,000 emails. When I put an online petition against the ETS on my website last month I got 4818 responses in about 60 hours. Most of my colleagues have seen traffic like this."

The point Gillard missed in her "extremists and deniers" pantomime was that her government had failed dismally to explain its legislation to the public. People crave authenticity in their elected representatives, not spin. Thus the unlikely hero to emerge from the Liberal carnage last week was Ian Macfarlane, the man with a gravel pit for a larynx. People love authenticity and loyalty and Macfarlane has these qualities in spades. He should be promoted when Abbott remakes his shadow ministry.



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1 comment:

D.N.P D said...

ClimateGate alone now requires that questions are asked and answers demanded, in the public interest, of the following Australian IPCC lead authors:

Professor D. Karoly Melbourne University

Professor A. Pitman UNSW

Their data sources have been 'purchased' with public funds for public purposes. Those data must now be verified in the event that CRU (ClimateGate) data have been used. If CRU data have not been used then there is a considerable hole in the values assigned in their models. An explanation is required either way.

Pitman blocks my emails. Karoly will not keep promises to review an article by NZ scientist Dr. Gray, a former IPCC expert reviewer, critical of IPCC science/modelling. That promise was made over 18 months ago!

What is their problem? Loss of face, power, funding, overseas trips..?

Another Australian climate scientist is Professor Brook of Adelaide - his abusive emails to me following a letter with 3 others from UK, The Netherlands and Greenland, published by the UN a couple of years ago - make those to and from CRU look like 'play school'! We showed temperature stasis and decline between 1998-2007 - and rising CO2 - and a please explain - no reply.

Karoly, Pitman, Brook et al assert that anthropogenic CO2 DOES cause warming - but real science presents the issue as a NULL hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 DOES NOT cause warming - - so proof please or the null hypothesis must be rejected - that's science - unfortunatley!