Sunday, July 31, 2011

Raw climate data finally disgorged after lawsuit

Despite the huffing and puffing below I can see no legitimate reason why it was EVER withheld. Is the weather a secret?

It's going to be interesting to see how "raw" the data is. Some comparisons with independent records will be possible and past such comparisons have revealed huge manipulations. The Warmists below are gearing up for that

Anyone can now view for themselves the raw data that was at the centre of last year's "climategate" scandal.

Temperature records going back 150 years from 5113 weather stations around the world were yesterday released to the public by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. The only records missing are from 19 stations in Poland, which refused to allow them to be made public.

"We released [the dataset] to dispel the myths that the data have been inappropriately manipulated, and that we are being secretive," says Trevor Davies, the university's pro-vice-chancellor for research. "Some sceptics argue we must have something to hide, and we've released the data to pull the rug out from those who say there isn't evidence that the global temperature is increasing."
Hand it over

The university were ordered to release data by the UK Information Commissioner's Office, following a freedom-of-information request for the raw data from researchers Jonathan Jones of the University of Oxford and Don Keiller of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK.

Davies says that the university initially refused on the grounds that the data is not owned by the CRU but by the national meteorological organisations that collect the data and share it with the CRU.

When the CRU's refusal was overruled by the information commissioner, the UK Met Office was recruited to act as a go-between and obtain permission to release all the data.

Poland refused, and the information commissioner overruled Trinidad and Tobago's wish for the data it supplied on latitudes between 30 degrees north and 40 degrees south to be withheld, as it had been specifically requested by Jones and Keiller in their FOI request and previously shared with other academics.
The price

The end result is that all the records are there, except for Poland's. Davies's only worry is that the decision to release the Trinidad and Tobago data against its wishes may discourage the open sharing of data in the future. Other research organisations may from now on be reluctant to pool data they wish to be kept private.

Thomas Peterson, chief scientist at the National Climatic Data Center of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and president of the Commission for Climatology at the World Meteorological Organization, agrees there might be a cost to releasing the data.

"I have historic temperature data from automatic weather stations on the Greenland ice sheet that I was able to obtain from Denmark only because I agreed not to release them," he says. "If countries come to expect that sharing of any data with anyone will eventually lead to strong pressure for them to fully release those data, will they be less willing to collaborate in the future?"

Davies is confident that genuine and proper analysis of the raw data will reproduce the same incontrovertible conclusion - that global temperatures are rising. "The conclusion is very robust," he says, explaining that the CRU's dataset of land temperatures tally with those from other independent research groups around the world, including those generated by the NOAA and NASA.

"Should people undertake analyses and come up with different conclusions, the way to present them is through publication in peer-reviewed journals, so we know it's been through scientific quality control," says Davies.
No convincing some people

Other mainstream researchers and defenders of the consensus are not so confident that the release will silence the sceptics. "One can hope this might put an end to the interminable discussion of the CRU temperatures, but the experience of GISTEMP - another database that's been available for years - is that the criticisms will continue because there are some people who are never going to be satisfied," says Gavin Schmidt of Columbia University in New York.

"Sadly, I think this will just lead to a new round of attacks on CRU and the Met Office," says Bob Ward, communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. "Sceptics will pore through the data looking for ways to criticise the processing methodology in an attempt to persuade the public that there's doubt the world has warmed significantly."

The CRU and its leading scientist, Phil Jones, were at the centre of the so-called "climategate" storm in 2009 when the unit was accused of withholding and manipulating data. It was later cleared of the charge.


Do high levels of CO2 PREVENT tornadoes?

The statistics says that they do

As CO2 has increased, the number of F3-F5 tornadoes has decreased. Extrapolating the trend, we can see that at 480 ppm there would be zero severe tornadoes.


Another Radical Enviro at Interior

Believe it or not, something other than the debt ceiling debate is going on in Washington.

Yesterday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a confirmation hearing for Rebecca Wodder, the Obama nominee to be Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the Department of the Interior.

While the title may sound small-potatoes, the office is the second most powerful at Interior. Wodder would replace Tom Strickland who resigned in January. As the Assistant Secretary, Wodder would oversee "an empire."

Wodder has a well established record as an environmental left-wing ideologue. According to the Washington Examiner, she is a "former Wilderness Society official and current chief executive officer of Big Green's dam-killing, water grabbing, natural gas enemy, American Rivers Inc."

During the hearing, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski gave Wodder the opportunity to retract her previous statement that hydraulic fracturing (fracing) "has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams." But, Wodder refused.

Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, an aggressive environmental activist herself, recently testified that there is no confirmed case of fracing contaminating groundwater.

Multiple other EPA officials have confirmed to Congress that there is no evidence to support Wodder's contention that has become the latest mythical attack strategy adopted by the left. But, facts are of no concern to the radical left.
"Ms. Wodder's testimony today has only confirmed my initial concerns about her nomination," Senator Inhofe said. "During the hearing, Senator Murkowski provided an opportunity for Ms. Wodder to retract her previous statement that hydraulic fracturing 'has a nasty track record of creating a toxic chemical soup that pollutes groundwater and streams...' Yet, she refused, proving herself to be beholden to an extremist environmental agenda. Ms. Wodder's statement, of course, counters the testimony of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and several Obama administration officials who have repeatedly said before Congress that there has not been a single confirmed case of groundwater contamination due to the hydraulic fracturing process.

If confirmed, Wodder would join Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who has already established the "most anti-oil and gas record in U.S. history."


Heartland Replies to Nature

Nature, the widely respected science journal, has a feature story and an unsigned editorial in its latest issue addressing The Heartland Institute's contribution to the global debate over climate change. The articles can be read (for free) at the following links: and

These articles are surely a sign that the debate is not over regarding the causes and consequences of climate change and what, if anything, should be done to alter the human influence on climate. But the articles themselves hardly do justice to our efforts, or the efforts of many scientists who are speaking out against the fake "consensus" that Nature itself has done so much to promote in its coverage of climate change.

Turning first to the feature story by Jeff Tollefson, titled "The Sceptic Meets His Match," I've thanked Mr. Tollefson for an article that is, by and large, fair and accurate. He accurately summarizes my position, saying "he does not necessarily deny that humans are having an influence on the climate, but he does question the forecasts of catastrophic impacts and the rationale for curbing carbon emissions." But there are some important errors and omissions we wish to correct.

* Two of the five critics of our efforts he quotes are the world's most notorious global warming alarmists who have made it their business to exaggerate the scientific certainty of climate predictions and the impacts of climate change, and to suppress academic debate and demonize skeptics. It's no surprise they object to our calling them out. The third critic works for an organization started by and still run by President Bill Clinton's former global warming advisor and Kyoto negotiator - no partisan bias there! Al Gore would be no less objective or credible a judge of our work than these three advocates. More about the remaining two critics in a moment.

* The article implies we rely on a 1999 NASA study to argue for the existence of a natural "heat vent" over the tropics that cools the Earth as ocean temperatures rise. In fact, this discovery has been documented in a series of peer-reviewed studies, many of them reported in our 800-page report, Climate Change Reconsidered, and the controversy is being hotly debated in the leading journals today. We summarized and cited research questioning this discovery and its implications as well as seeming to confirm them.

* One of the authors of the 1999 NASA study (the fourth of the five critics) is quoted as disagreeing with our interpretation of his findings. It is good journalism to report this, but it underscores a point I made repeatedly during the interview and make in all my writing on climate change, which is that most scientists working in this field "believe" in man-made global warming even though their own published work punches big holes in the scientific foundations of that belief. This is an important point.

It is easy to cry wolf and make scary predictions in presentations to Congress or even in classrooms, but scholars who do this often publish research that either contradicts basic tenets of alarmism or contains admissions of major gaps in knowledge that would be necessary to predict future climate conditions. Either this is hollow careerism and ought to be subject to public criticism, or it is cognitive dissonance - holding two contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time. If the latter, it is probably caused by the complexity of the issue (we must trust the judgment of scientists working in other fields to form opinions on subjects we are not ourselves expert about) and its close association with social and economic agendas (we want to believe something is true even if our own research suggests it is not).

Is this an outrageous claim or an attack on the integrity of working scientists? Absolutely not. It is a standard theme in many books on the history of science, dating back at least as far as Charles Mackay's 1841 classic, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, and as recently as Mike Hulme's 2009 tome, Why We Disagree About Climate Change. Hulme, not incidentally, is no skeptic: He contributes to the alarmist IPCC reports and works at the University of East Anglia (home of the Climategate scandal). Even he admits that his position is based on belief rather than scientific understanding and is inseparable from his partisan political beliefs.

* Roger Pielke Jr., the fifth and final critic quoted by Tollefson, is admirable for his ability to stay suspended in mid-air for years between the two camps of alarmists and skeptics. One of these days, he'll need to plant his feet in one camp or another, and because he's a good scientist, I believe it will be in ours. He is quoted characterizing Climate Change Reconsidered as "a big fat bowl of cherries." The reference is to "cherry picking," or citing only the scientific reports that support one's point of view. But Climate Change Reconsidered has (I am told) 4,235 source citations. How many examples do we need of scientists writing in peer-reviewed journals admitting that the science doesn't support claims of man-made catastrophic warming before we can conclude that skepticism, not alarmism, is the real position of most scientists? I think we passed that threshold hundreds or even thousands of citations ago. Frankly, it's getting boring pointing this out over and over again. Only people who are blinded by ideology or careerism are still defending a hypothesis that has been soundly and repeatedly debunked.

* Finally, contrary to Mr. Tollefson's claim, I do not "dismiss" the findings of Bray and von Storch's latest international survey of climate scientists. In fact, I write about it because it demonstrates once again the extent of disagreement among scientists over the underlying science. Approximately two-thirds of the questions about the underlying science of climate reveal deep uncertainty or outright skepticism, even as 85 percent of the scientists who participated say they "believe" in AGW. So what questions help us get closer to the truth about climate change? Questions about the science, which the scientists actually understand and say is missing or contradicts alarmist predictions? Or questions about how they feel or what they believe about global warming? The right choice should be obvious, but good luck finding a reporter willing to ask these questions and make that choice.

Turning now to the unsigned editorial, titled "Heart of the Matter," the difference in tone and rhetoric from Tollefson's essay could hardly be greater. According to the editorial, The Heartland Institute's conferences - which have drawn more than 2,000 scientists and other experts from some 20 countries - are "curious affairs," "easy to lampoon," "predictable," and "absurdities." Nature deigns to recognize us, we are told, only because "closing our eyes will not make the climate sceptics go away." Well, they at least got that part right.

The editorial admits that Climate Change Reconsidered "is well sourced and based on scientific papers," but complains it "makes many bold assertions that are often questionable or misleading, and do not highlight the uncertainties." The complaint lacks any examples or substantiation, so it cannot be rebutted except to say "prove it." But the irony should not be overlooked that it was Nature's record of publishing misleading editorials and articles that hide uncertainties or make claims that cannot be replicated by other scientists that made publication of Climate Change Reconsidered necessary. If we err on the side of being too skeptical, it is only because we are trying to restore balance to a ship that is listing so far to one side that it is in imminent danger of capsizing.

Finally, the editors declare they are in pursuit of "a theory that can explain observations of the world," whereas the skeptics seem content to point out gaps in that theory. "The Heartland Institute and its ilk," they say, "are not trying to build a theory of anything." Well, where to begin?

I am not a scientist, and it certainly is not my place to tell the editors of such an esteemed publication as Nature what they ought to be about. But it is my understanding of the scientific method that it proceeds by the falsification of hypotheses, not their defense by every means possible, which is what Nature and regrettably other leading science journals have resorted to in the case of man-made climate change. The goal ought not to be to defend a hypothesis, but to test it, and if it fails, to consider competing hypotheses and test those just as rigorously.

Nature, it seems to this nonscientist observer, has lost its way. Until the journal opens its eyes, it will not be a serious voice on climate science.


How We Know That Climate Alarmism Is A Joke

John Cook posted the picture above.

Some minor problems. Over the last decade, winter temperatures have been plummeting

“Nights warming faster than days”

That is known as the Urban Heat Island effect.

Less heat escaping into space.

Not according to NASA satellites.

Pattern of ocean warming

Not according to NOAA buoys

The rest of Cook’s points related to CO2, not warming. What a ridiculous excuse for science.


Warmists are slowly sagging

Big-time Warmist "scientist" Trenberth admits that the sun is a factor in temperature changes. Just the relevant paragraph below.
In addition, I find the whole discussion to be out of touch with reality. The external radiative forcing of the climate system is mostly well known and comes from the changes in atmospheric composition (greenhouse gases) and the sun spot cycle etc. The part not so well known is the pollution (aerosol), but that is small. Nearly all of the variations in water vapor and clouds, except for those affected by aerosol, are a response to the weather and climate variations; they are NOT a forcing. This is a major error that continues in Spencer's work.

Tom Nelson says that professional warmist Joe Romm originally posted the above "naughty" graf on his site but later deleted it!



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


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