"Climategate"—Forget the Emails: What Will the Hacked Documents Tell Us?

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Climate Questions

Last week thousands of emails and documents were hacked from the British Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The emails revealed a lot of scientific nastiness and some efforts to suppress climate research with which CRU leaders disagreed.

But I've been wondering what insights about how climate data is put together by CRU researchers the hacked documents and models might hold? I assume that climate catastrophe skeptics are analyzing the CRU documents now. In one very preliminary analysis, British statistician William Briggs is not impressed by the CRU climatologists' statistical acumen: 

How do we know the temperature?

We have no direct observations of temperature—neither at the Earth's surface or in the atmosphere—for the vast majority of history. So how can we know what the temperature used to be in the absence of actual measurements?

We can't. We can only guess.

That's right, all those squiggly-line pictures of temperature you see from before roughly 1900 are reconstructions; the lines are what is spit out of statistical models. They are therefore merely guesses. Even stronger, we have no way to know exactly how good these reconstructions are. If we did, then, obviously, we would know the actual temperatures, because the only way to know the actual model error is to compare the model's predictions against the real data (which we don't know).

To emphasize: the actual—as opposed to theoretical model—error is unknown. But we must try and estimate this error—it is of utmost importance—otherwise we cannot make decisions about the reconstructions….

CRU document

One example from something called a "SOAP-D-15-berlin-d15-jj" document. A non-native English speaker shows a plot of various proxy reconstructions from which he wanted to "reconstruct millennial [Northern Hemisphere] temperatures." He said, "These attempts did not show, however, converge towards a unique millennial history, as shown in Fig. 1. Note that the proxy series have already undergone a linear transformation towards a best estimate to the CRU data (which makes them look more similar, cf. Briffa and Osborn, 2002)."

In other words, direct effort was made to finagle the various reconstructions so that they agreed with preconceptions. Those efforts failed. It's like being hit in the head with a hockey stick.

Briggs then goes on to list nine possible sources of error that could arise in reconstructing proxy temperature data and finds that only one was properly accounted for by CRU researchers:

Sources of reconstruction uncertainty

Here is a list of all the sources of error, variability, and uncertainty and whether those sources—as far as I can see: which means I might be wrong, but willing to be corrected—are properly accounted for by the CRU crew, and its likely effects on the certainty we have in proxy reconstructions:

  1. Source: The proxy relationship with temperature is assumed constant through time. Accounted: No. Effects: entirely unknown, but should boost uncertainty.
  2. Source: The proxy relationship with temperature is assumed constant through space. Accounted: No. Effects: A tree ring from California might not have the same temperature relationship as one from Greece. Boosts uncertainty.
  3. Source: The proxies are measured with error (the "on average" correlation mentioned above). Accounted: No. Effects: certainly boosts uncertainty.
  4. Source: Groups of proxies are sometimes smoothed before input to models. Accounted: No. Effect: a potentially huge source of error; smoothing always increases "signal", even when those signals aren't truly there. Boost uncertainty by a lot.
  5. Source: The choice of the model m(). Accounted: No. Effect: results are always stated the model is true; potentially huge source of error. Boost uncertainty by a lot.
  6. Source: The choice of the model m() error term. Accounted: Yes. Effect: the one area where we can be confident of the statistics.
  7. Source: The results are stated as estimates of ? Accounted: No. Effects: most classical (frequentist and Bayesian) procedures state uncertainty results about parameters not about actual, physical observables. Boost uncertainty by anywhere from two to ten times.
  8. Source: The computer code is complex. multi-part, and multi-authored. Accounted: No. Effects: many areas for error to creep in; code is unaudited. Obviously boost uncertainty.
  9. Source: Humans with a point of view release results. Accounted: No. Effects: judging by the tone of the CRU emails, and what is as stake, certainly boost uncertainty.

There you have it: all the potential sources of uncertainty (I've no doubt forgotten something), only one of which is accounted for in interpreting results. Like I've been saying all along: too many people are too certain of too many things.

I hope that a lot of independent researchers will be taking close looks at the CRU documents to check on the accuracy of their interpretations of climate data. Of course, this wouldn't be an issue if climate researchers had made their data publicly available in the first place.

Whole Briggs analysis here.

Quick Addendum: It turns out my hopes for independent analysis are being fulfilled. Over at CBS News, correspondent Declan McCullagh reports that independent programmers are now looking into CRU code and finding some pretty disturbing things:

In addition to e-mail messages, the roughly 3,600 leaked documents posted on sites including Wikileaks.org and EastAngliaEmails.com include computer code and a description of how an unfortunate programmer named "Harry"—possibly the CRU's Ian "Harry" Harris—was tasked with resuscitating and updating a key temperature database that proved to be problematic. Some excerpts from what appear to be his notes, emphasis added:

I am seriously worried that our flagship gridded data product is produced by Delaunay triangulation—apparently linear as well. As far as I can see, this renders the station counts totally meaningless. It also means that we cannot say exactly how the gridded data is arrived at from a statistical perspective—since we're using an off-the-shelf product that isn't documented sufficiently to say that. Why this wasn't coded up in Fortran I don't know—time pressures perhaps? Was too much effort expended on homogenisation, that there wasn't enough time to write a gridding procedure? Of course, it's too late for me to fix it too. Meh.

I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that's the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight… So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!

One thing that's unsettling is that many of the assigned WMo codes for Canadian stations do not return any hits with a web search. Usually the country's met office, or at least the Weather Underground, show up – but for these stations, nothing at all. Makes me wonder if these are long-discontinued, or were even invented somewhere other than Canada!

Knowing how long it takes to debug this suite—the experiment endeth here. The option (like all the anomdtb options) is totally undocumented so we'll never know what we lost. 22. Right, time to stop pussyfooting around the niceties of Tim's labyrinthine software suites—let's have a go at producing CRU TS 3.0! since failing to do that will be the definitive failure of the entire project.

Ulp! I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can't get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the update prog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections—to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!),: As the leaked messages, and especially the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, found their way around technical circles, two things happened: first, programmers unaffiliated with East Anglia started taking a close look at the quality of the CRU's code, and second, they began to feel sympathetic for anyone who had to spend three years (including working weekends) trying to make sense of code that appeared to be undocumented and buggy, while representing the core of CRU's climate model.

One programmer highlighted the error of relying on computer code that, if it generates an error message, continues as if nothing untoward ever occurred. Another debugged the code by pointing out why the output of a calculation that should always generate a positive number was incorrectly generating a negative one. A third concluded: "I feel for this guy. He's obviously spent years trying to get data from undocumented and completely messy sources."

Programmer-written comments inserted into CRU's Fortran code have drawn fire as well. The file briffa_sep98_d.pro says: "Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!" and "APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION." Another, quantify_tsdcal.pro, says: "Low pass filtering at century and longer time scales never gets rid of the trend—so eventually I start to scale down the 120-yr low pass time series to mimic the effect of removing/adding longer time scales!"

Go here for McCullagh's report.

Hat tip to my colleague Peter Suderman for the McCullagh link.

NEXT: The Bullets of Egypt, Maine

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  1. No, don’t forget the emails. What I’ve seen so far is enough to damn them to hell.

    These people are not scientists; they are retarded fetuses and should be dealt with as such.

    1. YouTube videos are already out:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

      1. Hide the Decline. I like it.

    2. they are retarded fetuses

      Tee-hee. That clich? never gets old.

      1. So many levels of fun.

        Of course it doesn’t get old.

  2. Here is just a taste…

    Three Things You Absolutely Must Know About Climategate
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/t…..imategate/

    Competitive Enterprise Institute Sues NASA in Wake of Climategate Scandal
    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/c…..e-scandal/

  3. The key problem with reconstructed data is not the climate change since the Renaissance and the Little Ice Age. Anyone reading of historical records and comparisons to known ice sheets will confirm that the globe has warmed considerably in the last couple of centuries.

    The doubt is in the degree of change since the Middle Ages and possibly earlier warm and cold spells since 10,000 years ago.

    1. We had something called the “little ice age” that ran from about 1300 to about 1850. Are we getting warmer since then? Of course. It certainly does not prove that we are in great danger of “man made global warming”.

  4. … I might be wrong, but [I am] willing to be corrected …

    This should be the slogan of any scientist with integrity. When was the last time you heard such a sentiment expressed by a proponent of AGW?

  5. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!

  6. The mass of people are already sold on global warming/climate change, and these revelations will do little to change minds unless a movie with lots of explosions can be made based on the stolen and/or leaked documents.

    1. I don’t think so, this has already awaken a lot of people and it is still the beginning. A movie about this would certainly be welcome, although we have a few weeks until we get screwed with the Copenhaguem treaty.

      1. I don’t think so either. I was sold. Not to the extent that I was proselytizing, or to the extent that I thought we could or should do anything about it, but resigned to the proposition that yeah, we could very well be heating things up, and that it could have bad consequences.

        These revelations have knocked me back to strong skepticism, in the sense that now we can’t be sure one way or the other, and need to review the whole thing from scratch. Nice science, jerks.

        1. I used to glance at Monbiot’s latest twaddle whenever I dropped by the Grauniad to check their soccer coverage; the blazing intolerance shown to anyone evincing the slightest hint of skepticism was enough to convince me that something was fishy. If the evidence was actually the slam-dunk he claimed, you wouldn’t need such strong-arm tactics to get a working consensus.

    2. Really?

      The latest I’ve heard from recent opinion polls is that the percentage of people who don’t beleive it exceeds the perenctage of those who do.

    3. There is a reason that movie wasn’t made, even though Michael Crichton produced the novel (State of Fear).
      But now you get to watch it in real life.

  7. There’s almost nothing worse than getting owned by a statistician.

    1. What about having a colonoscopy performed by Dr. Hook?

    2. Truly, it is wise to fear us.

  8. If you lie for The Children, is it really a lie?

  9. A 2006 Wall Street Journal article on the inner workings of the CRU (aka the Enron of science):

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..06460.html

    …In addition to debunking the hockey stick, Mr. Wegman goes a step further in his report, attempting to answer why Mr. Mann’s mistakes were not exposed by his fellow climatologists. Instead, it fell to two outsiders, Messrs. McIntyre and McKitrick, to uncover the errors.

    Mr. Wegman brings to bear a technique called social-network analysis to examine the community of climate researchers. His conclusion is that the coterie of most frequently published climatologists is so insular and close-knit that no effective independent review of the work of Mr. Mann is likely. “As analyzed in our social network,” Mr. Wegman writes, “there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis.” He continues: “However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”

    In other words, climate research often more closely resembles a mutual-admiration society than a competitive and open-minded search for scientific knowledge. And Mr. Wegman’s social-network graphs suggest that Mr. Mann himself — and his hockey stick — is at the center of that network….

  10. So now, when are they going to leak Obama’s birth certificate?

    1. Forget that. I want his test scores and grade transcripts.

      1. Yeah, I’d like to know how a coke-addled slacker got into Harvard law…wait, no never mind.

        1. coke, mixed with some intellect, mixed with a “diverse background,” and not being white

          fuck that makes me racist.

        2. I’d like to know how it’s suddenly okay.

      2. Mr. Half-Transparent likes to hide those.

        His presidency should be the death blow for Affirmative Action; it’s too bad it’s more likely to be the death blow for America.

        1. Try to stay on subject and quit being so dramatic.

          1. There go half the comments on any given Reason blog post.

          2. When the US dollar is worth 0 what do you think happens?

        2. The last one wasn’t a death blow for legacy admissions, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

          1. Someone mentioned Michael Oppenheimer down below, so no death blow.

  11. Soon, all of the data they’ve been trying to manipulate and hide all these years will be opened up to the entire world through the beautiful process of legal discovery.

    1. Except whatever information they have managed to delete to confound that discovery.

  12. I was taught statistics by an extremely sexy young Greek professor. I wish she would have owned me.

    1. Hoping to experience her standard deviations?

      1. Body shots out of her ANOVA?

      2. Sounds very ergodic.

        1. So what was your expectation? Were you hoping to check out her posterior distribution?

          Ah, but I regress…

          1. Normal desires, no doubt

    2. You’d never get the smell of tzatziki out of the sheets…

    3. Was she from Lesbos?

    4. I got jipped. I had an old Israeli dude, old Indian dude, and scary as hell recluse guy that would say about 8 words per class and fill 8 whiteboards 3 times over every class.

      The running joke among math majors was they were actually language majors. By the time you got any math degree you could speak Mandarin, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, and a few others.

  13. Wow! “Harry” uses way too many interjections (and exclamation points!) to be taken seriously!

  14. Did I miss something, or is it the case that once Mann, et al, got everyone obsessed with global warming a decade ago, everyone started tracking global temps, and once everyone started tracking global temps, and Mann was no longer the only source of temperature info, warming disappeared? It seems as if warming is only visible in temp data Mann controls.

    1. You did not miss anything, you’re correct. The rising temperature trend disappeared once many more temperature readings were done with many more instruments than in the last Century and reviewd by more pairs of eyes.

      1. Nope, there is a temperature trend and it is at the moment still going slightly upward. But it is nothing that is catastrophic or a problem. We can easily adapt to that.

  15. No, no, no! This is calumny! The science is settled! There is further more evidence that the evidence they allegedly doctored! I refuse to believe that my believes were based on flim-flam! I refuse, I refuse, I refuse!

    Mommy!

  16. Somewhere an Al Gore polar bear is auditioning for a coca-cola commercial.

  17. Makes me wonder if these are long-discontinued, or were even invented somewhere other than Canada!

    My god people! We’re through the looking glass now. The problem is “somewhere other than Canada.”

    Wherever that is.

  18. I can’t believe something this important wasn’t done in fortran.

    Does anyone know what language the model was programmed in?

    1. Some of the code samples are in IDL. The semicolons for comment markers are a dead give-away.

      Real scientists use Matlab!

      1. Before matlab, real scientists(and us scumsucking engineers) used fortran though. Since their code has probably been floating around 20-25 years, I’m no surprised it uses fortran, especially given the complexity of what they’re trying to model.

        Given that fortran compilers have been tweaked and optimized to the max in the last 50+ years, its just about the fastest compiled code around. Makes it great for modeling big complex things, like climate…

        ***the above is not to defend CRU in any way shape or form***

        1. I test the code that runs on a 747. The test simulator code is in FORTRAN. The tests that run on the simulator are in FORTRAN. I have been debugging FORTRAN all day. The code on the card-file …8051 … 1989 original code base. I so love my life.

          1. not the code … some code.

      2. They could have done it in R.

      3. Real scientists sure as hell don’t use an interpreted language. Oh, Matlab is nice for drawing pretty pictures, I’ll give it that.

        1. Neither do real Scotsmen.

        2. Oh yeah? I am sure NASA is not real scientists are they?

          http://uarc.ucsc.edu/flight-co…..view.shtml

        3. Aeh, yes, they do? Every program and every language has its strong areas. And Matlab, as a signal processing language has various advantages, especially in accessibility and ease of use.

          But hey, there are always people who just want hard-core coding. Others want fast and reliable results, because they don’t have the time or the money to get into fortran =)

          1. I’ve implemented the essential Stefan-Boltzmann&Kirchhoff; relationships in a true spherical form in a few lines of modern array programming language on my website . It’s far more general and realistic than the essentially one dimensional calculations one commonly sees and makes it easy to understand why our temperature is tightly constrained to be about 1/21 the temperature the sun decides to be . It’s been translated into a couple of more accessible APLs and its half dozen lines are probably equivalent to quite a few pages of Fortran . The APL is too concise to have any bugs .

      4. Not if they’re in any kind of hurry.

        Matlab is god-awful slow if you’ve got some serious number crunching to do — in which case, it’s really hard to beat a good fortran compiler.

        1. Real scientists use machine code

          1. Uh… you could plot the actual data with a damn pencil, now couldn’t you – I mean if you wanted to show what was happening.
            That’s extremely simple.
            The complexity lies in the lies.

  19. Does anyone know what language the model was programmed in?

    FraudScript.

  20. Harry does strike me as someone trying to do things right, but caught in an organization that couldn’t give a fuck as long as they get the result they want (this is sin number 1 in statistics).

    What I am gobsmacked by is the idea that any research is a taken seriously without all models, techniques and assumptions behind that research being open to public scrutiny and peer review (and theft is necessary to make it so).

    1. Harry’s text is some of the best existential literature I have read since reading Exit the King for a French class twenty years ago.

      Maybe, ten, if you count Dog Soldiers, but it is definitely up there.

      1. Actually, from my tech writing experience, it’s typical writing for a programmer. Most of them seem to use English as a second language. (Or third language, if born outside the English-speaking world.)

    2. What I am gobsmacked by, is the fact that so many (theoretically) educated people bought into this whole goddamned theory, when the “theory” behind it was so obviously questionable and easily attacked.

      If this doesn’t teach people to question authority — all authority — then nothing will.

      Of course, nothing will.

  21. Ed Begley would be chewing through his restraints if the orderlies hadn’t taken out his dentures.

    1. Ask and thee shall receive.

      Ed frothing at around 3 something.

      The narrowness of his thought process to only believe climatologist and not the other million sciences or needed expertise to evaluate things like this.

      1. Beware, Stewart Varney, Fox news, Neil Cavuto show.

        Some might go into convulsions with that mixture.

      2. Yeah, that was the reference. The poor man is watching his whole life fall apart before his eyes, and Stuart Varney is playing tiddlywinks with the pieces.

    2. That dude is still alive? Something seems very anachronistic about that. It is like the fishermen who caught the ‘living fossil’ in the Indian Ocean several decades ago to see Ed on YouTube.

    3. Ed Begley Jr.: one class act!

  22. Soon, all of the data they’ve been trying to manipulate and hide all these years will be opened up to the entire world through the beautiful process of legal discovery.

    Even the lightest perusal of the emails and code comments shows that the reason the Consensus has been so intent to hide and destroy data is because it’s all crap. There’s something very, very close to no information in the modern temperature numbers, so the models have been kludged to massage noise into Global Warming.

    The comparatively good (but still mostly crap) “paleo” data has obviously been malevolently mishandled just to keep the story straight. That isn’t the timebomb in the “hack,” though.

    The “Of course there’s warming, but…” crowd has been browbeaten into a really, really stupid and cowardly position. It’ll be a chore to pry them out of it.

  23. What I am gobsmacked by is the idea that any research is a taken seriously without all models, techniques and assumptions behind that research being open to public scrutiny and peer review

    Now do you global warming alarmists understand why we global warming sceptics have been sceptical all these years?

    Ron Bailey: Several years ago you wrote an article saying you now believed that global warming is true. In light of these recent revelations, have you re-evaluated your position (forgive me if you have stated it elsewhere, I don’t get to lurk here as often as I used to).

    1. Someone needs to ask Ron this ToughQuestion and upload the results to YouTube.

    2. Didn’t the hide and claim data lost or portions of models lost when asked to produce them? I remember some mini scandal about something along those lines that was a huge red flag for me. You don’t just lose data or portions of models when doing research. It’s your fucking life, you will damn near sleep with the text or hard drive if you have to.

        1. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2…..u_missing/

          fucking SF grumble grumble

      1. This is MY RIFLE!
        This is MY GUN!
        This is MY HARDDRIVE!
        This one is for data keeping,
        And this is where store all MY FUN!

  24. WHAT THE H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS IS GOING ON WITH THE SCIRNCE WORLD

    1. Oh gawd, Joez law has crossbred with Mary.

  25. Ok, admit it. Is there really any more reason to trust a scientist than there is to trust your garden variety snake-handler?

    1. WELL IF U SCIENTST SO SMART ANSWER ME IF WE COMED FROM MONKEYS WHYCOME THERE STILL BE MONKEYS???

      1. Scientists are human beings. They are no less prone to vanity and corruption and pride than the rest of us. That’s not to say a scientist is inherently untrustworthy, but he’s not some sort of god.

        1. I remember thoreau getting really pissed off one day around here when I said that same thing.

          Let’s shout it from the roof tops:

          SCIENTISTS ARE AS CAPABLE OF GROUP THINK AS ANY OTHER SEGMENT OF THE HUMAN POPULATION.

    2. Scientists perform science.

      The Technocracy shapes Consensus.

    3. They’re agents of Technocracy, not scientists. The emphasis on Consensus should have been the giveaway.

    4. Nope…always check out who is signing the paychecks – the data will be skewed in that direction….

  26. It’s not what we can do to fix AGW, it’s what can fixing global warming do to further our schemes?

  27. Time for Al Gore to dust off the Oscar and the Nobel Prize and get them packed up for shipment back to those who wrongfully awarded them to him.

    1. Seeing Al Gore completly discreted and held up for ridicule for the rest of his life would be almost as great an outcome from all these relevations as the torpedoing of any cap and tax legislation.

  28. Let’s just rename the CRU to the Church of St. Gaia and be done with it. These people aren’t scientists; they’re religious cultists.

  29. Hmm…It seems just a week or two ago that there were some pretty fervent AGW believers here. They seem pretty scarce today.

  30. So when does every social conservative (and I’m not one of them, BTW) get an apology for being called an “anti-science” young Earther? You want anti-science, here it is.

    1. I subscribe to “Skeptic” and “The Skeptical Inquier”. Both magazines have been pushing the AGW position which I thought was ironic for skeptical magazines to be doeing. I always thought they should be as skeptical about AGW as they are about creationism because AGW, or at least the alarmist version of it, I believe to be politically motivated. You can’t have good science when it’s interfered with by political motivations or religious motivations. BTW, where’s Tony, Chad, Neu Mehican, and joe?

      I wonder if the science writers in “The Skeptical Inquier” and “Skeptic” are cleaning off the egg from their faces and if they will write articles about how they were fooled or will the try to explain it away somehow.

      1. I wonder if the science writers in “The Skeptical Inquier” and “Skeptic” are cleaning off the egg from their faces[…]

        I trust Michael Shermer’s mag (Skeptic) will reconsider their position. I am not so sure about Skeptical Inquire, though – they jumped into the AGW bandwagon since a long time ago and dismissed the skeptics of AGW as “Oil Business-paid hacks” too many times to make an honest retraction.

      2. I used to subscribe to SI. This is one of the reasons I stopped. They are generally less than skeptical on any question involving more government control.

        I have also nearly stopped watching documentaries on Discovery Science. The last ten minutes of EVERY GODDAMN SHOW are given over to the standard OMG-global-warming-we-must-do-something shtick. It’s nauseating.

        1. And don’t even get me started on Scientific American, which used to be a pretty good journal. The editor in chief (Rennie??) needs to be chained to a rock and have his liver eaten by Flappy the Eagle.

          1. yup, cancled my SciAm subscription about five years ago. it seemed as if every other issue was a “SPECIAL: Global Warming” edition.

          2. Canceled mine when the editor’s opening piece for the January 2000 issue was along the lines of “Hurray! The new millennium is finally here!” That’s not even scientific illiteracy; it’s an inability to count.

        2. Re: Spartacus,

          I used to subscribe to SI. This is one of the reasons I stopped. They are generally less than skeptical on any question involving more government control.

          Yes, that was my beef with SI as well. Most of their writters were, unfortunately, leftist ideologues with little or no knowledge of economics.

          I stopped reading Scientific America after finding too many articles involving population control schemes, and of course, GW stories that made no sense.

      3. I think it’s possible to be skeptical about the extent GW without denying its existence. Most skeptics (IMO) thought that the alarmists were overstating their data, not faking it. So, I’m not highly critical of those who were duped; GW is plausible and the extent of the fraud unprecedented in Western science. In fact, my own skepticism concerned only the uncertainties in the predictions. However, it’s a good object lesson in not succumbing to hysteria—something doesn’t have to be totally wrong or fraudulent or stupid for us to be cautious.

        1. “unrpecedented”

          orly

          1. No, unprecedented.

  31. Another Hmm….comments in the actual code….

    . FOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\mann\oldprog\maps12.proFOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\mann\oldprog\maps15.proFOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\mann\oldprog\maps24.pro ; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
    ; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
    ; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
    ; the real temperatures.

    or this

    * FOIA\documents\osborn-tree6\briffa_sep98_d.pro;mknormal,yyy,timey,refperiod=[1881,1940]
    ;
    ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
    ;
    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
    (?)
    ;
    ; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
    ;
    yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x)
    densall=densall+yearlyadj

    I wouldn’t think it would be normal to artificially modify the results of a model in order to force it to match historical record where it doesn’t fit, and then claim it will be accurate for future modeling.

    1. You have to read the explanation[1] for those correction to know if they are reasonable or not. Because many scientists use “artificial” in way that may or may not be innocent.

      ‘Course, two such corrections in a row would seem to mark a rough approximation of the sort you’d use to show that a measurement would be a good idea, and not an analysis you would publish as a result…

      [1] If you can find an explanation.

  32. I’ve seen post up about this matter on non political coder sites, and there is a lot of shock over the lack of quality control for both coding practices and the data.

    The AGW crowd has just lost the confidence of a lot of intelligent people who assumed that as fellow professionals they knew what they were doing in their own field.

  33. Of course, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is also a “reconstruction” that is prone to error. Shall we throw that one out, too?

    1. No, we should drag it into the daylight, to be examined, questioned and tested by all. Like bad speech, the solution to bad science is more science.

    2. Marcello,

      The theory of Natural Selection does not rely on regression models and statistical analysis. Instead, it relies on paleontological, morphological, genetical and geological evidence.

      The problem here is not with Climate Science, but with the CONCLUSIONS derived from the models that these flim-flam artists were spewing out to justify huge impositions on our lives. Nobody can say the same about Natural Selection, except the eugenecists…

      1. These “scientists” have set back science. They have given ammunition to the creationists.

        1. Re: bookworm,

          These “scientists” have set back science. They have given ammunition to the creationists.

          It’s not that farfetched. These flim-flam artists (the CRU “scientists”)have managed to paint the rest of the scientists as hacks with political agendas up their sleeves, and since there is no issue more politically charged as Natural Selection, your assumption sounds reasonable.

          What COULD save the day for science is for the scientific community to reject the procedures these people were following and have then the balls to say “we were wrong about this.”

        2. Yep, that scares me, too. The rest of the scientific community needs to condemn these CRU bastards.

  34. THE SILENCE IN THE STATE RUN MEDIA SPEAKS PRETTY LOUDLY

    1. Yup yup yup.

  35. I hope that a lot of independent researchers will be taking close looks at the CRU documents to check on the accuracy of their interpretations of climate data. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if climate researchers had made their data publicly available in the first place.

    This is an important conclusion, since from it I can assume the data was NOT made public at all. How can science be practiced in secret? Did these guys fancy themselves part of a guild, or a lodge?

    In my opinion this should strike a big blow to the whole issue of AGW. However, it is possible the media and the politicians will not let this scandal curtail their efforts to impose a bigger control over our lives; this should mean for all of us the rallying point to educate people on what is going on and put a stop to this madness.

    1. This morning I asked my wife, who listens to NPR religiously, if they had any recent updates on this. She had never heard of it; apparently it has gone completely unreported on NPR. I haven’t seen it on CNN.com either (but I haven’t looked today).

      1. Still nothing on CNN. Apparently this is not news.

        1. Guys,

          Don’t hold your breath. Their journalists would never accept they were wrong after making all those truly stupid reports on the increase in prostitution levels due to GW and items of that nature. Those journalists will never accept they were being foolish.

      2. Sooner or later, people who get their news from places like NPR and CNN might start to wonder why they’re the last to know these things.

        But probably not.

      3. Indeed. This is a problem. I’m a newspaper reporter in Ireland (science is not part of my beat) and nobody is talking about this, even though it broke in the UK media, which is widely distributed/available here. Instead, we’re getting lots of apocalyptic coverage of the devastating floods that have been destroying whole towns in the last week, which naturally are being attributed to climate change, etc (just in time for our new carbon tax, which is being announced in two weeks). The availability fallacy is hard to overcome. So is political momentum. The Greens are in the governing coalition here and, really, most hacks are led by the dominant political agenda and not by independent reporting. It will take the scientific community going apeshit about this to cause a stir in the mainstream media, I’m afraid.

  36. I didn’t really believe that they were faking the data, even Michael Mann’s hockey stick I took to be merely the result of careless at data management. The latest code analyses seem to suggest that they did fake data and that the “paranoid deniers” weren’t paranoid enough.

    1. I didn’t really believe that they were faking the data[…]

      I also thought that the scientists were merely making false assumptions on data that becomes obsolete by the very minute (due to the high level of complexity of the climate system). I would not have thought they would become flim-flam artists and actually tweak, hide and make up data to make it conform to their models, or going as far as actively suppressing the publication of dissenting views. This is not science, this is chickanery – these guys are no better than crackpots and cranks, like the ones mentioned by Martin Gardner in his book “In The Name of Science”.

      It is a good thing they did not have the ear of a true tyrant to become as awful as Lysenko, but they are no better than him.

      1. We don’t know that yet. Some conspiracies are too big to fail (or am I being to paranoid?)

  37. Ronald, please check out surfacestations.org. MOST of the NOAA weather stations are not sited according to their siting guidelines, resulting in Urban Heat Island effects and other problems. James Watt could not get the gov to survey the sites even though trillion dollar decisions are based partly on their data, so he organized a volunteer effort to canvas the sites and, lo and behold, more than half do not meet NOAA’s own site placement guidelines.

  38. And in an unrelated lesson, never send something by email that you would not want printed on the front page of the newspaper.

    1. THIS AFFECTS EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES. ALTHOUGH I’M SURE THE STATE RUN MEDIA WILL MAKE IT ABOUT THEFT OF E-MAIL YOU KNOW MOVE ON NOTHING TO SEE HERE

    2. …if you’re a Republican. Otherwise, all is not lost.

  39. It seems odd to me when “skeptic” is used as such a dirty word by scientists. The default position for a good scientist should be skepticism, the scientific method is useless if it is only used to reaffirm the status quo.

    I’ve always been on the fence with my beliefs on AGW, the only reasn I didn’t accept it completely was because I suspected there was too much politics involved. These emails have confirmed my suspicions, and so has the reaction of the “scientific community” and “professional journalists” so far. If these people at the CRU were part of my community, I would be trying to distance myself from them, not DEFENDING them!

    There is just so much speculation now regarding climate science, and the policy proposals so closely resemble power grabs that you can color me a skeptic until proven otherwise.

    1. Tyler,

      If these people at the CRU were part of my community, I would be trying to distance myself from them, not DEFENDING them!

      Good point. But the true believers are now cornered because they already said “the science is settled”. They placed themselves in that spot because of their incredible stupidity.

      1. GOOD POINT

    2. The accepted term is not “skeptic”, but “climate change denier”, to make you appear to be the same as a “holocaust denier”.

      The science is settled! There can be no debate! We must destroy anyone who disagrees!

  40. I want to see the documents that tell us who is really behind this conspiracy. These frauds had to be paid a hefty sum for this amount of effort.

    1. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE A LOOK AT AL GORES E-MAIL

      1. Caps Lock is a harsh mistress.

      2. Your Fucking Caps Lock is On

        Dipshit

        1. Yes, but note his name is entirely in lower case so I guess it evens out?

  41. One nit to pick with the above:

    “Source: The results are stated as estimates of ? Accounted: No. Effects: most classical (frequentist and Bayesian) procedures state uncertainty results about parameters not about actual, physical observables. Boost uncertainty by anywhere from two to ten times.”

    Classical procedures are frequentist as opposed to a Bayesian–I don’t believe there is such a thing as “classical” Bayesian analysis, unless “classical” is being used in a non-standard manner.

    Also, Bayesian methods produce exact finite sample results, i.e. we condition all inferences regarding parameter estimates on the observable data. This is quite different from classical or frequentist analyses, where one relies on a repeated sampling methodology.

    1. “Classical” in the sense of “most used.” For those in the know: I’m advocating (Bayesian) predictive inference, and saying that “classic” parametric inference (frequentist or Bayesian) underestimates, by a lot, the variance of real, actual, observables. Like temperature.

      I use the word “classical” in this plain English sense a lot, though I take your point it sometimes is equated with frequentism.

      Thanks.

      1. Professor Briggs,

        Thank you for the update. I too believe that a Bayesian analysis would have avoided all of this confusion. Interestingly, it seems that some time series econometricians believe that some climate scientists ignore the problems with time dependence (much less spatial dependence, which is my domain) and that the inferences drawn, even ignoring the programming problems, etc., would be flawed unless these matters are taken into account explicitly.

        Again, thanks for your commitment to providing the readers of Reason with a much needed analysis.

  42. I’m sure they got paid well enough, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect that those funding their work were “behind it” in the traditional sense. My assumption, based on following the back and forth between Mann and McIntyre for a while, is that this group bought into a theory, worked very hard to study and prove their theory, were getting money and renown for their work, and were highly reluctant to let that slip away just because the data wasn’t panning out. I imagine that it started with just a little extra smoothing, maybe an unwise splice. Then over time, it got to protecting the results, at nearly any cost. It’s been at that stage for years now. It just took it that long to start coming out. It started a while back with the forced release of some of their data, including the Yamal tree ring proxy. It took independent researchers, primarily Steve McIntyre, digging through it all, and trying to match things up, and finding clear problems. Lately it’s just been one thing after another. I’m glad this seems big enough, and palatable enough to actually get a little traditional press. Hopefully by this time next year, we can be rid of these chicken littles bent on chaining us down. I’m sure others will rise up to take their place, but we’ll just have to strive to shine the light on them also.

    1. Re: Aelhues,

      My assumption,[…] is that this group bought into a theory, worked very hard to study and prove their theory, were getting money and renown for their work, and were highly reluctant to let that slip away just because the data wasn’t panning out.

      I agree with your assesment. It has been the same story with countless scientists throughout history that buy into a pet theory, staking their reputations on them, and not considering or dismissing data that contradicts their model.

      So, certainly, they do not have to be motivated by money, but they are clearly motivated to lie for prestige. Incentives MATTER.

    2. No need for others to rise, when the existing ranks will voluntarily carry on the fight to tear down civilization.

      Incentives — and root motivations — matter.

      The people in congress don’t give a shit about anything but their social engineering projects.

      As proof I submit Exhibit A: ObamaCare.

      It’s going to be the same old mafia doing the same old thing for a long time to come.

  43. Global warming is just suffering from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. We can either know where it is or measure its increase. This might even be a worse case scenario of the principle since global warming is a fucking myth and thus infinitely small in mass, therefore reducing the change in x to an infinitely negligible number.

    1. Yeah. It’s kind of like computationally solving partial differential equations with a computer program. Somewhere near the end of all your subroutines, you get a number that’s almost infinite and you multiply it by a number that’s almost zero. And you get — something.

      God bless the certainty of quadruple precision arithmetic, which can be used to justify any myth you care to invent. Because when all else has failed, you can just fucking fake it and who’s going to argue the point?

      Oh wow, maybe somebody’s going to argue the point…..

  44. http://www.nature.com/news/200…..2397a.html

    “If anyone thinks there’s a hint of tweaking the data for non-scientific purposes, they are free to produce an analysis showing that Earth isn’t warming,” adds Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist and policy researcher at Princeton University in New Jersey. “In fact, they have been free to do so for decades and haven’t been able to.”

    “There are apparently lots of people who really do think that global warming is an evil socialist plot, and that many scientists are part of the plot and deliberately faking their science,” adds Tom Wigley, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and former director of CRU.

    Alleged e-mails containing critical remarks about other climate scientists are merely proof of lively debate in the community, adds Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

    1. Re: Neu,

      Alleged e-mails containing critical remarks about other climate scientists are merely proof of lively debate in the community, adds Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

      Neu, even you must find the above risible.

    2. Neu,

      Did you post this as an example of the self-denial of the AGW proponets, or to counter the facts made clear by the e-mails and their content? I just want to know, because at this stage and given the level of crass fraud these so-called “scientists” practiced, I am willing to consider you may be having a change of heart.

      I mean, did you really took seriously any of the three paragraphs you posted? I found them to be the ad hoc explanations of self-deluded individuals who are unwilling to see things as they are.

    3. I was wondering if you were going to pop up and defend this crap. Skip the e-mails, that is just people talking. Look at the state of the data and the “model”. I’ve worked on code like that poor bastard Harry had. You end up wanting to shoot the guy who write it.

      I’ve been expressing my skepticism about the modeling for some time, and do I ever feel justified in that skepticism now.

      1. write==wrote

        damn preview, never there when you need it

    4. Why is the burden of proof on the people who do not want to spent trillions of dollars on an imaginary problem?

      1. Because a considerable fraction of the population has been educated to believe that western civilization is evil and must be destroyed asap.

        Don’t think for a second that this little mishap is going to slow their agenda down.

    5. Yes, they were having a lively debate on the best way to stifle debate. Mustn’t shut out opposing ideas regarding the shutting out of opposing ideas.

    6. Sure, they can produce it. It won’t get anywhere now that the opposition controls the peer-review process and true believers are gatekeepers to the court public opinion, but they can surely write any paper they want.

  45. We deny everything! Those e-mails were doctored! The fact that they were hacked ipso facto render their information a bunch of lies! The evidence is clear! The science is settled! We won’t have our cherished beliefs questioned!

    [All the while being dragged to the lovely white padded room…]

    1. You overestimate them. The true reenactment:

      *silence*
      .
      Neu Mejican: *chirp*
      .
      .

      1. Neu Mejican: *chirp*

        correction

        “Neu Mejican: *small whimper*”

        anyway the response to Neu is this:

        joshua corning|11.20.09 @ 2:25PM|#

        This is part of a letter send from Michael E. Mann to Phil Jones:

        I think 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 in, this journal. We would also
        need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently
        sit on the editorial board…
        What do others think?
        mike
        At 08:49 AM 3/11/2003 +0000, Phil Jones wrote:

        With a group of prominent conspiring to keep studies out of the peer review record it is pretty easy to say that the peer review record is tainted.

        Not to mention the ethics violations giong on here. It would seem this goes well beyond simply the data. The peer review literature cannot be trusted as it is biased to only have one view excluding decent to that view.

        These emails would seem to throw out all peer reviewed published climate work for the last 15 years.

          1. Why do you and Chad the other day think there is something magical about that article?

            If anything what occurred to Hans von Storch shows how you will get fired over common mistakes if you are in an outlier camp, but if you are like Jones and Hansen, where you have made huge mistakes in your previous work, your job is secure if you have political value to the powers that be.

            1. Nothing magical, but at least if provides the general context for why working scientist might consider not submitting to a journal.

              Variations on the “has this journal got a reasonable peer-review process” or “this journal has gone off the rails” occur all the time as scientist try and decide how best to disseminate their work. Turning that kind of discussion into a conspiracy about suppressing opposition (rather than worrying about the integrity of the process) doesn’t seem warranted in what I’ve seen. But feel free to let me know what I am missing.

      2. I was away doing science today.

        So, what did I miss?

        Based on the quick perusal, is apparent that the NM that some carry around in their head has been doing some pretty odd thinking today.

  46. It is amazing the lengths the CRU went to come up with data that should have been easy to obtain. After all, according to Neu, every other scientist was able to prove the world is coming to an end. Except for those that the CRU tried to blackball out the debate.

  47. The lesson here is clear:

    As a way of understanding something as complex as climate, the study of the correlation between emissions and temeratures should have yielded better models and potentially better predictions on the behavior of the climate. This would have given humanity tools to understand and even account for climatic changes, to better plan for such things as future weather patterns, crop yeilds, water supply, you name it.

    The problem started when the science, still in a relative state of infancy, immediately was used in a PRESCRIPTIVE way to basically justify imposing a global socialist state, purportedly to curtail emissions and thus save “the planet”. This jump clearly clouded the judgment of the very people that were expected to keep themselves unbiased and objective, instead resorting to frank chikanery, adulteration of information, even destruction of evidence, to push forward a (now in these times) a clear political agenda.

    The lesson to learn is that politics and science should NEVER mix, and that prescriptive solutions to centrally control very complex systems should always be taken with the greatest of skepticism.

    Unfortunately, since the prescription would have lead to the imposition of a system that many are already espoused to (in this case, Socialism), the support that such prescription was given made it paramount to supress any dissenting point and (clearly) any data that was considered detrimental to the model. This is shameful, it is not science, and certainly is immoral, because it meant the aquiescence of our cherished liberties for a lie.

  48. Neu, If you are still referencing Nature magazine then I don’t see much prospect of you ever learning the truth.

    1. Reference to various viewpoints in a debate are a good way to get at the truth. Dismissing opposing viewpoints due to their source rather than based on your own assessment of their value to the debate…not so much.

      1. This morning I asked my wife, who listens to NPR religiously, if they had any recent updates on this. She had never heard of it; apparently it has gone completely unreported on NPR. I haven’t seen it on CNN.com either (but I haven’t looked today).

        Are you saying some media outlets have a liberal bias?

        1. Oops! I posted the above comment in the wrong place.

  49. A “hint” of tweaking the data? It’s pretty hard to take a tool like that seriously.

  50. [Thanks, Neu Mejican, for the link]

    “If anyone thinks there’s a hint of tweaking the data for non-scientific purposes, they are free to produce an analysis showing that Earth isn’t warming,” adds Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist and policy researcher at Princeton University in New Jersey. “In fact, they have been free to do so for decades and haven’t been able to.”

    Well, now they have, Michael. And, now everybody knows why it has been difficult to prove tweaking – the scientists were simply hiding their data even despite Freedom of Information requests were made to force disclosure. Even YOU cannot deny this.

    1. You realize, I hope, that what the author of this comment is suggesting does not require that they use other people’s data.

      If I find the work of someone in my field to be questionable, I would simply conduct my own study to debunk it. There is no need for me to have access to what they did. If their analysis is sound I should be able replicate it. Converging evidence would quickly identify the fraud as this process was repeated.

  51. “If anyone thinks there’s a hint of tweaking the data for non-scientific purposes, they are free to produce an analysis showing that Earth isn’t warming,”

    Either prove my claims false, to my personal satisfaction, or accept my political solutions.

  52. Ok, Ron, stop beating around the bush – are you NOW convinced you may have jumped into the AGW bandwagon too soon?

  53. It really is not unprecedented. A few hundred years ago the majority of Western scientists were practicing Christians who undoubtedly adjusted their research and conclusions to the prevailing theology. Today there’s simply a new religion in town.

    1. Oddly the ones that didn’t adjust their findings, and subsequently often suffered, were right or on the right path.

    2. Do you have any specific scientific fraud or frauds in mind?

      1. There’s always Piltdown man.

        1. I’m not denying the existence of scientific fraud and Piltdown was certainly a fraud. But the Piltdown conspirators did not highjack the larger science of hominid phylogeny and the number of conspirators (2, possibly 3) was much smaller than this AGW gang. I can’t think of anything as large in the history of modern science (say since Newton). Maybe the N-ray scandal in France a century ago, but I think that the historical assessment of that is that it was more wishful thinking than fraud. Weak theory, bad data, poor science, bad science, junk science can all be wrong but still not be fraudulent. In fact, even the best science will one day be shown to be wrong.

          1. I should have said: “I’m not denying the existence of earlier scientific fraud…”

            1. As an example I point to the so-called “Baltimore Case” which I had forgotten.

  54. here is a look at some of the comments in the code found in the climategate emails.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..-codified/

  55. You know what the emails don’t say?

    “So, how’s the giant worldwide hoax coming along?”

    “Anyone have some mustache wax? I have twirling to do!”

    Some of you may go to your graves believing in the ridiculous in order to ignore the obvious, but you’ll still be looked upon as fools.

    1. There’s irony in that there post.

    2. Generally when conspiring to commit fraud, and this is pure speculation on my part here, you refrain from explicitly emailing:

      Subject: Global Warming Hoax

      Hey, how’s the fraud going? Delete those files yet?

      Well, 2 out of 3 of those things. Again, only a guess.

    3. Tony,

      There is something else they do not say:

      “People, please we have to stick with the scientific method here.”

      1. Touche! Funny.

    4. You know what the emails don’t say?

      They say nothing. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING. Smash your palms against your ears and scream “La La La!”

    5. Tony|11.25.09 @ 4:43PM|#

      You know what the emails don’t say?

      “So, how’s the giant worldwide hoax coming along?”

      Yes they do:

      http://www.eastangliaemails.co…..318616.txt

      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

    6. You know what the emails don’t say?

      “So, how’s the giant worldwide hoax coming along?”

      “Anyone have some mustache wax? I have twirling to do!”

      Some of you may go to your graves believing in the ridiculous in order to ignore the obvious, but you’ll still be looked upon as fools.

      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    7. Mob bosses ordering a hit over the phone don’t generally say “I want you to break the law by committing murder,” either.

  56. Tony, show me the emails between Bush and Cheney where they explicitly discuss ‘hiding’ the lack of Iraqi WMD, because liberals spent 2000-2008 with a much lower standard of proof w.r.t. conspiracy theories.

    (And for the record, I think Bush lied us into a war in Iraq).

  57. Jesus, people need to get a grip.

    Some scientists see a warming trend and decide to create a model showing that the Earth is dying! We’ll all drown! Its all our fault! death! destruction!

    And now their ill intentions and bad modeling are made public and now powerplants and hundreds of millions of cars absolutely dont impact the earth at all! I should have a coal plant in my backyard! Obama is a liar!

    blahblahblahcrapcrapcrap.

    I really hate that this whole situation exists because it just further dilutes the truth. We know that our actions impact the earth and we deserve to have an idea of exactly what this impact is based on our scientific knowledge and not some closed door fanaticism. Instead we get partisan shouting and ignorance.

    Joy.

    1. I agree. Their fraud does not release us from our obligation to reason logically (at least I feel obliged to reason logically ;-).

      1. Drink? Please?

    2. The primary result of the scandal should be opening the code and raw data (and as much data as available to interpret it) up to the public. There are a lot of openminded and intelligent people in the nerd community who would gladly help in the crowdsourcing of analysis.

      The idea that the facts proving your belief system have to be hidden to protect them from unbelievers sounds more like Scientology than science.

    3. I really hate that this whole situation exists because it just further dilutes the truth.

      +1. Or at least +0.5.

      This is mainly what I’m mad about. I’m not invested in a particular view about AGW. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t; it’s probably important to know either way.

      Now not only does it seem like a lot of time has been wasted obscuring the facts, but now even if AGW does exist, it’s going to be that much more difficult to convince anyone. It’s going to be a religious question now, on either side. Nice job, jackasses.

      1. That’s a really good point.

  58. Ya Perry. YOU need to get a grip. On reality.

  59. I’ve got a grip on reality. It rests firmly in the conclusion that for most people, its much harder to actually have an informed and open opinion than it is to ‘pick a team’.

    I pick teams on fall Saturdays when my Gators take the field. I apply critical thinking and reasoning to complex issues like climate change .

    1. Why tell us? Who here is doing that?

  60. I’ll be there to watch Cody crush Tebow next weekend. Plus you are a delusional fool, Perry

    1. Not sure what makes me delusional but I’m sure that you’ll enjoy your firsthand replay of last year’s SECCG.

  61. “If anyone thinks there’s a hint of tweaking the data for non-scientific purposes, they are free to produce an analysis showing that Earth isn’t warming…”

    No problem! My data shows without a doubt that the climate is staying exactly at the constant, assumedly optimum value for all parameters, including temperature. Unfortunately my dog ate all the original data so I can’t show it to you – but I have some nice graphs for sale if you’re intersted.

  62. Perry,your scientists tried their damdest to keep us uninformed. And you probably believe the refs didn’t save your gators from Arkansas and Miss St. losses.

    1. Jim – did you bother to actually read my post? Please do.

      The scientists (whom I never took any “ownership” of) are just as wrong as those who now feel justified to think that our actions have absolutely no impact on this planet. Neither point of view helps us understand how to plan for the future.

      And I suppose you think that the end of the Bama/Vols game shows that Bama is anything except lucky either? Any team that makes it to 10-0 caught some lucky breaks. As I see it, Bama is the team that has to prove that they can beat the Gators, and not the other way around.

      1. Name an action on the planet that doesn’t have an impact on the planet.

  63. Funny how things are so clear to people when they align with their preconceived notions.

    Much ado about nothing, methinks.

    Science is messy folks, but the process is self-correcting. So far the corrections still point towards the models making predictions that are more conservative than the real world results.

    If you see a conspiracy, you are off your rockers.

    1. call me off my rocker but…

      I think 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 in, this journal. We would also
      need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently
      sit on the editorial board…
      What do others think?
      mike

      and

      Phil Jones wrote:
      >
      >> Mike,
      > Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
      > Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
      >
      > Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
      > have his new email address.

      colluding to prevent critical studies from being published, colluding to Punishing Journals that publish critical studies, and colluding to prevent other scientists from getting information to use in critical studies.

      Yup Neu there is nothing to see here and if you do see something you must be “off your rockers”.

      1. Joshua,

        Peer Review includes careful monitoring of the peer-review process itself. Punishing a journal for not maintaining appropriate safe-guards on the integrity of its peer review process by not submitting to it is hardly evidence of conspiracy. Journals get their prestige in large part based on the reputations of the scientist that publish in that journal and the quality of the work they publish. Scientist are wise to spread the word about publications that are not doing their due diligence. Publishing in a sketchy journal can hurt your own reputation.

        I provided a link above with more context regarding this issue.

        1. Phil Jones wrote:
          >
          >> Mike,
          > Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
          > Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
          >
          > Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
          > have his new email address.

        2. Peer Review includes careful monitoring of the peer-review process itself.

          So how has the history community revised its process post-Bellesiles?

          Don’t even ask me about the “peer review” conducted for California school textbooks – I’ll just point you to Feynman’s experience with that.

          Yes, peer review is a very good thing – when it’s done right. That is a relevant question here at the moment.

        3. Peer review is easy when you make sure anybody who proves you wrong isn’t considered a peer.

        4. Peer Review includes careful monitoring of the peer-review process itself. Punishing a journal for not maintaining appropriate safe-guards on the integrity of its peer review process by not submitting to it is hardly evidence of conspiracy.

          You just lost Neu

          Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate
          research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.

          1. Dude. You have no idea how this all works… and it is showing. This is punishment along the lines of me deciding to punish Chevy for making crappy cars. I am gonna tell my friends about their shoddy work and encourage people to buy a Toyota instead. If you want to call that a conspiracy, well…I guess that’s your right.

            1. This is punishment along the lines of me deciding to punish Chevy for making crappy cars.

              No, it’s punishment along the lines of punishing Chevy for making cars with no wheels, and then hiding the evidence that they do in fact have wheels.

    2. Science is messy folks, but the process is self-correcting.

      What does that have to do with what these frauds are up to?

    3. It doesn’t have to be a conspiracy to be wrong. People – even scientists – adhere to all kinds of empirically wrong beliefs because they yield social, psychological, economic or political rewards. The question people are constantly subsconsciously asking themselves is NOT “is this correct” but “am I the sort of person who should believe this” or “what kind of person will I be perceived to be if I reject this”.

      1. Do you have any examples or evidence of this claim whatsoever?

    4. Always have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, eh amigo?

      That silly scientific method bullshit, meh! Science is as messy as a Japanese porn star’s face, just deal with it.

  64. http://www.realclimate.org/ind…..k-context/

    For more on this with additional context.

    1. 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

      http://www.eastangliaemails.co…..318616.txt

      Hmm Phil and Kevin are going to keep peer reviewed papers out of the IPPC report and they will change the rules for peer review to do it.

      Hey Neu can you explain the context here?

      1. No, can you?
        I would need a lot more to be able to judge if anything untoward is going on.

        1. Kevin and I will keep
          them
          out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

          1. That’s less context, not more.

            1. redefine what the peer-review literature is !

              1. Even less context. You’re moving in the wrong direction.

                1. redefine what

                  1. lol

                  2. redefine what

                    I tried to go further but Reason said i was sending spam =(

                    Your post (#1468861) has been marked as spam by a third-party spam filter. If this is a mistake, please email webmaster@reason.com.

    2. You surprise me, Neu. I thought you would be one pissed off motherfucker about what these jackasses did.

      Much ado about nothing, you say.

      1. Alan,

        I will need more time look at things before I jump to conclusions that anything improper occurred. The much ado about nothing sense comes from the type of attacks that are coming out of this so far. (See Joshua above).

        1. Yeah Phil Jones writes that he will redefine what peer review literature is in order to keep peer reviewed literature from entering the IPPC report.

          I point this out and I am the frothing at the mouth nut job.

          Everyone can see all I have done is provide quotes from the emails. I have even attached links to the whole email. Please Neu show where my narrative has even once gone off the deep end?

          Is providing quotes that contradict your claims “attacks”?

          I suppose if i claimed that you were a partisan hack trying to toe the party line for damage control then you would say i raped your sister and dropped a nuke on your house.

          1. Joshua,

            The problem comes from the lack of context related to those emails. What articles? why do they want to keep them out? How would they change the criteria? How is their discussion within or beyond what would be expected based on the context and their roles in producing the report? Etc…

            You are simply not providing any evidence of a conspiracy.

            1. You are simply not providing any evidence of a conspiracy.

              Really? No evidence?

              Please don’t be obtuse.

              1. Really. No evidence.

                1. Neu–I can appreciate the idea of being prudent and wanting all the data in before making any conclusions, but you are just coming off as naive here. Short of these emails being an outright hoax, this is daming stuff coming out.

                  Watch those preconcieved notions, indeed.

                  1. daming…damning.

                  2. As I said…based on what I have seen, not so much, but I don’t claim to have examined enough of it yet to make a solid judgment. But people who are willing to jump on a phrase or even a conversation taken out of context to claim a grand conspiracy are, yes, off their rockers. There may be individuals who have done things incorrectly, or unethically in the mix and perhaps this will reveal some of that behavior.

                    That said, nothing that has come out looks to be on a level that would call in to question the basic facts. The conclusion related to AGW are based on converging evidence from a wide array of sources, not on the work of a small group working in concert, let alone a cabal of zealots trying to steal your money.

                    Even Alan’s example here, out of context, is hard to judge. Many many scientist are resistant to the idea of sharing their hard work for free to others…the idea of intellectual property looms large in comments about “not sharing.” That attitude, however, doesn’t call into question the veracity of the data they want to maintain control of…at least not without a more damning context.

                    So far I haven’t seen evidence of that damning context.

                    1. Raw data gathered by a publicly funded organization lacks the standing of “intellectual property.”

                      Either these guys have the data and methodology for their conclusions or they don’t. If they aren’t willing to engage in the most basic steps of scientific inquiry, and in fact, go out of their way to prevent any outsider from seeing their data and methodology, then we should be left with no other conclusion other than that they are full of shit and are engaged in an elaborate campaign of deception. Put up or shut up.

                      That you would see nothing wrong here only indicates your own preconceptions at work. You severely lack objectivity in this case Neu.

                    2. The data that they are discussing that they are reluctant to share was obtained from a for-profit source that agreed to share with them based on an explicit guarantee that it would not be disseminated or shared further as that would jeopardize their business model.

                    3. Thank you for the context, which essentially seems to be “data came from an unamed for-profit third party with unexamined motives and already demonstrated bad data [eg. the weather station temperature data scandal ‘ala the Wang Affair (http://freebornjohn.blogspot.com/2009/03/kafka-at-albany.html)]”.

                    4. A small bit regarding the Wang Affair:

                      “To summarise, the university initiated an investigation, then broke its own rules by not involving Dr Keenan. It then produced a report that carefully avoided mentioning Dr Keenan, so it could claim he was not entitled to see a copy of this report. It then asked Keenan to comment on the report. It has completely disregarded its own policy that “After the final determination and upon request to the Vice President for Research, the complainant shall be given access to the full documentation.”

                      But Doug Keenan is a tenacious man. In July 2008, after being refused sight of the report, he submitted a formal complaint (pdf) to the Public Integrity Bureau at the Office of the Attorney General of New York State, alleging criminal fraud. In this complaint, he said:
                      [from the complaint by Keenan]
                      Wei-Chyung Wang is a professor at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He has been doing research for over 30 years. For this research, Wang has received at least $7 million. The funds have come primarily from the Department of Energy, with additional funding from other federal agencies (DOD, FAA, NSF). I have formally alleged that Wang committed fraud in important parts of his research. My allegation was submitted to the University at Albany; a copy is enclosed.

                      The university conducted a preliminary inquiry; a copy of the report from the inquiry is enclosed (redacted, by the university). Briefly, Wang claimed that there were some documents that could exonerate him. The inquiry concluded that there should be a full investigation, which should be “charged with obtaining and reviewing any such additional evidence … so that a final resolution may be made regarding the allegation against Dr. Wang”.

                      Wang had been claiming the existence of such exonerating documents for nearly a year, but he has not been able to produce them. Additionally, there was a report published in 1991 (with a second version in 1997) explicitly stating that no such documents exist. Moreover, the report was published as part of the Department of Energy Carbon Dioxide Research Program, and Wang was the Chief Scientist of that program.

                      The university conducted an investigation. The investigation concluded that Wang is innocent. I believe that the case against Wang is strong and clear, and that the university is trying to cover up the fraud so as to protect its reputation. Wang is one of the university’s star professors. The conduct of the investigation violated several of the university’s own stated policies: details are given in an attached e-mail (dated 06 June 2008). The e-mail was sent to Lynn Videka, Vice President for Research at the university: Videka was in charge of overseeing the investigation. Note, in particular, that the documents that Wang was relying on were never produced.”

            2. The problem comes from the lack of context related to those emails.

              Yes, perhaps they were engaging in some sort of e-mail-based performance art. Just kidding!

        2. Okay. Take your time. It is too important to jump to conclusions.

          However, I have made one general Popperian conclusion. When falsification isn’t central to the process of science, science becomes hermetic, as this e-mail perfectly illustrates:

          Mike,
          ?
          Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites ? you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? ? our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.

          We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it ? thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !

          ?.

          Phil

        3. You don’t find it all disturbing the condition of the data and model? That CRU couldn’t even replicate THEIR OWN results?

          Perhaps a little “tut, tut” for exceptionally sloppy work?

          1. Like I said, science is messy, but self-correcting. A lot of what I have seen so far from those that are taken aback here seems to be a willingness to jump on comments/notes from people in the middle of a process that is not yet complete when the comments were written. Lots of science involves dead-ends and missteps on a road to a solution. It is the final solution that needs to be judged. Nothing that has come out so far (that I have seen) seems to call into question the basic process by which that occurs.

            Too many ambitious people are looking at this stuff just trying to poke holes in it for a vast conspiracy to be successful even in the short term. We ain’t talking Piltdown man here.

            1. “Final solution”? Gave the game away there, son…

            2. Well, in the case of “Harry”, 3 years of work that ended in a complete inability to perform the data analysis and reduction previously claimed. That’s not just a LITTLE bit of a problem for you?

              And I have a real problem with you saying that the ends are what matters when science is about the means to get to an end. That’s the difference between science and theology after all.

              I don’t need a conspiracy; simple self interest on the part of a few researchers is quite sufficient explanation.

    3. Seeing as how Gavin, the moderator, is a NASA employed climate modeller himself its understandable that he is defending this process. It is impossible to know more about the specifics of their climate change model (or even be knowledgeable enough to have a decent conversation, evidently) than he will unless you are an established climate change scientist in the first place so its useless to try. (Then again, that is the whole point about why people love leaving everything in the hands of a small group of technocrats)

      The problem is that real measured data exists for maybe the last hundred years, good data for much less than that and accurate collections and locations of that data perhaps even less than that. All other past data has to be inferred from other sources of different scientific validity.

      Everything going far back and into the future is then extrapolated through models such as the CRU model. Everything that i’ve seen including non ‘hackgate’ sources says that this model is not open source and they intend on keeping it that way. So until the process and models are more open to scientific review and peer tasting, we can’t take its output at complete face value nor should we. After all, they’re currently being used to justify policy directions that may cost in the multi-trillions of dollars globally to implement.

  65. I question the models for climate change on a pretty basic lay theory. Nothing more complicated is needed.

    We have absolute, precise, accurate data of the NYSE that dates almost 100 plus years (maybe even good data to 150 or 200 years) and you still can’t make an accurate prediction using market models. Think of the variables in a market and the variables involved in climate. If we can’t accurately model something we have precise and accurate data for over the last 100 years, how on gods green and warming earth are you going to model the weather with shitty data that is maybe marginally good back to 80 years with any accuracy?

    Worse yet how in the hell do you justify making national policy changes with such a model?

    1. Hmm,

      This argument is a non-starter.

      There are actually good reasons why a stock index would follow a random walk, and good reasons why global temperature would not.

      More generally, the fact that it’s impossible to predict with any accuracy a particular time series for which we have excellent data has no relevance to whether it’s possible to predict with any accuracy a totally different kind of time series, good data or not. We did manage to make it to the moon, you know.

      Maybe climate’s predictable in broad strokes, maybe not.

      1. It isn’t a total non-starter. A model is only as good as the real system observations you can match it to. You need a lot more [good] data than we have to validate that your model has a semblance of accuracy and validity.

        1. I’m not disagreeing–I never said the quality of the data didn’t matter.

      2. I can come up with several RW occurrences in everything from economics to physics including a few things relative and more than likely influencing climate. What specific reason for RW are you attributing to markets that doesn’t have a comparable in any number of sciences relative to climate?

        You seem to be reiterating what I put in lay terms. Models do not predict the future no matter how good the model or data is. Why are we predicating major decisions on a model with shitty data? If you are willing to entertain the fallacy that models are effective at predicting the future, then you really have to accept that in order to get a decent prediction you need good data. How in the hell do you justify data from every possible source, in god knows how many different metrics, over a short sample period, now known to be plugged into at least one clusterfuck of a program, modeling what is arguable one of the most complex and variable heavy systems known to man, and churn out absolutes from which governments are predicating economy changing decisions. There’s a slight disconnect there.

        Models are models. The numbers and methods don’t care if you are looking at stock prices or temperatures. The more variables the more complex. Garbage in garbage out and a bottle of Dom in a bucket of shit equals a bucket of shit. Every step matters and it looks like these guys fudge numbers at more than one step from data to model.

        1. I’m not disagreeing with any of your conclusions, just with how you got there.

          Your argument was “we can’t predict X even with the best data, therefore we don’t have any hope of predicting Y with poor data”.

          I agree that we don’t have any hope of predicting Y with poor data. But we might have hope of predicting Y with good data. The fact that we can’t predict X with good data is irrelevant.

          the fallacy that models are effective at predicting the future

          There is no such fallacy. Some models are awfully effective at predicting the future. For example, we’re pretty good at predicting where a spacecraft will be at a particular point in time. So there’s one counterexample. Hence my comment about landing on the moon.

          Climate models may in fact suck, the data may in fact suck, but you actually have to demonstrate that on its own terms — you can’t “question the models for climate change on a pretty basic lay theory”. You have to question the models for climate change based on what they actually are. In principle, climate change models could be based on good data, realistic and hence necessary complicated. You don’t get to dismiss them without even looking just because “we can’t accurately model something [a market index] we have precise and accurate data for over the last 100 years”.

  66. Sorry Neu, but you you are nothing but Edward to me from now on.

  67. I mean it. You motherfuckers that want to control me better show some motherfucking evidence soon or I’m going to start blowing your fucking heads off.

  68. Of course I’m speaking in metaphoricals.

    1. Bahh, retracting obviously overt threats of violence just ruins the mood.

  69. Don’t worry hmm, I’m very serious about proteting my kid’s future, and violence is still an option on my table.

  70. Easy now, James. Their goose is cooked. Let it play out. The political process has not responded, but that always moves at a glacier speed. It is approximately Sept. 1 2007 in their world. As this is disseminated, interested parties, industries that have been damaged, investors who bought into the more hoaxy aspects of green technology, climate scientist who have broken their backs towing that lion, it is going to look like something out of Last Man Standing, and you wont have to raise so much as a middle finger.

    1. You see, this worries me. There is a lot of rent-seeking to come. The politics was never based on a genuine belief in AGW anyway; AGW was a pretext for doling out goodies to favored constituencies. The bad effects of corn subsidies have been obvious for decades, but they’re not going away anytime soon, are they?

      1. I see the next phase of our political history to be one where due to the largess* of our current system, this goes well beyond the political corruption of science, to be one where the powers that be can only offer diminishing returns to those they ask to do their bidding.

        * liberality in bestowing gifts; extremely liberal and generous of spirit. Linus’ classic line, ‘I want to be a philanthropist with other people’s money.’

  71. Thanks for that link, Neu.

    Unstated which editor wrote this response:

    But, for you folk, a 90% chance of the increases in CO2/CO2e being human-caused, and dangerous to our current civilization and global sustainability? Party on, Dude!! That that chance is actually 100%, but scientists have been politically prevented from saying so in a documented form makes it that much more absurd.

    If you can’t see your own ilogic staring you in the face, god help you. And us.

    Here is a scientist confounding something that evidence suggest has a basis in science, anthropogenic caused warming
    (also anthropogenic cooling when you throw SO2 emissions from China in the mix), with something that is pure, mindless fantasy, Anthropogenic Apocalypse.

    You can pack theaters and sell popcorn with that sort of stuff, but as science? Run a chaos model until it diverges, plot is on a big screen with THX speakers pumping out Dies Irae, and you have some awesome images coming your way, but if you leave out the laws of entropy in order to make it all big and splashy tipping point, what you don’t have is science.

  72. I wish I could be as sure as you alan. The process will only bury this revelation and we will soon be watching the cap and trade debate in the senate.

  73. I may sound a bit too sure, but I don’t think it is without reason (drink!).

    People will come to their senses.

    Ask yourself this, there is something you already know, it is a core principle of modern physics, and scientist would not refute this statement: you will never see a thirty foot tall ant in your life time. The reason for this is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass.

    To put it more specifically, without a radically restructured earth environment caused by external inputs like the sun, you will never see an thirty foot tall ant.

    It doesn’t take a great leap in logic to understand what else that means. Give them time, they will figure it out.

  74. Oh, and there are environmental things that should be worrisome: that SO2 chugging out in China, that shit really is a pollutant.

    Hermaphrodite bass in our streams and rivers, up to 100 percent in the Potomac, and 87 percent in the main vein going through South Carolina. I’m between those places, and I eat those abominations!

  75. One semi annoying thing is the process that is peer review. I’ve heard horror stories about having to capitulate to the consensus to get published as peer reviewd. I haven’t had to do it first hand, but listening to the horror stories of flaming hoops and buttered balance beams makes me wonder how valid a lot of peer reviewed information is and how much is there to just the damn thing published. I guess each science is different, but I still can’t shake the feeling that the process is not all that it claims to be. This silliness is not helping.

    1. Probably works better in fields where you can easily reproduce the results; it’s harder to be political about it.

      Having had more experience on the reviewer side than the reviewee, I’ve seen the damage a couple of shitty but prominent researchers can do to the quality of papers in a field, especially when their work makes into the textbooks for that field.

  76. One semi annoying thing is the process that is peer review.

    The peer review process is pretty rigorous in its rules. The problem is that Phil Mann Briffa and others broke the rules.

    Your complaint seems to be people still kill people despite the fact that it is illegal.

    1. One thing that is amusing though is that Phil Jones wrote pretty clearly that he did not like those rules:

      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

    2. My complaint is that a lot of what I have heard is that the process tends to detract from original work. The need to appease so many generates a mold more than a standard.

      1. Well, yes. I’m a PhD engineer, not scientist, so some may pronounce me unqualified at the starting gate.

        But from what I’ve seen, the problem comes down to how you draw that line. I’ve seen some pretty crack-pot theories put forth over my career. I can remember at one point (maybe a decade ago?) there was a guy claiming to have reinvented the entire field of heat transfer. [he hadn’t and didn’t]

        How do you give people room to speculate, without opening the doors to crack pots? I know, sometimes that line gets kind of blurry…..

        Anyway, I’ve published some not so very popular conclusions in my time too. Maybe not radical, but going against the accepted grain. You can find journals to publish this kind of work in, but not always the “top tiered” journals.

        Of course, the “top tier” turns over with time too.

        1. That sounds about right to me.

  77. Synthetic, not-real, kinda-sorta, quote thingie:

    Real scientists use {FORTRAN|not Matlab|could be R|not interpreted languages}.

    This Real Scientist has written thousands of lines of production code in both Fortran and C++. Plus hundreds of lines of KUIP (interperted, and you don’t want to know), tcl/tk (just shoot me, please), c, and python (just getting started, but hooked) likewise in production.[*] Oh and a little perl. And some small projects in a couple of domain languages used only in particle physics.

    What you use depends on legacy (biggest reason for all the Fortran in my business), available tools, availability of needed libraries, and local prejudices (especially those of the guy who runs the software group on your project…).

    [*] Mind you “production” has a rather looser meaning on an active research project than in a commercial product. I’ve probably written a few hundred line of code that have been that carefully scrutinized and reviewed. That’s why I’m a scientist and not a programmer.

    1. Strictly amateur, though I’ve contributed to open source and mod projects previously. Haskell is the language of love for me. More pure than making love to a redheaded Baltic princes.

      Epi once asked me why I didn’t go for Scheme. I (can’t (imagine (why (I )would) avoid) it).

      1. I keep swearing that I’m going to lock myself in a box with a coffee maker and a slot for pizza delivery and wrap my weak little brain around functional programing. Unfortunately work, family (well, fortunately in this case), life destroying hobbies, and Hit & Run keep getting in the way.

        1. Python incorporates some elements from the functional paradigm. My code fu is not strong in Python. Reminds me though, I did contribute a couple of plug ins for the open source suite Blender in Python, but I was just winging it. It was enough like a C (without the hassles of memory management, typecasting, of course) to be fairly easy to figure out.

  78. I’ve seen post up about this matter on non political coder sites, and there is a lot of shock over the lack of quality control for both coding practices and the data.

    Most scientists have had no formal instruction on software process and methodology. What knowledge is in the community is passed on by oral tradition. We are, at a guess, 20–30 years behind industry in this respect and there is vast variability. Not having looked at this code base, I won’t venture an opinion about where it stands in the spectrum.

    1. Yes yes yes. I’ve long argued this point. But you do realize, this same criticism goes beyond just the problem of generating computer code. Way beyond the problem of just generating the code.

      I’m an aerospace engineer. I lead multi-disciplinary R&D teams, which typically includes both engineers and scientists. Years of experience from the school of hard knocks has taught me: the action is in the grey spaces between the disciplines.

      This is where the problems that you never saw coming will jump up from, and bite your ass. The space between what a physicist and an electrical engineer know, or a chemist and a materials engineer, or any dozens of similar examples.

      The problem is that nobody has time to study everything, and everybody individual on your team has a finite knowledge base with definite boundaries. How do you know something didn’t get missed in the gap between Disciplines A and B?

      In aerospace we’ve developed processes to shake down complex systems. These processes are slow and cumbersome and generally maddening to anyone with a spark of The Creative Researcher in them. Having something of that spark in me, I can understand why.

      But that is precisely where the problem comes in. The climate model scientists are tying together broad and various disciplines — and they have ZERO experience at figuring out how to shake down the overall model from a theoretical stand point.

      I know the climate is more a more complex grouping of phenomena than a commercial jet plane.

      When you have that many variables going into a model, it takes a hell of a lot of work to figure out which of them are dominant, under which conditions. The typical university research scientist is utterly unqualified when it comes time to solve this kind of problem. The solution in fact, is something they eschew doing to the greatest possible extent.

      What the researchers are good for, is helping you understand the piece-part components that go into the overall system model — after you’ve shaken the tree and discovered where the problems are. But the researchers themselves are generally not very good at shaking the overall system tree. It feels to them too much like a technician who’s running around checking for loose screws.

      1. It feels to them too much like a technician who’s running around checking for loose screws.

        So big chief scientist generates grand theory then points at lower scientists who are equally incompetent at checking for loose screws to do work. They lowers cludge the work together and out spits the results that chief wants.

        Then someone like Steve M comes along and looks at what the lower scientists did and finds it to be a a pile of shit that proves nothing but does put out graphs that would look like what chief wanted.

        Chief not knowing how the machine even works let alone that the lower did not know how to implement his big idea calls Steve M a big pooh pooh head and then, instead of looking at the machine he ordered made, goes on a crusade to prevent publication by Steve M, denies requests for data, and screams that he is being attacked for political reasons.

        That sounds about right.

        1. Steve M may not have as a good a handle on it as you posit, but that is how the process works in broad strokes. That is the self-correcting piece. Thing is, someone else comes along and looks at Steve M’s work and notices the chewing gum and straw and around we go.

          1. But notice that a turf war between Chief and Steve M does not a conspiracy make. And the fact that you know about Steve M’s work and that people also know where it falls down is evidence that the process works in the long run.

            Conspiracy…nah.

            And by the way, the turf war, doesn’t actually impact the veracity of the work…it just slows down the process. The real data gets out there cause there is always someone who wants to take chief’s job away from him…

          2. Thing is, someone else comes along and looks at Steve M’s work and notices the chewing gum and straw and around we go.

            You should be more careful about what work you say is held together by chewing gum and straw.

            I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight… So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!

            Did you even read the article above?

            1. my authority is better than your authority?

              1. My Authority!!!

      2. My discipline is sufficiently multidisciplinary for us to get plenty of experience with being bad electrical engineers, bad thermal control engineers, bad fluid engineers, and sometimes bad chemists as well as bad programmers. (Us as a group. We specialize so that we’ve get to be only bad–not really bad—at one or two related skills.)

        But we do have to shake down medium to large systems and get them work. In fact we spend a whole heck of a lot of time on that. So once we get a machine running we don’t want to stop it. Not breaking what is still holding together and all that.

        But then, I’ve worked in collaborations of 50-150 scientists from three continents and a dozen countries (these are small groups, BTW. The big collider projects number in the thousands and have two more layers of indirection). I don’t know that the climate guys have that kind of experience.

        1. Okay, so you’ve seen it too. I don’t need to preach to the choir. 🙂

          1. That is because I do big science. I think you’re right that most University type researchers work in fairly insular small group environments.

    2. It takes an army of programmers to get a large, complex program working right.

      But it took another army, at least as large, to get the model algorithms right before the programmers could even get started.

      Academic research groups (typically small groups) simply do not have the resources, let alone the proper experience, to tackle these kinds of system level issues. They can give you invaluable help in working out specific algorithms, but they are the wrong ones to be assembling the big picture.

      1. It takes an army of programmers to get a large, complex program working right.

        But it took another army, at least as large, to get the model algorithms right before the programmers could even get started.

        Yeah you are going way off the grid. The code involved with the climate studies is not all that complicated. It simply graphs temperatures over time. The problem is that all the temperatures have been adjusted and the reasons why were not well documented and the data that it inputs was not well cared for or well documented either.

        1. The code involved with the climate studies is not all that complicated. It simply graphs temperatures over time.

          No.

          The important code is in the form of big, complex, multiprocessing, non-linear models (basically differential equation integrators).

          Hard, hard stuff.

        2. Agree with EscapedWestOfTheBgMuddy.

          The important code goes way beyond graphing temperatures. They claim their model predicts temperatures. As he said above, that’s some serious-ass computational work.

    3. Most of the complaints I read go:

      I’m a programmer at x pharmaceuticals, and we have to document every detail of our work, our data, our code to the point you don’t switch on a machine until you have written down ‘commencing to switch on the machine’ in the log books, and we do this so the FDA can take our documentation back to their labs and perfectly replicate it. Why are not scientist whose work effects the lives of everyone in the Western world not held to a similar standard?

      I have seen this sort of complaint at a non political financial modeling site, as well as the skeptic site of Watts Up With That where there seems to be a surplus of engineers.

      1. The academic scientists couldn’t undertake this kind of effort even if they wanted to. They don’t have the resources.

        1. The academic scientists couldn’t undertake this kind of effort even if they wanted to. They don’t have the resources.

          Yes they do. You know how open source works. If they had released the code to the public they could have had 1000s of eyes working on it in a second.

          This is happening right now as we write.

          1. For the record, I am all for open source and data sharing. The work I do relies on data sharing. But you have to appreciate the instinct of people who don’t want to give away what is often decades of work to someone they don’t know or trust for free. It goes against a lot of people’s instincts.

            1. But you have to appreciate the instinct of people who don’t want to give away what is often decades of work to someone they don’t know or trust for free. It goes against a lot of people’s instincts.

              I can sure, but I am surprised that you can. At least now at this point in time.

              On the eve of Copenhagen, because of the faulty instincts of some paranoid vain researchers, the only thing holding the consensus together is a buggy piece of undocumented fortan code that can’t replicate graphs generated less then 10 year ago.

              To be honest if i was in anyway invested in AGW i would be a little pissed.

              1. the only thing holding the consensus together is a buggy piece of undocumented fortan code that can’t replicate graphs generated less then 10 year ago.

                That’s just not true. Even assuming your assumption that this code doesn’t work: 1) The “consensus” is not based on any single study, model, or piece of work, but a large collection of studies; and 2) as has been pointed out before in these threads, the errors in the models to date have resulted in under-prediction of the warming trend, not over prediction of the warming trend.

                1. 2) as has been pointed out before in these threads, the errors in the models to date have resulted in under-prediction of the warming trend, not over prediction of the warming trend.

                  That is odd because an Oct 14th 2009 email says “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

                  1. JC,

                    You don’t know how much you are showing how much you don’t know, do you?

                    1. Aside from the obvious appeal to authority snark, context, you are wrong on at least one fundamental: the data itself that has been fed into the questionable model is itself in at least one case, probably frandulent (https://reason.com/blog/2009/11/25/climategate-forget-the-emails#comment_1469536).

            2. I can only understand this if they are hoarding for commercial purposes, but academics are rewarded on a non-commercial basis so they shouldn’t give a fuck. They should just care about getting usable, accurate results. Sheesh.

            3. you have to appreciate the instinct of people who don’t want to give away what is often decades of work to someone they don’t know or trust for free

              No, I don’t have to appreciate it. It may go against “a lot of people’s instincts”, but these are scientists who are supposed to know better and not tweedle along according to instincts that run contrary to the process of scientific investigation.

          2. Most “science” codes require considerable domain expertise to understand and work on. Not just science expertise, but {problem|experiment}-at-hand expertise.

            Joining the software group of a new collaboration means a couple of months of study for me before I can be fully productive.

            I don’t know how well open source methods could be brought to bear.

            1. I don’t know how well open source methods could be brought to bear.

              I guess we will see, but if history is any indicator when the GISS code was released there were some immediate fixes that came out of it.

            2. Mind you, we make extensive use of open source tools, develop some of our more general tools by open source methods (see the ROOT project), and most of my colleagues consider it a coup to have a patch accepted into a well known open source project.

              So it’s not like we don’t think well of that way of working…

          3. I don’t think you understand the kind of team discipline it takes to shake down a large complex system.

            Open sourcing can be a useful aid. It cannot always a primary tool, particularly on bigger projects.

            Somebody has to generate the primary results — and get them largely steered in the right direction — before you can put them out for public consumption and criticism. Otherwise it would take eternity to produce the final working product, if it ever came out at all.

  79. I’m surprised Fortran is used for this type of application, still. I would want the least forgiving language available, maybe Ada or Modula-2, something from the Algol family.

  80. I’m surprised Fortran is used for this type of application, still. I would want the least forgiving language available, maybe Ada or Modula-2, something from the Algol family.

    I’d argue that you want a powerful, expressive, well-supported, language known to your team, and a rigorous testing infrastructure.

    There is no real reason that the compiler has to supply the rigor, though this is a well understood approach.

    1. It’s been a while since I’ve written a Fortran program but I recall one of the biggest problems with Fortran was that it allocated memory orthogonal to just about every other language. ‘In Fortran First varies Fastest’. Fortran array(i,j,k) is ‘C’ array(k,j,i). Computer memory follows the ‘C’, Pascal, Ada, Modula-2, assembly language convention. What a mess that must be.

      1. Computer memory follows the ‘C’, Pascal, Ada, Modula-2, assembly language convention. What a mess that must be.

        Not really. Array indexing order is just a convention—the fortran way reads “backwards”, but it is every bit as efficient. You need to be aware of it, but you get used to it.

        The bigger problem in Fortran77 was the lack of dynamic memory allocation which makes it hard to construct some kind of in memory data relationships. This can be overcome with libraries, but the results are a little clunky.

        The upside of this feature of the language is an advantage when it come to certain optimizations.

  81. Before the programmer wonkiness…

    Marc wrote:
    Maybe climate’s predictable in broad strokes, maybe not.

    Probably, but we’re not there yet.
    Even then there’s going to be surprises. Perfect storms if you will.

    hmm wrote:
    Garbage in garbage out and a bottle of Dom in a bucket of shit equals a bucket of shit. Every step matters and it looks like these guys fudge numbers at more than one step from data to model.

    Exactly, that’s not the way to do it.

    That civilization is making changes to the planetary energy and chemical balance is a given.
    BUT, the results of that are mostly still wide open for interpretation.
    I’ve been trying to give the ‘consensus’ the benefit of the doubt. But unfortunately the adjustments are worse than i imagined.

  82. Give it up — the evidence is so overwhelming. You guys all probably believe that Armstrong didn’t land on the moon either. Take a look outside if you don’t believe it dummies!

    1. Tsk, tsk.

      There are aGW believers so unyielding they have refused to buy a sweater or a jacket in the last ten years. Rubbing their arms together for warmth, chattering teeth, muttering, “I’m not cold, I’m not cold.”

      It isn’t a pretty sight.

  83. God, that was a tough slog, Nue. But I’ll give you credit, you never give up!

  84. You guys are discounting one very important point: Al Gore said the science is settled and AGW is a FACT. Al Gore won the Nobel prize in Climatology!!!

    Haters!!!!!

  85. Consider – The emails were not a result of a hacker’s activity. They were also not going to be produced under a FOIA request.

    Rather, they are the residual emails comprising those which had already been *sanitized* from the CRU systems to illegally prepare an incomplete reponse for a future (likely successful) FOIA request.

    Note that there is a very small percentage of personal chatter that typically make up close colleague’s communication. Therefore, it points to a previous culling.

    Theory: These are deleted emails from a sanitized batch which were foolishly or purposely archived and/or discovered by an insider (perhaps the sanitizer himself). The insider then had pangs of conscience or an axe to grind and released them surreptitiously.

    Also, data fabrication and algorithm manipulation are not at all the important issues here.

    The travesty is that they were peer-reviewing each other’s work! They had control of their own process. It was a closed-loop system comprised of several dozen researchers in an incestuous academic relationship.

  86. Looks like the BBC had the emails at the beginning of October. Its starting to look more like an inside job than a hack to me.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pau…..o-an.shtml

    Aren’t there at least three other schools or institutes doing the climate change thing? Have any of them come out to defend this? If not I wonder how much data was filtered through CRU and out to everyone else doing work on it? I bet there is some serious ass covering going on.

    1. how can the BBC have the emails in October when there are emails posted Nov 12th among the emails?

      From: “Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)”
      To: “Phil Jones”
      Subject: Letter draft
      Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 14:17:44 -0000

      Phil, attached is a draft letter. We

      The BBC has a time machine?

      1. I assume not. I assume he received the emails prior to the 12th.

        As some have mentioned the packaging of this seems a little odd and intentional.

  87. Fourth, and this is the point I would like you to address adequately. Yes, I said adequately and by that I mean without your usual snark and with absolute sincerity. It would appear that in the context of these emails that there is a combined effort to withhold information from those who may want to challenge your findings. Let’s not be childish and ignore it and play word games? it is now a fact. There also seems to be an aligned effort to stifle the efforts of science contrary to your opinions and findings. This may be by influencing the peer review process or controlling reviewers and editors. So, what in your opinion, can be done to ensure that there is a proper debate of the science and facts in an open and public way? I’m sure that being a man of integrity you feel that raw data should be supplied as well as all supplementary data in order to recreate results. So surely you would support complete and open debate on the subject. You don’t have to worry about being wrong. Most scientists? good scientists? are wrong most of the time. It is not about right or wrong, but more about the work you do. There is a value in climate science and most citizens have no problem offering a few bucks to support it. Do you think there is a too closed off circle tied around Michael Mann as was shown in M&M? It would surely seem that he makes a compelling point. This is why in my science-based line of work we sometimes need to go to outside independent sources. So, with all of that said, what do you think can be done to make the system better so that the people can be sure that the science from here on out is completely truthful and able to be replicated?

    Thanks.

    [Response: You have a very distorted view of the situation. But before addressing that, let’s make some things clear. Openness and transparency aid replication and are essential to the progress of science. As far as possible, data and code should be available to everyone. Note, however, that replication of results is much more usefully achieved using independent approaches and sources of data rather than checking other people’s arithmetic. Independent explorations of problems are far more fruitful in terms of learning about the details and seeing new ways of looking at things than simply running someone else’s code. Open debate about uncertainties and approaches are essential (and if you ever go to a conference you will see this happening in spades).

    [Response: Now that is out of the way, let’s examine what is actually happening in the public sphere. There are undeniably people who fervently do not wish for results of the science to be true. This can be motivated many things – vested interest, inclination, background etc. Regardless of why that exists, it undoubtedly does. However, among the scientific community no-one doubts that humans are causing CO2 (and other GHGs) to rise, no-one is confused about the fact that there is a greenhouse effect and that we are enhancing it, and no-one is in denial of the fact that the temperatures (as predicted) are in fact warming. This information, and the vast amount of ancillary data, theory and modelling that exists has led the science community to warn that continued emissions of GHGs risk changing the climate substantially. Given the first group of people’s inclination to not want this to be true, there have been (and continue to be) determined efforts to undermine the scientific conclusions. One of the most effective tactics is to continually claim that data is being hidden and that the process is not open and transparent. This is successful, not because anything is actually being hidden, but because regardless of what data is available you can always ask for more. Five years ago it was a demand than Mann make his code and data available – it was, and nothing changed. A couple of years ago the demand was for the GISTEMP data and code – that was made available… and nothing changed. The requests then moved to CRU, who because of their agreements with the Met Centers, can’t release everything in the public domain. This fact has been greatly exploited by people who conveniently ignore it when making ever more harassing demands for ‘the data’. Whether they get it or not, nothing will change. The target will simply be moved. Meanwhile, the real need for openness and transparency is set back because the vast majority of demands are very clearly partisan and insincere.

    [Response: As for the peer-reviewed literature, bad papers (such as are described in the emails) sometimes make it through the process due to various events. Note that the papers in question are just bad – they come to unjustified conclusions based on faulty reasoning, bad analysis, and (often) a desire to get the ‘right’ result. This is not unique to papers that go counter to the mainstream (there are many bad papers on the other side too), but these are the ones that get picked up by the denial-o-sphere and are loudly touted in Senate hearings as if they undermined a century of work. Improving the functioning of the peer-review system so that this happens less often is a good idea – because it will lessen the chance of bad papers of any stripe wasting everyone’s time. Note that peer-review is simply an (imperfect) filter that allows scientists to focus on work that has passed a least a basic screening (usually). When we have to respond to obviously flawed, but highly publicised, papers it takes us away from doing real research and focussing on issues about which there is genuine (as opposed to manufactured) uncertainty.

    [Response: If people want genuine public debate over issues that matter, the way is clear: Stop fuelling fake witchhunts looking for evidence that GW is a hoax, stop continually going back to long debunked talking points, and instead engage with scientists, here and elsewhere, on real questions. You will actually find scientists of all stripes remarkably keen to talk about their research and it’s implications once you get past the ‘when did you stop hiding your data’ type accusations. Not everyone has unlimited patience in dealing with constant attacks on their integrity that comes with being in the public eye on these issues, and so many choose not to be involved in that public debate at all. That is a shame, but it’s not a mystery. – gavin]

    From the Real Climate Thread.

  88. This is successful, not because anything is actually being hidden, but because regardless of what data is available you can always ask for more. Five years ago it was a demand than Mann make his code and data available – it was, and nothing changed. A couple of years ago the demand was for the GISTEMP data and code – that was made available… and nothing changed.

    Huge errors were found in Mann’s code and huge errors were found in GISTEMP.

    To be fair even though the errors in Mann’s code were fatal to Mann’s studies the GISTEMP code has stood up pretty well.

    So to recap. The code to two studies were released only after prolonged multi-year efforts by Steve M. When they were finally released errors were found in both cases and in one of the two cases, Mann, it actually over turned the results. In the other case it helped to improve on going studies.

  89. There are undeniably people who fervently do not wish for results of the science to be true.

    Equally, but unsaid by this person is there are undeniably people who fervently wish to control society and will use whatever means and/or lies are necessary to do so.

    That takes care of both fringes.

  90. Either this thing is going all witch hunt, or the shit really is hitting the fan.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200…..icial-one/

    1. I had to add this passage, which for some reason made me laugh out loud.

      We have discovered that the warming in New Zealand over the past 156 years was indeed man-made, but it had nothing to do with emissions of CO2?it was created by man-made adjustments of the temperature. It’s a disgrace.

    2. Interesting rebuttal.
      http://hot-topic.co.nz/nz-scep…..scientist/

  91. I think it is time to take the environmental movement back by focusing on real pollutants. I’ve been warning the Rocky Mountain Institute for years about this. I am now afraid that the resource (not just energy) efficiency revolution that they have done such great work on will be sacrificed at the alter of AWG. People will throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Given the CRU event and the damage it has done please consider the following.

    1) Just plainly state that there should be an investigation into data manipulation and that all scientists should be forced to release all data and source code like REAL SCIENTISTS DO. Stop defending criminals by talking about peer review when they were reviewing each other’s papers. You didn’t rig data, collude to prevent others from being published, sabotage other scientists careers. You have to distance yourself immediately from the MBH et al ilk!

    2) No longer talk about CO2. It’s dead, proven to be rigged data and continuing to talk about it will only discredit the whole environmental movement.

    3) Talk about mercury pollution. 40 tons a year from coal, 35 tons a year from garbage incineration and that is just from North America (and we are not that bad compared to Asia and Africa, scary but true!). Talk about the watershed destruction in coal mining.

    4) Offer up a straight forward alternative. Shale gas for the short term renewables for short, medium and long term. The best thing for the environment in the last 50 years is the shale gas technology! Not pretty or renewable but it gives us 50 to 60 years if we decommission all coal & nuke plants and double that if we just phase them out.

    So bring the shale gas online as fast as possible and convert/shutdown the coal plants first. With a lot less than 50 years of research and development renewables will be working and cost competitive.

    Point out that we are also running out of uranium so nuclear fission plants may not have fuel in the future.

    If we allow stupid LIES and pseudo science like that practiced by the AWG crowd (MBH et al) to be used to tax us then yes we will all be a lot poorer. If we just push the resource efficiency like rmi.org then we will save money.

    If we actually force scientists like Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Jones and the rest of the AWG crowd to make all the data and code publicly available LIKE REAL SCIENTISTS do then we will progress.

    From: A real environmentalist!
    Cheers

    1. @ Tim
      Couldn’t have said it better myself. This debate has drawn attention away from some clear and present dangers that we CAN do something about.

    2. Agree except for the no nukes part.
      Modern designs are much, much safer, and the waste problem is greatly reduced if we reprocessed (recycled) spent fuel and used breeder reactors which actually create more of the usable isotopes form the inactive part of the uranium. Between doing that and moving to thorium (lots of recent research) there’s plenty of fissile material to work with.

      I’d also add increasing support for fusion research (which the hairshirt greens won;t support) — not just for the handful of conventional ‘big science’ projects that may be long running boondoggles, but also lots of seed money for promising left-field projects project s like Polywell fusion which are generating great results on peanuts in funding.

      I’d also add space-based solar.

      Finally, the value of old-fashioned prizes for private companies that actually produce results (and don’t pay until then) need to be looked at again. They cost nothing unless we actually get something out of it, and they are fundamentally immune to the corrupting influences of pork and the grant industry (as we see here with AGW). SF writer Jerry Pournelle is a big promoter of prizes.

  92. Tim,
    Their data and codes are available publicly.

  93. http://www.realclimate.org/ind…..k-context/

    More context…see the updates

  94. http://camirror.wordpress.com/…..-research/

    A good take on this whole affair.

    I think Curry’s “much ado about nothing” comment is right on mark. The issues raised by this are not scientific, but institutional and systemic.

    1. I am prepared to sell her 40 trillion dollars worth of precautionary headgear guaranteed to help her keep her cool.
      It’s lightweight, highly reflective and very stylish. One size fits all. Makes you look shiny even if your reputation isn’t.
      Still waiting for the storms.

  95. Why haven’t I heard anything about this in the MSM? And today’s paper tells me the Climate Change “deal” is going forward. Guess this never happened.

  96. The idea that scientists are part of some priesthood with no motivation or desire except to seek knowledge and advance mankind is total horseshit. It doesn’t help that the vast majority of Americans are total imbeciles with respect to science. It also doesn’t help that we skeptics have creationists and flat earthers on our side who would endorse AGW to the death if it fit their agenda.

    1. By diminishing science in the public eye, the AGW fraudsters themselves give ammo to the sleazier creationists and ID’ers.

      Lord knows as an AGW skeptic I’ve received the “deniers are creationists too” smear.

      All the more reason for other real, hoest scientists to come down on them like a ton of bricks.

  97. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
    This is the result of the human genome project. As soon as they began to get viable data, they made it available to the whole world via the internet.

    This is pretty much why the intelligent design nutsos have such difficulty proving their point.

    IF CRU had done something similar, none of this would have happened.

    “Mind what people *do* and not what they *say*.”

  98. http://joannenova.com.au/2009/…..#more-4660 best aggregation (with reference links)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WmxFkPloaY good historical info

  99. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UU2PoRBIN0 from 2007, the great climate swindle

    Michael Crichton’s story of Climategate:
    http://www.ebookonline.net/Sta…..68451.html

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