Climategate Scientists "Unhelpful"—But Basically Exonerated

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Move along -- nothing to see here

The Independent Climate Change Email Review panel's report [pdf] is now out. The report explicitly does not focus on the scientific work of the climate researchers at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and associated researchers involved with the released emails. Below is a selection of some of the conclusions from the report's executive summary:

13. Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

14. In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

Land Station Temperatures

16. On the allegation of withholding temperature data, we find that CRU was not in a position to withhold access to such data or tamper with it. We demonstrated that any independent researcher can download station data directly from primary sources and undertake their own temperature trend analysis.

17. On the allegation of biased station selection and analysis, we find no evidence of bias. Our work indicates that analysis of global land temperature trends is robust to a range of station selections and to the use of adjusted or unadjusted data. The level of agreement between independent analyses is such that it is highly unlikely that CRU could have acted improperly to reach a predetermined outcome. Such action would have required collusion with multiple scientists in various independent organisations which we consider highly improbable.

 18. On the allegation of withholding station identifiers we find that CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used in each of the versions of the Climatic Research Unit Land Temperature Record (CRUTEM) at the time of publication. We find that CRU's responses to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive.

19. The overall implication of the allegations was to cast doubt on the extent to which CRU's work in this area could be trusted and should be relied upon and we find no evidence to support that implication.

But what about the accusation that tree ring data was manipulated so as to unwarrantedly produce a recent spike in global average temperatures (the "divergence" issue) and the notorious "hide the decline" and "trick" emails? The panel mildly finds that the presentation of the "hockey stick" graph was "misleading."

21. We do not find that the way that data derived from tree rings is described and presented in IPCC AR4 and shown in its Figure 6.10 is misleading. In particular, on the question of the composition of temperature reconstructions, we found no evidence of exclusion of other published temperature reconstructions that would show a very different picture. The general discussion of sources of uncertainty in the text is extensive, including reference to divergence. In this respect it represented a significant advance on the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).

22. On the allegation that the phenomenon of "divergence" may not have been properly taken into account when expressing the uncertainty associated with reconstructions, we are satisfied that it is not hidden and that the subject is openly and extensively discussed in the literature, including CRU papers.

 23. On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a "trick"and to "hide the decline" in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.

Did the CRU scientists and confreres try to subvert the peer review process? One interpretation of the panel's conclusion is that this kind of thing goes on all the time, but one hopes that over time the scientific process will set it right.

25. On the allegations that there was subversion of the peer review or editorial process we find no evidence to substantiate this in the three instances examined in detail. On the basis of the independent work we commissioned (see Appendix 5) on the nature of peer review, we conclude that it is not uncommon for strongly opposed and robustly expressed positions to be taken up in heavily contested areas of science. We take the view that such behaviour does not in general threaten the integrity of peer review or publication.

Conclusion: All right, people. Move along. Nothing to see here.

And while that may be right, the defensiveness and lack of openness has damaged the credibility of climate science.

More later after I have a chance to digest the panel's findings.

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  1. “We know these people; we love them, and we trust them. They would never do anything wrong. Leave them aloooone!”

  2. This article should make Chad cry.

    Heh heh.

  3. I guess if you walk around with your eyes closed and fingers in your ears you’re not going to find much of anything.

  4. The main results are great for CRU and also
    for ERA-40. The basic message is clear – you have to put enough surface and sonde
    obs into a model to produce Reanalyses. The jumps when the data input change stand
    out so clearly. NCEP does many odd things also around sea ice and over snow and ice.
    The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also
    losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see
    it.
    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 !

    Clearly there’s no evidence of trying to manipulate the peer review process.

  5. I wondered this back in November and am still wondering now:

    Who lifted the emails in the first place?
    Was it an inside job?
    What was the motivation for the pilfering of the emails?
    Has the security risk been plugged?

    This report just seems a wash-job to get the apparatchiks like Phil Jones back on the payroll (now as “Director of Research”…no more administrative functions).

    The lack of curiosity much less effort in answering the basic questions around what ostensibly is a serious criminal data breach of a government computer system is laughable, and telling about the capacities of these people to figure something out beyond a guestimate.

  6. Bailey, you suck at alt-texts.

    1. Hey, pal. Go fuck yourself!

    2. Warty: I know.

  7. Unfortunately, the entire concept of peer review probably can no longer be applied to climate science in general.

    It’s simply a matter of the sociology of the community that makes up that branch of science.

    Look at physics. When Einstein came along and completely upset the dominant model in physics, he faced stiff opposition from other physicists. But at the end of the day, people who like physics enough to make it their vocation are going to be so excited by the prospect of something new that compelling work will win them over. [And even with this, some opponents of Einstein continued to oppose him until they died.]

    But I just don’t see that dynamic in play in climate science. If you choose to enter any environmental-science-related field, the odds are that you are, for lack of a better word, a tree-hugger. The community of scientists who would be in a position to perform peer review in climate science aren’t only going to be naturally opposed to new ideas because they threaten their own work [as Einstein’s opponents were naturally opposed to his work] but also are politically committed to a range of policy initiatives in other areas of environmental science that would be harmed if the conventional wisdom in climate science turned out to be wrong. Peer review is just not a reliable process in that environment.

    If you make the effort to become a “climate scientist” in the first place, I bet I can fairly easily predict the political opinions you’ll hold about issues like biodiversity, land use, chemical sensitivity, etc. None of those issues have anything to do with climate science per se, but the policy changes that would come about if the public “took global warming seriously enough” would tend to “help” in those areas, too. [If we stop economic growth by limiting energy growth, for example, that might slow down deforestation or habitat loss.] And when a bunch of passionate people who want to save pandas and shit finally have within their grasp a policy tool that they think will help them do that, I just don’t trust them to “review the science” that stands behind that policy tool. Sorry.

    1. With all due respect, this is a vapid analysis based on an overly simplistic view of a complex interdisciplinary group of scientist that study a diverse set of topics related to climate.

      1. There were 5 members on that review board. 4 are career members of Britain’s institutional research community.

        My reading of Fluffy’s post is that cultural assumptions inevitably bias findings. Given that the majority of the board come from the same culture as the researchers in question, I think Fluffy’s analysis is valid.

      2. Neu is reduced to crying that Fluffy’s points are “vapid” and “overly simplistic”. How sad. Why are you so invested in this, Neu? Doesn’t people lying to you piss you off?

        1. Epi,
          Maybe you need to stick to discussions about the merits of various Zombie movie franchises. Your insult-the-one-I-disagree-with skills really aren’t up to snuff for more substantive conversations. It’s just embarrassing.

      3. this is a vapid analysis based on an overly simplistic view of a complex interdisciplinary group of scientist that study a diverse set of topics related to climate.

        I would be interested in hearing some examples as a foundation for such a strong statement but since you offer nothing other than a declaration that sounds like it was plucked from a modern art review I assume you are not a serious voice on this issue.

      4. Did you cut and paste that from the Dilbert Mission Statement generator?

      5. In other words, although one can consider the sociology of science when talking about the history of, say, technological development, we must never ever ever ever consider the sociology of science when that calls into questions the motives of treehuggers.

        Whatever.

        Simple question, Neu, Yes or No:

        Are the people who enter the various fields of environmental science more likely to have passionate opinions about the preservation of “nature” than the average person?

        1. The problem is the premise that “climate science” is somehow a cohesive discipline with only “environmentalists” conducting the research that informs our knowledge of the topic. Climate science is informed by a vast array of physicists, chemists, geologists, etc…so the idea that the peer review process that drives science will break down due to a “environmentalistic bias” of some sort is vapid on its face.

          1. It’s not a cohesive discipline, but the practitioners within each discipline who choose this specialty can certainly be identified, and we can certainly look at them from a sociological point of view.

            If we have two geologists, one of whom chooses to specialize in, say, the study of extraterrestrial rocks, and the other of whom chooses to study, say, ice cores and global temperature data, are you seriously proposing to me that the second guy is not much more likely to be on the Sierra Club’s mailing list than the first guy?

            Really?

            Really?

            It’s kind of darkly amusing to me that you don’t regard the world’s climate system as too complex for us to draw any conclusions, but a relative handful of academics and their backgrounds and motivations are just too damn complex and mysterious for us to discern or judge.

            1. Fluffy,
              The guy who studies extra-terrestrial rocks is ONE OF THE GUYS who contributes to the science that furthers our understanding of climate. The flaw in your premise is the false dichotomy you are creating. The scientists are interested in very narrow questions, some of which inform our understanding of climate. Those narrow questions may or may not be primarily motivated by an interest in the human impacts on the environment.

              a relative handful of academics and their backgrounds and motivations are just too damn complex and mysterious for us to discern or judge.

              I am not saying it is too difficult to understand…I am saying your analysis shows a lack of understanding. Very different.

              1. Another important point is that the guy who studies extra-terrestrial rocks is likely to be one of the guys that will be reviewing the science done by the treehugger Fluffy is so worried about.

                The process is really much more robust and protected against bias than Fluffy is claiming. Is it perfect? No.

                1. You had me until this post. If there is one thing that the CRU emails make painfully clear, it was that authors worked very hard to make sure their papers were reviewed by the RIGHT peers. If the Extra Terrestrial Rock dude had said anything critical about some climate report, he’d have been denounced as not having the appropriate skills and the job given to someone else.

                  1. Goober,
                    I am not sure at all that this is “clear.” Indeed the possibility of doing this would be a journal by journal kind of thing. Some journals do allow scientist to make suggestions about who should or shouldn’t review a paper, but typically it is the editor of that journal that makes the final call. Certainly, as I said, it is an imperfect process and everyone involved needs to guard against bias. But Fluffy’s charge is that there is something inherent in the topic that makes it more vulnerable than other areas of science to the danger of bias. That does hold up underscrutiny imho.

                    1. ummm…”clearly” that “does hold up” should read “does not hold up.”

              2. Given the vast array of researchers and disciplines involved, what is your take on the oft-cited “consensus” about AGW? How is the guy who studies extra-terrestrial rocks qualified to confirm the legitimacy of research on an ocean current?

                1. Chinny Chin Chin,
                  He wouldn’t be and likely would not be asked to do so…what an odd question.

                  As for “consensus”, I find that to be a red-herring in this discussion…particularly when state vaguely as “AGW.”

              3. Stunning! That reply avoidance was positively kaganesque!

    2. Devastating analysis. Good job.

    3. I suspect what allowed Einstein to win the day was the fact that, within a decade of his publishing the theory of general relativity, experiments were performed that contradicted Newtonian physics but agreed with relativity. Old-school physicists were left with the choice of accepting the theory or rejecting experimental data.

      Experiment is impossible for the global warming theory, so it becomes a quasi-religious belief, on both sides of the issue.

      1. This is very true.

        But I don’t think you can discount the fact that the point of physics for physicists is to “find stuff out” in a fairly outcome-neutral way. Sure, there are jobs and prestige on the line, too – and that often can bias researchers and harm the peer review process all by itself. But at least no physicists are out there worried that if research turns out a certain way the public is going to make electrons go extinct.

        In all areas of environmental science, not only are jobs and prestige and government funding and all the rest of it on the line, but also “the earth itself” or “nature herself” which is what got all these people in the field to begin with.

      2. Experiment is impossible for the global warming theory, so it becomes a quasi-religious belief, on both sides of the issue.

        So how can it be a science without the availability of experiments?

        1. Climatologists will argue that computer modeling = experimentation.

          1. A boss of mine tried to convince his boss that computer modelling == facts once. Turns out that no matter how you manipulate the data, losing money == losing money.

        2. Astronomy, geology, and evolutionary biology do not lend themselves easily to experiment, but they are all sciences. In those fields, you have to substitute observation for experiment.

          1. It’s also no coincidence that those are the fields that have had the most trouble with religious/philosophical opposition.

    4. Maybe, maybe not.
      I can’t quite even remember the exact mental calculus that went into going from pre-med to chemistry to environmental analysis. There was less tree hugging and more realizing that we DO damage the environment to the point that it can damage us. Chicks dig it, and then may put out ……. like for musicians. And it certainly pays better than being an ‘artist’.
      Fortunately i developed a strong distrust of government early on as well. Not that it stops me from working for it.
      *shrugs*
      Still, saying uncontrolled combustion pollution can have localized negative consequences is far more supportable than AGW automatically leading to a secular apocalypse.
      It doesn’t require a seismic shift like Relativity for the warmists to be wrong. We’re at a knife edge of problem/not problem like second hand smoke or asian carp in the great lakes.

      1. Still, saying uncontrolled combustion pollution can have localized negative consequences is far more supportable than AGW automatically leading to a secular apocalypse.

        The idea that uncontrolled combustion pollution has localized negative consequences is as old as the Book of Genesis.

        1. True, which is half the point. But this applies to what isn’t obvious either. The average science ignorant person will look at a smoldering cigarette and ‘see’ lots, but look at at their own car’s tailpipe and think it benign in comparison. Show them what’s actually being produced and then they’ll bend over backwards to justify it. They might even still burn some wood for shits and giggles. Unless they’re ‘true believers’ of course.
          Tint me a little ‘green’, i still drive a car to work and mow the lawn the ‘dirty’ way BUT the fireplace has been all but mothballed. Can’t use it every weekend in Chicago, i just can’t.

          Primarily the point was about motivation. That this kind of work needs to be done is a given. Even in the most ‘given’ areas people can chase ghosts (take nitrate regulation in waste water, ammonia is a given, oxidized N is not).

    5. The issue here isn’t if there is disagreement, there ALWAYS is when theories and experiments are put forward. The issues in this case is the attempt to silence opposing viewpoints and not having the data openly available for review. This moves it from being a question of good or bad science to a corruption of the scientific method.

      I don’t recall reading that anyone attempted to muzzle Einstein’s theories. In fact the opposition generally want to make sure it’s out there to increase the number of people who can take shots at it.

      I think this is a mistake (but an expected one) by the review board. They stress that the science is fine, but downplay the fact that the scientific method was corrupted in this case. If they were really being impartial I think they would spend more effort in trying to protect the scientific method than in protecting the science and the scientists.

  8. They have successfully replaced the definition of the word “farce”.

  9. We demonstrated that any independent researcher can download station data directly from primary sources and undertake their own temperature trend analysis.

    So why does this make it OK for the East Anglia “scientists” to refuse to share their copy?

    Besides, wasn’t I reading that they were the sole repository of a bunch of raw data, that they deleted after “correcting” it? Where we can download that, Mr. Political Hack Man?

    1. You probably read that. I also read that. It hasn’t ever been a credible claim.

      1. Well, the way I read the somewhat mealy-mouthed denial in this whitewash, if someone wants to start downloading new data as it’s produced now, they’re free to do so.

        Which is a fairly clever way to couch their non-denial denial, since the data at issue are the historical data.

        1. This is an inaccurate understanding. The data CRU used is still available from the primary sources…according to this review.

          1. To put a more fine point on this point. The reviewers tested this assumption by actually doing it. They obtained the raw data from the original sources and recreated the CRU analysis independently.

            I mean, really, for someone who is talking about “inherent” bias towards a position, you seem to be letting yours blind you to the basic facts. The data ARE available, HAVE BEEN available, and WILL CONTINUE to be available. And CRU has NO CONTROL over that availability.

            Any critique of their sloppy data handling is justified. But to claim they are preventing independent researchers from replicating or refuting their analysis? I don’t see how you justify continued belief in that assertion.

  10. NEWS: “there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness”, notable over complying with Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.”

    Hey, failing to display the proper degree of openness is typically in sync with HAVING SOMETHING TO HIDE like cooked books or data. Who spearheaded the major investigation of the CRU? AlGore the Carbon Hore (aka “The Poodle”)?

    Oh, and its’ so fun to see scientific morphology at work. g l o b a l w a r m i n g takes on tarnish as it’s scrutinized so all media shifts to c l i m a t e c h a n g e. Too funny!

  11. Score another one for team Conservative! When will these extreme greenies learn?

    Next up – the evolutionists! Oh that’s right, Ben Stein already eviscerated that cabal of commie pinko fags!

    Fuck Science! Boosh!

    1. Fuck Science!

      Yes, making up data, refusing anyone’s attempt to see your data and attempting to stifle opposite views are such sound principles of science!

      Is “Boosh” short for bullshit?

    2. Fuck Science! Boosh!

      Yes, that does seem to be implicit in CRUs actions. What’s your point?

  12. What kind of effect will this have on would-be whistleblowers? Why would a climate science whistleblower risk a career (or jail time) when the result of secretly compiling a horde of damning evidence results in jackshit? Whoever released this information is wisely remaining anonymous.

  13. Well, this is what I read about the raw data.

    SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

    . . .

    In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

    The CRU is the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

    Seems pretty unequivocal. Did someone turn up a copy that the East Anglia “scientists” didn’t know about?

    About the only saving grace I can see is that apparently it was thrown out in the ’80s, but that doesn’t really change the fact that the scientific value of conclusions based on adjusted data is seriously impaired.

    1. Especially since the application of the data to the conclusions must have been made back when they themselves had the data, i.e. the 80’s.

    2. But CRU simply aggregated that data from other sources. The original data is held by the original sources…CRU was NOT the only place to get this data…it just would have been the most convenient had they kept a complete record. They didn’t.

      1. The general engineering process which I am bound to follow says:

        Take dataset A; apply transformation X; produce dataset B. Followed by a summary report and archive everything so that an independent audit can reproduce your work.

        The jackasses that run the CRU should not be allowed to do anything more complicated than push a broom in a research setting.

      2. Trouble is, there is no way to know how they aggregated the data way back when since they (nor their supporters or detractors) can re-construct what they did to get the numbers they have.

        They basically have a bunch of decades-old temp data that they are no longer sure of how they got it. That’s a lot of slop in process.

        The one conclusion I’ve reached regarding the Warmer pros is that no matter the ethical purity of their conduct, their efforts are very badly managed. The Warmers – and I think this is something any thinking person can agree with – need to get some quality control on their data collection and analysis very badly. No standardized go-to reference exists for data collection in the Warmer community; no standardized instrument packages, no standardized quality control on instrument location, nothing…going all the way back to the 80’s. Everything is half-assed and seat-of-the-pants with these disparate groups.

        1. 15th century popes could be as sloppy with their theology as they wanted to be, as no one would dare call them out on it and be burned at the stake as a heretic.

    3. SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
      . . .
      In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

      In my field, this would be grounds for termination.

      1. Or perhaps moved to a more suitable role…in marketing.

        1. It is important early in the career development process to push certain individuals into an MBA program and divert them from engineering 😉

  14. “Quality controlled” is a nice way of saying “we dumped all the raw data which didn’t fit our model”, isn’t it?

  15. Sort of like when MADD completely discounts the real-world experience of many, many people who drink three or four (or ten) beers and drive home without killing anybody, because it doesn’t fit their Demon Rum Will Kill You!! model.

    1. If you grab a loaded rifle, close your eyes, spin around, and fire a round in a random direction, it probably won’t kill anyone.

      That doesn’t mean it should be legal. (I say this as someone who hates what MADD has become, as does their founder — but drunk driving laws per se are certainly justified).

      1. I agree, but probably not at the current level.

        Its not the .08 drivers that are killing people. Just like the guy randomly shooting rubber bands.

        1. Bingo, try .15 and up. Also the techniques used for enforcement: roadblocks, 1st conviction resulting in a BAC meter ignition interlock (no other charges necessary). Collusion between government, insurance cos and these charities took over and it’s simply more revenue enhancement parading as public health hiding pure puritanism.

        2. The 0.08 level is chosen based on a risk analysis. At the group level 0.08 results in an important decrease in the number of deaths.

          If you want to say that you have a higher tolerance for those deaths than the communities who decided on this as the acceptable balance between risk and cost, you are on solid footing. But to claim that drivers with 0.08 are not increasing the numbers of traffic deaths is inaccurate.

          1. Risk analysis, eh..
            Tortured stats from the Insurance Institute or NHTSA? No thanks.
            http://alcoholism.about.com/cs…..031027.htm
            “Nearly all of the findings of these and previous studies show changes that suggest that .08 BAC legislation (as well as .10 BAC laws and ALR laws) have contributed to the trend toward reduced alcohol-related crashes and fatalities that have been experienced across the nation.”

            Yes 2/3 of the studies, that also make no adjustments for confounders it seems (besides existing trends): Like age, time of day, single vs multi vehicle or even whether the ‘impaired driver’ was ‘at fault’. That last one is a classic.
            We of course know that the police and their handlers would never ‘adjust’ their statistics on purpose.

            So to say that above 0.08 ‘there be dragons’ and the science is settled .. nope.

          2. Oh yeah … the one study that actually ‘clearly’ showed the effect.
            “It estimated that .08 BAC laws had an 8% effect in reducing fatal crashes involving drivers at both high BACs and lower BACs and resulted in 275 fewer fatalities in the 16 states where they were in effect in 1997. If all 50 states had such laws in effect, an additional 590 fatalities would have been prevented.”

            About as dangerous as talking on the phone while driving. And nowhere near as hazardous as being 21yo and male, or elderly, or on multiple prescriptions … or simply mentally exhausted.

            Communities who decided on this as the acceptable balance between risk and cost,
            The communities decided? Or their governments. Never heard of one of these coming up as a referendum. Just like seatbelt legislation. There is hope, as several states have ruled roadblocks unconstitutional.
            Yes half the people going out on a Saturday night want to put themselves at risk of zero tolerance absurdity.
            *shakes head*
            I have no issue with serious impairment taken into account when COMBINED with other violations, the rest is neo prohibitionism. And obviously corrupt when the police and politicians are mostly exempt.
            Not to mention MADD and the rest are making noise to drop BACs even lower.
            Statistics proving the efficacy soon to follow.

            1. Governments are the process by which communities make decisions.

              1. In my best Charlie Brown .. “Oh Brother”

                The scary thing is Neu, you might just actually believe that.

                Please tell us how it’s ok for Insurance Cos to donate speed measuring devices to PDs, and then take a tax break for it.

                1. From OED

                  government (gov?ern?ment) Pronunciation:/?g?v?r(n)m?nt/
                  noun

                  *
                  1 [treated as singular or plural] the governing body of a nation, state , or community:an agency of the federal government [as adjective] :government controls
                  *
                  the system by which a nation, state , or community is governed:a secular, pluralistic, democratic government
                  *
                  the action or manner of controlling or regulating a nation, organization, or people:rules for the government of the infirmary
                  *
                  the group of people in office at a particular time ; administration:the election of the new government…

                  I don’t know. Seems like a pretty standard definition of government. What’s yours?

                  1. No problem with the definition, if only what we have actually resembled that.
                    Instead we have special interests suggesting laws to governments who then tweak data to ‘convince’ the community they have a problem. This is the far more common situation when discussing the nanny state and it’s corrupt motivations.

  16. Cough!Cough!Blowjob!Cough!

  17. By stating that climate science is of such global importance you know immediately where the reviewers are coming from. The idea that we will be able to solve whatever the scientists tell us we need to solve tarnishes them from the get go.

  18. I’ll say it again. Climate science is one of the greatest threats to our freedom there has ever been.

    1. Heck, they’ve even got a handy list of people who are not to be trusted.

  19. Who reviews the reviewers?

  20. Keep slogging away, NM:

    The original data is held by the original sources

    Really? I think you may be assuming facts not in evidence.

    But even if the original data is still scattered around out there in dozens of depositories, the “scientists” at East Anglia made it impossible to determine how they compiled and “corrected” their data set.

    1. That is a different claim than you made above. But, of course, it would be a waste of time and energy to try and answer that question by checking their calculations. The scientifically preferable approach would be to run your own analysis independently and corroborate or refute their findings with your independent analysis. If the finding is real and important, there is no need to have the exact same data set as it will be robust to those differences.

      1. From the report:

        Any independent researcher may freely obtain the primary station data. It is impossible for a third party to withhold access to the data. It is impossible for a third party to tamper improperly with the data unless they have also been able to corrupt the GHCN and NCAR sources. We do not consider this to be a credible possibility, and in any case this would be easily detectable by comparison to the original NMO records or other sources such as the Hadley Centre. The steps needed to create a global temperature series from the data are straightforward to implement. The required computer code is straightforward and easily written by a competent researcher. The shape of the temperature trends obtained in all cases is very similar: in other words following the same process with the same data obtained from different sources generates very similar results.

        1. Dance around it all you want, but explain why you have no response to this–

          The main results are great for CRU and also
          for ERA-40. The basic message is clear – you have to put enough surface and sonde
          obs into a model to produce Reanalyses. The jumps when the data input change stand
          out so clearly. NCEP does many odd things also around sea ice and over snow and ice.
          The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also
          losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see
          it.
          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 !

          That’s what ‘the report’ was supposed to look into and answer for, instead we get this whitewash.

        2. Are you saying Harry wasn’t a competent researcher?

  21. I just don’t get the hubris here. Plenty of obvious fudging and abuse of the peer review and scientific processes obviously occurred, yet we’re getting a total whitewash. I’d be a little more hesitant with my condemnations if some mea cuplas were being tossed around. Instead, “Nope, everything is friggin’ perfect. How could you ever doubt us?”

    This doesn’t kill AGW or climate science–whatever reality is, it is, regardless of the blasted heath of evidence this creates–but it dramatically reduces the credibility of those involved in this scandal. . .including those involved in the whitewashing of it.

  22. I’ll leave the climatologists alone at exactly the moment they stop advocating for me to change my ways.

    Until then, they can consider themselves under an electron microscope of scrutiny.

  23. Neu,

    I have a reply way back on the Krugman thread. Essentially to wrap it up, when I first skimmed through it, I considered the possibility that the executive summary was just sloppily written:

    Five historical recessions beginning in 1969 were examined using counter-factual simulations.
    These recession scenarios were studied with and without the effects of UI. The simulations
    showed that the UI program mitigated the loss in real GDP by about 15 percent over all the
    quarters in each recession. When multipliers were calculated (the expansionary effect of each
    UI dollar added to the economy) for each recession, the impact of UI in the 1990=s recession
    was found to be more robust than in the 1980’s recession, although less so than in the 1970’s
    recession. The WEFA model showed that over the five recessionary periods, the average
    peak annual number of jobs saved was 131,000. While the simulations showed a decline in
    annual jobs saved during the 1980s as compared with the prior decade, the number rose
    slightly in the 1990s.

    indicating that a finding of a 15 percent collapse off of Real GDP instead of something like a .15 on the decline of GDP as that would have made a Hell of lot more sense, but then checking out the graphs used many of them* were additional and accumulative and not annualized that I would have been overly generous to ignore the language in the executive report (once made in the first section is contradicted in the next). Also, check out the claim in the report for the multiplier involved with UI, 3.0+ in certain circumstances!

    Even with the most generous interpretation (which, to be fair, is consistently applied in the conclusion relevant to that section of the report) you have a consistency problem in applying the data, and making data built from the ground up in the counter-factual modeling, applying to the decline in GDP relative to the GDP with a data set from the econometrics where the data is applied in an additional and accumulative fashion to Real GDP.

    One indication there were to many cross purposes involved to make the report a coherent and consistently applied finding:

    WEFA’s Quarterly Model of the U.S. economy is a large-scale macro-econometric model of the
    U.S. economy. The model reflects current macro-economics research. It has Keynesian characteristics in
    the short-run, monetarist characteristics in the medium run, and operates as a neo-classical growth model
    in the long run. WEFA staff has used up-to-date econometrics and economic theory to specify and estimate
    the model.

    Thus the data sets get processed to meet different criteria that cannot be reconciled.

    *Here is one.

    Chapter V ? Table 4
    GDP and Real UI Benefit Impact
    WEFA Recession vs. No UI Program Scenario
    UI Benefit Payments Ratio, GDP to UI
    Quarter GDP Difference Difference Benefits
    1999 Q1 0.0 (0.1) 0.1
    1999 Q2 (0.1) (0.4) 0.2
    1999 Q3 (0.3) (1.2) 0.2
    1999 Q4 (0.7) (3.0) 0.2
    2000 Q1 (1.5) (5.9) 0.3
    2000 Q2 (2.8) (10.2) 0.3
    2000 Q3 (4.5) (15.3) 0.3
    2000 Q4 (6.4) (20.3) 0.3
    2001 Q1 (8.1) (23.9) 0.3
    2001 Q2 (9.3) (25.1) 0.4
    2001 Q3 (9.9) (23.8) 0.4

    Check out the chart before this one too as the graph compares the differential in UI to overall GDP and not just the rate of decline as a monthly (un-annualized) chunk. This occurs in tables comparing UI to the rate of monetary collapse in the appendix as well. There is a certain consistency in how this mistake occurs.

    1. Thanks.
      I’ll look at it again in more detail when I get a chance.

  24. But seriously, anything but a complete renunciation of global warming was gonna be called a “whitewash” by you guys, right?

    1. No, but pretty much anything you post is gonna be called “hogwash” by us guys, because it is.

    2. Admitting any culpability at all with smoking gun evidence of at least some malfeasance was mandatory, not optional.

  25. Final Report on the Scurrilous Charges of a Massacre at Katyn Forest

    A study commissioned by the Supreme Soviet finds unequivocally that the charges by the fascists and imperialists that Soviet troops executed Polish officers and intelligentsia at Katyn Forest are completely without merit. The commission found that, although soldiers of the Red Army and the NKVD were unhelpful to the local population, no crimes were committed. Now, return to the war effort – crush the Fascist Beast!

    Signed,

    Comrade Stalin, July, 1942

  26. Neu loves when people lie to him. That’s why he’s a leftist.

  27. Come on…

    We find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

    Why, because you say so?

    We did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

    Probably true, the conclusions were in the can anyway regardless of the findings.

    On the allegation of withholding temperature data, we find that CRU was not in a position to withhold access to such data or tamper with it.

    Which wasn’t really the accusation, was it? Wasn’t the problem that they wouldn’t release the data *they* used to build their models? That there was no way to see *their* manipulations on the original data because they would not release it? Even though many researchers were using these final results as a basis for further research?

    Such action would have required collusion with multiple scientists in various independent organisations which we consider highly improbable.

    Improbable… why? Because you say so, again?

    On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a “trick”and to “hide the decline” in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading.

    Great, but what about whether or not there was *intent* to mislead? That was the question. It’s right there at the top. Remember?

    We conclude that it is not uncommon for strongly opposed and robustly expressed positions to be taken up in heavily contested areas of science. We take the view that such behaviour does not in general threaten the integrity of peer review or publication.

    In other words, nut it up and take it like a man, you crybabies. Everybody not on the inside track is treated this way, and there’s nothing wrong with it.

    1. Proving intent is difficult, to be fair.

  28. The funny thing is that even with all the fear mongering still being dished out, ‘the people’ aren’t that concerned.
    Look at one question in Gallup’s Tea Party ‘identity’ poll.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/141…..cerns.aspx
    Not surprisingly only 13% of Tea Party supporters consider AGW an ‘Extremely Serious Threat’. What is surprising is the that only 32% of TeaParty OPPONENTS do…

  29. Fatty does a nice job of showing what an expect job of spin and evasion was done in this report. Red herrings, non sequiturs, you name it, its all there.

    Take NM’s posted defense of the deleted data:

    Any independent researcher may freely obtain the primary station data. It is impossible for a third party to withhold access to the data.

    So what? That wasn’t what they were supposed to be looking into. They were asked whether these guys withheld data.

    It is impossible for a third party to tamper improperly with the data unless they have also been able to corrupt the GHCN and NCAR sources.

    Again, so what? And has anyone checked to see if those sources have been corrupted? What’s that? No, they haven’t?

    We do not consider this to be a credible possibility, and in any case this would be easily detectable by comparison to the original NMO records or other sources such as the Hadley Centre.

    WTF? Did anyone check? And how can you check against the raw data against Hadley Center data, since Hadley deleted its copies of the raw data, and doesn’t have anything but adjusted data?

    And its all a giant red herring anyway.

    The steps needed to create a global temperature series from the data are straightforward to implement. The required computer code is straightforward and easily written by a competent researcher.

    Good to know, but irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    The shape of the temperature trends obtained in all cases is very similar: in other words following the same process with the same data obtained from different sources generates very similar results.

    Well, of course it does. Add tautology to their list of sins. No one doubts that running the same data through the same process delivers the same result.

    1. But RC,
      RC,

      Let’s take your point for point, point by point.

      Any independent researcher may freely obtain the primary station data. It is impossible for a third party to withhold access to the data.

      RC SAYS: So what? That wasn’t what they were supposed to be looking into. They were asked whether these guys withheld data.

      RESPONSE: Actually, they were charged with answering this question, so they did. They also addressed the issue of whether data was withheld.

      It is impossible for a third party to tamper improperly with the data unless they have also been able to corrupt the GHCN and NCAR sources.

      Again, so what? And has anyone checked to see if those sources have been corrupted? What’s that? No, they haven’t?

      RESPONSE: Why are you so sure they haven’t? Where is your citation for this one?

      We do not consider this to be a credible possibility, and in any case this would be easily detectable by comparison to the original NMO records or other sources such as the Hadley Centre.

      WTF? Did anyone check? And how can you check against the raw data against Hadley Center data, since Hadley (sic, I think you mean CRU) deleted its copies of the raw data, and doesn’t have anything but adjusted data?

      RESPONSE If you were so inclined, you could reverse engineer their numbers by undoing the adjustment. More importantly, you could start with the raw data, run an independent analysis and see if your results were the same as theirs…indicating that their adjustments were as valid as yours, or at least equivalent. No one is claiming that adjustments were not needed…some have complaints that it is not clear enough how they were made in all instances (a valid complaint, btw).

      And its all a giant red herring anyway.

      The steps needed to create a global temperature series from the data are straightforward to implement. The required computer code is straightforward and easily written by a competent researcher.

      Good to know, but irrelevant to the issue at hand.

      No, it is not. A central claim is that CRU’s behavior prevented this from being done. It is at the core of the complaints against CRU.

      The shape of the temperature trends obtained in all cases is very similar: in other words following the same process with the same data obtained from different sources generates very similar results.

      Well, of course it does. Add tautology to their list of sins. No one doubts that running the same data through the same process delivers the same result.

      RESPONSE: That is a better version of what many of the critics of this work were claiming they wanted to do. They wanted access to the whole process to check the calculations that CRU made. They want to run the EXACT same numbers through the same process and see if they came up with the same numbers, but complained they couldn’t because they did not have access to the raw data. This review showed that CRU’s lack of sharing did not present a barrier to the larger goal of validating their findings.

      The review has plenty of negative things to say about CRU and their sloppy practices. You seem to be off on a tangent because the did not validate your preconceived notions of what happened and how it impacted the scientific process.

  30. it is not uncommon for strongly opposed and robustly expressed positions to be taken up in heavily contested areas of science

    Someone said something about a consensus…

  31. In one of the leaked emails Jones asks other scientists to delete certain emails, there can be no excuse for such behaviour whether you are a “believer” or a “denialist”, it is clear evidence of corruption of the truth and science. That cannot be whitewashed by the inquiry (as far as I know it is not even mentioned!) and will be clear to even a layman not aware of the complexities of science.
    It scares and shocks me, how facts/science can be superseded to ideology, while most people believe that we live in the age of reason we have simply replaced our old religions with new ideologies (environmentalism/socialism).

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