Free Markets, Free People

Judith Curry


Climate scientist concludes “hide the decline” done to dishonestly hide data that didn’t support AGW conclusion

You may not know who Judith Curry is, but in my estimation she’s someone to be listened too in the world of climate change.   She’s a professor and the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.

She’s written a piece that’s been posted on the Climate Depot entitled “Hiding the Decline” which is a must read for anyone who has been following “Climate-gate” and especially for those ready to brush off the criticism that has been leveled at the warmists who were, in fact, engaged in hiding some data.

The question I am asking myself is what is my role as a scientist in challenging misuses of science (as per Beddington’s challenge)?  Why or why not should I personally get involved in this?   Is hiding the decline dishonest and/or bad science?

She concludes, after working through her questions, that it is both dishonest and bad science.

It is obvious that there has been deletion of adverse data in figures shown IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document.  Not only is this misleading, but it is dishonest (I agree with Muller on this one).  The authors defend themselves by stating that there has been no attempt to hide the divergence problem in the literature, and that the relevant paper was referenced.  I infer then that there is something in the IPCC process or the authors’ interpretation of the IPCC process  (i.e. don’t dilute the message) that corrupted the scientists into deleting the adverse data in these diagrams.

[Steve] McIntyre’s analysis is sufficiently well documented that it is difficult to imagine that his analysis is incorrect in any significant way.  If his analysis is incorrect, it should be refuted.  I would like to know what the heck Mann, Briffa, Jones et al. were thinking when they did this and why they did this, and how they can defend this, although the emails provide pretty strong clues.  Does the IPCC regard this as acceptable?  I sure don’t.

Can anyone defend “hide the decline”?  I would much prefer to be wrong in my interpretation, but I fear that I am not.

That’s a pretty definitive conclusion.  Take the time to read the whole thing … her reasoning and logic are solid and they support her conclusions.   They also point out what many of us concluded some time ago – at least that group of “climate scientists” appear to have fudged data, hidden data or simply left it out to better use what was left to support their preconceived conclusions.  In anyone’s book that should be a scandal.

Curry invites comment and rebuttal and while there’s plenty of commentary there’s very little in the way of reasonable or scientifically based rebuttal in the portion of the commentary I scanned.  

Her piece, at least for me, puts the final nail in the “hide the decline” bunch’s coffin.  The case she makes points to an obvious attempt to deceive.   And that is not what science is or should be about.  Make sure you read the whole thing.

~McQ


Climaquiddick – Who Are The “Deniers” Now?

What an interesting week. The wheels on the AGW bus aren’t going “round and round” any more, they seem to be coming off. Unless you listen to a good portion of the alarmists who are in the middle of denying the significance of the CRU emails, that is.

But I prefer to start my examination of what has been found with a couple of quotes from Eric S. Raymond (via Reboot Congress), software engineer, open source advocate and author of the book “The Cathedral & the Bazaar“.  The first:

For those of you who have been stigmatizing AGW skeptics as “deniers” and dismissing their charges that the whole enterprise is fraudulent? Hope you like the taste of crow, because I do believe there’s a buttload of it coming at you. Piping hot.

Pretty strong, no? So why do you suppose Raymond feels confident enough to make such a pronouncement? Because his review has found blatant and undeniable fraud within the programing used to “predict” the warming supposedly taking place. Or as he says:

All you apologists weakly protesting that this is research business as usual and there are plausible explanations for everything in the emails? Sackcloth and ashes time for you. This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot.

Even stronger – and here’s why:

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

Raymond, in reaction to this bit of code, says:

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s 1930s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

You have to love it, in a sick sort of way – the routine is called “a VERY ARTIFICIAL correction for the decline” and the correction is named a “fudge factor”. Blatant? Unbelievable. Again, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, or a scientist at all to see through this garbage.

What does it all yield? Raymond plots it:

artifical2

How very convenient – the “hockey stick” which began “Mann-made Global Warming”. Raymond adds an update:

Now the data is 0.75 scaled. I think I interpreted the yrloc entry incorrectly last time, introducing an off-by-one. The 1400 point (same as the 1904) is omitted as it confuses gmuplot. These are details; the basic hockey-stick shape is unaltered.

As is the basic point – “data-cooking”. Blatant data-cooking.

And yet the Alarmists want to wave it all away saying it doesn’t matter. At least those who have a political agenda which are most. But even some scientists who believe the AGW case to be valid are having difficulties reconciling what happened at CRU with what they consider to be the role of science and how science must work:

What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.

Those aren’t the words of a skeptic or a skeptical pundit. They’re the words of Dr. Judith Curry, Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology. Her main message, the same message that Raymond sends, is that this should all be open source and available to other scientists. What happened at the CRU is, in Dr. Curry’s words, indicative of “circle the wagons/point guns outward” mentality which uses “ad hominem/appeal to motive attacks; appeal to authority; isolate the enemy through lack of access to data; peer review process”. That precisely describes the emails and occurrences over the last few years as skeptics tried to get the CRU data.

Speaking of transparency, Mike Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia has this to say about the scandal:

The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the I.P.C.C. does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good.

There are two reasons I completely agree with his assessment: 1) the research is mostly publicly funded and 2) obviously public policy is being derived from their findings and conclusions. When science is used in that sort of a way, it must be doubly open and rigorous as far as I’m concerned. And, if scientists don’t like that, they can seek their funding elsewhere (which, btw, I’d prefer as this is a wonderful example of “advocacy science” if ever I’ve seen one).

Hulme goes on to say this about Copenhagen, again something I agree with completely:

This will blow its course soon in the conventional media without making too much difference to Copenhagen — after all, COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.

Copenhagen’s politics aren’t really about “climate change” and its dangers. Climate change is the only the excuse for an exercise in power as it relates to governments. That and a redistribution scheme to assuage the guilt of the liberal industrial states and the greed of the third world.

But Hulme’s point about “climate scientists” having to “work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public” is a sure thing given these emails.

So while the pundits using climate change and man’s contribution as a means to more power try to wave this off and given the fact that real scientists are recognizing the huge damage these emails do to the validity of the science of climate change, the pundits are now in the “denier” category, not the skeptics.

I, for one, find the irony delicious.

~McQ

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