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The Dog Ate Global Warming -- What if some key data have been fiddled?
National Review ^ | September 23, 2009 4:00 AM | Patrick J. Michaels

Posted on 10/09/2009 11:34:18 PM PDT by dennisw

 

 

Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.

Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all, saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very vague language.

It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by 50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).

Enter the dog that ate global warming.

Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:

Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.

The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.

If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.

— Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: climatechange; globalwarming; jonesandwigley; philjones; temperature; temperatures; tomwigley; wigley

1 posted on 10/09/2009 11:34:19 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: xcamel

ping


2 posted on 10/09/2009 11:37:00 PM PDT by dennisw (It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Carousel.)
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To: dennisw

Scientist interested in science don’t hide or destroy their data.

There is obviously another agenda.


3 posted on 10/09/2009 11:49:19 PM PDT by DB
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To: dennisw

Why should I believe that this alleged data ever existed?


4 posted on 10/10/2009 12:23:49 AM PDT by TigersEye (Everybody knows it's a spotted dog...)
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To: dennisw
a
5 posted on 10/10/2009 12:26:20 AM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: dennisw
Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Whoah. Try using that reasoning on your engineering professor!

6 posted on 10/10/2009 1:03:53 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: DB
"Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote".

I disagree! Al Gore should not be a footnote. He would be investigated no matter what the case and we should be informed of how much money he has pilfered through using this global warming scam. How many of "The Children's" deaths is he responsible for in Africa due to his push for ethanol use. The man from what understand has made over 100 million on this scam. It's time the books on this schister are opened to the public and this man should be placed in a prison or at the very least an insane asylum since it is quite evident he has some type of mental problem. It is time we push for the jail for and not four more.

Have a great day but it irks me that this guy is allowed to roam the planet in complete freedom while i pay for his false theory and obvious lies. HE should be in jail for fraud!

7 posted on 10/10/2009 1:05:00 AM PDT by Plumberman27
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To: piasa

“Why should I make the data available to you”

Many years ago had to review some work done at a Superfund site. The consultant made the same argument - he was a “Professional”, and it was only the results that mattered based on his interpretation of the data. Not the data itself.

When he was finally forced to give up the data it became obvious why he argued the fact. Sparse data, sometimes written in a field book, but more often than not on some random scrap of paper (including the backs of fast-food receipts and the paper sacks!) did not really instill confidence in the data. Or the consultant.


8 posted on 10/10/2009 1:16:14 AM PDT by 21twelve (Drive Reality out with a pitchfork if you want , it always comes back.)
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To: Plumberman27

AlGore has some kind of electric car start up company. The automobiles will be made in Finland. In the last few weeks this company got $500,000,000 loan/grant from the 0bama administration

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/09/26/gore-backed-automaker-secures-m-taxpayer-loan/


9 posted on 10/10/2009 1:16:14 AM PDT by dennisw (s)
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To: dennisw; All
"Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data."


10 posted on 10/10/2009 2:12:47 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: dennisw
"Why should I make the data available to you when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?"

Breathtaking indeed. This person should have been instantly fired. This is no longer science.

Children in ninth grade algebra are required to show their work on tests, and when they can't they create an immediate presumption of cheating.

11 posted on 10/10/2009 2:35:34 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist"-Dr House)
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To: dennisw
Now that people are questioning the “unquestionable” the data gets “destroyed”? How convenient.
12 posted on 10/10/2009 3:20:31 AM PDT by GOPJ (Nominated:Chamberlain, Hitler, Stalin. Winners: Arafat,Carter, Gore, Obama. Nobel Prize of Shame)
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To: dennisw
And here's that "Bad Dog", ugly, too!


13 posted on 10/10/2009 3:40:55 AM PDT by jws3sticks (Sarah Palin forever!)
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To: I see my hands

Actually, voila.

Viola is a musical instrument.


14 posted on 10/10/2009 3:51:02 AM PDT by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: dennisw
Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues.

Meaning, "After we turned troublesome data into what we wanted it to be, we threw it out and we're not about to find it and let you pick apart everything we've worked so hard on over all these years, because you guys are against us, AGAINST US!"
15 posted on 10/10/2009 3:59:59 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: dennisw
Future news show:

GRETA: For today’s weather report on this Fourth of July of 2020, we go to our reporter Arnulfo Csupo in Buffalo, New York. Arnulfo, have you been eating any of those famous Buffalo wings up there?

ARNULFO: Hi, Greta. Unfortunately, as you can see from this photo, about the only wings I’m finding around here are angel wings in the snow. Ha ha ha. And speaking of eating, kids, I know you may have heard your grandparents talk about sprinkling sugar on new fallen snow and eating it, but don’t try it at home. With that white stuff you could also get a large dose of REMs from fallout from all those Chinese atmospheric nuclear tests. And though a certain amount of background radiation is essential for activating DNA repair mechanisms, that’s not going to help you with bone cancer or thyroid cancer from all the strontium 90 and other short-lived radioactive elements wafting our way on the jet stream from the mysterious Orient. We’ve got other things to worry about.

GRETA: We sure do, Arnulfo. Tell us, is there any relief in sight?

ARNULFO: Yes, Greta, the good news is that there is relief. The bad news is that we’re just going to have to wait 50 to 100 thousand years before the next interglacial period sets in. Ha ha ha. As you have no doubt heard many times throughout the past decade, the most recent interglacial period we’re just leaving was the longest of the last five. Fortunately there was great technological and social growth during the last 800 years of the second millennium kicked off by the Medieval Climate Optimum.

The Medieval Climate Optimum, a natural period of global warming, was believed to have resulted in the release during the 20th century of large amounts of carbon dioxide, the principal food used by plants to produce oxygen. This release, together with an advanced science of agriculture, led to unprecedented levels of food production. Unfortunately, when temperatures began to fall rapidly over a period of twenty years following the 1960s, a pseudo-scientific movement led by an unsuccessful politician, Al Gore, tried to claim that a slight temperature increase over the next decade or so heralded run away global warming that would kill us all. He managed to create a coalition of politicians around the world interested in shutting down carbon-based energy production. He later made a killing by buying carbon offset credits from a company he himself owned. He was able to live with about the world’s largest carbon footprint—remember that one, Greta? Ha ha ha—and claim that he was doing it all to save the environment.

GRETA: I believe his trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity is scheduled to start in a few weeks, weather permitting.

ARNULFO: It sure is, Greta. Though to be fair, the idea that Al Gore and his merry band of neo-Luddite global warming nuts caused us to tip over into the next ice age by their shut-down of carbon-based technologies is a bit extreme. Studies have shown that the effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is logarithmic, not linear.

GRETA: Could you put that in lay-person’s terms, Arnulfo? Ha ha ha.

ARNULFO: Sure thing, Greta. This means that if a substance has an effect, the effect will increase rapidly as the amount of the substance increases from zero. But past a certain point, doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the substance will barely increase the effect at all. With CO2, the greatest effects on the climate as a greenhouse gas take place below 100 parts per million.

GRETA: And this means…

ARNULFO: This means that before man had any detectable effect on the level of atmospheric CO2 by burning so-called fossil fuels, the earth had long since passed the point where even doubling the total amount of CO2 would have little, if any, effect on the earth’s temperature.

GRETA: So, we would have been just as well off without all that CO2?

ARNULFO: Not quite, Greta. As you know, carbon dioxide is the principal food of plants. Through photosynthesis, plants convert CO2 into stored chemical energy and give off oxygen. Our current level of CO2 of about 450ppm is still far, far below the level needed for optimum plant growth. On a geological scale, we’re still living in a CO2-depleted world.

GRETA: So Al Gore and his cronies will probably get off because they didn’t have any effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide and cause the worldwide crash in temperatures that began with the big worldwide temperature drops during the first decade of the 21st century and record Arctic ice formations of 2007/2008?

ARNULFO: Not exactly, Greta. The crimes against humanity consist in having damaged the world economy so much that we were unable to prepare as quickly as we needed to to meet this challenge. With clouds covering most of the land, solar energy is practically worthless. Of course, it was mostly worthless anyway for about half the day and more than half of each year. Wind power is now a bust because of the great increase in inclement weather due to sharper temperature differentials between tropic and arctic regions. Too little wind and there’s not power generation. Too much wind and the turbines have to be shut down or be damaged. Growing biofuels is now obviously out of the question since most of the remaining land is needed for food. That leaves hydroelectric, coal, and nuclear. Nuclear energy was shut down ostensibly over fears of waste disposal, though all the high level nuclear wastes for a typical-sized plant will fit under a card table. Reprocessing spent fuel rods, which still have most of their usable nuclear fuel, remains halted since the days of Jimmy Carter out of fears of nuclear proliferation if some unfriendly power got their hands on the reprocessed fuel. Coal-fired plants were phased out by the less-than-one-term Barack Obama and Joe “Let China build coal plants” Biden as they proposed during the campaign. Seems that people really didn’t like the “skyrocketing electric rates” Obama promised. And almost every hydroelectric resource of any size has already been fully exploited. Now that ice and snow covers the most extensive and cleanest coal deposits in the world in Utah that were put off limits by Bill Clinton in the form of a national wilderness and other Western states, the costs of rebuilding the industry literally from the ground up will be daunting. Of course, we could buy the coal from owners of the second largest deposits in the world, a group of foreign businessmen who were heavy contributors to Bill Clinton.

GRETA: Could the government not provide a bail out for these energy producers?

ARNULFO: No, Greta. By 2009, almost 13 trillion dollars had been infused into to banks to make them more likely to loan money and, uh, no one is sure just where all that cash has been going. Except every year it’s coming from the taxpayers in increased taxes. People had been talking about soaking the rich, but with this weather, it’s becoming more of a hard freeze. Many have just decided it’s better for them to spend the rest of their lives, and their money, in the tropics.


16 posted on 10/10/2009 4:13:04 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: editor-surveyor

Ping


17 posted on 10/10/2009 4:16:37 AM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: dennisw
Enter the dog that ate global warming.
Garbage in


Garbage out.


18 posted on 10/10/2009 4:41:09 AM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: TigersEye
So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

The data exist all right, but the question is how much were they edited?

19 posted on 10/10/2009 4:54:33 AM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: Defendingliberty; Genesis defender; WL-law; Normandy; TenthAmendmentChampion; FrPR; ...
 



Beam Me to Planet Gore !

20 posted on 10/10/2009 4:55:17 AM PDT by steelyourfaith (Limit all U.S. politicians to two terms: One in office and one in prison!)
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To: dennisw
This whole global warming BS was contrived from the start and data manipulated to get a preplanned result. Mann's “hockey stick” graph is case in point as when analyzed it fails to contain data on the Medieval warming period. Al Gore's cry that there was a consensus of scientists so no one need look any further at the data is similarly suspect and goes against all scientific research. Gore and others labeling anyone who questioned global warming to be a “denier” is further evidence that they do not want anyone seriously looking at their data. NASAs mixing of data to fudge 1998 as warmest year on record and the suppression of information on US temperature recording stations when many were shown to be in locations guaranteeing bogus higher readings also show that the data to support global warming is poor at best and fraudulent at worst.
21 posted on 10/10/2009 5:47:30 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: The Great RJ

You will never giuess who first pushed global warming....Margaret Thatcher. She wanted more nuclear plants built.

Of course it is now the exclusive province of the loony left and the loony left has grown a lot. Adults take leave of their reasoning ability.


22 posted on 10/10/2009 7:03:54 AM PDT by dennisw (s)
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To: Sherman Logan
"Voila" is what I wrote

23 posted on 10/10/2009 10:08:06 AM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: scrabblehack
The data exist all right, but the question is how much were they edited?

The Memory Hole is a nice way to launder inconvenient data. I expect a nice crisp copy of it all will be found in Hillary's ante room or a spare bedroom.

24 posted on 10/10/2009 1:56:40 PM PDT by TigersEye (Everybody knows it's a spotted dog...)
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To: Sherman Logan

An overgrown fiddle, kind of fits, in a way...


25 posted on 10/10/2009 2:07:59 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, then writes again.)
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To: Old Professer

Quite true. I hadn’t thought of it in that way.


26 posted on 10/10/2009 3:51:17 PM PDT by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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