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Climategate





jwellsy
CBS is finally starting to mention climategate several weeks after the story broke.
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/12/02/taking_liberties/entry5860171.shtml

Cover ups, destroying original data, falsifying data etc etc etc... It's going to take some time for all of the racketeering to be exposed from the 3000 emails. Phil Jones will only be the first scientist disgraced by this bad science.
deanhills
I'm very curious how the Wall Street Journal managed to hack the e-mails the way they did as that has to be an issue for investigation in its own right.

Also refer previous postings about the climategate affair in the Global Warming Proof thread.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I'm very curious how the Wall Street Journal managed to hack the e-mails the way they did as that has to be an issue for investigation in its own right.


From what I've been able to gather, they were accidentally made available on a public server that didn't require hacking to access. They quickly corrected the mistake, but not before somebody found it and shared the emails around the internet.

Makes me wonder if that accident really was an accident... Inside job?
tony
hahaha; I absolutely love this quote on that page, in the comments section,

Quote:

Thank you Declan! The truth virus has been caught at CBS. Now go sneeze all over everyone.
deanhills
tony wrote:
hahaha; I absolutely love this quote on that page, in the comments section,

Quote:

Thank you Declan! The truth virus has been caught at CBS. Now go sneeze all over everyone.
Laughing Laughing Laughing Definitely hilarious. Ocalhoun is right however, one wonders how accidental the accident really was. I'm also wondering how many people have gone the encryption route for their e-mails after what happened. All of us know that everything we put on the Internet is not confidential, but we probably don't really look seriously at it until something as "accidental" as this happens to someone.
Voodoocat
Climategate has now reached America: NASA has refused a freedom of information act request for two years.

Quote:
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.


Additionally, it seems that NASA is also not above manipulating data:

Quote:
Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.


Lets put these issues together: a large organization that depends on the government for its very existance generates data feeding Al Gore's and the Democrat's global warming obsession not only refuses to disclose it's raw data and methodology, but keeps changing its results!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/researcher-says-nasa-hiding-climate-data/
Bikerman
The whole thing strikes me as a storm in a teacup.
a) These were personal emails between scientists. I would EXPECT them to contain stuff which would be embarrassing in the public domain. I invite ANY professional to consider their own emails. Speaking personally there are plenty of emails intended for colleagues that might give the wrong impression if made public.
b) The only thing that I think is worthy of comment is the email in which one scientist mentions blacklisting a new science journal that seems to be accepting climate sceptic papers. I think that was silly and is certainly against the basic principles of science. I think it was a comment passed in frustration rather than any evidence of a conspiracy and, whilst I am sure the scientist regrets making the comment, to use it as evidence of a global conspiracy is just daft.
c) The data set that Exeter produces is one of three global datasets in this area. All three are in close agreement so any allegation that the Exeter scientists have been 'cooking the books' doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
jwellsy
It appears that the emails were collected under the UK's Freedom of information act. The cries to prosecute the whistle-blowers are humorous.

The hockey stick graph makers are included in cooking the data and destroying the raw data to hide evidence.
This chart is not valid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

It's disappointing what NASA is willing to do to preserve its funding.

How's all this "Change You Can Believe In!" working out for you?
Indi
i really have to inject some fact here, because no one else has so far, and the same unfounded rumours are just being repeated.

First, if you're talking about what was learned in the "climategate" leak, no data was destroyed. That is a bald-faced lie being spread by climate change deniers. What really happened (as was discovered in the climategate emails) is that old data RECORDS were destroyed. Follow? Back in the day, they recorded all of their data on paper charts (for example, a climatologist would everyday walk around the measurement center with a clipboard, record all the measurements, and file the findings), but many years ago - over and over, over many years - that same data has been entered in computers (for obvious reasons, i hope). For decades, no one has bothered to consult the original paper records (which they kept because... dun dun dun!... they're dilligent scientists), because that data had been committed to electronic form dozens of times by dozens of people, and people would just consult the electronic records, not the paper ones. Do you see where this is going? Yes, the original papers were destroyed. BUT THE DATA IS ALL INTACT, IN SEVERAL SOURCES, AND YOU CAN GET IT ANY TIME YOU WANT.

Anyone who tells you that climategate revealed that data has been destroyed is lying.

Next point: falsifying data. This claim is based on a few exchanges made by scientists in the emails that talk about "fixing" data to fit predictions, or using "tricks". Those are unfortuate terms, but in context, they don't mean what you think they mean. Read the emails yourself to see.

Now this is a serious, serious charge in science. Scientists do not falsify data - and if they do, and they get caught, that's the end of their career. If those climate scientists have falsified data, they will be caught. Because the raw data is all there, freely accessible, and you can even download it and run the calculations yourself (several sites allow you to do this). This has been done thousands of times, by many, many organizations - for and against climate change. Thus far, no one has been charged with falsifying data - the only talk of falsifying data that exists is in the rumour-mongering.

When and if a scientist gets charged with falsifying data, then the claim that they falsified data can be honestly made. Until then, it is an unfounded rumour.

And, for the record, Phil Jones has not been "disgraced". The man has - in an act of honesty - stepped aside from his post while an investigation is done... so he cannot be accused of interfering in the investigation. He has not stepped down, he has not been fired, and he is not under investigation. He will resume his post when and if cleared, once the investigation - which he helped start - is over with.

Finally, the FOIA requests nonsense. First of all, the reason this data was kept top secret is not because - as the conspiracy nuts like to claim - because of scientific dishonesty... it is because most of the data was collected using military technology, and was important to national defense. For example, NASA and the US Navy both measured the thickness of the polar ice in great detail... in order so that their submarines could go safely under it. They could not release that data without giving their enemies maps of ways to sneak under the polar ice. What they did instead was allow certain scientists to acquire top secret clearance so they could analyze the data, and publish their findings but not the data. This was not an ideal sitation, and many scientists protested, but it was the best that could be done. So long as you could earn a top secret security clearance (not all that hard, really - i have it... i could go look at the data, if i could justify need to know, which wouldn't be all that hard), you could also examine the raw data... and many people did... you just couln't publish it (although, you could publish calculations and/or findings based on it).

A lot of data was recorded like this: using satellites and submarines and monitoring stations and such, where the US (or other governments, but let's deal specifically with the US) did not want the capabilities and/or locations of their equipment known. There was no conspiracy of climatologists. It was the usual military nonsense. The climatologists were begging for years to get the data released. They were allowed to release findings based on it, and to inspect it (provided they could get clearance, which many did), and they did these things... they just couldn't release the raw data (and in many cases, still can't).

For the record, measurements taken with non-military installations were always available, and all confirmed the results from the military measurements.

But here's the second point. When Obama took power, one of the things he started doing was declassifying important climatological data with minimal security risk. Let me put that in simple terms: the "change you can believe in" was a matter of doing exactly what you are calling for... releasing the data. It's coming in bits and pieces, and has been for months (long before climategate).

If you seriously want the raw data, ask for it. Pressure the government to speed up its declassification. But i don't think that's what you really want. i think you just want to sit on the sidelines and cry conspiracy. Because obviously you haven't lifted a finger to seek out the truth behind climategate.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
If you seriously want the raw data, ask for it. Pressure the government to speed up its declassification. But i don't think that's what you really want. i think you just want to sit on the sidelines and cry conspiracy. Because obviously you haven't lifted a finger to seek out the truth behind climategate.
That is an awful accusation to make Indi. Perhaps it is true for some, but there are a lot of people who would just like to hear the truth. I did considerable Internet searching for "the truth" and got NONE that I knew how to trust. Yours was the very first insight I got from a real scientist and impressed me right up to the last paragraph. It is also up to scientists to ensure that the public gets to hear the truth. Yet possibly scientists may share your cynicism of the public and what they really are about and should not know (because that would get them to come to the wrong conclusions) or should know (so that they can come to the right conclusions). You had me completely mesmerized and I was completely with you paragraph for paragraph until the last paragraph. As that is in essence what it is all about. Scientists really thinking all people outside their world are idiots, and because they are not scientists they cannot and possibly even do not want to hear the truth. Ironically and symbolically the last paragraph of your posting is pretty much what came out in the e-mails that had been quoted in the press as well. People out their are idiots and scientists need to either withhold information so that they don't come to the wrong conclusions or scientists should ideally be on the same page with their conclusions as differing ones could also create a problem among the idiots.

Another excellent posting Indi, except for the last paragraph!
Indi
deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
If you seriously want the raw data, ask for it. Pressure the government to speed up its declassification. But i don't think that's what you really want. i think you just want to sit on the sidelines and cry conspiracy. Because obviously you haven't lifted a finger to seek out the truth behind climategate.
That is an awful accusation to make Indi. Perhaps it is true for some, but there are a lot of people who would just like to hear the truth. I did considerable Internet searching for "the truth" and got NONE that I knew how to trust.

While i'm sure that's fascinating, i wasn't talking to you or "a lot of people". i was talking to the person who posted the lies and half truths in this thread - the person i replied directly after.

If you care about the truth, but can't find it, fine. Ask. Seek out people who might know. Or, at the very least, keep your damn mouth shut. That's the right thing to do.

The wrong thing to do, if you care about the truth, is to parrot whatever nonsense you happen to come across that agrees with what you what to believe.

deanhills wrote:
Yet possibly scientists may share your cynicism of the public and what they really are about and should not know (because that would get them to come to the wrong conclusions) or should know (so that they can come to the right conclusions).

i'm not sure what "cynicism of the public" you are talking about, but i suspect that, too, is part of your misguided backseat moderation.

My reply was directed specifically at the person who is spreading falsehoods, and clearly attempting to deliberate reframe the "climategate" events to reflect his own political agenda. He is not only repeating lies without making any effort to look into the truth, he is doing so in a blatantly offensive manner. He didn't bother to look up the truth behind anything he posted - even the claims he made about the so-called "hockey stick" graph are all bunk. He is spreading lies, and carefully crafted half-truths, for the sake of his own political beliefs - and he is slandering science in general, climate scientists in particular (and even, in some cases, specific people) while doing it. If he really cared about whether Phil Jones was "disgraced" or not, a ten second Google search would have answered his curiosity... but he didn't care - he certainly didn't care about about the man to take ten goddamn seconds to look up the truth before pissing on his name. Phil Jones is apparently just another casualty to capitalize on in the quest to discredit what one doesn't want to believe.

In light of all this blatant dishonesty, i was rather gentle. Science needs to be defended not only against stupidity, but also against vile dishonesty and deliberate misrepresentation.
jwellsy
The man-made global warming HOAXERS love to pound their chest and declare that the debate is over. Never mind that that the software used to analyze the original data is flawed with limits and boundaries to throw out and hide data that didn't fit their agenda.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOsLbsxOXPs
Never mind that the stalagmite studies have repeatedly shown that the medieval warmup period was hotter than it is now.
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st279?pg=6
Never mind that NASA claims that Mars has had similar quantity of heating.
http://www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/frameset.php?pageid=http%3A//www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/press/140110.php
You may want to review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct
Bikerman
jwellsy wrote:
The man-made global warming HOAXERS love to pound their chest and declare that the debate is over. Never mind that that the software used to analyze the original data is flawed with limits and boundaries to throw out and hide data that didn't fit their agenda.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOsLbsxOXPs
Never mind that the stalagmite studies have repeatedly shown that the medieval warmup period was hotter than it is now.
http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st279?pg=6

Never mind that NASA claims that Mars has had similar quantity of heating.
http://www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/frameset.php?pageid=http%3A//www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/press/140110.php
You may want to review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_misconduct

LOL..OK, so what do we have here:
I'm not even going to look at the first youtube reference. If it isn't published then the chances are it is bogus in some way. I've had to refute too many similar allegations to take any of them seriously without something better than youtube.
The second study is at least published but shows nothing of the sort. It is based on the Soon and Baliurus data on South African caves. It shows that South African caves were warmer at some point. You cannot extrapolate global mean temperature from a single-source because of regional climate variations. A quick look at the hemispheric data for the last few years shows you how even the two hemispheres vary independently, let alone individual countries. Since the sensitivity is coarse the study could not establish a timescale resolution fine enough to correlate with potential variables - like North-south heat-flows, so it is invalid to extrapolate such a local anomaly into a global temperature mean, even if the proxy data is reliable.
The third paper does indeed appear to show Mars heating. Now, look to the data young seeker-after-truth and see what it is and what it shows.
It is based on ice-cap shrinkage observations. That tells you immediately that it is a local temperature change and maybe or maybe not global. Now the age - it shows the shrinkage between 2001 and 2005. Finally consider this - Mars is getting less solar irradiance in 2005 than in 2001 (the Sun is near solar minimum by 2005). So if the sun isn't driving the ice-cap shrinkage then what is? Answer is probably that it is a local change and does not reflect a change in global mean temperature at all. Such a local change is actually predicted by the Mars Climate Model at NASA which shows that the poles have unstable local climate systems.

I don't think any malpractice charges are justified quite yet
ocalhoun
jwellsy wrote:

Never mind that NASA claims that Mars has had similar quantity of heating.
http://www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/frameset.php?pageid=http%3A//www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/press/140110.php

If true, that does poke a big hole in the anthropogenic climate change theory.

Is the climate changing? Sure, there's never been a time in history when it wasn't.
Are humans causing it? I doubt it.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
jwellsy wrote:

Never mind that NASA claims that Mars has had similar quantity of heating.
http://www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/frameset.php?pageid=http%3A//www.mi2g.com/cgi/mi2g/press/140110.php

If true, that does poke a big hole in the anthropogenic climate change theory.

Is the climate changing? Sure, there's never been a time in history when it wasn't.
Are humans causing it? I doubt it.
Doubt all you want, it won't change the data.

Why doesn't anyone actually check these 'facts'? The reason is simple - most of this stuff comes from a few climate 'sceptic' sites with genuine sounding titles. They then get spread around like a virus and repeated in every forum as 'conclusive proof' that the climate scientists are lying, incompetent or part of some unspecified conspiracy.

There are genuine scientific areas of dispute in the Climate Change community, but the fact that anthropogenic CO2 has warmed the earth is not one of them.
Bondings
Bikerman wrote:
LOL..OK, so what do we have here:
I'm not even going to look at the first youtube reference. If it isn't published then the chances are it is bogus in some way. I've had to refute too many similar allegations to take any of them seriously without something better than youtube.

But please, YouTube is the best way to debunk science theories and uncover conspiracies. Without YouTube, we would never have known about the Titanic conspiracy. What else than a YouTube video could so easily show that metal is stronger than ice? The climate conspiracy is just as easily debunked on YouTube. Wink
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

Why doesn't anyone actually check these 'facts'? The reason is simple - most of this stuff comes from a few climate 'sceptic' sites with genuine sounding titles.


Quote:
To determine the extent of surface changes on Mars, scientists took images from the Viking (launched 1975) and Mars Global Surveyor (1996) satellite missions and mapped them into a climate model developed at NASA Ames Research Center. They discovered that a wind-whipped, dusty surface has a measurable effect on the amount of sunlight that is reflected by the planet. The results of this research show that an increase in darkened surface areas may account for a one degree Fahrenheit rise in the surface air temperature of the planet.


So, there is a temperature increase on Mars, but there's another explanation for it.
(Though, I'd be interested to find out what caused the increased winds.)
Bikerman
Err...there is an APPARENT local temperature change at the pole. It may or may not be a 'real' temperature change.
If it is a real temperature change then it is most likely to be local (just as the climate of the Earth has local variations).
The only way the Global temperature of Mars can change is with either more irradiance from the Sun (orbital variation, solar output variation) or with changes to the atmosphere of the planet to hold-on to more heat (ie increases in greenhouse gasses). Since it seems that the latter is very unlikely then the former is the only mechanism that would be consistent with the laws of science as we know them).
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

The only way the Global temperature of Mars can change is with either more irradiance from the Sun (orbital variation, solar output variation) or with changes to the atmosphere of the planet to hold-on to more heat (ie increases in greenhouse gasses).

Um, I guess you didn't read what I quoted... that's okay.
They say the temperature change is due to unusually high winds, which have changed the ground surface, making it slightly darker, which makes it absorb more heat.
Bikerman
Possibly. The climate of Mars is modelled by NASA using a GCM. Their model shows that the poles are local climate systems with multiple 'stable' states. This means that the melting at the cap could well be a result of a local climate phenomenon and not reflect any overall temperature change over the planet.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
If true, that does poke a big hole in the anthropogenic climate change theory.

See, here's the problem. Assuming for a second that jwellsy's sources are even remotely legitimate (and i'll get back to that), then the above statement is STILL wrong. As Bikerman has already pointed out, there are ways that the Martian climate could change similarly to our own for different reasons. And, in fact, scientists already looked into that - they're not as dumb as so many people think they are - and figured out what is going on. Yet the current scientific consensus on climate change remains.

The problem is that you have an impossible task. People like jwellsy can pop in, snipe off semi-believable nonsense and run off in a matter of minutes. For you to find out that it is really nonsense will take days of research. In the meantime, he can pop in, snipe off more nonsense, and disappear a dozen more times. You'll never be able to keep up, and will eventually just fall back on the old cognitive failing: "where there's smoke there's fire, and not all of his random links can be pure nonsense, right?"

The sad part is, you don't need to go through all that hassle. You don't even need to look at a single one of his random links. Why not? Because thousands of brilliant minds, especially trained in the topic, have already considered EVERY single point jwellsy will ever post a link to... and found them all lacking. The logical thing to do, then, is just trust their conclusion.

Of course, if you're of the opinion that all of these competing scientists are joined in some vast conspiracy to dupe you and the world governments in order to... oh, hell, i don't even know what the motive for that could even be.

Eh, it's up to you. You can trust the consensus of very intelligent people who have studied the topic in depth - and who are all in competition with each other to produce new answers - or you can trust... YouTube? Come on. And the Mars thing? That's covered by Bikerman elsewhere. And the third link? *sigh* Just look at the link. "ncpa.org".

Gee. i wonder who the NCPA is that might make them a trustworthy source on climate change science.

See for yourself.

GET YOUR SCIENCE FROM SCIENTISTS.

(Incidentally, even though the NCPA is clearly not a trustworthy organization for information on this topic, that doesn't make the "paper" completely illegitimate. It still might have scientific merit after all, right? It doesn't. The medieval warm period mentioned - that's a misnomer. The medieval warm period was so named because it involved uncharacteristically warm climates in Europe (and thereabouts, extending across to western North America in one direction, and Western Asia in the other). In reality, other parts of the world, like Eastern North America, were uncharacteristically cold. The net global temperature in the medieval warm period... was colder than at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (when global warming began). *rimshot* Go ahead, look it up. And look at where the stalagmite data in that "paper" was taken from: "Ireland, Germany, Oman, China and South Africa". That's "Europe, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and South Africa" - the only surprise there is South Africa, because i didn't realized it stretched that far south. But notice no American samples, North or South?)

Bikerman wrote:
The only way the Global temperature of Mars can change is with either more irradiance from the Sun (orbital variation, solar output variation) or with changes to the atmosphere of the planet to hold-on to more heat (ie increases in greenhouse gasses). Since it seems that the latter is very unlikely then the former is the only mechanism that would be consistent with the laws of science as we know them).

As far as i know from my own readings, the Mars climate change - such as it is (and it may only be localized) - is caused by increased dust storm activity. Not insolation.

ocalhoun wrote:
(Though, I'd be interested to find out what caused the increased winds.)

The same thing that caused some hurricane/typhoon seasons to be worse than others in the ages before the Industrial Revolution. Climate is a dynamic chaotic system.

It could be something as simple as that after eons of wind erosion, a key part of some mountain collapsed, changing the wind dynamic around it, which then built up in the "butterfly effect" to create massive dust storms. Who knows? We don't have enough information on Martian weather patterns to give so specific an answer (as we would on Earth, nowadays). But what we do know is that once the winds picked up, the cycle would accelerate (more winds -> more dust kicked up -> larger temperature gradients in the atmosphere -> more winds) which is what we're observing.
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