Climategate – a year old and still going strong

It is a year since emails were leaked from the University of East Anglia in the scandal called Climategate. Despite protestations from some that this was an unlawful act and the emails prove nothing (really they don’t), they do in fact reveal inappropriate intentions, collusion between scientists to subvert the peer review process and an unscientific refusal to share scientific information.

The only reason Phil Jones was not prosecuted for breaches of the Freedom of Information Act was that too much time had elapsed since his offences. He’s guilty all right, but because the time expired no court is permitted to hear the charges against him.

To mark the anniversary, Val sends us this cartoon.

global warming cartoon

21 Thoughts on “Climategate – a year old and still going strong

  1. We could also mention the complete whitewashes of so-called “independent” inquiries, which spectacularly managed to completely avoid addressing any of the issues.

    In particular, none of the inquiries addressed the issues around the deletion of emails.

    This to me is the bigger scandal.

  2. val majkus on November 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm said:

    This is a bit of a personal story
    but first of all thanks to a commentator whose name I can’t find on the WUWT
    where I found the cartoon
    the name Climategate came from an Aussie commentator on that site
    see Quadrant Online
    Bulldust: Oz blogger hero
    July 7, 2010

    Guinness Book of Records please note.

    Anthony Watts claims an Australian contributor to his blog was the first to dub the breaking CRU scandal “ClimateGate”:
    Oh, and a note of acknowledgment to WUWT regular “bulldust” who coined the phrase “Climategate” right here on WUWT (Bulldust coined the phrase at 3:52PM PST Nov 19th) just hours after we broke the story. It was great to meet you in Perth.

    At the time Climategate broke my sister had recently died and I had ceased my legal practice in Tamworth Australia to look after my mother (who was and remains blind) but I still remained interested in what was happening in Australia

    Two months later I wrote an open letter to Australian Parliamentarians (first published on and published on Quadrant Online
    Here’s the first para:
    Until Climategate occurred I didn’t really think much about global warming; like a friend of mine I thought ‘well the Government is relying upon expert opinion.’ When Climategate occurred as a person with a legal background and with an open mind I did a lot of research on the web. In light of that research I immediately wrote to Senators before the CPRS vote in the Senate late last year and this year I have written to Senator Moore saying dodgy science doesn’t make good laws; in the reply I received from her office I was referred to extensive processes which the Govt had undertaken. However those processes all took place before the revelations of the Climategate e-mails and therefore do not address the trustworthiness of the science. This must be addressed by a Royal Commission before Australia is saddled with a costly scheme to address a perceived problem which it is doubtful does exist.

    (the letter is pretty lengthy so don’t bother reading it unless you really want to)

    Since then I have remained a climate sceptic (or as Dr Tim Ball puts it someone with ‘an open mind’ )

    Because I have to care for my mother I wasn’t able to see Lord Monkton or Anthony Watts when they were respectively in Aust

    I noticed today on WUWT anniversary article
    a comment by the scientist who accompanied Anthony on his tour in Aust David Archibald; here’s the comment

    David Archibald says:
    November 19, 2010 at 12:22 pm
    I can’t help myself. I love Henry V:

    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say ‘To-morrow is Climategate Day.’
    Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
    And say ‘These wounds I had on Climategate Day.’
    Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
    But he’ll remember, with advantages,
    What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
    Familiar in his mouth as household words-
    Anthony Watts, Bishop Hill, the woman with the blackboard
    Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Climategate Day shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

    Well; A year on and what has been achieved? Not sure; but I’ve sure learned a lot; what’s your story?

  3. val majkus on November 20, 2010 at 9:12 pm said:

    On this anniversary I’ve been looking at temperatures and thought you readers might be interested in this article published on Australian Climate Science Coalition
    Posted: 17th November 2010
    Global warmers are in full retreat as Aussie experts admit growing doubts about their own methods as a new study shows one third of temperatures are not reliable says this article by John O’Sullivan and Val Majkus at Canada Free Press.

    LINK to article

    The reason I started to think about temperatures today was the strange homegenisation which occurred with Canadian temperatures
    and for those who believe satellites are infallible here’s a good site to catch up on
    Global warming data apparently cooked by U.S. government-funded body shows astounding temperature fraud with increases averaging 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
    (a couple of paras)

    The tax-payer funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has become mired in fresh global warming data scandal involving numbers for the Great Lakes region that substantially ramp up averages.

    A beleaguered federal agency appears to be implicated in the most blatant and extreme case of climate data fraud yet seen. Official records have been confirmed as evidence that a handful of temperature records for the Great Lakes region have been hiked up by literally hundreds of degrees to substantially inflate the average temperature range for the northeastern United States.

    strange though how it always seems to go upwards

  4. Richard C (NZ) on November 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm said:

    From: Kevin Trenberth
    To: Michael Mann
    Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
    Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
    Cc: Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , “Philip D. Jones” , Benjamin Santer , Tom Wigley , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer

    Hi all
    Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing

    Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
    That said there is a LOT of nonsense about the PDO. People like CPC are tracking PDO on a monthly basis but it is highly correlated with ENSO. Most of what they are seeing is the change in ENSO not real PDO. It surely isn’t decadal. The PDO is already reversing with the switch to El Nino. The PDO index became positive in September for first time since Sept 2007. see
    The following series of posts stems from the above email and this T&F paper showing their missing energy

    Tracking Earth’s energy: From El Niño to global warming
    Kevin E. Trenberth and John T. Fasullo February 2010

    If we can measure the net radiative incoming or outgoing energy at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), then because energy is conserved, we should account for where it has gone. The main energy reservoir is the ocean, and the exchange of energy between the atmosphere and ocean is ubiquitous, so that heat once sequestered can resurface at a later time to affect weather and climate on a global scale. Thus a change in the energy balance has consequences, sooner or later, for the climate. Moreover, we have observing systems in place that nominally can measure all we need, but it remains a challenge to obtain closure.
    Some Comments on Earth’s “Missing Energy”
    April 21st, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    A recent short article by Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo discussed the fact that our satellites that monitor (1) the total amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth, and (2) the total infrared (IR) energy given off by the Earth, have suggested that these flows of energy in and out of the Earth’s climate system have been increasingly out of balance in the last 10 years, with an increase in absorbed energy by as much as 1 Watt per sq. meter.

    Even though this 1 Watt per sq. meter is small compared to the average flows of energy — which are estimated to be somewhere around 235 to 240 Watts per sq. meter — it represents a substantial heating effect.

    The problem is that the oceans have not been warming in response to this imbalance. Trenberth and Fasullo seem to lean toward the possibility that this heat is “missing” somewhere, maybe temporarily trapped in the deep ocean. Roger Pielke, Sr., has voiced his opinion that the heat could not have magically avoided the ocean temperature sensors, both in space and floating around the world’s oceans, which monitor ocean surface and upper layer temperatures.
    I’m sorry, but at some point we need to ask whether all of this missing warming and energy are missing because they really do not exist. This is Roger Pielke, Sr.’s opinion, and at this point it is mine as well. Only time will tell.
    [Maybe a Deep Ocean Penetration Experiment (DOPE) is reqd]
    Further Comment By Kevin Trenberth
    April 26, 2010…8:40 am

    I saw Roy Spencer’s comment for the first time and it is not correct. The CERES data are indeed processed to give the reflected solar radiation and outgoing longwave radiation, which combine to give the net radiation. The biggest single change, which occurred abruptly, is a drop in OLR at the beginning of January 2008 and lasting throughout most of 2009 with only a brief return to “normal”. Values are between 0.5 and 1 W m-2 below the normal which is the mean for the record from 2000 through about 2005 (I think) and thus not normal in the sense of being radiatively balanced (the zero is not a true zero). On the other hand, the reflected solar is higher from 2000 through 2003, and runs up to about 0.5 W m-2 below the mean thereafter.
    A Response to Kevin Trenberth
    April 26th, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    To further support my comments, here are the global-average CERES ERBE-like ES-4 Edition 2 radiative flux anomalies for reflected solar (1st graph) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR, 2nd graph) for the period 2000 through 2008…these are daily running 91-day averages:

    Clearly, the long-term “trend” during 2000 through 2008 was in the reflected solar (SW), not OLR (LW).
    April 26 2010 Reply By Kevin Trenberth
    April 27, 2010…10:03 am

    I do not understand the figures Roy has presented. I am attaching the official CERES figure from the “The State of the climate in 2008″ published in BAMS and I have added in pink a characterization of the departures from normal which are rather different than those Roy presents. There are different versions of CERES and we also have a more up to date figure that includes an extra year, but it is not my figure and I can not pass it on: it does not change much though.
    Earths Missing Energy: Trenberth’s Plot Proves My Point
    April 28th, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    The plot that is included in Kevin Trenberth’s most recent post on Roger Pielke, Sr.’s blog actually proves the point I have been making: The trend in the imbalance in the Earth’s radiation budget as measured by the CERES instrument of NASA’s Terra satellite that has been building since about 2000 is primarily in the reflected solar (shortwave, or SW, or RSW) component, not the emitted infrared (longwave, or LW) component.

    To demonstrate that, the following is the chart from Trenberth’s most recent post, upon which I have overlaid the 2000-2008 trend lines from MY plots of CERES data, and which we have computed from the official NASA-blessed ES-4 Edition 2 global gridpoint dataset.
    This was the end of responses that I can see but I don’t think Trenberth has moved from his position since and is now Chair of GEWEX Scientific Steering Group (SSG)

    Mission: To observe, understand and model the hydrological cycle and energy fluxes in the Earth’s atmosphere and at the surface.

    The Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) is an integrated program of research, observations, and science activities ultimately leading to the prediction of global and regional climate change

    GEWEX Organization Within WCRP

    GEWEX is in Phase II (2003-2012), which in the context of the original objectives, is addressing the following principal scientific questions.

    * Are the Earth’s energy budget and water cycle changing?
    * How do processes contribute to feedback and causes of natural variability?
    * Can we predict these changes on up to seasonal to interannual?
    * What are the impacts of these changes on water resources?

    [The “understand” function being prime – hopefully]

    Lin et al 2010 “Estimations of climate sensitivity based on top-of-atmosphere radiation imbalance” makes this strident call:-

    “Since for the modeled climate system (or for the climate variability on time scales about a century) the climate memory is generally within 1 to 10 years, the estimated total climate feedback coefficient ftot would be in the range of −1.3 to −1.0 W/m2/K for the estimated 0.85 W/m2 TOA radiation imbalance.
    “Because of the extreme importance of the climate energy
    imbalance for climate studies
    as shown in this report, longterm measurements of the TOA radiation with both high precision and high absolute accuracy are desperately demanded. These measurements will provide the key information to nail down the climate feedback and middle-range climate sensitivity. A great potential in accurate climate predictions, thus, could be realized………..”

    [i.e. There are others that “desperately” demand observation systems (GEWEX) to confirm their model-based TOA radiation imbalance estimate in order for the warming hypothesis to be perpetuated and now Trenberth is Chair of the steering committee to facilitate that – or not as the case may be]

  5. Richard C (NZ) on November 21, 2010 at 12:36 am said:

    “Until Climategate occurred I didn’t really think much about global warming; like a friend of mine I thought ‘well the Government is relying upon expert opinion.’ When Climategate occurred as a person with a legal background and with an open mind I did a lot of research on the web”

    Val, my story is similar except that I was disgusted with NZ’s ETS but not enough to be motivated to really delve into the science and I naively trusted the climate scientists as a professional group or so I thought. My assessment was only intuitive at that stage.

    I was not however, naive to the UN and totalitarianism so I was following the lead up to COP15 closely as I new they had a golden opportunity to impose global governance in some form. I saw how our politicians were completely gulled by Ban Ki-Moon’s posturing but I was not prepared for the fact that the science had been manipulated to fit that agenda.

    The Climategate story broke and I followed it at DT,TBR, tAV and WUWT, saw Bulldust’s comment and eventually read not just emails but the code and spreadsheets that get overlooked in reviews. With my background in engineering, thermodynamics, materials lab, economics, research, information technology and all the associated legal and regulatory frameworks, I could not believe what I was seeing. All the physics snippets in the back of my mind from the last 20+ years suddenly came front of mind and the whole picture came together.

    My interest in COP15 from then on was intense as a result.

    So although COP15 was not a revelation, Climategate definitely was and I was able to see how the entire collusion had been manufactured. Up until then I had not read an IPCC report but I’ve had my head in those and the models ever since..

    So that’s my story. I came to climate via totalitarianism, not science ironically, given that I’m fortunate to be in a position now to be able to assess the science that was not on my radar previously.

    My enduring memory was a comment at WUWT when we were all amazed that the MSM had not picked up the Climategate story:

    “The only thing that stands between us and totalitarianism, is the internet”.

  6. val majkus on November 21, 2010 at 11:02 am said:

    RichardC thank you for those educational comments;
    I don’t know if your readers are aware of Climategate analysis
    by John P. Costella
    published I think in early December 2009
    this is from his editorial:
    The most difficult thing for a scientist in the era of Climategate is trying to explain to
    family and friends why it is so distressing to scientists. Most people don’t know how science
    really works: there are no popular television shows, movies, or books that really depict the
    everyday lives of real scientists; it just isn’t exciting enough. I’m not talking here about
    the major discoveries of science—which are well-described in documentaries, popular science
    series, and magazines—but rather how the process of science (often called the “scientific
    method”) actually works.
    The best analogy that I have been able to come up with, in recent weeks, is the criminal
    justice system—which is (rightly or wrongly) abundantly depicted in the popular media.
    Everyone knows what happens if police obtain evidence by illegal means: the evidence is
    ruled inadmissible; and, if a case rests on that tainted evidence, it is thrown out of court. The
    justice system is not saying that the accused is necessarily innocent; rather, that determining
    the truth is impossible if evidence is not protected from tampering or fabrication.
    The same is true in science: scientists assume that the rules of the scientific method have
    been followed, at least in any discipline that publishes its results for public consumption. It
    is that trust in the process that allows me, for example, to believe that the human genome
    has been mapped—despite my knowing nothing about that field of science at all. That same
    trust has allowed scientists at large to similarly believe in the results of climate science.
    Until now.

    The e mails, documents and all files are linked there together with an analysis of the key e mails

  7. There’s a pretty interesting article on Climategate by Terence Kealey here:

    What Does Climategate Say About Science?

    It’s well worth a read, putting this into some historical perspective.

    I found these comments in the article about Pythagoras rather illuminating:

    But Pythagoras had a student called Hippasus, and Hippasus discovered that the square root of 2, √2 is not a rational number. It is in fact an ‘irrational’ number, and its exact quantity will never be precisely calculated because, as Hippasus showed two and a half thousand years ago, irrational numbers can never be definitively calculated. This proof upset Pythagoras and he asked Hippasus to retract it. But Hippasus refused, so Pythagoras had him drowned.

  8. val majkus on November 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm said:

    Thanks Andy for that article; the old scientists are advocates principle; I don’t see though why advocacy is inconsistent with transparency and the author of the article implied that advocacy can entail a lack of transparency; in any event what Climategate has shown in my view is that politicisation of science results in its minimisation; or I suppose a better way of saying that is that once science becomes political it’s no longer unbiased science

  9. Richard C (NZ) on November 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm said:

    In case this is too much info, I should clarify that it deals with:-

    “Missing Energy” – a discrepancy between OHC and TOA energy budget.


    “Missing Heat” – a discrepancy between model temperature predictions 2000 – present and observed temperatures.


    “Missing Hot-Spot” – the missing AGW signature in the upper troposphere above the tropics.

    The Trenberth and Fasullo article is an easy read and well worth it along with the subsequent comment-response sequence.

    The Spencer-Miskolczi debate is similar and addresses the near equality of incoming and outgoing radiative fluxes. Miskolczi replies in comments.

    Hertzberg, Schreuder and Siddons show how deeply erroneous assumptions about theoretical vs. real body radiative estimates lead to the erroneous warming assumption in “A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon?” (easy read).

    Hertzberg also has a paper “Earth’s Radiative Equilibrium in the Solar Irradiance”

  10. Yes I completely agree there Val. One has to wonder whether climate science was ever unbiased, since the formation of the IPCC, UN Agenda 21, etc.

    However, I think it is interesting that, in the historical context, the politicisation of science is not a particularly new phenomenon.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on November 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm said:


    “Earth’s Radiative Equilibrium in the Solar Irradiance”

    Various agencies, including IPCC [5] have estimated the measured changes in the
    average atmospheric temperature near the Earth’s surface over the last century to be as
    1910 – 1940, increase of 0.5 C;
    1940 – 1970, decrease of 0.2 C;
    1970 – 2000, increase of 0.5 C.
    As can be seen from Fig. 2, those increases of 0.5 C for the two thirty year spans from 1910 to 1940 and from 1970 to 2000, correspond to a relatively small decrease of only 1.5 percent in Earth’s albedo. The observed decrease in temperature of 0.2 C from 1940 to 1970 corresponds to an albedo increase of only 0.5 percent.

    Those modest changes in temperature are thus readily explained in terms of minor changes in albedo, brought about by small changes in cloudiness and/or snow and ice cover over the Earth’s surface.


    Pure water reaches its maximum density at 4 0C, whereas saline ocean water reaches
    its maximum density at its freezing point which is slightly below 0 0C. Those density
    differences, caused by temperature and salinity variations between the polar latitudes
    and lower latitudes, generate ocean circulations. It is at the temperature of its
    maximum density that the largest mass of oceanic water accumulates by gravity into
    an insulated storage realm of enormous mass in the lowest regions of the ocean depths
    below the thermocline. Near its maximum density state, that large mass is effectively
    insulated from the temperature variations of the warmer surface waters in the
    equatorial and subtropical latitudes. Those higher temperature waters remain floating
    on the surface while the lower temperature mass sinks by gravity to accumulate below
    in a storage realm with an enormous capacity for the accumulation of sensible heat.
    The heat and mass transport from that enormous ocean reservoir to the atmosphere are
    the dominant factors in determining temperatures and weather conditions over the
    entire globe.

    It is intriguing to note that for the Moderate Earth – which obeys Kirchhoff’s
    radiation law with an absorptivity that was equal to its emissivity – the equilibrium
    temperature was T (e) = 5.7 0C. Now, the average temperature of the ocean’s surface
    waters is about 17.6 0C [10]; however, as one descends below the surface to the
    thermocline and below, one soon reaches the higher density water in that enormous
    storage realm whose temperature is nearly constant at about 3 0C. If one takes a mass
    weighted average of the surface water temperature of 17.6 0C and that much larger
    subsurface mass at 3 0C, one obtains an average ocean temperature that is close to the
    5.7 0C temperature required by Kirchhoff’s radiation law. Is that really a coincidence?
    Or is it simply a reflection of the fact that Earth is in radiative equilibrium with the
    Sun, with its absorptivity and emissivity in balance on the longest of time scales. It
    should be no surprise that balance is maintained by the one entity that meteorologists
    and climatologists have long known to be the major determinant of Earth’s weather –
    the oceans.

  12. val majkus on November 21, 2010 at 4:59 pm said:

    and don’t forget the thoughts of Charles R Anderson
    Neither I nor Hertzberg, Siddons, and Schreuder were claiming that the moon is experiencing a greenhouse effect. What they were clearly saying is that there is an effect on the moon, which has no atmosphere, which is also an effect on earth. But on earth, the effect is mistakenly attributed to the greenhouse gas effect.

  13. val majkus on November 21, 2010 at 9:18 pm said:

    I knew I was thinking about temperatures for a reason and I’ve found it
    by New Zealand’s illustrious Dr Vincent Grey

    The most important climate property for establishing the “greenhouse” theory is temperature

    It is the public perception that the globe is warming. Yet there is no technique currently available to us to discover whether this is true, to a known level of accuracy. It is just not possible to place temperature measuring equipment in a random and representative fashion over the entire surface of the earth, Even measuring the surface temperature in one single place cannot be done in a satisfactory manner. This point is eloquently made by Hansen11 and elaborated by Pielke et al.12

    Yet it was Hansen himself13 who was responsible for the suggestion that “temperature anomalies” could be established by making use of temperature measurements at weather stations. He proposed a system of dividing the globe into latitude/longitude boxes, averaging temperature measurements from approved stations within each box, and by comparing the “anomaly” figures for each year it would be possible to establish a temperature “trend” for the entire earth’s surface

    There are many objections to this procedure. The greatest is that the original observations, which would have consisted of daily records carried out by many people in many places, appear to be lost. At least they are not publicly available. The Mean Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Record (MGSTAR) cannot be checked by using the original observations.

    Locations ot weather stations are grossly unrepresentative of the earth’s surface. They do not include the 71% that is ocean. Inclusion of sea surface temperatures have been made by the CRU14 but these measurements are even less accurate than the surface measurements and Hansen at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the other US system the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) have never accepted them. .

    Few people seem to understand how limited are actual temperature measurements made at weather stations and under what conditions. The equipment has tended to include a Stevenson Screen, situated 2 meters or so above the ground, containing liquid-in-glass thermometers read only once a day. Some of the early readings are single figures, but most were of the maximum and the minimum figure. If read in the morning the maximum would be for the previous calendar day.

    Until recently, there has been no method for continuous measurement. The “mean daily temperature” that is the basis for the Hansen/CRU/GHCN temperature anomaly record has been the average of the daily maximum and minimum.

    Surface temperatures at different times in any one place do not form a symmetrical sequence. The daytime temperatures are dependent on the sun and its changing elevation, but at night there is no sun and the temperature regime is entirely different, There is no definable average temperature for this skewed distribution

    Even if there were an acceptable average, it cannot be related to the mean of a mximum and minimum, which is all we have of a “mean daily temperature” .A study I made recently15 compared the Maximum/Minimum mean with the 24 hourly mean for a summer and a winter day for 20 weather stations in New Zealand I found that the difference between the two means could be as high as ±2ºC This figure would be expected to be higher for places with a greater temperature variation and for many past temperatures.

    The procedure adopted to obtain the Mean Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Record (MGSTAR) calculates multiple simple arithmetic averages of distributions of figures that are not symmetrical, at every step,. .Each of these individual “mean daily temperatures” has to be averaged with all the others in the chosen box, then monthly, then yearly, then subtracted from the average figure for the whole lot, for a reference period. The figures for each box are then averaged to give the MGSTAR. The uncertainties for each of these processes are certainly very high, but they are ignored completely when compiling the MGSTAR.

    D’Aleo and Watts16 have recently provided a long list of sources of inaccuracy with surface temperature records. Watts has carried out a comprehensive survey of US weather stations which showed that 82% of them are incapable of measuring temperature to better than one or two degrees,

    It must surely be concluded that a “trend” of less than one degree in 100 years in the MGSTAR is far lower than the likely accuracy of the method, and is therefore unreliable,

    It is interesting that in a discussion of the uncertainties in the CRU temperature anomaky record, Brohan et al17 admit that there are “unknown unknowns” which they are unable to quantify, citing the well-known expert on this subject, Donald Rumsfeld

    The attempted simulation of the MGSTAR by the IPCC has difficulties beyond those related to the very low accuracy of the record itself. In the first draft of the 4th IPCC Report this simulation attempt occurred in Chapter 8 “Evaluation of Climate Models”. This attempt included natural climate effects such as volcanic eruptions and changes in the Sun. I commented that the simulation did not include the most important influences on the MGSTAR, which are the ocean oscillations and the urbanization influence around weather stations. I felt so strongly about this issue that I repeated it in an additional comment.

    When the Report was finished3 I was glad to see that my comment had been headed fprthe attempt to simulate the MGSTAR had been removed from Chapter 8. I felt that I had made a useful contribution. But then, I found that it had been included in “Frequently Asked Questions No 8.1 and also in the Preliminary “Technical Report” where I had somehow escaped making comments. But my comment still stands. The simulation is defective.

    check it out; by one of your heroes!

  14. Richard C (NZ) on November 22, 2010 at 9:41 am said:

    I think the key is quality not quantity i.e.

    *No airport stations (they’re for aviation).
    *No UHI influenced stations
    *No subjective adjustments.
    *No short-term records.

    Look no further than The Central England Temperature dataset.

    “‘AGW? I refute it THUS!': Central England Temperatures 1659 to 2009″ – James Delingpole

    Same record, different vert scale and slightly shorter from C3 Headlines.

    Personally I’m a fan of 1m below ground temperature measurement like this example from Griffith, Australia “Heat into the Ground”

    Nice smooth sine curves. Where I would find long-term records, I don’t know.

    While we’re at, a special page for Gareth Renowden again from C3 Headlines

    “Climate Model Predictions vs Reality” from C3 Headlines

    Featuring “James Hansen’s Climate Model Failures Since 1988″. The “Accumulated Ocean Heat” comparison is topical too.

  15. val majkus on November 22, 2010 at 10:38 am said:

    Thanks Richard for those links and here’s a link for you
    I don’t know if you’re aware of John’s work; he’s a member of the Australian Science Coalition and his bio is on their website
    You’ll enjoy
    Tropospheric temperatures – 9 graphs summarising lower tropospheric temperatures28 OCT 2010

  16. Richard C (NZ) on November 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm said:

    J. D. McLean,

    Applied Science Consultants, Croydon, Victoria, Australia.

    General Notes.
    1 – The information on these pages is updated when I have time and when there’s something worth posting. I’ll try to ensure that new items appear in the “What’s New” listing so you can keep track of changes.

    2 – I’m a member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, see

    3 – My public email address is mcleanjoh (at) but I don’t check every day for email.

    What’s New

    28 Oct 2010 Global “Glaciergate” highlights IPCC flaws
    28 Oct 2010 Global Lower Tropospheric temperatures to Aug 2010
    27 Sep 2010 General We Have Been Conned – an independent review of the IPCC
    02 Apr 2010 Australia Addition to Melbourne as an Urban Heat Island
    31 Mar 2010 General Censorship at AGU: Scientists denied right of reply
    16 Mar 2010 Global Lower Tropospheric temperatures to Feb 2010 now at v5.3
    9 Feb 2010 Australian Updated page about Great Barrier Reef sea temperatures
    06 Dec 2009 General Posted essay “Climate Science Corrupted”

  17. Richard C (NZ) on November 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm said:

    How we were censored

    by Bob Carter and John McLean

    March 29, 2010

    Climate science censorship in action at the American Geophysical Union

    Censorship of the right of reply by the original authors of a scientific paper to criticism is extremely rare, and requires extraordinary circumstances to justify or explain it. In this case, the explanation seems to be improper actions taken, or not taken, by both the FEA authors and the editor of the JGR.

    Probably because of their alarm at the impact that the MFC paper was having on public opinion, at about the same time that they submitted their critique to the JGR editor, FEA also took the remarkable step of posting it on the web, formatted in JGR publication style – this posting in effect masquerading as an AGU publication.

    Doubly unfortunately for the FEA group, some months after the submission and posting of their critique the Climategate emails were released into the public domain. Amongst these emails were several that contain behind-the-scenes interchanges between the FEA authors, and between them and the JGR editor. Thus has been revealed in full glory the techniques by which the FEA authors strive to undermine or negate papers that throw doubt on their cherished hypothesis that dangerous global warming is driven by human carbon dioxide emissions.

    The techniques used by FEA and the AGU editor in pursuing their cause on this occasion have included:

    * Pre-publication of a scientific critique in a deliberately duplicitous fashion, formatted to make it appear that it has already been refereed and published in JGR;
    * Improper discussion of the paper after its submission between one of the authors and the President of the AGU, with an implied aim of influence;
    * Nomination of peer reviewers for the critique who are close professional colleagues of the authors, and who, in contravention of JGR requests for nomination of unbiased referees, were nominated because they were expected to be supportive of the critique;
    * A request to AGU (which was granted) that the editor who handled the original MFC paper be replaced by another more senior editor;
    * The new editor failing to reject the FEA critique outright on grounds of its undeniable prior publication in AGU;
    * The reviewers and editor all failing to discern that the critique doesn’t address the substantive matter of whether the conclusions of the MFC paper were supported by scientific evidence, but instead concentrates on criticizing a statistical procedure that is irrelevant to the conclusions; and finally
    * The new editor failing to provide a fair right of reply to MFC in the face of weak, and partly quite incorrect, criticism of their paper.

    As a consequence of all this, and perhaps of other actions that have not been exposed, the authors of an independently peer-reviewed paper published in a mainstream scientific journal, and which has important implications for public climate policy, have been denied the opportunity to defend their paper against weak and specious criticism.

    Has the Journal of Geophysical Research been coerced into defending the climate alarmist faith?

    by J. McLean, C.R. de Freitas, and R.M. Carter | March 29, 2010

    “Having now read the paper [McLean et al., 2009] in a moment of peace and quiet, there are a few things to bear in mind. The authors of the original will have a right of reply, so need to ensure that they don’t have anything to come back on.

    Phil Jones to Jim Salinger, July 28, 2009

    But as it is written, the current paper [Foster et al. draft critique] almost stoops to the level of “blog diatribe”. The current paper does not read like a peer-reviewed journal article. The tone is sometimes dramatic and sometimes accusatory. It is inconsistent with the language one normally encounters in the objectively-based, peer-reviewed literature.”

    Anonymous referee of the Foster et al. critique, September 28, 2009

    “Incidentally I gave a copy [of the Foster et al. critique] to Mike McPhaden and discussed it with him last week when we were together at the OceanObs’09 conference. Mike is President of AGU. Basically this is an acceptance with a couple of suggestions for extras, and some suggestions for toning down the rhetoric. I had already tried that a bit. My reaction is that the main thing is to expedite this.

    Kevin Trenberth to Grant Foster, September 28, 2009

    Science is best progressed by open and free discussion in which all participants have equal rights of contribution. This is especially the case when a scientific issue is related to a matter of high public controversy – such as the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.

    In July 2009 we published a paper in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) in which we described the results of comparing global atmospheric temperature since 1958 with variations in the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climatic framework. Our analysis supported earlier research that demonstrates a close link between these factors, and indicated that a large portion of the variability in global temperature is explained by ENSO variation, thus leaving little room for a substantial human influence on temperature.

    On November 20, a newly appointed, replacement JGR editor informed us that a group of scientists led by Grant Foster had submitted a critique of our paper for publication in JGR. We were invited to write a response, which we did, submitting it to JGR on January 14, 2010.

    On March 16, the replacement editor contacted us again. He included three referees’ reports, and indicated that on the advice of these referees he was rejecting our response to the Foster et al. critique, and that the response would therefore not be published in JGR. The practice of editorial rejection of the authors’ response to criticism is unprecedented in our experience. It is surprising because it amounts to the editorial usurping of the right of authors to defend their paper and deprives readers from hearing all sides of a scientific discussion before they make up their own minds on an issue. It is declaring that the journal editor – or the reviewers to whom he defers – will decide if authors can defend papers that have already been positively reviewed and been published by that same journal. Such an attitude is the antithesis of productive scientific discussion.

    Something smells, and a hint of what is on the wind is contained in the quotations at the head of this preamble.

    To set the historical record straight, we relate below in date order the events – as they are known to us – that led to the editorial censorship of our reply to the critique by Foster et al.


  18. val majkus on November 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm said:

    An interesting analysis
    We forecast effects and outcomes of the global warming alarm movement using a structured
    analysis of analogous situations. To do this, we searched the literature and we asked experts to
    identify phenomena that were similar to the alarm currently being raised over dangerous
    manmade global warming. We obtained 71 proposed analogies. Of these, 26 met our criteria of
    being based on forecasts of material human catastrophe arising from effects of human activity on
    the physical environment, that were endorsed by experts, politicians and the media, and that were
    accompanied by calls for strong action. None of the 26 alarms were based on scientific
    forecasting procedures. None of the alarming forecasts were accurate. Governments took action
    in 23 of the analogous situations and those actions proved to be harmful in 20. The government
    programs remained in place after the predicted disasters failed to materialize. The global warming
    alarm movement appears to be the latest manifestation of a common social phenomenon of false
    alarms based on unscientific forecasts of human-cased environmental disasters. We predict that
    the alarm over forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming will, like previous similar
    alarms, result in harm
    Key words: DDT, decision making, evidence-based forecasts; global cooling; lobby groups;
    popular movements; precautionary principle; public policy; scenarios.

    conclusion? Alarms based on unscientific forecasts are a common social phenomenon. The alarms are
    used to support political movements. Dissent is punished. Expensive government interventions
    are frequently recommended and often implemented. Once in place they continue even when the
    alarming forecasts prove to be groundless, perhaps because a large sector of the economy
    depends on jobs created to “protect” against the predicted catastrophe.
    The dangerous manmade global warming alarmist movement will ultimately fail, but as
    in the past, there will be similar alarms in the future. Many people will be ready to expound on
    and believe in forecasts of new disasters. Proper science, which requires fair testing of reasonable
    alternative hypotheses and reproducible evidence, is the best defense against such false forecasts.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on November 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm said:

    Exhibit 1: Analogies to the alarm over dangerous manmade global warming

    1 Population growth and famine (Malthus) 1798
    2 Timber famine economic threat 1865
    3 Uncontrolled reproduction and degeneration (Eugenics) 1883
    4 Lead in petrol and brain and organ damage 1928
    5 Soil erosion agricultural production threat 1934
    6 Asbestos and lung disease 1939
    7 Fluoride in drinking water health effects 1945
    8 DDT and cancer 1962
    9 Population growth and famine (Ehrlich) 1968
    10 Global cooling; through to 1975 1970
    11 Supersonic airliners, the ozone hole, and skin cancer, etc. 1970
    12 Environmental tobacco smoke health effects 1971
    13 Population growth and famine (Meadows) 1972
    14 Industrial production and acid rain 1974
    15 Organophosphate pesticide poisoning 1976
    16 Electrical wiring and cancer, etc. 1979
    17 CFCs, the ozone hole, and skin cancer, etc. 1985
    18 Listeria in cheese 1985
    19 Radon in homes and lung cancer 1985
    20 Salmonella in eggs 1988
    21 Environmental toxins and breast cancer 1990
    22 Mad cow disease (BSE) 1996
    23 Dioxin in Belgian poultry 1999
    24 Mercury in fish effect on nervous system development 2004
    25 Mercury in childhood inoculations and autism 2005
    26 Cell phone towers and cancer, etc. 2008

    None of the 26 alarms were based on scientific forecasting procedures. None of the alarming forecasts were accurate. Governments took action in 23 of the analogous situations and those actions proved to be harmful in 20. The government programs remained in place after the predicted disasters failed to materialize

  20. I think a lot of this is covered in Booker & North’s book

    Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares Are Costing Us the Earth

  21. When I heard today of the Wikileaks emails and NYT publishing them, I thought this was a tad inconsistent with their position on the CRU emails

    Seems I wasn’t the only one

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