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Climategate: Insight Into the Deleted Data

I post this with a caveat that I haven't checked the math or the script but Watts Up With That there is a very interesting post on the deleted data. Steve McIntryre posts a script that attempts to recover some of this missing data. (I assume this is done by backing out the adjustments from the published data, but again the script needs to be verified.) The picture it paints is quite revealing.

Contrary to Gavin Schmidt's claim that the decline is "hidden in plain sight", the inconvenient data has simply been deleted.

The reason, as explained on Sep 22, 1999 by Michael Mann to coauthors in 938018124.txt, was to avoid giving "fodder to the skeptics". Reasonable people might well disagree with Gavin Schmidt as to whether this is a "a good way to deal with a problem" or simply a trick.

When I first heard about the leaked emails of Climategate my initial reaction was that the real revelation wasn't the change in data but the proof of the gaming of the system and the behind the scene politics. But as more analysis is done I think many (including myself) are going to be surprised at just how much smoke and mirrors was involved.

Update: In the comments, Jeff makes some interesting points and clarifications. I wanted to highlight one thing.

I do know that for AGW to be true there needs to be 2 things:

1) a real measured rise in temperatures since about 1930 (we didn't do much CO2 generation before then so going back to 1890 is cheating)
2) a good correlation between CO2 and global temperatures since 1930.

Those conditions are necessary but not sufficient. Correlation in isolation does not indicate causality. Having worked with statistical problems for a number of years I have learned this lesson far too well.

Just because CO2 and global temperatures are correlated does not in an of itself prove that CO2 is the cause of global warming. One could easily imagine a system where some other factor is causing increased (or decreased) temperatures and that CO2 levels are "caused" by these temperature changes. (I'm not suggesting this is the case. My comments are focused on the limited usefulness of correlation as a method of proof.)

The climate of the earth is a staggeringly complex system and it can't be described by one hockey-stick graph (or for that matter by blog posts like this one). Which represents the real tragedy of the behavior of the pro-AGW scientists. With a problem of this magnitude it is beyond the skills of ordinary laymen to rigorously determine accurate solutions. In these cases, one would normally turn to the appropriate experts. But if the experts are found to be falsifying the evidence, to whom do we turn?


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Comments (13)

It's not just CRU. Read th... (Below threshold)

It's not just CRU. Read this and related posts by a software pro who has looked carefully at Jim Hansen's work. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/gistemp/

"When you look at the longest lived cohort, those over about 100 years lifetime, there is no warming signal present in the data to speak of. When you look at the much shorter lived cohorts, you find a very strong warming signal, especially in the winter months. On further inspection of the data it looks like a lot of thermometers "arrived" at places with low latitudes AND at airports (newly built as the "jet age" arrived)."

I believe he was able to ge... (Below threshold)

I believe he was able to get the original FULL proxy data which included the 1960 forward data points ... he couldn't have rebuilt it because the original study showed real temerature data from 1960 forward. i.e. nothing to rebuild the proxy data from.

The entire point of this is that the tree ring proxies have to calibrated against known temperature records i.e. against thermometers and that has only been possible since the early 1900's. It is this calibration that allows scientists to convert a tree ring measurement into a temperature guess. They create a "factor" if you will to multiply the tree ring measurements. The factor they are using shows that temperatures as measured by tree ring have diverged since 1960 (which doesn't mean "not matching exactly" it means WENT IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION) vs actual temperature measurements.

One of the questions this brings up is that since tree ring proxy calibration has only been possible since 1900 at best then the calibration data 1900 to today should have included these 1960 on real temperature measurements. And if the calibration did include these measurements then the divergence would normally be reduced of eliminated (i.e. the average factor measure by the calibration data)

So my 2 question for CRU would be:
1) was the 1960 forward data used for calibration ? if yes, great, if no, Why would you eliminate about 40% of your possible calibration data ?

2) Assuming their calibration methods are clean (BIG assumption) then how many times in the last 1000 years did a divergence like this occur ? beacause that means your temperature reconstructions using tree ring data is completely buggerd ...

Maybe that is how they managed to scrub the Medieval Warm period out of the temperature history ...

The scary thing about using tree ring measurements to estimate an AVERAGE TEMPERATURE for an entire year is that you8 have to makes alot of big assumtions ...
1) the exact same rainfall, year after year after year for a thousand years
2) the exact same nutrient availability, for a thousand years
2) the exact same sunlight availble (i.e. no other trees blocking or not blocking the sun)
3) for northern trees the average winter temperature remains constant (trees don't grow in winter, tree rings measure growth, i.e. only summer temperatures)

now given that all of these variables need to remain constant, yeah right ... then trees ring data could work as a proxy ...

tree ring temperature proxies are about as good a measure of global temperatures 1,000 years ago as a pair of dice ...

Oh and the wonderful "real" temperature measurements we have had available for about the last 100 years ? (mainly in the US of course)
Over 50% of the measurement sites fail the acceptable criteria as laid out by the government organization that collects the data. Basically they are badly located and can't take accurate readings. Oh and alot of those stations are now located in urban areas that used to be rural areas (heat island effect, hot cities cool farms.) So their rise in temeratures over the last 100 years may be suspect :(

This is really Garbage in = Garbage out ...

the other side of the tree ... (Below threshold)

the other side of the tree ring coin is this:
Trees don't think we have seen warming since 1960 ... maybe our temperature measurements have been skewed since 1960 ??? inadequate heat island adjustments ? poor record keeping ?someones finger on the scale so to speak ???

Who knows ???

I do know that for AGW to be true there needs to be 2 things:

1) a real measured rise in temperatures since about 1930 (we didn't do much CO2 generation before then so going back to 1890 is cheating)
2) a good correlation between CO2 and global temperatures since 1930.

for the sake of discussion I'll agree that #1 is true ...
but #2 is where it gets difficult ... from about 1940 - 1970 CO2 rose steadily yet temps dropped (1970'ish Newsweek cover The Coming Ice Age) = bad coorelation for 30 years ...
from 1970 to 2000 CO2 rose and temps rose = good coorelation for 30 years
from 2000 to today CO2 rose temps stayed flat or dropped = bad coorelation for 10 years
so since 1930 we have had 30 years of good coorelation vs 40 years of bad coorelation

Not very strong for the AGW theory (not to be confused with Global Warming in general)

by the way is you look at CO2 and temperatures for the last 100 years its even worse ...

some will argue that something "overrode" the effects of CO2 from 1940-1970 and 2000- but they never argue with any actual strong theory of what that something was ...

for fun look into the coorelation between the sun and temperatures for the last 100 years keeping in mind coorelation DOES NOT equal causation ...

The point is that the Warmists claim CO2 is the main driver of global temperatures when it is obvious to anyone with half a brain that something else also must be playing a role big enough to override CO2 completely (see 1940-1970, 2000-) ... i.e. making CO2 a secondary driver which means the Warmists are wrong about CO2 ...

please note I do make the p... (Below threshold)

please note I do make the point that even coorelation does not equal casuation in my comment :)

my point there was that we do not even see coorelation between CO2 and temps ...

If CO2 is the main driver of temperatures then we MUST see coorelation as a starting point ... which we clearly do not see ...

If you want to see an inter... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

If you want to see an interesting graph that closely correlates to temperature check out the following link.

Twentieth Century Temperature Correlation with no CO2 influence (pdf)

The accompanying text explains exactly what data was used and how it was used; a level of transparency not matched by the CRU or NASA teams. Could it really be this simple?

There's reliable historical... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

There's reliable historical data for the medieval warm period in Europe being at least as warm as now and yet none of the Mann or Briffia temperature reconstructions show the medieval warm period to be as warm as today. In fact, in some of Mann's reconstructions the medieval warm period disappears entirely.

Some use this to claim that the medieval warm period was not global, but reliable historical data shows it certainly affected England. If these researchers were really interested in the truth they would use tree ring data from England to see if their analysis methods could produce temperature reconstructions that matched the historical record. If so, then input tree ring data from other locations and see what the results are. Of course, showing the medieval warm period was as warm as today undermines the link between temperature and CO2, and that's why such common sense experiments are not done.

Its very easy to know if th... (Below threshold)

Its very easy to know if the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today ...

Look at a globe ... check out the name of that big island in the northern Atlantic ocean ...

The one named GREENLAND ... why do you think the vikings called it that ??? was it like calling a big guy tiny ?

Nope, it was because they farmed on the island ...

now go down to your supermarket and look for Greenland produce .... slim pickings ...

plus check out the known northern europe, russia, china and north american maximum historic tree lines ... they are all well north of todays northen tree lines ...

The email climategate scand... (Below threshold)
ClimateGate Czar:

The email climategate scandal has peeled open an insightful view into the strange and criminal world that so called scientists manipulating climate data have inhabited for nearly half of my lifetime. The email tells a sordid tale of corruption and racketeering and alone is damning enough. But of the contents that were leaked on the server, 95% of the materials were source code. Source code that can be analyzed and evaluated for discrepancies and oddities.

And the tale the source tells is even worse. It isn't just clear that criminal activity exists, it is without a doubt. No hack programmer that is worth his salt can ignore this outrageous attempt to code their way into the biggest global scam in history. Check out the source, it's on many sites, but this one describes it quite nicely:


That, my friends, is a smoking gun... and is more than enough evidence to put the whole lot of the culprits in any one of a number of nation prisons for quite some time.

Now onto the next logical step. Who in the current administration, house of representatives, senate and other federal institutions had a hand in this. Their email needs to be peeled open as well. We need to see the publicly paid for servants email to determine if they were in on this collusion. Any organization that has anything to do with global warming, climate change or environmental studies needs to open up their servers and materials for full evaluation so an audit can be conducted to find out who is responsible for this horrific crime against humanity. Trillions of dollars have been spent, lifetimes of opportunities have been forgone, and continuous harassment of the general population has been all a part of this farce and the individuals responsible need to be held in account for it.

Contact everyone you know and let them know that this we need to get our public servants to start serving the public.

"ClimateGate Czar"</... (Below threshold)

"ClimateGate Czar"

So the Won did aquire some help? lol, alas, He needs a shrink.

The head of the UN... (Below threshold)
The head of the UN's climate science body says claims that UK scientists manipulated data on global warming should be investigated.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the matter could not be swept "under the carpet".

I guess you can't subvert the investigation from the outside.
And for the finale:"... (Below threshold)

And for the finale:
Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges
Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough."

Climeategate the IPCC shoul... (Below threshold)

Climeategate the IPCC should be disbanded

"Climeategate the IPCC s... (Below threshold)

"Climeategate the IPCC should be disbanded"

Or have their lunch milk maggotized.






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