Thursday, January 14, 2010

US Version of Climategate Coming?

Will NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) join the UK Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the Climategate mess? Could be!

The UK CRU version of Climategate centered around whether the 1990's were warmer than any time in the past 1000 years. The US GISS version could be about whether 1998 was warmer than 1934!

It seems the temperature readings were adjusted six times after analysis in July 1999 indicated that the temperature anomaly for 1934 was nearly 60% higher than for 1998. See the above graphic for how GISS adjusted 1934 down and 1998 up until 1998 was warmer than 1934 (the January 2007 analysis) or at least virtually indistinguishable (the March and August 2007 analyses).

In the UK CRU case, the Medieval Warm Period vanished to present a "nice tidy story". In the US GISS case, a nearly 60% temperature anomaly difference vanished to show that 1998 was as warm as 1934! Are these guys serious scientists or just skilled magicians?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be a wonderful thing. According to WattsUpWithThat, a FOIA request by Judicial Watch has landed 215 pages of GISS emails related to errors in handling temperature data from 2000 to 2006 that overstated the temperature increase during that period.

One of the emails [see below - click image for larger version] reveals the details of the seven different sets of numbers calculated by GISS researchers. It appears to me that they were under pressure to make 1998 the warmest year in the 150 years good thermometer readings have been available.

Ira Glickstein

PS: The PowerPoint presentation I plan to give on Friday at the Philo Club here in The Villages, FL is available for download by anyone who may be interested: I suggest you download the second item because it includes a script of sorts. If you do not have the PowerPoint application on your computer, there is a link where you can download a FREE PowerPoint viewer. Enjoy!


Bobby said...

Fantastic! Thank you!

Ira Glickstein said...

Note: I posted a comment regarding this Topic to one of the most influential Skeptic sites Watts Up With That [at Ira (17:00:53), with a link to this Blog.]

This Blog usually gets about a dozen and a half hits per day, but, as a result of the link from "Watts Up" we've got 50 in the past two and a half hours! WOW!

Welcome newcomers! Please post your comments and look around a bit and consider coming back for all the other stuff we have here!

Ira Glickstein

Ira Glickstein said...

I've read all 215 pages of NASA GISS emails at Judicial Watch.

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit who found the original error in 2007, writes courteous emails with very specific and reasonable requests. James Hansen and others at GISS, in their internal emails and emails to friendly reporters, call McIntyre a "court jester" and question if he has "a light on upstairs?"

Makiko Sato, the author of the email I reproduced above, and mentioned by Jim Hansen below, appears to be the innocent truth teller at GISS. She may turn out to be the heroine of this story!

Jim Hansen writes [2007-08-10 at 11:59 -500]: "The appropriate response is to show the curves for U.S. and global temperatures before and after (before and after McIntyre's correction). Makiko doubts that this is possible because the earlier result has been "thrown away". We will never live this down if we give such a statement. ... By the way, I think that we should save the results of the analyses at least once per year ..."

Ira Glickstein

PS: If any of you downloaded my PowerPoint Show on Explaining Climategate, I've just updated it with the info just made available yesterday so you may want to download the newer version.

Ira Glickstein said...

The report of the UK Parliament Science and Technology Committee inquiry into Climategate has been released this evening.

Skeptics expected this report to be a whitewash (it is), but some of the critical conclusions are applicable to the wider Climate Science community, and certainly apply to US players:

1) The Climatic Research Unit's "refusal to share raw data and computer codes ... were in line with common practice in the climate science community but ... those practices need to change."

This is an important statement of principle that applies to the wider climate science community, including the important part of it in the US.

2) "Climate science is a matter of global importance. On the basis of the science, governments across the world will be spending trillions of pounds on climate change mitigation. The quality of the science therefore has to be irreproachable."

This is not ordinary science where some honest mistakes and later correction are normal. In the case of climate science, the results are triggering worldwide expenitures of trillions of dollars, so the science must be absolutely solid and undeniable.

3) "... the focus of the inquiry is the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research ... It is not an inquiry into global warming."

This report does nothing to confirm (or deny) the role of human activities in global warming.

BOTTOM LINE: Although this UK Parliamentary inquiry has undoubtedly been easy on the climate scientists at the heart of Climategate, it does conclude that the entire climate science community has, by "common practice" refused to share data and computer codes, in violation of the accepted scientific processes and these practices must change, particularly in light of the tremendous amounts of public expenditures that hang on the results.

Ira Glickstein