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ECT News Community   »   TechNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: Hacked Climate Emails: Tempest in a Teapot?



Re: Hacked Climate Emails: Tempest in a Teapot?
Posted by: Katherine Noyes 2009-11-25 13:07:41
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With the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen just a few weeks away, leading scientists on the topic probably had a lot of work they would have liked to accomplish this week. That hasn't been possible, however, thanks to the recent anonymous theft of thousands of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. Instead, key climate-change scientists whose work was involved in the hack have had to spend the past few days defending their research and conducting other forms of damage control.


Not Trenberth's First problem
Posted by: bigjimsteele 2009-12-06 19:30:25 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
This isn’t the first time Trenberth objectivity and political motivation has been called into question. Dr. Chris Landsea’s resignation letter to the IPCC is illustrative http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html

Excerpt: “It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author

And to see how they hid the decline see Marc Sheppard's Understanding Climategate’s Hidden Decline http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html It puts Jone's graphs into context.

I have worked to better the environment through education and research at SF State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus. I think we can do our most important work by fixing wetlands. However I have become increasingly skeptical of CO2 induced warming. I tried to engage Mann’s RealClimate website in debate but often had posts deleted, or have a post attacked and then denied posting any replies. So I know first hand some of these scientists are willing to manipulate the appearance of science.

As a skeptic I see a warming which CO2 probably has some small impact. But I do not think natural variability has been well modeled. And the current warming may be no different than the Mideival warm period. What AGW proponents push is a perception of the hockey stick where climate was stable and slightly cooling and only recently shoots up. It creates an illusion that the Mideival Warm period and Little Ice Age never happened. However their proxies used to create the hockey stick have not withstood the test of time. Their proxies have shown a decline these past 50 years when observation said it has increased. This called into question the hockey stick and is why they felt they “must hide the decline”. The clearest article showing how Jones and Mann tried to misrepresent the past climate and mislead the public by "hiding the decline" has been written by Marc Sheppard. A must read that is well documented! Go to http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/understanding_climategates_hid.html

More than a tempest
Posted by: Somerschool 2009-12-04 13:11:22 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
I can't agree with the "tempest in a teapot" characterization. It's wrong on at least four levels: political, legal, scientific, and sociological.

(1) Politically, the "Climategate" emails give Republicans all the "cover" they need to attack the Cap and Trade bill and the Copenhagen accords. Most commentators expected Cap and Trade to die this year because of the economy, but now its a win for Republicans and a disaster for Democrats. That's no minor "tempest" in an election year that's already poised to hurt the Democrats.

(2) Legally, there's a lot of reason to believe Freedom of Information Act requests were unlawfully denied. If scientists conspired to dump or hide data, it's a crime. Global warming theory is going to get a permanent black eye if any prominent scientist winds up indicted.

(3) Scientifically, the HADCRU3 dataset now seems to be suspect and the software that processes it needs to be thoroughly reviewed. The "HARRY_READ_ME" file raises a LOT of coding questions which MUST be answered before anybody dismisses this issue as trivial.

(4) Sociologically, these emails have aroused a sleeping giant. There are LOTS of independent-minded curmudgeons who like to believe they can think for themselves who have been sitting out the climate change debate. We've had years of rhetoric about the "settled science" and ad hominem attacks on anyone who dared to question it. "Climategate" has unleashed a LOT of pent-up crotchetiness. Google the phrase (if Google will let you!) and see for yourself--there are more than 30 million web hits already.

Not a tempest. More like Hurricane Katrina.

Poor Job
Posted by: Eleyvie 2009-11-27 04:43:57 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
That's a pretty poor job at whitewashing the real story.

I can dismiss most of the emails content. After all, everywhere when there's outside funding, there's squabbling for funds and internal politics involved.

What I cannot dismiss is things NOT covered in this article, like arbitrary tampering with measurements data. How about adding 2.6 degrees to all measurements for the last 20 years or so? So-called "scientists" did exactly that. How about absolutely stunning discoveries in mathematics, when they get an average of two numbers to be greater than each of the original numbers? How about their atttempts to block FOI requests coming from scientists all over the globe because those scientists had the audacity to publish in "unapproved" places? Could you cite me a paragraph in any FOI laws that allows officials to discriminate FOI requests on such reasons?

So-called "scientists" are frauds for what they did with the data. They are criminals for what they did with FOI requests. You could do a better job reporting this story, and you really should.

Absolute garbage
Posted by: PhilipPeake 2009-11-26 08:25:25 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
The author of this article didn't do even the smallest amount of research, instead simply parroted the propaganda of a very biased source.

If the author had done any research at all, he would have found:

* There is more than email been released. There is data, source code and lots of comments by researchers.

* The emails themselves contain references to hiding results, getting people fired for publishing work not agreeing with theirs, "fixing" the review process, conspiring to break UK law, hiding data and processes used to generate their results.

* Source code which include "correction factors" which will give the impression of increasing data if fed with random data showing no such increase.

* Comments on the state of their data repository, basically boiling down to the fact that they no longer have original data so can't reproduce their results, data for which the source is unknown, data which is incomplete and large amount of what they call "synthetic data" (otherwise known as made up data).

* Conversations referring to a previous case in which one of the primary researchers was a co-author of a paper where it would appear that the data was probably (at best) confused, and at worst fabricated.

All this is there to see, and analysis of the code and data is freely available on the Internet.

Speaking of timing -- its pretty interesting that there are a slew of "The World is ending -- run for your lives!!" articles being released by these (so called) researchers -- just before the Copenhagen conference -- the timing of these somehow being overlooked. One of these, from Australia is a complete fabrication. It claims that at a particular airport it has been the hottest year ever, and provides the average temperatures there to prove it. Unfortunately for them, the complete record of temperatures is available, and if one cared to look, its easy to see that this is NOT the hottest year, they simply skipped over hotter years, and only started drawing their graph after those years were passed.

Tempest in a Teapot
Posted by: derekcrane 2009-11-26 05:59:36 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
Dear Ms. Noyes:

You can do better than this. You are repeating the Fenton Communication talking points as promulgated by Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. I have perused the thousands of the hacked CRU emails (documented at anelegantchaos.org), noting four recuring topics:
1) A continual search for funding.
2) Denigration of skeptic efforts to review their work, indeed, ad hominems aimed at the skeptics themselves. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit given especially vicious treatment.
3) Exchange of data and code with other global warmists, the same data and code that they have vigorously fought outsiders from seeing.
4) How best to use, manipulate, delete or ignore the data as it relates to their presumption that man is causing any or all of the climate change that we are experiencing.

None of this has much to do with legitimate scientific process and may be illegal as public money is used to fund these "scientists." derekcrane

Hacked Climate Emails: Tempest in a Teapot?
Posted by: 34all 2009-11-25 22:18:02 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
This article is tendentious at best.

First, how has it been determined that the disclosed documents were hacked or even stolen? That their disclosure was not authorized may be only be inferred, but that it was illegal has not yet been confirmed. Pending further inquiry one can only keep an open mind, something difficult to do in the context of this article which treats all of the above, without substantiation, as established fact.

So also is it curious that that every email of a previous administration is regarded a public document, yet those involving government-supported research are private property. Attention: Daniel Ellsberg, John Dean and Alex Butterfield and lesser "disclosurists" -- stay tuned.

Second, that those involved in the creation of the disclosed documents are perturbed is quite understandable. In due course appropriate redress may or may not be available to those who were impacted by the disclosure.

Third, the authenticity of the material has as yet not been established. The authors are in a bit of a dilemma: in order to show injury they must attest to its authenticity even as such will be discomfiting. Those quoted in the article have not denied the source of the disclosed documents nor have they challenged the accuracy of its content, but they have not acknowledged it either. At one point it was lamely suggested that the disclosure was selective, but the sheer volume of material and its numbing breadth of coverage militate against that.

Fourth, the antagonists involved in this drama fail to address the most blatant points of the expose, and instead deflect and divert from addressing the substance of the charges by their opponents. Whatever the motives of the individual(s) responsible for the disclosure, and irrespective of its impact and its ultimate consequences, the issue of what was revealed still remains unaddressed. Saying that the "science" is still valid is nonsense. Even junk science is valid junk. It is the substance that matters. Nor are "heat of the moment" utterances and "jocular collegial colloquialisms" meaningless (collegial adj. mutually respectful) -- they tell us something about their authors. Transcripts of Richard Nixon's White House tapes don't read well either.

Finally, the reporter's loving care in draping vaporous quotes from selected sources with substantive lead-ins, reassuring solicitudes and breathless expressions of "political attack" is much to be regretted. It reveals nothing to the reader other than a single point of view and, along with its wishful-thinking title, very much gives a "circle the wagons" flavor to the reporting. She may have presented a more balanced picture by asking for an explanation of the quoted material or by seeking comment from those who found the material to be significant. Many reasonable and objective observers, not nearly as far-sighted as the Father of the Internet, have unanswered questions. The "timing" of the disclosure hardly strikes one as nefarious -- what better time to ventilate the issues? Universally branding all skeptics as deniers, conspiracy fantasists, and flat-earth denizens is hardly an objective approach to a very serious issue which deserves the most wide-open debate. Could that have been the intent of FO1A?

You're in denial
Posted by: felixw 2009-11-25 17:33:54 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
You claim there is nothing to worry here except a few poorly chosen words. But what about (1) the manipulation of data, (2) the efforts to prevent skeptics from getting a fair hearing from peer-reviewed periodicals, (3) the refusal to allow release of scientific data, (4) the coordinated efforts to destroy incriminating emails, (5) the admission that the global warming community can't explain the last decade of cooling, (6) the hate speech directed at scientists trying to validate global warming claims. Etc. etc. etc.

Poorly chosen words? Give me a break!
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