Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

University to probe climate data integrity

December 4, 2009


— A British university said Thursday it would investigate whether scientists at its prestigious Climatic Research Unit fudged data on global warming.

Thousands of pieces of correspondence between some of the world’s leading climate scientists were stolen from the unit at the University of East Anglia and leaked to the Internet late last month. Skeptics of man-made global warming say the e-mails are proof that scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence showing that global warming was not as strong as generally believed.

Phil Jones, the director of the unit, stepped down Tuesday pending the result of the investigation.

The university had promised a probe when Jones stepped down, but didn’t specify what the investigation would encompass. Thursday’s announcement was the first acknowledgment that the research itself would be under scrutiny.

East Anglia said its review will examine the e-mails and other information “to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice.”

The university said former civil servant Muir Russell would lead the inquiry, and Russell said he “has no links to either the university or the climate science community.”

East Anglia has asked that the review be completed by spring 2010.

The theft of the e-mails and their publication online — only weeks before the U.N. summit on global warming in Copenhagen — has been politically explosive, even if researchers say their content has no bearing on the principles of climate change itself.

There was further criticism following the revelation that the university had thrown out much of the raw temperature data on which some of its global warming research was based. The university said in a statement last week that the data, stored on paper and magnetic tape, was dumped in the 1980s to save space when the unit moved to a new location.

The release of the data has prompted some lawmakers in Britain to warn that critics of climate change want to wreck any global agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that could be achieved at the Dec. 7-18 U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Ed Miliband, Britain’s climate change secretary, on Thursday called those challenging the mainstream scientific view on climate change irresponsible and dangerous.

“We have to beware of the climate saboteurs, the people who want to say this is somehow in doubt, and want to cast aspersions on the whole process,” Miliband told reporters.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have grilled government scientists on the leaked e-mails, with U.S. lawmaker James Sensenbrenner arguing that the e-mails show the world needs to re-examine experts’ claims that the science on warming is settled.

Sensenbrenner, a Republican lawmaker from Wisconsin, read out loud some of Jones’ e-mail messages at a hearing Wednesday in Washington, including one in which Jones wrote about a “trick of adding in the real temps” in an exchange about long-term climate trends. Another of Jones’ e-mails reads, “I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right.”

Scientists called before the House’s climate change committee countered that the e-mails don’t change the fact that the earth is warming.


lounger 8 years, 4 months ago

Climate change is here. Deal with it and grow up....

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 4 months ago

The scintillating highlights:

"...fudged data on global warming..."

"...scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence..."

"...manipulation or suppression of data..."

"...the university had thrown out much of the raw temperature data..."

"...the world needs to re-examine experts’ claims..."

Chris Golledge 8 years, 4 months ago

“trick of adding in the real temps”

Oh my goodness, adding a line to a graph showing real temps for comparison with estimates and projections, wow, that is nefarious.

Speaking of a loss of reason...

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

The Goreacle cancelled his $1200-a-handshake gig at Copenhagen. The horror, the horror. BTW, there's no paper over here. Could somebody pass me a carbon credit?

Vic 8 years, 4 months ago

Global Warming is the greatest scam this world has ever seen. The climate change we are experiencing is a natural cycle of change our world experiences. Do you really think man, who has had this kind of "destructive technology" for about 100 years, could actually effect climate as significantly as they say compared to how long Earth has existed in the grand scale of things? No. Global Warming is the scare tactic of the uber-environmentalist to get us to actually do what we should have been doing all along, advancing technology to make our world a better, more efficient place.

Does anyone in their right mind actually think fossil fuels will last forever? Are they even the most efficient form of energy? Not hardly. We only continue to use them because we (1) don't know any better and (2) don't have any better. The companies who are getting rich of the use of these fuels have the power to hold back technological development in order to further line their pocketbooks. I mean, we can make phones that can almost literally do everything, but we can't make a car get more than 30 mpg. Does that make sense to you?

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

Is the climate changing? Yes, the Earth's climate has been dynamic since forever. Is anthropomorphic global warming a crock? Almost certainly so.

Chris Golledge 8 years, 4 months ago

Vic, Snap, So, you are saying that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? Basic physics would refute this.

Or, maybe you are saying that you can increase one of the GHGs by about a third and expect no effect whatsoever? That's an interesting hypothesis; change the heat dynamics of a system and expect no change in temperature. Hmmm.

Or, maybe you expect some change, just not enough to worry about. Please tell us what your is your estimate of how much change to expect from say, increasing CO2 content to 450 ppm. Please show work.

The bulk of the carbon in fossil fuels was sequestered from the atmosphere hundreds of millions, if not billions of years ago. It makes sense to think that returning the atmosphere to a state when less of it was sequestered would coincide with a return to something like the climate that existed at that time. You are suggesting that the current set of species will be able to adapt, with minimal loss, within a couple hundred years, to conditions that haven't existed for, just picking picking a epoch with ~450 ppm CO2 - mid-Miocene, 15 million years?

Yeah, the earth has had a wide variety of climates over the course of time. Life on earth has also gone through mass extinction events associated with changing climate.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 4 months ago

Some of the primary tub-thumpers for AGW are having second thoughts. “But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.”

Vic 8 years, 4 months ago


Where are you reading in my post that I say CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? Or anything regarding that? The point of the probe of the climate data is that the data can be, and has been by my best guess, manipulated.

Keep drinking the "Climate Change" koolaid doled out by his Gore-ness and his minions if it makes you happy. I am not saying we should keep on the same path we are on. I am saying we need to change. We need to improve our technology. We need to find better, cleaner, and more efficient ways of getting energy. I agree with the ends that you uber-environmentalists want, just not the means.

The real agenda is for Mr. Gore to find and kill his ManBearPig. He wants the glory of saying "I fixed it! It was me!" He wants the money put toward his agenda and his people. He is a glory hound plain and simple.

All I want is cleaner, better, more efficient technology. It's the corporations who have the controlling interests in the current technology that are preventing this.

gphawk89 8 years, 4 months ago

"Well, who better than to probe climate data integrity than a university. Those findings won't be biased, nah, no way."

...especially when the investigation is being performed by the university itself. No bias at all there.

"The university said former civil servant Muir Russell would lead the inquiry, and Russell said he has no links to either the university or the climate science community."

There are probably trillions of dollars and many politician's careers at stake here. The few million it might take to convince Mr. Russell that there is nothing wrong with the research data is a drop in the bucket.

Chris Golledge 8 years, 4 months ago


If CO2 is a greenhouse gas, then changing how much of it there is in the atmosphere will have some effect on the heat flux. Your statement that

"The climate change we are experiencing is a natural cycle of change our world experiences."

seems to me saying that the recent increase in CO2 has nothing to do with it.

Basic logic, if 'A implies B' is true and you refute B, then you have refuted A. I think A and the premise A->B stand. If I'm right, then your disagreement with B is spurious.

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