Category Archive ')'

11 Dec 2009

“The Emails Are Embarrassing, But the Science is Still Good!”

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Catastrophists everywhere have been spinning furiously, attempting damage control in the wake of the Climategate email scandal.

Oh sure, we’re told, those emails contained some examples of nasty academic backbiting, expressions of animosity and malice, but references to a “trick” and model failure, well, those are being read out of context. The data is still good.

But then we learned that the CRU had discarded much of its data after massaging it.

And then critics started comparing available data to the processed results delivered by the Climate Science Establishment, by NIWA and GHCN and, what do you know? massaged data looks a lot different from unmassaged data.

Charles, of The Dog Ate My Data, decided to illustrate the point by doing a gif illustrating what the difference looks like (in the manner of Little Green Football’s Charles Johnson debunking Dan Rather’s Bush National Guard letter) .

We hear climate alarmists saying that yes the Climategate scientists at the CRU destroyed emails, and hid from Freedom of information Acts, messed with proxies, and fought to keep other scientists’ papers out of the journals … but that doesn’t affect the data, the data is still good. Well Willis Esenbach’s research shown over on Watts Up With That casts serious doubt on that belief.

The Data, Before and After

Just out of interest I decided to plot the raw temperature data for my home city of Brisbane, Australia from the GISS (ie the raw GHCN data) against the homogenized or adjusted GISS GHCN data. The temperature sensor is located at the Brisbane Eagle Farm Airport which is now our busy main international airport. The data used is the series available from 1950 to 2008. I have aniumated the result to highlight the difference.

As you can see the raw data shows a downward trend of about -0.6 C per century. The unadjusted data however shows an opposite trend of +0.6 C per century. Intuitively as the airport grew from a quiet strip to a busy international jet airport one would think the more recent data would be adjusted downwards for the heat island effect. Instead we see that the data prior to 1978 is adjusted down and the data in recent times was adjusted up. This is why it is essential that the relevant scientists disclose the reasons for each adjustment – the entire warming trend in the Brisbane data is due to the adjustments as the raw data clearly shows a cooling trend. Without being able to check the veracity of the adjustments used the trend cannot be relied upon. Our default position must be that until all data is made available to other scientists to scrutinize and test the data temperature data used to derive the graphs and models used by the IPCC is not to be relied upon for climate modeling or policy making.

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