View Full Version : Will Scientists Come Clean on Global Warming?

02-17-2010, 10:57 AM
Prof. Phil Jones of the CRU is trying to get out in front of the Glaciergate or Climategate revelations, but are fundamental flaws in the science going to destroy the theory of climate change? by James Heiser

Will Scientists Come Clean on Global Warming? (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5983-will-scientists-come-clean-on-global-warming)

James Heiser | John Birch Society (http://www.jbs.org/)
17 February 2010

As the theory of anthropogenic climate change continues to suffer the death of a thousand cuts, the latest round of embarrassing revelations raises serious questions about the fundamental credibility of the entire scientific process which led the world to the brink of rewiring the global economy at the Copenhagen conference (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5786-keeping-copenhagen-in-perspective).

As detailed previously (http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/5747-climategate-qscientific-fascismq-and-copenhagen), Prof. Phil Jones — former director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia — is one of the central figures in the entire “Climategate” scandal. When leaked CRU emails (http://eastangliaemails.com/) raised serious concerns among researchers that an active effort was underway to suppress studies undermining the theory of manmade climate change, there were demands for an independent review of the climate data. But instead of being provided an opportunity to review the original data, such inquiries were met with the claim that much of the data had been destroyed. According to a story (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece) at the online edition of the Times of London, they simply threw the data away:

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

In addition to such an apparent disregard for data crucial to the scientific credibility of the theory of climate change, the “Climategate” emails raised questions about the ethics of the CRU director. As William F. Jasper wrote (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2383-climategate-e-mail-scandal-could-melt-copenhagen-plans) for The New American:

Some of the e-mails seem to confirm concerns that Jones, Mann, et al, have destroyed data that could expose their fraudulent methods. That appears to be the case here (http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=891&filename=1212063122.txt), where Jones suggests to Mann that he delete certain e-mails that apparently dealt with the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), which was released in 2007. He also suggests they get other colleagues to delete related material. In another e-mail to Mann (http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=490&filename=1107454306.txt), Jones may have set himself up for legal prosecution for attempting to thwart the UK's newly passed FOI law. Jones says, "I think I'll delete the file rather than send [it] to anyone," and "We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind."

But now it seems that Prof. Jones is trying to get out in front of the wave of scandals, throwing a few bones to climate change skeptics, while trying to preserve the overall theory.

According to an article (http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/15/global-warming-insignificant-years-admits-uks-climate-scientist/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fscitech+%2528Te xt+-+SciTech%2529) at FOXNews.com, Jones is now conceding that there is no evidence of significant climate change in the past 15 years:

The embattled ex-head of the research center at the heart of the Climate-gate scandal dropped a bombshell over the weekend, admitting in an interview with the BBC that there has been no global warming over the past 15 years. ...

In response to the question, "do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically significant global warming?", Jones said yes, adding that the average increase of 0.12C per year over that time period "is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods."

Jones is nevertheless 100% confident that the climate has warmed, he stated, admitting that the Climate-gate scandal has undermined public confidence in science. The scandal has worn down Jones as well: Since the e-mails emerged -- and were subsequently posted online at EastAngliaEmails.com (http://www.EastAngliaEmails.com/) -- Jones has stepped down from his position, been forced to admit that he “misjudged” the handling of requests for information, and even acknowledged contemplating suicide.

Jones also allowed for the possibility that the world as a whole was warmer in medieval times than it is today -- a concession that may also undermine theories that global warming is caused by man.

In addition, Jones admitted that an overall lack of organization, and his poor record keeping and office-tidying skills, had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.

But the scandal is far worse than can be explained by a messy desk and sloppy files. Actually, according to a February 16 report (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7028362.ece) in the Times of London, the mishandling of climate data was not limited to the CRU, but extends to the MetOffice (the UK’s National Weather Service), as well.

A science blogger has uncovered a catalogue of errors in Met Office records that form a central part of the scientific evidence for global warming.

The mistakes, which led to the data from a large number of weather stations being discarded or misused, had been overlooked by professional scientists and were only discovered when the Met Office’s Hadley Centre made data publicly available in December after the “climategate” e-mail row.

Although the errors do not alter the bigger picture on climate change, they have been seized upon as a further sign that scientific institutions have not been sufficiently transparent. “It makes you wonder how many other problems there are in the data,” said John Graham-Cumming, the programmer who spotted the mistakes. “The whole idea of doing science without releasing your data is quite worrying.”

Indeed. And although one may appreciate the cautious way in which the latest scandal is being reported, one might readily ask: “Just how much data is at stake?” Quite a bit, actually.

After trying to reproduce figures shown in scientific publications and on the Met Office website, Dr Graham-Cumming identified a number of problems with the way measurements from Australian weather stations were being averaged. He found that data from seven stations were being accidentally discarded. Data from a further 112 Australian stations, 28 per cent of the total, were not being fully included in calculations of year-on-year temperature differences.

“I’m not a climate sceptic, I think it’s pretty sure that the world is warming up, but this does show why the raw data and not just the results should be available,” said Dr Graham-Cumming.

During the checking procedure Met Office officials discovered further problems with US temperature calculations. They realised that 121 of the US stations did not have unique identifier codes, meaning that data for these stations was either being overwritten or assigned to the wrong location.

The on-going story of unraveling theory of manmade climate change is not about one or two isolated elements. The scandals now seem to be erupting at a pace that it is hard even to keep track of all of them; for example, the recent released information detailing the manner in which the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2930-noaa-and-the-new-qclimategateq-scandal) has allegedly shifted its climate-monitoring practices in a way which gives the appearance of climate change is yet another ‘data point’ in the meltdown of global warming.

In the end, it all comes down to a perceived pattern of behavior. It is a pattern of what would be most generously called a ‘mishandling’ of scientific data, allegations of prejudicial use of that data, and — in the case of the recent “Glaciergate” scandal — the absence of credible science. The case for the documented global warming and, separately, the theory of what role mankind may have placed in any such warming, has moved well past the point where advocates can simply lean on their credentials and expect the public to acquiesce to their claims. They are asking for the citizens of the industrialized world to put their prosperity on the chopping block for a sake of a theory which is no longer as plausible at it might have seemed a year ago. This development is not the fault of skeptics, but of the theory’s advocates whose pattern of behavior has brought them to this end.