11/27/2009

Climate-gate gets worse

Here is part of an editorial at the Washington Times:

The story has gotten worse since the global-cooling cover-up was exposed through a treasure trove of leaked e-mails a week ago. The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia has been incredibly influential in the global-warming debate. The CRU claims the world's largest temperature data set, and its research and mathematical models form the basis of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) 2007 report.

Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU and contributing author to the United Nation's IPCC report chapter titled "Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes," says he "accidentally" deleted some raw temperature data used to construct the aggregate temperature data CRU distributed. If you believe that, you're probably watching too many Al Gore videos.

Mr. Jones is the same professor who warned that global-warming skeptics "have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone."

Other revelations hit at the very core of the global-warming debate. The leaked e-mails indicate that the people at the CRU can't even figure out how their aggregate data was put together. CRU activists claimed that they took individual temperature readings at individual stations and averaged the information out to produce temperature readings over larger areas. One of the leaked documents states that their aggregation procedure "renders the station counts totally meaningless." The benefit: "So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!"

Academics around the world who have spent years working on papers using this data must be in full panic mode. By the admission of the global-warming theocracy's own self-appointed experts, the data they have been using is simply "garbage." . . .


The entire piece is worth reading here. A previous piece in the Washington Times on this topic is here. Even the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has this post up. Computer World adds this note to the discussion:

As someone with a background both in IT and in science (I participated in particle physics experiments as a physics PhD student), I would also add the following lesson to the folks writing scientific code: Don't make stuff up. The released document HARRY_READ_ME.txt contains examples in which the coder, supremely frustrated with the poor quality of his data, simply creates some. Even if the underlying science is sound, "created" data taints the integrity of the entire process. Don't do it, no matter how tempting.


The entire University of East Anglia file with all the emails and other documents is available here. Some emails are available here.

The entire collection of news and discussions on Climate Gate is available here.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Chas said...

Some say AGW is just politics, others say it's like a religion, but we may be finding out that it's no more substantial than a fashion statement.

11/27/2009 7:20 PM  
Blogger David Jones said...

Here in the UK the stench is getting even stronger now:

http://climategatestuff.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/climategate-lord-stern-and-the-grantham-institute/

12/03/2009 12:41 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Looks like Harry is running into many of the problems that happen when the datasets you are attempting to conform have already been preprocessed using different (and apparently not very well documented) methodologies.

I have some experience in building data warehouses, enough so I am qualified (at least IMHO) propose that given a non-trivial number of rows, the amount of time you have to spend profiling data roughly correlates to the integral of (the number of significant columns times the number of data sources with an identical methodology times 1 hour plus 4 hours to determine and document the methodology) with the upper limit of the integration being the total number of methodologies identified. This of course has to be modified by the profiling tools you have and the complexity of the methodologies involved.

Sheesh. Multiply the result by the number of languages the methodologies are written in, assuming you have access to the translation resources, these being people who read the source language and have the skillset of tech writer and analyst...

No wonder it was such a botch.

12/05/2009 9:37 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

For previous comment, that should be the sum... my calc is very rusty, if you could clean that up I would appreciate it.

Where I work I am not generally asked how long I think it will take to get a big, poorly defined project with murky requirements done. As the datawarehouse lead I am frequently assigned to manage a project that is someone's priority until someone more important comes along with another priority, after which the first person gets upset that I haven't finished their work in what they consider to be a reasonable amount of time. My wife gets upset about the resultant all-nighters and my staff thinks I'm crazy :)

I imagine Harry suffered from much the same dynamic, but it is not an excuse to make stuff up.

12/05/2009 9:48 AM  
Blogger GoLocalNet said...

The players will start vilifying the whistle blower, and anyone else that criticizes the cause. Who needs truth and fact.
They have done all of this before.
In 2001 Clayton Cramer found discrepancies in the book
"Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" written by Professor Michael A. Bellesiles.
Since the book contained deliberate errors it didn't matter because the cause was just.
The facts and circumstances of both cases are very similar.
In the book case the data was lost in a flood when the sprinkler system went off in the professors building.
Anti Gun supporters much like the Globalist's made excuses for the errors and insisted that is still did not change the results.
They have done this all before so they are well prepared.

12/07/2009 9:02 PM  
Blogger cfsexton said...

www.climateg8.com
www.itsjobstupid.com

12/11/2009 1:57 AM  
Blogger kasim_beta said...

A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about wrong doing occurring in an organization or body of people
http://blowerwhistle.com
http://a-whistle-blower-policy.blogspot.com
http://whistleblowerlaws.wordpress.com

1/20/2010 11:22 AM  

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