TwitterFacebook

Global Warming Nontroversy of the Day

Environment • Views: 2,319

Right wing bloggers and climate “skeptics” are ranting and fuming about “the global warming scandal of the century,” after the email server of one of the UK’s leading climate research centers was hacked, and thousands of emails were stolen and promptly posted all over the web. (Which is, of course, completely illegal.)

However, reading the summaries that these folks have posted, such as the one in this almost comically exaggerated article by Telegraph writer James Delingpole, one thing stands out — there’s no there there. There’s no evidence of a conspiracy to commit massive fraud. There are no admissions of faking data. The worst thing they’ve dug up out of thousands of emails is this one referring to a “trick” used to adjust warming data, which Delingpole dramatically labels “Manipulation of evidence:”

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

“Trick,” of course, can also mean “an effective technique,” but if you were desperately hunting for anything smear-worthy, I suppose the word would stand out.

RealClimate has responded to this stolen email nontroversy here: The CRU hack.

Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

Read the whole thing; they make more excellent points about the absurdly exaggerated denialists’ claims.

Here’s their response to the “trick” comment:

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-03-17 11:42 am PDT

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Thanos
Anti-Science Parents’ Group Files Appeal in Fight Against Kansas Public Schools Curriculum
An organization that claims a statewide teaching plan will instill a "a non-theistic religious Worldview" in Kansas public school students has taken its fight to an appeals court. Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) is asking the 10th U.S. ...

2 hours, 2 minutes ago
Views: 51 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
EiMitch
Cracked: 8 Things Vietnam War Movies Leave Out (By an Enemy Soldier)
cracked.com Once the fighting started, a lot of people died, well over a million on our side alone. For the war to continue, a constant stream of new fighters had to join up, and they didn't have the benefit of ...

15 hours, 43 minutes ago
Views: 217 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Romantic Heretic
The Lavender Scare
Here is an interesting article on one of Tail Gunner Joe's sick witch hunts that has, unfortunately, been forgotten. I try not to feel schadenfreude of the fate of McCarthy's side kick, Ray Cohn, but I never succeed.

22 hours, 39 minutes ago
Views: 232 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
Should Women ‘Man Up’ at the Office, or Does Office Culture Need to ‘Man Down’?
About the Graphic How should a woman try to get ahead in a male-dominated workplace? Perhaps the answer lies less on women "manning up" and more in how businesses value their employees. Many women confront this tension as they ...

2 days ago
Views: 313 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
William Barnett-Lewis
Orthopraxy Pt 2
If we accept the idea of Orthopraxy over Orthodoxy, then what does evangelism look like? What is the Witness of those who try to follow the Way of Christ Jesus? To evangelize is to spread the good news that we ...

2 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 343 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
thecommodore
Eric Alterman: A Wake-Up Call for US Liberals
A short column in The Nation that is a must read. The primary difference between liberalism and conservatism, at least in theory, is that the latter is an ideology and the former isn't. Conservatism, as Milton Friedman argued, posits that ...

2 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 547 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 5
Great White Snark
The NSA Has Taken Over the Internet Backbone. We’re Suing to Get It Back.
Blow off Snowden all you like, but what was revealed to be true is still true. The NSA lacks oversight with power. FISA is already too much and now they casually exceed even that generous provision. The world first learned ...

4 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 608 • Comments: 9
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Lumberhead
Lead Prosecutor Apologizes, Admits Mistakes in Glenn Ford Case
This is a powerful admission of culpability and I applaud his courage in making it. It really should be read in its entirety. Glenn Ford should be completely compensated to every extent possible because of the flaws of a system ...

1 week ago
Views: 764 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 8
Dark_Falcon
Sarah Vine of the DM gets it wrong on teaching about rape.
Sarah Vine of the DM gets it wrong: SARAH VINE: Teaching 11-year-olds about rape is a form of child abuse The problem with this country, I've come to realise, is that it treats adults like children and children like adults. ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 1,186 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 9
Fred72
Obama, Reagan, treaties, and agreements
So sayeth Conservative Reason: This was a deal. Not an agreement. Not a treaty. A treaty lasts months, years, or decades. This was a short-term project to solve an immediate crisis. Were laws broken? Sure. But there was no violation ...

2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 1,294 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

A world of sexual incompetents, encountering each other, under disco circumstances... why can't you do songs about that?