TwitterFacebook

Global Warming Nontroversy of the Day

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.

Jump to top

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Contact Us 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: 2015-08-02 10:58 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds
Recent Pages
CriticalDragon1177
Epic Twitter Pwnage 2! Creationists Try to Take Down Evolution, Fail Miserably!
Its been a long time since I engaged in some epic twitter pwnage! The first and so far only other time I did, and wrote about it, was a long time ago, when Viciousbabushka and I took on some climate ...

4 hours, 35 minutes ago
Views: 116 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Thanos
Accelerated Pace of Kansas City Public Library’s Book-Culling Process Upsets Volunteers
It's like "Rainbow's End". Sylvia Stucky, a longtime member of Friends of the Kansas City Public Library, stood in the lobby of the Central Library downtown one day last week and opened her shoulder bag. "I just saved these from ...

6 hours, 4 minutes ago
Views: 107 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
Great White Snark
Jewelry Industry Shrinkage Trend Continues
This news looks awful as if the economy including the spending habits of the 1% and 1/10th% are steeply trending down. By implication, this flies in the face of the improving economy as described elsewhere. Well that hasty conclusion would ...

14 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 157 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Jimmy Carter: America Is Not a Democracy Anymore (AUDIO)
Former President Jimmy Carter called the United States an "oligarchy" with "unlimited political bribery," on a radio program this week. More: Jimmy Carter: America Is Not a Democracy Anymore (AUDIO)

19 hours, 34 minutes ago
Views: 194 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Cheechako
Iditarod Champ Dallas Seavey Adds Dog Treadmill to Training Repertoire
Suzanna CaldwellAlaska Dispatch NewsAugust 1, 2015 WILLOW -- Forget the gentle swoosh of sled runners over snow. Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey's summer training offers a stark contrast to his winter routine: more than a dozen dogs yapping manically in a ...

2 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 566 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 11 • Rating: 1
Eclectic Cyborg
MS GOP rep campaigns on pro Confederate Flag platform
So this showed up at my house today, it's an election mailer from one Jeffrey Guice who is running for re-election to the Mississippi State Senate. As you can see, it included an interesting detail... So basically he's taking pride ...

4 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 743 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 56 • Rating: 3
EiMitch
Cracked: 5 Sworn Enemies Who Formed Inspiring Friendships
I was catching-up with Cracked articles. I found an obvious click-bait article, "4 Sexual Preferences That Only Recently Became Taboo": cracked.com Knowing that, I read it anyway. From there, I read a depressing article, "5 Ways College Screws Over Poor ...

4 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 563 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 3
Skip Intro
Windows 10 is out. Help a guy out, please.
So I downloaded the Win 10 ISO image today, and started the install. The first thing I come across is a screen asking what I want to keep, my apps, data, and program settings, my data and program settings, or ...

5 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 831 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Iwouldprefernotto
More Edited PP Videos
NYT -- More Edited PP Videos in the Pipeline The activist behind the videos, David Daleiden, has said he has enough covertly recorded footage for perhaps a dozen videos that he could release, one a week, for the next few ...

1 week ago
Views: 486 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Predaka
Swedish Right Plans Gay Pride March Through Muslim Areas Of Stockholm
haaretz.com From the article: Swedish nationalists are planning a gay 'pride' march through Muslim-majority districts in the country's capital, according to media reports and a dedicated Facebook page. The march, called 'Pride Järva,' is scheduled to take place on July ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 841 • Comments: 14
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

Don't it ever get lonesome?