A Closer Look at the ‘Climategate’ Computer Code

An excellent post at Deep Climate looks into the exaggerated and false claims being made about the computer code released along with those stolen “Climategate” emails: McClimategate continues: Yet another false accusation from McIntyre and McKitrick.

How do they get away with it? That’s the inevitable question as I examine one of the most specious – and despicable – “climategate” allegations from contrarians, namely the oft-repeated claim that climate scientists at East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit inappropriately adjusted certain tree-ring temperature proxy data to provide a better match with instrumental temperature record.

In an extraordinary interview with FoxNews in December of last year, economist Ross McKitrick alleged that scientists were “faking the match” between proxy and temperature data. McKitrick averred this was “not being honest with the reader” and even invoked a comparison to falsified experimental medical research. Stephen McIntyre of ClimateAudit recently claimed that the “artificial correction” seemed “to have entered the CRU toolkit” (in his submission to the U.K. parliamentary committee examining allegations arising from stolen CRU emails, no less).

Yet a close examination of the computer code and ensuing research bears out the key contention of the firm rebuttals from East Anglia University, as well as CRU scientist Tim Osborn, namely that the specific adjustments in question were for private exploration only and never incorporated into CRU scientists’ subsequent published temperature reconstructions. So, once again, McIntyre and McKitrick have made odious and unfounded accusations, based on non-existent evidence. They should withdraw these specious allegations immediately. [Don’t hold your breath. – ed.]

And here’s a quote from the submission to the UK Parliament by CRU paleoclimatologist Tim Osborn, that makes the deceptive nature of the claims about the computer code even clearer:

8. CRU’s Computer Code is Fit For Purpose and Does Not Reveal Secret Manipulation of Data

A small sample of my computer programming code was included in the disclosed files. It has been argued that comments within the code such as “Fudge factor” and “shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures” demonstrate that data have been manipulated in an inappropriate and undisclosed manner. My programs that were highlighted on BBC Newsnight that contained comments such as these were not the basis for any published article or dataset, and thus are not a valid indication of inappropriate data manipulation. If we do need to make adjustments to data that are scientifically justified, then we state clearly both the justification and the adjustment when we publish the article or dataset. In relation to the second of the two highlighted comments, it was simply a note that should have read “…because these will have been artificially adjusted…” to remind myself that I had applied an adjustment to this particular set of data (for the purposes of exploring the consequences of recent trends for the calibration of tree-ring temperature proxies) and that if I did plot them it would give a false impression of the agreement between tree-rings and temperature because of the adjustment. Thus, rather than indicating that an undisclosed adjustment would be made, it was a warning to avoid using adjusted data without realising it. To re-iterate: I have made no adjustments to data except those that are scientifically justified and stated in published papers. [Emphasis added].

Jump to top

Create a PageThis 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: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Local Natives - Fountain of Youth (Live on the Current)Local Natives perform "Fountain of Youth" off their "Sunlit Youth"' album, live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. Stream the full in-studio session:thecurrent.org Connect with The Current:thecurrent.orgyoutube.comTweets by TheCurrent facebook.cominstagram.com Become a member:contribute.publicradio.org
Thanos
54 minutes ago
Views: 54 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Video Shows Carolina Cop Violently Arrest Black Man for Sitting on His Porch A police officer in Greensboro, North Carolina, was stripped of law enforcement credentials this week by the city council, which released body camera footage showing him violently arresting a man sitting on his porch. City council voted unanimously Monday ...
Thanos
8 hours, 7 minutes ago
Views: 135 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
US Mood Hardens as Leader of Ally Philippines Stokes Outrage In Hawaii to meet with Southeast Asian defense ministers, Defense Secretary Ash Carter hinted at U.S. impatience with the Philippine government over Duterte’s remarks. “Just speaking personally for myself, I find these comments deeply troubling,” Carter said. A day ...
Thanos
11 hours, 36 minutes ago
Views: 222 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 34 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Syria Conflict: US Says Russia Driving Rebels Into Extremists’ Camp Russia's increasing military action in Syria is forcing moderates within the opposition into the hands of extremists, the US has said. It was making a difficult situation "more confused", the state department said as the US warned it might ...
Thanos
11 hours, 42 minutes ago
Views: 178 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 7 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 4
Comments: 0
: 4
Autonomous Vehicles Will Mean the End of Traffic Stops So "Riding While Black" becomes the new DWB. Or will it? No more broken brake lights, alleged unsafe lane changes etc. What will they do to make up the revenue from real and imagined violations? Losing the pretext stop—where ...
Great White Snark
1 day, 2 hours ago
Views: 253 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 20 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Donald Trump’s Cuba Problem Comes With Big Risks Today, Trump’s campaign manager made a television appearance in which she appears to have made the story quite a bit worse for her boss. The Washington Post noted: Donald Trump’s campaign manager denied Thursday that one of the GOP ...
Thanos
1 day, 3 hours ago
Views: 205 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
OneRepublic - A.I. (Audio) Ft. Peter Gabriel Preorder OneRepublic’s new album, ‘Oh My My,’ out October 7th, and get ‘A.I.,’ ‘Wherever I Go,’ ‘Kids’ and ‘Future Looks Good’ instantly: smarturl.itListen to the complete OneRepublic playlist on Spotify: smarturl.it Music video by OneRepublic performing A.I.. (C) 2016 ...
Thanos
1 day, 4 hours ago
Views: 142 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Jewish Leaders React to Rodrigo Duterte Holocaust Remarks Jewish leaders have reacted angrily after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte compared his anti-drug campaign to the Holocaust. The comment - wrongly citing numbers killed by the Nazis - was inhumane and deeply offensive, they said. Mr Duterte said he ...
Thanos
1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 379 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 5
Tweets: 48 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Rosetta Spacecraft Collides With Comet, as Planned After more than a decade of roaming tirelessly across the solar system, the comet-watching Rosetta spacecraft has gone to its eternal rest at last. In a deliberate act of self-sacrifice, Rosetta plowed into the surface of comet 67P at ...
Thanos
1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 329 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
What Meerkat Murder Tells Us About Human Violence Here are the 30 mammal species most likely to kill their own kind. #1 might surprise you. https://t.co/qdprrwBjvl pic.twitter.com/vB0e6NjdbZ — Ed Yong (@edyong209) September 28, 2016 ReplyReply w/ QuoteImages A new study of violent behavior in more than 1,000 ...
Thanos
1 day, 11 hours ago
Views: 427 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0