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Why Total Scientific Transparency Is Vital In Climate Studies

Anthony Watts has a new article that shows in a very clear way why complete transparency is necessary in the scientific process. We have just been told by several outlets that the last decade was the warmest “since records began.” Well, that may be true, but we have only been keeping “accurate” records for less than 200 years, at the most. And, the accuracy of those records has frequently come into questions, because of improper siting of thermometers  (such as locating them near air conditioner heat outlets, over blacktop, or near or even on buildings), as well as calibration errors, etc.  However, we know that it has been warmer in the past, in spite of lower CO2, because the medieval warm period was warmer. To see the data, refer to the map below. The data is very consistent in that matter. In Michael Mann’s “hide the decline” trick, data from tree rings was replaced by data from thermometers after 1961, apparently because the tree ring data did not make things look so hot. But, if temperature data derived from tree rings was good enough before 1961, why would it be bad after 1961?

medieval_warm_mapIf this does not convince you that it has been warmer in the past, there is the next graph. This is a graph of the near-surface temperature of the northern hemisphere over the past 11,000 years. It was compiled by David Archibald after Dansgaard, et al (1969) and Schönwiese (1995).


We know that the CRU was reluctant to release their raw temperature data to many researchers. I guess they were embarrassed that it had been exposed that they had been incorrectly “adjusting” temperature data for over 20 years. In fact, Phil Jones stated, in response to a request for the data for independent review: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider.”

Now, before going any further, let me state that I am not denying that the earth is getting warmer. The data seems to indicate that it is. But, we are coming out of the “little ice age” as shown on the graphs referenced above. Naturally, after an ice age, you would expect things to get warmer. But, if you look at the graphs, there is nothing astonishing about today’s temperatures. And, more importantly, there is nothing to say that any rise in the earth’s temperature is caused by CO2. In fact, when you look at the predictions of numerous IPCC “approved” computer models, that are based on temperature rising because of increasing CO2 levels, they simply do not predict what we are seeing, as shown by the graph below. These are the kinds of problems that were being referred to by Kevin Trenberth in his October 12, 2009 e-mail to Michael Mann when he stated:

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”

In other words, our models predict global warming due to CO2, but the measurements indicate it is not happening. OK, so far, but instead of asking where the models were going wrong, he blames the measurements!


Now for the really interesting stuff. In “The Smoking Gun at Darwin Zero“, Watts explains, and shows, how data must be “adjusted” (and rightfully so) to account for changes in measurement situations. For example, if you move a thermometer from one location to another, and it suddenly reads consistently lower or higher, you must make an adjustment. In the same way, if you change to a different housing for the thermometer, or go to an automated thermometer, or whatever, you must make adjustments. But, these adjustments are somewhat subjective, and have to be made very carefully, or, as he shows very clearly, you can get wildly different results! And, he goes on to explain how there were very few measurement stations in Australia, and he further shows how incorrect adjustments can lead to wild warming, which just so happens to agree with the IPCC data for Australia. Granted, this is just one case, at one location, but it clearly shows how the “researcher” can get almost any data they want, depending on the adjustments they make. And, without releasing all of the relevant, raw data to other researchers, there is no scientific transparency.  If you don’t have scientific transparency, you don’t have science. And, as I reported earlier, the CRU, under threat of having to release the raw data, lost the data. And, note that this happened around the time that CRU researchers were instructing other researchers to delete e-mails so that they could not be subject to freedom of information act release.

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