Imagine you are a climate researcher who has been assembling the data that is used to support claims of global warming. Or imagine you are Phil Jones from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. Or imagine you are a scientific fraud. Did I write “or”? I meant “and.”
Before we get into the sleazy details let’s talk about science.
The scientific method that has produced such incredible progress over the last five hundred years depends on peer review, rigorously reproducible experiments, and transparent access to the original data as well as all operations performed on it. Factor analysis, time series analysis and other techniques lead to theories about cause and effect. Empirical data from experimental results indicates numerical relationships. Results are tested and vetted by many methods, including statistical analysis of the data for measurement bias. The result is that scientific theories are never proved. Two things can happen to them.
- Theories can be accepted as good enough for a while; until
- They get disproved.
In science, breakthroughs are made by disproving old theories that were good enough for a long time, and replacing them with new or refined theories.
Where experiments are feasible, new experiments are performed to vet results. In order for the scientific method to work for theories in which experiments are not feasible (such as weather science), the original data must be kept. A reliable record of all mathematical transformations must also be kept. To depart from this method by inventing or manipulating data is usually enough to make a pariah of a scientist. But there are certain scientists who, because of the faddishness and political correctness of their results, get a pass when they violate every standard of scientific research.
But the fact of the matter is those so-called scientists are frauds, and so are their supporters.
Patrick J. Michaels of NRO has the story in all its deplorable, results-falsifying glory at Watts Up With That.
In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”
Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.
So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.
Guess what comes next? Every time a scientist wants to examine the data and make sure it is good, Phil Jones refuses. A few scientists who are properly deferential get bits of data. But the scientific method cannot operate without peer review from scientists who look for problems. How can the science be improved if it cannot be examined? After deflecting requests for data with all sorts of weak excuses (read the article for a number of good laughs), Jones eventually admitted that he and his partner never kept the original data. From the beginning of their work in 1979, they only kept data after they had adjusted it by unknown and inexplicable methods. They adjusted new data before including it in their existing, adjusted data. And then they threw the new original data away. Read what Jones wrote:
Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.
In other words, they threw away the original data and falsified the data they kept.
Though the story of the falsified global warming data does not prove that human activity has changed global climate, it is clear that the IPCC’s climate data shows signs of human activity. Unfortunately for the climate change hypothesis, it shows signs of human activity in falsifying the data.
Combine this with the 2007 discovery that NASA climate activist James Hansen’s computer models that showed increasing temperatures from 1998 to 2006 suffered from a Y2K bug and were completely wrong (see the graph at the right showing a sudden leap in measurements on midnight 12/31/1999) and things don’t look too peachy for claims that human activity, let alone cow farts and backyard barbequeues, are changing the world’s climate.
Tangentially, we have the fact that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is one of the two most critical components of the cycle of life, along with its partner atmospheric Oxygen (O2). Plants breathe in CO2 and breathe out O2. Animals breathe in O2 and breathe out CO2. Water is also part of the cycle. But the respiration of the two great kingdoms of life, the animal and vegetable kingdoms, depends on CO2. Increasing amounts of CO2 are causing the greening of the Sahara desert. Is this one of the bad effects of CO2 that we should be worried about? Increased quantities of atmospheric CO2 make plants healthier and increase their numbers. Increasing numbers of healthier plants create more O2 for animals to breathe and more animal fodder for animals to eat. If increased quantities of CO2 will strengthen the cycle of life, decreased quantities will weaken the cycle. The cycle of life goes round and round, either growing or dying away, and the greenies who advocate CO2 restrictions claim to be on the side of animals and plants. Yet green goals will reduce the numbers of plants and animals and make them less healthy.
So here we have a climate scientist who admits that he does not follow the scientific method, and advocates of plant and animal life whose goals are to have less of both. I do not claim to know everything that is going on, but I know enough to ask one more question.
What is the real game?