As most readers who have been following the “climategate” controversy will know by now, the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has released its report entitled, The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
The findings are crystal clear on the most crucial points: The committee found absolutely no evidence to support accusations of scientific dishonesty, even going so far as to state that there “was no case to answer”. And it also rejected accusations that Phil Jones and other CRU scientists had attempted to pervert the peer review system.
Contrarians took comfort in maverick Labour MP Graham Stringer’s objections to some of the findings. But even here, there is little for the contrarians to cheer about, as Stringer appeared at pains to avoid any appearance of endorsing the plausibility of any of the specific accusations of dishonesty. That’s just as well, because it turns out that Stringer appears to be relying for his understanding of the issues, not on the submitted evidence, but rather – wait for it – the “quickie” book on Climategate written by Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller.
The controversy over the Institute of Physics biased submission to the U.K. Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee’s investigation of the stolen emails from East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit is about to get a whole lot hotter.
Terri Jackson, IOP Energy Group “founder” and a key proponent of various IOP pro-skeptic initiatives, is using her past association with the group to advance her new career as a “climate realist”. Her IOP affiliation is hammered in every interview and profile, and was listed with her signature to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Challenge open letter to the U.N. Not only that, it’s the sole affiliation given for her upcoming stint as featured speaker at – wait for it – the upcoming Heartland Institute sponsored climate conference in Chicago, where Jackson will join U.K. contrarian heavyweights like Piers Corbyn and Lord Christopher Monckton.
Meanwhile, disturbing indications have emerged that the IOP submission may have been leaked in advance to Monckton, raising new questions about the legitimacy of the submission and the process behind it. It’s high time the IOP stopped clinging to the pretense that all is well and started cleaning up this mess.
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 research 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.
Readers here (and elsewhere) have noted the release of a new version of the UAH satellite-derived tropospheric temperature record by John Christy and Roy Spencer. As noted by Spencer on March 5, version 5.3 seeks to remove, or at least mitigate, a spurious annual cycle that was apparently exacerbated in the changeover from the older MSU sensors to the newer AMSUs back in 1998.
The new data set is now available, so I’ll show some graphs that highlight the differences between the two versions. But first I’ll give a brief background on the matter, including my role.
[Update, March 10: It appears that John Christy was first notified of the annual cycle issue in October 2008, although it is unclear whether he understood the implications at that time. ]
Better late than never …
Any topic or issue reasonably related to climate change is fine, but be forewarned this is not a forum for debating the basics.
[Update, March 3: Lindzen's original 2008 chart showed the HadCRU surface record, not the UAH satellite record. The piece has been corrected accordingly. ]
As I predicted two weeks ago, there has been a media and blog frenzy over the statement by climatologist Phil Jones that global warming since 1995 has not been “statistically significant”.
Now might be a good time to reflect on the origins of this latest variation on the “global warming has stopped” meme. And it turns out that the originator of the “no significant warming since 1995″ variation is none other than climate contrarian Richard Lindzen, ably assisted by blogger Anthony Watts (of WattsUpWithThat fame) and physicist Lubos Motl. Indeed, the history of this meme points up a disturbing symbiosis between the U.K. media and the contrarian blogs.