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Fri, 08 Dec 2023
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McIntyre versus Jones: climate data row escalates

Many of our readers will no doubt be aware of the long-standing dispute between Steve McIntyre and members of the climate science community whose data McIntyre is keen to get hold of.

For those of you less familiar with the story, here's some background. McIntyre, who runs the Climate Audit blog, is best known for questioning the validity of the statistical analyses used to create the 'hockey stick' graph. The 'hockey stick' is the graph that illustrates the past 1000 years of climate based on palaeo proxy data and was published by Penn state climatologist Michael Mann and co-authors in Nature back in 1998.

More recently, McIntyre has turned his attention to criticizing the quality of global temperature data held by institutes such as NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Several organizations worldwide collect and report global average temperature data for each month. Of these, a temperature data set held jointly by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia and the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter, known as HadCRU , extends back the farthest, beginning in 1850.

Since 2002, McIntyre has repeatedly asked Phil Jones, director of CRU, for access to the HadCRU data. Although the data are made available in a processed gridded format that shows the global temperature trend, the raw station data are currently restricted to academics. While Jones has made data available to some academics, he has refused to supply McIntyre with the data. Between 24 July and 29 July of this year, CRU received 58 freedom of information act requests from McIntyre and people affiliated with Climate Audit. In the past month, the UK Met Office, which receives a cleaned-up version of the raw data from CRU, has received ten requests of its own.

Evil Rays

The British Climatic Research Unit Gong Show: Refusing Ross McKitrick

Today brought in some CRU refusals- their rejections of Ross Mc, Roman M, myself. (They're going to have to re-do their Roger Pielke rejection, since they replied to the wrong request in his case.) Each one deserves to be savored. So today I'll post up their obstruction of Ross McKitrick.

FOI officer Palmer denied the request on the grounds that the request is "manifestly unreasonable" as the data is "available elsewhere", that its disclosure would have an "adverse effect on international relations" and would have an adverse impact on the institutions supplying the data.

CA readers will recall that I requested the same version of CRU station data as was sent to Peter Webster and that they refused on the grounds that they had "confidentiality agreements" (all of which have been destroyed or lost other than stale agreements with Norway and Bahrain and and an agreement with Spain that does not require confidentiality) with parties that they can no longer identify, but the one thing that they were certain of was that these agreements prohibited the delivery of the data to a "non-academic".

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Nature Reports on British Climatic Research Unit Stonewalling

Nature reported today on the CRU data requests. I was interviewed at length last Thurs, followup Friday by Olive Heffernan of Nature. They even asked for a photograph. I haven't seen the article yet. More after I see the story.

Info

British Climatic Research Unit: The "Confidentiality Agreements"

CRU refused my FOI request for CRU data stating that:
Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics.
I asked to see the precise language of the underlying agreements because I very much doubted that agreements specifically prohibited "further transmission to non-academics". If there were such a term in an agreement, it seemed far more likely that the term would be for "academic use" or something like that, and, given that my interest was scholarly rather than commercial, I doubted that the language of any applicable agreement would be applicable.

CRU has only managed to locate three documents pertaining to their agreements with NMSs: an application to Spain and letters from Norway and Bahrain, all from 1993-4. They also include a letter from CRU to the Met Office and, inexplicably, a copy of a current webpage from NERC governing Met Office data.

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Sea Level In The Southwest Pacific Is Stable

Southwest Pacific Sea Level sites
© unknown
The sites of sea level monitoring stations.

"Graphs of sea level for twelve locations in the southwest Pacific show stable sea level for about ten years over the region. The data ... suggest that any rise of global sea level is negligible.....

Sea level studies have not been carried out for very long, but they can indicate major tectonic components such as isostatic rebound in Scandinavia.

Cloud Lightning

Do Clouds Come From Outer Space?

Solar storm
© ESA/NASA
Cloud killer? Research suggests that solar storms interfere with cloud formation on Earth.

Most of Earth's clouds get their start in deep space. That's the surprising conclusion from a team of researchers who argue that interstellar cosmic rays collide with water molecules in our atmosphere to form overcast skies.

As common as clouds are on Earth, the processes that produce them are not well understood. Scientists think particles of dust or pollen can serve as nuclei for water droplets, which in turn gather by the trillions into clouds. That would help explain how clouds form over urban areas: Fine particles called aerosols are emitted from the exhaust pipes of millions of vehicles and work their way into the atmosphere, where they are thought to attract water molecules. But it doesn't explain how clouds formed in preindustrial society--or how they form today over vast stretches of rainforest and ocean.

That's where cosmic rays come in. The idea goes like this: High-speed cosmic ray particles--protons and neutrons of still-mysterious origins that travel at nearly the speed of light--collide with water molecules in the atmosphere, stripping away electrons from those molecules and converting them into electrically charged ions. The ions then begin attracting other water molecules, which eventually form clouds.

The theory seems to hold water in the lab. In 2006, physicist Henrik Svensmark of the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen and colleagues produced aerosols artificially in an atmospheric chamber by bombarding water molecules with a particle beam. "More ions resulted in more aerosols," Svensmark says.

Chess

Green Science or Real Science? Hot Air or Cold Facts?

Even before our record heatwave subsided this week, politicians and journalists were ramping up their all-purpose explanation: "Global Warming." Warming it was; Global it was not. When Portland hit 106 on Tuesday, it was 61 in San Francisco, 70 in Santa Barbara, and 79 in Los Angeles. Frequently hot Pendleton was only 101, far from the record high for the Northwest of 119 set there in 1898.

Charlatans use every opportunity to promote climate hysteria, claiming that the global temperature is rising inexorably. Yet they overwhelmingly lack training in physics and meteorology. And the best satellite data show that the earth as a whole has been gradually cooling for a decade. They love "green science" because it is wonderfully suited to selling expensive climate "solutions" to the scientifically challenged. Never mind that it is neither green nor science, just politics. Never mind that climate variations are perfectly natural and unstoppable. An army of propagandists say that man is the culprit, and carbon taxes are the solution.

If President Obama's climate agenda passes, expect the problem to slowly fade because it never existed in the first place and few will tolerate escalating energy prices that dramatically lower our standard of living. Will those who have led this scam face a day of reckoning like Bernard Madoff? Unlikely. They will just blame some underling, preferably deceased, for deceiving them!

Real science is based on real evidence that can be independently verified, not on testimonials from those funded by politicians. Real evidence of climate change is easy to find. Real evidence that man caused it via greenhouse gases is completely missing. Man does cause local warming through urbanization. This biases many terrestrial temperature records, providing fodder for alarmists.

Binoculars

Multiple Wrongs Don't Make A Right, Especially When It Comes To Determining The Impacts Of ENSO

The 2009 Foster et al paper (In Press) "Comment on 'Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature' by J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter" was written by a who's who of climate scientists. The authors include G. Foster, J. D. Annan, P. D. Jones, M. E. Mann, B. Mullan, J. Renwick, J. Salinger, G. A. Schmidt, and K. E. Trenberth. Their comment is summarized by a sentence in the abstract: "Their [McLean, Freitas, and Carter's] analysis is incorrect in a number of ways, and greatly overstates the influence of ENSO on the climate system."
Link to Preprint (The Google link to the pdf version of the preprint is no longer operational): (Google Cache Link)

This post does not discuss the analysis by Carter et al nor does it examine the methods used by Foster et al to critique it. This post lists the papers cited by Foster et al that determine "the connection between ENSO and large-scale temperature variability, particularly with regard to the role of ENSO in any long-term warming trends, that has been carried out over the past two decades," and discusses the errors that are common to those papers.

Bell

Australian Senate Rejects Rudd's Cap and Trade Emissions Plan

Australia's Senate rejected the government's climate-change legislation, forcing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to amend the bill or call an early election.

Senators voted 42 to 30 against the law, which included plans for a carbon trading system similar to one used in Europe. Australia, the world's biggest coal exporter, was proposing to reduce greenhouse gases by between 5 percent and 15 percent of 2000 levels in the next decade.

Rudd, who needs support from seven senators outside the government to pass laws through the upper house, can resubmit the bill after making amendments. A second rejection after a three-month span would give him a trigger to call an election.

Bell

At last, man-made climate change is a threat - engineered by the global-warming fanatics themselves

The lunatic ambitions of the "man-made" climate change fanatics are reaching new heights. They also pose a serious danger to human survival - the very objective they claim to champion. Among the latest Frankenstein proposals are "cloud ships" to generate more cloud and deflect the sun's rays. This scheme envisages 1,900 wind-powered ships cruising through the world's oceans creating bad weather.

Scientists insist the effects would be purely local (how can climate interference be localised, without a domino effect?) and that it could be reversed. This would cost a mere $9 billion, compared to the $395 trillion it would cost to launch mirrors into space to deflect the sun. We should count ourselves lucky this fruitcake scheme to switch off the light that sustains life on earth is too expensive to be implemented.