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Earth Science

Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated 715

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
DustyShadow writes "On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claimed that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian-climate data. The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations. The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley CRU survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century."
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Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:17PM (#30468944)

    Yeah, way to skip right over the actual allegation. Do their claims, in and of themselves, have merit? Wouldn't take long to find out. But attacking the claimants sure is a handy shortcut in logical argument, isn't it?

    If the CRU letters are any indication, I guess this is how "science" is done these days, now, anyway.

    Welcome to the "new science." Guess we better all just get used to it.

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:26PM (#30469008)

    Oh if you think he might be an unbiased reporter working for the telegraph ...

    Yes as soon as I saw the TFA, my first reaction was, "isn't there any more reliable source from this other than James Delingpole?"

    So if is there any reputable source that is publishing a story about this, could a link please be posted in the original submission.

  • Yeah, way to skip right over the actual allegation. Do their claims, in and of themselves, have merit? Wouldn't take long to find out.

    I hate to break it to you but neither side has given me data. Saying so and so skipped over data from here and there does nothing for me when I can't see the data and do my own statistical analysis. If the IAE is so sure and has the data, why don't they publish the adjusted figures to show us just how much we were lied to?

    No choice but to listen to those with the data publishing the reports. Does it suck? Yes. But oftentimes that's how studies with empirical data works--especially if it cost a lot of money to acquire that data. We're not talking about a repeatable experiment here to be verified in another lab. And for some reason, we're not demanding they open the sequencing data on the cancer gene [slashdot.org] we just accepted that story and we trusted those scientists. But suddenly it's about climate change therefor you're now all more qualified experts than those with the data. Why is that? What is it about climate change that suddenly everyone and their dog can tell you how wrong the scientists are?

    Welcome to the "new science." Guess we better all just get used to it.

    Grow up. Your faux apathy rhetoric is amusing after I listen to you accuse me of an ad hominem attack.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:30PM (#30469050)

    I think it hilarious that you discredit the Russian statements purely on the basis of financial interest, when there are billions of dollars riding on cap & trade and the whole green industry behind it.

    Both sides are well funded, so let's please get over this phobia of money being involved and consider the science instead.

    And the science we have seen, is terribly compromised across the board. There simply is no way to produce any rational decisions based on the data and hand, which is hardly surprising given that no-one was allowed to peer review. That was never science, and we now see the result of what happens when not-science meets the light of visibility.

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:34PM (#30469074)

    He links to the original Russian story. He's just reporting what the Russian experts say.

    On what basis do you accept that this site is the work of Russian "experts?"

    I think you need to excercise a modicum of scepticism. Their description, insofar as the Google translation is correct, of orthodox scientists, (whether they are correct or not), as "proposed supporters of climate alarmism" ought to ring the warning bells, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:35PM (#30469076)

    It doesn't matter if global warming is real or not.

    The root question is, does it make sense to pump pollution into a thin atmosphere? No, of course not, it is wrong to keep doing so. Therefore, we need to take steps to stop.

    There are monied interests deliberately prolonging this useless debate about "Global warming - real, or not?" Think about why they do that.

    Pollution is wrong. Let's come together in some comopolitan city - hmmm, maybe Copenhagen? - and agree to end pollution.

    It doesn't matter if global warming happens today or 10,000 years from now. What matters is ending air pollution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:35PM (#30469086)

    There is data about the amount of CO2 and methane released by humans. There's no serious debate about those numbers. The arctic is melting as are the vast majority of glaciers and even the antarctic is showing signs of melt. The signs are obvious to the naked eye so there shouldn't be a debate about these facts. Even Sarah Palin has admitted there's a warming trend. Where the two sides diverge is the cause. Is there any significant evidence of natural changes worldwide? Volcanic activity, solar radiation, etc? No one has yet to point to any. In fact the sun light has decreased, traceable to the 1960s, by solar dimming from pollution and extra cloud cover. Volcanic activity is within normal ranges for the last 100,000 years. Oddly enough CO2 levels are at a million year high and they are projected to hit 60 million year highs by 2100. Now is the stance of the non human source crowd that human produced CO2 is inherently different than naturally occuring CO2 and can't affect weather? We produce billions of tons of CO2 a year, where does it go and why can't it affect global temperatures? This same argument that humans can't affect their environment has been made and disproved for hundreds of years. We can't cut down all the trees, well we're doing a good job of it. We can't deplete fish in the ocean, same with whales, those were disproven long ago but it was the belief 200 years ago. We can't pollute the oceans because they are too big. There are toxic levels of mercury in fish and there's a plastic mass bigger than Texas in the Pacific Ocean. All these arguments have been made over the years by groups wishing to exploit resources without restriction. Notice the loudest voices are the ones closely tied to big business? The goal is to delay legislation as long as they can to maximize profits.

    Use a little common sense. Release thousands of tons of fertilizer into the water and you get a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico from algae caused by pollution. Release billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, not debated. CO2 levels affect global temperatures, not debated. Human produced CO2 affects global temperatures, debated???? There appears to be a gap in the logic. The increase in CO2 mirrors the industrial revolution. No one has found another source for the extra CO2 or another source for global warming. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do the math but it takes sticking your head in the sand to ignore the facts.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:36PM (#30469100) Journal
    Sure, wouldn't it be great if there were a peer reviewed article somewhere that also looked at the Siberian data to see if it was accurate? Apparently someone tried, but was blocked by the people at East Anglia, as you can see from this quote: [eastangliaemails.com]

    Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL. Cheers Phil

    Now, I'm not saying global warming is a hoax, but at this point, if anyone comes up arguing from an appeal to authority instead of an appeal to evidence, they are braindead. The climate authorities have lost a lot of respect through all this. And that goes for the guys in Russia, too. Let them show us the evidence if they want us to believe.

    Don't tell me "climatologists say we should act now to prevent global warming!" show me the estimated radiative forcing changes and how exactly that's going to cause sea levels to rise. Show me the effect CO2 is having on the global temperature, and most importantly, tell my WHY you think that is happening. And if you can't explain it, then I'm not believing you. Because I can explain special relativity in terms simple enough that anyone can understand, and climate science is no more complex than that.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:37PM (#30469110)

    Where is their peer-reviewed paper in a respected journal?

    The CRU made sure it was never published?

    That's the problem with gaming the system you see, eventually people find out you were playing a game when they thought you were serious.

    And since we have found they were suppressing opposing viewpoints in journals, it's a circular argument to claim the need to see peer-reviewed articles to prove the point...

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:39PM (#30469132)

    Become a peer. All you have to do is get an education. Quit being a lazy skeptic and man up. Become a climate scientist. I dare you.

  • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:43PM (#30469170)

    Hey, I mean they have an open society where anyone can say what's on their mind right? I mean Glasnost and all, eh?

    Or maybe they have a shitload of oil and gas reserves that they'd really rather not have devalued by anyone actually deciding burning more fossil fuels would be suicidally stupid. Oh, was that the sound of one of Vlad's enforcers putting a bullet in the back of someone's head?

    Get real people. Now the deniers are the Russians and the Saudis. Laughable what kind of crimes people will do for a buck.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:45PM (#30469186)

    Where is their peer-reviewed paper in a respected journal? Is that too "sciencey"? Why do people with no credentials insist that their claims merit as much attention as carefully researched and reviewed investigations?

    They insist because they do not know. They do not know because they insist that they don't need to. It's a perpetuating result of the opinionated layman.

    I urge all skeptics to become climate scientists. It requires the mere effort of education. I can assure you that many opinionated layman are pissed off at this very comment and insist that I don't make any sense right now.

    So be it. Life is strange.

  • by sohp (22984) <snewton.io@com> on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:51PM (#30469210) Homepage

    Conspiracy theory much? Claiming the game is 'rigged' because there are little or no published research supporting the denialists is, at best, disingenuous. Where is the support for this claim that alternative views are suppressed? Please cite something other than a blogger.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 16, 2009 @11:55PM (#30469240)

    The problem with your assertion is that it is an appeal to authority type logical fallacy, in and of itself;

    1) The scientists have the data, so 2) they must know more about the data than we do, so 3) we should trust them implicitly in their interpretations of that data.

    This does not follow, because it totally ignores that the scientists with the data may have intrinsic bias, or even that they could be wrong. This is exactly why when you get a diagnosis from a doctor that says "Operate!", you get a second opinion.

    The problem here, is exactly like you stated; The data to get the second opinion is not public. Unlike the patient who may need an operation, who's body is the evidence, and is available on demand for inspection by the doctor giving the second opinion, all the potentially qualified persons to give a respectable response to this question are blocked out because of finanical interests on the data.

    Essentially, we have the global climate change fear mongers on one side, shouting "OPERATE!" (through drastic slashing of manufacturing technologies, draconian cap and trade taxation, repossession of private property, and a whole host of other proceedures of questionable value), and on the other, you have the alternative medicine quack that says "The pain is all in your mind" (EG, the non-scientists that say that human released carbon dioxide has no impact on the environment whatsoever, in spite of the fact that this is not supported by even the slightest bit of chemical evidence.)

    The patient (which is represented by the public in this case) is then left seeking a REAL second opinion; Are cap and trade&Co really necessary? The patient WANTS a *REAL* answer to that question, but is continually fed the PR pamphlets from both (disreputable) extremists.

    I for one, want the data to be released publicly. This is especially true if the data was collected using public funds, such as through NOAA, or in this case, through the russian government and russian taxpayer money.

    Right now, the patient is basically pleading with reputable doctors for a second opinion, but the doctors have to turn them away, because the medical history is "Confidential."

    Stop trying to sound high and mighty about how fantabulously reputable the CRU scientists are, when you know damned well that scientists are people, and people are faulty.

    The *ONLY* way to settle this, is to release the data. Given the far reaching implications of the decisions that will be reached through interpretation of this data, FOR EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, I fail to see how the financial interests of the people who collected it can outweigh the invested interest of the rest of the whole world, who's economical and climatological futures hinge upon it.

    If there is bad interpretation, and a misdiagnosis, sunshine will reveal it.

    If not, Sunshine will also reveal it.

    What we need is sunshine on the raw data; NOT specious arguments one way or the other on which side of the debate to "Simply Trust", when both have shown signs of being disreputable.

  • by Kr1ll1n (579971) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:03AM (#30469292)
    Because of graphs like this: http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent.png [uaf.edu] that contradict your very first statement about the arctic ice. When you look at it, you see that there is more ice now than the previous 2 years, and that a " Oh God, we are all gonna die!!!!" argument is neither scientific, nor valid. It is stated numerous times that correlation does not equal causation. This is true. It does not help the climate change argument when releases like this are happening all the time, and the scientists involved don't like to share data. It shows they have something to hide. Until they go open with what they have, and fully submit it for not just review, but also debate, then why believe it?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:04AM (#30469298)

    The same is true of the climategate "scandal"

    Are you saying Climategate is not a scandal?!!

    Russian crackers (possibly with Kremlin approval) are hired by some US disinformation organization to brake into the computer system of a British university? Sure sounds like a scandal to me.

    WHO PAID?

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:06AM (#30469312)

    > Quit being a lazy skeptic and man up. Become a climate scientist. I dare you.

    What would be the point? You see, I actually have spent some time reading through the leaked data and email. The whole game is rigged. If you aren't known to be a warmer you don't get to peer review for the journals considered important to the climate change game. When an editor broke with the unwritten rule the warmers had the offending editor removed. Another journal allowed a few doubting papers in, the warmers are writing about organizing to not publish in, cite from and generally shun the heretical journal. In other words the science is settled, therefore dissent isn't going to be considered science.

    More important, you don't need to be a climate scientist to realize these guys aren't practicing science. They suppress debate, suppress the data and the details of the models used to analyze it. Basically they are putting on their Science! priesthood robes and making pronouncements we are expected to accept without question based on their authority.

    But the funny part is they aren't even claiming to be experts in most of the stuff they spew. Several papers have been blown up because they were making claims based on statistical models put together without the input of a real statistician. The Hockey Stick debacle came about because someone used math they didn't really understand... or was outright fraud. Then beyond proclaiming impending DOOM! they go beyond their area of science and push specific solutions. That is the duties of engineers, economists and politicians. Nothing in a climate science degree qualifies anyone to pick a solution out of the dozens of options available. Then they let an idiot like the Goracle be their spokesperson and he is so clueless he things the inside of the earth is millions of degrees.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:08AM (#30469324)

    How about I was pointing out the fact that they are experts in economics, not climatology or any related field?

    And you were assuming they did not consult said experts why exactly?

    Now you're telling me that someone is funding international organizations and peer reviewed journals and leading scientists in the field ... so they can slow down the economy with phony climate results? How are they going to profit off that again?

    A) Copenhagen shows that lots of money is flowing into this.
    B) The part of the economy producing green tech doesn't slow down, it accelerates. Who cares what the net effect is as long as your sector is booming? Plenty of people liked to talk about kickbacks from Iraq. Well what about kickbacks to international concerns from small countries that get an economic windfall from cap & trade?

    And then you say 'green industry'! That's also hilarious! The companies dumping the most money into green tech are also the ones that are already lead players in the energy and fuel sectors!

    Yes, I always thought it was odd when people were thinking the oil companies were the ones trying to stop cap&trade when they have so much to gain from it - thanks for exposing that myth. But the energy and fuel sectors are very much an industry, so you don't really seem to have a point here.

    And they're cooking scientific findings why?

    They aren't, the "scientists" are, for a variety of reasons which boil down to the age old canards of money or religion.

  • The False Choice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:12AM (#30469350)

    Something must be done! Cap & Trade is something, Therefore it must be done! [pajamasmedia.com]

    You can reduce pollution without upending the entire western economy. Indeed, one of the false choices presented is that if you are not for Cap & Trade, you must be *for* pollution!

    Besides, if pollution were really a problem the people meeting would act like it instead of renting thousands of limos and taking private jets to converge to talk about it while using a ton of energy to heat large conference centers...

  • by mbkennel (97636) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:20AM (#30469414)

    "There is little doubt that the email and files that were released were from the CRU and they contain emails showing that some of the leading people involved WERE actively trying to suppress papers by people with opposing viewpoints. Is it still a conspiracy theory when it's true"

    In other words: an academic writes a negative review about somebody else's paper and sends it in to the editor! Shock me Amadeus! Wasn't academia supposed to be all about 110% supportive people, there are no bad papers, everybody's computation is right in its own special way? Don't tell me it ain't so!

    Quoting: "Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL. Cheers Phil"

    And what if said reviewer honestly thinks that the other paper is wrong and bullshit? Guess what: sometimes paper submissions ARE wrong and bullshit!

    And also, sometimes negative reviewers do have a stick up their rear---the editors of the journals have seen this before, many many many many times. They can sniff this out, and when they think the negative review isn't really valid they will publish the paper nonetheless.

    This supposed mighty "power to suppress" literally consists of writing a reply to the editor of a journal---unpaid labor---with a summary rating and technical evaluation. That's it.

    Compare this to the power wielded by those who have large financial interests in actually obfuscating pretty clear scientific results.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:21AM (#30469420) Journal

    It doesn't matter if global warming is real or not.

    The root question is, does it make sense to pump pollution into a thin atmosphere? No, of course not, it is wrong to keep doing so. Therefore, we need to take steps to stop.

    There are monied interests deliberately prolonging this useless debate about "Global warming - real, or not?" Think about why they do that.

    Pollution is wrong. Let's come together in some comopolitan city - hmmm, maybe Copenhagen? - and agree to end pollution.

    It doesn't matter if global warming happens today or 10,000 years from now. What matters is ending air pollution.

    I agree. Pollution is bad. So let's concentrate on pollution to limit it and stop this silly war on CO2!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:21AM (#30469422)

    You know, at times I think people miss the point. Even if we ignore global warming, it is _still_ a good idea to go to cleaner sources of energy like Nuclear Base load/Wind/Solar. I for one, do not like to see many train loads of coal get hauled on the tracks behind my house, because I know I breath whats left, one way, or another. In fact, while I have no idea if industrial pollution is a principle cause of my allergies, I do know they are less at my mother's house, and not here where I am near a city with chemical plants. (I've found that an electrostatic filter that fits the furnace helps quite a bit, provided you run it continually...)

    I, for one, can't see what the big deal is with cap and trade. It is a good idea, yet the coal companies and such spend so much money to try not to have to pay for the cost of _their_ pollution. No the slimy creeps would rather society pay the costs for their profits in the form of all the health related problems that will be caused from it. Their solutions are not to make serious efforts to stop the pollution, but quite often to put up a bit of money in research costs and such, to show how much they "care" and then to spend ten times that much bragging about how much they "care" and how green they are. After all its more profitable to pretend to care, than to really spend the effort on the hard problems...

  • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:21AM (#30469424) Homepage

    CAPSING random WORDS doesn't make your ARGUMENT stronger.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:24AM (#30469442)

    The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

    There is the key word: often. That does not mean that all, or even the majority, of the stations shows this. Is the percentage of stations not getting much warmer the same as the percentage in the officially used data? They just leave that point dangling in the hope that we will infer that it is not the same.

    Already people have taken this to say more that it does. Some blogs have already claimed that ALL of the stations used did not show warming. For example, here is a blatent bit of misquoting from a randomly googled blog [investors.com]:

    The data from the unused stations reportedly did not show any substantial warming trends.

    Oh dear. It is just a slight change, but it completely changes the meaning. And where is that skepticism that is supposed to be at work here? Why assume that the economic think tank is correct?

    I will wait to find what the selection criteria was before taking this to be any proof of a global conspiracy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:27AM (#30469466)

    Even as somebody who knows nothing about climate stuff, I can look at that graph and see that the variance throughout the year is huge compared to the yearly averages. From that alone it is obvious that the trend over 2 years is meaningless. Show me a graph of the past 200 years please.

  • by smallfries (601545) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:27AM (#30469468) Homepage

    I find it amusing that while railing against the bias and closed minds of the establishment you refer to them as "warmers". Irony knows no bounds.

  • by OrangeCatholic (1495411) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:28AM (#30469470)
    >both have shown signs of being disreputable.

    Who are these pro-warming scientists who won't release their data? It sounds to me like the anti-warming crowd has convinced you of false equivalency. e.g. "The other side is just as big scumbags as we are."
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:33AM (#30469512)
    it's no good attacking them based on the fact they export oil. all the climate researchers who advocate AGW have a budget dependant on global warming research funding, do we also attack them and cast doubt on their motives because of it?
  • Nuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by microbox (704317) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:36AM (#30469542)
    The CRU made sure it was never published?

    If that were true, then you'd be able to find perfectly good articles were "censored". Perhaps you think that the CRU had the scientists bumped off and their hard disks melted. That would explain why there is no evidence, right? The scientists, the papers, EVERYTHING is gone.

    Either that, or you'd be able to back up your accusation.

    Let me guess. You have no idea what papers the CRU never published, AND YOU COULDN'T FIND THEM IF YOU TRIED.

    Remember, you are not paranoid if everyone really is against you.
  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:41AM (#30469578) Homepage

    You can even publish your opinion, almost anywhere you like. Just don't expect to publish it in a journal unless it meets the journal's stated criteria for accuracy and methodology.

    You are only supposed to trust the work of peer reviewed climate scientists. And only known trusted warmers can peer review the climate change data.

    Well, since 97% [wikipedia.org] of the people best qualified to judge the methodology of an article about climate science are already convinced by their own observations that AGW is a critical issue, good luck finding someone sufficiently educated who disagrees. Basically you're claiming that virtually all climate scientists are either a) corrupted or b) morons, and I think that's a very tough charge to make stick.

    I certainly agree that peer review should not be an argument-ender (and there's plenty of sites like realclimate [realclimate.org] who are willing to discuss further). However I can also see that time spent battling the publicity of big-dollar vested interests for the "mindshare" of those who don't have the (significant) time or education to make a truly informed decision, is precious time that could be spent actually learning more about what the globe is up against, and could quickly get exasperating. Nevertheless, it's clear that the scientific community needs to make more of an effort to explain their conclusions to the lay public who doesn't know who to believe.

    On that last point, for the last couple of hundred years it was qualified scientists whose opinions were generally given more weight; now apparently it's half-educated bloggers. When did that change, and why?

  • by UltraAyla (828879) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:49AM (#30469628) Homepage

    So, I would like to add something here. I think that a blanket release of the raw data could be problematic, but am for a data release. Even as someone with a degree that covers environmental sciences, economics, and statistics, I am not qualified to make a true analysis of this data and neither are 99% of the people who would attempt it, then claim one thing or the other. However, I am in support of the release of the data. Withholding data understandably engenders mistrust and releasing it would help, but I think that it should be released to a broad group of people who are agreed to have enough expertise to analyze the data.

    This isn't to create some elite walled garden, but to give the science and data the respect they need in order to tell us anything. I feel like if the release was made to a broad enough group, and specifically a group of people with no history of weighing in on climate change, it should quell a lot of concerns about who is allowed to interpret the data.

    Finally, thanks for making a real post with genuine concerns about the data instead of simply screaming hysteria like so many have on this data release without attempting to understand the context of the release.

  • by ravenshrike (808508) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:54AM (#30469658)

    Except there has been no evidence shown whatsoever that it was a hack. No computer logs, nada. Moreover, the fact that a BBC blogger was emailed the file and decided not to publish it weeks before it became available on the russian site seriously undermines the hacker theory. Not to mention the fact that everything is collated into a FOI folder.

  • by blitziod (591194) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:02AM (#30469728)
    ok first off I am pretty sure the data from that little breakthrough will be published in a way that it can be verified objectively if it has not already. second the cancer gene people are not asking the planet to collectively spend trillions of dollars on blind faith in their research. If they where I am pretty sure people would be as concerned(if not more) about the integrity of it. For example any company that plans to spend even millions in r&d based on that research will likely want more than the scientists word.
  • by shadowofwind (1209890) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:03AM (#30469730)

    Good post. Maybe also worth noting is that all scientists depend on grant money, and winning grant money depends on politics. The best scientists have to compete with the most politically adept ones. If the public were more interested in science and less in empowering their own faction it would make things a lot easier.

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:10AM (#30469780)

    Sure, wouldn't it be great if there were a peer reviewed article somewhere that also looked at the Siberian data to see if it was accurate?

    You won't have to wait long, in press now ... Esper J, Frank DC, Büntgen U, Verstege A, Hantemirov RM, Kirdyanov AV, 'Trends and uncertainties in Siberian indicators of 20th century warming'. Global Change Biology.

    Now, I'm not saying global warming is a hoax, but ...

    Great! I don't have to write you off as a nutty conspiracy theorist then. ;)

    I agree that that quote doesn't paint Dr Jones in a good light, but I there are two things I would point out.

    Firstly, in context the quote seems less evil, though I agree, still not what one would hope for from a peer reviewer. Jones is responding to an email asking whether he had seen "this piece of crap by Esper" (an earlier "piece of crap" that is, not the one cited above). It appears that both scientists in this conversation genuinely think the paper is not good. Quoting from the same email just above your quote:

    Jan [Esper] doesn't always take in what is in the literature even though he purports to read it. He's now looking at homogenization techniques for temperature to check the Siberian temperature data. We keep telling him the decline is also in N. Europe, N. America (where we use all the recently homogenized Canadian data). The decline may be slightly larger in Siberia, but it is elsewhere as well. Also Siberia is one of the worst places to look at homogeneity, as the stations aren't that close together (as they are in Fennoscandia and most of Canada) and also the temperature varies an awful lot from year to year. Recently rejected two papers ...

    Similarly, it is just possible that Jones genuinely believed that the papers he rejected were not worthy of publication. That's actually how peer review works.

    Secondly, even being less generous to Jones, --and it is undoubtedly bad luck to draw the chief of the institute whose work you are criticising as one of your reviewers or stupidity for submitting it to a journal where they are on the review board, take your pick -- Science, and the peer review process, is bigger than one biased reviewer (or even a nest of biased reviewers). As the publication of the Esper paper I cited above demonstrates.

    ... if anyone comes up arguing from an appeal to authority instead of an appeal to evidence ...

    Nice to have the luxury of expertise and time to examine all the evidence, but in practice Science relies largely on authority. I cannot spend years arguing or denying that the floating point processor on this box works as it should. I take it on authority from Intel engineers, and if another expert can come out and conclusively demonstrate that it doesn't, I expect them to fix it. Well actually that's not true, this is an AMD ... :?

    Because I can explain special relativity in terms simple enough that anyone can understand, and climate science is no more complex than that.

    I think you are wrong. It's way more complex and far less certain. Unfortunately the uninformed denialism (as opposed to the informed skepticism of your Lindzen's and Pielke's) has somewhat masked the uncertainties, as climatologists are constantly led to defend the relative certainties.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:10AM (#30469784)

    the variety of opinions you can choose from

  • by ravenshrike (808508) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:13AM (#30469808)

    Bad for everybody except the specific industry that feeds off of the phenomenon, along with all the lovely government jobs that are created to enforce the parasite.

  • by PenisLands (930247) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:13AM (#30469812) Homepage Journal
    There's a big difference between the cancer gene thing and the climate data thing. Those ones working on the cancer stuff have found something that might help fight against cancer. They're not asking anything of us, they're presenting their information. We can ignore them and go on with our lives.

    But the climate change people are claiming that we've got to do this and do that and etc in order to prevent the end of the world. They're trying to make us do something and are using their finds to make us do it, so it's essential that we see their data so that we know that they aren't just manipulating via fraud.

    I think this is what they call a strawman argument.
  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:15AM (#30469820) Homepage

    This does not follow, because it totally ignores that the scientists with the data may have intrinsic bias, or even that they could be wrong. This is exactly why when you get a diagnosis from a doctor that says "Operate!", you get a second opinion.

    One problem with this analogy is that it's not just one "doctor" that's saying "operate", it's thousands [wikipedia.org]. How many more "second opinions" do you want before you accept that perhaps you actually need an operation? Are all those doctors quacks, every one of them?

    I do agree the data should be public - and AFAIK there already are a great many public datasets, at NOAA and other places. You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree). Just make sure you analyse a significant proportion of the data, and not just cherry-pick the bits that appear to agree with your conclusion, like so many deniers are guilty of.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:16AM (#30469822)

    I find it more interesting how the argument against climate change has been evolving.

    First we have "there's no such thing as global warming"

    Then it's "okay, there is global warming but it's not man-made"

    Then it was "okay it is man-made but there's nothing we can do about it now"

    THEN it was "Wait- it's a lie after all. This is all about MONEY. Climate change has no evidence behind it-- it's a massive collaborate scheme by those get-rich-quick green people. If by get-rich-quick you mean don't get particularly rich or quick, and of course the green titans of industry will have to wait 20+ years for their invented theory to persuade the majority of scientists in nearly every field from climatology to sociology-- I mean for them to be slowly recruited into the mass hoax. I certainly believe the poor oil industry establishment over those moneybag scientists.)

    Now it's taken a real conspiracy twist: "Climategate!!! [factcheck.org]" followed by "The Telegraph quoted a russian free-market lobbying press-release!!"

    Sorry, but when the truth threatens the profits and practices of major industries, we should just expect these obfuscation and lies. And ignore them.

    (And yes, smoking really does cause cancer. That wasn't a hoax either.)

  • by hey! (33014) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:30AM (#30469910) Homepage Journal

    This was all settled years before it became a political football. When politicians figured out AGM had policy implications, they wanted *their* vote in the matter, but it was too late.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:33AM (#30469930) Journal
    "Yeah, way to skip right over the actual allegation."

    Have you ever noticed how much fater and less onerous it is to make a loud baseles allegation than it is to defend against one?

    If the CRU letters are any indication, I guess this is how "science" is done these days, now, anyway.

    Oh please, these people are not scientists they are scum sucking lobbyists. Personally I've been waiting over a decade for the so called "skeptics" to come up with a model or even a paper that shows "global cooling" or gives a credible alternative to the cause of the observed warming signal. The so called "skeptics" and their obfuscatory methods and claims can usually be tracked to far-right economic think tanks such as the CEI, Heartland institute, or in this case the IEA.

    These people have as much credibility as the tabacoo CEO's who got up one after the other at the tobacoo trials and said "I do not belive smoking causes cancer". Matter of fact the Heartland Institute is where these CEO's got much of their "science". But hey, don't listen to what virtually every scientific institution on the planet is telling you, just keep thoses fingers in your ears and carry on parroting Anthony Watts in the interests of "fair and balanced" science.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:37AM (#30469948) Journal

    I think you are wrong. It's way more complex and far less certain.

    OK, let me explain to you simply the climate science behind global warming. Understanding all the nuances of the climate system will take years (or more likely, is impossible for a single human brain), but anthropogenic global warming only needs three facts, two of which are probably reasonable, and the other which is not. Anyone will be able to understand this.

    Fact 1: CO2 blocks some light from escaping the earth, causing energy to stay in the atmosphere that otherwise wouldn't. This is very well established, I don't think anyone seriously doubts this fact.

    Fact 2: The earth is getting warmer. True, although the degree of change is small: within a degree or so.

    Fact 3: Human produced CO2 has caused most of that warming. Unfortunately no one has ever been able to convincingly demonstrate that this is true.

    The IPCC report tries to support fact three by saying that the computer models predict it. Unfortunately, there is no computer model that can accurately simulate the earth's climate. In order to bolster their claim, the IPCC report says, "we can't think of anything else that could cause such a warming other than CO2." What? Why not just show, "CO2 contributes X degrees to the earth's atmosphere, if we double it, then it will contribute X more degrees." There is no such statement because we don't know how much CO2 is actually affecting the earth's temperature. Would it make a difference of any significance at all if we completely stopped CO2 production? We don't know.

    In fact, I challenge anyone here to show fact number 3, because I REALLY want to know about it. I've carefully read a lot of the literature looking for an answer to prove that link, but it really doesn't exist. Until it does, anthropogenic global warming remains nothing more than a conjecture.

    If you have a way to establish that link, please show it.

  • by Shark (78448) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:43AM (#30469996)

    I have to agree with you that a conspiracy theory generally involves thousands of people keeping their mouth shut.

    You have to be fair here however. In this case, thousands of people *didn't* keep their mouths shut. The issue here isn't that people aren't vocal in their dissent, it's that they are ignored or demonized. Some even had to go so far as to threaten to sue to be taken off the 'everybody agrees' list.

    Personally, I think real scientists are more interested in their science than yelling doom. Sure they love to be published but they aren't really going to go yell all over the place that they were ignored if such were the case. They leave that to people more interested in being pundits than scientists and as was mentioned in several previous posts, there's no shortage of that on either side of the fence.

    Especially given that the opposing views here are 'no big deal' vs 'omg everybody dies by 2025'. That's a gross exaggeration, obviously, but it's always harder to get people's attention when you're holding the 'no big deal' sign.

    If I am to be honest with myself that's what I'd do anyway. If I had conclusive evidence against AGW (Not the smoking gun, just an 'hey guys you made a mistake there') and didn't get published, I'd shrug it off and keep working at this point. Sure my data might be entirely valid, but who's going to genuinely care besides the journals who refused the data in the first place? The news? Am I able to fit my data in a 30sec soundbite? Is it worth the effort? Will people even care? Do I really want to be labeled as that evil bastard who wants polar bears to drown?

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:49AM (#30470038) Journal
    A few days before the story broke a hacker took control of the realclimate.org site and posted a file containing the emails (reported on realclimate.org). Since then, some of the scientists at realclimate have recieved death threats that are currently under investigation by the FBI (reported on ABC Australia). There have also been reports of people impersonating IT staff at a Canadian climate research center.

    Perhaps I have been wrong about the conspiracy theorists, maybe they have a point but just got it backwards.
  • by Quila (201335) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:19AM (#30470288)

    According to the emails we read that definition appears to include "Data that does not agree with our hypothesis."

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:26AM (#30470328)
    Easy.
    Go to any open cut coal mine and look at the big hole and the piles of overburden on the side of the pit. Look at the depth of the pit and the amount of overburden and get an idea of what is missing. Most of that missing stuff burned and left carbon dioxide.
    Pretending that reality doesn't contain the annoying bits does not make them go away. You are not gullable, you are simply part of the target group of some expensive PR that tries to trap people into the circular logic of conspiracy theories. I suggest reading some back issues of New Scientist of the late 1970s and early 1980s long before politics, fundamentalism and PR got mixed up this.
  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:32AM (#30470370) Journal
    Replying to an ad-hom with another ad-hom is normally called a retort. Besides I'd say that the words "Grow up. Your faux apathy rhetoric..." are an astute observation, not an ad-hom.
  • Well here's one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:38AM (#30470402)

    If that were true, then you'd be able to find perfectly good articles were "censored".

    Yes, here's one example [eastangliaemails.com].

    Where are they? Well how should I be able to find them, when they could not publish them. Meanwhile we have a perfectly good report here from Russia that you are dismissing out of hand. How come *you* don't have to prove *that* is false? What happened to the scientific method here where someone else challenges a theory and you explain why the challenge is wrong using facts, instead of Ad-Hominem attacks?

    There's that circle again, that you love to spin around so much. Whee!

  • by Ragica (552891) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:40AM (#30470412) Homepage
    Unfortunately most of those who keep misunderstanding the "appeal to authority" falacy for their own purposes here, and the like, this is not likely to be at all convincing. But I just can't help but quote these poignant words [realclimate.org]...

    Oh, while we're at it, let's redo the epidemiology on smoking and cancer. Until that's done, let's all take up smoking. After all, who can trust the corrupted peer-reviewed literature in leftist journals like the New England Journal of Medicine? --eric

  • by Olivier Galibert (774) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:09AM (#30470886)

    His point three is not about whether the current concentrations of CO2 are human-produced (as you say, the isotopic ratios seem conclusive), but how much of the measured warming is due to CO2 concentrations. "We can't think of anything else" is not very good as an answer and, according to him (I have no idea), predictive models of temperature-vs-CO2 concentration seem to be lacking.

        OG.

  • Fail. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:10AM (#30470898)

    The Russians are not "believed" to be the ones who broke into CRU, they are rumoured to be the ones who did so, based on, AFAICT, nothing more damning than the fact that the original URL for the file was at a *.ru machine, and that the server was physically in Russia.

    And, as ravenshrike says, there has not been the slightest shred of proof that CRU was broken into. It was a leak. The "hacked" cock and bull story was invented by Jones in order to try to turn a huge scandal into a mere data theft issue.

    The Russians stand to make billions out of selling carbon credits, so I doubt they have any incentive to derail the gravy train the West is sending them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:45AM (#30471144)

    One problem with this analogy is that it's not just one "doctor" that's saying "operate", it's thousands [wikipedia.org]. How many more "second opinions" do you want before you accept that perhaps you actually need an operation? Are all those doctors quacks, every one of them?

    There are capable, incompetent and mediocre people working in every job on the planet, so who's to say whether a single doctor's diagnosis is accurate at any given time? While in the great majority of cases a doctor would be correct in most cases, do you really want to bet your health that you're not the mistake? Just read the case of Richard Feynman's first wife.

  • by the_womble (580291) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:45AM (#30471146) Homepage Journal

    Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed. The consensus view in medicine has been wrong lots of times: routine tonsilectomy, eggs and other foods as contributing to high cholesterol, the effects of tobacco and alcohol - the last is particularly good because you can very easily see that many individual doctors use their medical knowledge to bolster their own prejudices and choices.

    You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree).

    Why should that restriction exist at all? Who decides what a relevant degree? Do you need to be a climatologist? a statistician? is my econometrics heavy MSc enough?

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:58AM (#30471212)

    Even showing that a single valid paper was rejected is enough, because it's not supposed to be possible.

    Yes, because Scientists operate outside of human emotions, and are all Vulcans sequestered inside an alternate dimension where there is no such thing as politics. /sarcasm

    If you were ever stupid enough to believe that there never was a single paper that was rejected by someone because of personal rather than scientific reasons, you have no business opening your mouth... on pretty much anything.

  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:23AM (#30471382)

    And how will AGW proponents respond to this in the media? With appeals to authority, ad hominem attacks, and bluster.

    The media and the scientists who have become the public faces of AGW in the media have taken the position that the public is too stupid to understand AGW, and must be convinced by multimedia slideshows, appeals to authority, and bluster. They do not seek to convey an understanding of the data, methods, and conclusions. Instead, they seek to replace one belief with another. When this is how you approach your audience, it doesn't matter whether what you teach is true or false, it is indoctrination, not education.

    How should they handle it in the media? They should spend 4 hours in primetime, instead of Dances with Fucktards, walk the public through the data, walk the public through the methods, examine the claim being made here, and explain its impact or irrelevance to the conclusions. You know. EDUCATE. Not pontificate. Not intimidate.

    And what difference will that make? The ignorant will remain ignorant, the faithful will keep believing, the pundits will scream, and Sean Hannity says it snowed in Houston.

  • by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:26AM (#30471412)
    Dump all their data on a website. Respond to FOI requests with a link. Any scientist that doesn't disclose their data SHOULD be viewed very skeptically; they're asking US to 'have faith'. That's not how science is supposed to work.
  • by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:34AM (#30471464)
    You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree).

    Why? Is the data DANGEROUS? There is no justification for that behavior. They aren't temple priests, and they shouldn't act as if they were. Free exchange of information isn't a problem for an honest scientist.
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:43AM (#30471868) Homepage

    Regardless of who the hacker was or the moral turpitude of the hacker, it does not change the absolutely destructive nature of the contents of these emails. Those emails give good reason to question everything. This issue cannot be scotched, and it would best serve humanity to deal with with complete transparency so that we can get back to the important business of saving the earth.

  • Nonsense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by omb (759389) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:00AM (#30471998)
    You are proposing that it is OK to Cherry Pick the data, if you know what you want to prove, or are an expert.

    No it isnt; how do you know the __normalization__ makes sense, and if it justifies rejection of raw data, that is exactly why you have to keep all the rew data and see how statistically significant you results are.

    Blatant data tampering and dubious data fitting is the main reason why I have recently concluded that AGW is, at the very least not-proven and likely deliberately fradulant. The "we cant release the raw data argument" is laughable in an issue of this importance.

    But, most importantly, the CRU e-mails and, more importantly code, raised grave doubts about the ethics of the CRU-MET-IPCC cabal, and this Russian data just re-inforces that, tnere is no point trying to get this genie back in the bottle, the AGW faction have to produce all the raw data and subject their analysis to hostile analysis.

    As has been pointed out the US are not in without the consent of Congress, Labour will be out in the UK and Russis and China show no sign of being convinced, I say again, without a lot more convincing proof this scam is dead.
  • by siloko (1133863) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:03AM (#30472010)

    But the climate change people

    :)

    Back to the point! If by 'climate change people', you mean scientists working in the field of climate change with a specific emphasis on human contribution, then the ones I listen to don't advocate any change in human behaviour. In fact they do exactly what you have posited for the cancer research people, present their data, explain their conclusions and leave the rest to the politicians. If others choose to listen to those that infuse their case with hyperbole (on either side of the discussion) then more fool them.

    Perhaps I am alone in not requiring the raw data - there is a point beyond which doubt makes no sense - if we are going to doubt the whole peer-reviewed edifice on which scientists rely to sort the wheat from the chaff - then the discussion shouldn't be about which field we can trust (cancer versus human influenced climate change) but on the how the scientific community present and validate their findings in general.

  • by KeensMustard (655606) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @08:18AM (#30472418)

    Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed.

    But upon experimentation we found evidence that said otherwise, and on the basis of that evidence, our understanding of reality changed. Still some people clung to the old mythology. So you can't justify the notion that you don't have cancer on the basis of past mistakes in medicine because the evidence is with the doctors, and not with you and your comforting mythology.

  • by Dunkirk (238653) * <david&davidkrider,com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @08:42AM (#30472548) Homepage

    That sounds nice, and all, but I call bullshit. First, if they were contractually obligated to keep their raw data secret, they could simply say so, instead of just stonewalling FOI requests. Feel free to post copies of the contracts and prove your assertion. Second, if they had the evidence -- the raw data -- that would shut the mouths of "deniers" once and for all, they'd release it in a heartbeat for the very reason you cite that they don't.

    The bottom line is that the fact that we still don't have the raw data sets WEEKS after this story broke is damning. Either they don't have it, or they know that it doesn't show what they SAY it shows and are simply trying to avoid exposure, or they are cooking the books (some more?) to support their theories before releasing it. There's absolutely no excuse to not just simply but EVERYTHING on the table at this point, and let EVERYONE, professionals and "amateurs" alike, have at it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @08:44AM (#30472572)

    Isn't this how science operates. Someone puts forth a hypothesis based on evidence collected and others test it. Later if it's found to be incorrect it is rejected and replaced with the new theory. The theory of Phlogiston lasted around 100 years and was the forerunner of understanding metabolism as well.

    Aether, on the other hand, dates back to far before the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th century and should really be discounted.

  • by xmundt (415364) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:33AM (#30473040)

    Greetings and Salutations.

    My father was a Microbiologist, and, spent most of his professional life researching yeasts and molds. His method was to gather as much data as possible, and see what results stemmed from it. I believe he would be shocked and dismayed to see this widespread tendency to come up with a conclusion, then, find the data that supports it.

    Those so-called scientists who are doing this, either to push a personal agenda or to ensure the continuation of grant money should be ashamed of themselves, and, should either clean up their act, or get drummed out of the scientific community!

    This sort of activity not only wastes huge amounts of resources, but, what is worse, undercuts the credibility of the scientific community, making it far harder for the good scientists who are following good protocols and producing good results to be believed.

    I observed elsewhere that it appears that the entire world is falling into a pit of hair-trigger, paranoid madness. This example, sadly, supports that belief. I hope I am wrong, but, I fear I am not...

    Pleasant Dreams

    Dave Mundt

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@slashd[ ]org ['ot.' in gap]> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:35AM (#30473082)

    ...who does not trust some Russian cracker more, than some scientists?

    Seriously, those are the guys who normally maintain botnets for a living, create pretty much every crack out there (the elite in cracking definitely is Russian), etc.

    OK, I don’t really trust anyone of them, but prefer to have double and thrice checks by (actually) opposing groups, coming to the same resulting conclusions.

    But trusting some weird guy from who knows where, who claims something that just so happens to fit with the goals of some other criminals (Big Oil , FOX News friends, etc.), just strikes me as being very counter-intuitive.

    (I do not make a judgment here, as they still could be right. But just that for natural reasons, they will have a much harder time, making me believe their statements.)

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:55AM (#30473330) Homepage Journal

    Yeah. Because releasing the raw data has done such a good job of shutting up the deniers before.

    For some reason I would prefer that the scammers ^B^B^B^B^B^B AGW proponents focus on proving their theories rather than "shutting up" the opposition. There's been enough of that already.

  • by jc364 (1292206) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:00AM (#30473406)

    But suddenly it's about climate change therefor you're now all more qualified experts than those with the data. Why is that? What is it about climate change that suddenly everyone and their dog can tell you how wrong the scientists are?

    If you're looking for a reason, it's about money. The skepticism comes from governments trying to impose new taxes while propaganda machines try to convince people that we're all gonna die if we don't do something NOW. Typically, when someone tries to rush/scare you into parting with your money, there is some sort of scam involved.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:23AM (#30473750) Homepage Journal

    I hate to break it to you but neither side has given me data.

    Let's take a look at the situation, shall we?

    • The alarmists have the data and won't share it
    • Skeptics have shown that many/most NOAA stations' sensors are installed on or next to heat islands
    • Skeptical activists hacked the alarmists' data and showed /shared conclusive evidence that the data has been forged, or at best, massaged, which one does not do if one is taking a scientific approach
    • Lots of raw data was destroyed making an accurate, scientific analysis near impossible
    • The leaked/hacked data has shown that not only is global warming a farce, but averages have more recently been on the decline
    • For a while other planets (Jupiter, Mars) were shown to have been warming. Is this due to too many SUVs on the road?
    • Many time throughout Earth's history the entire globe was much, much warmer (possibly warm enough for there to be no ice caps).
    • Many time throughout Earth's history the entire globe was much, much colder, with glaciers reaching past the 40 latitude mark.

    Just show us the facts; the raw data, without any spin of "ZOMG! GLOBAL WARMING!^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HCLIMATE CHANGE! OH NOES!!" bullshit editorializing. If you want to be taken seriously and convince even those who are not merely skeptical, but "won't" believe even in the face of evidence, then show us the raw fucking data without any tweaking - and accompany that data with a history of each temperature sensor (for example, if a parking lot went up next to it, and the temperature spiked the next few years and gradually increased, don't obfuscate that fact). That way, if there really is an issue, one can come to a scientific conclusion rather than political.

    Until then, count me among the skeptics who consider this a political rather than scientific issue, especially in light of the fact that it is believed that the Antarctic and arctic shelves are breaking from stress (from "overgrowth"), not due to heat, since they are larger than they have been during recorded history, and that when the alarmists are proven conclusively to be wrong, they change the terminology ("global cooling" to "global warming" to "global climate change" - face it, the global climate always has been and always will be very dynamic).

    I could go for some global warming about now, by the way. It'd be nice for winter to just go away. :-)

  • by EndlessNameless (673105) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:28AM (#30473830)

    //Free exchange of information isn't a problem for an honest scientist.//

    Responding to each and every request for data can be quite time-consuming. How many requests from random, miscellaneous, and often politically-motivated people do you expect a working scientist to entertain per day? Per week?

    The way studies of this sort work is the author should include the method he used for gathering data (and correcting it, if applicable). The primary source for the data is NOT THE AUTHOR OF THE STUDY. It is the same place from which he obtained it. Whether this source is NOAA, foreign weather observatories, or international climate bodies is irrelevant---the author is never a primary source of data unless he is performing experiments, and anyone who has done real science understands this.

    Another scientist should be able to come along, gather the same data, and analyze it according to the same method. There is an expectation that the author would clarify his methods if asked by another qualified researcher---the imposition on his time is worthwhile because the scientific process requires these checks. A simple data entry error can skew results, and followup investigation can always uncover errors or address shortcomings in methodology. If a neutral and qualified researcher says, "I followed your method with the same data set and got X where you got Y" then certainly further investigation is necessary.

    Scientists are not obliged to respond to spurious demands for data or explanations of methodology from anyone at anytime.

    The primary data sources (e.g., observatories) may place restrictions on access to the data as well in order to avoid excessive overhead. If it's coming from NGOs, then tough. If it is funded by your government, then contact your representative and demand open access and the funding/staffing to supply it.

  • by david_thornley (598059) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:41AM (#30474074)

    Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed.

    Sure. Do you know who showed that phlogiston and the luminiferous aether didn't exist? Scientists. People who had a good grounding in the field. You may remember the continental drift controversy, but its big proponent, Wegener, was a geologist himself.

    What the experts say may be wildly mistaken. What the non-experts who loudly disagree with the experts say is almost certainly mistaken.

  • Who are these pro-warming scientists who won't release their data?

    I don't know, who they are, but I do know, that no full, raw, unedited and "uncalibrated" series are nowhere to be found. The recent "leak" of the materials from East Anglia's CRU contained e-mails and programs (some showing obvious attempts to apply bogus corrections [jgc.org]), but not the data files.

    Worse — whatever raw data this particular CRU had before, was dumped [timesonline.co.uk] "to make room", and only the result of their "calibration" is preserved. Whether they sincerely believed, the original data will never be needed, or maliciously thought to hide imperfections in their calibration algorithm is a hot topic. But what's clear, is that it is not available — to anyone.

    But, again, even if the calibration were perfect (or, at least, sincere) — we can't get it. And so, there is no way to reproduce the results — for example, a highly-moderated poster [slashdot.org] (mrsquid0) claimed to have discerned from the leaked IDL [wikipedia.org]-programs, that the correct, rather than bogus version of the script was used to produce a chart published in Nature. However, when asked [slashdot.org], where he got the data to run the program for himself, he posted no response... Because he never has... Have you?

  • by pwfffff (1517213) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:48AM (#30475010)

    So basically the data is incomplete, and you have to make guesses to fill it in. Oh, wait, I mean 'educated' guesses, since the only people you let guess are the ones whose guesses agree with yours.

    If I want to become an expert on SQL, I go read the specs. If I want to become an expert on climatology, I go ask people to tell me how to guess which numbers will be useful to feed into the statistical analysis specs. I don't consider this crap as coming close to 'science'.

  • by pwfffff (1517213) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:24PM (#30475490)

    "note: Until 1961 only sea level pressure, surface pressure, temperature, and precipitation are available"

    Meaning that pre 1961 we don't have data for: Geopotential Height, Humidity, Sunshine, Surface Air Temperature (or Sea Surface Temperature, the quote above seems ambiguous as to which), and Surface Pressure.

    Since these obviously factor in to the 'adjustments' people keep making on the data, and since we don't have hard data for them, any trend beyond 1961 is essentially a guess. Right? So our short term trends are meaningless, and our long term trends are based on guesses, right?

  • by KillaBeave (1037250) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:55PM (#30475932)
    I agree with you to a point. I'm all for less pollution, just for the sake of less pollution. The point of contention for me is the thought that the ONLY cost would be economic. The past 100 years we've seen our standard of living and life expectancy increase at a nearly exponential rate. The cause of much of this increase? Transportation and the ability for a single human being to more easily obtain and use energy ... mostly in the form of fossil fuels.

    ANY form of VIABLE transportation ... fossil fueled. Batteries/biofuels etc aren't there yet, so should we go back to living/dieing within a 20 mile radius as our great grand-parents did? (Unless of course they came to America on a coal powered ship.) Throw our wildly efficient modern farming techniques in there as fossil fueled as well.

    Electricity? Nuclear is nice, but the world isn't comfortable (for good reason) with unstable countries having these capabilities. Solar/wind/geo-thermal etc ... also nice, but not economically viable in the poorer parts of the world. Could America go nuclear + solar + wind? Sure, it would hurt financially but could be done. Could Sub-Saharan Africa? Not without even more people starving.

    I'll stop there, but hopefully my point is clearly stated. I would gladly trade a couple *C warming for the vast increases in quality of life we've enjoyed over the past century. Should we try and curb emissions if possible YES!! But we mustn't lock out the developing world from the very advantages we've enjoyed, economically or otherwise. Nor should we force ourselves to go backwards! If we did, we would essentially be trading people for polar bears ... if that's the choice, fuck the polar bears.

    To assert that the only cost to reducing emissions are economic in nature is to dismiss the fact that economies feed people. When these economies are unduly burdened, people starve ... even here in the states.
  • by Rei (128717) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:30PM (#30476466) Homepage

    You're calling BS on the AP [msn.com]. Keenan went to the FBI because in his fantasy world Wang had used government money to commit fraud.

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