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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 sackvillian (1476885) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:28AM (#30469030)

    Unless the IEA produces data it claims is 100% raw uncut, this story is below the threshold of credibility.

    The same is true of the climategate "scandal", but that hasn't stopped of it from being taken as proof of either a new world order or academia's corruption by at least 25% of comment'ers on climate related stories on mainstream news sites.

    This claim is like Bill O'Riley's commentary; its effectiveness doesn't lie in any sort of rationality or evidence, but merely in it being uttered confidently (usually loudly) and it being something people want to believe. Nothing short of total refutation can get rid of garbage like this.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:38AM (#30469122) Journal

    I think it hilarious that you discredit the Russian statements purely on the basis of financial interest,

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

    when there are billions of dollars riding on cap & trade

    That's funny. From everything I've heard about cap and trade, it's going to stagnate our economy (read: bad for everybody). 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?

    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! They are the vast majority of the 'green industry.' And they're cooking scientific findings why? So they can be the leaders in the coming green tech when they're already leading companies in what they do now? Does not compute.

  • by finarfinjge (612748) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:40AM (#30469134)
    Here is an hypothesis: In the early 1980's, people who had made claims about the massive impacts of SO2 on the earth (anybody remember acid rain) realized that SO2 had made another impact. Not only did it cause acid rain, but it cooled the earth. Then came Pinatubo. OMG! What have we done!

    Now it was time to come up with a scape goat for the impending impact on climate that was certain to occur with a world wide reduction in SO2. How about CO2? Hard to prove, impossible to eliminate, and 'everyone knows that CO2 is a green house gas'. Tin foil hat time? Maybe. Of course, the fact that CO2's impact on radiant heat loss is, and always has been, maximized, may have something to do with all of this. And really. deltaF=5.35lnC/Cnought? Isn't that just a little too idiotically simple?

    Cheers

    JE
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:10AM (#30469346)

    Cars were a solution to a pollution problem. Go replace every car on the road with a horse or donkey, then watch the death that follows from all that shit piling up everywhere attracting flies and spreading disease.

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS NO POLLUTION. Unless you've figured out how to stop poop from exiting your butt, there will always be pollution. The skies above our major cities are far cleaner than they were 20 years ago, yet you still emorage.

    I supposed you want to eliminate every single benefit that oil and coal have brought us, from roads to plastic too eh? How many medical devices and procedures would become impossible without them?

    I hate the ignorant, narcissistic, ungrateful generation you represent. Your ancestors made life unbelievably comfortable for you and all you can do is cry like a damn baby about it.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:14AM (#30469368) Journal

    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?

    From academia: Tenure, speaking engagements, grants, articles, books, presidential advisory positions, paid contributor to MSNBC.... the list goes on.
    From the media: Magazine/Newspaper subscriptions/Nelson ratings (bad news sells. If it bleeds, it leads.) Government contracts (See GE, which owns MSNBC), You primary products becoming mandated and/or pushed by government regulation (See GE and their CFL bulb business), Interviews with top political leaders (how many times has President Obama been on Fox News? How many times on MSNBC?), Scoops/Tips/Leads to your journalists... the list goes on.

    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! They are the vast majority of the 'green industry.

    Great! So the problem is fixing itself. Why do we need government intervention again? Won't government just screw it up for these guys?

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:42AM (#30469580)

    Now you just have to show that EVERY paper negative about AGCC was always rejected by every journal. Wow, some work, isn't it? It's going to take a lot more to prove a global conspiracy by nearly every scientist involved in the area than a single email by one person about two papers. Because otherwise, the only thing you've shown is that.... a single person rejected two papers based on personal bias against the conclusion.

    Not to mention that the email said that they might still be published. In terms of a smoking gun, that's pretty damn weak.

  • by OrangeCatholic (1495411) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:46AM (#30469600)
    Yep. One of the most shocking things about global warming (should you choose to accept this theory) is that the Western countries that are causing it also stand to benefit. Russia was a no-brainer once you mentioned Siberia, the all-time classic example of a vast tract of land unsuitable for use because it's too cold. But I also question whether Europe or the US will be badly affected - affected for sure, but if the farm belt moves north into the Dakotas, so what?

    The whole history of Western expansion is that we've built our economy on the backs of cheap foreign labor. As an American, you're "rich" precisely because the Chinese who make your goods earn 10x less than you. This system has survived because the "slave labor" class is like a hot potato that gets passed around. Once the Chinese grow out of it, they'll just hand it off to $THIRD_WORLD_COUNTRY.

    But now we're threatening to take the very air they breathe and water they drink from the third world, via climate change, and profit from it. Under these conditions, how long do you think the empire-based economic model can survive?
  • by Tanktalus (794810) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:53AM (#30469650) Journal

    as "proposed supporters of climate alarmism" ought to ring the warning bells, no?

    I know this might be a bit far out there, but a) you did qualify with a big "if", and b) there may be (and I don't know being unilingual, and sometimes I'm not so good in that language, either) a colloquialism or idiom in Russian that translates poorly into English, such as trying to translate things like "yeah, right" (meaning: I don't believe you) or "out like a light" (asleep) or "sleeping like a baby" (usually doesn't indicate waking up every two hours, crying and having pissed one's pants) into other languages, especially if done mechanically. Ok, so that's basically only one point, but I thought it was a big enough point that it needed two letters attached to it.

    Basically, you said, "if I'm right, I'm right, no?" And, I suppose the answer is, "Um, yeah, I guess so?" But that's just a strawman where we're supposed to glance right over your big assumption.

    Then again, even should we grant you the big assumption, you're tearing down their argument based on an interesting combination of ad hominem (attacking the messanger as being, basically, a bunch of crackpots) and appeal to authority ("orthodox scientists"). Basically, this crackpot has posed a very testable and simple question: were a bunch of Russian data points ignored, and, if so, do they detract from the apparent consensus? The less testable question is whether, if the points were ignored and they do detract from the consensus, they were ignored due to this detraction or not. If they were ignored because, for example, they were unreliable (e.g., a thermometer that was in the middle of a field 80 years ago, but is now in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, thus affected by urban heating, or if it were moved 2 km up or downhill, their values may not be directly comparable, and thus discarding may have been the right thing to do, which then would lead skeptics of AGW to question if they did this consistently to all data points globally or just to these ones in Russia)? Or other valid reason perhaps? The charge is still valid, even if you don't like the accuser.

  • by Nightspirit (846159) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:08AM (#30469766)

    It seems like I'm being bombarded by propaganda from both sides and the only way I'm going to find the facts is if I become a climatologist and study the data myself.

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:50AM (#30470046)

    I know this might be a bit far out there, but a) you did qualify with a big "if", and b) there may be (and I don't know being unilingual, and sometimes I'm not so good in that language, either) a colloquialism or idiom in Russian that translates poorly into English.

    Not being monolingual and being accutely aware of how badly Google translation munges stuff I wrote (in the message you are responding to) "insofar as the Google translation is correct." Apparently you missed that.

    Basically, you said, "if I'm right, I'm right, no?" ... But that's just a strawman

    Had I "basically" written that, I did not, it would be a tautology, not a strawman.

    Then again, even should we grant you the big assumption ...

    Which big assumption?

    you're tearing down their argument based on an interesting combination of ad hominem

    I agree with you my objection to Mr Delingpole (or Ms Divine from the SMH) is ad hominem. But allow me to explain. There are some authors attached to (semi-)reputable journals such as the Telegraph, and other's I may read from time to time, whose work has proven to be so scandalously poor that I have made a conscious decision never to reward them with clicks. This is my right. When Delingpole's page came up I felt violated.

    ...and appeal to authority ("orthodox scientists").

    Here I cannot agree, what I wrote was not an appeal to authority and your saying so leads me to question whether you understand the fallacy you are citing.

    Moreover, while argumentum ad verecundiam might strictly speaking be a lgoical fallacy, ie. X is not True because A says so, Science is, as I am constantly reminding people, largely based on authority. ie. A is more likely than I to know whether X is True or not. Authority tells me that cars can hurt human bodies, as a result I avoid walking in front of them.

    Secondly a statement implying that scientific orthodoxy accepts AGW as highly likely, is in no way an appeal to authority, it is a simple statement of fact.

  • Re:The False Choice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:06AM (#30470178) Journal

    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!

    What's your alternative?
    The free market will not naturally minimize its environmental impact. Polluting is good for the bottom line.
    The idea behind Cap & Trade is that free market forces get to work out the most efficient way to reduce pollution.
    If you don't want that, we can keep with the tried and tested method of government regulation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:09AM (#30470580)

    In short, the topic that people are making all of this hullabaloo about failed peer review
    No, the problem is an agreement at COP15 will put everyone under a world government, who will extract taxes we don't fucking have.

    And lastly, why are we even listening to a report from the "Institute for Energy Analysis" in the first place? Are we going to frontline reports from the Institute for Petroleum Research next?
    No, we'll get similar corruption which will control drinking and irrigation water next. Just watch.

    The problem is you don't seem to understand this is a real undeclared war. It's current stage is that of a MIND WAR. If they win the mind war, then they get what they want and things will be real bad for people like you and I when every thing you do is controlled not by your Constitution or Bill of Rights but by the UNEP/UN.

    The problem is our officials can't be trusted and use secrecy to hide their motherfucking crimes.

  • by Xest (935314) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @04:58AM (#30470842)

    Russia is a nation heavily dependent on fossil fuel exports, in fact, their entire economy depends on it else it would just flat out collapse again as it did at the fall of communism.

    So the issue is this, even if Russia has made the allegations, even if they do provide data, there's no real way to tell that they haven't manipulated the data themselves to suit their own agenda of keeping the burning of fossil fuels the main form of energy worldwide.

    We've seen the same tactics from Saudi Arabia, they have tried extremely hard to discredit climate research because again, without oil sales, their country would be in ruins.

    So if the source of the reporter's claims itself is flawed then the whole article is flawed and a good and truly unbiased journalist wouldn't put such an article forward for publication. The fact the reporter himself is clearly quite biased and incompetent doesn't do much to help the situation, it just means he's found a biased source that suits his agenda. So yes, his source, might be right, that this institution did discard a lot of the data, but is that because they found a trend that demonstrate the data itself was bad, which would be no suprise coming from a country with such vested interests in pushing bad data. A good reporter would look for other sources in nations that don't have vested interests in showing up climate change as a sham, but oddly these don't really seem to exist. Even China accepts the problem and with their economy based on needing to pollute by way of their massive manufacturing base, they have much more to lose.

    Pointing out the reporter is a joke, just opens the door for realising that even if he has reported what his source said or gave him correctly, doesn't mean his source is even correct and unbiased. It just means he's found someone willing to make such allegations for him to report on even if they're false. If however it had been a reporter with a good track record of being unbiased then we could have more faith that he'd used a valid, unbiased source.

    I'm sure I could find plenty of sources willing to testify god exists so that I could write an article hence proving he does, but it wouldn't mean I was right, or that they were right, it would just mean I'd found people willing to push the same agenda as I.

    So yes, the objectivity and fairness of the reporter matters, because it's a reflection of the whether or not they're likely to care about the validity of their source or mindlessly just publish without verifying.

  • by Troed (102527) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:32AM (#30471450) Homepage Journal

    Wtf

    Climategate is about a whistleblower releasing email, data and code having been gathered for a long time (likely due to FOI requests). The only other possible explanation is that it was done by mistake (yes, seriously)

    There's absolutely no indications whatsoever that this was done by "hackers" - it would be near impossible actually.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/07/comprhensive-network-analysis-shows-climategate-likely-to-be-a-leak/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/23/the-crutape-letters%C2%AE-an-alternate-explanation/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

  • by Burnhard (1031106) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:55AM (#30471606)

    It's done in an an automated process that has been analyzed by dozens of peer-reviewed papers.

    Regarding your appeal to authority (dozens of peer reviewed papers), I would point out, as I love to on these occassions, the thousands of peer reviewed papers published with respect to the dietary causes of stomach ulcers.

    Now on your substantive point that the automated process throws away "bad" stations and only includes "good" ones, let's be clear here:

    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 Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

    That reason may well be something similar to Mann's "confirmation bias" method of proxy selection, ie. throw away all data that doesn't match your pre-conceived idea of what the data should look like.

  • "second opinions" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by calixaren (1116263) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:07AM (#30471668)

    One problem with this analogy is that it's not just one "doctor" that's saying "operate", it's thousands . 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?

    Here are some "second options" :

    Are all those doctors quacks, every one of them?

  • Re:WTF is going on? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rally2xs (1093023) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:11AM (#30472374)

    You don't need science to refute this, you only need to look at the way it's presented - as a religion. Did you read, "State of Fear?" The last great hoax was eugenics - we saw where that went with Hitler. This is similar stuff - "the whole world is going to die unless you listen to us!" BS. This is just so much horse-hockey, with ulteriour motives of carting as much cash as possible out of the developed nations and spreading it around every 3rd world shit-hole on the planet. Well, its not going to work. We're finally getting to the bottom of this, and exposing the fraud. Maybe the fruadsters will go to jail. That'd be sweet. The supposed crisis would have cost us 50 trillion dollars by year 2050. That's far worse than any warming, rising sea level, etc. would be worth stopping. We're just going to live with whatever happens - that's what would have happeed after wasting $50T anyway - CO2 mitigation is doomed to fail anyway, since we need the energy and that's the only way to produce it right now.

  • by Rising Ape (1620461) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:17AM (#30472408)

    Free exchange of information isn't a problem between honest scientists. To some random political asshole who will merely use it as ammunition? Not really.

  • by newhoggy (672061) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:46AM (#30472584)

    Phlogiston, persisted as a theory because no competing hypothesis existed at the time could better explained the data, and the data available at the time did not contradict the theory.

    Climate science today is different with many scientists going out of there way to enormous quantities of data ranging from this such as tree rings, to limestone deposits, to sun spots to ice cores to real temperature data from the ground and from satellites.

    Mind you, the term "greenhouse effect" was introduced way back in the late 19th century, so the idea is hardly new. It is certainly way longer than say the intervening time between the discovery of eggs in cholesterol, and the discovery that consumption of eggs do not increase blood cholesterol levels.

    To equate climate change to phlogiston or egg cholesterol is a long stretch indeed.

  • by hesaigo999ca (786966) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @09:56AM (#30472676) Homepage Journal

    Why would any part of this climate information lead someone to go to the FBI?
    It is climate info, and when you compare it to bankfraud or idtheft, it pails in comparison to what evil you can do with this info. Seriously, I smell BS here, as for Jones, I think he is a quack that needs to stop whining and share what he has, like a little spoiled brat in the sandbox, I think he is just afraid someone will debunk him (which happened in the past already) and prove him inadequate to hold on to that data.

  • Yes, blue is the EIA data (all 476 weather stations across 152 "cells"), while the red line is the CRU cherry-picked data (90 stations from 121 "cells"). Actually, even though the line may look synchronized, the "Conclusions" section of the linked PDF specifically explains that by selectively discarding the data, the CRU made pre-1950's temperatures lower than actual, and post-mid-1990's temperatures higher than actual - thus producing an intentional skewing of the trendline. Those couple of millimeters' offsets between the blue and red lines *are* significant to scientists, looks like :)

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