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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data 507

Posted by samzenpus
from the here's-the-rest-of-it dept.
mutube writes "The BBC is reporting that the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, target of 'ClimateGate,' has released nearly all its remaining data on temperature measurements following a freedom of information bid. Most temperature data was already available, but critics of climate science want everything public. Following the latest release, raw data from virtually all of the world's 5,000-plus weather stations is freely available. Release of this dataset required The Met Office to secure approval from more than 1,500 weather stations around the world. The article notes that while Trinidad and Tobago refused permission, the Information Commissioner ruled that public interest in disclosure outweighed those considerations."
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Climate Unit Releases Virtually All Remaining Data

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  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:05PM (#36902762)

    Their research was peer reviewed. Who does the modeling is irrelevant. Don't set up strawmen to attack climate change.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:30PM (#36902944)

    I don't get the skepticism on slashdot. There is a worldwide scientific consensus that the Earth is heating up and humans are a major factor. It has been known since the 19th century that C02 in the atmosphere absorbs and emits infrared radiation back to the planet. It is also uncontroversial that humans have been putting ever increasing amounts of C02 in the atmosphere. And that it takes a century or two for that C02 to be taken out of the atmosphere. It is also known that glaciers and ice caps are melting / receding. It is also well known that there is a lot methane trapped below the Greenland ice and in the deep sea as sludge. If enough warming on land and in the seas occurs, a lot of methane could be released. It is known that methane is a much more potent green house gas than C02, even though it is shorter lived in the atmosphere.

    It's funny how people accept the scientific enterprise as a great tool for understanding the world right up until their views or wallets are impacted. Oh and as for who has the most incentive to misrepresent facts. Why those would be the people who make the most money from fossil fuels. And those with an ideological axe to grind. God forbid reality get in the way of ideology.

  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ruke (857276) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @07:43PM (#36903064)
    I'm in agreement here; waiting until we have perfect information before making decisions just means that you'll never make any decisions. You take the information available, and weigh all of the options available now with their costs and benefits.
    I'm of the opinion that the cost of doing nothing and being wrong far outweighs the cost of acting and being wrong. Worst case in one case is deepening the recession, where worst case in the other is unreversable catastrophic climate change.
  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:5, Informative)

    by microbox (704317) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:02PM (#36903184)
    Global *cooling* was not a consensus, but merely a possibility that was put forward in a famous paper, and explored for a little bit.

    But this little bit of information will do nothing to dent your certainty that science is just plain flawed.
  • Re:Good! (Score:4, Informative)

    by microbox (704317) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:18PM (#36903274)

    There's a name fore people like that.

    "Not paranoid" is two words, so I will stick with "sane".

    I bet you are incapable of sitting through this 10 minute [youtube.com] video, because you are too emotionally invested in your paranoid bizarro-world.

    I happen to personally know something about the science, and the academic debate on the issue has nothing to do with the laughably paranoid public "debate", which is really just a bunch of intransigent know-it-alls flogging one tired dead argument after another, without stopping to ever learn something about what they are saying.

  • by microbox (704317) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:24PM (#36903322)
    No, there were definitely the target. Watch here [youtube.com] and here [youtube.com].
  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:2, Informative)

    by geekpowa (916089) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:42PM (#36903432)

    You've completely missed the possibility of group-think within a tight community of people for whom professional diligence, competency and quality, critical workmanship have been substantially weakened by a tribal quasi-religious zeal to save the human race. Go read Mackay's 'Popular delusions and the madness of crowds' to appreciate, how generation after generation after generation, our civilisation uncritically rushes into some new ridiculous mass-belief. Although the book is quite old now; we are no different.

    But by all means, cling to the strawman that sceptics are conspiracy theory nutters if you wish. It will save you the hassle and bother of having to properly consider and analyse the views of those whom you disagree with.

  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:44PM (#36903452) Journal

    UEA, is a British organization. They do have FOIA, but they don't work the same as NOAA. NOAA can only use public information, and generates public information. UEA does use public info, but it also uses private info. That private info was the holdup[1]. They need permission to release that. Does the private info matter? Well it seems so in that the NAM sucks the GFS (European) model is more accurate.

    [1] The holdup was also in that UEA was inundated with requests for data and viewed the FOIA requests as a denial of service attack. They did then pripriitixe and release info, but selectively, which gave the impression that climate skeptics/deniers were not being serviced fairly which only added to the skeptics/denier's anger. And on more than one occasion info was released to non-skeptic/deniers that should not have been.

    Now the only question is did they release raw data, or the "adjusted" data...

  • by ideonexus (1257332) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @08:51PM (#36903496) Homepage Journal

    Like the article says. Most of this data was already publicly available online:

    I took this data and plugged it into Cornell’s free data analysis software Eureka [cornell.edu] and it found a clear warming trend [ideonexus.com] in the data. I'm not statistician, so I was just playing around, but I have yet to see anyone use this data to argue for anything but a warming trend (Note: I have seen skeptics use parts of this data to show short-term cooling trends). My favorite email attacking the results the software gave me was that I had "manipulated" the data by copying-and-pasting it into Excel.

    I'm glad more data is being made publicly available, but, like someone else said, that just means it's time for the skeptics to move the goalposts again. Either put up a competing hypothesis that explains the data or shut up.

  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @09:10PM (#36903608) Homepage

    Sadly all you need to do is go back and look at the journals and articles of the 70's. And you will find exactly the same hysteria, and use of 'consensus' including the top scientists of the time agreeing that it was the greatest catastrophe that mankind will ever face. If your public library, or university doesn't have these documents(including news articles, and publications, and opinions by the flappy head of the day) in paper. You can ask for them in microfiche. I know, such an archaic form of media transfer and storage, but if you've never used it...it'll be a great learning experience too.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @09:20PM (#36903656) Journal

    Yes and no. The data that was already released was the "reanalysis" data which is the culmination of many, many, many observations from all around the world.

    Or, as in the case of the Briffa and Jones, from a single tree [telegraph.co.uk]. Yes, hundreds of samples were taken, but all but one were excluded before reaching the conclusions that solidified the IPCC's position. A single tree.

    I guess if you look at that same data set many, many, many times it could in some way qualify as "many, many, many observations"...

  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:2, Informative)

    by Falconhell (1289630) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @10:11PM (#36903944) Journal

    Its no strawman, every denier I have met was some kind of conspiracy nut. Calling the trutth a straw man is pathetic.

    I dont even bother reading denialist stuff anymore as they are frankly fruity lop nutjobs.

    Adults have moved on to addressing the very real problem, and shouldnt even bother to argue with the fruity loops.

  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:5, Informative)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @10:14PM (#36903966) Journal

    How many is "Mountains of FOIA requests"? One? Because they refused to supply anything at all right from the start.

    According to the various formal investigations, there were 50 something FOI requests over a 2 day period from the lovely folk at climate audit, most of them were requests for information that was already published so clearly they were not interested in doing any research. Phil Jones and his crew had every right to bitch and complain about such an obvious abuse of the justice system, however Jones overstepped the line in his reaction when he asked Mann to delete some emails (Mann ignored him).

    As has been explained a billion times and discussed at great length in the formal investigations, the "hidden" data that was a couple of percent of the entire data set was under non-disclosure agreements so a tarball was not an option. One of the formal investigations also explains how it's 'layman' members were able to source copies of the "hidden" data in 48 hours simply by contacting the references given in papers published by Jones and his team (ie: basic research)

    This article explains they have now done the legal legwork and are free of the constraints that prevented publication of something that has fuck all impact from a scientific POV.

  • by sunyjim (977424) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @10:56PM (#36904190)
    Well since you mentioned it. My favorite scientist Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and a few thousand of his peers have a bit of trouble with the HIV causes AIDS, you see he was asked to work on that project since he is a Nobel prize winner, and the reasons we now are able to do DNA testing. Well his issue is that nobody actually did any sort of study or paper or experiment, ever, anywhere, that can be shown that HIV developed into AIDS. "Up to today there is actually no single scientifically really convincing evidence for the existence of HIV. Not even once such a retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology." read more at http://www.virusmyth.com/ [virusmyth.com] Another case were consensus is the enemy of science, people are dying of AIDS and potentially billions of dollars are being wasted on research that will never find the cure.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:05PM (#36904242) Journal

    The same Kary Mullis that believes in astrology and who has long been condemned for making grand proclamations on fields he has no expertise in. Him and "a few thousand peers". Funny how skeptical you are of some things, but how fucking gullible you are in other areas.

  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rary (566291) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:32PM (#36904408)

    Sadly all you need to do is go back and look at the journals and articles of the 70's. And you will find exactly the same hysteria, and use of 'consensus' including the top scientists of the time agreeing that it was the greatest catastrophe that mankind will ever face.

    Horseshit. And here's a pretty pie chart [skepticalscience.com] to back that up. And a more detailed graph [skepticalscience.com] as well.

    The summary on the second link is also interesting (emphasis added):

    So global cooling predictions in the 70s amounted to media and a handful of peer reviewed studies. The small number of papers predicting cooling were outweighed by a much greater number of papers predicting global warming due to the warming effect of rising CO2. Today, an avalanche of peer reviewed studies and overwhelming scientific consensus endorse man-made global warming. To compare cooling predictions in the 70s to the current situation is both inappropriate and misleading. Additionally, we reduced the SO2 emissions which were causing global cooling. The question remains whether we will reduce the CO2 emissions causing global warming.

  • by Arlet (29997) on Wednesday July 27, 2011 @11:37PM (#36904438)

    Do a google search for "Younger Dryas" and tell me that it is man that has to be the major factor in any warming which may be occurring today.

    Except that's not how science works. We didn't go: "the earth is warming, man must have done it". Instead, scientists tried to understand the mechanisms, and the exact sequence of events that led to warming. They did that both for the modern era, and for the Younger Dryas. In both cases, they came up with a theory. The fact that these theories are different doesn't mean one is less likely to be correct than the other.

    The theory than man is causing the warming is a perfectly reasonable one. We know man has increased CO2 in the atmosphere (by over 30%), we know that CO2 helps to block IR radiation that would otherwise be escaping from the earth. Ergo, the earth should be expected to warm. Also, when you do the calculations based on that, the results match the real temperature pretty well, not just for the modern era, but also for the glacial cycles and other events.

    And if man didn't cause the warming, what is the alternative theory ? "Natural cycle" isn't a theory without explaining how this natural cycle works, and where the heat is actually coming from, and why it's happening now.

    Todays scientific community runs on grant money I do not expect objectivity

    Still, it's more likely than a worldwide conspiracy between scientist to produce a result nobody really wants to hear, not even the people handing them the grant money.

  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Retron (577778) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @01:35AM (#36904904)
    Part of that reasons is because the Met Office in the UK has a nice little sideline selling climate data - if it's all available for free they'll lose that income. It was a bit daft though, as there were cases of people who'd submitted data to the Met Office for years having to pay for their own data when they lost their local copy! Other European meteorological agencies have similar policies.

    It's a different culture in the US where all this data is freely available and interestingly the same applies to the raw weather model output too - the American GFS is free for all (and is widely used commercially in the UK) while the equivalent from the ECMWF costs a small fortune to access, especially ensemble output.
  • Re:Pesky critics (Score:1, Informative)

    by yourmommycalled (2280728) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @09:57AM (#36908366)
    No it didn't take law suites or anything other than the scientists and administrators getting fed up with the likes Tony Watts.Mark Morano, Steve Miloy and Steve McIntyre. Steve McIntyre posted on his web pages that his readers should flood CRU with the English equivalent of a FOIA request. The stated intent was to prevent scientists for conducting any further work. Steve McIntyre coordinated the filing of the FOIA requests. Not so strangely 39% of the UK FOIA requests came from outside the UK and hence not a legal request and 39% of the FOIA requests came via the email from untraceable addresses. Go ahead and tell me again how this wasn't a coordinated attack on CRU, how/why CRU should respond to a threat from an unknown/untraceable source and how/why they should respond to requests from someone who's stated reason for the request was to delay any further research. Maybe CRU knew that Willis Eschenback had deliberately packed 60 FOIA requests in a single day and did so across multiple days to tie up administrators handling the requests. Then Willis was able to whine and moan about how CRU didn't respond in a timely fashion. If these people were really critics there wouldn't be a problem, they are not they are paid shills trying to harass people.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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