Friday, June 4, 2010

When Scientists Go Bad

In my previous post entitled Would You Trust Truth Fudgers? I looked at the recent change in position of The Royal Society and how both NASA and the CSIRO from Australia had been caught manipulating data and ignoring other data to support their case. In this post I am looking at an article by Dr. David Archibald entitled Why Scientists Get It Wrong where he examines key personnel involved in the promotion of Climate Change against the back drop of the Climategate emails (my emphasis added):

If the data and forecasts in this book are correct, then the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, the Royal Society in the United Kingdom, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO in Australia are all wrong. How can this be? Firstly, there aren’t that many scientists involved in the IPCC deliberations. The inner core is possibly twenty souls. Secondly, they were untroubled by the necessity to concoct fraudulent data to get their desired results. The only unknown question regarding the IPCC scientists is “Did they actually believe in the global warming that they were promoting?”

It turns out that they did, and possibly still do. That is shown by the Climategate emails released on 20th November, 2009. The Climategate emails are a selection of emails amongst members of the inner core plus minor characters. The fact that the IPCC scientists believed in the global warming they were promoting means that their morality at that level was better than expected, but it also means that they are a lot more stupid than expected. Nevertheless, their behaviour in promoting the notion of global warming using fraudulent statistics is reprehensible and hopefully they will be duly punished in this world or the next.

The history of the global warming fraud has been detailed in a number of books published recently, including a number on the climategate emails alone. A good analysis of the emails can be found in a book entitled The Climategate Emails by John Costella, which can be downloaded from the Lavoisier Group website.

One of the earliest Climategate emails shows how the results of research were tailored to a political script. On 29th July, 1999, Adam Markham of WWF (a non-government organisation formerly know as the World Wildlife Fund) wrote to University of East Anglia climate scientists Mike Hulme and Nicola Sheard, about a paper that Hulme and Sheard had written about climate change in Australasia:

I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF Australia, but I wanted to pass on the gist of what they’ve said to me so far.

They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from Australian scientists. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible.

This email shows the role of the likes of WWF in coordinating a global consensus to stay on a consistent message. In this instance, they were worried that East Anglia report would be less scary than the Australian one.

The alarmists scientists also did their best to control the peer review process in order to stop the publication of papers critical of global warming theory. In 1999, Tom Wigley, one of the inner core, emailed his one of his co-conspirators (their word) to say:

I think we could get a large group of highly credentialed scientists to sign such a letter—50+ people. Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones. Mike’s idea to get the editorial board members to resign will probably not work—we must get rid of von Storch too.

On 20th January, 2005, Tom Wigley wrote with respect of another journal editor:

Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official American Geophysical Union channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.

Michael Mann, infamous for having concocted the hockey stick, replied:

Yeah, basically this is just a heads-up to people that something might be up here. What a shame that would be. It’s one thing to lose Climate Research. We can’t afford to lose Geophysical Research Letters.

What Dr Mann was afraid of was losing control of the climate papers published in Geophysical Research Letters.

If you think that it is a bit harsh to state that the alarmist scientists were aware that they were committing fraud, consider the next email from Phil Jones on 5th July, 2005:

This quote is from an Australian at the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne (not Neville Nicholls). It began from the attached article. What an idiot. The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK, it has, but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.

This email shows that one of the major IPCC authors held views in private that he dare not state publicly. Post Climategate, Phil Jones has stated that the world has not warmed for the last fifteen years. Phil Jones was also aware that he had reason to hide data, as shown by this email dated 6th July, 2005:

I hope I don’t get a call from Congress! I’m hoping that no-one there realizes I have a United States Department of Energy grant, and have had this (with Tom Wigley) for the last 25 years.

Michael Mann was aware that perception was more important than reality in promoting global warming alarmism, as shown by this email from him dated 15th November, 2005 discussing work by Steve McIntyre:

He almost had a point with a mathematical issue, but as we all know, that doesn’t matter at all in the end. The issue isn’t whether or not he’s right, as we all well know by now, but whether his false assertions have enough superficial plausibility to get traction. In this case, they might, so it’s probably good to at least be prepared.

In the same email, Mann reports that they have taken back control of Geophysical Research Letters:

The Geophysical Research Letters leak may have been plugged up now with new editorial leadership there, but these guys always have Climate Research and Energy and Environment, and will go there if necessary.

Michael Mann’s talents weren’t limited to just stacking editorial panels at scientific journals, he also did Congressional committees, as shown by this email dated 13th February, 2006:

The panel is solid. Gerry North should do a good job in chairing this, and the other members are all solid. Christy is the token skeptic, but there are many others to keep him in check.

For those who still might consider that the underlying science is solid, despite the behaviour of the scientists, the following email shows that the alarmist scientists were well aware of the divergence between their models and reality. On 11th October, 2009, Kevin Trenberth, of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research wrote:

Well I have my own article on “where the heck is global warming?” We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The data published in the August 2009 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

In the same vein, further from Kevin Trenberth on 14th October, 2009:

How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter?

We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we cannot account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geo-engineering quite hopeless, as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!

Now let’s proceed on to discussing error in the Australian scientific establishment. A very fresh example is a document published in March 2010 as a joint effort between the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology called “State of the Climate”. In the preamble to the document, this statement is made:

The Bureau of Meteorology has been observing and reporting on weather in Australia for over 100 years, and CSIRO has been conducting atmospheric and marine research for over 60 years.

Now the CSIRO might be forgiven for not having a corporate memory more than 60 years long, but why did they and the Bureau of Meteorology only use 50 years of data to produce the following graph when they had more than 100 years of data they could have used?

Figure 71: Dubious graph from CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology document

Well the reason they did not use a longer time period is that it would not have shown the warming trend that they needed to portray. They started their graph in the 1970s cooling period despite having a data record more than twice as long.

Evidence of how low these institutions have fallen is on the back page of the State of the Climate document, on which it is stated:

Australia will be hotter in coming decades

Australian average temperatures are projected to rise by 0.6 to 1.5 ºC by 2030. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current levels, warming is projected to be in the range of 2.2 to 5.0 ºC by 2070. Warming is projected to be lower near the coast and in Tasmania and higher in central and north-western Australia. These changes will be felt through an increase in the number of hot days.

It is very likely that human activities have caused most of the global warming observed since 1950

There is greater than 90% certainty that increases in greenhouse gas emissions have caused most of the global warming since the mid-20th century. International research shows that it is extremely unlikely that the observed warming could be explained by natural causes alone. Evidence of human influence has been detected in ocean warming, sea-level rise, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns. CSIRO research has shown that higher greenhouse gas levels are likely to have caused about half of the winter rainfall reduction in south-west Western Australia.

Climate change is real

Our observations clearly demonstrate that climate change is real. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology will continue to provide observations and research so that Australia’s responses are underpinned by science of the highest quality.

Consider the claim above that, "CSIRO research has shown that higher greenhouse gas levels are likely to have caused about half of the winter rainfall reduction in south-west Western Australia.” in the light of Figure 8 in this book showing that all the warming in the Perth temperature record in the last 100 years occurred in one year, 1976. These once-worthy institutions are relying upon a credulous public to swallow their absurd claims without question.

The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology management and research staff will eventually claim that they were relying upon IPCC research. But as one of the Climategate conspirators, Tom Wigley, said in an email dated 25th November, 1997:

No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves.

On the subject of scientists not making statements unless they have examined the issue fully themselves, consider this one quoting Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett on 4th December, 2009:

The planet has just five years to avoid disastrous global warming, says the Federal Government’s chief scientist. Professor Penny Sackett yesterday urged all Australians to reduce their carbon footprint.

The Chief Scientist’s statement is idiotic and patently false, more worthy of a Chief Shaman. There is no physical evidence anywhere on the planet that “disastrous global warming” will start by 2014, or any time at all. The position of Chief Scientist should be the last line of defence of the Australian public from the depredations of any rent-seekers and carpetbaggers. Instead she has joined the chorus that wants to condemn the Australian nation to penury. The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have failed the Australian public dismally. That is putting it mildly. In truth, they have conspired against the Australian nation.

Professor Sackett’s most credible defence for making that idiotic statement might be that she has never associated with any climate scientists. Someone who did, Professor James Lovelock, is quoted by the Guardian newspaper on 29th March, 2010 as saying:

The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show. We haven’t got the physics worked out yet.

I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.

Figure 72: Global Historical Climate Network raw and adjusted temperatures, Darwin Airport

Back on the subject of alarmist scientists fraudulently concocting data, Figure 72 above shows the manipulation applied to Darwin’s temperature record in order to manufacture a warming trend. The blue line is the original raw data which shows a significant cooling trend of 0.7°C per century. The red line is the adjusted data used to promote global warming alarmism. The black line shows the adjustment applied – a total of 2.2°C in sixty years! We can see that professionals did this job, because they added a little bit of cooling in the 1920s to make the uptrend seem more significant.

Figure 73: Data manipulation applied to the Prague, Czech Republic temperature record

Similar to Darwin, the warming scientists added over 2.2°C to the beginning of the Prague record to change an inconvenient cooling trend into a supportive warming one.

The corruption of the world’s temperature data sets by this sort of manipulation prompted the UK Met Office to announce on 25th February, 2010 that it is going to re-examine more than 150 years of global temperature records. The Met Office expects to take three years to complete the task, giving an indication of how corrupted the data set has become.

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, ocean acidification is the last refuge of the global warming scoundrel. To put the ocean acidification scare into context of actual science, the current pH of the oceans is 8.1 (less than 7.0 is acid). If humanity burns all the rocks we can economically burn, the basicity of the oceans may fall to a pH of 8.0. There is physical evidence that marine organisms can live very happily with very high levels of carbon dioxide in seawater. This is shown by the following figure, in which very healthy corals are growing above a carbon dioxide vent:

Figure 74: Corals growing above a hydrothermal vent bubbling carbon dioxide, Dobu Island, Papua New Guinea

Consideration of the geological record also shows that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide cannot cause detrimental ocean acidification. The reef-building organisms first evolved about 500 million years ago when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were up to twenty times what they are currently.

We again see a familiar pattern of misinformation, manipulations and half truths from those that support the notion of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

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