Much attention has been given to Michael Mann’s (Pennsylvania State University) and Keith Briffa's (CRU) proxy temperature data hockey stick data sets. Briffa was conflicted in this whole process, noting he “[tried] hard to balance the needs of the IPCC with science, which were not always the same. He felt “there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data.’”
Programmer Ian “Harry” Harris, in the Harry_Read_Me.txt file, commented about:
[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) data base. … No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found. … I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case?Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. …Here is an e-mail from Tom Wigley, the former head of the CRU and now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, to Phil Jones, the recent head of the CRU in which he expresses concern about Keith Briffa's work:
This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!
I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the updateprog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more. So what the hell can I do about all these duplicate stations?
Date: Mon, 05 Oct 2009 03:57:57 -0600
From: Tom Wigley
To: Phil Jones Subject: Re: [geo] Re: CCNet: A Scientific Scandal Unfolds…
It is distressing to read that American Stinker item. But Keith does seem to have got himself into a mess. As I pointed out in emails, Yamal is insignificant....
But, more generally, (even if it *is* irrelevant) how does Keith explain the McIntyre plot that compares Yamal-12 with Yamal-all? And how does he explain the apparent “selection” of the less well-replicated chronology rather that the later (better replicated) chronology?
Of course, I don’t know how often Yamal-12 has really been used in recent, post-1995, work. I suspect from what you say it is much less often that M&M [McIntyre and fellow sceptic Professor Ross McKitrick] say—but where did they get their information? I presume they went thru papers to see if Yamal was cited, a pretty foolproof method if you ask me.
Perhaps these things can be explained clearly and concisely—but I am not sure Keith is able to do this as he is too close to the issue and probably quite pissed of.
And the issue of with-holding data is still a hot potato, one that affects both you and Keith (and Mann). Yes, there are reasons—but many *good* scientists appear to be unsympathetic to these. The
trouble here is that with-holding data looks like hiding something, and hiding means (in some eyes) that it is bogus science that is being hidden.
I think Keith needs to be very, very careful in how he handles this. I’d be willing to check over anything he puts together.
Wigley protested Michael Mann's sending a deceptive graph with a “fluke” result to back up Wigley’s contention that the recent cooling was still consistent with overall warming. He also claimed the IPCC and AGW scientists had made too many “dishonest presentations”.
On Oct 14, 2009, at 5:57 PM, Tom Wigley wrote:Here is another matter discussed by Andrew Bolt:
The Figure you sent is very deceptive. As an example, historical runs with PCM look as though they match observations—but the match is a fluke. PCM has no indirect aerosol forcing and a low climate sensitivity—compensating errors. In my (perhaps too harsh) view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC. This is why I still use results from MAGICC to compare with observed temperatures. At least here I can assess how sensitive matches are to sensitivity and forcing assumptions/uncertainties.
The IPCC’s 2007 report made an allowance that drew heavily on a 1990 paper by Phil Jones that dismissed the UHI effect as largely trivial. That in turn drew heavily on a paper by Professor Wang Wei-Chyung of Albany, State University of New York, which presented data from China which both Wang and Jones claimed came from stations that had “few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times”, and so could be relied upon.
Mathematician Doug Keenan and others obtained the original Wang data and used it to track down the Chinese weather stations. They found that 49 of the 84 stations used actually had no records of station location, eight had inconsistent histories, 18 had been moved a considerable distance, and only seven were known not to have been relocated. One station had five different locations in 30 years as far as 41 km apart.
Wang seemed to have lied. His data was essentially worthless, and Jones’ (and the IPCC’s) claim that the Urban Heat Island effect was trivial now seemed unsupported by solid evidence.These and many more documents have served to make it ever clearer that the catastrophic AGW hypothesis is mighty dubious. The hockey stick data of Keith Briffa, the claim that the urban heat island effect is unimportant, and the reliability of the basic land surface temperature data sets are all key points undermined by these documents.