Musings on Climategate

Just a pseudo-serf

I’ve been following the climategate news from Steve McIntyre’s mirror site, After downloading and digesting some of the documents in the leaked .zip file I started to post pieces I found relevant to Steve’s blog, but Steve is focused on the hard science aspect of the leak whereas I’m more interested–and more qualified–to opine on other aspects of the file.

Rather than litter Steve’s blog with my discoveries, I’ve decided to post them here for anyone interested.

While not a scientist proper, I do work as a system analyst on a mainframe and deal with code and data processing. Even I can see the fraud in the file and out of frustration with the media blackout, I’ve decided to attempt reporting myself.


4 Responses

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  1. hkyson said, on December 12, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    “Climategate” started out when there appeared on the Internet a collection of e-mails of a group of climatologists who work in the University of East Anglia in England. These documents reveal that some climatologists of international preeminence have manipulated the data of their investigations and have strongly tried to discredit climatologists who are not convinced that the increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are the cause of global warming.

    It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing, and they have convinced a group of politicians, some of whom are politically powerful, of the truth of their conclusions.

    A minority, however, is skeptical. Some believe that recent data that suggest that the average temperature of the atmosphere is going up can be explained by natural variations in solar radiation and that global warming is a temporary phenomenon. Others believe that the historical evidence indicating that the temperature of the atmosphere is going up at a dangerous rate is simply not reliable.

    Such lacks of agreement are common in the sciences. They are reduced and eventually eliminated with the accumulation of new evidence and of more refined theories or even by completely new ones. Such debates can persist for a period of decades. Academics often throw invective at one another in these debates. But typically this does not mean much.

    But the case of climate change is different. If the evidence indicates that global warming is progressive, is caused principally by our industrial processes, and will probably cause disastrous changes in our atmosphere before the end of the twenty-first century, then we do not have the time to verify precisely if this evidence is reliable. Such a process would be a question of many years of new investigations. And if the alarmist climatologists are right, such a delay would be tragic for all humanity.

    The difficulty is that economic and climatologic systems are very complicated. They are not like celestial mechanics, which involves only the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force, and efforts to construct computerized models to describe these complicated systems simply cannot include all the factors that are influential in the evolution of these complicated systems.

    All this does not necessarily indicate that the alarmist climatologists are not right. But it really means that if global warming is occurring, we cannot know exactly what will be the average temperature of our atmosphere in the year 2100 and what will be the average sea level of the world’s ocean in that year.

    It also means that we cannot be confident that efforts by the industrialized countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will have a significant influence on the evolution of the world’s climate.

    Alas, the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be very costly and would greatly change the lives of all the inhabitants of our planet–with the possibility (perhaps even the probability!) that all these efforts will be completely useless.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

    • emelks said, on January 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Then the prudent course would be to do nothing.

      And I think it’s rather obvious that no one has all the variables associated with weather and climate. For heaven’s sake, their models couldn’t predict a significant cooling trend less than ten years out. What in the world would make me believe that they can predict anything fifty years out when the ten year marks are so wrong?

      It’s pure hubris–and a massive power grab–and not at all science.

      And consider this: now that CO2 is “pollution,” you are by definition a pollution emitter by the act of exhaling.

      • feaust said, on August 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

        can you see it ? lorraine

  2. lorrainehogan said, on August 3, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Welcome! This is the GLO2ABS program.
    I will create a set of absolute grids from
    a set of anomaly grids (in .glo format), also
    a gridded version of the climatology.
    Enter the path and name of the normals file: gunzip clim.6190.lan.tmn
    FILE NOT FOUND – PLEASE TRY AGAIN: clim.6190.lan.tmn
    Enter a name for the gridded climatology file: clim.6190.lan.tmn.grid
    Enter the path and stem of the .glo files: tmnglo/tmn.
    Enter the starting year: 1901
    Enter the ending year: 2006
    Enter the path (if any) for the output files: tmnabs
    Now, CONCENTRATE. Addition or Percentage (A/P)? A
    Right, erm.. off I jolly well go!
    Welcome! This is the MERGEGRIDS program.
    I will create decadal and full gridded files
    from the output files of (eg) glo2abs.for.
    Enter a gridfile with YYYY for year and MM for month: tmnabs/tmn.MM.YYYY.glo.abs
    Enter Start Year: 1901
    Enter Start Month: 01
    Enter End Year: 2006
    Enter End Month: 12
    Please enter a sample OUTPUT filename, replacing
    start year with SSSS and end year with EEEE: cru_ts_3_00.SSSS.EEEE.tmn.dat
    Writing cru_ts_3_00.1901.1910.tmn.dat

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