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Sun Run of 51 Days Without a Spot Now Among the Top 5 Longest August 31, 2009

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Sun Run of 51 Days Without a Spot Now Among the Top 5 Longest

By Joseph D’Aleo
Via ICECAP

Sunday, August 30th marks the 51st straight day without a sunspot, one of the longest stretches in a century. One more day and we have a spotless month (we had some by some accounts one last August but a few observatories thought they saw a spot on the sun for a few hours one day). It would be either the first or second spotless month since 1913 depending on whether you count last August as spotless.

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In fact it rises into 4th place among all spotless periods since 1849 (first table here). Note: It is 5th place if you accept a spotless August 2008 which would have led to a stretch of 52 days. The total number of spotless days this transition from cycle 23 to 24 is now 704, exceeding the number for cycle 15 in the early 1900s (below, enlarged here).

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We have had 193 spotless days this year (79% of the days). We are in the top 20 years in 16th place. We will very likely rapidly rise up the list in upcoming weeks and rival 2008’s 266 days and likely end in the top 5 years. 2007, 2008, 2009 will only have 1911, 1912, 1913 in the top 20 as string of 3 per transition (below, enlarged here).

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The cycle minimum probably was December, 2008. January 2009’s 13 month average came up a bit due to slight bump in activity in June and July but if August should end up sunspotless and September low, we could have a double bottom. Still, the 12.7 years assuming December 2008 was longest in two centuries (below, enlarged here).

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You can see on this chart, by 13 years after the solar minimum year, most of the last 5 cycles already had recovered, in one case already to the solar max of the subseuent cycle (below, enlarged here).

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This cycle has continued to decline in the solar irradiance, solar flux, sunspot number and geomagnetic activity after 10 years. On the following chart produced by Anthony Watts, you can see the Total Solar Irradiance declining whereas the prior cycle was rebounding (below, enlarged here).

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Also see the daily TSI which goes through short term cycles at the lowest point of the last few months as of the last plotted measurement.

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Clilverd et al 2006 suggests using a statistical analysis of the various cycles (11, 22, 53, 88, 105, 213, and 426 years) shows the next two cycles will likely be very quiet much like those of 200 years ago in the early 1800s, the so called Dalton Minimum, the time of Dickens (with snows and cold in London like last winter) (below, enlarged here).

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See what David Archibald shows what the result might be if Clilverd is correct here. Some have not ruled out an even stronger Maunder like Minimum.

Read more in this pdf here.

WHY GREENLAND & ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS ARE NOT COLLAPSING August 30, 2009

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WHY GREENLAND & ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS ARE NOT COLLAPSING

Via NZ Climate Science
Posted 29 August 2009

“The global warming doomsday writers claim the ice sheets are melting catastrophically, and will cause a sudden rise in sea level of many metres. This ignores the mechanism of glacier flow which is by creep: glaciers are not melting from the surface down, nor are they sliding down an inclined plane lubricated by meltwater…Variations in melting around the edges of ice sheets are no indication that they are collapsing. Indeed ‘collapse’ is impossible.” –  Cliff Ollier and Colin Pain, writing in the newsletter of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

LINK to download pdf

Climate alarmism is a runaway fire by Professor Will Alexander August 29, 2009

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Climate alarmism is a runaway fire

By Professor Will Alexander
Via Email, 21 August 2009

Climate alarmism is like a runaway fire. It started quietly with a genuine concern. It was like lighting a match beneath a pile of flammable material. The environmentalists and politicians took over. The fact that the basic science is demonstrably false is no longer an issue.

The welfare of nations is at risk.

Memo 25/09

Climate alarmism is a runaway fire

Friday 21 August 2009


Child in an informal settlement looking at burning tyres. Photo in Beeld 29 July 2009.

I had no sooner sent off my last memo The end is nigh on 10 August, when my prediction of imminent droughts was fulfilled. On 12 August our Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs announced that parts of the lower Limpopo River catchment have been declared a water supply disaster area. This is in the far northern region of South Africa. The Albasini Dam that supplies the Louis Trichardt area is only 26 percent full. The Middle Letaba Dam is only 6 percent full.

On Sunday 16 August, prayers for rain were held in George, which is in the southern coastal area of South Africa. The dams in this region are also at a very low level. These two events not only confirm my prediction but also the views of others that global climatic disturbances are on the way. How will they affect the Copenhagen discussions and beyond?

Climate change

This is what the Secretary General of the United Nations had to say earlier this month.

We have just four months to secure the future of our planet. If we fail to act, climate change will intensify droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Water shortages will affect hundreds of millions of people. Malnutrition will engulf large parts of the developing world. Tensions will worsen. Social unrest – even violence – could follow.

This is a very serious message coming from the world’s highest elected official. But why did the Secretary General not address these climate change concerns within the wider context of humanitarian concerns instead of making it the greatest threat to our planet, which it is not?

Let me make one point abundantly clear. Since the establishment of the IPCC in 1988 not a single person in South Africa has died as a result of provable climate change. But thousands have died from poverty-related starvation, malnutrition and disease. How dare those who call themselves scientists deliberately suppress this information? How dare they ignore the suffering of all these people? How dare they steadfastly refuse to participate in multidisciplinary studies where their alarmist theories can be demonstrated to be without foundation?

Also, there is also no statistically believable evidence of linkages between climate change, and increases in the occurrence and magnitude of floods, droughts and threats to water supplies.

Climate alarmist tactics are obstructing the right of these people to progress towards the normal lives that those in the western nations enjoy.

Runaway fires

This is the season of runaway fires in the southern hemisphere. The vegetation is dry after the rainless winter. These fires are beneficial in the grazing areas. If you fly northwards across Africa in the early evening there will be numerous twinkles of light from the controlled burning of the veld below you. This is to encourage growth after the first spring rains.

The environmentalists complain bitterly. Think of the countless grasshoppers and other insects destroyed by the fires. [Think of all those locusts and other plagues if they are not!] Farmers control the fires by burning firebreaks early in the season. However, fires can sweep across the firebreaks during high winds and cause havoc.

In our part of the world there are other areas vulnerable to runaway fires. These are the crowded shacks in the informal settlements around our cities. Not only do the shacks consist of flammable material, but in the absence of electricity, the inhabitants use flammable paraffin for cooking and lighting. The shacks are crowded together leaving no room for firefighting vehicles. Unlike those living in the adjacent suburbs, the occupants of the shacks cannot afford insurance. When the fires occur they lose everything that they possess.

There is rising unemployment and increasing poverty in these settlements due to the economic conditions that originated in the affluent countries of the northern hemisphere. Like a runaway fire this global recession has spread out of control across the world. (The countries that caused the economic recession now demand that the innocent developing countries share their burden by implementing costly measures to combat climate change.)

In South Africa, the number of homeless people is rising. These people are clamouring for basic services of housing, water, electricity and sanitation. The government cannot keep up with their demands. As a result another flammable situation is developing. The burning of old vehicle tyres on the streets and obstructing the traffic has become a means of attracting attention and getting their message across.

The affluent nations influenced by heartless and scientifically disabled climate alarmists consider that the rising amount of so-called greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) discharged into the atmosphere from coal burning power stations and transport, are a far greater threat to national welfare than unemployment, poverty, malnutrition and disease. Nowhere in the climate change literature will you find a balance between humanitarian concerns and environmental concerns.

Instead, while our people are starving, powerful and influential bodies such as the G20 nations, meet regularly at international pleasure resorts to discuss the situation over delicious meals and refreshments.

Unfortunately, like a runaway fire, the situation is now out of control. A firefighting mechanism (the successor to the Kyoto protocol that expires in 2012) has to be established in Copenhagen not later than December this year. The likelihood of success is receding by the day.

(more…)

NOAA Blunder Explains Claims of Warming Oceans? August 29, 2009

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NOAA Blunder Explains Claims of Warming Oceans?

Jennifer Marohasy Blog, August 29, 2009

Spencer on SST chart 3

SCIENTISTS at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) appear to have made a blunder with a data adjustment and splice resulting in sea surface temperatures being warmer than they would otherwise be by about 0.175 degrees C over the last two decades.

Roy Spencer, from the University of Alabama, discovered the error just a few days ago which according to meteorologist Anthony Watts, accounts for 24% of the 0.74 deg C global warming claimed for 1905-2005.

The mistake was made about 10 years ago following a request from the World Meteorological Organization for NOAA to standardize the period from which temperature anomalies are calculated.

I have puzzled as to why Australian government advisors claim sea temperatures have been increasing over the last ten years – perhaps they have been referring to sea surface temperatures and focusing on this dud data.

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Sun causes ‘La Nina-like effect’ on earth August 28, 2009

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Sun causes ‘La Nina-like effect’ on earth

ABC, August 28, 2009

Changes in the sun’s radiation cause a small La Niña-like effect on earth, an international team has found.

They say this together with another process involving ozone in the upper atmosphere, amplifies the effect of the sun on earth’s climate.

Australian climate scientist, Julie Arblaster of the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne and colleagues report their findings in today’s issue of the journal Science.

“It’s a small signal but it does explain some of our climate variability,” says Arblaster.

Scientists have long known that more sunspots increase the amount of radiation that reaches the earth.

The total energy that reaches earth from the sun varies by around 0.1% across an approximate 11-year solar cycle, say Arblaster and colleagues.

But what has long puzzled researchers is that the influence of this variation on the earth’s climate has been more than two times greater than would be expected.

Arblaster and colleagues have investigated a number of theories as to why this is the case and think they may have solved the mystery.

“We’re trying to understand the mechanism of how this change in the solar output amplifies in the climate in terms of temperature and rainfall,” says Arblaster.

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Some Facts about Global Climate Change That You Won’t Read in the Popular Press August 27, 2009

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Some Facts about Global Climate Change That You Won’t Read in the Popular Press

By Joseph D’Aleo
ICECAP

Temperatures have been cooling since 2002, even as carbon dioxide has continued to rise.

CO2 is not a pollutant, but a naturally occurring gas. Together with chlorophyll and sunlight, it is an essential ingredient in photosynthesis and is, accordingly, plant food.

Reconstruction of paleo-climatological CO2 concentrations demonstrates that carbon dioxide concentration today is near its lowest level since the Cambrian Era some 550 million years ago, when there was almost 20 times as much CO2 in the atmosphere as there is today without causing a “runaway
greenhouse effect.”

Temperature changes lead, not lag, CO2 changes on all time scales. The oceans may play a key role, emitting carbon dioxide when they warm as carbonated beverages lose fizz as they warm and absorbing it as they cool.

Indeed, greenhouse models show the warming should be greatest at mid to high atmosphere levels in the tropics. But balloon and satellite observations show cooling there. The greenhouse signature or DNA does not match reality, and the greenhouse models thus must greatly overstate the warming – and in a court of law would have to be acquitted of any role in global warming

The sun has both direct and indirect effects on our climate. Solar activity changes on cycles of 11 years and longer. When the sun is more active it is brighter and a little hotter. More important though are the indirect effects. Ultraviolet radiation increases much more than the brightness and causes increased ozone production, which generates heat in the high atmosphere that works its way down, affecting the weather. Also, an active sun diffuses cosmic rays, which play an important role in nucleation of low clouds, resulting in fewer clouds. In all these ways the sun warms the planet more when it is active. An active sun in the 1930s and again near the end of the last century helped produce the observed warming periods. The current solar cycle is the longest in over 100 years, an unmistakable sign of a cooling sun that historical patterns suggest will stay so for decades.

The multidecadal cycles in the ocean correlate extremely well with the solar cycles and global temperatures. These are 60 to 70 year cycles that relate to natural variations in the large-scale circulations. Warm oceans correlate with warm global temperatures. The Pacific started cooling in the late 1990s and it
accelerated in the last year, and the Atlantic has cooled from its peak in 2004. This supports the observed global land temperature cooling, which is strongly correlated with ocean heat content. Newly deployed NOAA buoys confirm global ocean cooling.

Warmer ocean cycles are periods with diminished Arctic ice cover. When the oceans were warm in the 1930s to the 1950s, Arctic ice diminished and Greenland warmed. The recent ocean warming, especiallyin the 1980s to the early 2000s, is similar to what took place 70 years ago and the Arctic ice has reacted much the same way, with diminished summer ice extent.

Antarctic ice has been increasing and the extent in 2007 was the greatest in the satellite monitoring era. It has continued above the 3 year average

What will it take for the media to let go of their biases and begin doing their job, reporting the truth?

See pdf here (first published in the Energy Tribune).

Lawrence Solomon: Carbon Baron Gore August 26, 2009

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Lawrence Solomon: Carbon Baron Gore

By Lawrence Solomon
Financial Post, August 26, 2009

Who will be the Robber Barons of the 21st century?Al Gore is poised to become the first climate billionaire

At the turn of the 20th century, a period famous for its Robber Barons, John D. Rockefeller was making his fortune in oil, Andrew Carnegie in steel, Cornelius Vanderbilt in railroads and J.P Morgan in finance. Many predict that the history books of the future, when listing the legendary fortunes made at the turn of the 21st century, will place Al Gore at the top of the list, as the first great Carbon Baron.

In 2000, when Al Gore lost his bid to become president of the United States, he had less than US$2-million in assets. Neither was Gore known for his financial acumen — annual White House disclosures of his and Tipper Gore’s joint tax filings showed little income beyond the $175,000 he earned as vice-president.

To the contrary, Gore was a laughing stock in investment circles for his lack of financial sophistication, which, the press said, explained why Gore’s net worth had been declining during the booming 1990s. Gore had failed to understand the significance of the new Internet economy that had so transformed the world.Instead “most of his money was in checking and passbook accounts or tied up in property,” The New York Times reported, in an article entitled “Gore Has Not Bought Stocks for Decades.” In an article entitled “Gore flunks investor test,” Dow Jones’ SmartMoney.Com mocked Gore for being irrationally risk averse, saying, “Al Gore’s assets look more like 1899 than 1999. As things stand, the vice-president is without anything with a P/E, let alone an IPO: no stocks, no funds, not even a bond. What does he have? Land — as far as the eye can see. Oh, and a zinc mine he’s leasing out to an Australian mining company.” Fortune magazine went so far as to headline a 1998 story, “The Vice President’s Financial Acumen ‘Ain’t Worth a Bucket of Warm Spit’” Its verdict: “This is a family in dire need of a money manager.”

Nobody doubts Gore’s financial acumen now. Within eight years of leaving politics, Gore had reportedly become worth well in excess of US$100-million. Many expect him to become a billionaire through his stakes in a global warming hedge fund, a carbon-offset business, a renewable energy investment business and other global warming related ventures. He is now money manager to institutional investors and the super rich through Generation Investment Management, a firm that he co-founded in 2004.

Neither does anyone anywhere any longer regard Gore as a timid investor, bereft of ambition. His goal for Generation Investment Management, as he described in 2008 to Fortune magazine, is to help drive a societal transformation that will be “bigger than the Industrial Revolution and significantly faster.”

The Fortune interview explained his firm’s intention to help orchestrate “a makeover of the US$6-trillion global energy business,” from coal plants and the internal-combustion engine to petrochemicals and even bottled water. “What we are going to have to put in place is a combination of the Manhattan Project, the Apollo project and the Marshall Plan, and scale it globally,” Gore continued. “It’d be promising too much to say we can do it on our own, but we intend to do our part.”

Gore’s societal plan and his investment plan are indistinguishable and straightforward: He wants to make fossil fuels uncompetitive and renewable energy competitive by convincing governments to punishingly tax fossil-fuel technologies through mechanisms such as cap and trade. In the process, Gore intends to make money at every stage of this transformation — through his stake in the carbon trading markets being created, through his portfolio of renewable energy and other so-called clean-tech investments and by acting as a broker.

Read the rest here

In the pay of Big Green?

Creating catastrophe by Professor Ian Plimer August 25, 2009

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Creating catastrophe

Professor Ian Plimer

Professor Ian Plimer

By Professor Ian Plimer
Quadrant Online, August 24, 2009

Destroying the factory, building the bureaucracy

The government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has the potential to ruin Australia’s productive economies and to build an even greater bureaucracy. Even the name of this bill should ring warning bells as carbon is the foundation of life and is not a pollutant.

It is claimed that there is a scientific consensus about human-induced climate change. Consensus is a process of politics not science. There is certainly no scientific consensus about human-induced climate change and the loudest voice does not win scientific discussions. Science is married to evidence, no matter how uncomfortable.

To argue that temperature has increased 0.8ºC since 1850 is misleading because the Little Ice Age ended in 1850 and it is absolutely no surprise that temperature increases after a long cold period. Since 1850, there has been temperature increase (1860-1880, 1910-1940, 1976-1998) and decrease (1880-1910, 1940-1976,1998-present) and the rate of the three periods of temperature increase has been the same. A simple question does not get asked: What part of warming and cooling since 1850 is natural? The first two warmings could not be related to human additions of CO2 from industry hence why wouldn’t the 1976-1998 warming also be due to natural processes?

It is claimed that, since 1950, human additions of CO2 has been the dominant cause of warming. The scales and rates of temperature change in the past have been far greater than when humans emitted CO2 from industry. What has caused the coolings (1940-1976 and 1998-present) or, by some tortured logic, is global cooling this century actually global warming cunningly disguised?

At present, atmospheric temperature is decreasing and CO2 is increasing again showing that CO2 is not the principal driver of climate change. Planet Earth is a warm wet greenhouse volcanic planet. The planet is dynamic, change is normal. Five of the six major ice ages occurred when the atmospheric CO2 content was up to 1,000 times higher than at present and for half of Earth history CO2 has been sequestered naturally into algal reefs, coral reefs, sediments, altered rocks, bacteria, plants, soils and oceans. This process is still taking place.

The hypothesis that high atmospheric CO2 drives global warming is therefore invalid. The Earth’s atmospheric CO2 initially derived from volcanic degassing. Much of it still does and the rest is recycled CO2 from the oceans, rocks and life.

The claim that warming will increase in the future has been disproved by the climate modellers’ own data. Climate models of the 1990s did not predict the El Niño of 1998 or the cooling in the 21st Century. If such models are inaccurate only 10 years into the future, how can they be accurate for longer-term predictions? Furthermore, when these models are run backwards they cannot be used to identify climate-driving processes involving a huge transfer of energy (e.g. El Niño), volcanoes, solar changes and supernovae. Models tell us more about the climatologists than they do about Nature.

Another claim is that climate cannot be reversed. This invokes a non-dynamic planet. The fact that previous warmings with an atmospheric temperature some 5ºC higher than now (e.g. Minoan, Roman, Medieval) were reversed is conveniently ignored as are the great climate cycles driven by the Sun, the Earth’s orbit, tectonics and tides seen on modern, archaeological and geological time scales.

‘Tipping points’ are another sensationalist unsubstantiated claim. In past times when atmospheric CO2 and temperature were far higher, there were no tipping points, climate disasters or runaway greenhouse. The climate catastrophists attempt to create fear by mentioning the carbon cycle but just happen to omit that significant oxygenation of the atmosphere took place when the planet was in middle age and this process of photosynthesis resulted the recycling and sequestration of carbon.

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Wherefore art thou Niño? August 24, 2009

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Wherefore art thou Niño?

Posted on Climate Change, August 22, 2009

Map

This essay addresses the question of whether tropical waters are likely to warm or cool in the last half of 2009. Necessarily it also addresses matters such as:

  • The character of warming cycles in the tropics.
  • The usefulness of the ENSO 3.4 Index as a proxy for tropical warming events.
  • The driver of sea surface temperature change in the tropics.
  • Change in the nature of this driver over time.
  • The contribution of warming cycles in the tropics to global temperature change.
  • The place of greenhouse theory in explaining global temperature change.

For a description of the data used for this analysis see Kalnay, E. and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis 40-year Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77, 437-471. This data can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl

Global temperature is strongly influenced by change in sea surface temperature in the global tropics. There is a lag of about six months from tropical to global peak. There is no argument as to the driver of global temperature on a year to year basis. Until recently many observers (including the UNIPCC) have maintained (without any justification whatsoever) that the ENSO oscillation is temperature neutral on decadal and longer time scales. That assertion is now widely questioned. We must ask how much, and whether all of the change in global temperature can be attributed to the cycles of warming and cooling in the tropics. The strong temperature gain between 1978 and 1998 has been attributed to man’s influence on the basis that “we know of no other reason for the change that has been observed.” That logic is now in question. Was something really obvious simply overlooked? There is still no evidence for the greenhouse induced ‘hot spots’ in the upper atmosphere. Is the UNIPCC assertion that the recent warming is due to the activities of man classic case of jumping to premature conclusions in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary.

Frequently the collapse of a solar cycle is associated with cooling in the tropics while the onset of a new cycle is associated with the initiation of a strong warming event. However, Cycle 24 is unusual. The sun is spotless even though 10.7cm radio flux has been increasing since late 1998. Just when is the big warming event to be expected and will it be as big as 1997-8?

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Kevin Libin: You’ll just have to take our word on the global warming stuff August 23, 2009

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Kevin Libin: You’ll just have to take our word on the global warming stuff

By Kevin Libin
National Post, August 18, 2009

Though a striking number of prominent scientists have recently recanted their initial belief in manmade global warming, joining an already robust community of distinguished skeptics, those who continue to advance the theory could be their own worst enemy. Whatever the truth is about anthropogenic climate change — the contention that carbon dioxide emitted by human industrial activity — the tendency among some climate-change believers to embellish the effects of planetary warming has only served to undermine their credibility in the eyes of the public and, less so, the media.

For years, global warming advocates held up every calving ice shelf, failed crop or natural disaster as proof of a dawning warming apocalypse; whether it was too much rain, or not enough — either way, it was abnormal, and the fault of Big Oil and anyone questioning that, labeled a “denier.” As Vicky Pope, a senior British climatologist, citing overblown claims of rapid melting of arctic sea ice, and the ice sheet around Greenland, bemoaned earlier this year, for scientists, “overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change has stopped or is not happening.”

But probably nothing could damage the credibility of climate change believers than the recent revelation by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that it has lost or destroyed all the original data used to construct historic global temperature records.

The CRU, at the University of East Anglia in the UK, which has been using information collected from weather stations across the globe for decades, is probably the most widely cited source worldwide for those mounting a case that the earth has exhibited an inexorable warming trend: its website boasts that CRU’s research has “set the agenda for the major research effort in, and political preoccupation with, climate research.” The critical raw climate data responsible, which scientists of all climate-creeds have a natural interest in, is now gone, apparently, forever. With the exception of a handful of countries that the CRU has agreements with to sell its data, all that remains for the bulk of the statistics are “value added” versions, which is to say, consolidated, homogenized data. Actually, the CRU says it doesn’t even have all the data for countries it has data-sharing agreements with. “We know that there were others, but cannot locate them, possibly as we’ve moved offices several times during the 1980s,” the CRU writes in a rather embarrassing explanation for all this posted on its website.

The Unit makes this admission now, coincidentally, as it faced a flurry of requests, under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act, to make available its data to interested researchers. The CRU, it seems, had not been much in a sharing mood prior to that. UK’s register reports that Professor Phil Jones, the fellow in charge of maintaining the CRU data set, told an Australian researcher a few years back that he refused to publicly share his statistics. “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” The idea that scientific progress rests completely on the constant testing and retesting, verifying and refuting, of studies, seems not to be shared by Mr. Jones, even though this particular data set had massive implications for policymaking in pretty well every country on the planet. Unfortunately for him, as part of a publicly managed and funded organization, his group was nonetheless subject to transparency laws, and so, when researchers sought to shake the data loose without his consent, it had mysteriously vanished. “We have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value,” they explained in coming up dry for the FOI requests. As Stephen McIntyre, the Canadian economist famous for his addiction to poring through volumes of mind-numbing climate statistics, and occasionally finding errors (as he did, with Ross McKitrick, in deconstructing and undermining the famous “hockey stick” graph), writes on his Climate Audit blog, it appears that the impoverished CRU even lacked filing cabinets in which to store its records.

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