the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on October 5, 2009

Guest post by Gavin Schmidt.

E) There does appear to be data collection and transparency issues in the AGW research area.

[Response: Give me all the data you have used to publish a paper from in the last 10 years. What? It’ll take time? Your graduate student has it? You aren’t sure where you put it? There is only 90% online – I want the last 10%! I claim conspiracy! Appears to me like there’s a transparency issue there, and you haven’t even responded. (See how easy that is?). – gavin]

Comment by Tkearney β€” 5 October 2009 @ 7:52 AM

On a Yamal hockey stick thread where Steve McIntyre had been waiting for Briffa to release data he had in his possession for 10 years! One of the most influential series in hockey stick lore worldwide. Hell, he didn’t even send the code for RCS standardization.


Stand in front of bull, waive flag wildly and step to the side.

19 Responses to “Hmm”

  1. per said

    strangely enough, that comment stood out to me as well.

    the argument from gavin goes “two wrongs make a right”: I am not convinced

  2. Layman Lurker said

    Congrats Jeff. You did get a Team member to do a guest post. πŸ˜€

  3. rephelan said

    Awwww, and for one wild, frozen second in time I thought a new era of constructive dialogue was about to begin. And Jeff, I don’t think you ought to waive that flag, you won’t have anything to wave at the bull.

  4. Jeff Id said

    #3 I wish that Gavin was more reasonable about his support. What can we do?

  5. CoRev said

    Jeff, what we can do is just keep putting the info out there. Embarass them to the point they become adults and scientists.

  6. David Jay said


    Got a projected timeline for that to happen?

    I’ve probably only have another 30-40 years on this planet…

  7. rephelan said

    4.Jeff Id said
    October 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm
    #3 I wish that Gavin was more reasonable about his support. What can we do?

    I suppose you COULD send him a direct invitation. In truth, though, it’s gotten to the point that if Dr. Schmidt were to tell me that the sun rose in the east I’d want to check the historical record and have you, Ryan or Steve M. run some sophisticated analysis on the data before accepting it. I would be very interested, however, in hearing more from Dr. Steig and Dr. Briffa outside the RC echo chamber. A guest post here and response to questions and criticisms would raise my estimation of them tremendously. Stopping by and offering comments and taking part in the discussion, even when its not about them, would be great.

    Take a look at the reception Dr. Svalgaard gets over at WUWT. He’s as opinionated, crusty and curmudgeonly as can be but everyone learns from him and even his antagonists appreciate his participation there.

    The science is one thing, the politics another. It’s gotten awfully hard to separate the one from the other and the advocates of both sides cluster around the blogs that confirm their point of view. I can easily recognize the shallow vituperativeness of that fellow who uses a handle related to hawking technology but may have a lower standard for commenters with my point of view.

    What can we do? Stick with the science and snip ad-hominems. It’s OK to call someone a liar or fraud or talk about motive, but have the evidence to back it up. Your work on the Antarctic reconstruction (deconstruction?) is a good standard for other areas as well. Assertions need to be backed up with evidence and in the final analysis, evidence is not proof.

    Just a thought.

  8. Carrick said

    Left this comment on RealClimate, am sure it will be scrubbed, because well… you decide.


    Give me all the data you have used to publish a paper from in the last 10 years.

    I could do this with no problem, but you’d have to send me a rather large hard drive.

    You sir are evidently no experimentalist or you would have made no such comment. Experimentalists are like packrats, we throw nothing away.

    I have all of the data (approach 25 years in duration) that I have collected since I was a grad student, all of it still has the meta data associated with it, and from what I can tell, the database size I have (over 2 TB and growing) is large both in size and and in total number of files compared to Briffa’s, but I have never objected to sharing it with other scientists or even interested lay persons. And I would further and say that I am not atypical of people in the general science community in adopting that practice for data handling.

    Briffa could have saved himself some embarrassment had he been totally forthcoming from the outset regarded the nature and size of the Yamal data set. I don’t see anything wrong per se with his results, but his lack of transparency is simply appalling.

  9. Mark T said

    Carrick, it is an excuse, for sure. Really, if it was so easy as this, we would have heard that by now. The simple fact is that they do not want to release their data, period. Gavin is, IMO, …, and he’s been caught in the act several times now.


  10. Mark T said

    And, just noting, you’ve been gone for a while!


  11. AEGeneral said

    Give me all the data you have used to publish a paper from in the last 10 years. What? It’ll take time? Your graduate student has it? You aren’t sure where you put it? There is only 90% online – I want the last 10%! I claim conspiracy! Appears to me like there’s a transparency issue there, and you haven’t even responded. (See how easy that is?). – gavin

    Being a CPA, this argument absolutely floors me.

    It’s your responsibility, bud. 100% of it. Not 90% of it, not 99% of it. ALL of it.

    Professional responsibility. Ethics. Due diligence. Due care. Internal control. Adequate disclosure. Do such concepts exist in your profession?

    How the hell you people get away with withholding data for 10 years while governments around the world enact laws based on your “90% transparent” research is an absolute travesty. Obviously 90% isn’t good enough based on what I’ve read over the last week. That 10% omission can be the difference between truth and exaggeration.

    If my own profession has higher standards than yours, while my end-users pale in comparison, what does that say about your profession? That’s right. You aren’t capable of regulating yourselves. Your quality standards are lacking, if not non-existent. You have no professional standards whatsoever that I can discern — no quality control, no record retention guidelines, no ethics, nadda. Your profession is a disgrace.

    Yamal, meet Enron. I’d post this at RC, but why bother?

  12. Carrick said

    Just lurking Mark T.

  13. Adam Gallon said

    “Enemy at the gates”
    “Close ranks”

  14. John said

    What a chump this guy is. A month to get it from your grad student, a month to sort it out, a month to put it on the net.

    What is he doing for the other 9 years and 9 months?

    I think Gavin is a fool.

  15. Kondealer said


    I can (almost) sympathise with Dr. Schmidt if the data he was withholding, either through cock-up, or conspiracy was not of such huge scientific, political and economic interest.

    However it is and it looks like both Countries and individuals are going to have to dig deep into their pockets as a result.

    Under such circumstances “the dog ate my homework” type of excuse is both intolerable and most likely, illegal.

  16. Dave said

    Just add it to the extremely thick file “Why RealClimate is not RealScience.”

  17. MikeN said

    How do they do it. Easy.

    Step 1) Have someone else do the data collection and publish that with another method of analysis possibly.
    Step 2) Publish reanalysis of data in a paper that won’t make you reveal raw data, call that a chronology.
    Step 3) Publish analysis involving your chronology anywhere you want. The new journal won’t make you reveal data because you are only using the chronology already published.

    Step 4) Avoid Phil Trans R Soc B which won’t let you get away with quite so much. Also avoid any journals that hold up to that standard.

    It will be interesting to see if other journals adjust in response. Science and Nature will look weaker now.

  18. stan said

    Gavin’s scenario is a clear misstatement of the sequence of events and McIntyre’s position. We have two possible explanations: 1) Gavin lacks the reading comprehension skills necessary to understand what has happened or he lacks the logical ability to formulate an equivalent analogy, or 2) He understands and deliberately chose to misrepresent the situation.

    Incompetent or corrupt. Neither is acceptable for a scientist.

  19. jnorv said

    Have you seen this from Briffa? It is a chapter in some new book but it addresses the tree ring problem. I have not worked my way through all of it but it lays out the problems with treemometers.

    Jim N

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