It’s Not Skeptics, It’s Science
Posted by Jeff Id on December 2, 2009
It’s not just skeptics that wonder about the quality of temperature records. This recently released email (bottom) goes right to the heart of many peoples concern about the data source and quality. Note the part where a scientist states (correctly) – especially low-frequency variability. Low frequency variability of course means long term trend or specifically warming trend in this case. There are many reasons to be concerned with how this data was processed and it will have a large effect on the total trend and interpretation of almost all climatology data. Some popular scientists now being questioned would have us believe it’s unscientific to question sources.
Phil Jones now famously stated years ago:
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. There is IPR to consider.
And in one of the released emials he said:
there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than
send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within
20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.
We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.
Now with respect to wanting to find problems, I am in full agreement with this as is any scientist worth their paycheck. If problems are found and addressed things progress. If they cannot be found or only have minor impact, everyone agrees that the result is sound. What is troubling about all the cloak and dagger in this is that THERE IS SIMPLY NO WAY TO DISCREDIT GOOD SCIENCE WHEN IT’S IN THE OPEN!! It cannot be done. Nothing in the open can harm a true result. Snarky words have ZERO effect on results and scientists know this.
Why hide the data then? Why hide the decline? It really gives a stink to the whole process. Anyway, Ed Cook (not a skeptic) also expressed concerns with the CRU data.
>> At 04:34 PM 4/18/00 -0400, Ed Cook wrote:
>> >Dear Juerg,
[snip – off topic]
However, I must admit to having doubts about
>> >the quality of the early instrumental records despite the great efforts
>> >made to homogenize and correct them. This is especially the case with
>> >regards to low-frequency variability, but can also extend to individual
>> >values as well. I talked with Phil Jones about one suspect datum in the
>> >early portion of his extended NAO record that largely destroys any
>> >correlation with proxy-based NAO estimates (the sign of the instrumental
>> >index appears to be wrong to me). Yet, Phil is convinced that that datum is
>> >good and he may very well be right. Either way, more robust methods of
>> >association between series may be jusitified to guard anomalous values.