Dec 16, 2009 10 Comments ›› Erik Wong
Climategate just got much, much bigger. And all thanks to the Russians who, with perfect timing, dropped this bombshell just as the worldâ€™s leaders are gathering in Copenhagen to discuss ways of carbon-taxing us all back to the dark ages.
A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as â€œClimategate,â€ continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.
The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.
Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.
Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the countryâ€™s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.
The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.
On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.
IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the worldâ€™s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.
Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.
What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock.
As Richard North says: This is serial.
UPDATE: As Steve McIntyre reports at ClimateAudit, it has long been suspected that the CRU had been playing especially fast and loose with Russian â€“ more particularly Siberian â€“ temperature records. Here from March 2004, is an email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann.
Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it
wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either
I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.
And here at Watts Up With That is a guest post by Jeff Id of the Air Vent
And here is what one of the commenters has to say about the way the data has been cherry-picked and skewed for political ends:
The crux of the argument is that the CRU cherry picked data following the same methods that have been done everywhere else. They ignored data covering 40% of Russia and chose data that showed a warming trend over statistically preferable alternatives when available. They ignored completeness of data, preferred urban data, strongly preferred data from stations that relocated, ignored length of data set.
One the final page, there is a chart that shows that CRUâ€™s selective use of 25% of the data created 0.64C more warming than simply using all of the raw data would have done. The complete set of data show 1.4C rise since 1860, the CRU set shows 2.06C rise over the same period.
Not, of course, dear readers that Iâ€™m in any way tempted to crow about these latest revelations. After all, so many of my colleagues, junior and senior, have been backing me on this one to the hiltâ€¦.
Oh, if anyone speaks Russian, hereâ€™s the full report.