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December 8, 2009

We have a new and hopefully final home. It has been a very big and complicated job moving with its nearly 2000 threads, over 200,000 comments, plus images, data, scripts to, which has large enough facilities to prevent the chronic server problems that plagued climateaudit as a standalone server operated on the budget that I was prepared to afford.

What substantially complicated the move was our desire to preserve the very large number of links to existing climateaudit images and threads (which I’m told create a subterranean draw and which we didn’t want to disconnect.) Anthony, Mr Pete and John A all contributed to the move, which was accomplished during a period when I was otherwise occupied so to speak. I’m very grateful to them. went several extra yards to accommodate the move and I’m very grateful to their staff as well. We think the old addresses are all pointing to the new addresses – let us know if you have any problems.

Off to our new quarters at

[Note: the address should automatically take you there too – Anthony]


December 7, 2009

A new thread. Just back from the studio. I’ve been interviewed a couple of times now, but I’m not experienced at television. This was the first time that I’ve been on a panel.

My main impressions. You sure don’t have time to expand a point. You’d better be thinking in point form before you get there. Second, everyone wants to put you into a pigeonhole. And when you’re dealing in sound bites, there’s not much that you can do about. I appreciated the invitation from CNN (as I have other invitations). I thought that the questions were polite.

A SysAdmin’s Perspective

December 7, 2009

An excellent analysis of whether the CRU zipfile was “hacked” or “leaked” here, arguing for a combination of a dossier prepared by the university in relation to potential FOI responsibilities (though not necessarily FOI requests in hand) and discovery of the dossier by someone at the university who released it to the outside world – very much along the lines hypothesized by Charles the Moderator of WUWT, but substantially fleshed out.

This is a detailed analysis, unlike IPCC allegations of attacks by the Russian secret service (their version of “A miracle occurred”).

Michael Schlesinger Threatens Andy Revkin

December 6, 2009

Michael Schlesinger, apparently oblivious to the adverse public reaction to behavior of CRU scientists, threatened Andy Revkin of the New York Times with the “Big Cutoff”. Schlesinger’s email expressed particular annoyance that this was the second time in a week that he had had to give directions to Revkin, an earlier email having instructed Revkin not to give space in his blog to the Pielkes.
. Read more…


December 6, 2009

First, the bad news. I lost in the final of the Canadian “Century” doubles squash championships today. I played a good semi-final yesterday and not so well today.

I’ve agreed to appear on Campbell Brown, CNN tomorrow. Normally they don’t take an interest in doubles squash, but these are unusual times, I guess. I presume that they’re interested in my take on the squash matches over the weekend. Also, the respective merits of three-wall nicks versus reverse corners.

Also, I was taped last week by Fox News for a documentary which (I think) will be on this week. They interviewed me for a couple of hours. This was before the weekend squash tournament and they were interested in climate rather than squash. They were in Toronto for the Munk Debates and also interviewed George Monbiot (who I had a very pleasant cup of coffee with off both our records) and others. They were very well prepared – far more than anyone else. They knew (and asked) about such esoterica as the Starbucks Hypothesis. I’m not experienced in this type of interview and I’m sure that my answers were invariably too dull. We’ll see.

Jon Stewart versus Gavin Schmidt

December 5, 2009

Obviously, there’s been lots of coverage on Climategate. Jon Stewart’s commentary on the Daily Show neatly rebutted spin by Gavin Schmidt on the “trick”, on the availability of “value added” data and closing with a sensible moral: don’t cut corners. It’s too bad that he wasn’t on the case with Upside Down Mann, where, at a certain point, the only reasonable discussion was satire.

Also here

There are many other interesting commentaries, but Jon Stewart’s is on point for Climate Audit issues.


December 5, 2009

James Delingpole is one of the first to observe the Climategate phenomenon as “uber-viral” – a story where there is much larger internet exposure than MSM exposure.

Citing Richard North, he compares the number of Google hits to the number of Google News hits for phrases of interest, comparing, for example, “Climategate”, a word that did not exist 14 days ago, to “Tiger Woods”, who has been adding to his celebrity in unexpected ways.

Updating the comparisons, “Climategate” has 32,000,000 google hits as compared to 4,080 news stories (Google), while “Tiger Woods” has 29,500,000 google hits with 54,018 news stories (Google). Although Tiger has over 10 times as many news stories, Climategate (remarkably) has more google hits than Tiger Woods (and many other famous search items e.g. Britney Spears, NFL, NBA or for that matter “climate”).

“IPCC” has 1,320,000 Google hits and 7,839 news stories (Google). If nothing else, the numbers show an extraordinarily intense interest in this story in the blogosphere, with increasing news media interest.

The Last Two Weeks

December 5, 2009

Obviously, I’ve done less blogging in the last couple of weeks than I have for a long time. A variety of reasons. I’ve done a lot of interviews, not all of which have resulted in quotes. I find it hard to write when I’m doing a lot of talking. Maybe, some people can’t, but I have trouble. Second, there are so many interesting topics for me in the Climategate Letters that I hardly know where to begin. I start down one interesting aspect and then get distracted and end up with notes on 15 things. Third, I’ve felt very tired.

Gerry North Doesn’t Understand the “Trick”

December 1, 2009

Gerry North told the Washington post that the NAS panel did exactly the same thing as Phil Jones’ trick. (Dec. 1, 2009) North is talking through his hat. North:

We put the tree ring record on the graph and stuck the instrument record on for the last 50 years in exactly the way [Phil] Jones in his [leaked] email referred to as a ʻtrickʼ. We did not know of his email (it was happening at the same time and we were careful not to have any contact with the IPCC process going on at that time), and we did precisely the same thing because it was the natural thing to do

This isn’t Jones’ trick.

The “problem” arises because Briffa reconstruction goes down from 1940 to 1994 instead of up.

Jones deleted the post-1960 values of the Briffa reconstruction, replaced them with instrumental values, smoothed the spliced series (see posts by both Jean S and myself proving this) and ended up with a reconstruction that looked like an accurate reconstruction of late 20th century temperatures. He didn’t merely show a temperature series alongside a proxy reconstruction, which is what the NAS panel did.

The NAS panel had a different approach to the “problem” of the Briffa reconstruction. They simply didn’t show it.

If North is going to issue pronouncements on Jones’ trick, then he should at least know what Jones’ trick is. If he doesn’t know precisely what it was (as he obviously doesn’t), then it’s better to say nothing than to pretend that he knows what it was.

Mann: “Dirty Laundry” from MBH98-99

December 1, 2009

Gerald North, Dec 1, 2009 purporting to justify data refusals by the Team:

McIntyre entered the fray by asking for data from Mann and his coauthors in about 2000 [actually 2003, but who expects accuracy from climate scientists]. As I understand it they complied, but the more they complied the more he wanted. He began to make requests of others. He sometimes not only wanted data, but computer programs. When he could not figure out how the programs worked he wanted help. From what they tell me this became so irritating that they stopped answering his emails.

North is giving public credence to this increasingly popular meme among climate scientists. Virtually everything in North’s meme is untrue. Rather than provide a detailed rebuttal, let me suggest an another and far more plausible alternative. Mann and others didn’t want to give data to potential critics. Let me show an actual situation, one where the Climategate Letters provide much new information.

The Mann et al 1998-99 reconstruction had “steps” (grandiosely called “experiments” by Mann), but the results of the individual steps were never archived, only the splice of 11 steps. For statistical analysis, one needs to have the residuals, which we requested in 2003. Mann refused. At this point in 2003, contrary to North’s allegations, Mann hadn’t provided any source code, any computer programs nor any interpretations of computer programs. All that he had provided us was a URL on his FTP site for the proxy data supposedly used in MBH – a data set that he later claimed was the “wrong” data set and which he deleted in Nov 2003 and a new version of the MBH proxy data was made public. At the point that the residuals were refused, Mann hadn’t spent more than a few minutes responding to requests from us.

The MBH residual series crop up in the Climategate Letters. In July 2003, Mann had sent CRU the very data that he later refused to provide to us. (BTW Osborn also asked Mann for source code and interpretation of matters that he did not understand.) Mann made it very clear to Osborn that the residual series were provided in total confidence, that they were “dirty laundry” which he did not want to “fall into” the wrong hands.

Did Mann refuse to provide the residual series to us because answering our inquiries had taken up so much of his time that he stopped answering? Or was there some other reason?

Michael Mann to Tim Osborn, CRU, July 2003

Attached are the calibration residual series for experiments based on available networks back to: AD 1000, AD 1400, AD 1600… You only want to look at the first column (year) and second column (residual) of the files. I can’t even remember what the other columns are! mike
p.s. I know I probably don’t need to mention this, but just to insure absolutely clarify on this, I’m providing these for your own personal use, since you’re a trusted colleague. So please don’t pass this along to others without checking w/ me first. This is the sort of “dirty laundry” one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things…

McIntyre to Mann, December 2003 cc NSF

In MBH98 and MBH99, you refer to analyses of residuals carried out in these studies. Could you please provide me with (a) preferably, a FTP location for the residual series, together an FTP reference for the program generating the residuals; or, (b) in the absence of such FTP location, an email enclosing this information. Your analysis of these residuals was used to estimate confidence intervals in an influential scientific paper.

David Verardo Director, Paleoclimate Program, US National Science Foundation, Dec. 17, 2003 preemptively permitting Mann not to disclose his “dirty laundry”:

Dr. Mann and his other US colleagues are under no obligation to provide you with any additional data beyond the extensive data sets they have already made available. He is not required to provide you with computer programs, codes, etc. His research is published in the peer-reviewed literature which has passed muster with the editors of those journals and other scientists who have reviewed his manuscripts. You are free to your analysis of climate data and he is free to his.

McIntyre to Ziemelis of Nature, August 2004

we are writing to reiterate long-standing requests for data and results from MBH98, which we have already communicated on several occasions. You had stated that these requests would be resolved in the new SI, but unfortunately this is not the case. While you are undoubtedly weary of this correspondence, our original request for disclosure was reasonable and remains reasonable. It is only the unresponsiveness of the original authors that is placing a burden on you and your associates. Some of these items have been outstanding for 7 months. They were not attended to in the new SI and need to be dealt with promptly. … In particular, we still seek … the results of the 11 “experiments” referred to in MBH98, including: (b) the NH temperature reconstruction (11 series from the start of each calculation step to 1980); (c) the residuals (11 series from the start of each calculation step to 1980)… Since their claims of skill in reconstructing past climates depend on these “experiments” and their estimation of confidence intervals is based on the residual series, it is unnecessary to explain why these data are of interest. Again, we have repeatedly requested this data.

Ziemelis to McIntyre, Sept 2004
And with regard to the additional experimental results that you request, our view is that this too goes beyond an obligation on the part of the authors, given that the full listing of the source data and documentation of the procedures used to generate the final findings are provided in the corrected Supplementary Information. (This is the most that we would normally require of any author.)