David Kane asks me to look at two of the strongest arguments made by the “other side” following the break in and theft of data from CRU. OK, once he sees how weak the strongest arguments are, we can all agree that the affair is a beat up.
Today I’ll look at Eric Raymond’s alleged “siege cannon with the barrel still hot”:
From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.
; ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!! ; yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904] valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$ 2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!' ; yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)
This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1930s — see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.
But what is the code directly following the fragment Raymond quotes? Look:
; ;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow ;oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=20 ;
IDL uses a semi-colon to indicate a comment, so the only code to use
yearlyadj has been commented out. Raymond must have known this since he is an Emacs user and Emacs colour codes the comments. This doesn’t seem to be a smoking gun so much as a gun that hasn’t been fired.
Furthermore, another piece of commented out code shows how the adjusted values were used: they were clearly labelled as “MXD corrected” and plotted along with the uncorrected values. They were not shown as temperature values despite what Raymond says.
;legend,['Northern Hemisphere April-September instrumental temperature',$ ; 'Northern Hemisphere MXD',$ ; 'Northern Hemisphere MXD corrected for decline'],$
In the comments to Raymond’s post, others pointed this out to him
As other have repeatedly pointed out, that code was written to be used for some kind of presentation that was false. The fact that the deceptive parts are commented out now does not change that at all.
In fact, it was it was labelled as “corrected for decline”, so it was not false or deceptive.
It might get them off the hook if we knew — for certain — that it had never been shown to anyone who didn’t know beforehand how the data was cooked and why. But since these peiple have conveniently lost or destroyed primary datasets and evaded FOIA requests, they don’t deserve the benefit of that doubt. We already know there’s a pattern of evasion and probable cause for criminal conspiracy charges from their own words.
In fact, they did not destroy primary datasets, and they did not have permission to redistribute the data requested using the FOIA.
Raymond has made no attempt to find out if the graph was actually used anywhere. The file name was
osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro, so we should look for a paper with authors, Briffa and Osborn published in 1998 and sure enough there’s Briffa, Schweingruber, Jones, Osborn, Harris, Shiyatov, Vaganov and Grudd “Trees tell of past climates: but are they speaking less clearly today?” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 1998:
In §4, we referred to a notable correspondence between
‘hemispheric’ MXD series (averaged over all sites) and an
equivalent ‘hemispheric’ instrumental temperature series.
Despite their having 50% common variance measured
over the last century, it is apparent that in recent decades
the MXD series shows a decline, whereas we know that
summer temperatures over the same area increased.
Closer examination reveals that while year-to-year
(i.e. mutually ten-year high-pass filtered) correlations are
consistently high between tree-growth and temperature
(ca. 0.7 for 1881-1981), the correlations based on decadally
smoothed data fall from 0.89, when calculated over the
period 1881-1960, to 0.64 when the comparison period is
extended to 1881-1981. This is illustrated in figure 6,
which shows that decadal trends in both large-scale-
average TRW and MXD increasingly diverge from the
course of decadal temperature variation after about 1950
And figure 6 is basically the graph plotted by the code above and it does not include the “corrected MXD” data:
Oh, and Raymond reckons the greens are controlled by commie puppet masters:
Most of the environmental movement is composed of innocent Gaianists, but not all of it. There’s a hard core that’s sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops. Their goals are political: trash capitalism, resurrect socialism from the dustbin of history. They’re actually more like what I have elsewhere called a prospiracy, having lost their proper conspiratorial armature when KGB Department V folded up in 1992. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re very, very good at co-opting others and they drive the Gaianists like sheep.
There’s more paranoid raving, but you get the picture — Raymond is the sort of person who will add 2 and 2 and come up with a commie plot.