Matt Briggs has written a layman's guide to what is and isn't evidence for anthropogenic global warming. Matt has a way of explaining things very, very clearly, that cuts through so much of the nonsense spewed by the media.
While we're all banging on about CRU, it's important not to forget that there are other people producing temperature series and temperature reconstructions.
And other people looking at what they do.
One of these is EM Smith who runs a blog called Musings from the Chiefio. Like Climate Audit, it's pretty hard going sometimes but as the first outsider to actually get NASA's GISSTEMP global temperature index running, it's very important. Fortunately, the Chiefio has written a layman's introduction to what he has found.
It's all disturbing, but his comments on "The Great Thermometer Dying" are simply astonishing.
Since about 1990, there has been a reduction in thermometer counts globally. In the USA, the number has dropped from 1850 at peak (in the year 1968) to 136 now (in the year 2009). As you might guess, this has presented some “issues” for our thermal quilt. But do not fear, GIStemp will fill in what it needs, guessing as needed, stretching and fabricating until it has a result.
Republicans on Capitol Hill certainly seem to think so and have started an investigation into his conduct.
Having reviewed Holdren's correspondence in the emails I can't see it myself. Now if there really are more emails to come, maybe my views will change, but saying you don't think much of someone's paper doesn't seem like a crime to me.
I've been getting some traffic from a French site called Rue89 and I've picked up this quote by a French climatologist, Serge Galam, from there.
The debate is not over, even among the "warmists" ... but it should have been public like any scientific debate. These emails show a discrepancy between the assertion that a spectacular scientific truth is established, the debate declared closed, and the fact that the proponents of those views recognize among themselves that uncertainties remain..."
With America at Thanksgiving this weekend the Climategate pace has slowed slightly, allowing me to take stock of where I am. Blog traffic has been unbelievable, and it's been fascinating to see the relative power of old-new-media (like Instapundit; my first Instalanche!) and the new-old-media sites like the newspaper blogs. Thanks to everyone for the links.
I've also had some interest from big media. BBC radio is coming to see me next week (gulp) and there is the possibility of some independent radio too. I have precisely zero interest in becoming famous, so this is going to be bit of a trial to me, but I guess it's a cross I will have to bear.
All that traffic did good things for the book, which at one point last weekend was inside the top 1000 on Amazon UK, which I think must be pretty good seeing you can't actually buy it yet. I've finished writing a new chapter on Climategate, which adds a lot of corroborating evidence to the case I build in the rest of the book. It's amazing how little contradiction there was between what I'd written before and what was revealed last week. The new material all went off to the publisher on Friday, so with a bit of luck we can get it finalised and off to the printer next week.
Another upshot of the attention is that I have managed to get a foot in the door at an Australian publisher. It's early doors yet, but it's encouraging just to make contact, as anyone who has ever tried to get a book published knows. I still need to find someone in the US, which is obviously likely to be a big market for me. So if anyone out there knows someone in a US publisher who would like to buy up the rights to a very readable and very topical title on global warming scandals, do please put me in touch. Likewise I'm happy to speak to people about all the other rights - translation rights, TV and so on. Don't be shy.
Steve McIntyre notes that in their online confession to what they did in the "Nature" trick, CRU still snipped off a bit of the curve so it didn't look as bad as it might have done.
How do these people sleep at night?
To summarise: in 2004, James Saiers was replaced as the GRL editor in charge of the McIntyre/McKitrick paper by Jay Famiglietti. Saiers says that his departure from GRL was nothing to do with any plot to oust him. Famiglietti won't talk about it on the record.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this doesn't quite stack up, so I emailed Ross McKitrick on the subject. Here's his reply.
Famiglietti said that GRL had received 4 comments on our paper, an unusually high number. He decided to take over handling of the file, and his first plan was to publish all the comments. I didn't check if Saiers was no longer an editor at that point. We were focused on making him follow the GRL procedures with respect to the Ritson and WA comments, which had already been rejected under Saiers' editing. The thing to check would be when Saiers stepped down as editor. By his description it was long after the excitement about our paper had passed, which suggests that he was still an editor when Famiglietti took over the file. If that is the case then he was not "ousted" as GRL editor, but he was obviously ousted from handling our file, which is just as bad. And the fact that he was allowed to serve out his editorship under quarantine does not diminish the seriousness of Wigley's proposed witch hunt.
Pielke Jnr has emailed James Saiers one of the journal editors who was the target of a Hockey Team plot to oust him from his position. This is what Saiers had to say
I haven’t looked for, and don’t intend to look for, my name in the CRU emails, but one of my colleagues did alert me to an email written by Wigley in which he suggested that, if I were a climate skeptic, then steps should be taken to get me “ousted.” Wigley’s suggestion stems, I believe, from the publication of a GRL paper (by McIntyre and McKitrick) that criticized certain elements of Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick paper. This paper caused a bit of a stir and because I oversaw the peer review of this paper, I assume that Wigley inferred (incorrectly) that I was a climate-change skeptic. I stepped down as GRL editor at the end of my three-year term, long after the excitement over the McIntyre and McKitrick paper had passed. My departure had nothing to do with attempts by Wigley or anyone else to have me sacked.
Now this is very odd. Saiers' position as editor in charge of the McIntyre and McKitrick paper in Geophysical Review Letters was taken over by the journal's editor in chief, Jay Famiglietti, who then refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding his taking over unless it was off the record.
Why would he do that if it was merely because Saiers was stepping down at the end of his term? And wouldn't Saiers be expected to finish off his existing papers before leaving? And why would the editor-in-chief take over himself?
It doesn't quite stack up in my book.
Gerry North, who chaired the NAS panel on paleoclimate that famously declared that the Hockey Stick's data and methods were wrong but its conclusions were right is interviewed in the Houston Chronicle.
McIntyre to me, I think he is probably a well meaning guy. He's not dumb, he's very smart. But he can be very irritating. This guy can just wear you out. He has started it with me but I just don't bite. But there are some guys, Ben Santer comes to mind, who if they are questioned will take a lot of time to answer. He's sincere and he just can't leave these things along. If you get yourself in a back-and-forth with these guys it can be never ending, and basically they shut you down with requests. They want everything, all your computer programs. Then they send you back a comment saying, "I don't understand this, can you explain it to me." It's never ending. And the first thing you know you're spending all your time dealing with these guys."
Mike Hulme has sent some comments on Climategate to the Andy Revkin's Dot Earth column at the New York Times.
The key lesson to be learned is that not only must scientific knowledge about climate change be publicly owned — the IPCC does a fairly good job of this according to its own terms — but the very practices of scientific enquiry must also be publicly owned, in the sense of being open and trusted. From outside, and even to the neutral, the attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good. To those with bigger axes to grind it is just what they wanted to find.
This is a surprising statement from Hulme, who is heavily implicated in the CRU emails.
1. He was part of a group that organised a letter to the Times, ostensibly written by climatologists but actually drafted by Greenpeace (0872202064).
2. He appears to have changed confidence intervals in a presentation at the behest of WWF.(0933254004)
3. He appears to have been instrumental in the plot to oust von Storch from Climate Research (1051190249)
See this email from Michael Mann on the affair (1057941657):
I think that the community should, as Mike H has previously suggested ... terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels -- reviewing, editing, and submitting, and leave it to wither way into oblivion and disrepute,