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Temperature Data Wants To Be Free

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the could-deal-with-some-nuclear-winter-right-now dept.

Government 489

An anonymous reader writes "The UK's Met Office Hadley Centre and University of East Anglia have been refusing access to the data used for their global climate averages and scientific studies. A copy of the data has leaked, and attempts continue to accomplish the release of the data by whoever maintains it. Excuses have included confidentiality agreements which cannot be verified because no records were kept, mention of the source has been removed from the Met Office web site, and IPCC records were destroyed."

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100% worthless (3, Insightful)

iYk6 (1425255) | about 5 years ago | (#28834497)

... refusing access to the data used for their global climate averages and scientific studies.

I realize governments are really in to wasting money and all, but this is ridiculous. The UK government has spent who knows how much money on a completely worthless study. Studies mean nothing without data.

Re:100% worthless (0, Troll)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 years ago | (#28834589)

The troll from ClimateAudit not being able to get free access to the source data isn't the same as there not being data. No one will give him data unless they have to because he dishonestly misrepresents it. And why the hell the UK government should spend ANY UK taxpayers money to even consider his request is beyond me. He's not British.

Re:100% worthless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834675)

Because it's not science if you hide your data and methods and only release them to people you like. This isn't about misrepresentation or whatever dirt you want to throw - this is about access and transparency. Anything less is not science. It's as simple as that.

A key ingredient of the scientific method is exposing your methods to the cold hard light of day and making sure they withstand scrutiny. If you only show it to people you like, that is hardly serious scrutiny. It needs to stand up to scrutiny from people you don't like.

In fact you should scrutinize it yourself (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 years ago | (#28835035)

I'll quote Feynman, since he put it really well:

-----
It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid--not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked--to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can--if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong--to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
-----

Remember: In science, we don't prove things true, we show them to be not false. Same thing? Not hardly. For a complete discussion on the topic, read the Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper. However what it comes down to is you do not do a test, and then prove a theory true. That can't be done. What you do is come up with a way to falsify your theory, that is to say you come up with a test that says "If things don't come out this way, we know this theory is wrong." You run the test, things come out that way. You have failed to falsify the theory, and we are now more certain it is true. The more than is done, the more certain we are a theory is correct. Each time we attempt to falsify the theory and fail, we are more sure it must be the truth.

If we do then falsify it, the theory has to be redone. That doesn't mean you toss the whole thing out, it may just mean some refinement is needed. For example you have a theory that predicts when X happens Y will results. In 400 tests, this is the case, however 3 new tests show it isn't. What you discover is that in all those tests, A was also present. You the refine your theory: Y will result from X, except in cases where A is present. Your theory is now a little more narrow in application, and fits with the evidence. Perhaps later you find out what A does, and incorporate that in to a more general theory.

The point of all this is that real science is all about trying to prove your theory wrong. You do everything you can to prove it wrong, then have other people do what they can to prove it wrong. When all of you fail at doing that, when the theory has been refined such that it fits all the evidence and you can't figure out how else to test it, then it is most likely the truth. THAT is what scientific rigor is about. It isn't about coming up with a theory, ignoring data you don't like, showing it to a few people who agree with you, and saying "Ok, we proved this true and nobody else can look at it."

Re:In fact you should scrutinize it yourself (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 years ago | (#28835267)

This is all true of course.

The problems start because you've got a lot of people in "science" who are not acting in good faith, who for various reasons are heavily invested in seeing theories "proved wrong". We've seen this throughout this history of science, but not since Galileo v The Holy Roman Catholic Church have we seen such heavily funded actors who have so much at stake to see theories not only "proved wrong" but discredited to the point that nobody wants to do that research any more. Then, those same actors blame the original researchers for acting in bad faith.

There's a real poisonous element working at the edges of the scientific community these days.

Re:100% worthless (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 years ago | (#28835059)

Because it's not science if you hide your data and methods and only release them to people you like. This isn't about misrepresentation or whatever dirt you want to throw - this is about access and transparency. Anything less is not science. It's as simple as that.

Absolutely not true. Much of science's source data is not in the public domain. The scientific method requires that papers to scientific journals are peer reviewed. For this the reviewers must have whatever access they need. Note that the journals select experts in the field. Non-scientists such as Stephen McIntyre need not apply.

Additionally other scientists will try to reproduce. But note that that does NOT entail access to the original data. It means collecting new data or using a different source of existing data in order to confirm the phenomenon.

Re:100% worthless (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834717)

The troll from ClimateAudit not being able to get free access to the source data isn't the same as there not being data. No one will give him data unless they have to because he dishonestly misrepresents it. And why the hell the UK government should spend ANY UK taxpayers money to even consider his request is beyond me. He's not British.

I would also note that the owner of one of the two sites mentioned in your story (Anthony Watts) has just employed the DMCA to have a video criticizing his Surface Stations project pulled from Youtube.

Re:100% worthless (2, Funny)

Troed (102527) | about 5 years ago | (#28834719)

Hi and welcome to the scientific process. Without it, there's no science.

Re:100% worthless (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 years ago | (#28834993)

Are you suggesting that where confidential data is involved science should not be done? Well that's going to kill much medical research for a start. If an epidemiologist finds a cause of disease, are you going to discount it as valid science because you aren't allowed access to the patient records the data was collated from?

The scientific method only requires that results be confirmed by other scientists. They could be given access to the data without requiring the data to be released to the public domain. Ideally though they would confirm the data using a different data set. And indeed this is exactly what Climate Scientists do. There are multiple data sets.

Welcome to the world of REAL science, where work is done with classified or confidential data every day.

Re:100% worthless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835069)

Why on earth would raw temperature data be confidential? It isn't for the other organisations mentioned: NASA GISS, NOAA, etc. You do yourself no favours by introducing an utterly irrelevant medical analogy.

Re:100% worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834897)

"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." - Dr Phil Jones

You don't have to be a right-wing conspiracy nut to feel uncomfortable with that response (to a separate request for the raw data), but given your borderline libellous description of Steve McIntyre, I'm sure it won't make a jot of difference to you.

"Get your own government's data" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834975)

What's wrong with that?

There is still a cost to collect it and a risk that this data will be abused. So since they are US not UK, let the US government deal with their request.

Re:"Get your own government's data" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835161)

McIntyre is Canadian, and your assumption is that he might abuse it. How so?

Re:100% worthless (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 years ago | (#28835189)

"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." - Dr Phil Jones

And the source of the claim that that was said/wrote is? Yes, its Steve McIntyre from Climate Audit again. He claims the quote over and over again on the site. But where's the primary source?

Re:100% worthless (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834961)

Why did you people moderate this as insightful? Steve McIntyre has shown in the past how various erroneous statistical analysis of climate related data has been dishonestly misrepresented by those in the "warmist" camp themselves. I'm thinking of the infamous Mann hockey stick, as well as various offerings from James Hansen and recently Steig et al. Unlike a lot of Climate Scientists (and the met office itself), McIntyre publishes in full his code, data and methods. I hardly think he can be reasonably described as a troll, unlike the poster above.

Re:100% worthless (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 5 years ago | (#28835039)

The problems with the principle component analysis in the hockey stick diagram were not a case of academic dishonesty. They were a case of a subtle statistical error being found in the work. This sort of thing happens all the time. In general it is a self-correcting problem.

Re:100% worthless (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 5 years ago | (#28835155)

And it would not have been found had the data not been available.

Re:100% worthless (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 5 years ago | (#28835229)

Why did you people moderate this as insightful?

Because the mods considered it to be so of course. Given your choice of language you are clearly a GW conspiracy theorist yourself which is why you disagree with their reasoning.

Steve McIntyre has shown in the past how various erroneous statistical analysis of climate related data has been dishonestly misrepresented by those in the "warmist" camp themselves.

Such are the kind of claims Steve McIntyre has made. But he's not a scientist and his errors are in turn pointed out on Real Climate. However McIntyre doesn't withdraw his errors. He just repeats them.

Re:100% worthless (0, Offtopic)

segedunum (883035) | about 5 years ago | (#28835095)

His site's 100% worthless:

"We're sorry, but we could not fulfill your request for /?p=6203 on this server. The proxy server you are using is not permitted to access this server. Please bypass the proxy server, or contact your proxy server administrator."

No, I'm not changing my working network settings as a result of some bullshit assumption by some bullshit piece of software he's using. Does't inspire much confidence.

Re:100% worthless (5, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | about 5 years ago | (#28834593)

Data from a particular NERC (UK Research Council) project I'm involved with are allowed to be kept by the researchers for a certain amount of time (18 months, maybe?) but then have to be released to the BADC: http://badc.nerc.ac.uk/home/index.html [nerc.ac.uk] - this gives the researchers time to do some analysis and get some papers out on all the hard work they've done, but obliges them to release the data to the community.

Some of the BADC data sets are restricted to non-commercial use only, so you need to flash your 'Academic Investigator' magic card at them to get it. These guys keep good metadata and license agreements and all that stuff. There's even some datasets from CRU, unrestricted (registration required).

Re:100% worthless (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 5 years ago | (#28835019)

Some of the BADC data sets are restricted to non-commercial use only, so you need to flash your 'Academic Investigator' magic card at them to get it. These guys keep good metadata and license agreements and all that stuff. There's even some datasets from CRU, unrestricted (registration required).

Where does that leave the hobbyist researchers then?

Today most household computers are potent enough to be able to sift through amounts of data that we only could dream about a few years ago.

Don't forget that the collection of the raw data has been done through the money of the tax payers. It is of course possible to have a reasonable fee for obtaining a copy in some cases, but it may as well be put on the web these days.

Re:100% worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835259)

That'd be like using Giant Growth [wizards.com] because it's an instant and gets you +3/+3 until end of turn, right?

Oh, wait..you don't like me so my attempt to get the data will be refused as you play a Counterspell [wizards.com] .

This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (4, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | about 5 years ago | (#28834621)

This is the first time I've seriously begun to question whether or not the global warming studies are in fact legitimate. If they won't allow free access to the data, so others can verify results or run it through alternative (or more refined) climate models, then the very obvious question becomes "why?"

What exactly is it they so keen on hiding that they'll remove all source citations from their publicatons?

NOTE: I am not about to buy into the fossile-fuel-funded arguments that global warming "isn't real"...it's very real, as anyone living in the northern lattitudes can trivially see. Even in London it's obvious that insects and plantlife that never used to thrive this far north now do...but anectdotal evidence, even as widespread and pervasive as this, is no substitute for rigorous scientific study, and I repeat the question: what the hell is it these people are trying to hide? There's no excuse for keeping data that is so fundamental to scientific inquiry, and has such a profound effects on public policy, secret.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (3, Interesting)

Troed (102527) | about 5 years ago | (#28834737)

(Please let me know where I can get some of that mythical fossil-fuel-funds for all the posts I do on this subject .. )

I live in the northern latitudes (Sweden). There's absolutely nothing unusual about the weather/climate today, if you're prepared to go decades and centuries back in time when comparing. And why shouldn't we? Who on earth came up with the crazy idea of some sort of stable weather-utopia where the climate of 1988 (or whatever) is the "true" climate of the world?

The sun drives the clouds and the winds, and the ocan cycles. Those have wavelengths of 30-60 years, it seems. That coincides really well with the decades of cooling, warming, cooling and warming we've seen the last century.

CO2 (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | about 5 years ago | (#28834813)

The important question which I've never seen the math for is how much CO2 is output by random natural events during a certain time period versus how much we output currently.

We are taking a few hundred million years worth of biomass and burning it up in a about a hundred and fifty. Perhaps this has no effect on the environment, but I think it's prudent to make sure that we don't send the climate into a self-feedback loop that destroys our way of life. It's not as if riding around in traffic or having an iPod is worth giving up food and water.

Re:CO2 (4, Informative)

Troed (102527) | about 5 years ago | (#28834871)

We're currently in a very CO2-starved climate, if we go through the geological record. Plant life seems optimised (evolution does that) for much higher CO2-levels, and we've had more than a magnitude higher levels without the earth having gone into any self-feedback loops before.

Peer-reviewed source for the above, see fig 8: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Reference_Docs/Geocarb_III-Berner.pdf [geocraft.com]

Re:CO2 (1)

Malc (1751) | about 5 years ago | (#28835101)

So what? Geological time is on a different scale to what we're doing.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (5, Informative)

Paltin (983254) | about 5 years ago | (#28834889)

You're completely wrong. We have excellent data on global climate back about 850ky, good data back to 60mya, and some data back as far as bya. There is something unusual about the climate today.

The idea that there is a stable weather utopia circa 1988 is CRAZY, and you're the one bringing it up as a straw man. Current models account for solar cycles (Milankovitch and others)--- currently, the sun is currently as a period of low output, actually, based on sunspot activity. These are well understood cycles. In spite of that, we have an overall trend of global warming. When you try to account for that data, the best fit to that data is easily the increased CO2 in the atmosphere.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (4, Insightful)

Troed (102527) | about 5 years ago | (#28834955)

No, basically nothing in your post is "true" in any scientific version of that word :) We do not have excellent data (gas diffusion in ice cores is a bitch!) and current models lack incredible amounts of algorithmic data which is instead made up as we see politically fit at the moment :) (for example, the influence of clouds)

We do not have an unusual trend of global warming at all. On the contrary, there might not be a trend to speak of when removing measurement uncertainties. (http://surfacestations.org should scare anyone who believes the tempereature data we're soon basing our whole economy on)

The best fit for the temperature changes over the last century is not with CO2 levels but with ocean cycles btw.

On gas diffusion: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/jog/2008/00000054/00000187/art00012 [ingentaconnect.com]

On ocean cycles: http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/05/14/timescale-of-the-pdo-nao-and-amo/ [atmoz.org]

Why are you not interested in doing actual science? We simply don't have data to support Hansen's and Gore's wild accusations.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (4, Informative)

Paltin (983254) | about 5 years ago | (#28835047)

You really don't get it.

What effect does diffusion in ice cores cause? It flattens the data-- it causes it to move to average. This means that the real signal would be stronger then that recorded if this is a problem. Which actually just makes the ice core conclusions stronger. Another check on this is using other methods and seeing if the agree; and these other methods, such as isotope ones, support the ice core evidence.

On ocean cycles: You realize that global temperature controls ocean cycles, right? So you're agreeing with me?

It's clear you don't really understand the science; both of your citations can't even be used as evidence to support your claim that there isn't data. It's also clear that assumptions are being tested and as such the conclusions that can be reached are stronger. Which is exactly what you'd expect if it's a real trend.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (2, Insightful)

slprice (470297) | about 5 years ago | (#28835221)

On ocean cycles: You realize that global temperature controls ocean cycles, right? So you're agreeing with me?

Or so you assume. That is a case where you may be confusing cause and effect:

Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) [drroyspencer.com]

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1)

ssintercept (843305) | about 5 years ago | (#28835279)

i dont know if we have an unusual trend or not either. maybe it is a natural cycle is the way i am leaning, from the stuff i have seen. with that in mind i am no scientist and you could call me a 'joe twelve-pack'.
personally, i don't care for all the granola munching moonbeam lovin' tree huggers and there carbon credit save the earth crap. the earth has survived worse things than what we humans can throw at it. as a species here, are time is limited on the grand scale of things.
no, i am not a global warming denier. i believe it is a real. we do have some pretty concrete evidence of how warm the earth was 65 - 90 mya. i have no idea about gas diffusion and all that fancy stuff. however, 0ver 65 mya dinosaurs were frolicking in a tropical climate 300 miles from the north pole.

http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/prog/culture/dinosaurs.html

the following linkus thingie has references to co2 levels and there probable cause.

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF10/1024.html

now, before we all get our panties in a bunch and shout out about continental drift in what not, i have a couple of scientific looking maps for you.

http://www.scotese.com/K/t.htm

and you have to scroll down half way for the map on this one, the article also talks about the ocean-cycles too

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/education/climate_change/greenhouse_earth.html

and if you really want a good laugh, watch penn & tellers episode on recycling for some insight on the carbon credit scamola.
i dont know how anyone has a frame of reference on whether the weather/temperature today is unusual when you have 4.5 billion years of data to examine for trends.
i think we should just shift the calender to accommodate the later start of summer and winter.
al gore is a tool.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28834999)

Is there also data relating the CO2 level in the atmosphere with the CO2 output by human activities? That is, can we prove that the CO2 level raised due to human CO2 output, and not due to a natural process (maybe one caused by rising temperatures)?

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 5 years ago | (#28835073)

We have excellent data on global climate back about 850ky, good data back to 60mya, and some data back as far as bya

[citation needed]

I wasn't aware we had time-traveling climate researchers or time-traveling meteorological instrumentation to *accurately* measure all the various datapoints. My impression was that accurate & meaningful meteorological data wasn't recorded farther back than a couple of centuries, if that, and that many very-relevant measurements weren't even recorded for much of even that relatively-short (in terms of geologic time) span of time.

From what I've been able to gather, most of the ice-core and similar geologic records seemed to indicate that CO2 was a lagging factor in warming, not a leading factor. As in; it got warm, then CO2 went up, not the other way around.

The reluctance to release the data and the destruction of data is a red flag that something isn't kosher. They have to have known that doing this would only fuel the anti-climate change factions, so it would seem logical that what is being hidden must be pretty damning evidence that their current theories are bunk.

However, there's a ton of grant money to be had by the climate scientists and much power & control to be gained by government by promoting a climate crisis, so it isn't too surprising.

Strat

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0, Troll)

Paltin (983254) | about 5 years ago | (#28835213)

All the relevant data is in the literature. You can look it up.

There are other ways to measure climate besides direct measurement of temperature.

These methods include Ca/Mg ratios in forams and other critters, oxygen isotopes, paleobotany data, et cetera.

CO2 can either be a lagging factor (when other things force temperature) as well as leading one (when CO2 forces the temperature). It's clearly complicated, and if you're interested, you can go get a PhD in climate modeling and join the discussion. Armchair pontification isn't gonna cut it.

There are good reasons why they could be withholding the data; it's not a red flag. It is common for scientists to hold data back so they can publish on their work first. Your conclusion is pretty extreme considering that most of this data is available via NOAA and other sources.

If climate scientists wanted money, they'd go work for industry. The best way for a climate scientist to get fame and money today would be to disprove global warming--- which just goes to show you don't understand science, scientists, their motivations, or their principles.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 5 years ago | (#28835145)

The Solar cycles do not match the warming that has been seen over the past three or four decades. Also, the observed variation in insolation is only consistent with mean temperature changes of about 0.5 degrees, not the changes that have been observed. Solar variability is having an effect on Earth's climate, but the evidence suggests that it is not a large enough effect to explain what we are seeing.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1, Insightful)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | about 5 years ago | (#28835211)

The "economic stabilization" nuts have turned to "climate stabilization" nuts.

Apparently there's already too much respected literature completely thrashing the first, so the latter seems a more suitable excuse for the obtaining of political power. :-)

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (2, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | about 5 years ago | (#28834765)

WAIT before you leap to conclusion. This article cites only blogs which are known to misrepresent science and actions pertaining to them. The accused - in the blog world, that would be realclimate, which unlike Watt's and climateaudit is run by climate scientists - have not had time to answer yet.

The denialists have played this game many, many times before. Example: recently, the blogs were up in a huff because a denialist polar bear researcher had been denied a seat on some board. The news even reached slashdot before anyone got time to ask people from the board in question. But when someone did, it turned out the researcher in question was not eligible, on account of not being active in polar bear research any longer.

When serious accusations like this come out (especially from the denialists, who have been known to paint themselves as victims if their mails were not responded to quickly enough) you got to wait and hear what the accused side has to say before jumping to conclusions.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (3, Insightful)

FourthAge (1377519) | about 5 years ago | (#28834827)

"Denialists"

What a great word. What a lovely set of implications it has. Are the climate change "denialists" related to Holocaust deniers by any chance?

Seems to me, if climate change science were based on solid and irrefutable scientific evidence, then there would be no need to use verbal trickery to influence opinion. If you're so sure of yourself, then why the propaganda?

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (3, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | about 5 years ago | (#28834859)

I agree that this data should be shared with all. But keep in mind that not sharing the data does not in any way imply that the data supports the global warming deniers' stance.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835029)

This kind of behaviour is common in Climate Science. I hardly think one could describe it as particularly honourable. If you go to ClimateAudit, you can see for yourself how the accused responded to requests. It seems to me that they don't want anyone "not on the team" to get hold of the data, just in case they come to conclusions different to those setting policy. If this were a real scientific endeavour, the holders would invite contrary views, in the interests of getting at the truth. As the met office itself has said, this may have political implications, not scientific ones.

Someone else mentioned RealClimate, one of the warmist websites run by amongst others, Michael Mann. The very same Michael Mann who created the hockey stick, perhaps the biggest statistical fraud in the last half century.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1)

jlehtira (655619) | about 5 years ago | (#28835017)

Seems to me, if climate change science were based on solid and irrefutable scientific evidence, then there would be no need to use verbal trickery to influence opinion. If you're so sure of yourself, then why the propaganda?

Unfortunately, that's very far from truth. Most citizens and politicians are completely unable to do the science themselves, or even understand every significant part of the reasoning. So for the commoner, it boils down to believing or not believing the panel of scientists, and that is unfortunately a game of propaganda.

Do note that even if climate change is based on solid and irrefutable scientific evidence, only scientists can tell if some evidence is solid or irrefutable. Besides, it seems to me only scientists know well enough to not even demand absolute irrefutability - in reality, that is rather hard to find, isn't it!

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835079)

To stifle debate/dissent of course.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0, Flamebait)

Vintermann (400722) | about 5 years ago | (#28835109)

I said "denialists", not "deniers". If you've never heard the word before, I can tell you've been careful not to hear what the side you accuse of scientific misconduct, grand conspiracy and worse, have to say to their defense.

What would you call someone who persisted in claiming that asbestos or smoking didn't cause cancer, or that evolution wasn't proven, for political reasons, against all evidence? It's just calling a spade a spade in my opinion.

You really don't help your case (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 years ago | (#28834981)

Denalists? So basically when you don't like someone's opinion, you make up a new, derogatory term to try and marginalize them? That isn't science, that is marketing. In particular, it is the kind of marketing con men do. When people question their products/methods, they shout down the critics, they deride them, they call them names. They basically try to make it look like you must be retarded if you don't agree with them.

You are also pulling another con man trick: The appeal to authority. That a site is run by "climate scientists" or is not, doesn't matter. Science isn't about who has the authority in a certain area, it is a process for finding out about the world. So trying to say "Well this site is run by climate scientists, this one isn't," doesn't strengthen your argument. That is along the same likes of "4 out of 5 dentists agree!" Ok well so what? Maybe 4 out of 5 dentists are mediocre, and the excellent 20% realize that it doesn't matter?

There is also the matter of what is a climate scientist? This isn't a degree listed at most universities, and didn't exist at all until recently. If you look at the people who run realclimate you find their PhDs are Applied Mathematics, Geology, Oceanography, and such. None of them have a degree in "climate science." So what a climate scientist is, is simply someone who studies the climate. Ok, fair enough, however that does mean it isn't an exclusive club that only certain people can be members of. For that matter, Watts is a meteorologist, which is also on the topic of climate studies.

None of that means a given person is right or wrong, but it is incorrect to appeal to authority and try and claim that "Oh realclimate is run by climate scientists so they are the only place you can trust." No, that's not the case. Science doesn't work like that.

When you pull shit like this, it really doesn't help your case. If you disagree with the theory someone is putting forth, or their criticisms of a theory, deal with that. Don't play salesman/con man tricks. To me, it makes it look as though you've something to hide.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834785)

then the very obvious question becomes "why?"

They have to protect their steady flow of BIG FUNDING.

Indeed they do! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834987)

See
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts [sourcewatch.org]

"Watts was a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009) organized by the Heartland Institute think tank. Watts is also listed as a speaker for the Heartland Institute's June 2009 Third International Conference on Climate Change."

Nice gigs. Wonder whether he was given a nice hotel for that...

Or Lindzen:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Richard_S._Lindzen [sourcewatch.org]

"He is one of the leading global warming skeptics and is a member of the Science, Health, and Economic Advisory Council, of the Annapolis Center, a Maryland-based think tank which has been funded by corporations including ExxonMobil."

Ah, the joys of being in a quango!

Roy Spencer?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Roy_Spencer [sourcewatch.org]

"Since February 2004 he has been a columnist for TCS Daily writing over forty columns, almost entirely on the the topic of global warming. Until 2006, TCS Daily was run by DCI Group, a lobbying firm that works for ExxonMobil."

Plimer?

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ian_Plimer [sourcewatch.org]

"He is a global warming sceptic and a non-executive director of three mining companies: Ivanhoe Australia, a subsidiary of Bob Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines, as well as CBH Resources and Kefi Minerals."

How about McIntyre:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Stephen_McIntyre [sourcewatch.org]

"Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. McIntyre is also a headliner at the International Conference on Climate Change (2009), a gathering of climate change skeptics in New York from March 8th-10th. "

(remember that ICCC is funded by the Heartland Institute).

McKitrick:

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ross_McKitrick [sourcewatch.org]

"Ross McKitrick is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and, since October 2002, has been a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Vancouver, British Columbia"

"For example in late 1999 defended the Fraser Institute when it criticised proposals for an Endangered Species Act in Canada. "

All on the oil-based gravy train!

Re:Indeed they do! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835249)

I don't give a shit who funds them. If you dismiss them without addressing their theories/data, then you are an arrogant prick who doesn't give a shit about the science.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834853)

Actually, the dramatic changes in the northern latitudes compared to the southern ones is likely due to locally produced aerosols. Black carbon particulate from coal and oil absorb solar radiation. It's a good example of how we shouldn't only focus on carbon dioxide when thinking about climate changes, and that not everything we experience is because of a 'global' effect. Here's a writeup of the study. [nasa.gov]

I have to agree (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 years ago | (#28834917)

It is always a real red flag when data is withheld. The core of science is that "ideas are tested by experiment." Ok well that means that, for science to work, others have to be able to check your work. You have an idea and say "Here's my idea and here's my support." Ok well your support needs to include ALL your data, your methods and so on. Why? So that others can check your work. Only then, after they've repeated and independently verified your results, can we start to feel confident your idea might be correct. To me, hiding data says one of three things is going on:

1) You are dealing with something commercial, that is being held secret so you can market it. Ok well that shouldn't be the case here.

2) The data in fact does NOT support your conclusion, however you don't want to admit you are wrong and thus are trying to suppress it. Perhaps you are worried you'll lose grants.

3) You suck at the science. You think that science is a process where you, the scientist make a claim and the rest of the world just has to listen to you.

4) You are a charlatan, a con man, and you are trying to convince people of something that isn't real, you are trying to sell them snake oil as it were.

I just can't see any legit reason in a pure scientific study why all the data wouldn't be made available for all to see. That it isn't really sets off warning bells in my head. I've read papers like this in the behavioral sciences and always what I see happening is that their experiment was basically a bust, it falsified their hypothesis, or simply produced inconsistent results. However they don't want to admit it, so they find a way to tweak the numbers and then refuse to release full methodology and results.

So this worries me. If climate change is truly a threat to humans, then it should be in the interests of everyone that all the data is made available, unedited, unhindered, so that the theories can be checked and rechecked. Science should be allowed to proceed with as little barriers as possible so that it can proceed as rapidly as possible because the matter is of such importance.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (4, Insightful)

zoney_ie (740061) | about 5 years ago | (#28834937)

What you describe as real is climate change on a short timescale - such fluctuations aren't extraordinary and the claims of "climate change" are for the most part suggesting a mostly permanent change in climate, brought about by man-made influence.

Even the changes you describe are hard to judge and have varied greatly just year to year - here in Ireland this year everything (plants/animals) was more a stereotypical Spring/Summer - albeit extra plant growth, insects and birds because the sun/rain in Spring were in just the right order for optimal conditions (one particular week of heavy rain, one particular week of strong sunshine, and a lot of other "nice" conditions besides).

I'm a skeptic in the true sense - I'm skeptical about the climate change hysteria, but not convinced either that there is no merit in the "man-made permanent climate change" argument, and certainly I think it's a good idea to cut back on pollution (although the exclusive focus on carbon/CO2 may need more justification). I don't think we have enough to go on either way and some policies seem very knee jerk and may be counter productive. Plus most policies that are happening as opposed to mere proposals are often due to other interests (ways to make money from it, keep certain section of voters happy, skew competition, raise tax, etc.)

Here in Ireland there is as much talk as anywhere else about carbon taxes etc. yet there is still next to no enforcement of building standards for example to ensure new houses are properly insulated, pathetic planning that nevermind about transport emissions - makes equal (or even poor) delivery of services across the country very expensive. Too sparse population in rural areas for all kinds of services never mind private car use problems - too unplanned and fast-increasing population in the capital for services needed for such an amount of people - traffic problems and not enough money for public transport due to cost of supporting rural area. Our poor planning also means developers are allowed to put up crummy buildings that last as little as 10 years before being redeveloped - regardless of climate change or CO2 or anything else it's obvious that such things are grossly wasteful.

All in all, I'd like to see common-sense policies while we continue to research the "big picture" rather than random ideologically-driven hypotheses being put into action where politically convenient.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (1)

jlehtira (655619) | about 5 years ago | (#28834971)

This is the first time I've seriously begun to question whether or not the global warming studies are in fact legitimate. If they won't allow free access to the data, so others can verify results or run it through alternative (or more refined) climate models, then the very obvious question becomes "why?"

One thing that comes to mind: McIntyre seems to have been asking for raw data. Now raw measurement data, especially if it's combined from a variety of sources, might be pencilled in notebooks, photographs of meter readings, or automatically saved files in several weird formats. That aside, measurements can also come from different devices that act in different ways, and to allow comparison, several corrections may be done and erroneous data points may be removed. HadSST2 seems to be a result of such work, to produce a data set that is consistent over a period of 150 years.

To suggest that any one scientist could make sense of 150 years worth of very diverse raw measurement data seems to me utterly implausible. If this data could be given to someone, he'd be unlikely to arrive at the right results - rather, failing to know the difference between different kinds of equipment would more than likely cause him to be mislead, not even mentioning the endless possibilities for cherry-picking.

Just use the end result, the HadSST2 data set. That's what climate scientists use anyway, not raw data.

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835045)

"To suggest that any one scientist could make sense of 150 years worth of very diverse raw measurement data seems to me utterly implausible."

So you don't believe that the HadSST2 data set is reliable? It is, after all, primarily the work of one Dr. Phil Jones. That he could make sense of 150 years worth of very diverse raw measurement data seems to me utterly implausible.

"Just use the end result, the HadSST2 data set." In other words, trust me?

Re:This sort of thing would make anyone suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835051)

If you want to learn the facts about the Global Warming myth, read the book Red Hot Lies. Bottom line ... Global Warming and Global Cooling is not caused by CO2. It is caused by the sun.

Re:100% worthless (2, Insightful)

Hammer (14284) | about 5 years ago | (#28834663)

Why does this give this scary conspiracy nut feeling??
Just the URL-s of the sources (one even broken) screams tin-foil hat and blackened windows :-)

What are they trying to hide? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834509)

Obviously the reasons they've given aren't the real reasons why they'd rather have the data suppressed. I suspect that it would wreck their human-caused global warming agenda.

Re:What are they trying to hide? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28834535)

This brings back a controversy from almost pre-internet times. The UK Government had a database of something which may have become damaging in the long term. It might have been data on cancer cases near nuclear power plants, or something along those lines. The Government announced that the database would be deleted because it was too expensive to store. It might have been a hundred meg or so. People were offering the relevant government agency free DAT tapes so save the life of the data. Of course, storage was never the issue.

Re:What are they trying to hide? (2, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 5 years ago | (#28834549)

That, or someone mixed up various censorship blacklists with the data,

Science? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834521)

We don't believe in it here at the Met Office.

Confidentiality and openness aside, so what? (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#28834531)

There are lots of data sources which are perfectly reasonable to use. NOAA's data being probably the best and most comprehensive.

Yes, the UK is turning into a strange parody of itself with its attempts to close the government to the public on the one hand and monitor citizens very closely on the other. But it's not the only game in town. Despite my own country's recent 8 year slump towards the same type of fascist state as Britain, the US scientific community is still one of the best and most open in the world.

So come and get your data from us, ya'll.

'course the problem for denialists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834581)

is that if this data doesn't show proof that the officially released data is wrong, the denialists will have to figure out another problem.

Since they quite happily ignore NOAA data showing the same thing, this will not be a big problem.

But at least it will shut up one ignorant rant.

Re:Confidentiality and openness aside, so what? (3, Insightful)

wild_quinine (998562) | about 5 years ago | (#28834673)

Yes, the UK is turning into a strange parody of itself with its attempts to close the government to the public on the one hand and monitor citizens very closely on the other. But it's not the only game in town. Despite my own country's recent 8 year slump towards the same type of fascist state as Britain, the US scientific community is still one of the best and most open in the world.

The UK's decline is recent, too. We used to watch the news and laugh at the social conservatism, outrageous media hyperbole and occasional fascist policy of the US. Now we're worse, much worse, and it invades every part of our lives.

Hell, the BBC now cut shows that air, uncut, on HBO. What they did to 'Rome' was a crime. The idea that US tv would one day be more free to explore the dark side of life than the UK never even occurred to me.

Since this attitude of fear so closely follows the desperate, terrified, nannying of the Labour government I am begging and praying that things turn around again when they're out on their ear.

Re:Confidentiality and openness aside, so what? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 5 years ago | (#28834801)

I have to admit, as a brit, I used to love my country, I had a genuine pride in being British. No longer though.

I'm ashamed at people who pump out kids they don't care for just to get themselves a council house and benefits. There's an entire generation of 'ME ME ME' kids being brought up and I'm going to have to work with them or manage them.

Our DNA database is completely shocking and a disgrace, as are the draconian laws regarding pornography and other restrictions of free speech.

I used to think it unimaginable that I could move overseas. However now, if I was offered a job in the US for decent money, I'd seriously consider taking it.

I'm ashamed of an increasing section of the British population and I'm ashamed by our government.

Re:Confidentiality and openness aside, so what? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835177)

Despite my own country's recent 8 year slump towards the same type of fascist state as Britain

Wow, cheap shot.

By "facist" are you refering to this? (to quote Wikipedia):

In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a "Third Way" in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism. This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Mussolini called his nation's system "the corporate state").

Why...that sounds a whole lot more like "Cap and Trade" then anything Bush ever did.

How hard is it to see that the threat of Global Warming, be it real or not, is being used as an excuse by governments worldwide to grab more power and money and restrict more and more civil rights.

Obviously a conspiracy!!! (4, Funny)

rohan972 (880586) | about 5 years ago | (#28834539)

Radical deniers have destroyed the evidence of global climate change!!! Will the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy stop at nothing?

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (1)

Steve Franklin (142698) | about 5 years ago | (#28834601)

You may want to take a look at Charles Hapgood's Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. The evidence from ancient maps, transmitted via the Library of Alexandria, is fairly convincing that Antarctica was ice free as late as 4000 BC. So the question is, if it happened before, can it be all that serious? Clearly penguins didn't evolve in the last 6000 years.

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28834611)

Hard to see how anybody could have mapped Antarctica 6000 years ago.

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834743)

It was in the Ark, stupid. The only tablet Indy got off the submarine before they dived. It is in the unreleased footage.

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (1)

rhook (943951) | about 5 years ago | (#28834779)

http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/378/16465_.html [pravda.ru] "About twenty years later the head of the Istanbul National Museum Halil Edhem found an old map while revising the library of Byzantine emperors in the old sultans palace. The author of the map depicted the Western coast of Africa, the Southern coast of South America and the Northern coast of Antarctica. Halil was astonished. The ice edge of the Queen Maud Land south of 70th parallel was free of ice. The author mapped a mountain chain at this point. The name of the cartographer was well known to Edhem. It was the admiral of Ottoman Empire Fleet Piri Reis, who lived in the first half of the 16th century." "Piri Reis himself explained on the margins of the map that the map was based on a lot of previous sources, some of which belonged to his contemporaries, while others could be dated with as early as the 4th century B.C. One of the sources, for instance, belonged to Alexander the Great. Thus Reis could not be made responsible for the data presented on the map."

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28834949)

Yeah I have read about the Hapgood maps, including one book which counts them as evidence that aliens gave prehistoric humans a ride in a polar orbiting space craft.

Your reference talks about 400BC but Steve Franklins post talks about 4000BC. Thats a big difference. For what it is worth I think Piri Reis did the surveying job in the 1600s. The story about basing the maps on older data was an attempt to hide their movements in the southern hemisphere.

I just don't believe it could have been done more than a couple of thousand years ago. The Antarctic ocean is a nasty bit of water.

As for the ice, well maybe the surveyors left it out. The Antarctic coast is free of ice in the summer anyway.

Re:Obviously a conspiracy!!! (2, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | about 5 years ago | (#28834769)

Are you serious, or is this a parody?

Gore (3, Funny)

JohnHegarty (453016) | about 5 years ago | (#28834541)

See, I tried to warn everyone about Gore's new world order , but no one would listen.

It was all oil , bush , climate change and look how you all ended up.

Dangerous parallels (0, Troll)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 5 years ago | (#28834575)

"My dog ate it" and "It's sooopper secret" for foundational IPCC data is the last refuge of scoundrels and frauds. This nonsense has been going on for 10-20 years depending on how you count the timing of AGW alarmism's full frontal assault. A 1000x bigger scam than Bernie, more dangerous than Adolf and Josef combined.

Re:Dangerous parallels (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 5 years ago | (#28834659)

Yes, and you know this because you want to. That's real science, not those bullshit studies you don't like.

Re:Dangerous parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834729)

Yes, and you know this because you want to. That's real science, not those bullshit studies you don't like.

Then release the data, AND THE SOURCE CODE FOR THE MODELS

If it is "real science", it can withstand the cleansing effects of daylight.

Right?
What are you afraid of?

Re:Dangerous parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834819)

What are you afraid of?

...asks an Anonymous Coward...

Re:Dangerous parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834913)

What are you afraid of?

...asks an Anonymous Coward...

Engage in ad hominem often, or just this once?

Re:Dangerous parallels (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 5 years ago | (#28834959)

I've actually outed bullshit studies, serious scientific error and misrepresentation where profs with Ivy and JHU PhDs lost multimillion dollar contracts for being knowingly and catastrophically wrong, even after my being lynched 30 against 1. IMO, politics in science have been getting worse every decade. The IPCC-related personnel behavior issues here are especially problematic.

Re:Dangerous parallels (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 5 years ago | (#28835107)

So? You only have to point in a direction of a so-called think tank to find PhDs knowingly and intentionally misrepresenting facts and data; I only have to point to your post to show someone being knowingly and intentionally vague in order to make a point.

Tinfoil hat time? (4, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 5 years ago | (#28834595)

This may be a very important story, but it references as evidence two websites which are used by conspiracy nuts, one of which appears to be broken - not /.ed, just broken - and no independent confirmation of the claims. Can anybody give any links to any mainstream news or science sites which are reporting this?

Re:Tinfoil hat time? (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28834619)

http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

Re:Tinfoil hat time? (1)

Hammer (14284) | about 5 years ago | (#28834687)

No no no!
Not links to tin foil hat sites :-D :-D

Re:Tinfoil hat time? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834651)

two websites which are used by conspiracy nuts

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/ [uea.ac.uk]

http://www.algore.com/ [algore.com]

Re:Tinfoil hat time? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 5 years ago | (#28834845)

I'd imagine The Register will run with it. They do well written Global warming articles. They're not so much as sceptical of the theory but report on questionable science and the worrying trend of attacking the people behind sceptical reports rather than their observations/data.

It's not broken (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 years ago | (#28834873)

It is that submitter, or Slashdot itself, linked to it through nyud.net. Apparently the site doesn't allow that. Just take that out of the URL, it works fine. The site in question is run by Steve McIntyre. While certianly not a disinterested party (then again people who are involved in something are rarely disinterested) he does have some credibility. He was one of two people who worked on the whole "hockey stick controversy" in terms of showing that the model used to generate the graph was flawed (the model generated a similar shape graph with random inputs).

Re:Tinfoil hat time? (3, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | about 5 years ago | (#28835077)

This may be a very important story, but it references as evidence two websites which are used by conspiracy nuts,

Nice try, but not good enough. CA is not a conspiracy nut website. It is a website run by a mathematician to show the follies of various "climate science" statistical analysis. It turns out, if you pay attention, that much of what passes for "science" in climate circles is nothing more than unmitigated rubbish. The latest, Steig et al, used PCA and deliberately chose the number of components that maximised the result they wanted, when no rational reason (other than this) would lead them to choose such a number. This is just one example. There are lies, damned lies and climate scientists.

Open Source Science is the path through the dark (2, Interesting)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 5 years ago | (#28834681)

Opening Science is the way forward, the path through the darkness, the endarkenment of closed source science.

If's it's paid by the public purse it must be OPEN data that anyone can see and audit.

Science is based upon the notion of being able to validate or invalidate in whole or in part the "claims" made by various "hypotheses" put forward.

When you "BELIEVE" science you're just another religion.

When you can't audit the work of scientists whose work is the basis of public policy then you and the public are being endarkened and kept excluded. But why? For what or whose agenda?

As long as the data, the methods, the algorithms, the statical analysis, the step by step procedures are kept secret the work is suspect to scientific fraud.

Have the guts to open your science to the light of day, it will in the end be better for it once it's vetted by more eyes and brains and math nuts and others poking holes in it.

ANY AND ALL CLAIMS MADE BY PEOPLE WHO KEEP THEIR SCIENCE CLOSED AND SECRET is suspect of FRAUD. What are they hiding? Are they simply embarrassed to admit that they might be wrong? That they've made mistakes? That they are afraid that others might gain an edge in the grant process and shut them out of funding?

Open Source Science is the way forward through the darkness into the light that empower verification and falsification and thus progress EITHER way!!!

This site has some excellent quotes and articles on the topic: http://www.pathstoknowledge.com./ [www.pathstoknowledge.com]

"The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact." - KURT GÖDEL

"According to Peirce's doctrine of fallibilism, the conclusions of science are always tentative. The rationality of the scientific method does not depend on the certainty of its conclusions, but on its self-corrective character: by continued application of the method science can detect and correct its own mistakes, and thus eventually lead to the discovery of truth".

A guiding principle for accepting claims of catastrophic global events, miracles, incredible healing, invisible friends, or fill in the blank is:

"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

"Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - Alfred Korzybski

"Science is a search for basic truths about the Universe, a search which develops statements that appear to describe how the Universe works, but which are subject to correction, revision, adjustment, or even outright rejection, upon the presentation of better or conflicting evidence." - James Randi

"Hypotheses are nets: only he who casts will catch." - Novalis

Re:Open Source Science is the path through the dar (5, Insightful)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 5 years ago | (#28834701)

When you "BELIEVE" science you're just another religion.

In fact, open source science is the BEST and ONLY WAY to avoid science from becoming the new religion as it has, for example, in the climate debates.

The scientific method is the tool for vetting the works of science and if the work of science is closed and secret and kept close to the scientists chests by refusals to share their data, methods, source codes, procedures, etc... then their work can't be verified and might as well be works of fiction just like those of any religious cleric or priest or nutter.

If you can't take others vetting your scientific work then maybe you don't belong in science?

Open Source Science raises the bar and will in the long run improve the quality of the science that is done. Some progress is being made, much more needs to be done.

Re:Open Source Science is the path through the dar (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 5 years ago | (#28834867)

A more in depth version of the post above: Open Source Science is the path through the dark into the new enlightenment [wordpress.com] . Yes, you feel certain that you are right about your science but lets see the actual data and the methods used by that science to prove that your certainty is justified.

You wonder why there's doubt on global warming? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834703)

Let's see, we're supposed to spend literally trillions of dollars to fix global warming, yet we can't see the raw data the hysteria is based on?

WTF!?!?!

Along the same lines, when is the source code used for the climate models going to be published and thoroughly reviewed?

If AGW is in fact true, it can withstand the scrutiny.

Re:You wonder why there's doubt on global warming? (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 5 years ago | (#28834733)

Exactly!

Re:You wonder why there's doubt on global warming? (1)

jlehtira (655619) | about 5 years ago | (#28835163)

Let's see, we're supposed to spend literally trillions of dollars to fix global warming, yet we can't see the raw data the hysteria is based on?

The raw data would not be of any use to you. You could not make any sense of it, nor is it stored anywhere as a whole. You would want the thoroughly checked, fixed and quality controlled collection of data, and that, incidentally, is available. It's also the basis for climate models, not some raw data penciled in a notebook.

You can download and view source code at http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/ [ucar.edu] , for example. I doubt that's useful for you either. But seriously, try to search for stuff and read for yourself first. There's a lot of documentation online, really.

The Cost of Data (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834833)

Gathering accurate, consistent temperature data is costly. Governments and private enterprises spend **real** money to gather climate data. Often, governments enter into contracts to gain access to that data under condition that it won't be publicly released.

This is happening today in Alaska for North Slope climate data. Any systems that come up are required to limit access to the data based on whether they have a paid contract to view it or not.

No current contract? No viewy. Just like a newspaper charging for access to news.

Re:The Cost of Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28834919)

Sorry. If AGW is really that important that we need to restrict people's rights, be it transportation, domiciles, what-have-you, you really need to release all climate data. If it's soooo important to confiscate the population's possessions, stomping on a few contractors' rights shouldn't be that big of a deal....

Some facts are being ignored (5, Informative)

berbmit (1150557) | about 5 years ago | (#28834851)

What's missing here are some additional context facts; recognizing that the data are not UK data per se. Data from many countries has been collected and collated at the CRU (Univ. of East Anglia) and which feeds into some of the UK Met Office work. Some of this data were collected under the arrangement that the source data were not to be made public because of commercial or other interests. Outside of the USA this is quite common -- that national meteorological services (tasked with maintaining a national observing system and archive) treat their data as a commercial product -- and so they will not release it to just anyone. The fact that I and others think this is wrong and inhibits science is not the issue, the reality is that many countries are not willing to freely release their data. So the CRU and Met Office are between the rock and a hard place; publicize the data and risk ruining their relationships with the data sources, or hold onto the data so that they can keep the data stream flowing and be able to produce the valuable derivative products.

Some nice data for you (2, Interesting)

yes it is (1137335) | about 5 years ago | (#28834963)

Here [github.com] is my nice chewy data on climate and temperature stuff that I'll add to, with analysis as time allows and people find data for me.

My conclusion so far: it's very unlikely not to be co2 responsible for most of the warming we've observed since the 70s, it's likely to get much worse, and there don't seem to be any viable alternative explanations.

Re:Some nice data for you (1)

Budenny (888916) | about 5 years ago | (#28835009)

Could be. So why will they not produce the data and the code that would prove it decisively to all the skeptics? You could be right, but what needs explanation is why is it in their interests to conceal what would convince everyone of what they say?

Concealment of decisive evidence (5, Interesting)

Budenny (888916) | about 5 years ago | (#28834991)

The thing I cannot understand is this. We have a bunch of scientists, lots of them. Starting with Michael Mann in front of Wegman, but including Jones, Thompson, lots of really well known and respected people. They have all done work which supposedly proves that the human race on Earth is facing catastrophe. They supposedly have decisive evidence for this, in the form of data and code.

We then have a lot of sceptics who allege that the data does not exist, is not as described, and the code used to process it does not do what it is said to do, and that there is no such threat as described, or at leas that there is no evidence for one.

You would expect the scientists to immediately produce their evidence and their code and to silence debate once and for all. It would be so simple, it would just be end of story, and now lets focus on what to do about it all. But they do not. Instead they refuse to reveal anything. Jones, for instance, refused to even reveal the names of the stations in China on which his study was based. Mann would not reveal the algorithm which generated the hockey stick to a Congressional Committee. Thompson is silent. Yet supposedly this secret evidence proves decisively, contrary to the claims of sceptics, that the future of the human race is under severe and imminent threat?

It makes absolutely no sense. They never give any reasons for refusing that make any sense either. Sometimes it is commercial considerations. What commercial considerations can there be that outweigh the possible extinction of humanity? Sometimes it is, as Jones once is reported to have said, that they do not want people trying to poke holes in it. WTF??? Sometimes, as with Thompson's ice core data, there is just silence.

It is very hard to believe that this wonderful evidence really exists, and really is as represented. Or maybe it is, and they really do not want to convince everyone of the threat? I don't know, but the story as told makes absolutely no sense. Something is not right here.

Re:Concealment of decisive evidence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28835111)

The "bunch of scientists" you should be paying attention to aren't the half-dozen public figures engaging the quacks, but the ten thousand quietly publishing the research which led to the concensus in the first place. The handful of public scientists who can't whip out smoking-gun data like characters in a Roland Emmerich movie aren't the people who hold the actual science.

Absence of Evidence is Evidence of Absence (0, Troll)

Kim0 (106623) | about 5 years ago | (#28835043)

Lack of free climate data was in itself evidence that there was something wrong with the global warming theories.
Lack of records, source, and IPCC records are of course also evidence of something deceitful.

And for those of you that do not believe that absence of evidence is evidence of absence:
it has been proven mathematically to be true:

http://kim.oyhus.no/AbsenceOfEvidence.html [oyhus.no]

Kim0

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