Global warming ate my data

Posted: July 25, 2017 by tallbloke in Accountability, alarmism, climate, data, FOI, fraud, Incompetence, Temperature

homeworkReproducibility is a cornerstone of the scientific method. It must be possible to replicate experiments or datasets which scientific claims rest on. Especially when billions of pounds of public money financing public policy decisions stemming from those scientific claims are at stake. Here’s just one reminder of certain climate scientist’s approach to this fundamental aspect of scientific method and ethics.

We’ve lost the numbers: CRU responds to FOIA requests

The world’s source for global temperature record admits it’s lost or destroyed all the original data that would allow a third party to construct a global temperature record. The destruction (or loss) of the data comes at a convenient time for the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – permitting it to snub FoIA requests to see the data.

The CRU has refused to release the raw weather station data and its processing methods for inspection – except to hand-picked academics – for several years. Instead, it releases a processed version, in gridded form. NASA maintains its own (GISSTEMP), but the CRU Global Climate Dataset, is the most cited surface temperature record by the UN IPCC. So any errors in CRU cascade around the world, and become part of “the science”.

Professor Phil Jones, the activist-scientist who maintains the data set, has cited various reasons for refusing to release the raw data. Most famously, Jones told an Australian climate scientist in 2004:

Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. 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.

In 2007, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, CRU initially said it didn’t have to fulfil the requests because “Information accessible to applicant via other means Some information is publicly available on external websites”.

Now it’s citing confidentiality agreements with Denmark, Spain, Bahrain and our own Mystic Met Office. Others may exist, CRU says in a statement, but it might have lost them because it moved offices. Or they were made verbally, and nobody at CRU wrote them down.

As for the raw station data,

“We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

Canadian statistician and blogger Steve McIntyre, who has been asking for the data set for years, says he isn’t impressed by the excuses. McIntyre obtained raw data when it was accidentally left on an FTP server last month. Since then, CRU has battened down the hatches, and purged its FTP directories lest any more raw data escapes and falls into the wrong hands.

McIntyre says he doesn’t expect any significant surprises after analysing the raw data, but believes that reproducibility is a cornerstone of the scientific principle, and so raw data and methods should be disclosed.

  1. thefordprefect says:

    I’m not sure what you are trying to do with this post but as I recall:
    The data is still available from the meteorological offices as paper copies. CRU did not have sufficient computer storage for all the raw documents (you should know what funding is like at uk universities in the 80s). I assume keeping all the paper copies was also not feasible – it would be a pile metres high.

    There was no point in “losing the data” in the 80’s to enable falsification of records as practically no one was interested, and no one was requesting it.

    Also there WERE REAL non disclosure agreements with a number of MOs. so it would not have been wise to distribute this info to the world.
    I think that the current cru data has those that still would not remove the NDAs removed from the data now provided.

  2. JB says:

    And a second aspect of the scientific method is finding an eliminating errors in the data and the hypothesis. An understatement here, but something these bureaucratic types seem to need goading about.

  3. spetzer86 says:

    I suppose asking for the measurement methods, instrument calibration history, and maintenance records for the temperature stations would be really above and beyond?

  4. tallbloke says:

    Ford: So it’s a farce then. No replication, no science.

    I was one of the volunteers who at Steve Mac’s request sent an FOI request to UEA/CRU for the NDAs of two countries (as I recall it was Cuba and Trinidad’s I asked for). Not only did they refuse the FOIA request on illegitimate grounds, but they then illegally passed my personal info to the police who then wanted to interview me to find out if I might be the ‘hacker’ who disclosed the climategate emails.

  5. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …I think that the current cru data has those that still would not remove the NDAs removed from the data now provided….

    Don’t you think that if we are to collapse our civilisation on the say-so of this data it ought at least to be released to the general public?

  6. The Badger. says:

    Is the CRU answerable to no-one? Can anyone force them to do something they don’t want to do?

    Who pays for these clowns? What the F is the point of a NDA relating to data?

  7. oldbrew says:

    Date: 25/07/17

    Co-author, Reiner Grundmann, from the School of Sociology and Social Policy at University of Nottingham in the UK, commented: “The ‘97% consensus’ has become a popular slogan for climate campaigners, but the strategy is self-defeating. There is a danger of overreach in that numbers like the 97% consensus are implicitly extended to all areas of climate science, and used to close down debate over complex topics like extreme weather events. This approach also makes the implausible assumption that publics will follow the correct policy path once given the relevant scientific information, and that acceptance of scientific consensus is needed to support specific solutions.”
    – – –
    Bombarding people with biased propaganda doesn’t always work – who knew?

    In reality there are no climate know-it-alls.

  8. tallbloke says:

    I’ll just leave this here…

  9. JohnM says:

    The station data (as monthly mean temperatures) has been available via the CRU web site for at least 5 years. Clicking on the link near the top of will take you to and at the bottom of that page you can find links to download the station data.

  10. markstoval says:

    The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia has always been a fraud. They make data up and then will not let anyone on the outside see the raw data since that would give the con away.

    Hell people, we all know they are playing a con game. Liars all.

  11. hunter says:

    The MET has crossed into pure dogma defense and pesky things like historical records, integrity and ethics take a distant back seat.
    Defending the indefensible is fun to watch- it convinces no one, and actually raises flags in most who are not self-infected with the climate crisis meme.But the rationalizations and mental contortions are compelling to watch….like a slow motion wreck.

  12. hunter says:

    This one quote,
    “Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. 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.”
    and the completely unchanged attitudes and increased belligerence of the climate hypesters since then demonstrates that the climate fear campaign was always and still remains, a lie.
    And sadly for us skeptics, the war was lost long before climategate:
    The media was universally corrupted by 2009 that even the smoking gun and body on the floor made no difference: They shrugged- if they did not outright blame the skeptics for the whole thing.
    Yes, a few climate hypesters had a a few days or even weeks of outrage. But they were nearly all either brought back to orthodoxy or have been ostracized a la Curry or Spencer.
    When the climate social madness does finally fail, it is unlikely we will be able to point to any one thing we did to win the day.

  13. Don Keiller says:

    Ford, I was eventually successful in getting the CRU dataset (along with Professor Jonathan Jones).
    CRU took me to court to conceal other relevant info. I won.
    The Judge was scathing.
    It is all written up over at Bishop Hill.

  14. stpaulchuck says:

    Hadley CRU has been a major scam artist in the CAGW nonsense. All they can provide is the thoroughly molested “adjusted” or “averaged”, etc. numbers. We have no solid records of which numbers are ‘estimated’ by magic math and which are actual readings of instruments for instance. That alone would scientifically throw out the entire set as bogus.

  15. Owing to intellectual laziness I am cutting and pasting this from Paul Homewood’s blog:

    “I would not worry about this. Sweeping legislation usually produces the opposite result to the one intended. For example “Rent Control” in New York and London was intended to keep rents low. Price controls in Venezuela were supposed to make food affordable but instead it made farming uneconomic so there is much less food available. Price incentives in the EU created butter mountains and wine lakes.

    When governments try to manipulate markets through legislation the results are usually disastrous. Almost as dumb as this Indiana bill:

  16. oldbrew says:


    The Bureau of Meteorology has ordered a full review of temperature recording equipment and procedures after the peak weather agency was caught tampering with cold winter temperature logs in at least two locations.

    The bureau has admitted that a problem with recording very low temperatures is more widespread than Goulburn and the Snowy Mountains but rejected it has ­attempted to manipulate temperature records.

    Computer software problem perhaps 😉
    – – –
    Mainstream Media’s ‘silence of the climate scams’

    Australian scientist Jennifer Marohasy recently outed the Bureau of Meteorology for limiting the lowest temperature that an individual weather station can record. If this is accepted practice, no wonder American physicist Charles Anderson declares “it is now perfectly clear that there are no reliable worldwide temperature records”.

    It may be tempting to be paranoid but even so some of the signs are not good.

  17. tallbloke says:

    That’s scandalous. What possible justification is there for limiting the lowest temperature a station can record? I wonder what that limit is…