Have You Checked the Couch Cushions?

Patrick Michaels describes some of the long history of the Hadley Center and specifically Phil Jones’ resistance to third party verification of their global temperature data.  First he simply refused to share the data

We have 25 years or so 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?

(that’s some scientist, huh) and then he said he couldn’t share the data and now he says he’s lost the data.

Michaels gives pretty good context to the issues of station siting, but there are many other issues that are perfectly valid reasons for third parties to review the Hadley Center’s methodology.  A lot of choices have to be made in patching data holes and in giving weights to different stations and attempting to correct for station biases.  Transparency is needed for all of these methodologies and decisions.  What Jones is worried about is whenever the broader community (and particularly McIntyre and his community on his web site) have a go at such methodologies, they have always found gaping holes and biases.  Since the Hadley data is the bedrock on which rests almost everything done by the IPCC, the costs of it being found wrong are very high.

Here is an example post from the past on station siting and measurement quality.  Here is a post for this same station on correction and aggregation of station data, and problems therein.

  • It always surprises me how petty scientists seem to be about sharing important data. With all the public money that we are investing in global warming research data should be readily available and reliable. Perhaps we would be better off giving the task of tracking global temperatures to kids working on energy science fair projects.

  • hunter

    Hiding data = fraud. Period.

  • ADiff

    Data which cannot be made available for peer review must be considered not to exist.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy

    In my field (particle physics) it is considered reasonable to hold you data close until after you’ve published (i.e. it’s my data, I am going to get the fist paper on it). But eventually, it has to come out.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy, the group in question has already published the papers of their work, so priority isn’t an issue here. In fact, in any case several other groups have as much claim to “priority” in so far as they published earlier analyses before the most recent one from the group in question.

  • Alan D. McIntire

    Since Phil Jones was unable to produce the temperature data, I regarded his paper as something worthy of being published in “The Journal of Irreproducible Results”.


  • peterNaCl

    Data which cannot be produced does not exist.

    [did it EVER actually exist, except in someone’s pre-planned conclusion..?]

  • GAZ1

    hardly surprising that they won’t share their data given what is being presently uncovered at Climate Audit-