WTF? Is this Really What They Do?

From the Times Online:

In fact, the Met [UK meteorology office] still asserts we are in the midst of an unusually warm winter — as one of its staffers sniffily protested in an internet posting to a newspaper last week: “This will be the warmest winter in living memory, the data has already been recorded. For your information, we take the highest 15 readings between November and March and then produce an average. As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

Look, I think some of these guys’ process is nuts, but this is too crazy to believe.  Any other background on tis?

  • backscatter

    Doesn’t winter begin around December 21st? Rather convenient for them to lump November in as a Winter month. Gee, why not August?

  • Metro Gnome

    It’s hard for me to understand what an average computed in this way might represent, other than the average of the 15 warmest days. But what would that mean? And if they think an “average” has some sort of significance, don’t they have sufficient computing power to consider more than just the 15 highest readings? Surely degree-days measured on an absolute temperature scale would be a more meaningful representation of the location of the temperature distribution? It wouldn’t seem that hard to compute that.

  • Michael

    I read that article this morning too. It’s nice to see the country’s papers feel secure enough to print stories that it is cold and the country is running out of natural gas supplies.

    The guys at the MET, CRU, and the UK IPCC team at a tight bunch going back to around 1990 so it’s not surprising that the 2010 record has been written.

  • Michael
  • Bob Hawkins

    “As November was a very seasonally warm month, then all the data will come from those readings.”

    They use the “Monty Python Cheese Shop Metric.” Well, it seems to be entirely free of winter data.

  • Kevin B

    The seasons are defined as three month periods and winter is December 1st to February 28/29th so it is unlikely that this was anything but a spoof.

    Having said that, I still wouldn’t put it past the Met Office to downplay the severity of this winter by fiddling the figures, but they certainly wouldn’t be this crass.

  • TheLastMan

    Whoever was spoken to at the Met office had no idea what they were talking about. This is their latest report on the winter.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/seasonal/2009/winter/

    It states on the page that Winter is classifed by the Met office as December to February (just like everywhere else!). Already they are putting the odds on a colder winter at 45% compared to 25% for milder. That only takes into account December. They will redo their appraisal of the season after January’s figures are in and a final report after February.

    I have lots of issues over the politics of the Met office, but they are at heart a scrupulously scientific organisation and they would not do anything as stupid as to take the warmest days and average them. Sounds like a statement given by a grumpy telephonist rather than a scientist.

  • Lenty

    They didn’t speak to anyone. It’s a random comment that someone left on a newspaper internet blog by someone claiming to be from the met office. Whether it was designed as irony or to despoil the met office’s reputation it’s quite clearly not true.

  • hunter

    What a gullible twat you are. What you could do, if you had a brain cell, would be to presume this unattributed, unreferenced quote from an unnamed source was simply the invention of a desperate denier. However, if you only had half a brain cell, you might be taken in for a moment. Then, you could just look at the many, many publications which tell you how they actually do things. For example, here, it says “seasonal values are calculated from the monthly data by averaging the three monthly values”.

    But you’ve got no brain cells at all, so you write a note on the internet to say that you don’t understand, you don’t want to understand, and that you’re too lazy and too stupid to understand even if the answer is trivial to find. You disgust me with your inability to think and constant desire to show off how stupid you are in public.

  • Jim

    The truly sad thing is that the incompetence of the Hockey Team has conditioned people to believe that something like this might actually happen. I mean, look at Mann’s Hockey Stick! Crap like that gets published. Mann’s code cherry picked proxy data to fit the instrumental record, so who’s to say the Met Office doesn’t systematically cherry pick their temp readings?

  • ADiff

    Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?

    Talk about Orwellian! This seems exactly like the treatment of ‘fact’ in the darkest Stalinist days of the former Soviet Union!

    Amazing!!!

  • kuhnkat

    TheLastMan,

    They still are forecasting a 55% chance of normal or warmer!! Do YOU believe they will be sunbathing in Thongs in Scotland in February?? That is what it would take to balance the weather already experienced!!

    They need to purchase expertise from Piers Corbyn and Company who DO forecast over 6 months ahead with an alledged 85% right!! Only the people who pay them big bucks for their forecasts know for sure!! ;>)

    http://weatheraction.com/

  • D. Ch.

    Doesn’t winter begin on the winter solstice (Dec 21 plus or minus a day) and end on the spring equinox (March 21 plus or minus a day)? Why are people talking as though winter lasts all December and ends in Feb.?

  • dearieme

    “Doesn’t winter begin on the winter solstice (Dec 21 plus or minus a day) and end on the spring equinox (March 21 plus or minus a day)?” No.

  • AWM

    TheLastMan

    Whilst I agree that the November is winter statement looks like a spoof, I think you are being somewhat optimistic about the ‘scrupulously scientific organisation’ statement.

    There are already mutterings of legal action against the Met. Office from parties affected by relying on their long range weather forecasts, due to the disruption caused by the lack of preparedness for the bad weather we are presently experiencing in the UK. Politically, they have been in the Warmest camp for many years, and so of course the models they have for long range forecasting are in lockstep with those beloved by the IPCC. Other forecasters (notably Accuweather in the US) forecasted the present UK weather quite accurately but of course, it doesn’t fit the politics does it, so we are condemned to continuing long range forecasts of ‘Barbecue’ Summers and mild winters which then never happen but have to be forecast as such because that is how the model has been constructed to forecast.

  • Bob Sykes

    Well, almost all dictionaries and encyclopedias use the equinoxes and solstices to define the beginning and end of the seasons. So, the correct answer is “yes.”

    However, some agencies might prefer other limits for various reasons, including data recording convenience, compatibility among data bases, etc. For example, the USGS defines a “water year” to be Oct 1 through Sept 30. This is a convenient basis for water supply reservoirs in the eastern US, as it puts in wet period at the beginning of the year and the drought at the end.

    What Met does, I do not know.

  • hunter (the sane one)

    hunter the twit,
    Trolls are as trolls do.
    Our host posted this as a question.
    Here you get some free time at the clinic, and you waste it again.

  • holly

    I think it’s pretty obvious that this was not a genuine post from a Met Office employee. They classify winter as Dec, Jan, Feb so obviously wouldn’t care about what happened in November, and as for taking averages of the 15 highest temps -that is clearly nonsense.

    It’s a shame that Dominic Lawson didn’t try and check his sources (as good journalists are supposed to do) before broadcasting this sort of tripe to the nation as fact.

  • JohnR

    The Met Office is in a sad state when this is believable rather than being immediately recognized as satire. But the Met has been defensive of its errors rather than being transparent.

  • hunter

    Perhaps a better interpretation of the alleged Met office posting is that we ahve gained an insight on how they cook their books?

  • JP

    I think the Met employee was referring to the Borreal Winter and not astronomical one. This is how the game is played:

    1)First do not limit yourself to weekly, monthly, or seasonal intervals. That way, you can mine for predtermined mins or maxes that cross over these time limits. For instance, in March 2007 NOAA published that the period Dec through Jan 2006-07 was the warmest Dec through Jan period in 120 years for the US. What they failed to mention was that the period Feb through March was one of the coldest late winters in the US since 1940 (This continued into Spring, as in the Midwest May frosts destroyed much of the fruit crop).

    2)When a cold event occurs, scour the data for any period(s) in recent weeks or months that may have been abnormally warm. Use any geographic location. For instance, as many forecasters know, if one area has an abnormally cold wet weather, usually an adjacent area will have abnormally dry hot weather. Highlight the warm areas and find any scientists who can give a blurb that it is the warm areas we should be concerned about.

    I cannot tell you how many times NOAA does this very thing. 48 states could be having the coldest Jan in 40 years. But NOAA will focus on the one state that is having a heat wave or drought. Of course, this is all weather and not climate. And one wonders why NOAA continues to obsess with seasonal variations. In several blogs I warned about this type of spin (using weather events to prove climate). The Alarmists were setting themselves up to look like fools once we began having cool summers or frigid winters. They can’t have it both ways, despite thier demands to the contrary.

  • TheLastMan

    AWM – Jan 11 6:17

    I agree with you. I was not commenting on the accuracy (or otherwise) of their long range forecasts only on their reporting of temperatures. This story is clearly a hoax and just plain bad journalism.

    I have no idea on what they base their long run forecasts, and if you read their web site it does not give a clue either. I doubt whether you could sue them for getting it wrong though, after all they could just blame God… 😉

    Their web site seems to be transforming into an outlet for global warming political propaganda. They should stick to their original brief – which is to monitor and predict the weather. If anything they should be critically monitoring the climate research not spouting the party line.

    I think it has a lot to do with their current director, Robert Napier, who previously headed the WWF. Prior to that he had a business background – from his biography:

    “Prior to WWF, Robert had a commercial career and was Chief Executive of Redland PLC from 1991 to 1997. He has served as a non-executive director of Rentokil Initial PLC and of
    United Biscuits PLC, as President of the Council of Building Materials and as Chairman of the CBI [Confederation of British Industry] Transport Policy Committee.”

    I am not sure how a background in business and environmentalism qualifies him to run what should be an objective information service like the Met Office – an agency of the Ministry of Defence. He should be first against the wall in the upcoming budget cuts!

  • steven mosher

    time stamp test

  • surely a spoof/parody or something taken out-of-context… or, maybe not.

  • hunter

    “Our host posted this as a question”

    Yeah, because he’s stupid enough to believe a journalist with an imagination, but too stupid to work out where to find the answer. And it seems you’re too stupid to understand the answer, even when it’s spoonfed to you. Thick cunt.

  • kuhnkat

    If you search the CRU e-mails you will find one where they talk about releasing temps before they are actually compiled. The purpose was to get a particular alarming point into the public a couple of months before the real temps are released.

    They were released with the warning that they were PROVISIONAL!!

    Of course, after all the press releases and strutting no one noticed how much lower the real temps were when they were finally released a couple of months later!!

    The apologists then claim that the CRU NEVER SAID THAT!!! Only those silly press types and delusional Deniers said they did!!

  • kuhnkat

    Here is that e-mail series I was arm waving about:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=18&filename=.txt

  • Mark

    If the paragraph is stated correctly, then in most years all the winter temp data is from Novemeber – with maybe a few days from March, if temps warm early in March for some reason or other.

    Basically skips data from DEC, JAN, FEB all together.

    Wouldn’t they also want to take the 15 coldest days too for average?

  • hunter (the sane one)

    hunter(the disgusting one),
    Nurse Ratchet is coming. Med time for you, so run away!
    Since the UK Met has gone political in its reporting, and is associated with other corrupt climate science organs, like CRU, it is not unreasonable to question what they are actually doing, vs. what they say they are doing.
    And your anatomically impossible description of me reveals so much of you.
    Quick, hide under the desk!

  • Cloneof

    Actually, talking from the finnish perspective as well, the cold hitted the Southern Finland around the end of the December, November was a mediocre month in that aspect.

  • hunter

    “it is not unreasonable to question what they are actually doing, vs. what they say they are doing.”

    So check the numbers, you dopy piece of shit. Takes five minutes – saves you embarrassing yourself in public. The problem, in your case, is that you’re too scientifically and mathematically inept to understand the numbers, let alone process them, so you just bleat noisily instead.

    It’s not just science that you’re inept at. Looks like you can’t read either. The character was called Ratched. Is it some kind of perverted pleasure, for you, to expose your ignorance in all fields to the world, repeatedly? Guess you like being humiliated or something.

  • baxman

    kuhnkat:
    “Here is that e-mail series I was arm waving about:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=18&filename=.txt

    I dunno, that seems pretty much completely devoid of any sort of conspiracy to me. It basically says “Let’s give them an early prediction and TELL THEM THAT IT IS JUST A PREDICTION”. Where’s the supposed conspiracy and nefarious intent?

  • kuhnkat

    baxman,

    thanks for ignoring that they were KNOWINGLY misleading the public as to the temps in a way they KNEW was incorrect. Also, thank you for offering them the excuse of a PREDICTION. You must be an RC level apologist to get that word out of that e-mail exchange!!

  • hunter

    hunter(the ignorant one),
    The point is, as far as the AGW scamis concerned, that there is not really any reason to trust many of the numbers at all at this time.
    The point regarding public humiliation is that of course anyone reading these threads know that you are the epitome of public self-humiliation.
    In fact, Nurse Ratchet has some quotes that describe you and your fallacies so well, you may have personally inspired them:

    http://nurseratchet.blogspot.com/2009/03/quotable-quotes.html

    hunter/scientist/troll,
    You behave as if you were in a butter spreading contest with no butter knife, and no ability to tell the difference between butter and poop.

  • baxman

    kuhnkat,
    Are you saying the evidence of knowingly misleading the public is in that email? Or are you bringing that to your analysis of the email from somewhere else? Because I don’t see it in that email.

    About saying it’s a prediction…
    The email clearly reads that the proposed plan is to
    “explain that data is provisional and how the data has been created so early (ie the estimate for Dec)”
    Provisional means not final. They are talking about calculating a final number using an estimate for Dec, because they don’t have the actual data yet.
    In other words they’re talking about making a prediction. There’s just nothing nefarious going here as far as I can tell.

  • hunter

    baxman,
    It is not just that they were playing games with the numbers, releasing press announcements and them making sure the results matched.
    It is the hiding, and destroying, and evasion, and contrived code, and defaming and etc. that paints the damning picture.
    If the press manipulation in the e-mails you are trying to assert says nothing were the only pixel then you would be reasonable in your stand.
    But it is just one of many pixels, and none of those pixels paint a picture different from one that looks like a corrupt practice.
    And people do not use corruption to hide success. They use corruption to hide failure.

  • Waldo

    I could not find this quote on the MET website, only other blog posts or decidedly conservative online rags. Has anyone here done any homework to see if the MET actually made this comment?

  • hunter

    The question is not if this is official Met policy. The question is if this is yet another example of cherry picking by AGW promoters?

  • baxman

    hunter,
    “It is not just that they were playing games with the numbers, releasing press announcements and them making sure the results matched.”

    But that email doesn’t *say* they’re going to “make sure the results matched”. It says they will use the actual data when it is available. Again, maybe you know some information that I don’t know which shows they didn’t in fact do what this email proposes, but failing that, there’s just nothing incriminating in that email.

    “If the press manipulation in the e-mails you are trying to assert says nothing were the only pixel then you would be reasonable in your stand. But it is just one of many pixels, and none of those pixels paint a picture different from one that looks like a corrupt practice.”

    Hmm, to me it looks like you and kuhnkat are really stretching to find something incriminating in that email when it’s just not there. To me that looks like a “pixel” in a bigger picture of an irrational conspiracy theory against AGW proponents. I’m trying to be neutral here, but you guys aren’t making it easy.

  • baxman

    Ok, I’ve done some searching around, it seems most people who point to this email as a smoking gun are latching on to this part of it:

    “Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures, with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc? I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year….”

    Particularly the words “inventing” and “cunning”. Is that the part that you guys are looking at mostly?

    So why was “inventing” in quotes? If he was literally talking about having “invented” the temperatures for 1995 then there would be no reason to put the word in quotes. It looks to me like he may be referring to accusations made by others that they invented the numbers, probably because they didn’t make it clear enough they were releasing forecasts. So part of the strategy for 1996, he’s saying, should be to make it clearer that they are just predictions based on the data they have, to forestall such accusations this time around. The phrase “all the fun” seems pretty clearly a sarcastic remark. It seems they got a lot of flak for their work in 1995 (like accusations of “inventing” numbers). So he means it wasn’t fun at all in 1995, hence a plan to avoid that in 1996. If you go for a literal interpretation of “all the fun” it makes much less sense. Releasing data simply isn’t all that fun.

    As for cunning, just sounds to me like he’s suggesting they be smarter about it this time around (particularly if you read the proposed plan that follows, which involves nothing that I would classify as trickery). Note particularly the emphasis about not responding to inquiries until the real data is available. Seems clear they’re worried about getting inundated with inquiries (presumably because that’s what happened in 1995 when they released their preliminary estimates).

    Is this the most damning evidence anyone has been able to find in that pile of emails? If so then it seems a pretty weak case. I heard about the “Nature trick” email too. Also not very convincing. I sometimes refer to mathematical techniques I use in my work as “tricks”, because it’s amazing how effective they can be, but that doesn’t mean they are lies. Look up “the kernel trick”, for instance. Wikipedia’s page is a good start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel_trick

  • Waldo

    Oh little hunter: “The question is not if this is official Met policy. The question is if this is yet another example of cherry picking by AGW promoters?”

    You miss the point. Holly and several others pointed this out earlier in the thread. Did this actually come from someone in the MET office? Or is this a little bit of creative writing that the credulous people here buy becuase they, like Pat Robertson, want so badly to believe in a particular religion barring all reason?

  • hunter

    Waldo,
    Gosh willickers, your trollishness is just dripping out for all to see.
    I am glad you are here to remind us that Pat Robertson is a climate skeptic.
    And next you will tell us that global warming is caused by ‘Big tobacoo’.
    Are you at least fooling yourself into thinking you are clever?

  • hunter

    baxman,
    How many e-mails get written by defenders of the cliamtegate team rationalizing how many actions and words before the message sinks throug that these guys are up to no good?
    I am not taling about true beleivers posing as rational thinkers like ‘waldo’. I am talking about reasonable people who are actually willing to apply normal thiking skills to this.
    Why is so much rationalization required, if these guys are up to nothing but good?
    Where are the e-mails where they are sayins ‘ha! this really shows what we have been theorizing.’
    Instead it is all about ‘hiding’ ‘destroying’ ‘changing the rules’ etc. etc. etc.
    I submit that you and the rest of those who have maintained confidence in the AGW promoters have been used badly.

  • baxman

    hunter,
    My reaction to what I have read of the East Anglia emails matches closely with what the editorial in Nature had to say about it:
    “In the end, what the UEA e-mails really show is that scientists are human beings — and that unrelenting opposition to their work can goad them to the limits of tolerance, and tempt them to act in ways that undermine scientific values.”

    “Where are the e-mails where they are sayins ‘ha! this really shows what we have been theorizing.’”

    Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think the climate skeptic blogosphere has really been looking very hard for such emails. 🙂 So lack of reports about such is hardly proof they don’t exist. Anyway, science doesn’t usually work the way you suggest. At least not in a field like climate science where they’re studying noisy complex systems. There isn’t likely to ever be *one* piece of evidence that suddenly cinches the deal. It’s usually a slow buildup of little clues that eventually guide you toward a correct understanding.

    So I didn’t find any exuberant emails like you seek, but this is probably about as exuberant as you’re likely to see a real scientist get (if a scientist tells you he’s just ‘proved global warming’ (or disproved it) with a single study, nod reassuringly and slowly back away):
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=69&filename=907258644.txt

    This one also offers some balance vs the stuff I usually see pulled from the archive:
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=552&filename=1121869083.txt
    Particularly this sentence and what follows:
    “I **ABSOLUTELY** AGREE THAT WE MUST AVOID ANY BIAS OR PERCEPTION OF
    BIAS. MY COMMENT ON “NAILING” WAS MADE TO MEAN THAT ININFORMED PEOPLE KEEPING COMING
    BACK TO THE MWP, AND DESCRIBING IT FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IT WASN’T.”

    This looks to me like a good example of how what looks incriminating in one email is often just a case of sloppy use of language. It’s a lot easier to say “I want to nail the MWP” than it is to say “I want to analyze the data carefully to reveal the true nature of the MWP, which I believe is not what a lot of uninformed people say it is”. Do you think that you would carefully hedge your statements like that in a private email to a fellow climate skeptic? I’m guessing not, because you don’t even hedge your statements here on this public forum.

    Now you may argue that if they are true scientists they should keep an open mind. Well, apparently they do. That’s why this guy goes on to say “OUR JOB IS TO MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT IT WAS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE DATA. IF THE DATA ARE NOT CLEAR, THEN WE HAVE TO BE NOT CLEAR.” So yeh, this guy has a bit of a bias — he believes his hypothesis — but the important thing is *he is aware he has it* and that he needs to be careful that it does not interfere with his analysis of the data. That’s more than I can say for the majority of skeptic commentary I have read. (BTW if you know of some good skeptic literature that does NOT fall into the trap of chronic bias I’d love to know about it. I’m looking for a book that does a really even-handed job of arguing the science without resorting to a lot of cherry picking of facts or politicization of the issue. I’m reading Singer 2007 right now, and it doesn’t score well by those criteria.)

  • baxman

    [apologies if this gets double posted, first time it wasn’t showing in my browser]
    hunter,
    My reaction to what I have read of the East Anglia emails matches closely with what the editorial in Nature had to say about it:
    “In the end, what the UEA e-mails really show is that scientists are human beings — and that unrelenting opposition to their work can goad them to the limits of tolerance, and tempt them to act in ways that undermine scientific values.”

    “Where are the e-mails where they are sayins ‘ha! this really shows what we have been theorizing.’”

    Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think the climate skeptic blogosphere has really been looking very hard for such emails. 🙂 So lack of reports about such is hardly proof they don’t exist. Anyway, science doesn’t usually work the way you suggest. At least not in a field like climate science where they’re studying noisy complex systems. There isn’t likely to ever be *one* piece of evidence that suddenly cinches the deal. It’s usually a slow buildup of little clues that eventually guide you toward a correct understanding.

    So I didn’t find any exuberant emails like you seek, but this is probably about as exuberant as you’re likely to see a real scientist get (if a scientist tells you he’s just ‘proved global warming’ (or disproved it) with a single study, nod reassuringly and slowly back away):
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=69&filename=907258644.txt

    This one also offers some balance vs the stuff I usually see pulled from the archive:
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=552&filename=1121869083.txt
    Particularly this sentence and what follows:
    “I **ABSOLUTELY** AGREE THAT WE MUST AVOID ANY BIAS OR PERCEPTION OF
    BIAS. MY COMMENT ON “NAILING” WAS MADE TO MEAN THAT ININFORMED PEOPLE KEEPING COMING
    BACK TO THE MWP, AND DESCRIBING IT FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IT WASN’T.”

    This looks to me like a good example of how what looks incriminating in one email is often just a case of sloppy use of language. It’s a lot easier to say “I want to nail the MWP” than it is to say “I want to analyze the data carefully to reveal the true nature of the MWP, which I believe is not what a lot of uninformed people say it is”. Do you think that you would carefully hedge your statements like that in a private email to a fellow climate skeptic? I’m guessing not, because you don’t even hedge your statements here on this public forum.

    Now you may argue that if they are true scientists they should keep an open mind. Well, apparently they do. That’s why this guy goes on to say “OUR JOB IS TO MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT IT WAS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE DATA. IF THE DATA ARE NOT CLEAR, THEN WE HAVE TO BE NOT CLEAR.” So yeh, this guy has a bit of a bias — he believes his hypothesis — but the important thing is *he is aware he has it* and that he needs to be careful that it does not interfere with his analysis of the data. That’s more than I can say for the majority of skeptic commentary I have read. (BTW if you know of some good skeptic literature that does NOT fall into the trap of chronic bias I’d love to know about it. I’m looking for a book that does a really even-handed job of arguing the science without resorting to a lot of cherry picking of facts or politicization of the issue. I’m reading Singer 2007 right now, and it doesn’t score well by those criteria.)

  • baxman

    hunter,
    I have a reply but I’m having trouble posting it.

  • baxman

    [one more try…]
    hunter,
    My reaction to what I have read of the East Anglia emails matches closely with what the editorial in Nature had to say about it:
    “In the end, what the UEA e-mails really show is that scientists are human beings — and that unrelenting opposition to their work can goad them to the limits of tolerance, and tempt them to act in ways that undermine scientific values.”

    “Where are the e-mails where they are sayins ‘ha! this really shows what we have been theorizing.’”

    Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think the climate skeptic blogosphere has really been looking very hard for such emails. 🙂 So lack of reports about such is hardly proof they don’t exist. Anyway, science doesn’t usually work the way you suggest. At least not in a field like climate science where they’re studying noisy complex systems. There isn’t likely to ever be *one* piece of evidence that suddenly cinches the deal. It’s usually a slow buildup of little clues that eventually guide you toward a correct understanding.

    So I didn’t find any exuberant emails like you seek, but this is probably about as exuberant as you’re likely to see a real scientist get (if a scientist tells you he’s just ‘proved global warming’ (or disproved it) with a single study, nod reassuringly and slowly back away):
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=69&filename=907258644.txt

    This one also offers some balance vs the stuff I usually see pulled from the archive:
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=552&filename=1121869083.txt
    Particularly this sentence and what follows:
    “I **ABSOLUTELY** AGREE THAT WE MUST AVOID ANY BIAS OR PERCEPTION OF
    BIAS. MY COMMENT ON “NAILING” WAS MADE TO MEAN THAT ININFORMED PEOPLE KEEPING COMING
    BACK TO THE MWP, AND DESCRIBING IT FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IT WASN’T.”

    This looks to me like a good example of how what looks incriminating in one email is often just a case of sloppy use of language. It’s a lot easier to say “I want to nail the MWP” than it is to say “I want to analyze the data carefully to reveal the true nature of the MWP, which I believe is not what a lot of uninformed people say it is”. Do you think that you would carefully hedge your statements like that in a private email to a fellow climate skeptic? I’m guessing not, because you don’t even hedge your statements here on this public forum.

    Now you may argue that if they are true scientists they should keep an open mind. Well, apparently they do. That’s why this guy goes on to say “OUR JOB IS TO MAKE IT CLEAR WHAT IT WAS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE DATA. IF THE DATA ARE NOT CLEAR, THEN WE HAVE TO BE NOT CLEAR.” So yeh, this guy has a bit of a bias — he believes his hypothesis — but the important thing is *he is aware he has it* and that he needs to be careful that it does not interfere with his analysis of the data. That’s more than I can say for the majority of skeptic commentary I have read. (BTW if you know of some good skeptic literature that does NOT fall into the trap of chronic bias I’d love to know about it. I’m looking for a book that does a really even-handed job of arguing the science without resorting to a lot of cherry picking of facts or politicization of the issue. I’m reading Singer 2007 right now, and it doesn’t score well by those criteria.)

  • baxman

    [maybe too big? let’s try it in two parts…]
    hunter,
    My reaction to what I have read of the East Anglia emails matches closely with what the editorial in Nature had to say about it:
    “In the end, what the UEA e-mails really show is that scientists are human beings — and that unrelenting opposition to their work can goad them to the limits of tolerance, and tempt them to act in ways that undermine scientific values.”

    “Where are the e-mails where they are sayins ‘ha! this really shows what we have been theorizing.’”

    Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think the climate skeptic blogosphere has really been looking very hard for such emails. 🙂 So lack of reports about such is hardly proof they don’t exist. Anyway, science doesn’t usually work the way you suggest. At least not in a field like climate science where they’re studying noisy complex systems. There isn’t likely to ever be *one* piece of evidence that suddenly cinches the deal. It’s usually a slow buildup of little clues that eventually guide you toward a correct understanding.

    So I didn’t find any exuberant emails like you seek, but this is probably about as exuberant as you’re likely to see a real scientist get (if a scientist tells you he’s just ‘proved global warming’ (or disproved it) with a single study, nod reassuringly and slowly back away):
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=69&filename=907258644.txt

    This one also offers some balance vs the stuff I usually see pulled from the archive:
    http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=552&filename=1121869083.txt
    Particularly this sentence and what follows:
    “I **ABSOLUTELY** AGREE THAT WE MUST AVOID ANY BIAS OR PERCEPTION OF
    BIAS. MY COMMENT ON “NAILING” WAS MADE TO MEAN THAT ININFORMED PEOPLE KEEPING COMING
    BACK TO THE MWP, AND DESCRIBING IT FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IT WASN’T.”

    This looks to me like a good example of how what looks incriminating in one email is often just a case of sloppy use of language. It’s a lot easier to say “I want to nail the MWP” than it is to say “I want to analyze the data carefully to reveal the true nature of the MWP, which I believe is not what a lot of uninformed people say it is”. Do you think that you would carefully hedge your statements like that in a private email to a fellow climate skeptic? I’m guessing not, because you don’t even hedge your statements here on this public forum.

  • baxman

    Hunter,
    The blog doesn’t seem to let me want to post it. (Censorship!!! — just kidding. Too long maybe?)
    Anyway, I get your point, but to me your apparent certainty about the nefarious intent of these guys says way more about you and your beliefs than the emails do about the character of the guys who wrote them.

    And either way it’s got little to do with whether their science is correct or not. I think you would agree with me that the science should be evaluated on its merits.

  • hunter

    “Has anyone here done any homework to see if the MET actually made this comment?”

    Oh, how naive. Of course they haven’t! You make the mistake of thinking that any of them might have an ounce of sense or intelligence. It would have taken them two seconds to find out what the actual situation is, if they wanted to. But their interest is in pretending it’s all a vast conspiracy – they have neither the will nor the ability to understand the truth.