Sunday, 6 December 2009

Rex Murphy on Climategate

Rex Murphy is about the only one at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation who's worth anything.

Note Peter Mannsbridge's dismissive smirk at the end of Murphy's excellent summary of Climategate.

HT: Financial Post.


  1. Seriously? What part of that was excellent? It is yet another useless polemic. "The science is settled"? Well some of it is - Roy Spencer, John Christy, Richard Lindzen all agree that the earth is warming and its mostly down to anthro CO2. Of course scientists disagree - thats how it works, but their areas of disagreement are much narrower than what gets discussed by the media and assorted pundit laymen. Science is in bed with advocacy? Not so much, scientists are advocates on both sides of the issue but they don't wear the advocate hat when writing and reviewing peer-reviewed literature, and if they do its quickly discovered. Climate gate should not tarnish literally thousands apon thousands of peer-reviewed articles in dozens of fields. It should cause scientists to reflect on the way the operate no doubt, but their is nothing in the emails that impacts or invalidates the scientific literature.

  2. Cam, your reaction was basically what mine was, until I looked at the files rather than at the emails, and until I saw the rest of the climate scientists mostly ignoring the rather egregious practice at Hadley instead of distancing themselves from Hadley.

    "and if they do its quickly discovered" quickly when folks would sooner destroy their data than hand it over to somebody else under a FOIA request?

  3. Oh, and here's Richard Lindzen:
    "The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn't reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

    Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false."

  4. Hi Eric,

    I agree that these Jones et al were behaving badly, and climate scientists should face up to this not retreat to their ivory towers. I believe some are distancing rather than defending, but I don't expect many will opt for a circle the wagons approach that will be counter productive. However, the climate reconstructions, and the hadley model are not invalidated by the actions of Jones et al, furthermore they a small part of the overall case for AGW, not to mention ocean acidification.

    As far as Lindzen goes, when he writes for the WSJ he is also wearing the advocate hat, I and I'm sure many climate scientists would dispute that the argument for AGW based solely on the models and the missing forcing is a "weak" one. however it is not the only argument, furthermore models can reproduce long periods of flat temperatures in forecasts, if not full internal variability. Even when he says "absence of warming" for the past "dozen" years he is being disingenuous, dozen sounds casual but it is carefully chosen to coincide with the 1998 El Nino so as not to make the statement completely false. Models have not done badly over this period. His article is filled with such dubiousness, it is an article for the masses, barely about the science and certainly not for scientists...stick with the peer-reviewed stuff. Not perfect but the best we've got...

  5. @Cam: you'd cited Lindzen as part of the consensus; really looks rather like he's not a fan of the consensus.

    I'll look forward to the results of the investigation into Hadley...