17 December, 2011

hadCRUT's 'dumped' data has been published for a while now

This is more-or-less cross posted from an internet message board, and originally written in July, but has obtained new relevance with a cheeky little Fox News Story.

The CRU has obtained the permission of the national meteorological services from which it used weather station data to release all of the data supplied by them, except 19 of Poland's weather stations, the met office of which specifically declined. The data is here. Trinidad and Tobago's wish that their data not be released was overruled, which could potentially harm the willingness of data sharing with British researchers in future, which would be rather a shame.

When Climategate first broke, it was accompanied by a host of false allegations and mythologies. On its back came the revelation that the CRU could not fulfil a FoIA request because they had dumped the original physical hard copy of the data they had accrued, to save space and because they did not have the various national meteorological services' permissions to release the data, which is commercially quite useful. This data consisted of less than 5% of that used in constructing HadCRUT, the rest of which was publicly available. The data in contention, therefore, could never possibly have altered the basic demonstration of global warming; the results had been replicated in a number of other temperature records, and reconstructions using solely the publicly available data demonstrated the small impact this small amount of data released via non-disclosure agreements had on the results.

Phil Jones, head of the CRU, the gentleman at the heart of the completely fictionalised storm, and in tandem with the UK Met Office, had long been attempting to garner the permission of the myriad national met services in releasing the data, before Climategate was even a glimmer in the eyes of the denialists. Once that permission had been obtained by their diligent work -- for all but a handful of the stations in one of the nations involved -- that data was published. And of course it was.

In the meantime, however, a large number of journalists, internet bloggers, denialists whose nonsense is reported in newspapers to give a false sense of balance, developed a number of conspiracy theories and completely false allegations, demonstrating their ignorance about how this data was gathered in the first place -- even though it is exceptionally well documented --exaggerating the amount of data that wasn't part of the truly extensive public record, claiming the data had been destroyed and getting numerous facts wrong. These people frequently engage in such discussions on global warming, consistently make such false allegations. They were and are exactly wrong. They are breathtakingly wrong on the very basics of such issues, eagerly regurgitate such opinions as are spoon fed to them by the usual suspects, consistently and ignorantly opposed to science for ideological reasons, and personally dishonest in not disavowing what they know to be false, or in claiming to know what they believe through faith.

Fox News has exceptional chutzpah with their story, and should verily be proud of their balls: these very issues are discussed within the emails they quote mine, and they link to them, presumably with the presumption that their readers will just not bother looking for themselves. I suspect, by and large, they are correct in this presumption. Nonetheless, Jones was concerned about leaks by fellow researchers or legal issues (eg. the FoIA) forcing him to breach non-disclosure agreements because the various national met services would, unsurprisingly, be none-too-happy about their commercially valuable data, shared with researchers in the name of academic inquiry, being released without their say-so. Were their data released in such a fashion it is difficult to imagine such data sharing with British researchers remaining copacetic. At the same time, Jones and the Met Office were working to get that data released by the myriad national meteorological services themselves. They succeeded wonderfully. The data is not hidden, and you can look for yourselves. This does not matter to the politics of global warming denial. The world we live in chaps.

-The Rev. Schmitt., FCD.