Unless you live in a cave (maybe with UBL), you’ve heard ad nauseum about global warming. Fixing this international problem threatens to change our lifestyle and stall economic development–and is the purpose of our travelin’ President’s next great European trip, this time to Copenhagen for the UN’s Climate Change Conference. It’s hard to disagree with the impact of a warming planet with cute polar bears leaping from ice flow to shrinking ice flow.
That is, until the release of thousands of emails from climate change experts at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain. It seems their scientists carried on an extended and coordinated effort, abusing their prominence as world experts, to prevent data against global warming from reaching the public. They probably would have gotten away with it, except an enterprising hacker cracked their network and published offending emails to the net.
I have to say, I’m sorely disappointed in my fellow scientists. I have never believed in global warming. Here’s the science behind my conclusion and here’s a summary of Earth temperatures. But I listened to both sides. People I respected supported global warming so I wanted to understand. In the end, the preponderance of data indicated to my satisfaction that our current warming trend is simply an interstatial period in an ice age that will pass.
Usually the worst that can be said about scientists (and mathematicians, for that matter) is that numbers can be manipulated. Experts can read data differently. But scientists aren’t so afraid of the truth that we hide it. We want an informed public. We spend our lives uncovering thruth–whatever it is.
I do admit I’ve gotten frustrated with our political leaders (read this)–people who should be able to read data or hire an educated climatologist. this is a democracy. We look to our representatives to report to us so we don’t have to read everything out there. We trust them.
Or used to. That’s going away. Only 18% of the public now trusts Congress. This flap won’t improve those statistics. Particularly disappointing is Al Gore. He had the public’s ear. He could have done a good thing and told the truth. although, shame on us–the public–because we should have seen through him. Look at his lifestyle. Look at interviews where he was asked the hard questions. We must be more careful in the future.
No matter which side you’re on, but especially if you’re pro-global warming, do yourself a favor and read some of these. You be the judge. You can read all thousands of them at HARRY_READ_ME.txt and here. Here’s a sampling:
I am seriously worried that our flagship gridded data product is produced by Delaunay triangulation – apparently linear as well. As far as I can see, this renders the station counts totally meaningless. It also means that we cannot say exactly how the gridded data is arrived at from a statistical perspective – since we’re using an off-the-shelf product that isn’t documented sufficiently to say that. Why this wasn’t coded up in Fortran I don’t know – time pressures perhaps? Was too much effort expended on homogenisation, that there wasn’t enough time to write a gridding procedure? Of course, it’s too late for me to fix it too. Meh.
I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that’s the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight… So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!
One thing that’s unsettling is that many of the assigned WMo codes for Canadian stations do not return any hits with a web search. Usually the country’s met office, or at least the Weather Underground, show up – but for these stations, nothing at all. Makes me wonder if these are long-discontinued, or were even invented somewhere other than Canada!