Climategate 2 Falls at the First Hurdle?

Shock News! The David and Judy Show took to the road once again last night, aided and abetted by all the usual suspects. We’ll skip the Breitbarts, Hellers and Watts of this world and head straight for the now ex Prof. Judith Curry‘s “Climate Etc.” blog. There we will discover “Climate scientists versus climate data“, a guest post by ex NOAA scientist John Bates. According to John:

The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). The study drew criticism from other climate scientists, who disagreed with K15’s conclusion about the ‘hiatus.’ (Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown). The paper also drew the attention of the Chairman of the House Science Committee, Representative Lamar Smith, who questioned the timing of the report, which was issued just prior to the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan submission to the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

Regular readers of our humble scribblings will be well aware that here in Great White Con Ivory Towers we are firmly of the opinion that there never was a ‘hiatus’. Exhibit 1:

Animation by izen
Animation by izen

What’s all the fuss about then? Perhaps our old friend David Rose can explain in layperson’s terms? In his latest article for the Mail on Sunday, catchily entitled “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data”, he assures us that amongst many other things:

The [K15] report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

Now “never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process” isn’t quite the same thing as “manipulated global warming data”, but Mr. Rose has more!

MoS2 Template Master

The misleading ‘pausebuster chart’: The red line shows the current NOAA world temperature graph – which relies on the ‘adjusted’ and unreliable sea data cited in the flawed ‘Pausebuster’ paper. The blue line is the UK Met Office’s independently tested and verified ‘HadCRUT4’ record – showing lower monthly readings and a shallower recent warming trend

That graph looks convincing enough, doesn’t it? However there is a teensy weensy little upward adjustment in there that Mr. Rose is apparently unaware of, as NASA’s Gavin Schmidt pointed out late last night:

This morning Carbon Brief has published a much longer takedown of the aforementioned purple prose by Zeke Hausfather, who points out amongst other things that:

What [David Rose] fails to mention is that the new NOAA results have been validated by independent data from satellites, buoys and Argo floats and that many other independent groups, including Berkeley Earth and the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre, get effectively the same results.

As per usual Mr. Rose doesn’t stick to science, however dubious. He also dabbles in politics. On that front we are assured:

Karl’s ‘Pausebuster’ paper was hugely influential in dictating the world agreement in Paris and sweeping US emissions cuts. President Trump, above right, has pledged to scrap both policies – triggering furious claims by Democrats he is a climate ‘denier’ and ‘anti-science’.

Thanks to today’s MoS story, NOAA is set to face an inquiry by the Republican-led House science committee.

We’ll have much more to say on this controversy in the context of our “Alternative Facts” investigation in due course, but for the moment at least it looks to us as though the nth iteration of “Climategate 2” barely made it out of the starting gate. However Mr. Rose’s loyal army of “rebloggers, retweeters, plagiarisers and other assorted acolytes” and that “Republican-led House science committee” may of course have other ideas?

[Edit – February 5th PM]

Commentary on Judith Curry’s blog brought to light an article by Peter Thorne. He says, amongst many other things:

I worked for three and a bit years in the NOAA group responsible in the build-up to the Karl et al. paper (although I had left prior to that paper’s preparation and publication). I have been involved in and am a co-author upon all relevant underlying papers to Karl et al., 2015.

The ‘whistle blower’ is John Bates who was not involved in any aspect of the work. NOAA’s process is very stove-piped such that beyond seminars there is little dissemination of information across groups. John Bates never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) mis-representation of the processes that actually occured. In some cases these mis-representations are publically verifiable.

A “rave from the grave” suggests itself at this juncture:

See if you can spot where Dan & Dan mention the term #Climategate.


[Edit – February 6th]

It’s been a busy day! Several of my carefully crafted comments have ended up on Judy’s cutting room floor, but this one has eluded the red pencil thus far. I bring you this warming and educational nightcap created by an ad hoc team of celebrity international chefs for “warmists” around the planet:

You have to keep clicking through to the very bottom of the virtual mug in order to experience the full benefit of the beverage.

Thank you and good night from May or May Not Land. I’ll see you all in the morning (UTC).


[Edit – February 7th]

Lot’s of pertinent papers just in from Great White Con guest author Kevin Cowtan of York University. Kevin is part of the by now world famous team of Cowtan & Way, who have long championed the cause of accurate Arctic temperature measurements. Kevin tells us:

The paper by Karl and colleagues corrected two known problems with the temperature observations: poor coverage of the Arctic, and a change from ships to buoys. Both had been known about since 2008:

and were further reported in subsequent papers:

It took NOAA seven years to produce a paper correcting their temperature data, and even now their monthly updates still omit much of the Arctic. The UKMO temperature record is also missing much of the Arctic and only partially corrects the ship problem. Both lead to an underestimation of recent warming.

The agencies face an impossible dilemma – on one hand they have to slowly and carefully evaluate new results, and on the other they have to provide an up-to-date temperature record. Rather than rushing out corrections, they appear to have been extremely conservative.

So there you have it. For more accurate Arctic temperature metrics turn to Cowtan & Way and/or the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study! The long delay in improving the quality of the data published by NOAA and the UK Met Office has led to confusion amongst the public, politicans, and even other scientists. All three groups have been trying to understand a supposed “pause” in warming, which in our (humble?) opinion never actually happened. If you disagree with that assessment please feel free to take a good long look at izen’s animation at the top and then explain to us very slowly where you see a “hiatus”.

You may also wish to take a good long look at another guest post on the topic of “the pause”, this time authored by our very good friend Bill the Frog.


[Edit – February 8th]

Watch this video to discover how “The Land of the Free” has morphed into “TrumpLand” in a matter of weeks. The “interrogation” of Rush Holt of the AAAS:

A show trial of the American Association for the Advancement of Science? Congressman Lamar Smith presiding!


[Edit – February 9th]

We like the UK Met Office’s new style. They have taken off the kid gloves, rolled up their sleeves, and they’re extracting the Michael from David Rose on Twitter with great glee:

It looks like we’ve now got a serious contender for our surrealist crown. We’ll have to try and up our game!


[Edit – February 10th]

I was beginning to think he’d retired, but no such luck for David Rose! Peter Hadfield (AKA Potholer54) is back with avengeance. Essential viewing:

If you have the time take a good long look at Peter’s takedowns of the Good “Lord” Christopher Monckton.

37 thoughts on “Climategate 2 Falls at the First Hurdle?

    1. By strange coincidence I’ve been working on the current legal position relating to crimes of omission and crimes against humanity. The details are tricky, but once it is established that at least one harm/death occurred as a direct consequence of inaction, them someone may be prosecutable.

  1. Much more to come on this in due course, but the latest installment of the David & Judy Show has proved to be part of a coordinated attack on NOAA by the House Science Committee. Here’s their press release:

    and here’s our freshly updated “Alternative Facts” research project:

  2. The conflict can be easily resolved to the satisfaction of everybody by legal action. The charge that government scientists manipulate the data and conclusions in a government report is a charge of a felony, punishable by a prison sentence. If there IS evidence of such a felony, then those who committed it and those who knowingly supported this action should be charge with a felony, and tried.

    On the other hand, openly charging a person with committing a crime, without any proof that such a crime was committed is libel, and if Bates and others made such a charge without evidence, they should be sued by the targets of their lies for damages, likely very high.

    So, let’s just sit this one out and see who takes legal action.

  3. Hunt, the Central parts of the Bates letter is in my opinion these:

    “In the following sections, I provide the details of how Mr. Karl failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. I have extensive documentation that provides independent verification of the story below.”


    “A NOAA NCEI supervisor remarked how it was eye-opening to watch Karl work the co-authors, mostly subtly but sometimes not, pushing choices to emphasize warming. Gradually, in the months after K15 came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his ‘thumb on the scale’—in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets—in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

    If proven, it will put at big stain on NOAA and the Scientific community .

    So far I have not seen this evidence, any idea why?

    1. Hi,

      Do you have a first name?

      Did you read the comment above yours?

      Are you referring to Bates’ alleged “extensive documentation”? If so perhaps the legal eagles are already involved and are perusing it as we speak? Alternatively…..

  4. Alternatively, they are repeating Trumps success when he allegedly sent some great experts to Honolulu to investigate Obamas place of birth, and what sensational facts had they not had found, witch he should release in a few days. Well he got the attention he asked for.

  5. OK, the matter in question is not and has never been, the Scientific conclusions in Karl et al(2015,) or the political implications regarding Paris. The “pause” was dead an sent to rest before the release of Karl et al. In addition we have 2015, 2016,Hasufather, ARGO etc.

    So the only question left is the Scientific integrity of the authors of Huang et al. , Karl et al., and NOAA, and thereby the climate science communety. So ex. prof. Curry has made herself hell of a task

  6. Rose’s pathetic attempt to show a discrepancy between the NOAA NCEI data-set and the HadCRUT equivalent is just plain embarrassing. For its Global products, NOAA uses the entire 20th century as its baseline, whereas HadCRUT uses the 1961-1990 period. As the average global temperature over the 1961 – 1990 period was higher than the average of the entire 20th century, it is axiomatic that the HadCRUT anomalies are going to be lower.

    This is an absolute no-brainer.

    One can think of 3 plausible reasons for Rose’s error. He was either …

    1) too lazy to check
    2) unable to comprehend that the choice of baseline makes precisely no difference to the trend line
    3) deliberately attempting to mislead his readership

    The other main temperature data-sets each have different baselines;
    NASA Gistemp uses 1951 – 1980
    UAH uses 1981 – 2101
    RSS uses 1979 – 1988

    The accompanying documentation with each of these sources makes it abundantly clear which baseline period has been adopted. There is NO excuse for getting this wrong.

  7. One can think of 3 plausible reasons for Rose’s error. He was either …

    1) too lazy to check
    2) unable to comprehend that the choice of baseline makes precisely no difference to the trend line
    3) deliberately attempting to mislead his readership

    4) He got the graph from the GWPF, as per usual, and in that case it’s undoubtedly 3).

    1. Sounds plausible Neven, but can you provide a link?

      I’m deep in conversation with Geordie Greig’s PA at the moment, so I only managed a quick scan of the GWPF(orum) site. I didn’t spot a prior image of the “adjusted baseline” there.

    2. Re: Neven’s “Reason’s to be tearful – part 4”

      Rose & Whitehouse seem to acquainted. There was a link to a video of them doing a double act posted about a month ago. Sadly, I can’t remember if it was here, on the ASIB or the ASIF.

      1. I dropped a link to a Rose & Whitehouse foray into disinformation whilst playing the victim at Climate Crocks just yesterday:

        Much Ado about a NOAA Thing

        I’ll pull back from linking to the GWPF propaganda site directly here.

        Good work Jim, I drop by often but not being a working scientist could add little to most discussions.

  8. It looks like the media has wised up. Here’s popular science cautioning: “DO NOT BUY THE HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE’S CLAIM THAT SCIENTISTS FAKED DATA UNTIL YOU READ THIS” –

    In days past they would have been rather more credulous when presented with a scoop..

    Here’s ArsTechnica who used to love a good climate scandal: “At its core, though, it’s not much more substantial than claiming the Apollo 11 astronauts failed to file some paperwork and pretending this casts doubt on the veracity of the Moon landing.” –

  9. Sounds plausible Neven, but can you provide a link?

    No, but Rose’s graphs always use the same layout, which is remarkably similar to that of the GWPF. So, either he makes their graphs, or they make his.

  10. An intriguing interview with “NOAA Whistleblower” John J Bates:

    The federal climate scientist hailed by conservatives as a whistleblower for allegedly revealing manipulated global warming data said yesterday he was actually calling out a former colleague for not properly following agency standards for research.

    In an interview with E&E News yesterday, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration principal scientist John Bates had a significantly more nuanced take on the controversy that has swirled since a top House Republican hailed his blog post as proof that the agency “played fast and loose” with temperature data to disprove the theory of a global warming “pause.”

    Bates accused former colleagues of rushing their research to publication, in defiance of agency protocol. He specified that he did not believe that they manipulated the data upon which the research relied in any way.

    “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he said

  11. The issue was to create room for the suggestion that data had been tampered with and thus that AGW is a hoax.

    That’s what Bates helped spawn, and I can’t believe he didn’t know this beforehand. Why else publish on Curry’s disinformation blog?

    1. Perhaps Mr. Bates is rather naive about the rules of ClimateBall™? Surely a distinguished (ex) Prof. who has testified before Congress will be firmly on the side of truth and justice?

    2. Bates suggested data tampering himself, and not just in the quotes Rose provides. It’s right there in the letter on Curry’s blog, claiming Karl pushed his co-authors to make decisions that would increase warming.

      And now he’s walking back from that claim, stating it isn’t about the data, there’s been no data tampering, and all that…

    1. “The paper by Karl and colleagues corrected two known problems with the temperature observations: poor coverage of the Arctic, and a change from ships to buoys. Both had been known about since 2008:”

      before “The paper by Karl”, problem 1 was “poor coverage of the Arctic” … I wholeheartedly agree ! …

      but what did Karl do during his “research” about this problem ? … uncover some forgotten, ancient arctic climate records in some library ? …

      I don’t know about you, but this Kevin Cowtan observation doesn’t really convince me …

  12. Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute has posted the basis of his complaint to IPSO about David Rose’s article:

    In the days following publication there were a number of new revelations that now show
    much of Mr Rose’s article to be untrue. Here we identify 30 false claims in Mr Rose’s
    main article, its sidebars and the leading article that accompanied it, and compare them
    with the facts.

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