Nature Reports on CRU Stonewalling

Nature reported today on the CRU data requests. I was interviewed at length last Thurs, followup Friday by Olive Heffernan of Nature. They even asked for a photograph. I haven’t seen the article yet. More after I see the story.

Update:
There is an additional discussion at the Nature Blog. Behave nicely.

Update- my picture is in the article :). Photo credit is to my sister.

69 Comments

  1. CoolChill
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Growing demands for access to information swamp scientist.

    by Olive Heffernan

    A leading UK climatologist is being inundated by freedom-of-information-act requests to make raw climate data publicly available, leading to a renewed row over data access.

    Since 2002, Steve McIntyre, the editor of Climate Audit, a blog that investigates the statistical methods used in climate science, has repeatedly asked Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, UK, for access to monthly global surface temperature data held by the institute. But in recent weeks, Jones has been swamped by a sudden surge in demands for data.

    Several organizations worldwide collect and report global average temperature data for each month. Of these, a temperature data set held jointly by CRU and the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre in Exeter, known as HadCRU, extends back the farthest, beginning in 1850. Although these data are made available in a processed format that shows the global trend, access to the raw data is restricted to academics.

    Between 24 July and 29 July of this year, CRU received 58 freedom-of-information-act requests from McIntyre and people affiliated with Climate Audit, requesting access to the data or information about their use. In the past month, the UK Met Office, which receives a cleaned-up version of the raw data from CRU, has received ten requests of its own.

    McIntyre, based in Toronto, Ontario, is best known for questioning the validity of the statistical analyses used to reconstruct the past 1,000 years of climate, but has more recently turned his attention to criticizing the quality of global temperature records. Jones concedes that raw climate data have imperfections — such as duplication of stations — but says that such minor errors would not alter the overall global temperature trend. McIntyre insists that he is not interested in challenging the science of climate change or in nit-picking, but is simply asking that the data be made available. “The only policy I want people to change is their data-access policy,” he says.

    Jones says he can’t fulfil the requests because of confidentiality agreements signed in the 1990s with some nations, including Spain, Germany, Bahrain and Norway, that restrict the data to academic use. In some cases, says Jones, the agreements were made verbally, and in others the written records were mislaid during a move.

    He says he is now working to make the data publicly available online. As Nature went to press, Jones was expected to post a statement on the CRU website to that effect, including any existing confidentiality agreements. Jones says any such data release “needs to be done in a systematic way”.

    “We’re trying to make them all available,” says Jones. “We’re consulting with all the meteorological services — about 150 members [of the World Meteorological Organization] — and will ask them if they are happy to release the data.” A spokesperson for the Met Office confirmed this, saying “we are happy for CRU to take the lead on this, as they are their data”.

    But getting the all-clear from other nations won’t be without its challenges, says Jones, who estimates that it could take several months. In addition, some nations may object if they make money by selling their wind, sunshine and precipitation data.

    The dispute is likely to continue for some time. McIntyre is especially aggrieved that Peter Webster, a hurricane expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, was recently provided with data that had been refused to him.

    Webster says his team was given the station data for a very specific request that will result in a joint publication with Jones. “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science,” says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped.”

    Indeed, Jones says he has become “markedly less responsive to the public over the past few years as a result of this”.

  2. Kazinski
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science,” says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped.”

    Yeah, copying the data to an FTP directory is incredibly onerous.

  3. curious
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science,” says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped.”

    Surely not if all data is just put up on a server for people to access as and when they please? If a particular subset is required then surely any researcher would be capable of extracting it?

  4. Mike B
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    No mention of CRU’s use of GHCN data, no mention of the public FTP site that had the data for years. Just a poor old climate scientist being harassed by a bunch of wacky skeptics.

  5. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Can’t anybody in the climate field get anything right?

    Jones has not “been swamped by a sudden surge in demands for data.” Jones said that he was unable to provide data because of existing confidentiality agreements. People asked for documents showing the existence of the confidentiality agreements. Jones failed to do so.

    I wouldn’t say that I was “especially aggrieved” at Peter Webster getting the data. Peter Webster should get the data. Peter Webster has been very cordial to me and I regret that his name gets mentioned in the same breath as CRU stonewallers.

    “Aggrieved” implies that I’m emotional about this. I’m not.

    My point is entirely procedural. CRU provided data to a “third party”. Procedurally this showed that they were entitled to do so under their agreements and legislation. Then the question is whether the exact language of their agreements established a distinction between a request from Peter Webster and from me.

    Their “agreements”, such as they are, clearly don’t.

    • Jonathan
      Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#5), I am still waiting for a reply to my request for “a copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and Jun 25, 2009″; they still have about a week of their 20 working days to run.

    • PhilH
      Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#5), I’m geting confused. I thought they said the data was all lost.

      Steve: Just non-“value added” data – it’s like having their GISS dset1 version in which versions have been combined.

      • PhilH
        Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

        Re: PhilH (#19), I am still confused. What value is the “value added” data if you don’t know what raw data they started with or how they added the “value.”

        Steve-
        you’re not the only one who’s confused about this.

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#5),

      I wouldn’t say that I was “especially aggrieved” at Peter Webster getting the data. Peter Webster should get the data. Peter Webster has been very cordial to me and I regret that his name gets mentioned in the same breath as CRU stonewallers.

      Mr McIntyre,

      If Peter Webster is such a cordial chap. Why not get the data from him?

      Or is he perhaps hampered by agreements not to distribute, just as CRU is?

      In which case try the old foi trick

      • Ross McKitrick
        Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

        Re: thefordprefect (#40), Not a bad suggestion about asking Peter Webster for the data he has. In my FOI I asked for any instructions or stipulations accompanying the transmission of data to Georgia Tech. The answer I got today was

        In regards your request for any stipulations accompanying the transmission of the data to academics at Georgia Tech, no such instructions or stipulations are held by the University.

        Ironically, in the same letter in which they refused to allow further transmission of the data to me that they had transmitted to Georgia Tech, they referred, inter alia, to the following grounds:

        Regulation 12(5)(f) applies to the data requested because the data was received by the University on terms that limits further transmission. We believe that there would be an adverse effect on the institutions that supplied data under those agreements as it would undermine the conditions under which they supplied the data to the Climate Research Unit.

        There is no mention that they can’t release the data to a non-academic, since of course that does not apply to me. That was always a red herring. They just make up reasons for the immediate purpose, even if they contradict reasons they made up 10 minutes earlier.

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#53),

          Not a bad suggestion about asking Peter Webster for the data he has

          That’s ok then. You have your data! I’m sure Mr. Webster will be pleased to give you what you desire with no hassle!

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#56),

          It is totally unreasonable to involve Peter Webster, who doesn;t deserve to have his name mentioned in the same breath as the CRU Gong Show. I hope that no Climate Audit readers bother him and will communicate this to Ross.

          In his shoes, I would certainly refer any request back to CRU, where it belongs.

          There are a variety of appeal possibilities available for each of the refusals by CRU and, who knows, perhaps some CA readers will appeal the CRU decisions.

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#53),
          PS I hope you will be making the data available in the database here for all to use?

          I see set the dogs loose on Nature, great.

        • Trowser Trumpet
          Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (#57),

          I see set the dogs loose on Nature, great.

          Now why would you want to do that, TFD?

          In any case, I see only one mutt there, and he’s toothless anyway. And incontinent. Wouldn’t your kids let you put ol’ Fella bigcitylib down? It would be a mercy if you did.

  6. Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations Steve on getting this in print.

    Dr. Jones did a lot of backpedaling I see, a bit like a unicycle rider on a ski slope.

    In some cases, says Jones, the agreements were made verbally, and in others the written records were mislaid during a move.

    And in all cases there is absolutely no physical evidence that any agreements exist.

  7. Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    I realize that you said Peter Webster was helpful but this statement doesn’t make any sense when the data should be freely accessible on a ftp server – as it apparently the 03 data was.

    “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science,” says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped.”

    Not to imply that Peter Webster was in any way referring to CA but those who are familiar with CA (including Dr. Jones) know that the data would be used ‘authentically’ here. That’s IMHO the crux of the problem.

  8. Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    The story is also up at Climate Feedback, including apparently some details that didn’t make it into the Nature article. You can also comment without having access behind the paywall.

  9. Chris Christner
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    Inexplicably, Olive reported Jones’s excuses for withholding data without mentioning his most famous:

    We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider.

  10. Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Climate Feedback includes the interesting information that Dr Jones has challenged Steve to produce a global temperature record once the data is available.

    • Not sure
      Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

      Re: Bishop Hill (#10),

      Nice innuendo there:

      McIntyre says that he does not expect to find any major errors in the data. But he also believes that too few resources are put into quality checking climate data, and that independent professional statistical services should be employed to check the data. Any thoughts on who might offer such services?

      Any thoughts on how much money Dr. Jones has made over the years peddling his shoddily maintained index?

  11. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations. The ball is moving.
    The Nature article however very subtlely makes you look like a bit of a trouble-maker, and that pesky you are impairing their important work:

    Indeed, Jones says he has become “markedly less responsive to the public over the past few years as a result of this”.

    What irks me is their line:

    “…but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped.”

    They know full well who you are, your capabilities, and how serious you are with these matters. And Jeff Id is right on the money in reminding us they have yet to produce any hard physical evidence of agreements. They’re slipping, squirming and twisting. C’mon, just open up lads!

  12. jryan
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    So how many NDAs did the dog eat?

    Seriously, verbal and misplaced NDAs? Who is he trying to kid?

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    I submitted the following at the Nature blog:

    “independent professional statistical services should be employed to check the data. Any thoughts on who might offer such services? ”

    I said nothing about retaining “independent statistical services to check the data”. That is a misunderstanding on Ms Heffernan’s part. Ross McKitrick has long observed that important indices like the Consumer Price Index are collected by national statistical services and not by professors in their spare time. Such statistical services have a more formal approach to data management and data audit trails and would be far less likely to simply lose agreements and fail to save data, both of which CRU has done. I identified Hadley Center as an alternative to CRU.

    As to Jones’ supposed challenge to construct a global temperature index, I said that to do such a job to the standard that I expected is something that would required detailed technical studies of many sites, is something that is more properly done by a statistical service, would take several years and is not something that I’m interested in doing.

    In terms of personal interests, I’m more interested in the statistical issues related to proxies. If CRU wishes me to take time away from other interests in order to provide consulting services to them, I see no reason why I should do so for free. However, as noted above, I have no interest in spending time on the organization of proper quality control on temperature data and metadata. There are many other people qualified to do so at an age and stage of their careers, where that would be of interest to them.

  14. Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    But getting the all-clear from other nations won’t be without its challenges, says Jones, who estimates that it could take several months. In addition, some nations may object if they make money by selling their wind, sunshine and precipitation data.

    Now that people asked for confidentiality statements and have read the various statutes, we know that CRU is required to ask the countried as requried by FOI, right? It looks like the data may become available.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

      Re: lucia (#14), yes correct. Annex G as I pointed out requires them to ask third parties about disclosure. That correspondence will then become the object of subsequent FOIA requests unless they post those agreements.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think that Jones is the right guy to organizing a set of permissions. It needs someone fresh.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Hey folks, my picture’s in Nature :)

    • Michael Jennings
      Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#18),
      Hey, you are not bad looking…. well for a guy…. and a Canadian.:)

  17. Patrick M.
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    A spokesperson for the Met Office confirmed this, saying “we are happy for CRU to take the lead on this, as they are their data”.

    Somehow the phrase, “take the lead”, seems like an overstatement…

  18. Hank Henry
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    In some cases, says Jones, the agreements were made verbally, and in others the written records were mislaid during a move.

    Hate to nitpick…. BUT, …. Nature and Jones means the agreements were made “orally.” All agreements are verbal except perhaps those made with a wink and a nod.

  19. Antonio San
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Indeed, Jones says he has become “markedly less responsive to the public over the past few years as a result of this”.

    Nice parthian arrow from the Nature journalist here… Steve you are single handedly responsible for making data availability more difficult… Congratulations.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

      Re: Antonio San (#22),

      climate scientists often have an interesting approach to cause-and-effect.

      Let’s see: as a result of the FOI requests in July 2009, Phil Jones had already commenced becoming less responsive a few years ago. Hmmm,…, maybe it’s a positive feedback.

      I’m trying to figure how much less responsive his present refusal was then his refusal of Warwick Hughes or Willis Eschenbach.

    • Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

      Re: Antonio San (#23),

      Steve you are single handedly responsible for making data availability more difficult… Congratulations.

      Except that the reality is that the data was previously refused for various and sundry reasons, but the Met office now claims to be happy to make it available and Jones is evidently beavering away to eliminate the impediments to disseminating it. (A task Jones did not previously find the time to undertake.) :)

      • steven mosher
        Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

        Re: lucia (#32),

        I can imagine jones’ letter.

        Dear NMS,
        The forces of evil skeptics are demanding that we release the data you so graciously supplied us. We have
        fought for over 7 years to fulfill our contractual obligations to preserve your data and supply it only to those
        legitimate climate scientists who endeavor to push the science forward. At this time however we are under assault
        and hordes of amateurs are requesting access to your data. These untrained people will wreck havoc with the consensus we have so painstakingly labored to establish. There only purpose in requesting this data is to find something wrong with it and then demand that nothing be done about global warming. Therefore, we ask you to do your part. We believe that this climate data should be made freely available to all legitimate climate scientists for legitimate climate studies. We, are therefore recommend that you send us a contract to govern the use and distribution of your data. We would suggest an agreement that made the following points:

        1. Support for data transparency and public availability of climate data.
        2. Appropriate distribution restrictions that make this data available to legitimate climate scientists. We would
        suggest that we can work with you to decide who is and who is not a legitimate scientist.
        3. An appropriate review process for proposed studies using your data.

        By memorilaizing these three elements we believe that we can both make the data available and prevent it from falling into the hands of deniers. If you have not entered into an agreement with us, then now is the time to do so. This is your last chance to be part of the famous CRUTEMP global index.

        Best Regards,
        Phil Jones.

        PS. I’m looking for side work in data management and document control. Let me know if you have any work. I’ll
        give a co authorship position to someone on your staff.

  20. Craig Loehle
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    The idea that you must certify that you are an academic to get the data is ludicrous. BUT the idea that you must agree to co-publish with Jones to get the data–well, that is all very academic. They do not grasp that this is NOT academic world business as usual anymore.

  21. Allen63
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Steve, all your efforts are much appreciated.

    I sincerely hope the non-value-added data gets released to the public sometime in the next year (a simple ftp site would do me).

  22. ianl
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    I have to recant – no “lying in the weeds”, “sitting on their hands”, or “masterly inactivity” (Humphrey Appleby) :)

  23. Calvin Ball
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Can’t anybody in the climate field get anything right?

    When I read something in print, even in an ostensible science outlet, I don’t assume that it’s being written by a scientist. Many (most?) are journalists. The decline in the professionalism of journalists in recent decades is a separate issue, but I’d say that it’s more likely that that’s what’s really going on here.

  24. Calvin Ball
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    I am still confused. What value is the “value added” data if you don’t know what raw data they started with or how they added the “value.”

    As long as you have your hot dog, and you like the taste, why do you care what animals and organs are in there?

    • Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

      Re: Calvin Ball (#30),

      …and you like the taste, why do you care…

      Some people want to know if things are kosher in the figurative sense of the word.

  25. Harry Eagar
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    I am not happy to see CoolChill post Nature’s pay-per-view article here.

    Since the CA community is so enamored of ethical behavior most of the time.

  26. Antonio San
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Lucia, of course! I was being facetious in #23… next time I’ll put a ;-)

  27. steven mosher
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    my comment on nature

    You wrote:

    “Jones says that he tried to help when he first received data requests from McIntyre back in 2002, but says that he soon became inundated with requests that he could not fulfill, or that he did not have the time to respond to. He says that, in some cases, he simply couldn’t hand over entire data sets because of long-standing confidentiality agreements with other nations that restrict their use.”

    1. Jones had no problem supplying the data to peter webster, so his reason was not FOI fatigue.
    2. the 58 requests were not for data. they were requests for the AGREEMENTS.

    You wrote:
    “Given that McIntyre’s wish for access to the data will take time to be granted, this dispute will likely continue for some time. He’s especially aggrieved by the fact that hurricane expert Peter Webster at Georgia Tech University was recently provided with data that had been refused to him. McIntyre’s point here is that he should be treated as a legitimate academic given his background and publication record.

    But Webster points out that he was allowed access because of the nature of his request, which was very specific and will result in a joint publication with Phil Jones. “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science”, says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped”. ”

    1. Steve is not the least bit emotional about the webster access to the data. (personal communication)
    2. None of the PURPORTED confidentiality agreements set preconditions that webster lays out.
    3. Posting the data on a FTP server obviously did not swamp CRU when they did so accidently.

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

      Re: steven mosher (#36),
      1. Jones has said he will work to free the data.
      2. Until the commercial data has been freed up sending data to a blogger not an academic would seem a bit hairy. Could McIntyre be trusted to keep the dta to himself or would it get dispursed amongst many.
      3. Until the data is free it cannot be posted on an FTP site. Individual application have to be assessed.
      4.see thefordprefect (#40). Can you extract the data from this source?

      Re: jlc (#38), You have every right to go out and purchase the data if it is commercial from the sources. You have no right to ask for the data for free from another who has purchased it.

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#25),

      I’m trying to figure how much less responsive his present refusal was then his refusal of Warwick Hughes or Willis Eschenbach

      From what you said on previous threads I thought that the requested data was “accidentaly” posted on the FTP server after a request of someones. It would seem to have been forgotten and left undeleted for too long, but it still looks as if CRU tried to help in an underhand sort of way.

      • Michael Smith
        Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

        Re: thefordprefect (#43),

        I thought that the requested data was “accidentaly” posted on the FTP server after a request of someones. It would seem to have been forgotten and left undeleted for too long, but it still looks as if CRU tried to help in an underhand sort of way.

        So you wish us to believe that in recent years Jones has actually been trying to help Steve gain access to the data — and that he wanted to help so badly that he violated all those confidentiality agreements by leaving the data on an FTP server?

        I don’t believe that even you can believe such a thing.

  28. VG
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    Off topic

  29. jlc
    Posted Aug 12, 2009 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    The concept of making data, of whatever nature, available only to “academics” is obscene.

    As an engineer working in climate related fields for 40 years and actually using data produced by academics, engineers, hydrologists, meteorologists, sedimentologists, vulcanologists, and people paid a pittance to collect, compile and process data (not always well) throughout the developing nations,I believe I and my colleages have some rights here.

    What is the point of collecting this data? It is not an academic exercise. We use climate data every day. Erroneous data can lead to wrong decisions that could have many repercussions.

  30. Andy
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

    Well done Steve, well done!

  31. thefordprefect
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Reply to OT

  32. Ron Cram
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations Steve! Here is my contribution to Nature’s blog:

    Tim Davis, I can point you in the right direction. And yes, it is astonishing and appalling. Go to http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=559 and you can read Steve McIntyre’s report which contains a link to a PowerPoint by Hans von Storch who confirmed this exchange with Phil Jones.

  33. Ron Cram
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Funny. As in Funny Strange. It’s natural for some blogs to have a time delay between when a commented is submitted and when it is posted. My comment was sent to Nature’s blog prior to Bishop Hill’s comment being posted. We are basically saying the same thing except I provided a link to CA which links to Hans von Storch’s PowerPoint. Now I am seeing comments posted which refer to a comment by bigcitylib posted after my comment was submitted. It is a little annoying and makes me wonder if Nature is not going to provide the evidence I gave to back up the statement Bishop Hill and I both made.

    • MetMole
      Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

      Re: Ron Cram (#45),
      I was looking out for your post too. It certainly seems it may have been “lost”. Tsk tsk! What awfully bad luck. Perhaps a high-energy cosmic ray zapped your post. It must be something like that as I’m sure there’s no skullduggery going on at Nature. No, surely not at Nature.

      I think you should resubmit it.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

      Re: Ron Cram (#46),

      Why would the Nature editors not permit a link to the CA thread? Strange.

      For some reason, I thought that I saw your comment up at the Nature blog this morning, but maybe I saw it here.

      • MetMole
        Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

        Re: Steve McIntyre (#48),

        For some reason, I thought that I saw your comment up at the Nature blog this morning, but maybe I saw it here.

        Bishop Hill (August 13, 2009 11:09 AM) mentions Hans von Storch but doesn’t provide a link. It was only the absence of the link that alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t Ron Cram’s post, which I assumed it was. At first.

        So, I guess it was a-man-in-a-hurry thing for you, maybe?

    • bernie
      Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

      Re: Ron Cram (#46), Ron:
      I tried a second response at Nature and they bumped it with a message saying they were restricting responses ostensibly to control “tone”. I tried to politely respond to bigcitylibs misleading and gratuitous post.

  34. Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    I’ve tried to post another comment with the link, just in case. IIRC the moderators clock off at 5pm at Nature so it may be tomorrow before it gets through.

  35. TAG
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Is it true that Jones has also not described his algorithm in a public forum?

  36. Jeff Norman
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    Well I’m an old rock slinger, with maths that linger,
    Seems I’m reviled everywhere I’ve gone.
    Cause I blog about duty and I blog about truth,
    With every two cents I thrown.
    I’ll scrape any number set, and blog results that I get
    But the datum that I’ve never known
    Is the points that’ll get you when you get your picture
    In an issue of the Nature News

    {Refrain}
    Nature News – Wanna see my picture on the cover
    News – Gonna buy five copies for my mother
    News – Wanna see my smilin’ face
    In an issue of the Nature news.

    I’ve got a freaky old friend name of Roman M
    Who embroiders on my graphs
    I’ve got poor “old” Hu McCulloch
    Checkin out all my maths
    Now it takes all kinds, of intelligent minds
    But these minds won’t really be shown
    Like the show that’ll get you when you get your picture
    In an issue of the Nature News

    {Refrain}

    I’ve got a lot of smart math groupies
    Who’ll check out anything that I say
    And some highly educated professors
    Who’ll help out without any pay
    I got all the friends that blogger could want
    So I never have to blog alone
    Now we’re showing our trews and spreading our views
    In an issue of the Nature News

    {Refrain}

  37. Mark_T
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    I’m glad that this got reported in Nature. Now we’ve got to see if it does any good…

  38. Dan White
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre:
    Hey folks, my picture’s in Nature

    Wasn’t there a pro wrestler who went by the name, “Nature Boy”? Seems like there’s another one now. :)

  39. Slartibartfast
    Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    In blog comments over at Nature, Olive Heffernan appears to be claiming that Mann reproduced his hockey-stick results fairly well by discarding the bristlecone series, which appears to be fairly at odds with McIntyre’s work, unless I’ve completely misunderstood.

    Which is always possible.

  40. Slartibartfast
    Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for that, Steve.

  41. John M
    Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    At least they’re letting Steve post in his defense. I tried posting just now and got this message:

    Comment Submission Error
    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
    In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, we have enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.

    I submitted two comments to two different posts last weekend that finally got published on Tuesday. I guess three in one week have fingered me as an “abusive user”. We’ll see if BCL gets another one published.

    Anyway, for the record, here’s my rejected post to the Nature thread on Steve Mc.

    In defending the tight-fisted approach to data hoarding, Olive Heffernan said:

    “Let’s be fair to Jones here; as a scientist, your data is invaluable; if you give it to someone else without knowing that they will give due credit to the source, then you’re effectively giving away your work for free. Why should scientists have to do that? No-one in the private sector would be asked to do this.”

    I guess that would depend on who paid for the data collection, where the work using the data was published, and what the rules of the funding and publishing entities require, wouldn’t it? Also, if regulatory agencies (such as the US EPA) are guided by the data in their decision making process, the data also need to meet certain requirements of availability and quality control.

    What is Nature’s policy on data availability and description of methods for work published in your journal?

    • John Archer
      Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

      Re: John M (#65),

      I tried posting just now and got this message….

      I got the same message today at about 16:00 GMT (approx 5pm London Summer Knocking-off Time). My previous post had been about 15 hours prior to that. I closed and ‘flushed’ my browser in case it was just some simple glitch, waited 10 minutes and tried again. It worked, or seemed to, but the post has yet to be put up. It was similar yours in some respects. It wouldn’t hurt to try again.
      .

      BTW given the topic, I’m a little surprised Nature doesn’t appear to have received more posts on it.

      • Bob Koss
        Posted Aug 14, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

        Re: John Archer (#66),

        BTW given the topic, I’m a little surprised Nature doesn’t appear to have received more posts on it.

        50 comments on one thread is equivalent to an avalanche for the Nature blog. They’ve been in operation for more than two years and only have a total of 1145 comments.

        They had a couple posts with 30+ comments in May 2007 when they started. Their slant on what was acceptable for discussion was made clear very early and people left in droves.

        Nature Blog Withdraws Invitation

  42. Posted Aug 15, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Once the data become publicly available, Jones wants McIntyre to produce a global temperature record. “Science advances that way. He might then realize how robust the global temperature record is”, says Jones.

    Robustly homogenized temperature. I’ll be more interested to reproduce Brohan’s uncertainties once the data is available. Slightly on topic, there was interesting article in IEEE Xplore Top 100,

    Reproducible research in signal processing
    Vandewalle, P.; Kovacevic, J.; Vetterli, M.
    Signal Processing Magazine, IEEE
    Volume 26, Issue 3, Date: May 2009, Pages: 37-47
    (see also http://www.reproducibleresearch.net/)

    We distinguish six degrees of reproducibility:
    5: The results can be easily reproduced by an independent
    researcher with at most 15 min of user effort, requiring only
    standard, freely available tools (C compiler, etc.).
    4: The results can be easily reproduced by an independent
    researcher with at most 15 minutes of user effort, requiring
    some proprietary source packages (MATLAB, etc.).
    3: The results can be reproduced by an independent
    researcher, requiring considerable effort.
    2: The results could be reproduced by an independent
    researcher, requiring extreme effort.
    1: The results cannot seem to be reproduced by an independent
    researcher.
    0: The results cannot be reproduced by an independent
    researcher.

    MBH98 seems to be of degree 2 (extreme effort of few years), MBH99’s grade is clearly 0 until script to reproduce CIs is available.

  43. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Aug 25, 2009 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Internet test for transmission

  44. thefordprefect
    Posted Aug 13, 2009 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    Re: VG (#42), This is the raw to final version.
    Using an outdated database of surface station (watts refuses to release a newer version until he sees fit) I have plotted the average of the grade 1 and 2 RAW (un-homogenised) data and compared to this doc from NOAA (which shows the adjusted figures (homogenised)

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf

    (“oh dear” haven’t uploaded the graph, havent got the data with me so will post my version later)
    but basically it is similar to NOAAs but with a few tenths of a degree less warming!

    Adjustments are necessary for data and not all increase the warming:

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] health care. What is wrong with everyone? You can sense the anger, the resentment. And the panic.”Nature Reports on CRU Stonewalling « Climate AuditNature reported today on the CRU data requests. I was interviewed at length last Thurs, followup [...]

  2. [...] Another UK climate data scandal is emerging 14 08 2009 As many WUWT readers know, Steve McIntyre’s tireless quest to get the raw data that makes up the gridded Hadley Climate Research Unit has been fraught with delays, FOI denials, and obvious obfuscation. [...]

  3. By The End of CRUTEM? « Climate Audit on Jan 30, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    [...] She didn’t report that it in her story, but I added the comment at the Nature blog and CA at the time (Aug 12, 2009) as follows: Ross McKitrick has long observed that important indices like [...]

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