About 2 weeks ago, I observed that the PR (Paleoclimate Reconstruction) Challengers, stung by various challenges to the non-transparency of their data and methods, had promised that, by April 2009, they would, among other things, make a website containing:
– Collection of reconstruction codes, documentation, and related data.
At first blush, it looks like something new.
However, many temperature reconstructions had already been archived. That’s how you make the spaghetti graphs. The PR issue has always been the availability of underlying data and reconstruction codes – the things that the PR Challengers promised to deliver by April 2009.
The “new” data is simply a collation of the reconstructions already listed on the NOAA webpage. The various textfiles here contain references to the prior WDCP page. For example, the new page ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/reconstructions/pcn/textfiles/biondi1999.txt cross-references ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/treering/reconstructions/northamerica/usa/idaho/idaho-temperature.txt.
So the deliverable is nothing except a collation of temperature reconstructions already listed on NOAA’s reconstruction webpage, together with some elementary metadata.
No proxy data. No source code. No documentation beyond the most trivial metadata.
For me, the collation has no utility. I already have read scripts for about 50% of the reconstructions, with annotations that are more helpful reminders about what’s in the data than the present trivial metadata.
I’m not sure who’s going to use this collation or what PR problem it’s supposed to solve. I wonder how much NOAA paid for this (without even considering staff time). I would sure liked to have had the opportunity to bid on the contract.