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Climategate 2.0 — The NASA Files: U.S. Climate Science as Corrupt as CRU (PJM Exclusive — Part One)

Chris Horner filed the FOIA request that NASA didn't comply with for two years. Now we know what took so long. (Click here for the NASA files. This is Part One of a four-part series.) Update: Don't miss Chris Horner's PJTV interview here.

by
Christopher Horner

Bio

February 17, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Although in public he often used his high-profile perch for global warming cheerleading, former New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin privately wrote that he was worried about the integrity of the ground stations.  When still at the Times he wrote to Hansen on August 23, 2007:

i never, till today, visited http://www.surfacestations.org and found it quite amazing. if our stations are that shoddy, what’s it like in Mongolia?

Sadly, although Andy wrote many pieces touting as significant what we now know NASA admits as statistically meaningless temperature claims, he did not find time to write about data so “shoddy” as to reach the point of “amazing.” That is what advocacy often entails: providing only one side, and even a far less compelling side, of a story.

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In an August 14, 2007, email from GISS’s Makiko Sato to Hansen, Sato wrote that his analysis of a one degree warming between 1934 and 1998 might in reality be half that amount:

I am sure I had 1998 warmer than 1934 at least once because on my own temperature web page (which most people never look at), I have [image/information not visible in document]. … I didn’t keep all the data, but some of them are (some data are then listed, with 1934 0.5 deg C warmer than 1998)

As AGW proponents only claim a one degree warming over the past century, the magnitude of a .5 degree Celsius problem in their calculations is tremendous.

Sato continues:

I am sorry, I should have kept more data, but I was not interested in US data after 2001 paper.

Sato is referencing the paper by Hansen, et al., in which Hansen’s colleagues remind him 1934 was indeed listed as being a full half-degree warmer than 1998 — which is shown in their emails as being what the data said as of July 1999 (their paper described 1934 as only “slightly” warmer than 1998, p. 8). Still, throughout these emails Hansen later insists 1934 and 1998 are in a statistical tie with just a 0.02 Celsius difference and even that their relationship has not changed. For example, Hansen claims in an email to a journalist with Bloomberg: “As you will see in our 2001 paper we found 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998. We still find that result.” The implication is that things had not changed when in fact NASA had gone from claiming a statistically significant if politically inconvenient warmer 1934 over 1998, to a tie.

Regarding U.S. temperatures, Ruedy confessed to Hansen on August 23, 2007 to say:

I got a copy from a journalist in Brazil, we don’t save the data.

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The Ruedy relationship with a Brazilian journalist raises the matter of the incestuous relationship between NASA’s GISS and like-minded environmental reporters. One can’t help but recall how, recently, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim of glacier shrinkage in the Himalayas was discredited  when found to be the work of a single speculative journalist at a popular magazine, and not strict peer-reviewed scientific data. The emails we obtained include several instances of very close ties and sympathetic relationships with journalists covering them.

The same can be said of NASA’s relationship vis-a-vis the IPCC, whose alarmism NASA enabled. One NASA email implicitly if privately admits that IPCC claims of accelerating warming — such as those by IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri or UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon — are specious. Yet NASA has never publicly challenged such alarmism. Instead, it sat by and benefited from it, with massive taxpayer funding of its rather odd if growing focus on “climate.”

In an August 15, 2007, email from Ruedy to Brazilian journalist Leticia Francisco Sorg, responding to Sorg’s request for Ruedy to say if warming is accelerating, Ruedy replied:

“To observe that the warming accelerates would take even longer observation times” than the past 25 years. In fact, it would take “another 50-100 years.”

This is a damning admission that NASA has been complicit in UN alarmism. This is not science. It is debunked advocacy. The impropriety of such policy advocacy, let alone allowing unsubstantial scientific claims to become part of a media campaign, is self-evident.

End of Part One

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Christopher Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and author of the recently-published The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information "Criminal".
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