Climategate: Faster and Faster, the Dominos Fall

The next domino was a study by Dr. Richard Keen of the University of Colorado that was reported at the Air Vent blog. In it, Dr. Keen compares the raw data from the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) with data from the Global Climate historical network, the adjusted data as published in the IPCC report. Dr. Keen finds that the raw data does indeed show an upward trend of 0.69°C per century, which he believes is explained by the "Pacific Decadal Oscillator," a well known long-term phenomenon.

The data used by the IPCC instead shows warming four times greater, 2.8°C per century, an adjustment of about 2°C.

Other such comparisons followed: Data from around Nashville; data collected in Antarctica, which, after adjustment, comes out to be from a single site near the ocean; data from the Baltic and Scandinavian countries; even in Central Park.

In all of these cases, there are mysterious, unexplained warming adjustments for the last part of the century.

It ought to be said that these adjustments don't necessarily prove the data has been purposefully fudged. Handling this kind of large data set requires using statistical techniques to try and make the data consistent. (Dr. William M. Briggs, a Pajamas Media contributor, has a nice series starting here for people who want to read the technical details.) On the other hand, at some point we have to remember Goldfinger's Law: Once is accident, twice coincidence, three times is enemy action. And the problem is, without the raw data, and without a clear explanation of the process by which the data has been adjusted -- something that seems unlikely in light of the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file -- there is no way to tell what the adjustments are based on. The CRU clique asks us to trust them, when the history in the Climategate emails doesn't say much to encourage trust.

What can be said is this: We now have substantial evidence, from several independent sources, that the data used as the basis for the IPCC report has been adjusted in undocumented ways, and those adjustments account for nearly all the warming we are told has been caused by humans.

Until the data is re-examined, fully, openly, and transparently, it is impossible to conclude how much of a contribution to global climate change humans have made, or whether that contribution has been made by human-generated CO2. And without knowing that, attempts to "fix the problem," through cap and trade or Copenhagen agreements, is misguided at best -- and dangerous at worst.