Monthly Archives: November 2009

A Myth About The Surface Temperature Record Analyses Perpetuated On Dot Earth By Andy Revkin

On the weblog Dot Earth today, there is text from Michael Schlesinger, a climatologist at the University of Illinois, that presents analyses of long term surface  temperature trends from NASA, NCDC and Japan as if these are from independent sets of data from the analysis of CRU.  Andy Revkin is perpetuating this myth in this write-up by not presenting the real fact that these analyses draw from the same  original raw data.  While they may use only a subset of this raw data, the overlap has been estimated as about 90-95%.

The unresolved problems with this surface data (which, of course, applies to all four locations) is reported in the peer reviewed paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

I discuss this issue in my recent post

Further Comment On The Surface Temperature Data Used In The CRU, GISS And NCDC Analyses

where I document that even the CCSP 1.1. report acknowledged this lack of independence.

Andy Revkin’s post on the surface temperature record data sets is not journalistically accurate.

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Comment On The Inaccurate Response By Gavin Schmidt Of Real Climate On The Role of Land Use Change On Temperature Trends

UPDATE: December 1 2009

Gavin Schmidt  responded to this post with the following [thanks to Bob Thompson for alerting us to this!]

From Real Climate

990 whatAboutBob says:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack-conte=xt/comment-page-20/#comment-145828> 30 November 2009 at 8:21 AM

Gavin,

Your response in comment #289 is incorrect (at best uninformed) please see

 <http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/> http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

Gavin’ response

[ Response: Not sure what you are pointing to specifically, but I stand = by that statement. The relevant IPCC summary (Chp 2. p185) is as follows:

Since the dominant aspect of land cover change since 1750 has been deforestation in temperate regions, the overall effect of anthropogenic land cover change on global temperature will depend largely on the relative
importance of increased surface albedo in winter and spring (exerting a cooling) and reduced evaporation in summer and in the tropics (exerting a warming) (Bounoua et al., 2002). Estimates of global temperature =
responses from past deforestation vary from 0.01=B0C (Zhao et al., 2001) to = =960.25=B0C
(Govindasamy et al., 2001a; Brovkin et al., 2006). If cooling by = increased surface albedo dominates, then the historical effect of land cover = change may still be adequately represented by RF. With tropical deforestation becoming more significant in recent decades, warming due to reduced evaporation may become more significant globally than increased surface albedo. Radiative forcing would then be less useful as a metric of climate change induced by land cover change recently and in the future.

and (p184)

On the basis of the studies assessed here, including a number of new estimates since the TAR, the assessment is that the best estimate of RF relative to 1750 due to land-use related surface albedo change should =
remain at =960.2 =B1 0.2 W m=962.

Thus while there are complexities and uncertainties involved, the best estimate is that LCC has been a cooling effect historically. I still don’tknow where the US statistic that was quoted in #289 comes from. – gavin]

My Reply

Gavin is using old information. New research has shown a significant warming effect for a number of landscape conversions; e.g. see

 Fall, S., D. Niyogi, A. Gluhovsky, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay, and G. Rochon, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover on temperature trends over the continental United States: Assessment using the North American Regional Reanalysis. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.1996. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/r-329.pdf

from the abstract

“….most of the warmingtrends that we identify can be explained on the basis of LULC changes, we suggest that in addition to considering the greenhouse gases–driven radiative forcings, multi-decadal and longer climate models simulations must further include LULC changes.”

and

New Idea offered to fight climate change  from Georgia Tech which has 6 links (under the author’s name) in google news where the press release has the text

“Across the (United States) as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases,” Stone said. “Most large U.S. cities … are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole — a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change.”

******END OF UPDATE****

There is a response by Gavin Schmidt on Real Climate with respect to the role of land use change on the attribution of surface air temperature trends [thanks to Charlie Allen for alerting us to it!]. While Gavin has expertise in global climate modeling, his reply illustrates his lack of expertise on the role of landscape processes within the climate system, and, in this example, with respect to the role of land use/land cover change on long temperature trends.

The text from Real Climate is

  1. 1.       CCPO @258 – you quoted Gavin as saying “Note. global land use effects result in a cooling because the biggest issue is the chopping down of forest (dark) to make cropland (bright)”

Well, that’s not actually true. Here’s a press release for a new paper from Georgia Tech, showing how 50% of the warming across the US is due to land use changes.

Original reference for Gavin’s comment was from Edward’s post @95.

Cheers.

[Response: A statement in a press release is not a scientific result and the paper referred to does not show this to be true (and in fact I doubt very much that it is true). There are many papers on the global impacts of land cover change – Pondgratz et al is good, and all such papers show that land use at the global scale drives a cooling. – gavin]

The person who prepared the comment (CCPO CORRECTED Dec 1 2009 – Thanks to Michael Lenaghan who let me know the correct person to credit was Ted) clearly better understands the science issue  better than Gavin Schmidt. 

 I have already documented his lack of expertise in research topics that he comments on at Real Climate and elsewhere in my post

Does Gavin Schmidt Understand Boundary Layer Physics?

A Recent paper of ours which document an increase in surface temperatures due to landscape change include

Fall, S., D. Niyogi, A. Gluhovsky, R. A. Pielke Sr., E. Kalnay, and G. Rochon, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover on temperature trends over the continental United States: Assessment using the North American Regional Reanalysis. Int. J. Climatol., DOI: 10.1002/joc.1996

With respect to the study by Stone Jr, Gavin apparently did not even read it before he commented!

 In the paper

Stone Jr., Brian, 2009: Land Use As Climate Change Mitigation,  Environmental Science and Technology (in press).

 it is written [emphasis added in bold face font]

“….the mean decadal rate of warming across the urban stations is significantly higher than that of rural stations. Averaged over the full period, the mean decadal rate of warming for urban stations was found to be 0.08 °C higher than that of rural stations. This average rate of heat island growths i.e., urban warming in excess of the rural trends rises to 0.20 °C/decade over the most recent 20 years of observation.”

and

“The increasing divergence between rural and urban temperature trends in U.S. cities highlights the limitationsof a climate policy framework focused on emissions reductions alone. If land use change is the dominant agent of climate forcing at the urban scale, Kyoto-based emissions trading schemes may fail to sufficiently safeguard human health in the most heavily populated regions of the planet. It is important to emphasize, however, that the phrase “urban heat island effect,”muchlike the phrase “greenhouse effect,” is a misnomer…The physical mechanisms underlying warming trends in cities are limited neither to urban areas nor to small geographic regions. Rather, changes in surface moisture and energy balances accompanying land conversion processes across large swaths of the planet’s land area are giving rise to changes in climate that may be of the same order of magnitude as changes brought about through the emission of GHGs. As such, the urban heat island effect should be understood to be only the most visible manifestation of a larger phenomenon occurring across multiple geographic scaless a phenomenon better characterized as a “green loss effect” than as something unique to urban areas.”

This reply by Gavin, besides ignoring (e.g. Fall et al 2009) and his trivializing (e.g. Stone Jr 2009)  peer reviewed papers that disagree with his perspective,  his comment also shows that he has learned little from the exposure of the inappropriate attempt by Phil Jones and colleagues to serve as gatekeepers to climate science issues.

Since Gavin Schmidt is not a recognized expert on the role of land use/land cover change, he should have sought a qualified climate scientist to address the comment by CCPO. Instead, he perpetuates the biased and often inaccurate presentation of climate views on Real Climate.

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The Economist Magazine Gets It Wrong Again On The Climate Issue

The Economist magazine issue of November 29th has an article titled “ Mail-strom – Leaked e-mails do not show climate scientists at their best”  [subscription required] which is an example of a media outlet that is seeking to trivialize the importance of the leaked e-mails. Examples of their failure to understand the importance of these e-mails is given in their text, excerpts of which I present below:

“IS GLOBAL warming a trick?”

“The result has been a field day for those sceptical of the idea of man-made climate change…”

“…..the scientists are looking tribal and jumpy, and that sceptics have leapt so eagerly on such tiny scraps as proof of a conspiracy.”

The article fails to recognize that even scientists who accept a major role of humans within the climate system are disparaged by the authors in the e-mails (e.g. I was the scientist referred to in the Economist article as a “prat“), and have been excluded from presenting alternative perspectives on the climate issue (e.g., see). 

Despite the attempt to trivialize by the Economist, the issue which has been exposed by the released e-mails are that there are three distinct fundamentally different  perspectives on the role of humans in the climate system.

We have discussed this in our paper

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.

The three perspectives are presented in terms of the three hypotheses:

  • Hypothesis 1: Human influence on climate variability and change is of minimal importance, and natural causes dominate climate variations and changes on all time scales. In coming decades, the human influence will continue to be minimal.
  • Hypothesis 2a: Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.
  • Hypothesis 2b: Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and are dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, the most important of which is CO2. The adverse impact of these gases on regional and global climate constitutes the primary climate issue for the coming decades.

Hypothesis 2b is the perspective that the released e-mails are advocating (which is the IPCC conclusion) and are deliberately attempting to suppress scientists who present evidence of either of the other two viewpoints. In our EOS article, we present evidence in the peer-reviewed literature that refutes both hypotheses 1 and 2b, and supports hypothesis 2a as the robust finding. The Economist has chosen to trivialize this issue with their statement that “sceptics have leapt so eagerly on such tiny scraps as proof of a conspiracy”.

  Rather than being “scraps”, these released e-mails illustrate a coordinated effort to prevent the science with respect to climate change from being properly assessed and communicated to policymakers.

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A New Paper On Landscape Effects On The Climate System – Ballhorna Et Al 2009

There is a new paper of revlevance to the role of landscape change on the climate system (and thanks to Marcel Severijnen to alerting us to!). The paper is

Uwe Ballhorna, Florian Siegerta, Mike Mason and Suwido Limin, 2009: Derivation of burn scar depths and estimation of carbon emissions with LIDAR in Indonesian peatlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. November 25, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0906457106

The abstract reads

“During the 1997/98 El Niño-induced drought peatland fires in Indonesia may have released 13–40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels. One major unknown in current peatland emission estimations is how much peat is combusted by fire. Using a light detection and ranging data set acquired in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, in 2007, one year after the severe peatland fires of 2006, we determined an average burn scar depth of 0.33 ± 0.18 m. Based on this result and the burned area determined from satellite imagery, we estimate that within the 2.79 million hectare study area 49.15 ± 26.81 megatons of carbon were released during the 2006 El Niño episode. This represents 10–33% of all carbon emissions from transport for the European Community in the year 2006. These emissions, originating from a comparatively small area (approximately 13% of the Indonesian peatland area), underline the importance of peat fires in the context of green house gas emissions and global warming. In the past decade severe peat fires occurred during El Niño-induced droughts in 1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2009. Currently, this important source of carbon emissions is not included in IPCC carbon accounting or in regional and global carbon emission models. Precise spatial measurements of peat combusted and potential avoided emissions in tropical peat swamp forests will also be required for future emission trading schemes in the framework of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries.”

The abstract includes the text

“Currently, this important source of carbon emissions is not included in IPCC carbon accounting or in regional and global carbon emission models.”

This is in addition to the failure of the 2009 IPCC assessment to consider, as just two examples,  the effect of this biomass burning on the generation of atmospheric aerosols and their effect on precipitation (e.g. see) and of the alteration of the surface fluxes of heat and moisture into the atmosphere with a resultant alteration of large scale atmospheric patterns (e.g. see).

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News Release In The Sunday Times By Jonathan Leake – Climate Change Data Dumped

There is a news release in the Sunday Times by Jonathan Leake titled “Climate change data dumped” [Note: the Roger Pielke referred to in the article is Pielke Jr]. This startling disclosure means that  climate scientists will be unable to assess the mathematical methodology that CRU has used to convert the raw temperature data to the adjusted temperature data that were reported (at least up to the 1980s) in the 2007 IPCC assessment.

The article includes the text

“SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation. “

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.”

As also written in the news article

“In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

This is an absurd claim that the new data is “value-added”.  Indeed, we document a number of unresolved issues with the surface temperature data, which CRU now prevents anyone from assessing in our paper

 Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

The claim in the article that this elimination of the data up to the 1980s, however,  suggests that raw data since that time period is available. This data needs to be independently scrutinized  (i.e. not by GISS or NCDC) and each step of their “quality control” and “homogenization” quantitatively assessed [of course, GISS and NCDC should have the raw data prior to the 1980s].

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Further Comment On The Surface Temperature Data Used In The CRU, GISS And NCDC Analyses

In my post

An Erroneous Statement Made By Phil Jones To The Media On The Independence Of The Global Surface Temperature Trend Analyses Of CRU, GISS And NCDC

I discussed that Phil Jones implied that the GISS and NCDC surface temperature data sets confirmed the robutness of the magnitude of the multi-decadal global average surface temperature trend, even if his CRU data was excluded, since GISS and NCDC provide  independent assessments.

To present this issue further, I have reproduced below my question in 2005 on this issue and the CCSP response from

Compilation of Comments on the Public Review Draft of CCSP Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1: “Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere – steps for understanding and reconciling differences”

Question [by Roger A. Pielke Sr]:What is the overlap in the raw data that utilized by the three groups?

The best estimate that I am aware of has a 90-95% overlap. The analyses from the three groups are hardly independent assessments, and this should not be hidden in the report.  The overlap is particularly important for the grid points analyzed in the analyses where only 1 or 2 observational data points exist. We have documented for the tropical land areas, for example (20N to 20S) about 70% of the grid points have had zero or less than one observation site! Thus to compute an average surface temperature trend over land in the tropics, which is the area where the report narrowly focuses, almost all of the raw data used on the three analyses is from the same source. Thus to present a Figure to purportedly illustrate uncertainty in the surface temperature trends is misleading.

Response from  CCSP: It is true that there are substantial, though not complete, overlaps between the data sources used in the three global surface temperature analyses. But the unimportance of this problem is shown by the abovementioned observation that the trends show strong coherence between adjacent grid boxes, even in the tropics (Figure 3.6d). Thus if the three global surface temperature analyses were to be deliberately based on different, well distributed sets of one third of the grid boxes, their global trends would still be in good agreement. Moreover it was shown by Jones et al. (1997) that on the annual global space scale there are only about 60 degrees of spatial freedom in surface temperature anomalies.

We note also that the three global surface temperature analyses are based on different methods, corroborating the validity of the analyses. The MSU groups use identical input data and yet yield estimates that differ by the same magnitude as they searched for signal. Why the surface record is being systematically identified as being a problem because of raw data overlap when this applies to all datasets is somewhat of a mystery. The analysis in this report implies that structural uncertainty is greater aloft than at the surface. It is not an altogether surprising result. The surface record is based upon instruments which remain in-situ, are generally calibrated and maintained on a regular basis, and observing practices are relatively constant. Monitoring of the upper-air is achieved either by “fire and forget” single-use radiosondes or by satellites which have at most a lifetime of several years. It is much easier to change practices and introduce significant non-climatic influences in these latter records which very likely explains the larger spread in these estimates than those at the surface.

The response is incorrect. It is written, for example, that

“It is true that there are substantial, though not complete, overlaps between the data sources used in the three global surface temperature analyses. But the unimportance of this problem is shown by the abovementioned observation that the trends show strong coherence between adjacent grid boxes, even in the tropics (Figure 3.6d). “

There are often only one data site per grid cell in the tropics, and elsewhere, so there is no way to correlate between sites within the grid cell. Second, the 90-95% data overlap that I mentioned was not questioned. Indeed, this is what is written in one of the e-mails from Phil Jones [Source: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/].

Comment by Prof. Phil Jones
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/pjones/, Director, Climatic
Research Unit (CRU), and Professor, School of Environmental Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK:
“No one, it seems, cares to read what we put up http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/ on the CRU web page. These people just make up motives for what we might or might not have done. Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center [see here http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/index.php and here http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ghcn/ghcngrid.html ]……”

Another erroneous answer in the CCSP response is

“The surface record is based upon instruments which remain in-situ, are generally calibrated and maintained on a regular basis, and observing practices are relatively constant.”

Really! The invaluable photographic assessment of the USHCN sites has clearly documented that the observing sites are generally quite poor; see

Watts, A. 2009: Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable? 28 pages, March 2009 The Heartland Institute.

The responses in the CCSP report clearly show the casual dismissal of the substantive issues with respect to all three of the global average surface temperature trends that are being used by policymakers to quantify global warming. The three data analyses are not indepenent assessments, and, based on our research (e.g. see) have a signficant warm bias.

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E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

The release of the e-mails from Phil Jones further confirmed the attempts to suppress viewpoints of climate change issues, which conflict with the IPCC viewpoint.

In the example I present below, the issue is the robustness of the surface temperature trend record.  The three main groups that compile and analyze this information are NCDC (directed by Tom Karl), GISS (directed by Jim Hansen) and CRU (directed by Phil Jones).

In 2005, as I document in

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. 88 pp including appendices,

strong arm tactics of the Editor of this report (Tom Karl, Director of the US National Data Climate Center) were used to remove information in the CCSP report which raised questions about the robustness of his (and Jim Hansen’s GISS and Phil Jones’s CRU)  surface temperature data. Phil Jones was a  National Research Council panel member in a review of an interim draft of the CCSP report. In my Public Comment, I provided e-mail documentation of how these questions were excluded. At the time, my Public Comment did not receive much attention.

However, in light of the exposure of the inappropriate attempts to prevent the presentation of alternative viewpoints of climate science as seen in the Phil Jones e-mails,  I am posting below text from  several relevant e-mails (the complete emails are in the Public Comment).  Since Tom Karl was evaluating his own group’s surface temperature analysis, his conflict of interest is very clear.

E-mails

Subject: Chapter 6: an alternative? [email not for the faint hearted?]

Resent-From: CCSPTempTrendAuthors.NCDC@noaa.gov

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:22:32 +0100

From: Thorne, Peter <peter.thorne@metoffice.gov.uk>

To: CCSPTempTrendAuthors.NCDC@noaa.gov

Dear all,

Health warning: This mail does not hold its punches as the youngest member of this panel I suppose that I have the most to lose through Chapter 6 in its current form in terms of future research career. I also suspect that I am the most likely to run around making a pain in the proverbial of myself. My apologies for that! I’ve tried over the past few weeks to help others in the Chapter 6 redrafting, but I really think that the structure we had just will not work. Therefore I took the liberty of spending 3 hours this morning developing an alternative, which I attach. I will caveat that David has looked at this, but the rationale and most of the text is my responsibility, not his (in other words the buck stops here).

This is punchier, almost devoid of references (actually not bothered with a reference list yet – there are limits!), more tightly linked to the chapters, and contains fewer recommendations that are more focussed. I believe unless I am seriously mistaken that these are all points

others have made over the recent past in relation to this chapter. They also directly assess the NRC review comments.

 very time we have put a redraft back in the past few weeks the same pet subjects have been re-inserted, lengthening the draft and destroying the flow. I’m sorry, but I for one am now utterly bored of this. You will note in the attached there are comments where I suspect this insertion of pet subjects may happen, but, in my opinion, is not justified. I have, however, been scrupulously fair in targeting surface and upper-air records in all sections in line with the balance of the rest

of this report and with Roger’s concerns. I would be particularly interested in thoughts from the editorial team and other CLAs as to whether they think this is an improvement. My sincere apologies if this causes offence to Roger or anyone else. My sole interest is in seeing us get an excellent report out. I will now don my flame proof jacket, but please can everyone take the time to calmly consider this mail and the attachment first.

 Peter

My suspicion is that Tom Karl encouraged or asked Peter Thorne to write this e-mail [for  a more recent comment on the poor professional ethics of Peter Thorne; see]. Thorne only required 3 hours to write his version, as he wrote in his e-mail, while we had spent several months writing ours.

Tom Karl quickly followed up Thorne’s e-mail with

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 08:53:44 -0400

From: Thomas R Karl <Thomas.R.Karl@noaa.gov>

To: Roger Pielke <pielke@atmos.colostate.edu>

Subject: [Fwd: Chapter 6: an alternative? [email not for the faint

hearted?]]

Roger — let me know what you think

Tom

However,  I had not even seen what Tom Karl was talking about, which implies that this was discussed between Tom Karl and Peter Thorne beforehand.  I replied to Karl’s e-mail with

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 06:55:54 -0600 (MDT)

From: Roger Pielke <pielke@atmos.colostate.edu>

To: _NESDIS NCDC CCSP Temp Trends Lead Authors

<CCSPTempTrendAuthors.NCDC@noaa.gov>

Subject: Re: Chapter 6: an alternative? [email not for the faint hearted?]

Resent-Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 07:04:06 -0600

Resent-From: CCSPTempTrendAuthors.NCDC@noaa.gov

Peter 

Since I was not even sent a copy of this suggested revision, it would be appreciated if you did so I can comment.

Roger

I e-mailed the following to Peter Thorne 

Peter

In order for us to track down the problem, please send us the e-mail as it actually bounced, so that we can use the tracking information that always appears on these.

 Roger

Peter Thorne replied

 Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 09:04:53 +0100

From: “Thorne, Peter” <peter.thorne@metoffice.gov.uk>

To: Roger Pielke <pielke@atmos.colostate.edu>

Cc: Thomas R Karl <Thomas.R.Karl@noaa.gov>

Subject: Email that bounced

Roger,

I no longer have the bounced mail itself I’m afraid, but I have the

saved DNS error message which is attached below [DNS message is in Appendix C of my Public Comment]: 

Is it possible that your server machine was temporarily down or having a patch applied at this time? That could explain it. For everyone else there was no bounce.

 

 

The clear suspicion is that I was deliberately left off. If my e-mail bounced, why did not he resend it to me?

Tom Peterson (who was on the Committee also; and the same Tom Peterson who ridiculed me in the Phil Jones e-mail collection; see) wrote

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 09:05:52 -0400

From: Thomas C Peterson <Thomas.C.Peterson@noaa.gov>

To: Roger Pielke <pielke@atmos.colostate.edu>

Subject: Re: Chapter 6: an alternative? [email not for the faint hearted?]

Roger, it was attached to Peter’s email that went out to the whole team

earlier today. Did you not get it?

More e-mails followed, which are reproduced in Appendix C my Public Comment.  The question of whether they actually sent me the original e-mail was, of course, not the substantive problem with the process (it just suggests they were communicating about this via e-mail and inadvertently left me off the final e-mail communication that disseminated Peter Thorne’s draft.

The end of the e-mail exchange, which forced me to resign from the Committee, is clear in the text and tone of the e-mail below from Tom Karl 

From the Entire Editorial Staff: Roger, please do not take this request lightly. We politely ask you take Peter’s version, since everyone so far has indicated it is easier to understand, balanced, and does better represent their views and indicate where you would differ (small minorities views ok, but not desirable). This would be your opportunity to highight specific issues or points that are not adequately addressed in the version that Peter has put out on the Table. It seems you are representing yourself, at the expense of all the other authors who have weighed in on this. We do not understand your intransigence on this.

In other words, since I would not acquiesce to the view of Tom Karl, with regards to the robustness of his surface temperature data and other issues, he was pressuring me to  accept the replacement chapter which does not raise the issues with its robustness. There was also no poll of the Commttee with respect to his claim that everyone accepted Peter Thorne’s chapter, as I document in my Public Comment).

I replied

 Tom

 Lets accept that Peter’s e-mail bounced. As a primary person involved in Chapter 6, as soon as this was found out, efforts should have been made to contact me, as it was clearly recognized by the header of the e-mail that this was going to result in a significant response.

In regards to the more serious issue, it is quite easy for me to document your intransigence on this, rather than you trying to spin the history of this issue so that it is my fault. Peter is invited to contribute to the process in the defined framework as everyone else has, using the existing Chapter draft as the template. It is clear from your published work that you have much to offer scientifically but you also have a conflict of interest, and, in my view, are inappropriately exercising it in your capacity as Editor. By repeatedly stating that I am representing only myself in this debate mischaraterizes the diversity of views of others which exist in our community, and which is reported in the peer-reviewed literature

Using your words, I hope you and the Editorial Staff do not take this controversy lightly. It is documentable that you are seeking to produce a document that is not balanced in its perspective on the issues of surface and tropospheric temperature changes.

I will continue to work on Chapter 6, and look forward to resolving this by encouraging authors to work within the framework of the existing Chapter.

Roger

With a further response from Tom Karl

 Roger,

 Thank you for your speedy reply. Once again, “We politely ask you take Peter’s version …. to highlight specific issues or points that are not adequately addressed in the version that Peter has put out on the Table.”

 Tom, Bill, Chris and Susan

I then decided that the CCSP report process led by Tom Karl is not interested in assessing the science issue with the surface and tropospheric temperature data. He wanted a rubber stamp of the robustness of his data analysis.   

Here is my resignation e-mail which I then sent

 Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 01:14:59 +0000

From: pielke_r@comcast.net

To: james.r.Mahoney@noaa.gov, james.r.Mahoney@noaa.gov

Cc: _NESDIS NCDC CCSP Temp Trends Lead Authors

<CCSPTempTrendAuthors.NCDC@noaa.gov>; richard.moss@pnl.gov,

<richard.moss@pnl.gov>

 Subject: Resignation

 Dear Dr. Mahoney

 I am resigning effective immediately from the CCSP Committee “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere-Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. For the reasons briefly summarized in my blog (http://ccc.atmos.colostate.edu/blog/), I have given up seeking to promote a balanced presentation of the issue of assessing recent spatial and temporal surface and tropospheric temperature trends. The NY Times article today was the last straw. This entire exercise has been very disappointing, and, unfortunately is a direct result of having the same people write the assessment report as have completed the studies.

 Their premature representation of aspects of the report to the media and in a Senate Hearing before we finalized the report has made me realize that, despite the claims of some of them to the contrary, only the minimal representation of the perspective that I represent will be begrudgingly included in the report. I also learned earlier this week that a member of the Committee drafted a replacement chapter to the one that I had been responsible for and worked hard toward reaching a consensus, which was almost complete. This sort of politicking has no place in a community assessment. If such committees are put together with no intention of adequately accommodating minority, but scientifically valid perspectives, then it would be best in the future not to invite such participation on CCSP committees I will be submitting a statement as part of the public record when the report appears documenting the specific process and science issues I have with this report. On the science issues, the community at large can made a decision as to whether or not they have merit.

 Respectively

 Roger A. Pielke Sr.

Professor and State Climatologist

Department of Atmospheric Science

Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1371

phone:970-491-8293/fax:970-491-3314

 As a direct result of my inability to present issues associated with uncertainties and possible systematic biases with the surface temperature record, I invited a number colleagues to co-author a peer reviewed paper which raises these issues. The peer reviewed paper appeared in 2007

 

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229. 

As of today’s data, 4 years after the completion of the report, Tom Karl and his associates as NCDC continue to ignore these issues.  As Phil Jones wrote to Ben Santer and Tom Wigley in his August  22 2005 e-mail with  respect to my resignation

 “I almost missed the one with Pielke’s resignation in. Is this going to make your CCSP task easier or harder? Presumably now you’ll get all his comments to officially deal with. Maybe
you’ll be able to ignore them?
Cheers
Phil”

[from http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=584&filename=1124742148.txt]

 Phil Jones also wrote in an  e-mail dated January 29 2009, with respect to a Comment/Reply with respect to our 2007 JGR paper


> …He is a prat. He’s just had a response to a comment
> piece that David Parker, Tom Peterson and I wrote on a paper
> they had in 2007. Pielke wouldn’t understand independence if it
> hit him in the face. Both papers in JGR online. Not worth you
> reading them unless interested.
>
> Cheers
> Phil
>Prat

Where the Comment he is referring to is our JGR paper and the Comment/Reply that he was involved in. The referees of the  Comment/Reply supported the conclusions of our JGR paper (see). 

The issues of the conflict of interest illustrated by the sample of e-mails from Phil Jones, as well as the above e-mails from Tom Karl, illustrate the extent that this corruption of climate assessements has permeated climate science.

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