November 24, 2009

Hadley CRU Code Analysis Begins: "This isn’t just a smoking gun, it’s a siege cannon with the barrel still hot."

Eric Raymond (uber-programmer and author of a number of How-to documents and FAQs, many of which are included in the Linux Documentation Project corpus) just posted a short item called Hiding the Decline: Part 1 : The Adventure Begins

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/ , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1940s -- see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

And that's just one small snippet.

Posted by Vanderleun at November 24, 2009 9:22 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Outrage is an appropriate response, but it needs to be leavened with mockery and ridicule:

Hide the Decline

Posted by: rickl at November 24, 2009 9:35 PM

Eric Raymond came through a "Rudyard Kipling" episode with flying colours. The mark of a man.

He was a director of Red Hat (a Linux distribution) and was allocated a portion of shares of its IPO - an IPO which turned out to be the biggest, in terms of share price increase, in history. Overnight he went from a computer geek making a buck here and there to being very seriously wealthy (hundreds of millions). But of course the rules are that the shares cannot be sold for six months. And in that six months - encompassing the dotcom bust as it turned out - the share price went down to virtually nothing. Throughout that whole process, up and down, he never changed.

Posted by: Brett_McS at November 24, 2009 10:39 PM

Of course, there is no doubt whatsoever that the code fragment shown, itself stolen from its rightful owners by someone who himself has an axe to grind, is completely authentic and unaltered. Right?

Data faking can be done by anyone.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at November 24, 2009 11:33 PM

Yes, possibly,

But it was already known for several years that you could feed any data into the model and the same hockey stick like graph would appear.

So, either the code for the model was designed to produce that hockey stick, or for several years many people have managed to feed a careful set of random data into the model which managed to produce the characteristic hockey stick graph.

Given the secrecy surrounding the model initially, and their consistent refusal to release any data on their input data/sources/methodologies and model, and then the complete dropping of the hockey stick results after it was discovered that any data would produce the graph, I'd say the evidence is against the modelers and the code is almost certainly authentic.

Posted by: pdwalker at November 25, 2009 12:32 AM

Thanks for the link, ricki.

Posted by: vanderleun at November 25, 2009 6:43 AM

They blinded me.....WITH SCIENCE!

Posted by: Milwaukee Mike at November 25, 2009 7:16 AM

"Data faking can be done by anyone."

Yes, and with all respect, the people who have refused for years to share their raw data and who have now finally "lost" it, are the prime suspects for having done exactly that.

And indications are that this information was not "hacked", but was leaked by a whistle-blower, one of those heroic truth-seekers we always read about when they spill information that compromises our national security. But when they compromise the security of the Church of Global Warming, they aren't heroes anymore!

Posted by: sherlock at November 25, 2009 7:33 AM

The comments interspersed in the code are what make me ask if the original snippet wasn't altered by Raymond?

Did the original programmer really put comments in like "Ooops!"?

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 25, 2009 9:29 AM

I'll check.... And Raymond DID NOT insert anything.

I have a copy of the file referenced here on my computer that was downloaded from Hadley Cru.

In it you find:

; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'

Believe me, Raymond is too high profile and ethical to ever insert something into the code he's reviewing.

Posted by: vanderleun at November 25, 2009 9:40 AM

OK, I went to the original source for this Digest post. From what I can gather, the [non-code] comments in the coding are apparently genuine.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 25, 2009 9:41 AM

Thanks, Gerard, for the reply.

I often ask questions like this when something scandalous has been smoked out and appears ridiculously outrageous. E.g., I once commented on the O'Keefe/Giles ACORN videos that it was really hard to believe that, as cartoonishly (Grandma's Chinchilla coat for O'Keefe the 'pimp?') as the two of them were costumed, how could the ACORN people be fooled?

Well, everything about the ACORN sting was genuine, wasn't it? The corrupt these days are so arrogant that they are getting very stupid.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 25, 2009 9:49 AM

ESR wrote one of the best blog posts ever:

Gramscian Damage

Posted by: Fat Man at November 25, 2009 11:36 PM

sherlock - OK, so it was a whistle blower. And that means he couldn't have faked the data either?

All this means not a damned thing, in the long run. AGW either is or is not a fact. If it is and we do something about it before something bad happens, then nothing bad happens. If it isn't and we do nothing, then nothing bad happens. If it isn't and we do stuff to prevent AGW, then we are out some money. (Incidentally, I personally am not even sure about that, because one of the things that could be done is not to give quite so much money to people who want to kill us.)

However, if AGW is a fact, and we do nothing about it, then we could be in a world of hurt. And since, at the moment, nobody really knows whether AGW is a fact or how bad it could get...

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at November 25, 2009 11:51 PM

I'm old enough to remember the "global cooling" scare of the 1970s. Action was demanded to stop this threat "NOW!", with dire consequences predicted if "we didn't do something immediately". Well, we didn't, and what happened?
N-O-T-H-I-N-G. And AGW features some of the same "scientists" who tried scamming us the first time around. Sorry, Bucko, I didn't buy it then, and I'm not buying it now.

I've looked at real, no-kidding source code a few times in my life, and the comments written into the CRU code ring true. These are exactly the kinds of notes programmers write for themselves and to each other. They tend to be pretty honest here, because they're trying to solve problems and get the program to do what it's supposed to do, and B.S. doesn't cut it at that point. I'll be very surprised if the data turns out to be faked. The only ones who are faking it appear to be Jones, Mann, and their partners in the AGW scam.

Fletch, you're a fool if you believe the hucksters of AGW are just doing this "for our own good". There's big money--mine and yours--in it for them. Then there's the matter of control. High-priests of AGW like the hypocrite Al Gore get to fly around in private jets and live in 20,000 square foot mansions that use more electricity than a small town while telling me what kind of car I can drive and what kind of light bulb I can use. Nothing bad happens? Not if you value your liberty.

Posted by: waltj at November 27, 2009 4:39 AM

waltj - Precisely. Many if not all of the things that would need to be done in the case that AGW is a reality are things that would be beneficial even if it is not. Such things as reducing Western dependence on ME oil by building fission plants and doing some serious work on space solar power, ocean thermal, tidal and wave power and fusion by two methods (focus fusion and Polywell) that both have a decent chance of working. Also growing the only sort of biofuel that will really work, which is algae. What's happening instead? Wind power - don't make me laugh. Ground solar - ditto. Tokamak fusion? Still fifty years from producing power, just as it was fifty years ago, and consuming incredible amounts of scientific and engineering talent and money while producing nothing.

From the point of view of the current establishment, the trouble with some of those approaches is that they take power away from centralised structures and towards the people. SSP leads inevitably to the colonisation of space, and thus to the end of American hegemony. And both the fusion approaches I've mentioned have the huge disadvantage (from establishment's point of view) of probably being usable in small installations - perhaps even down to individual apartment blocks or even smaller. OTEC and wave power could be used in small units, too.

Wouldn't you love to be able to tell the power company where to stick its bills?

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at November 27, 2009 8:45 AM

"""" However, if AGW is a fact, and we do nothing about it, then we could be in a world of hurt. And since, at the moment, nobody really knows whether AGW is a fact or how bad it could get... """"

There have been warmer periods than now in recorded history. Nothing catastrophic happened in those periods. It is possible that profound sociological and demographic changes occured in some areas, but, so what? What we humans are supposed to be known for is our adaptability, resourcefullness and ingenuity. If we end up having the climate of the time of the High Middle Ages or the age of Stonehenge and the Pyramids, does that constitute a catastrophe?

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at November 27, 2009 3:26 PM

It *is* possible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.

That's when you're writing unambiguous computer code. Computers don't do 'nuance' or 'context'.

Posted by: Schiller Thurkettle at November 28, 2009 1:11 PM

Fletch, I'll leave it to someone with more specific technical knowledge to comment on the efficacy--or not--of your proposed means of generating power. I simply don't know enough to comment intelligently, so as one of our Presidents once said, I'd rather keep my mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

I'm also not much of one for conspiracies. The reason many ideas don't get off the ground, figuratively or literally, is that they don't work very well in the real world, not that the "establishment", whatever that means, is against them. Not always, but often enough that that is my default position until I learn more about the specific case.

I do, however, like the thought of reducing the West's dependence on ME oil. I agree that we should be investing in many things that achieve that end. Starting with increased drilling in the U.S. If something more sustainable proves effective at providing a similar level of energy output, great. But we'll still need the oil until it comes on line. And I'd rather the oil came from within the U.S. and from our close allies, not from the ME or from the demented clown on the north coast of South America.

Posted by: waltj at November 29, 2009 7:13 AM

Fletcher, I am going to take the position that the code is real and unaltered. Why? Because if it was a fake, the Hadley CRU could say that this code is a fake and show the real code as proof. That is the action, I think, of a wronged but honest man. That Hadley CRU hasn't done that tells me that the leaked code is the true code.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at November 30, 2009 12:59 PM