Talk:Climatic Research Unit email controversy

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ClimateGate Source Code Findings[edit]

It appears that no one has mentioned the issues in the climate model source code that were found.

The fact that values were hard coded into climate models that were used by the public and government agencies should at least be mentioned, no?

(I apologize if this is a duplicate. it appeared that my other post wasn't saved.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Deanofharvard (talkcontribs) 22:13, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Let's see: "Utah's Favorite Public Square for Loud Political Debate" puts something on its self-published website on November 28th, 2009, and somehow no-one thinks to bring it up in their submissions to the various enquiries – or did they? Have you a better source for the actual use of the codes? Looks like noise with no substance. . . dave souza, talk 22:40, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Does anything supersede this BBC report? YoPienso (talk) 22:37, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Probably something in documentation of the various inquiries, but Myles Allen dismisses it nicely, as summarised at Climatic Research Unit documents#Code and documentation. . . dave souza, talk 02:07, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. The Guardian debunking the BBC isn't very convincing, though. Tim Lambert is more convincing, but since I don't write code I can't really follow his argument, except to notice the code in question did have something to do with the HadCRUT temperature record. But Lambert was nonetheless dismissive of the allegation. I'd like to learn more about this. William Connelley may know something about it. YoPienso (talk) 04:14, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── “Harry Read Me” file and other code opening paragraph – "The petitioners submitted a large number of quotes from a 300 page, 90,000 word document named HARRY_READ_ME.txt 45 . The HARRY_READ_ME.txt debugging notes are a record of “Harry’s” 46 attempt to update the CRU TS2.1 product to TS3.0 during the years 2006 to 2009 by merging six years of additional data (covering 2003 to 2008) to an old dataset running until 2002, and migrating the code to a new computer system at the same time. As noted in the science background in Subsection 1.3.2 of this document, CRU TS2.1 and 3.0 are different from the HadCRUT temperature record that is referred to in the EPA TSD. Arguments made by petitioners about the TS datasets are not relevant to the HadCRUT temperature record." Read on and enjoy. . . dave souza, talk 08:06, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Too heavy-duty to enjoy, but thanks for the link.
Graham-Cunningham was concerned enough about substandard coding in the project that he wrote to Parliament about it.
Nature published a paper to which he contributed that used the Met/CRU data as an example of poor coding. (Click on Box 1.) Lead author Darrel C. Ince was not critical of the scientists, writing, "These errors do not in any way reflect badly on the original authors. The code rewriting simply plays the part of peer review and it is normal to find such errors." Ince wrote a more accessible article in the Guardian about the problem, calling it "One of the spinoffs from the emails and documents that were leaked from the Climate Research Unit . . ." So, yes, there's actually some substance behind the noise, but it seems peripheral to this article. It's interesting to me but I don't see that we should add it to the article. YoPienso (talk) 10:03, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
This issue is covered in Climatic Research Unit documents. Any expansion would be appropriate there under "Code and documentation". There's a link in this article to that one. YoPienso (talk) 18:19, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Yopienso, I think it will be worth adding something to that article section, which I linked above. The Graham-Cunningham memo relates agrees that the readme files are about the CRU TS2.1 and 3.0 product (which incorporates all sorts of climate data, including rainfall), a different product to the CRUTEM/HadCRUT temperature record which was the centre of controversy. However it may be worth noting Ince et al.'s investigation and improvements to the code used in CRUTEM, providing we're clear this doesn't support the claims that these minor issues overturn all the science. The EPA investigation gives useful clarification and context. One item is particularly appropriate this evening:
Comment (1-48): The Coalition for Responsible Regulation provides the following quote from the HARRY READ ME.txt file
  OH F[---] THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.

It's of interest as Harry was trying to put together datasets produced by different organisations in different countries, and in this instance the datasets used different sized grids for calculating rain days: nothing to do with the CRUTEM land temperature product. Anyway, it amused me. . . dave souza, talk 19:53, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Link to IPCC consensus[edit]

A statement like "There is no evidence to justify trying to drive a wedge between 'the IPCC' and 'science'" is sort of nonsens. A link to the more generic IPCC consensus article is relevant, as it is pointing out something different as mere (natural) "scientific opinion on climate change". The political cloud and social science assessments of the IPCC consensus process, its findings and conclusions are quite different from the mere natural science findings (which do not face much of a controversy per se). In so far I ask to restore the link. Serten II (talk) 23:50, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Your IPCC consensus essay appears to be mistitled and is rather incoherent. The statement you're calling nonsens is this edit summary, and the point stands: "Please discuss relevant sources on Talk". . . dave souza, talk 09:48, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Balance of text[edit]

The article seems to include more text supporting the defense of the scientists involved than the actual content or description of the subject of the controversy. The sections on the scientists' defense and the inquiries that followed take up more space.Milkchaser (talk) 15:58, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Also, the citation of the various authorities claiming that the controversy is unwarranted seems like argument by authority. Where are the dissenting views and investigations? Milkchaser (talk) 15:58, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Which dissenting investigations would you expect to be reported? William M. Connolley (talk) 16:39, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I could suggest this analysis from which is by a climate sceptic but is factual and objective in its presentation of why the CRU emails expose scientific malpractice. I reckon the important thing to always keep in mind is that issue being examined here is scientific malpractice, NOT the validity or otherwise of climate change theory. Even having precisely the right answer to a research question does not make one a good scientist if that answer was obtained by pathological methods. --Anteaus (talk) 13:04, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Looks like an opinion piece by John Costella written on 10 December 2009 republishing stolen emails, starting with his view that "Climategate began on 19 November 2009, when a whistle-blower leaked thousands of emails and documents" and reveals "a small team of incompetent scientists". Oh, really? Published by the Lavoisier Group, which our article says is an Australian organisation formed by politicians and dominated by retired industrial businesspeople and engineers. It does not accept the science of global warming and works to influence attitudes of policy makers and politicians. So, a primary source self-published by a propagandist group. Vary questionable, especially as it makes numerous BLP allegations. Of course, when you say you could suggest it, that indicates you're not really suggesting it. . . dave souza, talk 13:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I said that this report was written by a climate change sceptic. You don't need to launch into a diatribe over what I've already stated as fact. ;)
The OP was asking for a well-presented and logical contrary view. This seems to be one such. Since it references its claims to original material, it does not AFAICS fit the definition of propaganda. --Anteaus (talk) 15:21, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Logical? Factual and objective? "That background now paves the way to our understanding the historic email which generations of schoolchildren to come will study as the 33 words which summarize one of the most serious scientific frauds in the history of Western science. Phil Jones.... regarding a diagram for a World Meteorological Organization Statement: 'I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick....". Pure fantasy and conspiracy theory, instead of a reasonable explanation. Odd that Inhofe's pal the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce didn't quite see it the same way as Costella. . . dave souza, talk 15:43, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
p.s. Costella continues that section: "It is their silence and collaboration over the following decade in 'hiding the decline' which justifies the use of the word 'conspiracy'; a conspiracy which will rob the 'discipline' of climate science of any credibility, and which will cast suspicion about the integrity of Western science for many decades to come." ........ dave souza, talk 16:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:FALSEBALANCE (part of WP:NPOV) says "We do not take a stand on these issues as encyclopedia writers, for or against; we merely omit this information where including it would unduly legitimize it". There is no legitimate dissenting view of the email incident. After all those enquiries, every stone was turned, and no grand conspiracy was found. The science is robust and the scientists were not guilty of any fraud. There is no need to dilute the facts with any fiction. --Nigelj (talk) 15:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Nigelj, you have just taken a stand on the issue. Since there is an embargo on quoting or referencing the emails in question, it would seem to be impossible to validate any quoted counterargument to the claims of innocence made in this article. Therefore since WP does not allow unreferenced material, that would seem tantamount to an outright ban on quoting dissenting opinion. I do not see any justification for such a ban; in legal circles it is considered 'fair usage' under copyright Law to quote relevant sections of material which constitutes evidence. It is also considered fair usage for the press to quote such sections. If that were not the case, it would be impossible to have any transparency or accountability in the legal system.
In passing I could add that the claim that the 'Hide the decline' quote was misrepresented by sceptics is solely supported by a reference to the Guardian. Which, is hardly a dependable source where such matters are concerned. There may well be numerous other questionable references; I haven't the time to check them all out. However, to declare that a quote from John Costella is inadmissible whilst a pivotal content item is referenced from that sensationalist rag, would seem to be sinking to the utmost depths of hypocrisy. --Anteaus (talk) 19:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
You write as if Wikipedia was a court of law where everyone has a fair chance of a hearing. Even if it were, in this case, the hearing is over and the verdict is in. Nine times if I recall correctly. Yet you expect us to go back to the primary sources and re-evaluate the whole thing here on a talk page as if we were better judges? I think a look through basic WP policies might be more help. --Nigelj (talk) 20:23, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
@ Anteaus, the Grauniad a "disreputable rag" and you want to use a CC denial group's selfpub pamphlet as a source? Read on in the linked article, perhaps you prefer Nurture – "One e-mail talked of displaying the data using a 'trick' — slang for a clever (and legitimate) technique, but a word that denialists have used to accuse the researchers of fabricating their results. It is Nature's policy to investigate such matters if there are substantive reasons for concern, but nothing we have seen so far in the e-mails qualifies." Also, earlier, "A fair reading of the e-mails reveals nothing to support the denialists' conspiracy theories." And if you don't like science pubs, note that the EPA rejected allegations as both irrelevant and inaccurate. But of course, perhaps they're part of the conspiracy? Still doesn't support giving "equal validity" to Lavoisier Group fringe views. . . dave souza, talk 20:45, 29 July 2015 (UTC)


You just cant say that numerous sources were climate change deniers - you need to be accurate and neutral here in Wikipedia - because Climategate was a huge incident in Finnish media as well. Kartasto (talk) 17:44, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Neutrality requires due weight and care with pseudoscience: many sources have promoted climate change denial [or have denied aspects of climate science while claiming to be "skeptical"] so each has to be considered on merits. . . dave souza, talk 18:37, 13 November 2015 (UTC)