Climate Change; Data Control The Enemy Within

Commentary, Climate, Frontier Centre

Science must have accurate and adequate data. It’s the basis for producing or testing theories; without it results are meaningless. Inadequate data seriously limits climate research, but scientists and governments who manipulate it for political goals make it impossible. This occurs because most government weather and climate agencies work to create and confirm results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

On Oct 14, 2009 Kevin Trenberth, member of the IPCC and leading member of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) group, wrote one of the leaked emails that exposed climate science corruption. He said, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” He made similar comments back in 1999 on the release of the National Research Council (NRC) report on weather data. The press release reported, “Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the record….place serious limitations on the confidence in the research results.” Trenberth commented “It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s gong on with climate, but we don’t.” This didn’t stop him participating in IPCC and CRU research.

Data collection is expensive and requires continuity – it’s a major role for government. They fail with weather data because money goes to political climate research. A positive outcome of corrupted climate science exposed by Climategate, is re-examination beginning with raw data by the UK Met Office (UKMO). This is impossible because much is lost, thrown out after modification or conveniently lost, as in the case of records held by Phil Jones, director of Climategate.  (Here and Here)

Evidence of manipulation and misrepresentation of data is everywhere. Countries maintain weather stations and adjust the data before it’s submitted through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to the central agencies including the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), the Hadley Center associated with CRU now called CRUTEM3, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

They make further adjustments before selecting stations to produce their global annual average temperature. This is why they produce different measures each year from supposedly similar data.

There are serious concerns about data quality. The US spends more than others on weather stations, yet their condition and reliability is simply atrocious. Anthony Watts has documented the condition of US weather stations; it is one of governments failures.

Figure 1 shows quality ratings for stations in the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN). 69% of stations (CRN=4 and =5) have error ranges equal to or greater than 2°C. Only 10% (CRN=1 and =2) have errors less than 1°C.

Figure 1: Weather Station Quality Rating. Source:

A US election candidate said electing her opponent was like hiring Count Dracula to run the blood bank. Putting a person who is fanatically opposed to CO2 production from fossil fuels in charge of climate data is similar. James Hansen is Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), a major source of global temperature data. He was arrested for protesting again recently right outside the White House. It’s another in a list of protests and arrests directed against CO2 from fossil fuels, with a special focus on coal.

His public campaign began before a 1988 Senate committee with the unsupported and unproven claim that he was 99% certain humans caused warming. He testified at the 2008 trial of six Greenpeace activists prosecuted for doing $55K damage to a UK power plant. An hour-long deposition ranted against the “imminent peril” the Earth faces from CO2 emissions. The activists were acquitted. Hansen claimed the verdict was public support “for the right to break the law in the cause of climate activism.”

He was arrested at a protest on June 23, 2009 in West Virginia. He spoke at a protest against a power plant in Washington, DC in March 2009.

Part of his political activity included a claim he was being muzzled. His former boss Dr. John Theon exposed the lie. “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”

Theon was even more pointed. “Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it.”

GISS results are derived GHCN data and are consistently different from those of other agencies. Under Hansen’s control GISS ‘adjustments’ and errors always produce higher temperatures. They limited eligible stations (Figure 2). Only approximately 1000 stations have 100 records. A dramatic drop in stations after 1960 and diminished global coverage.

Figure 2: GISS graphs showing a) station record length b) # of Stations c) Global coverage.

In 2007 a ‘Y2K’ error made 1998 the warmest year on record and 9 of the 10 warmest years in the US record in the1990s. Now 1934 is warmest and 4 of the ten warmest were in the 1930s. Hansen said they had not made the claim 1998 was warmest but a GISS staffer disagreed.

In 2008, GISS reported October was the warmest since 1880.  They’d re-used September data for many northern stations. GISS blamed the error on the agency that supplied the data, but NASA said the supplier carried out “extensive quality control.” As always, the error output was in the news, while the correction received virtually no mainstream attention. 

Figure 3: Red, orange and yellow prediction scenarios from Hansen’s 1988 testimony Source:

In 2008, Hansen called for CEOs to stand trial for crimes against humanity.  He said heads of oil companies had actively spread disinformation. Hansen not only spread disinformation, his agency produced disinformation. His science is seriously flawed. El Nino predictions are one example.

Another is temperature prediction.  Figure 3 shows the output from his computer model and how different they are from those obtained by satellite. Something is clearly wrong with the model and it is most likely the assumption that an increase in CO2 causes an increase in temperature. Another problem is the model is built on what the NRC identified as inadequate data. Sadly, we have even less data now because the enemy within has manipulated it for political goals.