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« Another witchhunt | Main | The only way is Essex »
Saturday
Feb212015

Congressional hearings?

According to the Daily Caller, Republicans in the US Congress seem set to announce hearings into the surface temperature records. This intelligence was based on a tweet from Dana Rohrabacher, the vice chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

 

 

It seems fairly clear that the surface stations are a shambles. It is not so obvious that this has led to a material overstatement of warming. But I think we can say with some certainty that a congressional hearing is probably not going to get to the bottom of the scientific issues.

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Reader Comments (71)

Unless they are Damned careful and put every effort they can into researching this......

They could use Paul Homewood, Tony Heller and Anthony Watts on the stand. Or maybe that would be a Bad idea. It all depends on whether they DID IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

Whether or not the instrumental temperature data has been deliberated to produce false warming, is not as important as finding out what data is still available and what has been done to the data. Even getting NASA et al to explain what they have done would be useful. Especially if the real errors (bars) were realised so we can assess just how ropey all the CAGW (settled?) science is!

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

I agree it is not going to get to the bottom of the scientific issues and it is almost certain it would in no way find NASA deliberately falsifying data. However there is incontrovertible evidence that the current and past weather station data in use is a crock and if it says that, the whole circus would start to fall apart.

Still I wouldn't hold my breath since 90% of all the elites (political, business, financial, academic, media, governmental and general Establishment) are firmly wedded to AGW, call it what they will, and nothing short of ....... I was going to say nothing short of unambiguous global cooling would shake their commitment, but somehow I don't think even that would be sufficient. So, things will only change when there is a severe and sustained public backlash, if there ever is.

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter C

Whilst this is unlikely ever to take place, let alone lead to some sort of "truth"....the mere speculation is ammo in the political war.
Some very influential climate scientists have taken this matter political....they can scarcely cavil when it is reciprocated.
It is all good stuff! I wonder if we can turn up the air-conditioning so the chamber is freezing during the hearings?
A bit like the Pachauri brouhaha...imagine what would be happening if it were Christopher Monckton who was the subject of a sexual harassment accusation.
These are not tactics I would applaud or instigate.....but I am not going weep crocodile tears about them.

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

IF (big if) they are primed to ask the right questions then I would back a Republican Congress, if I would back anybody, to get to the bottom of this mess.
Even if they can make Gavin wriggle a bit it will be a step towards getting a proper resolution to this scam. I think it's becoming clearer by the day, possibly even to the faithful but certainly to the science-literate, that they have been sold a pup and that the "tipping points" and the "runaway global warming" are not about to happen any time soon.
Add to that what looks to be increasing evidence that the real drivers behind this — the eco-activists and their useful idiots — may well to an extent be being funded by Foreign Powers (sounds good, eh?) and the chances start to look better that the whole con is about to unravel.
Though it will take a while for us to get the pseudo-intellectual hangers-on (sociologists, psychologists, Deben) to let go of the teat.

Feb 21, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The way the past keeps getting progressively colder, it will not be long before history books have to be rewritten to show that Columbus did not sail across the ocean blue to discover America. He went with dog sled teams, across the Atlantic sea ice.

This will be the explanation for the game of tennis originating in the West Indies, using snow shoes, why Americans love their beer served ice cold, and why the original Jamaican Bobsleigh Team was formed over 500 years ago.

Why bother learning from history, when with progressive clicks of a mouse, you can rewrite it?

Feb 21, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Would the witnesses be on oath, or is it like the UK parliamentary committees where witnesses can say what they please and get away with it?

Feb 21, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

the surface data shambles is not and never has been a 'scientific' exercise

Feb 21, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

According to the IPPC, half the warming is man-made. Perhaps we will soon be able to narrow that down to particular individuals.

Feb 21, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

ssat
Brilliant comment.

Feb 21, 2015 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2J8zEJHIg8

Check out Youtube right wing philosopher Stefan Molyneux

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Dammit, ssat! There goes another keyboard!

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterOswald Thake

Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable?

Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable?

Do you seriously believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-1975 are accurate?

Do you really believe that oceanic temperatures from, say 1800-1970 are accurate? (as we know, the oceans cover 70% of the earth's surface).

I don't.

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

The outcome will likely not be what you may expect at all.

Lamar Smith, TX-R, is chairperson. For casual readers, the Democrats and the media will morph this into a full blown, baying at the moon, drooling, barking made, nutter circus bashing the Republicans. It's possible the Republicans have one of their better folks at dealing with the Democrats but don't bet the Crown on it.

For example, one Democrats on the committee is Alan Grayson, FL-D. Read just some of his quotes and antics below and use your imagination:

A. "How about just tracking down every single person who said drill baby drill and putting them all in prison. Why don’t we do that? Starting with Michael Steele."
B. "Scientists have studied for years this difficult question of why some people have a conscience and some people don't. Some are called Democrats and some are called Republicans."
C. “At this point, the Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan.”
D. “You know … FOX News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy of America."
E. In October 2013, Grayson's office disseminated a mass email that likened the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan and bore the image of a burning cross with the letters “ea Party” etched in to the right of it. The caption read: “Now You Know What the 'T' Stands For.”
F. On September 25, 2010, Grayson ran ads titled " "Taliban Daniel Webster", his Republican opponent using editing that resulted in Webster seeming to say exactly opposite of what Webster really said regarding women and the Democrat charges of Republican War on Women.

Remember, the media in the US are mostly like The Guardian and will be full throat casting the Republicans as deniers, anti-science with air and print coverage given to Grayson and his fellow Dems. It's whats repeated that counts.

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Check out Youtube right wing philosopher Stefan Molyneux
Feb 21, 2015 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered jamspid

As a subscriber to Stefan Molyneux on youtube I can assure you that Stefan Molyneux is neither Right Wing nor Conservative. He self-describes himself as a Libertarian. He often comes off as to me as an anarchist(not sure if he does it to be provocative). He is well researched in his presentations and not a nutter. There is value in his presentations.

There is someone else worth keeping an eye on:
Suspicious0bservers
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTiL1q9YbrVam5nP2xzFTWQ

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

Diogenes
You're almost certainly right, but to quote the Climateers (when referring to their useless models) "they're the best we have!"
It should be painted in six-foot high letters in every climate computer lab in the world: "WE DON'T KNOW!! - so stop pretending we do".
If we spent about half the money that is being sprayed at "climate science" on developing decent and reliable coverage of the earth's surface then in 50 years time we might have some decent figures to work with. Maybe.
The thing is that, regardless if how accurate these figures are, they were never intended for the purpose to which they are now being put. As Anthony Watts has reminded us more than once many of these stations were at airports where knowing the local temperature (and wind speed and direction and pressure and cloud cover) could potentially mean the difference between getting your passengers into the terminal as opposed to scattered all over the airfield. Nobody until about 1980 gave a thought to whether they might be used, abused or manipulated to "prove" anything, certainly nothing like this thundering juggernaut that is Climatology!

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

@Paul ..I'm not impressed with Stephan ..someone like Bob Carter or Patrick Moore know how to speak scientifically whereas Stephan could be seen as a mirror image of a Climate loony ..ie the same over certainty beyond evidence .. big generalisations with caveats etc. e.g. "hundreds of millions of people will die if cap and trade is implemented"
..come on saying mad stuff like this does not help the skeptics case
the videos has 45,000 views and 1,500 likes

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

This is what I wrote yesterday. Hello satellite, farewell, global warming (fiddling).

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

@stew Stefan speaks on philosoppy, parenting and current events. CAGW is something he has mention a handful of times. My response was manly to point out that he is NOT Rightwing.

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

"It seems fairly clear that the surface stations are a shambles. It is not so obvious that this has led to a material overstatement of warming. But I think we can say with some certainty that a congressional hearing is probably not going to get to the bottom of the scientific issues."
I agree fully. It will, however, provide the opportunity for much political theater. How does that go again? "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

It gives me no comfort to observe that the proceedings on your side of the Pond are equally vapid.

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

The evidence of AGW is anthropogenic in the sense that a forgery is anthropogenic.

Feb 21, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I definitely don't think anybody was intentionally manipulating the surface record to make it show more warming than there really is. If there is spurious warming introduced by homogenisation procedure, it's problem of the method and our lack of understanding of factors that play role there. It may be only my opinion but at present situation I consider raw data as unrealiable as homogenised data. But the main problem is that what we're discussing are tenths and hundredths of a degree - precision which is way beyond actual precision of measurements, especially historical ones.

Feb 21, 2015 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterKasuha

... precision which is way beyond actual precision of measurements ...
And I would argue is beyond the ability of living things or the weather to respond to. I've made the point before that I can get a temperature variation 10 times the amount by which last year was(n't) the warmest ever simply by moving my max/min to the other end of the kitchen window sill.
The biggest weekly temperature swing I have recorded here in the last five years has been 21 degrees and 15 degrees is not uncommon. And we're agonising over a global average to two decimal places and an average global increase (allegedly) over the last 150 years of 0.053 degrees a year.
Get a life, someone!

Feb 21, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Climategate scientist 'hid flaws in data', say sceptics

Professor in leaked email scandal tried to hide fact that numbers he used were wrong

Professor Jones and a colleague, Professor Wei-Chyung Wang of the State University of New York at Albany suggested in an influential 1990 paper in the journal Nature that the urban heat island effect was minimal – and cited as supporting evidence a long series of temperature measurements from Chinese weather stations, half in the countryside and half in cities, supplied by Professor Wei-Chyung. The Nature paper was used as evidence in the most recent report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, it has been reported that when climate sceptics asked for the precise locations of the 84 stations, Professor Jones at first declined to release the details. And when eventually he did release them, it was found that for the ones supposed to be in the countryside, there was no location given.

Climate sceptics have demanded the two professors now withdraw their heat island paper. Professor Wei-Chyung was investigated by his university, but exonerated, but the emails indicate there was also concern among Professor Jones' s colleagues at UEA, including from Dr Tom Wigley, his predecessor as head of the CRU, about the Chinese weather station data and Professor Jones's contuing reliance on it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climategate-scientist-hid-flaws-in-data-say-sceptics-1886487.html

Feb 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

What is often forgotten is that adjusting data (really no more than guesstimating) introduces error bars of its own.

Sometimes these can be larger than the "error" being corrected.

Feb 21, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Who specifically would you call to the hearing? I would prefer non-partisan representatives from the statistics community. I would keep the subject very simple for them. Are these adjustments to the US temperature record acceptable or not? Any suggestions?

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Mangan

Bish, this is not a hill you should choose to die on.

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Mike Mangan: Watts. Homewood. Heller.

eli - shouldn't that be U lie?

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

Oh and William Briggs.

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

ssat

+100

Eli

I don't think the Bish is staking anything on it - he said, "a congressional hearing is probably not going to get to the bottom of the scientific issues". However, there is no harm in publicising them.

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Eli, you know from your burrowing, its unstable ground?

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Eli, you know from your burrowing, its unstable ground?

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

You know you're getting warm when Bre'r Eli comes sniffing round looking for Jesus and his followers.

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

It is rather curious that the homogenisation of surface station temperature records results show such a a remarkably close correlation with the Mauna Loa CO2 profile as pointed out Steven Goddard. One wonders which is the chicken and which is the egg? Moreover why are the raw data never presented and why is the rationale and detail of the homogenisation procedure not disclosed.

In my own profession- Mineral Evaluation- there are a variety tried and tested methods of estimating values from unmeasured sites from surrounding data that are statistically rigourus, transparent and auditable. However an interpolated point using any of them is an interpretation and not a data point and the result must be classified into differing degrees of reliability ranging from speculative through inferred to measured. The industry and its investors take serious cognisance of these classifications and are well aware that they have important consequences.

Note that the sums involved and invested in my industry on the basis of such analyses amount to a tiny fraction of what is being spent supposedly combating speculative dangerous anthropogenic climate change. No commercial investor in my industry would invest a cent on the basis of these homogenised temperature " data" as represented and anyone seeking funds on this basis would be open to criminal charges.

The observers and keepers of our temperature data ( noaa, nasa giss, hadcrut, uae etc. should be required to record and disclose the exact location, measurement method and accuracy and the unadjusted values obtained and the methods and results of homogenisation and these should be regularly and forensically audited by a totally independent body with no conflicts of interest, independent funding and the highest level integrity and standards of technical competence. It should be made a legal offence to destroy or tamper with the original records.

Absence such a process the data is no more reliable than the assays and reserve estimates produced by fraudulent operators such as BRE-X (google it to get the full story of this scam).

Whatever the reality is behind climate climate change in the present and recent past, its rate of change, causes and consequences we should at the very least be confident that the data we start with is reliable, unadulterated and audited so as to give some assurance that we are dealing with something arising from data resembling reality before committing further billions or trillions of dollars, pounds or euros to the prognostications of so called climate scientists ( whether or not their speculations and hypotheses have been published in a "peer reviewed" academic publications.

Feb 21, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergeospeculator

Ooops, pressed the same button twice. At leasr I did not "accidently" change history.

Feb 21, 2015 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

The Rip Van Winkle temperature records are certainly deserving of investigation.
[Either that or deserving of being ignored altogether.]

Like the Bish, I doubt that Congress will get to the root of the matter, but that's not really the point. Those activists who chose to live by the political sword will die by the political sword. One day they may wake up and discover, too late, that telling the truth in good faith is no longer sufficient to dig themselves off the planet they have transported themselves to.

Feb 21, 2015 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

This is at least a start.
Whether it's dismissed out of hand or concludes there's little merit to claims of unfair adjustments are questions to be addressed, but at least these allegations are getting a hearing at a higher level. Not before time and rightly so. Will be interesting to watch the alarmist machine inevitably swing into action defending their corner.

Feb 21, 2015 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Hope the hearings include NOAA NCDC. There are several pieces of evidence in essay When Data Isn't that will be extremely hard for them to legitimtely explain. There are two subtle logical flaws in homogenization alforithms. And those have not produced all the recent shenanigans like the switch to nClimDiv for US state by state records. Look at the Maine example and image how that gets played in a Congressional hearing.

Feb 21, 2015 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRud Istvan

Science is not the issue. We all know this. The "climate change" affair is politics. If the Republicans (or anyone) gets to publicly question an iota of it, the impregnable house of cards tumbles. Let them fight it out. It is not as if either democrats or republicans really care at all about any of this beyond political capital.

Feb 21, 2015 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

The US Congress is currently engaged in an ongoing marathon investigation into whether or not the IRS, the federal state tax authority blessed with awesome and terrifying powers, used those powers to investigate and punish unwontedly some political institutions on a partisan basis. It uses those powers quite routinely on individual taxpayers and businesses.

The Congressional investigations appear to be getting nowhere and the bureaucrats who populate the IRS have not yet been tarred and feathered by the outraged populace and the polititions who generate the iniquitous tax laws of the US are not, at this time, bloated corpses hanging from the streetlamps of Washington by thin strands of piano wire.

Do we therefore think that a Congressional investigation into possible data tampering by an obscure NASA institute will achieve anything, at least on any timescale relevant to the issue.

Feb 21, 2015 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin B

A genuine, useful 'IPCC' - not the hideously politicised mess of the one we got - would have begun its work with just such an enquiry, and followed it with a report on measurement uncertainties in our climate records. Well done those Republicans for trying to do the right thing even at this late stage.

Feb 21, 2015 at 7:23 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Bish, this is not a hill you should choose to die on.

Feb 21, 2015 at 3:21 PM | Eli Rabett

Some may think, not I for sure, that a certain bunny feels the earth trembling over his burrow :-)

Feb 21, 2015 at 7:36 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

The question to ask is not whether NASA has altered temperature records - the records are so messy as to make that unknowable.

The question to ask is if NASA has overstated the certainty.

The public has the impression that the science is settled and that NASA is 100% certain of the impact of man on the climate. But they aren't.
Not even 97%

Feb 21, 2015 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Massive Adjustments At Every Icelandic Station (And Guess Which Way)

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/massive-adjustments-at-every-icelandic-station-and-guess-which-way/

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

It’s the pre-satellite record which is spurious IMO.
The post ’79 GISTEMP record seems to have been manipulated to give the impression of a constant warming trend without the plateaus and surges apparent in the satellite series.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/rss/mean:13/plot/gistemp/from:1979/mean:13/offset:-0.21

Feb 21, 2015 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hanley

Most of the commenters here haven't the foggiest notion of the significance of these proposed Congressional hearings, and at least one commenter's wishful thinking has clearly crossed over into delusional levels.

(1) Republicans have their largest majority since WWII. (2) We are just a few weeks into the 114th Congress and the first opportunity the Republicans have had to bring their weight to bear. (3) The Democrats are more vulnerable on this issue than any other, and the Republicans know it. (4) I've met and spoken with Dana Rohrabacher regarding AGW, and he's very intelligent, not someone to be trifled with. If the AGW hoax is ever to be exposed, this is just how it will start. There will be blood.

Feb 22, 2015 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Republicans don't need to pander green voters.
..except for some corrupt Republicans who benefit from Green subsidies.

Feb 22, 2015 at 1:29 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Which is worse; to find out that the temperature record is fraudulent or to find out that it has been created by machines and nobody knows what it means or what to do with it?
==============

Feb 22, 2015 at 7:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

This is the wrong fight to pick, and will backfire badly.

The charge can never be proven and it could irrevocably link scepticism to US partisan Republicanism in the public mind. Any sceptic with an ounce of sense will steer clear.

Feb 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Abbott

Jim Inhofe is the new chairman of the Senate EPW Committee, one of the best things to come out from the GOP gaining control of the Senate. Barbara Boxer lost the chairmanship, so a double positive. There will have to be detailed orientated precision in terms of subpoenas, those called up for testimony, as well as questioning. There is good coincidental timing with the first review panel meeting for BOM in Australia to be held in March.

@ssat, great stuff. lol.

Feb 22, 2015 at 8:28 AM | Registered Commentermyrightpenguin

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