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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Recalculation of climate data is the ONLY legitimate option

Approximately two weeks ago we all learned of e-mails written by those individuals supposedly considered to be the leaders in climate research that discussed manipulation of data and suppression of alternate positions. At the very least, these e-mails demonstrate an appearance of impropriety. Alternately, they may likely be evidence of outright fraud.

Investigations are planned or underway at the University of East Anglia and Penn State University. These investigations alone are insufficient. Science and politics are so deeply entangled that honest debate is practically impossible.

As an example, the UK Met Office is planning on re-examining 160 years of climate data to re-assure the public that the conclusions that warming is real are legit. But hasn't the planet been warming over the past 200 years on average having emerged from the Little Ice Age? Would not such an assessment simply re-validation of the same preconceived conclusion?

Met Office to re-examine 160 years of climate data (Times Online) Hat tip Climate Depot
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.

The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN’s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next week’s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.

The data from the past 1000 years must be assessed - all the data. Then a comparison of temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period with present day temperatures can show whether or not the warming seen at the end of the 20th century is necessarily a prelude to a catastrophe.

This week begins the UN's climate conference in Copenhagen. All of the data and conclusions based on that data are suspect. Until this situation can be clarified, there is no legitimate basis for the draconian measures planned to reduce energy consumption and lessen CO2 generation. Governments and individuals who say we need drastic action now are putting politics ahead of science. Scientific rigor and academic honesty require that the data be reanalyzed.

The new analysis cannot simply be a rehash of the same-ol same-ol. The data must be made public. Academia, government and private industry all have a stake and scientists from each of these areas should have access and be allowed to draw their own independent conclusions. The studies must be peer reviewed for the legitimacy and appropriateness of the method - not based on where the funding came from. If the science is sound it does not matter who is paying for it even if the conclusions are different.

The Copenhagen conference should take place as schedule. The agenda must be radically changed. The conference needs to become a working meeting in which the leaders of the conference publicly recognize that the science is not sound and place a moratorium on further actions until and unless the science can demonstrate that the changing climate in indeed being caused by human activity.

Proof of human cause is needed, not just the repetition of theory. The existence of global warming does not prove that it is man made. Proxy data for millions of years shows temperatures and CO2 concentrations far warmer and far cooler than exist today. Data from the Middle Ages and Little Ice Age show similar fluctuations during historical times. Recent temperature data shows natural cooling along with increasing CO2 concentrations. All natural sources must be accounted for and accurately represented.

The Copenhagen conference needs to be a turning point in which the UN IPCC recognizes that mistakes were made - possibly some deliberate. The IPCC must agree to a public accounting of what happened and who was involved. a follow-up conference should be schedule for 2012 or later after the data has been properly vetted.

Anything less would be illegitimate and truly does represent fraudulent behavior in light of the allegations that have come to light.

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