NASA climate data worse than East Anglia CRU?

posted at 12:15 pm on March 31, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

That assessment doesn’t come from climate-change skeptics, but from NASA itself.  A FOIA request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute revealed the internal e-mail evaluation, and also another problem with the East Anglia CRU data.  It turns out that the databases maintained by NASA, UEA CRU, and the NOAA NCDC have self-endorsing mechanisms that mean that problems in one or more mean problems for all:

NASA was able to put a man on the moon, but the space agency can’t tell you what the temperature was when it did. By its own admission, NASA’s temperature records are in even worse shape than the besmirched Climate-gate data.

E-mail messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails — and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.

The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.

“My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC’s data for the U.S. means and [East Anglia] data for the global means,” Ruedy told the reporter.

Why is this a problem for all of the anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) data sets?  NASA chief James Hansen, now an Obama administration official, explained in the same e-mail thread:

“The different groups have cooperated in a very friendly way to try to understand different conclusions when they arise,” said Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in the same 2007 e-mail thread. Earlier this month, in an updated analysis of the surface temperature data, GISS restated that the separate analyses by the different agencies “are not independent, as they must use much of the same input observations.”

The efforts by NASA, UEA CRU, and NCDC have not been independent of each other at all.  They have been very much related, which means that systemic problems discovered in the UEA CRU data and analyses bleed over onto the other projects as well.  They use each other’s analyses as assumptions, and each other’s data as the basis of their own calculations.  The collapse of the UEA CRU’s credibility necessarily damages the credibility of the entire AGW industry.

Of course, that’s hardly the only damage to AGW credibility over the last few months:

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?


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Can we finally shut the door on this power and money grabbing hoax?

JamesLee on March 31, 2010 at 12:18 PM

While Rush has been a little boring to me lately, he did mention this a couple of weeks ago. Why is it just now coming out here?

MobileVideoEngineer on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

Catch up? The MSM are the ones perpetuating this nonsense.

Guardian on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I’m not sure why we are still discussing this, since the consensus-creators told us the debate was over…..

Vashta.Nerada on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Al Gore, the Nobel prize people called. You’ll be getting a return mailer in a couple of days.

highhopes on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

OT

Student loan Web site broken on first day

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/31/student-loan-web-site-broken-first-day-new-law/

ninjapirate on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

That question is rhetorical, right Ed?

Actually, my sense is that the MSM is ‘warming’ up to fact that much of the data is at best suspect, and worst clearly manipulated.

JusDreamin on March 31, 2010 at 12:22 PM

While Rush has been a little boring to me lately, he did mention this a couple of weeks ago. Why is it just now coming out here?

MobileVideoEngineer on March 31, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Rush is friends with Anthony Watts and is always up to date on this stuff.

The reason it is coming back up is the white wash from the UK released today and recent NASA announcements distancing themselves from the CRU.

barnone on March 31, 2010 at 12:24 PM

They use each other’s analyses as assumptions, and each other’s data as the basis of their own calculations.  The collapse of the UEA CRU’s credibility necessarily damages the credibility of the entire AGW industry.

I guess we could stick a fork in AGW because it’s been Done proved to be a scam, but the National Socialist Left would like to use it to scam the taxpayers even more.

Chip on March 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM

FUBAR

blatantblue on March 31, 2010 at 12:27 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

The MSM lives in a self-imposed Green Zone; they know what they want to know.

Patrick S on March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

CARDS, House of cards, anyone?

FOWG1 on March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

If and when it benefits the liberal narrative to do so.

hillbillyjim on March 31, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Does this mean they will discontinue humping their robustness?

midlander on March 31, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I guess the good news is that if many Solar Scientists are correct, we are in for a few decades of colder weather. Maybe then almost everyone will be persuaded that global warming was just solar warming.

In the meantime we have to stop them from enacting Cap & Trade (Cap & Power Grab).

Ordinary1 on March 31, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Can we finally shut the door on this power and money grabbing hoax?

JamesLee on March 31, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Nope … too much money at stake and it was within their grasp too. We’re talking sums in the trillions that they’ll be able to steal from people. Plus, it gives the government unprecedented control over the nation’s energy.

There are outside entities as well who stand to make billions but only if the US can force US businesses to buy carbon credits. It’s a scam of unbelievable proportions and involves government officials from every western country.

Realistically, the US is the only western country that hasn’t fully succumbed to socialization. Once we’re brought under heel, it’s a simple matter to accelerate the process.

darwin on March 31, 2010 at 12:32 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

Huh? The media’s involved in it … why would they want to “catch up”?

darwin on March 31, 2010 at 12:33 PM

NASA Fabricated their data:

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/30/nasa-data-worse-than-climategate-data/

FTA: “The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.”

and also FTA:”But NASA is somewhat less confident, having quietly decided to tweak its corrections to the climate data earlier this month. ”

As I posted in the headline thread they openly admit their data is bad, that they falsify it and that they are dishonest dishonorable wretches and that GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX.

dogsoldier on March 31, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Round about the cauldron go
In the fraudulent data throw
Fillet of Hansen snake
In the cauldron boil and bake
Eye of Nye and toe of freezing IPCC frog
Heat from incinerator and tongue of UN dog
Maw of ravening tax shark
Root of NASA hemlock digged in the dark

Cheshire Cat on March 31, 2010 at 12:38 PM

A FOIA request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute revealed the internal e-mail evaluation, and also another problem with the East Anglia CRU data.

Has anyone even seen the investigation results from the supposed “hacked/stolen” e-mails and files form these guys yet? I know any decent IT guy or gal can walk in and look at the stuff in a couple of days and figure out what happened. Seems to me this has been ignored or hushed up. Those files were not stolen, they were released on purpose in response to the FOIA request(s).

Johnnyreb on March 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM

GIGO: Garbage In Garbage Out

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on March 31, 2010 at 12:44 PM

JFK on/

“I tell you, that within the next ten yeahhs, we will not be able to send a man to the moon and return him safely to the earth, but to also not reliably gathaa and repohht temperature data heahh on the earth with tools that are sitting right in front of us.”

/jfk off

Progress.

ted c on March 31, 2010 at 12:44 PM

When will the rest of the media catch up to this academic scandal?

On or about the 12th of Never.

Liam on March 31, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Johnnyreb on March 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Many have. Go to http://www.wattsupwiththat.com to read a lot more. Their is a “Programming Society” (wrong name) in the UK that looked at the data and said it stank. They said that without making judgement on the data that the programming should be thrown away and the research done over. Other professional groups in the UK like the Physicists said that the methods were wrong and that all who stand for the Scientific Method should be for corrective action, mainly full disclosure of the data and methods.

barnone on March 31, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Meanwhile the “scientists” insist that the data has no effect on their conclusions…

Scrappy on March 31, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Meanwhile the “scientists” insist that the data has no effect on their conclusions…

Scrappy on March 31, 2010 at 12:51 PM

The fake but accurate defense.

Johnnyreb on March 31, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Of course it is. Dr Hansen has been faking data just as assiduously as Drs Mann and Jones. ALL of them are frauds and should be facing some sort of imprisonment for their crimes against both science and public policy.

Story 3 weeks ago about NASA’s climate fraud -
http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/95469/

rayra on March 31, 2010 at 1:01 PM

meanwhile, that pig-snouted cretin Waxman will get right back to re-introducing his specious Cap & Trade legislation to gut our economy and quadruple energy costs, just as soon as he finished staging his fraudulant witch trials of large publically-traded corporations who’ve restated their earnings as SEC regulations require.

rayra on March 31, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Meanwhile the “scientists” insist that the data has no effect on their conclusions…

Scrappy on March 31, 2010 at 12:51 PM

How could it? The conclusions were decided and then the data “massaged” to fit. It doesn’t matter what data. Any data will do. They can always find another tree with different rings to show what they want to show.

Lily on March 31, 2010 at 1:10 PM

The inconvenient truth is that Teh Won and Congress are going to continue to push for Crap & Tax, as that gives them more money to redistribute. Have no fear, the LSM is ready to lend them a hand too.

This is all about political power and control.

GnuBreed on March 31, 2010 at 1:20 PM

barnone on March 31, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I wish that my fellow physicists here in the US were so on the ball.

Count to 10 on March 31, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I have been saying for a while now (to my students) that NASA’s satellite temps are worthless.
And honestly,why does mankind think that temp observations for a puny 100 yrs or so in spotty places on the globe are going to give you a dataset that can be used to predict huge climatic changes?
That’s a reason I don’t listen to polls at all.
They do not ask enough people to make it mean anything.
And of course the method in both of these cases is subject to flaws.
NASA wasn’t even taking cloud cover into effect in regards to their sat. temps. Which is a huge mistake.
I have never looked at much NASA has to churn out with a believing eye.

Badger40 on March 31, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Count to 10 on March 31, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I remember my geology professors at UWYO in Laramie were. Before this came to such a big head,mid 90s, they were telling us in lecture not to believe a word about the up & coming AGW nonsense.

Badger40 on March 31, 2010 at 1:51 PM

NASA is little more than a prop for the Florida and Texas economies.

If, after receiving and spending trillions of Federal government money over the couse of the last half century, NASA doesn’t even have accurate temperature data, we need to assess whether adults are in charge at NASA.

Is the annual NASA cash layout worth what we receive in return?

molonlabe28 on March 31, 2010 at 2:16 PM

No one ever questioned Al Gore’s intentions, which are abundantly clear to everyone, but what they do question his sanity.

volsense on March 31, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Can we finally shut the door on this power and money grabbing hoax?

JamesLee on March 31, 2010 at 12:18 PM

No. I want them prosecuted for conspiracy and fraud. I want them ordered to make restitution.

Blake on March 31, 2010 at 2:57 PM

It’s more humiliation for the lackluster NASA, gone the way of populism vs. science.

maverick muse on March 31, 2010 at 3:16 PM

NASA is little more than a prop for the Florida and Texas economies.

At this point, you might mean that NASA is little more than a prop for the international Russian Space Station.

maverick muse on March 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Now that they have given up on space exploration and shown how much they suck at climate studies, NASA has a new gig.

Luckily, Toyota has the utmost faith in NASA and their results.

Lily on March 31, 2010 at 3:56 PM

oakland? Are you there? Did you see that list in the article? Did you follow any of those links? Will you still maintain that man is destroying the planet using a gas the occurs naturally and that plants (and humans) need to survive???

No, I didn’t think so. Curious how you’ve been so absent from the last couple of GW threads. Idiot.

runawayyyy on March 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

The big unwritten story is that the poor temperature data not only effects the records during the time of their collection, but also the distant past records and predictions for future warming. Tree rings, ice samples, and other temperature proxies have to be calibrated against known temperature records over years of time to produce reasonable results, and, likewise, computer climate models have to be adjusted to match known records to make useful predictions. Since both these foundations of AGW theories are statistical in nature and highly sensitive to small changes in inputs, the flaws in temperature gathering throws the whole field of study into question.

Socratease on March 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM

the flaws in temperature gathering throws the whole field of study into question.

1) What “flaws” are you referring to, and what do you recommend to overcome them that has not already been recommended by climate scientists themselves?

2) What field of study (including climatology) is not already “thrown into question”?

3) How do you know that the temperature data is “poor”? Do you know of any better data that would reveal the data you are referring to as “poor”?

oakland on March 31, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Jason,
The reference you quote is from 1998.

Also, the following is a quote from it.

” Global warming itself can contribute to longer growing seasons, which have
been observed in studies of satellite measurements cited by the team.
The researchers stress that all of these mechanisms are temporary. It is
thus inevitable that this sink will eventually stop absorbing carbon dioxide at these
levels.
They also stressed that the findings are subject to confirmation. “Our
sampling density and frequency were inadequate for estimating the ecosystem
uptake of carbon dioxide over other areas of the world,” Dr. Takahashi said. “So it
is really too early to say that the North American continent is so unique.”
The researchers also caution that the size and location of the sink is
variable. Other studies of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere show that global
sinks vary by almost a factor of five from year to year and may also vary in
location. The results in this paper may not be representative of periods outside
1988 to 1992, they added.”

oakland on March 31, 2010 at 7:41 PM

Can you offer any refutation other than the caveat they did?

Go ahead, search, you’ll find only confirmations of their findings, no refutations.

When this all shakes out, sometime decades from not, it will be taught that the hysteria of the last decades of the 20th Century and the first of the 21st, was the result of better instrumentation giving for the first time an accurate picture of contemporary CO2 levels and history will also show that the “climate scientists” of period were making their historical climate data up out of wholecloth.

The accuracy of modern instrumentation to study the phenomenon has increased on exponential scales recently and conversely the accuracy of historical data has been intentionally manipulated to the benefit of the climate science narrative rather than recognize the success of the engineers who delivered the ability to measure what was heretofore un-measurable.

But. . . if you can find a refutation of the Columbia study, go for it; a decade has gone by as you point out, and the conclusions of the study are still valid.

Jason Coleman on March 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Boy, Ed, you never bother with facts, do you?

University of East Anglia e-mails that exposed data destruction, attempts to hide contradictory data, and conspiracies to sabotage the work of skeptical scientists

The UK\’s investigation today concluded this is not the case, as did Penn State\’s investigation.

The East Anglia CRU threw out their raw data, undermining any effort to check their work

False. They threw out a small fraction of data and are recovering it from the original source.

NOAA/GHCN “homogenization” falsified climate declines into increasesEast Anglia CRU’s below-standard computer modeling

False. They corrected for very real changes in weather stations that created the illusion of decline.

No rise in atmospheric carbon fraction over the last 150 years: University of Bristol

False. No change in the percentage of CO2 that is sequestered in natural sinks like oceans.

IPCC withdraws claim that AGW will wipe out Himalayan glaciers by 2035

Yet did not withdraw absolute evidence of glacier decline.

Medieval Warming Period temperatures may have been global, undermining entire AGW case

But unlikely to be. Data are not quite conclusive at this stage.And in the meantime, dozens of papers have been published supporting global warming, several reviews have concluded that the case in unchanged and at least two Climategate investigations have concluded that there was no fraud or conspiracy and the case remains strong.But keep up with your religion of Climate Denial. It\’s most entertaining to watch your increasing desperate scrambling!

Hal_10000 on March 31, 2010 at 10:13 PM

But. . . if you can find a refutation of the Columbia study, go for it; a decade has gone by as you point out, and the conclusions of the study are still valid.

Do you have a reference that states this? I would like to see.

The article you cite clearly indicates that the conclusion only applies to a short period of time in the last century.

oakland on April 1, 2010 at 6:42 AM

But keep up with your religion of Climate Denial. It\’s most entertaining to watch your increasing desperate scrambling!

I might add that even of the MWP proved to be a global phenomenon, and temperatures then were shown to equal those now in the industrial age, what is the significance of that in light of the scientific consensus that asserts that temperatures are expected to rise well above what they are now (and then)? Civilization may have survived well, more or less, during that climate change. Will it survive an average temperature increase of five to ten degrees F?

Ed doesn’t seem to be in possession of the perspective of the wider scientific community with regard to the recent CRU and IPCC events. I agree with you, Hal, that it seems like desperation on his part.

Thanks for your posting.

oakland on April 1, 2010 at 7:07 AM

Oakland,

Here’s Princeton confirming Columbia

http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/98/q4/1016-carbon.htm

NOAA when it was honest and apolitical.

http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sfan9801.pdf

Of course now you’ll use the common climate hysteric’s cry that “climate change might cause these sinks to stop working so we have to plan for that and end human activity” and I find that just as ridiculous an attempt to debunk as your cites of the study’s own caveats.

Jason Coleman on April 1, 2010 at 3:55 PM

From your new reference:

“The researchers stress that all of these mechanisms are temporary. It is thus inevitable that this sink will eventually go to zero.”

Of course now you’ll use the common climate hysteric’s cry that “climate change might cause these sinks to stop working

I don’t need to use the “hysteric’s cry”; refer to the above quote from your new source.

The other reference is also old. I remind you that this study refers to a relatively small portion of time in the previous century, and does not apply now, based on the study’s own conclusion. There may be confirmation of it, but your original statement that North America absorbs more carbon dioxide than it puts out is totally unsubstantiated for the present.

oakland on April 1, 2010 at 4:40 PM

The researchers stress that all of these mechanisms are temporary. It is thus inevitable that this sink will eventually go to zero.

Wow, nice job of taking something out of context and running with it there bud.

Let us look at those mechanisms:

Forest regrowth, and carbon absorption, in North America may be enhanced by some side effects of industrialization.
Nitrogen deposition (a dilute form of acid rain) caused by combustion processes in automobiles and power plants can act as a fertilizer, as can the higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the air. Global warming can contribute to longer growing seasons, which have been observed in studies of satellite measurements cited by the team.

It is our very activity that is making the sink in the first place. We cut down the forests, and then replanted, and in doing so we’ve created our “offset”. Yes, the “mechanisms” are temporary only if we stop doing what we, as humans, are supposed to do. If we allow more logging in North America instead of importing wood, we’ll increase the efficiency of the sink through replanting and forest management. That’s where climate scientists could actually try to make a relevant contribution to human development instead of their current incessant chicken little routine. Global Cooling! Global Warming! Climate Change!

Don’t bother me with trivialities about logging (that’s only one part of a greater whole), it’s too big a debate for completeness.

Jason Coleman on April 1, 2010 at 6:44 PM

Jason,
That statement that I took from your article is not out of context. It is part of the conclusion. You stated originally that North America absorbs more carbon dioxide than it puts out. Your use of the present tense implies that you mean in 2010 this continent absorbs all of the carbon dioxide released by human kind’s activities, and then some. You took that statement from the conclusion of an article that is twelve years old, and the article, in its conclusion states clearly that, back in 1992 (or thereabouts) this “surplus” was expected to be a temporary
effect. I don’t know of any autoritative source that makes the claim that you did, for the present day.

In any case, the bigger question is the global balance between emissions and absorption of carbon dioxide. The stark fact is that carbon dioxide worldwide is being emitted quite a bit faster than it is being absorbed (by plant life, oceans, terra firma, etc). Because of this imbalance, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been, and is continuing to rise without abatement. And, because the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is greater than that for the last 600,000 years, there could be some very serious consequences that would be most unpleasant for civilization and for life on this planet.

oakland on April 1, 2010 at 8:35 PM

>600000 years = simply not true check your figures

CO2 isn’t the problem

In fact, there is no problem, the Earth warms, the Earth cools. Just as the other planets do.

Do you begrudge the Beaver for making the dam? I’ll bet you don’t.

Do you believe in evolution? If you do, you should have no problem with what we’ve been doing.

Climate science is one brief step above astrology in terms of it’s scientific truth. Climate Scientists can’t even create a model that can accurately predict past temperatures, so why should I give any credence to any future predictions they are making by divining.

Yes, the articles said the effect would be temporary until the forests were rehabilitated. However, we are not only managing forest products, but we are dramatically increasing the rates at which we extract carbon via our crops and our landscaping. Of course landscaping and crops aren’t given credit for their inputs into the system just as the atmosphere wasn’t properly accounted for.

Global warming theory violates the laws of thermodynamics without bothering to do any math, let alone show their work. I’m sorry, but until someone shows me the math for the mechanism of the actual warming that is predicted, I call BS. So far, no one has done it and maintained the integrity of the laws of thermodynamics.

Refute away, but make actual refutations, I’m well aware of the caveats of the article, but that is all they are, caveats of what might affect the study. Just because they are properly offering possibilities and caveats does affect the science, it’s just recognizing that there are more complex systems at work and science is always incomplete.

I basically think climate science is a junk science, it’s too new to make the bombastic claims it is making and it’s math has yet to balance. The field ignores factors like the sun and let’s face facts, there is no “normal” temperature for the Earth, to suggest so is ridiculous. That fact alone makes the hysteria over climate chain all the more silly.

Jason Coleman on April 1, 2010 at 10:22 PM