Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Real Climategate

There are several things that could really qualify as a real scandal in climate science far above the release of scientists emails showing them to be the  normal type of people who get pissed at detractors and consider making things hard for them. One recent one must be the latest revelations about the Wegman report.

The Wegman report was commissioned in 2006 by two Republican US senators, Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield, to look at the statistical analysis of climatologist Michael Manns et al paper that contained the Hockey Stick graph, and also considered the personal and professional relationships between Mann et al. and other members of the paleoclimate community.It was used in a congressional hearing.

Although better qualified people could have bee chosen, the job was given to a team of statisticians led by Edward Wegman. It basically concluded that there were failings in Mann's analysis which was grabbed by climate deniers with shouts that hockey stick is broken, with the apparent belief that the whole theory of AGW was dependent on this paper and not the many independent threads of supporting scientific evidence.

As 'Hockey Sticks go Mann's may have been the first but as far as I know there have been a dozen or more independent historical temperature reconstructions and all show a marked increase in present temperatures, and most are very much 'Hockey Stick' in shape.

But now as the news article linked above shows, the Wegman report had some very serious failings indeed. Not least that of 35 of the report's 91 pages "are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning."

If there ever was a scandal in climate science, a true Climategate, surely this must be it?

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