Change in the weather

The British meteorological establishment is now advocating for open and transparent temperature data record keeping. In the May 13 issue of Nature, two names in the Climategate emails, Peter Stott and Peter Thorne, displayed unusual humility whilst planning a new temperature data set.

Their opinion column is subscription-only, but this excerpt gets to the heart of the Climategate mess:

The climate community needs to gather temperature records from around the world — including measurements that are not currently freely available — into one, open database. Those data will then need to be corrected and adjusted in a transparent way, to ensure that the resulting data sets are sound, and to allay any public concerns that scientists could have skewed or ‘spun’ the data.

They make this plea for transparency in a new temperature data set, designed to be on a smaller mesh, more weather stations closer together, a few kilometers’ spacing, with data taken more than once per day.

You ask, "Smaller than which mesh?" Their unmentionable answer: the corrupted Hadley CRU TS data sets, for which the grid size was hundreds of kilometers and the temporal scale was a month. I take their call for transparency as a form of partial repentance, "Mea semi culpa," in the tangled HARRY_READ_ME.TXT mess they made of their data, which forced Phil Jones et al. into the foolish tampering with peer review and so forth.

Mea semi culpa for the bungled handling of urban heat islands:

And while it is desirable to correct for the impact of urban development on local temperatures when assessing global climate change, it might be better to maintain those temperature increases in local-scale databases — they do, after all, represent a real local effect.

Concerning "full audit trail," a mea semi culpa on the HARRY_READ_ME.TXT issue — the rabbit warren data sets:

The Met Office’s proposed solution is to invite anyone, from individuals to professional bodies, to create their own rules and algorithms for correcting the databank, using independently gathered funds. Analyses would be sanctioned by the WMO-backed project if a paper had been published in a peer-reviewed journal and the analysts could provide a full audit trail of their processing. By creating such a suite of independent data sets, it will become possible to assess the sensitivity of the data to different sorts of corrections.

If only Phil Jones et al. had applied these transparency and assurance principles to the global temperature data their country entrusted to them.

These two men, Peter A. Stott and Peter W. Thorne, were involved in the Climategate manipulations. So although they make only an oblique reference to their cherished global temperature mashup, the CRU TS "data" set, it is obvious that they made this new plea for transparency because of their own errors. I will take that as a mea culpa.


About your FOIA request for raw temperature data...


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