The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by David Andrew Cockroft (CRU 40)

  1.  My name is David Andrew Cockroft, a British Citizen currently resident in New Zealand.

2.  I studied Mathematics, Computer Science and Geology at the University of Bristol in the late 60s early 70s, with a special emphasis on Numerical Analysis and Stochastic Processing (these latter terms have been rebranded over the years but remain fundamental to today's computer-based prediction and modelling techniques).

  3.  I have remained employed from then till now in the IT industry with very specific hands-on capacity. All my skills are current with many post-graduate qualifications and awards.

  4.  I declare my interest to be that of concerned citizen, with IT professional and personal pseudo-academic interest in Climate Modelling.

  5.  I do not feel that the terms of reference announced by University of East Anglia (UEA) are adequate, in that it only will look at evidence held at CRU. There is a plethora of parallel studies, some peer-reviewed, some not, that should be considered alongside evidence held internally.

  6.  Allegations of impropriety must be addressed not just relevant to the emails, but to the amassed allegations elsewhere. Of specific clarity to me, is Steve McIntyre, who is perhaps the most disciplined of those with contrary opinion to Prof Jones. (refer

  7.  The legitimacy of the NOAA source data is also subject to dispute, and since it appears CRU bases its findings almost entirely on NOAA data, it is appropriate to also investigate the problems reported here.

  8.  Is it also appropriate that one untested and highly-criticised data source (NOAA) should be the basis for a massive global-initiated economic upheaval? The implications for getting it wrong—either way—are horrendous.

  9.  Russia's Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report condemning Hadley CRU—Specifically about dropped station data. (presumably they share the same data source as UEA—NOAA or CRU itself):

    (a) "The IEA believes that Russian meteorological station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country's territory and that the Hadley Centre had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. The Russian station count dropped from 476 to 121 so over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global temperature calculations for some other reasons rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations."

  10.  Canada, China, Australia, Africa, USA and S America all seem to suffer similar deficiencies in current station selection. The so-called "Migration to the Coast" of temperature stations where many stations that would naturally return lower temperatures (due to altitude, distance from coast, latitude etc) have been retired.

  11.  Indeed, many of the complaints of impropriety centre around this apparent arbitrary dropping of station data despite continuous and contemporaneous records still being available. The allegation is that the current source of surface temperature data is deliberately selected from warmer coastal lower-altitude stations, thereby producing an average higher than previous. This would be perhaps acceptable if the historic data from the inland, cooler and higher elevations was removed from the historical averages—but it appears not.

  12.  File "Harry_Read_Me.txt" apparently contains comments by Ian Harris (aka Harry), which if correct, is especially telling of the methodologies employed:

    (a) [The] hopeless state of their (CRU) database. No uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found|I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations, one with no WMO and one with, usually overlapping and with the same station name and very similar coordinates. I know it could be old and new stations, but why such large overlaps if that's the case? Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.

    (b) This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!

    (c) I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can't get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the updateprog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections—to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more. So what the hell can I do about all these duplicate stations?

  13.  NOAA data is also being questioned where older, manual stations are replaced by modern automated stations. In many instances, these have to be connected by cables to nearby buildings, in doing so are resited so as to no longer conform to the recommended positioning over grass and 30 metres from buildings etc:

    (a) In a volunteer survey project, Anthony Watts and his more than 650 volunteers ( found that over 900 of the first 1,067 USHCN stations surveyed in the 1,221 station US climate network did not come close to meeting the required specifications. Only about 3% met the ideal specification for siting. They found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. They found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas. In fact, they found that 90% of the stations fail to meet the National Weather Service's own siting requirements that stations must be 30 metres (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or reflecting source.

  14.  All of the deficiencies mentioned above should be taken into account, tested, and the final outcome should be sufficiently wide ranging to ensure that best scientific procedures have and will be followed. Most especially the data, methodologies and computer code must be made publically available for scrutiny. It's the only way the "science" will ever have a hope of being settled.

  15.  Distance prevents me from requesting an Oral Presentation.

February 2010

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