Memorandum submitted by Peter Taylor (CRU
I would like to contribute to the issue concerning
the "integrity of science" and the question of independence
of the two data sets, as outlined in the Committees' questions:
What are the implications of the disclosures
for the integrity of scientific research?
How independent are the other two
international data sets?
Involvement as a scientist on climate issues
1. I work in a small capacity as a professional
ecological advisor on land use issues but I have a long history
(since 1978) of involvement in science and environmental policy,
particularly on global pollution issues. Currently, I sit on an
advisory panel for a National Trust and Forestry Commission project
in the Lake District. Between 2000-03, I sat on the joint Countryside
Agency/DTI national advisory group on the Community Renewables
Initiative and also produced under contract the first visual and
landscape impact studies of renewable energy strategies (see www.ethos-uk.com).
During this work I have come to have an appreciation both of the
potential impacts of climate change and of the remedies proposed
to deal with it. I have a professional interest in identifying
the strength, speed and future direction of such changes.
2. In order to answer some key questions in
my own mind about global warmingas presented by computer
simulations, I undertook an in-house three years in-depth study
of the background science as represented in the peer-reviewed
literature of the IPCC. I wrote a publicly available report (with
many thousands of free downloads from my website) and eventually,
in response to a publisher's request, "Chill: a reassessment
of global warming theory" in June 2009.
3. My qualifications for undertaking the review
of computer-led climate science are drawn from over 20 years experience
analysing and critiquing atmospheric and oceanic dispersion models
as used in the development of toxic and nuclear waste disposal
practices, as well as accidental discharge scenarios. My work
has been sponsored my national governments (including HMG), the
EU and the UNand at times, Greenpeace. I have experience
of the whole process from science to policy that is exemplified
by the IPCC process (CV and peer-reviewed publications are available).
4. I hope that my past work demonstrates a commitment
to the environment and to the due and correct processes of science.
My reasons for writing to you are twofold:
(i) Having read virtually all of the emails and
annotated computer coding, and given my background knowledge of
the science issues, I am appalled at the disrespect for the rules
of science that are evident in those exchanges.
(ii) These attitudes most certainly affect the
scienceindeed, they explain why the science has become
so heavily criticised. The science has never been "sound"
nor "settled". This is the spin of IPCC and those scientists
closely connected to that process. What has happened is that legitimate
criticism of the modelling process (simulation of earth systems)
has been suppressed, the peer-review process subverted, data with-held
from critics and in some very important respects, data has been
manipulated to conform with expectations and prior commitment.
(Please note that my book devotes several chapters
to the peer-reviewed science that the IPCC either ignores or marginalises,
and I would be happy to support this conclusion with a detailed
presentation that the lay-person can follow.)
5. Unfortunately, the time schedule and deadline
of the Committee has clashed with a research trip to the US(away
from 28 January to 10 February) for conversations with some of
America's leading climate scientists on natural cycles and modelling,
and this has delayed my submission.
6. If I can be of direct assistance, please
mail me and I would be happy to come before you in a session.
I would naturally urge you to read my bookwhich I understand
was delivered to various Select Committee libraries some months
"Removing the Blip"
7. In the exchange with Drs Trenberth and
Jones, there is a collusion to "remove" an unexplainable
(apparently) "blip" in the global temperature rise.
8. Global average temperature record
9. The blip relates to the period 1920-40, when
global temperature rise accelerated beyond the steady rate observed
since the mid 19th century (and when carbon dioxide levels were
much lower) and then dropped (when carbon dioxide levels were
rising quickly). The steepness of the first rise is comparable
to the later rise from 1980-2000 (essentially the main "global
warming" period without which there would have been no alarm).
After 1940, temperatures fell into a trough and did not regain
that level until 1980.
10. Many climate scientists regard the longer-term
rise from about 1850 as part of a cycle and hence natural "recovery"
from the trough of the Little Ice Age of the 15th -18th century,
and from the peal of the 12th-13th century when the Viking settlements
were active in Greenland. This is the view, for example, of Professor
Syuin-Ichi Akasofu, the recently retiring director of the International
Arctic Research Centre. As a leading geophysicist and head of
the inter-disciplinary institute, Akasofu is in an excellent position
to judge the science. Furthermore, it is generally agreed that
"global warming" is most pronounced in the Arctic.
11. Temperatures in the Arctic:
If we look at the Arctic, we find the "blip"
is amplified. In the figure below the two peaks of the cycle can
clearly be seen (there was a slightly higher spike in 2007-08
but temperatures now appear to be falling). This graph was taken
from NOAA's 2006 Arctic report card and is Fig 18, p 137 in "Chill".
12. This "double hump" pattern is
most marked in the northern hemisphere (in the USA, the land temperature
record for the 20th century was in 1934). It would not be possible
to conclude from this that air temperatures were responsible for
the recent Arctic "melt-down"which is due to
incursions of warm ocean water from further southsee "Chill".
13. This pattern is known as the Arctic Oscillation
and caused by reversing cyclonic/anti-cyclonic patterns that also
affect the North Atlantic and North Pacific. The phase of the
AO changed around 2007, and high pressure systems that were responsible
for the post-1940's cooling are now repeating, bringing cold winters
again to Britain.
14. This dip and the "blip" phenomenon
is so powerful that it registers in the global average record
and requires explanationparticularly since the cooling
phase coincided with the main upward swing of CO2 levels.
15. As an historical note: at first, the computer
simulations that were made to essentially replicate this pattern,
assumed the cooling was due to the release of counter-acting sulphur
particles from the rapid post-war industrial expansion. However,
that assumption was shown to be false in 2005 when data from satellite
surveys from 1979 onwards were analysed (and published in the
peer-reviewed journal Science). This revision was published
in ample time for the IPCC report in 2007. IPCC acknowledged the
change and the natural origin of the phenomenon, but did not highlight
the implicationsie that the models were incorrect and could
not be relied upon.
16. Despite the views of Kevin Trenberth at
NCAR in the USA, the "blip" is completely understandable
in terms of oceanography and rather well-known oscillations of
warm and cold periods in several key ocean basinsmostly
in the northern hemisphere. In my critique of the IPCC, I found
their understanding and review of this area of science very limited
and not at all representative of the literature. Furthermore,
in discussions at NCAR on 3 February, one of their leading scientists
had "no idea" the previous understanding of the "trough"
had recently been revised.
17. During the 1920-40 "blip" the
three northern oceanic basinsPacific, Atlantic and Arctic
were all "in phase" and "warm", and then they
all turned cool. In the 1980-2007 period, all cycles turned "positive"
and warm thus in part driving the "global warming" signal
(in my view the satellite data supports 80:20 natural vs man-made).
18. When the global temperature took off after
1980, that rise was assumed by physicists and computer programmers
with a limited understanding of the real earth to be the power
of carbon dioxide breaking through the natural patterns of variability.
The models had programmed such variability as a "random"
phenomenon and assumed the "dip" was anthropogenic (sulphur)
and hence did not heed the warnings of it being a cyclic natural
19. You can understand therefore that conversations
between two leading modellers about how to "remove the blip"
take on a powerful meaning. One of the pair talks of being able
to modify the sea-water temperature record (which is very patchy
and therefore subject to somewhat variable "homogenisation"
techniques), but then that "still leaves the land surface
record"which in the northern hemisphere, is rather
more substantial. (You can also refer to the exchanges between
Trenberth and Prof Karten in Sweden, as the latter makes the point
that the record for Fenno-Scandinavia does not reflect the graph
used by Trenberth as input to the IPCC process. The record in
Scandinavia shows a very strong "blip" over the 1920-40
period, thus producing the double hump rather than the expected
20. I think the pair of co-workers then
give upbemoaning that they do not understand why the blip
is there in the first place. I have come to expect this lack of
cross-disciplinary understanding as it was a feature of past failures
at a UN level (and I have written about this in the peer-reviewed
ocean pollution literature).
21. This lack of understanding results as much
from the compartmentalisation of the computer-led climate science
community. But it is also further compounded by defensive attitudes
in relation to an obvious prior commitment and an awareness of
how the policy community require simple and certain directions.
22. This section of the email correspondencewith
which I am sure you will become familiar from the input of others,
refers to the choice of station data (instrumental) to replace
what was perceived as faulty tree ring data. The tree ring data
did not match the model expectation (ie the "hockey stick"
pattern of a sudden rise at the end of the period). Rather than
admit this, the team-workers discuss using Michael Mann's "trick"
of replacing the offending tree-ring data and using instrumental
data in its place in a spliced graph.
23. This is, indeed, "tricky" territory.
The correct scientific approach would be to:
(i) admit the tree ring data did not follow the
expected pattern and thus show both graphs and fully explain the
splice and the differences; and
(ii) engage in an open discourse with the scientific
community about the problem.
24. The problem, however, is that the scientists
concerned felt under some pressure from policy experts to minimise
uncertainties in the data. To admit there was a problem at this
level of the science would compromise that aimand hence
we see the kernel of the problem itselfthese scientists
are not acting purely as scientiststhey are on an inter-governmental
mission, with a great deal of prior commitment.
25. The reliability of tree-ring data and its
interpretation underlies a great deal of the past reconstruction
of global temperatures and the issue of whether cycles are real.
If they are real, then the "global warming" signal as
computed by simulators and physicists based on unproven equations
A TRAVESTY THAT
26. Dr Trenberth, when referring to "hiding
the decline" and feeling under pressure from critics in relation
to the lack of more recent warming, uses the term"we
can't explain (the cooling ... and it is a travesty that we can't".
27. He has amplified his meaning recently in
the open literature (Trenberth, K E, 2009: An imperative for climate
change planning: tracking Earth's global energy. Current Opinion
in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001).explaining
that it is obvious the accumulated warming has gone somewhereeither
to the deep ocean or into space, but the scientific monitoring
network is not adequate to say where. He calls for more funding
28. This is only partly true. The oceanographic
community as well as the satellite-monitoring groups have been
grappling with this issue since 2006, when oceanographers identified
from their instruments a major cooling of the global oceans. The
oceans appeared to have lost 20% of their heat between 2003-05,
but this was revised and by 2009, the overall conclusion was of
a slight but steady loss of heat since 2002.
29. Most oceanographers are looking at cloud
patterns to explain the earlier warming and the current "cooling".
However, it should be said that just at the point of ocean cooling,
NASA satellites picked up a large pulse of heat leaving the planet
for space (implying clear skies that had hitherto been cloudy
and kept the ocean's heat in). NASA thought this an artefact.
30. Trenberth does not refer to any of this
workand part of my journey to the USA was to put this question
to climate experts in that community. Dr Jerry Meehl answered
for NCAR (where Trenberth works): he was not aware of the recent
re-analysis published in Science in 2005, nor the IPCC retraction
in 2007. This is surprising and disturbing. In one sense, Trenberth
is right, and may be misunderstoodhe thinks it a travesty
because so much money and expertise has been devoted to modelling
and still the basic question of heat transfer around the globe
is unresolved. But part of this lack of resolution is caused by
attitudes, narrow focus and not looking at contradictory data
because of a prior commitment.
31. My conclusion is that global warming science
is uncertain at some very fundamental levels and this has been
hidden from public view by a constructed and false "consensus"
presented by the IPCC. Almost all scientists with major funding
are under pressure to accept that consensus and not "rock
the boat" at crucial stages of policy formulation. It can
clearly be seen in the emails that CRU and NCAR scientists are
acutely aware of the need to provide a clear and certain signal
to policy makers and avoid giving credibility to critics or highlighting
the major uncertainties within the climate models concerning natural
UEA/CRU "RESEARCH OUTCOMES"
32. In summary, I would like to add my voice
of concern, and to point to implications for science and for the
future work of the IPCC, CRU and Hadley Centre, should you be
(i) there is a clear attitude of isolation, defensiveness,
avoidance of criticism and of not giving the "opposition"
(ii) even well-meaning, polite and scientifically
credible interveners, such as Prof Karten are treated to simplistic
and impolite brush-offs;
iii) this attitude carries over into outright subversion
of the peer-review process by contacting editors and peer-reviewers,
as well as with-holding of data and techniques of data sampling
and manipulation (including loss or destruction of data such that
other workers cannot replicate or even understand the process);
(iv) further, this attitude extends to influencing
the process of Freedom of Information requests via contact and
briefing of the officials against the requests.
33. If we add this set of attitudes to attempts
to bend data to fit the expectation ("removing the blip"
and "hiding the decline") and then hide from view the
"bending" process, then I conclude that the integrity
of science has been compromised and the reliability of
that data put in question. I think, in the latter case, this will
become more obvious as other researchers are alerted to the process
of "homogenisation" of station data. Russian scientists
are already questioning the analysis, as are Australians (in addition
to Karten in Scandinavia).
34. Co-operation between independent research
teams is normalas are adjustments such that the two come
to more or less the same answer. But here we have collusion
between the two data teams in the US and the UK to protect
a now politicised prior commitmentclearly, the two data
sets are not independent enough and are more or less the same
set of station data manipulated and processed in slightly different
ways. Eventually, these "two" sets are fed into separate
processes at GISS and Hadley where simulations are made and projections
attempted. GISS and Hadley weight the regions of data in different
ways and arrive at a slightly different index (for example, GISS
adds greater weight to the Arctic region and this produces a 2005
figure for the highest annual global temperature, whereas Hadley's
global peak is in 1998).
35. I think that when it is revealed to the
wider public that there are even deeper uncertainties with regard
to the computer model, the operation of cycles and the role of
cloud-feedback, there will be a major reassessment and the reliability
of the IPCC will be in question.
36. Unless Hadley, GISS and NCAR can put up
a convincing and open defence, there is a distinct possibility
that the global index to 1979, when the satellite era began, will
be declared unreliable. That is certainly what I feel from the
evidence of this email saga. If "global warming" is
indeed as convincing as the modellers believe, then the future
satellite record will demonstrate this with a more widely acceptable
global index. From a policy perspective, there is time to evaluate
a responseand in the meantime a "no-regrets"
demand reduction strategy is the best policy. That would be an
important issue for the STC to investigate.
85 In the atmospheric physics of the model there is
an almost threefold uncertainty in the power of carbon dioxide
to warm the atmosphere because of poorly known feedback interactions
with water vapour and clouds-these are discussed by IPCC but not
highlighted as a real lack of consensus in the Summary Report-several
scientists think IPCC err considerably toward positive feedback
worst-case equations. If the critics are right, a doubling of
CO2 levels would not breach natural temperature fluctuations (of
plus or minus 1 degree Celsius). I summarise this position in
my book by quoting the leading NASA satellite specialist Takmeng
Wong, who in 2008, plainly highlighted the two possibilities of
global warming; in terms of being driven either mainly
by natural cycles or mainly by greenhouse gases. Back