Search This Blog

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What got me snipped from - 5

Anthony Watts, host of has launched an outrageous attack against the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) by publishing an article, "NASA GISS caught changing past data again - violates Data Quality Act", in which scientists working at the institute are accused of forging the data that are used for the GISS surface temperature analysis, and of violating federal law. These are serious accusations of scientific misconduct, and if they were true, this wouldn't not just destroy the reputation of the scientists, it would lead to the end of their scientific careers with high probability. The scientists could even face criminal prosecution. In a world of reason, logic, and law one does a thorough research of the facts first before stating these kind of accusations, since those would require hard evidence that could stand up in court. Not so in the fake skeptic universe where Anthony Watts and his friends reside. There, the bar is much lower. Some assertions and conjecture based on insufficient information due to lack of proper research of the facts, are considered as sufficient to make severe accusations and for his followers to believe them to be true, as one can see in the comment section.

There are some voices of reason among the commenters, but they are being ignored or ridiculed. My replies to these accusations got vanished by Anthony Watts, one can say as usual now. After they got vanished some funny guy under the name Louis Hooffstetter had the nerve to call me personally out to reply to the accusations, although he should have seen that my replies get snipped.

I didn't save the first one of my censored replies, which is mentioned in the second one. The first one was shorter and contained the question whether the author had checked with the scientist who maintains the GISS surface temperature analysis and who got praised not long ago on Mr. Watts's blog for promptly responding and correcting a mistake when it was detected. So, now the same scientist is being accused of being a big fraudster? He is still the same with the same high integrity as before. The accusations against him are baseless. I also asked whether accusations are posted first, before thorough fact checking was done. And I wondered whether this has been the purpose from the beginning.

Here is the second one:

----- snip -----
Anthony Watts wrote in

[snip - Sorry, I'm just not interested in your smear and accusations. As a NASA scientist who works with Hansen, you are in a position to demonstrate why/why not the charge of post facto data change if true. Instead you whine, and I'm just not interested in that. Do something substantive other than whining. - Anthony]

What a rubbish. Not every scientists working at GISS is involved in the temperature analysis. Why is every scientist at GISS supposed to be responsible for it? By mere association? Who is involved can be found at the website or taken from the author list of the related scientific papers. These are the people to be asked, if one wants to know specifics about the analysis. As for the alleged smear and accusations in my comment. Well, no one of the readers can check now what those outrageous "smear and accusations" and "whining" were, allegedly, right? However, the real smear and accusations are to be found in above article posted on Mr. Watts' attack web site. Accusations of evil manipulations and violations of the law allegedly done by GISS scientists are made without proper fact checking first, e.g., whether there is just some innocent explanation for it, if it is really true that data have changed.

Here I offer an explanation without the need to resort to accusations of sinister and fraudulent manipulation against the scientists at GISS who do the analysis.

Graphs and tables are updated around the middle of every month using the current adjusted GHCN-v3 and SCAR files. The new files incorporate reports for the previous month and late reports and corrections for earlier months.

The source data which are going into the analysis are not produced at GISS. They are coming from somewhere else. Always the current version of those data is used, and the data are updated every month. When something changes in the source data it has a ripple effect on the analysis done at GISS.

The "Updates to the Analysis" on the website refer to changes in the methodology of the analysis done at GISS, not to changes in data points of the source data sets.

-----  snip -----

Update, 10/28/2012: On the Updates to Analysis page of GISS, the conundrum about the changed results from the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis is being has been solved now. NOAA/NCDC the institution where the data used for the GISS analysis come from have switched to a new version of the data set, from GHCN v3.1 to GHCN v3.2. This has the according ripple effect on the GISS analysis. The change is explained by NOAA/NCDC here.

This confirms that once more Anthony Watts posted assertions and accusations on his blog against GISS scientists without doing proper research first whether those assertions and accusations were correct.

No comments:

Post a Comment