Update 8/9/12: Interview with Dr. Richard Muller.
In my view, and what do I know, hide the decline is simply a way to cheat the system. You don’t like what your primary data is showing so you clip it and add in new data, from an unrelated set, which is moving in the correct direction. This is Standard Operating Procedure according to the defenders and there’s nothing particularly unusual or interesting about it.
(Update 2/8/12 – Speaking of data tampering, check this out. )
I think that if I had done that in my science classes I would have been failed, if I had been caught. I still think it’s cheating, even if the defenders think it’s just fine. Kinda like software piracy, ya know? Most people think it’s just fine, at least in some cases.
NoFrakkinConsensus (NFC) has a great post on the subject and a certain Berkeley physicist (Dr. Richard Muller) seems to agree with me.
The justification would not have survived peer review in any journal that I’m willing to publish in. But they had it well hidden…And what is the result in my mind? Quite frankly, as a scientist, I now have a list of people whose papers I won’t read anymore. You’re not allowed to do this in science. This is not up to our standards. I get infuriated with colleagues of mine who say, “Well, you know, it’s a human field. You make mistakes.” And then I show them this and they say “Ah, no, that’s not acceptable.” [bold added]
Here’s the rest: Scientists Speak Out – and it comes with lots of links to more good stuff.
Personally, I would like to think that any real scientist would be offended by Hide the Decline, but again, what do I know? Money (grant money,) power, and directives from one’s superiors are great incentives to fudge the science.
Dr. Muller also points out, at about 4:30 in that video on NFC, that these are the same people who came up with that graph that shows current temps to be higher than in the 30s, when US measurements show the 30s to be at least as high. He seems to feel that that graph has much less credibility now, given the group that produced it is the same as the group that hid the decline. Verrrry interesting.
The physicist mentioned above, one Dr. Muller, is also heading the BEST project, which is intended to get to the bottom of the temperature issues, “to redo all of this, in a totally transparent way.” Given what Dr. Muller said regarding hide the decline I think that some interesting science might actually happen here. This is what BEST says:
A transparent approach, Based on data analysisOur aim is to resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions. Our results will include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record.
More about BEST
- Why BEST Will Not Settle the Climate Debate, by Singer
- Democrats Gone Wild – The Waxman-Markey Circus is coming to town – Dr. Richard Muller to showcase BEST under the bigtop
- Interviews with Dr. Muller