After last week’s article, in which he produced an extremely misleading figure, David Rose has doubled down with a new article asking how can we trust global warming scientists if the keep twisting the truth? He claims that
A landmark scientific paper –the one that caused a sensation by claiming there has been NO slowdown in global warming since 2000 – was critically flawed. And thanks to the bravery of a whistleblower, we now know that for a fact.
This is despite the very same whistleblower now saying
The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was. …..
…Bates said the NOAA study relied on land data that were “experimental.” Typically, NOAA officials can publish research that relies partially on experimental data, as long as the data are properly identified
So there’s no tampering with data; at best, it’s simply that the paper did not disclose that the land data were experimental. This post by Peter Thorne might also suggest that even this may not be strictly true; all the datasets had been presented in publications that had already appeared. I’m not even quite sure what is meant by “experimental”; it’s a research papaer, what other sort of data should they have used? In this article Bates is further quoted as saying there was “no data tampering, no data changing, nothing malicious.”
In his article, David Rose then goes on to makes the following claim
It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the ‘version 4’ dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations.
They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.
No one, to be clear, has ‘tampered’ with the figures. But according to Bates, the way those figures were chosen exaggerated global warming.
Well, this would either suggest that David Rose still does not understand anomalies, or is someone who simply cannot be trusted. The fundamental point is that it has become clear that there is a difference between the readings from ships and the readings from buoys. This discrepancy needs to be reconciled, but it doesn’t matter whether you adjust the ships to the buoys, or the buoys to the ships; ultimately anomalies will be computed. The data that is ued will be relative to a baseline, so it doesn’t matter if you move one up, or the other down. Let me stress, it makes no difference whether you adjust buoys to the ships, or the ships to the buoys; the resulting anomalies will be exactly the same! Choosing to adjust the buoys up to the ships does not exaggerate global warming; it produces exactly the same result as adjusting the ships down to the buoys.
Because ships tend to be biased warm relative to buoys and because of the increase in the number of buoys and the decrease in the number of ships, the merged in situ data without bias adjustment can have a cool bias relative to data with no ship–buoy bias. As buoys become more important to the in situ record, that bias can increase. Since the 1980s the SST in most areas has been warming. The increasing negative bias due to the increase in buoys tends to reduce this recent warming. This change in observations makes the in situ temperatures up to about 0.1°C cooler than they would be without bias. At present, methods for removing the ship–buoy bias are being developed and tested.
The requirement to make an adjustment because of a ship-buoy bias has, therefore, been known for almost 10 years. My understanding is that Karl et al. didn’t even actually make this adjustment, they simply included this new dataset in their analysis to compute global surface temperatures.
At the end of the day, not only does it appear that the “whistleblower” is walking back his claims, and is now suggesting that the problem was simply procedural, rather than a problem with the actual results in the paper, but the results in Karl et al. have already been confirmed in Hausfather et al. (2017). Furthermore, David Rose continues to make claims in his new article that are highly misleading, while accusing global warming scientists of twisting the truth. It seems to me that there are some who think that it’s worth reaching out to David Rose because he’s a decent chap. Well, given that he continues to publish misleading articles, this would seem to suggest that reaching out is unlikely to achieve much – at least in the sense of getting David Rose to not publish nonsense. As they say, a leopard can’t change its spots.