Chinese scientists add to climategate

Climategate is once again back in the news and of course by news I mean media outside the United States. This time, the Guardian UK reports about continued investigation into the leaked emails from the CRU.

A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia’s climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

The questions arise around the level of urban development around the weather stations. Some have argued that a change from rural to urban around a particular station can have dramatic warming effect. Phil Jones, the former director of the CRU, has maintained that the effect is minimal.

Climate change sceptics asked the UEA, via FOI requests, for location data for the 84 weather stations in eastern China, half of which were urban and half rural.

The history of where the weather stations were sited was crucial to Jones and Wang’s 1990 study, as it concluded the rising temperatures recorded in China were the result of global climate changes rather the warming effects of expanding cities.

The IPCC’s 2007 report used the study to justify the claim that “any urban-related trend” in global temperatures was small. Jones was one of two “coordinating lead authors” for the relevant chapter.

The leaked emails from the CRU reveal that the former director of the unit, Tom Wigley, harboured grave doubts about the cover-up of the shortcomings in Jones and Wang’s work. Wigley was in charge of CRU when the original paper was published. “Were you taking W-CW [Wang] on trust?” he asked Jones. He continued: “Why, why, why did you and W-CW not simply say this right at the start?”Now this being the Guardian the article is full of subtext like “skeptics” and “accusations” and links to articles (also at the Guardian) claiming anyone who dares question climate change flat out lies, end of discussion. But the fact that even they are reporting on improprieties in the climate community speaks volumes.

The spirit to investigate these matters is mirrored in all places the Chinese media. Instapundit links to a story about Chinese coverage of climategate and other similar scandals.

China is not a small country. Its landmass spans several climate zones and includes the roof of the world. I have to wonder how data from China would affect the IPCC’s findings.

Several Chinese scientists who have gone over the IPCC report believe that the IPCC may have overstated the link between global temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere.

In a paper published in the December issue of the Chinese language Earth Science magazine, Ding Zhongli, an established environmental scientist, stated that the current temperatures on earth look normal if global climate changes over the past 10,000 years are considered.The point here is not that all work and models claiming an increase in global temperatures is wrong. The point is that the science is not settled at all and it has been scientists themselves that have be smothering any debate on the topic. I can’t think of a more unscientific attitude than that.

I found it interesting that in the comments to my last climate scandal post, the main detractors and (dare I use the term) skeptics that there is any doubt to the AGW hypothesis didn’t even argue the point at all. From the comments we learned that all science has been marred by interference throughout time and this case is no different. Most notably those arguing this didn’t say whether or not we should still make trillion dollar and society-changing decisions based on this “science”.

Update after the break.

I noticed that Mark Steyn at the Corner has also commented on the story. He caught something that I missed in my first reading.

It also emerges that documents which Wang claimed would exonerate him and Jones did not exist. . . .

Wang said: “I have been exonerated by my university on all the charges. When we started on the paper we had all the station location details in order to identify our network, but we cannot find them any more.”How many times is this “revelation” of lost data going to be accepted?

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