Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh boy, the Globular Warming True Believers strike again,

and it makes the whole mess even worse:
The UK Met Office has released a large tranche of station data, together with code.

Only last summer, the Met Office had turned down my FOI request for station data, saying that the provision of station data to me would threaten the course of UK international relations. Apparently, these excuses have somehow ceased to apply
Here's part of their statement:
The Met Office received the data information from Professor Jones at the University of East Anglia on the strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released. If any of this information were released, scientists could be reluctant to share information and participate in scientific projects with the public sector organisations based in the UK in future. It would also damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector and could show the Met Office ignored the confidentiality in which the data information was provided.
Ok, the obvious question is that if this is simply temperature data, why were they so damn scared of the idea of it being released? As I've bitched about before, one of the basics of the scientific method is that data and methods and so forth MUST be made available so it can be reviewed, and studied, checked for errors and argued about; but here are a bunch of scientists scared to death of the idea of this data getting out. WHY?

Three guesses.

And from a early review,
Meanwhile, even this extremely limited attempt at openness is not all it seems to be. John G-C has been looking at the code and running it against the data he has. What he has found is that prior to 1855 there was no southern hemisphere data and that when you run the Met Office's newly released code, this shows up as a gap in the graph of the average. But there is no such gap in the actual CRUTEM index. John's conclusion is that what we're looking at is not the actual code used in CRUTEM, but something written especially for public consumption. In light of the scorn that many programmers have been pouring on the quality of the coding standards at CRU, this might suggest that the original code was just too awful to make available for public inspection.
At one time the idea that an organization like this would be part of such garbage, I'd have laughed at. Not any more.

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