Doomed Planet

CSIRO in Climate Change Club

"Treasury and CSIRO both have breached trust", The Australian, May 29, 2010:

In March, [the CSIRO] joined with the Bureau of Meteorology to produce a snapshot of the state of the climate to update Australians about how their climate has changed and what it means. Although the pamphlet had a neutral title, State of the Climate, it was clearly designed to bring the great weight of the apparent credibility of these two organisations to bear against, and hopefully crush, those pesky climate change sceptics.

But as one of the peskier of them, Tom Quirk — our version of Canadas even peskier Stephen McIntyre — discovered, there was a very curious omission in one of the CSIRO graphs. It showed the rise and rise of concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and its fellow greenhouse gas methane. It was an almost perfect replica of the infamous (Michael) Mann Hockey Stick. After being virtually stable for 900 years, concentrations of both CO2 and methane went almost vertical through the 20th century. But as the eagle-eyed Quirk noticed and wrote about on Quadrant Online, methane was plotted only up to 1990, while the plots for CO2 continued to 2000.Why so, when the CSIRO measures methane concentrations and has data up to last year?

Did the answer lie in the inconvenient truth that methane concentrations have plateaued since the mid-1990s? Yet here is the CSIRO, the organisation dedicated to scientific truth, pretending — even stating — that theyre still going up, Climategate style. This is bad enough, but just as with Treasury, real policies are built on this sort of analysis. The first version of the so-called carbon pollution reduction scheme included farming to address the methane question. But as Quirk has shown in a peer-reviewed paper, atmospheric methane is driven by a combination of volcanos, El Ninos and pipeline (mostly dodgy old Soviet) leakage.

A second curious, and even dodgier, thing happened after Quirks Quadrant report. CSIRO updated its main graph to include the more recent methane data. No admission was made and the graphs scale made it all but invisible and did not show the plateauing. Further, the CSIRO published a more detailed second graph showing what has happened in the past 30 years, as opposed to the first graphs 1000 years. But only for CO2, despite the fact that it had exactly the same data for methane.

In short, the CSIRO is a fully signed-up member of the climate change club. It wanted to project the horror story of continually rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. So it simply disappeared inconvenient evidence to the contrary, in the process announcing it cannot be trusted ever again to deliver objective scientific evidence.

Read the full article here…

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