Much as when the organization he leads quietly made changes to the United States historical climate record at the prodding of Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre, James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies finally released critical computer codes scientists have wanted for years, but did so with absolutely no official press release.
As a result, not one media outlet covered this occurrence that years from now could be seen as a huge turning point in the climate change debate.
Despite the secrecy, there was great celebration amongst anthropogenic global warming skeptics that have wanted these closely held codes to be able to identify how NASA and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration make adjustments to raw climate data collected by weather stations.
One such skeptic is Anthony Watts, who happily reported Saturday (emphasis added):
Apparently us "court jesters" (as as Dr. James Hansen calls us) carry some weight after all.
I'm happy to report that NASA GISS has in fact released the computer code used to arrive at temperature adjustments for the USA and the world. The first task is to make sure it matches what has been seen, and to verify that we have all of it. This is hugely important in doing independent verification of the surface temperature record. Following that, an analysis of the methodology and replication of the computer program output to see if it matches the current data sets. Then perhaps we can fully understand why some stations that are in "pristine" condition, such as Walhalla, SC, with no obvious microsite biases, get "adjusted" by Hansen's techniques. Shouldn't good data stand on it's [sic] own?
Yes, that sounds reasonable, Anthony, unless your goal is to manipulate the data to support your agenda.
Of course, another happy skeptic was Stephen McIntyre who reported the news at Climate Audit (h/t Anthony Watts, emphasis added):
Hansen has just released what is said to be the source code for their temperature analysis. The release was announced in a shall-we-say ungracious email to his email distribution list and a link is now present at the NASA webpage.
Hansen says resentfully that they would have liked a "week or two" to make a "simplified version" of the program and that it is this version that "people interested in science" will want, as opposed to the version that actually generated their results.
People interested in science? Heck, I thought we were all deniers and court jesters.
Regardless, it seems a metaphysical certitude that the same media which ignored the changes to the climate record a month ago will be equally disinterested in reporting this information.
And, if it turns out that Watts, McIntyre, and skeptical scientists around the world identify errors in these codes requiring additional changes be made by Hansen to the climate record, I doubt we'll hear about that either.
Or am I just being too darned cynical for my own good?