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Why did SwiftHackers put special effort into yamal/? And, data in 93/ etc. not really missing

Following up on my 27 Nov post, here's an updated diagram of where the various files in yamal/ directory in the SwiftHack archive FOI2009.zip likely came from. It seems now that, contrary to what I said earlier, the 93/ data mentioned in yamal/read.me weren't in fact missing, but were converted into yamal/coresset93.raw, perhaps by a Fortran program.

A more interesting question, in my opinion, is why the SwiftHackers purposely pooled data from several places into a yamal/ subdirectory (the other subdirectories are just straightforward data dumps, as far as I can tell). But first, what's this "Yamal" thing? To get up to speed, here's a quick introduction by RealClimate: [cached]

[...] a particular compilation of trees (called a chronology in dendro-climatology) [...] was first put together by two Russians, Hantemirov and Shiyatov, in the late 1990s (and published in 2002). This multi-millennial chronology from Yamal (in northwestern Siberia) was painstakingly collected from hundreds of sub-fossil trees buried in sediment in the river deltas. They used a subset of the 224 trees they found to be long enough and sensitive enough [...] supplemented by 17 living tree cores to create a "Yamal" climate record [i.e. a reconstruction of past climates].

A preliminary set of this data had also been used by [CRU Researcher] Keith Briffa in 2000 (pdf) [...] to create another "Yamal" record that was designed to improve the representation of long-term climate variability. [...]

So along comes [global warming 'skeptic'] Steve McIntyre, self-styled slayer of hockey sticks, who declares without any evidence whatsoever that Briffa didn't just reprocess the data from the Russians, but instead supposedly picked through it to give him the signal he wanted. These allegations have been made without any evidence whatsoever.
That was on 30 Sep 2009. Looking at the archives of McIntyre's Climate Audit, one can see that McIntyre was harping and harping and harping and harping on the Briffa/Yamal issue from 26 Sep 2009 all the way to 11 Nov 2009 -- just shortly before the dump of FOI2009.zip.

So here's my -- admittedly speculative -- guess of what happened: The SwiftHackers, having pilfered data from the CRU back then, saw McIntyre's obsession over Briffa/Yamal. And so they decided to put in some extra effort to 'package' data possibly pertaining to Briffa/Yamal, in the hope that McIntyre would get the hint and continue to push this talking point.

Anyway, if there was such a hint, then McIntyre certainly didn't take it. After the FOI2009.zip dump on 17 Nov 2009, McIntyre didn't write anything about Yamal until 4 Jan 2010.

Comments

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 21st, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)
Yamal

For all your work, you don't seem to have gotten anything. You should read everything Steve Mosher's written and understand it, and you might actually uncover the hacker.

Why the focus on Yamal? Has it occurred to you that person with the e-mails looked thru climate blogs to see what would be of interest to skeptics, and used this to sort out the e-mails? Early on, ClimateAudit talked about SOAP,and there are a surprising number of e-mails about SOAP, which is of no interest to skeptics.

Posted by: Decoding SwiftHack (ijish)
Posted at: December 21st, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Yamal

You should read everything Steve Mosher's written and understand it, and you might actually uncover the hacker.
I'd love nothing more than to be able to read everything ever written by everybody, but I'm short of time, and energy, and resources.

And actually I was hoping someone can help out. ... Well, perhaps you can fill the role, our dear concerned citizen? Read through all the blogs and stuff, and tell us something useful about the SwiftHacker that we don't already know?

Has it occurred to you that person with the e-mails looked thru climate blogs to see what would be of interest to skeptics, and used this to sort out the e-mails?
Actually I was talking about the documents, not the e-mails -- as should be clear from my blog post. The SwiftHacker specially created a FOIA/documents/yamal/ directory with files culled from various places.

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