Did Global Warming Advocates Manipulate Data?

Hackers have apparently hacked into a university email server and gotten a large number of emails belonging to prominent global warming advocates.

Hundreds of private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world's leading climate scientists during the past 13 years have been stolen by hackers and leaked online, it emerged today.

The computer files were apparently accessed earlier this week from servers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, a world-renowned centre focused on the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

Climate change sceptics who have studied the emails allege they provide "smoking gun" evidence that some of the climatologists colluded in manipulating data to support the widely held view that climate change is real, and is being largely caused by the actions of mankind.

The veracity of the emails has not been confirmed and the scientists involved have declined to comment on the story, which broke on a blog called The Air Vent.

The files, which in total amount to 160MbB of data, were first uploaded on to a Russian server, before being widely mirrored across the internet. The emails were accompanied by the anonymous statement: "We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it."

A spokesperson for the University of East Anglia said: "We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all this material is genuine. This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and have involved the police in this inquiry."

In one email, dated November 1999, one scientist wrote: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." . . .

UPDATE: Even the NY Times felt compelled to write about this news. They may want to claim that it is "not something secret," but the term "hide the decline" makes that difficult to accept.

But several scientists and others contacted by The New York Times confirmed that they were the authors or recipients of specific e-mail messages included in the file. The revelations are bound to inflame the public debate as hundreds of negotiators prepare to negotiate an international climate accord at meetings in Copenhagen next month, and at least one scientist speculated that the timing was not coincidental.

Dr. Trenberth said Friday that he was appalled at the release of the e-mail messages.

But he added that he thought the revelations might backfire against climate skeptics. He said that he thought that the messages showed “the integrity of scientists.” Still, some of the comments might lend themselves to being interpreted as sinister.

In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate patterns over the last two millenniums, Phil Jones, a longtime climate researcher at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, said he had used a “trick” employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to “hide the decline” in temperatures.

Dr. Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, confirmed in an interview that the e-mail message was real. He said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often used the word “trick” to refer to a good way to solve a problem, “and not something secret.”

At issue were sets of data, both employed in two studies. One data set showed long-term temperature effects on tree rings; the other, thermometer readings for the past 100 years. . . .

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Blogger Unknown said...

I've read through a handful of the emails. It doesn't look good. I randomly picked one file, and found this tidbit from Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research:

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data... shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate"

11/21/2009 5:56 AM  
Blogger Mathew Paust said...

The stakes are so high, both in the short and long terms, that I wouldn't put anything past unscrupulous types or agents of one or another government to try to sway public opinion one way or the other.

If we can't even agree on what is fact and what is fancy in the Kennedy and King assassinations, how in hell will we ever reach a consensus in the global warming debate? Depending on who's right, if one side wins, the Earth will go to hell by our own hand. Oops.

If the other side wins we'll laugh in our mud huts as we reminisce about the Chicken Little/economy ruining drama spun by a political opportunist who once tried to dispel doubts about his manhood by tonguing his wife on live TV.

As for me, I'm already humming the line from Jerry Garcia's tune, "We're going to hell in a bucket, baby, so we might as well enjoy the ride."

11/21/2009 6:23 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

"...the data are surely wrong."

According to the Doctrine of Al Gorean Infallibility, that's the only plausible explanation. That which trumps the prophesy of the climate change prophet can only be the work of the devil. It's very scientific that way.

11/21/2009 8:17 PM  
Blogger OldSouth said...

There is a precedent for this, one the Left looks upon with greatest nostalgia: The Pentagon Papers, purloined by Daniel Ellsberg and published in the New York Time in the early 1970's.

If these emails are authentic, the effect could be explosive, much in the manner of The Pentagon Papers.

The Left, the masters of 'end justifies means', will scream bloody murder in order to try to distract attention from the contents of these communications.

It will be interesting to see if the world at large will pay attention.

11/21/2009 9:38 PM  

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