Tom Wigley's email, more problems at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
The e-mails written by Wigley that have caused the most Internet buzz include a note to Phil Jones, director of the British Climatic Research Unit. That note discusses how to reduce a "warming blip" in sea-surface and land temperature data during the 1940s. Wigley suggests, "If we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean -- but we'd still have to explain the land blip." . . .
Wigley said Tuesday night that the e-mail reference to reducing the blip was really just "short hand" for using a type of correction outlined in another peer-reviewed paper published in Nature in 2008. . . .
The problem that I have with this explanation is that Wigley says: "If we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean." The reason why it is problematic is that it is so goal orientated. Scientists only talk this way if they are trying to figure out how to get a particular result.