Thousands of sensitive documents and emails including some climate change docs dating back a decade ago that indicate scientists may be overstating the case for global warming by manipulating data were stolen from Britain’s Hadley Climate Research Unit by Russian hackers, according to many news reports and blogs.
The release of 1,000 emails and 3,000 documents is fueling the debate between scientists who believe man is responsible for global warming and skeptics of climate-change findings, calling into question the validity of many climate-change reports.
However, the head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain, Phil Jones, told The Australian that he cannot confirm which of the emails are authentic and which are fakes.
Some old emails from scientists made references to different ways of evaluating the climate data, according to a Wall Street Journal blog.
Initial reviews of the leaked files show that world-renowned climate scientists may be manipulating computer climate modeling data and research reports to support the theory that man-made greenhouse gases are causing global warming, reports Examiner.com.
The leaked documents give credence to many skeptics of man-made global warming, who have argued that the scientific consensus was not as strong as the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summaries indicated and that climate researchers ostracized other scientists who presented different findings, reports The Australian.
The emails include discussions of efforts to make sure that reports from the IPCC included their own views and excluded others, and their refusal to make their data available to scientists with opposing views, reports the Wall Street Journal.
However, one of the scientists whose emails were released is upset about the selective use of the emails and said they’ve been taken out of context, reports ABC News. Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Colorado, and a lead author on the 2001 and 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments, believes the leaks may be aimed at undermining Copenhagen climate talks, according to the article.
If the emails are genuine, they show “dubious practices” such as manipulating data, suppressing evidence, contemplating violence against prominent climate skeptic scientists, withholding data on the pre-industrial Medieval Warm Period, and plotting to keep dissenting scientists out of the peer review process, according to a Telegraph blog.
The emails also show that some scientists had private doubts about global warming, reports the Telegraph.