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Climate Scientists Alleged to Have Manipulated Data

globalwarmingThousands 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.

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14 thoughts on “Climate Scientists Alleged to Have Manipulated Data

  1. With more than 5 acres per person world wide, there is no way that man can be affecting the earth’s climate. NO WAY. The earth has been warming up for millions of years. Wake up people, there use to be ice covering most of the planet! Now, this is no excuse for irresponsible behavior, but there’s no need to panic and there is sure no need to pad Al Gore’s wallet.

  2. The STOLEN files do not supoort an argument that climate scientists were trying to deceive anyone. What they do show is a calculated and obviously well funded effort to undermine climate science on the eve of the Copenhagen conference. If you really are journalists, as opposed to agents of those spreading anti science propaganda, why aren’t you reporting this as the crime it is and trying to identify who stole the files and who paid them to do it?

  3. IF this information is true than it will be damaging and forestall the monumental task we still have before us. Tragic but not irreparable.

  4. Interesting that the photo of Earth is both reversed (the horn of Africa is pointed East!) and tipped onto its side. Symbolic?

  5. You may feel you have published a “fair and balance” account of the contents of the documents stolen from the University of East Anglia, but it seems to me you’re just adding to a very dangerous smear campaign initiated by the folks who stole the documents and selectively published from them. They haven’t even the courage to admit who they are. Talk about “dubious practices”. You rely too much on interpretations by media such as The Australian, The Wall St. Journal and the Telegraph that are generally highly skeptical that anthropomorphic global warming is happening.

    I’d suggest a fairer title for your article would be “Climate Scientists Highly Unlikely to Have Manipulated Data.”

  6. The statements published from the emails were taken out of context. If read in full context, it is clear that the data were not changed. Since any reporter reporting on this story knows where the emails came from, you could try a little actual journalism and give a call to the organization to get the full background, like these folks did: http://bit.ly/5ahSVS. And, by the way, the excerpts don’t counter global warming – they all support it. They simply describe how the graphs were made more readable. Those promoting this non-troversy are relying on people’s ignorance to create a perception of deceit where there is none. Shame on you for failing to pick up a phone before spreading FUD (FUD = an attempt to create Fear, Uncertainty, or Doubt through an intentionally misleading representation of information).

  7. Check out the response to this story at realclimate.org Out-of-context quotes used as “evidence” of nefarious deeds require news reporters to do more research before reporting a “scandal”. The language used in what is expected to be private correspondence should be interpreted pretty carefully, especially in light of the article’s uncritical reporting of the existence of a conspiracy among the majority of climate scientists to fool us all into, well, cleaning up the environment.

  8. Pete old boy, why don’t you just trot out the math that carries you from your premise to your conclusion. Let’s see the proof of your novel Five Acre Rule. Of special interest is the behavior of your model at its limits: where does climate response as a function of man-acres kick in? 3.876 acres per person?

  9. Wow, EL – should have seriously done even some background research before running this article. This information was posted *Three Days Ago* on the RealClimate website (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/)

    “Nonetheless, these emails (a presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence dating back to 1996 and as recently as Nov 12) are being widely circulated, and therefore require some comment. Some of them involve people here (and the archive includes the first RealClimate email we ever sent out to colleagues) and include discussions we’ve had with the CRU folk on topics related to the surface temperature record and some paleo-related issues, mainly to ensure that posting were accurate.

    Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

    More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords…

    Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.”

  10. This just shows all the Global Warming freaks out there are a bunch of criminals cut from the same cloth as Obama and his band of merry kleptomaniacs. Just follow the money trail.

    Only one that stands to have significant government financial backing taken away when things go bad for them would resort to surpressing opposing viewpoints.

    What a bunch of empty shirt phonies that are no different than all the other government gravy train suck-ups out there.

  11. After reading all the comments it seems obvious, to me, that the individuals populating each side of this debate, and, make no mistake, there is a debate, are going to hold on their positions regardless of any evidence or lack thereof because this issue has more to do with politics than science.

  12. Sounds to me like the jig is up for the eco-nazis. The truth always wins in the end. ROFLMAO I’m still surprised that so many otherwise intelligent people have been taken in by this hoax …

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