Tuesday, November 24, 2009

“ClimateGate?” - Evidence of an AGW Conspiracy among the Scientists?

While I was down battling a cold and wasn't watching, someone appears to have hacked into or leaked 1079 emails and 72 documents out of the Hadley Centre concerning climate science with 'proof' of an apparent conspiracy to 'manipulate the data'. There is a 60Mb ZIP file (which unzips to over 162Mb, I been told) which is lot to shift through. Naturally, it will take weeks of work to verify, but the sheer size and detail make it hard to argue that *ALL * of it is faked. Supposedly, details on the ALGORITHMS OF THE CLIMATE MODELS is included! At least one individual (Steve McIntyre) has confirmed at least some emails in the released data are accurate. BIG Question: Are there any fakes included among a collection of real messages?

It will be very interesting to watch this unfold and see the responses from Hadley, various governments, and the mainstream media. The full large file is available for download here (among other places): http://www.megaupload.com/?d=75J4XO4T . (No, I don't have it myself... yet.)

One reported e-mail exerpt:
steven mosher:
November 19th, 2009 at 2:31 pm
From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@virginia.edu, mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@uea.ac.uk,t.osborn@uea.ac.uk
Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@uea.ac.uk

There are reports of other e-mails quoting Prof. Jones saying he would rather destroy the CRU data than release it to McIntyre. There are reports of e-mails with instructions on how to obstruct or evade FOIA requests. (!)

Another damning e-mail:

From: “Michael E. Mann”
To: Tim Osborn , Keith Briffa
Subject: update
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:51:53 -0500
Reply-to: mann@xxx
Cc: Gavin Schmidt
guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).
Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.
You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…

NOTE: Mann is the author of the (infamous) “hockey stick” graph. “RC” is an apparent reference to the “RealClimate” website.

Egad... This is HUGE.

"Privacy" Caveat: Phil Jones, Michael Mann and others are public servants. If they were working (as a scientist should) to try to understand our climate and if they had acted in an honest, statesmanlike and transparent manner, there would be no regrets if their emails were made public.

WSJ coverage on the hack release here: http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/11/20/hacked-sensitive-documents-lifted-from-hadley-climate-center/

For me - I would *hope* that numerous people and organizations ON BOTH SIDES of the AGW debate will be aggressively looking into (a) is this TRUE, and (b) where do we go from here, regardless. If FALSE - and this is a hoax; simply manufactured to 'look' real - it will be a massively damaging blow to the anti-AGW movement. On the other hand, if TRUE - the consequences will be much more far-reaching on the science *and* political fronts. Beyond just "massive". However, what would be even more interesting would be the ABSENCE of research into the issue by the pro-AGW side (and/or the MSM).

Honestly, though... Rather than get in to WHO said WHAT and WHY - I'm *really* more interested in seeing if real (unwashed) data is included in the hack dump and what *it* shows about climate. I'm also curious in seeing an objective analysis of how the Climate Models work (or don't work).

I'm holding off on jumping on the "we caught ya!" bandwagon for now, but you've got to admit this situation is at least... Very Interesting.

- Steve

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