The CRU hack

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “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) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

The timing of this particular episode is probably not coincidental. But if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn’t much to it.

There are of course lessons to be learned. Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies. That community’s internal discussions are probably safe from the public eye. But it is important to remember that emails do seem to exist forever, and that there is always a chance that they will be inadvertently released. Most people do not act as if this is true, but they probably should.

It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?

Let he who is without PIN cast the the first stone.

Update: The official UEA statement is as follows:

“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,”

the spokesman stated.

“Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm

that all of 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 we have involved

the police in this enquiry.”

Update II: Please comment on the next thread.

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1,092 comments on this post.
  1. Joseph:

    This is an argumnet for total transperancy in data and methods.

  2. KTB:

    It would be nice to get comments from the authors for lines like this. This can of course be understood in many ways…
    I hope that posting of this small snippet doesn’t violate copyright, and I left the name out:

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Xxx and I will keep
    them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is”

    [Response: Bad papers clutter up assessment reports and if they don't stand up as science, they shouldn't be included. No-one can 'redefine' what the peer-reviewed literature is. - gavin]

  3. James Sexton:

    You guys are great. Undoubtedly, you’ve read what has been released. You have to respond or risk losing all credibility.

    Cheers

    James

  4. Steve:

    What about the documents?

  5. DrCarbon:

    Outrageous.

  6. Ian Watson:

    “It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?”

    I’d venture a guess at: “anyone without something to hide”.

  7. Robert Friedman:

    Thanks – just received the CRU Hack notice from some global warming doubting colleagues. While it was obvious to me the quotes were taken out of context and not relevant (not to mention illegal) having a quick response from someone who was closer to the facts was a timely help.

  8. Jack Kelly:

    Good post; many thanks for reacting so quickly. I think the enthusiasm with which many of the AGW-sceptics have jumped on this hack tells us more about the sceptics than the scientists. James Delingpole of the Telegraph, for example, is jumping up and down claiming that this may well be the greatest scandal of modern science.

    [Response: Didn't he claim that the last thing he was talking about was the greatest scandal? He is quickly going to run out of superlatives. - gavin]

    But has any information gleamed from the leaked emails falsified ANY of the theories behind AGW? Not from what I’ve seen. It’s just the same old sceptic response: jump on any scrap of info, apply absolutely zero healthy scepticism about that information and claim it falsifies AGW when it patently doesn’t even come close.

    But there is no doubt that these leaked emails will further polarise the debate and push more people into the “sceptic camp”. I feel sick with fear at our chances averting dangerous climate change.

  9. ben:

    If you looked through any organisation’s emails from the last ten years you’d find something that would raise a few eyebrows. The fact is the scientific consensus on climate change has been reached through the publication of thousands of peer-reviewed papers, field research and the lifetime’s work of some of humanity’s best minds. It’s obvious these emails didn’t even go through a spell-check let alone the rigorous peer-review process. Contrary to what the skeptics claim, the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, NASA and the world’s leading atmospheric scientists are not the agents of a clandestine global movement against the truth.

  10. lgarvin:

    “Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies.”

    That depends on whether or not people were trying to re-order the global economy on the basis of those butterfly studies. And whether or not some folks had tried to substitute the odd moth in order to “hide the decline.”

  11. Karl Bellve:

    Asking people to delete emails, in an email, with the SUBJECT: line containing FOI is indeed a serious problem.

  12. StuartR:

    You say “Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person.”

    I agree. But isn’t it also true that Newtons antipathy towards Hooke and his use of his position in control of the Royal Society, ensured that the concept of an achromatic lens for a telescope – which would have competed with his mirror solution – had to wait until after his death before someone was brave enough to think the “impossible”?

  13. David Harrington:

    I always assume that anything I write and send in an email, or post on an Internet site can be exposed to the widest public scrutiny and operate on that basis. For fellow professionals to do otherwise is naieve.

    This will run and run I’m afraid.

  14. bigcitylib:

    I hate to always harp on the graphics, but one of the time series Jones et al are talking about, with the data “added in”, might be useful here.

    And, having read a couple hundred of the emails, that does seem to be the worst they’ve got. Even the “mocking the dead denier” thing seems based on misreading the email in question.

  15. Sid Burgess:

    Thank you for this clarification. We have posted your response in conjunction with the others stories emerging.

    Sid Burgess
    National Director
    NewsFifty

  16. richard:

    RC, thank you for this even-handed explanation. It makes sense that any inter-office dialogue is not meant for public consumption and is therefor more candid than not. In the few brief texts I have read on different news sites there is I think a reserve in language and candidness that is admirable. RC and CRU will have to answer to the most disturbing of issues. Most likely the one most damaging is any discussion of ways to avoid releasing data and hiding behind IP agreements. FOI disclosures are a primary and valuable component of the democratic process and any attempts to subvert that process is cause for great concern.

    Again, thank you for a measured and calm response to what I am sure is a distressing disclosure of personal communications within the delegated climate community. I look forward to hearing from your members further.

  17. J SMITH:

    Yes, a great shame that private emails have been exposed in this way, and also very sad the way some people have used these to further their anti-science/anti-certain scientists agenda. All the emails seem to show is that scientists are human and get emotional about the matters that concern them – great revelation, not.
    However, we will be hearing a lot about this in the Denialosphere for a long while yet, even though the substance, as usual, is thin. It will be another one to add to the long, long list that is ‘final proof that Global Warming is a hoax’. And it won’t be the last.
    Let’s just move on and stick to the science.

  18. Alec, a.k.a. Daffy Duck:

    Clearly emails without context can be misleading. Just curious how you view thisone:

    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: IPCC & FOI
    Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008
    Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
    I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
    Cheers
    Phil
    Prof. Phil Jones
    Climatic Research Unit

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hadley_hacked#63657

    PS: I a runner, daffy duck is my nickname.

  19. Tim:

    What I love is that it’s so controversial these were “leaked” in the first place.

    Shouldn’t any person collecting public money, using public resources, etc be open to sunshine laws from the start? I would think the cavalier attitude shows more about the insulation of the subjects from the people they joyfully cash checks from. Much less just have independent non-involved entities verify their work.

  20. Niels A Nielsen:

    What context should this one be seen in. Please explain.

    At 06:25 28/09/2009, xxx xxxxxx wrote: xxxx, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, 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. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”. Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling in the NH — just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols. The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note — from MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987 (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it currently is not) — but not really enough. So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem? (SH/NH data also attached.) This stuff is in a report I am writing for EPRI, so I’d appreciate any comments you (and Ben) might have. xxx.

    [Response: This relates to the known problem in the SST records (as discussed here) related to changes in measuring technology and attempts to assess how important it is. The reworked raw data with corrections for this has not yet been released, and so people want to have a heuristic that might help see what impact they will have on any analysis that relied on the original (uncorrected data). - gavin]

  21. AKD:

    I would be happy to have all my e-mail correspondence directly related to my work published in the public domain.

  22. Mapleleaf:

    This is low and disgusting– time to call the police and Scotland Yard.
    What I want to know is how do we know for sure that (a) these are the actual emails, and (b) that the body text has not been fiddled with? That said, I’m sure all of us have regretting hitting “send” on more than one occasion.
    If only we could see what McIntyre and Watts et al. divulge when in contact with each other. Now that would be entertaining. Taking the high road is definitely the best option here, so I am not advocating that someone hack into their systems– tat would be wrong on so any levels. What surprises me is that CA and WUWT and AirVent have all released these supposed emails before taking the trouble to vet them and determining that they have not been tampered with. By publishing material obtained illegally are they now now partners in the crime? Surely they must be.
    What a sad state of affairs. Am I correct in understanding that they also tried to hack into the RC server?

  23. pdboddy:

    What of the emails talking about keeping the skeptics (assuming they are talking about climate scientists who are skeptical about particular numbers or methods) out of certain reports or venues?

  24. barry:

    I managed to get a third of the way through the comments at WUWT when it became clear that every email being cited was at worst ambiguous, that the authors had confidence in science, weren’t engaged in anything nefarious, and were frustrated with ‘skeptics’ disinformation. Unfortunately, the denizens at WUWT have such a voracious appetite for red flags, that any bit of ambiguity was pounced on as proof of wrong-doing. One avid contributor espoused that MBH was spurious according to ‘those in the know’, not realizing that the email was referring to McIntyre and McKitrick. As the acronym was ‘MM’, the contributor probably assumed it was ‘Michael Mann’.

    A neutral reader will see the emails for what they are. Reproducing the hackery is a low mark for CA and WUWT. I trust honest doubters will find that a little odious.

  25. Adam Gallon:

    Certainly some interesting e-mails, looks like the eagerness of some of your contributors to spread the warmth around, isn’t liked by some of others.
    Perhaps a little more openness and candour with background data and less mounting of the high horse when “non-climatologists” raise questions may be the way to go in future?

  26. doug W:

    The email which describe the peer review process, leaning on editors, etc. has done much to discredit science as a whole. I have reviewed papers. What I see in those emails is very disappointing.

    [Response: The paper and journal in question were indeed a scandal. But the scandal was that it was ever published. Six editors of the journal resigned in protest at the publication, not because of pressure. - gavin]

  27. Sir Oolius:

    no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research

    Really? Oh darn…

  28. Nicolas Nierenberg:

    For business people it is a fundamental rule to assume that any email you write may someday be read in open court.

  29. SDann:

    Yes, let’s let the debate continue.

    Sadly, there is damning proof here that the scientists haven’t been behaving themselves.

    Ignore the security issue and outrage, the content here is most certainly exceedingly serious.

    Let’s hope the media and legal people also behave themselves and act professionally and in accordance with data, not assumptions.

  30. Shii:

    When someone bothered me about this on Twitter, I came to this blog first. Thank you for publishing a response so quickly– who could have guessed otherwise that “hiding the decline” referred to a divergence between temperature readings and real temperatures in dendrochronology?

    [Response: In a particular record - not all of dendrochronology - and this is something that has been public, and publicly discussed since 1998. Hardly news. - gavin]

  31. ccpo:

    I often wonder what would happen were even one climate scientist to take the time and effort to take a member/members of the denialists to court for the many, many instances of outright slander, libel and defamation that go on.

    Imagine the science held up to the light of day of a court proceeding. Imagine these people being proven to have lied. Imagine a huge settlement of jail time.

    Of course, you could get a clueless judge who announces Gore was wrong justa little and then the deniers would go around saying he lied about everything…

    Still, there are some air-tight examples of slanderous, libelous and defamatory stuff out there…

  32. missmel:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8370282.stm

    “The e-mail system of one of the world’s leading climate research units has been breached by hackers”

    “Researchers at CRU, one of the world’s leading research bodies on natural and human-induced climate change, played a key role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, which is considered to be the most authoritative report of its kind.”

  33. W. W.:

    Not surprised at RC’s response but I am surprised at the very few comments here considering the size of this story.

  34. Dave:

    Nice try but to anyone perusing these emails the clear impression is of scientists trying to present their work in a way most favorable to their agenda rather than in a way most conducive to a fair interpretation of their data.

    [Response: Not true. Read the emails dealing with the IPCC report editing process. Lots of discussions (and disagreements), but that end up in compromise language that the authors and reviewers mostly agree on. - gavin]

  35. G. Valez:

    The hacker’s words at: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/open-letter/ . Will it be all?
    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. This is a limited time offer, download now:
    ( – http://ftp.tomcity.ru – no longer works

  36. Sigurdur:

    Let’s leave Mr. Gore out of this as he has demonstrated over and over that his actual knowledge of climate science is limitted at best. This is not about him, but about the methodoly of stats etc, and the credibility of science as a whole.
    This needs to be fully vetted so that science regains its stature of beyond political driven agendas, that what is peer reviewed actually has merit and is worthy of thought and contemplation.

  37. Timothy Chase:

    From the main essay:

    It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?

    The time and attention that scientists spend worrying about how their words may be inadvertently or deliberately misconstrued will equal to or greater than that which is removed from what could be spent on the performance of science itself. Moreover, science is a community activity, it depends upon their being able to communicate with one another — and the more open and effective such communication is the less guarded it will necessarily be. Sometimes I wonder whether the somewhat justified paranoia that various acts of quote-mining results in and the consequent drop in output and productivity may be a very large part of the point of such exercises in the first place. To the extent that one contributes to the scientific endeavor, it must be set aside.

  38. Jay:

    Again, I write to the moderator. What did I write that was so inflammatory that you would not post it? I have not attempted to stir anything up? I would like to know the truth. Thats all. The truth needs no moderation nor to be covered up. What is wrong with my saying that? Maybe you can post this and a response as I don’t see what could possibly be wrong with this post.

    My only questions now is…

    I hear a lot about the FOIA and data that was being withheld that is now lost or destroyed. Is there an explanation or a reference to that which would answer what I have been hearing on the other end?

    [Response: No data has been lost or destroyed. - gavin]

  39. MapleLeaf:

    The deniers have also infiltrated and email thread and list by Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and Canadian Geophysical Union email threads. They Dough Leahey (Friends of Science) and Tom Harris (International Climate Science Coalition) have also been harassing people on that list.
    The deniers have no bounds on how low they will stoop.

  40. pdboddy:

    “From Phil Jones:

    The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here! … The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick. Leave it to you to delete as appropriate! Cheers Phil
    PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !”

    “From Michael E. Mann:

    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC [RealClimate.org - A supposed neutral climate change website] Rein 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.”

    “From Phil Jones:

    If FOIA does ever get used by anyone, there is also IPR to consider as well. Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them.”

    “From Phil Jones:

    Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”

    Have any rational explanations for these particular pieces of information?

  41. William M. Briggs:

    I agree with much of the sentiment. As I said this morning:

    I often write emails to pals of mine that are in shorthand, that take many things for granted, that begin with understood knowledge, and that if they were read out of context could be construed as damning.

    It’s easy to do produce indictments. It’s as simple as adding “in bed” to the end of Chinese fortune cookies. “You will have great success in the future” suddenly takes on an entirely new meaning for somebody intent on discovering an x-rated conspiracy among fortune cookie writers.

    —–

    Of course, it’s a separate question whether GCMs have skill, and there is some insight to be gained into that.

  42. dhogaza:

    Sadly, there is damning proof here that the scientists haven’t been behaving themselves.

    Surely SDann can provide us with specific evidence of such proof. Go for it …

  43. Chris S:

    I am sure, once the dust has settled on this matter, Science, Scientists and all their hard work, will be held in the regard it deserves.

  44. san quintin:

    One purported email says:
    “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…”

    I’m not a sceptic (far from it…I’ve been involved in climate science for a long time and have been convinced about AGW for years) but I do think that this sends a pretty crap message to everyone. If RC is screening posts to push a particular point then it’s not that much better in that regard than a lot of the sceptic sites.

    [Response: This is a moderated site, and always has been. We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere and the baseless accusations of malfeasance that are commonplace on open forums. We do that unapologetically in order to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio in threads. When there are technical issues that we aren't qualified to judge, we often ask people more involved to comment - and these comments appear inline with the questions so that the answers are not lost and are provided at the same time as the question appears. This leaves a record for later readers that is much easier to follow. We don't screen out comments just because they disagree with us (as is evident in any comment thread). - gavin]

  45. JohnAnnArbor:

    Your anger at people for simply asking questions and trying to replicate results is damning.

    [Response: Nonsense. Anger is restricted to people who misrepresent views and make up false accusations. Asking real questions about real issues is welcome. - gavin]

  46. John Cross:

    A couple of comments. First, my kudos to the scientists in those e-mails for the calm and quick reaction to having what is clearly (some) personal information posted. I think that the way you handled the post above ranks up there with the urban legend about the Barbie / Hominid skull rejection letter.

    Second, can you please continue to post clarifications to the little bits of the science that get quoted. The personal comments need no further discussion.

    Third, in regards to the people above who claim that they consider every e-mail has the potential to end up in court. While that my be true in the business world, science depends on a clear and open exchange of ideas. You can see that in some of the letters here as the scientists propose ideas and analyze others. While this is actually the normal course of science, it can provide endless fuel for those interested in muddying the waters.

    John

  47. Shoshin:

    It’s difficult to know at this stage whether any or all of the hacked and released data are real or fabricated. I guess the only way to know for sure and to re-establish confidence is for researchers to release their original data now and compare it to the hacked data. I find it offensive that some on this website somehow consider that the release of data to be inappropriate and that only certain climatologists are qualified to view it. Sounds like Scientology or Mormonism to me, not science.

  48. MBP:

    very weak attempt at damage control. i can hear you tripping over your feet as you backpedal.

  49. MapleLeaf:

    JohnAnnArbor, what anger? Given the awful circumstances, RC and people posting here have been civil and calm. So please stop trying to antagonize people.

  50. Journeyman:

    In the Nature trick, didn’t they also use the instrumental data as part of the smoothing, averaging in instrumental record calibrated values rather than the actual proxy data, to hide the decline, thus affecting the part that wasn’t cut off as well?

  51. Gerard Harbison:

    So, for example, when the emails are clearly discussing manuscripts sent to various climate scientists in confidence for peer-review, and coordinating responses by email, how does that square away with journal policies?

    By the way, I’m an active researcher, and I certainly don’t do this. The ‘everybody does it’ response is nonsense. We don’t.

    [Response: Huh? You don't collaborate with your co-authors on responses to reviews? Really? And you don't suggest potential reviewers to journal editors when they ask for suggestions? Really? - gavin]

  52. nvw:

    The revelation is the degree of backbiting, smear and sabotage indicated in the leaked emails. Reviewers of papers are pre-selected, plans are hatched to remove an editor for publishing skeptical research, instructions shared for deleting emails in anticipation of FOI requests.
    Now I am sure there is some naivety on my part as to how I expect scientists to behave at public funded institutions, but these emails are a damming indictment of a culture of smug entitlement.

    [Response: This is a typical over-reaction. Perhaps you are unaware that almost all journals demand that you submit names of potential reviewers as part of the submission? Perhaps you are unaware that 6 editors of Climate Research resigned because of the way the Soon and Baliunas paper was handled? Or aren't scientists allowed to give their opinions to colleagues? - gavin]

  53. John Masher:

    Can you explain the multiple references in the emails to evading FOIA responses, for example as in “delete all email [on certain topic] and I will do the same”?

    [Response: No. But I am not party either to those FOIA requests, nor the timing and nor do I know what happened or what the scope was. - gavin]

  54. pdboddy:

    “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…”

    [Response: This is a moderated site, and always has been. We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere and the baseless accusations of malfeasance that are commonplace on open forums. We do that unapologetically in order to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio in threads. When there are technical issues that we aren't qualified to judge, we often ask people more involved to comment - and these comments appear inline with the questions so that the answers are not lost and are provided at the same time as the question appears. This leaves a record for later readers that is much easier to follow. We don't screen out comments just because they disagree with us (as is evident in any comment thread). - gavin]

    No one is saying that you screen out comments just because they disagree with your viewpoint.

    However, the emails do suggest that certain people try to use this site in such a way: filtering out the naysayers.

  55. Frank:

    To JACK KELLY:

    It’s not about not wanting to fight a climate in peril. It’s about how it is spun to the public, and the intend that some people have with doing so…
    You cannot deny that the climate debate and how to handle the future changes, have yielded big business for a few people.

    The problem is, when bit money is added to the equation, the interest in doing something about the changes fast declines. The longer the idea of discussing is going on, the longer you can make the public pay irrational taxes, buy eco friendly gear, then get the “all new and better” model next year, because of course we didn’t have that on manufacturing belt already.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that some or many of you so-called scientists report or feel responsible to certain people. But you have to remember who it is that pays grants and “owns” your institutions. All the way at the bottom (top?), you’ll find the public, and it is us you report to,
    NOT the likes of Al Gore and friends.

    You owe us the whole truth and we will have it… too bad that some hacker had to deliver it to us, when you actually had the chance yourselves.

    Amount of trust and respect left now = 0

  56. John H.:

    #1047388489
    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

  57. Mark Y:

    @Gavin #41

    You’re concerned about ‘signal-to-noise ratio’? I’d much prefer transparency and a more open and reasonable debate.

  58. Jim:

    As bad as it’s going to be in the blogosphere with these emails being disseminated and discussed once “Old Media” gets a hold of the story things are really going to get out of hand. I can just imagine the spin that’s going to get put on this once it hits television.

  59. Darrell:

    > It will be another one to add to the long, long list that is ‘final proof that Global Warming is a hoax’. And it won’t be the last.

    Thank you for acknowledging, even as you refuse to accept, that there is a “long, long list of reasons” to question AGW science. I realize that wasn’t your intent, but still, thank you.

    [Response: He's pointing out that there is a long list of claims that GW is a hoax, not that there is any actual evidence that it is. - gavin]

  60. ADR:

    “…Can you explain the multiple references in the emails to evading FOIA responses, for example as in “delete all email [on certain topic] and I will do the same”?

    [Response: No. But I am not party either to those FOIA requests, nor the timing and nor do I know what happened or what the scope was. - gavin]…”

    You may not be a party, but, can you explain why anyone in climate research would write emails that attempt to evade FOIA responses?

    [Response: Everyone involved in any FOIA request is always asking what is required to be responsive, what the scope of the request covers and what issues there might be that would provide exemptions. Such discussions go on every time. I can only speak about my own experience with that and the guidance we were given with respect to those requests. Partial views of that process without the full context would make it extremely easy to jump to unwarranted conclusions. - gavin]

  61. Adam Sullivan:

    Transparency can’t hurt.

    I’ve been looking at the data for the last couple of hours and most is unremarkable, although emails gloating over the deaths of skeptics are unseemly at best.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas regardless of what are in the emails. CO2 production is increasing globally regardless of how data are fitted to trendlines. Nature imposes variability that is very difficult to pin down so models won’t be predictive for a while (except in the long term). All pretty simple.

    It would help kill off the insane wing (OK – the bulk) of the skeptic community to simply make the research process and data production open. Absolutely open. As for people protecting their methods for professional reasons I think the risks at hand make that too expensive of a luxury for the planet to afford.

  62. Per Edman:

    Trying to reason with the denialists in this thread reflects how that works proceeds in other areas. Trying to explain to some people that they are selectively misreading 62 megabytes of personal e-mails and in-progress documents, when they have already misread the consensus on climate science as a whole, can not possibly succeed.

  63. John H.:

    “When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide
    by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince
    them otherwise
    showing them what CA was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were
    dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school
    – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive. I’ve got to know the FOI
    person quite well and the Chief Librarian – who deals with appeals. The VC is also
    aware of what is going on – at least for one of the requests, but probably doesn’t know
    the number we’re dealing with. We are in double figures.

  64. Carl Gullans:

    “Response: Nonsense. Anger is restricted to people who misrepresent views and make up false accusations. Asking real questions about real issues is welcome. – gavin]”

    Come on, man. “Where is the code so I can run this reconstruction?” is not a real question? [edit]

    [Response: Sure it is. Which reconstruction did you have in mind? Try these Wahl and Amman or Mann et al 2008 for starters. - gavin]

  65. Andrew:

    If the biggest idea in the denier world is a stolen corpus of other people’s scientific correspondence, processed data files, and code, then it doesn’t really speak well of what they can produce on their own, does it?

  66. David:

    Another inconvenient truth perhaps?

  67. Karl:

    Nice try.

    Two of those emails appear to document a means of “responding” to an FOI request that, if true, evidences unlawful action.

    That is, a request to intentionally destroy material that was specifically requested.

    In the US at least that sort of “response” gets you a date with Bubba. Who knows what the law is on this in the UK, but I bet they look dimly on it as well.

  68. Richard C:

    This is just sad, on so many levels, for so many of us.
    I’ve been such a supporter and now this feeling of doubt creeping into me has me shaken and confused.

  69. Tim Mirsa:

    Well, it seems that the truth is, in one respect, out.

    I’m lighting a cigar as I type. Perhaps we should all take time out to reflect for a moment.

  70. Gerard Harbison:

    I’m not talking about published responses, Gavin, I’m talking about manuscripts sent to referees for peer review. Those are sent in confidence. Collusion in preparing such reviews is completely unethical.

    [Response: I have no idea to what you are referring. - gavin]

  71. ADR:

    “…[Response: Everyone involved in any FOIA request is always asking what is required to be responsive, what the scope of the request covers and what issues there might be that would provide exemptions. Such discussions go on every time. I can only speak about my own experience with that and the guidance we were given with respect to those requests. Partial views of that process without the full context would make it extremely easy to jump to unwarranted conclusions. - gavin]…”

    Gavin,

    Would you, personally, delete any email or other data to avoid it being released to a FOIA request?

    [Response: Of course not. -gavin]

  72. Steve Geiger:

    I’ve frequented this site for years. I think this might be the most ‘open’ discussion I’ve read. Thanks at least for that. I do think this leak casts big ‘science’ in a very bad light. Figuring out creative ways to ovoid release of data, etc., is embarrasing at least.

  73. Scott A. Mandia:

    I posted a few comments on WUWT but I am sure that they fell on deaf ears.

    Anthony Watts and I had a private email message exchange back in early October when the whole Briffa thing was trumped up and glorified at WUWT. I defended science by using a medical example and because Briffa was sick, Watts publically accused me of being insensitive – even though WUWT and CA were flaying Briffa and the credibility of temperature reconstructions.

    In some of those emails, RC was discussed and Watts warned me:

    Fair warning – this communication is private. and
    As I said before this communications (sic) is private, share it with Gavin or anyone online at your own risk.

    I will keep my promise and these emails from Watts will be kept to me.

    Funny how Watts feels free to publish others’ emails.

  74. HJ:

    Am I taking these out of context?

    From the file “ipcc-tar-master.rtf”:

    [quote]
    General Comments

    The idea that climate without human intervention can only undergo “natural variability”, and that “climate change” can only result from human activity is false and fallacious. It is in conflict with all that we know of evolution and geology. It is simply wrong to assume that “ climate change” automatically implies human influence on the climate.

    This fallacy is embraced by the Framework Convention on Climate Change, but the IPCC (Footnote to “Summary for Policymakers. Page 1) claim that they are prepared to accept “natural variability” as “climate change”. They are, however, unwilling to accept the truth, which is that climate can change without human intervention.

    ….

    47 out of 91 models listed in Chapter 9 assume that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at the rate of 1% a year when the measured rate of increase, for the past 33 years, has been 0.4% a year. The assumption of false figures in models in order to boost future projections is fraudulent. What other figures are falsely exaggerated in the same way?
    [/quote]

    [Response: Definitely. This is a mis-informed review comment on the ipcc draft (I think). Models can be run with any number of scenarios - 1% increasing CO2 is a standard that is useful for comparing model responses. Looking at comparisons with the real world requires scenarios closer to what has actually happened - and those scenarios are used too. Nobody has any problem with the idea that climate change can occur naturally. Why else would we study the ice ages? - gavin]

    How about this? FOI, by the way, is a reference to the U.S. Freedom Of Information Act.

    [Response: Almost certainly the UK version I would imagine, and would not apply to US based correspondents. - gavin]

    Please keep that in mind when you state the proper context.

    [quote]
    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann” , “raymond s. bradley”
    Subject: A couple of things
    Date: Fri May 9 09:53:41 2008
    Cc: “Caspar Ammann”

    ….

    2. You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in FOI requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we’ve found a way around this.
    [/quote]

  75. MapleLeaf:

    JohnH are you just going to keep cutting and pasting potentially fraudulent emails? Care to actually say something?
    The internet– guilty until proven innocent.
    I hope that the prudent and rational ones amongst us will decide to reserve judgement until the content of the emails can be verified as being true. Nothing is what it appears to be on the web. Also, context is everything, and people like JohnH it seems are only too happy to take things out of context.
    That said, should there be proof of serious scientific misconduct by climate scientists down the road, then I for one will feel betrayed by groups like CRU and RC.
    The sad thing is that the globe will continue to warm and this fiasco is going to make it extremely difficult to make people proactive.

  76. pdboddy:

    “Per Edman says:
    20 November 2009 at 2:29 PM

    Trying to reason with the denialists in this thread reflects how that works proceeds in other areas. Trying to explain to some people that they are selectively misreading 62 megabytes of personal e-mails and in-progress documents, when they have already misread the consensus on climate science as a whole, can not possibly succeed.”

    “Andrew says:
    20 November 2009 at 2:30 PM

    If the biggest idea in the denier world is a stolen corpus of other people’s scientific correspondence, processed data files, and code, then it doesn’t really speak well of what they can produce on their own, does it?”

    I haven’t seen anyone here (yet) deny GW/CG, only asking for an explanation and clarification of what has been exposed/leaked to the public. And it does look poorly upon those who are on the “non-denier” side of the climate change debate. Ignoring the dirty laundry (who hasn’t said disparaging/discourteous things about colleagues/coworkers/opponents from time to time, even when we shouldn’t?) and the numbers (which can be taken and twisted any number of ways with enough time), talking about deleting emails regarding FOIA requests, and exerting pressure to hold up reports or comments, doesn’t reflect well upon those who sent the emails, does it?

  77. John Bunt:

    What has happened?? In the 1970′s, when the New York Times published the “Top Sectret” Pentagon papers they were HEROES! And Nixon was thrown out of office for, among other lesser things, trying to find out that Daniel Ellsburg was the leaker. Now, some are saying it was criminal to print this information. How convenient. I guess that it depends upon the issue, and which side you are on.

  78. sod:

    thanks for the past reply. it was necessary.

    but at the moment, i think the whole affair is demonstrating the mindset of those, who call themselves “sceptics”.

    they immediately published the story. from a really dubious source. no scepticism anywhere.

  79. AKD:

    Okay, between messages here and what can be read in the e-mails, Gavin’s response is clear: “We are the signal, you are the noise.” Maybe a bit more honesty and a few apologies and this could end simply as “good scientists behaving badly”.

  80. Steve (Bucks County, PA):

    The cat is out of the bag. You can damage control all you want, but we now know numbers are fudged and there are exterior motives for wanting global warming to be true. Al Gore – it’s over…unfortunately, you’ve still made millions of dollars off a hoax.

    [Response: Perhaps you can tell that to my bank manager? Feel free to deliver the money to my personal jet (see below). - gavin]

  81. davidc:

    Hacking? Looks more like whistleblowing.

  82. DebbieJ:

    Oh just great. Some of the media is now reporting this was done by a ‘whistleblower’ not a hacker, and that there is a lot more to come. Great job guys. Never, ever discuss how to clean up data in emails. You should be smarter than that.

  83. Darrell:

    Gavin, thank you for your civil and thoughtful responses to this. I don’t envy you your task today.

  84. Adam Sullivan:

    RichardC @64
    >I’ve been such a supporter and now this feeling of doubt creeping into me has me shaken and confused.
    Why?

    The physics are pretty simple – CO2 reflects infrared. The planet radiates heat as light from the Sun bounces off of it. The more CO2 the more radiated heat stays here and less radiates to space. Result – warming. None of that is undermined by anything in the hacked files. How quickly the planet will heat under what CO2 concentrations is not pinned down yet to absolute certainty yet, but these files neither significantly contribute to nor really undermine the efforts to pin that down.

  85. pdboddy:

    “MapleLeaf says:
    20 November 2009 at 2:43 PM

    JohnH are you just going to keep cutting and pasting potentially fraudulent emails? Care to actually say something?”

    One of the CRU folks has said that the emails appear legit. And yes, if you had an axe to grind, wouldn’t you cut out the pertinent pieces of information? I don’t know about you, but if you took all the work emails I’ve sent over the past ten years, you’d probably give up trying to find anything incriminating after a few hours. So I am not surprised that the emails appear to be cherry picked for a specific purpose, likely an attempt to derail the Copenhagen event to some degree.

    I call upon someone to specifically target those emails from CRU with a proper FOIA request. So that they can fairly and legally be brought to light.

  86. Molnar:

    By the way, is possession and redistribution of stolen data legal?

  87. David Mathews:

    Eh … since you brought it up … what are the mating habits of European butterflies?

  88. SeanNC:

    I think it’s revealing to the public for the first time that you scientists who are studying global warming are not just following the science and where it leads. You are actively seeking to manipulate the data to, in the immortal words of Governor William J. LePetomane, “…..protect our phoney-baloney jobs.”

    I read about Bali and how you all went aboard your own private jets. How the airport ran out of space for all of them. Have you people never heard of the INTERNET and how you can TELECONFERENCE to anywhere in the world?

    “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who are telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.” Glenn Reynolds

    [Response: Please let me know where I can pick up my personal jet. Will they have bike parking there? Otherwise it'll be a little difficult. - gavin]

  89. Dane Summers:

    This is truly a vexing day for GW believers. But there is reason to hope that this will all blow over. GW has always been more about the idea then actual science. The idea of GW will be little diminished and in the weeks and months to come new science will be brought forth to bolster flagging confidence.

  90. DebbieJ:

    Luckily for us, Oprah just quit or the major networks would be all over this.

  91. motionview:

    I’ve had a look at HARRY_READ_ME.txt . Forget the conspiracy, forget the emails: the software development and database management practices are atrocious. I’m sure their CS colleagues are mortified. You could not get a simple medical device on the market with that kind of software development, yet these results justify fundamentally changing the entire world economy?

  92. Johnken:

    Clearly it is wrong to leak/ hack and publish private correspondence. But your response is of denial and rationalisation; stop and reflect on how this makes you look!

    This is a sad day for science, a sadder day for academe and a downright disaster for what looks like a previously well orchestrated publicity machine.

    John

  93. ADR:

    “…JohnH are you just going to keep cutting and pasting potentially fraudulent emails?…”

    Gavin,

    There is thought that some or all of these emails that were leaked are fraudulent? As far as you know, are any of them fake? If some/all are, could you post which ones are not real?

    [Response: I'm not in a position to tell for the majority of them. The ones I sent have not been tampered with, but then there is nothing particularly interesting in them either. - gavin]

  94. Chip Knappenberger:

    I see a problem when it comes to suggesting that the “skeptics” need to publish in the peer-reviewed literature (which is something that I continually push as well), all the while working to try to prevent them publishing in the literature. I can pretty much guarantee that several recent papers that I (and co-authors) have submitted to the peer-reviewed literature would have been accepted had they carried different authorship. And I would bet that this is not only limited to my co-authors. I grow more suspicious that submitted papers that include particular authors are red-flagged for ‘special treatment.’ For a long time I denied (to myself and others) that this was the case, but recent experience has me thinking differently. I hope that I am wrong. Today’s information has done little to reassure me.

    -Chip

  95. MapleLeaf:

    John Bunt, good point, except they did not have the internet back then. These days nothing is what it seems, even if in B&W. They need to verify that the alleged damning emails are in fact real first. Anyone, can fabricate and or edit text. So how about we reserve judgement until this has all been resolved?
    Alas, WUWT CA and other denier blogs are all assuming that this information is legitimate because it gives them a lifetime worth of ammunition. I’m sure if it were their data and emails being questioned that they would hope and expect others to not disseminate the potentially fallacious/edited material.
    So regardless of which side of the debate you are on, disseminating private emails in the public forum which have been obtained illegally is criminal, and to do so without their authenticity being verified first is downright irresponsible. The internet is truly a nasty medium.

  96. Joe:

    Remember that the comments here are moderated, so you can’t really trust the comments here to be representative of anything but the opinions of the moderator.

  97. tpm:

    For all those hrumpfing on about “In the business world, we expect our emails to be read in open court!” I too live in the business world, and that attitude, at least in the companies I work with, is a direct result of the Enron trials, which started in 2006. My memory is that few people worried about their emails being made public 10 years ago. Even today, I run into folks that are astonished that their employer has the right to read all the mail on company accounts.That someone removed from the litigious jungles of the business world would be less that paranoidly cautious in emailing collaborators is no sin.

    [Response: It's worth pointing out that many of these emails date to well before 2006. - gavin]

  98. Steve Bloom:

    How I love the smell of denialist concern trolling in the morning. :)

    As Dano says, they (still) got nothin’.

  99. jeez:

    You say that this disclosure shows evidence of the scientists’ humanity. I have read hundreds of the emails and what I see demonstrated is immature petulance and anger. All the complaints of the burdens of disclosure would drop to near zero if these people were simply transparent from the beginning.

  100. Duae Quartunciea:

    I saw the “hide the decline” email being repeated all over the internet, and so I had already made a check on the background for myself. I found the “divergence problem” pretty quickly, and had already pointed this out at Deltoid. Nice to have my inferences confirmed.

    These emails obviously lack useful context, and the maliciously clueless are going to keep making these kinds of misunderstandings. It says a lot about their ethics in running so quickly with accusations of hoax before they’ve made any attempt to figure out what is being discussed.

    Its clear these folks are not “skeptics”, but credulous simpletons who jump at any chance to have their own presumptions confirmed.

  101. Tom Scott:

    Prominent among the people crowing most loudly about this supposed scandal is Ian Wishart, author of the scientifically illiterate denialist screed Air Con and publisher of Investigate Magazine. The magazine has a proud track record of uncovering other scientific conspiracies, suggesting for instance that NASA has covered up evidence of Egyptian-style pyramids and rock carvings on Mars – see http://www.investigatemagazine.com/pdf's/julsec33.pdf.

    Cherry-picking and distortion doesn’t begin to cover it.

  102. Robert:

    “Funny how Watts feels free to publish others’ emails.”

    Anthony does not receive public funds to do his work.

    [Response: Ethics doesn't stop at the exit of the town hall. - gavin]

  103. turbobloke:

    Why was this data released in such a way? As it is we’re never going to know if the e-mails are genuine or not, simply because someone could, if they wanted to, modify the original files so that they look different from the hacked files. If, however, instead of releasing the files the hacker had got the authorities to seize the original files, there would not have been any way to modify them. Hence there would be no doubt about their authenticity.

    FWIW, my opinion is that this is a last ditch attempt to muddy the waters before Copenhagen.

  104. pdboddy:

    “John Bunt says:
    20 November 2009 at 2:46 PM

    What has happened?? In the 1970’s, when the New York Times published the “Top Sectret” Pentagon papers they were HEROES! And Nixon was thrown out of office for, among other lesser things, trying to find out that Daniel Ellsburg was the leaker. Now, some are saying it was criminal to print this information. How convenient. I guess that it depends upon the issue, and which side you are on.”

    United States != United Kingdom

    The two “cases” are completely different. These CRU emails aren’t threatening national security, but they were illegally obtained. Not sure if the NYT receiving the papers was deemed illegal, but there sure was a fight over the right to publish them.

  105. dcook:

    Article: Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.

    Response: lol….

    Trick:

    “a cunning or deceitful action or device; “he played a trick on me”; “he pulled a fast one and got away with it”

    “Something designed to fool or swindle; ”

    “flim-flam: deceive somebody; “We tricked the teacher into thinking that class would be cancelled next week”"

    [Response: Wrong. Wrong and wrong. - gavin]

  106. Stubenmeister:

    This information will undoubtedly be the opportunity for skeptics to vindicate themselves. ‘Science’ is about ‘Truth’ and in many instances these emails depict their respective authors as untruthful. Unfortunately, we reap what we sow.

  107. Julius St Swithin:

    Last week I submitted an admittedly rather facetious post pointing out that the public are on the side of the deniers blogs (since confirmed by opinion polls on both sides of the Atlantic) and chiding The Team for publishing a speculative post about a small part of Antarctica rather than tackling the issues head on. The post was rejected. I suspected it was because this blog is tightly controlled; the hacked emails appear to confirm this.

    To see how this is playing out on 80 top climate blogs go to:
    http://www.climatedata.info/Opinions/Opinions/search.html

  108. glenn:

    Instead of being contrite at having been caught in disgraceful behavior you are brazenly and aggressively attempting to defend these e-mails and what they have exposed. Mann is calling for the criminal prosecution of whoever let the cat out of the bag. I guess “the team” is re-grouping to defend itself at all costs. Have you no decency? I know the answer to that one!

    Don’t you know that once a con is exposed its all over?

  109. Per Edman:

    pdboddy:

    It does reflect badly on those who would breach the privacy of others to dig for dirt. Does it reflect badly of those who express themselves in confidence to colleagues and friends? No.

    / Per

  110. DaveS:

    The problem with the contents of these emails is that they seem to confirm many peoples’ suspicions that prominent climate scientists are:

    a)more interested in manipulating data to make it substantiate a predetermined narrative (“It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip…”) and

    b) often merely tweaking the variables that are actually known and understood to make data fit what is supposed to “look right” given those knowledge constraints and their preconceptions/preferences (“When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this…”).

    c) Suppressing contradictory views internally (let’s delete these emails!) and externally by manipulating and controlling the pier review process, a problem reinforced by the buddy-buddy fraternity that exist across organizations (“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick…”).

    In short, there is something here to lend credibility to pretty much every suspicion that skeptics have. This is very damaging, and I think a lot of people here are in denial about how meaningful this will be in most peoples’ minds.

    [Response: Fair point, but each of the points you raise are taken out of context and do not imply what you take them to mean. - gavin]

  111. David Evershed:

    The only way to gain credibibity is to:

    a) allow full access to all the source data – which you have so fat refused, and

    b) cooperate with the requests made under the Freedom of Information Act – which the hacked emails appear to show you are going to great lengths to frustrate

    David Evershed BSc(Eng) PhD

  112. Per Edman:

    …and I say that AFTER reading up on the Freedom of Information Act (current revision). Requesting information which a decision was based upon through due process is something completely different from unauthorized entry and theft of personal, professional correspondence.

    / Per

  113. Steve Fish:

    Frank(~52, 20 November 2009 @ 2:13 PM):

    I am curious what monumental truth the hackers provided you.

    Steve

  114. Neo:

    The cards played by ‘deniers’ isn’t about it warming or not. It’s about to what “danger” we feel from (potential) warming. We do not share the fear of world warming that our funded researchers do. Why? In some ways because we are not searching or seeing evidence for it. There is probably a psychological term for that. But if thing outside of your body are out of your control, then ‘seeing is believing’. If you don’t see, you don’t believe. If you see, then you believe. Danger and global warming is about dealing with a threat, either real, not real, exaggerated, or whatever the case. Priorities are set from danger. And warming is not dangerous enough to warrant action. Action is warranted from weather, not climate. This is what true skeptics feel on a primitive level. And hiding data and restricting access is a good way to start a rage against the machine of global warming and all its robots.

  115. Kevin McKinney:

    #73–Nixon was thrown out of office for ordering burglary and then lying about it. Remember “It’s not illegal when the President does it?”

  116. dhogaza:

    So I imagine John Bunt hopes that those who cracked this server be brought to trial, as Daniel Ellsberg was, and that the owners of WUWT, CA, etc be hammered with the full force of the legal system just as the NY Times was, right?

    I do …

    Even better would be to see the crackers lose their trial, unlike Ellsberg …

  117. Joe Hunkins:

    Somebody naively wondered why there are so few comments on this post.

    IMO the answer is that RealClimate is effectively content-censored to a large degree for conformance with the prevailing ideas here. Uninformed dissenters are sometimes let in so the comment crew can bash them around, but reasoned dissenters are usually banned outright.

    Many don’t bother trying to post here for that very reason.

    Gavin in the interest of transparency would you at least roughly estimate how many of the comments have been moderated out for this post? I would guess 95% have been zapped.

    Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”

    Could you give a few examples? I searched right here at Realclimate for uses of that term they tend to relate to “trickery”, not good science.

    [Response: My time to spend on this is limited so moderation takes time when we are being swamped with comments (1 down, 100 to go). - gavin]

  118. Jeffrey Davis:

    “However, the emails do suggest that certain people try to use this site in such a way: filtering out the naysayers.”

    How does that square with the fact that lots of naysayers post comments here?

  119. steven mosher:

    Having read through all the emails and several of the attachments my take on it is this.
    There is very little that has to do with climate science per se. The biggest issues are
    the behaviors of the institutions of climate science. In particular the behavior of
    CRU with regards to FOI.

    IF these mails are accurate ( the headers appear to be real based on unix time stamping
    protocals) then it would appear that there maybe some issues surrounding the destruction
    of emails ( government property ).

    In an email with the subject FOI and IPCC one individual using government property
    instructs other individuals to delete emails ( government property)

    It’s always about the cover up.

    The correct procedure is to let the FOI process work.

  120. realist:

    Watts doesn’t hide anything, neither does McEntyre. Only people with something to hide, hide things. It’s really that simple.

    [Response: I'll take you seriously when either of them opens up their Inbox for everyone to look at. - gavin]

  121. Bob Kutz:

    I have seen several comments here referring to WUWT as a source of this information. I haven’t read all of the comments, nor have I looked at the CU site. BUT: I did read the original posting that their had been a leak. Anthony NEVER suggested anything other than the FACT that there had been a leak reported, and that there was now a file available at a ‘russian web-site’, he did not name the site. Further, he stated explicitly that he advised against downloading any file from an unknown server, and that the veracity of the contents could almost certainly never be verified, except it be from those from whom the files had been stolen.

    So, to those who accuse the WUWT website of complicity or being a source for the file itself, know this; you are spreading disinformation, and engaging in what amounts to ad hominem attack on Anthony Watts. His web site and his personal opinions regarding AGW are far far more balanced and scientific than most of what’s allowed on this site.

    Finally; some of the comments on this board are very damning; several of you have here admitted that these are in fact your correspondence. Some of the emails regarding FOI are in fact conspiracy to commit felonious acts. If those were proven to be yours, your only recourse would be ‘poisoned fruit’, which likely wouldn’t work, as this act was (ostensibly) not engaged by law enforcement. You could be prosecuted.

    Doubt me?

  122. TommyS:

    I have a serious challenge to RealClimate. First, I will express my discomfort in how this information became visible. Second, I have a feeling that any independent person can not get enough information. Must one allways be worried what an independent person might CONCLUDE? The serious challenge is: Now that the “damage” is done. Could RC tell us if there is “made up” mails /documents in the original FOIA2009.zip file? Would you assist the curious seeker of information?

  123. Saul Mitsuzki:

    I do not mean to be critical, but someone must say it:

    In my business, even in our private conversations, we strive to maintain a decorum that fits with the need for our exercise of impartial and unbiased judgment. In science, this is critical of course.

    If these emails are real, some of them should give the CRU scientists an occasion for healthy self reflection. At times, what comes across in the materials widely quoted is a devotion to a particular viewpoint that seems closed of from rigorous scientific scrutiny. The snippets reportedly suggesting an effort to squelch the publication of opposing viewpoints are especially antithetical to good science.

    We are right. WE have nothing to be afraid of. The marketplace of ideas will out the most persuasive methodologies and analysis and to suppress contrary views only smacks of a bias that will destroy what we are working for.

    Strive for THE answer not YOUR answer and the interest of science will always be served.

  124. Mike:

    It is interesting that those of you are upset about things being taken out of context are the same people who take Levitt and Dubner’s Superfreakanomics out of context. Of course, that won’t fulfill your agenda, so you have to throw sand on this fire quickly.

    I notice Joe Romm did the same thing. Acknowledge it and then ignore anybody who cries foul.

    Neat trick for sure, but not nearly as transparent as people want it to be.

  125. Pat:

    Is there somewhere I could find a graph or model that depicts the ocean levels over the past 2000 years, if such a model or graph exists? thanks.

    [Response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise - gavin]

  126. Interested Amateur:

    Thank you for this posting. I hope that, in the coming days, you will follow up with a comprehensive discussion, point by point, and with an overall view that establishes the context, and in terms that laymen can follow. It will be time-consuming and laborious, but given the tenor of the accusations and the gravity of the underlying subject, a necessary project.

    At first glance, I don’t see anything particularly discrediting to the climate change hypothesis emerging from the purloined e-mails. Yet, as I’ve said, I think it’ll be important to untangle the ball of string and lay it out straight.

  127. Dave:

    If these emails turn out to be genuine then at the very least the world of climate change research has changed forever. For one any research generated, reviewed or relying on the input of these scientists will be called into question. This is not to say it will be invalidated, rather that it will need to be reexamined. This examination will have to be completely open and transparent with all data and methodologies open to outside scrutiny by anyone who wishes to make the effort. The whole concept of peer reviewed science will have to be abandoned. This is a step forwards to greater transparency. “Trust us we’re scientists” will no longer wash.

    [Response: Strawman. - gavin]

  128. Lou Grinzo:

    The contents of these e-mails is truly shocking–climate scientists are (gasp!) human beings! Oh, the horror… the horror…

    On a more serious note, there is nothing I’ve seen about the content of these msgs that comes anywhere close to being a scandal or improper in any meaningful sense of those words.

    I’ve worked in university, computer business, and publishing environments, and I can say without hesitation that the contents of these e-mails are extremely tame in comparison to what I’ve read and written more times than I can count.

    But of course, this will turn into A Big Thing in the echosphere, and it will get endlessly rehashed. Just look at all the absurd claims on some sites accusing James Hansen of single-handedly cooking data, all based on not even stolen e-mail. We should expect to see this event and the fantasies it will help produce become a permanent fixture of the discussions online, as well as on certain broadcast outlets. And the whole time, CO2 levels will rise, temps will rise, permafrost will melt, methane hydrates will be released, polar and glacial ice will continue to shrink, and the ocean will become more acidic.

    Honestly, there are times when I wonder how human beings were smart enough to get as far as we have.

  129. David:

    “[Response: The paper and journal in question were indeed a scandal. But the scandal was that it was ever published. Six editors of the journal resigned in protest at the publication, not because of pressure. - gavin]”

    That’s fortunate. I note that in mail #1051190249
    “Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones. Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not work”

    It wasn’t necessary, but there had clearly been discussion about leaning on them to resign…

    Do you understand that when there is an argument over a scientific matter, both sides think they are right and think that the other sides science is (relatively) poor ? Trying to squeeze one side out of publication so that you can then crow about their papers not being “published” is abhorrent and an embarassing shame on those undertaking that approach. The correct response is to respond to the papers, and NOT to try to stop them publishing (or commenting). Apparently improving the signal to noise ratio is only important when it’s your signal ?

    All the talk about the science being settled, when there are discussions amongst yourselves about not being able to explain the current lack of warming is also shameful – why is the discussion taking place on private emails instead of in established climate journals ? Is it because it may damage the signal to noise ratio, and confuse the under class ?

    [Response: You completely mischaracterise what happened. It was the unjustified publication of SB03 that was the corruption of the peer review process, pushing back against that corruption was what motivated the resignations. - gavin]

  130. Hank Roberts:

    “I’ve been such a supporter ….”
    Citation needed.

  131. charlie:

    You know, I’ve always wondered why we scientists never seem to use anything like pgp in email communication with each other. Maybe its time to start?

  132. DavidDuck:

    I’ll be a lot more interested in this discussion after Fox News, or the WSJ editorial page, or the Heartland institute, or the US Chamber of Commerce releases a random 60 MB chunk of email.

  133. Matti Virtanen:

    Group: “Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.”

    Well, since this happens “often”, it would be good to see a couple of examples of the word’s usage from other fields to understand why it is not problematic. Thank you.

    [Response: Sure. It's mostly used in mathematics, for instance in decomposing partial fractions, or deciding whether a number is divisible by 9 etc.etc.etc. - gavin]

  134. MikeRavenor:

    Thanks to the whistle blowers. We have legislation in the UK to protect them. Mind you the Russians are sceptical. Maybe they did it.

  135. mc6809e:

    [Response: This is a moderated site, and always has been. We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere and the baseless accusations of malfeasance that are commonplace on open forums. We do that unapologetically in order to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio in threads...]

    Carrying the signal processing analogy further, improper filtering can also add noise to a signal.

    Whatever filtering strategy you’re using, in a few of the emails it appears that some people thought they could take advantage of it and game you.

  136. MBS:

    I noticed you have yet to respond to this comment
    “Asking people to delete emails, in an email, with the SUBJECT: line containing FOI is indeed a serious problem.”

    What is the justification for this email?

  137. Jim Sweet:

    While I’m what you would consider a skeptic of global warming, I can appreciate the concept that internal commentary among researchers is both private and potentially misleading. That said, I think the Hadley CRU is obligated to release all the data sets and the rationale for any adjustments made to the research community for full peer review and debate about their validity. That alone would allay any doubts about the integrity of these data sets and, indeed, that of the researchers involved.

  138. Scott:

    To me, the most damning comment I’ve read is Kevin Trenberth saying that it was a “travesty” that they “can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment”. He makes the candid admission that his observation model is “inadequate” — because the CERES data on 2008 shows that more warming should’ve happened, but obviously didn’t.

    While I’m open to the possibility that there could be a defensible explanation for these comments, it sounds an awful lot like a presumed conclusion in search of supporting evidence.

    [Response: Trenberth is talking about our inability to be able to measure the net radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere to the requisite precision to be able to say on short time scales what the energy budget is doing. The observations are inadequate for that - not sure who is saying otherwise. - gavin]

  139. Sloop:

    This too shall pass. In this instance of hacking, ideologically driven, delusional ends are being used to justify unethical means. Many in the global environ. management and governance community globally are trained and experienced in analyzing science outputs regardless of the particular field (it comes down to a matter of sufficient time which is increasingly scarce, but that’s our problem and responsibility); many in this community also know how science works and that scientists are actually humans with all attendant emotions and proclivities. This episode is worrisome no doubt to those in the trenches dealing with the science and the denialists; and it will no doubt create another time sink. But it also may motivate governments to deal a little more forthrightly with fringe denialism which is ideologically, not scientifically, driven. We know what’s coming in terms of the risk spectrum of global climate/ocean change and we’re going to deal with it as best we can as nations and as a global community. Our respect and appreciation for field of climatology and its sister disciplines is strong.

  140. David:

    Gavin, today’s pre-emptive strike and your comment responses might help with RealClimate’s credibility – at least among those who hope to continue their dismissive attitude towards the rest of us.

    But to me it reads like a CYA piece, misdirecting blame.

    Don’t you see the real lesson here? It’s past time for transparent debate about man-made global warm- (oops! sorry… “climate change”). Instead of being defensive, why not use this incident to call for more openness and debate among climate scientists?

    My other suggestion for long-term credibility is to encourage your colleagues and those on the left to stop with the insults. I am not a “denier,” or “sceptic,” or “climate crank.” I respect the scientific method and I believe that human understanding of our global climate is in its infancy. I’m guessing that the insular world of pro-AGW scientists has left you unable to see how few people trust your early conclusions.

    Meanwhile, the rest of aren’t afraid of who might see what we write in our business email.

    Please, push for transparency, in both science and funding.

  141. WhyNot:

    All the emails I have read deal with research that has been publicly funded and therefore would fall under FOIA and IMO, can not be considered “private” to protect or enable the authors of the emails a guise of righteousness to be protected.

  142. Barton Paul Levenson:

    James Sexton:

    You have to respond or risk losing all credibility.

    BPL:

    Dream on.

  143. Carl Gullans:

    #83: In other words, you just rephrased what scott just said and then agreed with him. Lacking an explanation for current warming is exactly what he was saying and said, and you agree. This doesn’t necessarily mean that long-term projections are wrong, but obviously credibility is reduced as model error gets larger and larger.

    BTW, on my previous comment: two recent papers have been transparent to the level required by science, although they still will not give all of the data used to go along with the code. This is hardly an excuse for over a decade of not giving code OR data, and is completely irrelevant when talking about FOIA requests that came *before* those papers even existed.

  144. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Tim:

    Shouldn’t any person collecting public money, using public resources, etc be open to sunshine laws from the start?

    BPL:

    No, federal employees still have a right to privacy.

  145. name withheld:

    Not climate-related, but I heard that someone I know was told by a supervisor not to supply any research findings to the supervisor and has since been ignored by the supervisor. This all seems to be part of an effort to maximize plausible deniability prior to expected scrutiny over the next while. I only know of this for one researcher under this one supervisor, so that’s not an expression that this kind of thing is common. This kind of stuff does happen, however, and it’s a damn shame no matter how rarely it occurs.

  146. mojo:

    Let he who is without PIN cast the the first stone.

    Oh, cle-ver! But you’re not looking so Jesus-like these days.

    [Response: Maybe I should grow the beard out? - gavin]

  147. NZ Willy:

    To Scott Mandia: Watts did not “warn” you that the email exchange was private. He will simply promising that he would keep it private himself. Your quote of
    “Fair warning – this communication is private” is obviously deconstructed to that the “Fair warning” part refers to the preceding part of the email (probably a reply to a point of yours), and then pledges privacy on his part. You have dishonestly posted a willful misrepresentation.

  148. caerbannog:

    David (#76),

    Here is a link to the paper in question: http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2003/23/c023p089.pdf

    Read through the paper and look at the authors’ methodology. If two or three “showstopper” problems don’t jump right out at you, then you are in over your head here.

  149. Barton Paul Levenson:

    SDann:

    there is damning proof here that the scientists haven’t been behaving themselves.

    BPL: 40 lashes for all of them, I say! How dare scientists have opinions!

  150. cynical1:

    For scientists, your research is rather poor.

    It´s NOT 60mb of emails.

    It´s also pdf, docs, jpegs, and
    interestingly spreadsheets.

    That´s a nice retirement plan.

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ah4XLQCleuUYdFIxMnhMNnlXb2JQcDZUendjUXpWWUE&hl=en

    [Response: Scientist's retirement plans are not related to the grants they get to cover researchers they have working for them. I wish. - gavin]

  151. JCS Bsc:

    Please explain how this is not illegal tax evasion:

    “… That is why it is important for us to get money from additional sources, in particular from the ADVANCE and INTAS ones. Also, it is important for us if you can transfer the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for one occasion transfer (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD. Only in this case we can avoid big taxes and use money for our work as much as possible. Please, inform us what kind of documents and financial reports we must represent you and your administration for these money….”

    If I did this i would be audited and locked up.

    [edit]
    How can you defend this?

    [Response: I have no information on the specifics. But a) tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and b) funding researchers in Russia in 1996 was probably not the easiest thing in the world. - gavin]

  152. Rafael Gomez-Sjoberg:

    This is hilarious and tragic.
    The released e-mails don’t reveal anything obscure of nefarious, but we have the lunatic fringe comparing them to the Pentagon Papers! People are not only very ignorant of science, but also of history, and their reading skills don’t seem to be very good. Their paranoid, conspiratorial fantasies have gotten the better of them.

    I’m always amazed at the strange mixture of gullibility and skepticism that people can have, without any sense of contradiction. I was recently hearing on the radio an interview with a NASA scientist that has been receiving lots of e-mails of people scared about the end of the world coming in 2012, and a vast NASA conspiracy to hide the truth about it. All thanks to the just-released movie and a series of web sites that discuss all sorts of crackpot theories about 2012. One girl asked the NASA guy if it was worth studying for her exams at school if the end of the world was so near, and a woman asked if she should kill her dog so that it wouldn’t have so suffer through the Apocalipse in 2012.

    People are quick to believe in lunacies like these, without any solid, coherent and logical evidence, but at the same time can’t accept a very solid body of scientific evidence pointing to the reality and dangers of anthropogenic climate change (which could be pretty apocalyptic in the long term if we don’t do anything about it). They are happy to think that NASA has both a large conspiracy to keep the end of the world in 2012 a secret, and at the same time another conspiracy, courtesy of Gavin et al., to scare people about climate change. My brother in law, for example, loves to read every book and watch every documentary about the prophecies of Nostradamus, but insists that anthropogenic climate change is not real (without ever having read any serious discussion of the science behind it, or even wanting to hear it from me).

    If the consequences weren’t so dire, I would just laugh at it. But most days I feel more like crying at such ignorance and stupidity.

  153. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Sigurdur: Let’s leave Mr. Gore out of this as he has demonstrated over and over that his actual knowledge of climate science is limitted at best.

    Me: Al Gore was one of Roger Revelle’s students in the ’60s, so we know he’s taken at least one more climatology course than YOU have.

  154. Kazinski:

    I congratulate you on deciding to open up the comments to critical opinions. It is your blog and you can run it the way you want to, but the heavy hand in comment moderation has hurt your credibility over the years, at least in my eyes.

  155. MR:

    This whole affair just shows that the world has lost all of it’s moral values. Only the law remains and you have done nothing wrong if the legal system cannot prove that you violated the law. OJ Simpson is a prime example of this along with the world bankers.

    Evidently there is a lot of funding to be had if you can postulate that a catastrophe is about to happen and none to be had proving nothing is wrong.

    [Response: I wish. But Pat Michaels (for instance) would be able to correct your misconception. - gavin]

  156. AKD:

    “[Response: Sure. It's mostly used in mathematics, for instance in decomposing partial fractions, or deciding whether a number is divisible by 9 etc.etc.etc. - gavin]”

    This is nonsense. Both are examples of teaching or explaining concepts to lay people. The first intentionally places “tricks” in quotations marks to emphasize its non-technical use. The latter is about teaching techniques, not mathematics. Taken together, this undermines your point.

    [Response: Oh dear. You ask for examples of how the term is used in a non-malicious way, I provide two (and there are many more), and that undermines my point? Fail. - gavin]

  157. Benjamin Hale:

    One point that is not getting much play is the seemingly clear indication that all of these e-mails have been culled in at least one respect: they’re a selection; they don’t contain everything ever written by e-mail. There’s little here about kids, about illness, about who wants to go out for a beer, about other non-professional stuff. Since they’ve been culled in this way, this suggests that someone has read them. The hacker couldn’t filter the e-mails for personal content otherwise. And since someone has read them, there’s no reason to believe that same someone has also not tampered with them, or at least tweaked the wording slightly.

    Longer response here:
    http://cruelmistress.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/feeding-frenzy/

    To be honest, I’ve read through most of the stuff at the Watts site, and very little there seems incriminating to me. As I read how non-incriminating this is, I’m less likely to suspect that the e-mails have been tweaked. At the same time, one cannot dismiss the fact that whoever collected these has read through each of them both with (a) some knowledge of the larger political context and (b) some intent to harm or malign the reputation of those in the e-mails.

  158. Chris G:

    What an intensely interesting subject. I’m very curious to read the contents of these emails, but I choose not to. Why? a) Email exchanges pale in significance compared to actual research. b) I’ve been in academia and I’ve been in industry; I already know that researchers tend to be contentious, argumentative, and have egos the size of trucks (not all, of course). There’s nothing to be gained by reading them, and some personal integrity to be lost.

    Research is a hugely competitive field; your success depends on you proving that your understanding of the issues is better than the next guy/gal’s, and believe me, there isn’t that much money to be spread around. I left the research/academic track and went into industry. Within a couple of years I was making more than people who had decades on me in academia. Sometimes I miss the research, but I’ve been able to afford sending my kids on foreign exchange trips, and other nice things.

    Like any group of primates, people, researchers, develop allies and, mmm, non-allies. When I need a code review, I don’t request it from the person who’s defects I’ve been struggling to fix. If possible, I send it to the person who last kept me from making a mistake; usually I call those people friends. When I get wind of something someone else is doing that I can see will cause troubles (more maintenance, poorer performance) for years to come, I try to squash it. I get with allies if necessary. Sometimes I’m successful; sometimes I’m not. (It’s generally easier if I can demonstrate a clear advantage of one algorithm over another. That’s not so easy as the number of factors grows.) So what; that means there is some sort of sinister conspiracy involved? No. Why should peer review work any differently? It’s really hard to squash a correct theory, at least in the long run.

    What do all this and the emails mean? Nothing. Whoever could deliver the goods against AGW would be heralded as the next Einstein, regardless. But then, whoever could prove that gravity was a actually a repulsive force and our perception of the universe was entirely opposite of reality would be too; I’m not holding my breath on that one.

  159. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Shoshin: I find it offensive that some on this website somehow consider that the release of data to be inappropriate and that only certain climatologists are qualified to view it.

    BPL: Should US and European scientists who realized an atomic bomb was possible have been forced to disclose what they knew?

    The idea that releasing private correspondence is the same as releasing “data” is what I find offensive.

  160. NZ Willy:

    Charlie said “You know, I’ve always wondered why we scientists never seem to use anything like pgp in email communication with each other. Maybe its time to start?”

    In government and business, the two drivers of communication encryption are privacy legislation (that is, the privacy of the citizenry who’s personal details are contained in the emails/data) and commercial sensitivity. Neither applies to science. Science is supposed to be transparent.

  161. Barton Paul Levenson:

    nvw: these emails are a damming indictment

    BPL: I agree. We have to reign in the Army Corp of Engineers!

  162. Scott:

    @Adam Sullivan: “Nature imposes variability that is very difficult to pin down so models won’t be predictive for a while (except in the long term). All pretty simple.”

    Is it really that simple, though? I mean, I just quoted a snippet from Trenberth who seemed pretty distraught that his model had failed for 2008. If it’s as you say — that the discrepancy noted by Trenberth is simply because of natural variability — then why would he fret it?

    [Response: Trenberth doesn't have a model. Instead he is really interested in what exactly is going on in the observations. Where is the energy going, how much is coming in and going out, what are the impacts of La Nina on those fluxes. His frustration is that the current observing platform is not sufficiently accurate to do this properly, and so we end up with imperfect explanations - especially on the short term. For him, 'natural variability' is only the beginning of the answer, not the whole thing. And that's fine. - gavin]

    It seems to me that, if there’s that much unpredictable variability from natural sources, then there’s probably no such thing as an adequate model.

    The point of all this to me is that there seems to be an almost visceral reluctance to even entertain the possibility (publicly anyway) that the models are flawed, that they failed to foresee the last decade of stagnation, and that they may not have just been a cosmic anomaly and a mere momentary pause in temperature escalation that will resume at any time.

    The point is: if the predictions made 10 years ago about the decade past turned out to be wrong, why should anybody believe the predictions made today about the decade to come?

    I mean, I appreciate that one 10-year period can’t be considered conclusive by anybody. But comments like the ones on these emails — talking about diminishing or distracting attention away from this data — don’t exactly scream out professional integrity.

  163. JMilan:

    Your response to “san quintin” defending your pledge of cooperation to defend the _Science_ article (“This is a moderated site, and always has been. We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere …”) does seem disingenuous. It’s one thing to screen out obvious “noise,” it’s quite another to offer block opponents and hold up their posts while granting the authors special support and access to make sure they have the bigger megaphone. That is not just filtering noise, it’s actively interfering to tilt a discussion.

    I think on this one you really need to defending your practice as stated in your email and admit that this thumb-on-the-scale approach is not good.

    I come to this site because, though it does not claim to be neutral or agnostic, it provides a forum for civilized discussion by informed people. I think one can take a side and still be open and fair, and I’ve always thought this site is a good example of that. But if it’s been your practice to be willing to squelch one side of an issue in favor of another, now I have doubts about discussions I read here. I’m left wondering (and not just on AGW) what other squelching and favoring is being done.

    Please take this not as condemnation, but constructive criticism. *In the comments section*, pledge to allow any civilized, informed comment, regardless of viewpoint, and pledge not to offer yourself as a megaphone for the voices of others. I appreciate the editorial viewpoint of this site and very much value the skeptical critique offered against AGW opponents — but I also want to know that there are no behind-the-scene agreements to muzzle some while giving a louder voice to others. Skeptics of the consensus (in any field) are always nettlesome and often maddening, but let’s not give them the victim-claim that they’re being muzzled by “the establishment.”

  164. Steve:

    I’ll be a lot more interested if the data files leaked are shown to change the science in any way, shape or form. The emails, pdfs and docs leaked are interesting at the moment because, really, that’s all the laymen (like me) looking at this can open and understand. And they make better headlines than a string of data.

    So some scientists were “mean” to others they believed to be quacks, and allowed their emotions to drive their actions. Oh my, I thought they were supposed to be data crunching robots subservient to the masses! If some people get in hot water for violating FOIA, well that’ll be another headline… but if it doesn’t change the science I really don’t care. At this point it’s “news” in the same sense as the Pop Tarts section at Fox. Drama.

  165. Aaron Kulkis:

    “This too shall pass. In this instance of hacking, ideologically driven, delusional ends are being used to justify unethical means. Many in the global environ. management and governance community globally are trained and experienced in analyzing science outputs regardless of the particular field (it comes down to a matter of sufficient time which is increasingly scarce, but that’s our problem and responsibility); many in this community also know how science works and that scientists are actually humans with all attendant emotions and proclivities. This episode is worrisome no doubt to those in the trenches dealing with the science and the denialists; and it will no doubt create another time sink. But it also may motivate governments to deal a little more forthrightly with fringe denialism which is ideologically, not scientifically, driven. We know what’s coming in terms of the risk spectrum of global climate/ocean change and we’re going to deal with it as best we can as nations and as a global community. Our respect and appreciation for field of climatology and its sister disciplines is strong.”

    In the U.S., documenting malfeasance of government employees and officials, even if one must violate “the law” which would otherwise protect the wrong-doers clearly falls under “whistle-blower” protection.

    No SANE legal system ever uses the law to protect fraudsters from being exposed.

  166. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Bob Kutz: His web site and his personal opinions regarding AGW are far far more balanced and scientific than most of what’s allowed on this site.

    BPL: Anthony Watts is completely incompetent at climate science, as has been shown many, many times by many, many people. If you can’t distinguish between the “science” at WUWT and the science at RealClimate, it doesn’t say much for your learning on the subject, either.

  167. Journeyman:

    I don’t think the Nature trick has been described adequately in your post. It isn’t just graphing the instrument record for comparison, but graphing it to ‘hide the decline.’ They didn’t just cut off the proxy value and add on the instrument record from 1961 on; they used the instrument temperature values to calculate smoothed average value for earlier years as well. That is the ‘trick,’ to let the instrument record replace actual values of the data that are lower than you want.

    [Response: This has nothing to do with Mann's Nature article. The 50-year smooth in figure 5b is only of the reconstruction, not the instrumental data. - gavin]

  168. Barton Paul Levenson:

    David: not being able to explain the current lack of warming is also shameful

    BPL: Why is it shameful not to be able to explain something that doesn’t exist? Read and learn:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Ball.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Reber.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/VV.html

  169. J Buote:

    Just a quick post, hope this hasn’t been covered yet.

    Appreciate your level headed response here, pity others stoop to more slanderous assumptions.

    Has anyone suggested to the skeptic side that, since these e-mails were illegally obtained, perhaps to level the playing field e-mail exchanges from their side covering the same period be offered.

    Not that it is likely to happen, but if they have nothing to hide and are above reproach then it would do little but bolster their cause.

    Just a thought.

  170. Jonas N:

    Gavin, I haven’t followed the story, but this about six reviewers resigning.. ?

    Isn’t this exactly what was discussed in one of the emails? I.e. that one should encourage another to boycot that journal?

    Doesn’t this story precisely confirm the implied accusations that a number of reviewers made a combined effort to stop papers not in their liking from being published? It seems to me that you are holding up the followed through actions of the inferred accusation as a defence for it being justified?

    And don’t just give me that this paper really was crap. (You don’t need to restate your view). The whole discussion revolves around this preconception that you (guys) alone should be the judge of what’s admissible and what not. And when someone disagrees, you’d take that as a proof of being justified in that assertion!? And these emails and the actions you describe are consistent with that descprition: Kidnapping the scientific procedures, and some journals if you like …

    [Response: Six editors, not reviewers. Much bigger deal. - gavin]

  171. Barton Paul Levenson:

    David: I respect the scientific method and I believe that human understanding of our global climate is in its infancy.

    BPL: But you clearly don’t know anything about this old, old field, or you wouldn’t say something so silly. Want a timeline? Just Google the “Hadley” Hadley climate center was named after. BTW, even AGW theory is 113 years old.

  172. john byatt:

    speaking as “the bloke in the street” i must admit i am having a ball reading the comments of the tin hat brigade” please guys do not spend much time addressing this , the consequences of not taking action on AGW is going to be catastrophic for future generations ,

  173. Bulldust:

    So Gavin, mate, buddy… Given the following email (perhaps it is fake, but let’s assume for the purposes of this post that it is not):

    From: Gavin Schmidt To: Tim Osborn Subject: latest Date: 28 Sep 2009 17:59:04 -0400

    Hi Tim, I know Keith is out of commission for a while (give him my regards when you see him), but someone needs to at least give some context to the latest McIntyre meme.

    http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Y2Q5ZGExZTc3ZTlmMTA5OTdhOGRjNzdlNmU4N2M4ZTg=

    None of us at RC have any real idea what was done or why and so we are singularly unable to sensibly counter the flood of nonsense. Of course, most of the reaction is hugely overblown and mixed up but it would be helpful to have some kind of counterpoint to the main thrust. If you can point to someone else that could be helpful, please do!

    Thanks

    Gavin
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The email from you would seem to indicate that you understood neither Briffa’s or McIntyre’s work at the time, but that doesn’t stop you from being able to assess that McIntyre is clearly promoting “a flood of nonsense.” Was that an objective scientific opinion? McIntyre’s work is up on the web for all to see, with data and programming… why are you unable to assess it, but instantly able to realise it’s lack of worth?

    No doubt you will “moderate” this comment much the same as every other comment I have posted respectfully at this site, so I took the liberty to cross post this to reveal your bias…. again.

    Have a nice day.

    [Response: I know that when people start throwing around insinuations of scientific malpractice in the absence of any evidence, that this is not justified. Asking for clarification on what was actually done (a step singularly not followed by McIntyre) seems sensible. You have a problem with that? Information should precede condemnation. Not the other way around. - gavin]

  174. Dale Truman:

    It is hard to see how your picking an example from the released emails is in any way superior to someone else’s “cherry picking” an example. One man’s tidying up is another man’s distortion.

  175. Mike:

    Update: CRU has admitted that everything is legitimate, nothing was altered.

    While a true believer may not deem see the damage this will cause to AWG credibility, to someone sitting on the fence it seems quite profound.

    These scientists clearly have an agenda. They’re mission is clearly to provide scientific ammunition for their political big guns. Likewise they’d rather destroy that ammunition before allowing it to be used against them.

    That’s the behavior of propagandists, not scientists. Science seeks the evidence which leads to the truth. These gentlemen at the CRU seem to have decided upon the truth already, and are only seeking evidence which furthers their cause.

    [Response: "Political big guns" - do you think that if there were such people involved, those emails wouldn't have been released too? Where are they? - gavin]

  176. tom:

    Response: This is a moderated site, and always has been. We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere and the baseless accusations of malfeasance that are commonplace on open forums. We do that unapologetically in order to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio in threads…]

    Sadly, that’s most assuredly NOT what happens here. What you do is edit out contrary views.
    So you folks have nobody to blame but yourselves that your credibility is fading.

  177. Julius St Swithin:

    “[Response: The paper and journal in question were indeed a scandal. But the scandal was that it was ever published. Six editors of the journal resigned in protest at the publication, not because of pressure. - gavin]”

    One could also say that publication of MBH 98, comprehensively criticised by Wegman, or Mann’s recent publication of inverted Tijander sediments were scandals. Suppressing views that contradict the consensus and lax reviewing of views that support the consensus could also be considered a bigger scandal.

    [Response: One would be wrong. - gavin]

  178. Peter Backes:

    It’s a shame it wasnt the Heartland Institute’s email server that got hacked – that would have been FAR more interesting…

  179. Mike Evans:

    It never ceases to amaze me how trained scientists think it is good science to ignore one part of a data series because it disagrees with other more reliable data but still use the rest of the series as if it were accurate. Surely if Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy disagrees with real temperature observations from 1960 onwards the whole series should not be trusted until someone comes up with a proveable explanation of the divergence and proof that the factors causing the divergence could not have occurred in the past. [edit]

    [Response: Which is exactly why it isn't used as the sole line of evidence and that there is tremendous amounts of research on precisely this question. Subsequent reconstructions that were independent of that show pretty much the same thing, so the issue today is not as relevant as it was in 2000. - gavin]

  180. Willow1977:

    The core of what I’m reading in these is that these scientists started with a conclusion they wanted to reach and then fit the data to that conclusion.

    This is the exact same problem that we had in the 70s when many of these same groups predicted a new ice age. They ‘knew for a fact’ the earth was cooling and we were heading into a new ice age, so they made sure the data fit.

    [Response: Wrong. - gavin]

    That isn’t science, it is marketing.

    Science is inferring from data, not the other way around. It is no wonder there are so many doubters out there. They don’t seem so kooky when you see junk like this.

  181. Josh Cryer:

    Heh, at least this happened on a Friday, so now you guys have the whole weekend to discuss the drama. ;)

    In all seriousness, if someone were to read my personal emails they could make all sorts of claims about snippets of what I’ve said in the past 2 decades. The prospect is terrifying, really.

    All these emails show is that people are imperfect, the scientific process is imperfect (that’s what peer review is for!), and that the whole of the data is what forms the conclusion, not some tiny part of some data.

    This incidence reminds me of the Millikan (oil drop) experiment and Feynman’s “Cargo cult science.” Not saying that’s precisely what’s happening in some of the examples given, but rather that science is a long process that takes time to figure things out.

    We have enough stuff “figured out” to know that AGW is indeed occurring. There’s still a whole lot more to figure out and get right.

  182. Dr.H:

    Gavin said: Response: You completely mischaracterise what happened. It was the unjustified publication of SB03 that was the corruption of the peer review process, pushing back against that corruption was what motivated the resignations. – gavin]

    How can you mischaracterise this statement: “Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones. Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not work”

    Does Realclimate group live in an alternate universe? This e-mail supports the idea that “MIKE” colluded with others in the group to get editorial members to resign. Period. There is no mischarcterization there about the intent.

    It was Gavin’s OPINION that publication of SB03 was unjustified, it was Gavin’s OPINION that the peer reviewed process was corrupted. I am shocked that Gavin et.al is SO CONFIDENT that everyone else has it wrong. After reading Gavin’s responses, I feel like I just got off a merry-go-round. And I suppose that not ever going to change on this blog if AGW THEORY is ever threatened.

    [Response: It's precisely because all of those editors resigned that demonstrates it isn't just 'my opinion'. How influential do you think I am? ;) In fact the chief editor himself said that the conclusions of the paper were in no way justified by the analysis and that the paper shouldn't haven't been published. If you knew Hans von Storch at all, the idea that he would do something like resign on my say-so would be be hilarious. - gavin]

  183. SecularAnimist:

    I didn’t think I could be shocked any more at the abject and pathetic gullibility of self-proclaimed global warming “skeptics” who are so “skeptical” that they immediately, unquestioningly, slavishly believe every idiotic thing that the ExxonMobil-funded denialist propaganda machine throws at them.

    But here they are, beating on their chests, and bellowing forth their pride in their weak-mindedness and ignorance.

  184. dhogaza:

    Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”

    Could you give a few examples?

    You could start with the generic phrase, “tricks of the trade”, which is known to just about any native english speaker, I should think.

    Never heard of it? Not sure I believe you …

    Group: “Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.”

    Well, since this happens “often”, it would be good to see a couple of examples of the word’s usage from other fields to understand why it is not problematic. Thank you.

    Gavin mentions its use in mathematics, software engineering uses “trick” in this way, too, (as do carpenters, navigators, seamstresses, etc etc as the commonality of the phrase “tricks of the trade” should make clear).

    If you doubt me, here’s a piece entitled Tips and tricks for software engineering in bioinformatics, for instance.

    More from software engineering:

    Jon Bentley1

    (1) AT&T Bell Laboratories, 07974 Murray Hill, NJ

    Abstract

    There are many tricks of the software trade; this paper has sampled just a few. The science and management techniques underlying software are essential to any career in software engineering, but these tricks are sometimes useful. Careful use of the tricks has catapulted more than one competent young programmer into software superstardom.
    I don’t think that these tricks should be given a one-hour lecture in a software engineering course. Some might deserve a ten-minute lecture here or a five-minute story there. But for the most part, tricks are learned through osmosis: your students will learn them as you apply them in lectures and as your teaching assistants apply them in software laboratories. And if they do learn these tricks, both your students and their employers will be grateful to you.

    I could post all day in this vein. Frankly, I don’t belive those who claim to not understand this meaning of the word “trick”.

  185. Axel Edgren:

    The e-mails are there. It’s up to the wannabe-whistleblowers to tell people what can be gleaned from them and why. Everything else is confetti. Do your work, skeptics/deniers. The fact that you couldn’t wait to scream with glee is damning.

    Anyway, the best course of action is, of course, to not defend at all. Never act as if one has to defend unless one actually has a reason to.

    If you defend yourself, they say you are panicking. If you don’t, they say you are panicking. Seeing as they live and breathe only pathos and ignore logos, the best course of action is to keep at the journals, keep focusing on the politicians and spend time shushing the excited puppies. You can’t win against rhetoric and a biased application of skepticism. Go to the politicians, and get them to make decisions that go over the heads of the rabble and the media. A significant portion of the population will either hate scientific conclusions that go against their beliefs, or will not be skeptical enough to break through the noise.

    There are no minds to be won – just get the politicians to impose the right policies on them, and ignore their demands for attention unless they do equally hard work.

  186. dhogaza:

    It’s a shame it wasnt the Heartland Institute’s email server that got hacked – that would have been FAR more interesting…

    It would be equally as illegal and unethical. While I know it feels at times that we can’t win the political battle without stooping to the level of ethics and lack of respect for law of some of our opponents, I don’t think we should do so.

  187. Jay:

    Gavin-

    When you say that this site is moderated only for noise, why have so many people including myself been censored when they ask a simple questions like….

    Where can I find the raw data that the deniers keep claiming is being kept from them under the FOIA? Do they have rights to the data? Are the claims that the temperature data has been lost true?

    Will this comment be classified as “noise”?

    [Response: Claims that data has been destroyed or lost are untrue. Claims that there is no access to the raw temperature data are untrue. There is nothing in any of the CRU archives that is particularly special or noteworthy and that isn't mostly available to anyone already via NOAA. They got access to some extra data that some National Met. Services normally only sell, or was given with the express proviso that it not be passed on to third parties. CRU is not at fault for honoring those agreements - even if everyone wishes they didn't exist. The harassment of CRU people for doing so has been twisted into the meme you are channeling, that somehow they are hiding something nefarious. They aren't, but it might not be surprising that they become aggrieved when people keep repeating that falsehood. - gavin]

  188. SecularAnimist:

    See, to commenters like “Mike” and “tom”, reality is just a big “dungeons and dragons” type game, in which they are the Conservative Heroes fighting the Evil Liberals and the only thing that matters is that the Red Team beats the Blue Team. It’s a world of one-dimensional, cartoon comic book stereotypes that they live in. To them, this is just a chance to jump up and down in front of the computer in their mommy’s basement yelling “take that, Evil Al Gore!”

    If only there were some form of geo-engineering through which global warming could be fine-tuned so that it would only kill off the idiots.

  189. Jay:

    Several of my comments have been swollowed up as “noise”. Given my civility and relevant questions I wonder why?

    Gavin,

    Do you have the raw data that the “denier” claim to ask for under the FOIA?

    [Response: No. (But I'm puzzled though, your big comment said it was not to be posted. I didn't post it). - gavin]

  190. Marcus:

    “while granting the authors special support and access to make sure they have the bigger megaphone.”

    I know that I for one want to listen to the people who actually do the science more than I want to listen to all the skeptics who want to recycle used talking points…

  191. Magnus:

    A good cuase!

    #1120593115
    From: Phil Jones
    To: John Christy
    Subject: This and that
    Date: Tue Jul 5 15:51:55 2005

    …..
    …..
    in subsequent drafts. Someone is going to check the final version and the Aug 12 draft. This is partly why I’ve sent you the rest of this mail. IPCC, me and whoever will get accused of being political, whatever we do. As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.

    Cheers

    Phil

    IPCC stuff —- just for interest !!!

  192. SecularAnimist:

    JMilan wrote: “In the comments section, pledge to allow any civilized, informed comment, regardless of viewpoint …”

    The problem is that you are unable to distinguish between “informed comment” and rote regurgitation of ExxonMobil-funded lies and distortions, and that you believe that someone’s political or ideological “viewpoint” has anything at all to do with scientific facts about physical reality.

    Moderators, please DO NOT open up these comment pages to the endless stream of idiocy vomited forth by weak-minded ignorant Ditto-Heads who pollute every general-interest forum (e.g. newspaper websites) on the Internet with their slavish recitation of the inane talking points that the fossil fuel corporations pay Rush Limbaugh to spoon-feed them.

  193. D. C. Sessions:

    Have you people never heard of the INTERNET and how you can TELECONFERENCE to anywhere in the world?

    Teleconferencing is great for your basic one-hour meeting. My experience chairing working groups is that we wouldn’t get nearly as much done without our weekly teleconferences.

    Teleconferencing utterly sucks for serious, full-on intensive conferences — presenting results, debating the significance of that work, etc. My experience in eight years of chairing a JEDEC committee is that face time is several times as productive as teleconference time, and physical location drastically reduces the interference from distractions. For those eight years I spent a full week each quarter in 0800-1700 meetings, and it was all time very well spent.

    Horses for courses.


    D. C. Sessions,
    past chair JEDEC JC-16

  194. Steve Fish:

    It is not necessary to look to mathematics for an example of one of the many meanings of the word “trick” (e.g. one synonym is stratagem). I suggest that those individuals such as Joe Hunkins, Matty Virtanen, and dcook who are confused might benefit from looking in Merriam-Webster. That should do the trick.

    Steve

  195. Shii:

    tom: “Sadly, that’s most assuredly NOT what happens here. What you do is edit out contrary views.”

    Do you not recognize that what you have just posted is itself a “baseless accusations of malfeasance”? Pot, kettle, black.

  196. Bulldust:

    Gavin – your comment is hopelessly confused. I am used to dealing with such weasel language at work, however, and what you fail to acknowledge is that you were happy to condemn work by McIntyre that you, in your own words, did not understand at that time.

    McIntyre is quite transparent about the work he does, so I fail to see why your climate science expert team was unable to grasp his presentations. Yet you are happy to denounce him at every turn.

    I really don’t see where there is any confusion on this point.

    [Response: There is no confusion. McIntyre insinuated malfeasance without any evidence whatsoever. It wasn't that I didn't understand what he had done, it was that I didn't know what the circumstances were of the original study. Condemning me for trying to find out is a little odd. - gavin]

  197. Moira Kemp:

    For all those unfamiliar with the English language or incapable of using a dictionary the word “trick” can also mean -

    A special skill; a knack: Is there a trick to getting this window to stay up?
    A convention or specialized skill peculiar to a particular field of activity: learned the tricks of the winemaking trade.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trick

    There’s nothing unusual or “problematic” about using the word in this way.

  198. Kevin McKinney:

    Does Kevin Trenberth’s “travesty” comment have anything to do with the non-flight of DSCOVR, still inexplicably mothballed, AFAIK?

    I do think that affair would merit the term.

  199. Alex:

    If there is nothing to hide then I am sure ALL data this group has accumulated will be immediately released. Otherwise, some of what was written is extremely damning. It’s amazed me that for an issue so important to the future of the world, there is a wish to hide the data.

    [Response: What data is that? All data and code relevant to GISS models or the temperature series are online. - gavin]

  200. Denis Allen:

    Sir,

    you write:

    “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy”

    I would contest such a claim. Among others, the emails’ authors admit to deleting emails in anticipation of FOI requests. I happen to have some expertise in e-disclosure. This is not benign. It is illegal: The law in the UK states that refusing a request through deletion of the information is only allowed for a “deletion that would have been made regardless of the receipt of the request”. As a matter of fact, the Hadley staff would even have a “duty to provide advice and assistance” to FOI requestors.

    Outside of the UK, fines for deletion of emails that would have been requested for disclosure — even without the intent the Hadley staff admitted to — caused the respective organisations to be fined millions. Here we have a case of deletion with the intent to evade.

    [Response: Actually you don't. There is an ill-advised suggestion, but there is no evidence that any email that was responsive to a FOIA request actually was deleted. Obviously one would hope that none were. - gavin]

  201. Donald Oats:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-2/#comment-142141

    In mathematics and physics it isn’t uncommon – or at least it wasn’t in the 90s – to refer to a slick solution as a trick, usually prefaced with the originator’s name. I’m talking here of informal discussions, whether face-to-face or via email. Certainly I’ve done it a few times, but I doubt that anyone has referred to the “Oats trick”, more’s the pity :-(

    Whether that has any relevance here or not I cannot say, except don’t jump to conclusions that every word in an email is a sign of the Devil.

  202. Richard Ordway:

    To all who think that these Emails expose a left-wing peer-review conspiracy aimed at eliminating anti-global warming evidence: Below is an easily verifiable, blatant fact, period:

    Please read them yourself. These are a few of the published peer-reviewed studies that publicly, openly attack various aspects of climate change/global warming, often published in top mainstream scientific journals.

    This fact speaks loudly and completely for itself. The peer-review scientific process allows these extremely muddying anti-global warming-aspect reports to be published, even now. It is part of the open, scientific method to not only allow, but encourage differing viewpoints:

    Soon and Baliunas, 2003.
    Soon et al, 2003.
    Schwartz, 2007, Journal of Geophysical Research.
    Scafetta and West, 2005.
    Scafetta, N., and R. C. Willson, 2009.
    McKitrick, McIntyre 2005.
    Lindzen, 2001.
    Miskolczi, 2007, Idojárás.
    Tsonis , 2009, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS.
    Craig & Lohle 2008.
    Douglass et al.2007.
    Klotzbach et al, 2009

    I have heard many top publishing scientists, whose work stands up over time, personally tell me over 11 years, that they are grateful for legitimate contradictory studies, because it makes their work better and stronger.

  203. sod:

    pretty tough job Gavin.

    heads up, you are doing the right thing.

    —-

    folks, please never forget: the guys who are trying to take the moral high ground here with their attacks, are basing all of it on STOLEN MAIL!

  204. Jed:

    I don’t think the e-mails have to mention George Soros to prove “Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.”

    http://bit.ly/InbR7

  205. Dale:

    I’m not a scientist but my wife and my son are. I do know however that when a researcher deliberately fudges his data he’s pretty much finished unlike Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other anti intellectual “Intellectuals.”

    I also know through osmosis that when it comes to research scientists don’t have an agenda

  206. Bill1234:

    Moira – A trick to hide? The word trick is certainly not a problem, but a trick to hide a decline in the tree ring derived temperatures?

    That’s a problem.

  207. G J Lau:

    Mother always said to wear clean underwear and never put something in an e-mail that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the Washington Post. That way no one will ever see your dirty laundry.

    That aside, none of this has anything to do with what is happening in the real world. Do you think the jellyfish are expanding their territory because someone gave them their marching orders in an e-mail. Are glaciers melting because of all the hot air in the blogosphere.

    I got interested in climate change not because I read a lot of studies but because after 5o plus years of living it was obvious that the seasons were changing, that the winters were milder, that the kudzu was on the move.

    To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you don’t need a weatherman (or the CRU) to know which way the wind is blowing.

  208. Michael Sullivan:

    I was under the impression that realclimate.org was unbiased, lesson learned. Aren’t we all on the same planet with a common goal of protecting it? You categorize anyone who questions the consensus as a ‘skeptic’? That’s what science is all about, the never ending search for the truth. Your incredible biases hurt the true environmentalist’s cause and give ammunition to those with no respect for our planet. It is clear that facts were intentionally hidden from the public, now we’ll see the consequences…

    [Response: Which facts were they? RC has never claimed to give equal weight to all opinions out there on climate science. We are instead 'biased' towards what is in the peer-reviewed literature and what the mainstream climate science community thinks - whether it is all in agreement or whether it is not. - gavin]

  209. Dan Smeski:

    Please note that these emails include information between these scientists on how to transfer research money around in order to avoid taxes, and to avoid raising the notice of U.S. Federal authorities by keeping transferred amounts under $10,000 per day.

    [Response: Tax avoidance is not illegal (tax evasion is), and the email in question is a request for funding for Russian researchers in 1996. I imagine that at that time, this was not a state in which it was straightforward to conduct joint research activities. - gavin]

  210. dhogaza:

    Little Green Footballs is acting rational.

    There’s no evidence of a conspiracy to commit massive fraud. There are no admissions of faking data. The worst thing they’ve dug up out of thousands of emails is this one referring to a “trick” used to adjust warming data, which Delingpole dramatically labels “Manipulation of evidence:”

    “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.”

    “Trick,” of course, can also mean “an effective technique,” but if you were desperately hunting for anything smear-worthy, I suppose the word would stand out.

    Gosh, an American conservative who knows the meaning of the word “trick”, amazing.

    This quote is followed by excerpts from this real climate post, summarizing:

    they [the "group post" at the head of this thread] make more excellent points about the absurdly exaggerated denialists’ claims.

  211. Um, right:

    With all due respect, I have talked to a number of my friends who are active scientists in other fields, and they’ve all made it very clear that they have never seen anything like the content of these e-mails. Sure, there are reasonable explanations for the ‘trick’ comment, and it’s not unusual for people to comment on data and so forth, but many of these e-mails point to some very questionable behavior regarding the use of funds and responses to FOI requests. That’s the big issue here. Such a scandal doesn’t ‘disprove’ AGW, of course, but you’re not going to be able to simply go, “It’s no big deal.”

  212. Phil. Felton:

    Kevin McKinney says:
    20 November 2009 at 5:25 PM
    Does Kevin Trenberth’s “travesty” comment have anything to do with the non-flight of DSCOVR, still inexplicably mothballed, AFAIK?

    I do think that affair would merit the term.

    I think that was the topic (at least implied), it certainly was my interpretation..

  213. Steve DR:

    you are defending the indefensible. “Hide the money”, “Hide the gun”, Hide the beer bottles”, “Hide the Decline”. Looks like a duck. Quacks like a duck. It must be a duck.

    Gavin, you have an impossible job dude. Good luck. Although at some point, defending the indefensible drags people into the morass.

  214. Guy:

    Makes you wonder what kind of conspiracy theory you could generate if you went through the denier’s emails going back several years.

  215. Robert M:

    Gavin,

    Can you comment on some of those emails that include you? [edit] I’m sure that you can clear this up. Please do so.

    Robert M

    [Response: Sure. I take full responsibility for anything I wrote. What do you want explained? - gavin]

  216. Andrew:

    pdboddy: “Ignoring the dirty laundry…”

    You don’t have to ignore anything. And there are surely enough adversarial-minded lawyers on the planet to make sure that every e-mail that can be selectively mined to incriminate whoever they want, and the ham sandwich they rode in on. So nothing is going to get ignored. I actually have a lot of sympathy, having spent the bulk of my career in a field where serious government regulation and critical trade secrecy were around every corner. We were trained (annually, as it turns out) to consider how would we feel if every e-mail, instant message, phone call, post card, cocktail party napkin, or gum wrapper off the street that stuck to our shoe, were published on the front page of the New York Times the next morning.

    When I went to graduate school, coincidentally in a climate science group (although I am not actually a climate scientist) there was no such training. It was all about doing good science. So I don’t think climate scientists will look like heros when their scientific correspondence gets published. Some might have to deal with very unpleasant consquences if in fact they have violated any of several considerations of scientific integrity, however I expect that will be a small minority. Still, everyone has to answer for what they have to answer for.

    However, I will be utterly astonished if it turns out that anthropogenic global warming is actually a scientific fraud perpertrated by a small cabal. In the first place, it would have to be a really big cabal spanning some widely spread fields. If you know anything about scientists, they don’t really travel in packs big enough, and they tend to have friction across field boundaries as opposed to conspiracy. Coincidentally, my wife studied some climate science in graduate school, this was about ten years after I had gone on to my work in other fields, she was exposed more to atmospheric chemistry. Well none of the climate scientists she knows are people that my group knew, and vice versa. They didn’t really know each others’ work much at all and weren’t that interested.

    Many years later, I was involved in a company seminar intended to try and keep house scientists apprised of science in the “rest of the world”. We had Gavin Schmidt as one of our speakers. I think I surprised him by recognizing an ENSO signature in one of his slides, and later we talked about my background. He did not explicitly say so, but he gave me the distinct impression that he was not very impressed by who I did my Ph. D thesis with (although he is a high profile climate scientist). Not everything my adviser believed about climate change was orthodox – I would bet it still isn’t; although this seemed well within the normal course of scientific disagreement. So I would be really surprised if he is in a “conspiracy” with Gavin Schmidt.

    However just about everyone I know in climate science (despite these different bits of climate science not really being any kind of single tightly knit community let alone anything that could countenance overt misconduct) is convinced that anthropogenic global warming is an important fact. What tipped the scales for some people wasn’t the same as for others, but over the past few decades there has been a lot more convergence than divergence.

    So is there likely to be malfeasance somewhere in the work on global warming? Well, it’s enough people doing it that I’d be surprised if nobody every stepped over any line. Fine, we don’t want to ignore misconduct.

    But the chances that there is enough misconduct to “explain away” even most of the case for AGW? Impossible. Professional conspirators with fancy lawyers to help them conspire couldn’t do it – it would require far too many players.

    The deniers really are going to have to content themselves with the model of evolution denial – instead of really getting people to agree with them, the best they can hope for is to muddy the water – to trap enough people in uncertainty to avoid action. Here, the hacked files probably play a much bigger role – they are GREAT fodder for people as interested in controversy as they are in truth. I think some of the professional “deniers” realize this – they can keep getting paid if they can keep the uncertainty alive. I wonder what those e-mails look like?

  217. Bill Asher:

    I agree with the comments in your blog post, but there is so much candid talk in the e-mails that can be interpreted in the most inflammatory manner that this is going to be a huge disaster. The climate denialists can already concoct preposterous theories out of nothing, this is like giving them a huge “denialist talking point tinker toy set” for Christmas. As far as political support in the U.S. goes, science and policy will be set back for years. Even Obama won’t want to touch climate after this. This will make the unofficial U.S. policy of “adapt before mitigate” virtually certain to become official.

  218. APE:

    Assume your conclusion and your conclusion is correct. This cuts both ways! Another unfortunate glimpse into human nature. Seems like this mess should have been cleared up by simply giving data/methods to those that request it. If theres nothing to hide there’s nothing to hide, right?

  219. WMitt:

    Regarding the use of the word “trick,” set theorists have a high regard for “Scott’s trick,” named for the eminent mathematician Dana Scott:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott%27s_trick

  220. JM:

    We seem to get one of these manufactured “scandals” from the idiotsphere every few months or so, probably because the denialists aren’t in the business of producing research of their own. Remember last year when 1938 was supposed to be the real hottest year on record? Remember this summer when 1998 was supposed to be the hottest year on record? Remember how it was all a conspiracy? Remember how this was the end for AGW theory? Or this was the end? Or this?

    A quick spin around the internet shows this non-story taking root in all the usual non-thinking places, and getting short shrift in the professional and scientific press. Revkin, as usual, is credulous, but that’s about it. They haven’t even convinced LGF?

    Turn out the lights, this party’s already over. Ho-hum. By next year they’ll gin up some new Final Proof of Global Cooling and we’ll be back on it again.

    Boring, I have to say.

  221. Avatar:

    Leaving aside the specifics of the discussion of the science…

    The e-mails dealing with responses to FOI requests are worrying. The e-mails regarding deletion of other e-mails look really, really bad.

    There’s nothing wrong, in a legal sense, with saying “we need to coordinate how we’re responding to requests for information”, though stonewalling such requests is at least distasteful from a scientific viewpoint. But if you’re talking to people and saying “we need to delete e-mails regarding this topic, now”, while you have FOIA requests potentially dealing with that topic…

    That’s a huge red flag for a judge. If you’re not just deleting internal e-mails, but coordinating specific deletions, the implication is that you expect to be forced to allow access to your e-mail archive and that the content of those e-mails is highly prejudicial to your case.

    Of course, these e-mails may not be genuine. Unfortunately, there’s no way to authenticate them based on the hacked data. But it’s also difficult for CRU to disprove any of them; if they’re deleting e-mails, you have to assume that any e-mail not found in their archive has been purged from it rather than simply not having existed in the first place. The only way to truly authenticate the e-mails would be to secure an old backup and process it; even that could be frustrated, but realistically nobody overwrites all their old backups in this kind of situation, not without leaving tracks.

    Then again, CRU’s track record for having backups available is not good, is it?

  222. caerbannog:


    Please read them yourself. These are a few of the published peer-reviewed studies that publicly, openly attack various aspects of climate change/global warming, often published in top mainstream scientific journals.

    This fact speaks loudly and completely for itself. The peer-review scientific process allows these extremely muddying anti-global warming-aspect reports to be published, even now. It is part of the open, scientific method to not only allow, but encourage differing viewpoints:

    Soon and Baliunas, 2003.

    I should add that those of you who are attacking the CRU scientists who got all worked up over the publication of the above paper should track it down and read it. And if you can’t figure out why the CRU folks were pissed-off (i.e. you don’t have the technical chops to identify the show-stopper flaws in the authors’ methodology), then you should just sit down and shut up.

  223. Rich:

    My question is, and maybe its been answered in one of the other 150 comments, but why is Jones so hesitant to release his data? Why fight FOI? Why write specifically about stonewalling any request to see his data and attempt to recreate his findings? The IPCC is basing most, if not all, its recommendations on his data. If they want to spend Trillions based on his research…his research should be avaialble to any and all who think they can discredit it.

    [Response: Because, as he has explained frequently, that in order to get the maximum amount of data available they gave assurances and signed memoranda with many National weather services not to distribute raw data that the NWS's would rather sell. If you want the free stuff, you can just look at the GHCN records (which is the basis for the GISTEMP product - all of which is online and available for anyone to look at). - gavin]

  224. DaMav:

    If this is no big deal as the AGW people are arguing, why not impress us all and open up your data books to the world to peruse? Why should there even be a FOI request to obtain that which we as taxpayers are paying to allegedly have researched? And ditto the emails and public correspondence. Anyone claiming such things are off limits has never been through a Federal or EEOC audit. I don’t think anyone is asking for confidential personnel records but climate data and discussion on modeling. This should not have required a whistleblower to reveal; hopefully all institutions involved in this will be forced to be more open with their facts and methodologies.

  225. Ron Johnson:

    Why am I not surprised with the comments in the blog post. A tipical reaction of someone who is cheating on his wife and is caught in the act “It’s not what you think, I can explain.”
    I was not sure about climate change, now I am.

  226. Andrew:

    tpm: “at least in the companies I work with, is a direct result of the Enron trials, which started in 2006″

    Some industries were circumspect about e-mail long, long before that.

  227. Kevin Johnstone:

    Well I’ve now read all the mails in the downloaded FOIA file and it leaves me underwhelmed. This is a small chosen subset of mail between CRU and other scientists over many years, and these were the worst the ‘hacker’ could find?. Where the WUWT commenters see collusion and conspiracy I see co-operation & collaboration. As for use of wording like trick & hide, context is everything and it is the hacker who has removed context in this carefully chosen subset of emails.

  228. Robert M:

    Gavin,

    You said:

    [Response: I know that when people start throwing around insinuations of scientific malpractice in the absence of any evidence, that this is not justified. Asking for clarification on what was actually done (a step singularly not followed by McIntyre) seems sensible. You have a problem with that? Information should precede condemnation. Not the other way around. - gavin]

    Ummm How can you say that when you and yours have done everything in your power to suppress the information?

    [Response: Me? what did I have to do with it? McIntyre had the raw data in 2004, so how are any of 'mine' suppressing data? - gavin]

  229. gtrip:

    Steve Fish said: it is not necessary to look to mathematics for an example of one of the many meanings of the word “trick” (e.g. one synonym is stratagem). I suggest that those individuals such as Joe Hunkins, Matty Virtanen, and dcook who are confused might benefit from looking in Merriam-Webster. That should do the trick.

    From Merriam-Webster for the synonym of “trick”: stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy .

    [Response: You are being rather sly. Try linking to the definition, and looking at #3. This is a really weak point you are trying to make. - gavin]

  230. Axel Edgren:

    Lot’s of people pointing at thousands of e-mails going “It’s all there!” without offering any quotes or research.

    Lot’s of people who obviously think people owe them a gold star and a pat on the head for participating.

    When are you going to understand that you have to do actual work, point to actual text, summarize the plethora of e-mails and actually earn attention and regard? I’m not charitable with my respect – start putting some work in before you make your claims or lose standing in the eyes of actual skeptics.

  231. Steve:

    Is Dr Trenberth correct in his claim that we can’t explain why the planet hasn’t been warming as expected?

    [Response: It is the level of explanation that is the issue. The zero-th order explanation is that 'natural variation' and possible structural issues in the surface data sets are plenty large enough. But it would be good to know exactly what form that natural variation has taken and why exactly it has the impact on the global mean temperatures it has. It is this second-order explanation that Trenberth is discussing. - gavin]

  232. joshua corning:

    [Response: Bad papers clutter up assessment reports and if they don't stand up as science, they shouldn't be included. No-one can 'redefine' what the peer-reviewed literature is. - gavin]

    I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a
    legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate
    research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also
    need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently
    sit on the editorial board…
    What do others think?
    mike
    At 08:49 AM 3/11/2003 +0000, Phil Jones wrote:

    I don’t see how the peer reviewed literature can be trusted when several of the prominent researchers in the field conspired in a dirty tricks campaign to block research from entering the peer reviewed literature.

  233. Adam:

    Hi all,

    I’m what you might call a skeptic, that is to say, I have yet to see any evidence (observed data rather than modelled data) for C02-driven climate change.

    As a lay person, all of my understanding of climate science comes from others and I’m constantly looking for more context on the issue whilst trying to avoid the “believer/denier” name-calling nature of the debate.

    Could someone please point me to explanatory sources that share a similar ease of reading and brevity to:

    The Skeptics Handbook: http://bit.ly/5ilJaD
    The Skeptics Handbook II: http://bit.ly/8N88lk

    I’d also be very interested in any commentary on the above articles that answer directly some of the questions posed: namely where’s the evidence.

    I hope you don’t perceive this comment as a troll. I’m genuinely interested in learning more from sources that neither sugarcoat nor preach and just present the ugly truth, admitting to what is known and what is not.

    Thanks.

  234. The Lawyer with a physics degree:

    [Personal position: I'm agnostic on AGW. My gut instinct says that the sun is probably more important than it is being given credit for at the moment.]

    First, the emails. Time, bandwith and an overfull hard disc mean that I haven’t downloaded the file and gone through it, so I am relying on the extracts from others. Yes, you should write your emails on the basis that anyone may use them against you at any time in the future. It’s not difficult. Lawyers have been guarded in what they write since before emails were invented. What concerns me is the tone of those things which I have read, which seem to have strayed from science into religion, from minds which are open to minds which are closed.

    Second, the data. There is a tendency to claim that data are protected by (presumably) copyright or possibly as an actionable trade secret. For reasons which are a bit technical and a bit long for one of these comments, I rather doubt it. I can expand if wanted. In any case, intellectual property rights are rights, not duties, and can be waived. On that basis and on the basis that I was always taught that science should be open, the refusal to release the data either ordinarily or in response to FOI requests leads inevitably to the suspicion that something is being hidden.

    So my conclusion is that the strength of the AGW case is being undermined by the behaviour of its proponents.

  235. John N-G:

    To find an example of a legitimate use of the word “trick” that even global warming skeptics can accept, one need only look at a blog posting from three days ago at Watts Up With That:
    A planetary “greenhouse” is a curiosity, a trick of nature. It works solely because although a sphere only has one side, a shell has two sides. The trick has nothing to do with greenhouse gases…

  236. Ron:

    -Gavin, in your reply to san Quinton (#41, N0v 20, 2:10PM) you make an admirable statement; “We do screen out a lot of the random squawk of the blogosphere and the baseless accusations of malfeasance that are commonplace on open forums. We do that unapologetically in order to maximise the signal-to-noise ratio in threads.”

    -No snark intended, but to get a sense of how you deal with submissions what then would be your assessment of the signal to noise ratio of post #30, by ccpo, 2:01pm. “I often wonder what would happen were even one climate scientist to take the time and effort to take a member/members of the denialists to court for the many, many instances of outright slander, libel and defamation that go on.
    Imagine the science held up to the light of day of a court proceeding. Imagine these people being proven to have lied. Imagine a huge settlement of jail time.
    Of course, you could get a clueless judge who announces Gore was wrong justa little and then the deniers would go around saying he lied about everything…
    Still, there are some air-tight examples of slanderous, libelous and defamatory stuff out there…”.

    -By the way ccpo, “libel”, “slander” and “defamation” are not three separate things. Although some jurisdictions are collapsing the distinction , libel and slander are different ways (methods) of defaming someone, with libel considered more serious. Hopefully you’re not hearing any libelous statements—if so, check in with your doctor asap.

    Ron

  237. DC:

    Absolutely riveting material. After following the research for the last 8 years, I am appalled that these effete pseudo-intellectuals deemed it necessary to concoct and manipulate data to conform to their personal philosophies.

    [Response: More like "... deeming it necessary to misrepresent and distort private emails to conform to their personal philosophies". - gavin]

  238. David B. Benson:

    Wow! Talk about stirring up a tempest in the teapot…

  239. SecularAnimist:

    Andrew wrote: “The deniers really are going to have to content themselves with the model of evolution denial – instead of really getting people to agree with them, the best they can hope for is to muddy the water – to trap enough people in uncertainty to avoid action.”

    Well, that’s the whole point of the denialist propaganda machine: to mislead and confuse the public, to use deceit to create uncertainty, and thereby defuse public support for action, and thereby delay action as long as possible.

    ExxonMobil alone is raking in some 40 Billion dollars per year in profit and the other fossil fuel corporations also have multi-billion dollar profit streams flowing in from the sale of their destructive products. Every day that they can delay the urgently needed phase-out of fossil fuels, means tens of millions of dollars more profit.

  240. Scott:

    I believe it’s clear these guys (you too Gavin) have made an artform of situating the appreciation instead of appreciating the situation when it comes to looking at raw data.

    I’m pretty surprised at the veracity of Gavin’s defence when many parts of this or indefencible. It’s bad when someone does something wrong. What really worries me is when someone does something wrong then when it’s pointed out still doesn’t understand what they did was wrong.

    It’s a crying shame that the world will be taxed $160 Billion dollars soon on the basis of this shoddy work.

    [Response: I do try and maintain the veracity of my comments. Don't be surprised about it! (PS. $160 Billion dollars is one sixth the cost of the Iraq War, and comes to about $30 dollars per person. Doesn't seem like a lot of money to save a planet). - gavin]

  241. MarkB:

    Re: #160,

    “It’s a shame it wasnt the Heartland Institute’s email server that got hacked – that would have been FAR more interesting”

    Perhaps…but it just occurred to me that if the Heartland Institute or web server of any skeptic organization got hacked, it wouldn’t interest me much more than this soap box episode (that is, only a little at most). Climate contrarians (conspiracy theorists) seem to live off this sort of garbage. Publicly printing personal emails in such a manner and parsing words to this extent is the sort of thing political hacks do, not scientists.

    I think the note from this post about what is NOT contained in the emails is revealing. Here we have – what – thousands of personal emails from scientists dating back well over a decade, broadcast shamelessly to the world. Shocking that there might be something mildly embarrasing. But this is a prime opportunity for contrarians to prove that global warming is a grand hoax by looking at what scientists REALLY think, and the best this crowd can come up with are a few selective quotes from such a great depth of personal material, clearly lacking context, and not at all supporting such a theory?

    Take for example comment #19. I read that email before reading Gavin’s response and immediately recalled their post from awhile back regarding the issue with changing measurement techniques for SSTs in the 1940′s. Such a discussion makes sense to me. Those not understanding the issue at all could jump to conclusions, especially if lead a certain way by a certain political crowd. It seems that whenver a comment is read that isn’t understood, some are pre-disposed to automatically assuming ill intent.

  242. MC:

    Yes, we all know the meaning of the word ‘trick’. That’s not a particularly interesting word in that sentence. I’m much more interested in the word ‘hide’. Perhaps you should stop this inane discussion of the word trick and focus more on defending the appropriateness of massaging the data with a techniques to hide a divergence problem?

    [Response: How is publishing a result in Nature 'hiding' it? - gavin]

  243. BillJ:

    I have to say that this is the most open and transparent comments I’ve ever read here!

  244. ADR:

    Gavin,

    In your opinion, what percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?

    [Response: Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been (and some) is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I'd say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff. - gavin]

  245. James T:

    Please, please get these guys on Real Climate to explain some of the quotes, or this will go down really, really bad.
    I am working my way through most of the denialist claims so far, and debunking as many as possible. In a few days I think I may start up a website defending the CRU scientists. If they could provide some explanations for some of the suspicious stuff, that would be nice.
    Considering that so far, a huge number of quotes have been taken out of context, I fully support the innocence of these men. However, a full inquiry must be made, and it would be great if they themselves could respond to some of the quotes.

  246. Joe Hunkins:

    Kudos to Gavin and the RC folks for publishing some of the critical comments here, including mine above. Thank you.

  247. Hank Roberts:

    > trick

    http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Statistics-Tricks-Andrew-Gelman/dp/0198572247#reader_0198572247

    Google finds about 92,700 hits searching for:

    mathematics statistics trick

  248. Karl:

    One of the most amusing aspects of this circus is the folks who suggest that maybe we all ought to agree to just ignore the content in all of these emails because they were revealed by an illegal action. From what Ivory tower do these wise monkeys come from?

    This is not a legal court where evidence can be kept away from the jury. This is not the scientific debate, where publications not peer reviewed can be studiously ignored. This is now in the court of public opinion, and that jury will see everything that is available, regardless of its provenance. Some dirty laundry just got exposed to the public. It isn’t going to go away. Like it or not, it is something that will need to be addressed and explained.

  249. David:

    “Please read them yourself. These are a few of the published peer-reviewed studies that publicly, openly attack various aspects of climate change/global warming, often published in top mainstream scientific journals.”

    Sorry but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The hacked emails show coordinated discussion on how to crack down on “rogue” journals that published these articles, discussion on how to stop things getting into the IPCC report even if it meant “redefining peer-review”, and a general disappointment that there were some journals which they did not effectively have control over. The mainstream climate scientists come across as being extremely interested in preventing publication then using the fact that the skeptics papers are not peer reviewed in published literature to slap them down in public.

    Hat’s off to the moderation crew by the way, there seems to have been a huge improvement in what is allowed to get through.

  250. Scott:

    Regarding FOI. I find it disturbing that the Jones made a point of expaining who the data would be going to and what they would do with it. This utilitarian approach is outside the bounds of FOI legislation. Ethical speaking the “WHO” in an FOI request is totally irrelevant. The “WHAT” is what matters.

    The approach taken to FOI request where a scientists takes it upon himself to speak to the FOI officer, Librarian and Vice-Chancellor in order to convince them not to release information based on who it was going to is highly unethical. I’m a computer scientist and not a lawyer so I won’t comment on the legality of it.

  251. Brian Dodge:

    “It’s a shame it wasnt the Heartland Institute’s email server that got hacked – that would have been FAR more interesting…”

    Now that WUWT, CA, Blackboard, WSJ, and others have defined the “rules of engagement”(or lack thereof), I don’t think it will be long before Watts, McIntyres, Exxons, DCIs, FOS, and Heartlands mail servers will be targeted as “fair game” and appear online. Anybody wanna bet on what the hackersphere is doing right now?

    [Response: Surprising as this might appear. I don't think this should be encouraged at all. Private communications picked over by a hostile audience can make a saint look like a sinner, and so while there might be some karmic justice to that, I would not wish it on my worst enemy. - gavin]

  252. Hank Roberts:

    Check the date on any discussion of “Climate Research” and compare the history of that journal. It’s a classic study. E.g.
    http://www.sgr.org.uk/climate/StormyTimes_NL28.htm November 2003
    … the circumstances behind the resignation of half of the editorial board of the journal Climate Research
    How can the publication of one poor paper in a scientific journal have caused the resignation of half the members of its editorial board (including the newly-appointed editor-in-chief) and have these resignations had any effect? As one of the editors who resigned from Climate Research at the end of July 2003, these are some of the questions ….

  253. caerbannog:

    Joshua (#221) — Google up the paper in question (authors Soon and Baliunas, title “Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years”) and *read* it. If you have enough technical expertise to judge the work of climate scientists, you should have no problem identifying at least two or three “showstopper” problems with the Soon/Baliunas paper. It would have been an act of professional negligence for scientists to give that journal’s editorial board a pass for publishing that train-wreck of a paper.

    (Of course, it turned out that the paper was published over the objections of six of the journal’s editors, who later resigned in protest.)

  254. caerbannog:

    Joshua (#222) — Google up the paper in question (authors Soon and Baliunas, title “Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years”) and *read* it. If you have enough technical expertise to judge the work of climate scientists, you should have no problem identifying at least two or three “showstopper” problems with the Soon/Baliunas paper. It would have been an act of professional negligence for scientists to give that journal’s editorial board a pass for publishing that train-wreck of a paper.

    (Of course, it turned out that the paper was published over the objections of six of the journal’s editors, who later resigned in protest.)

  255. gtrip:

    re 214: Steve Fish is the one that brought up the synonym “stratagem”, I just obliged him with a definition.

    M-W definition number three of “trick” is: 3 a (1) : a quick or artful way of getting a result : KNACK (2) : an instance b : a technical device (as of an art or craft)

    I am guessing that you would apply 3b. Which would make the statement read: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature technical device 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”.

    But I believe that most will read it as this: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature of getting a desired result 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”.

  256. Adam Sullivan:

    Everyone owes Gavin props for being on this thread all day and taking on any and all comers in real time.

  257. Denis Allen:

    Sir,

    In response to your claim

    “There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy”,

    I wrote

    “Among others, the emails’ authors admit to deleting emails in anticipation of FOI requests. (…) Here we have a case of deletion with the intent to evade.”

    you write,

    “there is no evidence that any email that was responsive to a FOIA request actually was deleted.”

    With all due respect, this is immaterial. There does not have to be an ongoing FOI request. The point to keep in mind is that “your” emails at your workplace in fact are not yours. They belong to your employer. And if you work for a public institution like an UK university, they belong to the public, as does any information you generate there. You have no right to destroy them but by following pre-established retention rules. Not having such rules does not absolve you from the duty to keep the records. In other words, if indeed the staff deleted information, they are out of compliance already.

    If anyone, even outside the UK, would tomorrow request access to the staff’s emails that fall into the time period mentioned and if indeed any mail would have been deleted – as was alluded to in the stolen mails – then first CRU and then the Hadley staff would be open to litigation that in past cases lead to heavy fines.

  258. Tenney Naumer:

    Have you seen the total hatchet job by Revkin with first and last word on the subject by Patrick Michaels?

    Does anyone have any doubt left about what is really going on here?

    This hatchet job got placed on the front page of the online edition of the NYT.

    Oh, and that bit about “trick” was left to stand as if it had the meanings given in comment #100 — your explanation was nowhere to be seen.

    Ya think it might not be a coincidence?

  259. Richard Ordway:

    “The hacker’s message that accompanied the link read: “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.”

    “a random selection”… If this is true, this is troubling as well (ie. cherry picking). In science, all the informtion would need to be released for a full picture.

    I am sure that a lot of the confidential emails would also show that many main stream scientists are privately very alarmed about climate change and they think it is a very real threat to you, your children’s, and your country’s future.

    I know that this is what many of the publishing climate scientists mentioned in the above emails have privately told me over 11 years…

  260. RJHJ:

    The argument that emails are private is nonsense. If you work for government and your emails are subject to Freedom of Information requests and it’s illegal for you to delete any emails, other correspondence or paper work then under no circumstance could the claim be made that they are private.

    [Response: None of the people involved work for the government. - gavin]

    “PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !”

    “When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to
    > abide by the requests. ”

    “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”

  261. Guy:

    Gavin, I was at least heartened to read your inline response to #199…

    “We are instead ‘biased’ towards what is in the peer-reviewed literature and what the mainstream climate science community thinks – whether it is all in agreement or whether it is not”

    …given your response to #160 in Muddying the peer Reviewed literature:

    “Paper in peer-reviewed literature” does not imply ‘science and evidence’.

    Clearly there is more than one peer-reviewed paper , but I’ve no idea how many… and I do want to know what the balance is.

    These look like dark days to me. Please keep on plugging away at flawed papers, but the system isn’t functioning too well at the moment. With all the blogsphere noise and largely irrelevant leaked emails, we desperately need to know what the real state of climate science is in. As I posted there, an independent overview of the entire peer-reviewed literature is desperately needed. These leaked emails I suspect will do a great deal of damage even if they contain (as I suspect) nothing worse than occasional lapses in taste. Find a way to help the public believe in the scientific method again.

  262. Axel Edgren:

    “Like it or not, it is something that will need to be addressed and explained.”

    …By the people making the claims about the content of the e-mails. Most of the excitable puppies here *leave that out*.

  263. DEdward:

    gavin wrote: “This is a typical over-reaction. Perhaps you are unaware that almost all journals demand that you submit names of potential reviewers as part of the submission?” My own experience is limited to submissions and publications in about 10 journals in medical research and related fields, and service as an editor on three or four journals in medical fields, and I have never seen this practice. Can others here comment on whether this is common in climate science, and why it should be?

    [Response: It is common practice (look at the journals at AGU, or AMS for instance), and it exists because finding appropriate reviewers in a timely fashion for papers that might range of a huge field is hard. Most of the time the suggestions make that a lot easier on the editors. - gavin]

  264. Ray Ladbury:

    It seems that the denialosphere must periodically fabricate a controversy just to remind us of how utterly their movement is with respect to the science. Frankly, I think the climate science community has been entirely too accommodating of whe wannabes and anti-science idiots.

    Guys, here’s a hint: If you aren’t smart enough to verify an analysis from the same publicly available data the authors used, then you aren’t smart enough to pass judgment on the science. To hell with these bastards. Let them bask in their own irrelevance while the rest of us get about constructing a sustainable society.

  265. Aldyen Donnelly:

    (Moderator, why don’t you cancel my prior post and consider this properly spaced one.)

    I am not a skeptic and agree that a full reading of the emails will likely reveal no conspiracy. But the emails (if they are real) graphically reveal two unrelated common practices that the greater scientific community should acknowledge and act to address.

    LACK OF TRANSPARANCY
    The emails reveal a great lack of respect for FOI and an unwillingness among at least some of the researchers to be open and transparent about their research. This is arrogance and should not be tolerated in the wider scientific community. The “Peer Review” process should be formalized to include some basic steps–including data disclosure and assessment (this can be done under confidentiality agreements if necessary)and development and disclosure of model documentation. Far too often what looks like good science is output from very sophisticated models that rely on input that is output from models that rely on input that is ouput from models that rely on input that is output, etc. All too often, when we break these massive modelling exercises down (which we typically do after a resource stock failure that the sustainable yield models failed to forecast, or a financial market failure that the leading economic “experts” failed to anticipate) we find few if any independent variables in the Russian doll-style modelling exercise. This is a huge issue.

    UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR
    I don’t care whether the communication is private or otherwise, it is highly unprofessional for scientists to belittle others in the manner displayed in the emails. This behaviour is not accepted under the professional standard guidelines under which lawyers, acountants, etc. operate. It is juvenile behaviour. Hopefully the most important lesson learned, here, is that if the wider academic scientific community wants to be treated with the respect it deserves, the members of that same community have to learn to engage in more respectful, patient debate and dialogue.

    I hold the juvenile behaviour of some of the scientists responsible for the research that links climate change to rising GHG concentrations and rising GHG concentrations to anthropogenic discharges at least as responsible fo the increasing credibility of the skeptics/deniers as the skeptics. You want to have greater credibility? This is not just about doing better science. You have to be more open–even with your detractors–respond patiently to criticism and always more professionally than your opponent.

    McIntyre’s advantage, in the public and business community’s eyes, is that he has rarely if ever called people names. He has restricted his criticisms to the science and–-even if het gets the science wrong–his argements are more appealing and credible to other professionals than the personal attacks that usually dominate the GW community’s public responses to McIntyre’s work.

    I have dedicated the last 15 years of my professional life to the development of AGW mitigation strategies. In the process of trying to move companies and governments forward, I often find, however, that the scientists whose basic research I trust are also my largest liability.

  266. Scott Sidney:

    Does anyone remember the Pentagon Papers? At any rate, all is fair in love and war.

  267. Reuben A:

    It is sad that this exceedingly low and pathetic instance of invasion of privacy among colleagues will be used by climate change deniers to further inflame the ignorant that are already judging this as the “nail in the coffin”. The bottom line is we are overconsuming resources at a dramatic rate and such overconsumption is leading to disastrous environmental consequences, many which will be felt by the common person in the next few years. The only peace I can have now is that those deniers will have no room to hide behind the idiocy when disaster hits our species, but so sad we all have to pay the price for their arrogance.

  268. Dave G:

    I would respectfully suggest that the entire email document repository be published so the press can examine the full context in which the statements were made. And also to highlight any editing that may have been done by the hackers.

  269. mackinacnick:

    I appreciate the willingness of climate science to address this issue.

    From what I have seen of the emails, they do seem damning, in that rigorous scientific debate should be rigorously scientific, not political in nature. And that is the problem with the emails – the political has taken over the science. Part of this is the nature of the “cure” for global warming is political – however- and here is the rub, the science of the debate has to be done in the best of the traditions of science – very open, very transparent, and that, I am afraid has NOT been the case with Climate Change. I think that the end result of this scandal will be that those who are seeking the political changes must now publish, fully, the raw data sets about the science.

    regards

  270. Ahmet G:

    Dear Dr. Schmidt,

    I am doing a PhD in climate science and am quite shocked to read some of the things in the hacked e-mails. I would never think of “hiding” or “deleting” some data or code. Look what Prof. Jones once wrote:

    At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:

    “…
    And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that.
    …”

    Funny thing is, I’ve been searching for the CRU station data too. Only to learn that I can get the gridded data and nothing else. I was surprised, but now I understand.

    I am seriously considering leaving ‘science’, if this is what I have to become after years. What is your advice for me?

    Regards

  271. Andrew:

    Love how only comments that are less that 100% supportive earn a [Response:]!

  272. Brian Dodge:

    I wonder how many IP addresses the Russian mob collected from the people who downloaded the file. If one could quantify gullibity, and wanted to filter IP addresses for some gullibility quotient, how would YOU go about it?

  273. Joe Shea:

    Long time RC reader, but first time poster. All I can say is kudos for acknowledging the subject of the emails, and the sometimes personal nature of the comments contained therein. The hard facts of science still stand, and anthropogenic climate change hasn’t disappeared.

  274. Peter Wood:

    Let us not lose track of what has happened here: a whole lot of people’s private emails have been hacked into and been publicly placed on the internet. What a disgusting invasion of privacy.

  275. Tonyb:

    Gavin

    The Giss records start at the bottom of the temperature cycle in 1880. Why should anyone be surprised when they start to climb up to the next summit?

    [Response: They start in 1880 because that's when the coverage becomes wide enough. I doubt that the Weather services of the 19th Century set themselves up just because they knew that the global was going to warm 100 years later. - gavin]

    We have plenty of historic instrumental readings that demonstrate the peaks and troughs of climate variabilty without the need to start constructing complex proxy studies.

    [Response: No we don't. How many weather stations are there in 1000 AD? - gavin]

    Phil Jones has studied the historic records in some detail-and got an EU grant to do it. Measuring temperature summit to temperature summit would have resulted in a completely different answer to the one that yourselves and Hadley/Cru have arrived at.

    Tonyb

  276. Nobody:

    Im uncomfortable of the way how one side of this conversation keeps naming the other side as ‘denialist’ from what they usually call themself, ‘skeptics’. It makes this whole conversation sound too much like a religion where nonbelievers, or slightly disagreeing people are called heretics.

    In the same logic the ‘denialists’ might as well call the other party ‘dogmatics’ eg. people with belief that is held stubbornly and without evidence which is their basic claim and would suit as well from their point of view.

    Grouping people with alienating names that inherently claim they are wrong just makes the conversation more difficult and insulting. Or is the insulting delibirate? You can hardly expect a civil and amiable conversation if you start with a belittling and arrogant start.

  277. geo:

    What appalled me, if it turns out to be true, was an email purported to be from Phil Jones to Mike Mann where the archive shows “Jones” wrote on 2/2/2005, “The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

    If proven to be true, that goes far beyond deleting emails as a crime against science, and perhaps a criminal act as well. I certainly cannot feel comfortable with Dr. Jones being in a position of responsibility where he could actually carry out that threat unless he disavows that email as being something he actually wrote.

    [Response: It is obviously not meant seriously, but that is hard to discern from little snippets like this. - gavin]

  278. Geir Heljesen:

    Gavin!

    Howcome sites like:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

    calls this the “final nail in the coffin of AGW” at the same time as you say something like “move along people, nothing to see here.

    Are you not at all open to accepting some critics as to how these e-mails are formulated.

    Could you agreed to some extent that these are e-mails written by people paid by the public so to speak and therefore they are not as private as you want them to be?

    Anyway it’s it very good of you running this story and answering critical questions.

  279. Zap:

    Looks like somebody made their own FOIA inquiry

    Dum da dum dum!

  280. Seth:

    [Response: Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been (and some) is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I'd say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff. - gavin]

    How can you say natural drivers “would” have caused cooling over the last 40 years? This can not be observed;

    [Response: Sure it can. TSI + volcanoes. - gavin]

    furthermore there seems to be some confusion explaining just the last 10 years. I think there is a problem claiming man is responsible for 80 to %120 of warming when there is no way to prove this one way or the other as of yet. Why this worries me is the presence of files such as [RulesOfTheGame.pdf] which spell out how to convince the masses regardless of the information available. FURTHERMORE schools are required to show children material on this while they are still too young to understand basic science; only emotion.

    FURTHERMORE I think this issue has gotten away from the scientists who seemed to have lost the grasp on the fact that their work is being used to do nothing less than change the way we live as we know it. In this context I think complaining about a few emails being thrown around is the least of our worries. As far as other emails being aired, fine, at least make an effort to find out what is happening here!

    My apologies for the length.

  281. s graves:

    Gavin, is the ANYTHING in the emails that indicate untoward behaviour or other unscientific behavior on the part of email authors or recipients…or is it all just one big misunderstanding on the part of those who are criticising? Is the anything?

  282. Tenney Naumer:

    re: #177

    SecularAnimist,

    You are correct, sir. I could not have said it better.

  283. CM:

    Well, there’s a lot of new faces here tonight, aren’t there?

    Why haven’t we heard from you before? Didn’t have much to say because you didn’t get the science stuff people here were always droning on about?

    But reading other people’s letters, harping on quotations, jumping to conclusions about malfeasance and conspiracy, getting all self-righteous and nominating yourselves the court of public opinion — oh yes, you get that, don’t you?

    Sad.

    And what exactly is this whole Jerry Springer show supposed to prove about global warming?

  284. Damien Kennedy:

    Gavin, thanks for your reply to the hacked mails and your continued comments. I am a first time visitor , usually restricting myself to green blogs and AB for ongoing enlightenment re AGW. Many dilettantes like me , I suspect, regard the WAY facts , data , arguments etc are used by conflicting sides to aid their learning or opinions in a subject they are not trained in. This only works if one is prepared , hopefully ,to exercise discipline and as much objectivity as possible for a search for truth. What concerns me most is the lack of significant debate about the real effects of an ETS on our society . Most debate reads like a futuristic sci fi novel where the ‘Alarmists’ are in constant battle with the ‘Denialogues’. I am constantly amazed at the vehemence from both sides and their language of emotion. The language is clearly there for all to see. This implies mostly negative outcomes for what’s best for us as a community and the environment in the long term as the ‘high ground’ has been taken by the most vocal at the expense of real debate. Mix in a healthy dollop of vested interests and the scene reeks of a guagmire. For mine ,as a family man , small business owner , employer and with a long background of living on and with ‘the land’, it would be simply ridiculous and counter productive to all to impose a tax at this point.

  285. AKD:

    [Response: Oh dear. You ask for examples of how the term is used in a non-malicious way, I provide two (and there are many more), and that undermines my point? Fail. - gavin]

    You indicated your examples were from academic use amongst mathematicians. I pointed out your examples were from a wiki lay person explanation and elementary school teaching, not from the field of mathematics.

    [Response: Since I used to be a mathematician, I can assure you these terms were used in such contexts (as has been demonstrated by other commenters too). But how does showing that the usage is even wider than my specific claim support your point in the slightest? - gavin]

  286. Jean Kiehm:

    “Asking real questions about real issues is welcome. ”

    Question: What brought on the last glacial period?

    [Response: Orbital forcing. - gavin]

  287. KG:

    “Watts doesn’t hide anything, neither does McEntyre. Only people with something to hide, hide things. It’s really that simple.

    [Response: I'll take you seriously when either of them opens up their Inbox for everyone to look at. - gavin]”

    Watts and McIntyre don’t take money from the government for what they do. However, you are on the public payroll, are you not? I may not be an expert on climate but I do know the law. As for your whine about these being private emails, legally that is pure nonsense. Anything that is on a computer that belongs to the government or mail that is on a government email server is government property. So stop with the “private” nonsense.

    [Response: This was a university system. That is not a government entity. -gavin]

    [edit]

    Dhgoza: In case you haven’t kept up, Mad King Charles of LGF has single-handedly made his blog a laughingstock. He will quickly ban anyone who disagrees with him in the slightest. Big practitioner of six-degrees-of-separation guilt by association. If anyone raises the slightest dissent, he and his favored minions will join the pile-on and the inevitable ban stick. Sound like some other site you know? LGF is no longer conservative (if it ever was) and is now a second rate DKos.

  288. Ecochemist:

    Gavin,

    I hope you guys will come clean soon. I do appreciate your (finally) allowing differing views post even if it has to come through in such a personally troubling way for you.

    First off, I never wish anyone ill will, however I will admit I am not exactly rooting for you at this point. I just wanted to make that clear so you understand where my opinions lie.

    Second, I think that you can try to explain away a “trick” all that you like, however I think most reasonable people can understand what is going on. A “trick” used in science is putting the data into the proper context. I work with marketing people who are utterly useless when it comes to science. So I must essentially use “tricks” to put my data into proper context. I do not have to use “tricks” to change the outcome of my results.

    Third, I think it is difficult to ignore several things found in the emails. They range from tax evasion (don’t deposit more than 10k at a time!) to outright bullying of the peer review process.

    Fourth, and this is the point I would like you to address adequately. Yes, I said adequately and by that I mean without your usual snark and with absolute sincerity. It would appear that in the context of these emails that there is a combined effort to withhold information from those who may want to challenge your findings. Let’s not be childish and ignore it and play word games… it is now a fact. There also seems to be an aligned effort to stifle the efforts of science contrary to your opinions and findings. This may be by influencing the peer review process or controlling reviewers and editors. So, what in your opinion, can be done to ensure that there is a proper debate of the science and facts in an open and public way? I’m sure that being a man of integrity you feel that raw data should be supplied as well as all supplementary data in order to recreate results. So surely you would support complete and open debate on the subject. You don’t have to worry about being wrong. Most scientists… good scientists… are wrong most of the time. It is not about right or wrong, but more about the work you do. There is a value in climate science and most citizens have no problem offering a few bucks to support it. Do you think there is a too closed off circle tied around Michael Mann as was shown in M&M? It would surely seem that he makes a compelling point. This is why in my science-based line of work we sometimes need to go to outside independent sources. So, with all of that said, what do you think can be done to make the system better so that the people can be sure that the science from here on out is completely truthful and able to be replicated?

    Thanks.

    [Response: You have a very distorted view of the situation. But before addressing that, let's make some things clear. Openness and transparency aid replication and are essential to the progress of science. As far as possible, data and code should be available to everyone. Note, however, that replication of results is much more usefully achieved using independent approaches and sources of data rather than checking other people's arithmetic. Independent explorations of problems are far more fruitful in terms of learning about the details and seeing new ways of looking at things than simply running someone else's code. Open debate about uncertainties and approaches are essential (and if you ever go to a conference you will see this happening in spades).

    Now that is out of the way, let's examine what is actually happening in the public sphere. There are undeniably people who fervently do not wish for results of the science to be true. This can be motivated many things - vested interest, inclination, background etc. Regardless of why that exists, it undoubtedly does. However, among the scientific community no-one doubts that humans are causing CO2 (and other GHGs) to rise, no-one is confused about the fact that there is a greenhouse effect and that we are enhancing it, and no-one is in denial of the fact that the temperatures (as predicted) are in fact warming. This information, and the vast amount of ancillary data, theory and modelling that exists has led the science community to warn that continued emissions of GHGs risk changing the climate substantially. Given the first group of people's inclination to not want this to be true, there have been (and continue to be) determined efforts to undermine the scientific conclusions. One of the most effective tactics is to continually claim that data is being hidden and that the process is not open and transparent. This is successful, not because anything is actually being hidden, but because regardless of what data is available you can always ask for more. Five years ago it was a demand than Mann make his code and data available - it was, and nothing changed. A couple of years ago the demand was for the GISTEMP data and code - that was made available... and nothing changed. The requests then moved to CRU, who because of their agreements with the Met Centers, can't release everything in the public domain. This fact has been greatly exploited by people who conveniently ignore it when making ever more harassing demands for 'the data'. Whether they get it or not, nothing will change. The target will simply be moved. Meanwhile, the real need for openness and transparency is set back because the vast majority of demands are very clearly partisan and insincere.

    As for the peer-reviewed literature, bad papers (such as are described in the emails) sometimes make it through the process due to various events. Note that the papers in question are just bad - they come to unjustified conclusions based on faulty reasoning, bad analysis, and (often) a desire to get the 'right' result. This is not unique to papers that go counter to the mainstream (there are many bad papers on the other side too), but these are the ones that get picked up by the denial-o-sphere and are loudly touted in Senate hearings as if they undermined a century of work. Improving the functioning of the peer-review system so that this happens less often is a good idea - because it will lessen the chance of bad papers of any stripe wasting everyone's time. Note that peer-review is simply an (imperfect) filter that allows scientists to focus on work that has passed a least a basic screening (usually). When we have to respond to obviously flawed, but highly publicised, papers it takes us away from doing real research and focussing on issues about which there is genuine (as opposed to manufactured) uncertainty.

    If people want genuine public debate over issues that matter, the way is clear: Stop fuelling fake witchhunts looking for evidence that GW is a hoax, stop continually going back to long debunked talking points, and instead engage with scientists, here and elsewhere, on real questions. You will actually find scientists of all stripes remarkably keen to talk about their research and it's implications once you get past the 'when did you stop hiding your data' type accusations. Not everyone has unlimited patience in dealing with constant attacks on their integrity that comes with being in the public eye on these issues, and so many choose not to be involved in that public debate at all. That is a shame, but it's not a mystery. - gavin]

  289. Brian Klappstein:

    Hard to say how much of this will make it into the mainstream media. If it turns out to be true, and a lot of it does get into the media (outside of Glenn Beck), then it will do serious damage to not just the political cause of anthropogenic global warming, but to science itself. It reveals the scientists not as dispassionate objective thinkers, but at times petty and vindictive.

    Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t surprise me, but it will jar the public perception of the world of science.

  290. Geronimo:

    I think this is terrible, what sort of people will publish the private e-mails of people who are doing their best to save the world?

  291. Grand Moff Texan:

    Like it or not, it is something that will need to be addressed and explained.

    Good thing it already has been. So sad for the Cult of Denial that this ‘broke’ on the same day Oprah retired.

    Better luck next time.
    .

  292. Keith:

    I do not support hacking in all its forms. Emails between people should be considered private, but government has access to all emails as a matter of course. The only variation between jurisdictions is the relative ease with which government may have access, but ultimately no jurisdiction forbids government access. I would have thought that scientists who are usually technically savvy, being aware of potential government incursion, would not post compromising emails to each other. I think context is probably quite important, but people caught in the organised crime and terrorist drag nets have been judged based on such material, usually without the ‘benefit’ of having them posted on the internet. The best outcome for CRU would be to co-operate with any external independent investigation that might result from this episode.

  293. Ben Kalafut:

    Is Anthony Watts’s and Steven McIntyre’s posting of some of these e-mails to the Web legally actionable?

    Seems a lot like fencing stolen goods…

  294. Brian Dodge:

    [Response: Surprising as this might appear. I don't think this should be encouraged at all... Gavin] I fully agree that the public policy debate would be much better served by sticking to the data rather than the personalities; I don’t envy the jobs of the politicians who don’t have the background to judge what the science really is, and are used to deciding issues on “proxy” trust info – “do I believe the skeptics who stole the CRU files, or do I trust the scientists who might not be telling the whole story? Which side are my constituents on, and which choice will cost me the least number of votes?” It doesn’t matter what we wish – the Republicans and Democrats may say it’ll be a knife fight, but they’ll still show up packin’ heat (and polls, and possibly subpoenas, which will have nothing to do with the science) Maybe we’ll get lucky (public opinion having more to do with the weather than the climate) and have a 98 style el nino. Or maybe we’ll discover there are unanticipated methane hydrate/permafrost instabilities comparable to Larsen/Wilkins ice shelves.

  295. Timothy:

    [Response: Because, as he has explained frequently, that in order to get the maximum amount of data available they gave assurances and signed memoranda with many National weather services not to distribute raw data that the NWS's would rather sell. If you want the free stuff, you can just look at the GHCN records (which is the basis for the GISTEMP product - all of which is online and available for anyone to look at). - gavin]

    Gavin-

    This is the biggest problem that some people, including myself, have with your data. We cannot check your work. That is the biggest problem. We cannot check your work. (Repeated for emphasis) Therefore, because We -as the public outside of a specially selected group- cannot independently verify your work, we have to put a giant asterisk by it, signifying that the work in question has a great cloud of uncertainty when it comes to validity.

    This asterisk may not impinge on the accuracy and precision of your work, it just means that we cannot use it as a source without putting giant caveats on our own.

    Tim

    [Response: This is not 'my work'. If you want my model code or my model output, all of it is available. If you want all the temperature records and code to analyse it, go to the GISTEMP site. If you don't want to use the CRU data, don't, but the difference it makes is minor. - gavin]

  296. TattyMane:

    I think the defense of the use of the word ‘trick’ looks a bit like this ploy:
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is, ” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

  297. Windy City Kid:

    The “Audit the Fed Amendment” was passed yesterday to prevent the Federal Reserve from operating in secrecy. I am hopeful that similar progress can be made in preventing climate science from operating in secrecy in the future. Tactics to delay or prevent data from being released is unacceptable. Stricter standards should be required or funding should be frozen until transparency is established.

  298. Geronimo:

    Gavin, it has been on my mind for the last few weeks that proponents of the AGW theory are proved to be incorrect the results for science and scienctists will be catastrophic. I wondered how people working in Hadley / CRU, and of course in the US, who had somehow or other lost the scientific tradition of caution and had decided to become political and push a political agenda would cope if their science was exposed to be flawed and that the politicians suddenly found themselves exposed by more sober minded scientists would react. I think you’ll get away with the current embarrasment because the politicians won’t want to look fools, but once they can exact their revenge without looking foolish they will, believe me.

  299. Stephen Frost:

    Regardless of the facts, this is now a PR nightmare; where there is smoke there is fire. Something stinks. Maybe its the billions of public money being poured in. Maybe its the billions of private money being poured in to alternative energy companies. I don’t know. But this debate stopped being about the science several years ago. It is now a political issue. Unfortunately, by painting skeptics as “deniers”, those who do think that there’s a problem to be solved have simultaneously painted themselves as “believers”. Its become a religious war. There are no winners in a religious war.

  300. J:

    This email excerpt could be prophetic:

    “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.”

    [Response: Predictions of regional climate change are hard and still an ongoing reserach goal. That does make short-term adaptation difficult. No surprise there. - gavin]

  301. Donald Oats:

    Re: #151:

    Use of the word tricks in mathematical research papers:

    Check the preview page of Symmetries of distributions and quadrature of ODEs.

    Or:
    The Jacobi Last Multiplier and its Applications in Mechanics.

    Section 3, second last paragraph (page 9 of 10):
    General Criterion of Invariance for Integro-Differential Equations

    Or Peter Olver’s book (see bottom of preview page):
    Application of Lie Groups to Differential Equations

    These are research papers and a book review of a graduate text in mathematics.

    No shortage of the word tricks being used without scare quotes or irony in mathematics. Be nicer.

  302. J:

    The explanation above for not sharing data appears disingenuous when we find Phil writing:“I had some emails with him a few years ago when he wanted to get all the station temperature data we use here in CRU. At that time, I hid behind the fact that some of the data had been received from individuals and not directly from Met Services through the Global Telecommunications Service (GTS) or through GCOS.

  303. Skookum John:

    @sloop: “Many in the global environ. management and governance community globally are trained and experienced in analyzing science outputs regardless of the particular field (it comes down to a matter of sufficient time which is increasingly scarce, but that’s our problem and responsibility); many in this community also know how science works and that scientists are actually humans with all attendant emotions and proclivities. This episode is worrisome no doubt to those in the trenches dealing with the science and the denialists; and it will no doubt create another time sink.”

    I was not aware that there is a monolithic “global environmental management and governance community”. That explains a lot. Looks to me like it’s heavy on the governance and light on the environment.

    “But it also may motivate governments to deal a little more forthrightly with fringe denialism which is ideologically, not scientifically, driven.”

    Scary. What are you going to do, throw us all in jail?

  304. Ross Sheehy:

    What might have helped in retrospect during the late 90s would have been greater transparency on the lack of certainty in research at that time.

    The general public does not know how much data analysis and transformation is required to prepare a scientific paper. Any scientist knows that there is layer upon layer of transformation before any sense can be made of the raw data. When the newsreader says “scientists say we are going to fry” and documentary makers scare half the world, scientists must speak out on the limits of their research.

    The alternative is that the politicians get hold of research conclusions, ignore the warnings that results cannot be extrapolated, ignore the warnings about lack of predictive power in the results and just blaze away.

    When an incident like this occurs and scientists respond correctly by saying that data transformations and modelling techniques are perfectly standard, you will get the present response “waddayamean you’ve been cooking the books all this time”.

    Scientists must also speak out when it is clear that predictive models are going wrong as they appear to have done in the last decade. Scientists may have been trying to figure it out, but in the meantime the mantra “the science is settled” has been repeated ad nauseum with barely any discernable response.

    I am sad to say that the leading climate scientists have made their own bed and must now lie in it.

  305. Bob Tisdale:

    Niels A Nielsen: In the quote you provided, I can read the discussion of the 1940s “blip” two ways.

    The first is the 1945 discontinuity discussed in Thompson et al (2008). Personally, I believe the discontinuity might be a missing El Nino because the 1945 discontinuity also appears in the COADS cloud cover, Hadley Centre’s marine air temperature, and COADS air temperature datasets, discussed here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/large-1945-sst-discontinuity-also.html
    and it also appears in the COADS Global Wind Speed data, except inverted, discussed here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/part-2-of-large-sst-discontinuity-also.html

    Which makes more sense, that the entire dataset is in error or that the equatorial Pacific is in error? Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/discontinuity-in-1945-or-missing-enso.html

    The second topic that “blip” might represent is the spike in the Indian Ocean SST anomaly data…
    http://i34.tinypic.com/smznt1.jpg
    …that shows up exceptionally well with a 37-month filter. It’s most apparent in the tropics, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea SST anomaly data. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/09/indian-ocean-more-detailed-look.html
    (I do realize the post uses ERSST.v2 data, but there’s not that much of a difference between it and HADSST2. And I’m not going to redo that post just for this comment.)

    So I can read the quote you posted two ways. They’re either going to fix the discontinuity they blame on sea surface temperature sampling methods (which also appears in datasets that are not impacted by those sampling methods) or they’re going to suppress that spike in the Indian Ocean data.

    I’m not sure which they’re talking about.

  306. Andy:

    “Trevor, I gather you’re going to collect the free lunch(?) with Esso! I agree
    with Mike’s analysis : i.e. there’s room for some constructive dialogue…”

    - 0959187643.txt

    Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially when paid for by Esso (ExxonMobil)?

  307. Hank Roberts:

    Aside: I poked around a bit being naturally nosy.
    I found several people saying they did get and read the stuff.
    I also found what were identified as links to the whole multi-gigabyte file, either as ZIP or RAR format. At one time they might have been that.

    So far each time what’s been at the link has been a 35K (yes, K) file that Mac OS identified as an application; it shouldn’t have been one.

    I did not open it.
    Be careful out there.
    This stuff could, by now, just be very tempting bait.

    Catch a little fish, put it on a bigger hook, put it back in the water.

  308. sarath:

    Those of us with actual experience in modeling know how tenuous these models actually are. These are the same sorts of folks who claimed AGW in the early 20th century. It’s all speculation built on bias. Many of them don’t even recognize the bias.

  309. Eric (skeptic):

    People who are interested only need to google for realclimate and censored to see large numbers of censored comments duplicated elsewhere. Many of these asked about the origins and processing of data, including what may be untrue allegations. Rather than continue that tradition, RC has a chance with the inadvertent release of the data to explain what data was used and how, what data was not used, and reasons why. A good start would be the yamal directories.

  310. Reg Rets:

    In a shouting match between rational science and feral politics, science has no chance. If you believe as I do that runaway climate change is unavoidable due to the prevailing political climate, then you should do as I am doing. Move north of 56 degrees, buy some arable land, learn to grow perennial crops on that land and prepare to defend it.

  311. WAG:

    Does anyone think it’s a little suspicious that just hours before this story broke on Thursday, Sen. Inhofe made these remarks (on Wednesday)?

    “I proudly declare 2009 as the ‘Year of the Skeptic,’ the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard…

    “Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked…

    “Today, I have been vindicated.”

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/ 2009/ 11/ is-jim-inhofe-behind-hacking-into.html

    Why was he so confident he would be vindicated? Not saying Inhofe was involved – I just ask questions! (Pulling out my Glenn Beck hat)

  312. Rich:

    Thank you for your response, Gavin. Unfortunately, the Nature blog link you provided (#213)creates more questions than answers for me. The UN IPCC wants to inflict massive taxes and penalties on the west based on data Jones et al have produced. The data has been changed, lost, left out, and what is avaialble, is being challenged. The response from them has been nothing more than a flippant dismissal with a promise to release “soon”. Its been 7 years.

    The issues of confidentiality given by jones should not aply given the massive cost implications to every man, woman, and child on this planet. He also seems to have disregarded that particular issue when he provided data to Webster at Ga. Tech.

    Admittedly, I am no scientist…so maybe this is more about the bad PR abilities of Jones and his team, but I wouldnt know…I keep hearing the phrase “trust us” in my head. I need a little more than that.

  313. Peter Gehring:

    What I read in many of the GW scientist/support comments posted here is:
    1. Defensiveness (vs. “wow, they were colluding to delete emails to cover their tracks”),

    2. Denial of a problem,

    3. Unwillingness open the science/models to the light of day (when worked on my MS in Environmental Science they didn’t teach me that).

    4. Attacking the perceived “enemy” (Fox News, Heartland Inst, etc)

    These pervasive attitudes indicate that the science is far from settled, way too much money has been given in grants to study this problem (it has created corruption amongst you), and the science is questionable.

    I recommend you proceed with a completely transparent approach henceforth if you expect to be taken seriously by anyone who does not stand to profit from this ‘movement’.

  314. DudeMang:

    Gavin,

    You seem like a really honest person. I’m glad that you’re the one in charge of commenting on this.

    The deleting and purposeful manipulation of information that seems to be hinted at is rather discouraging. If it did take place, I’m sure that not everyone was involved. Scientists are people just like everyone else.

    I’m of two minds about this.

    First off, I’ve long been of the opinion that rather than investing heavily into what might happen, we’d be better served in aiming our scientific might at improving our current environmental footprint. We can always decide whether or not the planet would have blown up later. Now would be the time to research new technologies to improve our situation, and all the models can be simulated later once we have more data.

    Seriously, if it’s bad, then it’s more important to do everything we can to fight it than it is to find out “just how bad.”

    Second, while I think that we need environmental reform, I think we should do it because it’s the responsible thing to do and because it improves the quality of life. If there is a hoax involved in the data used to justify global warming being affected by human interaction, it does nothing other than undermine the cause.

    Which brings me to the opposing point; if this was a hoax and it gets unmasked now, then it will undo the recent strides made towards protecting the environmental. That, more than anything, pisses me off. Many people started being more environmentally friendly (almost as a fad) because of global warming science. These people won’t stick with it if it’s proven false.

    Anyway, good luck. Please encourage your fellow scientists to be more forthcoming in their work, quickly releasing data before it has to be FOIA’ed and providing all statistics in their paper, even when it’s detrimental to their cause (just stick it in a separate section). Science is all about the method, since the goal will just get rewritten in a few years when we understand things better.

  315. WAG:

    Gavin –
    I feel sorry for you scientists. You’re in quite the double bind. If a climate model doesn’t accurately hindcast past climate, skeptics accuse the models of being wrong. But if you adjust the models to match observations, they accuse you of “fixing” the results to fit preconceived conclusions. Not sure there’s a solution to the dilemma, but keep up the good work!

  316. James McDermott:

    Gerard Harbison wrote (20 November 2009 at 2:11 PM):
    > So, for example, when the emails are clearly discussing manuscripts sent to various climate scientists in confidence for peer-review, and coordinating responses by email, how does that square away with journal policies?

    > By the way, I’m an active researcher, and I certainly don’t do this. The ‘everybody does it’ response is nonsense. We don’t.

    [Response: Huh? You don't collaborate with your co-authors on responses to reviews? Really? And you don't suggest potential reviewers to journal editors when they ask for suggestions? Really? - gavin]

    Gerard Harbison clarified (20 November 2009 at 2:36 PM):
    > I’m not talking about published responses, Gavin, I’m talking about manuscripts sent to referees for peer review. Those are sent in confidence. Collusion in preparing such reviews is completely unethical.

    [Response: I have no idea to what you are referring. - gavin]

    Gavin’s confusion here happened because Gerard didn’t refer to his previous comment. Is it now clear? The accusation is that referees colluded.

  317. cheddar:

    If people saw the emails they would see that skeptics conspiracy theories are vacuous. They would also see how scientists were being harassed and inconvenienced unnecessarily by the likes of CA.

    Unfortunately people will only see the parts that the skeptics have cherry picked. The skeptic interpretations of these selective parts don’t jive with the bulk of it, which indicates these parts are out of context.

    Skeptics cannot write off anything in these emails they don’t like as propaganda..

  318. dean:

    re #140;

    BPL,

    Federal employees do have a right to privacy, but only at home. Here is the disclaimer from a prominent federal website:

    “This is a contractor operated website on a U.S. Government computer. This website is for the use of AUTHORIZED users only. By accessing this website you are consenting to system monitoring with no expectation of privacy.”

    When logging into work computers, flash screens appear that also display this lack of right to privacy. All the work is subject to a FOIA request and guidelines exist as to how to respond to the request.

  319. Dale Power:

    I think the rebuttal here is too long and will not hold up well.

    It isn’t that the information has not been explained well, but that, once again, we have proof that climate scientists just… Fail as Public relations experts, especially when faced with dirty tricks.

    Make no mistake, this is NOT about someones efforts to “get at the proof of the conspiracy” but instead is a part of long term campaign designed to protect the profits of certain large corporations and protect them from litigation later.

    The Message should be simplified and repeated often. (with real data given in links for those who are willing to check intot he whole situation.)

    Try the following:

    1. A hacker stole data and is using it in an attempt to hide the reality of climate change from the public.

    2. When you understand the “industry lingo” the data in the e-mails is all innocent and this is clearly seen by anyone reading the e-mails objectively.

    3. If you speak enough, or in this case write enough, some one will be able to take your words out of context to make you look bad. This isn’t expected once out of high school, but most people are familiar witht he technique.

    This information (Or something similar in the words of a Climate professional.) Need to be repeated laud and clear, over and over again, by as many voices as possible.

    To lose the PR WAR on this issue is to LOSE. Facts don’t matter. Proof won’t factor into things…

    Only the “hearts and Minds” of the public count now.

    And right now the Oil and Coal companies are handing the real scientists their behinds on a platter.

  320. Jack:

    “Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies.”

    Oh please – I’m so sick of hearing this “excuse” from climate scientists. We are talking about fundamentally restructuring human society at the cost of trillions of dollars. If a comet was heading toward earth would require FOI requests to check and audit the data?

    I work for a govt-funded research organization and it is clear to everyone that EVERYTHING is discoverable, even personal emails sent from work computers. All data/correspondence funded by the taxpayer belongs to the taxpayer and should be readily available.

  321. Paul:

    Well, I am sure that the denialists will release their emails, just to show how pure they are….But seriously, why is it that 10% percent of every thread consists of complaints/accusations that you censor opposing views, while 20% consists of opposing views?

  322. Seth:

    #239 I think that was in context of the postponement of the Cap and Trade Bill.
    I know the scope of this post is usually restricted to science only so I wonder the fate of this thread. I do appreciate the time Dr. Schmidt has taking in putting some things back in to context. But I would like to again express my concerns for the appropriate handling of the AGW issue. It looks like it has gotten out of the scientists hands.

  323. Magnus:

    In internal mails the team show some more uncertainty: ‘we are no where close to knowing where
    energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter’.
    Different story than the usual ‘we know it all’ here at RC
    From: Michael Mann
    To: Kevin Trenberth
    Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
    Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 10:25:25 -0400
    Cc: Tom Wigley , Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , “Philip D. Jones” , Benjamin Santer , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer

    Kevin, that’s an interesting point. As the plot from Gavin I sent shows, we can easily
    account for the observed surface cooling in terms of the natural variability seen in the
    CMIP3 ensemble (i.e. the observed cold dip falls well within it). So in that sense, we can
    “explain” it. But this raises the interesting question, is there something going on here w/
    the energy & radiation budget which is inconsistent with the modes of internal variability
    that leads to similar temporary cooling periods within the models. I’m not sure that this
    has been addressed–has it?

    m

    On Oct 14, 2009, at 10:17 AM, Kevin Trenberth wrote:

    Hi Tom
    How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where
    energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not
    close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is
    happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as
    we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!
    Kevin

  324. David:

    There is also the issue of secrecy concerning the data. Why purposely delete the data when you are so VERY aware of FOI requests concerning it? The removal of data is what did Arthur Andersen in, and it is conceptually no different here. Actually, I take that back. Because this data is nothing more than temperature data, and it is, to be generous, weird that they are so concerned about it getting ‘in the wrong hands’.

    When you read between the lines, that is what many of these emails seem concerned about, and there is much hand wringing about the data being public. Now what is the good reason for that? I would appreciate no more slippery answers, since I have highlighted the most concerning part of this ordeal.

  325. JCH:

    In there anything in these emails that will postpone the next El Nino?

  326. chainpin:

    Richard Feynman on Honesty in Science:

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can
    tell they have been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

    I hope that all those involved with this debacle reflect on Feynman’s words.

  327. J Buote:

    “Pride is before a crash”

    to Real Climate team,

    Chin up fella’s. The “bad” guys just gave you a global audience in their zeal to tear you down.

    The spotlight will be on them too. Now is your chance to get the sordid details of the other side out into the global media. I suspect there are a whole number of proment scientists and institutions that will weigh in.

    This may advance the cause of real science far faster than blog sparring ever could.

    I’d see it as an opportunity and get some high profile press then send a big thank you note to “you know who”.

    Don’t get mad, get even.

  328. Ed:

    Thank you for opening up comments. A quick observation – the anonymous provider of the original .zip file said that this was a “random selection” of emails and documents. I wonder if the perpetrator might be planning to release more documents/emails at a future date? The people behind the ACORN story have taken that approach, releasing, so far, 7 videos over many weeks. The story could evolve yet …

  329. Steve Fish:

    sarath (~#236, 20 November 2009 @ 8:46 PM):

    A bold but empty statement.

    Eric (skeptic)(~#237, 20 November 2009 @ 8:47 PM):

    The blogosphere is full of disinformation. Why not just ask a simple question without the vitriol and grandiose, already debunked misinformation that is bleeped here. Be specific.

    Steve

  330. Dialla:

    Most of the junk on these sites can be explained easy enough. Out of Context whatever.

    The thing my friend is nailing me on is the bunker mentality of the emails. Use against the world. We smart, you dumb. etc.. on and on.

    The other thing he nailed me on, the guys didn’t do any statistical tests on their own selections to determine if they were introducing their own bias even if it was not intentionality.

    The rabid defensiveness in the emails and the willingness to shoot first and ask questions later in the face of any critical review is scary. Knocking off you peers papers, making sure they don’t get reviewed, trying to knock off an entire scientific journal.

    Man, this is scary stuff and hard for me to defend.

  331. Leo G:

    Yeah, sometimes some people sounded like bufoons, but in the end, it is the science that counts! If your science stands up to ALL scrutiny, you have nothing to fear. from now on, release all data openly, to whomever. Have some cajones about your work for Chr###s sake…..

    Leo G

  332. Gary Herstein:

    Several Heroes of Science in the above, hiding behind anonymity, have declared themselves to be Scientists (no really), and that they are shocked, Ricky, SHOCKED! to discover that there was incivility and rough language in the CRU hacked emails.

    It wouldn’t take much in the way of a penetrating intelligence to figure that these Heroes of Science were not working in a field that was being regularly trampled by the willfully ignorant and the viciously ideological. In fact, it is rather transparently obvious that these Heroes of Science weren’t working in an area with anything like and actively controversial set of interactions going on at all.

    People being people — even genuinely scientific people, whether Heroes or not — tend to get steamed in such exchanges. And the steam gets more intense when (1) the controversy is a gratuitous fabrication of lying hypocrites who are too lazy to do real research, and (2) the communication is thought to be private.

    Said Heroes have never seen anything like these emails? In addition to the dubious integrity of these individuals making such a declarations while variously cowering behind anonymity, there is the issue of where they’ve been hiding such that it has so thoroughly shielded them from how real people act when enveloped in #’s 1 and 2 immediately preceding.

  333. mommycalled:

    #48 Gerard Harbison

    I going to have to call you on this one. Having submitted papers in computer science and meteorology for review I AM ALWAYS ASKED for a list of five possible reviewers. This does not mean the editor of the journal will not select others as possible reviewers. Most often there is a mix of the reviewers I submit and others. You do not consult with your co-authors in responding reviewers? All of the my published papers REQUIRE that the co-authors agree on the responses to reviewers IN WRITING. When asked to review a paper, if you need more information about a section of the paper you are reviewing you don’t consult other journal articles or researchers in the can explain the context? What kind of “active researcher” are you?

  334. Leighton:

    Re # 239 (WAG). No, it doesn’t seem suspicious. Sen. Imhofe has been skeptical for a long time. You could match the release of the hacked messages against some public statement of his on this topic, regardless of when the messages came to the surface.

    I agree that hacking the database is illegal and should be condemned. The extent of the illegality may depend on whether any of the material should have been public already, as a result of rules relating to transparency and disclosure. It may not be a crime to disclose material that was unlawfully concealed, for example, or to reveal conduct constituting a conspiracy to violated public disclosure laws. It would be nice if the RC sponsors were as quick to condemn that conduct as they are to take umbrage at the public revelations. In the final analysis, whistleblowers are often forgiven based on the benefit to society from the disclosure of misconduct.

    Early in this group of comments, a poster offered that opinion that while of course business people should expect to communicate as though anything they say could be publicly disclosed, scientists need freedom to express views candidly. That attitude epitomizes the problems with the True Believers here. Every profession or occupation can and does benefit from candor in communications with colleagues. “Science” occupies no special place in that regard. It is also true that every profession or occupation is subject to legal regulation and ethical obligations, and that sometimes candor in communications reveals unlawful or unethical actions or intentions. There appears to be some of that here.

  335. Steve Fitzpatrick:

    I expect that you are by now a bit tired, and I do not know how many of the email messages you have actually read; certainly you were not copied on many of them. I have taken the time to read over a hundred or so, and two things really trouble me. I will much appreciate if you could offer some comment.

    1. There is an incredible level of arrogance and hubris in these messages that speaks poorly of those involved.

    2. There is an apparent willingness to subvert the same peer-review process that RC has for so long claimed to be the gold standard in science. Particularly glaring are: a) the coordinated effort to pressure a publisher to delay publication of an already approved peer reviewed paper so that it could be immediately refuted when published (clearly outside the normal process); b) the rigging of the reviewer selection to insure rapid approval; c) a reviewer asking for help from a third party on the review of a paper that refutes an earlier publication, when the person being asked asked is none other than the author of the paper being refuted; d) discussion of how to “get rid of” a journal editor who allows publication of papers you disagree with. This is by no means a complete list, but I think it enough to raise serious questions about the commitment of many well known climate scientists to actually adhere to the peer review process.

  336. Gary Herstein:

    Per WAG, 239: As a general rule, if you simply reject any and all conspiracy theories out of hand and dismiss those who propagate them (whether explicitly or ala Glenn Beck), you will be proven right for dismissing them so many more times than you might ever be proven wrong that people will think you are some kind of friggin’ psychic.

    Inhofe is a fool, a ranting, viciously ideological, willfully ineducable fool, who spends a great part of his life ranting (with all the previous adjectives appropriately doubled up). That he should happen to once again be ranting hours, or even minutes, before the CRU hack is scarcely evidence of anything other than the fact that he spends his life ranting (many of which include his self-righteous declaration of his imanent vindication.) Nothing going on here other than a post hoc ergo propter hoc line of argument/suggestion.

  337. S. Molnar:

    I agree with those who dislike RC’s moderating policies, but my complaint is that far too many crank comments are allowed; I no longer read the comments thoroughly because of the low SNR. On the other hand, it’s not my website, so I cn hardly expect it to be run exactly as I like.

    By the way, I am not the Molnar of comment 83 – you would think there wouldn’t be a multiplicity problem in a non-Hungarian language setting. And speaking of Hungarians and tricks, here are a few examples.

  338. Paul G. Brown:

    Sympathies. In the long run, the release of these e-mails won’t matter. Truth is like the chair in the dark. It will break your shin regardless of whether you believe it’s there, or no . . .

    There is an argument that all our e-mail, indeed our ever utterance, should be considered public, because eventually it all will be. David Brin’s “The Transparent Society”.

    This situation seems like a point in that debate. Pro or con, I’m not sure.

  339. WAG:

    And Gavin -
    This whole hacker business helped me realize another double bind you guys are in. Explain science in scientific terms, and the public ignores, misunderstands, or misinterprets the evidence. But take efforts to make sure the public doesn’t misunderstand the science, and you get accused of “playing politics.” But then again, you guys already know this.

    Kobayashi Maru. *Sigh*

  340. spool32:

    it certainly does seem like the sequence (you can find it here: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_warmist_conspiracy_tthe_emails_that_really_damn_professor_jones/ ) regarding efforts to foil FOIA and suggestions to destroy data is quite damning.

    I don’t understand how anyone could condone or excuse this sort of mindset.

  341. Danny Bloom:

    Jeeez, I hope my “polar cities” project emails to homeland security officials, CIA ops and top scholars around the world weren’t hacked, too. That would be the end of me! In case, you missed them, it’s all here: http://pcillu101.blogspot.com

  342. Joe V.:

    From: xxxxxxxx To: xxxxx , “xxxxxxx” Subject: Re: FW: Temperatures in 2009 Date: Mon Jan 5 16:18:24 2009 Cc: “xxxxxxx” , xxxxxxx

    xxx, xxxxx,

    I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting

    till about 2020. I’d rather hoped to see the earlier Met Office

    press release with Doug’s paper that said something like -

    half the years to 2014 would exceed the warmest year currently on record, 1998!

    Still a way to go before 2014.

    I seem to be getting an email a week from skeptics saying

    where’s the warming gone. I know the warming is on the decadal

    scale, but it would be nice to wear their smug grins away.

    Gavin,
    I would like to preface any comment by stating my beliefs in AGW. Climate change is unrefutable, but to the extent that mankind is the driving factor behind its variablity recently is naive. To believe that a complex system such as our climate can be predicted by a set number of variable inputs, when the number is infantesimal. We have enough problems predicting global weather conditions seven days in advance as supposed to 30 years. That said, you are to be commended for your open dialog today with the participants in this forum. I may not agree with you but you have earned my highest respects.
    Now to the meat, how can unbaised research be conducted when one “hopes” for different outcomes. How can AGW be certain when researchers hope as opposed to research?

    [Response: Actually I hope the exact opposite. I hope that we've over-estimated climate sensitivity, that we've underestimated ocean uptake of CO2, that we've overestimated GHG growth rates, and that money grows on trees. Yet the science indicates that none of those things are likely to be true. That's the difference between science and wishful thinking. - gavin]

  343. Leo G:

    you want to know what really drives Joe and Jane Six Pack really crazy about this global warming debate? How so many of the skeptics/denihilists/pro-warmers/greenies, etc., resort to personnal attacks.

    DROP IT!

    We want to know, before we send our last plug nickel to any governing body, DOES THE SCIENCE STAND UP?

    That’s it. Simple. Let real science happen, answer the opposing questions with science! Show me that what you are pedalling is true.

    Cuz in the end, it is us Joe and Jane Six Packs that will decide the fate of this planet!

    Leo G

  344. BJ:

    Seems to me that this is a really simple issue to sort out. Just provide ALL the data that was used for anything and let the results stand on their own merits.

  345. Nathan:

    Im just a layman and couldnt conclude anything even if i saw the raw data. I count on our scienctists to do that for us. What is so troubling with all this, the emails, some reponces here and skeptics is that it appears they are looking for data for their sides theory.

    I expect sciectist to be unbiasly look for the truth regaurdless of what it is. If a juror is found to be biased the ruling get thrown out. I think the arguement for and against global warming have been tainted.

    The last thing the public is going to want is legislation that changes our lives or creates tax increases.

    I think coppenhaggen will be DOA, because of this.

    Its sad the some of the most educated people in the world have acted so unprofesionally.

    Some of you directly involved a bit of personal advise, Prepare yourself. This is going to turn into a media and political hurricane.

  346. robert:

    Dr. Mann,

    You’ve got to do a full explanation of the “trick” comment. Preferably in a video. It has to be done now.

    I live in the most conservative state in the country. Obama stole our progressive Republican governor and sent him to China. His replacement is less, shall we say, enlightened. Between the new governor and the legislature, I swear to God their going to start burning more coal. My head. Is going. To explode.

    I’m emploring you to provide a full accounting of the comment as quickly as possible and as publicly as possible.

  347. penn:

    The biggest accusation I have seen is the intentional encouragement of deleting information to avoid it’s publication in an FOI request. I don’t know what there is to it, though. I haven’t searched out the actual emails, and I don’t know the context. The very worst interpretation of the whole temperature plotting “trick” is that a figure was massaged to better illustrate the author’s point. If the author clearly indicates what was done, why it was done, and the raw data is available then I don’t think it is that big of an issue. There is an ethical grey area between presenting a figure in the best format to show the most pertinent information and manipulating a figure to hide information that you don’t like.

  348. Fran Barlow:

    re: Gavins response to ccook@102 — usage of “trick”

    sense of “the art of doing something” is first attested 1611. The verb is first attested 1595.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=trick&searchmode=none

    Here in Australia, the use of the word “trick” in this sense (overcvoming a thorny problem) is very common. This is from the Austrialin Information Industry Association:

    Don’t smother the golden cloud goose. Avoid the temptation to impose the full baggage of legacy IT expectations, requirements and regulation upon cloud services.

    The cloud is by definition the standardisation and simplification antithesis of in-house IT. The trick is to apply cloud logic to those areas where in-house IT is failing your enterprise – rather than seeking to apply it (unjustifiably) to areas where in-house IT is already adequate.

    http://www.aiia.com.au/pages/bulletin090831_cloud.aspx

    There’s also a song … the trick is to keep breathing by Troy Cino

    Here’s one I like, because it comes from the right-wing ideologue and climate change delusionist Janet Albrechtson. The usage is almost punning in this context:

    The Left has a gift for using clever language to push its causes. The trick is to start with a literal truth, a platitude so steeped in emotion it tugs on the heartstrings of human nature, something that just about every sane person will agree on. But what makes the use of a literal truth so seductive is the way it is used to hide a substantive untruth. A bit of intellectual rigour lifts the cloak on these dishonest word games. Just a few quick examples before we move to something far more serious.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/

    Albrechtson asserts, in effect trickery by the left but the usage of the word trick is still about a method for accomplishing something.

    It really is telling that once again, the delusionists on this issue have chosen to make the issue about something other than the basic science explaining the current climate anomaly, which is beyond serious demur.

    Satellite-based spectral analysis shows exactly what one would expect to find: a reduction of outgoing longwave radiation in the bands absorbed by CO2. Simple physics says that that radiation has to go somewhere and indeed, where it has gone has been into heating of the lower troposphere. No fiddling about and quote mining in emails can change that, more’s the pity.

  349. Llama Cheese:

    Hey Gavin-
    I commend you on what you’ve done in this thread.
    I hope someone will read this, here past comment #240.
    Here is a report I’ve conducted on several of the main denialist quotes.
    Final Conclusions:
    Very few, if any, of the quotes I’ve analyzed have any kind of meaning at all, and are simply taken
    completely out of context by the denialists. However, the main thing Hockey Team themselves have to address as the FOIA issues brought up, as well as some other questionable quotes.

    Denialists make the same 3 basic mistakes over and over:
    A. They do not understand that the presentation and interpretations of scientific data are subjective; there
    is nothing wrong with changing an interpretation of the data, as long as it is still accurate.
    B. They have no sense of humor.
    C. They use quote mines sometimes so blatant that they must realize they are being purposefully misleading.

    So, let’s start.
    *Also, I better get a thank you for this*

    1. On “John Daly dead”

    Mike,
    In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper – just found
    another email – is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals
    to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.

    Cheers
    Phil

    Report:
    Phil was clearly joking. Even if he was partially serious, what does this have to do with the integrity of his research? What a pathetic attack.

    *********************************************
    2. On “Diagram for WMO Statement”, or “Mike’s Nature trick”.
    From: Phil Jones
    To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
    Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
    Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
    Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

    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.

    Cheers
    Phil

    Report:
    This is completely and totally explanable; the quote is taken completely out of context by the denialists. As explained by climateprogress:
    No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “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) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

    *********************************************
    3. On “letter to the Senate”, or “Private doubts about Climate Change

    Hi all – I’m not too comfortable with this, and would rather not sign – at least not
    without some real time to think it through and debate the issue. It is unprecedented and
    political, and that worries me.

    My vote would be that we don’t do this without a careful discussion first.

    I think it would be more appropriate for the AGU or some other scientific org to do this -
    e.g., in reaffirmation of the AGU statement (or whatever it’s called) on global climate
    change.

    Think about the next step – someone sends another letter to the Senators, then we respond,
    then…

    I’m not sure we want to go down this path. It would be much better for the AGU etc to do
    it.

    What are the precedents and outcomes of similar actions? I can imagine a special-interest
    org or group doing this like all sorts of other political actions, but is it something for
    scientists to do as individuals?

    Just seems strange, and for that reason I’d advise against doing anything with out real
    thought, and certainly a strong majority of co-authors in support.

    Cheers, Peck

    Report:
    This is simply a scientist speaking his opinion about a political petition; he simply doesn’t want to sign it because it is too political, and it may require a more indepth discussion. That is all. It is absolutely bizarre that the denialists are citing this quote as if it is relevant to their claims.

    *********************************************
    4.On “The Rules of the Game”

    Despite being called “Propaganda” and other such names by denialists, this is simply a pamphlet retrieved from the servers that gives scientists some tips on how to talk to the public about climate change. The pamphlet is on communication, something that traditionally, at least, scientists have been notoriously poor at. The fact that denialists have spoken out against this is obviously explained: They do not want the scientists communicating to the public; they’d rather have a monopoly on the media sources that the public listens to.(While, of course, the scientists have a monopoly on the only sources which matter: Scientific journals.)

    *********************************************
    5. On “Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up”
    The idiot at the tabloid The Telegraph, James Delingpole, took the following quote completely out of context:
    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 published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008
    shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing
    system is inadequate.

    Report:
    The entire quote from Kevin shows just how out-of-context Delingpole’s example was:
    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 published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008
    shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing
    system is inadequate.
    That said there is a LOT of nonsense about the PDO. People like CPC are tracking PDO on a
    monthly basis but it is highly correlated with ENSO. Most of what they are seeing is the
    change in ENSO not real PDO. It surely isn’t decadal. The PDO is already reversing with
    the switch to El Nino. The PDO index became positive in September for first time since
    Sept 2007. see
    [2]http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/GODAS/ocean_briefing_gif/global_ocean_monitoring_c
    urrent.ppt

    In other words, Kevin explains himself fairly well.
    Even more damning is the fact that Kevin cites an article by himself a few lines beforehand. From that article:
    While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability.
    The article by Kevin was written to, in fact, explain what he posts above.
    (this can be found here: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final.pdf)
    Thus, Kevin is completely and totally secure in his acceptance of global warming; he is making a note about the recent, short term, effectively irrelevant decrease in temperature according to some data sources.
    Two notes:
    A. The evidence indicates beyond any doubt that the world has, in fact, warmed since 1998.
    B. Kevin is entitled to his opinion. It is absolutely bizarre that denialists are criticizing scientists to being open to the evidence at hand, and it says a lot about the pathetic, radical psyche of the denialist.

    ***********************************************
    6. On “Violence and Pat Michaels”
    Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat
    the crap out of him. Very tempted.

    Report:
    It is blatantly clear that Ben is not being serious. He is sending a personal email to a personal friend, and has every right to keep a light tone of humor in anger. It is obvious that legitimate anger is being expressed, but perfectly clear it is done so in a humorous way. Anyone interpreting this differently is making a blatant fool of themself.

    *************************************************
    7. On “Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP)”

    ……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back….

    Report:
    This is, of course, absolutely bizarre. The “MWP” is not an “inconvenient truth”, and has very little to do with the scientific theory behind global warming. Additionally, of course, the denialist claim is a complete lie: The 2k timeline WILL contain the MWP in broad daylight! It will show ALL of the data for the past 2,000 years, which would include the MWP, but also properly show its irrelevance to the recent modern warming.
    It takes someone as insane as the denialist Delingpole, from whom this absurd idea steams, to somehow twist this to suggest that data is being concealed or withheld.

    ***************************************************
    8. On “Squeezing dissenting scientists out of the peer review process”
    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

    Report:
    This is completely bizarre. Phil is simply suggesting that the group boycott/protest Climate Research due to the poor quality of the paper being discussed which was published within the journal. It is completely within his legitimate right to do so.

    ****************************************************************
    9. On “Withholding information”, or “The Matlab Code”
    Dear Phil and Gabi,
    I’ve attached a cleaned-up and commented version of the matlab code that I wrote for doing the Mann and Jones (2003) composites. I did this knowing that Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future, so best to clean up the code and provide to some of my close colleagues in case they want to test it, etc. Please feel free to use this code for your own internal purposes, but don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people.

    Report:
    The code was used by Mann in a freely available peer review research paper, and the supplemental data was also supplied. Mann has released matlab code publicly in a more recent paper on a similar topic. To assume that there is something genuinely suspicious here is absurd.
    Sources:
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/mannjones03-preprint.pdf
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/%7Emann/Mann/research/research.html
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/%7Emann/supplements/MultiproxyMeans07/

    *********************************************************************
    10. On “Reinterpreting the Record”, or “Modifying data”

    The Korttajarvi record was oriented in the reconstruction in the way that McIntyre said. I took a look at the original reference – the temperature proxy we looked at is x-ray density, which the author interprets to be inversely related to temperature. We had higher values as warmer in the reconstruction, so it looks to me like we got it wrong, unless we decided to reinterpret the record which I don’t remember. Darrell, does this sound right to you?

    Report:
    Scientists interpret and reinterpret results all of the time; this is the point of science. It has absolutely nothing to do with the data. It is clear that the local kook at the Examiner, Tony Hake, understands little about science at all, which, of course, isn’t a surprise.

    *********************************************************************
    11. On “acknowleding”* the Urban Effect
    From Tom Wigley (acknowleding the urban effect):

    We probably need to say more about this. Land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming — and skeptics might claim that this proves that urban warming is real and important.

    *Nice spelling, Hake. Not only are you completely uneducated in the scientific field at hand, but you aren’t that good at grammar either, are you?

    Report:
    It takes, quite simply, a denialist on the level of inanity of Hake to draw such bizarre conclusions from this quote. Wigley is simply suggesting that they should prepare for the denialists to run around screaming: “LOL URBAN EFFECT!1111″. Of course, numerous studies into the effect of urban heat island effect and microsite influences find they have negligible effect on long term trends, particularly when averaged over large regions. Apparently Hake is unaware of this, or, just possibly, he’s being a purposefully misleading scum bag.
    Source:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/surface-temperature-measurements.htm

    ***********************************************************************
    12. On “Not about the Truth”
    Note created November 20, 2009 • Last edited November 20, 2009 by linux7master@gmail.com
    11/20/09
    Perhaps we’ll do a simple update to the Yamal post, e.g. linking Keith/s new page–Gavin t? As to the issues of robustness, particularly w.r.t. inclusion of the Yamal series, we actually emphasized that (including the Osborn and Briffa ’06 sensitivity test) in our original post! As we all know, this isn’t about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations.

    Report:
    Wait a second. What’s Hake’s idea here? That Mann is an evil, sadistic maniac who is knowingly lying to the public and is here conversing with his evil henchmen about their latest plan to fool the public?
    It is not quite clear from the wording what Mann is referring to; the wording is vague. Most likely, he is talking about the denialist psyche: the rest of the E-mail thread is talking about a reply to the denialist McIntyre.
    Ironically, Hake’s proved Mann’s point here. For Hake, this, of course, has nothing to do with truth: He doesn’t even come close to understanding the science at hand, and certainly doesn’t try to learn. It has everything to do with smearing a few scientists who have reached conclusions he disagrees with without even understanding.

    ***********************************************************************
    13. On Real Climate
    Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC [RealClimate.org - A supposed neutral climate change website] Rein 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.

    Report:
    Hake makes the error in assuming that Real Climate is neutral. It certainly is not: Real Climate is biased very much so towards science, rationality, and applied reason. In other words, it is biased against Hake’s insane psyche. Does he even have a point here?

    *************************************************************************
    14. On “Deleting it as appropriate”
    Hake’s quote:
    The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here! … The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick. Leave it to you to delete as appropriate! Cheers Phil
    And the real quote:
    Also ignored Francis’ comment about all the other series looking similar
    to MBH.
    The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick.
    Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !

    Report:
    Ah, a classic, obvious, blatant quote mine from the pathetic scum bag who is Tony Hake. When we look at the whole quote, it becomes obvious that Phil is talking about a comment on his blog, and not some mysterious, evil data.

    *****************************************************************************
    15. On a “Freedom of Information Act”
    PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !

    Report:
    What. Hake is actually serious.
    Here, ladies and gentlemen, we see the climax of Hake’s stupidity.
    Phil is joking. All of the CRU station data is available online.
    Hake is unbelievably stupid.
    Source:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/

    *********************************************************************************
    16. On the ’1940s blip”

    Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, 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. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”. Let me go further. If you look at NH vs SH and the aerosol effect (qualitatively or with MAGICC) then with a reduced ocean blip we get continuous warming in the SH, and a cooling in the NH — just as one would expect with mainly NH aerosols. The other interesting thing is (as Foukal et al. note — from MAGICC) that the 1910-40 warming cannot be solar. The Sun can get at most 10% of this with Wang et al solar, less with Foukal solar. So this may well be NADW, as Sarah and I noted in 1987 (and also Schlesinger later). A reduced SST blip in the 1940s makes the 1910-40 warming larger than the SH (which it currently is not) — but not really enough. So … why was the SH so cold around 1910? Another SST problem? (SH/NH data also attached.) This stuff is in a report I am writing for EPRI, so I’d appreciate any comments you (and Ben) might have. Tom.

    Report:
    The 1940s warming blip is a legitimate error in the historical data that needs to be fixed. It has been explained and corrected on the blog, Real Climate.
    Source:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/06/of-buckets-and-blogs/

    *************************************************************************************
    17. On “Refusing to send McIntyre data”

    We should be able to conduct our scientific research without constant fear of an “audit” by Steven McIntyre; without having to weigh every word we write in every email we send to our scientific colleagues. In my opinion, Steven McIntyre is the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of climate science. I am unwilling to submit to this McCarthy-style investigation of my scientific research. As you know, I have refused to send McIntyre the “derived” model data he requests, since all of the primary model data necessary to replicate our results are freely available to him. I will continue to refuse such data requests in the future. Nor will I provide McIntyre with computer programs, email correspondence, etc. I feel very strongly about these issues. We should not be coerced by the scientific equivalent of a playground bully. I will be consulting LLNL’s Legal Affairs Office in order to determine how the DOE and LLNL should respond to any FOI requests that we receive from McIntyre.

    Report:
    Karl refuses to send McIntyre data, because, as he explains in the next sentence, ” all of the primary model data necessary to replicate our results are freely available to him.”. Not to mention that McIntyre has consistently harassed him about data which he is hardly qualified to comment on.

    *************************************************************************************
    19. On “Bad Behavior”
    Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.

    Report:
    And here is the full context:
    >> > This is truly awful. GRL has gone downhill rapidly in recent years.
    >> > I think the decline began before Saiers. I have had some unhelpful
    >> > dealings with him recently with regard to a paper Sarah and I have
    >> > on glaciers — it was well received by the referees, and so is in
    >> > the publication pipeline. However, I got the impression that Saiers was
    >> > trying to keep it from being published. Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that
    >> > Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find
    >> > documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.

    It is clear that Mike is suggesting that the discussed poor quality of GRL may be due to bias on the part of Saiers, and shining light on this bias might fix the problem.

  350. Timothy Chase:

    MC wrote:

    Yes, we all know the meaning of the word ‘trick’. That’s not a particularly interesting word in that sentence. I’m much more interested in the word ‘hide’. Perhaps you should stop this inane discussion of the word trick and focus more on defending the appropriateness of massaging the data with a techniques to hide a divergence problem?

    Inline, Gavin responded:

    [Response: How is publishing a result in Nature 'hiding' it? - gavin]

    MC, you might actually want to check out the “divergence problem” that they were trying to “hide.” It turns out that some studies with some populations of trees show it, others do not. Its been suggested that at least some of the divergence problem may be the result of drought related stress. Ozone is another possible culprit. What I myself find most interesting is the possibility that it is related to the phenomena of global dimming. We know that as the result of fossil fuel combustion aerosols (reflective and non-reflective) reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the surface — and would adversely affect plant growth.

    Here is one paper:

    R. D’Arrigo et al.(2008) On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A review of the tree-ring evidence and possible causes, Global and Planetary Change 60, pp 289–305

    … but there are others which — like the above — are accessible through Google Scholar.

    Global dimming is an interesting phenomena — both scientifically and in terms of its implications. Such as the fact that at least in part it has masked the global warming effects increased greenhouse gasses by reducing the sunlight that reaches surface prior to its conversion to thermal energy and thermal radiation. The trend towards global dimming appears to have been reversed for a time during the 1990s — as the result of more effective pollution laws I believe — but more recently reversed again, possibly with the effects of the Asian Brown Cloud.

    But as I have said, it is only one possibility. There are other potential causes of the divergence problem. I suspect that each plays some part, although some may be more important than others. Personally I would expect global dimming to be a bigger factor than ozone. But it is still an open question, it would appear that each credible factor is anthropogenic in origin, and each has implications which reach well beyond tree rings.

  351. Scott A. Mandia:

    #193: Richard Ordway and #212 caerbannog:

    Please read Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air – How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science (2007) at http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

  352. Fran Barlow:

    Secular Animist@183 said:

    Moderators, please DO NOT open up these comment pages to the endless stream of idiocy vomited forth by weak-minded ignorant Ditto-Heads who pollute every general-interest forum (e.g. newspaper websites) on the Internet with their slavish recitation of the inane talking points that the fossil fuel corporations pay Rush Limbaugh to spoon-feed them.

    I second the motion …

    In my opinion, the policy as currently implemented is if anything rather too permissive. Anything asserting/strongly implying conspiracy or “social engineering” or “IPCC fraud” or other major and repeatedly debunked talking points ought to be savagely culled.

    It’s not as if there is a shortage of other places on the internet where such nonsense can be retailed.

  353. Windguy:

    I don’t really see how it all can be factual. They have obviously cherry picked the emails as much as they cherry pick their graphs. For a hacking and only 60Mb or 150Mb of data only available, my own email account goes way over that! So something doesn’t give here, if the hackers were trying to show a proper falsification or conspiracy was really happening, then it wouldn’t boil down to 60Mb of data and then only 5 (random?) emails picked to show that conspiracy.

    Like a good poem, these 5 emails will be dissected for years to come about the “real” meaning of them.

    For CRU though, if they republished those emails in context with the other forwarding emails in those group of emails, they may alleviate “some” conjecture.

    Or in the end, these hackers might have learnt something, then falsified the emails. The emails with Gavin CC’d in on, have you seen these emails before?

  354. Justin:

    Let me at least ask one question.

    Doe any of the climate change scientists see a way to “fix” global warming with a carrot instead of a stick?

    Is there any way to “fix” this problem (if indeed there is one) WITHOUT enriching Al Gore and a few thousand others who will line their pocket with my family’s income?

    Nobody wants a ruined planet, me included. Nobody I know wants dirty water, disappearing rain forests, holes in the ozone, or man made global warming. I don’t know enough about the science to even be a skeptic. I’m a CPA, I can discuss tax code with anyone. But this entire issue has been used as a giant stick waved at everyday folks. What I do know is accounting, finance, and I have 6 years experience dealing with investment bankers who are salivating at the chance to make TRILLIONS off of this, at the expense of the people.

    Any suggestions?

  355. jyyh:

    Never trust an e-mail, never trust e-commerce, there are hackers about. I don’t know what people in the Linux community are saying about this, but then its another thing. I, and likely many more people, would be interested on the system these data were stored, just for to know what sort of system not to use when commercing over the web.

  356. tom madison:

    why wasnt all the data in the open and such

    this wouldnt be a problem

    weird feeling suits will show up about this

  357. poorsinner101:

    Gavin,

    In your opinion, what percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?

    [Response: Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been (and some) is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I'd say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff. - Gavin]

    [For 40 years, your climate predictions has been wrong. For the last decade, your climate predictions have been wrong, so I'd say somewhere between 80% to 120% of your predictions have been wrong. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal dialogue stuff. - poorsinner101]

    Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average weather or a change in the distribution of weather events around an average (for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region, or may occur across the whole Earth. (WIKI)

    Don’t climates change over time by definition? How can humans stop climate change? Doesn’t the Sun warm the Earth? Which is worse for humanity, an ice age or a warm Earth? These are my questions.

  358. Pekka Kostamo:

    This is modern warfare. It is between organizations (not nations), often seeking to remain invisible. The weapons are information and disinformation, money, propaganda, deceit, burglary… Anything that might bite. There are no limits, no agreements, no regulations, no reliable allegiances, no thruths, no morals.

    To study it, you may start with:
    http://cryptome.org/cuw01.htm

    It is a book that explains a number of things, valid also beyond this incident. The “war on science” has been going on for a good while but it is only one side front.

    One particular fundament being that rational thought is rather rare and sporadic in human decisionmaking. Facts are not a strong play, emotions are much stronger.

  359. Chris:

    The whole “trick” excerpt is boring compared to other stuff. Read the whole thing. The central issues at stake are:

    Did they, or did they not, make efforts to hide data from curious outsiders?

    [Response: No. - gavin]

    Did they, or did they not, make efforts to delete correspondence in a suspiciously defensive or even illegal manner?

    [Response: Defensive, yes. - gavin]

    Did they, or did they not, massage their models, cherry-pick or even fabricate data in order to support their claims? If so, WHY?

    [Response: Not in the slightest. - gavin]

    This is the stuff serious people care about, no matter what you believe about AGW. I hope, as folks scour the emails and other files, the unambiguous truth will come to light.

  360. Tim McDermott:

    Gavin,

    Just for fun, have you considered issuing DMCA takedown notices against websites hosting emails you wrote? Unless you have explicit agreements surrendering your copyright on anything you write at work, I’m guessing that the rights remain with you. Too bad you didn’t register them. Statutory damages for copyright infringement is 150,000$ per copy.

  361. BJ_Chippindale:

    One thing I noted when looking at the kerfuffle over the AR4 e-mail delete thing, is that there was a big stink fostered by CEI and consequent FOIA requests, for raw data relating to the 1980s. I am sure the scientists are aware of the problem of retrieving data from that far back… I am not sure everyone else is.

    Go back to the 1980s and everything was archived on tape. To maintain that data (and I know because I had the job of doing this for another government agency in the 1990s), you have to read the tape and rewrite the data. Often the format of the machine that wrote it is quite different from the machine that you now have to read it. There are hardware issues which once overcome are followed by software and formatting issues.

    Nobody had to delete that raw data, it deletes itself from one decade to the next unless there is a heavy investment in maintaining it. The processed data is still available, and as noted in the e-mails, the raw data involved had been reprocessed by NOAA and GISS and the Russians when it was still fresh.

    Just saying…

    BJ

  362. rechoboam:

    I have worked in molecular biology labs; been part of multicentre clinical trials; reviewed grant applications and so on and so on. I have NEVER encountered anything like this. The language used here is so far from what researchers in other fields would consider professional that I am incredulous. I reiterate, if respected researchers in the fields of say immunology or molecular biology sent emails like these out, the recipients would simply not know how to respond. I must say, for the first 24 hours I assumed that the whole thing was a hoax put out by a very dedicated global warming sceptic. If it is actually true, well,..look, I don’t know what to say. It is beyond indefensible…just one question for the people above defending the authors- do you UNDERSTAND that scientists are supposed to be impartially reviewing evidence and publishing the results without fear or favour? Coming up with a priori hypotheses and then finding results that fit is not part of the deal!

    [Response: Nor is it something that actually happened. -gavin]

  363. rechoboam:

    One more thing, as the author above said:

    “I would be happy to have all my e-mail correspondence directly related to my work published in the public domain.”

    Not only that, were it possible, I would be happy to release a transcript of every telephone conversation and face to face conversation that I have ever had that related to my research. There is nothing I am embarrassed about because I have integrity.

  364. KRM:

    Could someone explain this one?

    Neil

    There is a preference in the atmospheric observations chapter of IPCC
    AR4 to stay with the 1961-1990 normals. This is partly because a change
    of normals confuses users, e.g. anomalies will seem less positive than
    before if we change to newer normals, so the impression of global
    warming will be muted. Also we may wish to wait till there are 30 years
    of satellite data, i.e until we can compute 1981-2010 normals, which
    will then be globally complete for some parameters like sea surface
    temperature.

    Regards

    David

    [Response: Doesn't make much sense. Warming is defined by the trends which do not depend on the anomaly baseline. Going from -1 to 0, or from 0 to 1 is exactly the same increase. Picking a normal period (1951-1980, or 1961-1990, or 1971-2000) is completely irrelevant for that. - gavin]

  365. Dan Basica:

    Gavin,

    You imply the emails released are a just a few and out of context. Ok, I’ll buy that. Then release the rest of the correspondence so we can make up our own minds on how they fit in the context of things.

  366. Dappled Water:

    The deniers are right, all public employees have no right to privacy, they’re public servants, not private ones right?. If the public paid for it they have the right to that information.

    In the US I expect the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Pentagon, DARPA, etc , etc will be declassifying all correspondence and circulating it, for all and sundry, any day now…………

  367. David Horton:

    Huffington Post comments on the CRU hack from David Horton http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-horton/dream-of-money-bags-tonig_b_366208.html and Kevin Grandia http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/stolen-climate-science-em_b_365867.html

  368. Will:

    Fascinating. Group Polarization, Attitude Bias, Group Think, and mega egos on all sides.
    I’ve got popcorn and a front row seat.

  369. David:

    David: I respect the scientific method and I believe that human understanding of our global climate is in its infancy.

    BPL: But you clearly don’t know anything about this old, old field, or you wouldn’t say something so silly. Want a timeline? Just Google the “Hadley” Hadley climate center was named after. BTW, even AGW theory is 113 years old.

    David: BTW BPL, was that arrogance or just condescension? Impressive either way – you insult my opinion and knowledge, while ignoring the whole point of the statement.

    I didn’t say anything about how long the field of climate science has existed. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you just didn’t read carefully. Or do you believe that if climate science is an “old, old field,” it necessarily correlates to a strong understanding of our global climate?

    BTW, 113 years of AGW theory, wow! That IS a long time BPL! Especially in the context of earth history, global climate changes and human knowledge!

  370. Aaron Kulkis:

    Dappled Water:
    “The deniers are right, all public employees have no right to privacy, they’re public servants, not private ones right?. If the public paid for it they have the right to that information.
    In the US I expect the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Pentagon, DARPA, etc , etc will be declassifying all correspondence and circulating it, for all and sundry, any day now…………”

    So your argument is that basic research into temperature data has the same national defense issues as such things as weapons penetration capabilities and armor thicknesses on military vehicles and navy ships?

    Sorry, but that logic just doesn’t hold water — the only people who would buy into that argument would have to be idiots.

  371. jlc:

    First and last visit to RC.

    Pro-glow posters are obsessive and fanatic. They (as well as the famous emails) demonstrate hostility and vindictiveness to anyone who seeks clarification. If they want to experience a more honest and open discussion without the name calling (that they impute to climate non-hysterics), they should visit, eg, CA , WUWT, et al, where they will get a courteous reception (if they behave courteously).

    I appreciate that you have opened up your responses on this historic occasion which will, hopefully wean us away from lunatic fringe warming mania.

    I’m pretty sure sure that neither Gav, Mike, Phil, Kev or any of the other gurus who are so much smarter than Pat, Des, Rick, Lucia, Fred, Steve, Anthony, etc., believe in their heart of hearts that sea levels will rise more than a metre in the the next 100 years.

    It will, of course, be less than this.

  372. Van Grungy:

    I agree with Will…This thread is fascinating…

  373. caerbannog:

    Hey Dan (#255),

    Gavin doesn’t work for the CRU.

    No need to thank me for the free clue.

  374. Rich Vail:

    I’m not a climatologist, but I am a Ph.D. and I believe myself to be a reasonably intelligent individual. It seems to me that the emails requesting the deletion of all emails on (subject) be deleted to avoid FOIA requests for data is rather damning in and of itself. Especially if that request is for specific data in order to replicate a study.

    [Response: No-one has deleted data needed to replicate a study or even suggested doing so. - gavin]

    Now if such a destruction of email/data is to prevent someone from replicating a study…isn’t that in fact a criminal act? If not publicly so, but from a scientific stand point.

    For example, several years ago a group of scientists claimed to have devised a way to create “cold fusion”…but NONE of their research was replicable…and so were publicly thrashed (in a figurative way). Now…if these scientists at CRU have hidden/destroyed their data files in order to prevent anyone from replicating their research, does this not call into question EVERYTHING they’ve done? Does this not call into question ALL of their research?

    As you can see, I’m not hysterically accusing anyone of anything, merely asking a reasonable question. I’ve taken the time to track much of the information that is now publicly available and come to my own conclusions. Now, is the what if part…

    If this hack, and the information that has been released is proven to be accurate, what response will this site take?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks for your time.

  375. Squidly:

    [Response: He's pointing out that there is a long list of claims that GW is a hoax, not that there is any actual evidence that it is. - gavin]

    The problem that I have with this is, it is up to the theorists (hypothesis really) to “prove” that AGW is real, not the other way around. But, instead, the proclamation of “settled science” and “debate is over” is presented. I must have been sleeping through the 90′s as I don’t recall any such “debate” and can’t seem to find reference to such either.

    Now, the question is, have the theorists proven the theory? Some might suggest yes. I would however have a real problem with such an assertion.

    I would like to state at this time however, I am very glad to see that at least this article has been allowed to have seemingly free commentary. Rather refreshing. I have been to the blog many times, have tried posting questions, and have had NONE posted. And I just simply asked some very pointed and direct questions, no adhomen, just questions. Nice to see that you may be willing (for a time at least) to open up a little.

    If this continues, perhaps Gavin would engage with me in discussion of software development practices and methodology, as I am a computer scientist of 30 years, with a decidedly (from what I have read) vastly different views of these subjects than Gavin.

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment here! I appreciate it!

  376. Paul Z.:

    The emails are on wikileaks.org now:
    http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_emails,_data,_models,_1996-2009

  377. Marion Delgado:

    Bear in mind that for what the Canadian researcher Robert Altemeyer calls the high right-wing authoritarian* mind-set, the national idols, which in the case of the US and to a degree Australia, Canada, etc., are business and businessmen and corporations, the corporate cover-your-ass knife-in-the-back anything-to-win sociopathic culture is in fact superior to science. If science doesn’t work that way, with one eye on the lawyer’s phone number and the other one on your bank statement, well, that’s yet another scandal, isn’t it!

    *A term of art, to a degree, since ardent Soviet patriots, especially in the Brezhnev era, were also high RWAs according to Altemeyer, who actually surveyed them.

  378. Graham Wayne:

    Gavin, may I simply express my sympathy for all scientists who believe that truth is not subservient to ideology. I try to support rationality by posting in the climate change threads in the Guardian and I was very dismayed by the timing and nature of this scurrilous disinformation ploy. If MI5 or the CIA were opposed to climate change they could hardly have done a better job.

    But the fight for rationality and scientific principles is not lost, it just got harder. Fair enough. We will have to put in a bit more effort, that’s all (and protect ourselves from the increasing desperation of those who would like us to revert to the superstitions and fear of the dark ages while paradoxically accusing us of exactly what they themselves are trying to do).

    Sometimes I ask myself if such people are actually worth saving from themselves. After a cold shower and a beer, the answer always remains ‘yes’.

  379. DaveS:

    ***”In the US I expect the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Pentagon, DARPA, etc , etc will be declassifying all correspondence and circulating it, for all and sundry, any day now………… –Comment by Dappled Water ”

    Excellent analogy. If Gavin’s data and methodology were to fall into the wrong hands, God help us all. He is exactly like the CIA.

  380. Risto Linturi:

    Surprisingly little was found that is of any essence. We are all human and our expressions are easily misunderstood, especially when one benefits from the misunderstanding. Most of us also express ourselves badly in private occasions and experiment on thoughts that are not really intended or ready. Always we also see things from our own viewpoint and this should be clearly understood. This did not harm my confidence in the climate science or public awareness raising you guys are doing, and I fully expect all fair and balanced people react likewise. Mudslinging is a part of all politics and huge sums of money and power are at stake. Please keep up the important work.

  381. ccpo:

    Joe says:
    20 November 2009 at 3:05 PM

    Remember that the comments here are moderated, so you can’t really trust the comments here to be representative of anything but the opinions of the moderator.

    Yeah? Try posting a dissenting view at WUWT. I’ve never posted a lie, a slander, or anything else but the truth there, but I am banned. That dumb arse even came here and stated he’d let me back in. Did he? No.

    Pull your head out.

  382. Alan of Oz:

    By all acounts I’ve read Newton was considered a genius in his own time but not a nice person at all. But seriously thanks for the timely article, it got a lot of attention on slashdot when someone posted it as a reponse to the CRU story.

  383. Gavin Greenwalt:

    In regards to “tricks” I have another excellent example:

    Tricki.org

    “[...] a brand new Wiki-style site that is intended to develop into a large store of useful mathematical problem-solving techniques. Some of these techniques will be very general, while others will concern particular subareas of mathematics.”

  384. billga:

    Storm in a teacup. Science is always messy yet still better than anything else. Nature still holds the answer. Back to work everyone.

  385. ccpo:

    118
    Bob Kutz says:
    20 November 2009 at 3:33 PM

    …amounts to ad hominem attack on Anthony Watts. His web site and his personal opinions regarding AGW are far far more balanced and scientific than most of what’s allowed on this site.

    Do you kiss your wife and kids with that mouth? Perhaps you were thinking of the Uber Objectivist Fox News?

  386. ccpo:

    303
    Tim McDermott says:
    21 November 2009 at 12:24 AM

    Gavin,

    Just for fun, have you considered issuing DMCA takedown notices against websites hosting emails you wrote? Unless you have explicit agreements surrendering your copyright on anything you write at work, I’m guessing that the rights remain with you. Too bad you didn’t register them. Statutory damages for copyright infringement is 150,000$ per copy.

    Please, god, let just one scientist have the nerve.

    I have a rather serious question. Remember last winter when all over the blogosphere acolytes of Watts, et al., were posting that by the end of summer or fall Climate Change would be a thing of the past? That the tide would be turned? I posted here about it several times as evidence that denialist rants were coordinated attacks.

    Here’s the question: Do we have any clue as to when the e-mails were actually taken? Let us do keep in mind it is very unlikely it was only once.

    If there were multiple attacks AND they are shown to have started sometime before the spamming of those comments that AGW was dead in ’09, that would be an indication of a wide ranging conspiracy – and a thing for federal prosecutors to attend to.

    Cheers

  387. James Racer:

    Thank you for a coherent and eloquent response to this. If only more writers had such clarity and candor.

  388. Tom:

    I have been an avid reader of this site since its inception. I have found it invaluable.

    But I am seriously concerned, not simply about the contents of these emails, but the response this information is prompting.

  389. Jonathan Fischoff:

    I have read through many of the emails, and I think that people are going to initially draw the wrong conclusions, like global warming is a hoax.

    What I was surprised by was McIntyre’s posts are forcing some climate scientist to make correction and fix mistakes. I thought you guys just saw him as an idiot? Say what you will about blog science, he might be the sole, albeit, hated exception, but his nit-pickyness seems to actually result in more accurate papers. Kudos to McIntyre’s, and kudos to the scientists improving their papers.

  390. Bob:

    Many of the items obviously have been delivered to us out of context. Or are being willfully taken out of what context is provided, even. There is no guarantee at this point that any given item is genuine. It doesn’t matter that the people involved were rude, disrespectful, whatever. I have no idea the context in which the seeming peer review shenanigans took place, either in terms of the norms of that activity or in terms of the specific context of the correspondence.

    But the people involved, some of whom are respected climate scientists, are obviously hiding information from FOIA/analogous requests. And conspiring to do so. Here in the US that is in itself a criminal act. It’s not proof of actual scientific wrongdoing, but it is also not what the scientific white hats are supposed to be doing in their struggle against the supposedly invalid complaints of those who disagree.

    It’s actually the kind of thing the AGW skeptics would predict out of you. The more nasty ones, in fact.

    It’s smoke for sure. Maybe fire. Maybe we’ll find out.

    One more thing. Since when are scientists so unfriendly to skepticism? I have been appalled to read all of the too-hasty “now I’m no skeptic!” disclaimers made by people here claiming to be scientists. I hope they’re not who they imply they are. Isn’t skepticism central to the scientific method?

  391. Neal J. King:

    This whole thing is a public-relations nightmare. Maybe it will blow over on its own, but I doubt it: It is more likely that it will continue to expand into the blogosphere, with the help of CA and right-wing conservative bloggers.

    I think the only thing that will help is if the principals involved (e.g. Jones, probably Mann) in the more targeted emails spend the time to reconstruct what was going on at the time and provide context and explanation for what was really meant – and make it public. Maybe embarrassing, and certainly a waste of time from a scientific perspective; but otherwise, the argument over the behavior of the scientists will continue to power the ongoing media “debate” over the validity of the science. This is not a good time for this to happen: The Copenhagen meeting is coming up fast, and the discussion on what to do about GW in the Senate is just around the corner.

    The attitude that all this email stuff is so “inside baseball” that no one outside can comprehend it is understandable, but it won’t wash in the realm of public discourse. The stance that “This mess is due to the criminal act of hacking non-public information, and should be ignored by the public,” is simply a non-starter: After all, the Pentagon papers and the Tobacco Institute papers were also published through activity that was illegal, but nobody cut them any slack because of that.

    It’s really too bad that there ISN’T a worldwide conspiracy of “AGW warmists” to coordinate the PR response, because a detailed and self-consistent explanation is going to be needed to put the fire out.

    The danger doesn’t lie in the content of the emails, the danger lies in the response (or lack thereof). This could be like Clinton’s handling of the Monica Lewinsky problem.

  392. bobbyv:

    hey rc, you can end this by adopting a culture of TRANSPARENCY!

  393. Paul UK:

    I think this is a sign of serious desperation.
    The fall of the denier regime, resulting in more outrageous acts and comments.

    Real desperate stuff. Whenever I see AGW deniers get more aggressive and more outrageous I just feel that we are winning. How low will they go?

  394. PhilP:

    As a 20+ year researcher, I have been open-minded to the possibility of AGW but very skeptical of the “90% certain” front that is put forward. Despite this view, i have benefited greatly from climate-change related funding, as many scientists have in the last 5-10 years (and will in the next 5-10 at least).

    Reading of these emails has in-fact softened my skepticism a little, as i am now reassured that there appears to be a diversity of views to some extent, even amongst the “inner-sanctum”. This is a good thing, as we are still very much in the early days of understanding how our climate works, and clashing of ideas is essential in furthering our knowledge. I am also reassured to see that very senior scientists are still engaged in doing actual scientific work.

    Some of the so-called ‘questionable’ conduct of the researchers is nothing too far out of the ordinary in my experience, and is simply indicative of scientists trying to further or protect their respective careers and influence. It’s ugly …. but that’s the nature of the business of being a scientist nowdays and these sots of behaviors are inevitable when money, ideas, reputations, and personalities are involved.

    The ‘scoop’ that the peer-review process is not ‘pure’ will also not be new to many of us. Hopefully this episode will result in increased scrutiny and openness in the climate science community, which appears to have been somewhat lacking to an outsider. In the long-run, the softening of the siege mentality which shows up in the email exchanges, will be beneficial to the cause of improving our climatic understandings.

    Gavin … all credit to you for freeing up the blog to more critical viewpoints, and for taking the time to deal with them on this issue… this blog has gone up quite a few notches in my opinion because of your approach.

    Keep at it …

  395. charlie:

    > Charlie said “You know, I’ve always wondered why we scientists never seem
    > to use anything like pgp in email communication with each other. Maybe its
    > time to start?”
    >
    > In government and business, the two drivers of communication encryption
    > are privacy legislation (that is, the privacy of the citizenry who’s
    > personal details are contained in the emails/data) and commercial
    > sensitivity. Neither applies to science. Science is supposed to be
    > transparent.
    >
    > Comment by NZ Willy — 20 November 2009 @ 4:26 PM

    I’m all for transparency in science, but that doesn’t mean I leave the door to my office unlocked at night. Apparently the implicit assumption that Russian oiligarchs aren’t trying to hack into one’s computer and steal private correspondence in order to embarrass an entire community of researchers isn’t a good one, and needs to be tossed.

  396. Michael:

    I’m surprised at all commentators wishing for WUWT and CA’s servers/inbox to be hacked/open to scrutiny and drawing a moral equivalence between that and what has happened to CRUT. Those websites are not publicly funded so why should the public see their inner workings?

    regards

    Michael

  397. David A. Burack:

    What has always struck me about the published as contrasted with this bootlegged literature regarding anomalies in the data for such things as tree rings is that the authors typically try to explain if not use “tricks” (nothing necessarily wrong with that use of the word) on the outliers that vary toward the cooling side. That’s my impression,OK? I would have more confidence in the slicing and dicing if the same tricks were applied to the same data on anomalous outliers on the warming side. I expect Gavin’s reply if his energy holds up would be for me to cite some examples. Fair also. I haven’t got his energy.

    On a slightly related note from the microbiological political science sphere, this GW debate is an echo of the similar politicized debate that plagued Baltimore/Imanishi-Kari cell research a couple of decades ago: how to handle the outliers and gaps in the data records. Same misunderstandings about how real science works. Things ended up arguably vindicating the original science/scientists alright, but there were some career-bending intermediate stages.

  398. Barton Paul Levenson:

    glenn: Have you no decency? I know the answer to that one!

    BPL: We have the decency not to hack other peoples’ computers and steal their private emails.

  399. Stewart:

    Tim @ 303 –
    You assume that the writers of the emails retain copyright in them. This is probably not true. Usually, emails written by a person in the course of their work, using work computers and work email addresses, are owned by the employer.
    There may be some truly “private” emails (i.e. emails written from a private account) amongst the rest. But most of them seem to be from non-private email accounts.

    Also, Dapland @ 306. I think it’s funny you compare science-related correspondence with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. You really think they are comparable? Really?
    Open and transparent science is a pain though, isn’t it.

  400. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Another denier: Seems like this mess should have been cleared up by simply giving data/methods to those that request it.

    BPL: It’s all publicly available and always has been. The constant charge that scientists are concealing data and methods is simply an example of the Big Lie technique–repeat it over and over and hope people never hear the truth.

  401. Brendan H:

    Fran Barlow: “Anything asserting/strongly implying conspiracy or “social engineering” or “IPCC fraud” or other major and repeatedly debunked talking points ought to be savagely culled.”

    I agree. I also think this issue should be given a time limit; a week or two should be enough to air all points of view. Then move on.

    There is a sizable contingent among climate sceptics that has for years cried fraud. These people are properly called deniers; they have little interest in the science and are opposed to AGW on an ideological level. Their aim is to defeat the science and destroy the scientists.

    It’s a waste of time and counter-productive trying to satisfy these sorts of people. Their demand for explanations is just an excuse to pile on.

    It may be worthwhile for individual scientists to explain some of the more ambiguous comments in the emails, but mainly to settle the anxieties and retain the support of Real Climate’s lay supporters.

    But don’t get locked into lengthy explanations of minute points. This is a major event, but it will pass.

  402. PeterPan:

    What I’ve learnt from these e-mails: I’m very happy to see that so many scientists are concern with the problem of substandard denialist documents in the peer reveiw literature, and that they are doing their best to prevent these underqualified documents from being published in the scientific literature. I’m very happy to see that so many of you are concerned with the scary threat that denialist hype is. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment with all the society.

  403. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Another denier: I don’t see how the peer reviewed literature can be trusted when several of the prominent researchers in the field conspired in a dirty tricks campaign to block research from entering the peer reviewed literature.

    BPL: They weren’t blocking “research.” They were blocking “incompetent crap by people who obviously didn’t know what they were talking about.” There’s a difference.

  404. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Another denier: The best outcome for CRU would be to co-operate with any external independent investigation that might result from this episode.

    BPL: And THAT, I think, is what’s really behind all this–the deniers want to sue or prosecute CRU and as many climate scientists as possible. They know they’ve lost on the science, so now they’ll try and suppress the truth using lawyers and friendly prosecutors. Any tactic. I’m waiting for them to use assassination. (They already got Jim Salinger fired and hauled Michael Mann up before a congressional committee, HUAC-style).

    I’m also reminded of David Irving suing Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier. When you can’t win in the journals, take it out of science and into some venue where you can win. Except, of course, that Irving got his butt kicked in court.

  405. Mogo:

    Just wanted to say this is a great day. [edit]

    General reaction seems to be that the CRUgate emails are genuine, but with the caveat that there could be some less reliable stuff slipped in.

    In the circumstances, here are some summaries of the CRUgate files. I’ll update these as and when I can. The refs are the email number.

    * Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
    * Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
    * Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
    * Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as “cheering news”.
    * Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
    * Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”. Real Climate says “hiding” was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
    * Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)
    * Mann thinks he will contact BBC’s Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)
    * Kevin Trenberth says they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.(1255352257)
    * Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi’s paper is crap.(1257532857)
    * Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
    * Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he’s “tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap” out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
    * Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to ‘”contain” the putative Medieval Warm Period’. (1054736277)
    * Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)
    * Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it’s insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre’s sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many “good” scientists condemn it.(1254756944)
    * Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)
    * Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)
    * Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)
    * Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be “hiding behind them”.(1106338806)
    * Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)
    * Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)
    * Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)
    * Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)
    * Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the “increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage” he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)
    * Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman’s admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings.(1252164302)
    * Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)
    * Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)
    * Reaction to McIntyre’s 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper’s editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460) [Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]
    * Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)
    * Jones says he’s found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)
    * Wigley says Keenan’s fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)
    * Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)
    * Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)
    * Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn’t be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don’t want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)
    * Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data”. [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)
    * Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
    * Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)
    * Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)
    * Funkhouser says he’s pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn’t think it’s productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)
    * Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)
    * Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)
    * Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)
    * Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)
    * David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn’t be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698)
    * Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)
    * Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr “I’m not entirely there in the head” will not be at the AGU.(1233249393)
    * Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306)

    [Response: Putting this list up so that there is an index for what people seem to think are important. - gavin]

  406. Ferran P. Vilar:

    Dear guys, don’t let you feel depressed by that. You are scientists, you are truth seekers, you know where the truth is and where there is falsehood and deception. You also know how difficult is the truth to find its way through the public and, hélas, you find yourselves in the middle of a dirty battle that it’s not your battle, and you are not well equipped for it.

    You must be aware that this action is only intended to destroy your morale and cause divide in your interactions and friendliness. Consider gathering (without publicity) all those who can feel angry with a colleague. Explain yourselves and, if necessary, deeply appologize. Weight if a brief common statement is necessary. Don’t overactuate individually nor collectively.

    Those documents only show you are real humans. And remember all the time what is at stake, and that we, the Humanity, needs you more than ever.

    Kind regards from Barcelona, Spain

    Ferran

  407. Barton Paul Levenson:

    chainpin: I hope that all those involved with this debacle reflect on Feynman’s words.

    BPL: Sure. Reflect also on the fact that Feynman was in the habit of intimidating lonely, neurotic women in bars to get them into bed with him, as he describes in one of his books, treating it as a joke. So his standing to teach others about ethics is questionable.

  408. Enrique Perez-Terron:

    I wish the scientific community would become better at public relations. The issue of whether there is a global warming is so important that if it were to be revealed as a hoax or conspiracy, it would be unimportant whether the revelation became possible through illegal access, or whether the affected scientists feel bad about having their private communications made public. What the public needs to know is that there is no hoax, and that all the “evidence” to the contrary in the emails is easily explainable. There are some good examples of such explanations in the reactions, but they are buried behind about one thousand words. Not all readers get that far. Move these examples to the first or second paragraph, and express your outrage over privacy violations last. As it is, the random reader gets the feeling that the victims of the outing want to ask the public to forget about evidence of cheating for legal or technical reasons, without addressing the doubt that the disclosure raises. Those few that read far enough into the text, are those that least needed the reassurance.

  409. Ray Ladbury:

    Well, Gavin, If your goal was a post that brings out the tin-foil-hat-and-black-helicopter crowe, you found it! In a way it is VERY instructive. The absence of even the most rudimentary understanding of the science coupled with the absolute certainty that climate change is a massive hoax is astounding. I can only hope that Justin Kruger and David Dunning are mining the nuggets from this exchange. You have to wonder how these people dress themselves and shave.

  410. avl:

    i read some of the leaked mails. i’m a biologist, not a climatologist, but even so am well aware of the work and tweaking and correspondence and talk(ing down) and arguments and sometimes fireworks that precedes publication. i have great interest in the field of climate change, regularly read up on the subject (as should anyone living on this planet).

    in the end i can only summarise the entire issue with:

    FFS!!!

    really.
    surely there are other and better things to do with our time than getting sidetracked by this silly and empty issue.
    (i might clean up my email archives, though…)

  411. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Joe V: To believe that a complex system such as our climate can be predicted by a set number of variable inputs, when the number is infantesimal.

    BPL: “Infinite.” “Infinitesimal” means “vanishingly small.” And while a large number of things may affect climate, they do NOT all affect it to the same degree. That’s what “explained variance” is all about in statistics.

    JV: We have enough problems predicting global weather conditions seven days in advance as supposed to 30 years.

    BPL: Don’t confuse climate with weather:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Climatology.html

  412. pete best:

    Everyone wants AGW to be wrong no doubt and many of the public see it as some kind of ruse to raise taxes and hence deprive them of their right to spend money as they see fit. This entire episode actually means nothing meaningful in the literature of climate science or any science for that matter for email is easy and hence a lot of it is sent and recieved these days. Its the reason why it is personal or of a personal professional nature and should not be seen by those who know nothing of its context.

    Personally I think that this entire episode shows the medias lack of respect (or understanding for that mater) of the scientific method and process by which it has enriched our world and also threatens it which is the bit we do not like. Who is arguing against quantum physics or relativity I wonder or other areas of physics that climate science draws its central tenet from, that of thermodynamics and how the earths warms and cools what happens what a lot of the suns heat does not go away as it usually does due to gases in the atmosphere that prevent it indeed the heat get reabsorbed by the earth which for humankind can cause problems.

    Its basic science in fact is GHG theory and one that no single scientist has called into question. What is in question is the sensitivity of the earth to the trapping of heat and what it implies over 100s of years. WE know the problem, but probably not the solution for it could change the our world.

    Stop bealting and accept the physics is what I say for there is nothing in these emails and data that will have changed anything about AGW. Tell me sometihng wrong with thermofynamics aagain please someone ?

  413. Alan Burke:

    The illegally acquired emails have been published online at http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/index.php

  414. TexasHornToad:

    Your site is one of the first things I read every day but I’ve never posted anything because you are too smart for me. That said — I did attempt to post a response to the NYT story and so far it hasn’t appeared. So the NYT can read it here. Hopefully it will offer your regulars a view from a different perspective. Here goes:

    “I’ve been reading about this all day and my reporter’s BS monitor is going off the Richter. If they haven’t already, a certain demented senator and wishy-washy climate reporter better start shredding their own e-mails.

    “By the way, beware of links to the “damning” e-mails posted by readers at the super-patriot sites trumpeting the story. There’s a whole crime industry you’ve never heard of out there that makes a killing off of the blind following blind teabaggers, Truthers, militias, etc.

    As for the denial community, now you’ve gone and done it — forced these scientists out of their labs. Be prepared to sit and listen to the world’s longest and scariest science lesson.

  415. BJ_Chippindale:

    Several people have commented about encryption of e-mail and that might work and might also work against us all. I don’t regard it as needed in this sort of environment… we shouldn’t be keeping such secrets. However a less intrusive matter of SIGNING e-mails with PGP would have made it possible to be sure that the contents were not tampered with.

    Whether this would be a good or bad thing can be debated. It would perhaps, help the people involved in university politics and as heads of research, remember that they are in fact subject to public scrutiny that you can more easily delete a letter you send through the post than an e-mail, and it might keep them mindful of how they communicate with one another. It would however, also protect us all from having to try to sort through every word to try to guess if all words in the mail are in fact our own.

    Which is to say, about a third of the speculation about what is here would be gone. We would be able to trivially check the authenticity.

    Not saying this is the way to go. It might also push conversations into back-channels. I’m just mindful that this entire thing speaks volumes about the lack of understanding of security issues around e-mail and communications in general.

    Because we still have no way to verify that nothing was tampered with. I note too, that the timing of this was carefully calculated… and the manner of its release calculated as well. Not to a prosecutor but to the net. Not when some actual possible wrong was mooted, but when the world is going to Copenhagen. The sparseness of the record and the length of it indicates that someone has already filtered the take somehow. What was removed?

    respectfully
    BJ

  416. Intrigue:

    Does anybody think that this is the only compilation that the hacker has? After this little taste, perhaps another two, or three, or twelve compilations will be presented onto the net. Looking forward to the rest of the chapters, after certain folks have explained their way into a deep hole.

  417. James McDermott:

    mommycalled wrote (20 November 2009 @ 10:20 PM):

    > #48 Gerard Harbison

    > I going to have to call you on this one. [...] When asked to review a paper, if you need more information about a section of the paper you are reviewing you don’t consult other journal articles or researchers in the can explain the context?

    @mommycalled: you’re being very disingenuous here. The allegation is not that referees consulted other researchers for help. The allegation is that referees colluded. I pointed out (comment #264) Gavin’s misunderstandings in his response to Harbison. Harbison has not yet been answered.

    [Response: Because I don't see any email in which this was the case. What are you actually referring to? - gavin]

  418. Endre Varga:

    I think we reached the point when it is safe to state, this is not science but *war*. I hope the lessions are learned, and we know now what to expect.

  419. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Squidly: The problem that I have with this is, it is up to the theorists (hypothesis really) to “prove” that AGW is real, not the other way around. But, instead, the proclamation of “settled science” and “debate is over” is presented. I must have been sleeping through the 90’s as I don’t recall any such “debate” and can’t seem to find reference to such either.

    BPL: You could try cracking a book. Then you’d know that AGW was essentially confirmed by the 1950s.

    In 1824, Jean-Joseph Baptise Fourier realized that the Earth’s atmosphere kept the planet warmer than the sun alone could.

    In 1859, John Tyndall established in lab work that the major greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere were water vapor and carbon dioxide.

    In 1896, Nobel-prize-winning chemist Svante August Arrhenius proposed the theory of anthropogenic global warming.

    In 1901, Angstrom and Koch apparently disproved AGW with a lab experiment. This was the “saturation” argument.

    In the 1940s, high-altitude observations from airplanes showed that the “saturation” argument was invalid.

    In 1955, Smagorinsky et al. put together the first tentative general circulation model of Earth’s atmosphere. The same year, Hans Suess detected the radioisotope signature of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere.

    In 1956, Gilbert N. Plass nailed down the case for AGW.

    In 1957, Revelle and Suess showed that the new CO2 was primarily from fossil-fuel burning.

    In 1958, Keeling and others began systematic monitoring of the world’s CO2 level.

    In 1960, Keeling’s team showed that CO2 was rising very quickly in historical terms. We now have 50+ years of time series data from them and other observation stations–plus ice core data going back 800,000 years.

    In 1964, Manabe and Strickler wrote the world’s first working radiative-convective model, putting together several important parts of modern radiation codes for the first time.

    In 1988 Hansen and others showed that, despite occasional bouts of cooling, the world temperature trend had been up overall for over a century.

    I’d recommend reading Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming” (2nd ed. 2008) for an in-depth overview of the history. Philander’s “Is the Temperature Rising?” is a good non-mathematical introduction to the science.

    Of course, if you really want to understand what’s going on, I’d recommend going through Dennis Hartmann’s “Global Physical Climatology,” John Houghton’s “The Physics of Atmospheres,” and Grant W. Petty’s “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation”–and working all the problems.

  420. Barton Paul Levenson:

    David: I didn’t say anything about how long the field of climate science has existed.

    BPL: Then what did you mean by “human understanding of our global climate is in its infancy?”

    David: BTW BPL, was that arrogance or just condescension? Impressive either way – you insult my opinion and knowledge, while ignoring the whole point of the statement.

    BPL: I wasn’t ignoring your point. I was pointing out how grossly, ignorantly wrong it was. Climate science is older than relativity or quantum theory, both considered very much mature sciences. Does that mean everything is known? Of course not. But none of those fields is “in its infancy.”

  421. Endre Varga:

    I found 1071 mails in this leak, the first dated at 1996. This means 1071 mails in ~4300 days. Is it possible that this is the whole message list? It seems unrealistic to have 1 email in every 4 days. considering that this contains emails from and to many peolple.

  422. charlie:

    I have to say I am really surprised reading these blog comments that there are people actually defending the hacker here by drawing parallels to Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblowers, or court searches. Those all involve witnesses to and/or investigations of crimes. There is nothing of the sort going on here–all evidence points to a fishing attempt by some unauthorized third party to break into the computer of a respected scientist and throw whatever he or she found there onto the web to embarrass the researcher and the community of people he corresponded with. This is a serious crime with no moral ambiguity to it, and to defend it or argue that in some way justice is being served demonstrates a severe lack of class!

  423. Paul:

    This is classic academia, the whole shit show as it is. Is anyone really surprised. This is why the planet is working to eradicade our species. We really are not its best work.

  424. Marco:

    I’ve decided to put my few eurocents in as well:
    First of all, those that claim they, as scientists, are appalled at the tone of several of the e-mails are obviously blissfully unaware of the difference a research field can make. I sincerely doubt their e-mails would contain as many nice words as they do today when they are constantly attacked and harassed, and have to respond to the same old (and wrong) stories time after time after time after…you get the drift. People like McIntyre could have had a truly useful contribution, if only he’d come with constructive criticism and showed a willingness to help. He chose a different approach.
    The criticism about the whole Climate Research peer-review issue is also completely misdirected. When a journal has an Editor who is willing to allow fundamentally flawed papers to be published in his journal, to some extent by rigging the review process, this will affect the standing of the journal. Skeptics have every right to get their research published, but they should go through the same rigorous peer-review process as any other paper. When a journal editor rigs that process, the journal is tainted.
    If I have any concern, it is the FOI issue, with Phil Jones seemingly asking for something that may be considered illegal. However, as long as we do not know the context, it is way too early to cry “foul” over anything.
    I do think mitigation is required beyond reactions on a blog. Be pro-active and go to the media to tell your story (I’m referring to Phil Jones et al here), write Letters, and take any mail that may be misinterpreted and explain the whole context. I realise it will take time, but it may actually be used to squash quite a few of the skeptics: if they can’t even find a smoking gun in ‘private’ conversations between scientists, there IS no smoking gun.

  425. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Pete Best: Who is arguing against quantum physics or relativity I wonder or other areas of physics that climate science draws its central tenet from…

    BPL: You’d be surprised. The phenomenon of pseudoscience is incredibly widespread both in the US and around the world. If you look for them you can find plenty of people who deny relativity, quantum mechanics, celestial mechanics, evolution, stellar evolution, or mainstream archaeology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, and medicine.

    Millions of Americans believe we never landed on the Moon, that aliens built the pyramids, that UFOs are alien starships, that aliens regularly kidnap and molest people, that something in the Bermuda Triangle eats ships, that there are giant alien machines on the Moon (which NASA is suppressing the photographic evidence for), that there are giant alien buildings on Mars, that people from a habitable 12th planet created Sumerian culture and perhaps modern humans, that the Old Testament miracles were caused by Venus being erupted out of Jupiter in historical times and passing near the Earth, that you can get unlimited “zero-point energy” to power civilization, that the USAF reverse-engineered an alien starship at Roswell, NM, that HIV does not cause AIDS, that vaccinations cause autism… I could go on all day. Ignorance is very, very widespread, and where it touches on political (read: financial) interests, it often becomes well-funded militant ignorance.

  426. VonTrapp:

    I agree with Intrigue’s post above. This was only a sliver of the documents and emails. I think the hacker may be waiting until it is attempted to be explained away and then the next batch is released with even more damaging information.

  427. pjclarke:

    The University’s statement on copyright is here: http://www.uea.ac.uk/is/strategies/infregs/copyright/ownership

    As is common, The UEA retains the copyright on any ‘intellectual property’ created as part of an employment there. This includes, amongst other things computer software.

    I seem to remember a certain blogger objecting to a video containing a small amount of copyright material being posted on the Web…..?

  428. biff:

    The intentional deletion of information subject to public entitlement to access under law, is improper on its face.

    But it’s the apparent need to hide from scrutiny that is most insidious.

    Everything I’ve viewed about this, including the “responses” on this website, evidences a severe bunker mentality.

    A mentality that is the opposite of the scientific method.

    (copied for posterity in case this post is “filtered out”)

  429. DIXON STEELE:

    We’ve had a lot of talk recently about the difference between religion and science, in books by Richard Dawkins and others. What’s delicious about these e-mails is the way they expose the thinking processes of what might be called the average Joes, or perhaps that should be the average Phils, who while their time away as working scientists. The pettyness, the vindictiveness, the intolerance of opposing views, the treating of scientific data as if it were some kind of religious artifact only to be accessed by those properly initiated. What we see here is science being practised with what can only be described as religious fervour. I’m an atheist myself but for me this demonstrates the practice of science and practice of religion are uncomfortably close. Perhaps, I’m being unfair in taking Phil Jones as representative of the average Joes in science, but I think not.

  430. Ray Ladbury:

    Intrigue says: “Does anybody think that this is the only compilation that the hacker has? After this little taste, perhaps another two, or three, or twelve compilations will be presented onto the net. Looking forward to the rest of the chapters, after certain folks have explained their way into a deep hole.”

    Actually, I have yet to see anything that requires explanation. The picture that emerges to my eye is of people doing science–and I’ve been doing science for more than 20 years. The fact that the denialists are trumpeting this as if it were some scandal merely illustrates how devoid of understanding they are.

    I’m going to try to be uncharacteristically nice to all you lower-than-snakesh*t and dumber-than-owlsh*t denialists: Yer doin’ it wrong! You will never make the specter of anthropogenic climate change go away by resorting to personal attacks and trying to discredit science or the scientific process. In the end, we need scientists–can’t do without them when it comes to important issues like climate. In the end, any new scientists will wind up doing science in pretty much the same way as their predecessors, because 1)they’re human, and 2)science works. And they’ll ask exactly the same questions of ol’ Ma Nature, and she’ll give them the same answers. Ol’ Ma Nature doesn’t change her story, and she’ll keep telling us what we don’t want to hear no matter how long we sit there and say, “La-la-la-la, I can’t hear you.” Matter of fact, she’ll turn up the volume on her response!

    If you want to make the specter of anthropogenic climate change, the answer is easy: Come up with a theory of climate that equal explanatory power and greater predictive power than the current consensus theory, of which anthropogenic causation of the current warming is an inevitable consequence. Now run along and do that. The adults have work to do saving the planet.

  431. ar:

    I think the type of exchanges that #48 was referring to are like the following:

    “Can I ask you something in CONFIDENCE – don’t email around, especially not to Keith and Tim here. Have you reviewed any papers recently for Science that say that MBH98 and MJ03 have underestimated variability in the millennial record – from models or from some low-freq proxy data. Just a yes or no will do. Tim is reviewing them – I want to make sure he takes my comments on board, but he wants to be squeaky clean with discussing them with others. So forget this email when you reply.

    Cheers
    Phil”

    This is neither collaborating with co-authors for a response to reviewers nor suggesting reviewers to editors (both of which are of course legitimate), but a clear violation of the peer review process. And to reiterate the comments of #48: no, other researchers don’t do this sort of thing.

  432. H LIME:

    The stolen email orrespondence, by and large, appears to attempt to bolster a held view. It does not seem to want to permit the existance of alternative variants. Hardly in the sprit of scientific inquery, I would have thought.

  433. TJA:

    If you look at the polls and trends of opinion on this subject, it is pretty obvious, as it is from the threads here, that the willing have been converted, but that the skeptical are not folding under the stonewall approach revealed in these emails. Maybe try a little openness if you wish to win over those who would like their questions answered before submitting to a new economic regime that looks pretty dismal, quite honestly.

  434. Alan Burke:

    Concerning the communication of climate change science to the public, I recommend “The Psychology of Climate Change Communication” downloadable from http://cred.columbia.edu/guide

  435. Paul L:

    Great, “publish the e-mails!” has been added to the whole “publish the data” crock.

    Public employees are not slaves whose every second at work is to be scrutinised by Joe Public – and anyway, universities (such as UEA) aren’t branches of the government. They don’t even get the majority of their funding from the government.

    And let’s get this clear – if all e-mail correspondence of all public sector scientists *was* published, it would need a server the size of the Mount Kilimanjaro to put it online.

    “Publish all of the e-mail correspondence”, indeed – who would be stupid enough to swallow such a pathetic anti-scientific delaying tactic?

    One final thing, on the question of moderation/opening up the thread to all and sundry to come along, spout their nonsense and then not read the answers, before coming back and spouting the same nonsense again. The problem is that threads can get cluttered up with morons who think that using words like “conspiracy” constitutes scientific debate. People who at length refuse to accept the meaning of the word “trick” are just wasting time for everyone else reading through the 300+ posts. It’s a difficult thing to get right, because you don’t want to provide fuel for paranoid deniers to go elsewhere and claim persecution – but let’s be clear here, someone who posts crap and then refuses to read or understand the very clear explanation of why they are talking crap, should be filtered out. Perhaps a “spam folder” for each thread, where such pointless ravings could be posted (and viewed online, without getting in the way of the genuine discussion), might be a way to mute the cries of censorship. On the other hand, it might just be a whole new ball-ache.

  436. Dendroica:

    Wow, emails from one colleague to another asking questions about someone else’s work. This is clear and incontrovertible evidence that global warming is a hoax…

  437. John Y:

    Having read a few pages of the emails a couple of thoughts occur (1) the files are nothing like any archives of mine or any scientists I know – no personal emails, no spam, no internal bureaucracy emails, etc. So, clearly there has been careful selection of emails for inclusion/exclusion and it is likely to be a biased sample. (2) Given this selectivity it really is very hard to find anything to get excited about. Certainly a few embarrassments and a few amusing comments, but if this was the worst that could be found from a mighty trawl through email archives then the scientists involved really come out rather well.

  438. Adam Soereg:

    Dear Gavin and Colleagues,

    I can absolutely agree with you that breaking into any computer system and obtaining private information is against the law and considered to be an unethical way for getting the details of something. In your post, you try to minimise the impact of the recent information leak by saying that it will not have any effect on the current state of climate science.

    Sure, it won’t have any measurable effect but it reveals perfectly your way of thinking. You can call me a skeptic, a lot of people do so, but to label someone with skepticism is absolutely unnecessary in case of science. One thing must be clear for anyone: you clearly believe in the theory of anthropogenic global warming, instead of continuous criticism towards your own thoughts and belief. The lack of ‘healthy skepticism’ in your way of thinking is obvious even from most of the posts on this site. You often commit well-known logical fallacies, such as referring to an authority, talking about a scientific consensus (argumentum ad populum), and many others in order to show your viewpoints as the only acceptable ones. Mentioning a consensus is pointless, because reality is not determined by popular vote.

    In the recent past, one of your common argument was the small number of peer-reviewed publications on the skeptic side. Now it is evident that in some cases you prevented the possible appearance of controversial papers in the most respected journals. Of course your case is not unique, as an economist I’ve seen group-think and censorship in my own field, too. Please avoid such dishonesty, because with such behaviour you risk that your credibility will be completely destroyed in the coming years.

    Furthermore, I and maybe lots of reasonable people would highly appreciate if any author or commentator on this site aren’t going to use the word ‘denier’ for a person who do not accept the theory of man-made global warming. As I’ve seen it in recent years, nobody denies the fact that the globe had been warmed significantly since the begginning of the 20th century. The exact amount of warming remains uncertain, but the direction of change is clear. Our question is only about the role of man. It is evident that CO2 is a greenhouse gas but it is also evident that CO2 is only a minor component of the total greenhouse effect in our atmosphere. CO2 molecules can only absorb and re-emit heat on relatively narrow bandwiths of infrared radiation. The doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels can only cause a negligible increase in global temperatures.

    The validity of the whole anthropogenic global warming theory depends on the existence of positive feedbacks, mainly caused by water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas. Theoretically, water vapor feedback relies on the Clausius–Clapeyron equation. If the atmosphere warms, it can and it will hold more water vapor – the absolute humidity will increase. However, 60 years of global radiosonde measurements shows that the absolute humidity in the middle troposphere is decreasing. The problem with the AGW theory is nothing else than there is no evidence for it. We have two empirically observed facts: global temperature has risen by about 0.6-0.7°c in the 20th century, and CO2 levels are also increasing due to the combustion of fossil fuels. But we know that CO2 alone couldn’t have caused the observed amount of warming.

    In the 4th IPCC report we can read an argument that the observed warming cannot be explained by natural variability, only when we include the effects of increasing amount of greenhouse gases (amplified by positive feedbacks). Climate models rely on the assumption that most of the warming observed in the last 30-40 years have been caused by antropogenic factors. A model which is based on a certain theory cannot prove the very same theory, this is also a common logical fallacy. The argument about “observed warming cannot be explained by natural variability” has another problems too. Literally it means that “we cannot think anything better” – argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    [Response: This is completely backwards. The physics of greenhouse gases was worked out decades before the temperatures had risen out of the noise, and the models incorporated it from the beginning. Predictions made by those models using this physics matched what was subsequently observed. The is not 'assuming the answer', it is accurately predicting future observations. Your argument that suddenly that well-tested physics should be discarded because it provides a good explanation for the recent changes (including stratospheric cooling) is fallacious. Not only would you need to come up with a better explanation for recent warming, but you would have to explain why increasing GHGs aren't having the effect they are predicted to have. - gavin]

    Kindest regards from Hungary,

    Adam Soereg

    PS: Really sorry for any grammatic mistakes, English is not my native language though.

  439. Eric (skeptic):

    Steve (304): I can give a few examples, when I posted here a few years ago and asked on-topic questions, I was eventually given the “go away” message from Mark who was crude and uncensored. I was non censored then. Then in “Hey Ya mal” I posted again, and it was censored. Instead they allowed completely off-topic skeptic questioners and began answering those questions about models, warming pauses, etc. Then they allowed angry denialist questions. Then finally after a few days they allowed some pertinent and intelligent questions, but it was a little late at that point.

    There is a process repeated here which is (roughly) to selectively allow postings that perpetuate a caricature of denialist irrationality and denialist simplicity (the stereotypical OT questions). This is also done to maintain an appearance of noncensorship. Steve, I will be happy to ask specific questions that are on-topic on a future thread. My interests and knowledge is varied, I will ask about modeling granularity and weather fidelity, I will ask about proxies that are used for current warming (species changes, sea level, etc) without examining historic evidence using those same proxies. Other topics will interest me as well.

  440. petek:

    It is excellent that these mails and documents were hacked and posted – apart from the breach of privacy. It exposes the sceptics of what they rightly are regarded as i.e. a mere nuisance to science. The descripton of the recent Lindzen paper as “crap”, well done.

  441. Endre Varga:

    Now that much of the data, documents, and even programs are out, is it possible to compile an “official” bundle together with commentaries to explain the data, the methods, the conclusions, all referencing the leaked docs?

    Anyway, I STRONGLY SUGGEST to get a timestamped digital sign from a legally trusted provider on the leaked data, just to prevent intentionally modified versions to show up over time. It is best to be prepared.

  442. Sam I Am:

    Anyone who doesn’t think that humans negatively impact their environment have never been in a public restroom.

  443. Endre Varga:

    Also, as I suspect this is not the whole emails list, it would be useful to compile a difference list, as I suspect that the emails were filtered for selected persons (although I cannot be sure, as I have no access for the original data). This will give an indication who were the targets.

  444. Stephen:

    Gavin. a poster wrote:

    Group: “Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.
    ”Well, since this happens “often”, it would be good to see a couple of examples of the word’s usage from other fields to understand why it is not problematic. Thank you.

    You responded:
    [Response: Sure. It's mostly used in mathematics, for instance in decomposing partial fractions, or deciding whether a number is divisible by 9 etc.etc.etc. - gavin]

    My response: I’m dumbstruck by your response. A shortcut to solve a math problem shortens the path to the unambiguously correct answer. The “trick” referenced in the Jones’ e-mail referred to a manipulation that changed to answer (in that case, a graph) by making data visually disappear. Is that your best shot?

    [Response: The graph in question (from a WMO report made ten years ago) was made to show the paleo-reconstructions in context with the recent instrumental record, smoothed in order to show the long term trends. These graphs have been produced hundreds of times, with small variations in how the data is presented or processed and are for the most part, completely interchangeable. What do you think is being hidden? - gavin]

  445. Alan Clark:

    Presumably the CRU research was funded using public money (e.g. NOAA). I personally believe that publicly funded research should be completely open to public view – it appears that scientists can be more concerned with keeping their work at least partially closed in order to support their need (desire) to publish. There is also an ingrained view that research work should only be reviewed by other qualified researchers in the field – no one else can apparently have an opinion.

    In an area such as climate research which has profound implications for the long term viability of the planet as well as short term economics (tax, restriction of fossil fuel use….) it seems that the need for research to be completely open is particularly important.

    I agree that emails should be at least semi-private however it appears that these were not “personal” emails but were “work” emails that were written by a scientist working on publicly funded projects and in my opinion “work” email should be written in a professional manner as it may well be seen by third parties.

    It does not help when CRU describe themselves as “setting the environmental agenda” which gives an impression of CRU as a political organization rather than an objective research centre.

  446. Grand Moff Texan:

    Maybe try a little openness if you wish to win over those who would like their questions answered before submitting to a new economic regime that looks pretty dismal, quite honestly.

    As opposed to the present economic regime? Seriously, this line of economic argument really doesn’t work anymore.
    .

  447. Grand Moff Texan:

    There is also an ingrained view that research work should only be reviewed by other qualified researchers in the field – no one else can apparently have an opinion.

    Oh they can have an opinion. It just won’t be worth anything.
    .

  448. SeanD:

    I think they should be allowed to include these published emails in their list of publications. The number of citations is sure to be enormous…

  449. mike d:

    “As people are also no doubt aware the breaking into of computers and releasing private information is illegal, and regardless of how they were obtained, posting private correspondence without permission is unethical.”

    I agree with you, but I wonder if these tactics are resorted to because of attempts to silence and discredit all who question the science, as shown in the emails themselves where it is discussed how best to marginalize those who question their conclusions. When you stop using science and start using politics to silence dissent you are also treading on a line of unethical behavior are you not?

    re:” Steve Bloom says:
    20 November 2009 at 3:06 PM

    How I love the smell of denialist concern trolling in the morning. :)

    As Dano says, they (still) got nothin’.”

    Really??! …REALLY? Who exactly is the deniar here?

  450. Jimbo:

    I am a skeptic layman. I think the mistake AGW believers made was when then let people like Al Gore proclaim that the debate is over. This begs the question “Why are we all still posting on blogs?” As Gavin well knows in science the debate is never over. I hope my post is accepted, if not then it will further demonstrate why skeptic blogs abound on the net.

    “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

    Einstein

  451. Robert:

    “Ethics doesn’t stop at the exit of the town hall. – gavin”

    Hit a nerve there, did I gavin? You are going to give me a lesson on ethics? Please, after reading some of these e-mails, it’s obvious you don’t know what the word means. People who are paid by the public should EXPECT their work to be examined by the public. It is not just our right, it’s our obligation. People who are paid by the public shouldn’t call the exposition of their work illegal or unethical.

    [Response: Sure, I'll give you a lesson. I'm a govt. civil servant and all of the work I do is published in the public domain, the model I work on has it's source code open for all to see, and the institution I work for has published all of its code and data related to the surface temperature record. I have been involved in two FOIA requests and provided all the information requested in a timely manner. I provide supplemental data and support for people interested in our work to whoever asks. Yet hacking into my personal or work computers is still illegal (try it and see). Flinging accusations of 'unethical' behaviour at me without any substance is itself unethical. I take full responsibility for any emails I have written (including some that were in this archive) and I challenge you to find anything unethical in my conduct. Go on. - gavin]

  452. Ron Taylor:

    Gavin, you have done an excellent job with this.

    The “trick” issue is shop-well by now, but I want to add a perspective that I don’t think has been covered. Take the statement: “The trick is to show that everyone can be covered with health insurance without showing an increase in the budget deficit.”

    Is that an ominous statement? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on your mindset. If you believe or are determined to show that the writer is devious and a liar, then you would say, “yes,” and ascribe twisted interpretations that support that position. If you trust the writer as a person of integrity, then you would probably say, “no,” and present supportive interpretations.

    The deconstruction of such statments is the currency of partisan political pundits, so politicians are careful about the words they choose in order to avoid (as much as possible) having their ideas misrepresented.

    Climate scientists in this case are certainly guilty of underestimating the nastiness of the political environment they are in and the depth to which their attackers are willing to go. It should be a good wakeup call.

    Beyond that, this event characterises the state of mind of those who do not like the results of climate science. If you do not like the message, but cannot refute it, then attack the messenger.

    I see nothing here that in any way undermines the findings of climate science.

  453. Brian Macker:

    BPL,
    “Reflect also on the fact that Feynman was in the habit of intimidating lonely, neurotic women in bars to get them into bed with him, as he describes in one of his books, treating it as a joke.”

    I read the book in question. Do you always lie this much? He hit on the fact if you don’t tip the strippers, talk to them, that they tend to go to bed with you. How is that intimidation?

    What is particularly low about this is that you are using misinformation to redefine science away from what it actually should be about. So if Feynman picks up a stripper and actually enjoys sex with her that means he doesn’t understand the scientific process.

    I’m all for sexy strippers hanging out with scientists.

  454. Ernst:

    It is true that hackers are a problem nowadays, my linux box reports many break in attempts, but to the best of my knowledge nobody ever passed the defense lines. The stolen CRU data which is now publicly made available causes quite some trolling on the internet. But so far I’ve not seen anything coming close to disclosing global warming as a scam or whatever is claimed by the trolls and the global warming deniers.

    Meanwhile the consequences of global warming continue to become available and they have absolutely nothing in common with the CRU data center. Greenland is for instance showing accelerated melting, it is picked up as a gravity feature, as shown last week in Science. And such results will fill the peer-reviewed journals for the next coming years.

  455. Alan Davis:

    Hi Guys:

    The hack was mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh show this Friday. Over 1/3 of his audience are American political Independents and Democrats. With most American polls showing that environmental concerns are falling in importance with the public, and that there has been a +/- 20 % decline in the number of people who don’t believe in AGW, this does not bode well.

  456. sad ex scientist:

    oh dear….I don’t care whether climate change is caused by humans or not at the moment…my only care is the damage that this discussion is having on science as a whole…I know scientists are human, but they set themselves up as truth bearers. Almost a new priesthood. The people who wrote these emails and most of the comments on this site have dragged science through the mud. Science should be seen for what it is..a presentation of facts, even those that don’t support the scientist’s current theory. Its a discussion..hiding data that doesn’t support your theory is low. Its the difference between telling the ref in a football game that it was a handball and taking the consequences, or screaming denial or sneaking off with the excuse that it was the ref’s fault for not spotting it. Shame on you all…you have cheapened my great love.

    [Response: Science is a human endeavour, done by humans with human failings (and egos, and issues, and inspiration, and effort and determination). What makes science stand out is the way that it is self-correcting and is able to ratchet up our level of knowledge. The wonder of science shouldn't be attached to the people doing it (some of whom are no doubt brilliant), but to the process itself. What you see in the text books is the end product of that process, not the actual messy, ego-ridden, competitive, social interactions of the scientists themselves. - gavin]

  457. TomD:

    Up until now, one side in this debate has claimed, in rather high-handed and self-righteous fashion, to be “scientists seeking truth”. The other side has been labeled as deniers and mere statisticians, or worse.

    What has become clear through these candid emails is that both sides are mere advocates of their own point of view. Nobody is attempting to find “truth”. Gavin, et al, promote their message relentlessly just as McIntyre, et al, do on the other side.

    It is left to the rest of us in the middle to sort through the wreckage and try to guess what is really going on and what the best response is.

    [Response: Your best approach is not to go with single individual's opinion (not even mine), but instead rely on the assessments of independent bodies - the National Academies, Royal Society, the AGU, AMS etc. Read their reports, and then look up more details on any issue that particularly interests you. We've tried to help by providing context to things that you'll see in the media or on the web, but always with links to the primary material (so you don't need to take our word for it). Good luck. - gavin]

  458. Paul A:

    Hacking into emails looking for evidence of a conspiracy confirms that the ‘sceptic’ community is shifting from denial of evidence and into the realms of outright conspiracy theory. The fact that they are seemingly happy to rely on unethical and criminal methods shows them for what they truly are. No-one should be surprised by occasional unfortunate comments, errors, and even bad behaviour revealed in private email correspondence. But I have seen no evidence that such behaviour is widespread or the norm.
    If only the denialist community were subject to the same level of scrutiny and had to work to the same standards as you. Their hypocrisy is truly nauseating.

  459. Al:

    Can you explain the multiple references in the emails to evading FOIA responses, for example as in “delete all email [on certain topic] and I will do the same”?

    [Response: No. But I am not party either to those FOIA requests, nor the timing and nor do I know what happened or what the scope was. - gavin]

    That makes it OK does it?

    [Response: No. But it means I have no idea what (if anything) was done, whether it was relevant to the FOI or not or what indeed the specific FOI request requested. - gavin]

  460. Dan:

    “I think the mistake AGW believers made was when then let people like Al Gore proclaim that the debate is over. ”

    The “debate” was conducted by climate scientists through peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Thus, the consensus that was formed. That is what Gore was referring to. He was correct.

  461. sebert:

    A nice little bone for the caveman. Kilimanjro is still ice free and the artic ice cap is almost gone. But a couple of questionable emails negates all other evidence and the opinion of 97% of the world’s scientific community? Enjoy your little moment of hope. The sane among us will address the issue without you.

  462. Ken Hall:

    I have to say that it is extremely hypocritical of the climate alarmists to condemn hacking in this case. Why? Well, climate alarmists have endorsed and taken part in vandalism, criminal damage, and all sorts of illegal activity in order to “prevent a greater crime” as they perceive it according solely to their own opinions.

    Well you don’t seem to like the same thing when done back to you. This hack was done to help prevent a greater crime. That of mass-murder through global depopulation, which is the alarmist’s real goal.

    [Response: Who's being alarmist here? - gavin]

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Personally I hope that there is a great deal more of this information to be uploaded.

    Hiding data is completely unscientific and unjustifiable. It looks very very dodgy.

  463. petek:

    @440

    Tricky problem. No, the debate is not over, but the scientific fundamentals are well established. Yes, there are problems with the accuracy of the models. It sounds strange, the longer the forecast period is, the more accurate they become. If we had better short and medium term models in place, that really could do the trick. In English, imho the article could be more precise, but gives a kind of overview.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662092,00.html

  464. Sloop:

    Reply to #288 “Sookum John”

    There is nothing monolithic about the thousands of government officials in all nations and at all levels of government who are deeply concerned about the risks of global atmospheric/ocean/climate change. I constantly argue and differ with my colleagues on all manner of issues. The level of scientific agreement on the reality and risks of climate/ocean change is unprecedented in the history of science. This scientific consensus and what we see in the data itself is so deeply alarming for those of us charged with environmental protection/management and sustainable economic development that there is now unprecedented consensus within and between governments that forceful and comprehensive action must be taken locally, nationally, and globally as soon as possible and feasible.

    I am a little left of centrist in my political values for the most part, but witness every working day that no political view has a monopoly on truth. You would be better served by trying to refrain from such a, if you’ll pardon my frankness, paranoid interpretation of my posting– my colleagues in environmental governance and science don’t ride around in unmarked helicopters plotting how to reduce individual liberties and bring about global stalinism, a thought as repellent to me as it is apparently to you.

    In reality, there are so many serious environmental problems we are grappling with that if there was any possibility that we could de-prioritize work on one issue because the science is uncertain, we would as soon as we could. The science of AGW is doing the opposite-it is forcing us to move it to the top of our multiple and diverse agendas, particularly as it is increasingly driving so many other environmental issues/problems.

    As for your second point regarding to my allusion to possibly the need for government to step in on this blogosphere dispute–I acknowledge that was/is a provocative statement. I made because of how disgusted and concerned I am with the twisted and fallacious attacks upon this science discipline. It comes across as orchestrated and sophisticated. It is potentially an incredible dis-service to present and future public interests, especially as we move into a series of critical policy initiatives over the next 5 to 10 years. Climatologists need to focus on the work we all need from them. We cannot afford them to be publicly defamed and distracted from their research. The value of pubic investment in their work is being at least to some degree diminished by this unprecedented attempt at obfuscation and denial. The findings themselves are not being affected but that’s not point as many folks realize.

    I do not have at this time any particular ideas about what should be done, but I’m beginning to conclude that it is time for US policy and executive leaders to take a closer look at what’s going on and whether it merits action. It is not in general a new or unfamiliar issue- executive agencies and legislators are well-acquainted with the use of pseudo-science to influence policy, law and executive management and regulation.

    O, and by the way idiotic reactionary orthodoxy that diminishes public values rarely results in jail time. Such a phenomena would fill up our incarceration facilities even faster that mandatory drug sentencing.

  465. Stuart:

    “I think the mistake AGW believers made was when then let people like Al Gore proclaim that the debate is over”

    I think Al Gore was talking about scientific debate on manmade global warming in the peer reviewed journals, not on the amazing ability of people to rehash any old tired argument to debate with blogs (or on the ability of people to nitpick over leaked emails)

    The debate over whether humans are contributing warming has been over for quite a while. You won’t find any current debate in the scientific literature over whether humans are increasing greenhouse gases or whether those greenhouse gas increases cause warming. The evidence for this is more than compelling and there is evidentally no evidence against either. That is why Gore is correct to say the debate is over.

    There are questions about the details of course – like precisely how much warming by 2100 this will cause and the like, but the kind of “debate” we see on blogs where ridiculously even the co2 record is still disputed, is not scientific debate. That kind of debate was done by scientists decades ago and it’s now over and has been over for a long time.

    Also remember that Al Gore is providing his assessment. If you are offended by his assessment that the debate is over then just consider I am equally offended by the suggestions that there is still debate going on over whether humans are warming the planet. It’s little different from the people arguing on websites that we didn’t land on the moon. It doesn’t constitute the kind of debate Gore is talking about or the kind of debate I am interested in.

    I think Gore could have been more specific, but then again when you are making public statements it’s short and sweet is the answer. Hardly anyone would read the mess I scrawled above. “The debate is over” is a nice succinct way of capturing the essence of what I said.

  466. Biff Larkin:

    What I have seen from these e-mails is evasiveness, secretivness and attempts to control the debate.

    Science this ain’t. As many have pointed out, this is politics. Just do the science, people.

    If the truth won’t out from the science then we are all doomed anyway, aren’t we?

  467. Breenbriar:

    I have spent 4 hours reviewing the hacked data and e-mails. I to must point out, as a layperson, the movement jumped the shark when the talk of “consensus” was infused with “The debate is over.” Scientific LAWS are still challenged today.

    Of the hundreds of e-mails I reviewed, I conclude that the most recognized scientists promoting the AGW theories have lost the crucial scientific perspective in pursuit of something “other than science.”

    As a self proclaimed skeptic, I hope this event finally begins to open the doors to genuine scientific debate. I would say, at a minimum, the revelation of the data and correspondence found clearly shows, the debate is not over and at best “overwhelming consensus” was either contrived or purchased.

    [Response: Wrong. The consensus on the main planks of the science is solid. No need for one to purchase it. - gavin]

  468. Sigurdur:

    Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

    Albert Einstein.

    I think everyone involved in this needs to ponder that statement.

  469. dhogaza:

    Presumably the CRU

    England.

    research was funded using public money (e.g. NOAA)

    United States.

    So many denialist presumptions, so many fails.

  470. Marco:

    Gavin, next time someone invokes the Appeal to Authority fallacy, refer them to this page:
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-authority.html
    Appeal to Authority is fully acceptable in many cases. It doesn’t become a logical fallacy until it is a FALSE authority.

  471. G. Karst:

    I think people must remember, the claim, was this, was only a portion of the documents leaked!

    I see a crowd assembling with a rail, bag of feathers, and a bucket of tar.

    If anyone is close to this… they are well advised to come completely clean, and lay out the entirety (all dirty laundry), so that they can avoid the tar brush. This is not the time to be shredding documents (oops – too late). There are just too many, in various places to get them all. Best to come clean and polish the image later. Fess up… own your mistakes and let’s move on. GK

  472. M Yoxon:

    My opinion after spending some time reading the emails is that this is a damaging, potentially scandalous, episode. As a non-scientist I am dependent upon the scientific community to promote rigorous, non-partisan discussion of the facts. Of course, scientists are entitled to hold opinions of their own, to disagree with one another, and should be aware of the political ramifications of their findings, but they should always be primarily motivated by examination of the evidence to hand.
    I think the emails show a lack of respect for debate, for the neutrality of the peer-review process and for the validity of dissent. It’s a rather startling to see the politicisation of academia and the cabals that seem to have formed. Again, as a non-scientist, I’m surprised at how purile some of the emails are, how fundamentally personalities seem to have skewed the proper functioning of science.
    I’m naturally a sceptic in all things, and though I remain convinced that climate-change demands action, I’m dismayed that scientists involved seem not to regard a degreee of scepticism as at all worthwhile. It is necessary for the layman to trust in the impartiality of scientists and I’m afraid this layman finds it increasingly hard to do so.

  473. Petter:

    Well, I hope the person wh commited this crime gets caught, and holds on hard to the soap when he showers in the big house.

    People who accuse Gavin or anyone else for being upset aboutthat their mails were hacked, have allready proven that they have since long left the deabte and headed into the denialist world. Have fun, and greet the Discovery-institute.

  474. Endre Varga:

    “Scientific LAWS are still challenged today.”

    Mankind as a whole has not enough time to check every theory that could exist, therefore we go for the most plausible (most promising) ones. There is an overwhelming amount of immediate theories that must be checked, therefore we have no time checking each and every “skeptic” alternative. Call it denial and arrogance, I call it pragmatics.

  475. Endre Varga:

    Re: 460

    Also, how on Earth is now Einstein is an authority on AGW?

  476. Gordon:

    In response to 441, try reading sometime McIntyre or McKitrick’s requests to CRU or Hadley for information and
    their totally absurd responses. I am glad to hear that you would never do that, Gavin. You just delete unfavorable comments or respond sarcastically to criticsms in comments when you know the commenter cant reply in kind.

  477. Scott A. Mandia:

    #150 MR states:

    Evidently there is a lot of funding to be had if you can postulate that a catastrophe is about to happen and none to be had proving nothing is wrong.

    Gaving pointed you to a link that shows otherwise and I have a link titled: The Denail Machine that also shows how much money the Singers,

    Plimers, Moncktons, etc. are making from taking their denialist positions – FAR MORE than Gavin and others who make a living showing real science.

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/global_warming_denial_machine.html

    #160 states:

    “It’s a shame it wasnt the Heartland Institute’s email server that got hacked – that would have been FAR more interesting”

    No need to hack. The evidence for their ties to the fossil fuel industry are well documented (see link above) and ALL of their lame arguments have been debunked here at RC and many other places. They actually have nothing to hide.

    #174 Willow1977 states:

    This is the exact same problem that we had in the 70s when many of these same groups predicted a new ice age. They ‘knew for a fact’ the earth was cooling and we were heading into a new ice age, so they made sure the data fit.

    Not true – not even close! There were VERY FEW jounral articles about global cooling in the 70s. There were MANY MORE about global warming.

    See: http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

    #195 Ordway’s list of scientists:

    Have you ever checked Sourcewatch.org, Exxonsecrets.org, or DeSmogblog.com and searched these names? Are you aware that many of these folks are making a fortune from taking his denialist position? Why would Soon put his name on the Oregon Petition’s bogus The Journal of Physicians and Surgeons if he were credible?

    You need to do some fact-checking.

    #201 Mike Sullivan:

    Gavin responded but I elaborate here:

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/global_warming_scientific_consensus.html

    As an analogy, why should Realclimate discuss why gravity makes things float when the scientific consensus is that gravity makes things sink?

    #218 Ron Johnson states:

    I was not sure about climate change, now I am.

    See my link just above about the consensus. No rational human being can ignore it. As Steve McIntyre is fond of saying: “It is truly breathtaking.”

    #226 Adam:

    I suggest clicking on the Start Here button at the top of RC’s page and also my Suggested Reading page:

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/suggested_reading_climate_change.html

    #248 Adam:

    Yes we all owe Gavin serious props for manning the ship today and everyday.

    #285 Timothy states:

    This is the biggest problem that some people, including myself, have with your data. We cannot check your work. That is the biggest problem. We cannot check your work. (Repeated for emphasis)

    So do you check the work of the doctor you see? Do you really read the journals in which your doctor publishes?

    You TRUST those people because there has been a long chain of oversight before they get to these positions such as education credentials,
    certifications, word of mouth recommendations, a history of excellence, etc. We trust our scientists for the same reasons. They took rigorous science and mathematics courses at reputable institutions, they were vetted by a job search committee that included personal reference checks, they publish data that is peer-reviewed and then they release their findings to the world for the utmost scrutiny. What more do you want?

  478. Anthony Jackson:


    “Scientific LAWS are still challenged today.”

    Mankind as a whole has not enough time to check every theory that could exist, therefore we go for the most plausible (most promising) ones. There is an overwhelming amount of immediate theories that must be checked, therefore we have no time checking each and every “skeptic” alternative. Call it denial and arrogance, I call it pragmatics.”

    Except when those THEORIES are shaping world economic policy,
    then every possibility must be checked!

  479. caerbannog:

    Breenbriar said, “I have spent 4 hours reviewing the hacked data and e-mails.”

    That’s quite likely the first (and only) 4 hours that he’s spent studying *anything* written by legitimate scientists.

  480. Jeffrey Davis:

    The science isn’t affected by any of this. The data’s there. The description of the experiments and studies are there. The science hasn’t changed.

    People are shocked to discover that scientists are people who have opinions and interests? Baloney. Ginned up outrage.

    The “worst” of the emails that I’ve seen was the one that talked about ignoring a certain journal. To me that was the equivalent of the White House ignoring Fox News. If a journal was being used to give bad science a forum and the cover of respectability there’s nothing there. Shock that scientists wouldn’t just fold their hands and pray on the issue and not have bad thoughts as if they’re Aloysius Gonzaga is just malarkey and bunk.

  481. UEA CRU Postgrad:

    I’m deeply upset at these accusations and grossly misrepresentative snapshots into the functioning of the CRU, one of the world’s finest climate institutions.

    Jones, Briffa and Osborne are 3 great men. Having been lectured by all 3 over the past 4 years, one thing that I have certainly come to terms with is that, without doubt, they always explore both sides of an argument. Indeed, with my own research this year which, may I add, could be groundbreaking, an open-minded and scientific approach has always been taken. I am frequently reminded by my lecturers not to ‘cherry pick’ or smooth data in order to show a scientific fact, NOT scientific assumption.

    Honest guys, honest jobs, honest opinions.

  482. Chortle:

    I find it remarkable that an overwhelming tone of the emails smacks as much of politics and attempts to limit real debate rather than a search for truth. One of Mann’s emails speaks directly to this — i.e. it’s not about the truth but rather plausible deniability.

    Its obvious that transparency in this debate has not been important to those behind AGW theory.

    If anything, we can all hope that this event will serve to FINALLY have real, public debate on this issue.

  483. Doug:

    What is so painfully clear from this is how the science of AGW has long since been replaced by the NEED for AGW. You can see it here with Gavin, his responses, can see it all over the community. They need AGW. It is their life. It is their reason of existing. For it to not be what they have claimed means they are not what they claim. It would personally devalue them. What these emails have proven is what many of us have known for some time. These scientists aren’t really scientists. Science requires objectivity and that has been replaced with necessity a long time ago. When you read the cheering of measurements or the frustrations at not getting expected results, it’s a sad statement of where this is. What a sad cast of characters you all are. So sad.

    [Response: What rot. No-ones needs AGW. Personally, I was very happy doing paleo-modelling work that had very little to do with AGW. The study of the dynamic Earth system is complex, challenging, mysterious and rewarding with or without a substantial human component to recent warming. That of course drives more interest from the outside world, but we would still be studying climate and weather even if CO2 levels had been steady for the last hundred years. - gavin]

  484. Rod:

    Unless I have read the UK FOI act incorrectly, how would CRU be subject to it? The only entity at EAU that should be subject to it is the university’s governing body.

  485. Endre Varga:

    469, where are these messages? Are they in the leak? I could not find them with fulltext search.

  486. FishOutofWater:

    The deniers, lacking scientific evidence to support their opinions, resort to stealing, personal attacks and smearing of science in general. The deniers are engaging in a war on science.

    Even if anthropogenic CO2 emissions were not causing climate change we would need to cut CO2 emissions.

    The oceans continue to become more acidic with human-caused CO2 emissions, independent of climate change observations and models. Important marine organisms that make calcium carbonate shells and structures are beginning to die off because of the increasing acidity of the water. Coral reefs in the Galapagos are dying now and other reefs are threatened.

    CO2 emissions need to be cut rapidly to save marine ecosystems from increasing acidity, apart from the need to stop rapid climate change.

  487. Sean:

    I’m confused about this divergence problem. Why do we have any confidence at all in using proxy methods to determine past temperatures when there is no correlation (or weak correlation) to modern instrumental records (post 1960?). One would think that the tree ring/ice core data would be calibrated appropriately to reflect the most recent temperature records that we have, not the oldest (pre 1960). If someone could point me to an answer I would be grateful. Thanks

    [Response: First off, the divergence problem doesn't affect all records and so there is enough other stuff to use in reconstructing past climates. Specifically, there is no divergence problem with ice cores, or corals and many other tree ring proxies. It would of course be better if we understood what was causing the apparent divergence in the cases where it does occur, and researchers like D'Arrigo and Wilson have been looking specifically at that (as has Briffa of course). The recent Salazar et al paper might be a good start for you. - gavin]

  488. Anton:

    No mention of Soros – hahahaha.

    Please explain:
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/20/climate-cuttings-33.html

  489. Matt Peterson:

    “My handyman showed me a neat trick for applying caulking so that you get a smooth bead.

    My mechanic showed me a neat trick for getting the head off of a Flathead Ford. It involved loosening the bolts and then cranking the engine over.”

    Both of those use the word ‘trick’ as they were used in the emails, and in neither example was the word ‘trick’ used to mean ‘deceit’. Instead, the word ‘trick’ in those instances in synonymous with ‘method’

  490. Perik Erikson:

    “Your best approach is not to go with single individual’s opinion (not even mine), but instead rely on the assessments of independent bodies -the National Academies, Royal Society, the AGU, AMS etc.”

    big smile here

    their jobs dependent on GW

    [Response: The Royal Society which has been in existence since 1660, depends on GW? That's the funniest thing I've read all day (but it's been a slow day). - gavin]

  491. PhilG:

    You say that these e-mails are private, but these are e-mails transmitted by people working on government funded projects. In accordance with the UK freedom of information act all such e-mails should be archived and may be scrutinised by the public on request. They cannot be regarded as private in any sense.

    The trouble is that some of these e-mails indicate the extent to which these researchers are willing to avoid such obligations.

  492. Jeffrey Davis:

    re: 6

    “anyone without something to hide”.

    Wonderful. I hadn’t quite expected reductionism that early in the discussion.

    Privacy. What an idea.

  493. John Doe:

    I don’t think anyone can put an innocent spin on all of the many attempts to hide or destroy emails that were subject to FOIA requests. Very very illegal. http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_warmist_conspiracy_tthe_emails_that_really_damn_professor_jones/ And it really stretches credibility to say, as Gavin has, that all of these many emails were just suggestions that no one acted upon. Really?

    And another email that no one is commenting on yet:

    From: Gary Funkhouser
    To: k.briffa@uea.ac.uk
    Subject: kyrgyzstan and siberian data
    Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 15:37:09 -0700

    Keith,

    Thanks for your consideration. Once I get a draft of the central and southern siberian data and talk to Stepan and Eugene I’ll send it to you.

    I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that. It was pretty funny though – I told Malcolm what you said about my possibly being too Graybill-like in evaluating the response functions – he laughed and said that’s what he thought at first also. The data’s tempting but there’s too much variation even within stands. I don’t think it’d be productive to try and juggle the chronology statistics any more than I already have – they just are what they are (that does sound Graybillian). I think I’ll have to look for an option where I can let this little story go as it is.

    Not having seen the sites I can only speculate, but I’d be optimistic if someone could get back there and spend more time collecting samples, particularly at the upper elevations.

    Yeah, I doubt I’ll be over your way anytime soon. Too bad, I’d like to get together with you and Ed for a beer or two. Probably someday though.

    Cheers, Gary
    Gary Funkhouser
    Lab. of Tree-Ring Research
    The University of Arizona

    [Response: Why do you think this email is interesting? he's just talking about a duff data set. These things happen. - gavin]

  494. pete best:

    RE 418. And tens of millions (even in the hundreds of millions) do not. Don’t tell me that majorities don’t have a say in how we should should obtain our energy. People can believe in what they like but they are not a majority except in the USA perhaps there are seemingly 50+ % who seem to keep want to keep using fossil fuels at ever increasing rates that the global economy requires (2-3% per annum – 28% increase in the last decade).

    There is nothing wrong with the science of AGW/GHG theories. Orthodoxy has been hit by the critics who are the scientists themselves. Science becomes orthodoxy because it has withstood stringent empirical analysis. The alleged skeptics of AGW only fear for their prosperity and not for the science but they do not participate in the scientific process but choose to cinrumvent it via blogs, the mass media etc. However its all wrong and does not challenge orthodox science which is more battle tested than any other explanation.

  495. Clarity Please:

    I suspect there will be nothing of interest in these emails, from the excerpts I have read on here, they seem as others have said ambiguous, and perhaps to reflect a debate that has become too politicised. To those outside the immediate debate, whether laypeople or scientists in other disciplines such as myself, this politicisation lead to disquiet, and we will want to see this clarified.
    I think what is needed is a website which publishes the state of the climate research, which objectively discussed the key papers on both sides of the debate, and where the relevant papers are published behind the discussion so that those who want to look deeper can do so, and with the full data sets for those who wish to look deeper again. Its no good if you try and peer down the rabbit hole only to be told only members of the club can see the data. There needs to be absolute transparency, and even-handedness. This may exist already, but if so I don’t know where to find it. I am a scientist, though not involved in climatology research, and I don’t want to see this polarisation of the debate with each side demonising the other. Also in the face of so much obvious polarisation I am appalled that the science is regarded as “settled” and so those who wish to debate all sides of the argument get frozen out, or ridiculed, or professionally undermined.
    If those scientists whose objective research apparently demonstrates global warming is a significant issue wish non climatologists to take this seriously, then it needs to be communicated clearly to the general public, but be communicated in such a way that it is easy to drill down into the research. It seems to me that there is either a superficial level of discussion that is too easy to write off as coming from one camp or the other, or the discussion is too esoteric. We need to have something that takes the public from the general to the specific which can be trusted.
    I have a scientific background, and am worried to see the debate as polarised between right wing global capitalists and left wing luddites.
    I am minded to distrust the arguments of those funded by oil companies etc in the “denier” camp, but feel denier is an appalling way to put it, seemingly trying to equate having doubts about global warming with holocaust denial. That said, arguments of both sides of the debate must be debate clearly with both sides able to access the same data to support or rebut each other’s claims.
    Of course, if the fate of millions of lives and society as we know it may depend on the outcome, then its easy to see why folk get twitchy, yet haven’t we learned as scientists that the alarmist claims are normally found to be exaggerated, e.g. Malthus, Ehrlich, etc…
    …if people are finding that data doesn’t support the theory, then they should not be too quick to cast aside the data…and I hope that has not been happening here, its no good just publishing the results you like, that could set the research back decades, and be self defeating.

  496. Skookum John:

    481 @FishOutOfWater: “CO2 emissions need to be cut rapidly to save marine ecosystems from increasing acidity, apart from the need to stop rapid climate change.”

    How convenient. Did all the marine ecosystems die back when CO2 was over 1000ppm?

  497. Xyrus:

    Here’s what I don’t get, irrespective of the emails.

    The skeptics and their more extreme brethren always claim there is some sort of global conspiracy by climate scientists, and are now using this hack to further their agenda (similar to how FOX news used the “terrorist fist jab” to further their own agenda.

    But the question is why? If there really was a global conspiracy, then why would it exist? There’s got to be some driving reason behind it, and usually such reasons are money, power, or both.

    So let’s examine that. Let’s start with money. The typical argument is that their is a conspiracy so that climate scientists can ask for more funding to continue to line their pockets with grants and the like.

    Really? Let’s just think about that for a moment. In the US, out of the trillion+ national budget where does climate science rank? The total spent on climate research doesn’t even register. In fact, you could increase it a hundred fold and it would still only make a small percentage of the budget.

    Most researchers are tenured or government positions. The government certainly doesn’t pay in the 7 figure range, and I’m not aware of any Universities that do either. They’re not AIG where they pay out inhumanly large bonuses. To find those pay grades, you have to go to the private sector. And while there may be private sector researchers, they make up a small percentage of the group.

    Ok. Not a lot of money. So could it be power? Considering that there are thousands of researchers, what kind of power would they be after? The ability to enforce energy and environmental awareness on everyone?

    Whenever I hear climate conspiracy, I always ask WHY? Why is there a conspiracy? What would researchers gain from such a conspiracy? At least with other conspiracies, you have some pretty solid reasons. With a climate conspiracy, worst case scenario is what? Wide adoption of renewable energy? Less pollution? A thicker ozone layer? Heaven forbid.

    A climate conspiracy? Really? Is it really so hard to show reproducible research to counter the climate change consensus that the debate has boiled down to “IT’S A CONSPIRACY!!!!”?

    Yeah. Like acid rain was a conspiracy. Like the ozone depletion was a conspiracy. Those darn evil scientists, always looking to harm society for their personal gain.

    ~X~

  498. Perik Erikson:

    “The Royal Society which has been in existence since 1660, depends on GW? That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day”

    In what world do you live?
    There are lots of people today who make a living out of GW.

    [Response: Sure. Just not the Royal Society. - gavin]

  499. John Finn:

    As many of you will be aware, a large number of emails from the University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked recently (Despite some confusion generated by Anthony Watts, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Hadley Centre which is a completely separate institution).

    The organisations are not quite as separate as you claim. The name of the temperature record is HadCru. tere is considerable collaboration between the 2 groups.

    [Response: I collaborate with colleagues in Paris, does that mean that the CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette is the same thing as NASA GISS? Strange thought. (the origin if the HadCRU data set is described here). I will note that Watts corrected his post, though the confusion lives on. - gavin]

  500. Steve:

    This is one reason why I delete my email as soon as I’ve read it and it’s no longer relevant. And I don’t trust any computer for which I don’t have the root password for.

  501. Tristan:

    Unfortunately what I have read so far, has shown a lack of integrity and honesty among some “scientists”.

    “Wrong. The consensus on the main planks of the science is solid. No need for one to purchase it. – gavin”

    I have doubts about your credibility after this. There doesn’t have to be a conspiracy for AGW to be a hoax. All it takes is dishonesty from the top minds to establish a base. When those who are at the top of the field establish a “fact” those below them often will accept it as the truth. When these facts become anchor points for others work and arguments, all of the following work is corrupted and invalid.

    We can we believe your work, when your foundation may have been built from sand?

    [Response: You might well benefit from actually reading about the foundations of the science instead of imagining that it all rests on a few emails. Spencer Weart's book is an excellent start. - gavin]

  502. petek:

    @482

    Not to forget that nobody wants to depend on a few nations in control of fossil energy. After the current fincancial crisis, we will see where energy prices will go. The good thing, if the rise again the markets will solve this problem easily. I really cannot understand, why some people can be interested in maintaining stone age technolgies. Human beings invented the computer, time to develop something better than a slightly improved version of the stone age campfire, name it campfire 3.0.

  503. mike roddy:

    Scientists express anger and exasperation as they mock weirdo deniers. A book points out that many of these deniers are paid by oil and coal companies to make their absurd statements. Fox News and much of the MSM makes the first a scandal, but ignores the second.

    Corruption and concentration of media power are the real problems. I’m glad you gave this episode a full treatment, because now we can move on.

  504. Endre Varga:

    “Except when those THEORIES are shaping world economic policy,
    then every possibility must be checked!”

    Then lets start checking the existence of gods, truth in astrology, existence of alien visitors, efficiency of homoeopathics, etc. Go on, if you have time and stomach for that.

  505. njc:

    Re #441

    [Response: The graph in question (from a WMO report made ten years ago) was made to show the paleo-reconstructions in context with the recent instrumental record, smoothed in order to show the long term trends. These graphs have been produced hundreds of times, with small variations in how the data is presented or processed and are for the most part, completely interchangeable. What do you think is being hidden? - gavin]
    Gavin this is being somewhat disingenuous. Whether it was the purpose of not, adding the instrumental record directly to the end of the paleo-reconstructions, is misleading. The nature of the addition is not made clear in the Figure caption in the WMO report which only talks about the paleo data along with long instrumental records, consequently no-one looking at the Figure could possibly know what had been done. What is hidden is the very nature of the trick, the hiding of the divergence between the paleo data and instrumental record. So what is claimed as being visible is indeed hidden in plain sight.

  506. vg28:

    Gavin,

    [Response: Your best approach is not to go with single individual's opinion (not even mine), but instead rely on the assessments of independent bodies - the National Academies, Royal Society, the AGU, AMS etc. Read their reports, and then look up more details on any issue that particularly interests you. We've tried to help by providing context to things that you'll see in the media or on the web, but always with links to the primary material (so you don't need to take our word for it). Good luck. - gavin]

    In what sense are the Royal Society etc. independent? They are funded by the government. They are also run by people who have personal interests and incentives: some like money, some like attention, etc. I am sure many, even most, are driven primarily by search for truth, but to deny other motivations, to proclaim them more honest and their organizations more independent than, say, those of the scientists funded by private money, requires some proof. It is far from self-evident.

    [Response: What rot. No-ones needs AGW. Personally, I was very happy doing paleo-modelling work that had very little to do with AGW. The study of the dynamic Earth system is complex, challenging, mysterious and rewarding with or without a substantial human component to recent warming. That of course drives more interest from the outside world, but we would still be studying climate and weather even if CO2 levels had been steady for the last hundred years. - gavin]

    Sure, but would you have this kind of attention? I’m sorry, but I think most of your readers would not imagine doing something like this blog for fun, I think it requires a rare fondness for attention. Of course this goes for the other side as well.

    [Response: You think I'm having fun today? Hmmm... - gavin]

  507. Anthony Jackson:

    From: Endre Varga
    “Then lets start checking the existence of gods, truth in astrology, existence of alien visitors, efficiency of homoeopathics, etc. Go on, if you have time and stomach for that.”

    Other then Gods how do any of the other topics effect Economic policy, please don’t tell me your a scientist.

  508. John Doe:

    In response to Gavin’s comment at the end of 490: Because he sounds very much as if he has a pre-ordained conclusion in mind, and is trying everything he can think of to make the data fit, but finally has to give up and admit that the data say what they say. This paints a picture that is the opposite of what Feynman would say is a good scientist — someone who actively looks for the best evidence against his own hypothesis.

    [Response: Huh? Please point to any of my papers where this is even remotely connected to any science I have actually been involved in. - gavin]

  509. Hank Roberts:

    Skookum John says: 21 November 2009 at 11:37 AM
    > Did all the marine ecosystems die back when CO2 was over 1000ppm?

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/7/76/Phanerozoic_Carbon_Dioxide.png
    http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/white-cliffs-of-dover/biography/how-they-formed
    http://www.pnas.org/content/98/8/4290.full

  510. Tonyb:

    Hello Gavin

    I did ask this question earlier, and as there would be no reason for it to be deleted suspect that in the bun fight above I just haven’t noticed your reply.

    Yes, my terminology gives me away, I am British as well. As such-probably like you- I have a particular interest in history and therefore wonder why such litle mention seems to be made of the many warm periods that existed even through the Little ice age?

    These can be clearly seen from the instrumental records and were of such great interest to Phil Jones that he got an EU grant to study some of them. I can’t, as the EU doesn’t permit funds for contrarian studies (could be why these are fewer relative to state funded AGW studies?)

    The older instrumental readings (and contemporary accounts from the time) show clear evidence of climate variations, with numerous temperature valleys and summits.

    The Giss 1880 records were clearly measured from a valley, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that they then started to rise towards their next summit.

    A more meaningful analysis would surely be to measure from past high points to the present day, which would enable the current warmish period to be put into a better context? It is nothing out of the ordinary, especially when the effect of the very cold spells of the little Ice age on overall mean average temperatures are taken into account

    To the credit of GISS, at least you do publish your station information-have you any conception how difficult it has been to prise information out of Hadley Cru about their methodology, despite the largesse from the tax payer? £143 million pounds to Hadley alone since 1993, who in turn have been a prime contributor to the IPCC.

    So as a taxpayer do I feel peeved at the poor value for money we get from scientists who try to make out Temperature data is a state secret, and therefore have somewhat mixed feelings about the illicit release of information that we have already paid for.

    Anyway, hope you can explain why Giss don’t seem to make it clear that 1880 is a low point and that we can see lots of summits before that date but don’t choose to measure today against them.

    All the best from Britain.

    tonyb

  511. Ike Solem:

    Andy Revkin and the NYT editors are busy promoting and spinning this – so is the Wall Street Journal, but they’re not really leading the story – just linking to denialist websites. Here are some illustrative NYT blurbs:

    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…

    Really… and why? Do they change any of the IPCC conclusions? No – but if the story is to affect public debate, it certainly must be publicized and treated as “important news.” And the slant?

    Still, some of the comments might lend themselves to being interpreted as sinister.

    Sinister. Well, that’s an objective journalist for you – since when are news reports about editorializing and speculating in such a fashion?

    And on the issue of “the trick” Revkin seems to be deliberately excluding the basic explanation:

    …the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear.

    Instrumental records are more accurate than paleoclimate proxies, so of course you’d want to plot them for comparison. If anything, it shows that tree ring thickness is a bit more complex than a simple temperature response, wow, does water matter too?

    Revkin also throws a unquestioned quote to Steven McIntyre:
    Stephen McIntyre, a blogger who on his Web site, climateaudit.org, has for years been challenging data used to chart climate patterns, and who came in for heated criticism in some e-mail messages, called the revelations “quite breathtaking.”

    No qualifier there, as in “Still, McIntyre could be seen as trying to sinisterly trying to blow this out of proportion for political purposes.”

    Yes, and what do the CEOs of our Big Five oil & coal concerns think about this? Thrilled, I imagine. Odd, this is all so similar to that stunt Chevron pulled in Ecuador – covert attempts to discredit legal action and scientific analysis, backed up by a big PR push, all carefully coordinated?

    If it hadn’t been done about a dozen times before, more people might buy it. As it is, this is a non-story – the real question should be why it’s getting so much traction, and that should cause the last remaining “science journalists” to do a little soul searching…

    As a letter writer to the Chicago Tribune said recently about a different journalist:

    A good science reporter would have done things differently: He would have told us about the scientists on both sides of the issue and left out the celebrities; he would have sought the opinions of local experts; he would have revealed the source of funding for all studies that he discussed.

    If these emails had revealed that a published study had to be withdrawn, and that this was being hidden, or something of that nature, it would have been news – but as it is, it’s just a very illustrative example of how fossil fuel lobbying influences U.S. media coverage. It’s straightforward propaganda – otherwise, why would the NYT have left out the following key information?

    The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960…

    If fossil fuel interests can hire think tanks to do their bidding, maybe the same goes for news outlets.

  512. Michael:

    The scandal here is clearly what was basically known before: Scientists like Mann or Jones give their data, algorithms and programs only to people they trust. Thats totally understandable from a personal point of view – in all their years of work they probably made a few mistakes – which is just human – and that can embarrassing.

    But the climate change field is far too important to play this little games. There are policy issues which will cost billions and which might change the live of every living human being.

    So maybe the reputation of McIntyre is not good, maybe he is even a moron – I don’t know. And I don’t care. Its no reason to withhold data before him.

    Basic point: The IPCC should adopt a new rule: Only papers are accepted where the data, the algorithms and the programs are available to everybody, on a public server. Only if everybody with the appropriate programs is capable of reproducing the findings in the paper it will be accepted.

  513. John Burke:

    Frankly, I don’t see how RC can deal with this simply by knocking the hackers and refusing to post the emails, while rebutting criticism in the comments via “Responses.” If there is no problem, posting the emails would help demonstrate that, no?

    And you’d be better off dropping the straw man argument that it’s more important that the emails don’t show a Soros-sponsored conspiracy, etc. You have a fairly smart audience here who understand that the emails show whatever they show, and the Soros line is just PR spin. So why not try actually answering the skeptics?

  514. sean hurley:

    I am trusting that the climate deniers and their various industry funders will now release all their private correspondence to demonstrate all their discussion is clear, concise, never strays into common terms and slang, and never deviates from anything but the purely ethical.

    I also look forward to development of this story as the investigations proceed and the raised personal stakes are played out.

    Has it occured to ethical scientists, yet, that this is a gun fight with truly despicable, unethical and even criminal characters?

  515. Xi Kito:

    Is it legal to delete information in order to avoid providing it in response to a FOI request?

    [Response: No. - gavin]

  516. Richard Ordway:

    <<<>>>
    ———————————————————————

    1) I don’t need fact checking. These studies are simply in the permanent human record and always will be for the rest of human history for future scientists, historians, politicians and the public to read, period, no matter who wrote them…whether you like the authors or not.

    (By the way…one of the authors is basically an economist and another basically a geologist all writing on human-caused climate change, go figure- McKitrick, McIntyre.

    Still, they are allowed to publish anti-global warming studies in mainstream science on the subject of human-caused climate change. That is the beauty and open transparency of mainstream science in spite of what contrarians are saying about the emails.

    2) Now, if you had only read my post, you would have seen that I also stated: “The peer-review scientific process allows these extremely muddying anti-global warming-aspect reports to be published…”

    My words “extremely muddying” means that the basic science of global warming/climate change is now clearly established in mainstream science.

    This is that:

    1)Human-made climate change/global warming is now happening.

    2)We humans are causing it.

    3)We humans must take action, now, to slow it down- [from the IPCC, and the mainstream body of scientific literature since 1824 starting at least with Jean Baptiste Fourier).

    The “muddying” I stated is the published anti-global warming studies, I listed, which *do not* stand up over time to fact checking in the open, world wide scientific literature…but at least they were (and are) being allowed to be openly published for the rest of human history.

    No one can dispute this fact: mainstrean science has and still is allowing contrary global warming/human caused climate change studies to be published, no matter what conspiracy theorists are wildly dreaming up in scientist’s emails.

  517. George:

    I’ve read through perhaps half of the documentation. What’s most troubling about many of the e-mails isn’t the putatively falsified data…there may be explanations for many of the out of context quotes. Rather, what emerges is a decade-long pattern of behavior where the AGW advocates:
    1) Demand that the skeptics publish in “peer-reviewed journals” while
    2) Taking steps to block those publications including sharing of supposedly anonymous copies for review
    3) Coordination of response strategies based on this information
    4) Threatening the editorial board of one journal that allowed a skeptical paper to “slip through” (that’s a direct quote).
    5) Telling skeptics to address their work through comments then ensuring that those comments are unpublished by the journal in question.

    Taken together its an outrageous and deeply unethical set of actions that prevents the normal scientific process of peer review to function.

    This would never be tolerated in the disciplines I’ve been involved in…and I find it appalling to see in such an important field of science.

    [Response: 'Peer review' is a filter. The nature of a filter is that it filters out things. Asking that the criticism goes through the same filter as the original papers is completely valid. As is making sure that the filter is working properly, which it certainly doesn't some of the time. Read the background to the Soon and Baliunas case to get a better sense of what was actually going on. - gavin]

  518. bielie:

    Steve says:
    21 November 2009 at 11:43 AM
    This is one reason why I delete my email as soon as I’ve read it and it’s no longer relevant. And I don’t trust any computer for which I don’t have the root password for.

    Steve. You obviously have a lot to hide. No one should trust you!

  519. Martin Vermeer:

    If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.

    Magnus #184, thanks! Good to know I’m in illustrious company with these dark thoughts…

    Cheers

  520. Clarity Please:

    @454
    Gavin responded to TomD:

    [Response: Your best approach is not to go with single individual's opinion (not even mine), but instead rely on the assessments of independent bodies - the National Academies, Royal Society, the AGU, AMS etc. Read their reports, and then look up more details on any issue that particularly interests you. We've tried to help by providing context to things that you'll see in the media or on the web, but always with links to the primary material (so you don't need to take our word for it). Good luck. - gavin]

    Cheers for this response to Tom Gavin, this seems to be exactly what I will calling for, upside of this leak is that it has led me to your site. I will look to the assessments of independent bodies that you mention are here, somewhere, I will look around.

  521. More Science, Less Marketing:

    “Asking real questions about real issues is welcome.”

    Question: What brought on the last glacial period?

    [Response: Orbital forcing. - gavin]

    Question: Are we technically still in an ice age?

    [Response: Maybe. Geologically speaking we are still quite close to the Pleistocene ice age cycles (though we are currently in an interglacial). However, there is some evidence that the impacts we are making to the carbon cycle might have started to pull us out of the ice age cycles all together. In which case the answer would be no. But it will be clearer in a few thousand years. - gavin]

  522. Joe Lassiter:

    Gavin,

    Thank you for taking all the time to field this traffic in addition to doing your day job.

    Some people seem to always see the world as a sea of conspiracy. So, they see conspiracy behind much of human endeavor. Science is one of the most human of human endeavors. Fortunately, the data is there to temper the scientists and eventually the data wins out. Most people have come to believe that the world is round..well roundish.

    This too will pass.

  523. caerbannog:

    Just a reminder: CRU is just one of many organizations focusing on climate research. The fact that its director has reacted badly (i.e. appearing to go for the “bunker” mentality) to repeated scurrilous attacks has no bearing on the validity of the science.

    Hansen’s approach has been quite different — he’s basically said to his detractors, “here are all of the source code and data — go knock yourselves out”.

    Under Hansen, the NASA/GISS data and source code have been freely available on-line for years. And all of the sceptics’ scrutiny of said data has uncovered only one or two minor “glitches” that have had minimal impact.

    Just a quick question (or two) to Gavin, if you feel the need to spend even more of your weekend downtime answering questions here.

    Given that all of your climate-modeling source-code has been available for public scrutiny for quite a long time, and given that anyone can download and test it out, how many times have climate-model critics have actually submitted patches to improve your modeling code, fix bugs, etc? Have you gotten *any* constructive suggestions from the skeptic camp?

    [Response: Not a single one. - gavin]

  524. bielie:

    No one needs global warming?

    According to the spreadsheet there were £13,718,547.00 in grants! (to the pound) That’s probably more than the GDP of some countries that will receive climate restitution dollars under the proposed Copenhagen accord!

  525. Monty:

    Gavin’
    I admire your tenacity in defending the indefensible. You would make a great lawyer!

  526. Hank Roberts:

    As Gavin points out inline above at 498, Tristan’s mistaken notion is that science relies on original founders and everything would be overthrown if something were found wrong with the earliest work.

    Sorry, Tristan, it’s not done that way. The tools and methods in scientific work are being improved over time.

    Look at the current work — this doesn’t depend on anything done earlier:

    News: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL039225.shtml
    Evolution of shallow groundwater flow systems in areas of degrading permafrost

  527. T:

    “……the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined.”

    Now there’s an understatement.

    The monolithic facade has been self-propagated by the reigning hierarchy of the scientific community. They have promoted an image of the “real scientist” as being an entirely subjective, intellectually honest, super-scholar. Conversely, scientists who legitimately question the accepted status quo, or who have the backbone to outright disagree are viciously painted as troublemakers–or as backwards, biased, unenlightened practitioners of inferior science (scientific heretics?).

    It will be interesting to see how effective the damage control spin doctors are at neutralizing the heat from this embarrassing exposure. They are already hard at work, and the general public is distracted on many fronts. Hopefully some truly effective measure of accountability and transparency will be advanced, although I doubt any real dialogue on this issue (between the “real scientists” and the “troublemakers”) is soon to be had. Too bad.

  528. Steve Missal:

    Bluntly, two things have happened. One: you have learned a rough lesson in the real world, one that subsumes the scientific world, and that is this…that there are unscrupulous people out there, and they will run over you like an 18-wheeler. You CANNOT afford to have e-mail exchanges like the ones that are now hand grenades for the denialists. Period. Sorry if that hurts feelings, but in my own academic setting, our e-mails are routinely read and therefore must be circumspect.
    Two: this may be a broken egg; no fixing it. You may have just lost the war by this one fiat. I hate to say that, because our futures are at stake, but the naivete underlying this event is a reflection of the difference between thinking within the walls of a discipline and forgetting the wolves at the door are real.
    I don’t know what to say or do. When I read this (and now it is major fodder for MSNBC etc.) my heart fell. Pray that somehow you are able to quench this fire and right the ship. It won’t be done by a little posting on this site. It will take a major PR effort, with all guns blazing. Trust me. We are watching an agenda driven bunch of legislators in Arizona deconstruct our economy, education and public works, and nobody can stop them. Their stance is of course ludicrous and destructive, but THEY ARE WINNING. Food for thought in the present circumstance.

  529. BlogReader:

    Barton Paul Levenson Reflect also on the fact that Feynman was in the habit of intimidating lonely, neurotic women in bars to get them into bed with him, as he describes in one of his books, treating it as a joke. So his standing to teach others about ethics is questionable.

    Bravo, BPL. Just when I didn’t think this blog entry could get any weirder you kick it up a notch with an ad hominem on a dead guy.

  530. Pete:

    Man, they didn’t even give you the flashing siren on the Drudge Report! You should at least get that for all your troubles :)

    You’re doing the right thing, hope you don’t get carpal tunnel by the end of the week.

  531. Ray Ladbury:

    Actually, what emerges from this whole sordid affair is not any evidence of misconduct on the part of scientists, but rather the cluelessness of the whole anti-science fringe! Good Lord, these people actually think CRU is funded by US government agencies. Dudes, they’re British!

    The denialists don’t have the first idea about climate science, data analysis, how science is done or even basic arithmetic. For those of us who avoid the zoos over at Climate Fraudit or Watts-up-’is-arse, it is indeed revealing to see the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. All I can say is “Wow, these people are stupid!”

  532. KDC:

    Anyone who thinks this selected – admittedly random – release of particular email correspondence proves that climate change is a hoax is desperate in their attempts at rebuttal. I would encourage the CRU to release ALL the emails for the last 10 years to the public so that we can all see the preponderance of evidence that supports their work. Will any skeptic please tell me why scientists would want to make this up? Please…I guess some people still think we haven’t landed on the moon either.

  533. Ray Ladbury:

    Bielie says “According to the spreadsheet there were £13,718,547.00 in grants! (to the pound) That’s probably more than the GDP of some countries that will receive climate restitution dollars under the proposed Copenhagen accord!”

    Or six hours of profits for Exx-Mob. Do you guys have the first clue how pathetic you are?

  534. Jim Bouldin:

    “There doesn’t have to be a conspiracy for AGW to be a hoax. All it takes is dishonesty from the top minds to establish a base. When those who are at the top of the field establish a “fact” those below them often will accept it as the truth. When these facts become anchor points for others work and arguments, all of the following work is corrupted and invalid..”

    So Fourier and Tyndall started the whole ball rolling eh? You have no idea what you are talking about.

  535. Phil. Felton:


    Chortle says:
    21 November 2009 at 11:11 AM
    I find it remarkable that an overwhelming tone of the emails smacks as much of politics and attempts to limit real debate rather than a search for truth. One of Mann’s emails speaks directly to this — i.e. it’s not about the truth but rather plausible deniability.

    Yes, and it was referring to McIntyre’s statements, the way he insinuates accusations (“not the truth”) for his CA claque to yell about which he can later deny making (“plausible deniability”).

    If anything, we can all hope that this event will serve to FINALLY have real, public debate on this issue.
    That would require both sides to be talking about the science, the ‘skeptic’ side will have to become truely sceptical and not mindlessly accept any pile of crap that’s published (Soon & Baliunis for example).

  536. arch stanton:

    A lot of new voices here, and so many anxious to jump to conclusions without context.

    Almost seems choreographed. You know – like voting for your favorite blog kinda thing…

  537. Kurt:

    The documents leave little reasonable doubt that the scientists exposed actively sought to suppress data that might potentially undermine their arguments, to the point of conspiring to defy FOI requests. I can appreciate a scientist’s reluctance to share data that others might take credit for. But threatening to delete the data rather than turn it over? That’s like book-burning. What context can possibly justify a genuine scientist doing that?
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2009/11/20/climate-cuttings-33.html

    [Response: None of course. And of course, it didn't happen either. Perhaps you have never exaggerated for comic effect? - gavin]

  538. bielie:

    Given that all of your climate-modeling source-code has been available for public scrutiny for quite a long time, and given that anyone can download and test it out, how many times have climate-model critics have actually submitted patches to improve your modeling code, fix bugs, etc? Have you gotten *any* constructive suggestions from the skeptic camp?

    [Response: Not a single one. - gavin]

    Gavin. That is because the models are WRONG BEYOND REDEMPTION

    “The diminution in outgoing long-wave radiation over time is one-seventh to one-tenth of that which the UN’s models predict, demonstrating that the UN has overstated climate sensitivity sevenfold to tenfold, and that it has overstated the projected anthropogenic temperature increase in the 21st century by as much as sixteenfold.”

    [Response: Thanks for your constructive input. (And you really should point out you are quoting Monckton - a well known and highly competent scientist no doubt). - gavin]

  539. Tony Rogers:

    I have been following blogs on both sides of the debate for 3 or 4 years now. In that time, rightly or wrongly, I have developed the impression that the key researchers have been both very keen to emphasise the scale of the problem at every opportunity whilst at the same time appearing to make it difficult for people like McIntyre to get hold of the raw data or methods and challenge their claims. These emails appear to show that the modus operandi of particularly Phil Jones is exactly in line with the impression I had developed.

    This is an appalling PR disaster for mainstream climate science, a huge own-goal. And it has not been caused by McIntyre etc. or the guy that released the emails. It has been caused by an apparent “team” mentality (and I use that term deliberately because it seems to include the right people) of secrecy, an apparent desire to paint the most dire picture of our situation, and a hostile attitude towards anyone questioning the consensus.

    All of the above is the impression that I have developed and I expect many other people have too. If it turns out that the IPCC view of AGW is correct, this behaviour will have been an enormous disservice to us all and it could have been avoided entirely by a more open and cordial approach.

    I am a concerned citizen of the world who does not want to see the world ruined by warming but equally I don’t want to see inappropriate activities like cutting down rainforests to plant sisal plantations to make bio-degradable bags or using valuable agricultural land to grow fuel to burn in internal combustion engines. You may not advocate these things but people hiding behind or encouraged by a green agenda do. I am concerned because I want the problem to be understood with as much certainty as possible and for any solutions to be as appropriate as possible and of net benefit to us all.

  540. M. L. Johnson:

    If anyone convinced that AWG is a settled matter wonders how the daft layman can possibly be skeptical or imagine that other agendas are being served, I submit this quote attributed to Phil Jones:
    “If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences.”
    Context away, fellows.

    [Response: The context is "This isn't being political, it is being selfish.". i.e. all else being equal, if it was just about him then he would like the science to be proven correct. But presumably not being quite that selfish, he would actually prefer climate change not to happen (as I certainly do) even at the expense of the science being wrong. I don't think it likely though. - gavin]

  541. Adam Sullivan:

    @Steve Missal — 21 November 2009 @ 12:58 PM

    I would not be so forlorn.

    Some of the emails are revealing and very damaging to the reputations of the people involved.

    So what?

    That doesn’t alter physics. It does expose a certain amount of dogmatism and brutality towards skepticism that, itself, damages any educational effort as it shows intrinsic contempt for those who one is supposed to educating.

    Frankly, some of the individuals involved may have to fall on their swords. Again, that doesn’t alter physics.

    It would be a good thing if this episode established some middle ground that people could converse on. Then we may get somewhere.

    But some realities impose themselves – data are still sparse and we need more to make models predictive. Dogma that implies certainty that can’t exist in a sparse data environment will always bite the dogmatist in the ass. As it just has.

    And – one last time – the physics have not changed (something I keep trying to repeat to the deniers and luke warmers)

  542. J:

    This should be interesting to explain. Phil Jones on releasing data, model code:

    Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !

    ————-

    Options appear to be:
    Send them the data
    Send them a subset removing station data from some of the countries who made us pay in the normals papers of Hulme et al. (1990s) and also any number that David can remember. This should also omit some other countries like (Australia, NZ, Canada, Antarctica). Also could extract some of the sources that Anders added in (31-38 source codes in J&M 2003). Also should remove many of the early stations that we coded up in the 1980s.
    Send them the raw data as is, by reconstructing it from GHCN. How could this be done? Replace all stations where the WMO ID agrees with what is in GHCN. This would be the raw data, but it would annoy them.

  543. chf:

    “Perhaps you are unaware that almost all journals demand that you submit names of potential reviewers as part of the submission?”

    I don’t think I have ever seen that suggested for the journals for my own fields.
    If so, I’d have regarded it as most improper:
    much of the point is that the reviewers and the authors (ideally) are mutually anonymous.
    Otherwise, it all gets a bit sloppy and interbred .
    Of course, it’s often fun to try to guess both ways, for reviewers to guess who wrote the paper, or authors to guess the reviewer by his or her comments – but I have seen things from both sides and those guesses are often quite wrong.

    [Response: Double-blind review is not that usual in the physical sciences and in some 60-odd papers to dozens of journals I have never come across it. Reviewers are usually anonymous, though sometimes they make themselves known (as I have done in some reviews), and sometimes they can be guessed. - gavin]

  544. Kurt:

    Gavin, in response to comment 537, you said “of course, it [deletion of data rather than compliance with FOI requests] never happened”. As a scientist, how do you know that “of course”? You say you never did that sort of thing and I incline to believe you. Certainly you know your own behavior better than I do. But how do you know about others, when they themselves claim otherwise in private correspondence? How do you know they were merely exaggerating for comic effect? They didn’t sound to me like they were laughing.

    [Response: Well since the HadCRU temperature data are still online and being updated every month, that would seem to me to indicate that nothing has been deleted in a fit of pique. But really, you think anyone would really delete their data? That would be ridiculous. - gavin]

  545. s. wing:

    Gavin,

    Thank you for your sterling efforts in responding to everybody’s questions. The one email that continues to bother me is the much discussed email of Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15, from Phil Jones to Bradley, Mann and Hughes. Your relevant response to #441 was…

    [Response: The graph in question (from a WMO report made ten years ago) was made to show the paleo-reconstructions in context with the recent instrumental record, smoothed in order to show the long term trends. These graphs have been produced hundreds of times, with small variations in how the data is presented or processed and are for the most part, completely interchangeable. What do you think is being hidden? - gavin]

    The glaring issue for me is rather that – unless I have the wrong end of the stick (no pun intended) – the graphed lines are mislabelled, and knowingly so. The green line, for example, is labelled “Apr-Sep from Briffa (1999) Quaternary Science Reviews 19, 87.” whereas in reality it is a composite of tree ring data from that paper and, for the final 40 years, data from elsewhere that has been obtained from the met. stations. The effect of adding the met. station data is to add a good part of the ‘blade of the hockey stick’ that you yourself has said does not appear in Briffa’s data.

    I would emphasise that I am not in the field and may well have misunderstood something. However, if my understanding is instead correct then this is a clear example of scientific misconduct, by Dr Jones in 1999. [edit] You should not defend it. Please let me know if my understanding is mistaken and, if so, how it is mistaken. Thanks, s. wing.

    [Response: An uninformative or incomplete caption in a WMO brochure is not 'scientific misconduct' by any stretch of the imagination. If I had seen it beforehand, I would have suggested making the caption more informative about the treatment of the instrumental data and I doubt there would have been any hesitation in doing so. But this isn't the peer reviewed literature, and so there is no way of correcting the brochure after the fact. This has nothing to do with Mann since no figure in any of his papers did the same thing. - gavin]

  546. Steve Geiger:

    pretty surprising and disturbing stuff, IMO. Clear that some of these folks were beyond ‘objectively’ considering evidence…minds were made up..or at least that’s how it appears to me. By far the most damning part, IMO, is the willful refusal to share data and the FOI (and equivalent) requested materials.

    Someone above asks if emails can be deleted after FOI requests….Gavin answers: Yes. However, one of the emails indicated that, yes, you *could* delete emails in such a case….”if it were part of normal file maintenance” (i.e., hint hint wink wink). Very damning IMO. Absolutely shameful and the very essence of ‘anti science’

    Steve G., PhD

    [Response: Huh? I said "No". Please don't put words into my mouth. - gavin]

  547. Steve Brown:

    I would just like to express my support and gratitude to all the folks at CRU and RC who have been caught up in this shoddy saga. I greatly appreciate the work you are doing and hope that this does not distract you from your valuable work.

    From reading the stolen e-mails and “analysis” over at WTF, I actually believe that an enormous amount of good can come out of this. What is very apparant in the e-mails is the overwhelming exasperation of scientists at having to continually endure the petty vindictiveness and wing-nuttery of the “troofers” and disciples of pseudoscience. The enemies of reason are currently engineering a spectacular own-goal.

  548. vg28:

    “Sure, but would you have this kind of attention? I’m sorry, but I think most of your readers would not imagine doing something like this blog for fun, I think it requires a rare fondness for attention. Of course this goes for the other side as well.”

    [Response: You think I'm having fun today? Hmmm... - gavin]

    You didn’t start this blog today…

  549. Ron Moses:

    I think my favorite part of this post is paragraph four, which begins, “More interesting is what is not contained in the emails.” It’s a real laugh riot, I tell ya.

    Imagine this fictional scenario: Emails are discovered indicating that in late 2001, the TSA knowingly provided falsified data to the Patriot Act subcommittee in an effort to persuade the panel to add additional language to the act, providing security measures that were not supported by the evidence at hand, but which would serve the TSA’s interests. One who opposed the Patriot Act might call this scandalous, and rightly so. And they would also be correct in rolling their eyes when some right-wing outlet responded with, “More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. No mention of Bush having prior knowledge of 9/11…” and so forth. Your attempt at diversion is no less laughable.

    Maybe what is not contained in the emails is more interesting to someone with a vested interest in a thriving GW industry, like yourselves. But not to the average individual. We find the actual contents of the emails interesting, and damning, enough.

  550. Robert B.:

    “Thanks – just received the CRU Hack notice from some global warming doubting colleagues. While it was obvious to me the quotes were taken out of context and not relevant (not to mention illegal) having a quick response from someone who was closer to the facts was a timely help.”

    Who cares if it’s illegal? This isn’t a court of law, this the court of opinion. As for, “taken out of context”, you could argue that with a few emails, but I don’t see how you can be serious with the rest.

    Someone who distorts data to support a claim is not a scientist.

    [Response: Who did this? And what claim do you think it was supporting? - gavin]

  551. Ron:

    For the first time in my life I feel ashamed to be a scientist.

    “But really, you think anyone would really delete their data? That would be ridiculous. – gavin”

    “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

    You seem a sound guy Gavin, I struggle to understand why you try to defend this kind of behaviour. I understand you are thinking of the bigger picture here but you are shooting yourself in the foot by not just admitting some things went terribly wrong here when it comes to sharing data for scrutiny and having the proper scientific attitude. You only make people suspicious by witholding data and software/methods.
    The fact that journals allow us to pick or refuse certain reviewers already shows how messed up the whole system has become. Which is why I always must smile when people insist on peer review in these discussions.
    A dark day for science indeed, but hopefully some good will come out of it by exposing the very human and sometimes base emotions that underly the system.

  552. petek:

    @546

    I agree, a final battle was overdue.
    One single question: Is there one open source model provided by the sceptics which can be computed and explain the undisputed rise in global temperature over the past decades using the datasets? Yes or no?

  553. Kurt:

    Gavin, in reply to 544 yes I think someone might delete their data if disclosure would provide evidence of deceptive misuse. In Phil Jones’ email mentioned in 542, he said he is sending station data to an ally but will delete the file rather than disclose it to opponents. Surely that can’t be the same data as HadCRU, for why would he bother commenting on the selective disclosure of something that is publicly available. What makes you positive that Phil Jones was just joking about that? If he already compiled and sent it once, it takes zero additional effort to send again or release publicly. The most plausible interpretation, it seems to me, that he feared giving ammo to critics of his interpretation. That’s not to say Jones knew he was wrong. Quite possibly he felt that critics would misuse the data to wrongly discredit him. If so, one can empathize with his pain. Still, don’t you think that’s a bad way to respond to critics, as well as being illegal under the FOI?

    [Response: It's hyperbole. No-one has, or is going to, delete any data. - gavin]

  554. Johnathome:

    Ray Ladbury wrote :”I’m going to try to be uncharacteristically nice to all you lower-than-snakesh*t and dumber-than-owlsh*t denialists”

    Is this THE Ray Ladbury? The scientist? Words fail me? Lets just cut out the insults shall we? Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, whats with the name calling? I would hope your IQ is better than this!

  555. Steve Geiger:

    RE 546. Gavin, right…they asked if it was ‘illegal to delete emails’…you are correct, your response was ‘no’…its not illegal. That is my point, of course, that someone was indicating that, if one ‘really needs to’, they can delete the files *if*, of course, its under the guise of their normal file maintenance procedures. Given the context, its very clear what they were indicating.

    BTW – obviously your taking heat on behalf of a lot of other folks and presumably you don’t feel that all of this stuff is completely defensible. Thanks for allowing this open discussion to continue. I primarily stopped reading this site a while back for the express reason that individuals with very pertinent, on topic information were having their posts screened. That alone is so damaging to (what should be, IMO) the purpose of this site. Thanks for allowing to post this.

    Steve G.

    [Response: Sorry, the question asked whether it was legal, I said no. - gavin]

  556. eric:

    “Is there one open source model provided by the sceptics which can be computed and explain the undisputed rise in global temperature over the past decades using the datasets? Yes or no?”

    Yes – that would be the actual measured, undisputed, temperature decline of the last decade.

    [Response: Hmm.... Last ten years (Oct 99-Oct 09)., Last decade (2000-2009). - gavin]

  557. JMilan:

    SecularAnimist wrote: “The problem is that you are unable to distinguish between “informed comment” and rote regurgitation of ExxonMobil-funded lies and distortions, and that you believe that someone’s political or ideological “viewpoint” has anything at all to do with scientific facts about physical reality.”

    That illogical argument, lumping all opponents into some evil group that can then be denigrated and ignored. It’s the same thing far-right groups do, lump all their opponents into some evil group. Let’s not do the same.

    There are genuine questions and issues to be debated in AGW. There are questions about quality of ground-station data, etc. which I think are valid to discuss. AGW opponents have their own problems of inconvenient data and RC often does discuss and point those out, and rightly so. But let’s not let this controversy push us into defenders of dogma, no opposition or questioning allowed by the “unfaithful.”

    I’m not saying to stop the filtering of the obviously nonsensical and the ranters. But deliberately colluding with one group to give them special voice while surreptitiously suppressing the posts of their critics (as RC offered to do in the leaked emails) — that’s just wrong.

  558. John Doe:

    Gavin — in comment 508, I was referring to Gary Funkhouser’s email that I had quoted, not to anything you’ve ever written. So your response is completely inapt.

    Thanks, by the way, for letting so many critical comments go through.

    [Response: Fair enough. But you have grossly misunderstood Funkhouser's email. Where did he say he was looking for a pre-ordained result? Instead, it sounds very much to me that the batch of trees he was looking at simply wasn't coherent - maybe it couldn't be cross-dated, maybe the inter-sample variance was much larger than they can deal with, maybe their wasn't enough multiple cores etc. Sometimes, in climate as in a lab-based science, you just don't get good data. And that doesn't allow you to conclude anything. - gavin]

  559. hunter:

    Dr. Schmidt,
    What was wrong with my post on this topic that states the following:
    “If you found out your 401-k was being managed like these guys are managing climate science, what would you do?
    Would you trust what they told you?
    Would you keep your money with them?”
    I compliment you here and elsewhere for permitting real dialogue on your blog. That clearly takes you out of the group I suggest in my post.
    My hope is that the example you set here will propagate in the climate science community.

  560. Anthony Jackson:

    “I agree, a final battle was overdue.
    One single question: Is there one open source model provided by the sceptics which can be computed and explain the undisputed rise in global temperature over the past decades using the datasets? Yes or no?”

    Th use of a computer model is a poor argument for or against the topic, how can we trust the data when we do not know every variable or how each one effects the other?

  561. Saul Mitsuzki:

    I’ve been reflecting on this episode and one thing becomes abundantly clear:

    It is high time for the governments of the world, probably through the auspices of the U.N. to assemble a massive open multifocal database using uniform parameters, assumptions, and mechanisms. Historical data should be hashed into a single uniform format.

    From this uniform source, let the scientists model away. The review, analysis and interpretation of their results can focus on their methods and not on the question the scientists in the emails were accused (apparently with some justification) of obfuscating: I.e., the allegation data were selected and manipulated to generate “hockey sticks.”

    I figure a few $billion will do it. An especially intensive focus for data that will illuminate the last half dozen decades with a lot more data points (trees, locations, etc.) seems crucial.

    Where scientists even joke (if that is what it was) about destroying data rather than releasing it, the political machine and “man on the street” will become even more difficult to persuade. The creation of an open data set produced under conditions susceptible of verification and validation is the only solution. If cores from 5 trees get included in the database, the trees from which they were derived must be identified and the cords themselves warehoused for validation. It will be a monumental effort. But at this point, I fear grave harm has been done do any studies that rely on so many of the datum that are mentioned in these emails.

    The hubris of a few scientists appears to be fueling an argument that opens up to challenge not just the data itself, but the facts “in the field.” One who feels alarmed at the behavior with regard to the data will find it very easy to wonder whether there were other cores, measurements, or samples that were taken, but intentionally not put into the data sets.

    This is akin to the problem we see in the U.S. when there are efforts to suppress votes of one kind (i.e., minority or military). They do not become a part of the count, and because those subgroups are somewhat homogeneous in their politics the exclusion of their voices works a measurable “tilt” in the outcome.

    The only solution is a validated central open repository from which papers and methods and models can be drawn, and which can be tested and validated by others using the same data.

  562. Rich:

    With the risk of insult from BPL, I will ask a straightforward question. What is the response to the reports that Global Temps have not risen in the past 10yrs as expected, even though Co2 has continued its upward trend? Using Jones’ own data, they expected a .2c increase for this time period, but reality is temp has remained stagnant with a .07 increase and a 0.00 when el nino, nina is factored? Maybe im just one of the ignorant BPL describes…but im just looking for an answer and am willing to take an insult to hear a response.

    [Response: Try here. - gavin]

  563. Kurt:

    Gavin, in response to 553, your firm denial is an expression of faith, without adequate supporting evidence. I hope you are right, but Feynman long ago noted that science deals in doubt, not faith. Phil Jones’ emails cast doubt on his own integrity and on those of some of his allies. You would have more scientific credibility, and support your own cause better, if you said “based on what I know of X, I don’t believe he would do that, am distressed by his emails suggesting otherwise, and am asking him to take leave from his post until we can confirm everything is in order”.

    [Response: Oh yes, like that is really up to me.... Look, I've known Phil Jones for a decade and I have no doubts as to his integrity despite some rather unfortunate comments in these emails. Neither he, nor his allies (whoever they might be), are deleting any data. Not now. Not ever. You don't know him, but you have formed an impression based on these communications. Now I doubt I will convince you that your impression is wrong, but it is. - gavin]

  564. Jonathan Gilligan:

    About the word “trick,” here’s yet another reference: Steven Weinberg, “Precision Tests of Quantum Mechanics,” Physical Review Letters 62, 485 (1989), doi 10.1103/PhysRevLett.62.485: “This may be improved by 1 or 2 orders of magnitude by the reduction of the rf power to lengthen the transition time T, or by use of the Ramsey trick, with several free-precession times of several minutes at various stages in the transition.”

  565. Varga Endre:

    “Other then Gods how do any of the other topics effect Economic policy, please don’t tell me your a scientist.”

    Like astrology? If its true, then you can base your Economic policy (with big E) on the position of stars. Like some ancients did. And some moderns, too.

    But no, we do not usually research astrology (or ESP), because they are very unlikely to be true. We have limited time and resources, therefore we do not research every damned idea on Earth.

    And yes, I am a scientist (although I better like to consider myself as an engineer), and I do not know how this could mean anything in this context.

    Also, recent Economic policies (with big E), failed miserably with their risk models, so I tend to be extra conservative with risk. And AGW — even if its not certain — is a risk we cannot avoid taking into consideration.

  566. Ray Ladbury:

    johnathome says “Just because someone doesn’t agree with you, whats with the name calling? I would hope your IQ is better than this!”

    Well, my IQ is sufficiently high that I know that my cause will not be helped by illegally hacking into a website, stealing emails, selectively editing and releasing them to discredit individual scientists and science in general and feigning to be “…Shocked! Shocked!”

    Really, I’m curious. If this incident is not worthy of the harshest condemnation, what is? My point is that this doesn’t change a thing. There are still mountains of evidence–both literally and figuratively–that show humans are changing the climate. One side is actually looking at that evidence and trying to determine its implications. Scientists are human. We speak intemperately at times. We make mistakes. We also come closer to producing the truth than any other human endeavor. And the denialists, well, can you point to even one accomplishment by anti-science…ever?

  567. John Franklin:

    The hacked emails demonstrate the arrogance and social ineptitude that permeates the academic world. While the displays of pettiness and insecurity are comical in discussions of the humanities, in this case they demonstrate why academics should not be trusted with an issue as important as documenting and modeling climate change.

    For its part RealClimate needs to have a clear stated policy concerning how posts and comments are filtered. It also needs to distance itself from (rather than trying to trivialize) the egregious behavior displayed in some of the emails.

    The biology grad students I knew would always say “You can always tell a physical scientist but you can’t tell them much.” This episode appears to prove they were correct.

  568. Jim Bouldin:

    551:
    “For the first time in my life I feel ashamed to be a scientist…The fact that journals allow us to pick or refuse certain reviewers already shows how messed up the whole system has become. Which is why I always must smile when people insist on peer review in these discussions.”

    What are you talking about? Nobody “picks or refuses certain reviewers”. What is allowed, at some journals, are requests that certain potential reviewers be included or excluded. The subject matter editor, or Editor in Chief can honor or not honor those requests as they see fit. These options are put in place to increase the chances that one can receive a fair review, by avoiding those who are either not an expert on the topic, or who may not be counted on to give a fair review for whatever reason.

    Mind telling us what kind of scientist you are by the way, given that you don’t seem to understand this? And why are you ashamed about something that doesn’t involve you?

    Crocodile tears.

  569. Perik Erikson:

    “Who did this (distorting data)? And what claim do you think it was supporting?

    You, gavin, distort data and they are your claims (your money, your status, your right etc.).

    Until recently I thought that banking was a respectable profession. The same I did for scientists.

    [Response: Really? Perhaps you could provide some evidence for your accusations? I don't even have any data to distort! - gavin]

  570. tensorized lurker:

    Re: Jonathan Gilligan#563,

    It is not the word ‘trick’ that is at issue here but the hiding of proxy data that decline in the recent decades (1980 onwards) using measured temperatures.

    [Response: Again, how is a publication in Nature hiding anything? I know you don't think that climate scientists are very bright, but really, the purloined Nature article? - gavin]

  571. SE:

    I have read many of the emails that lead me to some sympathy for the researchers whose emails have been disclosed. I see some indications that your error (at least W.R.T some of you) was that you tried to follow the a Righteous at the same time as an objective path. Which makes me all the more sorry for saying what needs very badly to be said.

    After that reading I can come to only one conclusion. The Hadley and American scientists that speak of evading FOIA laws and censorship of anyone that has a dissenting view in “peer reviewed” journals need to learn from this experience.

    The idea demonstrated by so many posters here that “Thy shall not question thy God” just shows what a poor foundation was built for the GW house of cards that has been constructed.

    This is not to say the cards have no validity as they are all pieces of the puzzle. But rather to say what a botched up mess this is.

    There is at least a 75% chance that the release was the act of a Whistle blowing and not hacking.

    The emails disclosed (many of which have been confirmed by their authors – to their credit) by their selection at the very least demonstrate knowledge of what a smoking gun looks like.

    But the most serious criticism I have is one that I don’t see anyone mentioning here or elsewhere.

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=485

    “Tom,
    I’ll look at what you’ve said over the weekend re CCSP.
    I don’t know the other panel members. I’ve not heard any
    more about it since agreeing a week ago.
    As for FOIA Sarah isn’t technically employed by UEA and she
    will likely be paid by Manchester Metropolitan University.
    I wouldn’t worry about the code. ***If FOIA does ever get
    used by anyone, there is also ***IPR to consider as well.***
    Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people,
    so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any
    requests onto the person at UEA who has been given a post to
    deal with them.
    Cheers
    Phil”

    Could someone try to justify how publicly paid for research leads to Institutional and person Intellectual Property Right$$?

    ESPECIALLY when you are using your conclusion of that “behind the curtain” data to tell the rest of the human race to spend trillions to fix the problems you are claiming exist and need to be fixed.

    All the while the institutions you work for find monetary value in hiding your pubilicly funded work habits that they do not want to give up.

    Shame on you Phil et al. Shame on the institutions that you work for. Shame on the politicians, government bureaucrats, and others that are supporting you in this.

    My advice to you is this. Open up all the data sets, all of the statistical climate models, and anything else that has to do with your public assertions.

    How are your actions any different than that of a commercial airline pilot that is insisting that his training and reputation makes a breath analyzer test unnecessary right before he get on the plane?

    If you do not wish to be transparent then it is time to clean house and get Scientists who really are objective. Scientist that do not work for institutions that are looking to make money off of publicly funded research.

    Climate of the earth is a very serious subject. It desperately needs to be treated that way. How can it be otherwise when in the past the climate of the earth has killed nearly all life on Earth?

    Though it also needs to be treated as and in context of one of many very serious issues.

    You have created a monster. Much, but certainly not all, has nothing to do with science. Until you decide to be completely transparent the real science will not begin.

    [Response: Well, IPR comes into it because the toolkits set up or data collected by scientists are usually the back-bone of their scientific output, and sometimes have taken years to refine. In a very real sense, that is what makes a scientist productive and is the basis by which they are judged worthy of future funding. People are therefore protective of it (and rightly so). - gavin]

  572. simon abingdon:

    If for example you’re going for a job interview, and you know you’re worth it, all you have to do is speak from the heart and your integrity will become apparent.

    That’s how Gavin comes across to me. Sometimes a little exasperated perhaps. But withal unfailingly convincing in the face of hostile and unremitting pressure. Always responsive and never evasive.

    You can’t fake that.

  573. Steve Geiger:

    563. The elements of the ‘trick’ have been pretty reasonably established. Go read about it on that ‘other’ web site. People had figured that out quite some time ago.

  574. Joe:

    Someone mentioned this from Richard Feynman, his address to the grad class in 1974 at CalTech (at http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm.) it is all too appropriate in light of the conduct shown in the emails:

    But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

    We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a little bit off, because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of the electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

    Why didn’t they discover that the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history–because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that. We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that kind of a disease.
    [BUT WE DO HAVE “TRICKS” HERE DR. FEYNMAN!!!]

    For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of this work were. “Well,” I said, “there aren’t any.” He said, “Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of this kind.” I think that’s kind of dishonest. If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing–and if they don’t want to support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

    One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results.

    I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.

    So I have just one wish for you–the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.

  575. PhryingPhish:

    If (just IF mind you) tomorrow we found out that 1. GW was NOT happening or 2. That GW was actually Good for the world, would you, or any like scientist have the courage to say, “Well, I guess I was wrong. Gotta go now and find a new job.”, I doubt it.

  576. Lyn from UK:

    “…posting private correspondence without permission is unethical. We therefore aren’t going to post any of the emails here…”

    Are you insane? If the emails are true, they are at best at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, eg a conspiracy to defraud the taxpayer who paid for ‘honest’ academic research.

    I am a British taxpayer, a big supporter of a cleaner environment, but seething at the thought that the intelligentsia yet again piss down my back and tell me it’s raining because I don’t hold a PhD.

  577. jontie:

    The same type of ‘incriminating’ emails could be found in the inbox of academics in any field. Academics often play fast and loose with peer review to build/consolidate their careers. Not nice, but the drive for success and prestige can make people behave badly.
    But, does this mean the scientific consensus is wrong? Of course not, it just means leading scientists are not candidates for sainthood. Big deal.

  578. Medawar:

    This may not actually have been a hack as such.
    Some are saying that, due to the sheer volume of data, it’s more characteristic of a badly-disposed-of hard drive (or backup tape) and the date of most of the material would rather support this.

    This changes the legalities more than slightly, transferring most of the liability to the careless disposer (who might have broken the data protection act) rather than the “hacker”. If he hasn’t actually hacked anything, but found or brought an old drive or backup tape, he’s broken copyright law at worst.

    It’s also possible that someone deliberately gave this data out, of course. But see age of the material, above.

    If the material was mislaid, or sold, and wasn’t hacked, then there is no basis for a police investigation and one suspects at Norfolk Constabulary have far better things to do with their time. It would be for copyright holders to take civil action, (trading standards can assist only when the copyright breach is done for direct profit, as in video piracy.)

    The hope that the police will briskly crack down and spare certain people embarrassment is probably a vain one: if they don’t do anything much when one is burgled, mugged or raped, is it realistic to expect their immediate attention when it’s not even clear that the data was acquired by criminal means?

    And if they do jump to the tune of important scientists and policy-makers, is that actually the right thing? I’m sure that if the Chief Constable of Norfolk really has any men spare this weekend, they’re on their way to Cumbria to assist overwhelmed colleagues.

  579. Jim Bouldin:

    While the displays of pettiness and insecurity are comical in discussions of the humanities, in this case they demonstrate why academics should not be trusted with an issue as important as documenting and modeling climate change.

    You prefer say, plumbers, or maybe retired mining consultants?

  580. Varga Endre:

    It is actually very sad, that this whole AGW debate ends up in a giant flame war. I really want the AGW Theory opponents (don’t like neither skeptic, neither denialist — each term is heavily biased) to be true. I really want. Time will tell.

  581. West Houston:

    QUoting NY Times:
    “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.”
    ——————–
    Quoting one of the Scientists (with integrity) in question:
    “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the (c-word) out of him. Very tempted.”

    Just search the new CRU email database for “c-word”. You’ll have to sort through hundreds, but it’s there.

  582. encs:

    “For the first time in my life I feel ashamed to be a scientist.”

    Counterpoint: I’m a scientist, too, and I do not share your feelings in the slightest.

    Further, I understand why an institution might be reticent to share raw data willy-nilly — with unqualified culture warriors, especially — even if they legally could, which sometimes they can’t. Perhaps you can present the facts of a specific case in which you think data was unduly embargoed? That way we can make up our own minds, albeit without the benefit of your scolding and hand-wringing.

  583. J:

    The elephant in the room of these emails is that key players in AGW are engaged in CYA, propaganda, suppression of opposition, and hiding their work. I.e., the opposite of honest scientific inquiry.

    “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” is not a viable rebuttal and its not working.

  584. Perik Erikson:

    By the way gavin

    stop calling mankind not being part of nature
    it created us and GW
    mankind only creates the words (concepts)

    go for it. bye

  585. Jim Bouldin:

    The biology grad students I knew would always say “You can always tell a physical scientist but you can’t tell them much.” This episode appears to prove they were correct.

    Iron clad proof, without a doubt. Just as the whole deal proves AGW is bogus right?

  586. Ian Rae:

    The IPCC has often uses the consensus claim — ‘thousands of climate scientists agree’. This is a claim based on the credibility of scientists. And unfortunately the fallout of these emails will be a loss of credibility.

    One good thing I see in them is the quiet questioning of the current science — such as Kevin Trenberth saying they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty.

    [Response: See here. It's not what you think. - gavin]

  587. Biff Larkin:

    So, are you RealClimate guys going to let Steve McIntyre have a look at your data or not?

    [Response: What data would that be? And RealClimate is a website, not a research institute. - gavin]

  588. Chris Hill:

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

    Richard Feynman

    There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.

    Richard Feynman

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.

    Richard Feynman

  589. Tenney Naumer:

    re: #511

    Dear Ike,

    I am glad the good folks here let through your comment. I said essentially the same as the first half of your comment, but it didn’t make the cut here — too blunt, I guess.

    But one thing you forgot to mention is that the NYT’s “article” let Patrick Michaels have the first and last word, and even called him a “climatologist.” No mention of the fact that he is known to take funds from CEI and mountain-top-removal coal companies, among others.

    What has happened is certainly disheartening, but I encourage all of you here at RealClimate to keep a stiff upper lip and carry on because you are our best hope.

    And, you might think of taking your show on the road like Gordon Hamilton and company because the more people see you up close and personal, the more effective you will be.

  590. Lazar:

    Gavin,

    Working under the assumption that the emails are genuine…

    Nothing has been found to incriminate the science itself. The personal stuff is irrelevant. The bad stuff relates to responses to FOI and one presentation of results, and are imv very bad…

    a) Requesting that scientists delete email correspondence
    b) in the knowledge that those emails may be subject to FOI

    [Response: This was ill-advised. - gavin]

    c) Proposing to deliberately mangle/supply requested data into a form that is more difficult to use

    [Response: Not true. - gavin]

    d) Proposing the deletion of parts of a dataset before it is released under FOI

    [Response: Depends what was requested and what was in the datafile. Some of it might not have been responsive. - gavin]

    e) Considering the deletion of an entire dataset to avoid FOI release

    [Response: Shouldn't have been said but is clearly hyperbole and not an actual proposal. - gavin]

    f) Deliberately concealing a mismatch between reconstructed and instrumental temperatures (“to hide the decline” is unambiguous, and is not excused by the fact that the discrepancy is discussed in *other* publications; Pat Michaels’ omission of Hansen 1988′s B & C scenarios in Congressional testimony is not justified by the fact that they were available in Hansen 1988 — I am not saying though that the two are ethically equivalent)

    [Response: They are not in the slightest. Michaels' actions were a deliberate misrepresentation of Hansen's work in front of Congress. The incompleteness of a caption in a brochure while unfortunate is nothing like as serious, nor does it rise to deliberate misrepresentation. The procedure used should simply have been noted more clearly. - gavin]

    g) Witholding a clean, commented version of publicly released code, presumably with the intention of not making use of the code any easier

    [Response: Your presumption is just not justified by the text. Just below he says "Phil: is this worth a followup note to GRL, w/ a link to the Matlab code?" which is hardly a declaration that the code is going to be withheld. Code gets cleaned up and hopefully easier to use all the time. - gavin]

    This appears to be (hopefully) ‘the lot’. All relate to Phil Jones with the exception of g) (Michael Mann).

    With to the release of data, some of the less frequently cited emails reveal that Jones and other climate scientists were genuinely concerned that it would be used by ‘auditors’ and other ‘skeptics’ to obfuscate the science. Scientists other than Jones also claimed a huge waste of time would result from debunking such distortions. There is no evidence of an intent to ‘hide errors’. I thoroughly agree with those assessments, having observed the actions of ‘auditors’ and other ‘skeptics’ for some time. The intention of Jones may have been ‘good’. That does not excuse the actions. The ends do not justify the means, as the means are part of the ends. This is a war between science and PR disinformation. War has ethics, and both sides may have different standards. What are scientific ethics in this regard? Of course the other side are engaged in a scope and depth of dishonesty which makes the current kerfuffle appear trifling. Sadly, and ironically, they can now cast doubt on the integrity of the climate science community and the science with impunity. I think this will shake public confidence and setback understanding by years. If the climate science community act to defend Jones’ actions, it will make the issue worse in the public eye. Discussing climate science with ‘skeptics’ is even more pointless forevermore, as any discussion will inevitably derail to this issue.

    I’ll be crossposting to other climate science sites in the hope of eliciting comment and criticism (particularly from Barton, Hank, Chris, Deep, TCO, George, Eli, Timothy, and David.)

    Cheers

    Lazar

  591. Russ Doty:

    So now that this is in the public domaine. Suppose the perpetrators hack into the Exxon computers and those of other fossil fuel fratricidalists so we get a “fair and balanced” picture of what is going on. Better yet all those climate naysayers who are exploiting this “openness” can open up their emails to the public as several on this site have offerred.

  592. Ike Solem:

    real climate news:

    GREENLAND lost 1500 cubic kilometres of ice between 2000 and 2008, making it responsible for one-sixth of global sea-level rise. Even worse, there are signs that the rate of ice loss is increasing.

    Michiel van den Broeke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and colleagues began by modelling the difference in annual snowfall and snowmelt in Greenland between 2003 and 2008 to reveal the net ice loss for each year. They then compared each year’s loss with that calculated from readings by the GRACE satellite, which “weighs” the ice sheet by measuring its gravity.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427354.100-greenland-ice-loss-behind-a-sixth-of-sealevel-rise.html

    Is the Greenland Ice Sheet also behaving sinisterly?

    real climate policy news (UPI):

    Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the stalled climate legislation is likely to undermine efforts at reaching a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen, Emirati newspaper The National reports.

    “What’s really missing is the U.S. and Canada,” he said. “And, in the absence of at least the U.S., I’m not too sure you can get any kind of binding global agreement.”

    Pachauri said American lawmakers are far behind their counterparts in the industrialized world in moving ahead with appropriate climate-change legislation.

    “Europe is pretty much on board, Japan has come up with very ambitious targets, even in the developing countries, the emerging markets, there is at least some indication that their own national action plans will be taken,” he said.”

    Are our U.S. Senators also behaving sinisterly? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a straight news article in the NYT say anything like, “Still, the Senator’s actions could be seen as sinister.”

    Maybe the NYT should have just run with the headline, “Emails reveal sinister agenda of climate scientists.”

  593. Ron:

    Re:
    381
    ccpo says:
    21 November 2009 at 3:45 AM “Try posting a dissenting view at WUWT. I’ve never posted a lie, a slander, or anything else but the truth there, but I am banned.”

    -ccpo, maybe your problem is that nobody (strictly speaking) can POST a slander. Slanders are spoken, in contrast to libels which are defamations that are written (posted) or expressed in some other permanent form, e.g. a taped audio message. The latter are deemed more serious because they take time to make which indicate intent to defame, whereas a slander can be expressed in haste, or simply a slip of the tongue. You’re welcome.

    Re:
    264
    Ray Ladbury says:
    20 November 2009 at 6:56 PM
    “To hell with these bastards [denialists]. Let them bask in their own irrelevance while the rest of us get about constructing a sustainable society.”

    -Ray, I think it would be great if you’d actually spend more of your time “…constructing a sustainable society” than you do here with your never ending stream of destructive and boorish back street tough guy patois. You may have a great deal to contribute, but it all seems to come out sounding like poop. Thanks.

    Ron

  594. Xyrus:

    Re: 524
    “bielie says:
    21 November 2009 at 12:48 PM

    According to the spreadsheet there were £13,718,547.00 in grants! (to the pound) That’s probably more than the GDP of some countries that will receive climate restitution dollars under the proposed Copenhagen accord!”

    13 million pounds? Really? The military spends more on toilet paper and tooth brushes than that.

    The GDP of England is 2.3 trillion in US dollars. 13 million pounds is roughly 21 million US dollars. So all that climate research amounts to a whopping .0001% of the budget. Even if it were billions, that’s still .01%.

    But you are right about one thing. That is slightly more or equal to the GDP of two countries (Tuvalu, Niue).

    ~X~

  595. helvio:

    I don’t even understand what the fuss is all about… For me, as a scientist who uses a lot of computer programming to simulate (truly predictable) physical systems in particle physics, who share his code and data when asked (no need for FOI-like requests!), who works in a field where data, configurations, codes are generically open, I can only interpret the behavior reflected in some emails as the negation of science. It’s crystal clear and as simply as this: if you don’t share the data and/or the codes used to analyze it -when legitimately asked for them- then you must be hiding something! Claiming that these codes and data are the results of funded research, and that 3rd parties not covered by these funds have no right to access them, it’s complete BS! Funds are used to do research, results are obtained and published, and the credit is due. And that’s what realscience is! Hiding, destroying (or intending to), or making it difficult to access the methods used to obtain those results screams -fraud-. The honest scientist is not afraid of the results they publish, nor selfish. They want knowledge to progress, even if they are not its author.

  596. DaveS:

    ***”What data would that be? And RealClimate is a website, not a research institute. – gavin”

    You have a fondness for playing silly semantic games to avoid addressing points. RealClimate is a website, sure… and many of its contributors have just been exposed in emails conspiring to avoid compliance with FOIA requests (among many other things)…

    Is it really that hard to acknowledge “Oh yeah, Real Climate is a bunch of scientists who are conspiring to withhold data, so your question about whether we will release our data makes perfect sense”? Why can’t you just answer the question?

    [Response: Because your question doesn't make any sense. Nobody associated with RealClimate conspired to avoid compliance with FOI because none of them are under any FOI requests. (I have been involved with two in the past as mentioned above, neither of which involved data of any type). So rather than me rack my brains for what data it is you are referring to, perhaps you could just tell me what data do you think any of us are holding that anyone would like to see? - gavin]

  597. MarkB:

    With all the many emails, the “cream of the crop” being held up by the political crowd turns out to be nothing.

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/climate-deniers-hoax-themselves-again/

    Following Simon Abingdon’s comment #570, I admire the incredible patience Dr. Schmidt and other scientists are and have been displaying over the years and over the latest soap box episode. I don’t know of any scientific field that is remotely close to being under similar constant politically-motivated assault, which is apparent with some of the trollish comments and charges being thrown around here. What other field of science has legions of fanatics cheering on hackers stealing personal emails going back over a decade and quote mining them, desperate to find some “dirt”, feigning “outrage” over scientists saying not-so-nice things about others, and making very poor conclusions regarding emails containing discussions of studies and data? This is political ugliness – something genuinely skeptical scientists wouldn’t want to be a part of. Frankly, I hope this doesn’t lead to scientists becoming too restrained and talking less candidly when communicating with other scientists and the public, or deters intelligent young people from entering the field, knowing that they will be under constant attack. Climate scientists are doing a tremendous service to society. I hope they will keep up the good work, and will not be deterred by political bullies.

  598. petek:

    “The use of a computer model is a poor argument for or against the topic, how can we trust the data when we do not know every variable or how each one effects the other?

    Data is measured. Sure, data measurement will and needs to be improved, you may not trust the models, I agree, better trust the data and not the variables. Consider this. Yes, there is a problem, the last decade shows no significant warming trend (also no decline, but look at the long term trend). The previous decades show a very significant warming trend. As a result the models start to lose touch with the data, true. Nobody wants to forge data, so there might be a need to adjust the models. This is an ongoing scientific process and matter of conflict and dispite, computing power makes many things easier. I started helping to work on carbon sinks in the 80s and on athmospheric models. The first model was done on a C64. I only did the code review, but gained a little bit of insight. These things then were really ugly but have become much better since. Like always stated in this blog, it is easier to create long term models and there is a simple reason, statistical noise, which tends to disappear over time. It is far easier to do a one year UK road congestion forecast than predicting a London traffic jam at a given time (e.g. accident or tube strike).

    Yes, falsification is a good concept, but it has its flaws. If a theory is falsfied you are left with no theory if there is no theory to counter it. An audit is not enough though. In sciences you need to establish an opposite theory or at least a valid argument – based on observation (data) or experiment that challenges a theory. The basic science by experiment is settled, okay, now you can come up with the argument of invalid or incomplete data. Yes, it is incomplete and Gavin probably wants to shoot ten more satellites into the earth orbit. As humans we have to live with data as we get those pieces and try to transform them into information. That is the central point, data does not equal information.

  599. Jim Bouldin:

    “But, does this mean the scientific consensus is wrong? Of course not, it just means leading scientists are not candidates for sainthood. Big deal.”

    No, it doesn’t even mean that. It does mean that certain individuals will break into a server and distribute information to those who will use it to bolster their already paranoid viewpoint about climate scientists.

  600. Xyrus:

    ” Anthony Jackson says:
    21 November 2009 at 2:23 PM

    Th use of a computer model is a poor argument for or against the topic, how can we trust the data when we do not know every variable or how each one effects the other?”

    No it isn’t. And such a statement shows your complete lack of understanding.

    The point of a model is to help study potential relationships and verify against observations. You’re not going to simulate climate in a lab, so the only option is to use models as a testing board. The more we learn, the more we add to the model for a more accurate representation.

    If your problem is that you don’t understand the math and/or science, then you nee to enroll into classes or a degree program that will. The point of the models is to help the scientists understand and test their hypotheses, not teach or train the masses in advance concepts of climatology.

    ~X~

  601. tensorized lurker:

    [Response: Again, how is a publication in Nature hiding anything? I know you don't think that climate scientists are very bright, but really, the purloined Nature article? - gavin]

    Dr. Jones himself described Mann’s Nature trick as ‘hiding’. Is there another meaning of ‘hiding’ that I am missing here?

    [Response: The decline in the Briffa reconstruction was 'hidden' on that one single graph, but the interannual variability was also 'hidden', so was the interhemispheric difference. They are not 'hidden' in any nefarious way as the statements implying that Jones was 'hiding' data would imply. And it remains unclear why this was described as Mann's Nature trick since no such effect is seen in Mike's paper in any case. - gavin]

  602. John Franklin:

    576 and 581 – Do you think the choice is one between academics and plumbers or mining consultants?

    I was suggesting in 567 that the inherent insecurities in the academic world (relating to tenure, status, funding, etc.) means that it is the sort of arena that encourages emails of the type being exposed.

    The level of hubris and poor judgment displayed in some of the emails means that from now on every discussion I have with someone denying or wanting to know more about climate change will have me making excuses for the bad manners of a physical scientist while trying to defend the record of climate change.

    For those of us concerned about the science and the planet more than our academic standing or funding this has been a major setback.

  603. Ray Ladbury:

    Ron @592 Opposing anti-science scumbags IS working toward a sustainable society. We will never achieve anything like sustainability until we establish the proposition that policy should be based on science rather than wishful thinking. Do I get emotional about this issue? Damned right! When a bunch of innumerate wannabes get together and pretend to be scientists in the hopes of duping unwary laymen on an issue that threatens the continued viability of human civilization, that is worth getting upset about. I am sorry if devotion to the truth offends you.

  604. Biff Larkin:

    Semantic games indeed.

    “So rather than me rack my brains for what data it is you are referring to, perhaps you could just tell me what data do you think any of us are holding that anyone would like to see?”

    The data that Jones says he would rather destroy then turn over to McIntyre. That data.

    [Response: It may have escaped your notice, but I am not Phil Jones, neither is Mike Mann, and nor is anyone else associated with the RealClimate. We might look superficially alike and have similar accents, but we are actually different people, and we live in different countries and work on different things. The issues with the base CRU data have been discussed above (and here), but to recap, CRU data includes extra information from Nat. Met. Services which were given on the understanding that they could not be passed on to third parties except as part of the gridded data set. This information is something that the relevant NMS's sell commercially and so they often have legal mandates not to undermine their own revenue streams by giving things out for free. Now I don't really know how key that is, and how flexible they might be to rethinking those agreements, but while they exist, CRU is in a bit of a bind. I stress that this has absolutely nothing to do with anyone at RealClimate, and has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to hide data. It possibly has something to do with the fact that CRU has recieved dozens of vexatious FOI requests from people who are trying to score points rather than do any science. - gavin]

  605. Richard Ordway:

    I appologise for taking up so much space, however it needs
    saying and speaks loudly and clearly for itself amidst all the
    hullabaloo going on.

    The following is a fact:

    The following world-wide established scientifically-oriented
    bodies have all issued verifyable written statements that human
    caused-global warming/human-caused climate change is now
    happening:

    They are all risking their hard-earned reputations, which is all-
    important in science, (and risking funding and ridicule if they are
    wrong), to issue statements that human-caused climate change
    is currently happening:

    1) European Academy of Sciences and Arts- 2007

    2) InterAcademy Council- 2007

    3) International Council of Academies of Engineering and
    Technological Sciences-2007

    4) 32 national science academies (Australia, Belgium, Brazil,
    Cameroon, Canada, the Caribbean, China, France, Ghana,
    Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Kenya,
    Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, Russia,
    Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Uganda,
    United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).-2001

    5) The national science academies of the G8+5 nations issued a
    joint statement declaring- 2009

    6) Network of African Science Academies- (Cameroon, Ghana,
    Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan,
    Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as the African
    Academy of Sciences).- 2007

    7) Royal Society of New Zealand- 2008

    8) Polish Academy of Sciences- 2007

    9) US National Research Council -2001

    10) American Association for the Advancement of Science- 2006

    11) European Science Foundation- 2007

    12) Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological
    Societies- 2008

    13) American Geophysical Union- 2007

    14) European Federation of Geologists- 2008

    15) European Geosciences Union- 2005

    16) Geological Society of America- 2006

    17) Geological Society of Australia- 2009

    18) International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics- 2007

    19) National Association of Geoscience Teachers- 2009

    20) American Meteorological Society- 2003

    21) Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society- (As
    of 2009)

    22) Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric
    Sciences- 2005

    23) Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society- 2007

    24) English Royal Meteorological Society- 2007

    25) World Meteorological Organization- 2006

    26) American Quaternary Association- (from at least 2009)

    27) American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians- (from at
    least 2009)

    28) American Society for Microbiology- 2003

    29) Australian Coral Reef Society- 2006

    30) UK’s Institute of Biology- (from at least 2009)

    31) Society of American Foresters- 2008

    32) American Academy of Pediatrics- 2007

    33) American College of Preventive Medicine- 2006

    34) American Medical Association- 2008

    35) American Public Health Association- 2007

    36) Australian Medical Association- 2004

    37) World Federation of Public Health Associations- 2001

    38) World Health Organization- 2008

    39) American Astronomical Society- (from at least 2009)

    40) American Chemical Society- (from at least 2009)

    41) American Institute of Physics- (from at least 2009)

    42) American Physical Society- 2007

    43) American Statistical Association- 2007

    44) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Not one, I repeat, not one scientific body of national or
    international standing, (to the best of my knowledge) is known to *reject* (but three out of four
    American geological scientific bodies are issuing neutral
    statements- some dating from 1999) about the basic findings of
    human influence on recent climate change on the entire planet
    Earth *currently as of 2009*)…

    …not one *currently as of 2009* rejects anymore the IPCC findings,(to the best of my knowledge)that we humans are warming the Earth. However, it was a different story several years ago before the world-wide mainstream climate science’s evidence advanced enough to become indisputably solid in mainstream science (with the help of intense contrarian arguments and became so strong)…

    It has been an evolving process since at least 1824 with Jean-Baptiste Fourier’s published writings. The first mainstream mathematical calculations in journals to show that we humans could warm the Earth by burning oil, coal and gas and making CO2 were from 1896 (Svante Arrhenius)…

  606. David B. Benson:

    Good lord!

    Five hundred and ninety eight comments so far!

    Very much ado about very, very little.

  607. Ian:

    Are these emails illegally hacked? There seems to be a suggestion they are from a whistleblower at UEA

  608. Sean:

    As per http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html
    Why wouldn’t the sensitivity of tree growth in the second half of the century be taken to be more accurate than the sensitivity measured in the earlier years of the century. Surely we have gotten better over the years at measuring mean temperature directly (evolving from mercury thermometers to satellite data as an example). In a nutshell, why do we have more faith in the thermometer readings taken 100 years ago versus that readings taken 25 years ago?

    [Response: We don't. It's the trees that have a problem, not the temperature measurements. - gavin]

  609. Brian:

    The sad thing is the unbelievable level of arrogance these scientists display. Public money, full disclosure, why is that so hard?

  610. Sloop:

    Reading through the hacked emails impartially exonerates the CRU scientists and their colleagues. No smoking gun. No “mushroom cloud.” Clearly many posters here and elsewhere don’t understand how the institutions and mechanisms of scientific research function. FOIA requests are resisted by the CRU scientists because they were clearly coming from folks out to obfuscate and defame the research. There is NOTHING to hide here folks and it is for reasons explained lots of reasons why the met data just couldn’t be released upon request. Furthermore, this hacking event seems highly orchestrated and nefarious in and of itself. The efforts led by CA are not affecting scientific consensus and much of their work is clearly pseudo-science. But they are deliberately or ignorantly misleading the lay public and fueling the ideologues who have the same agenda. My questions to readers of this blog are thus this- how should this hacking event after it is fully investigated by the legal authorities be responded to by major government entities such as NOAA? Should it be ignored or should government authorities step in with a complete review and discussion of what is going on here? Your answer probably would depend on how influential one considers the blogosphere in the first place on different facets of society. US government entities generally are very hesitant to respond to pseudo science initiatives unless absolutely necessary; but has whatever is being orchestrated to obfuscate the advance of climatology and related disciplines, to slow progress on climate change law and treaties crossed a line in terms of manipulating public opinion, defaming legitimate scientists, and denigrating valid and critical scientific findings? The comments on Gavin’s hacker posts will clearly go on for a while. Much of what I’m perusing here is not useful. If we’re going to continue this thread ad nauseum, could at least some of us try to engage in a more useful discussion???

  611. MadRocketScientist:

    “Look, I’ve known Phil Jones for a decade and I have no doubts as to his integrity despite some rather unfortunate comments in these emails. Neither he, nor his allies (whoever they might be), are deleting any data. Not now. Not ever. You don’t know him, but you have formed an impression based on these communications. Now I doubt I will convince you that your impression is wrong, but it is”

    The problem is, the science is not really at issue here, it’s the perception that you are witholding data, or finding ways to withold data, or seriously wanting to withold data, which is something the general public believes scientists (especially University Scientists) do not do. Same goes for the personal attacks on skeptics and journals (science always welcomes the skeptic).

    It’s like finding out that your local DA has been keeping info from the defense, or engaging in a nasty PR campaign against a defendant. In both cases, you should not need to do that, your logic & your data should stand on their own.

    Also, this is bad for science as a whole, as it will feed into the fear of those who are on the fence about contentious topics (like evolution). It encourages the idea that there is a conspiracy to push one POV over another. Just wait until someone starts going on about how much money there is in Climate Research, and how much is invested in green technologies, and how much is to be made in carbon credits & tax, and you’ll see more people deciding you are all on the take. You may not agree with me, but I’ve already seen it happening. Those who didn’t believe now have more reason to not, and those on the fence, are now questioning how much the politics drove the science.

    You guys should have avoided trying to control the debate (and don’t claim you weren’t, applying pressure to institutions and publishers to oust or ignore people is controlling the debate).

    And always assume your work emails are public.

  612. Robert:

    The problem is not about the fact that papers are being dismissed for being inadquate and of poor qualitiy – and it is totally acceptable that they are harshly criticised internally by peer reviewers.

    The huge problem is that it cleary appears that papers were rejected because the peer reviewers did’nt like their RESULTS, and this is what the public fury is about. It seems that RC and its partners are rather driven by ideology or personal interests rather than science and that is highly probelmatic.

    [Response: No. The problem with Soon and Baliunas was their methodology, not their results (which were pre-determined in any case). Same for Douglass et al and same for McClean et al (and note that an author on the last one, was actually the editor on the first). - gavin]

  613. steven mosher:

    There is a lot of speculation on whether these files were “cherry picked” there is some evidence that they were selected by CRU themselves. There is some evidence that the files were collected as part of an FOI appeal. An appeal that was denied on Nov 13th. The date of the last email was Nov 12th.

    I think the bottomline on this whole story is this. The institutions that govern scientific behavior are going awry. Those institutions are being corrupted by money and power and politics. The tonic for this is transparency. Free the data; free the code; free the debate.

    But some on the AGW side are interested in controlling the message. They fight against data release because they fear what people will do with it. They fear that data will be misused: it will be. They fear people finding errors: errors will be found. None of these errors will overturn the basic science which is sound. They fear that people will be less certain: they will be. And they fear that it may take some time to convince people to take action: it will. And so they act out of fear and try to control the message. Everyone who understands the nixon white house understands how this fear drives people to do things that they ordinarily would not. The one thing they never feared: disclosure. Leaks. And so the thing they feared the most, delaying action on climate science, is the very thing they may have got. They should have trusted that open debate would yield the next right action in the shortest time possible. They didnt. They feared a “corporate enemy” that would delay action. And, ironically, in the end they ended up being the thing they feared.

  614. Rod B:

    I want to comment before this thread reaches critical mass. I think there is some negative substance in the emails that in fact does cast some shadows on the science (or maybe more accurately some of the people in the science). Clearly there is some evidence that some climate scientists have been less than pure and pristine in their endeavors, and that some of the science is less than as perfectly portrayed. With that, it is also understandable that some of the responses are emotionally and loudly defensive.

    However, maybe surprising to some here, I come down firmly on the side of RC. I criticize some AGW proponents for being completely dogmatic (bordering on religious) in their defense (or offense) of every and all aspects of AGW science when it is obvious that at least some parts of the science are less than 100% certain. This still holds. But I have also understood (and have said) why those guys (and gals), unless there is complete segregation between the science and the politics — which is not possible, can’t always do otherwise. This is because if some degree of uncertainty is appropriately discussed and accepted within the science, this can “get out” and attach to the political arena, and in that (just as in the criminal arena) can be used completely out of context in a negative and nefarious way against the science.

    The business memos analogy is apt. (And unless arbitrarily limited specifically to emails goes way further back than Enron). It’s recognized by business (with maybe Gates as an exception…) that the thing that will lose the anti-trust case is the otherwise simple innocuous little memo long forgotten and sitting for years in the secretary’s file cabinet. Business goes to great efforts to make sure that nothing that might be construed as incriminating (even though there was zero criminal thought or intent) is hard written or kept. This might aid them in some future problematic proceedings, but it also greatly inhibits what might be significant and helpful business discussions. The same holds true here. A climate scientist ought to feel free to challenge and criticize a fellow scientist’s assertion. This greatly aids the scientific process. But if just the criticism sneaks out without its proper context it can provide an AHA! moment for the aginers — which maybe has little validity within the science but can be persuasive outside the science. Absolutely unfortunate and unhelpful.

    The folks who argue, “but if they have nothing to hide…….” are the same idiots who would throw out the 4th Amendment.

    I was going to comment on other specific posts, but at 500+ per day, this is getting ridiculous!

  615. EL:

    105 – dcook
    The word “trick” is used differently in technical fields and even in layman fields. In fact, the actual definition of trick has many meanings. From Dictionary.com, one meaning of the word trick means “The art or knack of doing something skillfully.” This particular meaning of the word trick is used quite frequently in mathematics, and I’m sure it is used in science as well.

    107 and others – On Moderation

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with moderation, and it is used frequently on just about every single forum on the Internet. One of my favorite forums is physicsforums.com, and it is heavily moderated. If they did not moderate the forum, it would be filled to the brim with posts by religious zealots.

    Real climate may want to post similar rules so that moderation is very clear to the public so that everyone is very clear on what is and what is not acceptable. I think it would also be helpful to include a “forum” with the web site so that other discussions could take place.

    110 – On conforming suspicions.

    I don’t think anything has changed. For the most part, the arguments will be peppered with an added form of nonsense. I’ve already seen several people cite the word “trick,” and they only use the meanings suited to meet their argument. It reminds me of the ‘reverse’ song arguments made by religious communities a few decades ago. Researchers took a group of people and played a song in reverse. The subjects could not understand what the singer was saying; however, once they were told what was being said, all could hear it. Much of the same is taking place here.

    117 – On trick again.
    “Could you give a few examples? I searched right here at Realclimate for uses of that term they tend to relate to “trickery”, not good science.”

    I’ll give you a very simple example.

    Lets assume that a fraction has an irrational number in the denominator, and we want to rationalize the denominator in order to make the mathematics with fractions cleaner.

    For example: 1/square-root-of(2)

    Since an irrational number in the denominator makes for ugly mathematics, we can use a trick to move the irrational number to the numerator by multiplying the top and bottom of the fraction with the irrational number.

    Given: 1 / Square-Root-of(2)
    Step One: (1 * Square-root-of(2)) / (Square-Root-of(2) * Square-Root-of(2))
    Step Two: Square-root-of(2) / Square-Root-Of(4)
    Step Three: Square-Root-of(2) / 2

    And so we have rationalized the denominator.

  616. Nick:

    Yes, illegal. Unethical? If someone had hacked into Exxon’s servers and found emails talking about how they need to hire and promote global warming deniers, you’d be applauding and justifying the actions of the hackers.

  617. the equaliser:

    @597 MarkB
    “Climate scientists are doing a tremendous service to society. I hope they will keep up the good work, and will not be deterred by political bullies.”

    pffffffftttttt.
    i think i c your heart breaking just a ‘ittle bit

  618. MadRocketScientist:

    And BTW, before someone jumps on me about being a denier, I’m not, I accept that the world is warming. I think we are in a natural warming period and human activity is accelerating the trend and has the potential of making the the peak higher than it normally would be.

  619. gt4:

    As a long time reader of CA and RC I can testify to one dramatic difference between the skeptics and the believers, the skeptics are more tolerant of dissent. In fact, CA encourages discussions with the believers and the most interesting discussions are often between McIntyre (or others) and a person on the establishment side. Prior to this thread, I have personally had every post I put on RC deleted. All were on point and relevant the the current discussion. After reading the email talking about managing the message on RC I don’t feel so bad.

    I would suggest you open your website to more critical posts and stick to the facts instead of personal attacks.

    [Response: And I'm sure you have made exactly the same point elsewhere... - gavin]

  620. John Mason:

    re – 601

    Richard, I pretty much agree.

    This work goes back a century and a half, and has not yet failed the test of falsification. What (watt??) is it with these muppets who constantly attempt to reinvent the laws of physics to suit their particular political stances?

    I despair, I really do!

    Cheers – john

  621. Brnn8r:

    I have a couple of (meta?)science questions that are confusing me.

    But first off I’d like to explain that I consider myself a luke-warmer. i.e. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is being increased by man and of course this should lead to some increase in the global mean temperature anomaly. I’m not sure agree with the IPCC AR4 conclusion that man is mostly responsible for the warming. It seem to me it’s too difficult at this stage to rule out natural internal variability. For example we don’t really have a good handle on what clouds have been doing for the last 50 – 60 years do we?

    Anyway I hear reports, on the one hand, that climate change is accelerating “faster than even experts predicted” and yet on the other hand that (land/ocean) temperatures are currently relatively stable if not decreasing (I’m basing this off the RSS, MSU, GISS temps and the ARGO system). Doesn’t the fact that temperatures are not really increasing mean that some of this reported acceleration is not happening? Or does it really depends on where you choose your start point?

    [Response: "worse" or "better" than expected depends on what it is you are looking at. CO2 emissions are worse, CO2 levels are about right, CH4 levels are better, summer sea ice extent is worse, temperature is hard to tell. Given the IPCC expectations consist generally of a best guess and a range, one would expect some things to be better or worse even if IPCC had been perfect. Compared to 1995 (IPCC SAR), emissions are worse, sea levels are worse, temperatures about right. etc. I would personally avoid statements along those lines until you have longer data-sets. A couple of years have too much noise for conclusions to be robust. - gavin]

    Also, IIRC, based on a climate sensitivity of 3C for 2CO2 (IPCC best estimate?) there should have been more warming in the 20th century than was recorded. The implication I got was that the oceans were storing this extra heat and would release this at a latter date. How does this reconcile with decreasing oceanic temperatures? i.e. can we still balance the energy equations with 3C for 2CO2 and if not where is the other heat energy going?

    [Response: The expected warming over the 20C is a function of three things - the net forcing (CO2 and aerosols and CH4 etc.), the sensitivity and the ocean uptake of heat. The first is uncertain, as is the second, though the long term rise in the third indicates that the net forcing was indeed positive. However, the delay in the system because of the ocean thermal inertia, while implying there is some warming in the pipeline, does not mean that the energy in the oceans is going to come back out at a later date. It is there pretty much for good. As the ocean is warming at depth, the surface is a little bit cooler than it will be at equilibrium. Where do you get the idea that oceans are cooling though? - gavin]

    Thanks
    Steve

  622. Jay:

    If you, Gavin, could please clarify for me and post the question and answer.

    From what I can tell there are only a handful of people who have actually used raw data and created a history of the climate based on said data i.e. Mann, Briffa, etc.

    [Response: Not even close. Mann and Briffa work in paleo-reconstructions, not the temperature data at CRU. Their source material are the hundreds of published individual records from tree-rings, ice cores, corals etc. (got to the NOAA Paleoclimate site to download that). - gavin]

    Other scientists use the results that these previous studies already got for their own experiments. I know there is the Mann graph, the Briffa tree ring, and one or two more. From my understanding all others have used the results or already smoothed and fixed data.

    [Response: No again. There are many groups of people doing their own reconstructions directly from the raw paleodata. - gavin]

    Is it also true that the original raw data from these studies is missing?

    [Response: No. ]

    All that is left are copies of the corrected data?

    [Response: No. Are you referring to the instrumental records though? In which case all of the met services have all their original data. - gavin]

    If all of these scientists and organizations that previous posts have referred to, use the previous studies as reference and don’t reconstruct the data for themselves, would that not lead them to the same conclusions regardless of validity?
    Basically, if there is a mistake could that same mistake be made over and over if the original data were not verified over and over. We know gravity exists because everytime its tested it works in the same way? I am confused.

    [Response: The basis of the data are hundreds of different records - both for the paleo stuff and the temperatures. With so much data you can cross check and find records that are problematic or diverge from other nearby sites. New paleodata can always be collected (though old instrumental data can't). - gavin]

  623. Skip Smith:

    Agree with comment 602. The arrogance of this group of climate scientists is amazing. They seem to think they get to decide if someone is worthy of having their FOIA request fulfilled. They also treat the public and policymakers like idiots.

    I see some of that same arrogance in the responses to comments here.

    One of the core tenets of science is replicability. Why not let anyone interested have the data and code for these studies? If the science is valid, it will stand up to scrutiny. What are they so afraid of?

  624. Steve Richards:

    I am absolutely shocked at what I have read on this very web site.

    People deleting data, people conniving to stymie FOI requests.

    Lets get down to basics:

    You do some research, you publish, people duplicate your research.

    These steps go on in science around the world all the time.

    However, in climate research, there is a problem.

    You can not replicate all research, some raw data is not available to you.

    Research that you can not replicate is bad research.

    If I stood in front of you today and said “Ladies and Gentlemen I will show you now how I can generate electrical power from fresh water”. I press a button, lights flash, noises emanate from a flash looking demo box on the desk in front.

    A light comes on and I declare free electricity for all.

    Now, if I gave scientists all the data needed to replicate my demo, I could become a multimillionaire overnight.

    If I said, sorry some of the contents of the demo are private, I would be roundly condemned as a sharlotan.

    Many climate researchers can and should be conemded and sharlotans because they either:

    Refuse to release data or

    Use outputs that rely upon refused data.

    It would be an interesting study to see what dependancies exist on unreleased data!

    To have a paper published in a peer reviewed journal must be a proud moment in a scientists career,

    be proud, publish all the data, not doing so spreads fear of quackery.

    We must know the provenance of all data used in all released research.

  625. ExtraO:

    Well, who’da ever thunk it? A boatload of people with credentials up the yin-yang who clearly ought to know better than to input anything into an electronic messaging medium that they wouldn’t declare on the front page of the NYT to their worst enemy’s face, don’t know any better. Human beings are not only no “smarter” than yeast, we are decidedly more clueless. Back in WWII the slogan was “loose lips sink ships” – I shudder to think what all this will end up sinking.

  626. Tim:

    I have but one question. Is there a chance, a realistic chance that the 44 organizations listed in post #601 could be wrong?
    If the answer is no, then your combined egos have become bigger then the question you’re trying to answer. If the scientific community would treat theory as theory then the rest of the world might pay more attention. You call people deniers and they can hear the contempt you show for them. It’s a zero sum game as far as I’m concern: Personally I believe man can influence to a certain degree the climate of the world. But I also believe in God and have faith in his design to be able to handle the change. Good luck cleaning this mess up.

  627. Rod:

    @607 Nick

    You don’t have to hack into their servers as that very fact is public record: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/01/exxon-mobil-climate-change-sceptics-funding

  628. Hank Roberts:

    A reminder — if the quote attributed to whoever posted the file is correct, they said:

    “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.”

    “Random”
    “Selection”

    Whatever it means, it can’t mean this is a reliable sample or evenhanded

  629. Tom:

    If the emails are legit, then this is over. The most damning is the FOI stuff. The average person will see the evasion, and maybe illegal activity, that is going on here. It is not scientists just being human.

    There will always be believers. But this will be done as a mainstream issues. After this, the average person is going to see the believers and the first thing they will think is this episode.

  630. Rod:

    Correction – My (hopefully published) previous comment was directed @615 Nick

  631. Gilbert Dupuis:

    James Hoggan has certainly put his finger on the reality of this conlict. Fossil fuel companies are behind that email scam. It is interesting to add this to the message of his his book (something about the corrupted science of these bastards skeptics).
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/climate_science_corrupted.pdf

  632. johhnyvu:

    Does anyone think the following behaviour of “cutting points” is acceptable? Or perhaps is this e-mail “out of context” too?

    ———-

    From: Mick Kelly
    To:
    Subject: RE: Global temperature
    Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 09:02:00 +1300

    Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used
    to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a
    longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you
    might expect from La Nina etc.

    Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.
    Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
    give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
    and the recent cold-ish years.

    Enjoy Iceland and pass on my best wishes to Astrid.

    Mick

    [Response: No. It is completely unnecessary. - gavin]

  633. Sean:

    OK, thanks for the input Gavin. I just think that it’s odd that we think that we know exactly how trees behave physiologically up until 50 years ago. After this point something mysterious happens that we don’t understand and we blame the trees for the blip. From my point of view, the variable that changed after 1960 is temperature record. There seems to be an inverse relationship where the more we know about the temperature the less we know about the trees.

  634. gt4:

    On item I found particularly interesting was the spreadsheet with funding. In the interest of full disclosure it might be interesting to note the funding for other AGW proponents from the NSF (only one source):
    Gavin Schmidt $820,000
    Michael Mann $1,500,000
    Raymond Bradley $3,500,000
    Malcolm Hughes $2,300,000

    My point is only that “Climate Research” is a lucrative little business that is fully funded by the government and dependent on the continued belief in a man made crisis.

    Obviously this money doesn’t go the the researchers only, but it funds their “business” and for that business to continue, the must support AGW. That is what interested me about the spreadsheet.

    Gavin, I’m sure you’ll cut this, but I respect your efforts to defend RC and don’t question your motives. I am sure you are sincere in your belief in AGW.

    [Response: For reference, that is $820,000 over 8 years (3 grants I think), and funded 4 graduate students, my salary and a couple of research associates. And note that 50% goes right off the top as overhead. Work out how big the lap of luxury it is that I was sitting in. - gavin]

  635. Ray Ladbury:

    MadRocketScientist says, “And BTW, before someone jumps on me about being a denier, I’m not, I accept that the world is warming. I think we are in a natural warming period and human activity is accelerating the trend and has the potential of making the the peak higher than it normally would be.”

    Well, except that natural forcers would be causing the planet to cool substantially about no. So… what exactly is the basis of your belief that the planet is warming “naturally”?

  636. steven mosher:

    It’s funny. Everyone is focusing on and defending the word “trick.” That’s not the important word or phrase. The key is “hide the decline.” In the end it’s just an argument about chartmanship. There is a technical problem with endpoint smoothing here. Just own up to that VERY MINOR PROBLEM. Display the various approaches to managing that problem. It has no bearing on the science. Just own up to the technical difficulty that this “trick” addresses. Show alternative tricks. Argue the pros and cons. Sunshine, not hiding. You see I trust people to come to the correct conclusion. Nothing to hide. Those with technical experience will understand the mathematical issue at play. And if the lay public sees technically competent people discussing issues in an open fashion, conceding points, agreeing to disagree, then you will not have a lack of trust in a consensus view. The meme of consensus has dominated the epistemology of climate science. But we should remember that for much of the audience this is intended to convince, consensus is formed from an open, free rigorous debate. A majority opinion and a minority opinion. And now when people get to see how the “majority” acts in a closed debate, their trust will be shaken.

  637. Manuel:

    Gavin,

    Do you care to share with us how many emails have you deleted these past few days? It would be an interesting piece of information.

  638. Joe V.:

    Hey Bartont Paul Levenson,

    Sorry about the late night spell check typo. To believe that a complex system such as our climate can be predicted by a set number of variable inputs, when the number is infinite.

    Joe V: To believe that a complex system such as our climate can be predicted by a set number of variable inputs, when the number is infantesimal.

    BPL: “Infinite.” “Infinitesimal” means “vanishingly small.” And while a large number of things may affect climate, they do NOT all affect it to the same degree. That’s what “explained variance” is all about in statistics.

    “A problem with measures of the proportion of variance explained is that there is no consensus on how big an effect has to be in order to be considered meaningful. In some cases, effects that when measured in terms of proportion of variance explained appear to be trivial, can, in reality be very important.” I could not have stated it any butter. Sorry, better.

    JV: We have enough problems predicting global weather conditions seven days in advance as supposed to 30 years.

    BPL: Don’t confuse climate with weather

    Climate is the accumulted results of weather paterns over a long time series. So how is it not important to be able to predict the weather when considering climate prediction. Thunk you. I mean Thank you.

  639. Ray Ladbury:

    OK, so look at the emails, and what do you learn?
    1)A bunch of scientists resent being treated like criminals and subjected to an FOI request. Is this surprising? In science we have developed a substitute for FOI when it comes to getting data. It’s called “asking nicely”. Try it some time.
    2)A bunch of scientists said bad things about a bunch of REALLY bad papers and the people who wrote them. Whoa! Hold the presses! Ever hear of Pauli’s description of a paper as being so bad it wasn’t even wrong? Oh, snap! That’s gotta leave a mark!

    What does all this change? Nothing. We have evidence going back to the 1600s that shows evidence for climate change in the dates when cherry blossoms bloom on Mt. Fuji! Wow, those clever scientists must have developed a time machine in addition to all those black UN helicopters, huh? The evidence that the planet is warming is incontrovertible. The evidence that we’re behind it is equally so. All this shows is that scientists are human, get exasperated and express themselves intemperately. Those of us who actually do science already knew this.

  640. PeteB:

    RE 627 Steven Mosher Sunshine, not hiding

    the IPCC reports – they state clearly what was done and why and what the other viewpoint is and that it is not resolved – there is certainly no cover up ?

    ‘…This ‘divergence’ is apparently restricted to some northern, highlatitude regions, but it is certainly not ubiquitous even there. In their large-scale reconstructions based on tree ring density data, Briffa et al. (2001) specifically excluded the post-1960 data in their calibration against instrumental records, to avoid biasing the estimation of the earlier reconstructions (hence they are not shown in Figure 6.10), implicitly assuming that the ‘divergence’ was a uniquely recent phenomenon, as has also been argued by Cook et al. (2004a). Others, however, argue for a breakdown in the assumed linear tree growth response to continued warming, invoking a possible threshold exceedance beyond which moisture stress now limits further growth (D’Arrigo et al., 2004). If true, this would imply a similar limit on the potential to reconstruct possible warm periods in earlier times at such sites. At this time there is no consensus on these issues (for further references see NRC, 2006) and the possibility of investigating them further is restricted by the lack of recent tree ring data at most of the sites from which tree ring data discussed in this chapter were acquired.’

  641. Lazar:

    Gavin,

    “a) Requesting that scientists delete email correspondence
    b) in the knowledge that those emails may be subject to FOI

    [Response: This was ill-advised. - gavin]”

    Ill-advised, but not unethical?

    “c) Proposing to deliberately mangle/supply requested data into a form that is more difficult to use

    [Response: Not true. - gavin]”

    Gavin, how else do you interpret 3)?…

    “Options appear to be:
    1. Send them the data

    [...]

    3. Send them the raw data as is, by reconstructing it from GHCN. How could this be done? Replace all stations where the WMO ID agrees with what is in GHCN. This would be the raw data, but it would annoy them.”

    Gavin,

    “d) Proposing the deletion of parts of a dataset before it is released under FOI

    [Response: Depends what was requested and what was in the datafile. Some of it might not have been responsive. - gavin]”

    Ok.

    “e) Considering the deletion of an entire dataset to avoid FOI release

    [Response: Shouldn't have been said but is clearly hyperbole and not an actual proposal. - gavin]”

    It is not clear to me that it is “hyperbole”…

    “The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

    Gavin,

    “f) Deliberately concealing a mismatch between reconstructed and instrumental temperatures (”to hide the decline” is unambiguous, and is not excused by the fact that the discrepancy is discussed in *other* publications; Pat Michaels’ omission of Hansen 1988’s B & C scenarios in Congressional testimony is not justified by the fact that they were available in Hansen 1988 — I am not saying though that the two are ethically equivalent)

    [Response: They are not in the slightest. Michaels' actions were a deliberate misrepresentation of Hansen's work in front of Congress. The incompleteness of a caption in a brochure while unfortunate is nothing like as serious, nor does it rise to deliberate misrepresentation. The procedure used should simply have been noted more clearly. - gavin]”

    I think the caption *is* complete in describing the plot (front cover of “WMO STATEMENT ON THE STATUS OF THE GLOBAL CLIMATE IN 1999″);

    “Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using palaeoclimatic records (tree rings, corals, ice cores, lake sediments, etc.), along with historical and long instrumental records.”

    The misrepresentation is in creating a plot to deliberately “hide” divergence of proxy and instrumental. They could have overlaid the instrumental record.

    Gavin,

    “g) Witholding a clean, commented version of publicly released code, presumably with the intention of not making use of the code any easier

    [Response: Your presumption is just not justified by the text. Just below he says "Phil: is this worth a followup note to GRL, w/ a link to the Matlab code?" which is hardly a declaration that the code is going to be withheld. Code gets cleaned up and hopefully easier to use all the time. - gavin]”

    Accepted and withdrawn, with my apologies to M. Mann.

  642. gt4:

    In my last post I couldn’t find the detail of the funding for Phil Jones, but here is the link:
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ah4XLQCleuUYdFIxMnhMNnlXb2JQcDZUendjUXpWWUE&hl=en

    It is interesting considering the continual (and false) attacks on CA or other skeptics for accepting funding from “energy” companies. I would coordinate my message also with this much money at stake and a belief humans were destroying the planet.
    Thanks for your posting my previous message, I have posted on CA talking down the name callers. It’s much more interesting to read a real debate.

  643. Jeff Id:

    I see the comment moderation policy has opened up.

    Since we now know the Phil Jones comment about hiding data, perhaps you would like to expand on the validity of this chopping off of inconvenient data and replacement with other data. i.e. pasting thermometers on tree rings. Do you ‘gavin’ feel that this is appropriate methodology or will you simply claim ‘not an expert’.

    I’m somewhat sorry about the comment tone but really this method should be chucked out the door ASAP. Jones wouldn’t even admit to knowing about it when he was on the hotseat. Why support something that makes no sense. There is other evidence for your case.

    [Response: This isn't an issue of expertise. I can see why people would want a smoothed series that goes from the paleo through to today but anything you did to show that should be clearly described. - gavin]

  644. Ray Ladbury:

    Tim@623 You aren’t paying attention. Here is a primer:

    If you don’t know about or understand the evidence that shows incontrovertibly that we are warming the planet, you are IGNORANT. No sin here. You can rectify your ignorance by hard study.

    If you refuse to put in the hard study, then you are WILFULLY IGNORANT and your opinion is worthless.

    If you refuse even to look at the evidence even when it is shoved in front of your face and still insist you understand better than all the experts, then you are a DENIALIST.

    Finally, if you insist that all the scientists are engaged in a global hoax to preserve their lucrative grants (which amount in salary to about what a mid-level IT administrator would make), then you are an IDIOT.

  645. Steve Geiger:

    618 – RE CA vs RC. I agree completely. However, if RC would commit to allowing true discourse (like today), I would definitely pay more attention (and will, unless things fall right back). I don’t even have any problems with the RC moderators trimming the real ‘noise’ (how many times do we have to hear ‘that’s the final nail in the coffin of AGW’. These assertions are ridiculous and DON’T reflect the opinions of the true ‘skeptics’..rather the right wing (or some) fringe, perhaps. But that ‘echo chamber’ rattles on both sides of this debate…and when you always (apparently) allow comments from one side and not the other if just makes for very bad reading.

    Cheers again to all for today’s glasnost at RC!

  646. Bobby:

    Gavin,
    Can you explain comments such as these? Is “inventing” another “trick” of the trade?

    Phil

    Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures,
    with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December
    monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc?

    I think we should have a cunning plan about what to do this year,
    simply to avoid a lot of wasted time.

  647. Jay:

    Gavin,

    Thank you for answering my question with the thoroughness that you did. I appreciate all the work you have done in the past few days. Although, I may not know what the truth is, I appreciate that you have gone out of your way to clarify things on here.

  648. Jes:

    Stating that there are no emails that would support claims that they would support if those emails existed does not negate what the actual emails reveal.

  649. Terry:

    I’m a democratist. The democratic majority (to judge from all recent polls) rejects your arguments. Are you prepared to abide by the will of the democratic majority? Yes or no will do as an answer. However, I would interested in an explanation, if possible.

    [Response: Science is not decided by majority vote. -gavin]

  650. eric:

    Eric (skeptic) — 21 November 2009 @ 8:50 AM:

    I hope you do come back with questions after all this hoopla wears off. I have had some very inoffensive posts not make it, but just chalk it up to the glitchy website software. Just try again.

    The reason I suggested simple, specific questions is that it is easy to trigger an overreaction when one refers to misinformation commonly repeated here by pseudoskeptic trolls. I am sometimes annoyed that questions for information are ignored because the moderator and regulars are dealing with posters that are on a mission, however a straightforward question usually gets answered or a link to an informative piece is provided. If your post doesn’t make it or you don’t get an answer, just rephrase and try again. Be persistent, it will be worth it.

    Steve

  651. Charles:

    A response for gt4:

    You wrote: “As a long time reader of CA and RC I can testify to one dramatic difference between the skeptics and the believers, the skeptics are more tolerant of dissent.”

    That is not my experience. What I find is that they are tolerant of just about anything because that suits the purpose of sowing confusion and casting doubts on rigorously-conducted, peer reviewed science. Moreover, those who operate such sites, while they are free of course to do so and to come up with their own hypotheses about climate change, fail in being able to develop a comprehensive, collective model that explains recent climatic phenomena.

    “My point is only that “Climate Research” is a lucrative little business that is fully funded by the government and dependent on the continued belief in a man made crisis.”

    Your comments here suggest a lack of understanding of how researchers apply for and receive government funding. First, as an academic who works in a mid-sized, research oriented university, I can assure you that scholars seldom “get rich” off of the funding they receive for research. First, the research activities use up the funds, which is exactly what is intended. Second, government demands accountability; you have to account for how the funds are spent.

    And the notion that funding is only granted to perpetuate the existing research supporting AGW is absurd. If that were the case, why would the Bush administration have funded climate research at all, since most of that research was developing and supporting the AGW model?

    Your closing comment to Gavin also suggests a misunderstanding. You wrote: “I am sure you are sincere in your belief in AGW.”

    But belief has nothing to do with scientific investigation. Gavin doesn’t believe in AGW in that same way that one might believe that Van Gogh was a great artist. Gavin and other scientists develop theoretical models based on what the observational and experimental data tell them. Further, researchers are cautioned not to fall in love with their hypotheses; the challenge is to be as objective as possible. The sincere ability of scientists to remain objective and to re-formulate hypotheses and theories on the basis of new findings is what you should be praising.

  652. Scott A. Mandia:

    #644 Ray Labdbury:

    LOL. I love the brutal truth. Brilliant!

  653. Giorgio Gilestro:

    I am a scientist, just not a physics (neurobiologist). I recognize in these emails the true colors of the daily aspects of doing research: being tough on colleagues, the raw competition and all the rest. Also, while these are the aspects of science that I don’t necessarily love, I don’t see any unethical behaviour emerging from these emails (at least those I could read so far).

    Yet, I think this episode should be of enormous importance for every major discipline in science nowadays and not only those working on climate changes. It shall change the way scientists interact with general public.

    Honestly, I don’t know whether to be grateful to the folks at CRU for their naivite’ or whether I should think they behaved as complete morons for not seeing this coming. Skeptic community is extremely ideological: it doesn’t surprise me they would do steal material just to have the opportunity to cherry-pick and mis-interpret stuff.

    The least the CRU should do now is to go mail by mail, one by one and explain to the public why there is nothing scientifically wrong with what they did (If there is, they should lose their job the day after of course, as it would happen in any other scientific field).

    This is something that I’d ask as a scientist and as sustainer of man induced global warming.

  654. caerbannog:

    (As this thread grows, I’m going to continue to repost this earlier post of mine along with Gavin’s response, so that nobody misses it)

    Just a quick question (or two) to Gavin, if you feel the need to spend even more of your weekend downtime answering questions here.

    Given that all of your climate-modeling source-code has been available for public scrutiny for quite a long time, and given that anyone can download and test it out, how many times have climate-model critics have actually submitted patches to improve your modeling code, fix bugs, etc? Have you gotten *any* constructive suggestions from the skeptic camp?

    [Response: Not a single one. - gavin]

  655. MadRocketScientist:

    Ray said “Well, except that natural forcers would be causing the planet to cool substantially about no. So… what exactly is the basis of your belief that the planet is warming “naturally”?”

    Forcers? What forcers would cause the planet to cool naturally? And would those forcers be enough to overcome the additional warming from CO2, NH4, heat islands, etc.?

    Gavin?

  656. Jay:

    Gavin, If you would please post the question and answer : )

    Given the land use changes of the past 50 years and the increase of asphalt and decrease of tree cover, just look at google maps, is there a possibility in your opinion that the warming we have seen could be more related to that than GHG. I have experienced over and over the effects of stepping from shade to full sun, or a forested area to a cleared one. That combined with the heat of combustion and power production must go somewhere. I have seen on surfacestations.org, I know your feelings on the matter, that the rural temp. measurements are nowhere near the increase of urbanized ones. I have also looked at all the pictures and seen the metal and asphalt surrounding those stations. Stuff like this has me confused. Could you please clarify how I am thinking on the wrong track? Thanks in advance.

  657. NB:

    Well, I am very mildly interested in this global warming stuff, but I do find the global paranoiah and fascination with conspiracy theories quite scary. My personal advise to you – stop threatening the hacker with a legal action. You will have to go through as much of this stuff and explain it as well as you can. Otherwise I am afraid we can get a civil war or some climate related terrorism in the years to come. Any attempt to suppress this stuff or brush it aside may bring a disaster.

  658. dhogaza:

    Gavin,

    “a) Requesting that scientists delete email correspondence
    b) in the knowledge that those emails may be subject to FOI

    [Response: This was ill-advised. - gavin]”

    Ill-advised, but not unethical?

    And if he’d said “unethical”, you’d ask, “unethical, but not ill-advised”

    Stupid games, stupid games.

  659. Al:

    Xyrus says:
    21 November 2009 at 11:38 AM

    Here’s what I don’t get, irrespective of the emails.

    The skeptics and their more extreme brethren always claim there is some sort of global conspiracy by climate scientists, and are now using this hack to further their agenda (similar to how FOX news used the “terrorist fist jab” to further their own agenda.

    But the question is why? If there really was a global conspiracy, then why would it exist? There’s got to be some driving reason behind it, and usually such reasons are money, power, or both.

    So let’s examine that. Let’s start with money. The typical argument is that their is a conspiracy so that climate scientists can ask for more funding to continue to line their pockets with grants and the like.

    Really? Let’s just think about that for a moment. In the US, out of the trillion+ national budget where does climate science rank? The total spent on climate research doesn’t even register. In fact, you could increase it a hundred fold and it would still only make a small percentage of the budget.

    Most researchers are tenured or government positions. The government certainly doesn’t pay in the 7 figure range, and I’m not aware of any Universities that do either. They’re not AIG where they pay out inhumanly large bonuses. To find those pay grades, you have to go to the private sector. And while there may be private sector researchers, they make up a small percentage of the group.

    Ok. Not a lot of money. So could it be power? Considering that there are thousands of researchers, what kind of power would they be after? The ability to enforce energy and environmental awareness on everyone?

    Whenever I hear climate conspiracy, I always ask WHY? Why is there a conspiracy? What would researchers gain from such a conspiracy? At least with other conspiracies, you have some pretty solid reasons. With a climate conspiracy, worst case scenario is what? Wide adoption of renewable energy? Less pollution? A thicker ozone layer? Heaven forbid.

    A climate conspiracy? Really? Is it really so hard to show reproducible research to counter the climate change consensus that the debate has boiled down to “IT’S A CONSPIRACY!!!!”?

    Yeah. Like acid rain was a conspiracy. Like the ozone depletion was a conspiracy. Those darn evil scientists, always looking to harm society for their personal gain.

    It’s not a conspiracy in that sense. But it is an ideology, in every sense

  660. petek:

    “It’s funny. Everyone is focusing on and defending the word “trick.” That’s not the important word or phrase. The key is “hide the decline.” In the end it’s just an argument about chartmanship. There is a technical problem with endpoint smoothing here.”

    Great, back to Latin, no definition problems exist. U would prefer m< native German, easier to use and more precise than English. May speakers of BE or AE sort out their communication problems?

    Is it all about climate change? No, the real scandal is the fact that some criminals dared to enter the private life of some scientists. This is not tolerable and the criminals should be prosecuted. A difficult day for Gavin, it is not primarily about climate science. Thank you hackers for exposing personal details as well – oh, we have no problems withs terrorists and other sick people (Irony).

    Once again the question?

    I do not want to insult sceptics. I want a single open source model created by the sceptics (source code is more than welcome), which explains the temperature rise in the late 20th century, excluding X ( X = natural variability).

  661. MarkB:

    gt4 (#634),

    Talk about extremely misleading claims (as well as inappropriate insinuations). And you cry about being “censored” here? Perhaps you don’t realize that there’s much more money to be made and fame acquired in the realm of global warming contrarianism (Lindzen’s $2,500 per day from Exxon ring a bell?), as compared with the comparatively modest salaries of average scientists. Skeptics (the few qualified ones there are) receive grant money as well, which further deflates your conspiracy theory.

    Tom writes (#629),

    “After this, the average person is going to see the believers and the first thing they will think is this episode.”

    I’m sure that this is the supreme hope of your crowd. Objective observers are perhaps less inclined to readily comply with your wishes.

  662. Odd Man Out:

    Gavin, I’m impressed with your candour and willingness to engage in debate. Carry on.

    In 558, you wrote ..

    Sometimes, in climate as in a lab-based science, you just don’t get good data. And that doesn’t allow you to conclude anything.

    Of course, but there’s a problem here, which is well known in other scientific fields too. Much science consists of disproving null hypotheses by collecting and analyzing data. If you collect and analyze the data and it just does not contradict the null, then one possibility is as you say: the data is duff. The other is that the data is good, the null hypothesis stands, and you have no publishable result.

    That good data disappears right along with duff data. It doesn’t even make it to peer review, never mind through peer review. It might be invaluable in future. It can take man years or be impossible to duplicate.

    Some medical journals have started to insist that, if any result is going to be published, the proposal to conduct the study be registered before any data collection is done, and that all data collected be released upon publication. For too long, good data was buried, sometimes because the result was insufficient to demonstrate the falsity of the null, and in some malicious cases because the result was adverse and would have interfered with the marketing of some product.

  663. Joe V.:

    Mr. Ladbury,

    It is said that insult is the last recourse for inteligent conversation. Calling people ignorant, denialist or an idiot does little to ensure your own intelligence. The evidence is not incontrovertible that WE are warming the planet. Your insistence that it is, is the reason for the current discussion. Gravity is incontorvertible, not AGW. I am not disputing the issue, but please, lets be honest.

  664. G barnes:

    response to Gavin 622

    .
” I would be careful about using other, independent paleo
reconstruction work as supporting the MBH reconstructions. I am attaching my
version of a comparison of the bulk of these other reconstructions. Although
these all show the hockey stick shape, the differences between them prior to
1850 make me very nervous. If I were on the greenhouse deniers’ side, I
would be inclined to focus on the wide range of paleo results and the differences
between them as an argument for dismissing them all.
”

    was contained in one of the hacked emails from M Mann to K Briffa. He seems to be expressing some doubts

  665. Rod:

    Why do the skeptics assume that in the absence of climate change research no climate research would be occurring? The scientists currently looking into AGW would likely be doing other research, it’s like some bizarre lump of labor fallacy.

  666. BBC:

    “CRU data includes extra information from Nat. Met. Services which were given on the understanding that they could not be passed on to third parties except as part of the gridded data set. This information is something that the relevant NMS’s sell commercially and so they often have legal mandates not to undermine their own revenue streams by giving things out for free.”

    Can you not understand that your position that AGW is a dire threat to humanity which requires the urgent re-ordering of our economies AND that some of the data which supports this cannot be released because of the commercial interests of scientists or their employers, is completely incredible to any intelligent person?

    [Response: I'm just telling you why the situation exists. I did not design it and I would change it if I could. If this bothers you and it should, write to your representative and ask that met offices release more of their data to the WMO CLIMAT network and release CRU from their prior agreements. Inundating CRU with FOI requests is a waste of time. -gavin]

  667. Steve Fish:

    Alan Clark — 21 November 2009 @ 9:17 AM:

    All of the gripes, personal comments, and mistakes involved in producing a research paper are completely irrelevant. A good paper is finely crafted to be accurate and reproducible, and this is what is important, not the e-mail between collaborators and competitors.

    I would be embarrassed if someone showed you a video of all of my gripes, personal comments, and mistakes I made while building my house, but I think the final product will stand any scrutiny. Just what important information relevant to the “profound implications for the long term viability of the planet” do you think was hidden until you saw the e-mails?

    Steve

  668. manacker:

    Ray Ladbury

    Add this one to your 644.

    If you have put in the hard study based on rational skepticism (see Wiki for definition) and found holes in the science supporting the premise that AGW, caused principally by human CO2 emissions, is a potential serious threat, then you are a RATIONAL SKEPTIC (a group, which appears to be growing).

  669. Sue Jones:

    I am sorry that you have to waste your time answering the misconceptions that have arisen from this theft. I am sure you have better things to do than to justify your working methods. The contrarians have always accused you of manipulating the data and now they will put the purloined emails to more scrutiny than they ever put to the data itself or to the published papers, to uphold their suspicions. They will seize on every word and bend it to suit the mindset that human activity is not affecting our atmosphere and that you have “tricked” them. No doubt this will keep them very busy for a long while.

    The game is becoming more interesting than the men´s final at Wimbledon. In a sense both parties are right. The sceptic/contrarians/deniers are wary of an hypothesis that, if true, demands they change the very principles on which their lives are based. They want a solid guarantee, 100% certainty. Anything less arouses deep suspicion. And no amount of hypothesizing will convince them unless they get to stick their fingers in the wound and see it for themselves.

    The unscientific public is totally confused, a peculiar psychological state to be in (with a little cognitive dissonance thrown in to make it even more uncomfortable..) They don´t understand the science, because they can´t be bothered to study it, and they have been subjected to a concerted campaign by the private interest brigade to persuade them everything is ok and natural, and allay their fears. They are right to demand certainty before they commit themselves.But the problem appears to be that as far as climate change is concerned, there can be no certainty, 90% is not enough. And because the whole issue of climate change is as uncertain as it is fearful, it is far easier to accept that it is untrue and point fingers at the scientists. That way they get to keep the SUVs wth a clear conscience.

    Except it is not a game. The trump belongs to Mother Nature. I predict that with the stirrings of a new El Niño event, the next few years will bear out the IPCC and subject us to irrefutable proof that the planet is moving to a warmer state. Maybe we would have had the chance of averting this if the warning signs had been heeded. But they were not. Science and scientists have always battled, throughout history, against the tide of public hostility and disbelief, but that has never changed what is true in the end.

    And in the end the truth will out, however hard they paw through those emails, however hard they convince themselves it is all a lie.

    Sadly, I feel the hypothesis that human activity is adversely affecting the climate, will soon be verified by simple irrefutable evidence for all to witness. But by then it may be too late.

  670. Leo G:

    OK enough with this soap opera, can we move back to the science now?

    Gavin, have you been following Dr Roy Spencers’ work relating to clouds? I have a gut feeling, that this may be where the “heat” is going. Sitting here in Vancouver, for the past 2 weeks, we have been having torrential downpours at about 3-9*C. Multiply this effect and it seems to me, that the cooling ability of our atmosphere must be awesome.

    Leo G

  671. Richard Ordway:

    Tom wrote: “There will always be believers. But this will be done as a mainstream issues. After this, the average person is going to see the believers and the first thing they will think is this episode.”

    Tom, you don’t understand. There are literally hundreds of peer-reviewed journals around the world ready to publish anti-global warming evidence if it exists…some will accept almost anything gladly even in different languages.

    Mainstream science is not about believers and non believers. It is about what you can prove…it goes back to the 1600s as permanent written records The written proof is written in what is called permanent scientific journals (more or less) or written down at scientific conferences…From at least 1824- Fourier and the first climate model being done in 1896 (Svante Arrehnius) and the huge body of thousands of studies proves that humans are warming the planet.

    …even an economist and a geologist have published about human-caused climate change.

    It is why you are still alive today most likely. This method of proof gave you the medicines that have kept you alive this long and kept out bad medicines and germs that might have killed you.

    This method of proof made it so that you are not walking in your own and your neighbors poop outside in the street. There was a lot of scientific debate about that one too. Luckily, the methodology of proof won out and outdoor sewage was eliminated (under protest!)…that wasn’t done by belief, but by proof.

    This is the way mainstream science works…not by belief…but by being able to prove something. It took proof to *change* mainstream science into accepting that human-caused global warming was even happening…and that only with new technology such as being able to look at atoms.

    It has a lot of limitations, but it is self-correcting and progressing because the evidence is always there for the rest of human-kind to debate.

    This is literally rocket science. It is so involved that only experts can understand it…

    …kindly explain to me the importance of the differences in oscillations per centimeter of water vapor vs. carbon dioxide (CO2 is closer to the spectrum where the Earth is giving off most of its heat energy). Explain the importance of 240 watts per square meter vs. 239 watts per square meter squared of the Suns’s energy at the upper edge of the atmosphere (If carbon dioxide stops one watt per meter squared of energy leaving, you get global warming-the basic concept being worked out in 1824 by Fourier).

    This is a basic understanding that climate experts need to know to be able to debate this. This is hard evidence…not belief. No experts right now can prove anything against human caused climate change anymore with evidence.

  672. KirkOlson:

    [Response: Science is not decided by majority vote. -gavin]

    Now where have we heard that before?

  673. Jere Krischel:

    [Response: Wrong. The consensus on the main planks of the science is solid. No need for one to purchase it. - gavin]

    Gavin, we may all agree that water vapor and co2 are greenhouse gases, but what a difference it makes when you have alarmists claiming that a change of 0.03% to 0.04% concentration of co2 will cause 20 foot rises in sea level. The “main planks” as you say may be on firm ground, but the uncertainty bars around the magnitudes we’re facing are open for debate.

    You can at least admit that, right?

  674. Tracy:

    Frank says, I think regarding scientists:
    “Amount of trust and respect left now = 0″

    If you truly do not have any trust and respect for the current methods of pursuing and publishing science, then I suggest that next time your wife finds a lump in her breast, send her to a mechanic. Don’t take vaccines. Don’t take antibiotics. Leave your child’s leukemia untreated, if such a tragedy were to come to your family. And don’t go claiming the method is only bad for climate change, not medical research. Because medical research is big money, big business, big politics, in just the same ways. It is fraught with problems, which scientists constantly discuss, complain about, try to fix, and endlessly debate. But we still make drugs, cure things, understand things better, by increments. That is what science does.

  675. Gavin (no not that one, a different one):

    Gavin, just wanted to say thanks for the excellent job you have done injecting some sanity into the discussion of this issue. There aren’t too many who would have spent their Saturday on this, and your comments have been spot on. Keep up the good work!

  676. MosesZD:

    “It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?”

    I’d venture a guess at: “anyone without something to hide”.

    That stupid old line of jackanapes reasoning. Nobody has the right to break into my computer and read my email even though I have nothing to hide. The bottom-line is that not only is it illegal and immoral, but it’s a gross violation of my privacy.

    Something I cherish quite strongly as I’m, by nature, extremely private. I’m so private and respect the privacy others so much it took five years for me to get over my inhibitions of opening my wife’s bills and bank-account statements.

    My wife!

    And that’s even though I’m an accountant, pay all the personal bills and reconcile her checkbook every month. Even today, years later I won’t open things addressed to her that I’m not absolutely sure of…

  677. Balthazar:

    I don’t know much about science, but I get very sceptical about the sceptics, after reading about this. Before hearing about this hacking, I had my mind open, that there might be something in their claims, but after this I’m getting convinced of the opposite. Presenting evidence that a website is “screening” comments as evidence that global warming is a hoax?! Calling it the “greatest scandal ever” in science?!? Everyone should know it is very common to moderate blogs/sites with comments etc. Still, I have never myself had a comment rejected, even when fiercely attacking the blog owners. They moderate because – honestly – the Internet is full of spam, trolls etc… signal-to-noise-ratio might get awfully low if they don’t.

    Also, to those of you who says that anyone with nothing to hide would gladly have their work e-mails for sometimes as long as thirteen years made public: I assume you don’t do anything criminal in your appartments do you? Surely not. So, can I break in and search it? I’m sure you have nothing to hide. If I find something suspicious I will make it public, so it can be discussed by the general public, and I’m sure you’ll have an explanation for it. Before you go on mocking me, saying your apartment is private and work e-mails are work: Everyone who are fairly accustomed to this “modern invention” of e-mails, would know that e-mails tend to get written in a very colloquial way, like a phonecall, but they might get read like they were a formal letter. People seldom think of this when they write— they get emotional, over exaggerate etc…. it’s the nature of e-mails and therefore tend to get very private, even if they officially are work related.

  678. Jere Krischel:

    ” We trust our scientists for the same reasons. They took rigorous science and mathematics courses at reputable institutions, they were vetted by a job search committee that included personal reference checks, they publish data that is peer-reviewed and then they release their findings to the world for the utmost scrutiny. What more do you want?”

    I want them to be able to admit when they are wrong. Vesting such trust in figures of authority leads them to believe they must always be seen as “right”, otherwise their authority will be diminished. This means that correction becomes a lesser option to staying the course and insisting there is no elephant in the room.

    In fact, I want them to be skeptical of their own hypotheses. I want them to work hard to disprove their theories, to expose all possible data and argument that may poke holes in their own beliefs.

    No matter how you explain away the context of various gotcha moments in the emails, one thing is perfectly clear -> there is no evidence that could convince these people that their basic premise was wrong. This is not science.

    [Response: Which basic premise is that? The reason you aren't seeing debates in the emails over whether CO2 is increasing because of human activity is because it's done with. We know the answer. Why don't we debate whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Because that too is over. What people debate now is not the 'basic premise', but the details - and as you can read there is plenty of debate about that. - gavin]

  679. Winston:

    654 – caerbannog

    In the interests of balance, Gavin, how many patches for the same code based on the same availabilty have you had from the proponents of climate change?

    [Response: From complete outsiders, fixes to the makefiles etc. But all of the bug fixes and code improvements have been internal or from our official collaborators - gavin]

  680. Jere Krischel:

    “The oceans continue to become more acidic with human-caused CO2 emissions, independent of climate change observations and models. Important marine organisms that make calcium carbonate shells and structures are beginning to die off because of the increasing acidity of the water. Coral reefs in the Galapagos are dying now and other reefs are threatened.”

    Really? How ever did life survive in the oceans in ages past when the CO2 levels were many times higher?

    You want to look at reasons for reef die off, look at agriculture run off. Making an enemy out of plant food just doesn’t make sense.

  681. Jere Krischel:

    “Then lets start checking the existence of gods, truth in astrology, existence of alien visitors, efficiency of homoeopathics, etc. Go on, if you have time and stomach for that.”

    The show is called “B*llsh*t” on showtime, and is hosted by Penn & Teller. They’ve got episodes on all of that.

  682. Steve Fish:

    M Yoxon — 21 November 2009 @ 10:56 AM:

    You are a little at risk for sounding like you think that scientists should be like public figures. I think that the quality of the science is what is important, not the individuals e-mails, home life, or prurient propensities. You are falling for the denialist hype.

    Steve

  683. Phil. Felton:

    Charles says:
    21 November 2009 at 5:26 PM
    A response for gt4:

    You wrote: “As a long time reader of CA and RC I can testify to one dramatic difference between the skeptics and the believers, the skeptics are more tolerant of dissent.”

    That is not my experience. What I find is that they are tolerant of just about anything because that suits the purpose of sowing confusion and casting doubts on rigorously-conducted, peer reviewed science. Moreover, those who operate such sites, while they are free of course to do so and to come up with their own hypotheses about climate change, fail in being able to develop a comprehensive, collective model that explains recent climatic phenomena.

    I quite agree, anytime a post is made contrary to the belief on CA the claque descends on the poster with venom and abuse, with few exceptions they are not tolerant at all! And that’s the way SMcI wants it.

  684. Steve Fish:

    eric — 21 November 2009 @ 5:23 PM:

    Oops, you seem to be talking to yourself. Somehow your name got into my name field. This probably happened while I was doing a Ctrl + f search for your name to reread your post.

    Steve

  685. Ray:

    Gavin – thank you for dealing with this crap. 600+ messages, and a horde of triumphant denialists must be very discouraging.

    But don’t give up. You’re doing important work. If people of reason don’t speak up, then we’re truly lost.

    I have to admit though, I’m beginning to suspect that the real answer to Fermi’s paradox is the depressing one.

    I am also amazed that hackers combing through 10+ years of emails couldn’t even come up with (or plain make up – they’re clearly unethical) something more damning than the trivial stuff we’ve seen. You guys are saints, at least compared to people I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with.

  686. Anne van der Bom:

    steve mosher,
    21 November 2009 at 4:09 PM

    They should have trusted that open debate would yield the next right action in the shortest time possible.

    Debate? Are you referring to is an endless repetition of innuendo, strawmen, faulty logic and debunked talking points usually found on ‘skeptic’ sites? Opening up the data and playing nice would not help this ‘debate’ moving forward because the purpose of this ‘debate’ is stagnation. A bit more data would not change that.

  687. MadRocketScientist:

    [Response: I'm just telling you why the situation exists. I did not design it and I would change it if I could. If this bothers you and it should, write to your representative and ask that met offices release more of their data to the WMO CLIMAT network and release CRU from their prior agreements. Inundating CRU with FOI requests is a waste of time. -gavin]

    For those of us in the US, do our reps have any real pull in this regard, or is it up to the UK government? BBC is right, this data is too important to tuck behind IP barriers.

  688. Michael:

    668 comments? Wow, is that a record?

    Anyway, can we go for 1000 comments??? Yes, we can!

  689. Keith:

    Steve McIntyre has confirmed that emails purportedly from him, are genuine.
    That doesn’t mean all of the content is genuine of course, but it should push support for an investigation of the leak. If none of the content was genuine, it wouldn’t be a leak would it ? Jones has already confirmed that the CRU has been hacked – an investigation must follow. So…. where’s the investigation ?

  690. Polyaulax:

    Well,I think Open Day is going rather well. Numbers are up,and the facilities seem to be coping. The biggest attraction seems to be the ‘Hang On To The Wrong End Of The Stick’ tent;we’re measuring some very powerful grips…’Declaim and Run’ is also a popular attraction…’Find The Key Words’ is solid,and ,as usual,bringing up some novel constructions. ‘Link The Researcher With The Paper’ is providing sterling challenge,as ever. Let’s do it again next year!

    And a big thanks to Gavin,and the clean-up volunteers!

  691. George Hebbard:

    I know the hacking, and posting was unethical. But so is waterboarding.

    The two opposing viewpoints- 1) we can solve the problem of overpopulation and misuse of resources by driving the world back to the stone ages, and
    2) we can enrich-en the people of the world so that they move to reasonable family sizes if we use technology properly, constitute WAR.

    Which way will you have it?

  692. EL:

    217 – On Political Support
    Copenhagen is already doomed to fail. People have always resisted new science because of their ideologies. The world was not accepted as round overnight, nor did people accept the earth’s revolution around the sun overnight. The catholic church just recently backed off of its charge on Galileo. Climate science will be no exception to this historical trend. Have you even seen the global cooling proposition put forward by so many of these anti-climate people? The math is flat out wrong, but people support it regardless.

    233 – On Have yet to see evidence…

    Even a little kid can find evidence for global warming.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0kIaCKPlH4

    234 – On Legal “in any case, intellectual property rights are rights, not duties, and can be waived”
    Scientists do not have the power to waive away legal responsibilities. The supreme court in America is currently reviewing a case called Bilski, and the case has very much to do with intellectual property. The question before the court is very simple: Can people patent ideas? The case is very important for business methods, software, genetics, mathematics, and various other patents of abstraction. Likewise, there are many powerful industries fighting for and against any decision.

    Lets not pretend that scientists could extend their hand and the legal responsibilities would just disappear.

    288 – On tricks…

    I’m a mathematics major myself, and the term trick is used quite frequently in the field. In fact, there is an old saying in mathematics: “If a trick is used often enough, it’s a technique.” Perhaps you should read a good dictionary.

    Journals have always been under constant pressure to keep shitty papers out of the system. Do you have any clue about how many people post nonsense proofs on problems such as p=np, one way functions, etc? There is thousands of so called proofs that are flawed. Journals are under pressure to keep the trash out of the system so that mathematicians do not waste their time reading bullshit. The same can be said of science journals.

    289 – On Perception
    On higher levels in any field, you will find discussions like these. In mathematics, most people are only exposed to the absolute certain view of mathematics. Behind the scenes, mathematicians are arguing for and against various things. Is the proof really a proof? Is this statement clear enough? What does the proof really mean?

  693. Chris KP:

    Thanks for the post. It is no mean feat to add some semblance of context to such a large and diverse collection of correspondence and you’ve done a good job. There will continue to be much speculation as to the motives and methods of obtaining and disseminating these emails, but as far as I can see, so much of the issue is to do with history and context.

    An understanding of the use of the term “trick” (for example) and scientists’ discussions of appropriate/useful data to include in studies is what seems to be missing from so much of the fog sweeping across the blogosphere at present.

    Reading emails without knowing the entire conversation (often carried out in emails, phone conversations, face-to-face communication, second and third-hand accounts, published papers, etc over a period of weeks, months or years) is fraught with error. Indeed this is why students should study science at school – not to learn facts and figures, but to learn about the processes of science, to understand to critical value of controlling variables and to recognise all possible sources of error.

    It is not just those who have something to hide who would prefer not to have their email made public but anyone whose email exists in a broader context – that is everyone – especially if the publicising process is anything like it has been with this CRU hack.

  694. Anne van der Bom:

    gt4,
    21 November 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I have posted on CA talking down the name callers.

    In the interest of ‘real debate’, did you post Gavin’s response to your ‘lucrative funding’ overview in your post 634?

  695. Tony Rogers:

    Gavin. Your response to #604 above: “…The issues with the base CRU data have been discussed above (and here), but to recap, CRU data includes extra information from Nat. Met. Services which were given on the understanding that they could not be passed on to third parties except as part of the gridded data set. This information is something that the relevant NMS’s sell commercially and so they often have legal mandates not to undermine their own revenue streams by giving things out for free. Now I don’t really know how key that is, and how flexible they might be to rethinking those agreements, but while they exist, CRU is in a bit of a bind…”.

    This is an example of what really makes me struggle! What you have said about the difficulties CRU has in releasing their data may well be true. However, you seem to be asking us to believe that this is the reason why Phil Jones won’t let McIntyre or others have the data. It’s completely obvious to everyone that this is not the case. Jones hates McIntyre would do anything he can to make life difficult for him. He will use any excuse he can get hold of. He can be seen to be actively searching for ways to avoid fulfilling FOI requests!

    If it was the case that Jones would just love to give McIntyre the data but is just hamstrung by the system, we would see that in the emails. He would perhaps be finding a way around the problem with a non-disclosure agreement or whatever other methods you guys use when you exchange such data. Trying to spin it any other way just winds people up.

    [Response: Dealing with the avalanche of politically motivated and vexatious FOI demands and other requests I would imagine takes up a large percentage of the time that Jones has available to do research. This has been going on for years. Any initial goodwill that would have existed has very likely been eroded at this point. - gavin]

  696. MS:

    As a layman, I understand the dilemma that climatologists are facing: there is some strong evidence that the world temperature is currently rising. The question is – how this rise is correlating with human activity? Is it ciclical? Were world temperatures higher throughout the human civilization? Why?

    Since most of those scientists are working for the public or semi-public institutions, they all depend in their research on public funding. The amounts of grants in any research is obviously directly depending on the importance of discoveries those grants generate – and WHAT can be more important then a way to save a humankind?! Thus is a collusion between climate scientists and politicians: neither one of those doesn’t want to be portrayed as inept during critical changes of the Earth’s climate; thus the alarmist’s statements of doom’s day scenario; thus, possibly, some tweaking of data that do not confirms the mainstream theory… This positions gives to politicians – a posture of “Wight Knights” fighting for humanity and more votes; to scientists – status of “Saviors of The World” and more grants…

    It is all understandable, and, in the long run, probably serves some good: saving energy can’t a bad thing. What bothers me is a lack of data, or inability to process it, or, to the contrary – an excess of data to know how to integrate it into exsisting models. Earth is much more complex system to predict it’s temperature in 2025 by concentration of CO2; there are thousands and millions of factors that can affect its condition, many of which are probably not even considered yet. In fact, climatologists remind me a lot of economists: they can explain perfectly fine the past events – but never a future one…

    [Response: Not true. The impacts of pinatubo and the trends since 1988 were both predicted ahead of time. -gavin]

  697. turbobloke:

    A bit late with this, but I see that someone has mentioned Jones’s “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real tempsto each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. ”

    This e-mail dates from 1999, so what decline from 1961 could he be talking about? Everyone knows that at the time 1998 was the hottest year on record.

  698. pough:

    I’ve been reading through some of the emails. The honesty on display is actually quite refreshing. I’m getting a picture of some people who really just want to work on their science and the denialists are gadflies. I keep expecting to read secret confessions of fraud, but what I end up reading is stuff like “the latest outrageous claims and inept science by John Christy, David Douglass, or S. Fred Singer”.

    Now I know that when they think nobody is looking… they still call their opponents buffoons and they lament the fact that they can’t just spend their time honestly figuring things out.

  699. TC:

    [Response: I'm just telling you why the situation exists. I did not design it and I would change it if I could. If this bothers you and it should, write to your representative and ask that met offices release more of their data to the WMO CLIMAT network and release CRU from their prior agreements. Inundating CRU with FOI requests is a waste of time. -gavin]

    This just seems incoherent. If the CRU group was interested in having the data released, they could easily respond to the FOI request with “these three parties need to sign off on data release, here’s who to contact”. Done. Instead, it’s obvious from the emails that they are actively working to prevent release, actively looking for any excuse not to share data.

    Surely, at some level you must see that this looks ridiculous given the scope and seriousness of the claims being made. After all, everything is based on the raw data, right? If we are truly facing a planetary catastrophe, don’t you think people would be willing to step up and defend every last part of their work, including raw data, intermediate steps, choices in analytical approaches, etc? That’s a simple question.

  700. Steve Fish:

    Clarity Please — 21 November 2009 @ 11:33 AM:

    The debate is political, not scientific. You want a database of tens of thousands of research articles that are consistent with the consensus and the few hundred that are opposed? I don’t believe that you are a practicing scientist.

    Steve

  701. Sue Jones:

    Furthermore, we all ”fiddle with the data” it is part of the process. Gone were the days when we kicked our TV to get a signal, or the car to kickstart it. We did it without a second thought. That was pure physics, though I doubt most of us thought of it that way.

    No-one questions the science that has given us satellite communications, magnetic resonance diagnosis,immunisation, space travel, air travel…, no one questions the physics. Well it is those same physics; the immutable laws that govern our universe, that have given us climate change as an unintended consequence of our actions.

    Science seeks to reveal the truth of the human condition and the environment in which it finds itself. It is the purest of philosophical expressions, alongside mathematics and music, art and law.

    It is all about truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    So really I feel that this should be tried in a court of law, with some impartial judge ( Judge Garzon?) presiding. It has, quite rightly, entered legal territory.

    The prosecution are pleading that they have been lied to and the defendant is the science and the scientists.

    That is what Cicero would do.

    I stand on the side of the defense. Hypatia will be vindicated.

  702. Steve Fish:

    Skookum John — 21 November 2009 @ 11:37 AM:

    Hint- If CO2 rises over thousands of years the sea critters adapt and evolve.

    Steve

  703. Jere Krischel:

    “In sciences you need to establish an opposite theory or at least a valid argument – based on observation (data) or experiment that challenges a theory.”

    A valid argument can simply be, “the predictions of your theory did not work”. The null-hypothesis does not require a completely opposite theory -> the answer may very well be “we don’t know”.

  704. Bobby:

    #657
    I think you underestimate the driving forces behind protecting one’s reputation. Once a highly respected scientist becomes so professionally invested in what appears to be a good theory and then works for years enhancing and promoting that theory, the temptation to make the theory fit (no matter what later evidence is presented) is extremely strong. Scientists are human, they have egos like other humans, they have a lot vested in their reputations. In some sense (particularly in academia), without your reputation you are nothing (professionally). The longer they promote the theory the more they have to lose if it turns out to be incorrect. Add to that political pressure, the bias of government grants given to prove rather than disprove the theory and the “us versus “them” mentality and you quickly realise that there are many reasons to collude for the “greater good”. The problem is that by doing so, other views get sidelined no matter whether they have merit or not.

    The emails indicate a desire to make data fit the theory, stop opposing views getting published and even have intriguing comments such as

    “Remember all the fun we had last year over 1995 global temperatures,
    with early release of information (via Oz), “inventing” the December
    monthly value, letters to Nature etc etc?”

    [Response: I have no idea what that is referring to. But I'm pretty sure that 'fun' is meant sarcastically (remember he's British). - gavin]

  705. Jeff Id:

    Wow, thanks for letting the comment through. I’m shocked. You missed the point though which is not surprising (and intentional FOIA) but I’ve clearly explained my question.

    Just for kicks I’ll do it again. I agree that being honest about explaining what someone did in a particularly unusual operation like this is critical and that it has been explained. Nobody hid anything in the publications I’ve read.

    The question is why is it ok to chop off data from a several hundred year record, simply because it goes down? Doesn’t that bring into question any other part of the trees as thermometers record?

    As one who works in science, this would be unacceptable procedure in any field – explained or otherwise without clear justification based on known data problems. Therefore it requires more than ‘peer reviewed’ and ‘it was disclosed’ as explanatoins. It needs real and open justification. IMO, Phil realized it has no justification and was simply a little too candid in his email. What say you?

  706. thefordprefect:

    Appologies not sure why that got truncated here it is again please delete the first if this works!
    Just for the record, and so people know the legality of computer hacking. Note that it says nothing about being ok if it exposes supposed baddies!:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1990/UKpga_19900018_en_1.htm

    1 Unauthorised access to computer material.
    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if-.
    (a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;.
    (b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and .
    (c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case.
    (2) The intent a person has to have to commit an offence under this section need not be directed at-
    (a) any particular program or data;
    (b) a program or data of any particular kind; or .
    (c) a program or data held in any particular computer.
    (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to both

    4
    Territorial scope of offences under this Act .
    (1) Except as provided below in this section, it is immaterial for the purposes of any offence under section 1 or 3 above-
    (a) whether any act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence occurred in the home country concerned; or .
    (b) whether the accused was in the home country concerned at the time of any such act or event.
    (2) Subject to subsection (3) below, in the case of such an offence at least one significant link with domestic jurisdiction must exist in the circumstances of the case for the offence to be committed.
    (3) There is no need for any such link to exist for the commission of an offence under section 1 above to be established in proof of an allegation to that effect in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above.
    (4) Subject to section 8 below, where-
    (a) any such link does in fact exist in the case of an offence under section 1 above; and .
    (b) commission of that offence is alleged in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above;
    9 British citizenship immaterial .
    (1) In any proceedings brought in England and Wales in respect of any offence to which this section applies it is immaterial to guilt whether or not the accused was a British citizen at the time of any act, omission or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence.
    (2) This section applies to the following offences-
    (a) any offence under this Act;
    (b) conspiracy to commit an offence under this Act;
    (c) any attempt to commit an offence under section 3 above; and
    (d) incitement to commit an offence under this Act.

    Extradition where Schedule 1 to the Extradition Act 1989 applies .The offences to which an Order in Council under section 2 of the [1870 c. 52.] Extradition Act 1870 can apply shall include-
    (a) offences under section 2 or 3 above;
    (b) any conspiracy to commit such an offence; and .
    (c) any attempt to commit an offence under section 3 above.

    17 Interpretation .
    (1) The following provisions of this section apply for the interpretation of this Act.
    (2) A person secures access to any program or data held in a computer if by causing a computer to perform any function he-
    (a) alters or erases the program or data;
    (b) copies or moves it to any storage medium other than that in which it is held or to a different location in the storage medium in which it is held;
    (c) uses it; or .
    (d) has it output from the computer in which it is held (whether by having it displayed or in any other manner);
    and references to access to a program or data (and to an intent to secure such access) shall be read accordingly

  707. Anne van der Bom:

    Steve Geiger,

    (how many times do we have to hear ‘that’s the final nail in the coffin of AGW’. These assertions are ridiculous and DON’T reflect the opinions of the true ’skeptics’

    I sometimes go over to WUWT to read up on the latest state in ‘skeptical science’ and honestly, the majority of the comments posted there exactly fit your description. I am glad there is someone here to keep that crap out the door.

    if RC would commit to allowing true discourse (like today), I would definitely pay more attention

    Not reading a certain web site because it does not reflect your opinion is incompatible with someone who calls himself a skeptic.

    Why don’t you come over here just to read the blog posts? You should try that for a while, only read the posts and not the comments (same for CA & WUWT). Comments contain a lot of noise and distraction. Just for some time look at the evidence as it is presented and make up your own mind. Nothing could be healthier for a true skeptic.

  708. AJ:

    From my point of view, which is that of an established researcher in a completely different field, several of the “gotcha” quotes can be explained by legitimate analytical methods.

    It also appears that there is indeed some unethical behavior taking place re. FOIA and peer-review bias. I think with enough time, both of these conclusions will be made, and the result for these particular CRU employees will be permanent stains on their careers. CRU itself will likely see a funding hit, perhaps some of it justified.

  709. Lazar:

    dhogaza;

    “And if he’d said “unethical”, you’d ask, “unethical, but not ill-advised”

    No.

    “Stupid games, stupid games.”

    Do you really think I’m playing games?

  710. DaveS:

    @651 ***”What I find is that they are tolerant of just about anything because that suits the purpose of sowing confusion and casting doubts on rigorously-conducted, peer reviewed science.”

    Yeah, peer-reviewed science is the way to go. And if we disagree with something that gets through peer-review, we can call it an “awful paper” and agitate for the resignation of the people who published it. It’s sort of win win, no?

    [Response: So peer-review is somehow immune from criticism? This old discussion is probably helpful. - gavin]

  711. Anne van der Bom:

    Sue Jones,

    The sceptic/contrarians/deniers are wary of an hypothesis that, if true, demands they change the very principles on which their lives are based.

    The only thing that will change is that 10 years from now instead of filling up my car, I’ll have to plug it in. How much of a difference can it make if that electricity is generated by wind turbines or nuclear plants? How does that change the “very principles on which our lives are based”? I have never understood why people by into that obviously fake argument so easily.

    But feel free to prove me wrong.

  712. Megin:

    I know you might prefer one less comment even to one more comment of support, but I am filled with admiration for the calm, collected and fact-based way you are handling this. Speaking as a fellow scientist, I know I would have great difficulty being as level-headed if this were to have happened to me. Of course, I haven’t had the practice of people constantly attacking my life’s work, so maybe it’s a skill one develops at need, and it’s a shame you’ve needed to.

    I think that the entire climate change “debate” at large just shows how badly our educational systems have failed at giving people the intellectual tools needed to understand science. We teach facts first and methods only second when we should be teaching methods first. Although my field of research (psychology) is pretty far from your own, in every one of my classes I try to focus on giving people the basic principles (such as: you go with the weight of the evidence, not single studies) that they need to be an informed participant in the political process, or even read a damn newspaper, when issues like this are being discussed.

    Feel free to not publish this one as it doesn’t add to the substantive debate, I just wanted to let you know I’m with ya, and wish you luck in the next few days as this tempest in a teapot storms. Here’s hoping you’re back at the bench (or whatever the climate scientist equivalent is) getting the important work done as soon as possible.

  713. Janet:

    I’m the daughter of scientist you all sharply criticized, discredited, and claimed his theories were washed up a few years back on this site, and I just want you to know your pain at the moment is my pleasure.

    [Response: Sorry if we caused you any problem, but whether a scientific idea is valid or not is not a reflection on the quality of the person who proposed it. I would advise you to take scientific criticism less personally. - gavin]

  714. Biff Larkin:

    In 664 BBC asks and Gavin answers:

    BBC: “Can you not understand that your position that AGW is a dire threat to humanity which requires the urgent re-ordering of our economies AND that some of the data which supports this cannot be released because of the commercial interests of scientists or their employers, is completely incredible to any intelligent person?”

    Gavin: “If this bothers you and it should, write to your representative and ask that met offices release more of their data to the WMO CLIMAT network and release CRU from their prior agreements. Inundating CRU with FOI requests is a waste of time.”

    Well, what bothers many of us is clear, irrefutable evidence that CRU desires to hoard data. Jones’ statement that he would rather destroy certain data than turn it over to McIntyre speaks for itself. As does Jones’ request to delete e-mails subject to FOI.

    So here is my question, Gavin — and I don’t question your probity, nor your good faith. Can you actually prove that CRU is prohibited from releasing certain data according to a certain agreement or certain agreements?

    Or do you merely believe this to be the case?

    [Response: Here. - gavin]

  715. Sue Jones:

    To Leo G: I am on the northwest coast of Spain. The November temperature for my region (Catalonia, Mediterranean climate) is hovering around 20/23º C daytime, the nights are occasionally cold, but not so cold. The autumn rains have failed. Lots of unusual high misty cloud cover. The weather is rather out of sync…It is abnormally warm for the time of year.Very dry and calm.

    I would recommend a thorough study of the meterology of this region

  716. Hank Roberts:

    MadRocketScientist says: 21 November 2009 at 5:28 PM
    > Ray said
    >> “Well, except that natural forcers would be causing the planet
    >> to cool substantially about no. So… what exactly is the basis of your
    >> belief that the planet is warming “naturally”?”
    >
    > Forcers? What forcers would cause the planet to cool naturally?

    “… a change in seasonal incoming solar radiation (warmer winters and colder summers) associated with changes in Earth’s axial tilt, its longitude of perihelion, and the precession of its elliptical orbit around the Sun. These small changes must then be amplified by feedback from reflected light associated with enhanced snow/ice cover, vegetation associated with the expansion of tundra, and greenhouse gases associated with the uptake (not release) of carbon dioxide and methane ….”

    http://www.geotop.ca/downloads/CHM/2004-Science.pdf

    OCEAN SCIENCE: Global Warming and the Next Ice Age — Weaver et al.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/304/5669/400
    Science 16 April 2004, Vol. 304. no. 5669, pp. 400 – 402
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1096503

    Q: How can we know this is possible?
    A: Science.

    Would a picture help?
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature_Rev_png

  717. Mike D:

    I can’t believe that the bad behavior of a few scientists is going to set back efforts to prevent climate change by years. Before one could always dismiss the conspiracy theorists out of hand. A massive global conspiracy just sounded ridiculous. It doesn’t anymore, at least not to the average person. Data fudging? Cover-up attempts? You can read all about it, plain as day (or so it would seem), in these emails. I have always hoped people would have confidence in the projections of their scientists and supporting the action needed in advance. I feel that confidence has just been shattered. But the effects of global warming will inexorably mount regardless of the minor (in the scheme of things) missteps of a few researchers. Unfortunately now we may have to wait until those effects become obvious even to the layperson and we will take the necessary action.

  718. David Harper:

    Gavin… there is talk over at Climate Audit that you are about to throw Jones et al “under the bus”. I’m sure that’s not true just be careful that they don’t try to do the same to you. I’ve seen these emails and you come across as the chief propogandist for CRU. Be very careful. There are emails that talk of “Gavin had a great idea”.

    Cover your back. There are a lot of angry people out there.

  719. Dale Husband:

    [blockquote]
    Comment by Nick — 21 November 2009 @ 4:13 PM

    If someone had hacked into Exxon’s servers and found emails talking about how they need to hire and promote global warming deniers, you’d be applauding and justifying the actions of the hackers.

    [/blockquote]

    That’s entirely an assumption. Not all supporters of the man-made global warming hypothesis have the same ethical values (or lack thereof), nor should we assume all global warming skeptics are virtuous saints. We need to fight fair and stick to using scientific methods to prove our case, not theft and invasion of private property.

  720. Brian:

    After a brief online check on google, I could not find a complete archive of the emails in question. The only material easily visible are these out-of-context snippets. Why not post the whole archive yourself, organized into threads etc.? It can’t be worse than selective release by your opponents and the “drip drip” effect.

    Meanwhile, do you have any information about any law enforcement response to the hacking?

  721. Julius Philips:

    I have been doing a lot of research with algae. I can tell you that lately (as in last 12 years) there has been an explosion of algae around the world. It counters any extra Co2 production.

  722. Hank Roberts:

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/

    Top Weekly Downloads:
    (341) Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?

    (127) Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850:

    For the past 200 years sea level rise is mostly associated with anthropogenic factors. Only 4 ± 1.5 cm (25% of total sea level rise) during the 20th century is attributed to natural forcings, the remaining 14 ± 1.5 cm are due to a rapid increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

    Jevrejeva, S., A. Grinsted, and J. C. Moore (2009), Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L20706, doi:10.1029/2009GL040216.

    (120) A new perspective on warming of the global oceans:

    We obtain a much clearer picture of the drivers of oceanic temperature changes, being able to detect the effects of both anthropogenic and volcanic influences simultaneously in the observed record. Our results show that climate models are capable of capturing in remarkable detail the externally forced component of ocean temperature evolution over the last five decades.
    Citation: Palmer, M. D., S. A. Good, K. Haines, N. A. Rayner, and P. A. Stott (2009), A new perspective on warming of the global oceans, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L20709, doi:10.1029/2009GL039491.

    (82) Global warming, convective threshold and false thermostats

    the typically skewed appearance of tropical SST histograms, with a sharp drop-off above some threshold value, should not be taken as evidence for tropical thermostats.

    Williams, I. N., R. T. Pierrehumbert, and M. Huber (2009), Global warming, convective threshold and false thermostats, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21805, doi:10.1029/2009GL039849.

    (60) Extraordinary September Arctic sea ice reductions and their relationships with storm behavior over 1979–2008

  723. Anne van der Bom:

    MadRocketScientist,
    21 November 2009 at 5:28 PM

    Forcers? What forcers would cause the planet to cool naturally? And would those forcers be enough to overcome the additional warming from CO2, NH4, heat islands, etc.?

    I think you did not understand Ray. He meant natural forces *alone*, without the extra forcing of CO2 from fossil fuel burning and CH4 from cattle.

    And what you mean by the heat islands? Don’t tell me you don’t know that the ‘heat island’ refers to a measuring artifact and not a contribution to warming.

  724. mommycalled:

    Joe V #661 indeed you are correct that an “insult is the last recourse for intelligent conversation.” What you and your ilk refuse to accept is that this is not an intelligent conversation. To paraphrase Barney Frank: Carrying on a conversation with a global warming denier is like carrying on a conversation with a dining room table

  725. Joseph Hunkins:

    The IPCC should adopt a new rule: Only papers are accepted where the data, the algorithms and the programs are available to everybody, on a public server.

    Amen to that. The reluctance of all parties to agree to this is simple indefensible from a scientific point of view. I’m sure there are bureaucratic and political and monetary reasons for alternatives, but they pale in comparison to the notion of pure transparency in the science.

  726. NikFromNYC:

    I must point out that “hide the decline” doesn’t mean, as Fox News headline claims “hide the decline in temperature”. It means to minimize the appearing of a decline in temperature during modern times when thermometers actually show a rise. That’s not a bad decline to “hide” since it’s obviously a false decline.

    However this cuts both ways in a very serious way. Given that no other explanation has been offered for this “divergence problem” perhaps the explanation is the utterly obvious one: cold-adapted trees grow faster when it warms up but then suffer when that warming becomes too hot. Extrapolated into the past this would mean that some tree ring proxies would indeed not only hide hot periods but make them look like cooling periods.

  727. Mike from Down Under:

    Aww crap. My father-in-law (very conservative, generally nice guy, but the most scientifically ignorant person I’ve ever met) just came running in and shouted “hey I just heard on the radio that global warming has been proven to be a giant hoax and the researchers are being investigated by the FBI!”

    So now where to? I’m also trying to educate some rather ignorant sceptics (though not full time trolls) on another blog about the current science. This is gut-wrenching, having to now drop my previous arguments and explain how out-of-context these emails are being quoted. The denyosphere is going nuts……

  728. Majorajam:

    This whole thing feels very Insider-esque. Does anyone else note the cosmic symmetry of this revelation happening at the same moment that the US health insurance companies succeed in beating down a public option proposal that Americans by a large majority are in favor of, and that individual states can opt-out of if they (ostensibly) feel it’s not good for their citizenry? I mean, these corporate interest types are motivated, resourceful, and loaded with resources in a world people with their hands out ready to sell their souls to the highest bidder.

    Climate scientists by virtue of the policy/political implications of their work find themselves in the cross-hairs of a far larger and more powerful set of special interests than the health care/insurance industry. Exxon alone makes, what, 100 billion a quarter? How many PR firms and other paid attack dogs (hackers?) can it hire before it shaves a rounding error off reported EPS? It was a great moment in that movie, the Insider, when Crowe sits in a dark hotel room staring at the office building across the way where the legal et al department on Brown Brothers 40th some odd floor are working round the clock to, as you’re allowed to say in an R/18 rated movie or private correspondence for that matter, ‘f*ck me’.

    Yea, it’s total speculation, but in a world where a single small potatoes coal company can hire a firm that hires a firm that hires some temps that forge letters from interest groups to Congress claiming, e.g. that the NCCP opposes cap and trade, I’d call it informed speculation. Notwithstanding that that firm ‘had no way of knowing that this was going on’ and other funny stories.

    Anyway, this too will pass and scientists will get on with their work because that’s what they do. We’ve known now for a while that the world was going to kick fossil fuel rationing to the curb for at least a little longer anyway, while India & China hopefully ignore the can of whopass their intransigence will eventually accrue to them, and the West’s integrity challenged denialosphere (and US Republicans) finish jumping the shark. By the time people realize that nothing at all has changed, the world is not ‘cooling’ or ‘not warming’ etc. then hopefully we can go to bat again.

    So unpleasantness aside, no harm no foul. Saying all that, and you’ll have to pardon me for acknowledging it, but this was always something of a forlorn hope. We’re simply not a species that is very capable of taking advantage of our unique ability to foresee problems in advance.

  729. oracle2world:

    May I raise the biggest issue in the global warming debate?

    That anomolous data that doesn’t fit theory, is explained away in increasingly bizarre fashion.

    No theory explains all the data. There are outliers, background noise, maybe data just plain wrong. So whenever AGW attempts to explain away EVERY SINGLE ITTY-BITTY piece of non-conforming data … something is not right.

    Every new drug has side effects. If a drug company reports clinical data that shows no side effects, the FDA knows the data are fraudulent.

    In my mind AGW would have a lot more credibility if it acknowledged up front and clearly what the anomalies are, and not leave them for the skeptics to gleefully beat up on.

    Because right now, everything fits together waaaaaaaaaay too neatly within AGW to be credible.

  730. David B. Benson:

    Well, all this has put RealClimate well over the nine million visitors mark…

  731. Ron:

    Re:
    605
    Richard Ordway says:
    21 November 2009 at 3:48 PM

    First Richard, that’s some impressive list.
    Second, it really reduces to the argument from authority —-so, while it’s a list of science related organizations, it’s not, in itself, science.
    Third, all organizations (private, public, mom-pop, mega corps —-ALL) have two fundamental purposes: the formal and the behavioural. The formal may be defined as the intention of the founders to make or do some specified thing or activity. The behavioural is the preservation and expansion of the organization itself abstracted from its formal purpose. As organizations increase in size there tends to be an increase of the behavioural purpose at the expense of the formal. In fact more than a few organizations persist long after their formal purposes have been altered or completely forgotten. Whenever anyone speaks on behalf of an organization it is well to listen carefully to determine which of the two purposes is being addressed. It is also useful to examiner how an organization’s bureaucracy interacts with the various activities of its members.
    Cheers, Ron.

  732. Steve Fish:

    PhryingPhish — 21 November 2009 @ 2:51 PM:

    “…would you, or any like scientist have the courage to say, ‘Well, I guess I was wrong. Gotta go now and find a new job.’, I doubt it.”

    You are wrong, but your whole proposition indicates that you don’t really understand how science is done.

    The real Fish

  733. Neal J. King:

    669, Winston:

    This is kind of what one would expect. It’s awfully hard to read someone else’s code anyway. You can do it if you’re working on the same problem, or have a really urgent need that the numbers be right.

    Otherwise, it’s not going to be quite as easy as finding spelling errors…

  734. Ray Ladbury:

    Joe V., I am not in doubt about my own intelligence–neither its breadth or its limitations, thank you very much. You contend that the case for anthropogenic causation is not incontrovertible. Fine. Perhaps you had better get started explaining some of the evidence. Start with simultaneous tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling, a warming trend lasting 30 years in which each decade has been warmer on average than the last, polar amplification, and the annual and diurnal pattern of warming. The consensus theory has ready explanations for all of these phenomena, and in fact predicted some before they were observed. Your move!

  735. oracle2world:

    “… the first climate model being done in 1896 (Svante Arrehnius) …”

    Arrehnius thought a warmer climate was good. And his “climate model” was a complete WAG.

    So given that Arrehnius was brilliant, why should we discard his conclusion that warm is good?

    It’s stuff like this that skeptics live for.

    Just aim for some consistency and present ALL the data, good, bad, and ugly.

  736. Steve Fish:

    Ron — 21 November 2009 @ 3:22 PM:

    I don’t agree with your comments about Ray.

    Steve

  737. Susann:

    What I find amusing is that the so-called ‘skeptics’ are not showing any skepticism when it comes to these documents. If they were real skeptics and not merely fanatical adherents to a conspiracy theory, they would be demanding to see evidence that these are authentic and undoctored. Who ever hacked these documents could have doctored them to achieve some political purpose. The ‘skeptics’ refuse to accept evidence for global warming, claiming to be ‘skeptics’ wanting to audit the evidence, and yet accept without any proof the veracity of some files posted anonymously on the internet.

    Where’s the skepticism?

  738. Mike Bower:

    There has been much a buzz about whether in the last decade or so the temp has gone up, stayed the same, or is even going down, with many claims of cherry picking data to prove one’s point. Is there any computer models that have accurately predicted what we have seen in the last decade? If they can not predict based on data from 10+yrs ago what happened with enough resolution, never mind the “random variations” argument, for this 10 year block of time, why would anyone believe they can predict 100 yrs. from now? It seems to me that we simply do not have a good enough understanding of all of nature’s never mind man’s effect on the weather. If we did than the model should be able to hit the prediction for the next ten years right on the money.

    So I propose a standard be set, that any model we consider for basis of action be able to do at least that, predict within +- .01 degree C 1 yr. 5 yr. and10 yrs. out. Pretty basic I think. If it can’t do that than simple logic gives me no confidence in any discussion about 100 yrs. from now.

    Where’s the Beef?

    [Response: What the IPCC models really say. - gavin]

  739. Steve Fish:

    Sloop — 21 November 2009 @ 4:04 PM:

    Sloop (du jour), you have to get with the thread, stop being so reasonable.

    Steve

  740. ML:

    Gavin,

    Its commendable that you have spent time to allow all these posts and take time to respond to many too.

    This whole issue of smoking guns, academic haughtiness toward the general public as well as the questioning of funding and the whole science of climate change is saddening. I can’t help wondering if most of the skeptics posting here are skeptical not because of their trained, educated perspectives based on a clear understanding of empirical consensus in science. Rather, maybe I sense there is a certain rejection of what could be seen as a clear threat to changing lifestyles that must conform with the reconstruction of our societies and their continual growth that modify the world around us. The rejection could stem from ‘belief’ in the tradition of skepticism itself (not a bad thing in itself). However, when it is clear from so much empirical evidence and consensus (as posted by others in the ongoing firestorm) that we are responsible for changes around us, then I think we have to maybe understand scepticism as fear of change.

    And, whether the changes be anthropogenic or caused by natural changes is an irrelevant issue. Either way, we will need to adapt to reconfigurations made by our own doing, or the climate. This is a chance for humanity (especially the percentage that is fortunate to be located in the industrialized areas that allow for business as usual lifestyles), to reflect upon how our world is a finite, complex series of systems that is changing through homo faber’s (man the creator) own doing.

    Finally some in this long thread have made insinuations about academics being able to possibly pocket money from their funding. As a funded academic I have to be accountable for every last yen in my budget supplying receipts and invoices to detail exactly how that money is used. Going into science within research and academic institutions (especially public and therefore accountable entities) is on the understanding that you are not going to become stinkingly rich but pursue knowledge.

  741. Frank Davis:

    Sue Jones 665 wrote: “The sceptic/contrarians/deniers are wary of an hypothesis that, if true, demands they change the very principles on which their lives are based. They want a solid guarantee, 100% certainty. Anything less arouses deep suspicion. … They are right to demand certainty before they commit themselves.But the problem appears to be that as far as climate change is concerned, there can be no certainty, 90% is not enough.”

    Good point. Why should people abandon the principles on which their lives are based on the say-so of a handful of climate scientists? Particularly when one of them, Kevin Trenberth, wrote in an email just a month back that “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.” Well yes, it is a travesty. These guys can’t even agree among themselves. And that’s another very good reason why this sceptic is going to carry on being sceptical, I’m afraid.

    [Response: Perfect example of confirmation bias in action I'm afraid. Read Trenberth's work on this in detail - it doesn't say what you think it does. - gavin]

  742. sam:

    @various who are supposedly willing for the entire content of all their work emails and even face-to-face discussions (!) to be published:

    REALLY?

    Yeah, no.

    I work for a university and recently got a telling-off from upper management of my unit because I had commented rather too frankly (criticised a university decision, which could also be seen as criticism of another part of the university) in a public blog. That same criticism, I was assured, would be entirely welcome internally. In other words, I am perfectly free to make internal comments (say, by email, or face-to-face) which the university does not wish to be released publicly. This doesn’t seem hugely surprising to me. Is it surprising to anyone who works for any organisation (university or corporate)?

    Likewise I might make comments about other people’s decisions or opinions (possibly not so much in email, but certainly face-to-face) which I don’t want to be released in public, because I have to work with said people – and even if they actually know what I think (they probably do, and might have been the ‘face’ in that phrase), putting those criticisms in public makes it an entirely different level when others can react to it and take it out of proportion.

    And I certainly use flippant terms which could easily be misinterpreted by somebody other than the intended recipient. For instance, I have in the past said things like ‘we have to assume all students are stupid’. I do not for a moment genuinely believe that; almost all of our students are intelligent and highly motivated (yes, really), and I fully respect the educational mission of my place of work, or I wouldn’t work there. The comment is shorthand for certain software design approaches (for example, although our students are intelligent, they don’t all have a high level of computer literacy and nor should they have to learn complex operational details that are not relevant to their study). But those two long sentences of caveats wouldn’t have been included in my email and putting it out in public would’ve looked pretty bad. Plus, I might likely have been fired.

    I understand that people are a bit more careful about emails these days, but if you really never say anything at work, even face-to-face, that could not cause problems if publicly released and taken out of context, then you must be living under a disturbing degree of self-censorship – and one which cannot be remotely good for the institutional health of your place of work, or for any relevant collaborations.

    (Sometimes these things will leak out, as in this case – fine. Just a fact of life; it can be dealt with and will probably blow over. But purposefully saying you’re happy to release everything? I don’t believe it.)

  743. Lawrence Coleman:

    To me this reeks of desperate measured taken by the skepticazy. What is the background on the guy who hacked into UEA? Was he working alone or was he hired? Did he know the nature and location of the data he was stealing? Maybe with all the data they collected they can come to their own logical conclusion about AGW..coz again as far as I can tell nearly all that data actually supports AGW. Australia has had another run of temp records broken a couple of days ago..Adelaide SA and Melbourne Vic. Highest spring temp on record @43C and longest run in spring on >40C for 8 days. We in SE QLD have settling on >32C for the past few weeks and it should only by ~27C.
    Back to the issue..it seems as though the discreditors of AGW are ramping up their ultimately futile attempts to vindicate their cause.The focus of their mission seems to be is polarise the masses or at least to sway the fence sitters. What might be the answer is for a unified chorus by the majority of world leaders who have after-all unrestricted access to scientifically sound, peer-reveiwed literature and who understand the magnitude of the task we are up against to globally voice the facts about the validity of AGW/ACC. That should make the denyalists truly understand they are up against an unbreakable unified governmental/polital and scientific concensus.

  744. Neal J. King:

    407, Barton Paul Levenson said: “Sure. Reflect also on the fact that Feynman was in the habit of intimidating lonely, neurotic women in bars to get them into bed with him, as he describes in one of his books, treating it as a joke. So his standing to teach others about ethics is questionable.”

    BPL, I believe I was present at the talk where Feynman made his recommendation. Just before he proposed that principle, he stated explicitly that he was talking about issues of SCIENTIFIC integrity, and not of moral integrity; for which he referred his audience to their minister or rabbi or whatever.

  745. Seth:

    [Response: Sure it can. TSI + volcanoes. - gavin]

    On #280, what I meant is that something that “would” (but did not) happen cannot be measured. Is it your assertion that any warming not explained by natural drivers is automatically anthropogenic and there is no unexplained drivers? In other words is everything left over filed under “man caused” until further explained? I ask this because when unexpected cooling is observed, albeit not prolonged yet, It seems like it is never even considered that anthropogenic warming is overestimated, just that the cooling is unexplained.

    It seems like an all out effort to preserve the estimated AGW. Bias is the concern.

    Excerpt from [1255558867.txt]

    At the risk of overload, here are some notes of mine on the
    recent
    lack of warming. I look at this in two ways. The first is to
    look at
    the difference between the observed and expected anthropogenic
    trend relative to the pdf for unforced variability. The second
    is to remove ENSO, volcanoes and TSI variations from the
    observed data.
    Both methods show that what we are seeing is not unusual. The
    second
    method leaves a significant warming over the past decade.
    These sums complement Kevin’s energy work.
    Kevin says … “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”. I
    do not
    agree with this.

    I know you are very busy. Thank you for all the time you have taken.

  746. Steve Fish:

    Steve Richards — 21 November 2009 @ 4:26 PM:

    Could you please tell me what specific hidden data and which published research papers you are referring to. This would really help me to understand what is going on.

    Steve

  747. Bob:

    Gavin,

    Answer as honestly as you might. What do think the state of climate change would be today if all of the grant money was allocated to “global cooling”

    [Response: Interesting statement - not because of the question, which makes no sense, but because it is revealing of an assumption that people are being paid to research global warming. They just aren't. People are paid to research clouds, rain, temperature, land surface fluxes, radiation, bogs and ice cores and ocean mud and cave records. Which of those do you think are going to change their field of study if the globe was cooling instead of warming? - gavin]

  748. CB:

    ” Sean says:
    21 November 2009 at 4:03 PM

    As per http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html
    Why wouldn’t the sensitivity of tree growth in the second half of the century be taken to be more accurate than the sensitivity measured in the earlier years of the century. Surely we have gotten better over the years at measuring mean temperature directly (evolving from mercury thermometers to satellite data as an example). In a nutshell, why do we have more faith in the thermometer readings taken 100 years ago versus that readings taken 25 years ago?”

    Sean, a short answer regarding the tree data is that it appears that the growth environment for the trees in question has changed significantly so that different environmental factors are now limiting growth than was the case in the past. Maximum late-wood density was strongly associated with temperature in the past (i.e cold temperatures limited growth, warmth enhanced it). This relationship appears to have changed – perhaps because of changes in the permafrost setting in which the trees grow due to the recent warming. This is being investigated to try and better understand what changes have occurred and how this might affect tree growth.

    Regarding weather records – an ideal record would be one from a station that has never moved, never changed it equipment (weather instruments) or recording method, is unaffected by urban encroachment or other changes in the surrounding environment, has no missing data, collected a variety of measurements, not just temp and precip, and is very long – more than 100 years – more than 150 would be even better. How many such records exist in the world? Perhaps a handful, none of them perfect.

    Think about wars and political upheaval, changes in technology, urbanization, landuse changes, etc, etc. All these have an effect on data quality and consistency. For instance in the US some stations had good records up to WWII and then due to the demands of the war and subsequent changes in technology there are gaps in the records and problems in data homogeneity.

    The task of assembling a gridded dataset from the horrible mishmash of available station records is a truly monumental task – and rests on the efforts of many hundreds of people over many decades. Newer equipment does not necessarily mean more accurate or more reliable data – as if an automated system goes down it may take some time for someone to notice to get it repaired, Likewise some sensors degrade over time and must be checked, and periodically calibrated or replaced. A mercury thermometer doesn’t degrade and a precip can measured by hand will always give a consistent result – provided the observer isn’t on holiday or taken ill, or drafted…

    There are reliable methods of dealing with all these problems, but it takes time and effort to do so.

    On a completely different note, the Funkhouser email is clearly referring to a data set that simply didn’t work for the reconstruction that was being put together. The measured tree-ring parameter simply didn’t contain any signal germane to the reconstruction – no matter how the data was analyzed. Clearly a bummer for the investigators who has put considerable effort into collecting the material and working it up for analysis.

    As Gavin noted earlier – duff data.

  749. Sean Rooney:

    We have seen the deniers amp up their attacks since June, leading to this crescendo … all of it aimed directly at blowing up Copenhagan and its prospective Kyoto-II Climate Treaty.

    The gloves are truly off. This is open warfare funded by Exxon-Mobil et al. It creates a “High Noon” scenario, with the swarm of denialists due on the train at noon armed to the teeth and ready to take out Gary Cooper, the lone Sheriff, who appears to be much less sure of himself than we may like. Nevertheless, he represents the science.

    We all know how the movie ends.

    And this story will play out much the same, the Sheriff will win. The Sheriff always wins.

    The Hackee in this case should immediately declare that no hacked or pilfered e:mail or document has the worth of dirt owing to the potential for editing by the parties that released them, or their agents.

    End of story.

    Well, not quite of course, the war goes on, unfortunately. Whomever mentioned the idea that this sort of thing is done as as much to divert attention from the work and thus dillute the science effort has a good point. It’s built right in.

    The response from the science community should be specific to specific questions or contentions or crucial inferences (much as Gavin has done here) set forth in one place (one website) so that it need not be endlessly repeated but can be said once and once only. This process must be as efficient as it can be made, and hence to divert as little attention from the real work as is practicable. There should be no dwelling.

    When they stoop to this level, you know you’ve got ‘em on the run. And if you’ve been to the Arctic lately, you know why.

  750. Nick:

    This is crazy. Rest assured the less conniving majority out here won’t read your personal emails, nor will we judge you on the less courteous (private) comments we read as quotes posted within other articles (anyone who has been robbed knows the sting). As for the science, we will judge based on our own interpretations of methods and analysis – not by politically spun, unethically obtained personal correspondence.

  751. George:

    #

    I’ve read through perhaps half of the documentation. What’s most troubling about many of the e-mails isn’t the putatively falsified data…there may be explanations for many of the out of context quotes. Rather, what emerges is a decade-long pattern of behavior where the AGW advocates:
    1) Demand that the skeptics publish in “peer-reviewed journals” while
    2) Taking steps to block those publications including sharing of supposedly anonymous copies for review
    3) Coordination of response strategies based on this information
    4) Threatening the editorial board of one journal that allowed a skeptical paper to “slip through” (that’s a direct quote).
    5) Telling skeptics to address their work through comments then ensuring that those comments are unpublished by the journal in question.

    Taken together its an outrageous and deeply unethical set of actions that prevents the normal scientific process of peer review to function.

    This would never be tolerated in the disciplines I’ve been involved in…and I find it appalling to see in such an important field of science.

    [Response: 'Peer review' is a filter. The nature of a filter is that it filters out things. Asking that the criticism goes through the same filter as the original papers is completely valid. As is making sure that the filter is working properly, which it certainly doesn't some of the time. Read the background to the Soon and Baliunas case to get a better sense of what was actually going on. - gavin]

    Comment by George — 21 November 2009 @ 12:32 PM

    Gavin, I’m sorry but the behavior demonstrated in this e-mail correspondence cannot be dismissed so cavalierly. What it shows is not that the filter was specifically tuned to exclude only one side of the debate…and that the gatekeepers of the journals kept criticisms quiet and private to avoid the annoying public from finding out.

    That’s a travesty of the peer review process.

    [Response: Not true. There are bad papers rejected that are supportive of AGW as well. It's just that there are far more bad papers that use faulty logic, inappropriate methods and show ignorance of basic physical principles that attempt to show that GW is nothing to worry about than the other way around. - gavin]

  752. Ron R.:

    This is typical rightwing desperation in action. And it appears the GW skeptics have learned well from their Creationist brethern. They apparently spend all their waking hours scouring scientific publications frantically searching for any word or even a whole sentence that is not QUITE as positive as the rest of the work and then proceed to BLOW IT OUT OF ALL PROPORTION.

    You know if there were a true conspiracy I’d expect something more along the lines of:

    “EYES ONLY – READ AND DESTROY. Welcome comrades! We are making good progress in our presentation of our global warming story as almost everyone of note now believes it! However there is more work to do before we can declare Victory in our efforts to destroy the mighty United States. We can take advantage of the recent anomolous warming only so long before the world begins to cool again. The accord in Copenhagen will be an important step in our efforts to crush the US energy companies, a key domino to the overthrow of that wetched regime. We must keep the pressure up! We will instruct our people to become ever more dire in their “warnings”. Make sure that they are paid handsomely for their loyal efforts to the cause. Moscow is behind us 100%! Father Stalin would be proud!”

  753. Jen:

    Gavin, I appreciate the time and effort you’re putting into dealing with this feeding frenzy. It’s important that there is someone with technical knowledge to respond to the mischaracterizations. I work as an atmospheric scientist and realize full well that time spent trying deal with issues like this must not be trivial and is NOT covered under project funding. However, it is not wasted time. Thank you for taking it head on.

    One thing I find curious about the emails is the very limited number of researchers and research subjects included. The emails have been ENORMOUSLY filtered to focus on a select few researchers and one or two subjects in climate work – e.g,. where are the mundane everyday sorts of emails? I doubt many of the group rejoicing over this episode realize the true breadth of research that goes on or even the number of scientists involved. These emails are obviously “cherry picked” to focus on the small slices of time when researchers were dealing with “contrarians.” The intent is blatently obvious.

    Chins up…

  754. s. wing:

    Gavin, your marathon string of detailed responses continues to sound reasonable on every single point with the sole glaring exception of the hockey stick graph for the 1999 WMO Statement. You are defending a long-time colleague, I understand that. But any serious past mistakes should be admitted and the record set straight. The unfortunate politicization of your field makes this even more imperative. Your glib dismissal of this incident is entirely unsatisfactory to me, as I now detail.

    First, thank you for your response to my comment #545, which began…

    [Response: An uninformative or incomplete caption in a WMO brochure is not 'scientific misconduct' by any stretch of the imagination. ...]

    Similarly, your response to comment #641 (Lazar) included…

    [Response: ... The incompleteness of a caption in a brochure while unfortunate is nothing like as serious, nor does it rise to deliberate misrepresentation. The procedure used should simply have been noted more clearly. - gavin]”

    This is not even remotely correct in my opinion. Most simply, the legend is also wrong/incomplete, so anyone just looking at the graph would get the completely wrong impression. This is already unacceptable.

    More fundamentally, attempting to fix the caption &/or legend would have been just papering over the cracks because the entire graph as plotted does not, and can not, reasonably represent the underlying scientific data in a way that is honest and helpful to the interested layperson, which is the intended readership. Instead, that graph looks for all the world like it is 3 independent data sets reproducing the ‘hockey stick’ shape – blade and all – and with excellent agreement on the blade. (The agreement of the lines towards the tip of the shaft is not even perfect – with green ending up above red and red ending up above blue. This reinforces the false impression of 3 independent data sets in excellent, but not perfect, agreement.)

    Now we find out that agreement is manufactured and that the top half or so of the blade doesn’t come from the stated data sets at all. That visual image is therefore profoundly misleading. Period.

    Also, this was not just any old graph in any old “brochure” (your word). The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) describe themselves as the United Nations’ authoritative voice on climate, and the graph in question forms the front page graphics for the 1999 edition of their annual climate statement:

    I note your point that this is not a peer-reviewed paper. It is is instead the different issue of communicating the science to the public (where you yourself have done so much valuable work). However, that by itself certainly does not rule out the possibility of scientific misconduct, which is what still appears to me to have happened when this plot was made back in 1999.

    You must have the constitution of a Spartan to have even got this far with these replies.

    What I would like to respectfully ask you now is that you agree to later give a more detailed and considered statement on this particular plot and incident, and what if anything should be done to put things right. I would suggest a timescale of, say, within some days from now, perhaps after having consulted with relevant colleagues, and certainly after you have had a decent sleep and a chance to reflect further. Will you do this?

    Sincerely, s. wing

    [Response: Again weird. Why is a figure that no-one had ever mentioned in the 10 years since it was published until Thursday this week now the most important issue in climate science? Are we supposed to imagine that this was influential in your thinking on the subject and now you feel confused? Ha. Am I supposed to "think carefully" about every figure that has ever been published (regardless of how influential or not) that anyone might have an issue with? That's just ridiculous. Science is always a work in progress and if you want to know what the community thinks of as the most informative and useful figures, read the the last IPCC report. - gavin]

  755. Joe1347:

    Ok, Scientists, it’s starting to look like it’s time to put down your pencils and sliderules and stop wasting your time writing papers and doing that silly peer reviewed research stuff. Otherwise, you won’t have scientific careers in a few years if this story gets any more out of control and Congress decides to cut off all funding for climate science in an attempt at damage control.

    The Scientific Community that already understands the facts needs to push back hard and fast on this story. It’s clearly starting to get out of control on the web with regards to creating uncertainty in the general public towards whether global warming is actually real. Hopefully it’s not too late already. Suspect that the mainstream press will be all over it next week since they just love any controversy that brings in viewers (and advertisers).

  756. Dave Reesor:

    To Richard Ordway;

    Kindly tell us all why is it not warming when the models say it should be? Why is an AGW believing scientist in Boulder Colorado calling the lack of warming a travesty? Why has the severity of hurricanes in the Atlantic abated when we were told Katrina was just the beginning of catastrophic hurricanes? How did polar bears survive a completely ice free Arctic in the past? Why is the ice pack over most of Antarctica increasing? Why is the Sahara greening, and is that a bad thing??

    These are all scientifically proven but inconvenient facts. They are not theory. Please give specific answers to them.

    The average person does not care about … “the importance of the differences in oscillations per centimeter of water vapor vs. carbon dioxide (CO2 is closer to the spectrum where the Earth is giving off most of its heat energy.” It may be AGW industry approved theory, (dogma), but when your theory conflicts with observed facts, the science is in fact, not settled. That is not rocket science, it is common sense.

    So please answer directly, “Why isn’t it warming, even while CO2 levels have continued rising, and your models say it would?”

    [Response: Here. – gavin

  757. Oakden Wolf:

    “No. The problem with Soon and Baliunas was their methodology, not their results (which were pre-determined in any case). Same for Douglass et al and same for McClean et al (and note that an author on the last one, was actually the editor on the first). – gavin”

    I posted the same thing to Tom Fuller on his Examiner column before I started reading this thread (and I’m going to finish it, too!)

  758. Alan Millar:

    “Response: Gavin…….Maybe. Geologically speaking we are still quite close to the Pleistocene ice age cycles (though we are currently in an interglacial). However, there is some evidence that the impacts we are making to the carbon cycle might have started to pull us out of the ice age cycles all together. In which case the answer would be no. But it will be clearer in a few thousand years. – gavin]”

    So, given that AGW is a fact, which scenario would you prefer that mankind should prepare for? A permanent global temperature rise of upto 6c or a return to a glacial period?

    I know which I will vote for, as 30k years ago, where I am currently sitting in the UK was three kilometres higher on top of an ice sheet!!

    Alan

    [Response: Preventing an ice age is a long way from being a problem worthy of immediate attention. - gavin]

  759. Tim Roesch:

    My experience with all of this goes back to the blistering comments flung from one scientist to another while people were dying of AIDS.

    Scientists need to be brutally honest, transparent and incredibly sensitive to how non-scientists might view remarks.

    Shall we go back to the Love Canal ‘fetal wastage’ and ‘adverse pregnancy outcomes’ comments to see why and important topic like ‘global warming’ needs far less petulance and far more clear, authoritative science?

    I am getting very tired of being the lone ‘scientist’ in the room trying to explain excrement like this to those who do not have science degrees.

    Clean up your acts! Read some science history!

  760. Oakden Wolf:

    gt4: “In fact, CA encourages discussions with the believers and the most interesting discussions are often between McIntyre (or others) and a person on the establishment side.”

    I’ve tried a couple of times. Try to post one thing at CA or any other blogs that provides a mainstream scientific explanation for a strongly-believed skeptical position, and you’ll get gang-banged by a massive bunch of the believers asking you irrelevant questions and questioning your sanity, political viewpoint, and fundamental right to exist. The possibility of rational discussion on those sites is zero, zilch, NADA.

  761. Tristan:

    Ok let me clarify a few things since it is apparent the Gavin and a few others having reading issues. In post 501 I stated that

    All it takes is dishonesty from the top minds to establish a base. When those who are at the top of the field establish a “fact” those below them often will accept it as the truth. When these facts become anchor points for others work and arguments, all of the following work is corrupted and invalid.

    We can we believe your work, when your foundation may have been built from sand?

    SO we skip to 526

    As Gavin points out inline above at 498, Tristan’s mistaken notion is that science relies on original founders and everything would be overthrown if something were found wrong with the earliest work.

    I don’t know were you came up with that but I clearly made no such claim. I stated the foundation created by the top minds. AGW has no doubt changed over time has it not? Original premonitions have been discarded as new and pertinent information has been revealed has it not? Just as Quantum Physics has now become the foundation for modern physics. It took the original concept and broke it down even further , finding that there is a new level beneath, a NEW foundation. If you are not able to grasp this simple concept of progression than, AGW is in much deeper trouble than anyone realizes. [edit]

  762. Alan Millar:

    We are asked to implicitly trust people who seem to have not the slightest view of IT reality.

    I always tell my executives that, whilst it is perfectly acceptable to discuss technical matters openly by e-mail, they should not use this medium for opinion, personnel or personal matters. I always say that such matters should be discussed by other medium such as face to face or the telephone or snail mail.

    I emphasize that, if made public, that the tone of e-mails can seem harsh and out of context.

    I never discuss contentious or personal matters by e-mail I generally use the phone or face to face discussion to resolve the matter.

    So called scientists, from this correspondence, seemed to think that deleting e-mails was as simple as pushing a delete button on the system!!

    The sheer hubris!!

    Alan

  763. Oakden Wolf:

    I’ll be curious to see how many more posts there were after #669, but that’s how far I got today.

    One of the themes here has been about how the emails at times discuss how to address the poor science that was managing to get published, and how there could be ways to get the journals to improve their editing standards, or to give up on some journals altogether. This seems like attempts to quell dissenting opinions.

    Has it been forgotten that ExxonMobil (successfully) advocated the removal of Bob Watson as IPCC Chairman to the Bush Administration? And that was just one thing they did, of many, mainly funding many of the holier-than-thou skeptics who have responded to the hacked emails and who are apparently “shocked… shocked to find out that gambling is going on in here!”

    Exxon’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

  764. cm:

    I worked on the Hubble Space Telescope project in the operations area, I am a Computer Scientist, not an astronomer. But I dealt with astronomers and their computing needs on a daily basis. The HST data was proprietary to the proposing astronomers for one year, after that in most cases it was public domain. Astronomers from other telescopes who would not share their data were looked down upon. There was also wide range of views when it came to theories of what was happening in the cosmos.

    Here, it seems like these scientists are in general agreement and are doing whatever they can to keep this agreement.

    It amazes me is the how hard the CRU worked to hide their underlying data. If the data is right and matches the theories, it should be able to withstand any scrutiny. If the kooks analyze it wrongly, why not point out why they were wrong? Is there something to hide in the data?

    These e-mails also make some of the writers look unethical. Even if they are not, if someone is thought to be unethical, it makes everything they say suspect. That is the problem with these disclosures. This seeming lack of ethics tends to devalue all of their other work.

  765. steve:

    I’m not a climate expert but am skeptical of an organization that receives funding to research a problem. If the problem is found out to be false, then the funding would dry up.

    Anyways these emails, to me suggest that there be an investigation. It is needed to save the IPCC’s reputation as legitimate researchers.

    [Response: Great logic. The only people who should be trusted to research an issue are those that can't actually employ anyone to do so. You have it completely backwards; almost all research - in medicine, cosmology, climate etc. is funded so that people can research it. If it doesn't pan out, people move on to different topics. - gavin]

  766. Jeff L.:

    The one good thing that has come out of the CRU leak is that many more people seem to be visiting RealClimate lately. I have no desire to read the leaked emails, but I realize that some people may find them shocking. Academia is a cut-throat business, and it has its share of egos. (Anyone who has heard Claude Allegre give a scientific talk knows what I am talking about.) But to assume that some kind of conspiracy has taken place is simply preposterous.

  767. Jens J:

    A “trick” is what scientists use to deal with a problem? Strange, I thought an important part of science was not to deal with problems but to transparently inform about any problems encountered in data collection, modeling, analysis or methodology so that the reader can make an as informed and unbiased picture as possible. “Dealing with problems” using “tricks” sounds like something someone that really don’t want the full picture to be known would use. And what about the last part of the statement of Jones: “to hide the decline”. What secret scientific codephrase would that constitute?

    I’m not saying that the various tidbits of information regarding odd research practice that has been appearing lately throws AGW out the window, but it does make one wonder about the “real scientists” claim. “Real science” shouldn’t ever be this prone to discussion regarding data collection and methodology, and even if the results are correct, research like that would (or should) not get someone through grad school, and yet we are supposed to trust it for world wide policy decisions.

  768. dhogaza:

    Well, I am very mildly interested in this global warming stuff, but I do find the global paranoiah and fascination with conspiracy theories quite scary. My personal advise to you – stop threatening the hacker with a legal action.

    I’m amazed by the number of people who seem to believe that those who commit felonies should go unpunished, if caught. Those who do should think carefully about the implications of this.

  769. bi -- IJI:

    “We were made aware of the existence of this archive last Tuesday morning when the hackers attempted to upload it to RealClimate, and we notified CRU of their possible security breach later that day.”

    This is interesting. Can you reveal more about the attempt to upload the file to RealClimate? Did the cracker crack into realclimate.org too, or is there already a publicized feature on realclimate.org allowing third parties to upload data? Where did the upload come from? etc.

    bi

    [Response: I was wondering when someone would ask. It was a hack into our server around 6am Tuesday. The IP address was from a computer in Turkey. - gavin]

  770. Xyrus:

    Re:657
    Al says:
    …”It’s not a conspiracy in that sense. But it is an ideology, in every sense.”

    Ideology?

    Religion is an ideology. Climatology is a science.

    Ideologies deal with the abstract. Climatologists on the other hand deal with the concrete (like results of scientific research). Petabytes of data and analysis show that the climate is changing and we are the most probable cause (or at the very least we are contributing). No amount of ideological thinking is going to change that anymore than believing that there is no gravity will enable you to spontaneously fly.

    Can a climatologist have his or her own ideologies? Sure. They’re human. But the scientific process eliminates that. Eventually someone will show that your work is trash when they can’t reproduce your results or find fundamental flaws in your methods.

    But thousands of research scientists sharing the same “ideology” to fudge results and tamper with research? That’s conspiracy.

    And there’s still the question of why? Conspiracy or not, ideologies don’t just spring into existence for no reason. Something is always driving it. You don’t get rich in climate research and you certainly don’t get powerful and those are usually the two big motivators. What’s the nefarious purpose if there were a conspiracy? What is the goal of following this mythical ideology? What’s the ulterior motive?

    ~X~

  771. TCO:

    Gavin:

    You have made several comments indicating that the emails are not nescesarily damning. That’s fine…but do any of the emails bother you? Any of them at all? I’m just asking for YOUR take…not RC overall. Not Mike’s. YOURS.

    Do any of the more oft-quoted snippets GIVE YOU CONCERN? Not NESCESARILY a mathematical PROOF of malfeasance…but a reasonable man concern of NON-OBJECTIVE attitude towards science. Of an obsession with MESSAGE rather than MATH!”

  772. Leo G:

    Gavin, understand about organizations protecting a revenue stream. quick question, were the bought data set id’s released to inquirers so they too could purchase them?

  773. Jeffrey Davis:

    Gavin, remember Gen. McAuliffe’s response at the Battle of the Bulge.

  774. Xyrus:

    #679 Jere Krischel says:
    “Really? How ever did life survive in the oceans in ages past when the CO2 levels were many times higher?”

    Because the life at that time period had evolved the proper coping mechanisms to handle it. Life adapts to it’s surroundings, but it is a relatively slow process. A sudden spike in ocean acidity would be quite detrimental to such lifeforms.

    “You want to look at reasons for reef die off, look at agriculture run off. Making an enemy out of plant food just doesn’t make sense.”

    o_O

    Agricultural runoff IS plant food. Ocean acidification affects all regions, not just coastal zones.

    And again, you’re totally missing the point. Our way of life and all current life forms on this planet are adapted to survive in their respective environments. Change that environment too rapidly and life won’t keep up. Life forms will die, others will take their place.

    But you cannot simply ignore the impact of those changes. Everything depends on everything else. Screw up something too much in one area and it will impact you. We are not yet so advanced that we can survive independent of our planet or the ecosystem which provides for us.

    ~X~

  775. TCO:

    (regarding the Jones, I will delete if FOIed comment to Mann) [Response: It is obviously not meant seriously, but that is hard to discern from little snippets like this. - gavin]

    It’s possible. But how is it OBVIOUS? Do you have enough info to really judge that so definitively Gavin? Or just suggesting a possibility that is less damning?

    [Response: It's obvious because I know the people involved. - gavin]

  776. Xyrus:

    #690
    George Hebbard says:

    “I know the hacking, and posting was unethical. But so is waterboarding.”

    *clap clap clap*

    And I was expecting a Godwin reference. Way to take the discussion down a notch.

    “The two opposing viewpoints- 1) we can solve the problem of overpopulation and misuse of resources by driving the world back to the stone ages,”

    Only the absolute crazies are even close to suggesting anything like this. The climate community in general is suggesting scaling back on fossil fuel consumption, more efficient technologies, and encouragement of renewable sources and nuclear power.

    “2) we can enrich-en the people of the world so that they move to reasonable family sizes if we use technology properly, constitute WAR.”

    Yeah. World peace where everyone shares a common ideology. That might just take a few more millenia.

    And what of the resource expenditure in the meantime? How long to we maintain the staus quo waiting for the people of the planet to “see the light” of the western world. So far we’ve been doing a bang up job.

    “Which way will you have it?”

    Neither, because your choices are as ludicrous as they are overbroad.

    ~X~

  777. John H. Detweiler:

    This is an integrity issue, not a scientific issue. Significant papers and supporting data should always be in the public domain — otherwise, they don’t exist.

  778. David.:

    Let´s put the tiresome ¨Big Oil funds deniers¨ canard to bed.

    From the docs folder of FOIA.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………….

    SHELL INTERNATIONAL

    Mick Kelly and Aeree Kim (CRU, ENV) met with Robert Kleiburg (Shell International’s climate change team) on July 4th primarily to discuss access to Shell information as part of Aeree’s PhD study (our initiative) and broader collaboration through postgrad. student project placements (their initiative), but Robert was also interested in plans for the Tyndall Centre (TC). What ensued was necessarily a rather speculative discussion with the following points emerging.

    Shell International would give serious consideration to what I referred to in the meeting as a ‘strategic partnership’ with the TC, broadly equivalent to a ‘flagship alliance’ in the TC proposal. A strategic partnership would involve not only the provision of funding but some (limited but genuine) role in setting the research agenda etc.

    Shell’s interest is not in basic science. Any work they support must have a clear and immediate relevance to ‘real-world’ activities. They are particularly interested in emissions trading and CDM

  779. Susan:

    Quoting Barney Frank, who denies things that he has said that have been recorded, is not too smart.

  780. Timothy Chase:

    NikFromNYC wrote in 710:

    I must point out that “hide the decline” doesn’t mean, as Fox News headline claims “hide the decline in temperature”. It means to minimize the appearing of a decline in temperature during modern times when thermometers actually show a rise. That’s not a bad decline to “hide” since it’s obviously a false decline.

    Agreed — although prior to 1960 there is essentially no divergence. Moreover, the divergence problem is something which is seen with some species and populations, not with others.

    NikFromNYC wrote in 710

    However this cuts both ways in a very serious way. Given that no other explanation has been offered for this “divergence problem” perhaps the explanation is the utterly obvious one: cold-adapted trees grow faster when it warms up but then suffer when that warming becomes too hot. Extrapolated into the past this would mean that some tree ring proxies would indeed not only hide hot periods but make them look like cooling periods.

    Actually there are a variety of explanations.

    For example, drought-related stress, stress due to increased levels of ozone and global dimming, where global dimming is due to anthropogenic aerosols, reflective (sulfates and nitrates) and non-reflective (largely organic and inorganic carbon). Like increased levels of carbon dioxide, increased levels of ozone and inorganic carbon are largely the result of the combustion of fossil fuel.

    However, the evidence for one or another explanation at this point is inconclusive. In any case, Gavin has already stated that further study is needed, and if as is the case we are able to identify species that appear to be immune to the effect, then the divergence problem remains a problem, but not a particularly serious one. Or alternatively we can always rely on other proxies.

    Regarding the latter please see for example:

    Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats. The reconstructed amplitude of change over past centuries is greater than hitherto reported, with somewhat greater Medieval warmth in the Northern Hemisphere, albeit still not reaching recent levels.

    Michael E. Mann et al. (September 9, 2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia, PNAS vol. 105 no. 36 13252-13257 (Open Access)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252.full

    There are a number of recent papers on the divergence, but one recent review which may be of value would be:

    D’Arrigo et al (2008) On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A review of the tree-ring evidence and possible causes, Global and Planetary Change, v. 60, iss. 3-4, p. 289-305.

    It includes the possible non-linear response to temperature that you suggest, the possible effects that I have listed — and others. If you are interested in the subject you can find this and other relevant accessible papers using Google Scholar.

  781. Sandra Kay:

    I just have to ask; How is this explained?

    ” Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, 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.

    I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this.

    It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.”

    [Response: It's an attempt to see the importance of a problem in the 1940s ocean temperatures that was isolated last year, but has not yet been corrected for in the main indices. While waiting for that correction, Wigley is trying to estimate how big of an affect it might have on any work that used the uncorrected data. - gavin]

  782. burnitalldown:

    “Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him.”

    Global warming doesn’t exist because you say it does.

    [Response: Duh. It exists because it exists, and your or my opinion on the subject is irrelevant. - gavin]

  783. Ray:

    Gavin wrote: > Trenberth is talking about our inability to be able to measure the net radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere to the requisite precision to be able to say on short time scales what the energy budget is doing. The observations are inadequate for that – not sure who is saying otherwise.

    Here’s one person:

    http://fortcollinsteaparty.com/index.php/2009/10/10/dr-william-gray-and-dr-kevin-trenberth-the-global-warming-debate-continues/

  784. Timothy Chase:

    Steven Mosher wrote in 613:

    They should have trusted that open debate would yield the next right action in the shortest time possible.

    Anne van der Bom wrote in 685:

    Debate? Are you referring to is an endless repetition of innuendo, strawmen, faulty logic and debunked talking points usually found on ’skeptic’ sites? Opening up the data and playing nice would not help this ‘debate’ moving forward because the purpose of this ‘debate’ is stagnation. A bit more data would not change that.

    Agreed. Furthermore, I am afraid it won’t be much use to those who are ideologically opposed to all forms of birth control, view environmentalism as necessitating the use birth control, and view the recognition of anthropogenic global warming (and thus the science of climatology) as environmentalism’s trojan horse.

    Please see for example:

    Steven Mosher to Speak Against Population Control at Heritage Foundation Book Event
    Population Research Institute, 06/05/08
    http://www.pop.org/20080608829/steven-mosher-to-speak-against-population-control-at-heritage-foundation-book-event

    An Interview with Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute
    By John Mallon
    Old address: http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?id=151&r1=10.00&r2=1.00&r3=0&r4=0&level=2&eid=678
    A copy in the web archive:
    http://web. archive .org/web/20061012063337/http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?id=151&r1=10.00&r2=1.00&r3=0&r4=0&level=2&eid=678

    300 Million and the Environment
    Friday, October 20, 2006
    By Joseph A. D’Agostino (Vice President of the Population Research Institute)
    http://theologyofthebody.blogspot.com/2006/10/300-million-and-environment.html

  785. Ron:

    Re:
    603
    Ray Ladbury says:
    21 November 2009 at 3:44 PM
    Ray, now your getting closer to a language I can understand. Furthermore, when you say, “…policy should be based on science rather than wishful thinking”, we are both singing off the same page of the hymn book. We may not, however, be listening to the same drummer yet. For example, as I’m equally devoted to truth, how could I be offended by anything you say about those who don’t see the world through your filters–if it’s true, great. But Ray, for goodness sake, use your head for a minute— do you really think you’re going to win an argument over a science disagreement by calling somebody names? If you REALLY wanted them to see their errors , you’d instead explain your insights in clear and non-emotional language. Based on the assumption that you have a finite amount of psychic energy, you have two choices. One is to devote these energies to building up clear and unequivocal evidence for your point of view, and employing the “nicely” method you recommended in post # 639, engage the other side in reasoned and reasonable debate. Quicker than you might think, either you, or they, or both sides together will move on to a better understanding of just what is really going on in our earth’s climate, and we’d all be better for it. Your other choice, as I’m sure you must realize, is to fritter away your time dreaming up new slurs and barbs and then, to add insult to the injury this does to your reasoning processes, having to dream up a rationale for this vitriolic verbosity (although it did impress Scott Mandia—maybe it was, as he suggested, the brutality) , thus firmly committing yourself to an unshakeable position. Now you’ve left science for quasi religion. Worse, like Narcissus you soon hear only your own voice. Too bad. You also know Ray, that while we must allow some emotion into our lives to make us full bodied humans, if emotion, despite our best efforts, leaks into our science it’s a deadly poison. But if the saving of the world becomes an excuse for grinding it into our science, then soon there is no science and the world is not a better place. A quick suggestion from an old journalism teacher I knew, if you want to be objective in your thinking and reporting, drop the adjectives. There are a couple of other things that if you don’t know by now it’s because you refuse to see them. Your tactics are NOT winning converts, and your opponents are NOT stupid people. You may not like them, but it’s a fool who doesn’t try to know his enemy. If you’re thinking Steve McIntyre is one of those “innumerate wannabes” then you’re not even in this game, let alone winning. After years of reading a wide range of blogs on both sides and the middle it is my opinion a case can be made that McIntyre has won every battle so far. He’s got a clear and limited focus, and he stays pretty close to it—to make sure the game is played by the (statistical) rules. Believe me Ray, it’s a tar baby if you try to fight it.
    Take care, Ron

  786. David Horton:

    #715 In the running for the most foolish denial comment of the year.

  787. Dan Satterfield:

    Having worked in a media setting for 30 years, some advice to those whose emails were hacked.

    Refuse to respond to ANY questions about them other than a general one time statement that they are being misinterpreted because those that are publishing them have no real understanding of climate physics.

    The peer review speaks for itself. Leave it that way.

    No, this will not satisfy those that make a deal out of it, but NOTHING you can say will. So why say anything.

  788. Steven J Heimel:

    Okay. Can we step back a little and get the big picture? My understanding is this. Tell me if I am wrong, The emails largely had to do with dealing with an already known problem with dendrochronology. The oceans are still rising, the Arctic ice is still melting back worse in the summer, the glaciers are still withdrawing. And all of this is still exceeding IPCC models, as the modelers well know. The hockey stick has acquired another crook. So what? Be glad, world! Even with that, things (including methane releases from the permafrost I am willing to bet) are worse than the models predicted. I write this from 61 north. And none of this has anything to do with Al Gore.

  789. Steve Geiger:

    Anne van der Bom (699)

    “Not reading a certain web site because it does not reflect your opinion is incompatible with someone who calls himself a skeptic.”

    You are obviously not getting my point (although maybe I didn’t state it well ;-)

    I love the discourse…I really don’t take the main posts (either on this site or CA) as any sort of gospel..and I acknowledge they both come from a fairly, uh, partisan point of view…what I *really* like is when authorities of a different opinion get together and discuss these differences. When Rob Wilson or Judith Curry chime in on CA…now that’s good stuff…with some degree of give and take. Or even the few times that Gavin has posted with Lucia’s site (or vica versa)…those are good interactions (well, not always, but most of the time perhaps). Anyway, I think this release is overall a good thing…a LOT of these ‘leaked’ (or stolen or whatever) emails probably should have been released anyway due to FOIA requests.

  790. MattInSeattle:

    Ray Ladbury: “The denialists don’t have the first idea about climate science, data analysis, how science is done or even basic arithmetic”

    Finally, after years of this broken record from you, we know what you mean by science. It means that to the outside world, you pretend you got it all figured out. There are few unknowns, and if they exist, they are trivial. There is little left to discuss. Confidence is sky high.

    Meanwhile, internally, this shaky house of cards is on display as recently as last month when Tom Wigley wrote: “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    Science? Hah. Advocacy is more like it.

    How many times did I ask “How do we know the cloud parameterization unknowns of the mid-90′s aren’t going to show up again in another form? How do we know what we don’t know?”.

    “Don’t worry!” I was assured. “That was then, this is now. Now we got it”, with a slide into nastier and nastier comments from you and others at Tamino’s place.

    It’s nice to know there are a few on the inside that see this for what it is. But it saddens me that some scientists feel the need to artificially stretch confidence intervals so far.

    Screwed by the clouds again. A decade later. I freakin’ knew it.

    [Response: Wigley is describing the fact that we don't have good enough measurements of the radiation at the TOA to quantify exactly how much energy is coming and going out of the system. That information would be great to have, and without it short-term budgets of the energy flows in the system are poorly constrained. Long-term assessments like the ones we have stressed here are less affected by that because you can use the ocean heat content rise as a proxy. - gavin]

  791. Brian Dodge:

    @ Jere Krischel — 21 November 2009 @ 6:18 PM
    “Really? How ever did life survive in the oceans in ages past when the CO2 levels were many times higher?
    try googling petm benthic foraminifera extinction carbonate compensation
    “Ocean acidification (the carbonate compensation depth [CCD] rapidly shoaled by more than 2 km [100,000 years)).” which resulted in “Major extinction of benthic foraminifera in the deep-sea (30-50% of species).” http://www.oceanleadership.org/files/11_PETM_in%20Review.pdf Forams can drift into less acid waters, and some extant species have evolved to exist without carbonate shells. Stationary ecosystems(e.g., Great Barrier Reef) aren’t likely to fare as well.

  792. dhogaza:

    I have been doing a lot of research with algae. I can tell you that lately (as in last 12 years) there has been an explosion of algae around the world. It counters any extra Co2 production.

    Wow, that’s cool, you’ve just proven that all those instruments around the world that measure atmospheric CO2 concentrations are broken!

    I’m impressed. Is there a Nobel Prize for algaeabra?

  793. NB:

    I should probably add that you have many megabytes of information never intended for publication published on the net. Thousands of people, mostly unsympathetic to you, searching through it looking for all kinds of hints and contradictions. This is a situation where they will inevitably find what they want to find. It’s probably worse than you think.

  794. dhogaza:

    Does anyone else note the cosmic symmetry of this revelation happening at the same moment that the US health insurance companies succeed in beating down a public option proposal that Americans by a large majority are in favor of, and that individual states can opt-out of if they (ostensibly) feel it’s not good for their citizenry?

    Well, this is seriously off-topic, but anytime you match an event to what’s more or less a continuum you’re going to get a match.

    FDR tried to get public health care through. Social Security for the elderly made it, not health care. Truman tried to pick it up and run with it. Eisenhower backed limited reform. Medicare for the elderly wasn’t the sum total of LBJ’s efforts, it’s what survived (actually it was first a compromise Truman proposal that went nowhere). Nixon offered Teddy K support for a compromise much like might get passed today, Teddy turned him down confident he’d be able to ram through more (and is on record of having, later in life, regretted turning down Nixon’s offer). Clinton y’all know about.

    So just about any individual event you care to think about can be matched to some victory by the health care establishment against efforts to broaden government involvement … when FDR first proposed federal guarantees for health care, we were ahead of the world. Now we’re too scared to catch up to Costa Rica …

  795. Howard S.:

    706. David Harper,

    You have got to be kidding.

    “Gavin… there is talk ,, you are about to throw Jones ,,,under the bus”,,, ,propagandist for CRU. Be very careful,,,, “Gavin had a great idea”.Cover your back. There are a lot of angry people out there.”

    Do you honestly think that was a post you should put here in the open?
    I swear it reads just like the e-mails.

    Are you a “Team” player in the e-mails using a synonym?

    You should have just e-mailed Gavin that.

    As with so many previous scandals the delerium in the defenders during the aftermath is part of the denial and cover up which usually turns bad for the offenders and defenders.

    So have at it. Take more rope. There’s more coming.

    [Response: Again weird. Me having a good idea (and it has been known to happen) is fodder for the conspiracy theorists. Ha. - gavin]

  796. J. Austin:

    I can’t help but be reminded of Carl Sagan…

    “It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble.

    If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, maybe once in a hundred cases, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress.

    On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all.

    Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought that is central to the success of science.”
    -From “The Burden Of Skepticism” by Carl Sagan

    It seems one only needs to read through these comments to discern which posters lack said “machinery.”

    I have to believe that Mr. Sagan was quite well versed in Plato after reading “…But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you’re in deep trouble.” as it reminds me of those poor souls trapped in the realm of true belief, stuck between ignorance and knowledge as described by Diotima, and recounted by Socrates in Plato’s ‘Symposium’

  797. mondo:

    Re #713: “However this cuts both ways in a very serious way. Given that no other explanation has been offered for this “divergence problem” perhaps the explanation is the utterly obvious one: cold-adapted trees grow faster when it warms up but then suffer when that warming becomes too hot. Extrapolated into the past this would mean that some tree ring proxies would indeed not only hide hot periods but make them look like cooling periods.”

    There is another possible explanation for the ‘divergence’ problem. Isn’t it entirely possible that the trees are actually demonstrating the true situation, while the temperature records have been affected by poor quality stations, UHI effects, and ‘adjustments’ intended to support the AGW hypothesis. [edit]

    [Response: Tell that to the glaciers, or the pine bark beetles, or the ocean SSTs, or the Arctic sea ice etc. etc. - gavin]

  798. Timothy Chase:

    PS to my comment above

    I had said, “I am afraid it [open debate with regard to settled issues of science] won’t be of much use to those who are ideologically opposed to all forms of birth control, view environmentalism as necessitating the use birth control, and view the recognition of anthropogenic global warming (and thus the science of climatology) as environmentalism’s trojan horse.

    Please see for example:

    Steven Mosher to Speak Against Population Control at Heritage Foundation Book Event
    Population Research Institute, 06/05/08
    http://www.pop.org/20080608829/steven-mosher-to-speak-against-population-control-at-heritage-foundation-book-event

    Of course opposition to birth control may not be the only reason for being ideologically opposed to climatology and the recognition of anthropogenic global warming. Some ideological motives are far more mundane. For example, libertarianism is a distinct possibility with the following organizations: Acton Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, competitive Enterprise Institute, Defenders of Property Rights, Federalist Society, Foundation for Reasearch on Economics and Environment (FREE), George C. Marshall Institute, Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institute, Locke Institute and Reason Foundation.

    Then again, opposition to the recognition of anthropogenic global warming may have a financial component, e.g., organizations which receive funding from Exxon and other fossil fuel companies — or funding from the Koch, Scaife, Bradley, Olin, or Castle Rock Foundations. But nowadays opposition due to a lack of available data is extremely unlikely at best — unless of course one either hasn’t expended the effort or doesn’t know how to look.

  799. manacker:

    There has been a lot of talk about the legality, morality and consequences of leaking confidential data for whistle-blowing, but here are some examples.

    Sherron Watkins, the Enron executive who warned company founder, Ken Lay, of potential whistle-blowers in the company, eventually testified before US Congress and became known as the “Enron whistle-blower”, although she never “blew a whistle”. Time magazine named her a “person of the year 2002”.

    Stanley Adams, an executive at Hoffmann-LaRoche, passed on company evidence of price fixing to the EU predecessor organization in 1973. He was arrested for industrial espionage by the Swiss government and spent six months in jail.

    Katharine Teresa Gun, a translator for a British intelligence agency, leaked top-secret information to the press concerning activities of the USA leading to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Gun was charged with leaking official secrets, and after many people demanded that the case be dropped, the prosecution dropped the case. Among the protesters were Daniel Ellsberg, the US government official who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” and US actor Sea Penn, who described her as “a hero of the human spirit”.

    So one person’s hero (for whistle-blowing) is the next guy’s jailbird.

    Max

    [Response: Whistle-blowing to expose criminal behaviour is fine. Releasing private correspondence to simply embarrass people is not the same thing at all. - gavin]

  800. richard:

    Maybe it is time to let the Chancellor at UEA launch a full investigation that will clear the names of the principles. Usually agreement to get to the bottom of a controversy can put it to bed faster than fighting it. Just a thought at this stage.

  801. john byatt:

    {climate progress} are providing daily updates on the most misunderstood
    of the emails, full context of the “trick” “hide the decline” has already
    been posted, very exhaustive, if some of the fence sitters”,, suscribe for daily updates they will see that the credibility of the denialsphere is, as it has always been, zero

  802. john byatt:

    “climate progress” also have full context and exhaustive understanding
    of “where the heck is global warming ,, this could save repeat Q and A
    and searching through posts here
    the site is linked at the right hand side of home page here at RC where sanity prevails,,well at least in the replies

  803. Eli Snyder:

    Greenfyre has a great post about strategy for dealing with this. I highly recommend it:

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/cru-hack-time-to-hit-back-hard/

    Several media outlets including the WSJ and Fox are spinning this as though it calls the science of global warming into question, which they must know to be false. How irresponsible is that?

    Force them to prove it. Ask which studies have supposedly been falsified, and what evidence indicates those studies are false.

    With great respect for the scientists involved — frankly, you personally don’t matter much. What matters is the science itself, and that must be vigorously defended or we’re all in big trouble. This does not disprove the science, to try to claim that is absurd, and we need to call the media out on giving that notion any airtime.

  804. dan from NZ:

    “it will be clearer in a few thousand years. – gavin”

    That’s easily THE most honest thing you’ve said in the 11 pages of responses I’ve just waded through.

    Dan

  805. Brnn8r:

    Hey Gavin,

    Thanks for your reply about my (meta)science questions. My assumption about the oceans cooling was based on some data I have seen recovered from the ARGO buoys. It’s only from 2003 to 2008 and so it is probably too small a period to be robust.

    On the topic of this post, I’m sure that this must be a tough time for you and the Team. While I normally enjoy a robust debate about the science (as I don’t believe it is settled) I feel somehow sullied by the use of these private emails in the debate. Sure there are comments made in the email correspondence which are extremely unfortunate and some of the actions seem to have dubious ethical basis, but I’m not sure that the skeptical side would be any different.

    Anyway I think you’re a top notch (if sometimes evasive :) ) scientist Gavin and it’s good to have people like you on this side of the debate just as it is to have the likes of Professor Lindzen (whatever you may think of him) on the other.

    Cheers
    Steve

  806. EK:

    While I’ll agree that the way in which these emails were obtained is a crime. The material they contain, if not falsified, is very dissapointing and should make us question the science being conducted by the people in question. As a reminder, corruption in science is a real thing that I believe needs to be dealt with in manner better than it has been. I’m sure anyone whos taken a genetics class has heard of Watson and Crick, the two men credited with discovering the structure of DNA, and how they stole key information from Rosland.

    [edit]
    Also, while discussions about European butterfly mating habits are “safe from the public eye,” because people aren’t interested in butterfy mating habits, it doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t have access to those discussions. Personnally I’m not ready to assume that digital files weren’t corrupted, but I think you have done yourselves a diservice to simply brush this incident aside with a single public statement.

  807. Connor:

    Hi Gavin,

    Top work you are doing, the patience of a saint.

    Sorry to add more crap to this but I’ve been bugged by deniers I argue with regarding this one:

    On 1, this is what people call the H index. I’ve tried working
    this out and there is software for it on the web of science.

    Problem is my surname. I get a number of 62 if I just use the
    software, but I have too many papers. I then waded through
    and deleted those in journals I’d never heard of and got
    52. I think this got rid of some biologist from the 1970s/1980s,
    so go with 52.

    I don’t have pdfs of the early papers. I won’t be able to do
    anything for a few days either. When do you want this in, by
    the way? Can you email me the piece I wrote for you, as I don’t
    have this on my lap top. I can then pick it up tomorrow
    at some airport.

    The D&A work has always been with others. There is another
    area on hydrology that I omitted as well.

    ….

    Cheers
    Phil

    Can you give a brief explanation of what Mann and Jones were doing here?

    [Response: This is getting attention? Weird. The 'h-index' is a measure of how much influence your papers have had and is the number of papers you have published that have more than that number of citations in the ISI web of science. It's an automatic calculation on that site but you need to be careful that all the papers it uses are actually yours and not someone elses with the same name. A 'h-index' of 52 is very good by the way (52 papers, each of which has more than 52 citations). Mine is somewhere in the 30's I think. - gavin]

  808. Tom:

    “Sorry if we caused you any problem, but whether a scientific idea is valid or not is not a reflection on the quality of the person who proposed it. I would advise you to take scientific criticism less personally. ”

    I think the point is that these emails do not indicate people acting to critique scientific ideas. While I understand you want to mount a defence, yours is one of the more prominent names appearing in the communication, along with many contributors and principals of this site.

    I see this issue spinning out into denial space. I would hope there is some mature reflection going on now.

    This is no longer about scientific findings. This is an issue where the roles are reverse. You should be listening to the hoi polloi on this issue.

  809. Ian Bradbury:

    Although I agree that everything I’ve seen published (except possibly the attempt to evade FOIA) is perfectly ordinary, I still do have one general question. No new drug would be registered based solely on peer-reviewed data, however ‘solid’. Rather, the data would be submitted to regulatory agencies who may, generally do, redo some or all of the analysis, plus some new stuff. Clearly the stakes justify this.

    Given that the stakes are just as high in this area, is there an equivalent ‘regulatory oversight’, or are peer-reviewed results accepted? Iv there’s no oversight, can someone explain why the difference?

    [Response: The oversight is done by the assessment bodies - the IPCC, the NAS, the Royal Society, the CCSP in the US etc. They have often stepped in to adjudicate seeming anomalies and ensure that results are robust to different researchers or sources of data and which is why the policymakers take them more seriously. - gavin]

  810. John Lake:

    Tell me this isn’t the funniest part. They sent out emails advising their Co-conspirators to erase certain explosive E-mails but then left the E-mails telling everyone to delete the evidence on the server to be stolen and exposed.

    My wife just asked if Al Gore will have to return the Oscar and Nobel.

  811. nanny_govt_sucks:

    [Response: Science is not decided by majority vote. -gavin]

    Do you agree with the late Michael Chrichton (and others) that “The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.”?

    [Response: Consensus is what you have when the science is done. Consensus is what policymakers should be looking for and acting on. It isn't necessarily perfect, but it's the best they've got. - gavin]

  812. ChrisZ:

    petek says:
    21 November 2009 at 5:37 PM
    Once again the question?

    I do not want to insult sceptics. I want a single open source model created by the sceptics (source code is more than welcome), which explains the temperature rise in the late 20th century, excluding X ( X = natural variability).

    Has there been any? “X” is quite enough to explain the perfectly unexceptional goings-on. Ask again after Greenland is GREEN and habitable again, like it was roughly a thousand years ago. If anything, the world is colder than it ought to be to be optimally habitable.

  813. Julien C:

    You should come out with a strong public announcement in the coming few days. The mainstream media is now beginning to talk about these mails without even trying to understand the scientific methodology. I doubt journalists will check this website before writing an under-informed article that pple will read and take for granted. You MUST go to the media and explain everything about the critics made by skeptics. If you miss this opportunity to respond swiftly and rigorously in the coming days skeptics will mark several points. The COP15 conference must not be put under pressure by ignorant fools. Act and communicate now or it will be too late.

  814. Neal J. King:

    oracle2world,

    I don’t know where you get the impression that the whole picture is too buttoned-down. There are lots of areas where the picture is vague or unclear, and there are lots of discrepancies, that get cleared up over time. The ironing out of discrepancies is generally understood to be a GOOD THING in scientific endeavor.

    What there is NOT is any clear sign that there is a fundamental missing element in the conceptual structure of the theory. The measured observations seem to fit comfortably within the current framework/paradigm, within the context of what Kuhn called “normal science”. Even if Einstein were present and working on the issue, it’s not at all clear that he would have anything revolutionary to contribute. Indeed, it’s likely he wouldn’t: The question of the impact of CO2 on climate pre-dates relativity and quantum mechanics.

  815. Doc Walt:

    Although my research is not in this discipline, you certainly have my sympathy. The scientists I work with would simply prefer to learn new things about how nature works. Unfortunately, the current situation has forced climate scientists to shoulder the burden for saving the world tomorrow if possible, even though yesterday would have been better. It is a burden that I am happy not to have, and my blood pressure is all the better for it.

    I read comments about people wanting to “destroy their data” – the horror! It is easy to understand how people might want to pitch all their data into the wastebasket, because I have thought the same thing myself (and even said it to others) after weeks of tearing my hair out. But I never did, and ultimately I was able to work my way through it. It’s what everybody does.

    Furthermore, I never had to deal with a situation where a former less-than-credible politician decided to ally himself as a spokesman for what I was studying. My apologies to anybody out there who likes Al, but all I remember from him was a penchant for trite sound-bites.

    This entire circus seems to be founded on an attack that was initiated for the purpose of obtaining information that would allow ad hominem attacks, which has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with science. When a debate is largely about emotion rather than rational thought, we get the spectacle that is usually reserved for election cycles. However, this bonanza of “deeply troubling” thoughts should make some writers a nice bit of pocket change if the op-ed authors and PR boiler room articles are still getting the $10 grand awards for high profile pieces. Certainly there may be knowledgeable people with some doubts about AGW, but pardon me if I tend to get suspicious when the remuneration for doubts is so well funded. The denialist industry is about manufacturing confusion, or better yet, belief. Knowledge has nothing to do with it. The denialists lost me when the Seitz article was fraudulently formatted to look like an article from PNAS, so that the reader would have to check the nearest university library to find out that it really wasn’t on the pages it showed. I usually take new things with a grain of salt but I lost all my scepticism right then and there. If that was what denial meant, then I was long gone. Seitz should have been booted out of the national academy for his part in that stunt. And why in the world is some tobacco lobbyist (medical researcher) pretending to be a climate scientist anyway? But I have to admit that seeing the characters from MASH on the list of 15,000 climate sceptics was a hoot! The irony of them being from a show with a theme song “Suicide is Painless” was priceless.

    Don’t be too surprised if the files were hacked by the efforts of GCC industries, or even regressive political heavyweights. The thought that somebody might have happened to have all this on a CD or a tape that they misplaced is of course nonsense. Exxon should be so “lucky”.

    My compliments to Gavin for patiently handling all of this.

  816. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Adam Soereg: nobody denies the fact that the globe had been warmed significantly since the begginning of the 20th century.

    BPL: LOTS of deniers deny exactly that. Check the global warming forums on amazon.com, or WUWT.

    AS: it is also evident that CO2 is only a minor component of the total greenhouse effect in our atmosphere.

    BPL: 26% of the clear-sky greenhouse effect (Kiehl and Trenberth 1997).

    AG: CO2 molecules can only absorb and re-emit heat on relatively narrow bandwiths of infrared radiation.

    BPL: Lots and lots of them.

    AG: The doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels can only cause a negligible increase in global temperatures.

    BPL: It only has to be a few degrees to wreck human civilization.

    AS: The validity of the whole anthropogenic global warming theory depends on the existence of positive feedbacks, mainly caused by water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas. Theoretically, water vapor feedback relies on the Clausius–Clapeyron equation. If the atmosphere warms, it can and it will hold more water vapor – the absolute humidity will increase. However, 60 years of global radiosonde measurements shows that the absolute humidity in the middle troposphere is decreasing.

    BPL: Look again:

    Brown, S., Desai, S., Keihm, S., and C. Ruf, 2007. “Ocean water vapor and cloud burden trends derived from the topex microwave radiometer.” Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Barcelona, Spain: IGARSS 2007, pp. 886-889.

    Dessler AE, Zhang Z, Yang P 2008. “Water-Vapor Climate Feedback Inferred from Climate Variations.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L20704.

    Held, I.M. and B. J. Soden, 2000. “Water vapor feedback and global warming.” Annu. Rev. Energy Environ., 25, 441–475.

    Minschwaner, K., and A. E. Dessler, 2004. “Water vapor feedback in the tropical upper troposphere: Model results and observations.” J. Climate, 17, 1272–1282.

    Oltmans, S.J. and D.J. Hoffman, “Increase in Lower-Stratospheric Water Vapor at Mid-Latitude Northern Hemisphere Site from 1981-1994,” Nature, 374 (1995): 146-149.

    Philipona, R., B. Dürr, A. Ohmura, and C. Ruckstuhl 2005. “Anthropogenic greenhouse forcing and strong water vapor feedback increase temperature in Europe.” Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L19809.

    Santer, B. D, C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, K. E. Taylor, P. J. Gleckler, T. M. L. Wigley, T. P. Barnett, J. S. Boyle, W. Bruggemann, N. P. Gillett, S. A. Klein, G. A. Meehl, T. Nozawa, D. W. Pierce, P. A. Stott, W. M. Washington, M. F. Wehner, 2007. “Identification of human-induced changes in atmospheric moisture content.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 15248-15253.

    Soden, B.J., D. L. Jackson, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, and X. Huang, 2005. “The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening.” Science, 310, 841–844.
    http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~kaas/forc&feedb2008/Articles/Soden.pdf

    AG: The problem with the AGW theory is nothing else than there is no evidence for it.

    BPL: There are masses of evidence for it. You’re just not familiar with the field. I’d recommend cracking a book.

    AS: We have two empirically observed facts: global temperature has risen by about 0.6-0.7°c in the 20th century, and CO2 levels are also increasing due to the combustion of fossil fuels. But we know that CO2 alone couldn’t have caused the observed amount of warming.

    BPL: Nor did it. It was amplified by water-vapor, ice-albedo, and probably cloud feedbacks, and dampened by stratospheric aerosols.

    AS: In the 4th IPCC report we can read an argument that the observed warming cannot be explained by natural variability, only when we include the effects of increasing amount of greenhouse gases (amplified by positive feedbacks). Climate models rely on the assumption that most of the warming observed in the last 30-40 years have been caused by antropogenic factors.

    BPL: No, they do not. They incorporate known radiation physics.

    AS: A model which is based on a certain theory cannot prove the very same theory, this is also a common logical fallacy.

    BPL: See above.

    AS: The argument about “observed warming cannot be explained by natural variability” has another problems too. Literally it means that “we cannot think anything better” – argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    BPL: It means nothing of the sort. It is talking about “explained variance” in statistical analysis. Again, I recommend doing some studying.

  817. Barton Paul Levenson:

    BPL: “Reflect also on the fact that Feynman was in the habit of intimidating lonely, neurotic women in bars to get them into bed with him, as he describes in one of his books, treating it as a joke.”

    Brian Macker: I read the book in question. Do you always lie this much?

    BPL: I didn’t lie at all.

    BM: He hit on the fact if you don’t tip the strippers, talk to them, that they tend to go to bed with you. How is that intimidation?

    BPL: He was clear that the worse you treated these lonely masochists, the more likely they’d let you screw them. If you don’t see that as unethical, I can’t help you.

    [enough]

  818. Llewelyn Moss:

    9 million visitors? RealClimate probably released the emails themselves to get more traffic to their website!

  819. NB:

    Brian says:
    21 November 2009 at 7:52 PM
    After a brief online check on google, I could not find a complete archive of the emails in question. The only material easily visible are these out-of-context snippets. Why not post the whole archive yourself, organized into threads etc.? It can’t be worse than selective release by your opponents and the “drip drip” effect.

    *********************

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/index.php

    I think you should not confine yourself to responding to the quotes only. There should more than enough stuff in this email archive that proves your honesty and seriousness. You can also quote something in the sense of “Do you believe such stuff can be written by somebody plotting conspiracies?”. As to dirty laundry and such stuff… Well, you will have to live with this

  820. Hank Roberts:

    > I’m the daughter of scientist you all sharply criticized,
    > discredited, and claimed his theories were washed up

    “All” here have never agreed on anything pro or con. If that’s the Southern “y’all” meaning at least one person here, I sure can’t find any such posting.

    A scientist can’t be be discredited by the opinions of people posting on blogs–not that there aren’t plenty of anti-science blogs trying to do that, but it’s a weird idea to think blog comments could discredit any scientist. Science journals can discredit work, but that’s very different.

    Of the actual Contributors, none ever used the words “washed up” if the search result is correct.

    Results … 5 from realclimate.org for “washed up”

    Nothing said that could discredit a scientist, that I can find.
    Disparage, yes. Dispute, yes.

  821. Alan Burke:

    A large part of the problem we all must face is a disconnect between scientists and the public. I recommend “The Psychology of Climate Change Communication – A Guide for Scientists, Journalists, Educators, Political Aides, and the Interested Public.

    For an online version of the guide, visit http://cred.columbia.edu/guide

  822. Barton Paul Levenson:

    Ken Hall: This hack was done to help prevent a greater crime. That of mass-murder through global depopulation, which is the alarmist’s real goal.

    BPL: You left out some important elements–namely, the black helicopters, UN detention camps, and mandatory subcutaneous tracking chips.

  823. David Bailey:

    Nobody would begrudge the CRU concealing its private emails, but what came as a surprise to me – as an outsider – is the fact that the raw data and the relevant computer models were not public-domain – and indeed that CRU staff were actively opposing FOI requests to change that situation.

    I can’t really see how a science that depends so heavily on computer modeling and noisy environmental data can be trusted if others can’t reproduce the results!

    [Response: See above. - gavin]

  824. Alw:

    Gavin in your response to 187 you say that CRU has not lost or destroyed any data. I was wondering where you get this information as on Aug 11 2009 CRU had the following on their age on data availability (now not accessible):

    “Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

    [Response: No data has been destroyed, the original files and numbers are with the national weather services that provided them. Removing a copy of a original file because it is not useful for my purposes is not 'deleting data' - gavin]

  825. Bill J:

    From an independent observer,its becoming very clear that before any significant global political/budgetary agreements are made,we need to have an independent enquiry into this whole mess at CRU.To leave this in the hands of websites such as RC,WUWT or any of the others is not acceptable.Secondly, before any global agreements are legally entered into, each and every dataset which serves as the basis for committing billions of dollars of taxpayers money after Copenhagen, need to be made available for independent scrutiny and VALIDATION ,as would be the norm in ensuring their ‘suitability for purpose’ in supporting future radical global changes.

  826. Barton Paul Levenson:

    FishOutOfWater: “CO2 emissions need to be cut rapidly to save marine ecosystems from increasing acidity, apart from the need to stop rapid climate change.”

    Skookum John: How convenient. Did all the marine ecosystems die back when CO2 was over 1000ppm?

    BPL: Wrong question. The proper question is, “Did all the marine ecosystems die back at times when CO2 suddenly rose way over the level it had previously been roughly stable at?” To which the answer is, YES, THEY BLOODY WELL DID. Google PETM for an example.

  827. Barton Paul Levenson:

    vg28: In what sense are the Royal Society etc. independent? They are funded by the government.

    BPL: The Royal Society is funded by the government??? When did this happen?

  828. pjclarke:

    Firstly a huge thank you to Gavin for devoting his time, energy and expertise to providing a rapid rebuttal service. Its a little sad that it needed doing, however putting the apparently damning quote-mined claims in context, and providing the actual science behind them was/is extraordinarily useful. Good job, well done. Sorry about your lost weekend. It now seems that the smoking gun/final nail/death knell is absent, and judging by the frequency with which it comes up the ‘trick/hide the decline’ quote is the favourite amongst the (remarkably unsceptical) sceptics. That’ll be a single sentence, lifted out of context, utterly misinterpreted, from a decade-old email, then.

    Secondly, This repeats some material already posted, however I took the first 15 of Bishop Hill’s online collation and examined the actual texts…

    1.Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation

    …is half the story. S B-C was circulating allegations of fraud at CRU signing herself as affiliated to the University (she’s emeritus). Dr Jones found this ‘malicious’ and wrote to a Professor at Hull saying so. The context: Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen sent a mail with the title ‘RE: Please take note of potetially serious allegations of scientific ‘fraud’ by CRU and Met Office’
    The evidence for the ‘fraud’ was McIntyre’s Yamal findings, which not even McIntyre asserts are evidence of fraud, and a long piece by Pat Michaels on the data transparency issue, published on a blog and the National Review. Sonja concedes It is beyond my expertise to assess the claims made [!]

    But hey, I am going to circulate them anyway and sign myself ‘Reader Emeritus, Department of Geography, Hull University’ So we have an academic passing on claims of fraud she has not the expertise to assess under the imprimateur of the University. Seems to me at least as bad as the allegations made against some of the climate scientists. Dr Jones brought this to the attention of Sonja’s ex Professor

    ‘I realize Dr Boehmer-Christensen no longer works for you, but she is still using your affiliation.’ Hardly a demand that he prevent her doing so. Nothing improper here.

    2 Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.

    Overstated. The journal in question was ‘Climate Research’ in the wake of publication of a sceptic paper [Sally Baliunas and Willie Soon] so poor it provoked the resignation of half the board.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Baliunas#Controversy_over_the_2003_Climate_Research_paper
    http://www.sgr.org.uk/climate/StormyTimes_NL28.htm

    and Mann’s opinions were: There have been several papers by Pat Michaels, as well as the Soon & Baliunas paper, that couldn’t get published in a reputable journal. This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?

    ‘Perhaps encourage’, ‘request of our colleagues’ Hardly the language of someone hellbent on destruction. Mann’s statements are consistent with ensuring the academic literature effectively screens out substandard papers, a proper concern for a senior scientist.

    3. Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results

    That is called ascribing a motive. In the case the wrong one, the data are truncated, but because of the well-known ‘Divergence problem’ post 1960. This is utterly standard: Bishop Hill reveals his ignorance. The data are attached to this e-mail. They go from 1402 to 1995, although we usually stop the series in 1960 because of the recent non-temperature signal that is superimposed on the tree-ring data that we use.

    4.Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as “cheering news”.

    Actually its not at all clear that it is the death that Jones describes this way, the rest of the mail is about a completely different topic. THIS IS WHY SINGLE EMAILS WITHOUT CONTEXT ARE USELESS! Whatever the intent, this is ad hominem.

    5.Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request

    This is the issue that gives me the most pause. But again we don’t have the full context, what we have is a request to delete mails, with no mention of the FOI. Its strong circumstantial evidence, but you’d need more to convict. Ah, but this is ‘trial by blog’

    6. Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”

    ‘The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate’ -Gavin Schmidt.

    Surely if your aim is to ‘hide’ something then publishing it in Nature is probably not a great move …

    7. Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.

    So what?

    8. Mann thinks he will contact BBC’s Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article

    Michael Mann wrote: ‘extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here?

    Scientist speculates he might speak to journalist shock! (It seems he never did in the end). Is it me or is this the thinnest of thin stuff from the Planet thin?

    9. Kevin Trenberth says they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t

    This requires a little knowledge of climate science, apparently this rules out Bishop Hill ‘Trenberth is talking about our inability to be able to measure the net radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere to the requisite precision to be able to say on short time scales what the energy budget is doing. The observations are inadequate for that – not sure who is saying otherwise’ – Gavin Schmidt.

    10 Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi’s paper is crap

    So do I. More relevantly, so does Dr Roy Spencer (he’s a bit more polite, but then he knew his words were for publication.) I have yet to hear any demands from the sceptics for Spencer’s resignation.

    12 Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too.

    This is really the same discussion as (2) – What to do about a journal letting substandard papers into the literature? The quote is ‘Hans von Storch is partly to blame — he encourages the
    publication of crap science ‘in order to stimulate debate’. One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation
    under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.

    A personal opinion, in a mail the writer thought was private. Big ‘So what?’ And Tom is saying that the journal publishers, not he, are unconcerned about the veracity of what is published. Naughty Bishop Hill.

    13 Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he’s “tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap” out of sceptic Pat Michaels

    And if we all followed through on jokey threats made in personal emails, the prisons would be full.

    14 Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to ‘”contain” the putative Medieval Warm Period’

    This is utterly bizarre. Mann is suggesting moving the start date of a reconstruction backwards, as it will then contain (as in ‘include’) the MWP, pretty much the opposite of the accusation. Somebody needs to improve their reading comprehension.

    Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back…

    15 Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.

    Here is the mail in its entirety: ‘We probably need to say more about this. Land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming — and skeptics might claim that this proves that urban warming is real and important.

    Well, yes they might, given the average level of scientific comprehension demonstrated by the sceptic who assembled this list.

  829. Barton Paul Levenson:

    blogreader: Bravo, BPL. Just when I didn’t think this blog entry could get any weirder you kick it up a notch with an ad hominem on a dead guy.

    BPL: Feynman had a disorderly personal life, period. However, he was an extremely good scientist–one who would never have been taken in by the denialists. In context, my response was appropriate; the original poster was trying to set up Feynman as A) an expert on ethics, who B) would have criticized climate science. Neither is true.

  830. Marco:

    @oracle2world:
    ANY scientific theory is an attempt to explain every single itty-bitty of data. That includes challenging the theory with non-conforming data, but this does not include simply accepting that the data IS non-conforming. You will find similar issues in medical journals. Take the following example: a trial with vitamin D sees two people drop down in the shower, breaking something. It is reported, as everything has to be reported, but also more than likely explained away by referring to accidents in the general population and (likely) too few cases to causally link it to the tested drug. At best the FDA or EMEA will ask the researchers to put it on the list as a potential factor needing further study, while accepting the initial explanation.

    Oh, and let us realise that many of the supposed anomalies that skeptics beat up on are not even anomalies and fit quite well. We’re still waiting for a comprehensive hypothesis that explains the ice age cycles, the PETM, and the current rise in temperatures without invoking a significant effect of greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane. Maybe you have the hypothesis that will earn you the Nobelprize?

  831. Ray Ladbury:

    Oracle2world, I can only assume that you don’t read much of the peer-reviewed climate science literature, where anomalies and divergences are discussed in minute detail. The question is whether any of these differences make any substantive difference to the issue of whether we are warming the planet and whether we need to address this threat.

    All climate scientists acknowledge that there are things we don’t know about climate. The role of CO2 is not among these unknowns.

  832. Paul:

    #709 That’s great! so, CO2 levels are not rising anymore, right?…..

  833. Trond Y:

    There is a huge difference between a collective enterprise _for_ good science, and a war _against_ “bad science”. These emails demonstrate rather unambigously how the latter approach often has got the upper hand with these leading scientists. It’s all very human, but extremely counter-productive: In fact, the more you are unfairly treated, the more you have to take care not to get drawn down to the same level yourself, getting emotional etc.

    The war-like attitude also implies the tendency to defend rather than to correct and adapt, easily leading to estimates lacking in conservatism, i.e. overselling.

    [Response: Note that these are selected emails - and most of the stuff discussing good science didn't make the cut apparently. I wonder why? - gavin]

  834. Ray Ladbury:

    David Harper, Thank you for keeping us abreast of how the latest nontroversy is playing out over at CA. Given the level of idiocy being expressed here, I fear, a trip over to CA or WUWT would result in 3rd degree stupidity burns over 80% of one’s body.

  835. James Allan:

    715: “So whenever AGW attempts to explain away EVERY SINGLE ITTY-BITTY piece of non-conforming data … something is not right.”

    I would agree, except that it doesn’t ever happen in the scientific literature and I defy you to point out an example of where it does. For one, AR4 was very upfront about scatter and confidence, which is something that the denialists seem to ignore.

    And let’s face it, if we were to claim we could explain everything about the world’s climate, we’d be doing ourselves out of a job…

  836. Deech56:

    Gavin, your work since this incident broke has been outstanding. You have met the criticisms head on, and I think it has helped those open to reason.

    People (especially newcomers): please realize that RC is not Gavin’s day job. He’s not retired, independently wealthy or pulling in blog bucks, but instead works in a highly-specialized field (note to grant newbies: no matter how much the grant support is, his salary cannot exceed 100% of the institute standard) which needs his experience and knowledge. Gavin cannot give this blog 100% of his attention all the time.

    So what’s the upshot of all this? That scientists are human? Do we need to rewrite the scientific literature as a result? Do any studies need to be withdrawn? (h/t to Greenfyre)

  837. James Allan:

    A bit late joining this debate, but here goes anyway…

    This kind of development just makes me roll my eyes; I’m often consciously careful with the wording of my emails because they technically count as ‘written communication’ in the legal sense and I don’t want off-the-cuff stuff (particularly regarding my opinions of others) being taken out of context.

    But it doesn’t matter how careful you are, with sufficient quote-mining someone can always find something to take out of context. However, in common with the conspiracy theory style, no matter how much you twist the evidence, it can only ever be made to imply wrongdoing, not actually prove it. But more than that, this is yet one more manifestation of the fact that the deniers’ tactics are now almost entirely confined to trying to attack the scientists themselves and the procedural aspects of their work. It just goes to show that debating the science itself is something that is apparently beyond them now.

    What I see as the biggest problem here is going to be the inevitable hoaxes that will surface in the coming months, possibly years. That’s assuming they haven’t been tossed into the mix already, for that matter.

  838. Deech56:

    RE oracle2world

    No theory explains all the data. There are outliers, background noise, maybe data just plain wrong. So whenever AGW attempts to explain away EVERY SINGLE ITTY-BITTY piece of non-conforming data … something is not right.

    Every new drug has side effects. If a drug company reports clinical data that shows no side effects, the FDA knows the data are fraudulent.

    Finally, a comment in my field. There are drugs that in animal testing show no side effects, generally because the solubility is so low that the volume of vehicle would have to be too high to give safely. Drug companies actually do have to explain the side effects; nobody wants a black box warning. Also, animal studies in the pursuit of basic drug research often show anomalous results – these just don’t make it to the literature, and if they do, a lot of ideas are bandied about in the discussion section.

    I don’t know what climate literature you’ve been reading, but in reports of science at the cutting edge the reader will note that the authors acknowledge various limitations. Just read the title of MBH99: “Northern Temperatures in the last millennium: inferences, uncertainties and limitations. Find Mann, et al. 2008 and read the text and the <a href=supplemental material.

  839. Dave Spicer:

    I have a friend who is a licensed electrician. Until I asked him to stop, he used to pass along all manner of right-wing “Look at this outrage! Send this to everyone you know!” emails. I’m sure he’d be sending me something about this imbroglio.

    But I’m also reasonably sure I’ve heard him describe some of his own work as a kind of “rigging” (if you get my drift). Using the “Climategate” methodology, I suppose I could therefore publicly accuse him of self-admitted incompetence and so forth. Of course I won’t, because he does good work and HE WAS KIDDING.

  840. Mike G:

    Jere #679

    You mean like when all reef building ceased for about 12-16 million years and the hard corals were mostly replaced by non-calcifying relatives? Funny how they came back and started building reefs again shortly after CO2 levels decreased.

    MS #692

    Give me a break on the “drumming up a crisis for funding” nonsense. My former adviser works on polychaete worm taxononmy and evolution. Given that that’s not a field even remotely related to world crisis or disaster I figured he would be an excellent example to contrast the dollar values cited for Gavin et al. Over the past 6 years he has received $2.27 million from the NSF alone. That’s more than all but one of the listed climatologists received over the time period in the spreadsheets and more than any of them received over the same 6 year period. [sarcasm]Holy shit! That must mean that the evolution of polychaete worms is the REAL crisis and we almost missed it. I can’t believe we were so distracted with this AGW hoax. If you want balanced coverage of the conspiracy to cover up the worm crisis you should visit my website wormaudit.org.[/sarcasm]

  841. Peter:

    If someone had hacked into Exxon’s servers and found emails talking about how they need to hire and promote global warming deniers, you’d be applauding and justifying the actions of the hackers.

    Now why would Exxon promote anyone to deny the very thing which has done more than anything else to push up the dollar barrel price of their product?

  842. turtle:

    So now the big secret is out– scientists are grouchy assholes just like everybody else. What else is new?

    The glaciers are melting, the oceans are acidifying, we have driven thousands of species to extinction… Even if, somehow, magically, it turns out that this has nothing to do with carbon dioxide, IT’S STILL A PROBLEM.

    As for the ‘follow the money’ comments– yes, follow the money. Who stands to lose money if the governments of the world start taking actual steps to counteract global warming? (Hint: they sell an oily black liquid.)

    And, seriously, who stands to gain money if they do? Some two-man business in California selling solar panels? Those companies that sell ‘green’ yoga mats and water bottles? THIS is who you think is funding some kind of global conspiracy?

    If you know scientists– or academics in any field– you’ll know that getting enough of them together to form a conspiracy is about as easy as herding cats. Well, not quite as easy. At least you can physically pick up a cat and put it where you want :)

  843. Kevin McKinney:

    oracle, I have very little idea what you are talking about. What “anomalous data” has been “explained away?”

    Tropospheric temps have been examined to a fare-thee-well. The Urban Heat Island question has been analyzed in multiple ways. Reanalysis has been piled upon reanalysis. Not to explain away, but to understand what is happening, and to characterize AGW better–and more usefully for policy makers.

    How does this “fit together too neatly?”

    For that matter how does “explained away in increasingly bizarre fashion” fit together with “way too neatly?”

  844. Ike Solem:

    What data, Shoshin?

    What the high rate of response here does show is that this is a major PR effort being handled by some internet-based PR firm, and since Edelman is running the American Petroleum Institute’s $100 million “clean image” campaign, and is known for keeping dozens of full-time bloggers on staff, rather, comment section loaders, that would be my guess. Or, it could be ACCCE (the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity) and firms like Bonner Associates. Another plausible group working to keep this story at the top of the news could be the CO2 Capture Project, “a partnership of the world’s leading energy companies, working with academic institutions and government organizations…”

    They couldn’t do it without a little help from the press outlets themselves, however.

    Revkin’s sinister take on the matter has gained a little traction, here’s a Google News sample from the “big government” blog: “…the literal readings – that’s plural, not a one-off remark – represent “sinister interpretations” (New York Times), and the implausible is actually the appropriate reading.”

    Revkin’s failure to explain “the trick” – namely, putting paleoclimate observations in context with recent instrumental records for comparison purposes – only gives fuel to these fantasies. Revkin’s article has been picked up and re-headlined by other sources:

    “Emails show climate ‘conspiracy’”
    Andrew C. Revkin
    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1091122/jsp/foreign/story_11771110.jsp

    Other news outlets are going for maximum hysteria as well. For a really desperate example from the Telegraph UK:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

    The lead is “sell off alternative energy stocks” which sort of explains the fuss, doesn’t it? Shifting to renewable energy energy sources will upset the status quo for London’s oil futures trading market, there’s not really any doubt about that. That’s a bigger threat than global warming, to some at least.

    The only reason this story is of any interest is that it’s a classic large-scale PR effort to raise doubts before Copenhagen – and the journalists and media outlets who participated in it are nothing but propaganda artists following orders. How can you tell? There’s no real news here – as at least one journalist has noticed, although it’s still a list of comments by skeptic celebrities like Christie and Pielke:

    http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2009/11/21/hacked-climate-emails-conspiracy-or-tempest-in-a-teapot/

    Media corporations have silenced real science journalists – witness the firing of the CNN science team lead by Miles O’Brien, right after they began covering a lot of climate stories objectively:

    9 Sep 2008: Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks – CNN.com
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/23/arctic.ice/index.html

    4 Dec 2008: CNN Cuts Entire Science, Tech Team
    http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/cnn_cuts_entire_science_tech_t.php

    Not an economic decision – “We want to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand alone unit,” said CNN spokesperson Barbara Levin.

    Translation: “We want to be able to spin stories to please our shareholders and fossil fuel-based advertisers.”

    As a result, the CNN climate coverage since then has largely been reduced to copying and pasting news releases:

    http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2009/arctic2k.jsp
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/09/03/arctic.warmest.temperatures/index.html

    This marks a continuing trend in the U.S. press – no more independent science and technology reporting, unless it’s heavily respun in the right direction – for example:

    5 May 2009 – “In a Fortune interview, noted climatologist John Christy contends the green crusade to fight climate change is “all cost and no benefit.”
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/05/14/magazines/fortune/globalwarming.fortune/index.htm

    Anyone could have predicted a massive staged propaganda effort in the run-up to Copenhagen – it’s just a little surprising to see that the effort is being so widely supported by our major media organizations… and if the majority shareholders in media conglomerates happen to often be the same banks and individuals who are majority shareholders in coal and oil and utilities, well, that’s just a coincidence…

    A very good argument for banning media holding companies and enforcing anti-trust laws in the media sector, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe science journalists & editors need something like tenure too.

  845. Dan:

    “In my mind AGW would have a lot more credibility if it acknowledged up front and clearly what the anomalies are,…”

    It does. You have not read the IPCC reports.

  846. Bunyip:

    I’ve been coming to RC for years and never posted because I’m not a scientist. But all know — we have all been ertain and still are — that consumerism is generating the poisons that will kill our planet. Do I need to understand what all this technical stuff is about I can see my family cat sheds more hair earlier every year? No! I ‘ll leave the lab stuff to the experts.

    But I’m still baffled and disoriented by this.

    Please, will someone tell me how to counter the criticism tomorrow at work.

    Please, I beg you, tell me what to think!

  847. Dale:

    It seems to me that the science of AGW is based on facts while the denialists reality is based on factoids IMHO.

  848. Jeffrey Davis:

    re: 709
    “I can tell you that lately (as in last 12 years) there has been an explosion of algae around the world. It counters any extra Co2 production.”

    Other way ’round. It doesn’t appear to be countering any:

    http://www.mlo.noaa.gov/programs/coop/scripps/img/img_scripps_co2_record.gif

  849. Tenney Naumer:

    Re: #707

    Dear Dale,

    Most likely, the scientists here on RealClimate are much better people than I am, because I most definitely would be whooping and cheering if ExxonMobil was exposed for what it is.

    It would make my day, my week, my month.

    Not that I am advocating breaking the law.

    But it would still make my day.

  850. Jinchi:

    Since the global warming deniers now claim to have irrefutable evidence of a conspiracy, along with all the emails detailing where the bodies were hidden and presumably much of the data and computer codes that debunk the whole thing, why are they wasting their time with snippets of how much Ben Santer hates Steve McIntyre?

    Shouldn’t they be showing us charts, graphs, raw data that destroy the climate science community once and for all?

  851. Steve:

    At the very least, the emails reveal the bias of the researchers. Ethical research tests a hypothesis, not proves a hypothesis. There is a fever amongst the scientists that their mission is to provide stunning evidence of AWG balanced with subtle disclaimers. This in itself should raise question about the validity of their research.

    [Response: Nonsense. So people concluding something from their own work and that of others proves that their own work is invalid. Try thinking about it a little more. - gavin]

  852. Guy:

    I’ve just worked out something quite important and personally I find it rather reassuring, actually. Bear with me, and give this theory a go.

    Those who have criticised AGW for years are behind the email thefts. Now, it has been alleged by these same people for years that academics are involved in a giant conspiracy to cover up the truth about the data and the science. Of course, the headlines here are supposed to show exactly this. However, so far I haven’t read one single thing that suggests this – the closest is the allegations of suggesting the peer-review editors, and this does need a better explanation to the general public. But at the very least, this way of working does appear to be pretty much the norm across science.

    But is that it? Really? Because these leaks are (presumably) the edited highlights of the most incriminating private emails right at the very heart of the conspiracy – the place where the battleground is drawn, and the tactics discussed in great detail (conspiracies are tough to organise, of course). And what do they have to show for it? Nothing.

    If people take a step back, this release of emails is an own-goal – it more or less proves that the alleged conspiracy is a figment of peoples’ imagination. If it were real, we’d see something – anything – that wasn’t easily explainable as normal professional discussion.

    However, I’m concerned that this is a moot point. The news stories all use the bogus “trick” quote, and that’s as far as the supposed-sceptics will ever read.

    I think RC has done well with its initial post, which was quickly put out there and very useful. I think the public need to hear more candid detail on how the peer-review process works in practice, and lets hear from other science disciplines too to put it into context. But as to the substance here – there appears to not be any. And that’s extremely telling indeed.

  853. M Yoxon:

    @ Jinchi #750
    I think it is quite clear that there have been legitimate concerns raised that do not have anything to do with ‘conspiracy’ or ‘hoax’, but with the apparent politicisation of science. It seems obvious to me (and I am not a ‘denier’) that the scientists involved do have questions to answer regarding evasion of FOI requests, and in my mind the process of peer-review does not come out of this episode undamaged.

  854. Eli Rabett:

    Jinchi, Eli has a somewhat different take on this.

  855. Bill J:

    Whatever validated & audited datasets exist in support of upcoming global decisions,they need to be secured in one place outside of CRU,GISS or wherever they currently exist and subjected to full INDEPENDENT review outside of the current clique. ( that includes Hadley ,CRU RC, WUWT etc etc).No global actions will be acceptable to any government without these basic prerequisites being achieved and seen to be achieved. Currently they are not…..

  856. David Bailey:

    Your (indirect) response to my earlier query included the following:

    “They got access to some extra data that some National Met. Services normally only sell, or was given with the express proviso that it not be passed on to third parties. CRU is not at fault for honoring those agreements – even if everyone wishes they didn’t exist.”

    I must say, I didn’t get the impression from the various emails that everyone wished all the data were public – indeed there was talk of deleting information rather than giving way to FOI requests!

    More generally, surely either this private data was not essential to build your case for anthropogenic global warming – in which case why use it – or you are, in effect, asking the world to divert trillions of pounds to a project whose justification is being kept secret!

    [Response: Your definition of secret is obviously a little different from mine. - gavin]

  857. Dale:

    I’m a farmer who’s been growing vegetable crops in central Indiana for the past 29 years. When I began we experienced some -20 below temperatures pretty much every winter until the middle 90’s. Since that time I could count on both hands the number of sub zero days. On Christmas day 1983 I carried my newly born son (Now a bio chemist researcher at the UNC, Chapel Hill Medical School) down our 600 foot snow drifted driveway in -25 degree weather. We did get down to -5 one evening last winter, the first time in several years. Conversely our summers have been milder for the last decade.

    Three years ago we didn’t really have a winter. January saw many 50 degree days and some 60 degree days and in February we had several days with temps in the 70’s. By mid March the leaves on the trees we’re nearly leafed out something I’d never seen in my 60 plus years. In mid early April we had three nights of 19 degree lows which reduced many of the tree leaves to goo. I lost over half of my blueberry crop. My wife a botanist was concerned that if a pattern were to develpe the hardwood trees would find it difficult to survive.

    Today for the first time in my farming career we harvested broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce from the open fields. We planted these crops late on purpose betting that the warmer winters might continue. We’ve been blessed but how about those folks in other parts of the world?

    Yes I know that weather is local and that the warmer winters and the cooler summers in my area don’t necessarily reflect what’s going on elsewhere but my observations have added to my believe that something is happening and I don’t need some factoids to convince me otherwise.

  858. Dom:

    @802 Bunyip: Changing is mind is nothing to be ashamed of.

  859. Xyrus:

    780
    Bunyip says:
    22 November 2009 at 9:00 AM

    “Please, will someone tell me how to counter the criticism tomorrow at work.”

    The best “counter” to ignorance is knowledge. There really aren’t that many emails to read through. The vast majority of them are just standard science discussions. The “inflammatory” materials really aren’t, especially if you read through all the related emails. At best you can only get a partial picture of what was going on since there are large gaps.

    Unfortunately, this means little to people who have an emotional investment as opposed to a logical. Logic and reason left this stable about ten years ago. People, especially the Armchair Climatologists, already have their conspiracies and psuedo-science in place and no amount of logic or reason will change that.

    “Please, I beg you, tell me what to think!”

    No. It’s far better for you to gather all the facts and come to your own conclusions. The email archive has been on bit-torrent for awhile. I’d recommend doing your own research into this as opposed to having someone give you their own impression.

    That being said, after reading through the emails my impression is that there isn’t anything in them at all that points to anything nefarious. However, I did come away with an even worse impression of McIntyre et al. than I already had. He’s one of main reasons they wanted to “deny” FOI requests in the first place and it had nothing to do with wanting to hide data.

    ~X~

  860. Jim Galasyn:

    Wow, 17 pages and still going. The next Nobel Peace Prize should go to Gavin and the RealClimate guys for their superhuman forbearance.

  861. Xyrus:

    813
    Jinchi says:
    22 November 2009 at 9:49 AM

    “..why are they wasting their time with snippets of how much Ben Santer hates Steve McIntyre?”

    Why attack the science when attacking the person is SO much easier? Ad hominem attacks are so much more satisfying it seems.

    “Shouldn’t they be showing us charts, graphs, raw data that destroy the climate science community once and for all?”

    Because that requires solid research, and that is something the skeptics do not have. If the “debate” about climate change had adhered strictly to facts then sites like CA wouldn’t exist.

    ~X~

  862. Peter Webster:

    Gavin,

    I don’t think it matters whether or not the hacking and subsequent publication of emails is illegal. The point is that damage has been done to the credibility of climate science. I have been a long believer in the transparency of science and the need for free access to base data and corresponding meta-data, techniques used and arguments for inclusion of exclusion of data. We faced this problem early in the TOGA period and developed a 2-year policy that has been widely accepted in funding agencies world wide.

    If the CRU data had been made publicly available for scrutiny at an earlier time, then these recent events would have been irrelevant. The data sets and their interpretations would have sunk or floated on their merit. Given the importance of a surface temperature record for the wide-ranging implications to society, science and etc., these data should have been made available a long time ago. The only way for credibility to be regained or earned is for the data sets in question to be made available for wide scrutiny. For data sets collected by a PI (e.g., ice cores, coral, and other proxy sets) the 2-year TOGA should perhaps apply. Accumulated data sets (e.g., collections of surface temperature records and etc.) need to be made available immediately along with the accompanying data I have mentioned above. I believe that it would be great folly for backs to be turned at this time. I know that I will hear that there are agreements with different countries in place that preclude making data widely available. I am sorry to say that would ring a little hollow. Data was made available to some of us and I am grateful for that as it has proven extremely important in trying to understand the 1935-45 warming. Perhaps a way around the fiscal issue is to state which data is precluded from being made available. I guess that is meta-data as well. But I think that we have to move on as openly as we can be.

  863. PaulH:

    #805 turtle

    “And, seriously, who stands to gain money if they do? Some two-man business in California selling solar panels? Those companies that sell ‘green’ yoga mats and water bottles? THIS is who you think is funding some kind of global conspiracy?”

    Turtle, my understanding is that many people are suspicious of AGM because of the tax-raising implications. It’s a question of liberty for these people – more tax goes from your pocket to government which often then goes to corporate welfare, which in turn promotes monopolies and oligolipolies. Small businesses are hurt by this.

    Given that the fledging global carbon trading framework (which would be the key architecture behind nation-state taxation schemes) is being designed by many of the same people (Goldman Sachs et al) that are currently bringing Western democracies to their knees through unregulated derivatives, credit default swaps, etc, one can understand some of their concerns.

  864. Bill1234:

    Jinchi – No, we are saying that we have no idea why data is being kept from independent researchers.

    That is all. If you think your science stands up, why not give that data to your critics and silence them.

    [Response: Perhaps you like to show us where that has happened? The more usual situation is that the data is made available to all, and the misrepresentations increase (cf. Mann, GISTEMP etc.). That doesn't mean that data shouldn't be made available (it should), but the argument that doing so silences the critics is bogus. - gavin]

  865. DocMartyn:

    “Mine is somewhere in the 30′s I think. – gavin]”

    Accurate as ever Gavin.

    Scopus has you on 23; which is better than my 20, [edit]

    [Response: Happy to be corrected. Forgive me if self-googling is not high on my priority list this morning. - gavin]

  866. Ian Bradbury:

    Re Gavin’s reply to 776 (oversight question)

    Gavin
    Thanks for the response. It doesn’t feel as rigorously independent as the FDA/EMEA big boots, but maybe that’s just my perception of those ‘people’, and I’m just moaning! I do sympathise with your having to put up with the shit (and dim questions like mine!)
    Thanks
    Ian

  867. Peter S:

    Gavin, in view of the new-found openness on RealClimate (which unfortunately we only have the hacker of a computer to thank for), can we now look forward to you (or your associates) publishing the archive of correspondence between yourselves and the foreign Met Offices you mention – seeking to persuade them of the absolute importance of their releasing into the public domain the material upon which your science arrives at its consensus? Given the profound global changes required to respond to AGW – not to mention the vast sums of money it will require – I am sure this correspondence will have expressed to all such Met Offices the utmost urgency of their complying with this request (and thereby overriding any prior commercial interest they may have had in the material), so that the quality of your work can be tested and verified by the wider scientific community.

    [Response: Here. - gavin]

  868. MS:

    Dear Gavin
    Thank you so much for doing this very important job of riding the storm.
    You shold not need to spend your time on these same questions over and over again. But I for one am very glad you take the time of patiently answering.

  869. doug W:

    Gavin–You seem to believe that the peer review process as revealed in the emails is normal. As someone who has participated in review in other fields, I can assure you it is not. Perhaps your field is too small to ensure the required anonymity and diversity required, but the review process in climate science as it exists today cannot possibly function properly.

    [Response: Not true. Peer-review is of course imperfect - people don't have enough time, there are tens of thousands of papers to review, editors don't always know who appropriate reviewers might be, and sometimes the process messes up. The three examples I mentioned above are great examples. But there is plenty of good critical reviewing going on and it generally leads to better papers in the literature. Having seen poor initial drafts morph into well-argued journal articles many, many times, I know this to be true. - gavin]

  870. MacDoc:

    One wonders what the independent science bodies in Asia as shown here
    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/261395,thai-chinese-scientists-launch-climate-change-research.html
    and other areas who clearly have done their own due diligence in advising their governments to spend billions upon climate change response and moving to a lower carbon society, think of this nonsense.

    Does anyone really countenance the idea that this will have any impact beyond the deniers blogs? Other than perhaps prompting a bit more security in research centres.

    The deniers seemed puffed up with their own importance, as abundantly shown in this case, when in reality, as shown in Copenhagen, the climate science and international community have moved on to dealing with the changes afoot.

  871. Seth Pinto:

    I’ll try one more time to ask my questions (Post #734). Is it appropriate to remove observed data to maintain the validity of a model? Is all unexplained warming aside from stated natural variability automatically relegated to anthropogenic in nature? Why is any uncertainty suppressed? Is the current cooling understood?

    Excerpt from [1255553034.txt]

    At the risk of overload, here are some notes of mine on the
    recent lack of warming. I look at this in two ways. The first is to
    look at the difference between the observed and expected anthropogenic
    trend relative to the pdf for unforced variability. The second
    is to remove ENSO, volcanoes and TSI variations from the
    observed data. Both methods show that what we are seeing is not unusual. The
    second method leaves a significant warming over the past decade.
    These sums complement Kevin’s energy work. Kevin says … “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”. I
    do not agree with this.
    [end excerpt]

    [excerpt]
    Michael Mann wrote:
    thanks Tom,
    I’ve taken the liberty of attaching a figure that Gavin put
    together the other day (its an update from a similar figure he
    prepared for an earlier RealClimate post. see:
    http://www.realclimate.org/ind…..pulation/). It is indeed worth a thousand words, and drives home Tom’s point below. We’re planning on doing a post on this shortly, but would be nice to see the Sep. HadCRU numbers first,
    I did
    [End excerpt]

    [Begin excerpt]
    Mike,
    The Figure you sent is very deceptive. As an example, historical
    runs with PCM look as though they match observations — but the
    match is a fluke. PCM has no indirect aerosol forcing and a low
    climate sensitivity — compensating errors. In my (perhaps too
    harsh) view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model
    results by individual authors and by IPCC. This is why I still use
    results from MAGICC to compare with observed temperatures. At least
    here I can assess how sensitive matches are to sensitivity and
    forcing assumptions/uncertainties.
    Tom.
    [End excerpt]

    [Begin excerpt]
    Hi Tom,
    thanks for the comments. well, ok. but this is the full CMIP3
    ensemble, so at least the plot is sampling the range of choices
    regarding if and how indirect effects are represented, what the cloud
    radiative feedback & sensitivity is, etc. across the modeling
    community. I’m not saying that these things necessarily cancel out
    (after all, there is an interesting and perhaps somewhat disturbing
    compensation between indirect aerosol forcing and sensitivity across
    the CMIP3 models that defies the assumption of independence), but if
    showing the full spread from CMIP3 is deceptive, its hard to imagine
    what sort of comparison wouldn’t be deceptive (your point re MAGICC
    notwithstanding), perhaps Gavin has some further comments on this (it is his plot after
    all),
    mike
    [End excerpt]

    [Begin excerpt]
    Tom, with respect to the difference between the models and the data, the
    fundamental issue on short time scales is the magnitude of the internal
    variability. Using the full CMIP3 ensemble at least has multiple
    individual realisations of that internal variability and so is much more
    suited to a comparison with a short period of observations. MAGICC is
    great at the longer time scale, but its neglect of unforced variability
    does not make it useful for these kinds of comparison.
    The kind of things we are hearing “no model showed a cooling”, the “data
    is outside the range of the models” need to be addressed directly.
    Gavin
    [End excerpt]

    [Begin excerpt]
    Gavin,
    I just think that you need to be up front with uncertainties
    and the possibility of compensating errors.
    Tom.
    [End excerpt]

    [Response: ;) Gosh disagreements amongst scientists... I will post the figure concerned in a post shortly (a few other things have come up in the mean time) - but basically it is just a figure showing all the IPCC models and the observational data plotted together on the 1980-1999 baseline that was used in IPCC. It shows that the observed temperatures are well within the expected model envelope. Tom's point is (I think) that this doesn't necessarily prove that the models have perfectly encompassed exactly what has been going on, and I would agree. That doesn't mean it isn't useful to show what the models actually did show. - gavin]

  872. NikFromNYC:

    To emphasize my claim that Jones was not speaking of a cooling spell that he was trying to minimize the appearance of, merely look at any instrumental temperature chart and note that his email was written in 1999 when there was no decline in temperature to “hide” whatsoever.

    I note that for pointing this nearly universal misconception out, the moderators deemed fit to include a comment that my comment was “In the running for the most foolish denial comment of the year.” It might be a a badge of honor if I had much respect for the average skeptic who refuses to pare down crappy arguments that do indeed amount to mindless “talking points” which they have not been skeptical about.

    Shall I try for two? Then I will ask an extremely “silly question”:

    Can you explain this chart which is a simple and accurate plot of thermometer records which shows no obvious AGW signal in 350 years?: http://i45.tinypic.com/iwq8a1.jpg

    I’m sincerely curious. The chart is not an outlier. Note that HadCRUT3 (in blue) confirms that it matches the instrumental record very well.

    [Response: Note that with such a huge number of comments moderation is slow and haphazard and comment numbers are not stable. Please use links and/or names directly. - gavin]

  873. Larry Thiel:

    Release the data.
    Let people see that it supports your conclusions.
    If you don’t release the data, people have every reason to be skeptical.

    [Response: All data and codes for the GISTEMP temperature record. Let me know if that assuages your criticism. - gavin]

  874. Bill:

    re~857. Clearly there are so-called’ peer reviewed papers published and included in IPCC without any independent verification of the datasets. As Gavin has diligently explained ,there are instances where the original raw data has not been made available, citing copyright or other issues.

  875. Bob:

    Gavin, in your response to #743, you make a statement that “science is a work in progress”. Why, then, does your side (not necessarily the scientists but the ill-informed politicians and Hollywood crowd)always insist that the debate is over?

    [Response: The debate on whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas is over. The debate on whether CO2 is increasing because of human activity is over. The debate on whether the globe is warming is over. The debate on whether this and other human impacts can be seen in the climate system already is over. These are not the issue upon which scientists are expending their energies. We are trying to work out exactly how the different impacts intersect, how we can better understand specific processes in the system, how to constrain uncertainties in projections of the future. I'd be happy to say this to any politician or Hollywood celebrity. - gavin]

  876. james coyne:

    Please respond to the charge that the exaggerated claims of AGW have been falsified by the new Lindzen & Choi paper “On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data” which shows from satellite data that the feedback is negative (not positive) and sensitivity is only one sixth of that claimed by AGW advocates. Roy Spencer finds the same thing.

    Failure to respond will be taken as your admission that Lindzen and Spencer are correct, and that temperature increases from greenhouse gases are modest, certainly nothing to cause alarm.

    [Response: Funnily enough, it is Roy Spencer who has the most accessible criticism of Lindzen's paper. Let me know which of the mutually inconsistent versions you want us to respond to. - gavin]

  877. Mike Donald:

    Here’s something on this so-called “trick” …

    Trick’n by DarkSyde Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 07:59:20 AM PST at website
    http://darksyde.dailykos.com/

    and it ends.

    “But consider; it’s taken me several grafs, and you a few minutes of reading, just to get a glimmer of what that one email was all about. The same effort would be required to untangle other stolen, out of context emails now brandished by skeptics as evidence of some kind of shadowy conspiracy. That’s how easy it is to pluck something out of context and make it sounds ominous, if your goal is to misinform, prostitute yourself to the energy industry, and — pardon the pun — trick your readers. “

  878. Dan Hughes:

    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.

    This statement is ‘not even wrong’.

    Emails are never personal / private whenever they are composed while being paid by an employer. The employer has provided the employee-writer all the equipment and support structure and the salary that allows the writing to be done when at the place of employment.

    Whenever all the equipment and support structure and salary are paid for by public funds, the emails belong to the public.

    More specifically, there are local, state, and federal-level laws against use of any publicly-supplied equipment for personal applications. Use of publicly-supplied computers for writing personal emails falls under these laws.

    Many, almost all, private companies will have conditions of employment that are essentially the same as these.

    What you do at work belongs to your employer. If you are a public employee, what you do at work belongs to the public.

    This is not rocket science. Millions of people go to their place of employment every day fully aware of the rules / regulations / conditions of their employment.

    Climate “science” attempts to invoke yet another exemption from what is standard operating procedures for the remainder of the universe.

  879. Bernie:

    This string has grown so fast that I have not been able to keep up – hopefully what follows is not too redundant. First, I would like to thank Gavin and others for his demonstrably more liberal moderating of these comments – though I would note that I have personally experienced what I would see as inappropriate editing in the past at Real Climate.

    Anyone who has worked in a highly competitive environment will not be surprised by many of these emails. The notion that they somehow either prove or disprove a scientific conspiracy as opposed to a very cohesive coalition of like-minded individuals is an over-reach. They do, however, reveal some questionable behavior by people who should know better. With respect to the peer review process, many academics are probably all too familiar with the politics and personal animosities associated with article publication in prestiguous scientific journals. This is an important issue but now new. Dr. Roger Pielke Snr has already written on this point and I suspect that he will have a much stronger hand now when he pursues further action as a result of the revelations in these emails.

    So what is the issue? At core, it is the behavior of key scientists in response to requests to release data. The emails show a pattern of deliberate efforts to undermine the existing legal process for freeing information. The emails are unambiguous as to the efforts of Dr. Jones on this count. Given the title of the file, its content and the timing of its release, in close proximity to a rejection of an appeal by Steve McIntyre for releasing data and other information – the odds have dramatically increased that this was not the action of hackers but of whistleblowers. This is very important and significantly changes the import of the content and the likely consequences.

    If it is whistleblowers, Dr Jones and the UEA administration have dug themselves a very deep hole as revealed by these emails. If the person who released this file was privy to the FOIA discussions and objected to the stonewalling in writing or made contemporaneous notes, then any efforts to pursue them may result in even more damage to the credibility of Dr. Jones et al. It is a genuine Catch-22.

    So, folks should try to keep an eye on the pea here. The assertions above by advocates for CAGW that skeptics believe that these emails somehow demonstrate a Michael Crichton-like conspiracy is a smokescreen that hides the simpler and more fundamental issue. There is and never has been a real reason for not disclosing the data and the code. The rather juvenile, silly and short-sighted efforts to stonewall McIntyre and others has produced the real scandal. The notion that McIntyre and many others are part of some vast conspiracy to delay action on CO2 emissions, besides being neurotic, vastly underestimates the sheer puzzle value of climate issues to those of us used to doing large scale data analysis in other fields. Love him or hate him, nobody has any grounds for doubting McIntyre’s (and a growing number of other “amateurs”) abilities to analyze complex data sets and uncover large and small data and analysis errors. The remarkable defensiveness displayed in these emails by many of the scientists has led IMHO to a continuous unwillingness to accept Steve McIntyre at face value. Releasing the data and the code in accord with sound scientific practices now looks like it would have been a smarter choice.

  880. captdallas2:

    Very interesting read. My favorite email:

    Hi all

    Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather). Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27,

    A.A.Tsonis’ A Dynamical Method for Determining Climate Shifts is a recommend read for Dr. Trenberth

  881. Pete Ridley:

    You may be interested in what I’ve just been postng this around various sites.

    What a reaction to the alleged disclosure of E-mails and other data from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit! This information has been flying around the Internet since 19th and if genuine potentially blows the lid off the all of the propaganda that has been promulgated about The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. Despite this there apparently has not been a word from yourselves, any political party member or broadcaster about it. This has much more significance than what today’s celebrities had for breakfast. Why no news coverage or political reaction?

    In an article on this subject in the UK’s Daily Telegraph (Note 1) mention is made of John Daly. It says QUOTE: One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting: “In an odd way this is cheering news.” UNQUOTE. This alleged E-mail is presented more fully elsewhere (Note 2).

    It is important to remain sceptical about the validity of this “leak” of information and await the results of a thorough investigation. (Is anyone in the news media doing something along these lines?). Despite this, there is a saying “there’s no smoke without fire”. It is interesting to see that there appeared to be an exchange of E-mails between John Daly and Phil Jones back in 2001 (Note 3). This item starts with QUOTE: After several requests by visitors to this website for details of the two emails which were sent by Phil Jones of CRU, demanding withdrawal of the articles about recent errors in CRU hemispheric temperatures, the following exchange of emails was made via a very large CC (110 addressees), with both of Jones’ emails signed in his official capacity as professor at CRU. UNQUOTE. It is followed by an apparent exchange of E-mails between John Daly and Phil Jones.

    I leave you to read them and draw your own conclusions. While you’re at it, have a read of the comments at Wattsupwiththat (Note 2). There are some interesting comments about that site favoured by supporters of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis, Realclimate (Note 4). It leads off with an article spinning the motivations behind what appears in the E-mails followed by some uncharacteristic defensive responses to readers’ comments by Gavin Schmidt.

    Another interesting commentary on this is at ClimateAudit (Note 5).

    NOTES:
    1) see http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
    2) see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-story-hadley-cru-has-apparently-been-hacked-hundreds-of-files-released/
    3) see http://www.john-daly.com/cru/emails.htm
    4) see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/comment-page-10/
    5) see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7810

    Pete Ridley, human-made global climate change agnos(cep)tic

  882. Philippe Chantreau:

    “the review process in climate science as it exists today cannot possibly function properly.” Considering that garbage like S&B 03 or the recent miserable Carter piece can make it through, there might be some truth to that. Heck, even in Physics journals it occasionally fails, as we have seen with Gerlich & Tscheuchneuer…

  883. Vandenberg:

    [edit] here’s the link to the Washington Post.
    It don’t look good…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/21/AR2009112102186.html?nav=hcmodule

  884. David Bailey:

    Gavin,

    I am sure your time is short at the moment, but I would really like to reach a conclusion regarding my previous two questions.

    As I understand it, you have in the past released only part of the data relating to AGW on the grounds that some of it was private – but that CRU regretted this fact.

    I pointed out that this regret was not exactly evident in the emails that have been released, and that for a conclusion of such momentous importance, it was vital that it be based on publicly available data and computer code.

    This in turn provoked a response that questioned my use of the word ‘secret’, so let me try again! Would it be fair to say that:

    a) The private data was not necessary for demonstrating AGW – so anyone could, in principle have reproduced your results from publicly available information.

    b) The private data was necessary to demonstrate AGW, and the CRU was doing all it could to honour the FOI requests so that everyone could see the full picture (despite emails that discussed deleting information rather than supplying it in response to FOI).

    c) Something else.

    [Response: Who is 'you' in your question? I do not work for CRU, and I do not not work on the GISTEMP stuff either. But to answer your question, GISTEMP only uses publicly available data and correlates to 0.97 (or so) with the CRU global mean data. So no, you don't need the restricted stuff to come to the same conclusion. Answer (a). - gavin]

  885. Bernie:

    Excuse me but I should have added something to my comment above. To my mind it is remarkable that Gavin’s comment above, Andrew Revkin’s piece, the pieces in the BBC, the Guardian, NYT, and most of the others I have seen fail to highlight the FOIA issue. I suppose the other stuff has greater voyeuristic value, but it really does miss the whole point of someone posting a file of emails and data title FOIA.
    Keep your eye on the pea!!

  886. Ken:

    I’m sure someone has already posted this, but I just had to laugh at one of oracle’s comments.

    Because right now, everything fits together waaaaaaaaaay too neatly within AGW to be credible.

    If all the data doesn’t fit the theory properly, then the theory is false.
    If all the data does fit the theory, then the theory is false.

    Gavin, you have the patience of a saint. :)

  887. Bill:

    Re; Let people see that it supports your conclusions.
    If you don’t release the data, people have every reason to be skeptical.

    [Response: All data and codes for the GISTEMP temperature record. Let me know if that assuages your criticism. - gavin]
    No this does not !! This thread resulted from the now-publicised mess which has accrued at CRU and Gavin well knows this.

    [Response: What I know is that your comments have nothing to do with access to data or desire to see what the records are based on. I have no problem with you not wanting to use CRU data for your stated concern with accessibility to the raw data, but when you reject a suggestion that you look instead at a very similar product that does not have any such issue, you reveal your real motivation very clearly. - gavin]

  888. TCO:

    Gavin, regarding the “will start deleting” comment being obviously in jest, you say: [Response: It's obvious because I know the people involved. - gavin]

    Fair enough. How about the later request that emails with Keith be deleted, was this also obviously in jest or is it possible that was an explicit request. (Note, I’m not saying those mails were FOIed or even FOIable. My interest is just in the behaviour of deleting things and of the writing in jest or seriously intended.)

    Thanks in advance, man! Hang in there. Let the chips fall where they may. If there were things that skeptics are overtouting, call them out, sure. I do, all the time. Despite being more conservative than most of them (no kidding). Also, if there are other things that were wrong from your buds (“unfortunate”) be explicit as well. Principles are more important than sides getting traction in a meta-debate.

  889. Dan Hughes:

    Gavin, above you said:

    [Response: Note that these are selected emails - and most of the stuff discussing good science didn't make the cut apparently. I wonder why? - gavin]

    To me your response would mean that someone, or group, has hacked the individual accounts of the persons whose emails have been released, focused on certain topics to include and at the same time filter out the good science.

    These people must also have sufficient experience and expertise in highly technical subject areas to know what to filter out and what to include. And not simply broad aspects of the subject areas, but focused on very specific content and time frames and persons and issues. The individual accounts must also have been under hack for sufficient time for reading and understanding of all the emails in each account to know which to include and which to exclude.

    Note, too, that not just emails have been released, but also documents and computer code and data. A rogue outside hacker is very unlikely to have had time to digest the contents of this much and kind of material. Again all these materials are very focused relative to specific content, time-frames of interest, and individual persons involved.

    To me this seems like it would require a very significant amount of time for even someone well-versed and focused on the objective material. Isn’t it very unlikely that this much outside activity could go undetected.

    [Response: Most of the files that weren't email, I think were attachments. And the selection seems likely to have been by searching for names rather than anything else. - gavin]

  890. Bruce Hudkins:

    I must say, Gavin’s responses all tend to not really answer anything at all, most of the time. Mostly just pithy words, but often only tangentially responsive at best. Just looking over the comments and responses.

    Here’s an idea…settle this once and for all and release the data and codes for all work. How about it, Gavin? Just release all your data and codes. If you have done so, great. Now get your colleagues to do the same. Criticism and scepticism will make your conclusions stronger if they were “correct” (i.e. non-falsifiable) to begin with. Otherwise, I’m afraid, your credibility suffers greatly.

    [Response: People seem to think that I'm somehow in charge - Sorry, but I'm not. If you want a completely open sourced, publicly accessible surface temperature record go to GISTEMP. If you want the code that I work on go look at ModelE. If you want raw temperature data, go to NOAA. All this stuff is out there, don't miss it in your haste to score political points. - gavin]

  891. William Jockusch:

    The way to settle these debates is to lean on sites like intrade.com to expand their climate markets.

    If there were a large market, with real money at stake, the truth would have a much better chance of coming out.

    As it is, folks on both sides are under pressure to exaggerate the strength of their respective cases. This applies just as much to one side as it does to the other.

  892. Bob:

    Gavin, yes we agree that:

    The debate on whether CO2 is a greenhouse gas is over. The debate on whether CO2 is increasing because of human activity is over. The other gases e.g., methane, get scant attention. Over the last ten years which gas is rising faster and how due you factor the relative potency of each gas’s contribution? What ordinary people want to know is why hasn’t there been a correlation between rising gases over the last decade and temperature?

    [Response: We've discussed both those exact questions in recent posts. Oddly enough they didn't get quite the traffic this one is getting. It's all about me (thane) and A warming pause? - gavin]

  893. Hank Roberts:

    For the fellow earlier who posted a link to a picture of a chart, labeled as from the Central England Temperature numbers

    — it’d help if you’d give the source of the picture, as without the source it’s just a picture. We don’t know whose or what it means.

    — I’d bet the red lines on that picture you have are drawn between extreme individual years selected to make the slope as steep as possible. That’s cherrypicking if so. Pointer to its source please?

    Compare this discussion linked below and the charts presented with it.
    Same data:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/central-england-temperature/

    But here the discussion looks properly at long time series data:
    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/cetsmooth.jpg?w=500&h=391

  894. Bill:

    Re#380: So everything rests on the GISStemp dataset as ,from what I am reading,there is no likelihood of getting the HADCRUT original raw data. Hence there is no verifiable 2nd dataset on which to base the serious forthcoming regulatory decisions. So, we need to validate the only available dataset and publish the results of the validation exercise so that the public can judge whether its sufficient for their govermnents’ to implement any proposed actions.

  895. Ron R.:

    If anything what these emails show are honesty and they show humanity. They show people, scientists yes, but nonetheless people being people who frustrated by the fact that they know damn well that the professional deniers are are lying to the public. They demonstrate that climate scientists themselves believe what it is that they are telling the public about climate change. There’s no, “OMG, we have to shut up [so-and-so] skeptic because he’s going to spill the beans and expose our fraud”. If that were the case simply disallowing publication in a particular journal would hardly stop the exposure now would it? It’s, more like “This SOB is lying and we won’t be a part of it, and in fact we should do everything in our power to stop them using their positions to deceive people about such a critical issue in legitimate science publications.”

    Who among us has not, in the privacy of their conversations with friends and family, said things about others that they would never dream of saying in public. Those self-righteous here who say, “hey, if you got nuthin ta hide you got nuthin ta fear from having your private conversations shown to the public” are simply apologists for Big Brotherism. If we have nothing to hide then we should have NO objections to having our every move, every word, even every thought recorded right? I doubt that anyone would truly want that. And I suspect that the skeptics are rightwingers who in other areas loudly decry the influence of “Big Government” in their private lives.

    There should be no astonishment with the fact that few things in science just fall into our laps, that fianl published papers are more polished than rough drafts. That is the natural order of things from grade school on. Learning is usually a process of fits and starts, often a messy process not unlike making hamburger. Slowly, though, a consensus begins to emerge and people come together. No one agrees with every word but they all agree on the main idea.

    People have to realize that the objective of the professional deniers is not to prove actual fraud, because they cannot. No, the goal is to create the APPEARANCE of fraud and thus doubt in the public mind. That’s all they think that they have to do. And all this just to keep the profits rolling into EXXON/Mobil as long as possible.

  896. Xyrus:

    Comment by cm — 21 November 2009 @ 11:27 PM
    “It amazes me is the how hard the CRU worked to hide their underlying data. If the data is right and matches the theories, it should be able to withstand any scrutiny. If the kooks analyze it wrongly, why not point out why they were wrong? Is there something to hide in the data?”

    They aren’t hiding their data. In fact, they’ve given professional responses to reasonable requests. You should read the MannHouseReply.pdf in the bundle for a better idea.

    The peer-reviewed data and results are available for review. That is all that is necessary to very or refute the science being done. Anything is NOT peer-reviewed. It is NOT verified, and therefore making it available or, worse, using it is not a good thing.

    “These e-mails also make some of the writers look unethical. Even if they are not, if someone is thought to be unethical, it makes everything they say suspect. That is the problem with these disclosures. This seeming lack of ethics tends to devalue all of their other work.”

    If you read through the 1000+ emails you’ll see that they aren’t hiding anything, nor are they being unethical. They’re getting irritated by skeptics using poor science. They’re getting irritated by a supposedly peer-reviewed journal ignoring peer-reviewers. They’re getting irritated by repeated (time wasting) requests for data that is already public or data that shouldn’t be made public (like emails marked as confidential, private code, data that is under third party agreements so can’t be released, etc.). Anything of any scientific value is made public as part of the peer-reviewed process.

    Do not rely on the media or skeptic blogs for interpretations of the materials. You can get the files yourself and read through them. Make your own conclusions.

    ~X~

  897. John:

    38 Jay says:
    20 November 2009 at 1:54 PM

    “My only questions now is…

    I hear a lot about the FOIA and data that was being withheld that is now lost or destroyed. Is there an explanation or a reference to that which would answer what I have been hearing on the other end?

    [Response: No data has been lost or destroyed. - gavin]”

    This response from CRU explains why they cannot produce the original raw data behind their global temperature record:

    “We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

    [Response: Yup. If you want the very original hand-written records from individual stations, ask the National Met. Service in the relevant country, not the people who collate the homogenised records for use in tracking climate change. - gavin]

  898. Charlie:

    Peter Webster in #859 says “Data was made available to some of us and I am grateful for that as it has proven extremely important in trying to understand the 1935-45 warming. Perhaps a way around the fiscal issue is to state which data is precluded from being made available. I guess that is meta-data as well. But I think that we have to move on as openly as we can be.”

    It appears that you have not followed the FOI events of last summer.

    The CRU stated that, because they think they have confidentiality agreements with some data providers, but that they don’t know which, that they must refrain from releasing any data whatsoever.

    In the November 12 reply to Steve McIntyre’s appeal on the rejection, they say that just because they made a mistake and gave you the data earlier doesn’t mean that they should repeat the mistake.

    In other words, they have “corrected” their policy and if you asked today, you would not be sent the data you were sent early this year.

  899. J:

    [Response: People seem to think that I'm somehow in charge..]

    You seem to be in charge when you state for CRU that no data was ever deleted or ever will be and that so-and-so was just joking, and this guy didn’t really mean what he said.

    What you are in charge of seems to vary at your convenience.

    [Response: You confuse knowledge (easy to get), with being in charge (much harder). The reason I'm interacting here is, as the site says, to provide context that is very clearly missing in most of the discussion. I can do that because I know most of the people involved, what it is they are discussing and what is known about those issues outside of what is in the emails. This is a far cry from being the Head of Global Institute for Climate Science should such a thing even exist. - gavin]

  900. Scott A. Mandia:

    I gave a public lecture last Friday evening titled: Global Warming: Separating Fact from Fiction that I have converted into a .PDF file. I have been told that the information is very user friendly so feel free to download and distribute to friends of yours that may be skeptical.

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/fact-from-fiction.pdf

  901. dhogaza:

    Here’s an idea…settle this once and for all and release the data and codes for all work. How about it, Gavin? Just release all your data and codes. If you have done so, great.

    Nice how people who don’t even know that NASA GISS has long made their model sources available demand they do so in a somewhat accusatory tone. At least this person admits they don’t know if it’s already available or not but … having said that, why the hell is the demand made?

    Now get your colleagues to do the same.

    Gavin already took this one down, but I sort of like how silly it looks in isolation.

  902. dhogaza:

    So everything rests on the GISStemp dataset as ,from what I am reading,there is no likelihood of getting the HADCRUT original raw data. Hence there is no verifiable 2nd dataset on which to base the serious forthcoming regulatory decisions.

    Look up at the sky some evening. There are satellites up there. Amazing, ain’t it?

    But of course it’s cooling, that’s why glaciers are melting, right?

  903. Timothy Chase:

    Scott stated in 138:

    To me, the most damning comment I’ve read is Kevin Trenberth saying that it was a “travesty” that they “can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment”. He makes the candid admission that his observation model is “inadequate” — because the CERES data on 2008 shows that more warming should’ve happened, but obviously didn’t.

    Inline, Gavin responded:

    Trenberth is talking about our inability to be able to measure the net radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere to the requisite precision to be able to say on short time scales what the energy budget is doing. The observations are inadequate for that – not sure who is saying otherwise.

    Ray responds in 775:

    Here’s one person: http:/ …

    The only passage in what you link to which mentions “radiation” is the following, so I assume this is what you are speaking of:

    Dr. Trenberth’s rebuttal to Dr. Gray’s response:

    …. The pattern of observed warming is unlike any natural variation and the rates of change are faster. Hence we can prove that the observed warming is not natural and we can point to the cause: observed increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that trap infrared radiation from escaping to space.

    http://fortcollinsteaparty .com/index.php/2009/10/10/dr-william-gray-and-dr-kevin-trenberth-the-global-warming-debate-continues/

    Now note: Trenberth states “pattern,” and there are a number signature patterns of enhanced global warming.

    For example, the night warms more quickly than day. The increased opacity of the atmosphere to thermal radiation results in a decrease in the rate at which thermal energy is able to escape the lower troposphere. All other causes of a warming trend that anyone has been able to suggest would be strongest during the day, e.g., an increase in solar radiation or drop in aerosols and consequent global brightening. For similar reasons an enhanced greenhouse effect will be strongest during the winter rather than the summer.

    Likewise, if for example warming were due to an increase in solar radiation then as the lower troposphere warms so would the upper stratosphere. But the temperature trend of the upper stratosphere has been one of cooling rather than warming even as the surface warmed. This has been due to a reduction in the rate at which thermal radiation has been able to escape the lower troposphere. All other causes that have been suggest for the warming of the lower troposphere would simultaneously warm the upper stratosphere.
    *
    We know that carbon dioxide — which has been rising — results in the increased opacity of the atmosphere to thermal radiation. For example, the dark redder patches in the following satellite image are where there are higher levels of carbon dioxide at 8 km and a consequent reduction in the radiation escaping the earth’s atmosphere in its signature wavelength at 15 μm:

    Measuring Carbon Dioxide from Space with the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/Measuring_CO2_from_Space/

    We’ve known that it would result in the increased opacity of the atmosphere to thermal radiation since the late 1800s.

    And as you can see, the levels of carbon dioxide are highest where the winds would carry the gas away from more heavily populated areas (e.g., the east and west coasts of the United States) prior to dispersing it throughout the atmosphere.

  904. Lazar:

    #715 David Harper says:

    “Gavin… there is talk over at Climate Audit that you are about to throw Jones et al “under the bus”. I’m sure that’s not true”

    Why would CA, a political PR site dedicated to discrediting science, make that claim in public, is it because
    a) they really care about Jones
    b) they would rather see scientists give an impression of ‘defending their own’, to associate them with the allegations against Jones…

    [Response: I imagine that it's because they see this as a blood sport. Kind of like spectators at a F1 race only being interested if there is a crash. It's kind of juvenile. - gavin]

  905. Rina Groeneveld:

    I agree that the hacking was illegal and unethical, but I read some of the emails anyway, having been told that they were quite spectacular. However, your response does bring pots and kettles to mind….

  906. Bill:

    From #380 and subsequently #391, its become clearer for me at least. Its likely that the GISS Temp dataset has not been validated to 2009 data management regulatory standards and criteria. This should be done as a matter of urgency in view of the upcoming Copenhagen meeting. We should demand nothing less is available to support whatever decisions are forthcoming.

  907. mike roddy:

    The main thing to come out of the rather noneventful emails has been the pouncing by deniers, and piling on by MSM. Instead of apologizing for choice of language and bitchiness etc. I think climate scientists should use this latest spying/character assassination as a reason to comprehensively attack the denier communities once and for all.

    The spur should be that you are willing to say it to their faces, too. After all, most skeptics with any credentials at all are being paid by CEI, API, etc. Why grant them equal status? As far as I’m concerned, they are barely human.

    This stance should be preceded by a summary of the evidence, something RC does very well.

  908. dhogaza:

    Its likely that the GISS Temp dataset has not been validated to 2009 data management regulatory standards and criteria.

    Oh, good. In your next post, I’m sure you’ll provide a reference to “2009 [federal agency] data management regulatory standards and criteria”, and specific evidence that the GISS Temp dataset hasn’t been validated to whatever [imagined] regulatory standards that exist, apply.

    Or will you be satisifed with an essentially zero-content drive-by allegation made without any evidence given to support your speculation?

  909. Bill:

    re#396 response. When I see reference to ‘handwritten records from national weather stations’, I get very worried about data accuracy ………

    [Response: Of course. This is one of the main problems in doing quality control of older station data. Try reading the daily observations at the Observatoire de Paris in the 18th Century for instance. Doing that however is the job of the National Met Services, not the people doing the collations. - gavin]

  910. Martin Vermeer:

    pjclarke #820: to your point #5, I seem to remember (but fail to come up in google; someone have a link?) that the AR4-related correspondence was about comments submitted on the AR4 report and reviewers’ remarks on these comments.
    Just like reviews of journal articles, these reviewers were supposed to remain anonymous. They we given a promise of anonymity, accepted the job on those terms, and rightly expected that the promise would be kept. The FoI requests threatened that. Rather than unethical, protecting reviewers’ anonymity is the ethical thing to do.
    Also remember that destroying information before it becomes the subject of an FoI request or subpoena — on the mere realization that such a thing may be in your future — is perfectly legal… not long ago, many companies had, and perhaps still have, a strict policy that emails older than three months be deleted…

  911. ubrew12:

    I have a question that relates to the recent observed ‘no-warming’ period (last decade), and am wondering if someone could respond with an answer: Its a simple artifact of physics, easily reproducible, that if you heat up a cup of ice water the cup warms with time. Then, its stops warming, and then at some later time, it starts warming again. During the period of no warming, the ice was melting. Earth is like a cup of ice-water, so why would we expect Earth to warm evenly in response to even heating? Shouldn’t there be pauses in the warming trend, and during these pauses large-scale melting observed instead?

    Are the climate-scientists talking in this direction at all?

  912. Timothy Chase:

    Bill states:

    From #380 and subsequently #391, its become clearer for me at least. Its likely that the GISS Temp dataset has not been validated to 2009 data management regulatory standards and criteria. This should be done as a matter of urgency in view of the upcoming Copenhagen meeting. We should demand nothing less is available to support whatever decisions are forthcoming.

    380 by Risto Linturi states:

    Surprisingly little was found that is of any essence. We are all human and our expressions are easily misunderstood, especially when one benefits from the misunderstanding. Most of us also express ourselves badly in private occasions and experiment on thoughts that are not really intended or ready. Always we also see things from our own viewpoint and this should be clearly understood. This did not harm my confidence in the climate science or public awareness raising you guys are doing, and I fully expect all fair and balanced people react likewise. Mudslinging is a part of all politics and huge sums of money and power are at stake. Please keep up the important work.

    … while I agree with Risto, his point seems entirely irrelevant to yours. Likewise with 391.

    Perhaps you had some other comments in mind? Some aspect of the NASA GISS temperature record which you find particularly problematic? A particular passage of the “2009 data management regulatory standards and criteria” that you find especially pertinent and are able to both quote and cite?

  913. The Raven:

    “The case was defended on the squarest, most idealistic, and most foolish level imaginable, and on the other side the dirt was so filthy that the defense refused to believe it existed, or, as in my case and probably in others, actually believed it.”–Kenneth Rexroth, An Autobiographical Novel, p. 199. The events described apparently took place, if at all, in 1924.

    Croak!

  914. Hank Roberts:

    > 2009 data management regulatory standards and criteria

    There aren’t any, are there? Citation needed.

    Your next line is probably:

    “No one should do anything with the data until standards and criteria are established and applied retroactively to all data.”

    Tell it to your stockbroker.

  915. Alexander Harvey:

    Gaivin, Your:

    “But to answer your question, GISTEMP only uses publicly available data and correlates to 0.97 (or so) with the CRU global mean data.”

    I believe that part of that public data is HadISST data. Which I believe is “value added” and hence subject to processing. I think that the HadCRUT3 is derived from a similar dataset HADSST2. It is not clear to me as to how independent GIS and CRU really are and hence whether the correlation can be taken at face value. I believe that a new version of HadISST is planned and I presume that it will effect GIS (if it accepts the upgraded data). It is not clear to me whether HadSST2 will be updated at the same time so it will be interesting to see if HadSST2, GIS and HadCRUT3 all jump together.

    Alex

  916. Hank Roberts:

    Martin, I don’t know where that came from offhand, but if you just search on the phrase, you get hits to a passel of septic websites on the first page:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=AR4-related+correspondence+was+about+comments+submitted+on+the+AR4+report+and+reviewers%E2%80%99+remarks+on+these+comments

  917. Bob:

    Gavin, I am not at all satisfied with your responses that the “debate is over” that you responded to. While I agree that it would be a waste of time to request funding to test whether carbon can have more than four bonds (tested millions of time), your work involves statistical sampling and by definition you project future probabilities. On the geo scale of your work, projecting such certainty to the Al Gores of the world, is not good science and may be one of the reasons such acrimony exits on the subject. A liitle more scientific humility would be refreshing.

    [Response: Maybe you have me confused with someone else. Try reading something I wrote instead of imagining things I might have said. Start here perhaps. - gavin]

  918. Lazar:

    A question for scientists; is nullifying a public’s *potential* legal right to certain information, through destroying the information beforehand, ethical or not? — particularly as an action by scientists, particularly when the issue has overwhelming public implications? It matters, for public confidence in science, that scientists give a public answer in a timely manner, without prevarication or half-hearted responses (e.g., Gavin’s “This was ill-advised” does not go far enough). I worry that some scientists are not aware of how bad this whole thing appears, and how worse it appears with half-hearted defenses or half-hearted condemnation. If the answer is that the practice is unethical, then it must stop. Whatever the answer, a precedent needs to be set, and the reasoning behind whatever answer given in a manner which convinces the public.

  919. Bill:

    re#909 : Actually Gavin,I believe its the responsibility of anyone who is going to use this data to make major regulatory decisions and statements. As I understand things, billions ( or is it trillions) of dollars could change hands depending on what the various outcomes are post copenhagen.

    [Response: None of which depends on the provenance of a dozen trees in Siberia or the difference between the CRU or GISTEMP records. -gavin]

  920. Timothy Chase:

    PS where I respond to Bill in my comment 912 I am responding to his comment 906 — that refers to comment 380 and 391 which seem entirely irrelevant to the quite vague concerns he expresses regarding NASA GISS data.

  921. Lazar:

    Gavin,

    “I imagine that it’s because they see this as a blood sport”

    That’s possible.

    This is a very saddening afair. Thanks maintaining and moderating an open debate, and for your responses.

  922. Steve Fish:

    Jeff Id — 21 November 2009 @ 7:15 PM:

    You may have missed the upthread discussion of the tree data problem. It was only removed from a figure, not the text. It is of concern and an active area of research with several papers devoted to it. It is called the “divergence problem” and you can use this term for searching the literature. So, nothing was hidden and the worst one can complain about is that they wanted to make their figure look better, and it is obvious that they were agonizing over it. It is this kind of puzzle in science that eventually leads to more understanding.

    Steve

  923. Hans Scundal:

    “More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy….”

    Personally, I continue to believe that global warming is real, but, contrary to your statements, the emails do reveal the strong influence of politics on the science. As you stay there is little or no evidence of manufactured data or an intentional hoax — thank God. But, there is abundant evidence of suppression of criticism (trying to influence journals, suppressing publications), an unscientific desire to avoid publishing supportive data (fear of the “Freedom of Information” law), and a focus on spin over science.

    “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.”

    This is not how scientists work! No other science, other than perhaps biology/evolution, has to face the level of politics involved in the global warming debate and it is apparent that many of the scientists authoring the emails have compromised their scientific integrity in order to fight a political battle. This is rather understandable because the stakes could not be higher, but we must stop these compromises.

    Data must be published.

    Rational criticism must be ENCOURAGED, not suppressed or ridiculed.

    Readers should take a look at the biased summary of disturbing issues in the emails posted in Bishop Hill’s blog. Some of the comments there are exaggerations, so readers should click on a link to the original emails which are disturbing enough.

  924. Jim Bouldin:

    Gavin, taking 3–and counting–days out of your life to deal with this horseshit nonsense will not soon be forgotten by a number of us.

  925. Xyrus:

    “So what is the issue? At core, it is the behavior of key scientists in response to requests to release data. The emails show a pattern of deliberate efforts to undermine the existing legal process for freeing information.”

    Bull. If anything the emails show the exasperation of scientists when having to deal with multiple ridiculous requests when:

    1. The data is already available.
    2. The request is asking for something that’s not reasonable (private code, confidential emails, etc.) or data they are not free to distribute due to contractual/licensing agreements.

    Steve et. al., despite receiving professional responses (see MannHouseReply.pdf for example), appeared never to be satisfied. As more requests came in the scientists involved grew increasingly frustrated with the waste of time and resources, to the point where they were discussing adding a fee for handling the requests. Fortunately, after a review by FOI representives, they agreed that the FOI requests were unreasonable.

    “The emails are unambiguous as to the efforts of Dr. Jones on this count. Given the title of the file, its content and the timing of its release, in close proximity to a rejection of an appeal by Steve McIntyre for releasing data and other information – the odds have dramatically in