Tag Archives: Climate Research Unit

Climategate emails taken out of context by the big bad ‘deniers’ – Al Gore

Climate Expert Al Gore weighed in on the Climategate emails saying that they have been taken out of context.

First, Barbara Boxer said that there must be an investigation into how the emails were released to the public ignoring the information that we learned from these emails.

Now, former Vice President Gore is on CNN reiterating about ‘arcane points from emails from long ago.’

“Well, they took a few phrases out of context. These are private e-mails, more than 10 years old, and they’ve tried to blow it up into something that it’s really not.”

Of course, Gore doesn’t mention the email chain dated 12 Oct 2009 from Kevin Trenberth to Michael Mann and others where he professes the following:

Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
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://bit.ly/4HJBSE

The Climategate emails range in date from 07 MAR 1996 through 12 NOV 2009.  About 25 percent of the emails are from 2007 – 2009.  That is hardly archaic. 

The emails are available for everyone to view [click here].  Anyone can see for themselves the dates they were written. 

“If you take one little thing from 10 years ago out of context and describe it inaccurately, then it becomes a controversy without any real substance,” Gore said.

If he is only looking at the emails from 10 years ago, he is looking at the collection out of context.  If you read an email from two months ago that said that it is a travesty when the scientists – who we rely on to provide facts about climate change – cannot account for the lack of warming currently, then it becomes a controversy with tremendous substance. 

Gore defended ‘the scientists’ inability to explain what they described as a temporary slowdown in warming’ as ‘sometimes flippant or ironic and were being distorted to suit climate change denialists.’

And when they talk of ‘tricking’ the data to hide the decline in temperature (yes, that email is 10 years old), the scientists are distorting the data to suit climate change alarmists.

Al Gore has been firmly planted on the side of the pro-Global Warming scientists who repeatedly produce data that supports the existence of man-made Global Warming.  He has gone on record using alarmist phrases like ‘crossing the point of no return,’ and the world is now facing a ‘danger which could bring the end of civilization.’

Now the same scientists that he referenced for years have come under attack and instead of investigating the scientists and the emails went on the offensive and staunchly defended them.

“Is there any substantive reason to worry about them? No. Does the noise machine of the climate deniers blow them out of proportion and fool some people into thinking they have substance? Well, that’s another matter,” he said.

“This was an open process in which the studies that were being argued about actually were fully included and openly discussed and analyzed. So this was an example of people who don’t want to do anything about the climate crisis taking things out of context and misrepresenting them.”

Clearly, Gore is missing the point.  It’s not that the skeptic doesn’t want to do anything about ‘the climate crisis.’  Skeptics (or deniers as the former Vice President likes to call us) want to examine ALL of the data not just the pieces the alarmists like to cherry pick or as their emails suggest ‘trick’.

Gore on the Copenhagen climate convention next week:

“They’re close to getting a final agreement. It will probably be finalized next year after the political agreement that’s expected next week,” he said.

Next year!!!!  That could be too late.  We’ll all be dead by then.

Source:

                Gore says ‘Climategate’ emails taken out of context

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Global Warming – Forget about the science (and the e-mails)

How many times have we heard “all the scientists agree” and “the science is in?” 

“Debating Global Warming is like debating gravity?”

If scientists, economists and astronomers had stopped researching because the initial results were a certainty then we’d still believe:

  • The sun rotates around the earth.
  • The earth is flat.
  • Trickle down economics works
  • Smoking cigarettes with a FILTER is safe.

In fact, research is never complete.  Data is always coming in.  As long as one scientist exists who questions the norm, debate should continue.

There are some who argue that the skeptics of Global Warming are shills who are paid for by the oil companies. 

One could also argue that the scientists who support the theory of Global Warming depend on research grants in order to continue earning a living in their chosen field. 

Then again, as we discovered recently, some scientists attempt to ‘trick’ the data presumably to support a desired conclusion.

The Economist (a believer of the global warming threat) published an article supporting the voice of the skeptic.

A majority of the world’s climate scientists have convinced themselves, and also a lot of laymen, some of whom have political power, that the Earth’s climate is changing; that the change, from humanity’s point of view, is for the worse; and that the cause is human activity, in the form of excessive emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. A minority, though, are sceptical. [sic] Some think that recent, well-grounded data suggesting the Earth’s average temperature is rising are explained by natural variations in solar radiation, and that this trend may be coming to an end. Others argue that longer-term evidence that modern temperatures are higher than they have been for hundreds or thousands of years is actually too flaky to be meaningful.

Such disagreements are commonplace in science. They are eventually settled by the collection of more data and the invention of more refined (or entirely new) theories. Arguments may persist for decades; academics may—and often do—sling insults at each other; but it does not matter a great deal because the stakes are normally rather low.

What is stunning is that the pro-Global Warming side vehemently denies the skeptics the right to weigh in on the debate. 

As we have all heard by now, a new word has entered the vocabulary – Climategate.  This, of course, refers to the approximately one thousand emails that have made its way into the public forum which implies that Global Warming is a hoax.  Though most of the messages are benign, a few embarrassingly appear to indicate that things are not as they appear.

Scientists have claimed that the emails have been taken out of context.  Let’s see them in context.

From: Phil Jones p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

To: ray bradley <rbradley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>,mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000

Cc: k.briffa@xxxxxxxxx.xxx,t.osborn@xxxxxxxxx.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

That is the full email.  Climate Audit did the analysis on Mike’s Nature Trick and put it into the correct context.  (Due to the high demand for this post, it had been mirrored on Watts Up With That)

Professor Phil Jones has temporarily stepped down from his post as the CRU conducts an investigation into the hacked emails.

Jones had been awarded 50 separate research grants valued at $22.6 million.  The grants were awarded largely for research into the effects of Global Warming.  (And they call the skeptics shills!)

The Telegraph contains more information regarding the research grants [Climategate professor Phil Jones awarded 13 million in research grants]

Professor Ross McKitrick, visiting professor of environmental economics at the University of Buckingham and an arch sceptic who was subject of some of the leaked emails, said: “Climate sceptics are always accused of taking money from industry but it is now clear the money is on the other side.

“There is a huge amount of money on the global warming side. Institutions like the CRU have a very large budget but that would disappear if global warming ceased to exist.

“Scientists are enjoying a funding gravy train; there is so much money in climate research. Lots of areas of science are short of money but not climate change.”

Now the debate begins –  not so much over the content of the email but of how the messages were leaked. 

One would think that this would have been all over the MSM.  It did receive some press, but nothing near what is required of something so potentially harming.

“This is a crime,” Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said. 

“We may well have a hearing on this, we may not. We may have a briefing for senators, we may not,” Boxer said. “Part of our looking at this will be looking at a criminal activity which could have well been coordinated.”

Of course, Boxer is referring to the criminal activity of . . . hacking the emails – not defrauding scientific data for financial gain (research grants).

“You call it ‘Climategate’; I call it ‘E-mail-theft-gate,'” she said during a committee meeting. “Whatever it is, the main issue is, Are we facing global warming or are we not? I’m looking at these e-mails, that, even though they were stolen, are now out in the public.”

Instead of focusing on how the emails were released (there is time for that later), it is critical that we examine the content of the email and determine whether or not scientists actually cherry-picked the data to support their incorrect hypothesis.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that there should be an investigation into whether the Climategate e-mails indicate that the scientists had manipulated data on global warming.

For years, those who disagreed with these scientists were called ‘deniers’, ‘flat-earthers’ and ‘shills’.  What they were doing, in essence, was shutting out dissent – discussion – open debate.  They worked to ensure that the opposing viewpoint and supporting evidence was excluded from the conversation. 

From The Economist:

The danger of dissent

Some would argue that, in matters of great public import, scientific dissent should be silenced. It can, it is true, do harm. When AIDS first reared its ugly head, no one knew what caused it. Gradually, the virus responsible was isolated, identified and then attacked successfully with drugs designed specifically to inhibit its reproduction. A few scientists, though, refused to accept the evidence, and some politicians used their arguments to justify inaction. Since one of those politicians was Thabo Mbeki, then president of South Africa, hundreds of thousands who might have been saved by an anti-AIDS policy grounded in scientific reality died as a result of his policies.

Yet the damage in that case was done by the politicians. A leader who is determined to pursue a wrong-headed course will always find some scientist to support him. A world in which that were not true would be one in which a dangerously narrow consensus had taken hold.

This newspaper (The Economist) believes that global warming is a serious threat, and that the world needs to take steps to try to avert it. That is the job of the politicians. But we do not believe that climate change is a certainty. There are no certainties in science. Prevailing theories must be constantly tested against evidence, and refined, and more evidence collected, and the theories tested again. That is the job of the scientists. When they stop questioning orthodoxy, mankind will have given up the search for truth. The sceptics should not be silenced.

Dissent should not be silenced.

Sources:

Climate change:  A heated debate – Why political orthodoxy must not silence scientific argument – The Economist (26-NOV-2009)

UN body enters climate e-mail row – BBC

Boxer: Hackers should face criminal probe over ‘Climategate’ – The Hill

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Hacked CRU E-Mails Alter Conversation of Global Warming Debate

The New York Times headlines on Twitter displayed the following:  Hacked E-Mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics

Apparently emails were hacked from a computer server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and have quickly made their rounds on the internet.

While skeptics are quickly verifying and shifting through the hundreds of email messages, the alarmists are franticly working to defuse the possible fall-out.  (I, on the other hand, have a nagging feeling that I’m being punked.)

The timing on the release of these emails is a little suspicious to me as it is so close to the Climate Conference in Copenhagen next month.  Then again, in a previous post, I questioned the timing of a re-release of the story that the snow cap on Mount Kilimanjaro is shrinking.

The blogosphere was rampant with commentary:

Raw Story:  Skeptics claim stolen emails prove global warming a hoax

“Now, however, those skeptics can barely contain their glee at the release of a cache of stolen emails that they believe prove global warming is nothing but a colossal hoax.”

I wouldn’t exactly call this feeling ‘glee’.  I actually feel outrage when I’ve been deceived.  The question I have for these alarmist websites, is why aren’t they outraged at the deception?  Instead they are turning it around and putting the skeptics on the defensive.

Wonk Room :  Think Progress – ClimateGate:  Hacked Emails Reveal Global Warming Deniers Are Crazed Conspiracy Theorists

“Global warming deniers are sifting through the illegally obtained letters of private correspondence for “proof” that the scientific consensus on climate change is actually a global conspiracy.”

Do I detect a hint of panic in the Wonk Room?  In this one sentence they include name-calling (‘deniers’), an accusation (‘illegally obtained letters …’), sarcasm (‘”proof”’) and mockery (‘a global conspiracy’).

Climate Progress – Hacked Hadley emails Hottest Decade on Record and the Oceans Planet keeps warming:

“Here’s what we know so far:  CRU’s emails were hacked, the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record, and the planet keeps warming thanks to us!

“The NY Times blows the story.”

How do you ‘know’ these things are true?  It appears that there has been deception and collusion in some of these studies.  Besides, even without these emails, there is sufficient evidence to debunk 3 different points in the Climate Progress sentence:  ‘the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record’, ‘the planet keeps warming’, and ‘thanks to us’.

Some highlights from the New York Times story:

In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate patterns over the last two millennia, Phil Jones, a longtime climate researcher at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, said he had used a “trick” employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to “hide a decline” in temperatures.

Dr. Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State, confirmed in an interview that the e-mail was real. He said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often use the word “trick” to refer to a good way to solve a problem, “and not something secret.” “It sounds incriminating, but when you look at what you’re talking about, there’s nothing there,” Dr. Mann said.

Dr Mann’s explanation doesn’t really improve his case.  He is, in essence, saying that he was solving the problem of – hiding a decline in temperatures.  Not only are the alarmists cherry-picking the scientific data but they are hiding data that does not support their theories and hypotheses.

“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,” Dr. Trenberth wrote.

Other scientists went on to rebut him, saying that the fluctuations were not inconsistent with a continuing warming trend.

Dr. Trenberth said Friday that he was appalled at the release of the e-mails, which he said were private discussions.

But he added that he thought the revelations might backfire against climate skeptics. If anything, he said, he thought that the messages showed “the integrity of scientists.”

Here is the link to the e-mails in question:  Anelegantchos

Hacked E-Mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics

New York Times

November 21, 2009

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Hundreds of private e-mails and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change.

The e-mails, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views. Drafts of scientific papers and a photo collage that portrays climate skeptics on an ice floe were also among the hacked data, some of which dates back 13 years.

In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.”

Some skeptics asserted Friday that the correspondence revealed an effort to withhold scientific information. “This is not a smoking gun, this is a mushroom cloud,” said Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist who has long faulted evidence pointing to human-driven warming and is criticized in the documents.

Portions of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics’ camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them.

The cache of e-mails also includes references to journalists, including this reporter, and queries from journalists related to articles they were reporting.

Officials at the University of East Anglia confirmed in a statement on Friday that files had been stolen from a university server and that the police had been brought in to investigate the breach. They added, however, that they could not confirm that all the material circulating on the Internet was authentic.

But several scientists and others contacted by the Times confirmed that they were the authors or recipients of specific e-mails included in the file.

The revelations are bound to inflame the public debate as hundreds of negotiators prepare to hammer out an international climate accord at meetings in Copenhagen next month, and at least one scientist speculated that the timing was not coincidental.

The documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists. But the evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so broad and deep that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.

In several e-mail exchanges, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and other scientists discussed whether a string of recent years of relatively stable temperatures undermined scientific models that predict long-term warming.

“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,” Dr. Trenberth wrote.

Other scientists went on to rebut him, saying that the fluctuations were not inconsistent with a continuing warming trend.

Dr. Trenberth said Friday that he was appalled at the release of the e-mails, which he said were private discussions.

But he added that he thought the revelations might backfire against climate skeptics. If anything, he said, he thought that the messages showed “the integrity of scientists.”

Still, some of the comments might lend themselves to sinister interpretations.

In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate patterns over the last two millennia, Phil Jones, a longtime climate researcher at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, said he had used a “trick” employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to “hide a decline” in temperatures.

Dr. Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State, confirmed in an interview that the e-mail was real. He said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often use the word “trick” to refer to a good way to solve a problem, “and not something secret.” “It sounds incriminating, but when you look at what you’re talking about, there’s nothing there,” Dr. Mann said.

Dr. Jones, writing in an e-mail, declined to be interviewed and pasted in the university’s statement.

Stephen McIntyre, a blogger who has for years been using his Web site, climateaudit.org, to challenge data used to chart climate patterns and came in for heated criticism in some e-mails, called the revelations “quite breathtaking.”

But several scientists whose names appear repeatedly in the e-mails said they merely revealed that scientists are human beings, and did nothing to undercut the body of research on global warming.

“Science doesn’t work because we’re all nice,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA whose e-mail exchanges with colleagues over a variety of recent climate studies were included in the cache. “Newton may have been an ass, but the theory of gravity still works.”

He said the breach at the University of East Anglia was discovered after hackers who had gained access to the correspondence sought Tuesday to hack into a different server supporting realclimate.org, a blog unrelated to NASA that he runs with several other scientists pressing the case for global warming.

The intruders sought to create a mock blog post there and to upload the full batch of files from Britain – nearly 200 megabytes’ worth.

That effort was thwarted, Dr. Schmidt said, and scientists immediately notified colleagues at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. Nearly all the material in the hacked files, which quickly spread to a variety of servers, originated with or was sent to climate scientists at the school.

The first posts that revealed details from the files appeared on Thursday at The Air Vent, a Web site devoted to skeptics’ arguments. Almost instantly readers there and elsewhere began posting excerpts that they felt illustrated scientific bias or dishonesty.

At first, said Dr. Michaels, the climatologist who has faulted some of the science undergirding the global warming consensus, his instinct was to ignore the correspondence as “just the way scientists talk.”

But on Friday, he said, after reading more deeply, he felt that some exchanges reflected a concerted effort to block the release of data for independent review.

He said that some e-mails mused about a way to discredit him by challenging the veracity of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin by claiming he knew his research was wrong.

“This shows these are people willing to bend rules and go after other people’s reputations in very serious ways,” he said.

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