And this is how we present the data, by taking care to stop at just the right point! (From Bishop Hill)
The University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit used to describe itself as “widely recognised as one of the world’s leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change.”
After a Russian web-site offered a collection of stolen emails revealing conversations expressing doubts about Anthropogenic Global Warming, frustration at the inability of current models to predict actual climate, discussions of how to manipulate counter-evidence, and even fantasies about beating up scientific opponents, it is probably in the future going to recognized as a questionable, highly partisan source of suspect information, requiring the most careful independent review and confirmation.
The story is complicated, and the response from the left, which is invested in theories of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) because they justify its preferred statist agenda and support its Manichaean hostility toward human productivity and prosperity, has been voluminous.
I do feel obliged to supply a basic tour d’horison of the affair.
Who leaked the emails? here (IMPORTANT: contains links to compressed copies of files since deleted from original Russian source.)
Andrew Bolt does the best job of summarizing the original story.
James Delingpole, at the Telegraph, collects a number of the best damning quotations from the leaked emails:
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.
Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:
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.
Suppression of evidence:
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.
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….
And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.
“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 !”
So how do you spin your way out of this one, a situation in which scientists are revealed to be conspiring to manipulate and supress evidence, in which they admit privately that their science does not work, in which they conspire to control scientific publication?
Brian Angliss knows how. You just pooh pooh the whole thing, and claim
(I)t’s much ado about nothing (with apologies to Shakespeare). I work in electrical engineering where I use words and phrases that, taken out of context, could be misinterpreted as nefarious by people who are ignorant of the context or who have an axe to grind.
It’s going to take the commentariat time to read and absorb 172 megabytes of material. I expect that there will be more to say about this.
More choice excerpts from Bishop Hill.