Sat Nov 21st, 2009 at 09:30:14 AM EST
News of the moment is how email correspondence and some data from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia has been hacked from a webmail server and is now circulating across the internet. The news was posted here and already includes some of the emails (in a censored format) from the hack. There is presently a torrent download available, here.
This is the ultimate fodder for anti-science climate sceptics, and I can safely predict there will be no end to this for months (years?) on end. For climate scientists, this is another catastrophe in public relations.
The contents of the hacked files are described as:
Leaked FOIA files 62 mb of gold « the Air Vent
In the meantime, a summary of the 62 MB of data is – personal email correspondences between some of the major players Santer, Briffa, Mann, Osborne, Wahl. Data and code, the data SteveM and I will enjoy but I can’t load CA now. The code or a version of it for HadCRUT was released also. The tone of the emails is quite interesting Steve McIntyre is the focus of much of them but there are quite a few references to obstruction and making things difficult for the ’skeptics’. There are also budgetary items and grant monies- you wouldn’t believe how much money these boys play with.
Prof. Phil Jones, the director at the CRU, has confirmed that the webmail of the CRU institute has been hacked and that the data released so far looks genuine
. A slice of the hacked correspondence was originally from Steve McIntyre (the above mentioned SteveM), one of the greater antagonists of Phil Jones, and McIntyre has confirmed that emails in the hack attributed to him are 100% genuine. Unless some extra emails have been deliberately planted or a few sentences have been surreptitiously added to some correspondence, the correspondence now in the open is genuine.
Some damage mitigation is being done already with this post at Real Climate where the importance of the correspondence is downplayed. The Air Vent rebuts here.
Perhaps one thing that becomes clear is that charges of grand conspiracies can at least be put to rest. Yet what the email correspondence does show, and it does so in painful detail, is the pettiness and competition existing between academics, a pettiness universal in science, no matter what field you seem to muddle in.
Yet more damaging for the image of science are emails that indicate the level of political leverage used to pave an easier path for the publication of papers:
What’s to say « the Air Vent
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.
How different is the GRL paper from the Nature paper? Did the authors counter any of the criticisms? My experience with Douglass is that the identical (bar format changes) paper to one previously rejected was submitted to GRL.
Emphasis not mine.
Finally, the one for me actually underlines the failure of relying on the narrative of climate change catastrophe is the following:
CRU Correspondence « Climate Audit
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
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. [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.
Emphasis not mine.
All is not well in climate science.