The Daily Mail is reporting that it might be, “Chinese hackers linked to ‘Warmergate’ climate change leaked emails controversy.”
The Mail’s revelation came about after they tracked a convoluted trail of IP (internet Protocols) addresses, through to a, ” Chinese environmental institute, the Research Institute of Forest Ecology and Environment Protection, based near Beijing.”
Alan Leshner, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the executive publisher of the journal Science, responded to Sarah Palin’s op-ed in the Washington Post, calling her out for her denial of climate science and her lack of basic understanding of the difference between climate vs. weather.
At least one of the scientists being accused by industry groups and right-wing think tanks of hiding their climate research data, appears in an email we found in the stolen files to be more than happy with sharing his data.
Not only does he share it, but he does so with a person he’s never even met before!
Now that our research team has completed a thorough analysis of the entire 1000+ email record, we’ll be publishing a lot of the information in the coming days that runs counter to the claims made by those using these leaked emails to further their own political agendas.
Here’s one we came across between East Anglia researcher, Dr. Keith Briffa and a Russian scientist, Leonid Klyashtorin, in which Briffa gladly sends along research data to Kylashotrin, a person he has never met:
In her Notebook on Copenhagen, CBS anchor Katie Couric makes a very strong case for why the hacked emails do not undermine the scientific realities of climate science:
“A picture is worth 1,000 emails and pictures of the polar ice caps show a 20% decrease since 1979. NASA images show a thinning of more than 7 inches a year since 2004. What the scientists did was wrong, but most experts agree that the science itself is not and the health of the earth should not be a political issue.”
One of the more egregious examples of the public relations spin on the East Anglia hacked email story involves a six-year-old research paper authored by Sallie Baliunas, an American astrophysicist affiliated with at least nine oil-industry-funded organizations.
In the stolen East Anglia emails, there is a conversation between scientists about and her paper, which argues that the current global warming trend is not unique and that an even more dramatic episode occurred centuries.
The conversation contained in the email is being made to appear like it was an attempt by climate scientists to “muzzle” the Baliunas research paper. Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), claimed last week that the exchange between academics amounts to a case of “scientific fascism.”
The most vocal organizations around the University of East Anglia hacked email story (aka. “climategate”) have been involved in a decade-plus campaign to delay action on climate change.
The goal of this campaign, which began around the time of the first Kyoto Protocol negotiations, was to assemble a group of like-minded “free-market” think tanks and pseudo-experts that would bring into question the scientific realities of climate change, create doubt with the public and politicians and effectively delay the introduction of clean energy policy in the United States.
It’s no coincidence that the groups pushing this story the hardest have a long history of taking money from oil and coal companies to attack the conclusions made by climate scientists.
What I wouldn’t do to have a few of these organizations private emails over the years!
Here’s a few of the groups I’m talking about and a very brief background on their previous activities, as well as funding sources:
Center for a Constructive Tomorrow: owns and operate ClimateDepot.com, which has been a main clearinghouse for the right-wing climategate echo chamber. ClimateDepot.com is managed by Marc Morano, former aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe. CFACT has received grants from Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and well-known right-wing foundations like the Carthage Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.
Phil Jones, the Director of the Climate Research Unit, announced today that he will step down from his position pending investigation into the matter of the emails stolen from the University of East Anglia servers.
Here’s the news release [h/t Andy Revkin]:
Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.
Professor Jones said: “What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible. After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the university for agreeing to this. The review process will have my full support.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: “I have accepted Professor Jones’s offer to stand aside during this period. It is an important step to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the independent review can conduct its work into the allegations. We will announce details of the independent review, including its terms of reference, timescale and the chair, within days. I am delighted that Professor Peter Liss, FRS, CBE, will become acting director.”
There’s nothing like a good “second-day” story to absolve the average journalist (very average in this case) from any responsibility to support his contentions with, say, a smattering of evidence.
Admittedly, second-day stories are tough in a paper like the Toronto Sun where space is at a premium. You want to update the reader with the news, but you still have to provide enough of the original story to provide context. Unless you’re Lorrie Goldstein, in which case you can short-cut your way to today’s opinion without making any effort to support it with actual factual references.
In his column today on the “Climategate” story of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, Goldstein offers this as a synopsis of what the purloined emails prove:
“Apparently they (the scientists involved) stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.”
Did they just?
Jim Hoggan and Richard Littelmore’s new book Climate Cover Up is putting the climate deniers’ books to shame in the rankings on Amazon.com this week.
In the broad category of Environment, Climate Cover Up is sitting at #22 with only Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Disaster in the way of us taking the lead over all climate denier, anti-environmentalist screeds in the category.
We’re out there promoting Climate Cover Up hard, but we need your help! Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much.
Here’s a few things you can do:
1. TWEET IT: Post a link on your Twitter account, urge people to buy a copy as a must read. Send something like: Climate Cover Up is a must-read book, even Leonardo DiCaprio thinks so! http://bit.ly/EPPXK
2.CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR “SKEPTICAL” FRIENDS: What better than Climate Cover Up for your “skeptical” friends, family and work colleagues!
3. FACEBOOK: Write a status update or message your Facebook friends about Climate Cover Up.
With all the wild accusations flying around over the illegally obtained email correspondence from the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit, I thought I would ask one of the scientists in the middle of the issue to provide some context.
Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, whose name appears in some of the stolen emails, provided me with a run-down of the emails that involve him. His responses provide some much needed context and give you an idea of just how wildly some people have blown this story out of proportion.
What follows is quotes taken directly from the stolen emails, followed by Dr. Mann’s response:
1. “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i. e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (from Phil Jones).
Phil Jones has publicly gone on record indicating that he was using the term “trick” in the sense often used by people, as in “bag of tricks”, or “a trick to solving this problem …”, or “trick of the trade”.
In referring to our 1998 Nature article, he was pointing out simply the following: our proxy record ended in 1980 (when the proxy data set we were using terminates) so, it didn’t include the warming of the past two decades.
In our Nature-article we therefore also showed the post-1980 instrumental data that was then available through 1995, so that the reconstruction could be viewed in the context of recent instrumental temperatures. The separate curves for the reconstructed temperature series and for the instrumental data were clearly labeled.
The reference to “hide the decline” is referring to work that I am not directly associated with, but instead work by Keith Briffa and colleagues.
The “decline” refers to a well-known decline in the response of only a certain type of tree-ring data (high-latitude tree-ring density measurements collected by Briffa and colleagues) to temperatures after about 1960.
In their original article in Nature in 1998, Briffa and colleagues are very clear that the post-1960 data in their tree-ring dataset should not be used in reconstructing temperatures due to a problem known as the “divergence problem” where their tree-ring data decline in their response to warming temperatures after about 1960.
“Hide” was therefore a poor word choice, since the existence of this decline, and the reason not to use the post 1960 data because of it, was not only known, but was indeed the point emphasized in the original Briffa et al Nature article. There is a summary of that article available on this NOAA site.