"Climategate" & Global Warming

Climategate began with a collection of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia that were hacked and released to the public via the Internet on November 19, 2009. These emails contained detailed correspondence, mainly between leading British and American climate scientists espousing pro-anthropogenic global warming views. The content of these emails revealed the possibility that some of the highly touted data on climate change is flawed and deceptive. Many of the emails also showed that scientists were preventing climate change skeptics from publishing their ideas and hence barring them from gaining credibility in the scientific (and political) world.

The evidence of unethical and unprofessional practices in the scientific community threw the world into a tizzy. Climate change skeptics viewed the event as a vindication of their views, while climate change supporters attempted to rationalize the email content and insisted that catastrophic global warming is still a reality.

Some implications for both the political and scientific worlds can be ascertained by the affair. Many scientists have admitted that they need to ensure a variety of ideas are debated, researched, and advanced. Although science is supposed to be a factual discipline, Climategate demonstrated that scientists often let their political views and personal interests get in the way of truth. This realization has in turn caused politicians and the public at large to re-examine their views on climate change and to ponder whether or not they should be so quick to enact major global warming reduction legislation.

Since the original Climategate release of e-mails in 2009, a second release e-mails took place in November 2011. Dubbed Climategate 2.0, these e-mails cast further doubt on the practices of some of the most prominent climate scientists. 

Climate change continues to be a controversial issue, and Climategate has only made it more so. In light of these facts, this library section will introduce the main aspects of Climategate and its implications for the future.

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Quotes from the e-mails of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia that began what is known as "climategate".

Quotes on climategate and global warming.

Commentary or Blog Post

Jess Henig opines that there is really a reasonable explanation for every damaging piece of correspondence between leading climate scholars.

Roger Harrabin reports on Phil Jones' record keeping admissions. According to Harrabin, Jones confessed to not keeping the best of records on his global warming research.

"Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just completed his seventh annual foray to the Arctic. The PM's annual northern tours have traditionally focused on a combination of announcements affecting economic development, environmental protection, and defense readiness. The ever-shrinking ice cap is bringing new challenges to Canadian policy makers, particularly with regard to the...

Watson insists that the emails were taken out of context, and if they were to be placed in their proper surroundings, their authors would soon be vindicated and back on the path to advancing the global warming cause.

A high-level inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found there was 'little evidence' for its claims about global warming.

This piece traces the background behind the hacked emails at the University of East Anglia's CRU.

AEI’s environmental team has been especially busy lately responding to numerous press inquiries about the 'Climategate' scandal.

Although at one time Jones strongly asserted that global warming was a very real crisis, Phil Jones' admissions are increasingly demonstrating the reality of the opposing view.

This piece highlights the event which launched Climategate, namely, the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia.

In this TIME Magazine article, Bryan Walsh wonders if the Climategate scandal is really much ado about nothing.

In the wake of the Climategate scandal, American scientist Michael Mann's records were requested for review by Virginia's attorney general.

"Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations...

"Around the world, even more than in the United States, there is an audible sigh of relief the day after Obama won a clear mandate for a second term as president."

Steve McIntyre presents the frustration and consternation that Keith Briffa's declining temperature models produced within the Climategate community.

Just five years ago, Charles Monnett was one of the scientists whose observation that several polar bears had drowned in the Arctic Ocean helped galvanize the global warming movement. Now, the wildlife biologist is on administrative leave and facing accusations of scientific misconduct.

It’s the very scariest claims — rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers threatening a billion people with flooding and then with drought, an increase in Katrina-scale disasters, and others – that are the ones on the shakiest ground.

"Scientist at the heart of the 'Climategate' email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner's office said University of East Anglia researchers breached the Freedom of Information Act when handling requests from climate change sceptics.

But the scientists will escape prosecution because...

Skeptical citizens may think that environmentalists cannot give comprehensible answers to their critics or that they arrogantly believe that the understanding of common people is irrelevant.

Global warming alarmists claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe the 'independent' reviews.

Kenneth Green points out the hypocrisy evident in those who defend the reputations of the Climategate players.

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord.

Chart or Graph

Two Canadian non-climate scientists, McKitrick and McIntyre, re-did the study using Mann's data and methods, and found dozens of errors, including two data series with exactly the same data for a number of years.

Emissions of CO2, which accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gases, grew at an average annual rate of around 2½% between 1950 and 2000.

Mohib Ebrahim, who has created timelines for professional exhibitions, has now produced one of the ClimateGate scandal, providing graphs, e-mails, history, and analysis of events.

One of the most notable emails in the Climategate controversy referred to a “'trick' and the effort to 'hide the decline.'"

One of the most obvious conclusions from Figure 3 is that the satellite observations and climate models display markedly different time-dependent behaviors in their temperature versus radiation variations, especially over the oceans....

The results demonstrate an eroding trust of science among Americans, particularly weighty in the time between 2008 and 2010.

Analysis Report White Paper

Most accounts of an ideal scientific discourse proscribe ad hominem appeals as one way to distinguish it from public discourse. Because of their frequent use of ad hominem attacks, the Climategate email messages provoked strong criticisms of climate scientists and climate science. This study asks whether the distinction between public and scientific discourse holds in this case and thus whether the exclusion of ad hominem arguments from scientific discourse is valid.

The Committee found that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall. However, the world has changed considerably since the creation of the IPCC, with major advances in climate science, heated controversy on some climate-related issues, and an increased focus of governments on the impacts and potential responses to changing climate.

This extensive document analyzes a large variety of excerpts from the infamous Climategate emails. Costella's analysis reveals the fact that the Climategate scientists often engaged in manipulation of data and faulty scientific practices.

This report contains two pieces which thoroughly analyze the Climategate scandal. The authors carefully explain the major background components of the issue and provide detailed information on the incriminating evidence that the Climategate emails present and demonstrating inconsistencies espoused over the years.

The results demonstrate that Climategate had a significant effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists.

In this piece, Steven Hayward declares that "[t]he body blows to the climate campaign did not end with the Climategate emails." Hayward attempts to unpack the precipitous decline and fall into disfavor that the climate change issue has experienced in the past few years. He implies that Climategate exposed the IPCC and its followers as frauds.

The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.

These emails show a tightly knit cabal of scientists adjusting temperature data to conform to their political agenda; exerting pressure to censor publications going into the "peer reviewed" literature.

Two extensive critiques of the Stern Review by various economic and climate change experts.

An article describing in greater the Climategate scandal and the issues that the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit attempted to hide.

"In an assessment on Global Water Security, U.S. Intelligence Community predicts that exploding populations in developing countries coupled with climate change would be naturally transformed into drought, floods and lack of fresh water."

Video/Podcast/Media

In 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age." Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end.

The Climategate emails confirm Dr. Tim Ball's fears that global warming proponents were concocting false information in order to help their cause.

Senator James Inhofe's views on the significance of the Climategate issue. Inhofe believes that the emails demonstrate fraud and illegitimate dealings.

"This video exposes yet another of Obama's radical leftist appointments, EPA head Lisa Jackson. From indoctrination of our youth through the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America, to fear mongering in a speech to LULAC, to playing the race card in front of BIG (Blacks in Government), Jackson covers all the Environmental Justice bases."

A respected British scientist has admitted that emails taken from his inbox, calling into question many of the accepted truths of global warming, were genuine.

Lord Christopher Monckton speaks at the second International Climate Conference, addressing the so called Climategate scandal and key players involved in what appears to be one of the biggest science scams of our time.

Michaels opines that the Climategate issue will be good for the scientific community because it will enable more diverse opinions to be presented.

Primary Document

This letter addresses the issue of climate change in the wake of the Climategate email scandal.

The legitimate questions that have been raised about the processes used to generate climate change science and policy have thus far been cast aside. The reluctance to engage in conversations with people who have doubts or question the veracity of climate science is at the heart of the wrong doing that undermines trust in climate change science.

A history of the Climategate scandal prepared and delivered by skeptic Stephen McIntyre to the Heartland Institute's Climate Change Conference.

This link takes you to the complete list of emails that initiated the Climategate scandal.

Thanks for the comments. I did indeed try to keep the verbiage on a civil level, which is not always easy to do. I agree with you that Mike seems to be overwhelmingly concerned about what the greenhouse sceptics might think.

I've heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures - that we don't have access to, and there was little warming in them.

This link contains an email exchange between Phil Jones and Peter Thorne. Thorne comments on a draft of a scientific paper, but questions the reliability of the data involved in the paper.

"City population size and urban effects are not related that well. I think a lot depends on where the city is in relation to the sea, large rivers and water bodies as well. I did try and get population figures for London from various times during the 20th century. I found these, but the area of London they referred to kept changing. "

I feel passionate about many things, including scientists who trash good sound evidence about global warming and also about non-scientists who reduce complex messages to simple one-liners.

Thanks for these comments - and while I agree with them, I do not necessarily concur on the 'fashionable' opinion these days that IPCC has made a mistake in stressing the temperature issue and the rank magnitudes of late Holocene warm periods.

All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like.

Climategate 2.0 email between Michael Mann and Keith Briffa on "consensus" issues.

You are the only guy who may know what was and is going on in the northern forests.

I never heard back from you about my comments sent on January 13 and copied below. However, I don't want to let the discussion grow cold.

Climategate 2.0 email from Jonathan Overpeck to Keith Briffa.

To argue that the observed global mean temperature anomalies of the past decade falsifies the model projections of global mean temperature change, as contrarians have been fond of claiming, is clearly wrong.

Email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann, climate scientists.

A Climategate 2.0 email to Michael Mann from Phil Jones. Jones addresses a variety of contentions that are present amongst the various scientists in their group.

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.

I believe you criticised the inclusion of the 2000 (Eurasian ) tree-ring series (since reiterated by Malcolm). Fair enough, though again misguided in my opinion if on the basis of 'contains few data' or 'has weak climate response'.

Michaels' PhD was, I believe, supervised by Reid Bryson. It dealt with statistical (regression-based) modeling of crop-climate relationships. In his thesis, Michaels claims that his statistical model showed that weather/climate variations could explain 95% of the inter-annual variability in crop yields. Had this been correct, it would have been a remarkable results. Certainly, it was at odds with all previous studies of crop-climate relationships, which generally showed that weather/climate could only explain about 50% of inter-annual yield variability.

The whole Macintyre issue got me thinking about over-fitting and the potential bias of screening against the target climate parameter.

Climategate 2.0 email exchange between Rasmus Benestad and Stefan Rahmstorf about the 1990 IPCC Report.

I especially want to avoid any suggestion that this work was being done to specifically counter or refute the 'hockey stick'.

A Climategate 2.0 email exchange between Rob Wilson and Tim Osborn about solar heat and its correlation to climate change.

I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead. I am afraid that he is losing out in the process. That is too bad.

An open letter from U.S. Congress to Dr. Michael Mann, asking him to answer questions about criticisms of his scientific method and inconsistencies in his responses to those criticisms, so that the Congress can clarify their picture of what exactly his results mean.

The Institute of Physics believes that there are some serious revelations in the Climategate emails and are particularly concerned with the lack of scientific rigor and intolerance displayed by those who authored the emails.

In this BBC interview, Phil Jones, a key player in the Climategate email scandal, answers a variety of questions on his climate change views.

A variety of investigations were established in the months following the Climategate incident, one of which was initiated by the University of East Anglia.

This statement by the IPCC chairman seeks to establish the fact that the IPCC's work is credible and accepted by a variety of authoritative agencies.

"In the following I will provide some general remarks on the shortcomings of the assessment process as I’ve experienced it, then provide three examples of how the process led to inaccurate information provided to policymakers, followed by a comment on temperature records and I will close with some concluding remarks."

­Dr. Judith Curry, a proponent of global warming, uses this letter to guide her colleagues and students on how to properly respond to the Climategate emails and the implications that they present.

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