You may recall a couple years ago when there was some controversy to erupt around some leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit. Over 1,000 email exchanges between scientists from the institution were published, and many people who are skeptical of global warming were quick to point to the emails as evidence supporting their viewpoint. The Telegraph called it the “worst scientific scandal of our generation.”
Now, a big batch of thousands of new emails has come out. The Telegraph’s James Delingpole pulls some snippets “he likes” out of the batch:
/// The IPCC Process ///
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
further if necessary […]
I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much
talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by
a select core group.
Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive […] there have been a number of
dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC […]
The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s
included and what is left out.
I agree w/ Susan [Solomon] that we should try to put more in the bullet about
“Subsequent evidence” […] Need to convince readers that there really has been
an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?
The CRU says it has no evidence of a recent breach, and suggests that “if genuine” these are just more from the original batch that were withheld. They also point out the timing of this recent round as being interesting, as the UN is getting ready for climate talks in South Africa on November 28.
The CRU put out the following statement:
While we have had only a limited opportunity to look at this latest post of 5,000 emails, we have no evidence of a recent breach of our systems.
If genuine, (the sheer volume of material makes it impossible to confirm at present that they are all genuine) these emails have the appearance of having been held back after the theft of data and emails in 2009 to be released at a time designed to cause maximum disruption to the imminent international climate talks.
This appears to be a carefully-timed attempt to reignite controversy over the science behind climate change when that science has been vindicated by three separate independent inquiries and number of studies – including, most recently, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group.
As in 2009, extracts from emails have been taken completely out of context. Following the previous release of emails scientists highlighted by the controversy have been vindicated by independent review, and claims that their science cannot or should not be trusted are entirely unsupported. They, the University and the wider research community have stood by the science throughout, and continue to do so.