ClimateGate: What We Have Learned

In 2009, 1073 e-mails, attachments and files were posted anonymous on the internet. It didn’t take long, word spread like wildfire as thousands of people began downloading the documents. The material revealed communications  between an elite group of climate scientists and paloeclimatologists which were instrumental in influencing the IPCC’s view on climate change.

These communications also revealed how these elite scientists were hiding data, suppressing dissent by influencing journals not to publish papers contrary to their position thus using it to claim the science is settled on this issue when in fact it was not. Then  Freedom of Information requests came in, rather than turnover their raw data, they conspired to delete their emails and even one scientist wanted to delete all the climate data rather than turn it over and by the way, the climate data is still missing today.

Some Background

The need to sway government policies as well as public viewpoints around the world was needed according to those who believed in man-made global warming. In order to educate them into their way of thinking, one of these elite scientists (Mike Mann) came up with the now famous “hockey stick” graph was introduced to the world in 2001, which suggests that global temperatures remained virtually unchanged for centuries (denying that warming and cooling occurred historically), then shot up in the last few decades. This was implying that man was responsible for the warming. It became part of the U.N.’s 200l climate report and used for evidence.

Not only that, in order to give the graph some hard evidence, tree rings from Yamal, Russia was used by Keith Briffa from the CRU. Also, temperature reconstructions was claimed to be the hard evidence to back-up the graph. But for ten years Mike Mann and others refused to release the rest of the data in which they were basing their claim. When it comes to various scientific research, you generally release your raw data upon request so others can either verify or disprove your hypothesis. So what was going behind the scenes that Mike Mann and others would refuse such requests about their research?

Working Behind The Scenes

Tom Wigley from CRU, to Michael Mann on June 25, 2009. Mike was very concern about being called to testify at a Congressional hearing organized by the Chairs of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations about man-made global warming skeptics Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s who challenged the hockey stick science.

Tom Wigley writes

“A word of warning. I would be careful about using other, independent paleo reconstruction work as supporting the MBH   reconstructions. I am attaching my version of a comparison of the bulk of these other reconstructions. Although these all show the hockey stick shape, the differences between them prior to 1850 make me very nervous.”

“If I were on the greenhouse deniers’ side, I would be inclined to focus on the wide range of paleo results and the differences between them as an argument for dismissing them all. I attach also a run with MAGICC using central-estimate climate nmodel parameters (DT2x = 2.6 degC, etc.—see the TAR), and forcings used by Caspar in the runs with paleo-CSM. I have another Figure somewhere that compares MAGICC with paleo-CSM. The agreement is nearly perfect (given that CSM has internally generated noise while MAGICC is pure signal). The support for the hockey stick is not just the paleo reconstructions, but also the model results. If one takes the best estimates of past forcing off the shelf, then the model results show the hockey stick shape.”

Not only was he nervous when the data wasn’t showing what he wanted to believe in, Tom Wigley restored to this particular tactic as he makes this stunning admission of what he did when writing to Phil Jones on September 27th 2009…

“I am fudging the data to take out as much of the ocean warming as I can. I can’t take out all of it, because then we would have no explanation for the land warming, which would raise suspicions. But even with my fudge factor, we still don’t have a convincing explanation for why the ocean warmed during this period.”

In another email dated in October 2009 by Tom Wigley to author of the hockey stick science, Mike Mann…

“The figure you sent [from Gavin Schmidt] is very deceptive, As an example, historical runs with PCM (Parallel Climate Model) look as though they match observationsbut the match is a fluke. PCM has no indirect aerosol forcing and a low climate sensitivity — compensating errors. In my (perhaps too harsh) view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by [the U.N. climate panel].”

Panel Agrees To Reforms: Updated 5-29-2011

The email leakage were not the only things that caused a major loss of confidence with scientists backing man-made global warming, also errors like the rate of the Himalayan glacier melting.

In this month’s Nature News

“After months of soul-searching, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed on reforms intended to restore confidence in its integrity and its assessments of climate science…”

“A new conflict-of-interest policy will require all IPCC officials and authors to disclose financial and other interests relevant to their work (Pachauri had been harshly criticized in 2009 for alleged conflicts of interest.) The meeting also adopted a detailed protocol for addressing errors in existing and future IPCC reports, along with guidelines to ensure that descriptions of scientific uncertainties remain consistent across reports. “This is a heartening and encouraging outcome of the review we started one year ago,” Pachauri told Nature. “It will strengthen the IPCC and help restore public trust in the climate sciences.”

“The first major test of these changes will be towards the end of this year, with the release of a report assessing whether climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events. Despite much speculation, there is scant scientific evidence for such a link — particularly between climate warming, storm frequency and economic losses — and the report is expected to spark renewed controversy. “It’ll be interesting to see how the IPCC will handle this hot potato where stakes are high but solid peer-reviewed results are few,” says Silke Beck, a policy expert at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany.”

In conclusion

What we have learned is a small group of elite scientists got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. We have also learned how very intelligent people hold to their bias so much, it doesn’t matter what the evidence says, only what they believe and want the public to believe in. We have to remember, scientists are only humans, some make common mistakes while others like Mike Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley with their hockey stick science are outright liars!