ENVIRONMENT: by Peter WestmoreNews Weekly
UK's climate research centre discredited
, December 12, 2009
Allegations that some of Britain's leading climate researchers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), University of East Anglia, engaged in scientific fraud to promote the climate change cause, have rocked the scientific world and cast a pall over the Copenhagen climate change conference.
CRU has been one of the leading scientific bodies supporting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the body which has been pushing for global cuts to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The revelations - dubbed the climategate scandal - came to light as a result of an unknown person or persons who copied files from a computer at the University of East Anglia, and uploaded 56Mb of files onto the Internet. The file name is FOI2009.zip.
The authenticity of the documents has been confirmed by Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU.
The leaked documents contain approximately 1,000 e-mail messages exchanged among climate scientists, and a number of files relating to specific projects conducted by the CRU at East Anglia. The e-mails showed that CRU scientists were engaged in a deliberate process of silencing and discrediting any climate researcher who challenged their views.
When the journal Climate Research
published an article questioning the global warming hoax, Dr. Jones wrote in an e-mail that the journal must "rid itself of this troublesome editor".
The e-mail reply from Michael Mann, an American climate-change believer, stated, "I think we have to stop considering Climate Research
as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal."
When another scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letters (GRL)
published contributions which questioned global warming, Professor Mann, one of the leading authors of the IPCC report, wrote, "It's one thing to lose Climate Research
. We can't afford to lose GRL
In another e-mail, an American climatologist admitted it was a travesty that scientists could not explain a lack of global warming in recent years. In another, researchers dismissed the work of scientists challenging global warming as "crap".
Another appeared to call for pressure on the BBC after a reporter suggested that evidence for rising temperatures since 2001 was thin. In another, Professor Jones wrote that the death of a climate sceptic, John Daly, "is cheering news!"
In another extraordinary e-mail, dated November 1999, Professor Jones wrote to Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes, saying: "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."
In other words, he manipulated the data in a research paper to hide a trend which would otherwise have been clear, and which would not have supported the conclusion he wanted to draw.
In another, Professor Jones advocated deleting data rather than handing them to climate sceptics.
Similar practices are clear from other e-mails, but the details are so complex that they cannot be described simply.
Within the leaked documents are hundreds of lines of computer source code with documentation which for the first time discloses the methods used by CRU scientists to manipulate the data to produce particular outcomes.
Writing in American Thinker
, Marc Sheppard, a technology consultant and software engineer, wrote, "Skimming through the often spaghetti-like code, the number of programs which subject the data to a mixed-bag of transformative and filtering routines is simply staggering."
Many of them, he said, ranged "between highly questionable (removing MXD data which demonstrate poor correlations with local temperature) to downright fraudulent (replacing MXD data entirely with measured data to reverse a disorderly trend-line)". (American Thinker,
December 1, 2009).
Sheppard also showed how the researchers had fudged data to support their pre-determined conclusions.
In other cases, the programs that were used to plot data had been manipulated to make their figures match internationally-recognised data.
In response to an earlier article, one e-mail described American Thinker
magazine as "American Stinker", while admitting that its claim that data had been manipulated was true.
The response to the CRU revelations has shown how serious the scandal is.
George Monbiot, the Guardian's
writer on environmental issues who coined the phrase, "climate deniers", said he was shocked by the files, and called on Professor Jones to step down as head of the CRU.
The leaked files show that the data on which the UN and the IPCC have claimed that CO2 produces global warming, is completely discredited.