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Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked 882

Posted by kdawson
from the playing-dirty dept.
huckamania was one of many readers to write with the news that the University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Unit was hacked, and internal documents released. Some discussion and analysis of the leaked items can be found at Watts Up With That. The CRU has confirmed that a breach occurred, but not that all 61 MB of released material is genuine. Some of the emails would seem to raise concerns about the science as practiced — or at least beg an explanation. From the Watts Up link: "[The CRU] is widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Consisting of a staff of around thirty research scientists and students, the Unit has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models. An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server. Here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today: 'We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.' The file was large, about 61 megabytes, containing hundreds of files. It contained data, code, and emails apparently from the CRU. If proved legitimate, these bombshells could spell trouble for the AGW crowd." Reader brandaman supplied the link to the archive of pilfered data. Reader aretae characterized the emails as revealing "...lots of intrigue, data manipulation, attempting to shut out opposing points of view out of scientific journals. Almost makes you think it's a religion. Anyone surprised?" And reader bugnuts adds, for context: "These emails are certainly taken out of context, whether they are legitimate or fraudulent, which adds to the confusion."
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Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @03:52PM (#30175978) Journal

    The CRU has confirmed that a breach occurred, but not that all 61 MB of released material is genuine.

    Rarely do I have enough time to generate 61 MB (let alone 61 compressed MB) of data, code and e-mails that serves my political/religious purposes. So if this is tampered data or correspondence, there would almost certainly be conflicting items inside such a large repository. I'm not saying it isn't possible, it just decreases the odds that this is a hoax.

    'We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents'

    Why? Why a random sampling? If you're going to serve up 61 MB zipped, it might as well be 61 GB zipped. Why not release both sets ("the good stuff.tar.gz" and "everything including the inane 'what's for lunch today?' e-mails.tar.gz")?

    It's borderline hilarious that the claim is made that this is 'too important to be kept under wraps' followed immediately by the 'we'll decide what you see' cloaked by the equally hilarious word "random." Random? Really? You want me to believe that you printed everything out and put it on a big spinning wheel, blindfolded yourself and then threw darts at it? I mean, come on. Nothing in the political world is random. You would have done yourself much more justice saying you've released what you feel is relevant.

    Being one, I know first hand that hackers are highly disorganized. But come on, why not torrent the whole set or wikileaks it or something? I mean, I'm almost waiting for a high quality Ford Fusion ad in PDF to surface right in the middle of the compressed file saying, "Doesn't this worry you enough to go green?"

    • by Rei (128717) on Friday November 20, 2009 @03:58PM (#30176026) Homepage

      Since some of the emails are sent from them, it's worth reading.

      Link [realclimate.org]

      For the specifics read the whole article. For a general summary, this excerpt will do:

      "Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

      More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to 'get rid of the MWP', no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no 'marching orders' from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joocemann (1273720)

        More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to 'get rid of the MWP', no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no 'marching orders' from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though."

        I think it is funny that people would begin to draw conclusions from data and e-mails that are not received in context or understood/interpreted as truth be told.

        You could look up almost any e-mail from me and deduce all kinds of crap that isn't real, but if you're not me or the person who received it, you'll never know the truth unless you ask me to explain it.

        The same goes for 'data'. Unless you've got a contextual explanation for all of the data, likely by those who collected it, it is pretty reckless t

        • by mea37 (1201159) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:43PM (#30176788)

          Yes, it would be reckless to jump straight to conclusions from these messages. However, this does point to questions that nobody would otherwise know to ask. I guess the question is, should this organization be expected to explain unpublished comments from internal emails/

          The thing about climate science is, it's really hard to get an independent dataset from which to test for reproducability of results. To me this makes it reasonable to expect more scrutiny into what the people who are in custody of that data do - not just into what they judge to be suitable for publication.

    • by eln (21727) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:16PM (#30176344) Homepage
      You're missing the most important part of all of this, as revealed in this quote from the emails:

      One other thing about the CC paper - just found another email - is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals to give all the data and codes !!

      These guys are taking advice from McKittrick! That guy almost started World War III back in 1983 because some kid hacked into the WOPR and decided to play a game with it! Do we really want this guy influencing our global climate change policy?

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:29PM (#30176556) Journal
      This wouldn't have been a problem at all if the climate researchers had released their data in the first place. Then we wouldn't care what their emails said, we could look right at their data. Instead they are being secretive, which obviously is bad science.

      Even if the emails say horrible things, it really doesn't help us much to find out about the truth.....these leaks will only help us if it helps us get access to the data.
    • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:47PM (#30177968)
      regards this file. it is 61.9 mb zipped. 157mb when unzipped. the letters are indeed damning but the *.pro files in the FOIA/documents/osborn-tree* folder(s) are even more so. Open these with a reader like text-edit, pico, or notepad and spend some time scanning the db comments. These are TRULY damning! If you can explain how decades of data are skipped to "smooth" results, how "averaging" is determined in other areas... I am not qualified to comment on this research but I can certainly look at code. I smell a rat here.
  • Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EWAdams (953502) on Friday November 20, 2009 @03:56PM (#30176002) Homepage

    Reading random chunks of leaked data and E-mail is not the way science is done, nor policy made.

    Let's see ALL the data, and let's not see the E-mail at all -- E-mail isn't data.

    Otherwise, STFU, this isn't helping anything.

    • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rei (128717) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:03PM (#30176120) Homepage

      Anyone else reveling in the irony of the hackers cherry-picking data to support their pre-conceived premises? :)

      • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Informative)

        by scorp1us (235526) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:07PM (#30177240) Journal

        Actually, I read many of the emails last night.

        Many are bland as hell. There's a few juicy ones, which have already been highlighted. The attitude that came across from reading email after email is that these people beleive they are doing science. They are well intentioned and don't mean to be pushing an agenda. However some of the emails indicated a desire to please governments and the IPCC. It was not as the AGW skeptics would have you believe that these scientists are forcing the policy, rather, it seems they are trying to do science that both pleases the governing bodies while still remains science.

        But I think there should be no consideration of what pleases whomever. It should just report the facts. But that's hard to do when you're funded by them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by blueg3 (192743)

          It's called being a scientist -- giving funding agencies information they're interested in while not misrepresenting the facts (and hopefully not giving them the tools to easily misrepresent the facts) is challenging and a little ugly. It's fairly easy if you assume the agency doesn't desire a particular answer. Most scientists know better than that, though.

    • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:05PM (#30176146)

      Email isn't science but that doesn't mean it isn't interesting. If the email says "Hey Bob, your algorithm didn't produce the level of warming we were expecting, we need you to rework it so it is in line with our expectations" that would say a lot about how the 'science' is being done. Furthermore, random chunks of data isn't science, but it does have the possibility of revealing any number of things, anything from numbers not matching what is published to problems with software to inconsistent data.

      I'm not saying that is what the leaked information says, nor am I saying that the leak is real; there isn't enough information to know that yet. But your instant dismissal of this because it isn't every piece of data ever collected is a little disconcerting in my opinion.

      • by Vuojo (1547799) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:06PM (#30177218)
        There was a documentary about climate change hoax on Finnish YLE channel (it's like BBC of Finland) couple of weeks ago. It basically told that the climate data collected from Finland was turned upside down so that it would show warming instead of cooling etc. People who understand Finnish can check it out from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gmJiZfyDPE [youtube.com] People who don't understand Finnish can just check these few seconds where they show how they flipped Finnish data: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suySkDny-zk#t=7m00s [youtube.com]
      • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rary (566291) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:33PM (#30177714)

        If the email says "Hey Bob, your algorithm didn't produce the level of warming we were expecting, we need you to rework it so it is in line with our expectations" that would say a lot about how the 'science' is being done.

        What if the person sending the email to Bob is someone testing Bob's algorithm in a controlled test scenario where the outcome is already known, and therefore the algorithm not meeting expectations actually means that the algorithm is wrong and needs to be reworked? Then the quote wouldn't be quite the smoking gun, would it?

        That's why context is essential.

    • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:10PM (#30176246) Homepage
      Part of the problem is that the global warming proponents whose e-mails were hacked have REFUSED to release the data upon which they rely. In fact, the e-mails discovered are chock-full of references to their efforts to fight against any disclosure of much of their data. Other e-mails routinely discuss efforts to manipulate and massage the data to account for various political difficulties the data are causing them. For example, one e-mail discusses using a particular modifier to minimize a warming "blip" in the 1940s, without making the "blip" go away entirely, because it appears in both the sea temp and the land temp data. So you're right, e-mail isn't data. But that cuts both ways, and in this case particularly hard against the global warming fear-mongerers.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Have they refused to release the data at all? Or are they maybe refusing to release it until the project is done. Every experiment has to post progress and updates, but aren't a lot of the methods hidden until the final report is published?

        To publish methods and incomplete data can create an alarmist and conspiratorial picture of what's going on without giving people viewing this fragment the whole picture might be dangerous and jeopardize legitimate research. Leaks like this could cause enough PACs and pol

        • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:00PM (#30177122) Homepage
          Got nothing to do with experiments in progress. Dr. Phil Jones, the head of the organization whose e-mail was hacked, once said [wattsupwiththat.com]:

          Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.

          They are hiding behind alleged confidentiality agreements they supposedly have with scientists who, according to them, provided some of the data. But they won't even so much as identify, as best I can tell today, those scientists, so that the data could be requested from them directly. Scientists who refuse to release raw data when serious questions are raised about their conclusions are not real scientists, and their work is entitled to no credibility whatsoever. As for due time, the House has passed an enormous "cap and trade" bill based on the conclusions of the global warming scare crowd... these scientists who refuse to release their data. I've got no problem waiting for more research... so long as we don't enact massive tax increases and other major interference in the economy while we wait. They are the ones demanding immediate action, however, so they have no right to say "let's wait for more data and more research" before releasing the data which they claim supports their fatalistic conclusions.

        • by Dobeln (853794) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:07PM (#30177238)

          They go as far as telling others to delete information that (I reckon) could be incriminating.

          "
          > Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
          > Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
          >
          > Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
          > have his new email address.
          >
          > We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
          >
          > I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature
          > paper!!"

          CA is the principal "climate sceptic" website.

          Of course, much effort is also dedicated to avoiding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

          "PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.
          Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !"

          And so on.

          Of course, they also find time to gloat of the death of "sceptics", etc. etc. All classy stuff.

          "Science" indeed.

        • by smoker2 (750216)

          The whole story, and all the research, will come out in due time.

          And that's where you're wrong. This will never end, much like the war on terror, because it is based on a lie. If they ever "finished" the project, then they prove themselves to be liars because climate change is an ongoing event. So they will never finish, but to continue they must have public funds and govt support. So we will never see the data released in a relevant and usable format, and a lot of effort put into the political scare machin

    • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:20PM (#30176414)

      Let's see ALL the data, and let's not see the E-mail at all -- E-mail isn't data.

      You do realize that some of the emails are about hiding data from public view, obstructing freedom of information requests, and campaign to discredit a peer reviewed journal that published something that disagreed with their public stance, right?

      If there is one thing I know for sure, its that at least one of the skeptics is entirely open about the data and methodology (with source code, only free tools, etc..) he uses, and he even seeks input from anyone willing to help via his blog. That man is Steve McIntyre.

      Publicly funded scientists should be forced to open up their data and methodology, with prison terms for them if they don't. Its time they stopped using public money to boost their own careers while playing fast and loose in their good ol' boy club of like-minded conspirators.

      • Re:Utter bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BobMcD (601576) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:13PM (#30177366)

        Let's see ALL the data, and let's not see the E-mail at all -- E-mail isn't data.

        You do realize that some of the emails are about hiding data from public view, obstructing freedom of information requests, and campaign to discredit a peer reviewed journal that published something that disagreed with their public stance, right?

        It seems to me that this would be the point of raising the objection. Its a classic double standard. On the one hand we can freely draw conclusions about the nature of the Earth's changes in temperature using a relatively limited set of data. On the other hand we are forbidden to draw conclusions about the content of these emails because we do not have the complete, unmodified, set of data.

        They are smart enough to correctly draw conclusions, but no one else may do so.

        Classic stuff, there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ex-MislTech (557759)

      Pieces of the truth are still the truth.

      I agree we should see all the data.

      As for your demanding them to STFU, I think we will stick with the 1st amendment.

  • Lindzen vindicated (Score:5, Informative)

    by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:01PM (#30176082)
    MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen has long made these claims about global warming researchers, as he discusses in a talk from a few weeks ago: "Cooler Heads [youtube.com]". It looks like he's slowly being vindicated in his views of both the researchers and the conclusions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:05PM (#30176142)
    From HARRY_READ_ME.txt, one of the leaked files.

    ...This could be a result of my mis-setting of the parameters on Tim's programs (although I have followed his recommendations wherever possible), or it could be a result of Tim using the Beowulf 1 cluster for the f90 work. Beowulf 1 is now integrated in to the latest Beowulf cluster so it may not be practical to test that theory.
  • What I want to see (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:12PM (#30176264) Journal
    are the new CO2 emissions files, in particular, what each country emits. Everybody has it up until 2006, but after that, it stops. Why? After 2006 is important information. For starters, a number of western countries have dropped emissions (particularly, America), while others have increased greatly (Canada, Australia, South Korea). The real issue that I would like to see is what BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), along with Mexico, Venezuela, Iran, etc have done.
  • The dog ate it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:14PM (#30176316)

    Is this the same CRU that when asked to release the original raw data used in its climate analysis claimed it had all been lost?

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2009/08/we-lost-original-data.html [blogspot.com]

    • Re:The dog ate it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pkphilip (6861) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:50PM (#30176964)

      Yes, it is the same CRU. Fact is, they have refused requests to release data by other scientists (not just Steven McIntyre).

      This is a good opportunity for someone to step in and demand that the actual data be released. CRU's claim of having lost data is completely untenable.

  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:16PM (#30176336)

    I'm sure Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre are just about to release their own personal e-mail histories as well.

  • by bugnuts (94678) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:20PM (#30176430) Journal

    Many people who doubted AGW (humans causing the hockey stick graph, or the graph itself) are claiming this is some sort of smoking gun. I claim it's scientists being scientists, and failing at being politicians.

    The very fact that this reveals some scientists are doubting some results is exactly what should happen in science. This is why there is a consensus [newscientist.com] among scientists. Doubting is a part of science and skeptics alike, but discovering the reasons for the doubt and changing a viewpoint when good, conflicting data are found are hallmarks of the scientist. Skeptics will cling to disproved data, hoping it somehow becomes true if they believe it hard enough.

    There is no doubt that the earth is warmer, but mark my words: some idiot media personality will make claims to the contrary due to this. They thrive on confusion, and there's nothing more confusing (and humorous) than watching scientists wrestle with politics.

    • by brandaman (1136955) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:50PM (#30176958)
      Is Richard S. Lindzen of the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT an idiot media personality?
      http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3771 [climaterealists.com]

      Also: "The global surface temperature record, which we update and publish every month, has shown no statistically-significant “global warming” for almost 15 years. Statistically-significant global cooling has now persisted for very nearly eight years. Even a strong el Nino – expected in the coming months – will be unlikely to reverse the cooling trend. More significantly, the ARGO bathythermographs deployed throughout the world’s oceans since 2003 show that the top 400 fathoms of the oceans, where it is agreed between all parties that at least 80% of all heat caused by manmade “global warming” must accumulate, have been cooling over the past six years. That now prolonged ocean cooling is fatal to the “official” theory that “global warming” will happen on anything other than a minute scale. "
      - SPPI Monthly CO2 Report: July 2009
      http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/co2_report_july_09.pdf [scienceand...policy.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      The very fact that this reveals some scientists are doubting some results is exactly what should happen in science.

      No, this reveals that some "scientists" are disappointed with the results and are actively withholding data and actively altering what data they do reveal in an effort to support the conclusion they want.

      There is no doubt that the earth is warmer

      I doubt this. Warmer than what?
      Seems to me the earth was much warmer in the past and was plenty hospitable to various manners of life and has gone through more extreme changes on it's own accord, before humans even came into the picture.

      The earth's climate is changing, as it tends to do.
      Humans are not affe

    • Not the doubting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dobeln (853794) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:12PM (#30177340)

      ...but the data deletion conspiracies, the conspiring to disrupt the peer review process in various clever ways, the knowing avoidance of Freedom of Information Act Requests, the slurs against "sceptics", including celebrating their deaths, and so on.

      And that's just from the emails I have read so far.

      "Doubting" indeed. And these assholes have had the nerve to indignantly drape themselves in the flag of science.

  • by JoeBuck (7947) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:30PM (#30176568) Homepage
    I review papers for technical conferences. I regularly try to keep papers out of the publications. It's a necessary part of the job, because the acceptance rate is typically 25%, and because most of the papers are junk. Scientific publications are not free speech platforms; to be published, an article has to meet the standards and it has to advance the state of the art of the field.

    The bar for skeptics is always going to be higher. Otherwise we'd have to rewrite the chemistry textbooks every time some student messes up his lab assignment, because this will produce data that contradicts the theory.

    • by Dobeln (853794) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:26PM (#30177610)

      They aren't discussing the merits of papers. They are trying to get people (journal editors) fired, based on their perceived loyalty (or lack thereof) to 'the cause'.

      Of course, that is when they aren't deleting data in order to prevent if from falling into the wrong hands, or conspiring to avoid the law in order to keep their data under wraps. Data that has now sadly been lost forever in a mysterious accidental deletion.

      Or celebrating the deaths of "sceptics" (clearly these people are a bunch of dispassionate scientists).

      And so on.

      If this is Science as Usual (TM), then Science needs serious reform.

  • by zerosomething (1353609) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:42PM (#30176774) Homepage

    The primary issue is that most climate science has not truly been scrutinize and reviewed. I've been reading the files and it's very damming. It's almost as bad as cold fusion. For example. In note 1075403821.txt Timo Hmeranta states.

    One other thing about the CC paper - just found another email - is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.

    So they are going to hide behind Intelectual Property Rights to keep their data from being reviewed!. Holy Fucking Shit! How can science do that and still remain respectable?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anarchduke (1551707)
      Science and IPR are joined at the hip. The entire world economy is tied into science based IPR. Healthcare, electronics, space exploration, agriculture, etc. Every single area of science is tied up with IPR. How many scientists have done significant research and not patented their discoveries. So yeah, they can use IPR because its standard practice. Even in academia, patent licensing has made some Universities fat and happy.
  • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasmatt e r .org> on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:44PM (#30176804) Journal

    [...header information omitted...]
    Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.
    Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST)

    Dear Eleven,

    I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
    others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of
    this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the
    IPCC "view" when you say that "the latest IPCC assessment makes a
    convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions." In contrast
    to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
    review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting
    arguments in support of both "immediate control" and the spectrum of more
    cost-effective options. It is not IPCC's role to make "convincing cases"
    for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers
    would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the
    emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your
    statement.

    This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
    dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
    apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
    balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
    be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
    issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
    personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
    when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
    scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.

    [...]

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:45PM (#30176820) Homepage

    kinda hard to get a good reading of the temperature, when stations are placed next to parking lots, AC vents and other heat generating sources

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/ [norcalblogs.com]

    and what happened to the Ice Age they were trying to scare us with in the 80s?

  • The shame of it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by idontgno (624372) on Friday November 20, 2009 @04:52PM (#30177000) Journal

    isn't that these files and this correspondence got hacked.

    The shame of it is that hacking was necessary at all.

    Transparency, People. We're debating public policy and making decisions for the benefit of all Mankind. Credibility is only hindered by opacity and closed data.

  • by BitHive (578094) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:18PM (#30177472) Homepage

    If you think climate science is important and want to know more about it maybe you should spend some time GOING TO FUCKING SCHOOL.

  • by freejung (624389) * <webmaster@freenaturepictures.com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:33PM (#30177730) Homepage Journal

    The important thing to note about this story is that, even if it's all true and all of the emails are genuine, and even if it completely discredits every scientist involved and all of the work they've ever done, this does not falsify AGW theory.

    The great thing about a robust scientific theory is that it's not dependent on any one line of evidence or the work of any particular individual or group. Most of the research this calls into question are proxy studies of the temperature over the last couple of millennia. This is only one of many lines of evidence supporting AGW, and it is not the primary line of evidence.

    Even if you throw out every piece of research done by every scientist mentioned in this data, there will still be plenty of evidence to show that global warming is real and created by human activity.

    So ultimately this is a tempest in a teacup. The deniers will make a huge deal about it, and it may have an impact on public opinion, but it will have very close to zero impact on actual science.

  • Another good writeup (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eukariote (881204) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:41PM (#30177846)
    Another good writeup on the leaked emails can be found here [telegraph.co.uk]. Summary: manipulation of evidence, private doubts about whether the world really is heating up, suppression of evidence, fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists, attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period , and communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process.
  • by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:45PM (#30177930)

    I feel really bad for these researchers.

    I have published only a few papers and would be mortified if my emails got released to the public. I am constantly joking around with other lab denizens about fudging stuff, and removing data that doesn't fit the expectations. The opportunity for out of context quotations is scary to contemplate. Not to mention all of the politically incorrect jokes about such-and-such a graph's sexual orientation.

    If one of these guys said anything like that over the years of emails in this dump, they are in some deep shit for nothing. Image someone going through all of the comments for all of the code you have ever written just looking for any tiny detail to prove you're a hack.

    "just added one to this variable now it works" = screwed.
    "need to go back and fix this" = screwed.
    "not sure why this works but it does" = screwed.
    "Bob is an idiot, I am just going to comment out his code" = screwed.

    Like Cardinal Richelieu said:
    “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him”

    Right or wrong, these guys are gonna get the shaft.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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