New leak of hacked global warming scientist emails: A 'smoking gun' proving a conspiracy - or just hot air?
Last updated at 11:37 PM on 22nd November 2011
- 'We're choosing periods to show warming'
- 'Science is being manipulated - it might not be too clever in the long run'
- 'Climate change is a "better label" than global warming'
- 'Many thanks for your paper - and congratulations for reviving global warming'
Icebergs break free from the Bering Glacier: A new email leak appears to show scientists with a clear global warming agenda - but the emails do not appear to be new, and seem to be timed to disrupt progress on warming
A new batch of ‘Climategate’ emails last night appeared to implicate a government official in the furore over global warming data.
More than 5,000 documents were published online purporting to be the correspondence of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia who were previously accused of ‘massaging’ evidence of man-made climate change.
One message appeared to show a member of staff at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) telling colleagues working on climate science to give the government a ‘strong message’.
‘Humphrey’, said to work at Defra, writes: ‘I cannot overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the government can give on climate change to help them tell their story.
'They want their story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.’
There is other correspondence from scientists such as Prof Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Penn State University, some of which have a distinct feel of PR 'spin'.
The release of the information echoes the 'Climategate' leaks
of hacked private emails two years ago ahead of crunch climate talks in Copenhagen that referred to ways to ‘hide the decline’ in global warming.
A series of independent reviews cleared the East Anglia researchers of impropriety, but they were told they had been too secretive.
Today's leak may also be timed to disrupt the next session of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change next week in South Africa.
The new email leak is accompanied by a text file which appears to protest against the huge expense of anti-warming technologies - highlighting deaths from poverty against the $36 billion expense of 'green' energy
The emails have been released in the form of quotes carefully 'chosen' to show bias, or that scientists were pursuing a particular agenda in their research.
The unnamed individuals who released them chose the 5,000 emails from keyword searches, saying, 'We could not read every one, but tried to cover the most relevant topics.'
The emails were posted on a Russian server - Sinwt.ru - as a downloadable ZIP file in an apparent attempt to cause disruption in advance of next week's climate change conference in Durban.
They were rapidly reposted on climate-sceptic blogs such as The Air Vent.
It is not clear, though, whether they are new, or indeed whether they indicate any kind of conspiracy.
The release of the data was accompanied by a 'press release' in the form of a readme file, which said, 'Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.'
'Poverty is a death sentence. Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.'
'Todays' decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline,' said the file.
The identity of the people who posted it was not revealed - although the clear political statement is new.
The file also contains more than 200,000 other emails, which are encrypted, and no password is provided.
Presumably, this is to protect the individuals involved - or simply because the material is so non-controversial or boring that it's not worth releasing.
Professor Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, appears before the Science and Technology Committee after the last dump of leaked climate-change emails
The University of East Anglia has not confirmed whether the material is genuine.
None of the material appears to be new, either: it seems to date from the first release in 2009.
It also occurs against a rather different scientific background, after the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature review of climate-science data by prominent climate sceptic Richard Muller, which analysed 1.6 billion temperature records, and concluded that global warming was a genuine effect.
It is still unclear what effect - or combination of effects - is causing the current warming of the atmosphere, which has risen around one temperature in the past 50 years.
NASA thermal satellite image showing the world's arctic surface temperature trends: Today's emails appear to show scientists interested in painting a particular picture of such trends - but the information is not new
Professor Mann, speaking to the Guardian, described the release as 'truly pathetic.'
'Well, they look like mine but I hardly see anything that appears damning
at all, despite them having been taken out of context.
'I guess they had very little left to work with, having culled in the first round the emails that could most easily be taken out of context to try to make me look bad.'
A police investigation is ongoing.
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