The individual (or individuals) who, in November 2009, released 1,000 emails to and from IPCC-affiliated climate scientists, igniting the Climategate scandal, struck again earlier this week. The leaker(s) released an additional 5,000 emails involving the same cast of characters, notably Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, and Michael Mann, creator of the discredited Hockey Stick reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature history. The blogosphere quickly branded the new trove of emails “Climategate 2.0.”
The timing in each case was not accidental. The Climategate emails made painfully clear that the scientists shaping the huge — and hugely influential — IPCC climate change assessment reports are not impartial experts but agenda-driven activists. Climategate exposed leading U.N.-affiliated scientists as schemers colluding to manipulate public opinion, downplay inconvenient data, bias the peer review process, marginalize skeptical scientists, and flout freedom of information laws. Climategate thus contributed to the failure of the December 2009 Copenhagen climate conference to negotiate a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. Similarly, Climategate 2.0 arrives shortly before the December 2011 climate conference in Durban — although nobody expects the delegates to agree on a post-Kyoto climate treaty anyway.
Excerpts from Climategate 2.0 emails appear to confirm in spades earlier criticisms of the IPCC climate science establishment arising out of Climategate. My colleague, Myron Ebell, enables us to see this at a glance by sorting the excerpts into categories.
They know the climate models are junk, but say the opposite in the IPCC reports:
[IPCC AR5 models] clearly, some tuning or very good luck involved. I doubt the
modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer
[IPCC AR5 models]
So using the 20th c for tuning is just doing what some people have long
suspected us of doing […] and what the nonpublished diagram from NCAR showing
correlation between aerosol forcing and sensitivity also suggested.
Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low
there is no individual model that does well in all of the SST and water vapor
tests we’ve applied.
Intentional cherry picking of data:
I too don’t see why the schemes should be symmetrical. The temperature ones
certainly will not as we’re choosing the periods to show warming.
But it will be very difficult to make the MWP go away in Greenland.
You chose to depict the one based on C14 solar data, which kind of stands out
in Medieval times. It would be much nicer to show the version driven by Be10
This will reduce the 1940-1970 cooling in NH temps. Explaining the cooling with
sulphates won’t be quite as necessary.
what he [Zwiers] has done comes to a different conclusion than Caspar and Gene!
I reckon this can be saved by careful wording.
Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems
to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no
I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I
could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures.
[…] The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is
precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.
Because how can we be critical of Crowley for throwing out 40-years in the
middle of his calibration, when we’re throwing out all post-1960 data ‘cos the
MXD has a non-temperature signal in it, and also all pre-1881 or pre-1871 data
‘cos the temperature data may have a non-temperature signal in it!
[on temperature data adjustments] Upshot is that their trend will increase
Cherry picking of authors to get the right spin in the IPCC reports:
Getting people we know and trust [into IPCC] is vital – hence my comment about
the tornadoes group.
Useful ones [for IPCC] might be Baldwin, Benestad (written on the solar/cloud
issue – on the right side, i.e anti-Svensmark), Bohm, Brown, Christy (will be
have to involve him ?)
Subordinating science to a political agenda:
Somehow we have to leave the[m] thinking OK, climate change is extremely
complicated, BUT I accept the dominant view that people are affecting it, and
that impacts produces risk that needs careful and urgent attention.
I agree with the importance of extreme events as foci for public and
governmental opinion […] ‘climate change’ needs to be present in people’s
daily lives. They should be reminded that it is a continuously occurring and
the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing the PR battle. That’s what
the site [Real Climate] is about.
Having established scale and urgency, the political challenge is then to turn
this from an argument about the cost of cutting emissions – bad politics – to
one about the value of a stable climate – much better politics. […] the most
valuable thing to do is to tell the story about abrupt change as vividly as
the current commitments, even with some strengthening, are little different
from what would have happened without a climate treaty.
[…] the way to pitch the analysis is to argue that precautionary action must be
taken now to protect reserves etc against the inevitable
we as an NGO working on climate policy need such a document pretty soon for the
public and for informed decision makers in order to get a) a debate started and
b) in order to get into the media the context between climate
extremes/desasters/costs and finally the link between weather extremes and
[“Future of the IPCC”, 2008] It is inconceivable that policymakers will be
willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the
projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and
simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.
Phil, thanks for your thoughts – guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in
I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself
and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the
Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we
get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US
Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original
Candid comments not reflected in public statements:
I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the
cost of damaged personal relationships
<4141> Minns/Tyndall Centre:
In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public
relations problem with the media
 What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural
fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably […]
I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should
never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year
Predictably, Michael Mann asserts that these excerpts are “taken out of context.” To my knowledge, neither Mann nor his comrades has supplied the context that supposedly puts these comments in a better light. Note too that Mann and all other Climategate malefactors assert that the leaked emails were “hacked” and “stolen.” There is no solid evidence to support this allegation. For all we know, the leaker was an insider — a whistle blower fed up with CRU’s refusal to comply with freedom of information laws. When they decry the “illegal hack” of the CRU server, they speak not as scientists weighing evidence but as partisans pushing spin. Exactly the portrait that emerges from the leaked emails.
Science reporter David Appell, hardly a climate change skeptic, writes that, “Even trying to guess at the context and keeping it in mind, some of these [Climatgate 2.0] excerpts are inexplicable.” In fact, Appell states, “just reading the README file emails, these sound worse than I thought at first – their impact will be devastating.”
That the leaker opposes the IPCC agenda of climate alarm and energy rationing is obvious — why else release the emails in the run-up to U.N. climate conferences? But it is far from obvious — as IPCC apologists assume — that the leaker is a shill for Big Oil or King Coal. A possible explanation of motive may be infered from the README file’s opening lines:
/// FOIA 2011 — Background and Context ///
“Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”
“Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”
“One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.
“Poverty is a death sentence.”
“Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”
I would put it this way. There are risks of climate policy as well as of climate change, and the former may far outweigh the latter. More than one billion people on planet Earth live in energy squalor and struggle to survive without electricity, motor vehicles, and mechanized agriculture. Putting an energy-starved world on an energy diet is neither humane nor enlightened.