Friday, November 20, 2009

CRU Hacked

...secret lives of climate scientists spilled! And they really are as boring as you thought!

The story so far: Russian hackers have recently broken into the computers at University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) and posted files containing private emails between any number of well-known climate researchers. The usual suspects are claiming that the emails show massive malfeasance! the scientific fraud of the millennium! a Marxist conspiracy! and so on and so forth. I have looked a some of the material (from a honking big 62 meg .zip file) but won't link to it here because it has been obtained illegally and I'm not quite sure what the legality of a link would be. From the random sample I've read (there are literally thousands of emails and hundreds of .doc and other files), you find climate scientists to-ing and fro-ing over various issues, being a bit bitchy, and saying mean things about folks like McIntyre. Very thin gruel for a massive conspiracy theory, just because there's so much good stuff they've missed. For example, there is no .txt file of the daily prayer to Gore the Fat, no emails re the meeting I personally arranged between prominent alarmists and the leaders of the Homo Sexual Agenda (now that was a weird night!), and none of the interminable discussions that have taken place concerning the difficulty these days of finding a virgin to sacrifice to Gaia.

Probably the worst bit, from an optics point of view (certainly its the thing being waved around by the denialist crowd) is a 10 year old email from Phil Jones:

From: Phil Jones
To: ray xbxxxey ,mann@[snipped
], mxxes@[snipped]
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000

Cc: k.bxxxfa@[snipped],t.xxxrn@[snipped]

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers, Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit


The denialists are keying on the term "trick" and the phrase "to hide the decline". It turns out that in the email Jones is discussing methods of "splicing" (if thats the correct term) instrumental data to proxy records. He explains as follows:

"No, that’s completely wrong. In the sense that they’re talking about two different things here. They’re talking about the instrumental data which is unaltered – but they’re talking about proxy data going further back in time, a thousand years, and it’s just about how you add on the last few years, because when you get proxy data you sample things like tree rings and ice cores, and they don’t always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years."

Jones told TGIF he had no idea what me meant by using the words "hide the decline".

"That was an email from ten years ago. Can you remember the exact context of what you wrote ten years ago?"

So there you have it.

14 comments:

Frank said...

House-Cards-Collapse

Unknown said...

I also see lots of back-slapping amongst the denialists as well, praising themselves over their superior data, their superior data collection system, their superior analysis of their data, their superior measurement network...

Oh, wait.

Best,

D

Ti-Guy said...

House-Cards-Collapse

FrankD, did you use to be "Ding Dong Kyoto's Dead?"

The only outright fraud and deceit we've seen have been among the deniers. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of examples of it.

Anonymous said...

Some of these warmonger professors who hopped on the AGW research funding gravy train a few years back are going to end up in jail for the actions they have admitted doing - deleting emails, data, obfuscating on FOI requests.


I'm betting this wasn't a hack, that's just a smokescreen cover for someone on the HAD-CRU inside who witnessed the fraud, the corruption the deceptions and just had to come clean.

Ti-Guy said...

That's nice, dear.

Frank said...

From the UK Telegraph:

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?

Ti-Guy said...

*sigh*

BCL, was is the point of these posts? All they become is a flood of self-referential troll links.

Gerrard787 said...

Greenpeace will be pi**ed. Criminal acts in the name of climate is their domain.

sharonapple88 said...

Greenpeace will be pi**ed. Criminal acts in the name of climate is their domain.

It's not in the name of climate or the environment. It was an attempt to validate a conspiracy theory. The fact that they only found one e-mail from a batch that apparently dates back to 1996 to prop up their paranoia is sad. Yes, there's name-calling and insults, petty behaviour, but you'd think there would be more blatant references to massaging data.

And here's an explanation for what they were trying to hide in that e-mail in question.

"Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens."

Gerrard787 said...

It was an attempt to validate a conspiracy theory.

No one knows the motivation so far, particularly with the hackers possibly being of Russian origin.

The fact that they only found one e-mail from a batch that apparently dates back to 1996 to prop up their paranoia is sad.

Warmies have used single documents numerous times in an attempt to paint energy companies as being behind a massive campaign to confuse the public on AGW. Nothing unique happening here.

Ti-Guy said...

Warmies have used single documents numerous times in an attempt to paint energy companies as being behind a massive campaign to confuse the public on AGW.

What evidence do you have to back up that claim?

From what I gather, "warmies" have been highlighting hundreds, if not thousands of such examples.

Ti-Guy said...

I asked you a question, Paulie Precious. Like you, I was taught to ask questions.

Were you also taught to provide answers?

Gene Rayburn said...

FrankD-Brain-Fail

Maria said...

seriously it hacked? I thought they have strong system alert.


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