Have Hackers Unearthed Climate Change’s Real Inconvenient Truth?

When people hear my opinions on human induced global warming they’re usually surprised… maybe shocked is a better word. I am a meteorologist with some training in climatology. I watched Al Gore present his global warming lecture as an invited guest in the White House. I’m a liberal. And yet I don’t believe we humans are changing our climate in a noticeable or troubling way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for freeing ourselves from the grip of foreign oil, even if that’s painful in the short term. I’d like the air cleaner with less crap emitted by cars, trucks and industry. My goals are mostly the same as the goals of the global warming doomsayers.

Unfortunately, if you dissent on the issue of global warming you’re branded an idiot or heretic or maybe I’m in the pocket of big oil. The global warming theory proponents often have a religious-like fervor in their support. “How can you dismiss all the evidence,” they ask?

This is my blog. This isn’t the news. My level of fact checking is very low, but published reports say web servers at the England’s East Anglia Climate Research Unit have been hacked and some of the personal emails and data removed are damning!

It looks like some well publicized global warming evidence is the product of the books being cooked! It’s possible the loudest voices in this fight have been playing fast-and-loose with the truth when it doesn’t serve their purpose.

Even though I disagree with these people I am seriously shocked to hear this might be true. I expected the debate was educated and legitimate.

Here are two email snippets.

“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 from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” – Phil Jones

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” – Kevin Trenberth

The problem is recent history has shown a halt to global warming over the last decade. Whatever the reason it doesn’t make sense to see this if the most well known theories are correct!

This is a story that’s just beginning to be written.

I don’t condone breaking into a computer, as these hackers allegedly did. I certainly don’t condone passing off lies as fact.

7 Responses to “Have Hackers Unearthed Climate Change’s Real Inconvenient Truth?”

  1. Tom says:

    Geoff,

    It’s 2:45 in the afternoon on November 20th and it’s 54 degrees in my back yard in Branford. If that’s global warming, I say bring it on!

  2. N1OLO says:

    During the years 800-1200 Vikings settled on Greenland. Funny name for a place that everyone considers ice covered. But they did quiet well there raising crops and cows during the Medieval warm period.

    What we know about the complex system that is the Earth’s climate is far outweighed by what we don’t know.

    Its good to be green but what happens when we all goo green and find the Earth is still getting warmer?

  3. Hardstarboard says:

    Everyone seems to be condeming the hacker. And I would agree that hacking private information for private gain is to be condemned

    Yet in this case the hacker is more analagous to

    a bypasser that tackled the bank robber.

    When qasi-public data, obtained at public expense, held in private in a publicly supported organization, is used to defraud the public out of even greater funds, its theft is salutary.

    Good job!!!

    Plus – we really don’t know if it was a “hacker”.

    I have seen speculation that it may have been an “inside job” by a scientist fed up with the deceit, fraud and distorted results by his collegues.

  4. Armine says:

    Of course this is the true inconvenient truth. The trouble is none of us can be listened to much these days. I am one of the unconvinced with regards to man having any chance in reversing nature and the planet – so be it. The hacking is simple, ditto the expenses exposure. The reaction of the subsidy led establishment less so. Will we ever see the trail … I hope so.

  5. michaela says:

    Like all of you, I am very doubtful of this whole CO2 story. But living in Northern Europe, I do find it unusual to have strawberries, raspberries, bell peppers and figs ripening and to see blue tits making nests in my garden. It’s 16 degrees Celsius, temperatures we would expect in April or May.

    Being a keen gardener and mostly active in the field of international development, social enterprise and sustainability, I am incredibly concerned with our footprint. I am even more concerned that the Dutch government are hijacking the whole CO2 tale not only to tax pretty much the air that we breathe but to ‘programme’ its citizens into allowing their cars to be followed by satellite – ostensibly for the sake of taxing per kilometre driven but the implications for civil liberties are huge.

    Even at the very top of the UN, they simply do not want to embrace the larger picture – the footprint story. Why? It’s bad for the economy (and by extension bad for the UN) if people consume less, if they grow their own food and waste less.

    So how’s about using the social media for a counter campaign? Remember Margaret Meade “never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can bring about change. Indeed little else ever has …”

  6. michaela says:

    by the way, follow me on twitter @calceolaria

  7. Ryan Hanrahan says:

    I think the quote from Kevin Trenberth you posted is out of context. If you read his latest paper:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final.pdf

    you can see he’s referring to the earth’s energy budget and how it’s hard to account for changes in the energy budget year-to-year with short term climate variability (ENSO, etc). The CERES data helps measure the earth’s energy budget and it indicates there should have been warming. There wasn’t.

    Trenberth is saying that the CERES energy budget for the earth is wrong and that it showed the earth should have been warmer than it was. I don’t think anything there was any skewing of the data and if you read his latest paper you’ll see that the observation/remote sensing network is far from perfect.

    His paper is a great/easy read and it shows that there really is a ways to go to understand how the climate works. Still no one can show me a negative feedback mechanism or radiative sink that can make up for the positive radiative forcing from greenhouse gas emissions.

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