Feeds

Climategate 2.0: Fresh trove of embarrassing emails

'All our models are wrong', writes Jones

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Analysis There was always an element of tragedy in the first “Climategate” emails, as scientists were under pressure to tell a story that the physical evidence couldn’t support – and that the scientists were reluctant to acknowledge in public. The new email archive, already dubbed “Climategate 2.0”, is much larger than the first, and provides an abundance of context for those earlier changes.

“I can’t 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,” a civil servant wrote to Phil Jones in 2009. “They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.”

Having elevated global warming to the most dramatic, urgent and over-riding issue of the day, bureaucrats, NGOs, politicians and funding agencies demanded that the scientists must keep the whole bandwagon rolling. It had become too big to stop.

“The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run,” laments one scientist, Peter Thorne. While Professor Jagadish Shukla, a lead IPCC author, IGES founder, and one of the most senior climate experts writes that, “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.”

With the release of FOIA2011.zip, the cat’s now well and truly out of the bag.

To their credit, some of the climate scientists realised the dangers of the selective approach politicians demanded, which meant cherry-picking evidence to make it suitably dramatic, and quietly hiding caveats. “We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest,” pleads Thorne, in another email from 2005. Thorne noted that a telltale "signature" of greenhouse gas warming was absent. “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation?”

Elsewhere, discussing the homogeneity of temperature readings from different sources, Thorne mulls the need to “balance the text so this is not the message”, and expresses his discomfort with making claims that conceal the uncertainty. But such were the demands of activists, agencies and the political class, uncertainty was not on the menu.

This was why the first Climategate caused such repercussions. The revelations came as little surprise to those few who follow state of temperature reconstructions, but they rocked supporters who had put their trust in climate scientists. Clive Crook, a believer in the manmade global warming hypothesis and supporter of carbon reduction measures, expressed it like this:

“The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.”

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.