For those who are following the controversy being spun up over hacked e-mails and files from the Climatic Research Unit directed by climate scientist Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, here are a few news and commentary sources we have found worth reading. Climate Science Watch earlier posted several items on the challenge to the CRU global temperature data record, including responses by climate scientists Phil Jones, Ben Santer, and Stephen Schneider. See Details.
Stolen E-Mails Sharpen a Brawl Between Climate Scientists and Skeptics (by Lauren Morello, New York Times online/Climate Wire, November 24)
Climate scientist at centre of leaked email row dismisses conspiracy claims: Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia denies emails provide evidence of collusion by climatologists to fix data (by Leo Hickman, UK Guardian, November 24)
Please see the essential discussion in the November 20 and November 23 posts on RealClimate, which include valuable comment threads with clarifying explanations by NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt:
Earlier posts on this site:
Stephen Schneider comments on the CEI and Pat Michaels petition on the global warming data record
Scientists return fire
at CEI and Pat Michaels for bogus charges on global temperature data record
Two posts on Climate Progress:
In The Wall Street Journal:
Climate Emails Stoke Debate: Scientists’ Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud over Global Warming (November 23)
Includes a link to the full 60 MB file of CRU emails and documents
Climate Science and Candor (November 24)
Selection of hacked emails
Lawmakers Probe Climate Emails (November 24)
Capital Weather Gang
Washington Post online blog
Interview with Spencer Weart, a science historian with the American Institute of Physics and author of the book The Discovery of Global Warming
AF: What do you think this story reveals about the conduct of climate science?
SW: Back around 2000 leading climate scientists talked to each other mostly about their science—debating one another’s data and analysis and negotiating travel, collaboration and other administration—and a little bit about policy. As time passed they have had to spend more and more of their time answering criticism of the scientific results already established, criticism mostly based on ignorance, fallacious reasoning, and even deliberately deceptive claims. Still more recently they have had to spend far too much of their time defending their personal reputations against ignorant or slanderous attacks.
The theft and use of the emails does reveal something interesting about the social context. It’s a symptom of something entirely new in the history of science: Aside from crackpots who complain that a conspiracy is suppressing their personal discoveries, we’ve never before seen a set of people accuse an entire community of scientists of deliberate deception and other professional malfeasance.
Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers. In blogs, talk radio and other new media, we are told that the warnings about future global warming issued by the national science academies, scientific societies, and governments of all the leading nations are not only mistaken, but based on a hoax, indeed a conspiracy that must involve thousands of respected researchers. Extraordinary and, frankly, weird. Climate scientists are naturally upset, exasperated, and sometimes goaded into intemperate responses… but that was already easy to see in their blogs and other writings.