Setting the record straight on stolen e-mail: Associated Press, FactCheck.org, and other sources

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A team of reporters at the Associated Press did an “exhaustive review” of the climate scientists’ e-mail stolen from the University of East Anglia in the UK and concluded that “the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked.” FactCheck.org at the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center said: “Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded….E-mails being cited as ‘smoking guns’ have been misrepresented.” Two videos by Climate Crock examine e-mails and take down some denier propaganda.

Excerpts:

Associated Press reporters did an “exhaustive review” of the stolen e-mail raising questions with scientists and with specialists in science ethics and science policy. The article is critical of the scientists who wrote some of the controversial e-mails but concludes that “the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked.”

AP IMPACT: Science Not Faked, But Not Pretty

Climate scientist e-mails show effort to not share data, pettiness, but no fakery

BY SETH BORENSTEIN, RAPHAEL SATTER and MALCOLM RITTER Associated Press Writers

LONDON December 12, 2009 (AP)

E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an “exhaustive review” by The Associated Press…. The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them — about 1 million words in total…. As part of the AP review, summaries of the e-mails that raised issues from the potential manipulation of data to intensely personal attacks were sent to seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy.

[I]n the end, global warming didn’t go away, according to the vast body of research over the years. None of the e-mails flagged by the AP and sent to three climate scientists viewed as moderates in the field changed their view that global warming is man-made and a threat. Nor did it alter their support of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which some of the scientists helped write….

Gerald North, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, headed a National Academy of Sciences study that looked at — and upheld as valid — Mann’s earlier studies that found the 1990s were the hottest years in centuries.

“In my opinion the meaning is much more innocent than might be perceived by others taken out of context. Much of this is overblown,” North said….

FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania:

“Climategate”

Hacked e-mails show climate scientists in a bad light but don’t change scientific consensus on global warming.

Summary

In late November 2009, more than 1,000 e-mails between scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the U.K.s University of East Anglia were stolen and made public by an as-yet-unnamed hacker. Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded:

•  The messages, which span 13 years, show a few scientists in a bad light, being rude or dismissive. An investigation is underway, but there’s still plenty of evidence that the earth is getting warmer and that humans are largely responsible.

•  Some critics say the e-mails negate the conclusions of a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but the IPCC report relied on data from a large number of sources, of which CRU was only one.

E-mails being cited as “smoking guns” have been misrepresented….

Two recommended videos from Climate Crock:

Climate Crock Sacks Hack Attack – Part 1

Climate Crock Sacks Hack Attack – Part 2

Invaluable sources of reporting, documentation, analysis, and commentary at:

Climate Progress

RealClimate

The Intersection

Grist

DeSmogBlog

DotEarth

Deep Climate

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