Climategate and the Corruption of Climate Science
The scandal begins
The palaeoclimate agenda
Free the data and code
Temperature adjustments and trends
IPCC and the coming apocalypse
Warning: Some of the quotations in this article contain strong language and explicit sexual references.
The scandal begins
In November 2009, 4558 emails and other documents were obtained from a server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University in the UK, either by a hacker or a whistleblower. They were posted on an anonymous Russian internet site, and a link was sent to a handful of websites critical of the theory of man-made global warming. The accompanying message began:
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
The emails were written by a small group of top climate scientists who are influential figures in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and have played a key role in creating fears that increasing greenhouse gas emissions could trigger a climate catastrophe.
The emails and other documents can be accessed at eastangliaemails.com and climate-gate.org (in the quotations below, minor typos have been corrected). [NB: These two websites are no longer active. All the Climategate documents are available at Wikileaks. Or search for broken links at: Archive.org] They reveal serious scientific misconduct by the ‘Hockey Team’ – as some of the scientists involved once labelled themselves. Team members developed a paranoid, siege mentality, and came to view anybody who questioned, criticized or wanted to check their work as an enemy – a ‘contrarian’ or ‘denialist’. They perverted the peer-review system to facilitate publication of their own articles while frustrating the publication of alternative views. To reinforce their message of catastrophic global warming, they were prepared to manipulate and massage data in highly dubious ways. Although replication of research results is a key part of the scientific method, they sought to avoid granting legitimate requests for their data and computer code, including requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and were willing to destroy data and correspondence.
The leak at CRU is apparently related to its repeated denials of FOIA requests. The most recent of the released emails is dated 12 November 2009 – the day before CRU decided to reject an appeal by Steve McIntyre against the dismissal of an FOIA request. McIntyre received a rejection letter from CRU on 18 November, the day after the file containing the leaked emails was released. The name of the file containing all the documents was FOIA2009.zip. One possible scenario is that this file was created by an official at the University of East Anglia in case it was forced to release correspondence and documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and that someone at the university, or possibly an outsider, then came across it and decided to make it public (wattsupwiththat.com).
The ‘Climategate’ scandal has further exposed the falsity of claims that ‘the science is settled’ and ‘the debate is over’. The released emails reveal that leading climate scientists admit to far more uncertainties in private than they have ever done in public. Some advocates of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) claim that although the emails may indicate that some scientists acted improperly, this does not undermine the ‘overwhelming evidence’ for man-made, CO2-driven global warming. The truth is that the amount of warming is uncertain, and the hypothesis that it is mostly caused by humans is highly speculative – the main evidence being computer models programmed by AGW believers. And yet the richer nations of the world are gearing up to spend some 1 trillion dollars a year on ‘combating climate change’!
To understand the background to the leaked emails, a brief recap of the hockey stick controversy is required.
The earth has generally been warming for the past 400 years, since the coldest stage of the Little Ice Age. The IPCC claims that it is ‘very likely’ that most of the warming over the past 50 years was caused by humans. However, from about 1945 to 1975 temperatures cooled slightly, leading to fears of an imminent ice age and climate disaster. Temperatures then started to rise, and peaked in 1998, the year of a powerful El Niño. Since then there has been no overall warming. Since the IPCC believes that the warming from 1975 to 1998 was mainly man-made, but not the warming in earlier centuries, it would like to be able to demonstrate that recent warming is ‘unprecedented’. But it isn’t. Temperatures in many parts of the world appear to be lower than they were in the Medieval Warm Period (MWP, c. 900-1400), and also in the earlier Roman Warm Period (c. 200 BC - 600 AD). During the MWP the Vikings tilled now-frozen farms in Greenland and were buried there in ground that is now permafrost (archaeology.org). Hundreds of peer-reviewed articles show that the MWP was a global phenomenon (Idso & Singer, 2009, 69-94; wattsupwiththat.com; co2science.org), and was not confined to parts of the northern hemisphere, as the IPCC likes to assert.
In its 2001 Third Assessment Report, the IPCC used the iconic ‘hockey stick’ graph to try and show that modern warming was indeed ‘unprecedented’. The graph was produced by Michael Mann (now at Penn State University in the US), Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes (MBH), and published in Nature and Geophysical Research Letters in 1998 and 1999. At that time, the standard view was that the Medieval Warm Period and subsequent Little Ice Age (c. 1400-1850) were global events. But some climatologists saw the MWP as an embarrassment and spoke of the need to ‘get rid of it’. MBH’s temperature reconstruction did exactly that: it showed 900 years of gradually declining temperatures followed by a dramatic increase in the 20th century. The hockey stick played a central role in mobilizing political and public opinion in favour of drastic action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The discredited hockey stick. (IPCC)
The hockey stick was based on historical temperature proxies (mainly tree rings), with the 20th-century instrumental temperature record tacked on the end. Incredibly, although the MBH articles were peer reviewed, nobody tried to replicate and verify the work, even though it overturned well-established views on climate history. It was only several years later that Steve McIntyre, a Canadian mathematician and retired mining consultant, began to investigate the matter. Mann did his best to obstruct him; he refused to release his computer code, saying that ‘giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation tactics that these people are engaged in’.
McIntyre, with the help of economist Ross McKitrick, went on to write several articles in 2003 and 2005, exposing the flaws in the hockey-stick reconstruction. They showed that the shape of the graph was determined mainly by suspect bristlecone/foxtail tree-ring data, and that Mann’s computer algorithm was so biased that it could produce hockey sticks even out of random noise; in short, Mann’s statistical methods ‘mined’ for hockey-stick signals in the proxy data, which were then assigned exaggerated weight in the reconstruction – thereby giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘Man(n)-made warming’!
In 2006 McIntyre & McKitrick’s criticisms were upheld by two expert committees in the US – the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel and a congressional panel headed by statistician Edward Wegman. Wegman pointed out that the palaeoclimate field is dominated by ‘a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis’, and that ‘the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their own public positions without losing credibility’.
In the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, the hockey stick was included in a ‘spaghetti diagram’ alongside six other temperature reconstructions, which showed greater variability in the past but still no pronounced MWP. These ‘independent’ studies are the work of Mann’s colleagues and make use of the same flawed proxies as well as dubious statistical techniques (Montford, 2010, 266-308). The data were carefully cherry-picked to exclude tree-ring series that showed a prominent MWP (climateaudit.files.wordpress.com). Palaeoclimatologist Rosanne D’Arrigo actually told the NAS panel that cherry-picking was necessary if you wanted to make cherry pie (i.e. hockey sticks). And Jan Esper has stated: ‘The ability to pick and choose which samples to use is an advantage unique to dendroclimatology’ – a statement that would make any reputable scientist shudder (Montford, 236, 288-9).
It is clear that tree-ring width and density do not make good thermometers, as they are determined by many other factors besides temperature, such as precipitation, CO2 fertilization, proximity of other trees, and disease. The NAS panel advised that strip-bark bristlecones should be avoided in temperature reconstructions, but the Team shows no sign of heeding that advice.
Non-tree-ring temperature reconstruction with 95% confidence intervals (red), published by Craig Loehle and Hu McCulloch in 2008, showing a Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age. The last point on the graph represents 1935. The temperature today is still marginally below that during the MWP. (scienceandpublicpolicy.org)
The palaeoclimate agenda
Many of the leaked CRU emails deal with palaeoclimate issues. For instance, when Mann hears that an article by McIntyre & McKitrick criticizing the hockey stick is to be published in Energy and Environment, and before even having read the article, he fires off the following note to his colleagues on 26 October 2003:
Who knows what trickery has been pulled or selective use of data made? It’s clear that ‘Energy and Environment’ is being run by the baddies ...
Of course, the usual suspects are going to try to peddle this crap. The important thing is to deny that this has any intellectual credibility whatsoever and, if contacted by any media, to dismiss this for the stunt that it is. (1067194064)
Mann takes a low view of Steve McIntyre, calling him a ‘moron’, a ‘bozo’, a ‘fraud’, a spreader of ‘disinformation’, and a peddler of ‘pure crap’. But some of the other Team members seem more inclined to take his criticisms seriously. One of them has said: ‘Any attempts to teach or outsmart Steve are counterproductive and a total waste of time’ (climateaudit.org). It is of course understandable that climate ‘experts’ are not amused when their statistical incompetence and malpractices are exposed again and again by an ‘outsider’.
On 30 October 2003 Ray Bradley wrote to Phil Jones, the CRU director, and his colleague Tim Osborn, asking for help in deflecting attention away from McIntyre & McKitrick’s 2003 article:
if an ‘independent group’ such as you guys at CRU could make a statement as to whether the M&M effort is truly an ‘audit’, and if they did it right, I think that would go a long way to defusing the issue. ...
If you are willing, a quick and forceful statement from The Distinguished CRU Boys would help quash further arguments. (1067542015)
Tim Osborn, on the other hand, urged ‘a very careful reading of M&M and their supplementary website to ensure that everything in the response is clearly correct’ (1067596623). On 12 November he emailed Jones and Keith Briffa (of CRU):
I do wish Mike [Mann] had not rushed around sending out preliminary and incorrect early responses – the waters are really muddied now. He would have done better to have taken things slowly and worked out a final response before publicising this stuff. Excel files, other files being created early or now deleted is really confusing things! (1068652882; climateaudit.org)
Mann was clearly aware that the hockey stick was not as ‘robust’ as he was fond of claiming. In July 2003 he sent his ‘calibration residual series’ to Tim Osborn, adding:
... I’m providing these for your own personal use, since you’re a trusted colleague. So please don’t pass this along to others without checking w/ [with] me first. This is the sort of ‘dirty laundry’ one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things. (1059664704)
Later that year Mann refused to send Steve McIntyre the same data/‘dirty laundry’ (climateaudit.org).
Some of Mann’s colleagues privately express misgivings about his work. In June 2002, Keith Briffa writes the following to Ed Cook, a tree-ring expert at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the US:
I have just read this letter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative) tropical series. He is just as capable of regressing these data against any other ‘target’ series, such as the increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage he has produced over the last few years, and ... (better say no more) (1024334440)
In October 2004, Tom Wigley makes the following blunt comments on the hockey stick to Phil Jones:
I have just read the M&M stuff criticizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me. At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work – an opinion I have held for some time. Presumably what you have done with Keith [Briffa] is better? – or is it? I get asked about this a lot. Can you give me a brief heads up? Mike [Mann] is too deep into this to be helpful. (1098472400)
In his reply, Jones throws in his lot with Mann: ‘M&M are completely wrong in virtually everything they say or do’ (1098472400) – a sign that the wagons are being circled.
Despite the impression given by IPCC reports, Team members hold very differing views on the Medieval Warm Period. In an email to Phil Jones and others in June 2003, Mann clearly sets out his agenda for the next IPCC report:
I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K [2000 years], rather than the usual 1K , addresses a good earlier point that [Overpeck] made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back ... (1054736277).
In October 2004, Phil Jones writes:
there is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and variability. (1098472400)
But not everyone shares his ‘gut feeling’. In an email in May 2001, Ed Cook writes: ‘I do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong’ (988831541).
In September 1999, in the run-up to the 2001 Third Assessment Report, Keith Briffa had made the following frank comments on the state of palaeoclimatology:
I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. ... For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike [Mann] appears to ... (0938018124)
None of Briffa’s doubts and concerns were reflected in the Third Assessment Report. Nor were they reflected in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), for which Briffa acted as a lead author of the palaeoclimate chapter. The report concludes that global temperatures are now ‘likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years’. In April 2007 Briffa wrote: ‘I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which were not always the same’ (1177890796). This implies that pushing the IPCC’s political agenda made complete scientific objectivity impossible. McIntyre and McKitrick have lambasted Briffa and others for their distorted and disingenuous depiction of the state of palaeoclimatology in AR4 (ross.mckitrick.googlepages.com; Montford, 2010, 309-37). Both of them acted as reviewers of the IPCC report, but most of their objections and suggestions were ignored.
The two coordinating lead authors of the palaeoclimate chapter of AR4 were Jonathan Overpeck and Eystein Jansen. They instructed their colleagues to make sure that text was ‘FOCUSED on only that science which is policy relevant’ and that would support preconceived summary bullet points (1121392136). Overpeck urged the authors to ‘replace the hockey-stick with something even more compelling’ (1116902771). He told Keith Briffa:
I get the sense that I’m not the only one who would like to deal a mortal blow to the misuse of supposed warm period terms and myths in the literature. The sceptics and uninformed love to cite these periods as natural analogs for current warming too – pure rubbish.
So, pls DO try hard to follow up on my advice provided in previous email. No need to go into details on any but the MWP, but good to mention the others in the same dismissive effort. (1105670738)
Briffa wrote the contents of a special box on the MWP for AR4, designed to reinforce the view that modern warming was abnormal. Overpeck was pleased with the result: ‘It reads just great – much like a big hammer. Nice job.’ The hundreds of peer-reviewed papers pointing to a MWP in many different parts of the world were largely ignored.
In September 2003 Ed Cook emailed Keith Briffa to propose a joint paper on the uncertainties in published reconstructions of northern-hemisphere temperatures over the past millennium. He says this idea came to him after hearing a talk by Ray Bradley ‘on how everybody but him has fucked up in reconstructing past NH temperatures over the past 1000 years (this is a bit of an overstatement on my part I must admit, but his air of papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times)’. Cook has doubts about whether to involve Mann and Jones because they are ‘too personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL [Geophysical Research Letters] paper that is probably the worst paper Phil [Jones] has ever been involved in – Bradley hates it as well)’. Cook expects their article to conclude that:
we can probably say a fair bit about <100 year [less than 100-year] extra-tropical NH temperature variability (at least as far as we believe the proxy estimates), but honestly know fuck-all about what the >100 year [greater than 100-year] variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all). (1062592331)
This was certainly not the message conveyed by the Fourth Assessment Report!
In February 2006 Briffa had warned against ‘over-egging the pudding’ in AR4. He cautioned that the ‘real independence’ of the proxy inputs to most reconstructions since the hockey stick was ‘minimal’, and that the efficacy of the ‘many different techniques used to aggregate and scale data ... is still far from established’ (1140039406). In June 2005 Wigley admitted that the differences between the various palaeo-reconstructions ‘make me very nervous. If I were on the greenhouse deniers’ side, I would be inclined to focus on the wide range of paleo results and the differences between them as an argument for dismissing them all’ (1119957715). But instead of presenting a balanced account, the IPCC authors ended up grossly ‘over-egging the pudding’.
Sixteen of the articles cited in AR4 failed to meet the IPCC’s own publication deadlines for cited references; all of them were written by IPCC contributing authors in support of the AGW cause. The most notable case is a paper by Eugene Wahl and Caspar Ammann. The authors of chapter 6 desperately needed this paper to counter McIntyre & McKitrick’s criticisms of the hockey stick, as the authors claimed to have validated Mann’s results. The leaked emails show that members of the Team pressurized Climatic Change editor Stephen Schneider to ensure that the paper was processed quickly enough to meet IPCC deadlines, though this was not entirely successful. Wahl and Ammann referred to arguments in another unpublished paper they had written, which was not even submitted until well after the first paper had gone forward for IPCC review. Jones advised the authors to be dishonest: ‘try and change the Received date! Don’t give those skeptics something to amuse themselves with’ (1189722851). Both papers finally appeared in September 2007. The authors conceded that the hockey stick failed a key test for statistical significance, but claimed it passed another test and promised to provide details in their Supplementary Information. When this was finally made available a year later, it became clear that torturous statistical manipulations were required to enable the test to be passed (Montford, 2010, 201-19, 338-42, 424-6; bishophill.squarespace.com). The shenanigans involved in the Wahl & Ammann saga are quite breathtaking.
‘Hide the decline’In September 1999 Keith Briffa wrote:
We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies) [show] some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. (0938018124)
This is a reference to the ‘divergence problem’: the fact that many tree-ring series, if we assume tree rings to be thermometers, show declining temperatures in the late 20th century rather than rising temperatures. And if tree rings are poor thermometers in recent times, how can we assume they were reliable thermometers in earlier centuries? Obviously we can’t. But if such data fail to show a Medieval Warm Period, they’re apparently good enough for the Team! It would be more scientific to stop using tree-ring data for temperature reconstructions altogether.
Michael Mann and other IPCC authors decided to include a diagram showing several proxy reconstructions of the temperature for the past 1000 years in the 2001 report. Emails from September 1999 show that there were concerns about including Briffa’s reconstruction because it showed warmer temperatures in the past, which was regarded as a problem because it ‘dilutes the message rather significantly’. Mann was afraid that
the skeptics [would] have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates – I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder! (938018124)
So Briffa produced a revised version of his graph, which brought it more into line with other reconstructions for earlier centuries, but it had the drawback of creating a very severe decline in temperatures in the post-1960 period. Under Mann’s leadership, the solution adopted was to delete the unwanted part of the graph as it was considered to contain a ‘non-temperature signal’ (0939154709). However, this ‘trick’ was not disclosed in the Third Assessment Report, which failed to explicitly discuss the divergence problem (climateaudit.org; climateaudit.org). The unwanted portion of the Briffa data was even deleted from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s archive, but fortunately the data are included in one of the leaked emails.
This hockey-stick chart appears in the 2001 IPCC report. The green line represents Briffa’s tree-ring data.
Left: Blowing up the above graph shows that the green line stops in 1961, where it is hidden behind the other lines. Right: If the deleted data are restored, the green line shows a dramatic decline in proxy temperatures.
The deletion of the 1961-1994 portion of Briffa’s data was repeated in the IPCC’s 2007 report. As one of the reviewers, Steve McIntyre urged the IPCC to include the deleted data, but the lead author of the section in question – who was none other than Keith Briffa – refused, saying this would be ‘inappropriate’. The divergence problem has been discussed in the technical literature, but the effort to hide the full truth about it from policymakers and the public is unjustified. As IPCC review editor and UK Met Office director John Mitchell said in June 2006: ‘The issue of why we don’t show the temperature proxy data for the last few decades (they don’t show continued warming) but assume that they are valid for early warm periods needs to be explained’ (1150923423). But this was not done. AR4’s brief paragraph on the divergence problem – which was never seen by the reviewers – failed to explain the extent of the divergence problem and its serious implications for all tree-ring reconstructions (McKitrick, 2010).
The following remark in an email from Phil Jones to Mann, Bradley and Hughes in November 1999 has been widely quoted:
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. (0942777075)
Jones is referring to a graph for a forthcoming World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report. The ‘trick’ in question is not exactly the same as the one used in the IPCC report: after deleting the post-1960 values of the Briffa reconstruction, Jones replaced them with instrumental temperature values, smoothed the spliced series, and ended up with a reconstruction that looked like an accurate reconstruction of late 20th-century temperatures (climateaudit.info; climateaudit.org; climateaudit.org; climateaudit.org). Team members have tried to defend such trickery as a legitimate statistical technique – an indication of how far they have departed from the normal standards of science.
Jones uses Mann’s ‘Nature trick’ to hide the decline at the end of Briffa’s temperature curve (green). Compare the end portion to the green curve in the right-hand figure above. Data distortion at its ‘finest’!
The UK Parliamentary Committee that investigated the CRU affair concluded that the ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ involved nothing more than deleting ‘erroneous’ data. This is false (climateaudit.org). No one has claimed that the tree rings were wrongly measured. So the deleted data are not ‘erroneous’, but they are certainly inconvenient because they undermine the use of tree-ring-based reconstructions to support the claim that modern temperatures are ‘unprecedented’.
Team members actively police the field of climate science to ensure that their own message prevails. One of their critics, John Christy – who, together with Roy Spencer, is responsible for producing one of the two satellite temperature records (UAH) – writes:
the ‘consensus’ reports now are just the consensus of those who agree with the consensus. The government-selected authors have become gatekeepers rather than honest brokers of information. That is a real tragedy, because when someone becomes a gatekeeper, they don’t know they’ve become a gatekeeper – and begin to (sincerely) think the non-consensus scientists are just nuts ... (1248993704)
In one of the emails, Ray Bradley criticizes a comment made by Michael Mann:
thinking that it is ‘Better that nothing appear, than something unacceptable to us’ ... as though we are the gatekeepers of all that is acceptable in the world of paleoclimatology seems amazingly arrogant. Science moves forward whether we agree with individual articles or not. (924532891)
Unfortunately, that is not the view of the Team as a whole.
Pressurizing journalsIn 2002, Climate Research published an article by Patrick Michaels, arguing that human activity was warming surface temperatures but by less than models predicted, suggesting that the models overestimate the effects of atmospheric CO2 (a fairly minor greenhouse gas). In 2003 the journal published an article by astrophysicists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, concluding that 20th-century temperatures could not confidently be considered to be warmer than those at the beginning of the last millennium (i.e. during the MWP). These two articles infuriated the Team. In March 2003 Mann wrote that the sceptics must have ‘hijacked’ the peer-review process.
The skeptics appear to have staged a ‘coup’ at ‘Climate Research’ ... My guess is that Von Storch [one of the editors] is actually with them (frankly, he’s an odd individual, and I’m not sure he isn’t himself somewhat of a skeptic himself) ...
I think we have to stop considering ‘Climate Research’ as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. (1047388489)
Phil Jones says: ‘I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor’ – a reference to Chris de Freitas, who had handled the two papers (1047388489). De Freitas sent a long email to the publisher of Climate Research defending his actions, which includes the following:
Mike Hulme [a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia] refers to the number of papers I have processed for CR [Climate Research] that ‘have been authored by scientists who are well known for their opposition to the notion that humans are significantly altering global climate.’ How many can he say he has processed? I suspect the answer is nil. Does this mean he is biased towards scientists ‘who are well known for their support for the notion that humans are significantly altering global climate’? Mike Hulme quite clearly has an axe or two to grind, and, it seems, a political agenda. (1057944829)
On 24 April 2003, Tom Wigley wrote an email accusing Hans von Storch of ‘encouraging the publication of crap science’, and suggested telling the publishers that ‘their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation’, adding that it is perceptions that count, not whether the charge is really true. He also says that Von Storch and editorial board members should be forced to resign (1051190249). On the same day, Mann writes: ‘I fear that “Climate Research” has become a hopelessly compromised vehicle in the skeptics’ (can we find a better word?) disinformation campaign’, and says that ‘a potential threat of mass resignation among the legitimate members of the CR editorial board’ has ‘some potential merit’ (1051202354). A few months later half of the editorial board did in fact resign.
In July 2004 Phil Jones sent Michael Mann an email marked ‘highly confidential’, in which he refers to two papers; one of them was by McKitrick & Michaels (Climate Research, 2004), which he describes as ‘garbage’. He comments: ‘I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!’ (1089318616). Jones and Trenberth (of the National Center for Atmospheric Research) were coordinating lead authors of chapter 3 of AR4 (Observations). The McKitrick & Michaels article showed that the adjustments made to raw temperature data were not eliminating contamination caused by factors such as urbanization and loss of stations. They estimated that if the contamination were removed, this would halve the average measured warming rate over land. Jones and Trenberth succeeded in keeping the McKitrick & Michaels article out of the first and second drafts of AR4. Several reviewers complained and drew attention to a 2006 paper by De Laat & Maurellis, who reached similar conclusions. The final report mentioned both articles, but inserted a dismissive editorial comment which was not supported by any reference to peer-reviewed literature and had not been subjected to the formal IPCC review process (climateaudit.org; McKitrick, 2010).
The Team was also incensed by the publication of sceptical articles in Geophysical Research Letters. For instance, Mann challenged GRL editor-in-chief Steve Mackwell over the publication of McIntyre’s 2005 paper criticizing the hockey stick. Mackwell replied that the editor concerned, James Saiers, had sought reviews from three knowledgeable scientists who had all recommended publication. Mann then wrote to other members of the Team: ‘Just a heads up [warning]. Apparently, the contrarians now have an “in” with GRL’ (1106322460). Tom Wigley replies:
If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU [American Geophysical Union] channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.
It’s one thing to lose ‘Climate Research’. We can’t afford to lose GRL.
They have published far too many deeply flawed contrarian papers in the past year or so. There is no possible excuse for them publishing all 3 Douglass papers and the Soon et al paper. These were all pure crap. (1106322460)
Soon the suspect editor, James Saiers, had been removed, and Mann wrote to Phil Jones:
The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ [with] new editorial leadership there, but these guys always have ‘Climate Research’ and ‘Energy and Environment’, and will go there if necessary. (1132094873)
The Climategate emails show that the editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJoC) conspired with Team members, including Ben Santer (of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Phil Jones, and Tim Osborn (a member of the IJoC editorial board), to delay the publication of a paper by David Douglass and his coworkers, which argued that the instrumental records don’t match climate-model predictions of enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere. The aim was to enable Santer et al.’s article, which attempts to refute their work, to appear alongside the Douglass article (in November 2008), and without a reply. While Douglass et al. had to wait over 11 months between their article appearing online and its appearance in print, Santer et al. only had to wait 36 days. Santer and his coworkers alleged that Douglass et al. deliberately failed to use two balloon datasets that would have altered their results. Douglass et al. replied that those datasets are known to be faulty. Interestingly, Santer et al. cut off balloon datasets in 1999; if they had been continued them to the present day, they would have provided support for Douglass et al.’s conclusions (americanthinker.com).
On 31 March 2004, Phil Jones wrote to Mann:
Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL. (1080742144)
The articles in question took issue with an influential paper written by Jones and others in 1990, which examined data from stations in Russia, Australia and China and concluded that the urban heat-island effect was minimal. One of the two papers rejected was by Lars Kamél, who found a lower temperature trend in Siberia than CRU, and concluded that CRU had not adequately corrected for urban warming.
Team members such as Jones, Briffa and Osborn were on the editorial boards of several climate journals and participated actively in peer review and the assignment of peer reviewers. There are several examples of the Team seeking hostile reviews in order to reject adverse papers, e.g.:
- Briffa to Cook, 4 June 2003: ‘I am really sorry but I have to nag about that review – Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting ...’ (1054748574).
- Cook to Briffa, 4 June 2003: ‘If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically ...’ (1054756929). The paper in question has still not been published (climateaudit.org).
It is ironic that the Team criticizes its opponents for not publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, but has succeeded in making it very difficult for them to do so.
Sometimes nature steps in and does the Team’s work for it. When John Daly, an opponent of AGW, died unexpectedly in 2004, Phil Jones welcomed this as ‘cheering news’ (1075403821).
Team member William Connolley, a UK scientist and Green Party activist, has played a major role in censoring sceptical sentiments in Wikipedia’s articles on climate. His role as a website administrator allowed him to act with virtual impunity. He has created or rewritten 5428 articles, and deleted over 500 that he didn’t like. Over 2000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him were blocked from making further contributions (nationalpost.com).
The Team also takes an interest in journalists. In October 2009 Mann expressed his surprise and displeasure at a vaguely sceptical article published by the BBC and considers having a word with the journalist in question (1255352257). In February 2005, Mann told Andy Revkin of the New York Times that one of Steve McIntyre’s papers was ‘pure scientific fraud’ (1107899057). In September 2009 Mann warns Revkin that people like McIntyre ‘are not to be trusted’ (1254259645). The following month, however, Mann cautions Phil Jones: ‘be a bit careful about what information you send to Andy and what emails you copy him in on. He’s not as predictable as we would like’ (1256735067). Revkin has taken a more sceptical line since Climategate began, but this has not pleased everybody. Last December Michael Schlesinger, a climate scientist, accused him of ‘gutter reportage’ and threatened: ‘I sense that you are about to experience the “Big Cutoff” from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you’ (rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com).
Michael Mann comes across as extremely paranoid and sees signs of a ‘highly orchestrated, heavily-funded corporate attack campaign’ everywhere (1254323180). He is referring in particular to the ‘evil’ role of giant oil companies. But let us put things in perspective: In 2002 Exxon Mobil donated $100 million to Stanford University ‘for research into global warming and renewable energy alternatives’, whereas from 2002 to 2005 it donated about $6.4 million to conservative think tanks critical of AGW. British Petroleum has donated $500 million to the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California. One of the leaked emails shows that Shell has given money to CRU (962818260). High-profile figures such as Michael Mann and NASA’s James Hansen have received six-figure sums from organizations such as the Theresa Heinz Foundation and the Dan David Foundation. Over the past two decades the US and other rich nations have spent over $100 billion on climate research, most of it going to pro-AGW scientists (eureferendum.blogspot.com; icecap.us). It certainly pays to be an advocate of man-made global warming these days!
Peer review vs. pal reviewWhile the Team used the peer-review process to prevent or delay publication of sceptic papers, they gave softball reviews to their friends and associates. For instance, here is Jones’ review of an article by Mann and his coworkers, dated 1 November 2008: ‘The paper is generally well written. I recommend acceptance subject to minor revisions. I will leave it to the editor to check that most of my comments have been responded to.’ Steve McIntyre comments sarcastically:
That’s it. No ‘going to town’. Lucky, I guess, that there was apparently none of that ‘math stuff’ to worry about. Lucky that they didn’t have to worry about a paper that might do ‘damage’. Or about how to reject a paper that might do ‘damage’ when the math was ‘correct theoretically’. Lucky that no editor wrote to Jones asking him to provide a ‘hard and if required extensive case for rejecting’. Nope, none of that. (climateaudit.org)
In August 2009 Grant Foster wrote to Trenberth and Jones asking for the names of possible reviewers to propose to the Journal of Geophysical Research for a critical comment he was putting together on a sceptic paper that had appeared in the journal. Jones replies with a list of people, and says: ‘All of them know the sorts of things to say – about our comment and the awful original, without any prompting’ (1249503274).
In May 2004, McKitrick and Michaels submitted a paper to the International Journal of Climatology suggesting that part of the observed temperature increase might be due to urbanization rather than CO2. One of the reviewers was Phil Jones and the paper was rejected (bishophill.squarespace.com). In 2007 Mckitrick & Michaels succeeded in publishing a fuller version of their work in the Journal of Geophysical Research. A Team member, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, published a statistical critique of this paper in the IJoC in 2009. Interestingly, Phil Jones, who is not a statistician, was one of the reviewers of his paper. He gave a very light-touch review, but missed several errors (climateaudit.org). In April 2009 McKitrick and Nierenberg submitted a reply (sites.google.com/site/rossmckitrick), but the IJoC rejected it 10 months later, whereas it had accepted Schmidt’s article within 6 months.
Andrew Montford (2010, 449) sums up the general picture:
senior climatologists have sought to undermine the peer review process and bully journals into suppressing dissenting views. This means that the scientific literature is no longer a representation of the state of human knowledge about the climate. It is a representation of what a small cabal of scientists feel is worthy of discussion.
Free the data and code
It is standard scientific practice to make data and computer code available so that work can be verified. However, that is not the way many leading climate scientists see things. In the leaked emails Michael Mann says that the best course of action to adopt towards people asking for data is to ‘ignore them completely’, while Kevin Trenberth says the response should be to label them as ‘lazy and incompetent’ and to ‘cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric’ (1177158252).
Team members and other AGW advocates have recently accused their critics of ‘hounding’ them for data. However, if their record-keeping had been in order the requests could have been met with the press of a button. And if climate science were completely transparent, rather than a law unto itself, no requests for data would ever have been filed. It’s disturbing that Freedom of Information requests are necessary to try and force scientists to reveal the data used in publicly funded research – research that has had a major impact on politicians and policymakers, and underlies proposals for massive spending to ‘combat’ climate change.
Proxy data and computer codeIn January 2004, Phil Jones wrote to Stephen Schneider, editor of Climatic Change, among others, advising him not to grant Steve McIntyre’s request for Mann’s computer code, as this would ‘set a VERY dangerous precedent’. The next month Mann writes to Jones: ‘There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!’ (1076359809) – suggesting he has little faith in his work’s ability to withstand critical scrutiny.
The Team is particularly reluctant to publish proxy data that would undermine its message. For example:
Briffa et al. (1995) produced an influential [tree-ring] chronology from the Polar Urals site ..., which combated the idea of a widespread Medieval Warm Period, supposedly showing a very cold 11th century in Siberia, with 1032 supposedly being the coldest year of the millennium. Further measurements ... yielded a chronology in which the 11th century was warmer than the 20th century. Neither CRU nor any other climate scientist ever published this update. The data ... has never been publicly archived and was obtained only through quasi-litigation at Science. (One of the Climategate Letters expresses regret that the data was made available.) (McIntyre, 2010)
Many palaeoclimate reconstructions favoured by the IPCC use a proxy series that Keith Briffa had calculated from tree-ring data from the Yamal Peninsula in Russia: it shows no MWP but it does show a sharp uptick in temperatures in the 20th century. Briffa refused to release his raw data, and none of the journals publishing reconstructions using his series required him to do so, despite repeated requests by Steve McIntyre. In 2008 Briffa, F.H. Schweingruber and some colleagues published a paper using the Yamal series in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and this time the editor did force Briffa to release the data – and independent analysis could begin.
It turns out that the sharp uptrend in the late 20th century came from cores of 10 trees alive as of 1990, and 5 trees alive as of 1995. Based on scientific standards, this is too small a sample to draw valid conclusions. McIntyre then investigated whether there were other tree-ring cores from the Yamal site or nearby that could have been used to increase the sample size. He discovered a set of 34 up-to-date core samples taken from living trees in Yamal by none other than Schweingruber himself. If these are included, the 20th-century curve is flat and unexceptional compared to the rest of the millennium. Ross McKitrick comments:
Thus the key ingredient in most of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series, depends on the influence of a woefully thin subsample of trees and the exclusion of readily-available data for the same area. Whatever is going on here, it is not science. (network.nationalpost.com)
Tom Wigley admits in an email to Phil Jones on 5 October 2009 that ‘Keith [Briffa] does seem to have got himself into a mess.’ He adds:
the issue of withholding data is still a hot potato, one that affects both you and Keith (and Mann). Yes, there are reasons – but many *good* scientists appear to be unsympathetic to these. The trouble here is that withholding data looks like hiding something, and hiding means (in some eyes) that it is bogus science that is being hidden. (1254756944)
Temperature data and code
Climate scientists have been reluctant to make available some of the raw temperature data used in constructing the surface temperature records that are one of the foundations of the global warming movement. They have also shown intense resistance to releasing the computer algorithms that are used to process and adjust the data.
In 2004 Australian researcher Warwick Hughes asked Phil Jones for the data he had used in his reconstruction of the global temperature record. In February 2005 Jones sent the following infamous reply: ‘We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?’
In February 2005, Phil Jones wrote to Mann, telling him he had just sent a lot of temperature data to the latter’s assistant, Scott Rutherford. He continues:
don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. ...The two MMs [McIntyre and McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. (1107454306)
The Freedom of Information Act provides for the release of information held by public institutions to the public regardless of their views. But Phil Jones sees things differently. In June 2007 he writes: ‘Think I’ve managed to persuade UEA [University of East Anglia] to ignore all further FOIA requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit’ (1182255717).
In September 2006 Willis Eschenbach and Doug Keenan submitted the first FOIA request to Jones, asking for a list of the meteorological stations used to prepare the HadCRUT3 global temperature average and the raw data for those stations. Due to CRU’s intransigence, a series of further requests were submitted by Eschenbach, McIntyre and others. In October 2007 CRU finally posted a list of stations (full of errors), but no data, and it failed to indicate which stations were used when, and which ones are still used.
In April 2007 Jones admitted in an email to his colleagues that he no longer has much of the requested original raw data used to calculate global surface temperatures, or complete information on all the stations used in the database (1177158252). In August 2009, CRU announced that it had discarded the original raw temperature data – only the ‘value-added’, i.e. adjusted and ‘homogenized’, data are still available! Jones tried to blame this on the lack of data storage in the 1980s and early 1990s – which is absurd given that a single tape would have been sufficient to store all the data. In September 2009, Patrick Michaels published an article on this subject, entitled ‘The dog ate global warming’ (article.nationalreview.com). This infuriated Ben Santer, who, in an email to Phil Jones on 9 October 2009, wrote: ‘Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted’ (1255100876). Santer appears to suffer from a lot of violent impulses; in April 2007, he wrote: ‘I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley’ (1177534709).
CRU came up with a series up pathetic excuses for its refusal to release any data. First, it said that all their data were already available on two US websites, but refused to say exactly which sites it used so that the relevant data could be extracted from these huge databases. Then it said that it couldn’t provide the data because 2% of it was obtained under confidentiality agreements with national meteorological services that prevented further transmission to non-academics. When several academics requested the data, CRU said it was mistaken and that no one could have the data. In an email from January 2005 Jones told Tom Wigley that if necessary he would ‘hide behind’ non-disclosure agreements (1106338806). Next CRU said it did not know which countries’ station data were given in confidence as it had not kept any records. Various people then submitted FOIA requests for CRU’s agreements with different countries. In response CRU put three agreements online, saying there were more but they could not locate them because ‘we’ve moved offices several times’! (Mosher & Fuller, 2010, 85-96).
Note that confidentiality agreements and intellectual property rights did not prevent Jones giving his data to his friends and associates, such as Scott Rutherford in 2005 and Peter Webster in 2009. In fact, in 2002 he even sent some station data to Steve McIntyre in response to a request – at that time McIntyre had not yet published any critical articles on the hockey stick (climateaudit.org). So it seems Jones only refuses data to those who he fears might find something wrong with it.
In July 2009 McIntyre appealed against CRU’s decision to reject his request for Jones’ temperature data. His appeal was dismissed on 13 November 2009, a few days before the CRU emails were leaked. CRU claimed that the data were organized in such a way that it would be extremely difficult and costly to provide the data not covered by confidentiality agreements.
Amusingly, in July 2009 Jones inadvertently placed some of the ‘secret’ data on CRU’s FTP site, where McIntyre found it. McIntyre then wrote a series of humorous posts on how he was now in possession of a version of Jones’ data he had been denied, thanks to a ‘mole’ – eventually revealing that the mole was Phil Jones. CRU had claimed that possession of this data would ‘hamper the ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations’ – but needless to say nothing of the sort happened.
This whole sorry saga clearly demonstrates the incompetence of Phil Jones and CRU in matters like simple data management and document control – they have simply not been doing their job properly. Steven Mosher & Thomas Fuller (2010, 92) write:
Jones and CRU appear to have made a total hash of the record keeping. If their responses to FOIA requests are to be believed, they don’t have a list of the sites they currently use. They don’t have a version control system that allows them to reconstruct what they have done over the years. And they can’t tell the ultimate source of their data. Their work cannot be double checked. It must be taken on trust.
Steve McIntyre comments:
Temperature indices should be calculated by a professional statistical service, who understand data integrity, not climate scientists who are untrained in statistical management and doing it on a seat-of-the-pants basis. Also the accounting obviously shouldn’t be done by people who are also advocates. It taints the ability of third parties to trust their results. (climateaudit.org)
In December 2009, the UK Met Office released adjusted data for 1741 stations, but denied this had anything to do with the FOIA requests. And in February 2010 it called for an international effort to produce a new verifiable global temperature dataset fitted to 21st-century needs.
To check the influential CRU global temperature record, researchers need not only the raw data but also the code used to process it. In February 2005 Jones told Mann that he had no intention of sending McIntyre any computer code, and confessed: ‘If I can find it, it is likely to be hundreds of lines of uncommented fortran!’ (1114607213). Fortran is an old computer language that is very opaque unless extensively documented. Note that Jones does not argue that code should be withheld because of intellectual property rights, but because he is not sure he can find it and he suspects that it is a mess. After intense lobbying, NASA released the computer code it uses for processing temperature data in September 2007; it turned out to be messy and poorly documented (climateaudit.org). CRU has not yet followed suit. However, the leaked CRU documents include a lot of computer code, together with comments by the programmer, indicating that the code is riddled with bugs, errors and spurious adjustments. For example:
APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE ...; fudge factor (briffa_sep98_e.pro)
recent decline in tree-ring density has been ARTIFICIALLY REMOVED to facilitate calibration. THEREFORE, post-1960 values will be much closer to observed temperatures then they should be, which will incorrectly imply the reconstruction is more skilful than it actually is. (mxdgrid2ascii.pro)
One of the most disturbing of the leaked documents is a 15,000-line file named Harry_read_me.txt. Its title is: ‘READ ME for Harry’s work on the CRU TS2.1/3.0 datasets, 2006-2009!’ The author, Ian ‘Harry’ Harris, repeatedly expresses his frustration at the appalling state of the source code and databases. Some examples:
But what are all those monthly files? DON’T KNOW, UNDOCUMENTED. Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names. And that’s useless.
It’s botch after botch after botch.
Oh bugger. What the HELL is going on?!
Just another thing I cannot understand, and another reason why this should all have been rewritten from scratch a year ago!
am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!!
As far as I can see, this renders the (weather) station counts totally meaningless.
COBAR AIRPORT AWS [data from an Australian weather station] cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993!
getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data. so many new stations have been introduced, so many false references. so many changes that aren’t documented.
I immediately found a mistake! Scanning forward to 1951 was done with a loop that, for completely unfathomable reasons, didn’t include months! So we read 50 grids instead of 600!!!
What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)
So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late.
The problem is that the synthetics are incorporated at 2.5-degrees, NO IDEA why, so saying they affect particular 0.5-degree cells is harder than it should be. So we’ll just gloss over that entirely ;0)
OH FUCK THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found.
This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!
In view of Harry’s comments, it is pretty obvious why Phil Jones was in no hurry to release CRU’s data and code!
IPCC reviewThe IPCC process is supposed to be open and transparent. Although the IPCC sometimes cited unpublished papers in its reports, it refused to make copies available to reviewers. In September 2005 Steve McIntyre asked Working Group 1 to help him obtain the data underlying some of these articles, but the IPCC refused. McIntyre then asked the author of one of the studies for the data, and when the latter refused, he approached the editor of the journal that was to publish it. The IPCC accused McIntyre of ‘abusing’ his position as IPCC reviewer and threatened to remove him (1128000000). It took the ridiculous position that an unpublished paper could be cited in AR4, but reviewers should not be allowed to examine the underlying data because the paper had not yet been published!
After much lobbying, the IPCC posted online the comments submitted by AR4 reviewers and the replies of IPCC authors. A clear pattern emerges of critical comments being treated cavalierly. Some researchers have therefore tried to obtain the correspondence between chapter authors in order to shed light on how they dealt with critical comments and reached their decisions. David Holland was particularly interested in obtaining IPCC-related correspondence of Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn, both of them authors of the palaeoclimate chapter. The leaked emails have confirmed suspicions that a lot of discussion and collusion went on behind the scenes, and that Briffa received a copy of Wahl and Ammann’s unpublished papers outside the IPCC review process. They also reveal that Holland’s FOIA requests caused CRU a lot of headaches, and that Jones was desperate to avoid the correspondence being released (publications.parliament.uk). In an email in August 2008 he indicated that UK climate organisations were coordinating their efforts to resist FOIA requests and claimed they were receiving advice from the Information Commissioner (1219239172).
The requests for IPCC-related emails were ultimately dismissed on the grounds that the correspondence was confidential and it would cost too much to make it available (Montford, 2010, 424-33). Holland’s appeal was also dismissed, but in the meantime Jones had made extra sure nothing damaging would be revealed by sending the following infamous email to Michael Mann in May 2008:
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4? Keith will do likewise. ... Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? ... We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. (1212063122)
Mann has since claimed that he disapproved of Jones’s request to break the law. But here is what he said in reply: ‘I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP [as soon as possible].’
In an email dated 3 December 2008 Jones indicates that he did not merely talk about deleting files: ‘About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little – if anything at all’ (1228330629). A few days later he writes: ‘I did get an email from the FOI person here [at his university] early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails – unless this was “normal” deleting to keep emails manageable!’ (1228922050).
After receiving a complaint about Jones’ conduct from David Holland, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) looked into the matter and concluded in January 2010: ‘The prima facie evidence from the published e-mails indicate[s] an attempt to defeat disclosure by deleting information. It is hard to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence’ (uea.ac.uk). However, no further action can be taken due to a loophole in the law: the complaint was received over six months after the alleged offence was committed (timesonline.co.uk). The offence carries a maximum fine of £5000.
Mike Hulme, once a vocal climate alarmist, has recently stated that climate science has become too partisan and tribalistic. He has also criticized the IPCC for ‘its structural tendency to politicize climate change science’ and thinks its usefulness may have ‘run its course’ (dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com).
Andrew Montford (2010, 449) draws the following conclusion:
the IPCC reports represent the outcome of a process in which a relatively small group of scientists produce a biased review of a literature they themselves have colluded to distort through gatekeeping and intimidation. The emails establish a pattern of behaviour that is completely at odds with what the public has been told regarding the integrity of climate science and the rigour of the IPCC report-writing process. It is clear that the public can no longer trust what they have been told.
This is the error report that appears if you try to run the CRU computer code.
Temperature adjustments and trends
There are three global, ground-based, surface-temperature datasets, compiled by the Hadley Centre/CRU in the UK, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). They are often said to be ‘independent’ of each other, but data from NOAA’s Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) and US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) are also used by the other two organizations, though they are processed in different ways.
Phil Jones’ global temperature record (cru.uea.ac.uk). CRU has discarded much of the original raw data.
Raw data from land-based thermometers have to be adjusted to take account of things like station moves, instrument changes, the different times at which measurements are made, and the urban heat-island effect – the fact that towns and cities are warmer than nearby rural areas (due to the replacement of vegetation with heat-absorbing asphalt and concrete). Over time, the microclimate around thermometers can become warmer due to urban encroachment and changes in vegetation, and the effect is even greater if thermometers are placed too close to asphalt, concrete, buildings, air conditioners, cars, electrical equipment, etc. A volunteer survey in the US, spearheaded by Anthony Watts, has found that 90% of surface stations are sited in ways that result in errors of over 1ºC (surfacestations.org). The results are embarrassing for NOAA, and for a brief time they blocked Watts’ access to the location data his volunteers needed to visit the sites.
Researchers have found that the adjustments made to the raw data of specific stations often make no sense. Amazingly, Hadley/CRU, NOAA/NCDC and NASA/GISS have never bothered with this sort of quality control: they simply unleash their computer algorithms on the data and hope for the best. In many instances, the computer programs result in early 20th-century temperatures being adjusted downwards, and more recent temperatures upwards – whereas a correction for the urban heat-island effect ought to result in modern temperatures being adjusted downwards.
Raw vs. adjusted GHCN data for Darwin International Airport, Australia. The adjustments turn a cooling trend of -0.7°C per century into a warming trend of +1.2°C per century. (wattsupwiththat.com)
At Edson, Alberta, Canada, the raw data show a cooling trend of -0.4°C per century, while the adjusted data show a warming trend of +5.3°C per century. (diggingintheclay.blogspot.com)
Top graph: Raw temperature data for New Zealand. Bottom graph: The same data after being adjusted by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA). (scienceandpublicpolicy.org)
There are also many cases where the adjustments turn a warming trend into a cooling trend (diggingintheclay.blogspot.com). It is said that on a global scale the difference between raw-temperature trends and adjusted-temperature trends is not very significant (diggingintheclay.blogspot.com). The key point, however, is that the raw data are not being properly corrected for the urban heat-island effect. NOAA and Hadley/CRU do not make a real adjustment for urbanization. NASA/GISS does, but in 45% of the cases the adjustment does not eliminate the urbanization effects but makes them worse (climateaudit.org; climateaudit.org). Steve McIntyre describes these adjustments as a ‘pig’s breakfast’ (climateaudit.org).
The extent to which urbanization may have added a warm bias to the land-based surface-temperature record is a major bone of contention in climate science. In October 2009, Tom Wigley wrote to Phil Jones: ‘Land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming – and skeptics might claim that this proves that urban warming is real and important’ (1257546975). The fact that most of the warming over the past century is not caused by hotter summer temperatures but by less cold night-time temperatures, especially in the winter and in the northern hemisphere (youtube.com), is more consistent with a significant urban heat-island effect than with a significant CO2 effect. AGW scientists, however, have tried to downplay the influence of urban heat on temperature records.
In his 1990 paper, Phil Jones used data from Russia, Australia and China to argue that the urban-heat island effect is tiny; the IPCC relies on this paper in its Fourth Assessment Report. In an earlier section we saw how Jones had managed to get two articles rejected that took issue with his treatment of Russian data in the 1990 paper. There are also serious doubts about the reliability of the data from China. In August 2007 the editor of Energy and Environment asked Phil Jones to review a paper by Doug Keenan that accused one of Jones’ coauthors, Wei-Chyung Wang, of fabricating information about certain Chinese weather stations (informath.org; climateaudit.org). Tom Wigley wrote to Jones: ‘Seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (WCW [Wei-Chyung Wang] at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect’ (1188557698). In May 2009 Wigley told Jones that he had always thought Wang was ‘a rather sloppy scientist’. Wigley had been director of CRU when Jones wrote his article with Wang, and his main concern is not that data might have been made up and how they can set the record straight, but how they can obscure the problem and escape any consequences (1241415427). Keenan also alleged that Jones knew there were severe problems with the Chinese research by 2001, yet still allowed his paper to be used by the IPCC. Jones recommended that Keenan’s paper be rejected, but he was outnumbered 2 to 1 (informath.org; thegwpf.org).
Jones drops a bombshellAfter the Climategate scandal erupted, Phil Jones stepped down as CRU director pending an ‘independent’ inquiry (by his own university). Since then he has made some startling admissions – ‘startling’, that is, for anybody who has hitherto been a firm adherent of the global warmist faith. In an interview with the BBC on 13 February 2010 he was asked whether, according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860 to 1880, 1910 to 1940, and 1975 to 1998 were identical. He replied that ‘the warming rates are not statistically significantly different’. In other words, the recent warming, which is supposedly caused mainly by humans, is not distinguishable from two earlier modern periods of warming, which occurred before the modern rise in CO2 and were therefore not caused by greenhouse gases. Willis Eschenbach comments:
There is nothing in the record that is in any way different from the centuries-long natural fluctuations in the global climate.
In other words, we have spent billions of dollars and wasted years of work chasing a chimera, a will-of-the-wisp. This is why none of the CO2 explanations have held water … simply because there is nothing unusual to explain. (wattsupwiththat.com)
He goes on to show that whether we look at global temperatures, sea ice, snow cover, precipitation, cyclones/hurricanes, droughts, or sea level, nothing out of the ordinary has happened in recent decades. AGW is a richly-funded theory in search of a problem.
Another interesting admission is found in one of the leaked emails. CRU processes temperature station data into adjusted averages for 5x5 degree grids covering the world. Given all the hype about ‘global’ warming, it comes as a surprise to hear Phil Jones say the following in an email to Michael Mann and others in March 2003: ‘Even with the instrumental record, the early and late 20th century warming periods are only significant locally at between 10-20% of grid boxes’ (1047388489).
In the BBC interview, Phil Jones admits that there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and that there has been a slight cooling trend of -0.12ºC per decade from 2002 to the present, but again not statistically significant (meaning it could be due to random weather fluctuations). Jones had previously been afraid to say such things in public. In July 2005 he wrote to a colleague: ‘The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK, it has, but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant’ (1120593115). IPCC models predict a warming trend of 0.2º per decade; the fact that this is not currently happening indicates that either the IPCC has overestimated the sensitivity of the climate to CO2, or it has underestimated natural climate variability, or both.
In October 2009 Michael Mann said in an email that the claim by sceptics that ‘the globe is cooling’ is a ‘disingenuous contrarian talking point’ (1256735067). Yet the same month Kevin Trenberth says: ‘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.’ He then blames the inadequacies of the satellite instruments used to track incoming and outgoing radiation for the discrepancy between actual data and model expectations. Tom Wigley disagrees with his standpoint but Trenberth replies:
How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter? We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty! (1255523796)
This is a very radical statement given that Trenberth’s reference to geoengineering includes greenhouse gas reductions. Trenberth is saying that the flaws in our understanding of the climate system exposed by the recent lack of warming are so fundamental, and the extent of natural variability must be so great, that it is impossible to demonstrate that cutting CO2 emissions will reduce warming. Trenberth has never spoken this frankly in public. When Mann argues that recent cooling is due to ‘natural variability’, Trenberth replies: ‘Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes? Where did the heat go?’ (1255523796).
In the BBC interview, Jones concedes that the debate on the Medieval Warm Period is not over and that the MWP might have been both global and warmer than today. Such a standpoint has led to many researchers being branded ‘deniers’ in the recent past – or, in the words of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ‘behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics’. Jones says that if the MWP does turn out to have been less warm than the present, then modern warming would be ‘unprecedented’. This is extremely shortsighted. The past few interglacials that preceded the present interglacial (known as the Holocene, which began some 11,500 years ago) were all several degrees warmer than today, the period from about 7000 to 3000 BC, known as the Holocene Climate Optimum, was warmer than today, and the Roman Warm Period was warmer than today (for instance, receding glaciers in the Alps are uncovering Roman archaeological remains).
Despite all this, Jones continues to adhere to the standard IPCC line that ‘there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity’. The reason: ‘we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing’. This is rather feeble, given that scientists have barely begun to understand all the interacting factors that determine the climate. Jones himself says: ‘There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties ...’ It is hardly surprising that climate models, programmed by scientists who fervently believe that greenhouse gases drive the climate, are unable to explain modern warming without attributing a major role to greenhouse gases. But that tells us more about the preconceptions of the scientists concerned than about the climate. The faith being placed in the long-term predictions of climate models is misplaced given that weather forecasters can’t reliably predict the weather more than a few days in advance.
IPCC and the coming apocalypse
In the wake of Climategate, some sections of the media have begun to take a more critical stance towards the climate establishment and its pronouncements. Several errors have recently been uncovered in IPCC reports, all of them in the direction of greater alarmism.
The 2007 IPCC report by Working Group 2 (‘Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability’) states:
Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world ... and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 ... (www.ipcc.ch)
It is immediately apparent that something is wrong with this passage: the first sentence suggests that it is very likely that all the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035, whereas the second sentence indicates that it is only likely that 80% will disappear by that date; and the second sentence begins with ‘Its’, which is ungrammatical if it is supposed to refer to ‘glaciers’.
As its source for the above statement, the IPCC cites a 2005 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report, which quoted a 1999 article in the New Scientist. The real source, however, was an article by Mridula Chettri that appeared in the Indian magazine Down to Earth in 1999 (yaleclimatemediaforum.org). The article quotes glaciologist Syed Hasnain, who says that Himalayan glaciers are very likely to disappear by 2035 or even sooner. It also quotes a paper by V.M. Kotlyakov as saying that the total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by 2035. But what Kotlyakov actually said was: ‘The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates – its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2350.’ In other words, 500,000 km2 is the area of all the extrapolar glaciers on earth; the Himalayan glaciers only cover about 33,000 km2. And the date given by Kotlyakov is 2350, not 2035! The IPCC’s garbled passage is clearly the result of considerable sloppiness.
In January 2010 the IPCC, led by its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, withdrew the claim about glaciers melting by 2035, admitting it had no scientific foundation. Interestingly, Murari Lal, the coordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said in an interview that he was well aware that the statement in the 2007 report was not based on peer-reviewed scientific research, adding: ‘We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action’ (dailymail.co.uk).
Several reviewers of the IPCC chapter in question had pointed out problems, but often their comments were not acted on. One scientist noted that Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram range are growing rapidly, and cited a paper in Nature. The IPCC authors claimed they were ‘unable to get hold of the suggested references’, but would ‘consider’ this in their final version – yet failed to do so. A leading Austrian glaciologist, Georg Kaser, has said that several months before the report was published he wrote to Lal, telling him that the 2035 claim was patently false. But Lal denies receiving the letter (dailymail.co.uk).
In 2008, Pachauri’s Delhi-based organization, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), recruited Syed Hasnain – the scientist who originated the false 2035 claim – to head its new glaciology unit. The exaggerated statements about melting glaciers made by the IPCC, Hasnain and Pachauri helped TERI to win a share in a €4.28 million research project (with the dramatic name ‘HighNoon’) to study the effects of melting Himalayan glaciers, with most of the funding coming from the EU. In fact, since Pachauri became chair of the IPCC in 2002, his institute has shared in 19 EU projects worth over €58 million, as if the EU is seeking to influence the IPCC chair in favour of its own climate change agenda (eureferendum.blogspot.com).
Pachauri’s business interests shed light on an outburst last November. In that month the Indian government published a report by senior glaciologist Vijay Raina, showing that the rate of retreat of Himalayan glaciers had not increased in the past 50 years and that the IPCC’s predictions were alarmist. In a furious response, Pachauri denounced the report as ‘voodoo science’, and accused the environment minister of making statements that were ‘arrogant’ and reminiscent of ‘climate change deniers and schoolboy science’ (eureferendum.blogspot.com). The real perpetrator of voodoo science appears, however, to be the IPCC. Nevertheless, Pachauri has brazenly asserted that all ‘rational people’ will continue to put their faith in the IPCC because its record is ‘impeccable’! Under fire for his lack of credibility, conflicts of interest, and lavish, not-so-green lifestyle, Pachauri has so far resisted calls for his resignation.
Political satire from the Times of India (epaper.timesofindia.com). Note the common abuse of the term ‘climate change’. It is being used here to mean ‘dangerous man-made climate change’. Nobody denies that the climate changes, or that humans influence the climate. What is at issue is the extent of human influence in comparison with solar, oceanic, tectonic and other natural factors.
Over the past century, some Himalayan glaciers have retreated by as much as 500 m, others have retreated by only an inch or so, and a few have expanded rapidly. Most glaciologists now agree that changing precipitation patterns, especially moisture depletion, are the primary cause of glacier retreat – and not simply temperature increase, or man-made global warming, as alarmists like to claim. Madhav Khandekar, an IPCC reviewer, says:
The two large and most important glaciers of the Himalayas show very little retreat at this point in time. The primary reason for retreat of some of the other glaciers seems to be lack of adequate winter snow accumulation. This depletion of winter snow could be due to many factors like inter-annual variability of winter precipitation or possible southward displacement of the sub-tropical jet stream which straddles the Himalayan Mountains over a long 1500 km path.
It is premature ... to link global warming to the deteriorating state of Himalayan glaciers at this time. (pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com)
The IPCC’s love of hyperbole and exaggeration, and its determination to try and link anything and everything to man-made climate change, have more to do with politics than science.
Yvo de Boer, the UN’s top climate negotiator, announced his resignation two months after the failed Copenhagen summit in December 2009. (www3.allaroundphilly.com)
The 2007 Working Group 2 report claims that climate change could destroy ‘up to 40%’ of the Amazon rainforests – which, like polar bears and melting glaciers, are iconic symbols for the climate change industry. The source for this claim is a non-peer-reviewed report produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the WWF. In this case, however, there is nothing in the report that supports the IPCC claim that ‘up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation’ (eureferendum.blogspot.com). Nor is it supported by the latest research (eureferendum.blogspot.com).
According to another statement in the Working Group 2 report:
The multiple stresses of climate change and increasing human activity on the Antarctic Peninsula represent a clear vulnerability, and have necessitated the implementation of stringent clothing decontamination guidelines for tourist landings on the Antarctic Peninsula. (ipcc.ch)
In support, the report cites a boot and clothing decontamination manual prepared by Antarctic tour operators – yet the manual itself does not link boot cleaning protocols to climate change, or even mention climate change, but merely expresses concern about increased tourism and scientific activity (climateaudit.org; wattsupwiththat.com).
Yet more evidence of man-made climate change.
Both the 2007 Working Group 2 report and the Synthesis Report (a short document for policymakers) claim that in some African countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50% by 2020 (ipcc.ch). The claim has been widely quoted in scaremongering speeches by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and by Rajendra Pachauri. But instead of using the vague words ‘up to 50%’ (which could mean anything from almost 0% to 50%), Pachauri simply said that yields ‘would be reduced by 50%’. The source of the IPCC statement is a non-peer-reviewed pamphlet by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an advocacy group. It was written by a Moroccan academic who specializes in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his exaggerated claims. During the review process, many scientists expressed concerns about the text, but these were not adequately addressed by the lead authors (eureferendum.blogspot.com). Once again, the IPCC has presented the most pessimistic scenario imaginable.
The Working Group 2 report links global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. In support, it cites a single unpublished paper by Muir-Wood et al. The paper was commissioned by Roger Pielke Jr., an expert on disaster impacts, and found that from 1950 to 2005 there was no increase in the impact of disasters once growth was accounted for. For 1970-2005, it found a 2% annual increase which ‘corresponded with a period of rising global temperatures’, but pointed out that almost all this increase could be accounted for by the exceptionally strong hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005. The IPCC, however, cited only the 1970-2005 results and ignored all the caveats.
When the Muir-Wood paper was eventually published in 2008, it explicitly stated that it could not find a connection between rising temperatures and the costs of disasters. But the IPCC did not see fit to issue a correction to its report. Its false claim about global warming and disasters has been endlessly repeated by politicians. It was central to discussions at the failed climate summit in Copenhagen, including the demand by developing countries for $100 billion in compensation from the rich nations. The IPCC has since issued a statement defending what its report says on this subject as balanced, but the statement contains several demonstrable untruths. Roger Pielke Jr. writes:
The IPCC report highlighted a single non-peer reviewed study to make a claim that (a) that study did not support, and (b) that was countered by the entirety of the peer reviewed literature (much of which went uncited). My work was misrepresented in the text and in the IPCC response to reviewers. The latter included an outright lie. The only balance that was achieved was between misrepresentation and error. (rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com)
Pielke has also said: ‘All the literature published before and since the IPCC report shows that rising disaster losses can be explained entirely by social change. People have looked hard for evidence that global warming plays a part but can’t find it’ (timesonline.co.uk).
Just as the Working Group 2 report systematically overstates the negative impacts of climate change, so the Working Group 3 report (‘Mitigation of climate change’) systematically understates the costs to society associated with emission reductions. Chapter 11 suggests that climate policy will stimulate economic growth and create jobs, but economist and IPCC reviewer Richard Tol argues that the picture it presents is very one-sided and relies heavily on grey, non-peered-reviewed literature (klimazwiebel.blogspot.com; nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com). Once again, the report’s authors tended to ignore critical comments made by reviewers.
Most AGW advocates argue that, apart from a handful of ‘minor’ errors, the IPCC reports still provide a sound scientific foundation for the theory of anthropogenic global warming, especially the Working Group 1 report (‘The physical science basis’). But this report, too, is riddled with bias, the palaeoclimate chapter being a blatant example. Or take the report’s prediction that sea ice will shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic. The peer-reviewed literature available at the time of AR4, as well as that published since, shows that there has been a significant increase in the extent of sea ice around Antarctica since satellite observations began in the late 1970s. A 2009 paper by Turner et al. stated that the mean extent of Antarctic sea ice has increased at 0.97% per decade since the late 1970s. Yet AR4 somehow concluded that the increase was only half the rate established in the peer-reviewed literature (0.47% per decade), and dismissed this as statistically insignificant. In other words, the IPCC downplayed the increase in sea ice in the Antarctic while highlighting the observed decline in sea ice in the Arctic (wattsupwiththat.com).
The IPCC was set up in 1988 to investigate the risk of human-induced climate change. The Climategate emails provide further evidence that the chapter authors who control the IPCC process are driven by a preconceived agenda. Its reports do not present a balanced picture of all the relevant scientific research and the major controversies surrounding the AGW theory. As explained in Climate change controversies, there are heated disputes concerning such fundamental issues as:
– the accuracy of the instrumental surface temperature record;
– past climate change and its causes;
– the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gases, and the role of positive and negative feedbacks;
– the accuracy and reliability of climate models.
Computer models are a central pillar of global warming alarmism. But in an email to Phil Jones in December 2007, even Ben Santer had to admit: ‘It is difficult to identify a subset of models that CONSISTENTLY does well in many different regions and over a range of different timescales’ (1196882357). A glaring deficiency in the models is the simplistic treatment of clouds. Clouds are the most important factor affecting how much of the sun’s radiation reaches the earth’s surface. Without any clouds, the temperature on earth would be about 20ºC higher. Yet climate models treat cloud cover as a constant, and see water vapour purely as a positive feedback that amplifies warming caused by CO2, leading to a high ‘climate sensitivity’ of 3ºC (meaning that temperature would rise 3º if the atmospheric concentration of CO2 doubled). Other researchers have shown that low-level clouds provide a negative feedback; rising temperatures result in more low-level clouds, which have a cooling effect, resulting in a climate sensitivity of less than 0.5ºC (drroyspencer.com; rocketscientistsjournal.com). This suggests that rather than being susceptible to man-made ‘tipping points’ resulting in ‘climate catastrophe’, the earth is a self-regulating organism, with alternating cycles of warming and cooling.
Boobs galoreOne of the reasons why IPCC guru Rajendra Pachauri might have been slow to catch some of the errors in the IPCC reports could be that he has recently been busy penning a racy ‘romantic’ novel, Return to Almora, which was published in India in January. It tells the story of Sanjay Nath, an academic in his 60s, reminiscing about his ‘spiritual journey’ through India, Peru and the US, which apparently involved a lot of copulation. Here is a summary of some of the key passages:
By page 16, Sanjay is ready for his first liaison with May in a hotel room in Nainital. ‘She then led him into the bedroom,’ writes Dr Pachauri.
‘She removed her gown, slipped off her nightie and slid under the quilt on his bed... Sanjay put his arms around her and kissed her, first with quick caresses and then the kisses becoming longer and more passionate.
‘May slipped his clothes off one by one, removing her lips from his for no more than a second or two.
‘Afterwards she held him close. “Sanjay, I’ve learned something for the first time today. You are absolutely superb after meditation. Why don’t we make love every time immediately after you have meditated?”.’
More follows, including Sanjay and friends queuing to have sexual encounters with Sajni, an impoverished but willing local: ‘Sanjay saw a shapely dark-skinned girl lying on Vinay’s bed. He was overcome by a lust that he had never known before ... He removed his clothes and began to feel Sajni’s body, caressing her voluptuous breasts.’
Sadly for Sanjay, writes Dr Pachauri, ‘the excitement got the better of him, before he could even get started’.
While teaching meditation to women in the US, Sanjay can once more barely contain his ardour. Again, breasts – usually heaving or else voluptuous – are thrust to the fore.
‘He enjoyed the sensation of gently pushing Susan’s shoulders back a few inches, an action that served to lift her breasts even higher,’ writes Dr Pachauri. ‘He was excited by the sight of her heaving breasts, as she breathed in and out deeply.’
A friend of Susan is taken to a motel by Sanjay but only after he has fondled her breasts – ‘which he just could not let go of’ – inadvertently sounding the car horn at the same time. (www.telegraph.co.uk)
Other passages in the novel describe group sex, more risqué sexual practices, and a sex act involving a red silk handkerchief.
Some of Pachauri’s book-launching ceremonies were funded by British Petroleum, which gave his institute TERI $9.5 million between 2006 and 2009 for a biodiesel research project. One book launch was paid for by HSBC bank, which invests heavily in climate change.
Pachauri’s excursion into soft porn has caused a lot of hilarity (climateaudit.org; noconsensus.wordpress.com; wattsupwiththat.com). E.g.:
New slogan for Viagra: ‘Hide the decline’
He’s been peddling ‘climate porn’ all these years, it’s really only a small step to cheesy porn novels.
I can see tomorrow’s headline: Dr Randy Pornstori accused of sexing up climate warming dossier.
Around the World in 80 Lays
Seems he was too busy warming someone else’s globes.
Slowly he extended his trembling, sweating hand into TERI’s drawers …
Dr Pachauri felt so alive, staring at her bodice. They are as enormous as the Himalayas, he thought. Too splendid to be hidden by a bra of white. Before his hot gaze, the glaciers seemed to melt away.
John P. Costella, Climategate Analysis, Science & Public Policy Institute, Jan 2010, scienceandpublicpolicy.org
Craig Idso & S. Fred Singer, Climate Change Reconsidered, Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2009, www.heartland.org
Stephen McIntyre, The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry on the CRU affair, Feb 2010, climateaudit.info
Ross McKitrick, Evidence submitted to the Independent Climate Change Email Review (ICCER), Feb 2010, sites.google.com/site/rossmckitrick
A.W. Montford, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the corruption of science, London: Stacey International, 2010
Steven Mosher & Thomas Fuller, Climategate: The CRUtape letters, Lexington, KY, 2010
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