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Hacking hiccup

The hacked emails from the University of East Anglia on climate change – a good survey of the material is here – have been enthusiastically – though unconvincingly – used to support climate change skepticism.  In my view the hack is a non-event. The NYT has a sensible summary of the implications of this material:

“The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument. However, the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists”.

Much of the critical comment seems to revolve around what is seen as attempts to conceal the claimed fact that ‘warming stopped in 1998’.  The decade following 1998 was the warmest since temperature measurements have been recorded so this is a ridiculous claim.  I have documented the promulgation and demolition of this particular fallacy before.   In essence temperatures have continued to rise on average but are subject to considerable year-to year variability. And that is it – the supposedly wicked leaked emails on this issue merely reflect this fact!

Joe Romm at Climate Progress summarizes the implications of this inconsequential event although I think his attack on the NYT article is over the top – it is a factual news report.

7 comments to Hacking hiccup

  • Sinclair Davidson

    Harry – the last two links aren’t working.

  • hc

    Should work now.

  • Sinclair Davidson

    yes. thanks

  • chrisl

    The real take away from the e-mail archive is that the theory that CO2 ppm increases in the range we are experiencing are triggering a climate catastrophe are not supported by the data.
    This required the promoters of that theory to massage the data, suppress dissent, stonewall the dissemination of the information. That means that their theory is in fact not well proven.
    Harry. I think it would be wise of you to delete some of your own emails and postings before it is too late and go back to what you were doing before you jumped on the global warming bandwagon.
    You are on the wrong side of history

  • conrad

    I think you’re deluded chrisl. As far as I can tell, from a decade of emails, there is one slightly contentious one (from 1999). If all areas of science worked that, we wouldn’t get anywhere. Even if it was corrupt (and it’s not clear it was), you still have innumerable other labs doing independent work coming to much the same conclusion.

  • Matt

    Harry, you lambasted Levitt and Dubner recently for, in your view, sloppy research. Regardless of the consequences of these emails for the broader debate, they have highlighted some questionable academic ethics on the part of these particular scientists.

    Why aren’t they receiving similar sanction from you?

  • chrisl

    Harry when you get home get onto youtube and crank up “won’t get fooled again” by The Who
    And take the advice

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