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Here’s what we know so far: CRU’s emails were hacked, the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record, and the planet keeps warming thanks to us! The NY Times blows the story.

By Joe Romm  

"Here’s what we know so far: CRU’s emails were hacked, the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record, and the planet keeps warming thanks to us! The NY Times blows the story."

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NOTE:  This post will be continually updated to cover things like the NYT’s misdirected (front page!) reporting.

FOXNews: Do E-Mails Reveal Scientist Claims On Climate Change are... BUNK?

As many of you will be aware, a large number of emails from the University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked recently (Despite some confusion generated by Anthony Watts, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Hadley Centre which is a completely separate institution).

So begins the RealClimate post on this hack-heard-round-the-blogosphere.   At the end, I’ll excerpt that post, which makes clear this is much ado about not bloody much.  I’ll also look at the

The predictable FoxNews take is here (screen capture of their front page is above).  At the end, I’ll post some truly amazing quotes from the anti-scientific side of the blogosphere, from Brad Johnson’s Wonk Room post, including this from the Telegraph’s James Delingpole:

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW.

Whatever smoke the anti-scientific disinformers are able to blow into people’s faces over this bunch of emails dating back over a decade, it doesn’t change the basic facts about human-caused warming:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

Figure: Time series of global mean heat storage (0-2000 m), measured in 108 Jm-2.

The NYT‘s Revkin has a piece whose headline and lede, typically, misses the entire point, “Hacked E-Mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics.”  Note to Andy:  Everything fuels the disinformers! And that includes studies and data that prove the exact opposite of what they assert.

Who cares that, as Revkin says in his opening (!) sentence, this is “causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change”?  This was a chance for Revkin to make up for his misinformation-filled post from September [see "NYT's Revkin pushes global cooling myth (again!) and repeats outright misinformation"].  Even his most science-based sentence is hedged:  “But the evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so broad and deep that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.”  Unlikely?  Ya think?

Revkin asserts in the so-called paper of record that “some of the comments might lend themselves to sinister interpretations.”  So is this a news story or just a speculative opinion piece?  Instead of saying what interpretation might be possible, why not actually talk to the authors of the emails and other scientists and report what they emails actually were meant to communicate?  Oh, wait, later in the piece he notes “But several scientists whose names appear repeatedly in the e-mails said they merely revealed that scientists are human beings, and did nothing to undercut the body of research on global warming.”  Duh.

I do appreciate that Revkin reported this blockbuster news in the third paragraph:

In another [email], a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.”

Stop the presses!

The fact that a crime was committed is buried in the story — Scholars and Rogues has a genuine analysis of that important fact and its implications, which Revkin basically glosses over.   It is worthwhile to note at this point that the University “could not confirm that all the material circulating on the Internet was authentic.”  Again, duh.

The fact that this misdirected NYT story was on the front page just compounds the miscoverage.  The Washington Post story is on page A14, with this vastly superior headline and subhead:  “Hackers steal electronic data from top climate research center: Scientists’ e-mails deriding skeptics of warming become public.”

Here’s most of the rest of the post from the scientists at RealClimate, which is still the most thoughtful thing I have seen written on the subject:

As people are also no doubt aware the breaking into of computers and releasing private information is illegal, and regardless of how they were obtained, posting private correspondence without permission is unethical. We therefore aren’t going to post any of the emails here. We were made aware of the existence of this archive last Tuesday morning when the hackers attempted to upload it to RealClimate, and we notified CRU of their possible security breach later that day.Nonetheless, these emails (a presumably careful selection of (possibly edited?) correspondence dating back to 1996 and as recently as Nov 12) are being widely circulated, and therefore require some comment. Some of them involve people here (and the archive includes the first RealClimate email we ever sent out to colleagues) and include discussions we’ve had with the CRU folk on topics related to the surface temperature record and some paleo-related issues, mainly to ensure that posting were accurate.

Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable.

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “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.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”-see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

The timing of this particular episode is probably not coincidental. But if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn’t much to it.

There are of course lessons to be learned. Clearly no-one would have gone to this trouble if the academic object of study was the mating habits of European butterflies. That community’s internal discussions are probably safe from the public eye. But it is important to remember that emails do seem to exist forever, and that there is always a chance that they will be inadvertently released. Most people do not act as if this is true, but they probably should.

It is tempting to point fingers and declare that people should not have been so open with their thoughts, but who amongst us would really be happy to have all of their email made public?

Who indeed?

If you want some specific explanations for some of the other e-mails that have been getting the most attention, Gavin Schmidt has been doing yeoman’s work in the comments at Real Climate.  Just search for “gavin,” and you will find his various responses.  Gavin is asked, “Is Dr Trenberth correct in his claim that we can’t explain why the planet hasn’t been warming as expected?”

Here is a longer discussion of the email by NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth on “where the heck is global warming?”

Brad Johnson from Wonk Room notes the disinformers are “sifting through the illegally obtained letters of private correspondence for “proof” that the scientific consensus on climate change is actually a global conspiracy“:

- Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey claims the emails discuss “repetitive, false data of higher temperatures.”

- The National Review’s Chris Horner salivates, “The blue-dress moment may have arrived.”

- “The crimes revealed in the e-mails promise to be the global warming scandal of the century,” blares Michelle Malkin.

- The Australia Herald-Sun’s Andrew Bolt claims the emails are “proof of a conspiracy which is one of the largest, most extraordinary and most disgraceful in moderrn [sic] science.”

The UK media reports that the official University of East Anglia reply as of Friday afternoon is:

“We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites,” said the spokesperson in a statement. “Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine.”

“This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation,” the spokesperson continued.

“We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this enquiry.”

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68 Responses to Here’s what we know so far: CRU’s emails were hacked, the 2000s will easily be the hottest decade on record, and the planet keeps warming thanks to us! The NY Times blows the story.

  1. mahmijd says:

    Under FOIA, these e-mails not only are not stolen, they are illegal to delete and are accessible to the public by law. Anthony Watts has 800 posts on this topic. I did post yesterday that they would claim the e-mail “were out of context”. All of this could have been prevented if over the years, CRU had complied with legal requests for information.

    [JR: This is a University ... in Britain! What does the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have to do with hacked emails? Yes, the UK has a similar act, but for posting on a U.S. website FOIA would normally apply to the U.S. act and, again, more importantly, it doesn't apply to universities.]

  2. Brad Johnson says:

    FOIA? Huh?

    Global warming deniers are weird.

  3. Joe says:

    “What we know so far:” is that the conspiracy to drive a political agenda by perverting the scientific method is real.

    [JR: Yes, the anti-scientific disinformers pervert the scientific method to drive their political agenda.]

  4. sod says:

    but but but but

    this is the beginning of the end. again. like the Yamal scandal was. and the hockey stick is broken. have i mentioned Al Gore?

    :)

    ———————

    sceptics were about as un-sceptic as they could be. they immediately published material from a completely dubious source. now they are stuck with some pretty normal e-mail correspondence.

    but they will surely find the smoking gun in the next hour. (ignoring the physics and real temperature measurements, that you mentioned)

    and if they don t, so what? next week, there will be another breaking news story….

  5. Turboblocke says:

    I find the hacker’s actions odd. Why release the hacked data like they did? It’s going to be impossible to prove that they are authentic, because the original files have not been seized by an independent party.

    If the hacker had found evidence of wrongdoing they could have got the authorities to seize the original files to prevent any changes being made.

    To me this looks like an attempt to create a lot of sound and fury in the run up to Copenhagen.

  6. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Nasty stunt and very distracting. We know how the propaganda merchants act, so stand by for a lot of cherry picking quotes out of context and jumping to wrong conclusions. Lie, repeat the lie with just a little truth and repeat again until the public just accepts it true.

    Even when proven wrong, they will neither apologise or retract.

    You can almost hear the delete button clicking away at denier central, just in case the tables are turned.

    I doubt the timing was accidental.

  7. Nancy says:

    I must agree with Turboblocke. The climate change deniers are scared and probably supported this little escapade. “Climate Gate” is an effort to further confuse the general public and make them less likely to support any action in the U.S. Senate or at Copenhagen.

    This whole things smells rotten.

  8. Lou Grinzo says:

    Get used to hearing about these e-mails and what the deluded deniers claim they say or mean about GCC. They’re a new permanent fixture in the discussion.

    This is very, very bad news, simply because it gives the serial liars something else to lie about, and it will no doubt convince some “independent minded” voters and consumers, the ones who value being viewed as smarter than the consensus ahead of actually being right. And that means more wasted time while the billions and billions of tons of CO2 and methane we’re dumping into the atmosphere continue to have horrific effects.

    There are people online who like to smugly ask if human beings are smarter than yeast. This is one of the very few days in which I would pause, however briefly, before saying “yes”.

    [JR: The disinformers have been very very bad news for a long time. Giving them more things to spread disinformation about is never a good thing but I rather see this as an opportunity to get out the word on the actual scientific data.]

  9. Kastanj says:

    They can’t wait to actually read through properly – that tells me enough. Either you make every effort to show that you want all decisions and thoughts on the issue to be reality-based, or you don’t.

    I want to see evidence that criteria such as peer-reviewing, falsifiability and the like have consciously been avoided or given a berth.

    To me, the issue has never been political. I think very poorly of those who make it about politics.

    What do the frikkin’ e-mails say, individually and in total? They should discuss that or get out of my sight.

  10. Eli Snyder says:

    The important thing to note about this story is that, even if it’s all true and all of the emails are genuine, and even if it completely discredits every scientist involved and all of the work they’ve ever done, this does not falsify AGW theory.

    The great thing about a robust scientific theory is that it’s not dependent on any one line of evidence or the work of any particular individual or group. Most of the research this calls into question are proxy studies of the temperature over the last couple of millennia. This is only one of many lines of evidence supporting AGW, and it is not the primary line of evidence.

    Even if you throw out every piece of research done by every scientist mentioned in this data, there will still be plenty of evidence to show that global warming is real and created by human activity.

    So ultimately this is a tempest in a teacup. The deniers will make a huge deal about it, and it may have an impact on public opinion, but it will have very close to zero impact on actual science.

  11. Kastanj says:

    I hate to even mention Little Green Footballs, but they must be given some credit for expressing basic skepticism. In their own words: “there’s no *there* there”.

  12. Kastanj says:

    BTW, rather than defending yourselves (that only works against people who say what they say because they *value* the ideal of only saying true, supported things) you should ignore their demands for back-pedalling and explanations and keep working above their heads. Never acquiesce to their “standards” of discussion.

  13. dhogaza says:

    JR: This is a University … in Britain! What does the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have to do with hacked emails?

    Joe- the UK has a FOIA also, and McIntyre has been trying to force CRU to release data using the UK FOIA for some time (data which in many cases CRU has no legal right to release, as the data’s given to them by national organizations that consider the data to be proprietary, not that legal niceties like this bother McIntyre).

    Under FOIA, these e-mails not only are not stolen

    Yes, they are stolen. Breaking into a server is a crime, typically a felony here in the US, and most likely in the UK, as well. It doesn’t matter if you *could’ve* gotten the e-mails using a FOIA request, breaking in is a crime. Just like it doesn’t matter that you *could’ve* purchased that BMW automobile you stole, stealing it is a crime …

    The most revealing bit regarding this incident thus far is that Watts, McIntyre, and the gang apparently aren’t the least bit bothered by the fact that a felony was committed in order to get this information.

  14. dhogaza says:

    I hate to even mention Little Green Footballs, but they must be given some credit for expressing basic skepticism. In their own words: “there’s no *there* there”.

    The LGF dude has been rational about climate science for quite some time now, apparently. Ever since he decided to dig in and look at the science for himself, rather than hang on the coattails of the usual suspect denialism sites.

    About Face! And consistent about it.

  15. michael_bolton says:

    Why would you try to “hide the decline” if you weren’t trying to exaggerate the increase?

    [JR: Normally CP doesn't put up with comments from people who don't bother to actually read the post they are commenting on. But I'll repeat RealClimate from above: >>As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.< <]

  16. jarhead1857 says:

    If you read the article on fox, the University declares its authenticity.

    [JR: Yes, no doubt the emails were hacked. My guess is that what is out there is probably unedited, but i seriously doubt the university has checked every single e-mail that has been posted on every single website to confirm word-for-word accuracy.]

  17. dhogaza says:

    Why would you try to “hide the decline” if you weren’t trying to exaggerate the increase?

    Go read up on the “divergence problem”, the issue being discussed in that e-mail has been widely discussed in the open, peer-reviewed literature for years and is an area of active research.

    Yes, sometimes you do need to understand the scientific context to understand what scientists are talking about when you’re fed snippets of internal conversations taken out of context.

  18. jarhead1857 says:

    Here’s some of the emails, via michelle malkin:

    Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:
    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. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

    It would seem your article above is wrong.

    [JR: Again, what you have extracted is utterly meaningless absent the context. Hadley has posted its analysis that yes the planet has warming in the past decade. NASA GISS has explained many times that we are “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” and when you couple that with the La Nina of last year, you get less apparent warming in the short term then you might have otherwise expected. But the 2000s will be 0.2 C warmer than the 1990s, and that is just what the models say. Yes, Hadley shows slightly less rate of warming, but they ignore the data from the place on earth that is warming the most -- the Arctic.]

  19. Kastanj says:

    dhogaza, you are conveniently forgetting that the “scientific context” has billions of trillions to earn from the taxpayers from profiting on the liberalAGWarmistoHOAX! Soros!

  20. mike roddy says:

    I wonder if Fox and friends actually believe that the climate is not getting substantially warmer, or, alternatively, that the truth of this is not relevant. If it’s the first, they are stupid, if it’s the second, they are crazy.

  21. dhogaza says:

    Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up

    This is an example of a total misunderstanding of the correspondence being referenced. People could go read it themselves, and if they have a bit of understanding of the *real* issues in climate science, would understand that the discussion is about our observation system being inadequate to provide data that allows a precise modeling of the earth’s energy budget during events like La Niña (the cause of the “cooling” being discussed), but they won’t.

    People like Jarhead would rather just grab the lie by folks like Malkin and run with it, rather than understand.

  22. Joe,

    I was waiting for you to weigh in on this.
    It’s probably not worth even saying, given the fervor of climate skeptics, but the University of East Anglia isn’t the sole authority on climate change and nor would it be the sole repository of proof of the conspiracy.
    There are one or two other scientists who have done research on this question.

    http://greenenergyreporter.com/2009/11/global-warming-skeptics-find-proof-of-climate-change-lies-in-stolen-climate-research-emails/

  23. Peter Wood says:

    So in a blatant invasion of privacy, a whole lot of people’s private emails have been hacked into and been publicly placed on the internet. Many other deniers, including some prominent journalists, are now actively using these emails to misrepresent the views of the people who wrote them. What does this say about the people who engage in this sort of behaviour?

    I get the feeling that quite a few deniers are going to get their fingers burnt…

  24. Jeff Huggins says:

    If Fox and etc. actually believe that climate change is not real, and is a hoax, then — quite certainly — none of them deserve to get anywhere near the Presidency or any important political positions. I’d be scared to death to have those folks running the country, my state, or anything else. They are just digging themselves into an incredibly deep and irreversible credibility pit. All I can say is, if that’s what they want, “keep digging folks”.

  25. WAG says:

    Does anyone think it’s a little suspicious that just hours before this story broke on Thursday, Sen. Inhofe made these remarks (on Wednesday)?

    “I proudly declare 2009 as the ‘Year of the Skeptic,’ the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard…

    “Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked…

    “Today, I have been vindicated.”

    http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/11/is-jim-inhofe-behind-hacking-into.html

    Why was he so confident he would be vindicated? Not saying Inhofe was involved – I just ask questions!

  26. Inhofe’s career has been defined by his braying like a jackass. He is always declaring his confidence that he’ll be vindicated. The fact that he was declaring it — again — whether only hours or even minutes before the hack is indicative only of the frequency that he brays like a jackass.

  27. Will says:

    Dang you’re on top of things Joe, my brother who’s a denier working on the hill e-mailed me that “leak” story a few hours ago. The crazies are very excited about this. (my bro’s actually a saint, just caught up in the conservative deniersphere)

  28. jeff says:

    The truth will out, one way or another….and the hysteria on here doesnt help your case – “the evil genius Inhofe is behind this”, lol…nor does calling your opposition “deniers”(a Jesus reference?) or “crazies”….your side got caught with their pants down for now, try to admit it…

  29. Mark A. York says:

    “If Fox and etc. actually believe that climate change is not real, and is a hoax, then — quite certainly — none of them deserve to get anywhere near the Presidency or any important political positions. I’d be scared to death to have those folks running the country, my state, or anything else.”

    No kidding. Check out the last eight years. They have been. Been there. Done that.

  30. greenfyre says:

    I’m calling it another Denier dirigible … sure looked big, but once again it turns out that it’s just full of air. If there was any substance at all we would have heard by now. There’s nothing.
    Climate change Deniers hoax themselves … again

  31. sod says:

    bringing up Michelle Malkin in this context is a really stupid move. here is, what she wrote, about the Palin e-mail hack:

    The law will catch up to the hackers, but what about the lowlifes who are now gleefully splashing the alleged contents of Palin’s private e-mail account all over the Internet?

    http://michellemalkin.com/2008/09/17/sarah-palins-private-e-mail-hacked-family-photos-raided/

    of course, when the e-mail hacked is from the other side, she immediately joined the lowlifes…

  32. NikFromNYC says:

    Whatever smoke the anti-scientific disinformers are able to blow into people’s faces over this bunch of emails dating back over a decade, it doesn’t change the basic facts about human-caused warming:

    http://i45.tinypic.com/iwq8a1.jpg

  33. Richard Brenne says:

    I see ants scurrying around on a beach debating what’s happening when a tsunami’s coming. It doesn’t really matter what the arguments are about – a tsunami of climate change is coming.

  34. Passerby says:

    The most exhuberant messengers for this story include many with a history of serious and widely-publicized credibility problems.

    In addition, these types of people (militant, teabag-types) are a popular target for parasites, bunco artists, whatever you want to call them. They are smart criminals who know and understand their targets. Already there are suspicious posts showing up at sites like Infowars with links to the e-mail files and calls to spread them. There are also posts warning readers that it’s a Trojan Horse.

  35. jyyh says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the leaked package proved to be a total forgery, even though it is quite common pasttime to include some odd sort of writing in the emails, SMSs and that sort of easylistening. And I won’t touch stuff distributed by Russian hackers, if it was these. This is no news to me.

  36. Turboblocke says:

    Although someone mentions Russian hackers, the US is increasingly getting the blame in the UK. We Brits have noticed for years that our trans-Atlantic cousins have been trying to trash one of our research institutes, whilst leaving the local ones untouched. (It would be un-American to trash NASA, wouldn’t it?)

    The question being asked here is “Cui bono?” There is no real denier movement in the UK, it’s too late to influence Copenhagen here the risks of being prosecuted are significant.

    However when you look at the USA, it’s completely the opposite.

    So please heed this message from one Brit: I’m already disappointed at the US response to AGW for the last couple of decades, I’m disappointed that there is so much airtime given to the unscientific ravings of the deniers in the US and I’m most unhappy that your internal wrangling has led to an attack on one of our research institutions. Remember that the UK has stood with the USA in difficult times in the recent past and we hold you in great affection, but we object to being used by some of you as a punching bag.

  37. Turboblocke says:

    Oops a typo: Should read “There is no real denier movement in the UK, it’s too late to influence Copenhagen here and the risks of being prosecuted are significant.”

  38. It is amazing that so many people/things are “in on this conspiracy to show AGW” such as:

    1) UAH, RSS, and GISS
    2) Rapidly warming Arctic
    3) Rapidly decreasing sea ice extent
    4) Rapidly thinning sea ice
    5) Rising ocean heat content
    6) Cooling stratosphere
    7) Net increase in downwelling LW
    8 ) Net decreasing TOA LW emission
    9) Increased species migrations/extinctions
    10) Increased severe weather occurrences
    11) Glacier mass loss and retreats increasing
    12) Rising sea levels
    13) etc., etc., etc.

    All this happening with the biggest conspirator yet: rapidly rising human emissions of GHGs that have not been seen in millions of years.

    I guess all of the these things also “got the emails” and decided to play along.

    gul·li·ble – adjective easily deceived or cheated.

    Also, gul·la·ble.

    Oigin:
    1815–25; gull 2 + -ible

    Related forms:

    gul·li·bil·i·ty, noun
    gul·li·bly, adverb

    Synonyms:
    credulous, trusting, naive, innocent, simple, green.

  39. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Joe
    Did you read the last paragraph of the wonk room piece

    “Evidently due to this e-mail conspiracy, Arctic sea ice is at historically low levels, Australia is on fire, the northern United Kingdom is underwater, and the world’s glaciers are disappearing. Oh yeah, and it’s the hottest decade in history”

    Me thinks his earlier pro denier was tongue in cheek.

  40. joe1347 says:

    Hopefully the scientific community will follow realclimate.org’s lead respond quickly to the nonsense coming from the deniers as they continue to cherry pick out of context quotes. Otherwise, this could quickly get out of control as the dimwits in the mainstream press start reporting on the global warming “controversy”. Sad, but fighting the deniers at this moment is likely more important than doing actual science.

  41. ClimateStudent says:

    Doesn’t the (widely republished) quote below from the CRU emails reflect something amiss with these scientists we all admire?

    Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

  42. Dano says:

    Climate student:

    Likely those e-mails were evil orders for all the scientists to turn the knob up on their Nature Control Machine and make the sea levels rise some more. Some say it was an order to make birds nest farther north next year. I saw something on Fox that speculated the e-mails were orders to make it hotter in Russia next year, and the hack was to ensure the temps didn’t go up as there is a big hockey tournament there this winter. Some say the e-mails were an order to bleach corals in the Indian Ocean.

    IOW: snork

    Best,

    D

  43. David Lewis says:

    Quoting from President Obama: “The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalised,”, “The closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we’ll hear from those whose interests or ideology run counter to the much-needed action that we’re engaged in.”

    That looks like the GISS analysis of global surface temperature graph in your post Joe. Have you taken the monthly data and entered as the dotted line showing the most recent data on the graph or did GISS?

    The morons are digging their own graves. The more attention they call to their certainty that the planet is cooling the worse they will look when the usual pattern of an appearance of El Nino and a major uptick in the GISS surface temperature graph appears. When the new record warm temperature as measured by GISS appears they will look like morons cubed, with drool, topped with gibberish.

  44. M. Simon says:

    The morons don’t have to win. All they have to do is create enough FUD to delay action and hope the IPCC is right about their prediction of falling temperatures until about 2020. Or hope the Soviet guys with their prediction of slightly rising and falling temperatures until 2013 and then a sharp drop are right. Or hope the Svensmark experiment due out in 2010 shows that his previous experiments arrived at the correct conclusion.

    Delay may be all the morons need given continued falling support for doing anything about AGW.

    You can point to anything now proving the case and the deniers will say: what is the provenance of the data? We had better be ready because the whole AGW community is going to be smeared by this.

    It may not be fair. But politics never is.

  45. David Lewis says:

    Regarding the headline over Revkin’s piece. As I understand it, the editor controls what appears as the headline. If so, I’ve been too harsh in my judgments of Revkin’s headlines, as they weren’t necessarily his.

    Here is Revkin himself, giving his take on how it was as a piece on climate was considered for the front page of the NYT. This is from a sidebar he wrote for a study on Communicating on Climate Change, about a lead front page story published in the NYTimes when the IPCC AR4 was released:

    “…the story migrated up the list to be the lead of the paper. When this happens, there’s far more scrutiny by layers of editors and a bit more eagerness, perhaps, to make sure the story justifies the placement”.

    The editors wanted him to change wording in the story itself, never mind that they had control over the headline. His sidebar described that he rejected their suggestion. The “eagerness” he describes is where I see the pressure to write in a different way than he might on his blog, or in his diary for that matter. The closer to the front page and the closer to the lead on the front page it seems to be getting, the more pressure he takes on himself as he tries to get it to that spot.

    My point? You can assume every word in anything Revkin writes for publication in the NYTimes is very carefully chosen, and that it has been run by a number of people.

    I for one acknowledge that this guy is one of the best writers who has ever written about climate.

    So, when I see something he has written that stinks I don’t buy the I made a mistake line. It was done consciously and with supervision. But until I hear differently, I will assume the headlines over his pieces are not necessarily written by him. I assume the content of the pieces is his.

    [JR: I don't think there's any question that the headlines are not necessarily his. But my criticism goes to the whole piece, which ain't good. That said, this is not the first time people have criticized the headlines of his stories, so I find it hard to believe that they aren't vetted and/or that Revkin doesn't have some input.]

  46. David Lewis says:

    I remain critical of some of Revkin’s recent work. I like your comparison of the Washington Post reporting and the NYTimes in this post. That is an excellent way to make the point.

    But I came to believe I went too far when I got all excited about Andy’s use of the words “relatively cool” when he was describing the recent years in the global surface temperature record recently. When I re-read Hansen’s paper discussing the 2008 chart, I saw the same words, i.e. “the question has been asked whether the relatively cool 2008…”

    I realized that I went a bit overboard hitting Revkin for what I would not notice when a guy like Hansen wrote it. Context matters of course, and Andy’s piece contained a chart only showing the latest downward fluctuation in a graph that could only be interpreted as on an upward trend, with words indicating some thought this might continue for a while, which might deceive or mislead the ignorant, whereas Hansen’s piece had the El Nino data displayed as well, just below, to show the relationship he thought significant that was one basis for his confident prediction of a new warm record soon.

    Anyway, I resolved to be a bit more reserved in future.

  47. joel says:

    @32

    To be fair, Michelle Malkin also begins her blog post on the hacked climate date with this:

    “First things first: The alleged hackers need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

  48. FTA – “More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.”

    The anti-science crowd think they have caught scientists with their pants down with this stolen data. In fact, there is absolutely nothing that refutes the science behind the proven theory of global climate change. Nothing.

  49. hillbilly "denier" says:

    ah, i see the problem now – its a battle of religions and HUGE egos are involved. In all likelihood in a few more centuries man will be traveling space anyway and would also be able to restore the Earth’s atmosphere to pre-indrustrial conditions if needed. Just think how far we’ve come since 1900.

  50. Turboblocke says:

    Ref my comment at 38: We’ve heard that US senator Inhofe claimed that this was the year of the sceptic on Wednesday, which is after the hack, but before it was made public.

    It is also suspicious that the hacker was called FOIA: In the UK we refer to the FIA or a FOI request: we never use the abbreviation FOIA.

  51. Cynthia says:

    What about a number of memo leaks which surfaced a few years ago, which CLEARLY showed the motives and corruption of the fossil fuel industry and republicans? (Example:

    In a memo to the republican party, titled “winning the global warming debate,” political consultant Frank Lutz (who has links to the fossil fuel industry) wrote, “should the public come to believe the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly… therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue”. (From, “Boiling Point”).

    Wonder if the media focused as much attention to those?

  52. David Gale says:

    I’m struggling to find the context of governments’ rejection of the IPCC’s initial model / report as not being pessimistic enough. Nor can I find context of the 1750 climate scientists that rejected the report signed by the climate modelling industry.

    Can someone assist, please?

  53. Petrus says:

    “The truth will out, one way or another….and the hysteria on here doesnt help your case – “the evil genius Inhofe is behind this”, lol…nor does calling your opposition “deniers”(a Jesus reference?) or “crazies”….your side got caught with their pants down for now, try to admit it…”

    I agree 100% on this Jeff´s comment. These hacked e-mails have caused a lot more fuzz on those trying to defend themselves and downgrade “deniers”. This seems to me like a typical defensive reaction when you get caught doing something bad.

  54. j says:

    Joe:

    Are you freebasing on crack? You see nothing wrong with these emails and the perversions these people have created in the stuff they touched. Don’t you realize that the science is untouched while these people are or have become radioactive.

    Stop blaming the skeptics as they weren’t the ones that wrote these emails. Your academic colleagues did.

  55. kennedyj says:

    Thanks, Joe. I was very disappointed by the NY Times coverage.

  56. daniel565 says:

    “and if they don t, so what? next week, there will be another breaking news story….”

    I don’t understand.

    If deniers ever more frequently present evidence which disproves global warming, doesn’t that mean that evidence is against global warming is stacking up?

  57. David Joyce MD says:

    It is clear that global warming theory is a religion that requires faith. If need be data must and should be perverted to promote the religion. Never let truth or a legitimate use of the scientific method stand in the way of promulgation of your faith. Just leave my money out of it.

  58. J says:

    Wow, global warming hysterics are funny. Anyone with a brain could’ve told you for decades that man’s influence on global temperatures is incredibly minute compared to solar activity. Even a simple understanding of entropy renders most over-the-top projections of global warming moot, but let’s not let science get in the way of religion, shall we?

  59. Mugsy says:

    The subject of “the Divergence Problem” made me uncomfortable, mostly due to the lack of a clear explaination as to what it is and why it can (and should) be ignored.

    I did a “tiny” bit of research, and I *think* I have a simple short answer, but someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    “The Divergence Problem” refers to a study of tree rings to calculate climate over particular years. And from what I can tell, there are two sources of historical data that fairly match going back as far as 1500BC, but begin to differ after 1960.

    The explanation appears to be that the suspect study lacks sufficient data to draw the conclusions it does and therefore is unreliable and can/should be ignored.

    The difference between these two studies is “the Divergence Problem”. Do I have that right?

  60. Don’t know what it would take to explain to an idiot, what Global warming is.
    But they certainly have their head stuck in the sand up to their a………. Not to see what is happening right in front of their eyes…

    They sound like the people which believe that the landing on the moon was just a movie that someone created..

    When we no longer have water to drink , air to breathe , food to eat and land to live on these same deniers will still say it is not happening.

    Retreat of glaciers since 1850

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850

  61. 'Tis true says:

    SayItIsnotTrue truly does have his/her head stuck in the sand up to his/her a………. Referencing an article on Wikipedia is like asking Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to speak the truth. It just ain’t gonna happen and you’ll just be fed more lies. Read the e-mails from East Anglia and accept the fact that the Al Gore crowd are trying to profit off a conspiracy theory. We can continue to monitor and prevent pollution without being taxed and putting money in the pockets of the global warming tribe.

  62. brett says:

    mugsy – your facts might be correct about the trees but the truth is that a few trees 100 ft lower didn’t show the growth and none of that matters in regards to what the sun is doing. and i am sure you agree that the sun controls the temperature of earth… remember in the 70′s when the elite scientists declared we were going into an ice age… don’t buy the snake oil.

  63. Mugsy says:

    Sorry Brett, leaving the GOP Talking Points at home. I’m old enough to remember when they were talking about “the next ice age”.

    The flaw in the GOP argument there is that it was VERY early in the recognition of the roll pollution was playing with our climate. Scientists at the time recognized THE SAME fact that pollution would affect our climate, but they drew the opposite conclusion. They thought that more pollution in the atmosphere would “block the sun and cause cooling”.

    The reality turned out to be that the growing pollution was trapping the heat in and causing the Earth to warm.

    The conclusion they drew was wrong, but the evidence they based it upon is EXACTLY THE SAME today… the growing increase of pollution in the upper atmosphere is causing climate change.

  64. populist says:

    http://www.breadwithcircus.com/#120209

    Found this podcast, its about how the “truth” movement is being used as the vanguard of the denial camp

  65. lefty says:

    To kastanj—

    Grow up. Everything is POLITICAL.