Posted by MataHarley on 20 November, 2009 at 10:49 am. 51 comments already!


Anthony Watts over at Watts Up With That has a breaking story about unknown hacker or persons breaking into the East Anglia Climate Research Unit’s database. The over 61 megs of data “appears to be genuinue” considering the herculean task of creating emails and other sundry data of such magnitude.

I’m currently traveling and writing this from an airport, but here is what I know so far:

An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server, here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today:

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 file was large, about 61 megabytes, containing hundreds of files.

It contained data, code, and emails from Phil Jones at CRU to and from many people.

I’ve seen the file, it appears to be genuine and from CRU. Others who have seen it concur- it appears genuine. There are so many files it appears unlikely that it is a hoax. The effort would be too great.

Watts has the text of some of the huge file’s emails posted on his website. Saunter over to the first link above to read at his site.

Of special note is CRU’s Prof. Phil Jones’ admission of fudging the numbers to hide the temperature decline.

[Emphasis added by Mata]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) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 or NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Another email was from another associate, Jonathan Overpeck, discussing a proposed letter to the Senate to combat the “continued assault on the science of climate change by some on Capitol Hill”. Overpeck is less than thrilled at being part of alterating data to comply with political aims, suggesting that such nefarious deeds were best left to other organizations.

Hi all – I’m not too comfortable with this, and would rather not sign – at least not without some real time to think it through and debate the issue. [Emphasis added by Mata] It is unprecedented and political, and that worries me.

My vote would be that we don’t do this without a careful discussion first.

I think it would be more appropriate for the AGU or some other scientific org to do this – e.g., in reaffirmation of the AGU statement (or whatever it’s called) on global climate change.

Think about the next step – someone sends another letter to the Senators, then we respond, then…

I’m not sure we want to go down this path. It would be much better for the AGU etc to do it.

What are the precedents and outcomes of similar actions? I can imagine a special-interest org or group doing this like all sorts of other political actions, but is it something for scientists to do as individuals?

Just seems strange, and for that reason I’d advise against doing anything with out real thought, and certainly a strong majority of co-authors in support.

Dissention in the CRU ranks over a scientific “concensus” has been growing, noted by Watts in his May 2009 post, where Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia (aka CRU), Mike Hulme, shed his closet AGW proponent sheeps clothing, and actively started speaking out against the science behind the UN’s IPCC paper. In an interview with UK’s The Register, he is quoted as saying:

“To hide behind the dubious precision of scientific numbers, and not actually expose one’s own ideologies or beliefs or values and judgements is undermining both politics and science”

Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit – currently overloaded with cyber traffic – posted that CRU cancelled all existing passwords… saying “actions speak loudly”. McIntyre – a veteran in the mineral exploration business – focuses on analyzing “peer reviewed publications” that purport the AGW theory.

Stay tuned… Anthony and crew are atop this story.

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