Climategate II emails – Mainstream media fails againBy Gavin Atkins Nov 24, 2011 9:35AM UTC
For those who haven’t seen it yet (and given the poor response from mainstream media so far, you could be forgiven for this), another tranche of emails has been released from the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University.
This is the second release of correspondence from climate scientists that came to be known the first time around as Climategate.
Climategate was undoubtedly the biggest single environment story of 2009, so you would think that the release of more emails would rate somewhere as being worth reporting this time around.
But that’s where you’d be wrong. Once again, Fairfax and the ABC have remained silent so far, leaving only The Australian newspaper to report on the issue.
And once again, the emails reveal a culture of highlighting results that conform to “the cause” and excluding dispassionate science. One can only sit back and admire the patience and timing of this – released just before the next big climate change conference in Durban. It is sure to create some awkward meetings between some scientists who have name-checked each other.
Since it appears that is largely up to blogs to lead the way in sharing the news, here follows a selection of interesting snippets (sourced from here) released as part of Climategate II:
What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multi-decadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably.
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary [...]
I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by a select core group.
Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]
The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.
I agree w/ Susan [Solomon] that we should try to put more in the bullet about “Subsequent evidence” [...] Need to convince readers that there really has been an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?
In my [IPCC-TAR] review [...] I crit[i]cized [...] the Mann hockey[s]tick [...] My review was classified “unsignificant” even I inquired several times. Now the internationally well known newspaper SPIEGEL got the information about these early statements because I expressed my opinion in several talks, mainly in Germany, in 2002 and 2003. I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.
I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!
I too don’t see why the schemes should be symmetrical. The temperature ones certainly will not as we’re choosing the periods to show warming.
Kevin, Seems that this potential Nature paper may be worth citing, if it does say that GW is having an effect on TC activity.
Getting people we know and trust [into IPCC] is vital – hence my comment about the tornadoes group.
My most immediate concern is to whether to leave this statement ["probably the warmest of the last millennium"] in or whether I should remove it in the anticipation that by the time of the 4th Assessment Report we’ll have withdrawn this statement
I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.
We don’t really want the bullshit and optimistic stuff that Michael has written [...] We’ll have to cut out some of his stuff.
[...] the mostvaluable thing to do is to tell the story about abrupt change as vividly as possible
In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public relations problem with the media
But it will be very difficult to make the MWP (Medieval Warming Period) go away in Greenland.
A growing body of evidence clearly shows  that hydroclimatic variability during the putative MWP…was more regionally extreme (mainly in terms of the frequency and duration of megadroughts) than anything we have seen in the 20th century, except perhaps for the Sahel. So in certain ways the MCA period may have been more climatically extreme than in modern times.
The results for 400 ppm stabilization look odd in many cases [...] As it stands we’ll have to delete the results from the paper if it is to be published.
Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models, surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs. [...] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from the sun alone.
would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?
[tropical glaciers] There is a small problem though with their retreat. They have retreated a lot in the last 20 years yet the MSU2LT data would suggest that temperatures haven’t increased at these levels.
There shouldn’t be someone else at UEA with different views [from "recent extreme weather is due to global warming"] – at least not a climatologist.
I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships
Also there is much published evidence for Europe (and France in particular) of increasing net primary productivity in natural and managed woodlands that may be associated either with nitrogen or increasing CO2 or both.
Phil, thanks for your thoughts – guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in the open.
He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong.
This will reduce the 1940-1970 cooling in NH temps. Explaining the cooling with sulphates won’t be quite as necessary.
It is interesting to see the lower tropospheric warming minimum in the tropics in all three plots, which I cannot explain. I believe it is spurious but it is remarkably robust against my adjustment efforts.:
[...] we found the [urban warming] effect is pretty big in the areas we analyzed. This is a little different from the result you obtained in 1990. [...] We have published a few of papers on this topic in Chinese. Unfortunately, when we sent our comments to the IPCC AR4, they were mostly rejected.
there are some nitpicky jerks who have criticized the Jones et al. data sets – we don’t want one of those [EPRI/California Energy Commission meeting].
any method that incorporates all forms of uncertainty and error will undoubtedly result in reconstructions with wider error bars than we currently have. These many be more honest, but may not be too helpful for model comparison attribution studies. We need to be careful with the wording I think.
I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year “reconstruction”.
Because how can we be critical of Crowley for throwing out 40-years in the middle of his calibration, when we’re throwing out all post-1960 data ‘cos the MXD has a non-temperature signal in it, and also all pre-1881 or pre-1871 data ‘cos the temperature data may have a non-temperature signal in it!
Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low level clouds.
I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she think’s she’s doing, but its not helping the cause
Phil, Many thanks for your paper and congratulations for reviving the global warming. [on temperature data adjustments] Upshot is that their trend will increase [to Hansen] Keep up the good work!
[...] Even though it’s been a mild winter in the UK, much of the rest of the world seems coolish – expected though given the La Nina. Roll on the next El Nino!
I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.