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un gros coup

Les négationnistes viennent de réussir un gros coup, ils ont hacké le réseau d'une organisation de recherche sur le climat et ont "révélé" des emails qui prouveraient que la recherche sur le climat est falsifiée et que les climatologistes comploteraient pour museler les "sceptiques"...

déjà sur les sites conspirationnistes ils parlent juste de ça, évidemment en exagérant et déformant tout:
"The hacked documents and communications reveal how top scientists conspired to falsify data in the face of declining global temperatures in order to prop up the premise that man-made factors are driving climate change. Others illustrate how they embarked on a venomous and coordinated campaign to ostracize climate skeptics and use their influence to keep dissenting reports from appearing in peer-reviewed journals, as well as using cronyism to avoid compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests." (Prison planet)

Je vois pas comment des documents hackés peuvent constituer preuve contre quoi que ce soit, le problème c'est que ça va être récupéré en sale...

L'histoire a fait éclater des articles dans toute la communauté, entre autres skepticalscience.com:

What do the hacked CRU emails tell us?

Earlier this week, the servers at the University of East Anglia were illegally hacked. Emails dating back to 1996 were stolen and leaked onto the web. Phil Jones, the director of the Climate Research Unit, has confirmed the emails are not forgeries although there is over 60Mb worth of material - they can't guarantee all of it is genuine. What does it all mean? Michelle Malkin labels it the global warming scandal of the century (of course the century is only 9 years old but even 'scandal of the decade' would be no mean feat). James Delingpole at the UK Telegraph claims the emails are the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'? So just what do these emails tell us?

Some of the emails must be embarrassing for the authors. One email responds in poor taste to the death of a well known skeptic. There's scathing discussion of skeptics such as Steve McIntyre and Roger Pielke, including imaginings of violence. However, the crucial question is whether these emails reveal that climate data has been falsified. The most quoted email is from Phil Jones discussing paleo-data used to reconstruct past temperatures (emphasis mine):

"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."

What do the suggestive "tricks" and "hiding the decline" mean? Is this evidence of a nefarious climate conspiracy? "Mike's Nature trick" refers to the paper Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries (Mann 1998), published in Nature by lead author Michael Mann. The "trick" is the technique of plotting recent instrumental data along with the reconstructed data. This places recent global warming trends in the context of temperature changes over longer time scales.

The "decline" refers to the "divergence problem". This is where tree ring proxies diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960. The divergence problem is discussed as early as 1998, suggesting a change in the sensitivity of tree growth to temperature in recent decades (Briffa 1998). It is also examined more recently in Wilmking 2008 which explores techniques in eliminating the divergence problem. So when you look at Phil Jone's email in the context of the science discussed, it is not the schemings of a climate conspiracy but technical discussions of data handling techniques available in the peer reviewed literature.

In the skeptic blogosphere, there is a disproportionate preoccupation with one small aspect of climate science - proxy record reconstructions of past climate (or even worse, ad hominem attacks on the scientists who perform these proxy reconstructions). This serves to distract from the physical realities currently being observed. Humans are raising CO2 levels. We're observing an enhanced greenhouse effect. The planet is still accumulating heat. What are the consequences of our climate's energy imbalance? Sea levels rise is accelerating. Greenland ice loss is accelerating. Arctic ice loss is accelerating. Globally, glacier ice loss is acceleratingAntarctic ice loss is accelerating.

When you read through the many global warming skeptic arguments, a pattern emerges. Each skeptic argument misleads by focusing on one small piece of the puzzle while ignoring the broader picture. To focus on a few suggestive emails while ignoring the wealth of empirical evidence for manmade global warming is yet another repeat of this tactic.

un des commentaires qui m'a fait sourire:
This is pathetic. "Skeptics" have declared that anything goes. It would be of course equally low to hack McIntyre or Watts' personal e-mails, and those of the think tanks and industries hostile to action. Yet I can't help to think it would only be equitable to have all their dirt posted on the internet as well. Just to see who's really more dishonest in the whole "debate."

The CRU hack, realclimate.org

As many of you will be aware, a large number of emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at 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). 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?



Autres liens qui font un compte-rendu lucide de la patente:

Aussi à lire:

Le commentaire récent d'un coprésident du GIEC sur les négationnistes
Un article de l'excellent site carbonfixated.com qui explique les prétendus "450 peer-review papers skeptical of global warming" sont de la bullshit.
Un autre article amusant sur carbonfixated décrit comment avec la même stratégie on peut discréditer des lois de la physique de base


hey !
Franchement ,ton blog a de quoi faire palir le bic d'un journaliste professionnel. :)

Écrit par : easydentic | 2009.12.08

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