RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

Six Months Later and Fallout From Climategate Continues

Both sides in the controversy over whether global warming is real, or if real can be attributed to anthropogenic activity continue to defend their positions in light of November’s “climategate”.  To recap in November there was an unauthorized release of computer documents and emails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.  The majority of the hacked (stolen) material were emails. TMost were fairly routine and mundane exchanges of information, questions etc. among climate change scientist.  Those involved were all prominent British and American climate change scientist.

The documents that weren’t just routine exchanges however, include ones that were dismissive and/or demeaning of climate change detractors, discuss ways to present data so that gaps and contradictory data are masked.  The most troubling were correspondence in which the scientist discuss and try to come up with an explanation for an apparent failure of the climate change models.  In the short term temperatures have decreased slightly rather than increased.

Additionally, the University admitted that during the 1980′s much of the actual raw data, stored on paper and magnetic tapes was dumped when the CRU was moved from one location to another.

An inquiry into the actions of the British scientist has cleared them of wrong doing.  That the inquiry was initiated by the University has caused some to question whether the findings are truly impartial.

Scientist not directly implicated in the controversy have recently declared “enough is enough”.  They are quick to point out that other data exists to support the claim that anthropogenic?? global warming is taking place. The data they refer to is not related to nor based on the data from East Anglia.

An essay written in response to the continuing controversy was published in the May 7th edition of the journal Science was signed by 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including  11 Nobel laureates?.  The essay states very plainly the signatories continued belief that global warming is real, a significant threat to the planet and the direct result of human activity. The essay further chastises politicians who have used the recent developments to further their political causes and bolster their stand against climate change legislation.  The full text of the essay can be found here.  As several have noted it is virtually impossible to get 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences to agree on anything.

However, the climate change detractors are quick to point out that they have a number of unfulfilled requests for data, records and information filed under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA).  Some of the requests, made to NASA are over two years old.  The statute requires the material by within 20 days of the request.  NASA has responded that the volume of data is overwhelming and they are doing their best to gather and supply it.  What records they have turned over have been heavily redacted.

So after months the issue of the data supporting climate change remains somewhat murky.  What is evident is that the scientist researching climate change need to be more transparent.  The transparency is needed not just in response to increased volume of their critics.  The lack of transparency raises suspicion that “they” are hiding something.  It makes it even more difficult to pass the very legislation they themselves advocate.  If there are gaps in the data and other anomalies then theories about what they mean should be given.  Mistakes, if they have been made should be openly admitted.  This discourse however, unpleasant for the scientist is part of the job.  Further discussion on the need for transparency can be found here


Comments (4)

4 Responses to “Six Months Later and Fallout From Climategate Continues”

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