New York, November 23 -- Providing deeper insight into the climate change scientific establishment, the hundreds of emails hacked from a British university and posted online has sparked another climate change debate.
This time it has raised questions about the authenticity of the data provided by the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.
The global warming skeptics say that the e-mail messages, highlighting the correspondence between prominent climate change researchers in America and UK, show that scientists have manipulated data to fit their theory that humans are responsible for global warming.
“We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps,” stated the hacker on the site Air Vent.
The e-mails include discussions of efforts to ensure the report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change includes their findings and exclude all contrary data.
In one of the e-mails, CRU’s professor Phil Jones wrote that he was worried about the Freedom of Information request seeking data that he has used to support his findings. In order to make research fit the conclusions, he was contemplating to delete some unrealistic figures.
“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 [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline,” stated an email from Jones in 1999.
In another e-mail Kevin Trenberth wrote, “Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past twodays for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.”
He further added that they are not able to account for ‘lack of warming’ at the moment and it is a ‘travesty’ that they cannot.
The identity of the hackers is not certain but the stolen e-mails and documents have been posted on a site called‘an elegant chaos’.
E-mails taken out of context
Though the university officials have confirmed the leakage, many believe that the move is meant to undermine the climate change summit in Copenhagen in December.
Government representatives from 191 nations, NGOs, journalists and others are expected to meet in Copenhagen to reach consensus over limiting emission of green house gases.
Trenberth was quoted by Associated Press as saying, "It is right before the Copenhagen debate, I'm sure that is not a coincidence."
He further added that he was shocked at the selective use of e-mails and so by the fact that they have been “taken out of context”.
Even Jones denied claims that facts have been manipulated and asserted that the word “trick” used by him means “a clever thing to do".