Quotes on "Climategate" & Global Warming

“What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.”

Dr. Judith Curry
Climate Progress
Georgia Institute of Technology
November 27, 2009
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“What has been noticeably absent so far in the ClimateGate discussion is a public reaffirmation by climate researchers of our basic research values: the rigors of the scientific method (including reproducibility), research integrity and ethics, open minds, and critical thinking. Under no circumstances should we ever sacrifice any of these values; the CRU emails, however, appear to violate them.”

Dr. Judith Curry
Climate Progress
Georgia Institute of Technology
November 27, 2009
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“Climategate reveals skulduggery the general public can understand: that a tightly-linked clique of scientists were behaving as crusaders. Their letters reveal they were working in what they repeatedly labelled a 'cause' to promote a political agenda.

That's not science, that's a crusade.”

Kenneth P. Green
Calgary Herald
American Enterprise Institute
December 28, 2009
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“The scientists at CRU and throughout the climate change establishment, along with people such as former vice president Al Gore, have slammed skeptics for not publishing in the peer-reviewed literature. What the Climategate documents reveal is that this small group of scientists, who are often called upon to peer review each other’s work as well as skeptical articles, have discussed ways of keeping findings they do not like out of the peer-reviewed literature, even if it required trying to oust editors, boycotting certain journals, or reclassifying a prestigious journal that publishes skeptical articles as a fringe journal unworthy of consideration. They also discuss their specific intention to exclude contrary findings from the IPCC reports, even if they ‘have to redefine what the peer-reviewed literature is!’ Is it surprising that many skeptics simply choose to forgo efforts to place materials in peer-reviewed journals when one knows that it will likely be blockaded by biased reviewers?”

Kenneth P. Green
On the Issues, No. 17
American Enterprise Institute
December 2009
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“The [Climategate] e-mails do not in and of themselves reveal that catastrophic climate change scenarios are a hoax or without any foundation. What they reveal is something problematic for the scientific community as a whole, namely, the tendency of scientists to cross the line from being disinterested investigators after the truth to advocates for a preconceived conclusion about the issues at hand. … Perhaps more significant, the e-mail archive also reveals that even inside this small circle of climate scientists—otherwise allied in an effort to whip up a frenzy of international political action to combat global warming—there was considerable disagreement, confusion, doubt, and, at times, acrimony over the results of their work. In other words, there is far less unanimity or consensus among climate insiders than we have been led to believe.”

Steven F. Hayward
On the Issues, No. 17
American Enterprise Institute
December 2009
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“In the larger world of climate science, the Climategate story is overwhelmingly about one small but very important subfield—paleoclimatology, the effort to reconstruct the Earth’s climate during the vast sweep of time before humans began measuring and recording observations about the weather. That turns out to be a massively complicated exercise in statistical manipulation of huge amounts of raw data. Because the gap between observation and conclusion in this subfield is so dependent on statistical techniques rather than direct measurement, it was bound to be a matter of intense controversy and deserved the most searching review by outside scientists. It is exactly this kind of review that the CRU insiders acted to prevent or obscure.”

Steven F. Hayward
On the Issues, No. 17
American Enterprise Institute
December 2009
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“Climategate publicly began on November 19, 2009, when a whistle-blower leaked thousands of emails and documents central to a Freedom of Information request placed with the 5 Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. This institution had played a central role in the ‘climate change’ debate: its scientists, together with their international colleagues, quite literally put the ‘warming’ into Global Warming: they were responsible for analyzing and collating the various measurements of temperature from around the globe and going back into the depths of time, that collectively underpinned the entire scientific argument that mankind’s liberation of ‘greenhouse’ gases—such as carbon dioxide—was leading to a relentless, unprecedented, and ultimately catastrophic warming of the entire planet."

John Costella
The Lavoisier Group
January 20, 2010
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"Scientist at the heart of the 'Climategate' email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner's office said University of East Anglia researchers breached the Freedom of Information Act when handling requests from climate change sceptics.

But the scientists will escape prosecution because the offences took place more than six months ago.

The revelation comes after a string of embarrassing blunders and gaffes for climate scientists and will fuel concerns that key researchers are too secretive and too arrogant."

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“I do not accept that I was trying to subvert the peer-review process and unfairly influence editors in their decisions. I undertook all the reviews I made in good faith and sent them back to the editors. In some e-mails I questioned the peer-review process with respect to what I believed were poor papers that had appeared. Isn't this called freedom of speech?”

Roger Harrabin
Professor Phil Jones
BBC News
February 13, 2010
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“The phrase 'hide the decline' was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

This ‘divergence’ is well known in the tree-ring literature and ‘trick’ did not refer to any intention to deceive - but rather ‘a convenient way of achieving something’, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.

I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time - an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.

The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context."

Roger Harrabin
Professor Phil Jones
BBC News
February 13, 2010
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"In their misguided war against the skeptics, the CRU emails reveal that core research values became compromised. Much has been said about the role of the highly politicized environment in providing an extremely difficult environment in which to conduct science that produces a lot of stress for the scientists.  There is no question that this environment is not conducive to science and scientists need more support from their institutions in dealing with it. However, there is nothing in this crazy environment that is worth sacrificing your personal or professional integrity.  And when your science receives this kind of attention, it means that the science is really important to the public.  Therefore scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.  This is an important responsibility that individual scientists and particularly the institutions need to take very seriously."

Dr. Judith Curry
Georgia Institute of Technology
February 24, 2010
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"The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself - most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC's conclusions on climate change."

The Institute of Physics
February 2010
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"Just five years ago, Charles Monnett was one of the scientists whose observation that several polar bears had drowned in the Arctic Ocean helped galvanize the global warming movement.

Now, the wildlife biologist is on administrative leave and facing accusations of scientific misconduct.

The federal agency where he works told him he was on leave pending the results of an investigation into 'integrity issues.' A watchdog group believes it has to do with the 2006 journal article about the bear, but a source familiar with the investigation said late Thursday that placing Monnett on leave had nothing to with scientific integrity or the article."

Becky Bohrer
Associated Press
2011
28
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"The magnitude of the surface temperature response of the climate system to an imposed radiative energy imbalance remains just as uncertain today as it was decades ago .... Over 20 coupled ocean-atmosphere climate models tracked by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produce a wide range of warming estimates in response to the infrared radiative forcing theoretically expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions ....

From a modeling standpoint, this lack of progress is evidence of the complexity of the myriad atmospheric processes that combine to determine the sign and magnitude of feedbacks. It is also due to our inability to quantify feedbacks in the real climate system, a contentious issue with a wide range of published feedback diagnoses ... and disagreements over the ability of existing methods to diagnose feedback ...."

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"Even though the email messages from the CRU were not themselves part of a formal peer review, they were ancillary to and commented on that process. Moreover, although they were private communications, their tone was troubling because they reflected an apparent lack of trust and sincerity, and it seemed to betray a vulnerability to bias and a will to power — sentiments that are all contrary to the ideals of science. The remark, 'If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available - raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations — I will not submit any further papers to RMS,' (1237496573.txt) suggests an impulse to horde information and seems to violate the norm of communalism. The remark, 'Can any competitor simply request such datasets via the U.S. FOIA, before we have completed full scientific analysis of these datasets?'(1231257056.txt) calls into question the author’s sincerity towards science’s ideal of transparency and seems to violate the norm of disinterestedness. Perhaps one of the most troubling remarks is, 'Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!' (1089318616.txt)

When the Climategate emails addressed the topic of peer review, scientists focused their remarks on agents within their own community. In these remarks they attempted to establish a boundary between legitimate and compromised peer review after they have manipulated the system to keep dissident views out. Mann, for example, objected to McIntyre and McKittrick’s paper challenging his research because of their alleged conflict of interest: 'The last thing this guy cares about is honest debate--he is funded by the same people as Singer, Michaels, etc...' (1104855751.txt) The emails implied that the CRU scientists attacked the credibility of McIntyre because he was not published in peer reviewed journals after they had manipulated the peer reviewed system in their field to keep him out."

Lawrence Souder
Furrah Qureshi
Journal of Science Communication
SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies
February 15, 2012
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"One intriguing subset of the Climategate emails illustrates the writers’ use of ad hominem remarks to refer to themselves, what might be called auto- ad hominem attacks. For example, when Ben Santer said, 'My involvement would look too self-serving' (1228330629.txt), these scientists seemed aware of their own vulnerability to ad hominem attacks. Their acknowledgement of their own appearance of being selfserving was itself an appeal to character. Elsewhere, these scientists in moments of even greater candor were critical of their own character. When Phil Jones, for example, recounted his critique of a paper by McKittrick and Michaels, he concluded by saying 'This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and variability [sic].' (1098472400.txt) In another remark, which is astoundingly frank in its desperation, Jones said, 'If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn't being political, it is being selfish' (1120593115.txt). Such auto-ad-hominem arguments complicate the issue of boundary work. The authors played the roles of both arguer and critic, and thus they seemed to cleave themselves into both scientist and nonscientist.

Another group of the Climategate emails seemed to show scientists in deliberate attempts to develop strategies for ad hominem attacks on their critics. Trenberth, for example, in a response to Jones said, 'So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothng [sic] better to do seems like a good thing to do.' (1177158252.txt) Overpeck implied an auto-ad-hominem when he offers a strategy… Tom Wigley said to Timothy Carter: 'One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work.' (1051190249.txt) Mann said about McIntyre’s attempts to challenge his work on RealClimate.org: 'We’ll use our best discretion to make sure skeptics don’t get to use the RC [RealClimate] comments as a megaphone.' (1139521913.txt) At some point, however, at least one of McIntyre’s critics recognized some validity in his allegedly ideological committed position and acknowledged the futility of such ad hominem labels, when, for example Wigley says to Jones, 'I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me.' (1098472400.txt)"

Lawrence Souder
Furrah Qureshi
Journal of Science Communication
SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies
February 15, 2012
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Quote Page

Quotes from the e-mails of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia that began what is known as "climategate".

Quotes on climategate and global warming.

Commentary or Blog Post

Jess Henig opines that there is really a reasonable explanation for every damaging piece of correspondence between leading climate scholars.

Roger Harrabin reports on Phil Jones' record keeping admissions. According to Harrabin, Jones confessed to not keeping the best of records on his global warming research.

"Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just completed his seventh annual foray to the Arctic. The PM's annual northern tours have traditionally focused on a combination of announcements affecting economic development, environmental protection, and defense readiness. The ever-shrinking ice cap is bringing new challenges to Canadian policy makers, particularly with regard to the...

Watson insists that the emails were taken out of context, and if they were to be placed in their proper surroundings, their authors would soon be vindicated and back on the path to advancing the global warming cause.

A high-level inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found there was 'little evidence' for its claims about global warming.

This piece traces the background behind the hacked emails at the University of East Anglia's CRU.

AEI’s environmental team has been especially busy lately responding to numerous press inquiries about the 'Climategate' scandal.

Although at one time Jones strongly asserted that global warming was a very real crisis, Phil Jones' admissions are increasingly demonstrating the reality of the opposing view.

This piece highlights the event which launched Climategate, namely, the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia.

In this TIME Magazine article, Bryan Walsh wonders if the Climategate scandal is really much ado about nothing.

In the wake of the Climategate scandal, American scientist Michael Mann's records were requested for review by Virginia's attorney general.

"Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations...

"Around the world, even more than in the United States, there is an audible sigh of relief the day after Obama won a clear mandate for a second term as president."

Steve McIntyre presents the frustration and consternation that Keith Briffa's declining temperature models produced within the Climategate community.

Just five years ago, Charles Monnett was one of the scientists whose observation that several polar bears had drowned in the Arctic Ocean helped galvanize the global warming movement. Now, the wildlife biologist is on administrative leave and facing accusations of scientific misconduct.

It’s the very scariest claims — rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers threatening a billion people with flooding and then with drought, an increase in Katrina-scale disasters, and others – that are the ones on the shakiest ground.

"Scientist at the heart of the 'Climategate' email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled.

The Information Commissioner's office said University of East Anglia researchers breached the Freedom of Information Act when handling requests from climate change sceptics.

But the scientists will escape prosecution because...

Skeptical citizens may think that environmentalists cannot give comprehensible answers to their critics or that they arrogantly believe that the understanding of common people is irrelevant.

Global warming alarmists claim vindication after last year's data manipulation scandal. Don't believe the 'independent' reviews.

Kenneth Green points out the hypocrisy evident in those who defend the reputations of the Climategate players.

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord.

Chart or Graph

Two Canadian non-climate scientists, McKitrick and McIntyre, re-did the study using Mann's data and methods, and found dozens of errors, including two data series with exactly the same data for a number of years.

Emissions of CO2, which accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gases, grew at an average annual rate of around 2½% between 1950 and 2000.

Mohib Ebrahim, who has created timelines for professional exhibitions, has now produced one of the ClimateGate scandal, providing graphs, e-mails, history, and analysis of events.

One of the most notable emails in the Climategate controversy referred to a “'trick' and the effort to 'hide the decline.'"

One of the most obvious conclusions from Figure 3 is that the satellite observations and climate models display markedly different time-dependent behaviors in their temperature versus radiation variations, especially over the oceans....

The results demonstrate an eroding trust of science among Americans, particularly weighty in the time between 2008 and 2010.

Analysis Report White Paper

Most accounts of an ideal scientific discourse proscribe ad hominem appeals as one way to distinguish it from public discourse. Because of their frequent use of ad hominem attacks, the Climategate email messages provoked strong criticisms of climate scientists and climate science. This study asks whether the distinction between public and scientific discourse holds in this case and thus whether the exclusion of ad hominem arguments from scientific discourse is valid.

The Committee found that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall. However, the world has changed considerably since the creation of the IPCC, with major advances in climate science, heated controversy on some climate-related issues, and an increased focus of governments on the impacts and potential responses to changing climate.

This extensive document analyzes a large variety of excerpts from the infamous Climategate emails. Costella's analysis reveals the fact that the Climategate scientists often engaged in manipulation of data and faulty scientific practices.

This report contains two pieces which thoroughly analyze the Climategate scandal. The authors carefully explain the major background components of the issue and provide detailed information on the incriminating evidence that the Climategate emails present and demonstrating inconsistencies espoused over the years.

The results demonstrate that Climategate had a significant effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists.

In this piece, Steven Hayward declares that "[t]he body blows to the climate campaign did not end with the Climategate emails." Hayward attempts to unpack the precipitous decline and fall into disfavor that the climate change issue has experienced in the past few years. He implies that Climategate exposed the IPCC and its followers as frauds.

The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.

These emails show a tightly knit cabal of scientists adjusting temperature data to conform to their political agenda; exerting pressure to censor publications going into the "peer reviewed" literature.

Two extensive critiques of the Stern Review by various economic and climate change experts.

An article describing in greater the Climategate scandal and the issues that the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit attempted to hide.

"In an assessment on Global Water Security, U.S. Intelligence Community predicts that exploding populations in developing countries coupled with climate change would be naturally transformed into drought, floods and lack of fresh water."

Video/Podcast/Media

In 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age." Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end.

The Climategate emails confirm Dr. Tim Ball's fears that global warming proponents were concocting false information in order to help their cause.

Senator James Inhofe's views on the significance of the Climategate issue. Inhofe believes that the emails demonstrate fraud and illegitimate dealings.

"This video exposes yet another of Obama's radical leftist appointments, EPA head Lisa Jackson. From indoctrination of our youth through the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America, to fear mongering in a speech to LULAC, to playing the race card in front of BIG (Blacks in Government), Jackson covers all the Environmental Justice bases."

A respected British scientist has admitted that emails taken from his inbox, calling into question many of the accepted truths of global warming, were genuine.

Lord Christopher Monckton speaks at the second International Climate Conference, addressing the so called Climategate scandal and key players involved in what appears to be one of the biggest science scams of our time.

Michaels opines that the Climategate issue will be good for the scientific community because it will enable more diverse opinions to be presented.

Primary Document

This letter addresses the issue of climate change in the wake of the Climategate email scandal.

The legitimate questions that have been raised about the processes used to generate climate change science and policy have thus far been cast aside. The reluctance to engage in conversations with people who have doubts or question the veracity of climate science is at the heart of the wrong doing that undermines trust in climate change science.

A history of the Climategate scandal prepared and delivered by skeptic Stephen McIntyre to the Heartland Institute's Climate Change Conference.

This link takes you to the complete list of emails that initiated the Climategate scandal.

Thanks for the comments. I did indeed try to keep the verbiage on a civil level, which is not always easy to do. I agree with you that Mike seems to be overwhelmingly concerned about what the greenhouse sceptics might think.

I've heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures - that we don't have access to, and there was little warming in them.

This link contains an email exchange between Phil Jones and Peter Thorne. Thorne comments on a draft of a scientific paper, but questions the reliability of the data involved in the paper.

"City population size and urban effects are not related that well. I think a lot depends on where the city is in relation to the sea, large rivers and water bodies as well. I did try and get population figures for London from various times during the 20th century. I found these, but the area of London they referred to kept changing. "

I feel passionate about many things, including scientists who trash good sound evidence about global warming and also about non-scientists who reduce complex messages to simple one-liners.

Thanks for these comments - and while I agree with them, I do not necessarily concur on the 'fashionable' opinion these days that IPCC has made a mistake in stressing the temperature issue and the rank magnitudes of late Holocene warm periods.

All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like.

Climategate 2.0 email between Michael Mann and Keith Briffa on "consensus" issues.

You are the only guy who may know what was and is going on in the northern forests.

I never heard back from you about my comments sent on January 13 and copied below. However, I don't want to let the discussion grow cold.

Climategate 2.0 email from Jonathan Overpeck to Keith Briffa.

To argue that the observed global mean temperature anomalies of the past decade falsifies the model projections of global mean temperature change, as contrarians have been fond of claiming, is clearly wrong.

Email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann, climate scientists.

A Climategate 2.0 email to Michael Mann from Phil Jones. Jones addresses a variety of contentions that are present amongst the various scientists in their group.

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.

I believe you criticised the inclusion of the 2000 (Eurasian ) tree-ring series (since reiterated by Malcolm). Fair enough, though again misguided in my opinion if on the basis of 'contains few data' or 'has weak climate response'.

Michaels' PhD was, I believe, supervised by Reid Bryson. It dealt with statistical (regression-based) modeling of crop-climate relationships. In his thesis, Michaels claims that his statistical model showed that weather/climate variations could explain 95% of the inter-annual variability in crop yields. Had this been correct, it would have been a remarkable results. Certainly, it was at odds with all previous studies of crop-climate relationships, which generally showed that weather/climate could only explain about 50% of inter-annual yield variability.

The whole Macintyre issue got me thinking about over-fitting and the potential bias of screening against the target climate parameter.

Climategate 2.0 email exchange between Rasmus Benestad and Stefan Rahmstorf about the 1990 IPCC Report.

I especially want to avoid any suggestion that this work was being done to specifically counter or refute the 'hockey stick'.

A Climategate 2.0 email exchange between Rob Wilson and Tim Osborn about solar heat and its correlation to climate change.

I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead. I am afraid that he is losing out in the process. That is too bad.

An open letter from U.S. Congress to Dr. Michael Mann, asking him to answer questions about criticisms of his scientific method and inconsistencies in his responses to those criticisms, so that the Congress can clarify their picture of what exactly his results mean.

The Institute of Physics believes that there are some serious revelations in the Climategate emails and are particularly concerned with the lack of scientific rigor and intolerance displayed by those who authored the emails.

In this BBC interview, Phil Jones, a key player in the Climategate email scandal, answers a variety of questions on his climate change views.

A variety of investigations were established in the months following the Climategate incident, one of which was initiated by the University of East Anglia.

This statement by the IPCC chairman seeks to establish the fact that the IPCC's work is credible and accepted by a variety of authoritative agencies.

"In the following I will provide some general remarks on the shortcomings of the assessment process as I’ve experienced it, then provide three examples of how the process led to inaccurate information provided to policymakers, followed by a comment on temperature records and I will close with some concluding remarks."

­Dr. Judith Curry, a proponent of global warming, uses this letter to guide her colleagues and students on how to properly respond to the Climategate emails and the implications that they present.

Books

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