Hackers have broken into computers of the publicly funded Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. What they uncovered is pretty shocking, over a thousand of e-mails and dozens of documents were leaked that illustrate deception and misconduct by one of the UK's top climate research centers. CRU director Phil Jones confirmed his organization has been hacked, and said the data appears to be genuine at first sight.
While there's been evidence of foul play among both global warming advocates and skeptics, the emails from the CRU may be the most shocking evidence of blatant misconduct to date. The CRU was considered a prominent climate research center, which, along with other organizations in the U.S. and abroad, has helped steer the policy of the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). The University of East Anglia described the center, writing, "Widely recognised as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change."
Unlike what some media suggest the hacked e-mails do not debunk the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, but the "Climategate" scandal reveals some prominent climate researchers may be involved in practices that go against everything science should stand for.
A summary (+links) of the leaked messages can be found at Bishop Hill's blog, some of the more interesting snips include suggestions of data manipulation, collusion in deception, corruption of the peer review process, unwillingness to disclose data, ostracism of skeptics, discussions on how to circumvent Freedom of Information Act requests, and (potentially illegal) destruction of data rather than sharing it with skeptics.
Another interesting summary of some of the e-mails can be read at Herald Sun, blogger Andrew Bolt focuses on the mails that deal with data deletion and other efforts to thwart FOI requests to keep crucial data from the eyes of skeptics.
But far more serious - at least in a legal sense - may be his apparent boasting of destroying data to stop sceptics from checking this alarmist work. If, as some emails suggest, he destroyed it to thwart FOI requests from Professor Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre, who’d already exposed as fake the Michael Mann “hockey stick”, Jones, one of the most active of the IPCC lead authors, could even face criminal charges.
(Note: in saying that, I should add that these emails may simply be poorly worded, out of context or even altered by the whistleblower who leaked them. Jones may also not knowingly have done anything wrong, and there is no proof that he did anything against the law. UPDATE: Several updates on Jones below, including his “selfish” wish to see global warming “regardless of the consequences” just to be proved right.)