Saturday, November 21, 2009

No E-mails please

Damn - I see that the good Doctor beat me to it! Well, since we are all talking about the hacked e-mails from the CRU, I suppose I should post about it as well. There are three points that I want to raise.

First, I think this is one of the most despicable acts I have come across. The e-mails contained personal opinions and observations. Who among us has never written an e-mail which they would not want someone else to read. Regardless of what you think of the content, you have to give full credit to the way they have handled the broadcasting of such personal information.

Second, from what I have seen, there is no smoking gun here and the documents have been around long enough for someone to develop a searchable index of them. To begin with these appear to be a sample (and a small sample) from e-mails involving a number of people over a period of about 10 years. Without all the e-mails a great deal of context is lost. This means that the remaining posts are misunderstood.

Just one example (although others will probably come up in comments) it is claimed that the e-mails show that:

Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of "apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data".

While this appears to paint Dr, Briffa in a bad light, the actual e-mail provides more context:
>through high CO2 or nitrate input) . I know there is pressure to
>present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented
>warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in
>reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don't have a
>lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at
>least a significant number of tree proxies) some unexpected
>changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I
>do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.
So what Dr. Briffa actually says is that the "story" is not tidy and it should not be presented as such.

Third, and most important, there is nothing in here that even begins to address, let alone challenge, the underlying science of global warming. Nothing that says we're not causing CO2 to rise, nothing that shows that our understanding of radiation physics is wrong, nothing that says the natural greenhouse effect is wrong.

My prediction is that nothing of substance will be found in the e-mails and in a month the big story is how the media and others ignore the "clear proof" of fraud. To those loyal readers who are still with me, here is a bonus link. I won't provide any description except to say it is related to the topic of this post.

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