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Climate researchers at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit may have intentionally and artificially skewed temperature data in studies

The field of global warming is a fascinating facet of atmospheric science. Unfortunately, few are approaching the topic from an unbiased perspective -- the majority is dead set on proving it, while other are equally passionate about disproving it, or at least removing the implication that man may play a role in global warming. Both sides have been found to falsify data, withhold information, or otherwise distort views on the topic, reportedly. Notably internal investigations found that the Bush administration worked to silence climatologists at NASA who published pro-warming papers. Likewise, James Hansen, the leading climate scientist at NASA, was found to be engaging in an equally deceptive game of altering temperature data to make warming look more serious than it was.

Now a stunning new example of biased science and policy has come to light. The University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, one of the UK's top climate research centers, has been hacked by an unknown party, who release an archive of the emails and data from the center, which can be viewed here. The emails in the archive contain evidence of misconduct, casting climate research done at the center in a new light.

A spokesperson for the center confirmed the breach, stating to BBC News, "We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all of this material is genuine. This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and we have involved the police in this inquiry."

Some of the emails seem merely cruel, but do not indicate misconduct. For example CRU director Phil Jones cheers the death of leading climate skeptic John Daly stating, "In an odd way this is cheering news." In another email he fantasizes about physically assaulting a climate skeptic, stating, "Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted."

Other emails are far more damning. Writes Phil Jones:
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) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline. Mike's series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
The email reads like a flat out confession of academic misconduct and deception. Obviously hiding data and doctoring values is the kind of thing that gets you expelled from graduate school, but here these seasoned researchers seemed to have engaged in such practices and gleefully got published.

The emails also contain passages concerning the center's attempts to hide the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). Writes a colleague of Mr. Jones:
......Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back - I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to "contain" the putative "MWP", even if we don't yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back....
Still other emails reveal that the Phil Jones and others at the center engaged in campaigns of trying to silence skeptics, removing them from the journal peer-review process. Not all of the researchers at the center seemed to be onboard with the deceit, though. Some expressed doubts about the theory of anthropogenic (manmade) global warming and refused to support some of the center's actions, putting their own careers in jeopardy.

Writes Jonathon Overpeck:
The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
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 recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change."

The admissions of falsification of data and suppression of counter opinions run contrary to everything that the scientific community should stand for. One can only hope that a thorough investigation is conducted and at the very least the center's director, Phil Jones is dismissed for academic misconduct, if the emails are confirmed. After all, how can we tell our college students not to cheat, when the director of a prominent research institution is advocating such fraud?