Monday, November 30, 2009

The Global Warming Data Scandal

A large number of emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia webmail server were hacked recently from computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit in the United Kingdom. The CRU is the data repository for much of the world's climate research and is a major source for the judgments reached by the U.N.'s climate reports.

Available now for anyone to read are hundreds of emails that give the appearance of a concerted and coordinated program by the leading climatologists to make the data fit their conclusions instead of modifying their models to accurately reflect the data. In addition, they engaged in attempts to silence and discredit their critics. This form of intimidation and manipulation is despicable and serves to silence true scientific inquiry. These scientists truly believed their conclusions and were operating in a world where the ends justify the means. In trying to rush forward, these scientists have now undermined their cause and damaged their own credibility.

In the June article by Michael J Economides PhD and Xina Xie PhD “Climate Change-What Does the Research Mean?” was a brief review of the scientific literature and research on the some of the postulated impacts that global warming might have on hurricane frequency and intensity, shrinking the ice field of Mount Kilimanjaro, melting the polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Both sides of each argument appear to be documented and supported by specific scientific measurements. Such contradictory conclusions indicated that the modeling of the earth’s climate and environment needed to be significantly reexamined and tested. Now we have some inkling of why the models were not predictive. Some research suggests that climate change may have some anthropogenic (human) causes. However, human cause is not the sole component in climate change. The consequences of climate change that have been cited as reasons for government action have not so far been born out by the facts.

The CRU e-mail scandal, changes the focus of the upcoming Copenhagen climate summit next month from attempting political action during a global downturn to discussing a potential fraud. Republicans are launching investigations, and the pressure is building on Democrats to hold hearings, since climate scientists were funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars. The office of Senator Jim Inhofe the ranking republican on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee sent letters to federal agencies and outside scientists warning them not to delete their own CRU-related emails and documents, which may also be subject to Freedom of Information requests.

Carol Browner, the White House Environmental Czar in trying to downplay the controversy that the hacked e-mail has raised said “… we have 2,500 of the word’s foremost scientists who are in absolute agreement that this is a real problem and that we need to do something and we need to do something as soon as possible. What am I going to do, side with the couple of naysayers out there or the 2,500 scientists? I’m sticking with the 2,500 scientists.” The US EPA has stated repeatedly in the past that it based its findings on the UN science, which is now in question.

If you will recall at the end of June Alan Carlin and John Davidson of the US EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics detailed their concerns about the science underpinning the agency's "endangerment finding" for carbon dioxide. The two said the US EPA accepted findings reached by outside groups, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, "without a careful and critical examination of their own conclusions and documentation." They raise questions about data that EPA used to develop the proposed finding. The Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute posted the document on its Web site and you can find it there. Can the US EPA move forward with their “endangerment finding” based on science that now needs to be reexamined?

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