UPDATE: Watts Up With That explains the significance of the topic discussed in the “Mike’s Nature Trick” email.
UPDATE: This is beginning to get some attention. Ace notices the same paragraph, and notes: “Keep in mind that when Jones wrote that in 1999 we hadn’t had a decade of global cooling yet. So perhaps he was obscuring a decline in the warming trend?”
It’s been picked up by Rush Limbaugh via American Thinker, and I’m hearing rumors that CNBC may be next.
So, has much of the climate change debate of the last ten years been a purposeful fraud? If the files that became available in the last few hours prove to be legitimate, it would appear so.
Here’s the story so far. At 9:57 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, comments were posted on The Air Vent — a well-known climate skeptic site — that read:
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.
This is a limited time offer, download now: http://ftp.tomcity.ru/incoming/free/FOI2009.zip [This URL no longer works -- see below.]
The comments included a listing of email subjects. Word of these files spread through the climate skeptic community, appearing in comments at Climate Audit, and in posts at Watts Up With That and The Blackboard. The files purport to have been extracted via a hack on the Hadley Climatic Research Unit (CRU), a major organization involved in climate science in the United Kingdom.
The files became unavailable at the URL sometime on the 19th, but by then the files had been spread widely; the files are now available at a number of sites.
This morning, the CRU confirmed to the BBC that they had indeed been hacked:
A university spokesman confirmed the email system had been hacked and that information was taken and published without permission. An investigation was underway and the police had been informed, he added. “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,” the spokesman stated.