Some of the emails leaked in Climategate discuss my work. Following is a comment on that, and on something more important.
In 2007, I published a peer-reviewed paper alleging that some important research relied upon by the IPCC (for the treatment of urbanization effects) was fraudulent. The emails show that Tom Wigley — one of the most oft-cited climatologists and an extreme warming advocate — thought my paper was valid. They also show that Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, tried to convince the journal editor not to publish my paper.
After my paper was published, the State University of New York — where the research discussed in my paper was conducted — carried out an investigation. During the investigation, I was not interviewed — contrary to the university’s policies, federal regulations, and natural justice. I was allowed to comment on the report of the investigation, before the report’s release.
But I was not allowed to see the report. Truly Kafkaesque.
The report apparently concluded that there was no fraud. The leaked files contain the defense used against my allegation, a defense obviously and strongly contradicted by the documentary record. It is no surprise then that the university still refuses to release the report. (More details on all of this — including source documents — are on my site.)
My paper demonstrates that by 2001, Jones knew there were severe problems with the urbanization research. Yet Jones continued to rely on that research in his work, including in his work for the latest report of the IPCC.
Misconduct at Queens University of Belfast
Arguably, the biggest concern with global warming is that warming itself will cause further warming. For example, the polar ice caps reflect sunlight back into space, thereby cooling Earth. A global warming theory suggests that if the caps shrink due to warming, then they will reflect less sunlight and so Earth will warm even further. It is possible that Earth warms so much that it reaches what is called a “tipping point,” where the global climate system is seriously and permanently disrupted — like when a glass of water has been tipped over and the water cannot realistically be put back into the glass.
No one knows for sure how much Earth would have to warm before it reaches the tipping point — though about a thousand years ago, there was a time known as the Medieval Warm Period when much of Earth appears to have been unusually warm. It is not currently known just how warm the Medieval Warm Period was, but clearly the warmth then was below the tipping point because Earth’s climate continued without problem.