"A miracle just happened"

Gavin Schmidt states categorically that the FOIA.zip was uploaded to RC around 6.20 am Eastern [Update - Aug 23, 2011: noticed that this was changed to 7:20 am] and that 4 downloads took place prior to RC regaining control of their blog.

He also observes that there is a previously unnoticed reference to the file (and I confirm that I had not previously noticed the significance of the comment here at 5.24 am blog time (7.24 am Eastern) where the name of the poster “RC” (identified as contrib@realclimate.org ) included a hyperlink http://www.realclimate.org/FOIA.zip with a comment as follows:

A miracle just happened.

What was the miracle? Posting the file at RC or getting the file in the first place? Dunno. Gavin’s comment in full is as follows:

There seems to be some doubt about the timeline of events that led to the emails hack. For clarification and to save me going through this again, this is a summary of my knowledge of the topic. At around 6.20am (EST) Nov 17th,[Update - Aug 23, 2011: noticed that this was changed at RC to 7:20 am] somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file FOIA.zip to our server. They then created a draft post that would have been posted announcing the data to the world that was identical in content of the comment posted on The Air Vent later that day. They were intercepted before this could be posted on the blog. This archive appears to be identical to the one posted on the Russian server except for the name change. Curiously, and unnoticed by anyone else so far, the first comment posted on this subject was not at the Air Vent, but actually at ClimateAudit (comment 49 on a thread related to stripbark trees, dated Nov 17 5.24am (Central Time I think)). [SM note - actually 7.24 am Eastern] The username of the commenter was linked to the FOIA.zip file at realclimate.org. Four downloads occurred from that link while the file was still there (it no longer is).

The use of a turkish computer would seem to imply that this upload and hack was not solely a whistleblower act, but one that involved more sophisticated knowledge. If SM or JeffID want to share the IPs associated with the comments on their sites, I’ll be happy to post the IP address that was used to compromise RC.

I don’t know why Gavin wants to enter into negotiations about disclosing IP addresses. I’m not interested in such negotiations. The IP address of the commenter at CA was Russian 82.208.87.170.

Lots of theories.

139 Comments

  1. Tim S.
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Wow. This whole affair is better than an episode of The X-Files!

    • sylvainr
      Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

      Was thinking exactly the same thing :)

  2. Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Indeed, Gavins RC post was odd. I wouldn’t have known about it except that someone copied it to tAV. RC locked their thread to his post for so long that the posts which had backed up pushed his email from 86 to 140 something. It sat for hours.

    What is really odd is that I offered the number to them days before they publicly asked. He emailed me personally to ask again – really strangely!!??!! Anyway, no matter what we think of the people who did this, whistle blowers or hackers, they seem to know exactly what they were doing and I doubt the IP will help much.

    It seems sophisticated at every level, data sorting for content, header removal and posting.

    • Tim S.
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

      I am getting the feeling that whoever is behind this is playing both sides somehow… why the initial post on BOTH Climate Audit and Real Climate? It seems very calculated.

    • kramer
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

      JeffId,

      I wouldn’t give him the IP address. In fact, you might want to delete it from your computer(s) using secure erase.

  3. crosspatch
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    That Russian IP is a transparent web proxy:

    http://www.freewebproxy.org.ru/proxy-country/Russian-Federation-01.htm

    (last one on the list)

    There is no telling where the person really was. My guess is the Turkish address might be a proxy, too.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

      That’s where I’d put my money. They were both proxies, and the operation was probably done from the UK. Obviously, this was done by someone with some computer sophistication.

      I think we can safely rule out script kiddies. And Putin. And the Mossad. And I’d rule out ExxonMobil, but I don’t think the consensus of expert opinion in the climate science community would.

      • Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

        It doesn’t take a great deal of computer sophistication to be able to pull a stunt like this from the inside and make it appear to be a hack. Any competent coder (who may have been taken on at CRU to work on the temperature reconstructions, and then was shocked at the state of the data and the extent to which the entire global agenda is being built upon such a pile of incomplete, missing, amended and invented data) would be able to do this with a little research.

  4. M Yoxon
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    This is the best thriller I’ve ever read.

  5. geo
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    http://www.freewebproxy.org.ru/proxy-country/Russian-Federation-01.htm

    That page identifies that IP as a “transparent proxy”. Which, I think, means the trail will go cold right there.

  6. Robinson
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    How disarming. Steve, you should work for bomb disposal.

    I read GS’s offer at RC and got the impression he was trying to smoke you out, as if you had anything to do with the hack (if indeed it was a hack). I did think, why not just post the IP? It isn’t as if it’s particularly useful. IP’s can be spoofed, anonymous servers can be used (especially in places like Russia, the chances of getting hold of the logs via legal avenues are practically zero), many IP’s are dynamic.

    • Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

      It did have that tone, don’t forget though that I had already OFFERED the IP. So what was gavin hoping? It was a bit silly.

      • Rienk
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

        My guess is: he’s hoping for sloppiness. Teh Russian proxy is probably a dead end. The turkish thing could very well be something like a tor exit node. So my conclusion is that he tries to get a traceble third IP address out of someone else. My second guess is: they haven’t a clue who did this. No need to help them, don’t volunteer. There has been talk of a possible second disclosure and they’d love to prevent that.

  7. Al
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    please sort out the dual website issue. It is not helping the situation and many people are referring to climateaudit.org in other articles – when that website does not contain up to date information and often cannot be reached.

    Also please do continue with taking the freedom of information request to the information commissioner.

    keep up the good work

    regards

    Al

    (ps please feel free to delete and happy to chip in some cash if it helps)

    • Toto
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

      please sort out the dual website issue

      Simple, CA for the audit and stats issues (technical), this one for ClimateGate issues (not technical).

      Steve:
      we’re still trying to figure out how to handle things.

  8. crosspatch
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    If I *really* wanted to know where that came from, I might write a note to one Oleg A Yegorov who appears to be the administrative contact for that network in Russia. He *might* be willing to share a log entry *if* he is even keeping logs. Most of those proxy servers have logging shut off, though, so there is probably nothing to share.

  9. geo
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and somebody should point out to Gavin that “whistleblower” and “sophisticated” do not need to be mutually exclusive, as his post seems to suppose. In fact, the “sophistication” to get the thing posted untraceably is probably an order of magnitude easier to come by/achieve than the knowledge/experience to have successfully hacked CRU externally in the first place (if, in fact, an external hack is what happened).

    Indeed, I’m somewhat leaning towards CTMs view that someone inside CRU put this file together to potentially answer an FOIA, and then left it somewhere unprotected where it was stumbled upon and then posted using techniques to make it unlikely to be able to trace the poster. It would be very interesting for CRU to comment on that possibility –tho I suspect they won’t.

    • crosspatch
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

      Well, if any of those emails (possibly one removed from the zip file) had publishing credentials for RC, it might be possible to post something there as if one is a regular author. No more “sophistication” would be required for that to happen than is possessed by anyone who publishes content to a blog.

      If Jones was given credentials by email to create posts, it is possible that whoever did that saw those credentials and used them.

      There are any number of possibilities, some of them requiring no “sophistication” at all.

  10. dearieme
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    It’s worth celebrating the fact that this is a case of Dr Gavin Smirk claiming not to be first at something.

  11. Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Aaah who knows it could have been a real climate inside job

  12. Calvin Ball
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    The use of a turkish computer would seem to imply that this upload and hack was not solely a whistleblower act, but one that involved more sophisticated knowledge.

    And with that, the black helicopters are up and away…

  13. Alexander Harvey
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Well the hack seems to have moved from UEA to RealClimate, if there was a hack I suppose that it will be in the log files somewhere. That is something for the Forensic bods to look for. At this moment I cannot see that we should take either groups word for anything. To be honest I cannot see why anyone should see breaking data into RC as a first move unless it was for the sheer amusement of it. But over egging the pudding does have its appeal.

    Alex

  14. Alexander Harvey
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    One for the gurus:

    “He also observes that there is a previously unnoticed reference to the file (and I confirm that I had not previously noticed the significance of the comment here)”

    How would he have spotted that and when?

    Alex

    • Morgan
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

      My guess (and it’s a truly uneducated one) is that he has a log of traffic to the file, with information about the referring URL.

  15. Ed
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    The proxy server 82.208.87.170 is operated privately in Nizhny Novgorod, which happens to be one of the major IT centers in Russia. As in really major.

  16. Frank K.
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    geo

    “Indeed, I’m somewhat leaning towards CTMs view that someone inside CRU put this file together to potentially answer an FOIA, and then left it somewhere unprotected where it was stumbled upon and then posted using techniques to make it unlikely to be able to trace the poster. It would be very interesting for CRU to comment on that possibility –tho I suspect they won’t.”

    I’ve been thinking about this and I don’t believe this theory is plausible for the following reasons:

    * If someone had been putting together a package for FOIA, CRU would surely know who that was and would have come down on him or her by now. Noone’s been frog-marched from CRU yet, as far as I know.

    * Why would someone put together a package with e-mails containing all of the personal BS that would make this bunch look bad (like Jones finding the death of John Daly “cheering”, Santer wanting to beat up Michaels, etc. etc.)? I would imaging any e-mail correspondence in such a package would have been looked over with a fine tooth comb.

    My personal belief is that this was an inside job – someone with the knowledge of not only who was involved in the FOIA requests, but also where all of the relevant files could be found on the servers. I would bet that suspects are being questioned right now as they likely know who was in the building and/or had access to the servers during the time the file transfer occurred. Wouldn’t surprise me to see an announcement this week…

    • geo
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

      Frank K–

      I think CRU would have every reason to keep that very quiet to the outside world. They want very much right now to be seen as the attacked/wounded party that has been treated very shabbily through no fault of their own. If such a file was created internally with knowledge/sanction of the authorities there and then left somewhere unprotected and stumbled upon. . . well, what a bunch of incompetent boobs they look like then, and poof there goes about 90% of the sympathy they’ve been getting from various quarters.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

      “My personal belief is that this was an inside job – someone with the knowledge of not only who was involved in the FOIA requests, but also where all of the relevant files could be found on the servers. I would bet that suspects are being questioned right now as they likely know who was in the building and/or had access to the servers during the time the file transfer occurred. Wouldn’t surprise me to see an announcement this week…”

      Who says that the inside job/whistleblower uploaded the files from inside the building? Whoever she/he was could have been anywhere and uploaded via anywhere.

      Russian and Turkish servers are implicated, but that does not mean the person who uploaded this data was physically in either of those locations either.

      If I had been the “insider/whistleblower” then I would have had fun leaving a trail back to the computer of Jones, or Gavin.

  17. Alexander Harvey
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Another one for the Gurus:

    What is needed to upload a file to the root of RealClimate? Is it at a system administrator level or could a moderator or other user logon achieve this?

    If it was a hack would there be a whole stream of attempts, or was it a backdoor, or a security window, or did they simply login?

    How is the timeline, if it is tight, were they lucky to get access so quickly?

    Why put a link on CA that only Gavin and 4 downloders could find, and how come that none of the four presumably regular and highly alert visitors to CA tipped anyone the wink?

    Is someone playing games with us all, I do expect so.

    So many questions!

    Alex

    • Raven
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

      All they needed to do is hack a wordpress account using password that may have been in the emails. Once they did that they could put a post up announcing the download. I guess they hoped to have it up long enough to generate a lot of buzz. That part of their plan failed but the info still got out.

  18. hengav
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Any possibility that this zip file was being sent to Gavin for perusal and was intercepted? Just asking.

  19. Jim from Anaheim
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    I guess in Gavin’s world, sophisticated = “not idiot”. Anyone watching an episode of “Law and Order” knows IPs can be tracked, and it’s not difficult to find non-logging proxy servers or anonymizer .

    Leaving incriminating evidence in archived emails, however, is decidedly non-sophisticated.

  20. J
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Shorter Gavin: “The Russian mob did it”.

    Steve, whatever you do, don’t share any IP addresses with the George Costanza twin. One time he was publishing IP addresses of people that disagreed with his views and making suggestions as to where they worked.

    snip

    • Sean
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      Did he really publish IP addresses of his critics? Wow. Do you have a link to that?

  21. John G. Bell
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    This just gets better and better. So we still may have a cracker/whistleblower. Whatever the hat (s)he is wearing it looks white to me.

    I read RCs post and wondered about it at the time.

    So the first four copies were served from realclimate.org. Unbelievably rich.

  22. crosspatch
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    someone inside CRU put this file together to potentially answer an FOIA

    Or there is an alternative notion:

    If I wanted to put stuff where I could delete it in a hurry should I get wind of an FOIA request, I might create an FOIA folder and put all that stuff in there so that I know where to find it when the time comes.

    • RBTN
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      Sounds plausible to me. Just seems odd that someone would compile this FOR the FOI, whereas sloppily deleting it in a hurry makes more sense.

  23. Calvin Ball
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    Not to spoil anyone’s fun, but who shot JR Ewing isn’t as interesting a question as what was JR Ewing doing when he was shot. And if JR says Cliff Barnes did it, that probably means it was Maggie.

  24. Joshua Corning
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    If SM or JeffID want to share the IPs associated with the comments on their sites, I’ll be happy to post the IP address that was used to compromise RC

    Might not be Steves cup of tea but since Gavin is asking for stuff it is only fair for us to ask for stuff back.

    Gavin,

    Can you confirm or deny that the emails and data are authentic and untempered with?

    Was the file originally put together by UAE for an FOI request or was the file generated by the hacker? I ask cuz it would identify the hacker as either an opportunist who came across the file or as someone who knew what he/she was looking for in terms of the climate issues and so was able to compile a “best of list” as the file appears to be.

    • Sean
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

      Or how about a prisoner swap? Steve gives him the IP address after he writes a blog entry on RC explaining his role in the whole Mystery Man affair. If identities are going to be disclosed, let’s have at it!

  25. Ian
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Isn’t the miracle that GS actually acknowledged ClimateAudit – and almost even mentioned Steve’s name. Well, he used the initials, at least…

    Cheers.

  26. bender
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    I saw that link when it went up and moused over it because of the name “RC”. I promptly ignored it when I saw it actually linked to realclimate.

  27. Smokey
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Gavin Schmidt’s post proves exactly nothing. It is pure speculation.

  28. Eric
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    FYI – Paul Hudson of the BBC says he received the “chain of emails” on October 12th, a month before the rest of us. Where he apparently then sat on them without doing any reporting on their content or, allegedly, notifying CRU of a break in.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-cru-hacked-into-an.shtml

    “I was forwarded the chain of e-mails on the 12th October, which are comments from some of the worlds leading climate scientists written as a direct result of my article ‘whatever happened to global warming’. The e-mails released on the internet as a result of CRU being hacked into are identical to the ones I was forwarded and read at the time and so, as far as l can see, they are authentic.”

    • FTM
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

      Are you certain the writer is only speaking of the subset of emails regarding himself? And they also appear in the larger group?

    • RickA
      Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

      Eric. What Paul Hudson said was that he was copied on a chain of emails, and that he compared the chain he had with the ones in the zip file – and they were word for word identical. He merely verified that the emails had not been tampered with. He did not get the zip file on October 12.

    • Thortung
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

      Hmmm. I wonder how he manage to get emails dated up to 12th November a month ago? Unless he’s got his months confused.

    • John Doe
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      I think the reporter just got one email chain that was forwarded (by who, it’s not clear), not the whole package (which includes emails up to Nov. 12).

      • Sean
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

        My thought is that if anyone was deliberately trying to be a whistleblower when he sent the chain of emails, the last person he would have sent it to is a reporter for the BBC … or maybe second to last after a reporter for the Guardian.

        So my uneducated guess is that it was attached to something else as some sort of accident.

        Having said that, it would eb consistent with the idea of posting the zip file at Real Climate.

  29. ilajd
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Steve, some discussion on bristlecones and strip bark that might be of interest in this exchange between Jan Esper; Keith Briffa ; Martin Juckes ; Myles Allen etc.

    ” The discussion is further complicated by the fact that the first PC of “Western US” trees used in the Mann et al. analyses is derived from a mixture of species (not just Bristlecones ) and they are quite varied in their characteristics , time span, and effective variance spectra .”

    “The point of this message is to show that that this issue is complex ,
    and I still believe the “Western US” series and its interpretation in terms of Hemispheric mean temperature.”

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=756

    1163715685.txt

  30. Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

    Another miracle happened;

    Monbiot apologies

    “I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.”

    Links and comments here;

    http://www.twawki.wordpress.com

    • Sean
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

      Didn’t know anything about this guy before I read his article and his responses to comments today. I gotta hand it to him for issuing a real straight-up apology, which is a rarity in today’s world.

    • CrossBorder
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

      It’s not much of a miracle when you read the rest of Monbiot’s column.

      • Sean
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

        I read the rest (where he says that he would need to see a masonic-style conspiracy smoking gun email before he comes to believe that all of AGW is a big consiracy) but that’s fine with me because I don’t think Steve or anyone else is alleging that all of AGW was invented out of whole cloth.

        That part of the article (and the headline which is kind of silly) still doesn’t change the fact that his apology is straight up and really quite heartfelt. In an era of fake apologies (“I apologize IF anyone misinterpreted my remarks etc”) this kind of honesty should be recognized and applauded.

  31. Eric
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    A little humor – sort of funny that the inside secrets of proxy-based historical global temperature estimates were ultimately released to the world – by way of a proxy server :-)

    Sorry.

    • HankHenry
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

      ^5 I hadn’t had that thought yet.

  32. theduke
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    In his latest comment, Gavin mentions Hans Von Storch:

    “Climate Research and peer-review: You should read about the issues from the editors (Claire Goodess, Hans von Storch) who resigned because of a breakdown of the peer review process at that journal, that came to light with the particularly egregious (and well-publicised) paper by Soon and Baliunas (2003). The publisher’s assessment is here.”

    He apparently is unaware of what von Storch wrote on his website on Nov. 21 regarding this scandal:

    ” . . . Interesting exchanges, and evidences, are contained about efforts to destroy “Climate Research”; that we in the heydays of the hockeystick debate shared our ECHO-G data with our adversaries; and that Mike Mann was successful to exclude me from a review-type meeting on historical reconstructions in Wengen (demonstrating again his problematic but powerful role of acting as a gatekeeper.)
    I would assume that more interesting issues will be found in the files, and that a useful debate about the degree of politicization of climate science will emerge. A conclusion could be that the principle, according to which data must be made public, so that also adversaries may check the analysis, must be really enforced. Another conclusion could be that scientists like Mike Mann, Phil Jones and others should no longer participate in the peer-review process or in assessment activities like IPCC.”

  33. theduke
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    Eric wrote:

    FYI – Paul Hudson of the BBC says he received the “chain of emails” on October 12th, a month before the rest of us. Where he apparently then sat on them without doing any reporting on their content or, allegedly, notifying CRU of a break in.

    ———————————————————————————-

    This tells me that this was an inside job, a leak by a whistleblower. Seems like Hudson has some explaining to do. Of course, he could have been prevented from publishing the material by the BBC, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    Things are really heating up. I’m very curious as to what Hudson has to say.

    • Steamboat McGoo
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

      I read that Hudson remark, commented on it (#40) over there at BBC, and was corrected.

      He “apparently” only received the emails specifically referring to his article – the October ones – which is what his statement says one parses it carefully.

    • history student
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

      I wouldn’t be too hard on Paul Hudson. Good journalists always get confirmation, especially for information from opaque sources. I’d allow that he might have spent a month figuring out how the heck to do that.

  34. PR Guy
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    These guys don’t appear to be the most security minded. For example at http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=741&filename=1157546057.txt

    you’ll find

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/projects/soap/data/model/echog.htm

    >
    > Near the bottom you will find the link to the password-protected model
    > data (this includes the time series plots too). The login details for
    > this are:
    >
    > soapech
    >xxxx

    [my x-out]

    There’s even one where the guy includes his password as part of his sig file. I was going to copy it in this post, but I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t stop my mouse hand from shaking. Search on ‘password’.

    So it could be that Gavin put the RC root password into an email that the whistle blower found.

  35. Paul Coppin
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    I think the hacker/whistleblower/patriot/criminal/hero/scoundrel (pick one or two) was having a bit of sport with Gavin et al RC. I think the intention was to place the file there, have you find it through the link and download it, discover what it was, and have a field day, having got it from RC. Its also possible that that was just part of an IP laundering exercise that would also get it into the right hands. He perhaps didn’t count on nobody at CA picking it off, hence putting it over at Air Vent. He might actually have been getting a little desperate trying to get somebody to take it and open it up as he tried to cover his tracks. I also think there may be more than one individual involved in this.

  36. HR
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    Does RC and the CRU overlap with the same individuals?

    If it’s an insider to CRU then it’s an insider to RC.

  37. Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

    East Anglia smokescreen here;

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRU-update

    The volume of material published and its piecemeal nature makes it impossible to confirm what proportion is genuine. We took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation and have involved the police in what we consider to be a criminal investigation.

    The material published relates to the work of our globally-respected Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and other scientists around the world. CRU’s published research is, and has always been, fully peer-reviewed by the relevant journals, and is one strand of research underpinning the strong consensus that human activity is affecting the world’s climate in ways that are potentially dangerous.

    CRU is one of a number of independent centres working in this important area and reaching similar conclusions. It will continue to engage fully in reasoned debate on its findings with individuals and groups that are willing to have their research and theories subjected to scrutiny by the international scientific community. The selective publication of some stolen emails and other papers taken out of context is mischievous and cannot be considered a genuine attempt to engage with this issue in a responsible way.

    The raw climate data which has been requested belongs to meteorological services around the globe and restrictions are in place which means that we are not in a position to release them. We are asking each service for their consent for their data to be published in future.

    In addition to supporting the police in their enquiries, we will ourselves be conducting a review, with external support, into the circumstances surrounding the theft and publication of this information and any issues emerging from it.

    • HankHenry
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

      Locking the barn door after the horse was stolen.

      • Sean
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

        Actually, there was no horse in there. Just a big pile of straw.

  38. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    “The hacked emails are a hard knock, but the science of global warming withstands much more than that.” – Monbiot

    As a scientist, I don’t have much interest in a journalist’s opinion on science. So let’s just take his apology at face value assuming that journalism IS something he knows something about.

    • Kasmir
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

      Miracle quote from Monbiot:

      “I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign.”

      http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/11/23/the-knights-carbonic/

      If even Monbiot is shaken, this is a major development indeed.

      Via their RealClimate facade, the cabal is no doubt now taking counsel from their sponsors, Fenton Communications, who are a truly skillful DC left-aligned PR firm. Expect to see three or four tested “talking points” echoed endlessly, indeed they’re probably already operant. It will be amusing to derive them.

  39. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, that post was meant for WUWT.

  40. Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    I really find it difficult to believe that the file was uploaded to RealClimate. What would be the point?

    I think there was just a post that linked to it, and Gavin is mistaken. But it is just an opinion.

    • Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

      I think Paul Coppin has it right above; perhaps the original intent was to have people “discover” a file on RealClimate, with the goal of having people believe one of the cabal mistakenly put it on the web server?

  41. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Nov 23, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Eric, theduke, I think you might be misinterpreting Hudson. I read him as saying that emails in the archive match real emails he received from Jones et al – therefore he believes the archive files are genuine.

  42. Carrick
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    Jeff posted his IP address, 212.116.220.100. It’s a proxy too.

    What they did to hide their footprints isn’t exactly rocket science.

  43. AKD
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Beginning on October 12th, there is a string of e-mails between “team” members that directly addresses Paul Hudson’s story on the BBC, mentioning him by name. This discussion continued until the 14th, but sometime before then, someone who received these e-mails thought they would share the discussion with Hudson for whatever reason. But what he saw before the archive was leaked was just that: one string of e-mails. The archive contains several hundred strings of e-mails, and data, documents, etc.

  44. theduke
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    AKD and Alan Wilkinson: okay, I see that possibility. Awaiting clarification.

  45. KeithIsDeepThroat
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    Gavin is already working on Plan B:

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/sci/1479777699.html

    • HankHenry
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

      Holy cow! How’d you find that?

  46. MWalsh
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    Heh. Not sure where this should go, as it’s completely OT…but I thought you might enjoy knowing Iowahawk thinks of you as a member of Methodica Skeptica Scientifica Steve

    Delete after reading if you so desire.

  47. Daryl M
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    Given how inbred CRU/UEA and RC seem to be, would it not be possible, even likely, that a sysadmin at CRU also had a password for an RC server? For all we know, there are RC servers at CRU located.

    If you wanted to make them both look stupid in one fell swoop, posting the CRE archive on RC would be a good way. This still does not have to be a “hacking” incident. All it took is for a reasonably savy sysadmin with the appropriate passwords to have at it.

    And proxies aren’t such a big deal. There are hundreds of them. They come and go like torrent trackers.

  48. EdeF
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Just wondering if the proxy server has diverged from instumented data
    too.

  49. Michael
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know the character of the people at RC, but could someone there have found the zip file at air vent, put it at the root on RC and then make the post at CA?

    Steve:
    Zip file was never at tAV, just the link. Timing isn’t right. tAV notice was 12 hours or so later.

  50. 3x2
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

    I’m Spartacus!

    (127.0.0.1)

    • HankHenry
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

      No, *I* am Spartacus.

  51. Steve W
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    The question now is: Is “climate change” science robust to the exclusion of 4 or 5 scientists?

  52. 2dogs
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    The hack appears a too well organised to be a hobbyist. If I had to hazard a guess as to who did this hack, I’d say either the Russian or Chinese secret services. Both countries have teams of hackers and neither country is particularly interested in the climate change agenda. This would also explain the timing (Copenhagen).

    If so, the international politics on climate change just turned nasty. We can forget any possibilty of there ever being an effective international agreement to mitigate CO2, regardless of the science.

    • richb313
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

      I think the possibility that the Russians as in State Sponsered are somewhat problimatic as they now seem to be officially on the AWG band wagon. That being said there is a motive however because of thier large oil/gas reserves. The Russains benifit greatly from high Oil Prices and the decreasing demands of Oil that International Treaties would require could be motive enough. The Chinese are a different matter as they do not participate in any International Traety that would limit thier own economic Growth and Higher Oil Prices would not benifit them. They actually secretly hope that the rest of the world enages in treaties that would lower demand for Oil Based Energy.

      The point I am trying to make is this, It really does not benifit either country in any meaningful way to have done this but if there is a State player my bet would be on Russia but the I.P. Address to the Russian Server also points in the other direction as the Russains would have never left a footprint so large.

  53. Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    I put together a description of the “open proxy” issue at:

    http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2009/11/climate-hack-used-open-proxies.html

    The proxy adds an “X-Forwarded-For” header to web requests. If your systems logged that, you might be able to find the original IP address.

  54. JohnM
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:26 AM | Permalink

    I spent 90 minutes or so this afternoon looking through the emails in the file. The common denominator appears to be Keith Briffra, IMO.

    The smoking guns are at least two right now:

    One will be the science, which deserves center stage.

    The second is the ethical and legal — including criminal — hammer that may fall upon those who knowingly hid or destroyed data of any kind. May God have mercy upon those souls.

  55. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

    1249045162.txt (and previous, included) is interesting giving debate about how to refuse Steve
    s FOI request, as well as info about how the previous “mole” file was released. And gratuitous insults from a MET office “scientist”.

  56. Jarkko
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    I visited that link throw CA, somewhere around 10 am. ET. Nov. 17. (Well, I visited the CA thread at 9.30 and did the google search at 10.)

    By that time RC was down, and I did a google search, to find out if the link was just broken. It wasn’t. The server was already down. So, I thought the “miracle” was the crashing of RC.

    Now I know better.

  57. steven mosher
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    If you look at all the emails you will that some bozo transmitted a logon and password ( steve, tosser) in one of the mails.

    So, it’s entirely possible that at sometime Gavin or somebody else sent a admin logon and password for RC to somebody at CRU, say briffa. So that the person at CRU could upload a file. Then, the insider at CRU found this mail
    and had everything he needed. A file to upload and a RC password to allow him to do it. And he completed the
    irony by linking to the file by a post at CA.

    just a theory.

  58. Phil
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    Any bets that the “Turkish computer” is another anonymous proxy (i.e. its nationality is irrelevant), that Gavin knows this perfectly well, and as such he is in what can only be called a state of denial that this might have been an inside job?

    Or is it just that CRU and NASA really don’t understand anything about proxies…? :-)

  59. Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:08 AM | Permalink

    Hi there – hopefully not OT – I have published WIllis Eschenbach’s account of his FOI request to CRU, in light of the hacked e-mails, at this link: Willis vs. The CRU: A History of (FOI) Evasion”

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/willis-vs-the-cru-a-history-of-foi-evasion/

    • Sean
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      Great article!

  60. drscroogemcduck
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    steve should have claimed he had an agreement with a third party not to release IP data. :)

  61. P Gosselin
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    Inside job at CRU…never tell secrets near servants (nor leave them on servers).
    Information on a crime is gold. Information on vitue is worthless.

    First suspects in a murder are always of the immediate family, then the circle of acquaintances. Only occasionally does it turn out to be an “enemy”.

    When you put a bunch of sleazeballs in a room, it’s only a question of time before they start screwing each other. My dad used to say that.

    • HankHenry
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

      That is one I am going to remember.

  62. P Gosselin
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

    Hacker my butt. I really doubt it.

  63. Thomas Fairholm
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    Paul Hudson a BBC uk weatherman says he was forwarded the emails on the 12th October, and he has checked the hacked ones against the ones he was sent and says they are the same, and genuine. Although he works for the BBC (the science is settled) Paul does poke holes in the IPCC from time to time.

    see his blog here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/

  64. P Gosselin
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    Eric
    You mean the BBC was in illelgal posession of private data?
    I think the perp (whistleblower) naively thought the BBC would blow the story wide open. Of course, being one of the cardinals of the AGW religion, the BBC locked it up.
    So the perp sought out an alternative avenue, and here we are.

  65. Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    (You are welcome to spread this! I think humour may be a good way to get a message out! –AE)

    CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOTHING COMPARED TO LIGHT-BULB CHANGE

    The first few jokes in this file are by ahrvid@hotmail.com. Feel free to add your own and share the fun with others!

    Question: How many Climate Gate deniers does it take to change a light bulb? (Q repeated for every answer)

    What light bulb? The EU has banned them for environmental reasons.

    None. Media prefers to stumble around in the dark.

    Thirty. Because when you’ve done you need a whole platoon to dig trenches and put up barbed wire to defend your position to the very last man.

    2501. That’s the number in the Intergovernmental Panel of Light-bulb Change. 2451 of them are only formally members and couldn’t care less, though everyone flies their jet planes to expensive international conferences to get pisssed and allow their names to be used in several thousand pages thick reports, sure to lay substantial areas of forests barren. There are about 50 that sit and cherry-pick the light bulbs that are suited for “the cause”. Of these only about a dozen check that the correct light bulb – and only the correct light bulb – is selected. Finally Al Gore climbs to the very top of the ladder and make sure that everything becomes totally screwed up.

    What a bloody bickering about light bulbs! We will not change light bulbs. The light-bulb science is settled once and for all. You’re only a gang of conspiracy theorists that deny the Holocaust, think the US Government blew up the Twin Towers and see Flying Saucers in the sky.

    None. because you can use the trick of hiding the decline in luminosity.

    What’s a ”light bulb”? We only have camp fires, where we come from, and are almost freezing to death. Oh, how we long for Medieval times! It’s supposed to have been a Warm Period then.

    It will be impossible to change any light bulbs. You see, even if we here on the BBC are about 23 000 employees, every single one of us is fully occupied with making new programmes where we repeat the same old message about “climate change”, day out and day in. That’s public service TV for you!

    Changing a light bulb, you said? I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. Of course you have to pay the light-bulb tax, the electricity tax and of course the CO2 tax, not to forget the climate-change fee, the environment duty and the fossil-fuel charge. What? Well, mortgage your house, for heaven’s sake! Think of the poor panda bears, please. First we must make sure that the light bulb complies with regulation 4.71, paragraph B) in sub section…

    To: Phil@cru.co.uk
    Subject: Annoying idiot wants scientific openness
    Howdy amigo!
    I got this outrageous E-mail by some idiot that wants to check our light-bulb figures. If I see him I promise you I’ll beat the crap out of him. Suggest that you immediately delete everything. Chris will do the same. We can’t have others coming and checking our light bulbs. Scientific scrutiny and freedom of information in my ass! I propose that we gang up and oust this annoying man from everything. BTW, I attached the latest version of our program code, with should fix the travesty about that the increase simply hasn’t happened.
    –Mike
    Ps. Send the money in chunks below 10 000 dollars, so authorities won’t find them, though I know that’s a heck of a job for the 100 billion of tax-payer’s money we have gotten so far.

    • Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

      hey, there’s dedication for you! All those classy jokes and in a foreign language, and I don’t suppose you get grant money to conference on the beaches at Tahiti for that.

  66. stephen richards
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    I’m afraid that Gavin’s past record would not allow me to believe anything he says or does. He may be just behaving like the spoiled brat.

  67. Stephen Shorland
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    Can I ask: When did did the phrase ‘Climate Change’ replace ‘Global Warming’?I understand a journalist from one of the New York papers is mentioned in the emails and was conversing with the conspirators.Was his newspaper the first one to use the term?

  68. gravamen
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    Wikipedia articles that should record this event in a neutral and balanced manner, with journalist-written sources (first discuss on the talk page, don’t just start editing directly):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Jones_(climatologist)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Mann

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

  69. B. Humphreys
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    And now we have Paul Hudson at the BBC claiming that he received a copy of the emails on October 12.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/11/climategate-cru-hacked-into-an.shtml</a%5D

    From my quick scan, there about 17 email files after that date so there must have been at least 2 hacks into the CRU system.

    Makes you wonder if what we've seen so far is just the beginning. It may even be worse than we thought.

    Steve:
    it seems that he is referring to only one email mentioning him.

  70. Luke Warmer
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    me bad, they just grafted the temp record on

  71. Bill S
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve,
    Many thanks for your great work. I have an undergraduate engineering degree and an MBA in Finance, and I am very familiar with statistical analysis, and its limitations.

    At the root of AGW, or any scientific study, is the quality of the data.

    In general, data has two characteristics that must be well understood in order to come to any conclusions. One is the accuracy of the data, the other is the precision. The analogy for accuracy is whether an arrow shot at a target hits the bull’s eye, hits one of the outer rings, or misses the target entirely.

    The analogy for precision is whether ten arrows shot at the target are all grouped closely together, or are scattered all over the target. Note that it is possible to have precision, all of the arrows are close together, but not accuracy, the tight grouping of arrows are out on the perimeter of the target, not at the bulls eye.

    I have yet to see the margin of error attached to AGW studies. Are tree ring proxies +/- .5 degrees, 2 degrees, 3 degrees, 10 degrees? What is the accuracy, precision, and margin of error around temperature from seawater in buckets, canvas bags etc. Same question for each land based station, and collectively all land based stations.

    Because of the way that data is collected, and all of the uncertainty around each individual data point, my sense is that the margin of error for past data, and the margin of error for predictions has to be rather large, with the margin of error increasing the further into the future one makes predictions.

    If the hockey stick is within the margin of error, and the forecasts are within the margin of error, then they are meaningless. What is your take on this issue?

    • Third Party
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

      What if you draw the target after the arrows have hit?

    • Craig B
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

      I’m not a climate scientist, so I can’t comment on weather stations, etc. etc.

      But in process engineering most temperature measurements taken with thermometers, thermocouples, Stefan-Botlzmann guns etc. etc. end up being considered accurate to within +/- 1 degree celsius as a general rule of thumb. Though we tend to be conservative bastards. So let’s say it’s more like +/-0.1 degrees celsius.

    • bender
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

      You are asking the right questions.

      1. We don’t know the margins of error on the climate of the past because the question has been largely ignored or, worse, treated extremely superfically (we still don’t know how Mann computed his MBH99 confidence intervals). I think there is one dendro author who does an exemplary job of attempting to address this question, and it is Ed Cook. His climate reconstruction papers always attempt a robust (and transparent) estimate of uncertainty. In the leaked emails he comes through as the one guy who tried to stand up to Mann on this issue. I like this guy.

      2. As for the uncertain future … read lucia’s “The Blackboard” and also Dan Hughes. The error on GCM forecasts is not something McIntyre wants discussed at CA in shallow, one-paragraph exchanges. It’s an important, non-trivial question.

      • 3x2
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

        (we still don’t know how Mann computed his MBH99 confidence intervals)

        (from 1123163394.txt)

        There is an issue coming up in IPCC. Every curve needs error
        bars, and having them is all that matters. It seems irrelevant whether
        they are right or how they are used.

      • Calvin Ball
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

        It’s an important question, but (and Lucia would probably argue with me on this, and that’s ok), unless you eventually square your model with empirical data, it’s not science. If the way this eventually shakes out is that we can’t have confidence in the proxy reconstructions, then this becomes an exercise in mathematics, and not science. Either that, or a very different strategy for empirical verification has to be devised.

        Which brings us around to the policy side of this. The policy wonks insist that we don’t have time to devise a different strategy to get it right. If that’s the case, we don’t have time to know if what we’re doing makes any sense. We’re reduced to throwing virgins into volcanoes to satiate the gods.

      • Chad
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

        Bender: You are right about one thing in particular. A huge amount of debate is focused on the error bars on paleo-climate proxy reconstructions.

        To which I ask, SO WHAT? Can you please explain how anything would be different if we learned tomorrow that with great certainty, it was .2C hotter on average from 1100-1200 that it has been this last decade?

        Frankly, that would support even STRONGER mitigation of AGW. Why? Because if some “natural” process can make it that hot, what the heck would happen if that “natural” process happened to come back and pile on to what we are doing? I’d much prefer to be confident that we don’t have to worry about some X factor coming along and making things worse.

      • Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

        Isn’t the purpose of auditing to perform a quality control check on the entire field and not just on the specific papers that are being tested. As with corporate auditing, if poor practice is found in numerous test cases then the auditors cannot make the statement that the results can be relied upon to provide a full account of the issue.

        So the world is faced with a grave issue in AGW. A theory has been promulgated that indicates that there can be very serious consequences if it is not mitigated. A fair question is then to consider the quality of the research that is being used to support this theory. If the paleoclimate and other climate reconstruction research is of poor quality and cannot be relied upon, then this does not bode well for other aspects of AGW research.

    • Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

      My sense is that you are new(ish) here; if so, you would do well to just soak up some favourite posts and visit some early posts on the old website when it’s available, to get a feel of the whole “field” of climate auditing here, in which the presence and absence of adequate statistics, and all the associated human factors, can be seen very well. If you want a skeptics Climate Science primer, click my name.

      • Chad
        Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

        I am new “here” but not to this debate. Your website is full of standard skeptic arguments, none of which is new to me. They have all been debated and/or debunked endlessly and by people who know more than I do, so there is no need to repeat what can be found countless other places.

        Again, I specifically want to know one simple thing: If it were hotter in the early part of the last milennia, what impact does that have on the future?

        The argument seems to be that proving that it was hot in the past proves that the current warming could be “natural”, but this is meaningless. We already know it could be natural, just like it could be a trick pulled by a deceitful unicorn. The proper way to show this is natural is to actually show what natural phenomenon is causing the observations, not to prove that some (known or unknown) natural phenomenon did something similar in the past.

        If the strong warming trend from the seventies through the nineties along with the prolonged flat peak temperatures of the 2000’s was caused by some natural phenomenon, what is it? Where did the heat come from? Did more come in from the sun? Did less escape? Did heat exit the oceans or land masses and thereby heat up the atmosphere? And don’t just explain the heat that has been captured in the atmosphere…the oceans have gained an enormous amount as well, and massive amounts of ice and snow have melted.

        I am simply looking for a natural explanation of the observations.

      • Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

        I think some of the answer is that the statistical character of relatively low-frequency natural variability (whatever its cause) has implications for relatively high-frequency statistical inferences. Are you familiar with the concept of spurious correlation and spurious regression? Steve M. has some links to these things on his website; you could look at those. This is a classic discussion of some of these problems:

        http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/granger.1974.pdf

        It is hard to tell your statistical comfort zone from what you’ve said so far, so my apologies if these kinds of things are well-known to you. If so elaborate a little more.

    • Bill S
      Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

      Thank you for all of the responses. I am new(ish) here, but not to the debate. and I appreciate all of the links to additional information. I am familiar with spurious regression and spurious correlation.

      My main point is a simple one. Looking at Mann’s Chart, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hockey_stick_chart_ipcc_large.jpg) the grey bars represent the range of values, while the blue/red line represents the mean. The upper and lower values each have a margin of error, meaning that the the range of values that contains the “true” value must be larger by the margin of error, which is undefined.

      Anything within the upper bound and lower bound, regardless of direction or magnitude, is statistical noise, and meaningless. Only at the end of the chart do the temperature observations seem to break through the observed range of data, which does not include a margin of error.

      If the margin of error is +/- 1 degree, then we are still in the range of noise, from which no conclusions can be drawn.

      Another key point from the AGW crowd is that if one does not like their CO2 explanation, then we must come up with another, supported by data etc.

      Actually, we do not. Three of the most difficult words in science and human life are “We don’t know”. Why did the big bang occur, and what conditions preceded it? We do not know. The earth’s climate is monstrously complex, with a huge number of inputs and interrelationships.

      Global climate change may be unknowable, because to predict change means being able to predict each of the inputs and interactions within a knowable margin of error, an impossible task.

      So, to the AGW crowd, thanks for the audition, now go do something useful.

      • Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

        Bill S, fyi I was responding to Chad not you.

  72. P Gosselin
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Bill S,
    Which applicant gets the job as an accountant?
    1. The one who says 2 + 2 = 4
    or
    2. The one who says “What do you want it to be?”

    • Bill S
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

      P Gosselin

      My accountant gave the correct answer, “what do you want it to be?” but the consequence is only my standard of living, and whether or not my future freedom is limited as a result of his answer.

      Just for grins, assume Cap and Trade legislation, with its higher taxes and higher energy costs, reduces US GDP growth from 4% to 2% in the US. The reduction in GDP 20 years out is $9.17 trillion, or $25,043 per person.

      And no, I will not share my data for this calculation because scientists or others who do not have an MBA in Finance like I do are not qualified to understand the complexities of present value, compounding interest rates, and future value.

      I will only reveal my source data upon a FOI request from Steve!

  73. HankHenry
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    “Gavin states categorically,”

    I’ve always wondered….what exactly does a “categorical” statement or denial allude to? I understand that it means without equivocation but does it tie into logic? Aristotle’s categories?

  74. Scott
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Whoever hacked/leaked this information i hope he/she goes into hiding as i’m a fence sitting hippy waiting for real science to be applied to this debate so i can make my mind up but i have my tin foil hat on and this stinks of so called developed countries trying to control developing countries through the use of a scare tactic.

    If you don’t do what we say the world will end, oh and by the way the only people with the technology you can use to stop the world ending just happens to be produced by us.

    I do agree that more should be done to help the planet and everything on it but the $ is not the correct reason.

    • bender
      Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

      The hockey sticks are broken. Does that help?

  75. Luke Warmer
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    Moderators – A comment I made with links to the new Copenhagen Diagnosis report might have gone into your spam folder. It also had links to the paper behind the arctic air hockey stick used in the C-D report and its revised version.

    Can you help?

  76. Luke Warmer
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    The Yale spin on the Copenhagen Diagnosis report has a classic quote from a glaciologist in the light of the CRU hack:

    “We tried to stay away from judgment calls — you wouldn’t believe the lengthy emails that we had”

    I think we would!

    http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2214

  77. snowmaneasy
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Have just spent a bit of time on the Guardian.co.uk website reading about Monbiot’s “Darwin Moment” great stuff…I love it…

  78. kh1234567890
    Posted Nov 24, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    UK Channel 4 News have at last picked up the story and aren’t letting go.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=52374531001

    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=52457182001

    Andrew Watson does a nice job covering up for Phil Jones.

    Unfortunately the spin at the moment seems to be to draw attention away from the bad science aspect to sensationalist quotes from the emails, which the CRU guys are successfully dodging.

  79. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 5:04 AM | Permalink

    Bender 2009 November 24

    If you have not alreday read it, see David Stockewll’s Niche Modeling blog at http://landshape.org/enm/australian-drought-predictions/#more-3280

    and his analysis; then read the latest paper referenced therin by Dimitris Koutsoyiannis 2009. The paper is a gem.

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/923/

    It deal with concepts of uncertainty being dictated more by the nature of numbers than by physical systems and it has a beautiful example of a toy experiment whose results have deep implications.

    • Bill S
      Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for this link.

      Please note that the conclusion is that climate change cannot be forecasted. As a result, the “policy prescription” is for the politicians worldwide to do nothing, and allow each of us to adapt to change in the future, as each of our individual circumstances require.

  80. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    Who is it that started with the use of the word “hack”? Perhaps more appropriate would be such things “inside job” “diversion” “misdirection” “apology” “atonement” “leak” or who knows what other words and phrases. But it’s not our job to engage in rampant speculation. Nor is it encouraged.

    It’s a crazy time of year when the people in Copenhagen have so many things to deal with.

    Maybe they could simplify things if they just graphed world population, surface temperature sampling trends, number of automobiles, acres of food grown, average life span, infant mortality rates, war deaths as a percentage of population, CPU power and price of RAM per kilobyte since 1700.

    Hmmmm. Wonder how they’d splice all that together.

    Just remember, you don’t really care about the planet unless you want things like they were back in 600 AD. You don’t care unless you want to live like this: http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Agricult.htm

    Actually, there’s a point there. Take for example (from that page) the “mould-board plow”.

    This elaborate metal and wood device was developed by Slavic tribes and spread west from the 6th century on. Its design allowed six or more oxen to pull a plow and break up virgin ground or the heavy, clay laden soils typical of northern Europe. As an example of the impact of this new plow, consider the huge population growth that occurred after its introduction. The area of France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Low Countries had a population that fluctuated between 10 and 15 million from 1 AD to 600 AD. In came the new plow and during the next six centuries the population grew to about 36 million (from a low of ten million, as a result of all the invasions and civil strife.) These areas now support a population of over 250 million, which gives you an idea of how sparsely populated the area was way back then.

    Then there’s also a glance perhaps at the future of sorts:

    For the majority of farmers who had small holdings, life was much less secure. An acre of barley could, in an average year, produce about 500 liters of grain (after making allowances for taxes and seed for the next crop). This was enough to feed one adult for a year at a very basic level. A farmer with a wife and two children could get along with five acres. Everyone would have to work, especially for other sources of food like the vegetable garden and rummaging in the woods for mushrooms, nuts, and berries. But a five acre holding left little margin for bad weather. Several bad years in succession could lead to widespread famine: in England alone 10-15 percent of the population perished from starvation or the effects of malnutrition as a result of a series of unusually wet, cold years from 1315 through 1318.caused a succession of bad harvests. Most of the dead were the farmers with less land. Naturally, there was more land available for the survivors. After the Plague, there was plenty of land, and most European nations date their “national costumes” (from the “good old days”) from the centuries following the Plague, when the peasantry prospered because there were many fewer people but the same amount of farmland.

  81. anna v
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Bill S http://camirror.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/a-miracle-just-happened/#comment-1229

    You are wondering about errors. I do not know about the paleoclimate temperature reconstruction errors, but I do know what the IPCC says about the lack of error bars in the plots given in the AR4 reports.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch08.pdf

    8.1.2.2 Metrics of Model Reliability

    “The above studies show promise
    that quantitative metrics for the likelihood of model projections
    may be developed, but because the development of robust
    metrics is still at an early stage, the model evaluations presented
    in this chapter are based primarily on experience and physical
    reasoning, as has been the norm in the past.”

    Which really states that no error propagation in the models has been successfully computed.

    The spaghetti plots of temperatures from models and their projections to the future are based “primarily on experience and physical reasoning, as has been the norm in the past”. They are not error bars.

    To get a feeling for how large the errors in the model projections might be go to

    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/Earth_temp.html

    and play with the albedo. A 3% change in albedo in this primitive model gives a 1C error . GCM do not have albedo as an input, it is supposed to come out as an output, but I have never seen any such plot from the IPCC report.

    In addition, albedo is not measured within 3 percent .

    http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Palle_etal_2008_JGR.pdf

    Thus I would say that the model projections, on which trillions of dollars hang, are as good as throwing dice. In my opinion, that of a particle experimental physicist who thought that 4sigma were imperative to be able to declare a resonance into existence. Seems the game it is much easier when trillions are in the balance.

  82. crosspatch
    Posted Nov 25, 2009 at 11:14 PM | Permalink

    Looks like another miracle just happened in NZ. Apparently Phil Jones’ dog has never been to New Zealand.

  83. Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    I’m intrigued by Dr. Schmidt’s words:

    The use of a turkish computer would seem to imply that this upload and hack was not solely a whistleblower act, but one that involved more sophisticated knowledge.

    This phrasing seems to be a sly way to acknowledge that he thinks it WAS a whistleblower — with the caveat that he had outside help.

    In his categorical, straw-man denials about what the emails did NOT contain, it may be that he was wrong. Perhaps Gavin Schmidt’s denials were, as he put it about CRU, “a poor choice of words”:

    http://community.livejournal.com/global_warming/12257.html

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  84. John G. Bell
    Posted Nov 26, 2009 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    “A miracle just happened” Could that be a quote from an email that will be in the last drop? The baddest of the bad bad emails? It would be if I wrote this book.

    Steve:
    Read the CA post in question – look at the cartoon.

  85. Posted Nov 27, 2009 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    “I really find it difficult to believe that the file was uploaded to RealClimate. What would be the point?”

    How about, the point is made exceedingly clear in the terse, bracketed phrase “it no longer is”. Who deleted the file that was uploaded? Who made that choice? What are they afraid of, at all? Virii? Or floods of curious and sundry who’d be spoiled by the bombastic?

  86. xyzlatin
    Posted Nov 28, 2009 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    I saw a very funny clip on YouTube which uses an old movie spoken in German but the subtitles in English are extracts from Phil Jones leaked emails.

    What I found interesting was the name of the poster and the date the person joined YouTube and apparently put up the clip on Youtube.

    The date joined was November 19th 2009, and the pseudonym was “Induseiumgresium”. This is actually two Latin words joined together.

    An “indusium gresium” is “tissue covering the SORUS of a fern” and “a thin layer of gray matter on the dorsal surface of the corpus callosum” … which connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain. There can be a “False indusium” which protects the plant.

    It would (in my estimation) have taken this person considerable time to find an apt clip, go through the emails which had only just been posted on the internet a day or so before, find the appropriate wording, and put it in the appropriate place in the movie. Is that plausible? Or does it suggest some knowledge of FOI2009.zip before it went on the web?

    Is it a coincidence that the pseudonym chosen, could suggest something false that protects and a Sorus (Soros) connection?

    Is this the whistleblower exhibiting a sly sense of humour? A Scarlet Pimpernel skipping around the internet jabbing at the alarmists?

    YouTube is owned by Google and I believe Al Gore is a consultant (ie a reviewer) to the search engine.

  87. xyzlatin
    Posted Nov 28, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    I should mention that in the movie Hitler is in his war time bunker and saying Phils words to his shaken henchmen and frothing at the mouth and shouting about the third reviewer who is questioning his science. Go look, it is VERY appropriate, and very funny, even if I am wrong about who I think posted it.

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] is a recent post on ClimateAudit with an IP address for the original comment, which seems to be in Russia. But [...]

  2. [...] would you post the same cartoon that appeared on Climateaudit the day your own website was allegedly hacked? This is the same day your server security was compromised and thousands of emails obtained from [...]

  3. [...] are some discrepancies between the above and that which can be found in the Nov. 23 post in which Steve McIntyre documented Gavin’s context comment in its entirety (or at least its [...]

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