Dirty Tricks

Climate Researchers' Email Hacked

Climate-change skeptics have taken emails (apparently illegally obtained from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia) to be evidence that scientists are rigging data to make the case that humans are the root cause of global warming. One of the emails reads in part "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series... to hide the decline," the wording of which, according to some, indicates an attempt by the email's author, Phil Jones, to rig his data in favor of the human-cause theory. Jones' defenders say the email is taken out of context. "It's hardly anything you would call a trick," says Michael Mann—the "Mick" referred to in the email—continuing that it simply involves placing proxy temperature records next to a line showing instrument-collected temperatures, with both being clearly marked and differentiated. Reachers say the emails are merely an honest exchange of ideas.