Memorandum submitted by Peabody Energy
Company (CRU 52)
1. Peabody is the world's largest private
sector coal company.
2. The CRU emails, however, reveal that
the authors of this material did not present a neutral view of
the science. In particular, they downplayed the considerable uncertainty
inherent in trying to approximate temperatures from proxy data
over a 1000-year period, they suppressed contrary information,
and they suppressed dissenting views in ways that made even their
own colleagues uncomfortable. Thus, in one representative email
written during the preparation of the TAR, Keith Briffa stated
that "I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story
as regards `apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years
or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not
quite so simple."
He went on to say that "I believe that the recent warmth
was probably matched about 1,000 years ago."
Similarly, another key researcher, Ed Cook, in a lengthy email
bristling at the effort to eliminate the MWP, wrote that "I
do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful
global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong."
3. These concerns, however, were brushed
aside in the final TAR. The TAR's version of the temperature record
of the last 1,000 years was based on the now infamous "hockey
stick" study of Mann et al, a study that purported
to show 1000 years of slightly declining global temperatures followed
by a sharp increase in the 20th century. The hockey stick paper
concluded that the 1990s were the warmest decade and 1998 was
the warmest year in a millennium. The hockey stick graph was the
single most important piece of information in the TAR. It was
Figure 1 of the Summary For Policymakers of the TAR appearing
on page 3, and it was widely relied on by advocates.
4. Despite its prominence in the TAR, the
hockey stick has now largely been discredited, with both the National
Research Council ("NRC")
and the independent Wegman Report
rejecting confidence in the conclusion that the 1990s were the
warmest decade and 1998 was the warmest year in a millennium.
Although the hockey stick paper was cited in AR4, its significance
was downplayed, and EPA did not cite the paper in the Endangerment
Finding or TSD.
5. However, the same people who gave that
paper such prominence in the TARdespite the misgivings
expressed internally within the groupcontinued to dominate
paleoclimate research and were again the leading authors of the
AR4 paleoclimate material. Indeed, perhaps stung by criticisms
of the hockey stick and by the appearance of so-called "skeptics"
who questioned the central conclusions of the TAR, the drafting
of at least the paleoclimate chapter of AR4 became more of a political
than a scientific process.
6. Thus, the two coordinating lead authors
of Chapter 6 of AR4, Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona
and Eystein Jansen of the University of Bergen in Norway, openly
coached contributors to produce materials that would serve a public
policy agenda. As just a few examples, the CRU emails show that
Overpeck instructed his colleagues to make sure that text was
"FOCUSED on only that science which is policy relevant"
and that would support pre-conceived summary bullet points.
The pair also advised authors to include graphics that would be
"compelling" and that the "sign of ultimate success"
of a graphic would be that it was so compelling that it would
be selected for use in the policymaker's summary.
They told authors to "pls DO please try hard to follow up
on my advice" to only refer to the MWP and the Holocene Thermal
Maximum in a "dismissive" way.
They expressed satisfaction with a graphic that described the
MWP as heterogeneousmeaning that warming was not uniform
on a planetary scalenot because it was accurate but because
it read "much like a big hammer," driving home the point
they wished to make.
Moreover, although the hockey stick could no longer be relied
on as a principal source of authority, authors were instructed
that "[w]e're hoping you guys can generate something compelling
enough" for the summary material for policymakers, "something
that will replace the hockey-stick with something even more compelling."
Yet new research that reexamined the data on which the IPCC relied
has challenged the IPCC's dismissal of the MWP as non-heterogeneous,
concluding that the IPCC's conclusion in this regard was, at least,
"premature" and based on limited data.
7. The examples of this type of behavior
The "Trick" to "Hide the Warming"
8. Much attention has been placed on Jones'
now-famous email in which he stated that "I've just completed
Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series
for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for
Keith's to hide the decline."
The trick he and Mann performed was to hide a decline in temperatures
appearing in tree ring data in the latter part of the 20th century.
Unless this trick were used, their multi-century proxy temperature
reconstructions would show an embarrassing decline in temperatures
at the end of the reconstruction, a decline that was not paralleled
in the record of directly measured temperatures, which showed
an increase. To hide the decline in the proxy data, Mann and then
Jones grafted on actual temperature data to the end of their proxy
reconstructions rather than using the same proxy data as had been
used throughout the reconstruction.
9. This trick makes the graphic presentations
of the proxy reconstructions misleading, since the effect is to
make it seem as if the proxy data shows rising 20th century warming
when it doesn't. But the real deception in the trick was in hiding
what became known as the "divergence" problem. The accuracy
of tree ring data as proxies for temperatures can only be confirmed
by comparing the proxy temperatures yielded by the tree rings
with temperatures directly measured during the period when direct
temperature measurements could be made. If the proxy data are
contradicted by actual data, as they are for a significant period
of the time when direct temperature measurements exist, the accuracy
of the proxy data over the entire period of the proxy reconstruction
is called into question. Thus, the divergence problem undermined
faith in the ability of the proxy reconstructions to provide conclusive
or even meaningful information about paleoclimate temperature
conditions, even as the IPCC was relying on these reconstructions
to conclude that temperatures in the 20th century had reached
unprecedented levels in the last 1000 years. As one email candidly
said, "[t]he issue of why we dont show the proxy data for
the last few decades (they dont show continued warming) but assume
that they are valid for early warm periods needs to be explained."
These concerns, however, were given short shrift. Although divergence
was discussed in AR4, the conclusion was reached that the results
of the proxy temperature reconstructions remained valid and showed
that 20th century warmth was likely unprecedented in 1,000 years.
If divergence was not a significant issue, however, one wonders
why it was necessary to perform "tricks" to hide the
10. More importantly, after AR4 was issued,
at least three studies have been published reanalyzing the data
used in the proxy reconstructions cited in AR4, including two
by authors whose reconstructions were used in AR4. These studies
concluded that, in fact, the divergence problem makes the reconstructions
According to one study, the divergence problem "serve(s)
to impede a robust comparison of recent warming during the anthropogenic
period with past natural climate episodes such as the Medieval
Warm Period or MWP."
Another study found that the divergence problem makes it "impossible
to make any statements about how warm recent decades are compared
to historical periods."
Another concluded that the divergence problem "is of importance,
as it limits the suitability of tree-ring data to reconstruct
long-term climate fluctuations, particularly during periods that
might have been as warm or even warmer than the late 20th century."
11. It would seem, therefore, that the IPCC
should have been more cautious in dismissing the divergence problem.
It would also seem that the IPCC may have understood that there
was something to hide after all.
What to Make of the Current 11-Year Trend of No
12. According to temperature data on which
both EPA and the IPCC rely, the earth has experienced no warming
over an 11-year period.
13. EPA stated that warming caused by anthropogenic
GHG emissions will not necessarily be uniform but instead could
be muted by natural forces for a period of a decade or two. In
particular, EPA cited two recent studies that attempted to show
that the GHG models on which the IPCC, and therefore EPA, relied
show sufficient natural variability to accommodate periods of
14. Each of these studies has flaws discussed
in the body of the Petition that result in an overstating of the
likelihood that the models can account for the lack of warming.
But even taken at face value, these studies should provide little
comfort to EPA. One of the studies found that during the first
half of the 21st century, there is a 1 in 10 chance of a zero
(or negative) trend in temperatures through 10 years of data.
The other study found that for the entire 21st century there is
a five percent chance of a zero (or negative) trend through 11
years of data. Given these very low odds, and given that this
trend occurred in the first decade of the 21st century and we
have already experienced an 11-year trend of no warming, these
studies hardly provide reassuring support for the underlying accuracy
of the models' long-term predictive capacity.
15. Adding to the questions about the accuracy
of climate models are new results that show water vapor variations
in the lower stratosphere play a large role in the variability
global temperature trends over scales of several decadesinfluencing
recent trends by some 25% to 30%. The physics governing lower
stratospheric water vapor content are quite limited in current
climate models, and the observed trends are poorly simulated.
16. In fact, the CRU emails reveal that
the lack of warming has caused leading IPCC scientists to question
the assumed physical understanding of the climate system on which
the models are based. Just last fall, even after the studies that
EPA relied on had been produced, Trenberth conceded that the lack
of warming exposes science's basic lack of understanding of the
climate system: "Saying it is natural variability is not
an explanation. What are the physical processes? Where did the
Trenberth concluded that either the understanding of the climate
system reflected in the climate models is wrong:
How come you do not agree with a statement that
says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or
whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are
not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can
not account for what is happening in the climate system makes
any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will
never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!
17. Or else the data is wrong:
The fact is that we can't account for the lack
of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The
CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008
shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely
wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
18. Or perhaps both. It is, moreover, particularly
relevant that Trenberth stated that "[t]he fact that we can
not account for what is happening in the climate system makes
any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will
never be able to tell if it is successful or not!" Trenberth's
reference to "geoengineering" here includes reducing
In other words, Trenberth stated that the flaws in the climate
community's understanding of climatic forces that are exposed
by the lack of warming is so fundamentaland the extent
of natural variability must be so greatthat it cannot be
demonstrated that reducing GHG emissions will reduce warming.
Abject Lack of Transparency
19. The CRU materials also show a determined
effort to stonewall attempts by third parties to obtain basic
information underlying the scientific studies that were used in
the IPCC reports. A considerable volume of transatlantic email
traffic between the CRU scientists and their American counterparts
was devoted to figuring out strategies to avoid producing information
that could be used to critique their work, even when the information
was requested under the American or United Kingdom Freedom of
Information Acts ("FOIA").
20. The emails reveal that these scientists
refused to disclose information that would allow their studies
to be replicated and critiqued because they saw themselves in
a battle with "skeptics" who they considered to be "bozos"
and "morons" and perpetrators of fraud.
They appeared to be particularly concerned that putting their
information in the public domain would expose their work to criticism.
As Jones said in one now-famous email, "We have 25 years
or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available
to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with
Jones' view was echoed by Mann. As Jones reported, "Mike
Mann refuses to talk to these people and I can understand why.
They are just trying to find if we've done anything wrong."
21. Indeed, concern over communications
these scientists had had concerning the drafting of AR4 was so
great that they mutually agreed to destroy those communications
in order to avoid disclosure under FOIA. Thus, on 29 May 2008,
Jones sent an email to Mann under the subject line "IPCC
& FOI," asking that Mann delete his emails with Briffa
and advising that he would make the same request to Eugene Wahl
and Caspar Amman. Wahl and Amman co-authored a paper that attempted
to rehabilitate the hockey stick. As shown in the Petition, publication
deadlines were improperly manipulated in order to include the
paper in AR4.
Can you delete any emails you may have had with
Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He's not in at the momentminor
family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?
I don't have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar
to do likewise.
22. Later in the same thread, Mann responded
to Jones that he would "contact Gene about this ASAP."
Several months later Jones reported that he had in fact "deleted
loads of emails."
One is forced to wonder what damaging admissions were made in
these now-deleted emails concerning how AR4, in fact, was prepared.
23. After the efforts of these scientists
to stonewall data requests were exposed to public scrutiny through
FOIA and now through release of the CRU material, many of them
were forced to admit that their actions were not in the best interests
of science. Wigley told Briffa that "many *good* scientists
appear to be unsympathetic" to the reasons advanced for the
Overpeck wrote in relation to one information request that "it
would be nice if he could have access to all the data that we
usedthat's the way science is supposed to work."
And now John Beddington, the British government chief scientific
adviser, has recently said, "I think, wherever possible,
we should try to ensure there is openness and that source material
is available for the whole scientific community."
24. The CRU scientists and their American
colleagues engaged in a variety of practices to manipulate the
peer-reviewed literature to favor publication of papers that supported
their views and to discourage publication of papers that contradicted
their views. As Mann told a New York Times reporter, "[a]
necessary though not in general sufficient condition for taking
a scientific criticism seriously is that it has passed through
the legitimate scientific peer review process."
That being the case, these scientists took steps to ensure that
"skeptics" did not have access to peer-reviewed literature.
25. For instance, enraged that the journal
Climate Research had published a paper presenting evidence
that the MWP was global and as warm as today, these scientists
discussed organizing a boycott to strong-arm the journal board
into firing the offending editor. Jones wrote that the journal
needed to "rid themselves of this troublesome editor."
Wholesale changes ensued at the journal.
Similar action was taken at Geophysical Research Letters after
publication of an offending letter. Mann reported back to his
colleagues that the problem had been solved: "[t]he GRL leak
has been plugged up with new editorial leadership there,"
as if the appearance of a paper that did not support their view
of the science was a "leak" in the peer-reviewed journalistic
community that had to be "plugged."
26. Dr Briffa had it exactly right when
he reported to his colleagues that "the needs of the science
and the IPCC" "were not always the same." In fact,
the IPCC process has been revealed to be as much about advocacy
as about science. And the CRU material is only one thin slice
of information concerning the drafting of the TAR and AR4. It
seems that every day new revelations appear about flaws in the
accuracy of the IPCC's conclusions and in the process that was
used to select information that would, and would not, be included
in the reports.
86 CRU email 938018124.txt (22 Sep 1999) (emphasis
CRU email 988831541.txt (2 May 2001) (emphasis added). Back
See discussion in our Petition of this matter at section
National Research Council, SURFACE TEMPERATURE RECONSTRUCTIONS
FOR THE LAST 2,000 YEARS (National Academy Press 2006) ("NRC
Edward Wegman et al AD HOC REPORT ON THE "HOCKEY STICK"
GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION. ("Wegman Report") (July
27, 2006) available at http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home
/07142006_ Wegman_Report.pdf. Back
This matter is discussed more fully in our Petition at section
CRU email 1121392136.txt (14 Jul 2005) (capitals in original)
(emphasis added). Back
CRU email 1105670738.txt (13 Jan 2005). Back
CRU email 1105978592.txt (17 Jan 2005). Back
CRU email 1116902771.txt (23 May 2005). Back
Jan Esper and David Frank, The IPCC on a heterogeneous Medieval
Warm Period, 94 CLIM CHNG 267-272 (2009). Back
CRU email 942777075.txt (16 Nov 1999). Back
CRU email 1150923423.txt (21 Jun 2006). Back
The "trick" and the divergence issue is discussed more
fully in our Petition at section IV (C)(2). Back
These studies are discussed in our Petition at section IV (C)(2)(d). Back
Rosanne D'Arrigo, et al, On the "divergence problem"
in northern forests: a review of the tree-ring evidence and possible
causes, 60 GLOB PLANET CHNG 289 (2008). Back
Craig Loehle, A mathematical analysis of the divergence problem
in dendroclimatology, 94 CLIM CHNG 233 (2009). Back
Jan Esper and David Frank, Divergence pitfalls in tree-ring
research, 94 CLIM CHNG 261, 262 (2009). Back
Resp to Comm Vol 3 at 3. Back
Resp to Comm Vol 4 at 23-24. Back
These studies are discussed more fully in our Petition at section
Susan Solomon et al, 2010. Contribution of Stratospheric
Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming.
SCI (forthcoming 2010) published online at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/science.
CRU email 1255523796.txt (14 Oct 2009) (emphasis added). Back
Id. (emphasis added). Back
Id (emphasis added). Back
Trenberth has publicly (and recently) referred to attempts to
"reduce emissions| or reduce the amount of carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere" as "geoengineering." See
Physics Today letter 2/09, at http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/
This issue is discussed more fully in our Petition at section
VI (C). Back
CRU email 1146062963.txt (Apr. 26, 2006); CRU email 1147435800.txt
(May 12, 2006); CRU email 1107899057.txt. (8 Feb 2005). Back
Email provided by Warwick Hughes to whom the email was sent. Back
CRU email 1091798809.txt (6 Aug 2004) (emphasis added). Back
See the Petition at section VII (D). Back
CRU email 1212073451.txt (29 May 2008) (emphasis added). Back
CRU email 1212063122.txt (29 May 2008). Back
CRU email 1228412429.txt (3 Dec 2008) (emphasis added). Back
CRU email 1254756944.txt (5 Oct 2009). Back
CRU email 1252164302.txt (5 Sept 2009) (emphasis added). Back
As quoted in Ben Webster, Britain's chief scientist
John Beddington calls for engagement with climate skeptics, THE
TIMES, 27 Jan 2010, available at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/britains-chief-scientist-john-beddington-calls-for-engagement-with-climate-sceptics/story-e6frg6xf-1225823874671 Back
CRU email 1254259645.txt (29 Sep 2009) (emphasis added). Back
This issue is discussed more fully in our Petition at section
CRU email 1047388489.txt (11 Mar 2003). Back
The threats to boycott the Journal of Climate Research are
discussed in our Petition at section VIII(A). Back
CRU email 1132094873.txt (15 Nov 2005). Back
The Geophysical Research Letters matter is discussed more
fully in our Petition at VIII(A). Back