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Hacked climate emails called a "smear campaign"
by Stacy Feldman, SolveClimate solveclimate.com/
(SolveClimate) Three leading scientists who on Tuesday released a report documenting the accelerating pace of climate change said the scandal that erupted last week over hacked emails from climate scientists is nothing more than a "smear campaign" aimed at sabotaging December climate talks in Copenhagen.
"We're facing an effort by special interests who are trying to confuse the public," said Richard Somerville, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a lead author of the UN IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
Dissenters see action to slow global warming as "a threat," he said.
The comments were made in a conference call for reporters.
The scientists—Somerville, Michael Mann of Penn State and Eric Steig of University of Washington—were supposed to be discussing their new report, the Copenhagen Diagnosis, a dismal update of the UN IPCC's 2007 climate data by 26 scientists from eight nations.
Instead they spent much of the time diffusing the hacker controversy, known in the media as "Climate Gate."
The scandal began on November 20, when an unknown hacker stole at least 169 megabytes of emails from computers at the prominent Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and put them online for the world to see.
CRU is considered one of the world's leading institutions concerned with human-caused global warming. The leaked emails contain private correspondence on climate science dating back to 1996.
Skeptics of global warming say these messages are filled with evidence of manipulated data from lead authors of the UN's highly influential IPCC reports.
U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma, pictured here), a climate skeptic, said he would launch an inquiry into UN climate change research in response.
In an interview with the Washington Times radio show, Inhofe explained the investigation would look into "the way cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not."
CRU Vice-Chancellor of Research Trevor Davies responded in an official statement:
"There is nothing in the stolen material which indicates that peer-reviewed publications by CRU, and others, on the nature of global warming and related climate change are not of the highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation."
Michael Mann, co-author of the Copenhagen Diagnosis and lead author of the UN IPCC Third Assessment Report, blamed skeptics for taking the personal emails out of context.
"What they've done is search through stolen personal emails—confidential between colleagues who often speak in a language they understand and is often foreign to the outside world. Suddenly, all these are subject to cherry picking," he said.
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