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In November 2009 it emerged that thousands of documents and emails had been stolen from one of the top climate science centres in the world. The emails appeared to reveal that scientists had twisted research in order to strengthen the case for global warming. With the UN's climate summit ...
In November 2009 it emerged that thousands of documents and emails had been stolen from one of the top climate science centres in the world. The emails appeared to reveal that scientists had twisted research in order to strengthen the case for global warming. With the UN's climate summit in Copenhagen just days away, the hack could not have happened at a worse time for climate researchers or at a better time for climate sceptics.
Yet although the scandal caused a media frenzy, the fact is that just about everything you may have heard and read about the University of East Anglia emails is wrong. They are not, as some have claimed, the smoking gun for some great global warming hoax. They do not reveal a sinister conspiracy by scientists to fabricate global warming data. They do, however, raise deeply disturbing questions about the way climate science is conducted, about researchers' preparedness to block access to climate data and downplay flaws in their data, about the siege mentality and scientific tribalism at the heart of the most important international issue of our age.
Fred Pearce is one of the world's leading writers on climate change, and in The Climate Files he tells the real inside story of the events leading up to the stealing of those fateful emails. He explores the personalities involved, the feuds and disagreements at the heart of climate science, and the implications the scandal has for all our futures.
Cast of characters vii
Introduction: Windows on a closed world 1
Part 1 Hotting up
Chapter 1 Two tribes go to war 11
Chapter 2 In the freezer 23
Chapter 3 The secret origins of the IPCC 33
Chapter 4 Playing hockey with climates past 41
Chapter 5 The Yamal tree ring "virus" 53
Chapter 6 Urban heat and a Chinese riddle 63
Part 2 The human element
Chapter 7 Scientists in the firing line 79
Chapter 8 Breaking the hockey stick 89
Chapter 9 Discerning the hand of man 103
Chapter 10 Satellites, stats and bogeyman Santer 113
Chapter 11 Silencing critics 125
Chapter 12 Free the data 143
Part 3 A perfect storm
Chapter 13 The search for the hacker 161
Chapter 14 Tricks and lies 173
Chapter 15 A public disaster 179
Chapter 16 Avalanche at the IPCC 193
Chapter 17 The inquiries 211
Chapter 18 Bonfire of the scientific vanities 223
Chapter 19 Saving the science 235
Notes on sources 245