Quick Fact: Fox News' Chris Wallace claims climate scientists "fudging the numbers"*
Research ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER
On the December 6 edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace claimed that emails stolen from the Climactic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU) showed that "some of the climate scientists were apparently fudging the numbers and tried to suppress opposition comments."
FACT: NASA scientist: Emails show "no manipulation"
Wired's Threat Level blog reported on November 20 that Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said: "There's nothing in the e-mails that shows that global warming is a hoax. ... There's no funding by nefarious groups. There's no politics in any of these things; nobody from the [United Nations] telling people what to do. There's nothing hidden, no manipulation. It's just scientists talking about science, and they're talking relatively openly as people in private e-mails generally are freer with their thoughts than they would be in a public forum. The few quotes that are being pulled out [are out] of context. People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way." Schmidt is a contributor to the RealClimate blog, which has stated that some of the reportedly stolen CRU emails "involve people" at RealClimate. Moreover, RealClimate.org's staff has refuted the distortion of an email that has been repeatedly cited by critics to claim that the emails undermine global warming science, noting that the terms "trick" and "hide the decline" that appeared in a 1999 email represent an "example" of "instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded 'gotcha' phrases [being] pulled out of context." RealClimate.org explained that "[s]cientists often use the term 'trick' to refer to a 'a good way to deal with a problem', rather than something that is 'secret', and so there is nothing problematic in this at all," and noted that "hiding the decline" refers to a method that is "completely appropriate."
FACT: The IPCC has thousands of contributors reflecting "differing viewpoints"
The IPCC, which is a scientific body established by the United Nations and World Meteorological Organization, has established that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal." The IPCC "reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide," noting that "review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. Differing viewpoints existing within the scientific community are reflected in the IPCC reports."
FACT: Mann email cited specific paper that Climate Research editors and publisher conceded should not have been published.
Critics have cited an email by Penn State scientist Michael Mann as evidence that climate scientists have "suppressed" the views of skeptics. In fact, Mann's email cited a specific paper that the publishing journal's editors and publisher conceded should not have been published. In the March 11, 2003, email, Mann wrote that the paper by astrophysicists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas "couldn't have cleared a 'legitimate' peer review process anywhere. That leaves only one possibility -- that the peer-review process at Climate Research has been hijacked by a few skeptics on the editorial board." The New York Times reported on August 5, 2003, that the Soon-Baliunas paper "has been heavily criticized by many scientists, including several of the journal editors. The editors said last week that whether or not the conclusions were correct, that analysis was deeply flawed." The Times further noted that the "publisher of the journal, Dr. Otto Kinne, and an editor who recently became editor in chief, Dr. Hans von Storch, both said that in retrospect the paper should not have been published as written" and that von Storch resigned, "saying he disagreed with the peer-review policies."
*This headline has been changed to fix a transcription error