There’s a few more paragraphs, one about the trouble Phil Jones is in, but this is the basic vibe.
In fact, nothing in the stolen material undermines the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that humans are to blame. “Heat-trapping properties can be verified by any undergraduate in any lab,” notes climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University. “The detection of climate change, and its attribution to human causes, rests on numerous lines of evidence.” They include melting ice sheets, retreating glaciers, rising sea levels and earlier onset of spring, not to mention higher average global temperatures.
“Further increases in greenhouse gases will lead to increasingly greater disruption,” said meteorologist Michael E. Mann of the Pennsylvania State University in a December 4 conference call with reporters. Mann was among the scientists whose e-mails were exposed.
Some of the kerfuffle rests on a misreading of the e-mails’ wording. For example, “trick” in one message actually describes a decision to use observed temperatures rather than stand-in data inferred from tree rings. Instead of implying deception, the word itself in science often refers to a strategy to solve a problem. Even those scientific papers specifically challenged by the e-mails—one message vowed to keep them out of a report by the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is”—nonetheless made it into the most recent IPCC report.
Even if the CRU data “were dismissed as tainted, it would not matter,” argues IPCC contributor Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University. “CRU is but one source of analysis whose conclusions have been validated by other researchers around the world.” Other sources include NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, and even the IPCC, all of which provide access to raw data.