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Tuesday 2009-12-01


In the wake of the CRU hack, all sorts of allegations are flying around, some more sensible than others. Unsurprisingly, some of what's being said is not merely misinterpretation but outright fabrication. (Oh, the irony.)

Here is an example, excerpted from an email alleged to have been sent from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones on 2009-09-27.


Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that theland also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know).


It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

Why is it important? Because over the course of the 20th century the 40's blip leading into the cooling 50's 60's and 70's is a screaming refutation of co2 as a climate driver.

Now, the thing is that that last bit (the only bit that seems to me even slightly incriminating) isn't in the original email. As you can see, e.g.,

  • in comment 20 on this RealClimate post (note: I think the discrepancy in date is because the commenter is quoting from a reply to the email in question; see also here), or
  • in that email's entry in what seems to be a complete database of the stolen emails.

The real email contains nothing about a "screaming refutation", nor in fact any sort of suggestion that the “blip” is anything other than the sort of measurement anomaly that scientists have to deal with all the time.

Paranoid readers may wish to note that all the sources cited above are hostile witnesses (RealClimate isn't, but the commenter I quoted clearly is), so it is not at all credible that they are covering anything up for the CRU people.

(There is some information about the “1940s blip” on RealClimate.)

Note 1: The fact that this particular allegation is a lie doesn't prove that any other allegation made on the basis of the CRU emails is a lie.

Note 2: Many other allegations made on the basis of the CRU emails do in fact appear to me to be lies.