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Penn State scientist in hot seat over e-mails

Frank Warner
The Morning Call [1]
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Penn State University [2] science professor is at the center of the firestorm over an anonymous hacker’s release of more than 1,000 once-private e-mails sent by global warming scientists.

Michael E. Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, is marked as author, recipient or subject of several of the e-mails, which skeptics say are proof that Mann and others have been distorting data to make the case for global warming.

Mann has denied any manipulation of facts, but skeptics are pointing to one e-mail in particular as evidence that he and others have engaged in a statistical deception to hide drops in global temperatures and exaggerate warming trends.



According to the Nov. 16, 1999, e-mail, scientist Phil Jones wrote to Mann and two other scientists to say: ”I’ve just completed Mike [Mann]’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

Jones is director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain, the origin of the e-mail records released Thursday. ”Keith” is Keith Briffa, another professor at the Climate Research Unit.

Explaining the ”Nature trick” reference in the e-mail, Mann told the Wired.com blog the ”trick” was simply a solution to the problem of displaying temperature data in a way that makes the information easier to understand.

The Morning Call could not reach Mann on Tuesday for further comment.

Full story here. [1]