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John Christy, Roy Spencer In CRU Emails

From Alabama’s Huntsville Times:


Dr. John Christ (left) and Dr. Roy Spencer

State climatologist John Christy, a critic of global warming, mentioned in leaked ‘Climategate’ e-mails

By Lee Roop
December 06, 2009

HUNTSVILLE, AL — How do global warming proponents handle a problem like Huntsville climatologist and global warming skeptic Dr. John Christy?

Recently leaked e-mails show that question has bedeviled some of the world’s leading climate scientists to a point they may have destroyed their own credibility.

The furor is now a full-blown media event dubbed Climategate, and very near its center are Christy, Alabama’s state climatologist, a handful of other researchers and, to a lesser extent, Christy’s fellow researcher at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. Roy Spencer, also known as "the official climatologist of the Rush Limbaugh Show."

Christy was named in 51 of about 1,000 e-mails either hacked or leaked late last month from the University of East Anglia in eastern England. Spencer was named in 15.

The British university’s Hadley Climatic Research Unit (CRU) is one of the world’s leading centers for climate study. On its staff are prominent advocates of the theory that people are causing global warming by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from auto exhausts and power plants.

The e-mails were between CRU scientists and other climate researchers at such top laboratories as California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. They concerned how to minimize skeptics such as Christy, and how to adjust data that don’t seem to support their view.

One of the advocates and e-mailers, CRU Director Phil Jones, stepped down last week pending an investigation.

The 51 references made Christy second only to Canadian global-warming skeptic Stephen McIntyre as a subject of discussion.

Since the e-mails first appeared Nov. 19, Christy has been quoted by news organizations around the world including, in America, CBS News, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and the New York Times.

Set it straight

For the record, Christy, who compiles and processes satellite data into global temperature findings, doesn’t deny the Earth is warming.

But he disputes the consensus that major problems loom unless humanity cuts greenhouse gases. The climate models used to reach that conclusion are wildly overstated, Christy thinks.

"The evidence we are building here shows there is a warming trend over the past 30 years," Christy said last week. "It is certainly plausible that C02 is a factor. But we have lots of evidence that other things contribute."

The leaked e-mails show just how big a problem this position has become to the scientific "establishment," as Christy calls his critics.

"The sad thing is we are being distracted from doing this fun stuff by the need to respond…," one scientist tells another in one of the e-mails provided to The Times by Christy. "That’s a real shame."

"For the remainder of my scientific career, I’d like to dictate my own research agenda," another says. "I don’t want that agenda driven by the constant need to respond to Christy, (David) Douglass, and (Fred) Singer."

But the establishment went too far trying to undercut what it calls "the contrarians," Christy and others say.

"In general, you see this attempt to hide information, particularly about the climate of the last 50 years. Some measurements showing no warming were deliberately hidden," Christy said from his office at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he is director of UAH’s Earth System Science Center.

Christy was referring to an e-mail in which Jones wrote that he had used a "trick" to "hide the decline" in global temperatures in a published chart. Jones has denied manipulating evidence and said he used the word trick "as in a clever thing to do."

"These e-mails come from those considered the establishment of climate science," Christy said. "They had review authority (over papers submitted for publication in scientific journals)."

The e-mails show "an attempt to cover up dissent" and "to change or hide data that goes against their view," he said.

Not surprisingly, the e-mailers saw it differently.

"(Christy) claim(s) that his ‘alternative’ views on the nature and causes of climate change were being ignored by the mainstream scientific community," one wrote. "This claim is bogus. The ‘mainstream’ scientific community has not ignored the ‘alternative’ views of folks like John Christy. The sad reality is that we’ve wasted an inordinate amount of time responding to the flawed science and incorrect claims of John and his colleagues."

Some of the e-mails include direct attacks on the Huntsville scientist.

"He’s clearly biased, but he gets an audience, unfortunately," one of the milder ones said. "There are enough people out there who think we’re wrong to cause me to worry at times. I’d like the world to warm up quicker, but if it did, I know that the sensitivity is much higher and humanity would be in a real mess!"

Christy said he knows the e-mailers personally and has worked on committees with them. He knew they disagreed with him, but admits being hurt by the personal attacks in the e-mails.

More important, he said, "these people are the establishment – the gatekeepers."

That means they are the "peers" who perform peer review on papers submitted to scientific organizations and the proposals submitted for grants and funding.

"I was harmed," Christy said. "My credibility was harmed. I was kept out of some publications. Some of my proposals were rejected."


Since their release, global warming skeptics including Republicans in Congress have seized on the e-mails to attack the international scientific consensus about climate change. Leading that charge in the media has been radio talk show host Limbaugh, who says the leaked e-mails prove a conspiracy to force the idea of disastrous manmade global warming on the world’s economies.

At a Capitol Hill hearing last week, two of President Barack Obama’s top science advisers said the e-mails did nothing to undermine scientific consensus on climate change.

But some Republicans said they showed a "culture of corruption" among scientists. They have called for investigations of the e-mailers.

All of this is breaking as Obama arrives in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week for a global summit on climate change. The president is expected to pledge the United States will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Christy maintains that the steps being proposed "won’t have much effect" on the air, but will affect the economies of the nations that follow them.

Does Christy ever worry that he might be wrong?

"What I fear most is a government going down the road of centrally planned solutions," Christy said.

Of course the real surprise would have been if they had been treated respectfully by these cultists.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, December 6th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “John Christy, Roy Spencer In CRU Emails”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Finding out that you are your own worse enemy must sting and smart when your self built ozone hole rings your neck.

  2. Steve says:

    Here’s a typically snarky mention of Messers Christy and Spencer:

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    Date: Thu, 08 Oct 2009 18:28:42 -0700
    From: Ben Santer

    Reply-To: santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Organization: LLNL
    User-Agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090605)
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    To: Rick Piltz CC: Tom Wigley , Tom Karl ,
    Jim Hansen ,
    Bob Watson ,
    Mike MacCracken ,
    “‘John F. B. Mitchell'”
    Subject: Re: CEI formal petition to derail EPA GHG endangerment finding with
    charge that destruction of CRU raw data undermines integrity of global temperature
    References: <80955b$27nkli@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    In-Reply-To: <80955b$27nkli@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    Dear Rick,

    I am prepared to help in any way that I can.

    As I see it, there are two key issues here.

    First, the CEI and Pat Michaels are arguing that Phil Jones and
    colleagues at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) willfully and
    intentionally “destroyed” some of the raw surface temperature data used
    in the construction of the gridded surface temperature datasets.

    Second, the CEI and Pat Michaels contend that the CRU surface
    temperature datasets provided the sole basis for IPCC “discernible human
    influence” conclusions.

    Both of these arguments are factually incorrect. First, there was no
    intentional destruction of the primary source data. I am sure that, over
    20 years ago, Phil could not have foreseen that the raw station data
    might be the subject of legal proceedings by the CEI and Pat Michaels.
    Raw data were NOT secretly destroyed to avoid efforts by other
    scientists to replicate the CRU and Hadley Centre-based estimates of
    global-scale changes in near-surface temperature. In fact, a key point
    here is that other groups (primarily at NCDC and at GISS, but also in
    Russia) WERE able to replicate the major findings of the CRU and Hadley
    Centre groups. The NCDC and GISS groups performed this replication
    completely independently. They made different choices in the complex
    process of choosing input data, adjusting raw station data for known
    inhomogeneities (such as urbanization effects, changes in
    instrumentation, site location, and observation time), and gridding
    procedures. NCDC and GISS-based estimates of global surface temperature
    changes are in good accord with the HadCRUT results.

    I’m sure that Pat Michaels does not have the primary source data used in
    his Ph.D. thesis. Perhaps one of us should request the datasets used in
    Michaels’ Ph.D. work, and then ask the University of Wisconsin to
    withdraw Michaels’ Ph.D. if he fails to produce every dataset and
    computer program used in the course of his thesis research.

    I’m equally sure that John Christy and Roy Spencer have not preserved
    every single version of their MSU-based estimates of tropospheric
    temperature change. Nor is it likely that Christy and Spencer have
    preserved for posterity each and every computer program they used to
    generate UAH tropospheric temperature datasets.

    [One irony here is that the Christy/Spencer claim that the troposphere
    had cooled over the satellite era did not stand up to rigorous
    scientific scrutiny. Christy and Spencer have made a scientific career
    out of being wrong. In contrast, CRU’s claim of a pronounced increase in
    global-mean surface temperature over the 20th century HAS withstood the
    test of time.]

    The CEI and Michaels are applying impossible legal standards to science.
    They are essentially claiming that if we do not retain – and make
    available to self-appointed auditors – every piece of information about
    every scientific paper we have ever published, we are perpetrating some
    vast deception on the American public. I think most ordinary citizens
    understand that few among us have preserved every bank statement and
    every utility bill we’ve received in the last 20 years.

    The second argument – that “discernible human influence” findings are
    like a house of cards, resting solely on one observational dataset – is
    also invalid. The IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) considers MULTIPLE
    observational estimates of global-scale near-surface temperature
    changes. It does not rely on HadCRUT data alone – as is immediately
    obvious from Figure 2.1b of the TAR, which shows CRU, NCDC, and GISS
    global-mean temperature changes.

    As pointed out in numerous scientific assessments (e.g., the IPCC TAR
    and Fourth Assessment Reports, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program
    Synthesis and Assessment Report 1.1, and the CCSP “State of Knowledge”
    Report), rigorous statistical fingerprint studies have now been
    performed with a whole range of climate variables – and not with surface
    temperature only. Examples include variables like ocean heat content,
    atmospheric water vapor, surface specific humidity, continental river
    runoff, sea-level pressure patterns, stratospheric and tropospheric
    temperature, tropopause height, zonal-mean precipitation over land, and
    Arctic sea-ice extent. The bottom-line message from this body of work is
    that natural causes alone CANNOT plausibly explain the climate changes
    we have actually observed. The climate system is telling us an
    internally- and physically-consistent story. The integrity and
    reliability of this story does NOT rest on a single observational
    dataset, as Michaels and the CEI incorrectly claim.

    Michaels should and does know better. I can only conclude from his
    behavior – and from his participation in this legal action – that he is
    being intentionally dishonest. His intervention seems to be timed to
    influence opinion in the run-up to the Copenhagen meeting, and to garner
    publicity for himself. In my personal opinion, Michaels should be kicked
    out of the AMS, the University of Virginia, and the scientific community
    as a whole. He cannot on the one hand engage in vicious public attacks
    on the reputations of individual scientists (in the past he has attacked
    Tom Karl, Tom Wigley, Jim Hansen, Mike Mann, myself, and numerous
    others), and on the other hand expect to be treated as a valued member
    of our professional societies.

    The sad thing here is that Phil Jones is one of the true gentlemen of
    our field. I have known Phil for most of my scientific career. He is the
    antithesis of the secretive, “data destroying” character the CEI and
    Michaels are trying to portray to the outside world. Phil and Tom Wigley
    have devoted significant portions of their scientific careers to the
    construction of the land surface temperature component of the HadCRUT
    dataset. They have conducted this research in a very open and
    transparent manner – examining sensitivities to different gridding
    algorithms, different ways of adjusting for urbanization effects, use of
    various subsets of data, different ways of dealing with changes in
    spatial coverage over time, etc. They have thoroughly and
    comprehensively documented all of their dataset construction choices.
    They have done a tremendous service to the scientific community – and to
    the planet – by making gridded surface temperature datasets available
    for scientific research. They deserve medals as big as soup plates – not
    the kind of crap they are receiving from Pat Michaels and the CEI.

    The bottom line, Rick, is that I am incensed at the “data destruction”
    allegations that are being unfairly and incorrectly leveled against Phil
    and Tom by the CEI and Pat Michaels. Please let me know how you think I
    can be most effective in rebutting such allegations. Whatever you need
    from me – you’ve got it.

    I hope you don’t mind, but I’m also copying my email to John Mitchell at
    the Hadley Centre. I know that John also feels very strongly about these

    With best regards,


  3. canary says:

    Ben: “The CEI and Michaels are applying impossible legal standards to science…. I think most ordinary citizens understand that few among us have preserved every bank statement and every utility bill we’ve received in the last 20 years.”

    Ben underestimates ordinary citizens who realise the incompetent, careless, individuals like him, and it’s called ‘saving statements & bills can save your a**. Not all are like Obama’s parents who left him a few rat chewed insignificant papers.

    Scientists claim they have evidence of millions and billions of years past and same length of years of the earth’s future change. I believe dinosaurs roamed the earth not that long ago.

    “..request the datasets used in….Michaels’ Ph.D. work, and then ask the University of Wisconsin to withdraw Michaels’ Ph.D. if he fails to produce..”

    It’s all about who gets the $. Less competition for the $

    “I’d like the world to warm up quicker, but if it did, I know that the sensitivity is much higher and humanity would be in a real mess!”

    This is incriminating to me. Hopefully, it’s just the numbers marked out and increased, but what keeps these scientists from telling people to do harmful things, like poisonous light bulbs, and causing a panic to people who jumped off buildings thinking outer-space aliens were attacking us.

    That jail in outdoor tents is where these fear-mongers deserve to go.

  4. proreason says:

    from one of the warming kook’s emails “I’d like the world to warm up quicker”

    Now, understand, the kooks fervantly believe that global warming will destroy Earth. Wipe it out. Eliminate humanity.

    But they would rather be right, even it means we have to get to Armageddon quicker.

    Sweet, huh?

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