the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

What’s to say

Posted by Jeff Id on November 20, 2009

These emails are amazing. Look at how they collude to eliminate people they don’t agree with.


This is truly awful. GRL has gone downhill rapidly in recent years.

I think the decline began before Saiers. I have had some unhelpful dealings with him recently with regard to a paper Sarah and I have on glaciers — it was well received by the referees, and so is in the publication pipeline. However, I got the impression that Saiers was trying to keep it from being published.

Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. Even this would be difficult.

How different is the GRL paper from the Nature paper? Did the authors counter any of the criticisms? My experience with Douglass is that the identical (bar format changes) paper to one previously rejected was submitted to GRL.


If you don’t know who this email by Mike and Tom are, find the current files. They are at the top of the pile in climatology. There is an absolute ton of dirty laundry in these emails. It never ends.

Here’s the previous email in the correspondance from someone named Mikie.

Dear All,

Just a heads up. Apparently, the contrarians now have an “in” with GRL. This guy Saiers has a prior connection w/ the University of Virginia Dept. of Environmental Sciences that causes me some unease.

I think we now know how the various Douglass et al papers w/ Michaels and Singer, the Soon et al paper, and now this one have gotten published in GRL,


Ok, even I’m without comment.

43 Responses to “What’s to say”

  1. edaniel said

    From 1047485263.txt

    ” p.s. The idea of both a representative time-slice spatial plot emphasizing the spatial
    variability of e.g. the MWP or LIA, and an EOF analysis of all the records is a great
    idea. I’d like to suggest a small modification of the latter:
    I would suggest we show 2 curves, representing the 1st PC of two different groups, one
    of empirical reconstructions, the other of model simulations, rather than just one in
    the time plot.
    Group #1 could include:
    1) Crowley & Lowery
    2) Mann et al 1999
    3) Bradley and Jones 1995
    4) Jones et al, 1998
    5) Briffa et al 200X? [Keith/Tim to provide their preferred MXD reconstruction]
    6) Esper et al [yes, no?–one series that differs from the others won’t make much of a
    I would suggest we scale the resulting PC to the CRU 1856-1960 annual Northern
    Hemisphere mean instrumental record, which should overlap w/ all of the series, and
    which pre-dates the MXD decline issue…

    Group #2 would include various model simulations using different forcings, and with
    slightly different sensitivities. This could include 6 or so simulation results:
    1) 3 series from Crowley (2000) [based on different solar/volcanic reconstructions],
    2) 2 series from Gerber et al (Bern modeling group result) [based on different assumed
    1) Bauer et al series (Claussen group EMIC result) [includes 19th/20th century land use
    changes as a forcing].
    I would suggest that the model’s 20th century mean is aligned with the 20th century
    instrumental N.Hem mean for comparison (since this is when we know the forcings best).
    I’d like to nominate Scott R. as the collector of the time series and the performer of
    the EOF analyses, scaling, and plotting, since Scott already has many of the series and
    many of the appropriate analysis and plotting tools set up to do this.
    We could each send our preferred versions of our respective time series to Scott as an
    ascii attachment, etc.
    thoughts, comments?

    And from 1189722851.txt

    From: Phil [names]

    Good to see these two out. Wahl/Ammann doesn’t appear to be in CC’s
    online first, but comes up if you search.
    You likely know that McIntyre will check this one to make sure it
    changed since the IPCC close-off date July 2006!
    Hard copies of the WG1 report from CUP have arrived here today.

    Ammann/Wahl – try and change the Received date! Don’t give those
    skeptics something
    to amuse themselves with.


  2. Geoff Sherrington said

    I like it where Jones says “Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !”.

    Then he says there’s no Australian data before 1950, when he knows it extends to a850 and has used it (see below).

    The top favorite so far is
    Options appear to be:

    1. Send them the data
    2. Send them a subset removing station data from some of the countries who made us pay in the normals papers of Hulme et al. (1990s) and also any number that David can remember. This should also omit some other countries like (Australia, NZ, Canada, Antarctica). Also could extract some of the sources that Anders added in (31-38 source codes in J&M 2003). Also should remove many of the early stations that we coded up in the 1980s.
    3. Send them the raw data as is, by reconstructing it from GHCN. How could this be done? Replace all stations where the WMO ID agrees with what is in GHCN. This would be the raw data, but it would annoy them.

    A jail term awaits company drectors who carry on like this. (Assuming all of the above is genuine).

  3. David Jay said

    It’s everything that Steve M was too polite to say.

    Can we discuss motives NOW?

  4. SW said

    Assuming these emails are correct, they really start to show to problems with the profession.

    On one hand they keep saying – “their stuff isn’t published so we can dismiss it”.

    On the other hand, they seem to be actively working to prevent the publication!

    It’s sick.

  5. SW said

    Examples abound, but compare the message below to the message in your main post above, Jeff.
    Same author as the second message you post above:

    HI Andy,

    Yep, what was written below is all me, but it was purely on background, please don’t quote
    anything I said or attribute to me w/out checking specifically–thanks.

    Re, your point at the end–you’ve taken the words out of my mouth. Skepticism is essential
    for the functioning of science. It yields an erratic path towards eventual truth. But
    legitimate scientific skepticism is exercised through formal scientific circles, in
    particular the peer review process. A necessary though not in general sufficient condition
    for taking a scientific criticism seriously is that it has passed through the legitimate
    scientific peer review process. those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside
    of this system are not to be trusted.


  6. zzahhazz said

    From: Phil [names]

    Point I’m trying to make is you cannot trust anything that M&M write. MBH is as good a
    way of putting all the data together as others. We get similar results in the work in the
    Holocene in 1998 (Jones et al) and so does Tom Crowley in a paper in 1999. Keith’s
    reconstruction is strikingly similar in his paper from JGR in 2001. Mike’s may have
    slightly less variability on decadal scales than the others (especially cf Esper et al),
    he is using a lot more data than the others. I reckon they are all biased a little to the
    and none are truly annual – I say all this in the Reviews of Geophysics paper !
    Bottom line – their is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the
    last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C
    on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science, but
    years of experience of dealing with global scales and varaibility.
    Must got to Florence now. Back in Nov 1.

    At 20:46 21/10/2004, you wrote:

    I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me.
    At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held
    for some time.
    Presumably what you have done with Keith is better? — or is it?
    I get asked about this a lot. Can you give me a brief heads up? Mike is too
    deep into this to be helpful.

  7. SeanH said

    This would seem to explain their insistence on only considering papers which make it through the peer review process. There seems to be an assumption that only ‘safe’ papers will be published in these journals. I’m not quite understanding why the AGU would be able to dismiss an editor purely on the basis of their personal beliefs. Tip of the iceberg?

  8. None said

    The IPCC needs to be notified that several of it’s key contributing authors have been conspiring to delete material regarding the review/discussion process, which is in direct conflict with their own regulations. These people, and their associates, need to be removed from IPCC AR process – they can clearly not be trusted.

  9. WWRTC said

    Oh my, what a fine Friday mess these LIARS have made. Where is Scotland Yard which should be locking down CRU/Hadley immediately. This is fraud on a Global scale!

  10. Amber said

    Wow, you guys need to calm down 🙂

    The majority of research scientists are meticulous. They dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s. When they do that, their conclusions are considered seriously by all the other scientists that are similarly meticulous (even if those conclusions are ultimately disagreed with). That’s how serious science works.

    I saw a mention of GRL (Geophysics Research Letters, presumably) going downhill, even before Saiers. People here have interpreted that as evidence compromising the Hadley CRU crowd. I would say contrarily that it is simply evidence of the CRU crowd becoming concerned that scientific objectivity at GRL becoming compromised, that is, publishing sceptic-friendly papers that objectively should not have been published in a journal as august as GRL is (or at least was when I was in atmospheric chemistry long ago).

    Having said that, scientists are people and they get themselves bogged down in politics and bitchiness as much as any other group of people.

    Occam’s Razor. Chill 🙂

  11. Bad Andrew said

    “People here have interpreted that as evidence compromising the Hadley CRU crowd.”

    They have already been compromised. Years ago. You just haven’t been paying attention.


  12. JasonScando said

    This Tom Wigley guy seems to be the only reasonable person there… I’ve seen multiple e-mails where he is saying “well guys, ya knowwww, they are actually correct here….”

  13. Amber said

    Andrew, your perception of the taintedness of the Hadley CRU crowd affects their allegation of GRL going downhill how, precisely? “They’re tainted therefore they’re wrong and GRL is not going downhill” — is that it? Separate the issues and deal with the facts. GRL may or may not be going downhill but it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Hadley say GRL is.

    And nothing you say has anything to do with the rest of my post. There are some bad scientists just like there are some bad [insert your favourite]. However, most scientists are meticulous etc.

  14. Bad Andrew said


    I’m simply pointing out that the crowd you mentioned was already considered dubious by anyone paying attention. The rest of your post is irrelevant to me.


  15. Amber said

    Andrew, don’t backpedal.

    Our host Jeff Id said, “Look at how they collude to eliminate people they don’t agree with.” I made the point that the editor of a prestigious journal should not be in *any* camp, they should be demonstrably neutral and objective, and that Tom the author of the quoted email was saying the same thing.

    I didn’t say this was the first piece of evidence against them, you said I said that. When you accuse people of not paying attention, read their words more carefully before you criticise them.

  16. Bad Andrew said

    “I didn’t say this was the first piece of evidence against them, you said I said that.”

    I never said you said any such thing. I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t consider the idea of corruption in AGW circles as unreasonable or some novel idea. If you haven’t been aware, it’s been going on for a long time. You seemed somewhat dismissive. You shouldn’t be.


  17. […] are also emails about trying to get skeptical colleagues fired (Air Vent), changing the rules of reviewing papers to suppress different points of view (Air Vent again), […]

  18. mitchel44 said

    From: K
    To: E
    Subject: Re: Review- confidential REALLY URGENT
    Date: Wed Jun 4 16:02:09 2003

    “I got a paper to review (submitted to the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences), written by a Korean guy and someone from Berkeley, that claims that the method of reconstruction that we use in dendroclimatology (reverse regression)is wrong, biased, lousy, horrible, etc. They use your Txxxxxxxxk recon as the main whipping boy.”

    “I have a file that you gave me in 1993 that comes from your 1992 paper. Below is part of that file. Is this the right one? Also, is it possible to resurrect the column headings? I would like to play with it in an effort to refute their claims. If published as is, this paper could really do some damage.”

    “It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically, but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a practical sense.”

    “So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Txxxxxxxxk reconstruction from what you produced.
    Your assistance here is greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I will let Txxxxxxxxk sink into the melting permafrost of northern XXXXXX (just kidding of course).

    “I am really sorry but I have to nag about that review – Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting – to support Dxxx Sxxxxxx’s and really as soon as you can. Please”

    So is asking one of the author’s of “the main whipping boy” to assist in the smackdown of his critics considered normal peer review process?

    Just curious…

  19. Matt said

    Amber, I have to agree with Andrew. I did not see any evidence that he was even referring to your post. He was stating a seperate point. Looks, to me, like an attack by you on him. That’s very common among some scientists when discussing this issue. I have heard rumors, if you want to call them that, of data manipulation and exclusion for years now. I think that’s what Andrew was referring to. “Skeptics” have been accusing these “experts” of this for awhile now, because it did not make sense. Which is why they very often don’t want to discuss it and go into attack mode.

  20. From 1077829152.txt:

    From: Phil [names]
    Date: Thu Feb 26 15:59:12 2004


    Just agreed to review a paper for GRL – it is absolute rubbish. It is having a go at
    CRU temperature data – not the latest vesion, but the one you used in MBH98 !! We added
    lots of data in for the region this person says has Urban Warming ! So easy review to do.
    Sent Ben the Soon et al. paper and he wonders who reviews these sorts of things. Says
    GRL hasn’t a clue with editors or reviewers. By chance they seem to have got the right
    person with the one just received.
    Can I ask you something in CONFIDENCE – don’t email around, especially not to
    Keith and Tim here. Have you reviewed any papers recently for Science that say that
    MBH98 and MJ03 have underestimated variability in the millennial record – from models
    or from some low-freq proxy data. Just a yes or no will do. Tim is reviewing them – I
    to make sure he takes my comments on board, but he wants to be squeaky clean with
    discussing them with others. So forget this email when you reply.

    Prof. Phil [names and id removed]

    [Reply: I’d like people to remove last names and email dates from the posts. Mann is screaming about suing whomever posts the emails (although nobody has asked anyone to stop) but we should be careful. If someone can explain the rules, I would be much obliged – Jeff]

  21. […] What’s to say […]

  22. mojo said

    “Sue and be damned”

    Discovery can be a bear.

  23. […] at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations' Climate Audit's Steve McIntrye: 'Words Fail Me' Skeptics exiled: 'We could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted' Physicist on alleged behavior of CRU scientists: 'These people should be put in jail as soon as […]

  24. Earle Williams said


    As to potential legal liability, I’m fairly convinced that you have none. Seriously, Michael Mann is blowing smoke. Again. But don’t take the word of some person on the internet. As a blogger developing a bit of notoriety you should invest a bit of time and even a bit of coin to consult with a legal professional. In a pinch though, the guys at Volokh Conspiracy could probably offer some “non-legal advice” that could put your mind at ease.

    If Mann or the other aggrieved parties actually had any means to go after you they already would have, despite the efforts you have made to be considerate of potential legal issues. So take a deep breath, and continue going forward in investigating this phenomenal data leak.

  25. Kazinski said

    I made the point that the editor of a prestigious journal should not be in *any* camp, they should be demonstrably neutral and objective, and that Tom the author of the quoted email was saying the same thing.

    Show me a single email anywhere where they complain about a journal editor being in the AGW camp. All of their concern goes just one way. 95% of the papers published are pro-AGW, not it appears because the science goes that way, but because they are actively suppressing papers. And ready to ruin the careers, of anybody that doesn’t go along.

    It is a wonderful thing to have a monopoly on the truth it removes all doubt, and justifies any action.

  26. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Amber said: “However, most scientists are meticulous etc.”

    Agreed, most scientists are. But based on the messages and documents, a fair argument can be made that many well known climate scientists are not. It is not clear to me if some of what has been going on rises to the level of illegality (how to avoid FOI requests, for example), but much of it is clearly less than honest and obviously unethical.

  27. Amber said

    My first words were that you guys needed to calm down. That’s all.

    Sure, these Hadley people have not covered themselves in glory in what’s been released (illegally, let’s not forget) but the sample cannot be called representative because we don’t know what has not been released. It is plausible that some content of those unreleased emails weaken the theories being espoused by the sceptic camp regarding the Hadley group.

    There is only one way to approach this and that is for someone with access to all the material to assess it objectively. That will take time. In the meantime, calm down. What I see is people (sceptics) jumping all over this code and data validating their preconceived notion that AGW people validate their preconceived notion that human-emitted CO2 is contributing to global warming. Ironic, eh?

  28. Paul Leili said

    Will warrants for the rest of the emails destined & originating from the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, and Nasa be issued before or after the Copenhagen Conference?

  29. […] What’s to say […]

  30. […] […]

  31. PaulM said

    Amber, what planet are you on?
    Weaken the skeptic theories?????
    Quite the opposite.
    I had thought there was bias and exaggeration, but this is all far far worse than I had thought.

  32. […] What’s to say These emails are amazing. Look at how they collude to eliminate people they don’t agree with: “This is truly awful. GRL {Geophysical Research Letters} has gone downhill rapidly in recent years.  I think the decline began before Saiers. I have had some unhelpful dealings with him recently with regard to a paper Sarah and I have on glaciers — it was well received by the referees, and so is in the publication pipeline. However, I got the impression that Saiers was trying to keep it from being published. […]

  33. Some Guy said

    Sounds to me like Saiers has a very strong case to make for damages against those who colluded to oust him. Could result in a a couple of bankruptcies, if not criminal repercussions.

  34. Amber said

    Paul, I’m on the planet where everyone agrees that when material is known to exist but hasn’t yet been seen, we reserve judgement.

  35. […] this excerpt in which researchers appear to discuss ways to discredit James Saiers of the Geophysical Research […]

  36. […] this excerpt in which researchers appear to discuss ways to discredit James Saiers of the Geophysical Research […]

  37. biologist in the stix said

    @32: The quote you cite is evidence that they ARE honest. What they are saying is that the peer-reviewers found their evidence to be accurate and persuasive, and the paper of high enough quality to be published in GRL (that’s what “well-received by the referees” means). BUT that the editor, Saiers, did not want to publish it even though it was a good paper. The e-mail you cite seems more like evidence that Saiers (and presumably the global-warming skeptics like him) are trying to suppress scientific evidence. I’m a cell biologist with no axe to grind either for or against either side of this, but if an editor tried to keep my papers out of a journal even after they had passed peer review, I would similarly be calling for the journal to fire that editor.

  38. Jeff Id said

    #37 What a crazy view, talk about digging deep. Are you saying that GRL was publishing ‘skeptic’ papers? Are you familiar with GRL?

  39. Ashamed Scientist said

    I will admit that I am ashamed to say I bought the global warming materials hook, line and sinker and labeled contrarians as “loonies” grasping at conspiracies. After downloading those e-mails prior to the net police making it harder to do so AND re-reading many of the papers I had assumed were correct, I am coming around 180 degrees. I teach at a large University and I have been brainwashing young adults and feel absolutely horrid about my actions.

    WHY THIS ISN’T FRONT PAGE NEWS ACROSS THE GLOBE boggles my mind. I am ashamed, feel a strong sense of guilt and vow to start doing what I am trained to do….real science….to get back telling the world what is really happening…versus what I simply was led to believe by what has been proven to be motivated, coordinated and well-funded scam artists.

  40. Jeff Id said

    #39 First, you are not alone. I don’t know why it’s not front page either except that I trust papers equally as much as I trust climate scientists these days.

    If you figure any of this out, let us know.

  41. […] this excerpt [6] in which researchers appear to discuss ways to discredit James Saiers of the Geophysical […]

  42. […] Dr. Phil Jones, confirmed the leaked e-mails are authentic. E-mail discussions included how to discredit scientists whose data challenged CRU’s conclusions, hiding the decline in global temperatures over the last […]

  43. […] […]

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