Climate Feedback

CRU data hack

Everyone’s talking about the CRU data hack. Quirin Schiermeier reports on Nature News:

One of Britain’s leading climate-research centres has had more than 1,000 files stolen from its computers and republished on the Internet. The cyber-attack is apparently aimed at damaging the reputations of prominent climate scientists.

The full story is here:


  1. Report this comment

    mondo said:

    You imply that “skeptics” are mounting a cyber-attack apparently aimed at damaging the reputations of prominent climate scientists.

    They’ve done a pretty good job of that by themselves, wouldn’t you say?

    Also, this episode rather throws into highlight the inadequate enforcement of editorial policies, proper peer review, and data archiving policies by leading science journals.

  2. Report this comment

    charlie2 said:

    It’s not the hacking that damages the reputations of prominent climate scientists, it’s the contents of the emails they were sending to each other. Hard to understand how anyone could honestly come to any other conclusion.

  3. Report this comment

    mike1 said:

    The emails & data could just as easily have been leaked by an insider – for whatever motive. Cyber attack doesn’t seem warranted.

  4. Report this comment

    husten said:


    This is not a computer problem We would not be discussing this a “Nature” were it so. 50/50 chance it is a whistleblower, not a hacker. It would not hurt to report on the contents and accusations unbiased.


  5. Report this comment

    steve_jones said:

    Can someone at Nature explain exactly how this is different from the Pentagon papers?

    The things going on in those emails are nothing less than federal crimes (deleting emails to avoid FOIA) and research misconduct.

    This is going to be the next Hendrik Schon case.

    Nature needs to run an in-depth piece examining how its own review procedures could have failed to such an extent to let this stuff through.

  6. Report this comment

    Ron Cram said:

    Now that the CRU whistleblower has released these emails and documents which were responsive to FOI requests and were illegally withheld, how will this change editorial decisions at Nature?

    For example, now that we know the CRU cabal were putting undue pressure on journals not to publish papers by skeptical scientists, will Nature be more open to publishing quality work produced by skeptical scientists?

    Will Nature report on pressure applied to its editors to prevent the publication of skeptical papers?

    Since skeptical scientists like Steve McIntyre, John Christy, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Roger Pielke and Anthony Watts have been discriminated against, are you willing to issue these scientists a gold embossed invitation to publish any paper they deem worthy as a way to correct previous years of shutting them out?

    Are you willing to invite skeptical scientists to review more papers? In my opinion, it is utter folly to publish a tree-ring study or temp series without asking McIntyre or another Climate Audit contributing scientist/statistician to review it.

    In short, what are your plans to make amends for the undue influence exercised by the Jones, Mann, Briffa, etc in the editorial process?

  7. Report this comment

    Larry Sheldon said:

    “damaging” reputations?

    or “correcting”? “Disclosing”?

    “validating opinions of”?

  8. Report this comment

    Ron Manley said:

    The CRU hack/whistle-blower incident has had the effect of making the two sides even more polarised. On one side there are those who say it is a healthy exchange of opinion among sincere scientists; on the other those who say it is a smoking gun. To try and provide some balance and objectivity a colleague set up a web site at:

    We’ed be grateful for any comments readers might wish to make.

  9. Report this comment

    Robustus said:

    Now comes your moment of truth: will it be honest, systematic testing of hypotheses against evolving data, or will it be propaganda and thematic advocacvy regardless of science? You choose…

  10. Report this comment

    David B. Benson said:

    Whatever, at least one and possible serveral crimes were committed in the CRUhack.

  11. Report this comment

    Olive Heffernan said:


    Scientific papers are published on the basis of the scientific merit. That’s the same basis on which reviewers are chosen. Nature would of course publish work by those sceptical of the human influence on climate change if they had evidence worth publishing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and the evidence for human influence on the climate is overwhelming.

    This incident doesn’t in any way compromise the evidence for anthropogenic climate change. As many have pointed out over the past week, that comes from numerous sources other than the global temperature record, such as proxy data from ice cores etc.

    It is, unfortunate, however. It shows that scientists are, like others, guilty of letting frustration get the better of them in their communications. But there doesn’t yet appear to be any evidence of foul play here.


  12. Report this comment

    Olive Heffernan said:

    Steve Jones,

    Please do fill us in on the evidence of federal crimes by climate scientists.

    Is there any evidence that files were deleted? Wasn’t it the case that there was a threat to delete them. This should be investigated, but as of yet, there doesn;t seem to be any evidence that documents were destroyed.

    I think the illegal purloining of the information makes this case considerably different from legitimate requests for access to government documents of public interest. No?

Comments are closed.