Tag Archives: Salinger

Climategate 2 and Corruption of Peer Review – Part II

This is a continuation of a narrative I am putting together from the climategate 2 emails, which shows how the ‘team’ (a group of famous climate scientitsts) get together to trash the good name and career of an editor of the academic journal Climate Research. The editor in question is Chris de Freitas, an accomplished scientist. The reason for their actions; he allowed the publication of a paper which contradicted the work of the team, and in particular published a paper which was supportive of the existence of the Medieval Warm Period. Michael Mann’s famous hockey stick chart saw this period disappear, and his ‘hockey stick’ chart was used by the IPCC as evidence of anthropogenic global warming.

Before reading this section, I strongly recommend that you start with the first post on the subject, which is here. In the first section, I detail how some of the most famous climate scientists plot to have Chris de Freitas, who allowed the contrary paper, sacked from his job. This post follows the story forwards.

As before, when quoting the emails, I do so minus annoying symbols such as >>>. Where I am commenting within the email text, I place the text as [this is my comments], and any bold text is my emphasis. For this post, I will mainly only quote parts of emails that directly refer to the team’s attempt to attack de Freitas.

In the previous post, I was up to email 1430, but had missed out a crucial email in which Phil Jones is supportive of action 3b and 3c suggested by Pittock to deal with the de Freitas problem (see previous post, email O332 ), which I will remind you of as follows:

(b) Ensure that such misleading papers do not continue to appear in the offending journals by getting proper scientific standards applied to refereeing and editing [nothing we disagree with goes into the journal]. Whether that is done publicly or privately may not matter so much, as long as it happens. It could be through boycotting the journals, but that might leave them [them??? – people who disagree] even freer to promulgate misinformation. To my mind that is not as good as getting the offending editors removed [they want to determine who can and cannot edit a journal?] and proper processes in place. Pressure or ultimatums to the publishers might work, or concerted lobbying by other co-editors or leading authors.

(c) A journalistic expose of the unscientific practices might work and embarass the sceptics/industry lobbies [this sounds like a call to smear anyone who disagrees] (if they are capable of being embarassed) e.g., through a reliable [as biased as they are???] lead reporter for Science or Nature. Offending editors could be labelled as “rogue editors” [this is simply unreal], in line with current international practice? Or is that defamatory? [I would suggest that, yes, calling anyone who disagrees with you, or allows publication of dissenting views, would indeed be defamatory]

Phil Jones writes back to Pittock endorsing both of these actions as follows, in email o332,  on 17 April:

My earlier email reply to Neville gives the details of a paper already out there and two more planned. It is clear when these come out we have to be more active in gaining more widespread publicity for them (much more than we normally do). [it is clear here that they are, quite literally, activists] At the moment Ray’s extensive paper (with others) in the PAGES volume could be a starting point.

Mike Hulme is moving towards your 3b course of action and I’ll talk to Hans von Storch, who although he says he’s not the Chief Editor is thought of by many to be this de facto. 3c is possible through contacts we all have with editors at Science and Nature. I realise the issues with lobbying groups and I’m sure this has been discussed at the IPCC planning meeting in Marrakesh this week.

Let’s see how Mike gets on and my talks with Hans (and Tom Crowley) next week.

In this email, Phil Jones is clearly endorsing actions to use whatever means necessary to blacken the name of de Freitas. It is also possible to see that they see themselves as having influence at Science and Nature, and that they consider they can call on this influence to do a hatchet job. In the same email, Mann responds to Phil Jones as follows:

I’m going to try to get ahold of Dick Kerr today to see if I can get his interest in doing a story. My guess is that Dick will go for it. If so, I’d like to give him a list of names of people to contact for comments.

Richard (Dick) Kerr is a staff writer for Science magazine. I will jump ahead a little here, as it is appears that Mann succeeds. By 15th August, a story appears in Science magazine called ‘In the Eye of the Storm‘. This is an extract from the piece, and you will note how closely it follows the team’s objective:

It has been a hot summer for Hans von Storch. In June the German meteorologist was promoted to editor-in chief of Climate Research and asked to douse the controversy from the journal’s publication in January of a paper skeptical about global warming. But by the end of July he had thrown in the towel and resigned.

The paper that led to his rise and fall claimed that the 20th century was in fact cooler than a period in the late Middle Ages.Authored by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, it was based on a study partly funded by the American Petroleum Institute and widely quoted by politicians skeptical of global warming. The Bush Administration even referenced it in a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency that critics said was altered to hew more closely to the party line.

But other climate researchers say the authors’ data was too limited to support their claims. “They could not draw those conclusions from the methods they used,” says Von Storch.

This was not the only piece that appeared in Science. The following paper is published:

Bradley, R. S., Hughes, M. K., & Diaz, H. F. (2003). Climate in Medieval time.(Climate Change). Science, 302(5644), 404(402).

It may come as no surpise to see that the paper rebuts the Soon & Baliunas (S&B) paper, the publication of which led to the team’s attack on de Freitas. This is the conclusion of the paper:

The balance of evidence does not point to a High Medieval period that was as warm as or warmer than the late 20th century. However, more climate records are required to explain the likely causes for climate variations over the last millennium and to fully understand natural climate variability, which will certainly accompany future anthropogenic effects on climate.

And, if looking at the references used in the paper, it contains references to three Mann papers, and offers this at the end:

We thank J. Hansen, J. Lean, M. Mann, and J. Salinger for comments. Support by the U.S. Department of Energy (R.S.B., H.F.D,), NSF Earth System History program (M.K.H.), and NOAA Earth System History program (R.S.S., M.K.H.).

And here is the rub. Apparently, according to Mann in email number 2469, the article was ‘a solicited piece’. It seems that the planned journalistic expose and the rebuttal all took place as planned. This should, at the very least, cause some concern about Science Magazine in this ugly business. Furthermore, for example, Bradley was on the distribution of many of the key emails plotting against de Freitas, including the one in which Wigley admits that the attack on de Freitas is ad hominem. Here we can see the extent of the team, and a cynical view might suggest that Richard Kerr is joining as a team member (he is later copied in on emails from other members of the team e.g. here).

I have digressed a little, as I wanted to follow up on some interesting points in the emails, and I continue the story at email 4132, of 28th April. This is Phil Jones to Mann:

Now had a chance to catch up a little.  On de Freitas I hope something is going to happen, but I don’t to say anything yet. Hans and Clare will write to the publishers and try to get the reviews from de Freitas. Hans is now convinced he should go, but wants to do on a due cause basis and by the book so any backlash can be dealt with in a fair manner.

From the previous post, you may remember that all along, the team wanted to know who had been responsible for the Soon & Baliunas (S&B) paper. It seems here that the pressure from the team is finally working with regards to Hans von Storch. Mann only makes one comment on this, which is below:

Re, DeFreitas–good to hear. That piece that Jim Salinger just forwarded is especially damning…Thanks for the message.

I am assuming that Mann is referring to the email, in which Salinger is proposing sending a letter with the clear intention of getting de Freitas sacked from University of Auckland. However, I cannot be sure from this snippet, as it may refer to the email below.The next email I have found comes quite a bit later, on 16 May, and is email 4808. (corrected 28 November, thanks Alex) MannPhil Jones is following up on the email of Mann Hulme, in which he proposes writing a letter to the other editors of Climate Resarch, asking for the editors to resign in protest at de Freitas being an editor.

Did anything ever come of this? [the email to the CR editors]

Clare Goodness was in touch w/ me indicating that she had discussed the matter w/ Von Storch, and that DeFrietas would be relieved of his position. However, I haven’t heard anything. A large segment of the community I’ve been in contact with feels that this event has already done its damage, allowing Baliunas and colleagues to  attempt to impact U.S. governmental policy, w/ this new weapon in hand–the appearance of a    legitimate peer-reviewed document challenging some core assertions of IPCC to wave in congress. They appear to be making some headway in using this to influence U.S. policy, which makes our original discussions all the more pressing now.

In this context, it seems important that either Clare and Von Storch take imminent action  on this, or else actions of the sort you had mentioned below should perhaps be strongly considered again. Non-action or slow action here could be extremely damaging.I’ll forward you some emails which will indicate the damage that the publication has already caused.

Thanks very much for all your help w/ this to date, and for anything additional you may be able to do in this regard to move this forward.

It seems that the pressure of the team is bearing fruit, and that they will achieve their aim of having de Freitas sacked as an editor. Also, the primary concern of Jones in this email is the impact of the S&B on policymakers. Other people researching other climategate emails have found the team openly referring to the ’cause’, and it is apparent that the big concern about the S&B paper is that it is damaging ‘the cause’.

You may have noted that Clare Goodess has been floating into view in some of the emails. As a backgrounder, she is a researcher at the CRU East Anglia, and is therefore a colleague of Phil Jones. She was also copied in on email 1051156418.txt in which Wigley admits that they are discussin an ad hominem attack on de Freitas, so must be aware of the role that she is about to play. This is email 4159, and the following is from Goodess to Mann on 19 May:

Hans and I have already raised this issue with Inter Research, but they havent taken  it up yet. Hans and I have have contacted de Freitas and InterResearch over the issues that you and others have raised before. One of the things de Freitas said in response, was that he had contacted the editor of Energy and Environment to see why it had been published. The editor told him that it deserved ‘a less interferedwith version’ , i.e., the original authors had complained about the  changes required by the CR reviewers!

Hans, InterResearch and I are still discussing what action needs to be taken and how to respond to de Freitas’ inititial responses. I will ensure that all those who have expressed concerns to me and/or Hans/Mike Hulme are informed of the outcome.

Notice here, that team members are being kept in the loop at all stages. In the normal world, even if accepting that there should be a review of the position of de Freitas, you would expect this kind of review to be confidential, as it directly relates to the reputation of an individual.The response from Mann is:

Thanks very much for the update, and for your efforts to do something about this. De Freitas’ argument seems to amount to “well the editor at ‘Energy and Environment’ was even worse than me”, and that doesn’t quite hold water.

As de Frietas apparently seeks to distance himself from culpability, please keep in mind that this is only one of  numerous past complaints of suspicious and apparently unethical behavior on his part in association with his position at “Climate Research”. I’m forwarding, under separate cover, an email describing a complaint from Danny Harvey and Tom Wigley.

I, as well as many other of our colleagues, look forward to hearing what happens here.

For this email alone, it might be reasonable for de Freitas to challenge Mann in court for libel. Mann is directly suggesting that de Freitas has behaved unethically in relation to his role at Climate Research. Meanwhile in email 2104, they are planning a new line of attack. On 22nd April, Harvey sends an email copying an email he, Wigley and Goodess write the following to de Freitas:

Dear Dr. de Freitas:

We have discovered that we were both reviewers of the paper Revised 21st century temperature projections by Michaels et al. recently  published in your journal (vol. 23, pp. 19, 2002). In our reviews, we both judged the paper to be in category d (Publication not recommended) because of numerous flaws in the arguments, which we carefully documented.

We now see that the paper has been published almost without alteration from the original submission, except for a few added paragraphs that  either do not address or inadequately address the main objections that we raised. The revised manuscript was apparently not subjected to re- review at least not by us. We find this to be most unusual  even if the authors presented a counter-argument to each of our objections, it is the normal procedure among reputable journals for the authors reply to be forwarded to the original reviewers for further comment.

We note in this regard that even under the less damning evaluation category c (Revise and re-submit for additional review), responses and      revisions should be sent back to the original referees. Your decision that a paper judged totally unacceptable for publication should not      require re-review is unprecedented in our experience.

We therefore request that you forward to us copies of the authors responses to our criticisms, together with: (1) your reason for not sending these responses or the revised manuscript to us; (2) an explanation for your judgment that the revised paper should be published in the absence of our re-review; and (3) your reason for failing to follow accepted editorial procedures.

Yours truly,
Danny Harvey and Tom Wigley
Best wishes, Clare

In other words, a new line of attack has opened up. I have had several academic papers accepted for publication, including some that have strongly divided reviewers, but where the editor has come down upon my side and accepted the paper (and some with the opposite outcome). From this experience, it seems that their complaint is without any foundation, but I have never been a journal editor (although I have reviewed articles).

I’m afraid that, at this point, I will call it a day again. I have just had a comment on the original post on this subject from Steve McIntyre, and he has mentioned that he plans to follow this up. As this blog is only a minor one, and this is a major story, I will leave it to those that can give a better airing to finish the story. I only hope that the work I have done on this might help.

As a conclusion, I would just like to say that the de Freitas affair is, I believe, a very, very major story. In particular there is no question of ‘out of context’ or any of the other excuses that were wheeled out for climategate 1. They are absolutely explicit in their aims, and their endorsement of Salinger’s proposal to try to get de Freitas sacked. This is something that most people, even those who do not follow this subject, can grasp hold of.

In the meantime, I have every confidence that Steve will take this story forwards, and give it the reach it deserves . In particular, Steve’s good name has enough weight to carry the story into the mainstream media. I suspect that this might finally be enough for the ‘team’ to held accountable for their corruption of science. Let’s hope so.

As a final note, I will follow up this story with the New Zealand media, in particular when Steve’s version of events is published. In my original post, I have posted a copy of the email I sent to the New Zealand Herald, effectively challenging them to respond to the story. More of the same may be on the cards, time allowing.

Update: 28 November

I see that this post has been linked to on Real Climate in some comments on Climategate 2. This is the comment:

Any context on this thread – which might be interpreted to constitute a coordinated effort to have someone dismissed for not following the party line?


And the answer is given as follows:

[Response: The issue has nothing to do with not ‘following the party line’, but rather of being guilty of appalling editorial practices, whereby papers were published with claims that were not justified by the analysis, or that were accepted almost ‘as is’ regardless of the views of referees. Hans von Storch in email 2106: “For me it is important that we admit that the result of the review process of Soon & Baliunas was insufficient”, and noting the pattern “We should have been more vigilant after we had seen that actually two critical comments were written on the first Soon paper” (also handled by de Freitas). The corruption here was de Frietas, not anyone who responded. – gavin]

My response to ‘Gavin’. When reading the whole series of emails, and looking at the context of the whole, I think readers can make up their own minds. This is yet another attempt by the ‘team’ (Real Climate is their online support) to shift the direction, again smearing Chris de Freitas. Again, here again we have accusations of Chris de Freitas as ‘corrupt’. If I were Chris, I might be chatting with some lawyers right now.

Interestingly, I do not think I need to say more. I think the emails speak for themselves, except to say that  it is interesting to see how they will try to spin this. I saw (and responded to) a comment (awaiting moderation at time of writing) on Wattsupwiththat which was very similar to this, and said something similar to my comment here.

Update 1st December

I have noticed that the campaign against Chris de Freitas is being restarted, so I have written a post dedicated to the subject, which can be found here.

Climategate 2 – Salinger puts the boot into De Freitas

Update: See below – Pachauri, head of the IPCC is being copied into emails that reveal the hatchet job on a skeptical scientist.

Another Update:

I have been looking through some further emails, and all the usual suspects are there i.e. the ‘team’. I have to admit to having run out of energy to go through them all now, and it is just depressing to read this stuff. Perhaps the most surprising point is that the emails cc Pachauri. Let’s be very clear about this. Although we all know otherwise, the IPCC is supposed to be a scientific body of some repute. Key ‘scientists’ who work for the IPCC are the ‘team’. In the emails below, the team are seeking to destroy the career of a scientist who dared to allow the publication of a skeptical article.

Pachauri is kept informed of this hatchet job, so must be aware that some of the key IPCC scientists are, for want of a better description, out of control. He must be aware that they have moved beyond the boundaries of science, and into personal attacks and crusades – this is even admitted in one of the emails, in which it is accepted that the attempt to smear de Freitas is an ad hominem attack.

But Pachauri does nothing. No response, no comment. Nothing.

This is the person responsible for the IPCC. He is aware of this witch hunt and does nothing. Is this person fit to lead an international body such as this? I think this will be hard for Pachauri to explain away, though no doubt there will be claims that he never read the emails (from some of the most prominent ‘scientists’ in the IPCC, I don’t think he can claim to have ignored these).

Original post continue below….with updates….

This is my second post on climategate 2, and I now reach new levels of complete disgust. I will simply copy below an email from Jim Salinger of NIWA, and it speaks for itself. If you look at my previous post, this is Salinger’s response to Pittocks suggestion to use the team to damage those who disagree with the ‘team’s’ views:

cc: n.nicholls@bom.gov.au, Peter.Whetton@csiro.au, Roger.Francey@csiro.au, David.Etheridge@csiro.au, Ian.Smith@csiro.au, Simon.Torok@csiro.au, Willem.Bouma@csiro.au, j.salinger@niwa.com, pachauri@teri.res.in, Greg.Ayers@csiro.au, Rick.Bailey@csiro.au, Graeme.Pearman@csiro.au, mmaccrac@comcast.net, tcrowley@duke.edu, rbradley@geo.umass.edu
date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 11:21:50 +1200
from: j.salinger@niwa.co.nz
subject: Another course of Action – Recent climate sceptic research and the
to: Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, m.hulme@uea.ac.uk, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, mann@virginia.edu, Phil Jones <p.jones@uea.ac.uk>, harvey@geog.utoronto.ca, wigley@ucar.edu, n.nicholls@bom.gov.au

Dear All

For information, De Freitas has finally put all his arguments together in a paper published in the Canadian Bulletin of Petroleum Geology, 2002 (on holiday at the moment, and the reference is at

I have had thoughts also on a further course of action.  The present Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood (comes from an engineering background) is very concerned that
Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research university, and one with an excellent reputation internationally.  He is concerned to the extent that he is monitoring the performance of
ALL his senior staff, from Associate Professor upwards, including interviews with them.  My suggestion is that a band of you review editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns.  In it you should point out that you are all globally recognized top climate scientist.  It is best that such a letter come from outside NZ and is signed by more than one person.  His address is:

Professor John Hood
Vice Chancellor
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, New Zealand

Let me know what you think!  See suggested text below.



Some suggested text below:


We write to you as the editorial board(review editors??) of the leading international journal Climate Research for climate scientists
We are very concerned at the poor standards and personal biases shown by a member of your staff. …..
When we originally appointed … to the editorial board we were under the impression that they would carry out their duties in an objective manner as is expected of scientists world wide.  We were also given to understand that this person has been honoured with science communicator of the year award, several times by your … organisation.

Instead we have discovered that this person has been using his position to promote ‘fringe’ views of various groups with which they are associated around the world.  It perhaps would have been less disturbing if the ‘science’ that was being passed through the system was sound.  However, a recent incident has alerted us to the fact that poorly constructed and uncritical work has been allowed to enter the pages of the journal.  A recent example has caused outrage amongst leading climate scientists around the world and has resulted in the journal dismissing (??).. from the editorial board.

We bring this to your attention since we consider it brings the name of your university and New Zealand into some disrepute.  We leave it to your discretion what use you make of this information.

The journal itself cannot be considered completely blameless in this situation and we clearly need to tighten some of our editorial processes; however, up until now we have relied on the honour and professionalism of our editors.  Sadly this incident
has damaged our faith in some of our fellow  scientists.  Regrettably it will reflect on your institution as this person is a relatively senior staff member.

There endeth a disgusting hatchet job. However, that is not the end of it. The ‘team’ approve of this underhand and foul approach. This is from Michael Mann:

So while our careful efforts to debunk the myths perpetuated by these folks may be  useful in the FAR, they  will be of limited use in fighting the disinformation campaign that is already underway in Washington DC. Here, I tend to concur at least in sprit w/ Jim Salinger, that other approaches may be necessary. I would emphasize that there are indeed, as Tom notes, some unique aspects of this latest assault by the skeptics which are cause for special concern. This latest assault uses a compromised peer-review process as a vehicle for launching a scientific disinformation campaign (often viscious and ad hominem) under the guise of apparently legitimately reviewed science, allowing them to make use of the “Harvard” moniker in the process. Fortunately, the mainstream media never touched the story (mostly it has appeared in papers owned by Murdoch and his crowd, and dubious fringe on-line outlets).  Much like  a server which has been compromised as a launching point for computer viruses, I fear that “Climate Research” has become a hopelessly compromised vehicle in the skeptics’ (can we find a better word?) disinformation campaign, and some of the discussion that I’ve seen (e.g. a potential threat of mass resignation among the legitimate members of the CR editorial board) seems, in my opinion, to have some potential merit.

I have found other emails which approve of this hatchet job, but am still sorting through the mess of information. Maybe a little pause whilst I go to vote in the election – and ‘no’, I will not be voting Green Party.


I have just sent the following to the New Zealand Herald via their Contact News Staff service:

I have been very critical of your coverage of climate change / global warming. I have just posted a climategate email on my blog. In it Jim Salinger of NIWA conspires with other climate scientists to help get a skeptic sacked from University of Auckland.

Do you have the integrity to publish this story?

We will see. Link to the post is below.


Below is the Herald’s confirmation page, so they have received the message….


Yet more on the hatchet job, found here:

cc: n.nicholls@bom.gov.au, Peter.Whetton@csiro.au, Roger.Francey@csiro.au, David.Etheridge@csiro.au, Ian.Smith@csiro.au, Simon.Torok@csiro.au,  Willem.Bouma@csiro.au, j.salinger@niwa.com, pachauri@teri.res.in, Greg.Ayers@csiro.au, Rick.Bailey@csiro.au, Graeme.Pearman@csiro.au, p.jones@uea.act.csiro.au, k.briffa@uea.act.csiro.au, d.wratt@niwa.co.nz, andy.reisinger@mfe.govt.nz
date: Sat, 12 Apr 2003 12:41:38 +1000
from: Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au
subject: RE: Recent climate sceptic research and the journal Climate  Rese
to: j.salinger@niwa.co.nz, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, m.hulme@uea.ac.uk

Dear Jim,

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I hope the co-editors of ‘Climate Research’ can agree on some joint action. I know that Peter Whetton is one who is concerned. Any action must of course be effective and also not give the sceptics an excuse for making de Freitas appear as a martyr – the charge should surely be not following scientific standards of review, rather than publishing contrarian views as such. If a paper is contested by referees that should at least be stated in any publication, and minimal standards of statistical treatment, honesty and clarity should be insisted on. Bringing the journal and publisher into disrepute may be one reasonable charge.

‘Energy and Environment’ is another journal with low standards for sceptics, but if my recollection is correct this is implicit in their stated policy of stirring different points of view – the real test for both journals may be whether they are prepared to publish refutations, especially simultaneously with the sceptics’ papers so that readers are not deceived.

On that score you might consider whether it is possible to find who de Freitas got to review various papers and how their comments were dealt with. I heard second hand that Tom Wigley was very annoyed about a paper which gave very low projections of future warmings (I forget which paper, but it was in a recent issue) got through despite strong criticism from him as a reviewer.


Barrie Pittock.

—–Original Message—–
From: j.salinger@niwa.co.nz [mailto:j.salinger@niwa.co.nz]
Sent: Saturday, 12 April 2003 3:40 AM
To: Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au; Mike Hulme
Cc: n.nicholls@bom.gov.au; Peter.Whetton@csiro.au;Roger.Francey@csiro.au; David.Etheridge@csiro.au; Ian.Smith@csiro.au;Simon.Torok@csiro.au; Willem.Bouma@csiro.au; j.salinger@niwa.com;pachauri@teri.res.in; Greg.Ayers@csiro.au; Rick.Bailey@csiro.au;Graeme.Pearman@csiro.au;p.jones@uea.act.csiro.au;k.briffa@uea.act.csiro.au; d.wratt@niwa.co.nz;andy.reisinger@mfe.govt.nz
Subject: Re: Recent climate sceptic research and the journal Climate

Dear Mike, Barrie, Neville et al

Saturday morning here and thanks for all your  efforts.  I note the reference to Chris de Freitas.  Chris writes very voluminously to the NZ media and right wing business community often recycling the arguments of sceptics run overseas, which have been put to bed.

I, personally would support any of these actions you are proposing particularly if CR continues to publish dishonest or biased science. This introduces a new facet to the publication of science and we should maybe have a panel that ‘reviews the editors’.  Otherwise we have the development of shonkey editors who then manipulate the editing to get papers with specific views published.  Note the immediacy that the right wing media (probably planned) used the opportunity!

Your views appreciated – but I can certainly provide a dossier on the writings of Chris in the media in New Zealand.

Your views appreciated


On 11 Apr 2003, at 16:27, Mike Hulme wrote:

Dear Barrie,

Yes, this paper has hit the streets here also through the London Sunday Telegraph. Phil Jones and Keith Briffa are pretty annoyed, and there has been correspondence across the Atlantic with Tom Crowley and Ray Bradley. There has been some talk of a formal response but not sure where it has got to.  Phil and Keith are really the experts here so I would leave that to them.

Your blow by blow account of what they have done prompts me again to consider my position with Climate Research, the journal for whom I remain a review editor.  So are people like Tim Carter, Nigel Arnell, Simon Shackley, Rob Wilby and Clare Goodess, colleagues whom I know well and who might also be horrified at this latest piece of primary school science that Chris de Freitas from New Zealand has let through (there are a good number of other examples in recent years and Wolfgang Cramer resigned from Climate Research 4 years ago because of it).

I might well alert these other colleagues to the crap science CR continues to publish because of de Freitas and see whether a collective mass resignation is appropriate.  Phil Jones, I believe, is already boycotting reviews for that journal.


Look at the names that are in on all of this. I have highlighted one email, and it is none other than Pachauri, the hear of the IPCC! This is just too much!

Another Update: This one from Tom Wigley. He at least would not write the hatchet letter, but is enough of a hypocrite to sign it if written by someone else. He even admits it is an ad hominem attack!

Jim Salinger raises the more personal issue of deFreitas. He is clearly giving good science a bad name, but I do not think a barrage of ad     hominem attacks or letters is the best way to counter this. If Jim wishes to write a letter with multiple authors, I may be willing to sign it, but I would not write such a letter myself. In this case, deFreitas is such a poor scientist that he may simply disappear. I saw some work from his PhD, and it was awful (Pat Michaels’PhD is at the same level).

And there is more from here:

date: Mon Apr 28 15:03:41 2003
from: Mike Hulme <m.hulme@uea.ac.uk>
subject: Re: CR plus a fax
to: Phil Jones <p.jones@uea.ac.uk>

Thanks Phil. After my one email about possible resignations from CR a whole flood of emails seems to have been released.  I will wait to see what happens re. Hans and Clare, and will just let my fellow review editors know the score.  I might independently write to the publishers voicing my own concern about losing faith in the peer review process in CR. As an ex-Editor of CR I perhaps also carry some weight with them.


At 10:17 28/04/2003 +0100, you wrote:


I’ve just talked to Clare about discussions I had with Hans last week in the US. I think he is now convinced about de Freitas and is drafting a letter with Clare to go to the publishers and to de Freitas. Basically trying to get the reviewer’s names etc and their reports in the first instance, with maybe sending some of the background emails to the publishers. Also assessing copyright as the ‘other’ Soon/Baliunas paper in Energy and Env. is essentially the same as that in CR.

Hans wanted to try this first, but didn’t want to tell all what he was doing. Fears a backlash if de Freitas gets removed without due cause.  So let’s all try and keep the emails down, and hope we can report something to all once the correspondence Hans initiates gets replies.


Again, I will take a pause in my reviews. I have moved on to searches using the keyword Freitas. Will perhaps update again later today, if I can stand wading through more of this hideous content. As I find more and more, I am also starting to think that it needs to be presented in a more orderly narrative, though it is perhaps a big job to try to string it all together, along with the characters involved.

Yet Another Update:

I couldn’t hold back on this new email. It might be summarised as those nasty people are disagreeing with me – something must be done to stop them!

cc: p.jones@uea.ac.uk, “Michael E. Mann” <mann@virginia.edu>, Ben Santer <santer1@llnl.gov>
date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 09:20:28 -0600
from: Tom Wigley <wigley@ucar.edu>
subject: Re: Fwd: Climate Research
to: Mike Hulme <m.hulme@uea.ac.uk>


Thanx — but not quite the end.

A nebulous issue is the choice of referees, but we can probably never get that information and Kinne can’t evaluate this aspect.

Danny Harvey and I are still planning to follow up the concerns re the paper we reviewed, rejected and never saw again until it was published.
What has happened since is that another crappy paper that Ben and I rejected for J. Climate, a specific and unjust criticism of our work,
has now appeared in CR. Presumably the pipeline is deFreitas. So Danny and I will raise this issue too.


Oh dear, oh dear. I am moving from outrage to a combination of outrage, for those that have been hurt by the ‘team’, to humour at the rather pathetic people who write this stuff. It is the pomposity of these people, so self-important and hiding behind fig-leaves of ‘science’ when they are just encountering science that contradicts them.

Climategate 2 and New Zealand

The world of skeptical blogging is abuzz, as a new tranche of apparently authentic emails are released in what is being dubbed Climategate 2, or Climategate 2.0. Steve McIntyre, of hockey stick debunking fame, has provided a link to a searchable database of the emails. I am briefly writing this introduction having just done a quick search of the emails with the term NIWA (the organisation responsible for the New Zealand temperature record), and have already dug up some correspondence between Jim Salinger, who was behind the junk science  New Zealand temperature reconstruction, and the so called ‘team’ of Michael Mann, Phil Jones et al. I used the filter for 2011 emails, and therefore assume they are new to the second batch released.

The correspondence relates to an attempt at a coordinated rebuttal of some of the work of Hans von Storch (see here for his Wikipedia entry).What the emails show is that Salinger is seeking to rebut the work of Chris de Freitas (see here for Wikipedia entry), and appears to be playing the role of an ‘activist’ (bold added by me):

date: Tue, 22 Apr 2003 22:28:22 +1200
from: j.salinger@niwa.co.nz
subject: RE: Recent climate sceptic research and the journal Climate
to: “Michael E. Mann” <mann@multiproxy.evsc.virginia.edu>, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, m.hulme@uea.ac.uk, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, mann@virginia.edu, Phil Jones <p.jones@uea.ac.uk>

Dear All

Good to see some action – and I applaud your initiatives.  As a backgrounder I have attached various pieces that have been in the NZ Herald which have either involved Chris de Freitas – or are his
‘opinions’.  He publishes as ‘associate professor in geography’. The NZ Herald is NZ’s largest daily metropolitan newspaper.

These will show you exactly where he is coming from – and our attempts locally in New Zealand to rebut these.  Any actions you do that produce results would be greatly appreciated here, and I will ensure that the appropriate sources get to know!

Look forward to updates.

Regards to all


Note the implication that Salinger has a cozy relationship with the media at the end (highlighted in bold). Some highlights of the the initiative that is being applauded are copied below, but you really need to read the whole thing to see just how unpleasant it must be to be on the wrong side of the ‘team’, of which Salinger appears to be a key player.

From Phil Jones of the CRU:

There have been a number of emails on these two papers. They are bad.I’ll be seeing Hans von Storch next week and I’ll be telling him in person what a disservice he’s doing to the science and the status of Climate Research.
I’ve already told Hans I want nothing more to do with the journal. Tom Crowley may be writing something – find out also next week, but at the EGS last week Ray Bradley, Mike Mann, Malcolm Hughes and others decided it would be best to do nothing.Papers that respond to work like this never get cited – a point I’m trying to get across to Hans.
We all have better papers to write than waste our time responding to drivel like this.

This is an extract of proposed responses from Barry Pittock of CSIRO in Australia:

3. I see several possible courses of action that would be useful.(a) Prepare a background briefing document for wide private circulation, which refutes the claims and lists competent authorities who might be consulted for advice on this issue. (b)Ensure that such misleading papers do not continue to appear in the offending journals by getting proper scientific standards applied to refereeing and editing. Whether that is done publicly or privately may not matter so much, as long as it happens. It could be through boycotting the journals, but that might leave them even freer to promulgate misinformation. To my mind that is not as good as getting the offending editors removed and proper processes in
place. Pressure or ultimatums to the publishers might work, or concerted lobbying by other co-editors or leading authors. (c) A journalistic expose of the unscientific practices might work and embarass the sceptics/industry lobbies (if they are capable of being embarassed) e.g., through a reliable lead reporter for Science or Nature. Offending editors could be labelled as “rogue editors”, in line with current international practice? Or is that defamatory? (d) Legal action might be useful for authors who consider themselves libelled, and there could be financial support for such actions (Jim Salinger might have contacts here). However, we would need to be very careful to be moderate and reasonable in our reponses to avoid counter legal actions.

I have to pause to comment on this. How ugly is this? Does this have anything to do with science? It just looks like a gang of bullies ganging up on someone who does not agree with them. Then we have Phil Jones again, and he explains that they are already taking the action suggested by Pittock (in bold):

Dear Barrie,
My earlier email reply to Neville gives the details of a paper already out there and two more planned. It is clear when these come out we have to be more active in gaining more widespread publicity for them (much more than we normally do). At the moment Ray’s extensive paper (with others) in the PAGES volume could be a starting point. Mike Hulme is moving towards your 3b course of action and I’ll talk to Hans von Storch, who although he says he’s not the Chief Editor is thought of by many to be this de facto.3c is possible through contacts we all have with editors at  Science and Nature. I realise the issues with lobbying groups and I’m sure this has been discussed at the IPCC planning meeting in Marrakesh this week. Let’s see how Mike gets on and my talks with Hans (and Tom Crowley)next week.Have a good Easter break – yesterday was the warmest April day for many locations in England since records began, the long daily ones (1890s).

I am just filled with disgust at all of this. This is not science but a playground full of bullies. I am completely at a loss for words.

Just as an afterthought, below is an email from Jim Salinger regarding the New Zealand temperature reconstruction, which may be of interest to the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition:

cc: palmer@lincoln.ac.nz, p.jones@uea.ac.uk
date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 15:42:54 +1200 (NZST)
from: j.salinger@niwa.cri.nz (Jim Salinger)
subject: Collaboration on N Z Tree Ring work
to: druidrd@lamont.ldgo.columbia.edu, ricardo@ldgo.columbia.edu, drdendro@ldgo.columbia.edu

Dear Rosanne

Jonathon has shared your message of collaboration.  We would be delighted to collaborate with you, Ricardo and Ed  on tree-ring work in this part of
the world.  As you will be aware from e-mails between yourselves, Phil Jones and us, we have been pushing forward in producing new chronologies
and clean climatological time series.

We think the co-operative and collaborative way is an excellent wayto make progress.  By this, we mean true collaboration, where information is shared, data processing together, and joint publications making the approach a partnership.  By this means, we can add all our own specialised input into the process, and produce a better result!

We would welcome collaboration  as outlined above – would you please
confirm whether you would be comfortable with working in this way.

Now – over the past few years Jonathon, his Ph D student and myself have
produced a series of new chronologies which we have matched with climate
data.  We have been quite selective in the sites for either extension of
old chronologies, or new ones, simply because of the climatic complexity of
the country.  We have gone for sites which maximise the climatic gradients
– whether these are westerly/easterly differences for pressure gradients,
or temperature signals.  You will have some appreciation of this from your
Stewart Island work, and Ricardo will recognise this from his familiarity
with Argentina.  I have also been quite selective in the appropriate
climate data for use with these series.  These have been screened and

This year I will be working on collection of older MSLP data from the area
(including most of the South Pacific) and homogenising it.  Some of the NZ
MSLP data pre 1930 is very poor, and requires refining dramatically.  We
would favour an approach where Jonathon can give the input on tree-ring
data and I can give the input and provide the climate data, and we all be
involved with the results, as appropriate.  Jonathon and I are both aware
of the bugs in the data, and the complexities of the New Zealand situation.

A copy of the appropriate parts of your NSF proposal would be most useful,
which we could give you constructive comments, if necessary, to strengthen
it.  We would be more than happy to be named collaborators on the proposal.

Please let us know whether this is acceptable with you.

Warm wishes and please say hello to Ed.

Jim  Salinger

I will leave it here for a moment. I am just horrified at what I am reading. It is simply shocking to read the emails of the team in the raw. And Salinger, part of the team applauds this, and was responsible for the original temperature record for New Zealand.

I will try to trawl through some more later. However, disgust leaves me pausing for a while.