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Hackers turn up the heat on scientists pushing man-made global warming

November 24, 2009

It’s not the kind of publicity supporters of the upcoming United Nations Copenhagen climate summit wanted to see.

Hackers found their way into the computers of the U.K.-based climate center and posted thousands of revealing emails and documents from climate researchers in the U.S. and around the world.  The head of the center said the emails, posted last weekend on a Russian file sharing server,  are authentic but cautioned readers about taking them out of context.

The Wall Street Journal reports the hacked emails are creating a buzz in the scientific world and are raising questions about the ethics of climate researchers who communicated openly about working to silence critics of man-made global warming.

The correspondence between dozens of climate-change researchers, including many in the U.S., illustrates bitter feelings among those who believe human activities cause global warming toward rivals who argue that the link between humans and climate change remains uncertain.

Some emails also refer to efforts by scientists who believe man is causing global warming to exclude contrary views from important scientific publications.

“This is horrible,” said Pat Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute in Washington who is mentioned negatively in the emails. “This is what everyone feared. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone who does not view global warming as an end-of-the-world issue to publish papers. This isn’t questionable practice, this is unethical.”

A friendly AP reporter helps a couple of the climate experts spin their “out of context” emails in a story deemed accurate enough to post on the official UN Climate Change-Copenhagen website.

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