10 Things That Don’t Disprove Global Warming

Climate Scientists Have Been Caught Faking Data
Julia Bradley-Cook (L) and Leehi Yona use a device to read the amount of CO2 that is being released from the warming ground on July 10, 2013 in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A lot of disbelievers in global warming like to accuse climate researchers of faking their findings, perhaps to enrich themselves with lucrative government research grants or to wield influence over public policy. If such a conspiracy were real, it would require a vast number of scientists at universities and government agencies to act in concert.

As evidence, the climate change critics have pointed to the 13 years of e-mails written by scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, which were stolen from the university's computer system by a hacker and released on the Internet in 2009. The critics have claimed that the e-mails showed, among other things, that the scientists had manipulated and suppressed data to back up their assertion that global warming was being caused by human activity [source: Adam].

But an independent investigation concluded in July 2010 that there was no evidence of such rampant scientific dishonesty. The panel found scientists had not subverted the peer review process, and data to reproduce their findings was easily available.

When it came to the supposed smoking gun—an e-mail in which the unit's head, Phil Jones, mentioned a data-massaging "trick" that was used in a graph for the World Meteorological Organization, the investigators found only minor fault, saying that the technique should have been explained in a caption or text [source: CCE Review].