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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Select Committee Staff Analysis debunks stolen climate email myths

Earth “CSI’s” – Climate Science Investigators – Have Publicly Proven Global Warming is Unequivocal

A new analysis debunks two of the principal myths generated by the manufactured scandal surrounding stolen climate science emails from the University of East Anglia. The staff analysis, written by the majority staff to Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, explains how two of the key phrases used by climate deniers to trumpet their views have previously been explained in publicly-available, peer-reviewed scientific literature.

CLICK HERE to read the staff analysis

“Global warming has been proven real beyond any reasonable doubt,” said Chairman Markey. “Unless, of course, that last remaining doubt is completely manufactured by the defenders of the fossil fuel status quo. That is the case with these stolen climate emails.”

One email has received the lion’s share of the attention, written by Phil Jones of UEA to several other climate scientists, where he refers to using a “trick” to “hide the decline.”

Critics have alleged that these references indicated a conscious attempt to alter data. In fact the two phrases refer to two distinct issues that were openly discussed in the peer-reviewed scientific literature of the time and are readily available now.

The “trick” was not a trick at all, but rather a technique to combine direct thermometer readings with non-thermometer data, in this case from tree rings, to complete a full picture of temperature history. The technique was openly discussed in a 1998 Nature journal article authored by Michael Mann. The staff report explains the methodology used by the scientists in detail.

“When witnesses aren’t available, crime scene investigators reconstruct events from other information,” said Chairman Markey. “The Earth’s ‘CSI’s,’ our climate science investigators -- and in total there are thousands of them -- are doing the same thing by reconstructing past temperatures when there were no thermometers. And now that we are in the middle of exacting a crime against nature through climate change, the manufactured doubt machine is trying to sully a tiny piece of the mountainous evidence.”

The second phrase in question -- “hide the decline” -- refers to a challenge with the use of anomalous tree-ring data, mostly from Siberian forests, after 1960—and the need to use direct measurements to supplement. In another 1998 article in Nature, Dr. Keith Briffa and his co-authors clearly state that their tree ring data set cannot be used to reconstruct temperatures after 1960. In fact, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes the challenges with the data set.

“This responsible, public scientific discussion was not an attempt to hide anything, or trick anyone. In fact, it happened in plain sight,” said Chairman Markey.

CLICK HERE to read the Select Committee Staff Analysis

PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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