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Times Gets it Wrong on ClimateGate

Climate e-mail hackers ‘aimed to maximise harm to Copenhagen summit’ - Times Online

E-mails alleged to undermine climate change science were held back for weeks after being stolen so that their release would cause maximum damage to the Copenhagen climate conference, according to a source close to the investigation of the theft....The e-mails, which were sent over a 15-year period ending on November 12, first appeared on websites run by sceptics on November 20.

According to Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate, "At around 6.20am (EST) Nov 17th, somebody hacked into the RC server from an IP address associated with a computer somewhere in Turkey, disabled access from the legitimate users, and uploaded a file FOIA.zip to our server." A link to the file on the RealClimate server was posted from a Russian IP address to the Climate Audit blog at 7.24 am (EST) with the comment "A miracle just happened". On 19 November the files were uploaded to a Russian server before being copied to numerous locations across the Internet...the stolen material was first publicised on 19 November on The Air Vent, a "climate-sceptic" blog.

Bishop Hill had it on the 19th but then he wasn't down the pub on Friday night - even I managed my first post at 5:50 am on Saturday 20th. If you are writing a story on the date of a release, getting that date right would seem to be a good starting point.

(The Times is very keen on exactitude when it comes to reporting climate stories..)


Seriously though, there is no way the emails and code were hacked. They were clearly packaged up in response to an FOI request or two, then released by someone with close working ties to Russian climate scientists working in the Polar Urals/Yamal region, perhaps based in Tomsk.

I see the "hide the decline" e-mail is not relevant because it was sent in 1999. Who knew there was a statute of limitations on the content of e-mails?

The original leak was via comments to the Air Vent and Climate Audit. The comment at the Air Vent seems to have been the primary vector.

That comment is at The Air Vent dated November 17th.

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