Under Attack, Michael Mann, In His Own Words


Penn State's Michael Mann

You know the story by now. Last week, emails between climate scientists stored on servers at the University of East Anglia were stolen and displayed on a Russian FTP. Some of the emails involved prominent climate researcher Michael Mann, and it's his name that has been used in many of the news stories on the theft. Rush, Beck and other "noted" scientists are running Mann's name through the mud, and now he's fighting back. Mann gave an extensive interview with the DailyKos that clears up many of the questions raised by his emails.The interview begins with Mann explaining the use of the word "trick" which appeared in some of the emails. "Trick", he explains, is jargon for "a trick to solving this problem"--not something that implies deceit.

Michael Mann: Phil Jones has publicly gone on record indicating that he was using the term "trick" in the sense often used by people, as in "bag of tricks", or "a trick to solving this problem ...", or "trick of the trade". In referring to our 1998 Nature article, he was pointing out simply the following: our proxy record ended in 1980 (when the proxy data set we were using terminates) so, it didn't include the warming of the past two decades. In our Nature article we therefore also showed the post-1980 instrumental data that was then available through 1995, so that the reconstruction could be viewed in the context of recent instrumental temperatures. The separate curves for the reconstructed temperature series and for the instrumental data were clearly labeled.

Mann was also attacked for implying that scientists should boycott journals that didn't agree with their scientific assessment of climate change. He explains:

MM: This comment was in response to a very specific incident regarding a paper by Soon and Baliunas published in the journal "Climate Research". An editor of the journal, with rather contrarian views on climate change, appeared to several of us to be gaming the system to let through papers that clearly did not meet the standards of quality for the journal. The chief editor (Hans von Storch), and half of the editorial board, resigned in protest of the publication of the paper, after the publisher refused to allow von Storch the opportunity to write an editorial about how the peer review process had failed in this instance.

The entire interview is available here. Many of the scientists exposed have responded on RealClimate. Go there to read what they have to say.

More on the Hacked Emails:
The Truth Behind the Hacked Climate Email
Climate Researcher Database Hacked