Posts tagged ‘Climategate’

Michael Mann Cleared, Again

Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, who was at the center of the 2009 controversy dubbed “Climategate,” did not engage in scientific misconduct, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the NSF has cleared Mann of wrongdoing; the Bloomberg story also includes a link to a download of the NSF’s report.

The controversy arose when a computer server at a British climate-research center was hacked in November 2009, and emails among climate researchers—including Mann—were published on the Internet. Climate-change skeptics claimed that the emails showed that Mann and the others had manipulated data in order to reach the conclusions that global warming is real.

Penn State investigated Mann a year ago in conjunction with the controversy and also found no evidence of research impropriety. Several other bodies, including the National Academy of Sciences, have reached the same conclusion.

Mann’s website at Penn State contains links to some of the news stories about him, including one from last month in which he talks about the attacks he’s experienced from global-warming skeptics and others.

Tina Hay, editor

August 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm 1 comment

Michael Mann Cleared in “Climategate” Case

Almost eight months after launching its inquiry, Penn State has cleared Michael Mann of any ethical or academic misconduct in his climate research. You can read the University’s release on the findings here, including a link to the full report from the panel of scholars who carried out the inquiry. You can also read how some of country’s biggest papers covered the story here, here, and here. Among the facts noted is that the Penn State panel interviewed researchers who have been critical of Mann’s work; as the New York Times’ “Dot Earth” blog sums up, “months of sifting … files by an army of passionate critics have revealed little more than signs he is a prickly, competitive, defensive scientist — hardly a rare species.”

In February, Mann was cleared of most allegations in a case that has become an international symbol of the contentious debate over global climate change.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

July 2, 2010 at 8:57 am 1 comment

Some Resolution for “Climategate”

Michael Mann, the prominent climate researcher and director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, has been largely cleared by the University of wrongdoing in the so-called “Climategate” scandal.

In a report released this morning, a panel of University administrators found no evidence of professional misconduct in three of the four allegations—accusations that he hid or falsified climate data; deleted emails or information tied to British climate scientist Phil Jones; or misused privileged information—brought against Mann. On the fourth allegation—essentially, the question of whether Mann fudged his research findings—the panel decided it lacked the expertise to make a definitive call. The investigation will be passed on to a new panel, made up of five high-level faculty in engineering and the sciences, who will review the evidence and announce their findings in the next four months.

You can read extended takes on the story from the The New York Times here, and from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

And you can read Mann’s statement on the findings here.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

February 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm 5 comments

Michael Mann Profiled in Philadelphia Inquirer

We’ve gotten a number of letters to the editor lately from people who have, let’s just say, very strong feelings on the subject of global climate change—and especially on the “climategate” brouhaha involving Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann. Some of the discourse has been a bit less than civil: One reader called Mann “this low life on our faculty”; another said, “I am embarrassed that Mr. Mann is a part of Penn State. I would be disappointed if the University wasn’t doing all they can to send him to a different climate.”

So I was very interested to see a profile of Mann in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Writer Faye Flam came up to University Park this past week to interview Mann and has produced a fairly level-headed profile, one that examines the controversy in a calmer, more nuanced way. It’s worth reading.

Tina Hay, editor

January 9, 2010 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

More on ‘Climategate’

I’m a fan of FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. They do a good job of trying to sort out truth from fiction in many public policy debates, and I’ve found that on any given issue—be it the health-care debate or stimulus spending or immigration—they will painstakingly correct misstatements made by both sides.

So I was interested to see them weigh in yesterday on “Climategate,” the brouhaha involving several climate scientists (including Penn State faculty member Michael Mann). In a nutshell, FactCheck.org says:

Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming. We find that to be unfounded.

If you’re interested in the issue, I really recommend taking the time to read their analysis carefully. It’s very thorough and thoughtful.

Tina Hay, editor

December 11, 2009 at 11:59 am 1 comment

Michael Mann and ‘Climategate’

The news last week that e-mail exchanges between prominent climate scientists had been hacked and made public — news that, probably not coincidentally, came a couple of weeks before the upcoming international climate conference in Copenhagen — has been overshadowed only by “news” about Tiger Woods’ personal life. Language in some of the e-mails seems to imply that scientists have hidden or altered climate change data. And a Penn State professor has been near the center of it.

Michael E. Mann, professor of meteorology and director of the University’s Earth System Science Center, is one of two climate scientists whose work and reputation are being questioned after the e-mail leak. Mann — one of five Penn State faculty members who participated in our climate change roundtable back in 2007 — has long been a leading voice among those pointing to man-made CO2 emissions as the primary cause of global warming. He’s one of the scientists involved in the Web site realclimate.org. And he’s also a favorite target of those who don’t buy the idea of man-made warming — “skeptics” or “deniers,” depending on your point of view.

Plenty of blog space has been taken up on the topic since the story broke. And while the story continues to develop — a few days ago, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences released a statement (which you can read in PDF form here) announcing it would, per University policy, “look into the matter further” — we’ve found a few stories that offer a reasoned take on the controversy to date, including this one from Science Magazine, and this from Bloomberg News. You also can read Mann’s own explanation of some of the e-mails in question.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

December 3, 2009 at 9:55 am 7 comments


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