“Climategate” was the worst scientific scandal since Piltdown Man. It was a pair of “document dumps” in 2009 and 2011, by a still-anonymous whistle-blower calling himself or herself “FOIA.” He released thousands of climate-related emails, documents & computer code, which revealed that leading climate scientists had been manipulating & withholding data, hiding evidence, flouting FoIA laws, and blackballing skeptics, to promote the CAGW scare.
The Institute of Physics concluded that:
"The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC's conclusions on climate change."
Bishop Hill's blog has a brief but excellent summary (or here) of the most incriminating Climategate emails, and Dr. John Costella did a far more extensive analysis. Two of the most infamous emails are:
2. The Phil Jones / Michael Mann / Ray Bradley / Malcolm Hughes / Keith Briffa / Tim Osborn email conversation about “Mike's Nature Trick” to “hide the decline” in proxy-derived calculated temperatures, which, by its inconsistency with measured temperature data, falsified their proxy methods (which, as Dr. David Legates explained in 2004, were already dubious).
In this video, Berkeley professor Richard A. Muller, a longtime climate alarmist who now describes himself as a lukewarmist, did a very good job of explaining Michael Mann's “Nature trick” to “hide the decline” in proxy-derived calculated temperature:
In this very enlightening video, Canadian mathematician and statistician Steve McIntyre explains the scandal in more depth.
The Climategate whistleblower didn't only release emails. He or she also released a lot of computer source code, and it is just as damning as the emails. Here's a sample, and analyses by Eric Raymond and Robert Greiner.
The full collection of Climategate files is available here.
The most comprehensive report on the Climategate scandal was produced by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (“EPW”) Committee minority staff.
For the sake of balance, here's a 160-page report, commissioned and paid for by the University of East Anglia (UEA), purporting to exonerate the UEA CRU scientists of wrongdoing. It was the work of a five-man team led by Sir Muir Russell, who whitewashed the scandal.[alt] That very weak report raised eyebrows even at the left-wing Guardian.
The whisleblower's “readme” manifesto explains why it is important that such scientific malpractice be exposed. He (or she) was motivated by his understanding of the tragic cost of climate disinformation. He wrote:
'Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.'
'Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.'
'One dollar can save a life' -- the opposite must also be true.
'Poverty is a death sentence.'
'Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.'
Today's decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline.
The Climategate scandal was one of the things that first drew my attention to this field.
See also the Fakegate scandal, in which the Climate Movement's top ethicist, Dr. Peter Gleick [assisted by DeSmogBlog], was caught committing identity theft, defamation & forgery, to smear a conservative (“climate realist”) public policy think tank called Heartland Institute.
If you'd like to learn more about climate change, I've compiled a short list of good resources, here:
This page is also available as a Quora Answer, here.
(This page is mostly copied from