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Climategate: There Is Normal Scientific Discourse Too (revisiting the millennial temperature ‘trick’)

By Chip Knappenberger -- December 12, 2009

[see bottom of post for an update]

Steve McIntyre, chief blogger and workhorse at the blog ClimateAudit, has a recent post which is grabbing a lot of attention across the web and being trumpeted by some as a triumphant unmasking of the fraudulent behavior in the preparation of the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).

Science/science policy blogger Roger Pielke Jr. covers Steve’s post, with a post of his own, under the title The “Trick” in Context. However, I think the post should more accurately have been titled The “Trick” in “Context.” For the “context” is one supplied by Steve McIntyre. My read of the relevant emails surrounding the incident in question doesn’t lead me to the same conclusions as Steve.

Context must be supplied in this case. For as anyone who has looked through any of the leaked/stolen Climategate emails (available here) quickly realizes, most of the email threads are not complete from start to finish, and, as is typical of most conversations, they assume the participants already know a lot of what is being discussed, including the context. …