Russia's state TV hastily calls climate change a 'hoax'

On Sunday night program "Vesti" of the Russia's state TV broadcast a news about hackers who have stolen email correspondence of scientists from the servers of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, and published it in the Internet.

The first detailed article about the incident was published in The New York Times by Andrew Rivkin, whose e-mail correspondence with scientists at the University had been also published by hackers, as he mentioned that in his article.

"Vesti" broadcast a very brief retelling of this article. Apparently, the channel decided to flatter the audience, and the hackers were called "Russian". Obviously, adding this in the retelling of the article, without presenting any evidence, TV journalists were calm: hackers are unlikely to come up with rebuttals.

Another inaccuracy in the news is the assertion that "having studied the documents made public by hackers, one can conclude that in recent years, the Earth temperature does not increase, but decreases, which means that warnings about global warming in fact is a hoax."

In fact, the stolen correspondence from 1996 to November 2009 did not contain any evidence of any conspiracy to mislead the public. The letters, written in a very free style, contained unflattering reviews of colleagues and their work and slang. You can easily see this by reading the correspondence at:

In fact, the only letter which can be suspected of direct fitting data to the result, was written 16 November 1999 by the head of CRU professor Phil Jones. In this letter, Jones refers to a "trick" of drawing temperature at a diagram. One of the participants of correspondence, professor Michael Mann (University of Pennsylvania) explained this to the New York Times. According to Mann, scientists often use the word "trick" in the meaning of "solution" and not "for something secret."

The diagram shows temperature change, and is based both on thermometer data and data received by reading of annual rings of trees. Both tree rings and thermometers registered temperature rise until 1960, since when, for an unclear reason, in some cases tree rings no longer show temperature increase, while thermometers and some other indirect measurements continue to show it. The decision not to use the tree rings data after 1960 at the diagram has been mentioned, and based on more than a decade practice in the scientific literature.

As noted climate researchers who publish their materials on the site (Gavin Schmidt, Goddard Institute in New York), in the email correspondence ther is “no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data”. "It’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person”, says the blog author about free characteristics that scientists gave in their correspondence to their colleagues and their work.

Hasty conclusions expressed in the news of "Vesti" clearly contradic to both the data of the Russian Hydromet, as well as Russia's official position. On Wednesday 18 November, at Russia-EU summit in Stockholm, President Medvedev said that Russia is tightening its plans to limit emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global climate change. New commitments are that by 2020 emissions will be reduced by 25% from the 1990 level. Before that, Russia's commitment was to reduce emissions by 10-15%. Russian Socio-Ecological Union claimes that a new target still represents an increase in emissions compared to current levels: emissions in Russia have fallen sharply due to industrial decline in the nineties and in 2007 were 34 percent below the 1990 level. Russia should keep its emissions at a minimum level of 35 percent below 1990.

Earlier, Russia's First Channel television broadcast a 'documentary' which distorted the essence of the Kyoto Protocol and also declared global climate change a hoax.

Anglish version: