An academic inquiry into the so-called “climategate” email scandal has concluded that a well-known U.S. scientist did not directly or indirectly falsify data in his research.

The review, by a panel of senior administrators at Pennsylvania State University, found no evidence that climatologist Michael Mann had manipulated research that indicates humans are causing global warming.

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This finding is a big setback for the anti-science crowd, who have been going after Mann full throttle, trying to find imaginary whistleblowers to accuse him and others at Penn State of fraud (see “Anti-science disinformers step up efforts to intimidate and harass climate scientists.”

The anti-scientists hate Mann, one of the country’s leading climatologists, for his role in creating the Hockey Stick graph, which they still maintain is fraudulent, when in fact it was essentially vindicated in a thorough examination by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences (see NAS Report and here).

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Even more important than the fact that the original analysis was defensibly correct, is that the conclusions were correct [which could be true even if the analysis had flaws in it].   Is the planet now as hot (or hotter) than it has been in a millenium?  Try two millennia — see “Sorry deniers, hockey stick gets longer, stronger: Earth hotter now than in past 2,000 years,“ which discusses the PNAS study that is the source of the above graph.

Note that the myth pushed by the anti-science disinformers — that somehow the recent warming is merely a rebound from the so-called “little ice age” — has no basis in the data.  We have blown past the temperatures of the past two millenia.  That’s why climatologist and one-time darling of the contrarians Ken Caldeira said last year, “To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous.”

Another study vindicating this conclusion is “Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, ’seminal’ study finds,” with this terrific graph I used in my talk yesterday:

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There simply is no data to support the notion that the so-called Medieval Warm Period was a global phenomenon.

The PNAS study found that the Southern Hemisphere also does not appear to show much of a Medieval warm period, based on admittedly much less data that we have for the NH.  The figures below are from the supplemental material, comparing the NH reconstruction (top) with the SH reconstruction (middle) — and a total planetary reconstruction is also thrown in (bottom).


Kevin Grandia at DesmogBlog has more on what the Penn State panel found:

Penn State University has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims made against climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann surrounding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University.

An inquiry panel was set up earlier this year to look at allegations made by right-wing bloggers and media outlets against Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, relating to the contents of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in London.

On all 4 of the allegations made against Dr. Mann the panel has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims.

However, the panel has recommended that the allegation that Dr. Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities,” be further investigated.

Dr. Mann issued a statement today on the findings, saying that:

I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to substantiate the allegations against me.

Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.

This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process.

The full report of the inquiry panel can be found here: Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann

Mann’s work has been scrutinized by other scientists more than most — and vindicated every time.

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