Two recent court decisions make climate scientists’ e-mails public

In the past, we’ve covered attempts by some political groups (or politicians) to access climate scientists’ e-mails. The idea is generally to trawl through them for anything that can be used to bolster the claim that climate science is somehow fraudulent—hypothetically vindicating those who have refused to acknowledge the scientific consensus for decades.

A long-time target of these activists has been researcher Michael Mann, whose work on tree ring climate records resulted in “the hockey stick,” a graph of the last millennium of climate history that shows rapid warming at the end of a gradual cooling trend. Although that record has been extended and replicated many times now, some still believe Mann must have somehow distorted the data to produce the appearance of sudden warming. As a result, Mann has been involved in court cases for years over demands for his e-mails from a conservative advocacy group and then Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. More recently, Mann has been involved in a countersuit against those who publicly accused him of fraud. Continue…