Climategate won't cool the Earth

On the eve of the most important climate change negotiations to take place to date, it's unfortunate that the upcoming proceedings in Copenhagen will be overshadowed by yet another attack on the science that has overwhelming shown that the Earth is warming, and it's our fault.

In case you've not heard, Climategate has taken hold of the blogosphere over the past two weeks. Someone apparently hacked the UK-based Climate Research Unit's email servers and found that a number of the world's more prominent climate scientists have been less t hen forthright in sharing data that might be contrary to the abundance of evidence that we're making the world hotter.

Thaiclimate's certainly disappointed that in the spirit of full disclosure, that any data or findings would be screened from public view, but we, like the larger scientific community recognize that bringing this new data to light will not make our planet any cooler.

As Thailand's leading climate researcher ,Dr. Anond Sanidongs, says, "It took a long time before the world to come around to Columbus's conclusion that the Earth was round, so I guess we can't be surprised that the global warming deniers just won't give up."

He points out that we just need to look out the window and see how our rainy season here in Thailand has already changed. We're seeing fewer major storms, but they are more intense. The rain's coming later in the year and farmers are already having to struggle with shorter growing seasons.

For all of human history, the C02 concentrations in the atmosphere hovered around 275 parts per million, but over the past 200 years this concentration has climbed steadily and will soon reach 400ppm if some serious agreements are not reached in Copenhagen.

The atmospheric warming that occurs as CO2 concentrations rise is not in dispute, nor are the potential calamitous affects if we don't reverse this trend. Thailand, and Southeast Asia as whole is particularly vulnerable, so we have vested interest in seeing this latest denier uprising quashed.

As Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the Associated Press, "The e-mails do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus ... that the earth is warming, that warming is largely a result of human activity."

Nor do the emails negate or even deal with data from her agency, the U.S. space agency NASA, or a host of other prominent research institutions around the world whose climate records show dramatic global warming.

What the emails do show is the bantering and squabbling that typifies private, internal discussions within any tight-knit community. Was it right that these scientists cherry-picked some data to hide from public view, or wrote in demeaning terms about a handful of deniers that repeatedly bang their pseudoscientific drums? Maybe not, but let's clear the air and move on.

We cannot let another chorus from the critics of climate change to impede progress on a global agreement.

For a bit more of what the scientific community is saying see: Contrarians Using Hacked E-mails To Try to Fool Public on Climate Science, from the Union of Concerned Scientists.