Influential climate change report ‘derived from Wikipedia’

November 24th, 2010 - 2:32 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 24 (ANI): Research questioning the validity of global warming was allegedly lifted from Wikipedia and textbooks, it has emerged.

A report by statistician Edward Wegman criticised earlier research led by scientist Michael Mann that said global temperatures were highest in the last century than the previous 1,000 years.

But according to plagiarism experts, ’significant’ sections of the 91-page report were lifted from “textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticised in the report”.

According to USA Today, Paul Ginsparg of Cornell University, Ohio State’s Robert Coleman, and Virginia Tech’s Skip Garner said the Wegman study showed “fairly shocking” and “fairly obvious” academic misconduct.

Republican congressman Joe Barton had commissioned the report in 2006 when he was leader of the House Energy Committee in an attempt to counter claims that man was causing climate change.

The Wegman report called into question Michael Mann’s so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph, which suggested a rapid rise in recent global temperatures.

Climate scientist Raymond Bradley first raised the issue of “clear plagiarism” from one of his books while he was looking at the Deep Climate website and after reading a report from computer scientist John Mashey.

Mashey’s study concluded that 35 of the report’s 91 pages were ‘mostly plagiarised text, but often interjected with errors, bias and changes of meaning’.

However, Wegman has denied the claims of plagiarism and said: “I will say that there is a lot of speculation and conspiracy theory in John Mashey’s analysis which is simply not true,” quoted the Daily Mail.

He admitted that the team compiling the report felt pressure from Congress to finish the report quickly but said that it had not been tilted politically.

Yet plagiarism expert Gardner, who has been looking into whether passages were lifted, said: “It kind of undermines the credibility of your work criticising others” integrity when you don’t conform to the basic rules of scholarship. (ANI)

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