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Inquiry Clears Climategate Researcher

First of several reviews finds Michael Mann of hockeystick fame largely innocent of misconduct

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Inquiry Clears Climategate Researcher

A three-person panel at Pennsylvania State University has cleared faculty member Michael E. Mann of charges that he destroyed or misused data, or engaged in a conspiracy to distort climate science. Mann, a central figure in the so-called climategate scandal, is the person behind the controversial "hockeystick" graph (above) that shows a sharp rise in global temperatures in the last century. The graph, reproduced prominently in the 2001 IPCC climate assessment report, has been a lightning rod for global warming skeptics. Some scientists such as John Christy, see the 20th century temperature record as critically important, but others place more emphasis on the long-term temperature record or on modeling results. In effect there are within climate science several scientific subcultures: some put the most faith in theory, others in simulations, and yet others in empirical results--and even among the empiricists, opinions differ as to what kind of evidence is most compelling.

Image: This chart is Figure 1(b) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report, (c) 2001 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The source of this image is a PDF file that can be downloaded here: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/pdf/WG1_TAR-FRONT.PDF

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This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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