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The “Climategate” Hockey Stick

November 28, 2009

If anyone’s keeping a tab on “climategate” hits, they have a very Hockey-Stick shaped pattern. A couple of days ago, someone observed that “climategate” hits on Google hit the 10 million mark. They’ve now hit 10.8 million. [Note: I got 94.5 million a couple of minutes ago. Dunno why I got a different answer when I did it again. 10.8 million makes more sense.]

54 Comments leave one →
  1. Bob Koss permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:13 pm

    I just tried it and got 10,600,000. Due to different google server?

  2. November 28, 2009 12:20 pm

    You are probably overlaying hits from another site which is “hiding” the decline in your site popularity 😀

  3. brian m flynn permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:23 pm

    “Dunno why I got [94.5 million].”

    Hacking by a grafter?

  4. TerryMN permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:23 pm


    Results 1 – 10 of about 11,000,000 for climategate. (0.19 seconds)

  5. dearieme permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:44 pm

    klimatgate got 7. Germans, eh?

  6. dearieme permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:46 pm

    4,510 for climatgate: good for Johnny Frenchman.

  7. EdeF permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:03 pm

    Exactly one hit on The Times of London.

  8. Calvin Ball permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:19 pm

    It might have something to do with unique v.s. non-unique hits. 95 million is a lot of hits. It’s a big internet, but not that big.

  9. Richard permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:24 pm

    I think we have to stop considering “google” as a legitimate search engine.

  10. Eric permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:36 pm

    A friend in Spain tried “climategate” and the autosuggest returned it several times. Is its deletion only for the USA?

  11. November 28, 2009 1:37 pm

    I call this logarithmic growth a Slow Breeder Reactor.

    It is as if the implications of the CRUtape Letters are only slowly percolating through the wider science community, to the point where this can transmit to a scientifically-challenged MSM. Monbiot and Judith Curry realize there has been unacceptable behaviour; this is surely the beginning rather than the end of the revelations. I think it will take longer for the lack of scientific evidence for climate alarms, and the evidence of widespread poor science, to filter through. Meanwhile this gives those here who are already aware, more time to think about the best, most scientifically appropriate, most compassionate, most just ways to help the eventual far-reaching cleanup that will be needed. We know that it is not just CRU.

    Personally I would like to see many of the perpetrators demoted to serve those whom they have vilified, with the express job of clearing up the mess of the records they have made. I would like to see those who have been vilified for not toeing the AGW line, given the responsibility of reconstructing the whole of Climate Science on the grounds of checkable, auditable transparency that Steve has been advocating. Plus room for dissenters. Plus recognition by official professional Science of the essential importance of blogs in allowing dialogue with ordinary people.

  12. Le Messurier permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:47 pm

    BING: 50,900,000 ! Yeah, right.

  13. David L. Hagen permalink
    November 28, 2009 1:59 pm

    Wonder why I only get 5,660,000 for climategate OR Climategate from Google?
    2,700,000 for climategate from Yahoo.

  14. Richard permalink
    November 28, 2009 2:04 pm

    David, those are the adjusted figures. You can’t get ~10m anymore because the data was lost.

    I still get 10.8m in 0.11 seconds but why does it still give Climate Guatemala as a helpful hint?

  15. Tregonsee permalink
    November 28, 2009 2:09 pm

    Just got

    “1-15 of 50,900,000 results”

    Maybe Google hired the same statistician as UEA.

  16. vic permalink
    November 28, 2009 2:15 pm

    bing gives 50.9 m hits

  17. Calvin Ball permalink
    November 28, 2009 2:25 pm

    A friend in Spain tried “climategate” and the autosuggest returned it several times. Is its deletion only for the USA?

    Some browsers will remember previous search strings. If you searched for “climategate” before, Firefox will suggest it in the future.

  18. November 28, 2009 2:42 pm

    I got 11.2m this morning and that dropped to 10.9m within about 3hrs ??

    Currently on 10.6m!!!! That’s after another 4hrs.

    Eh? Are they using Wellington station stats? Or Yamal tree ring adjustments?

    These boffins are too clever for me *rubs chin*

  19. Jean S permalink
    November 28, 2009 2:46 pm

    Millions?! gives 699 000! 🙂

  20. David L. Hagen permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:10 pm

    May I encourage you to graph the overnight tripling in traffic for Climate Audit, <a href=" WattsUpWith That and Real Climate, with a comment on traffic overload for ClimateAudit and the rise in CAMirror traffic
    That is an astounding social response.

  21. MikeN permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:13 pm

    Bing 51mil

  22. David L. Hagen permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:13 pm

    Climate Audit appears to have had a 500% increase in traffic from 0.002% to 0.01%.

  23. Reiner G permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:40 pm

    Interesting how little coverage in comparison you get for the search of UK only sites. A minute ago this number was 48,700. If you exclude the Telegraph, there are only 14,100 hits. If you search for climategate+bbc you get 33,800. Interesting, isnt it?

  24. High Lander permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:43 pm

    When I first saw this story a few hours ago I tried it and there 94.5 million results. Now it’s back down to 10 million 😦

  25. HLx permalink
    November 28, 2009 3:58 pm

    Searching for climategate gives 11,500,000
    Searching for “climategate” gives 735,000
    I would argue that the last is a more accurate hit-count. Google is a hopless search engine, getting more and more sucky day by day.. But there are no alternatives.

  26. stevemcintyre permalink*
    November 28, 2009 4:04 pm

    “climategate climateaudit” returns many hits but not . Hmmm. camirror turns up.

  27. b_C permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:15 pm

    At least with ‘Bing,’ the moment one gets to ‘clim,’ ‘climategate is offered as the first choice.

    Perhaps it’s time to send Google to the bench; it’s not as if they have a dog in this race, is it?!?

  28. November 28, 2009 4:22 pm gives ca 8,7 millions and it has stayed that for more than 24 hours. It should have climed considerably since yesterday. Is Google censoring the searches?
    I’d like to try but it seems impossible – when I try I get redirected to .se. Is there some trick I can use toget to .com?


  29. Guy Fardell permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:32 pm turns up 11.400.000. Growing all the time.

  30. Guy Fardell permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:33 pm

    .se means Sweden. I’m sorry I didn’t write that.

  31. TerryMN permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:46 pm

    Just for kicks, I just hit the Google “Search” button 50 times using Climategate in the text box.

    The first, and then 4 more out of the 50 said 11M hits. The rest said 10.6M hits. I don’t think the search hits is an exact science 🙂


  32. Guy Fardell permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:46 pm

    Ahrvid, you need to replace /sv with /eng or /am to get the results. Actully it seems that /sv turns up the highest number. No gatekeeper?

  33. TerryMN permalink
    November 28, 2009 4:49 pm

    And on another run of 50:

    7 times – 10,900,000 hits
    43 times – 10,600,000 hits


  34. Guy Fardell permalink
    November 28, 2009 5:05 pm

    A Swedish journalist today (Anders Bolling, DN; Swedens biggest Newspaper) referenced to Roger Harrabin and Wikipedia. These references do indeed either act like gatekeepers or have gatekeepers.
    I’m just waiting for Google to activate theirs.
    It seems that Youtube have acted like that. The “Hide the Decline” video by the Minnesotans is removed from the “Most Popular” and the “Most viewed” although it certainly has more than the merits to be there. They are indeed protecting us from dangerous stuff, aren’t they?

  35. son of mulder permalink
    November 28, 2009 5:12 pm

    Results 1 – 100 of about 731,000 for “climategate”. (0.27 seconds)

    in the UK. It must be getting shredded faster than you can shake a hockeystick at it. Mind you I do have the setting of moderate filtering so maybe the source material is classed as obscene.

  36. Duke C. permalink
    November 28, 2009 6:15 pm

    Looks like an INVERTED hockey stick to me:

    Apparently, Google forgot to employ Mike’s Trick.

  37. todderchek permalink
    November 28, 2009 7:03 pm

    Google has been returning strange results and i wrote them asking for an explanation. If you search the term “climategate” in google, it no
    longer engages the drop-down helper like it did yesterday.

    Also, while looking for the youtube video “hide the decline”, it was removed from the most viewed list, despite it showing many more views than other videos still there.

    I’ll let you know if i get an explanation, but if we cannot trust google for unbiased results, google policy needs to make this clear.

  38. Grant B permalink
    November 28, 2009 7:28 pm

    Sorry – try again

    Google (all words)

    le scandale de climat jones 5.08 Million
    le scandale de climate jones 4.72 Million
    le fraude de climat jones 3.75 Million

  39. Camila permalink
    November 28, 2009 7:37 pm

    Greetings from Brazil where climategate pratically unnheard yet.
    I’ve been checking (and taking notes) of “climategate” google hits since last Saturday when there were around 30.000. Yesterday at some point it reached 11.200.000 and this morning (and the whole day) keeps going down… 10.800.000 – 10.600.000… Is it possible ? How ?

  40. Iridium permalink
    November 28, 2009 8:12 pm

    2 a.m. swiss time
    on google french (
    climateg -> climat egypte (no climategate proposed)
    on google swiss/english results (
    climategat -> climate guatemala (no climategate proposed)
    indeed it proposes climategate (first word from “clim”, 7th from “cli”)

  41. Iridium permalink
    November 28, 2009 8:27 pm

    2009 November 28
    Duke C. permalink

    Looks like an INVERTED hockey stick to me:

    Apparently, Google forgot to employ Mike’s Trick.”

    I just added “climate change” in your search, and arrange by “climate change” results…
    surprise (at least to me), philippines is the first region, and tagalog the first langage

    not much differences with “global warming”, just india and inonesia become bigger players.(with quotes, India is first)

    Interestingly, for the fun, the search for anthony/gavin/steve/phil/keith
    gavin got a recent hockey stick while others are heading down

  42. Matt permalink
    November 28, 2009 11:19 pm

    I’m printing off CA white-papers and handing them out to folks around my campus. The MSM is obviously in collusion to cover this up.

  43. b_C permalink
    November 28, 2009 11:59 pm


  44. snowmaneasy permalink
    November 29, 2009 2:57 am

    Has anyone heard about the news release from the CRU at UEA…that they have agreed to open access to all their data, code etc…I think it was announced on Friday

  45. billcat permalink
    November 29, 2009 9:53 am

    A search of the norwegian google site for ‘climategate’ yields:
    Resultat 1–10 av ca. 10 800 000 for climategate. (0,14 sekunder)

    Gladly, RealClimate doesn’t turn up as the first hit anymore.

    Interestingly, google Trends returns Sweden as the top region, followed by Canada and then United states.
    As far I have gathered, the MSM has kept it under tight wraps in Sweden up until a couple of days ago when they were forced to because the largest non-mainstream news comment and debate site,, forced the issue.

  46. sandw15 permalink
    November 29, 2009 2:43 pm

    I don’t comment very often, but I’ve been keeping up with Climate Audit for years. Way to go Steve!

    I agree with Lucy when she said…

    “reconstructing the whole of Climate Science on the grounds of checkable, auditable transparency that Steve has been advocating.”

    This, of course, should have been part of the process from the beginning. I have always wondered how “reputable” scientists were able to get away with refusing to release their data or why their conclusions were accepted without open examination of their methods. While I’m encouraged by recent events, I’m worried that the entrenched idealogists will continue to ignore basic science fundamentals such as access to data unless some external pressure forces them to change.

    Considering that politicians are still using the “consensus” argument, it seems to me that one of the first steps to be undertaken is a compilation of a list of climate articles in “peer reviewed” journals which have relied heavily on comprimised CRU data. I suspect that the validity of each of these articles will have to be reevaluated.

    This sounds like a good project for a graduate student somewhere.

  47. December 2, 2009 9:18 am

    Google now giving 18.8 million (but still no auto-suggest). This is clearly an unprecedented rise which can only be explained by climate scientists’ actions!

  48. December 2, 2009 9:42 am

    Make that 20.3 million* – a rise of 1.5 million (nearly 8%) in about 10 minutes.
    It’s clear that if we don’t act NOW to stop the release of these scientists the WWW will be destroyed in a global melt-down!

    *That’s 2/3 of what you get for “global warming” and nearly half the hits for “climate change”. Note that many of the climategate ones will also be hits for the other phrases because GW / CC are mentioned in the same pages but none of the pre-existing others will be hits for “climategate” because the phrase didn’t exist until the past week or so.

  49. David L. Hagen permalink
    December 2, 2009 11:02 pm

    Dec. 2, 11 pm est 15,500,000 for climategate.

    Compare: Climategate, climate emails, global warming, climate change in google trends.

    “Climategate” has replaced “climate emails” in searches.
    Climategate searches now equal searches for “climate change” and is already over half of “global warming”.

  50. December 3, 2009 1:14 pm

    Dec 02 1800 GMT: Climategate: 27 500 000 Climate Change: 23 100 000 Global warming: 10 700 000

    Or, taking the hits I’m getting in Firefox: Climategate 245 000 000 Climate change 207 000 000 Global warming: 10 700 000

    Either way, looks like (at least online) the alleged scandal is getting more attention than the alleged problem

  51. Richard Patton permalink
    December 3, 2009 10:12 pm

    “climategate” is showing 26,400,000 right now on google.

    If you do this and then click on “Show options” you will get a list of links.

    If you click on “Past year” the results will show 164,000,000

    “Anytime” seems to be the default.

    “Past hour” results in 4,570 hits.

  52. Jacob Coates permalink
    December 5, 2009 9:11 am

    I seems to have gone almost exponential, I got 30.5 million hits on Google. If you check out Google Trends It will graph both the number of searches and the new references. It is a fairly handle Google analytic tool.

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