Climategate erupted into public with the release in November 2009 of thousands of emails sent to and from researchers associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. It became a scandal because some of the emails seemed to suggest that prominent climate researchers may have fiddled with historical climate data with the goal of making recent increases in global average temperature look worse than it is. Suspicion was cast on three sets of historical temperature data, Hadley Centre/CRU series, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) series, and a third one from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
As a possible example of scientifically illegitimate manipulation, skeptics pointed to an email from National Center for Atmospheric Research climate scientist Tom Wigley where he mentioned lowering mid-20th century temperatures by 0.15C. This would have the effect of making the later increase of global temperatures look steeper.
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