The blogosphere is on fire today with reports that a UK climate change advocacy center had its email hacked and thousands of files have been re-posted online which suggest these activists have been playing fast and loose with scientific evidence of global climate change (or the lack thereof). 

The director of the University of East Englia Climate Research Unit has reportedly confirmed the re-posted emails are genuine.  Meanwhile, Australian media--including the Australian Herald-Sun--are reporting that these emails suggest there's an active conspiracy to hide information from the public that could unravel climate change theories.  Via Watt's Up With That:

A 62 megabyte zip file, containing around 160 megabytes of emails, pdfs and other documents, has been confirmed as genuine by the head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, Dr Phil Jones.

In an exclusive interview with Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition, Jones confirms his organization has been hacked, and the data flying all over the internet appears to have come from his organisation.

“It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”

Keith Johnson has commented on the Wall Street Journal's blog:

Some of the old emails from scientists made public apparently make references to things like “hid[ing] the decline,” referring to global temperature series and different ways to slice and dice climate data.

In all, it seems there are more than 3,000 files in the hacked folders, which have been reposted in various places on the Internet.

The big Copenhagen summit had lost a lot of its appeal in recent days, as world leaders kept dialing down expectations for the climate talks. Maybe this will spice things up.

ClimateDepot has complete coverage of the story, including all the latest developments as this story spreads. 

To find comments like "I'll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that's trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years" from these climate experts, go here for a full searchable database of the hacked emails.

We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this "smoking gun" story to see how it all unfolds...