Science of Global Warming, Climate Change

Phil Jones Exonerated by House of Commons - There is no "climategate"

 

Prof. Phil Jones has been exonerated by the Science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons. HERE is a summary, HERE is discussion at RealClimate.org, and HERE is the full report. Prof. Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was embroiled in controversy following the theft of internal emails and documents from the University’s servers in November 2009. Here are some quotes from the full report:

We believe that the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced...

In the context of the sharing of data and methodologies, we consider that Professor Jones’s actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community...

We are content that the phrases such as “trick” or “hiding the decline” were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead. Likewise the evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers.

51. Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible: the results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.

54. It is not standard practice in climate science and many other fields to publish the raw data and the computer code in academic papers...

60. Critics of CRU have suggested that Professor Jones’s use of the word “trick” is evidence that he was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit his view that recent global warming is predominately caused by human activity. The balance of evidence patently fails to support this view. It appears to be a colloquialism for a “neat” method of handling data.

66. Critics of CRU have suggested that Professor Jones’s use of the words “hide the decline” is evidence that he was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit his view that recent global warming is predominantly caused by human activity. That he has published papers—including a paper in Nature—dealing with this aspect of the science clearly refutes this allegation. In our view, it was shorthand for the practice of discarding data known to be erroneous. We expect that this is a matter the Scientific Appraisal Panel will address.

73. The evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers. The Independent Climate Change Email Review should look in detail at all of these claims.

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The report does call for more transparency, and there will be two more reviews. The bold font in the quotes above is for emphasis.

 

Glossary

Citation

Dash, J. (2010). Phil Jones Exonerated by House of Commons - There is no "climategate" . Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/news/145492

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