Re: [asa] Phil Jones Stepping Down..

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 20:23:46 EST

Here's a comparison of the 4 major datasets prepared by Michael Schlesinger
of the University of Illinois:

Show me where was the data manipulation in the HADCRU set.

On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 6:01 PM, John Walley <> wrote:

> This doesn't address the comments of manipulating the peer review process
> and all the incriminating comments in the code.
> I am sure the faithful will find solace in it but judging from the fallout
> so far, I would say that most of the public are not buying this.
> I would say its been a bad week for AGW.
> John
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Rich Blinne <>
> *To:* John Walley <>
> *Cc:* AmericanScientificAffiliation <>
> *Sent:* Tue, December 1, 2009 7:17:40 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Phil Jones Stepping Down..
> On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 4:54 PM, John Walley <> wrote:
>> Climate scientist at center of e-mail controversy to step down
>> By Juliet Eilperin
>> Washington Post Staff Writer
>> Tuesday, December 1, 2009 3:45 PM
>> A scientist who is one of the central figures in the controversy over
>> hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit
>> announced Tuesday that he is stepping down while the university investigates
>> the incident.
>> Climate skeptics have seized on several e-mails from Phil Jones, director
>> of the university's Climatic Research Unit, to other researchers as evidence
>> that prominent scientists have sought to silence their voice in the debate
>> over global warming. The e-mails were pirated and posted online last month.
>> "What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research
>> with as little interruption and diversion as possible," Jones said in a
>> statement. "After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best
>> way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director's role during the
>> course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for
>> agreeing to this. The Review process will have my full support."
>> East Anglia's Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said he had "accepted
>> Professor Jones's offer to stand aside during this period. It is an
>> important step to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the
>> independent review can conduct its work into the allegations."
>> Action added the university will disclose details of the probe, including
>> who will head it and how long it will last "within days."
>> Marc Morano, who edits the climate skeptic blog,,
>> welcomed the news with an e-mail stating, "One Down: ClimateGate Scientist
>> Phil Jones to temporarily step down... 'pending investigation into
>> allegations that he overstated case for man-made climate change.'"
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> From the UEA:
> CRU Update 1 December
> Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as
> Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an
> independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and
> publication of emails from the Unit.
> Professor Jones said: "What is most important is that CRU continues its
> world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as
> possible. After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best
> way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director's role during the
> course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for
> agreeing to this. The Review process will have my full support."
> Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: "I have accepted Professor
> Jones's offer to stand aside during this period. It is an important step to
> ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the independent review
> can conduct its work into the allegations.
> “We will announce details of the Independent Review, including its terms of
> reference, timescale and the chair, within days. I am delighted that
> Professor Peter Liss, FRS, CBE, will become acting director.”
> *
> The University of East Anglia has previously released the following press
> release and statements from Prof Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for
> Research, Prof Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit, and from CRU.
> CRU climate data already ‘over 95%’ available*
> Over 95% of the CRU climate data set concerning land surface temperatures
> has been accessible to climate researchers, sceptics and the public for
> several years the University of East Anglia has confirmed.
> “It is well known within the scientific community and particularly those
> who are sceptical of climate change that over 95% of the raw station data
> has been accessible through the Global Historical Climatology Network for
> several years. We are quite clearly not hiding information which seems to
> be the speculation on some blogs and by some media commentators,” commented
> the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Enterprise and Engagement
> Professor Trevor Davies.
> The University will make all the data accessible as soon as they are
> released from a range of non-publication agreements. Publication will be
> carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre.
> The procedure for releasing these data, which are mainly owned by National
> Meteorological Services (NMSs) around the globe, is by direct contact
> between the permanent representatives of NMSs (in the UK the Met Office).
> “We are grateful for the necessary support of the Met Office in requesting
> the permissions for releasing the information but understand that responses
> may take several months and that some countries may refuse permission due to
> the economic value of the data,” continued Professor Davies.
> The remaining data, to be published when permissions are given, generally
> cover areas of the world where there are fewer data collection stations.
> “CRU’s full data will be published in the interests of research
> transparency when we have the necessary agreements. It is worth reiterating
> that our conclusions correlate well to those of other scientists based on
> the separate data sets held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
> Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
> (GISS),” concluded Professor Davies.
> *
> Statement from Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research*
> The publication of a selection of the emails and data stolen from the
> Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has led to some questioning of the climate
> science research published by CRU and others. There is nothing in the stolen
> material which indicates that peer-reviewed publications by CRU, and others,
> on the nature of global warming and related climate change are not of the
> highest-quality of scientific investigation and interpretation. CRU’s
> peer-reviewed publications are consistent with, and have contributed to, the
> overwhelming scientific consensus that the climate is being strongly
> influenced by human activity. The interactions of the atmosphere, oceans,
> land, and ice mean that the strongly-increasing concentrations of greenhouse
> gases in the atmosphere do not produce a uniform year-on-year increase in
> global temperature. On time-scales of 5-10 years, however, there is a broad
> scientific consensus that the Earth will continue to warm, with attendant
> changes in the climate, for the foreseeable future. It is important, for all
> countries, that this warming is slowed down, through substantial reductions
> in greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the most dangerous impacts of climate
> change. Respected international research groups, using other data sets, have
> come to the same conclusion.
> The University of East Anglia and CRU are committed to scientific
> integrity, open debate and enhancing understanding. This includes a
> commitment to the international peer-review system upon which progress in
> science relies. It is this tried and tested system which has underpinned the
> assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is through
> that process that we can engage in respectful and informed debate with
> scientists whose analyses appear not to be consistent with the current
> overwhelming consensus on climate change
> The publication of a selection of stolen data is the latest example of a
> sustained and, in some instances, a vexatious campaign which may have been
> designed to distract from reasoned debate about the nature of the urgent
> action which world governments must consider to mitigate, and adapt to,
> climate change. We are committed to furthering this debate despite being
> faced with difficult circumstances related to a criminal breach of our
> security systems and our concern to protect colleagues from the more extreme
> behaviour of some who have responded in irrational and unpleasant ways to
> the publication of personal information.
> There has been understandable interest in the progress and outcome of the
> numerous requests under information legislation for large numbers of the
> data series held by CRU. The University takes its responsibilities under the
> Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004,
> and the Data Protection Act 1998 very seriously and has, in all cases,
> handled and responded to requests in accordance with its obligations under
> each particular piece of legislation. Where appropriate, we have consulted
> with the Information Commissioners Office and have followed their advice.
> In relation to the specific requests at issue here, we have handled and
> responded to each request in a consistent manner in compliance with the
> appropriate legislation. No record has been deleted, altered, or otherwise
> dealt with in any fashion with the intent of preventing the disclosure of
> all, or any part, of the requested information. Where information has not
> been disclosed, we have done so in accordance with the provisions of the
> relevant legislation and have so informed the requester.
> The Climatic Research Unit holds many data series, provided to the Unit
> over a period of several decades, from a number of nationally-funded
> institutions and other research organisations around the world, with
> specific agreements made over restrictions in the dissemination of those
> original data. All of these individual series have been used in CRU’s
> analyses. It is a time-consuming process to attempt to gain approval from
> these organisations to release the data. Since some of them were provided
> decades ago, it has sometimes been necessary to track down the successors of
> the original organisations. It is clearly in the public interest that these
> data are released once we have succeeded in gaining the approval of
> collaborators. Some who have requested the data will have been aware of the
> scale of the exercise we have had to undertake. Much of these data are
> already available from the websites of the Global Historical Climate Data
> Network and the Goddard Institute for Space Science.
> Given the degree to which we collaborate with other organisations around
> the world, there is also an understandable interest in the computer security
> systems we have in place in CRU and UEA. Although we were confident that our
> systems were appropriate, experience has shown that determined and skilled
> people, who are prepared to engage in criminal activity, can sometimes hack
> into apparently secure systems. Highly-protected government organisations
> around the world have also learned this to their cost.
> We have, therefore, decided to conduct an independent review, which will
> address the issue of data security, an assessment of how we responded to a
> deluge of Freedom of Information requests, and any other relevant issues
> which the independent reviewer advises should be addressed.
> *Statement from Professor Phil Jones, Head of the Climatic Research Unit,
> University of East Anglia.
> *In the frenzy of the past few days, the most vital issue is being
> overshadowed: we face enormous challenges ahead if we are to continue to
> live on this planet.
> One has to wonder if it is a coincidence that this email correspondence has
> been stolen and published at this time. This may be a concerted attempt to
> put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the
> Copenhagen talks.
> That the world is warming is based on a range of sources: not only
> temperature records but other indicators such as sea level rise, glacier
> retreat and less Arctic sea ice.
> Our global temperature series tallies with those of other, completely
> independent, groups of scientists working for NASA and the National Climate
> Data Center in the United States, among others. Even if you were to ignore
> our findings, theirs show the same results. The facts speak for themselves;
> there is no need for anyone to manipulate them.
> We have been bombarded by Freedom of Information requests to release the
> temperature data that are provided to us by meteorological services around
> the world via a large network of weather stations. This information is not
> ours to give without the permission of the meteorological services involved.
> We have responded to these Freedom of Information requests appropriately and
> with the knowledge and guidance of the Information Commissioner.
> We have stated that we hope to gain permission from each of these services
> to publish their data in the future and we are in the process of doing so.
> My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read
> well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly
> written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used
> between close colleagues.
> We are, and have always been, scrupulous in ensuring that our science
> publications are robust and honest.
> *CRU statement*
> Recently thousands of files and emails illegally obtained from a research
> server at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have been posted on various
> sites on the web. The emails relate to messages received or sent by the
> Climatic Research Unit (CRU) over the period 1996-2009.
> A selection of these emails have been taken out of context and
> misinterpreted as evidence that CRU has manipulated climate data to present
> an unrealistic picture of global warming.
> This conclusion is entirely unfounded and the evidence from CRU research is
> entirely consistent with independent evidence assembled by various research
> groups around the world.
> There is excellent agreement on the course of temperature change since 1881
> between the data set that we contribute to (HadCRUT3) and two other,
> independent analyses of worldwide temperature measurements. There are no
> statistically significant differences between the warming trends in the
> three series since the start of the 20th century. The three independent
> global temperature data series have been assembled by:
> • CRU and the Met Office Hadley Centre (HadCRUT3) in the UK.
> • The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanographic
> and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Asheville, NC, USA.
> • The Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), part of the National
> Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) in New York.
> The warming shown by the HadCRUT3 series between the averages of the two
> periods (1850-99 and 2001-2005) was 0.76±0.19°C, and this is corroborated by
> the other two data sets.
> The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 4th Assessment
> Report (AR4) published in 2007 concluded that the warming of the climate
> system was unequivocal. This conclusion was based not only on the
> observational temperature record, although this is the key piece of
> evidence, but on multiple strands of evidence. These factors include:
> long-term retreat of glaciers in most alpine regions of the world;
> reductions in the area of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) snow cover during the
> spring season; reductions in the length of the freeze season in many NH
> rivers and lakes; reduction in Arctic sea-ice extent in all seasons, but
> especially in the summer; increases in global average sea level since the
> 19th century; increases in the heat content of the ocean and warming of
> temperatures in the lower part of the atmosphere since the late 1950s.
> CRU has also been involved in reconstructions of temperature (primarily for
> the Northern Hemisphere) from proxy data (non-instrumental sources such as
> tree rings, ice cores, corals and documentary records). Similar temperature
> reconstructions have been developed by numerous other groups around the
> world. The level of uncertainty in this indirect evidence for temperature
> change is much greater than for the picture of temperature change shown by
> the instrumental data. But different reconstructions of temperature change
> over a longer period, produced by different researchers using different
> methods, show essentially the same picture of highly unusual warmth across
> the NH during the 20th century. The principal conclusion from these studies
> (summarized in IPCC AR4) is that the second half of the 20th century was
> very likely (90% probable) warmer than any other 50-year period in the last
> 500 years and likely (66% probable) the warmest in the past 1300 years.
> One particular, illegally obtained, email relates to the preparation of a
> figure for the WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.
> This email referred to a “trick” of adding recent instrumental data to the
> end of temperature reconstructions that were based on proxy data. The
> requirement for the WMO Statement was for up-to-date evidence showing how
> temperatures may have changed over the last 1000 years. To produce
> temperature series that were completely up-to-date (i.e. through to 1999) it
> was necessary to combine the temperature reconstructions with the
> instrumental record, because the temperature reconstructions from proxy data
> ended many years earlier whereas the instrumental record is updated every
> month. The use of the word “trick” was not intended to imply any deception.
> Phil Jones comments further: “One of the three temperature reconstructions
> was based entirely on a particular set of tree-ring data that shows a strong
> correlation with temperature from the 19th century through to the mid-20th
> century, but does not show a realistic trend of temperature after 1960. This
> is well known and is called the ‘decline’ or ‘divergence’. The use of the
> term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste. CRU has not
> sought to hide the decline. Indeed, CRU has published a number of articles
> that both illustrate, and discuss the implications of, this recent tree-ring
> decline, including the article that is listed in the legend of the WMO
> Statement figure. It is because of this trend in these tree-ring data that
> we know does not represent temperature change that I only show this series
> up to 1960 in the WMO Statement.”
> The ‘decline’ in this set of tree-ring data should not be taken to mean
> that there is any problem with the instrumental temperature data. As for the
> tree-ring decline, various manifestations of this phenomenon have been
> discussed by numerous authors, and its implications are clearly signposted
> in Chapter 6 of the IPCC AR4 report.
> Included here is a copy of the figure used in the WMO statement, together
> with an alternative version where the climate reconstructions and the
> instrumental temperatures are shown separately.
> Rich Blinne
> Member ASA

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Received on Tue Dec 1 20:24:11 2009

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