Stolen e-mails report: Scientists in the clear, science solid


So far it’s a shut out against the “skeptics” of global warming.*

From Science Insider (the AAAS breaking news blog):

The fifth and, so far, most thorough major investigation into the published mails from the University of East Angia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has given the CRU a relatively clean bill of health. (See the full report.) The independent inquiry into so-called “Climategate”, instigated by UEA and headed by former civil servant Muir Russell, examined the conduct of the CRU scientists following allegations sparked by the so-called “Climategate” e-mails. It looked at selective use of data, subverting of peer review, and failure to respond fully to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The report was unequivocal in its backing of the scientists in terms of research integrity, though it did criticize their openness. “Their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” it said. In response to the assertion that CRU had withheld data, the report found that it was mostly not theirs to withhold but was easily accessible in public databases. One of the report’s authors, physicist Peter Clarke of the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, told a press briefing today that they were able to download the relevant data “in a few minutes” and then process it in the same way as CRU had done, producing similar final results. “It took a couple of days of code writing,” he said. The authors found no evidence of bias by CRU in its selection of data. Allegations of misuse of tree ring data were also put aside.

Some of the 1000 e-mails that appeared on the Internet suggested that CRU Director Phil Jones had tried to influence peer review of papers he disagreed with and prevented them from being cited by reviews of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

On the subject of peer review, Russell said that expressing “robust opinions [about papers] was typical during peer review.” And after consulting with editors of the IPCC report, the panel concluded that the CRU scientists were “parts of teams and not individuals responsible for the wording of the reports,” Russell says.

Where the CRU scientists did fall down was in their openness to requests for data. “There was a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness,” Russell says. And the report criticizes UEA for failing to recognize its statutory requirements under the FOIA and also the risk to the reputation of the university and to the credibility of U.K. climate science. Panel member James Norton said that “now more than ever scientists need to be open. Scientists don’t own their own data and at most have a temporary lease.”

More:

_____________

*  They’ve complained about being called denialists — maybe we should start calling them “gullibles,” especially since they seized on the thin reed of these stolen e-mails to claim that the victimized scientists were the ones who had done something wrong, since they fell for the fourth-grade science project hoax, and since they fell for the Spanish bomb-in-the-mail hoax.

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6 Responses to Stolen e-mails report: Scientists in the clear, science solid

  1. [...] that the last round revealed wrong-doing only by accomplices and friends of the thieves, and revealed no wrong-doing on the part of climate [...]

    Like

  2. [...] week, the results of an investigation into “climategate” was released. The scientists of the E.C.U. at U.E.A. were cleared of any wrongdoing , i.e. doctoring data to prove a [...]

    Like

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Email: Keith Briffa to Mann, Jones and others, Sep 22, 1999,

    Yeah, I’ve read them. I see no problem. There are discussions about non-matching databases, there are discussions about how some indicators tend to rebut others. There appears to be full and fair discussion about conflicting evidence.

    What problems do you see there, AM? Can you be specific?

    Like

  4. AM says:

    Email: Keith Briffa to Mann, Jones and others, Sep 22, 1999, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=136&filename=938018124.txt])

    “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.

    For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.”

    Email: Phil Jones to Ray Bradley, Nov 16, 1999, (Subject: “Diagram for WMO Statement”).

    [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=154&filename=942777075.txt]

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    Email: Raymond Bradley to Frank Oldfield, Jul 10, 2000, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions”

    [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=172&filename=963233839.txt])

    “the very strong trend in the 20th century calibration period accounts for much of the success of our calibration and makes it unlikely that we would be able be able to reconstruct such an extraordinary period as the 1990s with much success Furthermore, it may be that Mann et al simply don’t have the long-term trend right, due to underestimation of low frequency info. …

    Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!). So, possibly if you crank up the trend over 1000 years, you find that the envelope of uncertainty is comparable with at least some of the future scenarios, which of course begs the question as to what the likely forcing was 1000 years ago. (My money is firmly on an increase in solar irradiance, based on the 10-Be data..).

    Another issue is whether we have estimated the totality of uncertainty in the long-term data set used — maybe the envelope is really much larger, due to inherent characteristics of the proxy data themselves….again this would cause the past and future envelopes to overlap.”

    Email: Chick Keller to Mann, Jones, Briffa, and others, Mar 2, 2001, (Subject: “Some thoughts on climate change proxy temperatures in the last 1,000 yrs” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=219&filename=983566497.txt]).

    “Anyone looking at the records gets the impression that the temperature amplitude for many individual records/sites over the past 1000 years or so is often larger than 1°C. They thus recognize that natural
    variability is unlikely to generate such large changes unless the sun is having more effect than direct forcing, or there is some fortuitous but detectable combination of forcings. And they see this as evidence that the 0.8°C or so temperature rise in the 20th century is not all that special.

    The community, however, in making ensemble averages gets a much smaller amplitude ~0.5°C. which they say shows that reasonable combinations of solar direct plus volcanos and internal variability with the help of
    THC can indeed explain this AND the 20th century warming is unique. …

    We must address the question: what forcings can generate large amplitude temperature variations over hundreds of years, regional though they may be (and, could these occur at different times in different regions due to shifting heat inertia patterns)? If we can’t do this, then there might be something wrong with our rationale that the average is low amplitude even though many regions see high amplitude. This may be the nubbin of the disagreement, and until we answer it, many careful scientists will decide the issue is still unsettled and that indeed climate in the past may well have varied as much or more than in the last hundred years.

    One way would be to note that the temperature amplitude (1000 – 1950) for each [proxy record] is ~1.5°C. Thus you could conclude that hemispheric/global climate varied ay over a degree Celcius (although with regional differences) Another way would be to average the records. The resulting temperature amplitude would be smaller because extremes would cancel since variability is large and each region’s extremes occur at different times.

    Thus, if people simply looked at several records they would get the impression that temperature variations were large, ~1.5°C. Imagine their surprise when they see that the ensemble averages you publish have much smaller amplitude.

    (Also, I note that most proxy temperature records claim timing errors of +-50 years or so. What is the possibility that records are cancelling each other out on variations in the hundred year frame due simply to timing errors? as in hitting or missing C&L’s triple warming peak 1000-1200 AD)”

    Email exchange between: Michael Mann, Edward Cook and Tom Crowley, May 2, 2001, (Subject: “Hockey Stick” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=228&filename=988831541.txt]).

    Cook to Mann: “My statement that the MWP appeared to be comparable to the 20th century does not imply, nor was it meant to imply, that somehow the 20th century temperature is not truly anomalous and being driven by greenhouse gases. To quote from my email, “I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the precision or the proxy replication to say that yet.” Note the use of the word “precision”. This clearly relates to the issue of error variance and confidence intervals, a point that you clearly emphasize in describing your series. Also note the emphasis on “late 20th century”. I think that most researchers in global change research would agree that the emergence of a clear greenhouse forcing signal has really only occurred since after 1970. I am not debating this point, although I do think that there still exists a significant uncertainty as to the relative contributions of natural and greenhouse forcing to warming during the past 20-30 years at least.”

    Cook to Crowley: “These chronologies are not good at preserving high-frequency climate information because of the scattering of sites and the mix of different species, but the low-frequency patterns are probably reflecting the same long-term changes in temperature. Jan than averaged the 2 RCS chronologies together to produce a single chronology extending back to AD 800. It has a very well defined Medieval Warm
    Period – Little Ice Age – 20th Century Warming pattern, punctuated by strong decadal fluctuations of inferred cold that correspond well with known histories of neo-glacial advance in some parts of the NH …

    the Esper series shows a very strong, even canonical, Medieval Warm Period – Little Ice Age – 20th Century Warming pattern, which is largely missing from the hockey stick. …

    I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the precision or the proxy replication to say that yet. This being said, I do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong.”

    Email exchange between: Michael Mann and John Christy, May 23, 2001, (Subject: “IPCC” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=230&filename=990718382.txt] Mann expressed disappointment that Christy went on John Stossel’s TV show).

    Mann to Christy: “I’ll be very disturbed if you turn out to have played into this in a way that is unfair to your
    co-authors on chapter 2 [of the IPCC TAR], and your colleagues in general. This wouldn’t have surprised me coming from certain individuals, but I honestly expected more from you”

    Christy to Mann: “In one of the pre-interviews they asked about the “Hockey Stick”. I told them of my doubts about the intercentury precision of the record, especially the early part, and that other records suggested the period 1000 years ago was warmer. …

    I’ve been very disappointed with what has gone on even with respect to some of the IPCC elders and their pronouncements for forthcoming disasters. …

    the dose of climate change disasters that have been dumped on the average citizen is designed to be overly alarmist and could lead us to make some bad policy decisions. (I’ve got a good story about the writers of the TIME cover piece a couple of months ago that proves they were not out to discuss the issue but to ignore science and influence government.)

    Regarding the IPCC. The IPCC TAR is good, but it is not perfect nor sacred and is open to criticism as any document should be. …
    Some of the story lines used to generate high temperature changes are simply ridiculous.”

    Email from Michael Mann to Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa and others, Apr 15, 2002, (Subject: “Your Letter to Science” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=268&filename=1018889093.txt]).

    “We can maintain an honest difference about how well those points were conveyed in the Science piece (for example, you can imagine how the statement in your piece “This record has a smaller amplitude of century-to-century variability, and is consistently at or near the upper limit of alternate records produced by other researchers” might indeed have been interpreted as setting MBH99 apart as, in your words, an “outlier”).”

    Email from Michael Mann to Phil Jones and others, Jun 4, 2003, (Subject: “Prospective Eos Piece?” [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=319&filename=1054736277.txt]).

    “it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back”

    Email exchange between Keith Briffa and Edward Cook, Apr 12, 2005, (Subject: “Review” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=310&filename=1051638938.txt]).

    Cook to Briffa: “as one is honest and open about evaluating the evidence (I have my doubts about the MBH camp).

    I just don’t want to get into an open critique of the Esper data because it would just add fuel to the MBH attack squad. They tend to work in their own somewhat agenda-filled ways.”

    Briffa to Cook: “Bradley still regards the MWP as “mysterious” and “very incoherent” (his latest pronouncement to me) based on the available data. Of course he and other members of the MBH camp have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective”

    Email between Phil Jones and John Christy, Jul 5, 2005, (Subject: “This and that”

    [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=544&filename=1120593115.txt]).

    Jones to Christy: “I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.”

    Jones appended to the email, text from Joe Barton (Chairman of the US House of Representatives) to Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman of the IPCC): “in recent peer-reviewed articles in Science, Geophysical Research Letters, Energy & Environment, among others, researchers question the results of this work. As these researchers find, based on the available information, the conclusions concerning temperature
    histories – and hence whether warming in the 20th century is actually unprecedented – cannot be supported by the Mann et. al. studies. In addition, we understand from the February 14 Journal and these other reports that researchers have failed to replicate the findings of these studies, in part because of problems with the underlying data and the calculations used to reach the conclusions.”

    Like

  5. AM says:

    An investigation instigated by East Anglia University clears the Climate Research Unit of East Anglea University of wrondoing?

    Email: Keith Briffa to Mann, Jones and others, Sep 22, 1999, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=136&filename=938018124.txt])

    “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.
    For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate.”

    Email: Phil Jones to Ray Bradley, Nov 16, 1999, (Subject: “Diagram for WMO Statement”).

    [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=154&filename=942777075.txt]

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    Email: Raymond Bradley to Frank Oldfield, Jul 10, 2000, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions”

    [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=172&filename=963233839.txt])

    “the very strong trend in the 20th century calibration period accounts for much of the success of our calibration and makes it unlikely that we would be able be able to reconstruct such an extraordinary period as the 1990s with much success

    Furthermore, it may be that Mann et al simply don’t have the long-term trend right, due to underestimation of low frequency info. …

    Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!). So, possibly if you crank up the trend over 1000 years, you find that the envelope of uncertainty is comparable with at least some of the future scenarios, which of course begs the question as to what the likely forcing was 1000 years ago. (My money is firmly on an increase in solar irradiance, based on the 10-Be data..). Another issue is whether we have estimated the totality of uncertainty in the long-term data set used — maybe the envelope is really much larger, due to inherent characteristics of the proxy data themselves….again this would cause the past and future envelopes to overlap.”

    Email: Chick Keller to Mann, Jones, Briffa, and others, Mar 2, 2001, (Subject: “Some thoughts on climate change proxy temperatures in the last 1,000 yrs” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=219&filename=983566497.txt]).

    “Anyone looking at the records gets the impression that the temperature amplitude for many individual records/sites over the past 1000 years or so is often larger than 1°C. They thus recognize that natural variability is unlikely to generate such large changes unless the sun is having more effect than direct forcing, or there is some fortuitous but detectable combination of forcings. And they see this as evidence that the 0.8°C or so temperature rise in the 20th century is not all that special.

    The community, however, in making ensemble averages gets a much smaller amplitude ~0.5°C. which they say shows that reasonable combinations of solar direct plus volcanos and internal variability with the help of THC can indeed explain this AND the 20th century warming is unique. …

    We must address the question: what forcings can generate large amplitude temperature variations over hundreds of years, regional though they may be (and, could these occur at different times in different regions due to shifting heat inertia patterns)? If we can’t do this, then there might be something wrong with our rationale that the average is low amplitude even though many regions see high amplitude. This may be the nubbin of the disagreement, and until we answer it, many careful scientists will decide the issue is still unsettled and that indeed climate in the past may well have varied as much or more than in the last hundred years.

    One way would be to note that the temperature amplitude (1000 – 1950) for each [proxy record] is ~1.5°C. Thus you could conclude that hemispheric/global climate varied ay over a degree Celcius (although with regional differences) Another way would be to average the records. The resulting temperature amplitude would be smaller because extremes would cancel since variability is large and each region’s extremes occur at different times.

    Thus, if people simply looked at several records they would get the impression that temperature variations were large, ~1.5°C. Imagine their surprise when they see that the ensemble averages you publish have much smaller amplitude.

    (Also, I note that most proxy temperature records claim timing errors of +-50 years or so. What is the possibility that records are cancelling each other out on variations in the hundred year frame due simply to timing errors? as in hitting or missing C&L’s triple warming peak 1000-1200 AD)”

    Email exchange between: Michael Mann, Edward Cook and Tom Crowley, May 2, 2001, (Subject: “Hockey Stick” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=228&filename=988831541.txt]).

    Cook to Mann: “My statement that the MWP appeared to be comparable to the 20th century does not imply, nor was it meant to imply, that somehow the 20th century temperature is not truly anomalous and being driven by greenhouse gases. To quote from my email, “I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the precision or the proxy replication to say that yet.” Note the use of the word “precision”. This clearly relates to the issue of error variance and confidence intervals, a point that you clearly emphasize in describing your series. Also note the emphasis on “late 20th century”. I think that most researchers in global change research would agree that the emergence of a clear greenhouse forcing signal has really only occurred since after 1970. I am not debating this point, although I do think that there still exists a signficant uncertainty as to the relative contributions of natural and greenhouse forcing to warming during the past 20-30 years at least.”

    Cook to Crowley: “These chronologies are not good at preserving high-frquency climate information because of the scattering of sites and the mix of different species, but the low-frequency patterns are probably reflecting the same long-term changes in temperature. Jan than averaged the 2 RCS chronologies together to produce a single chronology extending back to AD 800. It has a very well defined Medieval Warm Period – Little Ice Age – 20th Century Warming pattern, punctuated by strong decadal fluctuations of inferred cold that correspond well with known histories of neo-glacial advance in some parts of the NH …

    the Esper series shows a very strong, even canonical, Medieval Warm Period – Little Ice Age – 20th Century Warming pattern, which is largely missing from the hockey stick. …

    I would not claim (and nor would Jan) that it exceeded the warmth of the late 20th century. We simply do not have the precision or the proxy replication to say that yet. This being said, I do find the dismissal of the Medieval Warm Period as a meaningful global event to be grossly premature and probably wrong.”

    Email exchange between: Michael Mann and John Christy, May 23, 2001, (Subject: “IPCC” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=230&filename=990718382.txt] Mann expressed disappointment that Christy went on John Stossel’s TV show).

    Mann to Christy: “I’ll be very disturbed if you turn out to have played into this in a way that is unfair to your co-authors on chapter 2 [of the IPCC TAR], and your colleagues in general. This wouldn’t have surprised me coming from certain individuals, but I honestly expected more from you”

    Christy to Mann: “In one of the pre-interviews they asked about the “Hockey Stick”. I told them of my doubts about the intercentury precision of the record, especially the early part, and that other records suggested the period 1000 years ago was warmer. …

    I’ve been very disappointed with what has gone on even with respect to some of the IPCC elders and their pronouncements for forthcoming disasters. …

    the dose of climate change disasters that have been dumped on the average citizen is designed to be overly alarmist and could lead us to make some bad policy decisions. (I’ve got a good story about the writers of the TIME cover piece a couple of months ago that proves they were not out to discuss the issue but to ignore science and influence government.)

    Regarding the IPCC. The IPCC TAR is good, but it is not perfect nor sacred and is open to criticism as any document should be. … Some of the story lines used to generate high temperature changes are simply ridiculous.”

    Email from Michael Mann to Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa and others, Apr 15, 2002, (Subject: “Your Letter to Science” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=268&filename=1018889093.txt]).

    “We can maintain an honest difference about how well those points were conveyed in the Science piece (for example, you can imagine how the statement in your piece “This record has a smaller amplitude of century-to-century variability, and is consistently at or near the upper limit of alternate records produced by other researchers” might indeed have been interpreted as setting MBH99 apart as, in your words, an “outlier”).”

    Email from Michael Mann to Phil Jones and others, Jun 4, 2003, (Subject: “Prospective Eos Piece?” [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=319&filename=1054736277.txt]).

    “it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back”

    Email exchange between Keith Briffa and Edward Cook, Apr 12, 2005, (Subject: “Review” [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=310&filename=1051638938.txt]).

    Cook to Briffa: “as one is honest and open about evaluating the evidence (I have my doubts about the MBH camp).

    I just don’t want to get into an open critique of the Esper data because it would just add fuel to the MBH attack squad. They tend to work in their own somewhat agenda-filled ways.”

    Briffa to Cook: “Bradley still regards the MWP as “mysterious” and “very incoherent” (his latest pronouncement to me) based on the available data. Of course he and other members of the MBH camp have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective”

    Email between Phil Jones and John Christy, Jul 5, 2005, (Subject: “This and that”

    [http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=544&filename=1120593115.txt]).

    Jones to Christy: “I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.”

    Jones appended to the email, text from Joe Barton (Chairman of the US House of Representatives) to Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman of the IPCC): “in recent peer-reviewed articles in Science, Geophysical Research Letters, Energy & Environment, among others, researchers question the results of this work. As these researchers find, based on the available information, the conclusions concerning temperature histories – and hence whether warming in the 20th century is actually unprecedented – cannot be supported by the Mann et. al. studies. In addition, we understand from the February 14 Journal and these other reports that researchers have failed to replicate the findings of these studies, in part because of problems with the underlying data and the calculations used to reach the conclusions.”

    Like

  6. A skeptic will change his/her mind when confronted with evidence. Deniers keep their belief and cling to anything that supports it, despite evidence to the contrary.

    Like

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