Home > Pennsylvania Death Record > AGW Deniers: Are FIVE exonerations enough to get you to stop whining about "Climategate"?

AGW Deniers: Are FIVE exonerations enough to get you to stop whining about "Climategate"?

I’m guessing you didn’t hear about this on Rush or Glenn’s shows:

"The new review was the fifth investigation to reach similar conclusions about the e-mail messages sent by Dr. Jones and other scientists"

British Panel Clears Climate Scientists

A British panel on Wednesday exonerated the scientists caught up in the controversy known as Climategate of charges that they had manipulated their research to support preconceived ideas about global warming.

But the panel also rebuked the scientists for several aspects of their behavior, especially their reluctance to release computer files backing up their scientific work. And it declared that a that graph they produced in 1999 about climate in the past was “misleading” and should have contained caveats.

The researcher at the center of the flap, Phil Jones, a leading climatologist who had temporarily stepped down from his position at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia pending the results of the inquiry, was immediately reinstated to a job resembling his old one. The university solicited and paid for the new report.

The Climatic Research Unit, often referred to as CRU, has played a leading role in efforts to understand Earth’s past climate. Embarrassing e-mail messages sent by Dr. Jones and other scientists were purloined from a computer at the university in November and posted to the Internet. The e-mail messages led to a deluge of accusations from climate-change skeptics.

Some of the scientists were forced to admit that they had been guilty of poor behavior, such as chortling in the e-mail messages about the death of one climate skeptic. But were the researchers, as the skeptics charged, guilty of scientific misconduct?

"On the specific allegations made against the behavior of CRU scientists, we find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt," said the new review, led by Muir Russell, a retired British civil servant and educator.

The Russell panel also found little reason to question the advice the scientists had given to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body that produces a major review of the science of global warming every few years. The new report said that "we did not find any evidence of behavior that might undermine the conclusions of the I.P.C.C. assessments."

The new review was the fifth investigation to reach similar conclusions about the e-mail messages sent by Dr. Jones and other scientists, though it was the most comprehensive and eagerly awaited. “We have maintained all along that our science is honest and sound and this has been vindicated now by three different independent external bodies,” Dr. Jones said in a statement.

Last week, the second of two reviews at Pennsylvania State University largely exonerated Michael Mann, a scientist there who had also been a focus of the controversy.

The latest report was by no means a complete vindication for the British scientists or for the University of East Anglia, however.

Echoing the findings of an earlier report by a parliamentary committee in London, the reviewers criticized "a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness" in responding to demands for backup data and other information under Britain’s laws governing public records.

On the single most serious accusation that was raised against the researchers, the Russell panel did find some cause for complaint, but it did not issue the robust condemnation for which climate skeptics had been hoping. The issue involved an effort to reconstruct the climate history of the past several thousand years using indirect indicators like the size of tree rings and the growth rate of corals.

The CRU researchers, leaders in that type of work, were trying in 1999 to produce a long-term temperature chart that could be used in a United Nations publication. But they were dogged by a problem: since around 1960, for mysterious reasons, trees have stopped responding to temperature increases in the same way they apparently did in previous centuries. If plotted on a chart, tree rings from 1960 forward appear to show declining temperatures, which scientists know from thermometer readings is not accurate.

Most scientific papers have dealt with this problem by ending their charts in 1960 or by grafting modern thermometer measurements onto the historical reconstructions. In the 1999 chart, the CRU researchers chose the latter course for one especially significant line on their graph.

In an e-mail message, Dr. Jones described this technique as a “trick” meant to “hide the decline” shown by the tree rings.

The Russell panel concluded that the procedure itself was acceptable in principle, as long as it was described clearly. This the CRU researchers had failed to do for that particular iteration of the graphic, the panel said, leading to its conclusion that the

That’s all you’ve got?

They will now claim the investigation was biased. In fact they already have. No amount of evidence will sway them. It’s sad really, as they call liberals sheep but they ONLY believe what Fox and their pundits tell them.

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