U.K. Climatologists Not Part of Leftist-Nazi Cabal

by A. Jay Adler on April 15, 2010
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The New York Times reports that a second independent panel, of scientists

has cleared climate researchers at the University of East Anglia of allegations that they distorted the scientific evidence for human-caused global warming. “There was no hint of tailoring results to a particular agenda,” an independent panel of scientists said in a report submitted to the university on Monday.

Last month a U.K. parliamentary panel concluded

that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mail messages or in the ensuing controversy challenged the scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”

At the same time, the lawmakers stressed that their report, written after only a single day of oral testimony, did not cover all the issues and that two other inquiries into the integrity of the science would be more thorough.

The lawmakers expressed sympathy with Professor Jones, whom Phil Willis, the committee’s chairman, said had been made a scapegoat for conflicts within the sphere of climate science.

“The focus on Professor Jones and the C.R.U. has been largely misplaced,” the report said.

Unless, of course – do you think? – all of England is on it, too?

AJA


5 comments

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

ShrinkWrapped April 18, 2010 at 6:01 am

As someone who is interested in science and reads scientific literature on a regular basis, I can assure you that when a large quantity of data that depends upon statistical analysis to derive meaningful conclusions is mishandled statistically, the conclusions are meaningless. Further, when the researchers refuse to make the raw data available for independent confirmation and independent statistical analysis, as the CRU folks did for many years, they are no longer conducting science but have crossed over into psuedoscientific advocacy. The jury remains out on AGW.

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ShrinkWrapped April 17, 2010 at 8:59 am
ShrinkWrapped April 17, 2010 at 8:58 am

Also, after you read the report, take a look at this article for the comments of a Statistician.

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ShrinkWrapped April 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

Hi Jay,
I am curious about something. Did you happen to go to the linked reports or just report on the conclusion as filtered through the New York Times reporter? I would not want to prejudice you, but I just read through the 8 page pdf “Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to
examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit”, linked by the Times article you cite. I strongly suggest you read the report before concluding that the Times’ reporter did it justice. You might be very surprised at what you read. Over the last few years I have learned to go to the source material when the MSM tells me what to think; you should do the same.

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A. Jay Adler April 17, 2010 at 10:22 am

I did peruse the report originally, but of course your comment led me to return for a closer look. I hope it will come as no surprise to see me state that I do not consider myself remotely qualified to weigh in on the substance of the scientific disputes in climatology. But the report did not weigh in them either. Its focus was other.

The Panel was not concerned with the question of whether the conclusions of the published esearch were correct. Rather it was asked to come to a view on the integrity of the Unit’s research and whether as far as could be determined the conclusions represented an honest and scientifically justified interpretation of the data. (Page 1 #2)

After reading publications and interviewing the senior staff of CRU in depth, we are satisfied that the CRU tree-ring work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation and unjustified selection of data are not valid… In the event CRU scientists were able to give convincing answers to our detailed questions about data choice, data handling and statistical methodology. (page 3 #8)

We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work, but it seems that some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU. (page 3 #9)

The panel did question the quality (not the honesty) of statistical procedures (not results, necessarily) given that statistical analysis is so much a part of the Unit’s work. The link you offered to the Financial Times addresses flaws in statistical procedure too, from a very reputable source, Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society, who said that a technique used by the Unit “exaggerated” recent warming. I will note, though, that initial introduction to his criticism uses the very biasing verb “slammed” (the Unit’s work) to characterize his criticism, when the rest of the article does not at all support that description. In fact, near its end, the article tells us

Prof Hand said his criticisms should not be seen as invalidating climate science. He pointed out that although the hockey stick graph – which dates from a study led by US climate scientist Michael Mann in 1998 – exaggerates some effects, the underlying data show a clear warming signal.

He accused sceptics of “identifying a few particular issues and blowing them up” to distort the true picture. The handful of errors found so far, including the exaggerated hockey stick graph and a mistaken claim by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, were “isolated incidents”, he said. “If you look at any area of science, you would be able to find odd examples like this. It doesn’t detract from the vast bulk of the conclusions,” he said.

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