Category Archive 'Phil Jones'

02 Mar 2010

Phil Jones: Concealing Data “Standard Practice”

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Gaunt and nervous, with trembling hands, former head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) Phil Jones faced some uncomfortable questions from a parliamentary science committee yesterday. The Guardian seemed to think he got off more easily than he might have done, because the members felt sorry for him.

Jones did his best to persuade the Commons science and technology committee that all was well in the house of climate science. If they didn’t quite believe him, they didn’t have the heart to press the point. The man has had three months of hell, after all.

Jones’s general defence was that anything people didn’t like – the strong-arm tactics to silence critics, the cold-shouldering of freedom of information requests, the economy with data sharing – were all “standard practice” among climate scientists. “Maybe it should be, but it’s not.”

And he seemed to be right. The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said.

He gave a little ground, and it was the only time the smile left the face of the vice-chancellor, Edward Acton: “I’ve written some awful emails,” Jones admitted. Nobody asked if, as claimed by British climate sceptic Doug Keenan, he had for two decades suppressed evidence of the unreliability of key temperature data from China.

But for the first time he did concede publicly that when he tried to repeat the 1990 study in 2008, he came up with radically different findings. Or, as he put it, “a slightly different conclusion”. Fully 40% of warming there in the past 60 years was due to urban influences. “It’s something we need to consider,” he said.

Nor did the MPs probe how conflicts of interest have become routine in Jones’s world of analysing and reconstructing past temperatures. How, as the emails reveal, Jones found himself intemperately reviewing papers that sought to criticise his own work. And then, should the papers somehow get into print, judging what place they should have in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where he and his fellow emails held senior positions.

But the committee will be hard pressed to ignore the issue after the intervention of no less a body than the Institute of Physics. In 13 coruscating paragraphs of written evidence to MPs, it spoke of “prima facie evidence of determined and coordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law”, “manipulation of the publication and peer review system”, and “intolerance to challenge … which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process.” Ouch.

16 Feb 2010

Klimatedammerung in the Bunker

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How many times will Bruno Ganz’s Hitler in Oliver Hirschbiegal’s “Der Untergang” (2004) be re-subtitled for satiric purposes? Who knows? However often they use it, it always seems to work pretty well.

This time the Fuehrer is getting the bad news about Climategate

3: 50 Hitler On Climate Change

From Viral Footage via RightWing News.

14 Feb 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

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Victor Davis Hanson finds that the wisdom of the commentariat has changed. Via the News Junkie.

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Labour deliberately set out to alter the culture, character, ethnic composition, and consciousness of Britain. If they didn’t like it the way it was, couldn’t they just have moved?

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Phil Jones admits no significant Global Warming since 1995. His reference to the unknowability of the world-wide extent of Medieval Warming Period implicitly concedes that the science cannot possibly be regarded as settled.

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Bad habit. University of Alabama faculty shooter also fatally shot 18 year old brother in 1986. Better not make her angry.


Congressman Delahunt was the DA
that did not press charges.

02 Feb 2010

Climategate Rooted in Chinese Weather Station Temperature Data

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Phil Jones

Phil Jones, the former director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) who resigned in the wake of the leaked Climategate emails, along with a Chinese-American colleague, Wei-Chyung Wang, of the University at Albany in New York, is the target of a major investigation by the Guardian.

Jones et.al. published a paper in Nature in 1990, addressing concerns that temperature data might be being inflated by the location of sensors in urban locations which dismissed those concerns, assuring readers that he and his colleagues had examined the data and analysed the impact of urban settings, concluding that “The results show that the urbanization influence in two of the most widely used hemispheric data sets is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale.”

The 1990 Nature paper became a key reference source incorporated in the conclusions of succeeding reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –- including a chapter in the 2007 report of which Phil Jones was a co-author.

Climate skeptics, not surprisingly, found the paper’s conclusion counter-intuitive. Brick, asphalt, and cement absorb and retain heat, and centers of human population and economic activity generate considerable heat as byproducts of the warming and cooling of interior spaces and as the result of transportation and industrial production.

Jones responded to requests for information on the locations of 84 Chinese weather stations used in the study negatively, claiming that supplying that information to critics would be “unduly burdensome.”

Finally, in 2007, Jones responded to continuing pressure by releasing the data he had available, which proved to be startlingly incomplete. 49 of 84 Chinese weather stations had no location histories or other details, including all but 2 of 42 stations listed as “rural.” 18 other stations had been moved, possibly compromising the validity of thie data, including one which had been moved 5 times over a distance of 41 kilometers.

Douglas Keenan, a retired British banker and independent climate analyst, published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Energy & Environment openly lodging an accusation that fraud had occurred. Keenan’s paper is much discussed in the Climategate emails.

The Guardian has allocated major coverage. 1, 2

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Fort Morgan, Colorado US Historical Climate Network Station. It is easy to see how urbanization can impact recorded temperature data.

19 Dec 2009

Manufacturing Consensus

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In the Wall Street Journal, Patrick J. Michaels notes that some of the Climategate emails vividly illustrate behind-the-scenes efforts by prominent warmist scientist to wield control of peer-reviewed publications in order to exclude dissent. The same prominent climatologists systematically proceeded to employ their opponents’ non-appearance in the journals they controlled to de-credential their rivals’ scientific authority.

Messrs. Mann and [Tom] Wigley also didn’t like a paper I published in Climate Research in 2002. It said human activity was warming surface temperatures, and that this was consistent with the mathematical form (but not the size) of projections from computer models. Why? The magnitude of the warming in CRU’s own data was not as great as in the models, so therefore the models merely were a bit enthusiastic about the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” he wrote in one of the emails. “We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

After Messrs. [Phil] Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn’t toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones’s line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results.

This happened to me and to the University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer, who also hypothesized that global warming is likely to be modest. Others surely stopped trying, tiring of summary rejections of good work by editors scared of the mob. Sallie Baliunas, for example, has disappeared from the scientific scene.

GRL is a very popular refereed journal. Mr. Wigley was concerned that one of the editors was “in the skeptics camp.” He emailed Michael Mann to say that “if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official . . . channels to get him ousted.”

Mr. Mann wrote to Mr. Wigley on Nov. 20, 2005 that “It’s one thing to lose ‘Climate Research.’ We can’t afford to lose GRL.” In this context, “losing” obviously means the publication of anything that they did not approve of on global warming.

Soon the suspect editor, Yale’s James Saiers, was gone. Mr. Mann wrote to the CRU’s Phil Jones that “the GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there.”

It didn’t stop there. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complained that the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) was now requiring authors to provide actual copies of the actual data that was used in published papers. He wrote to Phil Jones on March 19, 2009, that “If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available—raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations—I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.”

Messrs. Jones and Santer were Ph.D. students of Mr. Wigley. Mr. Santer is the same fellow who, in an email to Phil Jones on Oct. 9, 2009, wrote that he was “very tempted” to “beat the crap” out of me at a scientific meeting. He was angry that I published “The Dog Ate Global Warming” in National Review, about CRU’s claim that it had lost primary warming data.

The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.

Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.

17 Dec 2009

Scandal Deepens: Climate Change Center Used Selective Russian Data

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Piltdown Man, a case of scientific fraud now in the process of being eclipsed

Russia’s Institute of Economic Analysis has issued a report (21 pages in Russian) by N.A. Pivovarova, titled Is There Warming? The Case of Russia, whose explosive conclusions were summarized by the news agency Rionovosta.

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century. …

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

Steve McIntyre, at Climate Audit, highlights the Russian report by quoting a pertinent Climategate email:

An email from Jones to Mann in March 2004 stated:

    Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.

Hat tip to Ice Cap via James Delingpole at the Telegraph.

13 Dec 2009

Make Your Own Hockey Stick

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Iowahawk offers readers “a detailed how-to-guide for replicating the climate reconstruction method used by the so-called “Climategate” scientists. Not a perfect replication, but a pretty faithful facsimile that you can do on your own computer, with some of the same data they used.”

It takes 30-60 minutes, along with modest math & spreadsheet skills, he promises.

My goal was to provide interested people with a hands-on DIY example of the basic statistical methodology underlying temperature reconstruction, at least as practiced by the leading lights of “Climate Science.”

If you’ve followed all this, it should also give you the important glossary terms that should help you decipher the Climategate emails and methodology discussions. For example “instrumental data” means observed temperature; “reconstructions” are the modeled temperatures from the past; “proxy” means the tree ring, ice core, etc. predictors; “PCs” mean the principal components.

Is there anything wrong with this methodology? Not in principle. In fact there’s a lot to recommend it. There’s a strong reason to believe that high resolution proxy variables like tree rings and ice core o-18 are related to temperature. At the very least it’s a more mathematically rigorous approach than the earlier methods for climate reconstruction, which is probably why the hockey stick / AGW conclusion received a lot of endorsements from academic High Society (including the American Statistical Association).

The devil, as they say is in the details. In each of the steps there is some leeway for, shall we say, intervention. …

(If you run a few tests,)

(C)ontrary to Mann’s assertion that the hockey stick is “robust,” you’ll find that the reconstructions tend to be sensitive to the data selection. M&M found, for example, that temperature reconstructions for the 1400s were higher or lower than today, depending on whether bristlecone pine tree rings were included in the proxies.

What the leaked emails reveal, among other things, is some of that bit of principal component sausage making. But more disturbing, they reveal that the actual data going into the reconstruction model — the instrumental temperature data and the proxy variables themselves — were rife for manipulation. In the laughable euphemism of Philip Jones, “value added homogenized data.” The data I provided here was the real, value added global temperature and proxy data, because Phil told me so. Trust me!

01 Dec 2009

Phil Jones Resigns; Michael Mann Under Investigation

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Phil Jones

They are loudly protesting their innocence, but those emails make those protestations a little difficult to accept. Heads are beginning to roll.

The Daily Mail reports that Phil Jones is stepping aside, temporarily. We’ll see how temporary his resignation proves to be.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has said he ‘absolutely’ stands by the science produced by the centre – and that suggestions of a conspiracy to alter evidence to support a theory of man-made global warming were ‘complete rubbish’.

He said today he would stand aside as director until the completion of the independent review, which is being conducted in the wake of the allegations by climate ‘sceptics’. …

Prof 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.’

Professor Peter Liss will become acting director while the review is conducted, the university said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: ‘I have accepted Professor Jones’s offer to stand aside during this period.

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Michael E. Mann

The Centre Daily Times reports that the Pennsylvania State University is also opening an inquiry into the conduct of “Hockey Stick” Michael E. Mann, the other end recipient of a lot of the most embarrassing of the leaked emails.

Penn State has announced it will hold an inquiry into controversial climate change emails involving a university professor.

The professor in question, Michael Mann, said he has “nothing to hide” and welcomes the scrutiny. …

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said an inquiry is a “precursor to any investigation.” A faculty committee will examine about 300 emails concerning Mann “to determine if there’s any merit to the allegations, and if they warrant further review,” she said.


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