UPDATE: UEA/CRU has responded!
Looks like a homogenized data comparison. h/t to WUWT reader “splice”
It looks like Doug Keenan has been right all along. He must feel vindicated tonight. See more about Doug’s long road here in an earlier WUWT report.
Excerpts from the Independent and the Guardian
Professor in leaked email scandal tried to hide fact that numbers he used were wrong
The “climategate” controversy intensified last night when the senior British scientist at its centre, Professor Phil Jones, faced fresh accusations that he attempted to withhold data that could cast doubt on evidence for rising world temperatures.
But the new allegations go beyond refusing FOI requests and concern data that Professor Jones and other scientists have used to support a record of recent world temperatures that shows an upward trend.
Climate sceptics have suggested that some of the higher readings may be due not to a warmer atmosphere, but to the so-called “urban heat island effect”, where cities become reservoirs of heat and are warmer than the surrounding countryside, especially during the night hours.
Professor Jones and a colleague, Professor Wei-Chyung Wang of the State University of New York at Albany suggested in an influential 1990 paper in the journal Nature that the urban heat island effect was minimal – and cited as supporting evidence a long series of temperature measurements from Chinese weather stations, half in the countryside and half in cities, supplied by Professor Wei-Chyung. The Nature paper was used as evidence in the most recent report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
However, it has been reported that when climate sceptics asked for the precise locations of the 84 stations, Professor Jones at first declined to release the details. And when eventually he did release them, it was found that for the ones supposed to be in the countryside, there was no location given.
Climate sceptics have demanded the two professors now withdraw their heat island paper. Professor Wei-Chyung was investigated by his university, but exonerated, but the emails indicate there was also concern among Professor Jones’ s colleagues at UEA, including from Dr Tom Wigley, his predecessor as head of the CRU, about the Chinese weather station data and Professor Jones’s continuing reliance on it.
From The Guardian:
Exclusive: Key study by East Anglia professor Phil Jones was based on suspect figures
By Fred Pearce
Phil Jones, the beleaguered British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked emails controversy, is facing fresh claims that he sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based.
A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia’s climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.
Jones and a collaborator have been accused by a climate change sceptic and researcher of scientific fraud for attempting to suppress data that could cast doubt on a key 1990 study on the effect of cities on warming – a hotly contested issue.
Today the Guardian reveals how Jones withheld the information requested under freedom of information laws. Subsequently a senior colleague told him he feared that Jones’s collaborator, Wei-Chyung Wang of the University at Albany, had “screwed up”.
The apparent attempts to cover up problems with temperature data from the Chinese weather stations provide the first link between the email scandal and the UN’s embattled climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as a paper based on the measurements was used to bolster IPCC statements about rapid global warming in recent decades.
Wang was cleared of scientific fraud by his university, but new information brought to light today indicates at least one senior colleague had serious concerns about the affair.
It also emerges that documents which Wang claimed would exonerate him and Jones did not exist.
The revelations come at a torrid time for climate science, with the IPPC suffering heavy criticism for its use of information that had not been rigorously checked – in particular a false claim that all Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035 – and UEA having been criticised last week by the deputy information commissioner for refusing valid requests for data under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Guardian has learned that of 105 freedom of information requests to the university concerning the climatic research unit (CRU), which Jones headed up to the end of December, only 10 had been released in full.
The temperature data from the Chinese weather stations measured the warming there over the past half century and appeared in a 1990 paper in the prestigious journal Nature, which was cited by the IPCC’s latest report in 2007.
Climate change sceptics asked the UEA, via FOI requests, for location data for the 84 weather stations in eastern China, half of which were urban and half rural.
The history of where the weather stations were sited was crucial to Jones and Wang’s 1990 study, as it concluded the rising temperatures recorded in China were the result of global climate changes rather the warming effects of expanding cities.
The IPCC’s 2007 report used the study to justify the claim that “any urban-related trend” in global temperatures was small. Jones was one of two “coordinating lead authors” for the relevant chapter.
The leaked emails from the CRU reveal that the former director of the unit, Tom Wigley, harboured grave doubts about the cover-up of the shortcomings in Jones and Wang’s work. Wigley was in charge of CRU when the original paper was published. “Were you taking W-CW [Wang] on trust?” he asked Jones. He continued: “Why, why, why did you and W-CW not simply say this right at the start?”
Read the complete report at the Guardian here
See also this story from the Guardian:
• How the location of weather stations in China undermines data
As I’ve been saying for a long time, the dodgy surface data is the key and UHI is a real issue. The Menne et al 2010 preemptive strike against my surfacestations work (using my own early data they purloined) shows just how desperate NCDC’s Tom Karl is becoming.
What I find most interesting though is that Phil Jones appeared to have a crisis of conscience, because in 2007 he authored a paper that appeared in JGR without much notice (but known now thanks to Warwick Hughes).
The paper is titled: Urbanization effects in large-scale temperature records, with an emphasis on China
In it, Jones identifies an urban warming signal in China of 0.1 degrees C per decade. Or, if you prefer, 1 degree C per century. Not negligible by any means. Here is the abstract:
Global surface temperature trends, based on land and marine data, show warming of about 0.8°C over the last 100 years. This rate of warming is sometimes questioned because of the existence of well-known Urban Heat Islands (UHIs). We show examples of the UHIs at London and Vienna, where city center sites are warmer than surrounding rural locations. Both of these UHIs however do not contribute to warming trends over the 20th century because the influences of the cities on surface temperatures have not changed over this time. In the main part of the paper, for China, we compare a new homogenized station data set with gridded temperature products and attempt to assess possible urban influences using sea surface temperature (SST) data sets for the area east of the Chinese mainland. We show that all the land-based data sets for China agree exceptionally well and that their residual warming compared to the SST series since 1951 is relatively small compared to the large-scale warming. Urban-related warming over China is shown to be about 0.1°C decade−1 over the period 1951–2004, with true climatic warming accounting for 0.81°C over this period.
Even though Jones tries to minimize the UHI effect elsewhere, saying the UHI trends don’t contribute to warming in London and Vienna, what is notable about the paper is that Jones has been minimizing the UHI issues for years and now does an about face on China.
It was almost as if Jones was trying to appease his own conscience by publishing a paper that supported a UHI effect in China.
But then we see in his comments about my praise of the paper and WUWT commenters as a “load of plonkers”
From: Phil Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Gavin Schmidt <email@example.com>, “Michael E. Mann” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu Mar 19 10:52:54 2009
See the link below! Don’t alert anyone up to this for a while. See if they figure it out for themselves.
I’ve sent this to the Chief Exec of the RMS, who said he was considering changing data policy with the RMS journals. He’s away till next week. I just wanted him to see what a load of plonkers he’s dealing with! I’m hoping someone will pick this up and put it somewhere more prominently.
The responses are even worse than you get on CA. I’ve written up the London paper for the RMS journal Weather, but having trouble with their new editor. He’s coming up with the same naive comments that these responders are. He can’t understand
that London has a UHI of X, but that X has got no bigger since 1900.
I’m away all next week.
 http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/18/finally-an-honest-quantification-of-urban-warming- by-a-major-climate-scientist/
“Phil Jones, the director of the Hadley Climate Center in the UK.”
Thomas C. Peterson, Ph.D.
NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email email@example.com
Too funny. “X” got no bigger since 1900.
We’ll see when this all gets sorted out who is a “load of plonkers” and who isn’t.