Nov 23 Statement from UEA on the CRU files

The University of East Anglia released this statement yesterday:

Climatic Research Unit update – 17.45 November 23

It is a matter of concern that data, including personal information about individuals, appears to have been illegally taken from the university and elements published selectively on a number of websites. The volume of material published and its piecemeal nature makes it impossible to confirm what proportion is genuine. We took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation and have involved the police in what we consider to be a criminal investigation.

The material published relates to the work of our globally-respected Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and other scientists around the world. CRU’s published research is, and has always been, fully peer-reviewed by the relevant journals, and is one strand of research underpinning the strong consensus that human activity is affecting the world’s climate in ways that are potentially dangerous.

CRU is one of a number of independent centers working in this important area and reaching similar conclusions. It will continue to engage fully in reasoned debate on its findings with individuals and groups that are willing to have their research and theories subjected to scrutiny by the international scientific community. The selective publication of some stolen emails and other papers taken out of context is mischievous and cannot be considered a genuine attempt to engage with this issue in a responsible way.

The raw climate data which has been requested belongs to meteorological services around the globe and restrictions are in place which means that we are not in a position to release them. We are asking each service for their consent for their data to be published in future.

In addition to supporting the police in their inquiries, we will ourselves be conducting a review, with external support, into the circumstances surrounding the theft and publication of this information and any issues emerging from it.

Comment from Professor Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit:

The following email, which I can confirm is genuine, has caused a great deal of ill-informed comment, but has been taken completely out of context and I want to put the record straight.

“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) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct +is 0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.”
The first thing to point out is that this refers to one diagram – not a scientific paper – which was used in the World Meteorological Organisation’s statement on the status of the global climate in 1999 (WMO-no.913).

The diagram consisted of three curves showing 50-year average temperature variations for the last 1000 years. Each curve referred to a scientific paper and a key gives their details.

Climate records consist of actual temperature records from the mid-19th century and proxy data (tree rings, coral, ice cores, etc) which go back much further. The green curve on the diagram included proxy data up to 1960 but only actual temperatures from 1961 onwards. This is what is being discussed in the email.

The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.

49 thoughts on “Nov 23 Statement from UEA on the CRU files

  1. With this reply, as far as I am concerned UEA just arrogantly lashed themselves to the deck of the Titanic.

  2. “We are the real victims here, blah, blah, blah.” Predictable. More predictable than the weather, of course. ;-)

  3. “The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.”

    I find that “to hide the decline” makes this statement, as a whole, very untoward.

  4. So, having been observed apparently suborning the peer review process, Dr. Jones appeals to peer-reviewed scholarly journals as his bona fides. How interesting. And we should be impressed–why?

  5. Well thats dandy, but I am frankly more dismayed about “hide the decline” than “trick”. Seems unlikely to me that “hide the decline” can have a colloquial double meaning.

  6. What a joke.

    We are peer reviewed. (Pal reviewed?)

    We are independent and engage in open debate. (And if you say otherwise, you will be quashed.)

    All the revelations are out of context. (Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?)

    We’ll get you and your little dog, too.

    And forget about getting any raw data.

    These are not the droids you were looking for. Move along.

  7. “The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.”

    I thought he said three days ago that he couldn’t remember why he used that language.

  8. I’ve mentioned before that I have no trouble with the word “trick” but have lots of trouble with the word “hide.” Someone else, I think Gavin on RC gave a similar partial defense and also ignored any concerns about “hide.”

    As for personal information that was leaked, a lot of the Email addresses, especially for UEA personnel, are listed in various papers and abstracts scattered throughout the web.

    Based on this response, there doesn’t seem to be much call to feel sorry for what UEA is going through. today.

    “It will continue to engage fully in reasoned debate…” That would be a nice _change_.

  9. The point is that if the proxies were giving the wrong answer for post-1960, what makes them so all-fired valid for 1560?

  10. “CRU is one of a number of independent centers working in this important area and reaching similar conclusions. It will continue to engage fully in…”

    punking the science, cherry picking data, forcing out adversaries, massaging statistics, spending your money, redefining peer review, covering up reality, and generally anything we can do to advocate for our position.

    At least that’s what it sounds like to me.

  11. Who owns the data for the medieval warming period?

    No comment on private ownership of the e-mails?

    How does Jones define peer review? Are “peers” facebook pals?

    Why did he “unfriend” Stephen McIntyre?

  12. “The following email, which I can confirm is genuine …”

    email contents:
    “I’ve just completed [a task] to hide the decline [in temperature].”

    Emphesis mine.

    Phil admits he is hiding something. What else is he hiding?

  13. And ask the residents of prisons and they’ll tell you that they’re innocent — it’s all an unfair misunderstanding.

  14. So it was a clever thing to do “to hide the decline” Ergo it was a clever thing to do to try to misinform scientist who might have expected the highest integrity and quality information from this group.

    I don’t see that interpreting the “trick” in this manner helps to absolve the guilty.

    As usual the BBC majors on the issue of hacking and stealing data and not fraudulent manipulation of data which seems to be of little consequence. After all global warming is proved … you just have to “count” the scientist who support it

    Tony Berry

  15. This enire statement is a complete crock . I especially liked the peer review part – how long can these guys continue to spin their wheels before they run out of gas ?

  16. Professor Phil Jones: ‘We have not yet begun to go down with the ship’ cannot keep his story straight.
    Yes, philincalifornia, 3 days ago PPJ couln’t remember what he said 10 years ago, or anyone for that matter, but apparently, he has been struck by a lightning bolt over night.
    I can see clearly now, the data is phony.

  17. I predict a severe shortage of eggs and crow. Please, please, please, all fools jump on the The SS Titanic Mass Delusion. Next stop, a watery grave of disgrace and shame. and hopefully, loss of all present and future government grants.

    It is interesting that the Communists were militantly atheistic (except during the Great Patriotic War when churches were reopened temporarily) . I guess a population that believes in the Lord is somewhat skeptical of human poseurs.

  18. What a pathetic response from UEA and Phil Jones. I suspect that once outsiders decend upon them – and that won’t take long – they won’t be so stridently defending themselves.

  19. Izzat “Nearer my God to thee” that Phil Jones is singing to AlGore ?

    Well the Titanic just sank quietly after running afoul of global warming; but it was different for HMS Hood.

    The Hood just plain blew up after taking one hit from the Bismarck.

    It remains to be seen whether UEA and CRU are yet going to blow, or whether those two gentts are just going to salute at attention, as the rising sea levels start creeping up their legs.

    Keep a stiff upper lip chaps; it’s the proper British thing to do.

  20. “When I use a word,” Professor Jones said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Professor Jones, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  21. UEA and Jones didn’t dig their hole any deeper with that attempt at a defense, but they didn’t get very far in climbing out either.

    When does Jones find himself out the door with a couple boxes of desk contents in his trunk, and will it be final or will it be termed a six-month leave?

  22. Note the careful avoidance of the real issue which is spiking the peer review process based on preconceptions as to what the results “should be.” It reminds me of the geologist who asks in a low voice with his hand out to recieve payment “Which way do you want the ground water to flow?”

    Is “hide the decline” used “colloquially as in a clever thing to do.”

    Science at work
    APE

  23. From Lewis Carroll to Monty Python.

    Prof. Jones: “Come on and fight, you coward!” King Arthur: “But I’ve just cut your leg off!”
    Prof. Jones (pauses): “It’s only a flesh wound.”

  24. Trick, clever whatever you want to call it; hiding stuff related to science is just plain untoward (by definition).

    1 : difficult to guide, manage, or work with.
    3 : improper, indecorus

    Full disclosure greases the path to better science. Whatever way UEA wants to slice it, it was indeed untoward. No question beyond that. Its unbelievable a teaching institution does not realize that. The corruption runs deep.

  25. It is not hard to parse Prof. Jones’ statements when you realise that he uses an interesting idiolect which can be deciphered.

    For example:-
    The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.

    The code:-
    trick = a stratagem (which I had hoped would succeed)
    colloquially = my own idiom
    clever = foolish
    ludicrous = obvious
    to suggest something refers = it is
    untoward = unethical

    The translation:-

    “The word ‘trick’ was used idiomatically to mean a foolish stratagem which I had hoped would succeed. It was obviously unethical.”

    All his data and all his statements can be decoded similarly. The good professor doesn’t lie or pervert data; he just uses English and Mathematics slightly unconventionally.

  26. So if I understand, they rebuilt temperature history using a proxy that diverges completely from recent temperature record.

    Honest work would be to draw two curves…one with the proxy-based temperature, one with the recent temperature record.

    As soon as they replace one part of the first curve with the second curve, they want to hide the divergence and pretend their proxy-based temperature is coherent with recent temperature measures…

    Not honest, not scientific, plain misleading.

  27. That Phil Jones sure is cavalier

    “The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do”

    I’d agree. That is an apt definition of a trick.

    “Hide the decline” is taken out of context”.

    The context, therefore, could not be declining temperatures could it?

  28. final thought for the day;

    Is it illegal to steal a copy of something which has been the subject of an ignored but otherwise perfectly legal FOI request?

    On the one hand yes, but on the other; possession is 9/10th’s of the law. We now have what was rightfully owed from day one.

  29. CRU’s published research is, and has always been, fully peerpal-reviewed by the relevant journals

    Fixed ;-)

    DaveE.

  30. I think criminal prosecutions are indeed in order. While the country has been lied to about the warming people are dying!

    In the winter of 2008/09 there were 29,400 more deaths among those aged 75 and over, compared with levels in the non-winter period.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=574

    They are not dying from heat stroke! No preparations are being made for this cooling period because of people like Phil Jones and their agenda. How many more have to die because of these lies?

  31. Anyone expecting Phil Jones or any other scientist to be thrown under the bus other than literally is in LaLa Land.

    Who knows who they will drag under with them?

    DaveE.

  32. If Jones was a butcher he would put his finger on the scale and if caught would just say that it was a “clever thing to do”. Steadying the scale don’t you know.

  33. For “globally respected” read “globally ridiculed”.

    A pitiful and disgusting attempt to defend the indefensible.

  34. Apart from the Phil Jones issue, you can also get a lot from the Santer side. This is a guy who seems to be running a serious persecution problem, bordering on paranoia. First he flatly refuses to release his data and methods to Douglass, then, when McIntyre asks for the same, he seems to flip over the edge, ranting about McCarthyism and threats. Just look at this:

    “Quite frankly, Tom, having spent nearly 10 months of my life addressing
    the serious scientific flaws in the Douglass et al. IJoC paper, I am
    unwilling to waste more of my time fulfilling the intrusive and
    frivolous requests of Steven McIntyre. The supreme irony is that Mr.
    McIntyre has focused his attention on our IJoC paper rather than the
    Douglass et al. IJoC paper which we criticized. As you know, Douglass et
    al. relied on a seriously flawed statistical test, and reached incorrect
    conclusions on the basis of that flawed test.

    I believe that our community should no longer tolerate the behavior of
    Mr. McIntyre and his cronies. McIntyre has no interest in improving our
    scientific understanding of the nature and causes of climate change. He
    has no interest in rational scientific discourse. He deals in the
    currency of threats and intimidation. We should be able to conduct our
    scientific research without constant fear of an “audit” by Steven
    McIntyre; without having to weigh every word we write in every email we
    send to our scientific colleagues.

    In my opinion, Steven McIntyre is the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of
    climate science. I am unwilling to submit to this McCarthy-style
    investigation of my scientific research. As you know, I have refused to
    send McIntyre the “derived” model data he requests, since all of the
    primary model data necessary to replicate our results are freely
    available to him. I will continue to refuse such data requests in the
    future. Nor will I provide McIntyre with computer programs, email
    correspondence, etc. I feel very strongly about these issues. We should
    not be coerced by the scientific equivalent of a playground bully.”

    I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the guy or just bemused.

  35. “The documents are false but the story is true”. Dan Rather and the faked Bush Military records.

    I also like the quote “when in a hole stop digging”.

    There needs to be a panel of lower level non political scientists made up of skeptics and believers to reanalyze the data and get back to us in—–

    1,000 years.

  36. “CRU’s published research is, and has always been, fully peer-reviewed by the relevant journals, and is one strand of research underpinning the strong consensus that human activity is affecting the world’s climate in ways that are potentially dangerous.”

    LOL yeah fully peer-reviewed. I guess they mean actual peers of Phil Jones.

  37. I found this particularly interesting

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=304&filename=1048799107.txt

    especially this part

    8.0 Articles

    A) How women matter in decreasing world population
    B) The energy we need
    C) Mining the impacts
    D) Symbiotical relationship of religion and global life-support systems
    E) Celebration of Life Day
    F) The hidden agenda: China
    G) Earth Government now a priority
    H) The splitting of America into separate independent states living at peace for the
    good of all
    I) The war industry: the modern evil at work in the Middle East
    J) Earth security
    K) Earth governance
    L) The Earth Court of Justice holds the people of the U.S.A. and Britain as criminals
    M) Foundation for the new world order, Earth Government

  38. I love that “peer -reviewed” thing. I expect the peer in question is the recently ennobled Lord Martin, our much loved ex-Speaker.

  39. philincalifornia (09:03:25) :
    “The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.”

    I thought he said three days ago that he couldn’t remember why he used that language.

    So does that mean he has now “turned the trick” ? Just asking ;-)

  40. Bob Kutz (11:39:14) : Is it illegal to steal a copy of something which has been the subject of an ignored but otherwise perfectly legal FOI request?

    On the one hand yes, but on the other; possession is 9/10th’s of the law. We now have what was rightfully owed from day one

    I would remind folks on this thread that, thanks to UK precedent, is is not legal and moral to break the law (i.e. the vandalism of private property) if it is to prevent a greater harm. The subornation of the peer review process, the FOIA, and the misdirection of climate research and through it $Billions of dollars, is clearly “A great harm” that is being avoided by this “leak”.

    (BTW, from a minor bit of date stamp forensics, I’m fairly certain this is an inside leak or error, not a cleaver external hack…).

    So, IMPO (in my Professional opinion) the “perpetrator” of the deed is innocent, thanks to the UK precedent. As are all users and distributors of the data…

  41. “hide the decline”i only hide things when idont what some one to find out that i done some thing wrong or iv got something im not meant to have . And a trick is a word for an illusion.

  42. E.M.Smith (16:52:49) :
    …I would remind folks on this thread that, thanks to UK precedent, is is not legal and moral to break the law (i.e. the vandalism of private property) if it is to prevent a greater harm. The subornation of the peer review process, the FOIA, and the misdirection of climate research and through it $Billions of dollars, is clearly “A great harm” that is being avoided by this “leak”.…

    In addition the UK tax authority, HMRC, and very likely American IRS bought a disc of data stolen from a Liechtenstein bank and are acting on it, so there’s another precedent if defence is needed.

  43. Below is one such email
    ———————————————–
    Mike
    Here are some of the issues as I see them:
    Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?
    Where did the heat go? We know there is a build up of ocean heat prior to El Nino, and a
    discharge (and sfc T warming) during late stages of El Nino, but is the observing system
    sufficient to track it? Quite aside from the changes in the ocean, we know there are major
    changes in the storm tracks and teleconnections with ENSO, and there is a LOT more rain on
    land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino), so how does the albedo change overall
    (changes in cloud)? At the very least the extra rain on land means a lot more heat goes
    into evaporation rather than raising temperatures, and so that keeps land temps down: and
    should generate cloud. But the resulting evaporative cooling means the heat goes into
    atmosphere and should be radiated to space: so we should be able to track it with CERES
    data. The CERES data are unfortunately wonting and so too are the cloud data. The ocean
    data are also lacking although some of that may be related to the ocean current changes and
    burying heat at depth where it is not picked up. If it is sequestered at depth then it
    comes back to haunt us later and so we should know about it.
    Kevin
    Michael Mann wrote:

    Kevin, that’s an interesting point. As the plot from Gavin I sent shows, we can easily
    account for the observed surface cooling in terms of the natural variability seen in
    the CMIP3 ensemble (i.e. the observed cold dip falls well within it). So in that sense,
    we can “explain” it. But this raises the interesting question, is there something going
    on here w/ the energy & radiation budget which is inconsistent with the modes of
    internal variability that leads to similar temporary cooling periods within the models.
    I’m not sure that this has been addressed–has it?

  44. Another email:
    —————————————–
    Hi Tom
    How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where
    energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not
    close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is
    happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as
    we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!
    Kevin
    Tom Wigley wrote:

    Dear all,

    At the risk of overload, here are some notes of mine on the recent

    lack of warming. I look at this in two ways. The first is to look at

    the difference between the observed and expected anthropogenic trend relative to the pdf
    for unforced variability. The second is to remove ENSO, volcanoes and TSI variations
    from the observed data.

    Both methods show that what we are seeing is not unusual. The second

    method leaves a significant warming over the past decade.

    These sums complement Kevin’s energy work.

    Kevin says … “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment
    and it is a travesty that we can’t”. I do not

    agree with this.

    Tom.

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