Phil Jones momentous Q&A with BBC reopens the "science is settled" issues

Professor Phil Jones unwittingly(?) reveals that the global warming emperor is, if not naked, scantily clad, vindicating key skeptic arguments

Annotated Version of the Phil & Roger Show – Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

Professor Phil Jones

Readers of WUWT are already familiar with the remarkable series of questions and answers between the BBC’s Roger Harrabin at right, and Professor Phil Jones at left (see the posts by Willis and Anthony). [In case you don’t already know, Phil Jones is the climate scientist at the center of the Climategate e-mails, and whose compilation of historic global temperature data from the late 1800s to the present is a key element of the IPCC’s reports.]  These Q-and-As, as readers of the two earlier posts recognize, reveal (a) the lack of empirical support for claims that recent warming is exceptional and (b) the flawed logic behind assertions that “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Specifically, the Q-and-As confirm what many skeptics have long suspected:

  • Neither the rate nor magnitude of recent warming is exceptional.
  • There was no significant warming from 1998-2009. According to the IPCC we should have seen a global temperature increase of at least 0.2°C per decade.
  • The IPCC models may have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both.
  • This also suggests that there is a systematic upward bias in the impacts estimates based on these models just from this factor alone.
  • The logic behind attribution of current warming to well-mixed man-made greenhouse gases is faulty.
  • The science is not settled, however unsettling that might be.
  • There is a tendency in the IPCC reports to leave out inconvenient findings, especially in the part(s) most likely to be read by policy makers.

In the following, I have annotated some of the more critical Qs-and-As.  Note that the following version of the Q-and-A was “last updated at 16:05 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010”, and is a little different from the original that appeared on line. The questions, identified by A, B, C…,are in bold.  I have added emphasis to PJ’s responses (also in bold). My comments are italicized and in bold within square brackets.

So that one can follow the thrust of my annotations, I should note that my general approach to problems or phenomena that human beings have observed in nature is that human observations — whether they span a few decades, a few centuries or even millennia — cover only a brief span in the existence of the earth. Thus, with regard to any observed change, where direct cause-and-effect cannot be verified, the null hypothesis should, in my opinion, be that the changes are due to natural variability. This is why it is important to figure out, among other things, whether the changes that have been observed are, as far as we know, likely to be within (or outside) the bounds of natural variability. If the current warming period (CWP) is not as warm as the medieval warming period (or the Roman and other Warming Periods), then it is impossible to make the argument that CWP is exceptional. Second, if earlier periods were warmer, this indicates natural variability is greater and it is harder to make the claim that we have a “stable” climate. Most importantly, if the earth and its species survived, if not thrived, despite these other warmer periods, then it becomes harder to make the argument that species cannot adapt or the end is nigh.

Excerpts from the Q-and-As, with annotations [in brackets], follow.

Q&A: Professor Phil Jones

… The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics. The questions were put to Professor Jones with the co-operation of UEA’s press office.


A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I’ve assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

[This indicates that the recent warming is not exceptional. Moreover, even if it had been “exceptional,” that would not prove it is due to greenhouse gas emissions?]

I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

[The fact that the magnitude of the trend for 1975-2009 is smaller than the trend for 1975-98 indicates that there has been no warming OR A DECLINE IN THE RATE OF WARMING from 1998-2009, which is not necessarily the same as saying there has been cooling during this period. HOWEVER, SEE KERR (2009), WHICH INDICATES NO WARMING FROM 1999-2008. Regardless, this is at odds with the IPCC’s model-based claim that were emissions frozen at 2000 levels then we would see a global temperature increase of 0.2°C per decade. This, in turn, suggests that the IPCC models have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both.  This also suggests that there is a systematic upward bias in the impacts estimates based on these models. See here.]

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other. [This indicates that the recent warming is not exceptional. Moreover, even if it had been “exceptional,” that would not prove it is due to greenhouse gas emissions?]

Here are the trends and significances for each period:

Period Length Trend

(Degrees C per decade)

Significance
1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

D – Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period. [Not necessarily — what about “natural internal variability” as well as other sources of “natural influences”? This response also assumes that we know all the modes and magnitudes of internal variability and pathways—both qualitatively and quantitatively—by which the sun, for instance, affects our climate.]

E – How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 – there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

[However, the key question — unfortunately unasked — is what fraction of the warming is due not to human activity but to well-mixed man-made greenhouse gas emissions (such as CO2, CH4, and so forth but not including land use, land cover, soot, etc.). This is the key question only because the majority of the policy discussion is centered on reducing well-mixed greenhouse gases.]

G – There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D.

[1. Notably, Phil Jones doesn’t dispute the premise that “the MWP is under debate.” See Harrabin’s accompanying report. 2. The response is based on laughable logic. It is an “argument from ignorance”! See comments on answer to D. What about internal natural variability and other “natural influences”? How well do we know the external and internal sources of natural variability?]

N – When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?

It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.

Q – Let’s talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a “trick” which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned “hiding the decline” (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?

This remark has nothing to do with any “decline” in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.

The phrase ‘hide the decline’ was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record. [1. Given the divergence problem, how can it be assumed that tree rings are valid proxies for temperature for other places at other times? 2. The divergence problem may be well known among tree ring researchers but laymen and policy makers for whom the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers was supposedly written are generally ignorant of it. I also suspect that  scientists in other disciplines were not aware of the divergence problem. They were owed this information up front, in the only document on climate change they were likely to read. Another sin of omission.]

I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time – an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.

The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data.

The e-mail was sent to a few colleagues pointing out their data was being used in the WMO Annual Statement in 1999. I was pointing out to them how the lines were physically drawn. This e-mail was not written for a general audience. If it had been I would have explained what I had done in much more detail. .


Some brief answers have been slightly expanded following more information from UEA.


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Jean Meeus

Phil Jones now admits that there has been no global warming since 1995. But the warmists will reply that this proves nothing, as neither was there a warming from 1940 till 1970, though afterwards the warming came again “with a revenge”. So there we are.

TanGeng

Mann is going to be furious. Jones is going to be excommunicated by his colleagues for this. I kind of have to feel sorry for the guy if that actually happens.

STEPHEN PARKER

Someone please take the shovel away from poor phil, or soon he wont have any dinner paties to go to

STEPHEN PARKER

should read parties

When will RealClimate cover this and try to do damage control?
My prediction: “Um, variability, err robust climate unequivocal etc forcings” – Gavin Schmidt

Jimi Bostock

Brilliant annotations, I hope that many people read this. The concise annotations reveal the depth that we have yet to explore behind each of Jones’ answers. Indeed, they could be considered not answers but actually questions.

Pops

When he’s not threatening suicide in search of sympathy, he’s busy sticking icicles into his friends’ backs. Nice man. I guess now we know why he hasn’t yet quit. He’s a straw-clutcher, and is obviously hoping that his confession will put him in a good light when the iceberg finally hits the fan.

Stacey

The CRU at the University of East Anglia is not fit for purpose and suffers from institutionalised alarmism. The BBC also suffers from institutionalised alarmism and it is therefore not surprising that Professor Jones is allowed to air his views, in advance of the inquiry aided and abetted by a sympathetic BBC journalist?
When will they release all of the temperature data?

Onion

“Regardless, this is at odds with the IPCC’s model-based claim that were emissions frozen at 2000 levels then we would see a global temperature increase of 0.2°C per decade. This, in turn, suggests that the IPCC models have overestimated the climate sensitivity for greenhouse gases, underestimated natural variability, or both. ”
I posted on the ‘Daily Mail’ thread the link to Hansen’s 1981 Science Paper:
http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal.pdf
I wonder if this paper forms the basis for the IPCC models. If it does, there are a few ‘interesting’ consequences:
– Hansen predicts CO-warming will dominate other climate drivers after 2000. This prediction is with a 95% confidence interval (2 SDs). What this implies, as far as I can tell, is that any warming prior to the year 2000 may be due to CO2 or other causes of climate change or a mixture, and cannot be attributed to CO2 alone with any statistically significant degree of confidence.
This alone is a bit mind-blowing. Any declaration that global warming up until the year 2000 is unprecedented and due to CO2 is, according to Hansen’s own paper, wrong.
– Hansen draws a graph showing when CO2 warming starts dominating other causes of climate change. What this implies is that we should only be looking for statistically significant warming AFTER 2000, and the absence of such warming falsifies his hypothesis of CAGW
– Jones’ admission on the absence of statistically significant warming since 1995 appears to be evidence against CAGW as per Hansen’s original paper.

Mike Davis

If Cause is outside of Dr PJ’s area of expertise then Dr PJ should have refrained from making those comments. Also he should have refrained from making any statements regarding expected climate variations. By admitting the lack of knowledge of past climate (Still being debated) Then current and future climate is within natural variable bounds.
I call the debate over because have lost their foundation which was made of smoke and mirrors to begin with.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

Seems the world just came into being in medieval times and nothing existed before that period. That’s why we get this clunker “On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.”
No mention of the Holocene Climate Optimum, Roman Warm Period, etc which were warmer than the MWP and present. Therefore the science of EAU, CRU and the BBC has concluded that the age of our planet is roughly 1100 years old.

Charles. U. Farley

Its not over until its over.
Keep the pressure up and a great job done by all at WUWT!

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

And why has the Roman Warm Period’s page from Wikipedia been deleted???????????!

stephen richards

This feels very much like an attempt by Harabin and the BBC to temper their decades of abuse and lies in preparation for the expected greywash which Muir and his team have been told to do.
At no point in this interview do I see a ” I go it wrong and I’m sorry”. What I do see is I didn’t keep very good records, my databases are rubbish but the science is correct and that will be what Muir says in his report. Global warming is real and will continue unless we change. That will be the bottom line of the CRU report.

Dr Slop

Minor correction? what fraction of the warming is due not to human activity but to well-mixed man-made greenhouse gas emissions perhaps should be
what fraction of the warming is due to human activity but not to well-mixed man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

dearieme
SunSword

Looks like he is dodging, bobbing and ducking as hard as he can. And he obviously avoids addressing the issue of WHY if the tree ring data “were not valid after that time” (hide the decline) we should assume they were valid for several hundreds of years ago when there was no way to validate against thermometer data — since we already know the data diverges in one case (the present). I think the whole question as to the validity of dendroclimatology as valid discipline has not been addressed.

geronimo

Even as we speak the chaps over at realclimate will be re-interpreting the words to distribute to the highly organised and well funded climate warmist movement. Just like the “out of context” mantra we saw when the emails, with primary facie evidence of scientific and legal (FOI) malfeasance came out.
To be truthful I have all along thought the real reason Jones didn’t want to share the data was that it was “badly organised” because there’s been a lot of money in selling the “adjusted” data and if it became clear how crap the source data was the money would stop.
As for Dr Jones and the rest of the Team, they pursued a political agenda, they still are, and they were and are ruthlessly purging climate science of dissenting voices either by intimidation, or by excluding those who dissent from the published literature. It has been a folie a plusieurs, each participant has taken strength from the seeming certainty of the other, which in turn gives this participant a seeming certainty the others take strength from – positive feedback. What they face if not now, certainly in the future, as cooler (excuse pun) heads assess this science, is to go down in history as scientific scoundrels, who manipulated the scientific facts to pursue a political end.
It won’t go away soon, too many other scientists have staked their reputations on the CO2/AGW theory, too many politicians have been made to look gullible to backtrack, the MSM won’t want to admit that they have deliberately suppressed contrarian scientists. A battle has been won, and a milestone passed, but the end of the journey is not in sight. Obama will have to go in the US before those with the egg on their faces will be put out to grass, the same for all the European leaders and their oppositions, all have accepted this theory lock stock and barrel. The science must be cleaned, the IPCC changed and led by people who want to get to the facts not to present an agenda which finishes with world government and redistribution of wealth.
The British Met Office will have to be cut down to size and returned to the duties of weather forecasting and the activists who inhabit its upper echelons put out to grass with the scientific colleagues. The BBC has been little more than Pravda in its suppression of contrarian views, one of a number of major blunders the current management has managed over the last 5 years or so, and once the embarrassed politicians are out of the way those that replace them will exact an awful revenge on this once peerless institution.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

And the MWP’s Wikipedia page has been completely hijacked and includes the hockey stick.

Allen63

In reading the linked full text, I see he has not really crumbled. His responses do allow for less certainty about AGW. But, he does not give much comfort to skeptics like me — the “end” of the global AGW movement is not near I fear.
His e-mails and his responses are something the AGW “machine” can paper over. Hopefully, the official investigations will arrive at the truth — whatever that may be. But, the air is so charged — how will one know the “truth” when one sees it?

maz2

First His Book ……
Now, His Movie:
The AGW Untouchable, aka The Survivor: Choo-Choo Pachauri.
A caste of million$$$$ and “blood” and “scalp” and ….. metaphors, mixed and unmixed.
…-
“UN climate change chief escapes the heat
Any hope that climate change sceptics had of claiming the scalp of the United Nations climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, seems to be melting away.
They smelt blood last month when the Indian chairman of …”
“Despite the attacks, he has survived. Voluntary resignation is uncommon in Indian politics and Dr Pachauri, from the highest Hindu Brahmin caste, has scoffed at calls to step down.”
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/un-climate-change-chief-escapes-the-heat-20100214-nzf5.html

This is a brilliant article. Thank you ever so much.
The intro, with the phrase “scantily clad,” was hilarious. The entire thing provides flawless logic for those of us less able to articulate our suspicions, which, in my case, revolve around my unborn great-grandchildren living miserably so a lucky few can profit and live like feudal lords.
Kudos to the author. To WUWT, thanks a million! (Make that trillions!)

Richard Wakefield

Want evidence these guys are living in a fantacy world of their own making?
Kevin Trenberth: “We also have physical changes like the fact that sea levels have risen around five inches since 1972, the Arctic icecap has declined by 40 percent and snow cover in the northern hemisphere has declined.”

Marvin

I give professor Jones a lot more credit than most skeptics. He believes he is doing the right thing and just from his one statement I thought it was quite clear that he wasn’t altering data in an attempt to deceive. He would never have got away with it so he had no reason to attempt it but also he had no motive. He believes he has the forces which will guide his beliefs to become reality for us all. His admissions are becoming quite astonishing though. He wouldn’t have dared to utter such words just a short while ago.
I think I can see light out there.

In Scotland today the levels of pure irrational witch hunt tendency is stronger than ever.
Remember this is a country where to ask someone to take a oath of allegiance to the country is thought to be too intrusive.
However if you are not a “true believer” in AGW its enough to get sacked.
From today’s Sunday Herald…….
Critics say Sir Ian Byatt should reconsider his position as Scotland’s water regulator
Exclusive by Paul Hutcheon
14 Feb 2010
Ministers have been urged to sack the chairman of Scotland’s water regulator after he became an adviser to a group that is sceptical of climate change.
Sir Ian Byatt is helping the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a think-tank set up by former Conservative Chancellor Nigel Lawson.
Campaigners say the Scottish Government, which has backed tough targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, should replace him immediately.
Sir Ian took over as chairman of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) in 2005. The quango determines the prices charged by Scottish Water, the publicly-owned utility, as well as monitoring its performance.
Scottish Water also has a key role in meeting the climate change objectives laid out in law.
However, Sir Ian’s own commitment to the environment has been questioned after he signed up to the GWPF think-tank, which questions the scientific assumptions behind climate change.
Set up last year, the GWPF lists Sir Ian as a member of its academic advisory council. According to its website, the foundation aims to “bring reason, integrity and balance” to a debate on climate change it says has become “seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant”.
GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser said the foundation believed carbon dioxide in the atmosphere did have a warming effect, but said: “If we are sceptical in one area, it is the predicted impacts or disasters. That’s where we think the science is not good enough. There’s too much uncertainty.”
The foundation rents office space in London from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, but does not disclose its income sources.
Environment campaigner George Monbiot said the foundation drew “heavily on the arguments, tactics and strategies” of American anti-climate change lobby groups.
“The whole effort is to try to look as credible and as mainstream as possible, while spouting truly incredible claims.”
Sir Ian’s decision to advise the GWPF comes after he made a number of statements criticising the scientific case behind climate change.
In a paper to the House of Lords in 2005, he said: “It is premature to conclude that any human-induced global warming would necessarily occur rapidly and further, that any such warming would be catastrophic.
“I do not, therefore, agree that drastic and far-reaching action is justified, especially without more careful consideration of the type of action appropriate, and of the costs associated with it.”
Sir Ian and Lord Lawson also co-signed a paper in 2006 critiquing the science behind climate change.
However, Sir Ian’s views directly contradict the commitment shown by the SNP Government towards addressing environmental concerns.
MSPs last year approved targets for cutting carbon emissions by 42% by 2020, compared with their 1990 levels.
Dave Watson, Scottish organiser for trade union Unison, said: “I will be writing to John Swinney, calling on him to sack this regulator … It beggars belief that the regulator of Scotland’s water industry, which has a key function to play in delivering the Scottish Parliament’s ambitious climate change target, should ally himself with this group.”
A spokesman for the WICS said: “Sir Ian’s involvement in this group is personal and has nothing to do with his role at the WICS.”

Van Grungy

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/02/12/lawrence-solomon-who-am-i.aspx
Al Gore’s Holy Hologram,
This should give you some answers… In case you didn’t know about William Connolley, head censor for ‘the hockey stick team’ in charge of memory hole operations for the ‘adjustment’ of Wikipedia articles…

TerryBixler

Thank you M. Goklany and of course Anthony. Even with all of the light shining on the foolishness of AGW it seems as if the magic taxable gas CO2 is still the darling of government.

Syl_2010

We don’t need Jones to tell us the data was unorganised. Harry told us that back in November. It`s not rocket science to organise data – especially when millions of dollars are available. Being the climate data store of the world – this is scandalous.
Everything was stored in files – instead of a large database repository where you can extract the data you want with queries. This sort of data system has been widely used for at least 25 years. The cost involved is proper data achitecture and hardware.

jeanparisot

So this is what the Piltdown man looks like in a blue sweater.

Syl_2010

I think Jones strategy is to admit a lesser crime and hope that the big one is never found.

DirkH

“Marvin (06:38:32) :
I give professor Jones a lot more credit than most skeptics.”
May i quote: “In an odd way, this is cheering news”. That’s the man you’re giving credit to. You know the context of that quote.
“Al Gore’s Holy Hologram (05:32:18) :
And why has the Roman Warm Period’s page from Wikipedia been deleted???????????!”
Here’s a remainder:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warm_period
The Chinese are not so shy:
http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/2005-06-09/roman.htm
The Roman Warm Period and Dark Ages Cold Period in China
Looks like it wasn’t a local phenomenon.
Wikipedia is the new Prawda.

DirkH

Watch out, Connolley! The german Wikipedia still has a very small writeup on the Roman Warm Period:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimum_der_R%C3%B6merzeit
It mentions a german book Connolley couldn’t delete:
Wolfgang Behringer: Kulturgeschichte des Klimas. Seiten 86-88, C.H. Beck, München, 2007, ISBN 9783406528668

Bernie

Marvin:
As you know, much error in science comes from “confirmation bias”. In a field with large masses of data that has to be cleaned and adjusted, the scope for unconscious or semi-conscious tweaking is huge – hence the calls for (a) the separation of the collecting and archiving of the raw data from the generation of adjusted data series and (b) free and easy access to raw data (including the associated metadata).
Without (b) PJ and others have in fact “gotten away with it” for nearly 25 years. There is no reason to impute motive – the tendencies of scientists to see what they want to see never go away. We simply trust that they are held in check by ill-defined institutional processes. In the case of climate science and the temperature record, that trust is ill-considered, misplaced and undeserved.
As to your sentiment that PJ deserves credit, perhaps. It is equally possible that this is a fairly cynical PR-inspired move. The move may backfire but that does not change its intent. It is also possible that these “true confessions” are prompted by information that we do not have access to yet – such as the identity of the leaker, his/her motives and additional related information. We shall see.

latitude

This guy, Jones, is like some child.
He was cocky and full of himself, until he got caught.
Now he’s all humble pie.

P Gosselin

” This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record. ”
Bullcrap! Any scientists would know this is illegitimate. That’s not how curves are drawn. The aim was to deceive.
And what about the peer-review process hijacking?
What about his glee over John Daly’s death?
What about his FOIA circumventions.
Are supposed to bring up all them e-mails again?
He still has a lot of questions to answer.

P Gosselin

This guy committed climate science murder, and all he’s willing to fess up to is stealing from the cookie jar.
Fire him!

Anthony Farrington

Do you think Phil Jones has read
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 29, NO. 14, 1667, 10.1029/2001GL014580, 2002
Cook Palmer and D’Arrigo
Evidence for the MWP in New Zealand
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/fac/trl/staff/…/ERCindex.html

Richard Wakefield

“It won’t go away soon, too many other scientists have staked their reputations on the CO2/AGW theory, too many politicians have been made to look gullible to backtrack, the MSM won’t want to admit that they have deliberately suppressed contrarian scientists.”
Maybe not. All that is needed is one major G8 country to get a government elected that decides enough is enough, and denounce AGW. It could be the next UK elections, it could be the AU elections, it could even be right here in Canada.
They are all waiting for a country to make the first move against AGW, then the rest will fall like dominos. And the major reason governments really do want to abandon AGW? They are all broke and can’t afford the actions demanded of them.
We are living in a unique time in human history. The collapse of the biggest scam of all time. Enjoy the ride!

>>“Despite the attacks, he has survived. Voluntary resignation
>>is uncommon in Indian politics and Dr Pachauri, from the
>>highest Hindu Brahmin caste, has scoffed at calls to step
>>down.”
Of course he is not a racist, but would never touch an Untouchable.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalit
.

Climate science now needs:
– Thorough and methodical review of all records: temperatures, rainfalls, ocean currents properties (velocities and paths), ice shelf movements, glaciers etc.
– Attempt to formulate and separate causes from consequences.
– Establish bidirectional feedbacks, if and where they exist.
– Reconsider ‘sense’ (or nonsense) of global averaging.
– Produce verifiable regional analyses of the past (regional trends, long or short term, are not necessarily synchronous).
Once there is verifiable ‘history’, than it is more likely to be a clearer present.
Any long term predictions based on computer models should be treated with due skepticism (always consider possibility of a GIGO).

MangoChutney

@Al Gore’s Holy Hologram
Re: MWP@Wiki
It seems William Connelly has been playing silly games again. See the discussion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Medieval_Warm_Period&oldid=343230686
/Mango

Jimbo

“We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another.”
We also know that most of the major, urbanised and industrialised centres, includng airports, are in the Northern Hemisphere. We also know about the Urban Heat Island effect.

John

Regarding the divergence problem — meaning, Jones says that you can’t trust tree ring records after about 1960, at least for the trees in the original hockey stick, e.g. the “hide the decline” trees — there are two important problems.
Goklany hits the first one well — how sure can we be about what the tree rings tell us 1,000 and 500 years ago, if we can’t trust the last 50 years?
But the other problem, as far as I can see, hasn’t been much remarked on.
That other problem is that the hockey team includes, and loves, more recent tree ring records, if and only if they give the desired answer.
The Briffa Yamal tree rings for example. These are 5 to 10 records which show sharply rising temps through about 1995 — hockey stick shapes. Why are the most recent Yamal tree ring records trustworthy, but the tree rings in the original hockey stick papers not trustworthy for the same time frame?
To go further, as readers of Climateaudit.com know, there were a much larger number of tree ring records near the Yamal trees Briffa used, and these showed a temperature decline in the same period. Why were these other, more numerous records not appropriate to use, while the small number of Yamal trees with rising temps appropriate to use?
Unless Jones or Mann or somebody can show why the precise tree rings in the “hide the decline” debate were untrustworthy, but the Briffa Yamal trees but not the ones near them are in fact trustworthy, on scientific grounds, it is obvious that all these “scientists” are doing is cherry picking the records that give answers they like. I and we await that scientific justification.

Jimbo

“….it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.”
This begs the obvious question:
If tree rings were good enough prior to 1960 then why weren’t they good enough after 1960? ;o)

Baa Humbug

I think the interview might just as well have ended after question one and the table provided by Jones.
The whole AGW thesis relies on the assumption that the late 20th Century warming was UNPRECEDENTED
Jones shows proof, by way of the table he provides, that it was NOT unprecedented. Game over. No more needs to be said or debated.
Who in their right mind could possibly argue in favour of UNPRECEDENTED warming now? They can’t even argue the figures in the table are wrong. They have been provided by the very gate keeper of these figures.
0.163
0.15
0.166
0.161
There they are, effectively the four pillars that support the “NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS, go home and rip up your carbon trading schemes and alarmist press releases.
game over.

Roger Knights

Professor Phil Jones unwittingly(?) reveals that the global warming emperor is, if not naked, scantily clad,

Anthony: This is the perfect cue for you (or whoever did so) to re-post that hilarious cartoon of the preposterously snooty 18th century emperor marching along under a shade (labeled “IPCC”) held aloft by four uniformed flunkies!

Peter Hearnden

Amazing.
People, no one has ever denied there was a MWP. OK?
Please stop spreading myths.
The confusion apparent here may stem from the reality that the magnitude and extent of the MWP (LIA) is, like all science, open to discussion – so most climatologist think the evidence is it might have been muted, but no one knows for sure. Otoh, I am sure most sceptics (like those here) are convinced (utterly convinced, not open to debate – but go on surprise me) the MWP was warmer than now.
But, like I say, go on, surprise me – show me you are scientists. Lets see everyone here say ‘Oh, it is indeed possible the MWP was muted and now is warmer like Dr’s Jones and Mann think‘. How many takers and how many rebuttals?

DirkH

John (07:56:16) :
John, AFAIK it was the inclusion of one (ONE!) freak tree together with Mann’s statistic skills that made the hockey stick:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/04/jo-nova-finds-the-medieval-warm-period/

Hank

regarding wikipedia’s deletion of the roman warm period:
you can check the deletion log….
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=delete&user=&page=Roman+Warm+Period&year=&month=-1&tagfilter=

Neil

We should all remember Phil Jones has had a tough time over the past few months. To some extent he has been left to hang out to dry by other members of the Hockey Team.
Out there in the wilderness he may have had some kind of a Damascus Road Experience. I don’t think he has had any kind of blinding conversion, but he has been something of a “gatekeeper” for both Mike Mann and Keith Briffa. Perhaps the Hockey game has become too rough and he has decided to stop playing for the team and sit out on the sideline for a while.