Phil Jones on the hot seat – not sharing data is "standard practice"

Excerpts from the Daily Mail article here:

Head of ‘Climategate’ research unit admits he hid data – because it was ‘standard practice’

The scientist at the heart of the ‘Climategate’ row over global warming hid data ‘because it was standard practice’, it emerged today.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s prestigious climatic research unit, today admitted to MPs that the centre withheld raw station data about global temperatures from around the world.

The world-renowned research unit has been under fire since private emails, which sceptics claimed showed evidence of scientists manipulating climate data, were hacked from the university’s server and posted online.

Professor Phil Jones

On the spot: Professor Phil Jones being grilled by the Science and Technology committee in the Commons today

Now, an independent probe is examining allegations stemming from the emails that scientists hid, manipulated or deleted data to exaggerate the case for man-made global warming.

Prof Jones today said it was not ‘standard practice’ in climate science to release data and methodology for scientific findings so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.

He also said the scientific journals which had published his papers had never asked to see it.

Appearing before the committee’s hearing into the disclosure of data from the CRU alongside Prof Jones, the university’s vice chancellor Prof Edward Acton said he had not seen any evidence of flaws in the overall science of climate change – but said he was planning this week to announce the chair of a second independent inquiry, which will look into the science produced at CRU.

h/t to WUWT reader Richard Lawson

UPDATE: Steven Mosher writes in comments about some relevant history that disproves Dr. Jones claim of “standard practice”:

==========================

OK. Everybody write the UEA committee.

Jones says its standard practice NOT to share data.

1. in 2002 PRIOR to the publication of MM2003 Jones shared

data with Mcintyre. Jones was aware of confidentiality agreements.

“Dear Steve,

Attached are the two similar files [normup6190, cruwld.dat] to those I sent before which should be for the 1994 version. This is still the current version until the paper appears for the new one. As before the stations with normal values do not get used.

I’ll bear your comments in mind when possibly releasing the station data for the new version (comments wrt annual temperatures as well as the monthly). One problem with this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. With monthly data I can use even one value for a station in a year (for the month concerned), but for annual data I would have to decide on something like 8-11 months being needed for an annual average. With fewer than 12 I then have to decide what to insert for missing data. Problem also applies to the grid box dataset but is slightly less of an issue.

I say possibly releasing above, as I don’t want to run into the issues that GHCN have come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available. I would like to see more countries make their data freely available (and although these monthly averages should be according to GCOS rules for GAA-operational Met. Service.

Cheers

Phil Jones”

http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/06/a-2002-request-to-cru/

2. After the publication of MM03 he refused to share that data with Hughes in Feb 2005:a month after MM05 was published and a month after Wigly and he discussed ways to avoid FOIA. He refused

again with Mcintyre in 2007, citing confidentiality agreements.

3. Fully aware of the confidentiality agreements Jones shared the data

with Webster and with Rutherford.

His standard practice was this.

If Jones had no reason to suspect you as an individual he would violate confidentiality agreements and send you data. If jones didn’t like your results or your treatment of his co author Dr. Mann, then he would refuse you data.

There is nothing standard about this practice.

===================================

It appears once Dr. Jones learned that Steve McIntyre had skeptical views, his unwillingness to share data became “standard practice”. – Anthony

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Henry chance

Jones is wrong. Not sharing data is his standard practice. The FOIA says otherwise. Typical of conmen that hide information.
It is standard for dishonest people to keep secrets.

Noodlehead

Standard practice!
Is this a standard in other non-military scientific disciplines?

TerryMN

I was lucky enough to watch this and the other sessions. This, IMO, was the most interesting portion to watch.

JonesII

That ostrich’s technology of hiding head under the sand it is used by them who do not want to see the source of all light and heat: The Sun.

coaldust

We already knew hiding data was standard practice in climate science. But admitting it? That is something new. Thank you, leaker.

Allan M

Prof Jones today said it was not ’standard practice’ in climate science to release data and methodology for scientific findings so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.
And, pray, who set the ‘standard’ that is so different from any other science? More of the old going round in circles, post-normally. Credibility zero.

John Peter

Here is something about this on BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8543289.stm
“Professor Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of UEA, told the committee that it was not possible to make the entire international data set available because of a “commercial promise”.
He explained that a number of contributing nations – including Canada, Poland and Sweden – had refused to make their segments of data publicly available.”
Anyone from Canada, Poland and/or Sweden who can confirm that in fact these countries will not release the RAW data to other than CRU???
Sounds strange that such developed countries would withhold this kind of information.

B. Smith

Standard practice in science is to NOT share data?
Say what?

My pleasure.
Not sharing data is ‘standard practice’.
In the black art of science fraud it is Phil. Is that what you have been practicing over the last 20 years?

Bishop Hill did a fantastic live blog, see here for the different panellists:
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/

hunter

Standard practice my eye.

Simon

“Prof Jones today said it was not ’standard practice’ in climate science to release data and methodology for scientific findings so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.”
This is why “climate science” is not science but religion.

Lord Lawson was also giving evidence today so that is genuine ‘peer’ review!
tonyb

Erik in Cairo

It would be nice to have a video clip of that being said. Wow!

C. Quesenberry

… the university’s vice chancellor Prof Edward Acton said he had not seen any evidence of flaws in the overall science of climate change – but said he was planning this week to announce the chair of a second independent inquiry, which will look into the science produced at CRU.
I’m not sure I would call the stuff produced at CRU “science”.

Copner

You missed the best bit.
He also agreed that it (sharing data) should be a standard practice in future.
BTW the exchange between him and Graham Stringer on this was the biggest section in Harrabin’s report on BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

Karl Maki

Prof Jones today said it was not ’standard practice’ in climate science to release data and methodology for scientific findings so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.
Not really science then, is it?

Mike McMillan

The fellow in the photo doesn’t look like the press release Phil Jones. He seems to have aged considerably since the email release.
Understandably.

Erik in Cairo (11:46:36) :
Erik, not sure if you will be able to view it in Cairo (geo restriction) but try this:
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5979

Bill Marsh

Prof Jones today said it was not ’standard practice’ in climate science to release data and methodology for scientific findings so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.
——————–
Which demonstrates that any correlation between ‘climate science’ and real science is purely coincidental. That may be the single most stunning admission I’ve heard this year.

johnnythelowery

What a S.O.P. !!! (Geddit?)

Hal

Wow…Phil Jones looks old in that picture.
or is it stress

MikeO

So Acton is saying AGW must be true because Jones says it is! A scientific mind that. I thought on the BBC Jones said he was disorganised and that was the reason. Could we try a lie detector?

johnnythelowery

…standard operating procedure (rebuff the requests, shred the emails, change the data, hide the decline, ignore the chorus, pocket Profit, be empowered, become relevant, triumph over the adversarys, and if that fails: lie)

Wren

For broader and, IMO, more balanced report on the hearings, see
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/01/phil-jones-climate-science-emails-select-committee-hearing
The Guardian also has live coverage of the hearings.

MattN

The most important and the most heavily funded research in the history of this planet and it is STANDARD PRACTICE not to share the info???
Are you kidding me?

PaulT

Canadian climate data is available online. See link below:
http://climat.meteo.gc.ca/prods_servs/index_e.html
As far as I can see there are no restrictions on the redistribution of Canadian data in the context of the uses (research) being discussed. See item 2 below. I think that the claim from Edward Acton is worthy of further research.
License Agreement for Use of Environment Canada Data
LIMITED USE SOFTWARE AND DATA PRODUCT LICENSE AGREEMENT
1. GRANT OF LICENSE – The Government of Canada (Environment Canada) is the owner of all intellectual property rights (including copyright) of this Software and Data Product. You are granted a limited, non-exclusive, non-assignable and non-transferable license to use this software and data product subject to the terms below. This license is not a sale of any or all of the owner’s rights. This product may only be used by you, and you may not rent, lease, lend, sub-license or transfer the data product or any of your rights under this agreement to anyone else, except under the following terms and conditions.
2. REDISTRIBUTION RESTRICTIONS – You are authorized to further distribute the data or software, including any portion of it, contained in this product under the following conditions only. No fee will be charged explicitly for this Environment Canada product to any party to whom it is distributed. (Charges for value-added services are permitted.). In consideration of the license you are herein granted, you have the obligation to acknowledge the source of the Environment Canada Data with the following layout or something similar: based on Environment Canada data. Redistribution must occur so that any other party must agree to the same redistribution restrictions before use of the redistributed product is allowed.
3. NO WARRANTIES – Environment Canada does not warrant the quality, accuracy, or completeness of any information or data. Such information and data is provided “AS IS” without warranty or condition of any nature. Environment Canada disclaims all other warranties, expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to the software, the data retrieved from this product, and any accompanying materials.
4. RESTRICTION AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY – In no event shall Environment Canada be liable for any other damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of, or inability to use this Environment Canada product, even if Environment Canada has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In any case, Environment Canada’s entire liability under any provision of this agreement shall be limited to the amount actually paid by you for the data product.
5. RESPONSIBLE USE – It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that your use of this product complies with these terms and to seek prior written permission from Environment Canada and pay any additional fees or royalties, as may be required, for any uses not permitted or not specified in this agreement.
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National Archives and Data Management Branch,
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Downsview, Ontario M3H 5T4
Tel: (416) 739-4328
Fax: (416) 739-4446
Cheers!

HoiPolloi

“He explained that a number of contributing nations – including Canada, Poland and Sweden – had refused to make their segments of data publicly available.”
Why is that? Is it privately funded? I don’t think so. And why are temperature data so secret? It ain’t rocket/nuclear science? Fercrissakes it’s temperature!

avenir

Here’s a recording of the select committee. Available here at the UK parliament site, not sure you’ll be able to see it elsewhere
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5979

rbateman

“Professor Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of UEA, told the committee that it was not possible to make the entire international data set available because of a “commercial promise”
Bring on the next question: To whom was this commercial promise made?
And what gives a publicly-funded institution the right to sell public info to a commercial enterprise (as if it were true) for profit?
Seems to me that even if a priate entity gives anything to a public institution it then becomes public by default, including the info of private donation to a non-profit public inst.

John Carter

Noodlehead (11:36:22) :
Is this a standard in other non-military scientific disciplines?
Tech more than science, but back in my military days, if I propsed a tech procedure change I had to show my work and data to support it.
Jones has finally flat out admitted what we’ve been claiming: He runs climate “science” in ways differing from the scientific method. If we can’t duplicate his work, why should we believe it?

gcb

I did my undergrad in geology some years ago. There, it was standard practice to hide your data – but ONLY until you’d published your research, because you didn’t want to get “scooped”. Small wonder that so many geologists thing AGW is a load of crap.

PJB

You submit answers to test questions and get a passing grade.
When asked to show your work you reply: “Why should I?”
GUILTY AS CHARGED!

Leon Brozyna

Standard practice?
Translation: That’s the way everyone does things and that’s the way we’ve always done things.
That’s the standard lame excuse that’s always trotted out when failure occurs and one tries to justify the failure by falling back on the ‘way it’s always been done’ defense. In business this usually is followed by a quick firing, but this is an unholy mix of politics and a quasi-religion, so it may end up with a mild tsk-tsk reprimand and a return to business as usual.

Ok,
Everybody write the UEA committee.
Jones says its standard practice NOT to share data.
1. in 2002 PRIOR to the publication of MM2003 Jones shared
data with Mcintyre. Jones was aware of confidentiality agreements.
“Dear Steve,
Attached are the two similar files [normup6190, cruwld.dat] to those I sent before which should be for the 1994 version. This is still the current version until the paper appears for the new one. As before the stations with normal values do not get used.
I’ll bear your comments in mind when possibly releasing the station data for the new version (comments wrt annual temperatures as well as the monthly). One problem with this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. With monthly data I can use even one value for a station in a year (for the month concerned), but for annual data I would have to decide on something like 8-11 months being needed for an annual average. With fewer than 12 I then have to decide what to insert for missing data. Problem also applies to the grid box dataset but is slightly less of an issue.
I say possibly releasing above, as I don’t want to run into the issues that GHCN have come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available. I would like to see more countries make their data freely available (and although these monthly averages should be according to GCOS rules for GAA-operational Met. Service.
Cheers
Phil Jones”
http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/06/a-2002-request-to-cru/
2. After the publication of MM03 he refused to share that data with Hughes in Feb 2005:a month after MM05 was published and a month after Wigly and he discussed ways to avoid FOIA. He refused
again with Mcintyre in 2007, citing confidentiality agreements.
3. Fully aware of the confidentiality agreements Jones shared the data
with Webster and with Rutherford.
His standard practice was this.
If Jones had no reason to suspect you as an individual he would violate confidentiality agreements and send you data.
If jones didn’t like your results or your treatment of his co author Dr. Mann,
then he would refuse you data.
there is nothing standard about this practice.

DirkH

Isn’t there a journal for unreproducible results?
I only hope one journalist on this planet understands the implications.

During a brief report by the BBC on the House of Common Science & Technology committee enquiry, conducted by MPs, indirect reference was made by at least one MP (a scientist) to ‘The CRUtape letters’. I had supplied each of the committee members with a copy last week.

Ibrahim

“scientific journals which had published his papers had never asked to see it”
Could Nature verify this?

G.L. Alston

Sad.
If it can’t be replicated, its not science. Replication is the core principle.
Meanwhile Gore in the NYT op-ed yammered about CRU etc by claiming that FOI requests were make-work demands by skeptics hoping to delay real science.
WTF?
When did the very definition of scientific method change? Furthermore, when did it become so FUBAR’d that FOI was required?

Robert of Ottawa

Is the CRU working on Cold Fusion in their spare time?

paullm

“commercial promise” = compromised science = an absolute mandate to be revealed and challenged and definitely not valid for consideration in setting any public policy.
Any of the institutions of “learning” attended by Jones and any employee of Jones, et al must be exposed for full discrediting and other consequences. How could such a belief be condoned for an instant by any oversight organization?
It is wonderful that the arrogance running rampant worldwide is being challenged! If this characteristic is brought under a fair degree of control what a great stride forward for upper level leadership!

In good ol´ times of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Phil and Edward would have been tarred and feathered and driven out of the town sitting in a wooden bar.

Nick

Not many scientists here, are there?
Standard practice is to outline the initial hypothesis, assumptions, and data, provide a guide of methodology, and conclusions. It is not to provide all of the interim and explicit calculations and values. You don’t release tables of processed data and explicit code.
Peer review doesn’t work by taking all of a scientist’s numbers ‘along the way’ and running them yourself – you aren’t testing their methodology, you’re simply doing what they did over again. Peer review means you look at the methodology, and using the same assumptions and initial data, designing and running the analysis yourself. If your conclusions are the same, then you validate the paper. If they are different, you inquire where and how your methods and analysis differ. If you cannot reconcile the differences, then in all likelihood the conclusions are not robust enough to pass peer-review.
Is this harder than simply running a carbon copy code and analysis? Yes.
Does it actually test the robustness of the conclusions, rather than simply whether you can also make carbon copy code and conclusions? Yes.
THAT is how peer review, and science, works.
FTA: “According to the University of East Anglia (UEA) much of the data could not have been released without the permission of the countries which generated the information – and that while the majority had now allowed the figures to be released, a handful had refused to let CRU publish it.”
There are datasets I have accessed that come with a non-disclosure agreement. I cannot just release it. It’s like ripping a CD and uploading a torrent to the web: sure, I could do it, but I am going to have some legal action taken against me. Is that how I would like it? No, datasets should be free. But that’s the way it is.

tty

“Anyone from Canada, Poland and/or Sweden who can confirm that in fact these countries will not release the RAW data to other than CRU???”
Swedish climatological data are freely available from SMHI (the Swedish Weather Office) here:
http://www.smhi.se/hfa_coord/nordklim/data/Nordklim_data_set_v1_0_2002.xls
and here:
http://www.smhi.se/klimatdata/meteorologi/dataserier-for-observationsstationer-1961-2008-1.7375
though this may not be the same station set that CRU used.
However anyone can just walk into SMHI and demand the data. Sweden has a very strong FOIA (“Offentlighetsprincipen”, actually the “original” FOIA all others are based on). You don’t even have to give your name or tell what you want the data for (and as a matter of fact it is an offence to ask).

Phillep Harding

Jones and Hansen are two of the founders of “climate science”, aren’t they? They set the standards, then claim “tradition”?
Hey, Hunter – You sit on your “eye”?

Also from the hearing:
Professor Julia Slingo OBE, Chief Scientist, Met Office UK in answering a question as to why the land based temperature data record has shown higher temperature anomaly than the two satellite records explains that the reason is that satellite data is “an order of magnitude” (10x) less accurate than the land based thermometer data [you know those thermometers in latex-painted boxes at the end of aircraft runways and in cities]. She dismisses the urban heat effect by saying “we’ve looked at it” and says the issues with the Mann Hockey Stick have been “resolved” without mentioning that it has been discredited.
Don’t miss the first part of the hearing discussing the Mann Hockey Stick as “fraudulent” and Mike’s Nature Trick as a deliberate deception intended to hide the decline. Professor Phil Jones trembles and hands shake throughout his testimony as he evades answering questions.

Richard Wakefield

“Anyone from Canada, Poland and/or Sweden who can confirm that in fact these countries will not release the RAW data to other than CRU???”
I’m still downloading all the data fom Environment Canada’s website. No one has stopped me. I also phoned originally to see if I could get it on CD, they would provide all the raw data for a fee. Which I was unwilling to pay, so I just get it off their website, which anyone can get.

Jose A Veragio


On the spot: Professor Phil Jones being grilled by the Science and Technology committee in the Commons today

Poor bloke. Did he ever expect Global Warming to get this hot ?
Is it fair that he should be taking all the heat ‘though ?
He was only an over enthusiastic pawn in the grand scheme of things.

Simon H

If I understood Acton/Jones correctly, Canada didn’t give permission for the CRU to share the data. Instead, they prefer for the data to be downloaded from their website directly. So it may, technically, be true to say that Canada refuses to allow CRU to release their data.
However, it is NOT correct for the CRU to intimate that Canada refuses to allow access to their data. The provision of a link to the download on the Environment Canada website from CRU or the Met Office would be easy to provide. But that would be contrary to their purposeful and deliberate obfuscations.
It’s also worth noting that the Met Office’s hard-sell, to the Parliamentary Enquiry, of their/the CRU’s proactive sharing of underlying data DID NOT happen when they were first asked for it. It didn’t happen when they began receiving FOI requests, either. It all ONLY began happening after Climategate. That’s reactive, not proactive.
And I never heard a more advocacy-laden diatribe than the bilge that spilled forth from Beddington, Slingo and Watson.