Results of the Climategate Parliamentary Inquiry in the UK

This is the final report, which has been embargoed until 5:01 PM PDT / 00:01 GMT March 31st.

Click for PDF of report

Below is the emailed notice to MP’s sent with the PDF of the report.

Date: 30 March 2010 10:30

Subject: EMBARGOED REPORT: CLIMATE SCIENCE MUST BECOME MORE TRANSPARENT SAY MPs

To: [undisclosed recipients]

Phil Willis MP, Committee Chair, is available for embargoed interviews today. Please let me know if you wish to bid (I will be at the embargoed briefing until approx 1pm but will respond once I return).

Embargoed press briefing for science, environment and news corrs at Science Media Centre (21 Albemarle Street London, W1S 4BS), 11.30 am today.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

Select Committee Announcement

[X]

31 March 2010

***EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 WEDNESDAY 31 MARCH 2010***

CLIMATE SCIENCE MUST BECOME MORE TRANSPARENT, SAY MPs

The Science and Technology Committee today publishes its report on the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The Committee calls for the climate science

community to become more transparent by publishing raw data and detailed methodologies.

Phil Willis MP, Committee Chair, said:

“Climate science is a matter of global importance. On the basis of the science, governments across the world will be spending trillions of pounds on climate change mitigation. The quality of the science therefore has to be irreproachable. What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make available all the data that support their work and full methodological workings, including their computer codes. Had both been available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided.”

The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.

On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails-“trick” and “hiding the decline”-the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a

systematic attempt to mislead.

Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.

The Committee found no reason in this inquiry to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”. But this was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU and it will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel, announced by the University on 22 March, to determine whether the work of CRU has been soundly built.

On the mishandling of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, the Committee considers that much of the responsibility should lie with the University, not CRU. The leaked e-mails appear to show a culture of non-disclosure at CRU and instances where information may have been deleted to avoid disclosure, particularly to climate change sceptics. The failure of the University to grasp fully the potential damage this could do and did was regrettable. The University needs to re-assess how it can

support academics whose expertise in FoI requests is limited.

Ends.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Further details about this inquiry can be found at:

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_technology/s_t_cru_inquiry.cfm

Media Enquiries: Becky Jones: 020 7219 5693 Committee Website:

http://www.parliament.uk/science Publications / Reports / Reference

Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the

Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the

Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases,

evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus

Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on

www.parliament.uk<http://www.parliament.uk/>.

Rebecca Jones

House of Commons Select Committee Media Officer Children, Schools &

Families; Health; Science & Technology; Northern Ireland; Scotland; Wales

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

UPDATE:

Steve McIntyre has a few points to make, which I encourage reading here at Climate Audit

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George E. Smith

Well that is disappointing but not surprising. No mention of the software code that actually did the dirty deeds.

Henry chance

We are nice guys. We see the CRU failed to act more like gentlemen. That is to be regretted.

Bulldust

Holy whitewash Batman! I am going to invest in paints, because demand in Britain just sky-rocketted!

paullm

Well, it seems that the UK-HOC has bought into the AGW scam hook, line & sinker!!!!! Bad timing – the gig’s up.
The IPCC has hung itself and the UK-HOC seems hellbent on joining them. Talk about a house of cards. This one is built on a fault line that’s already quakin’.
The Arctic ice is ready to hit recent record hi extent, Nino’s over the hump, and the rest is lining up for AGW’s facing the music. The Big’s want to hit the ground hard – got it.

Richard Sharpe

Seems like more global warming is falling in the UK …
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/03/global-warming.html

CLIMATE SCIENCE MUST BECOME MORE TRANSPARENT, SAY MPs
And therefore must be embargoed. What a farce.

Nate

“The Committee calls for the climate science community to become more transparent by publishing raw data and detailed methodologies.’ – Something that EVERYONE should be demanding from ALL scientists!

RogerCNY

I wonder how many of the scientists will take this recommendation to heart?
“We therefore consider that climate scientists should take steps to make available all the data that support their work (including raw data) and full methodological workings (including the computer codes).”

Essentially a whitewash, but not unexpected. The real meat was Jones’s admission that there had been no “statistically significant” global warming for the past 15 years. This panel “found no reason in this inquiry to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, that ‘global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity’.” In other words, they ignored the implications of Jones’s testimony.
Interesting choice of words, though: ‘induced’—not as strong as ’caused’, and more strong than ‘influenced’. Is that a sign of a softening of the government’s position?
/Mr Lynn

GP

They have an election coming up and after the expenses fiasco just need to be seen to be doing something once in a while. There seems to have been a deal to let the University take the flak – merely an administrative bureaucratic thing.
They have absolutely no expertise to make judgements and no desire to rock boats when employment may be required and companies are seeking to profit from political largesse for ‘green’ activity. Even if they felt is pertinent they would not have stood up and risked rocking the boat.
In any case the UK Parliament and the associated government are of little consequence these days. The main decisions are taken elsewhere. They know it, so they can feel OK about getting away with as little involvement as possible. Just enough to justify a press release and gather a little publicity.

P Walker

So , they kicked the question of scientific validity back to the university . Anyone care to venture a guess as to how that will turn out ?

nandheeswaran jothi

breathtaking!!! what a whitewash!!!

Dave N

Private emails? They were discussing their publicly funded research using their publicly funded email accounts..
I’d hate to think what the governments attitude would be towards “private” emails sent by their own kind. Whitewashed with the same brush?

Bulldust

Look at the committee votes opn pps.52-54. every single vote showed the same break up on the committee … yep they weren’t prejudiced 😉

GGM

I have flakey memory, so can someone remind me…
Didn’t the CODE prove they deliberately modified data to hide the decline and increase warming ?
I was under the impression that there was evidence that the code they wrote un-ambiguously proved they fixed the results ??
Can someone please remind me of the events regarding that ???

Julian in Wales

I wonder if this white wash will hold? There is now too much knowlege about the bad science behind the scare stories to simply put it all back in the box. This report is so easy to knock down, I wonder if there are a big enough group of journalists to undermine the findings.

GP

Richard Sharpe (17:08:17) :
Seems like more global warming is falling in the UK …
===================================
Spring in Northern Ireland …..
http://www.u.tv/News/Weather-causes-chaos-and-power-cuts/0288e74c-15b2-46db-a258-3fffcce32ce8

peter naegele

next up, the same results from the IPCC investigation.

John Whitman

As I watched the videos of the committee hearing just after they were held it occurred to me that the committee members were, after al, just politicians . . .
I had the impression that they already sensed where the hearing would go. Any really astute politician would.
I thought at the time, sadly, that my expectations for the hearing outcome were high. But I was hopeful.
My hope did not entirely fail me. Some progress was made toward more open science in the future.
I am not surprised by the report from the committee, just disappointed.
KEY POINT for me was the terminology they used in the report. Will comment on that later.
John

pat

Guardian: Climate researchers ‘secrecy’ criticised – but MPs say science remains intact
(N.B. LEAKED)Leaked emails from UK’s Climate Research Unit show scientists withheld information – but inquiry blames university
The MPs were unable to look in detail at allegations that data had been deleted by Jones
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/31/climate-mails-inquiry-jones-cleared
Business Wk: Bloomberg: Alex Morales: U.K. Climate Science ‘Damaged’ by Leaked E-Mails, Lawmakers Say
The lawmakers also said that because a general election is due by June, they didn’t have enough time to hold an in-depth enquiry…
The lawmakers cleared Jones of dishonesty in one of the most widely-cited e-mails, in which he discussed a “trick” to hide the decline in one temperature record. Graham Stringer, one of the four members of the panel who attended the hearings and a lawmaker from the ruling Labour Party, voted against that conclusion. He argued that not enough evidence had been heard…
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-30/u-k-climate-science-damaged-by-leaked-e-mails-lawmakers-say.html
31 March: Norfolk EDP: Tara Greaves: UEA chief ‘cleared’ over Climatgate scandal
But one of the committee members, Graham Stringer, underlined the point that he had taken a dissenting view, and that he was less inclined to exonerate Prof Jones because he felt the committee should have made a more comprehensive inquiry into the whole issue…
http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/edp24/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=NewsSplash&tBrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=NOED30%20Mar%202010%2019%3A19%3A49%3A333
UK Express: CLIMATE COVER-UP PROFESSOR CLEARED OF DISHONESTY
But one committee member, Labour MP Graham Stringer, said: “The committee has gone further than it should have done in trying to exonerate Professor Jones.
“And it went further than it should have in not saying we’ve found evidence that he had done things wrong.”..
A statement from the university added: “It is a matter of regret to us that the theft of emails and the misrepresentation of their contents has damaged the reputation of UK climate science.”
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/166157/Climate-cover-up-Professor-cleared-of-dishonesty

pat

NYT: AP: U.K. Panel Calls Climate Data Valid
At the same time, the lawmakers stressed that their report, written after only a single day of oral testimony, did not cover all the issues and that two other inquiries into the integrity of the science would be more thorough. ..
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/science/earth/31climate.html
31 March: UK Times: Ben Webster: Climate-row professor Phil Jones should return to work, say MPs
An MP on the committee told The Times that, before this month’s public hearing, the members had agreed not to question Professor Jones too closely because of his fragile condition… http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7081921.ece
Independent: Leading article: Climate change fightback, part 1
But one thing is certain, judging from the select committee’s report: the consensus on global warming remains. It is a reality, and human activities are more than likely to be largely responsible. We owe scientists like Professor Jones a debt of gratitude for pointing this out.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-climate-change-fightback-part-1-1931449.html

James F. Evans

Not a total whitewash, but pretty damn close…

KTWO

It takes a while to read 65 pages. Regrettable that.
But it is clear they didn’t want to find anything and came very close to the goal.
Well played.

JohnSpace

LOL, considering that the committee only had proponents (one had to quit, another should have quit) and didn’t call the skeptics that DEALT with the CRU’s dishonesty, I mean “standard climate science practice that needs to be changed”, this is hardly surprising. I did though like how they are using “consensus” while ignoring all the tampering with peer review mentioned in those emails.

Syl

From the minutes at the end, it seems that Graham Stringer was always a dissident on contentious wording.
Seems that there were 3 warmists and 1 denier. These whitewashes are a joke. It will be interesting what Stringer says of the report.

Peter Fimmel

What a limp-wristed whitewash!

R. de Haan

Did we expect any other conclusion! Really!
Professor Jones almost committed suicide without any reason! Really!
Excellent cover up operation.

David Q.

Typical for these kind of inqueries. They have to focus on the important part, ie withholding of data and code. It is an absolut that can be addressed. The rest, e-mails, deleted data etc. will not matter in the long run.
After all if they are forced to reveal data and code, then we’ve got them, right?
Scientific research demands reproducable results. If they deleted it, it ain’t reproducable hence has to be tossed or redone.
Free access to all of the data and code, is the big price, lets stay focused on that.

The most important thing to come from this , is that once and for all, climate science will now be under scrutiny by all of us. No more hiding under the cover of ignorance.
This will undoubtedly take years to sort through , and in the end, when the world realizes that mankind is not contributing to natural global warming , all of this fiasco will be forgotten, and will be nothing more than a footnote in history like the many other doomsday scenarios we have been subjected to in the past 50 years.
All the best guys :
Ian

It’s not for nothing that this is being called the most corrupt parliament in living memory. The inquiry specifically ruled out inquiring into the science and then once the sceptics were unable to provide evidence that demonstrates the lack of science, they then went and got some lacky from the Met Office to state the science was fine and then simply repeated this unsubstantiated “fact” as having proved the science to be safe.
It’s all a bit like the second homes. The rules didn’t specifically rule out making huge sums from switching homes, so they went and did it even though most people think it was corrupt. Similarly the behaviour of the “scientists”, are better judged by ordinary people who have integrity than by politicians whose standards leave a lot to be desired.
Unfortunately, all this report will do is to entrenched people’s views on both sides and so further diminish the standing of MPs & scientists in the public’s eyes.

How can they say there was no purposeful attempt at obfuscation of the data then say that data was deleted in order to avoid disclosure? The report contradicts itself.

JimAsh

I read about half of that.
Whether white or eye it is certainly being washed.
How do these ignorant weenies attain high office anyway ?

Professor Jones told us that the published e-mails represented only “one tenth of 1%” of his output, which amounts to one million e-mails, and that we were only seeing the end of a protracted series of e-mail exchanges.
1 Million Emails?
1 MILLION Emails? This guy IS a “loon” of the highest caliber.
Let’s say 1 minute per Email. Hum, 10^6/(24*365*60)/.3 = 6.4 years of work..presuming Dr. Jones was writing Emails at the rate of 1 per minute for 8 hours a day.
Realistically, most people spend about 45 minutes a day on Emails. That’s a factor of 11 times more time to generate that 1,000,000 Emails, or about 70 years.
Yeah, I forgot…silly me, the DARPAnet was up in 1940. British invention, right? And Dr. Jones IS 90 years old. Right?
So I guess he DID produce those 1 million Emails.

1DandyTroll

At least every one can be sure that a eurocrat inquire will be soundly political correct.
Although even when it does so to the extreme, as in distinguish between to trick once and to hide a decline once, and to systematically do so. And as far as the letter tells it they pretty much just made the bad results once each.

R. Gates

Did anybody really expect anything different? I’m mean really? No matter what side of the AGW issue you’re on, this report is exactly what you would have expected. This is pretty much a non-story…move on.

lance

why am I not surprised, nothing to see here, move along…what a farce

KTWO

By point #46 the report is hopelessly absurd.
And after #47 this reader had no more amazement to express.
No need to inspect CRU data because other independent sets exist?
And no, not two more groups as usually stated, but five….
Moving to #47,
47: “This has substance if one considers CRU’s work in isolation. But science is more than individual researchers or research groups….”
Translated: “It is true. But we don’t care. If you do you don’t understand. And since you are so stupid we will explain it exactly as Professor Jones explained it to us.”
I always urge readers to examine the source when they can. Read it……

On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change…
…and until the data and code have been made public and have been checked, all scientific studies based on them must be regarded as unsafe.

kim

Syl, I don’t expect what Stringer knows to go away. It’ll still take time, but the truth outs itself eventually. It can’t help it.
==========

GGM (17:21:19) : Didn’t the CODE prove they deliberately modified data to hide the decline and increase warming ?
No.

R. de Haan

Sceptics have not been surprised to find that almost all the members of the ‘Climategate’ inquiry are committed advocates of global warming
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5440&linkbox=true&position=7

Now we know why they switched to latex on on Stevenson screens. Supply constraints on whitewash.

Marlene Anderson

The only surprise is that they had any critique to offer at all. When the faith of AGW has been the UK gov’t’s sustaining belief system for almost three decades it would be unthinkable to offer up anything that would dislodge the central tenets of their religion. Remember it was the UK that first embraced AGW and will now defend it to the death. As the old saying goes, they’ll go down with the ship in full salute.

BarryW

Disgusting.

Socratease

All the MPs have to do is make data and methodology transparency a condition of government research grants and the problem will be solved. That they didn’t even mention this tells me they have no intention of taking their own conclusions seriously, and neither will anyone else.

I’ve said it before. No one is going to get burned on any of this. All whitewash. Also, the U.S. taxpayer is going to get cap and trade and $3-5 gasoline plus higher electric bills. Then, our IRAs will get tapped and then if you are a sportsman and like to hunt or fish you will probably lose those rights too. I really believe we are at a “tipping point” with a rather robust situation looming.
I guess a wee dram of scotch is in order.

Dave F

Wow. They investigated the meaning of ‘hide the decline’? What a joke.

Slightly OT but the reason I feel discouraged is because the real issue is avoided here there and everywhere.
The question to answer is this, is man made CO2 responsible for climate change?
Temperature going up, not relevant. Temperature going down, not relevant. Data collected this way or that way, not relevant. The physicists are silent. The current climate model is not disputed. Why?

Steve Goddard

“We have again concluded that snowfall in Britain is a thing of past.”
Starting the day after tomorrow.
http://www.snow-forecast.com/maps/static/europe/next3days/snow

sky

The English have been famous for their stiff upper lip. Are they now courting fame for limp excuses?