I’ve read blog posts longer than this report. The Global Warming Policy Foundation of London has this to say about it:
Another Unsatisfactory Rushed Job
LONDON, 14 April 2010 – The Global Warming Policy Foundation regrets that the Oxburgh Panel has been rushed and therefore extremely superficial. The body of the report is hardly five pages long. The Panel should have taken more time to arrive at more balanced and more trustworthy conclusions as there was no need to rush the inquiry.
The Panel worked by interviewing and questioning staff members of CRU, but failed to interview critical researchers who have been working in the same field for many years. The Panel even ignored, as it admits, to properly review their written evidence.
We welcome the acknowledgement by the Panel that the Urban Heat Island effect on surface temperatures records in and around large cities is important but poorly understood. We also welcome the admission that the IPCC ignored the expressions of uncertainty in CRU papers.
We also note, in the context of the long-term temperature record, its comment that “the potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work.”
In general, the report is being politely kind to CRU, but in essence rather critical of the disorganised and amateurish use of statistics. It is hardly an endorsement of the quality of the research being carried out at what is supposed to be the world’s leading unit which has received so much government funding.
Given the huge economic and social implications, one would expect that an independent audit would be more rigorous and more even-handed than the Oxburgh panel.
Steve McIntyre writes that he wasn’t interviewed:
The Oxburgh report ” is a flimsy and embarrassing 5-pages.
They did not interview me (nor, to my knowledge, any other CRU critics or targets). The committee was announced on March 22 and their “report” is dated April 12 – three weeks end to end – less time than even the Parliamentary Committee. They took no evidence. Their list of references is 11 CRU papers, five on tree rings, six on CRUTEM. Notably missing from the “sample” are their 1000-year reconstructions: Jones et al 1998, Mann and Jones 2003, Jones and Mann 2004, etc.)
They did not discuss specifically discuss or report on any of the incidents of arbitrary adjustment (“bodging”), cherry picking and deletion of adverse data, mentioned in my submissions to the Science and Technology Committee and the Muir Russell Committee. I’ll report on these issues later in the day as they’ll take a little time to review. First, let’s observe Oxburgh’s trick to hide the “trick”.
Long before Climategate, Climate Audit readers knew that you had to watch the pea under the thimble whenever you’re dealing with the Team. This is true with Oxburgh of Globe International as well.
Oxburgh of Globe International alludes to the “trick..to hide the decline” in veiled terms as follows:
CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined.
Without specifically mentioning the famous “trick …to hide the decline”, Oxburgh subsumes the “trick” as “regrettable” “neglect” by “IPCC and others”.
But watch the pea under Oxburgh’s thimble.
The Oxburgh Report regrettably neglected to highlight the fact that CRU scientists Briffa and Jones, together with Michael Mann, were the IPCC authors responsible for this “regrettable neglect” in the Third Assessment Report. They also regrettably neglected to report that CRU scientist Briffa was the IPCC author responsible for the corresponding section in AR4.
Oxburgh pretends that the fault lay with “IPCC and others”, but this pretence is itself a trick. CRU was up to its elbows in the relevant IPCC presentations that “regrettably” “neglected” to show the divergent data in their graphics.
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