The Climategate Investigation

Last month, while the American media were distracted by the health care vote in Congress, the British Parliament published the results of its investigation into East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that has been at the center of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) controversy. It seems that many were hoping that no one would read this report, at least not beyond the milquetoast executive summary.

Buried deep within the report is a compelling piece of evidence. In volume two, there is a memorandum submitted as evidence from Lord Lawson of Blaby, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which was in response to four very significant questions from the investigating committee. This memo confirms the claims by many global warming skeptics that the scientists at CRU were trying to hide data and silence the skeptics. The questions asked by the investigative committee are as follows:

(i) Have the CRU scientists been manipulating the raw surface temperature data in a way that is less than wholly objective and dispassionate?

(ii) Have they refused dissenting scientists and/or other outsiders with a bona fide interest in global warming access to the raw data, contrary to the proper canons of scientific research and to the demands of scientific integrity?

(iii) Have they been improperly seeking to avoid answering Freedom of information Act requests?

(iv) Have they actively sought to prevent papers by dissenting scientists, statisticians, or other informed commentators from being peer-reviewed and/or published, again contrary to the proper canons of scientific research and to the demands of scientific integrity?

Lord Lawson's response to these questions is damning:

We believe that there is compelling evidence both independent of the leaked email exchanges and arising from those emails to suggest that the answers to (ii), (iii) and (iv) above are clearly 'yes'.

However, Lord Lawson chooses his words more carefully in answering the smoking-gun question at the top of the list:

Moreover, we are disturbed by the CRU scientists' treatment of the so-called divergence problem. That is the fact that, for that period of time where both a proxy global temperature series and a recorded global temperature series are available, the two series markedly diverge. This clearly suggests either that the proxy series is unreliable or that the recorded series is unreliable (or possibly both: the point is that they cannot both be true). The CRU scientists' attempt to hide the problem by concealing the divergence demonstrates, we believe, a lack of integrity.

Integrity is at the very heart of the AGW debate -- not just the integrity of the discredited scientists involved, but also the integrity of the data used by the CRU. For many years, the global warming skeptics have been citing that the differing data sets are not in agreement and have asked the simple question "why?" Their assertion has always been that until a scientific explanation for the differences is found, there can be no definitive conclusion concerning AGW. This question was always avoided by the now-discredited Dr. Jones, who headed up the CRU. But finally, some light has been shed onto the question of integrity of the data. In this same memo, Lord Lawson clarifies some of the confusion concerning the differing data sets:

[T]here are, in fact, four (not two) other international data sets, all based in the United States. Two of them - NASA and NOAA - are neither wholly independent of each other (unsurprisingly, since they are both US Government agencies) nor wholly independent of the CRU set, as indeed some of the leaked emails indicates. The third, and fourth, which -- unlike CRU, NASA and NOAA - use not surface weather stations but satellite observations, are compiled by the University of Alabama at Hunstville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). They are entirely independent of the CRU. They use the same satellite data as each other but different methodology and produce similar results to each other, which differ from those of the CRU.

It seems that the only reliable data sets are satellite-derived data. However, those data were not used in the Nobel Prize-winning U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). So the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to a report which was compiled by discredited scientists using discredited data. Does this discredit the Nobel Committee?

In recent years, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made an error by awarding a medal to an athlete who was found to have cheated, the IOC demands that the medal be returned. This is to assure that the integrity of the games is not tarnished. 

Such an action has never been demanded of the Nobel Committee. When it was ruled by the Supreme Court that Nikola Tesla, not Guglielmo Marconi, had invented the radio, Marconi was not asked to return the Nobel Prize for physics. It is unlikely that the Nobel Committee will recall the Peace Prize from the IPCC.  It is also just as unlikely that the integrity of the Nobel Committee can be restored.
Last month, while the American media were distracted by the health care vote in Congress, the British Parliament published the results of its investigation into East Anglia University's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that has been at the center of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) controversy. It seems that many were hoping that no one would read this report, at least not beyond the milquetoast executive summary.

Buried deep within the report is a compelling piece of evidence. In volume two, there is a memorandum submitted as evidence from Lord Lawson of Blaby, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which was in response to four very significant questions from the investigating committee. This memo confirms the claims by many global warming skeptics that the scientists at CRU were trying to hide data and silence the skeptics. The questions asked by the investigative committee are as follows:

(i) Have the CRU scientists been manipulating the raw surface temperature data in a way that is less than wholly objective and dispassionate?

(ii) Have they refused dissenting scientists and/or other outsiders with a bona fide interest in global warming access to the raw data, contrary to the proper canons of scientific research and to the demands of scientific integrity?

(iii) Have they been improperly seeking to avoid answering Freedom of information Act requests?

(iv) Have they actively sought to prevent papers by dissenting scientists, statisticians, or other informed commentators from being peer-reviewed and/or published, again contrary to the proper canons of scientific research and to the demands of scientific integrity?

Lord Lawson's response to these questions is damning:

We believe that there is compelling evidence both independent of the leaked email exchanges and arising from those emails to suggest that the answers to (ii), (iii) and (iv) above are clearly 'yes'.

However, Lord Lawson chooses his words more carefully in answering the smoking-gun question at the top of the list:

Moreover, we are disturbed by the CRU scientists' treatment of the so-called divergence problem. That is the fact that, for that period of time where both a proxy global temperature series and a recorded global temperature series are available, the two series markedly diverge. This clearly suggests either that the proxy series is unreliable or that the recorded series is unreliable (or possibly both: the point is that they cannot both be true). The CRU scientists' attempt to hide the problem by concealing the divergence demonstrates, we believe, a lack of integrity.

Integrity is at the very heart of the AGW debate -- not just the integrity of the discredited scientists involved, but also the integrity of the data used by the CRU. For many years, the global warming skeptics have been citing that the differing data sets are not in agreement and have asked the simple question "why?" Their assertion has always been that until a scientific explanation for the differences is found, there can be no definitive conclusion concerning AGW. This question was always avoided by the now-discredited Dr. Jones, who headed up the CRU. But finally, some light has been shed onto the question of integrity of the data. In this same memo, Lord Lawson clarifies some of the confusion concerning the differing data sets:

[T]here are, in fact, four (not two) other international data sets, all based in the United States. Two of them - NASA and NOAA - are neither wholly independent of each other (unsurprisingly, since they are both US Government agencies) nor wholly independent of the CRU set, as indeed some of the leaked emails indicates. The third, and fourth, which -- unlike CRU, NASA and NOAA - use not surface weather stations but satellite observations, are compiled by the University of Alabama at Hunstville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). They are entirely independent of the CRU. They use the same satellite data as each other but different methodology and produce similar results to each other, which differ from those of the CRU.

It seems that the only reliable data sets are satellite-derived data. However, those data were not used in the Nobel Prize-winning U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). So the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to a report which was compiled by discredited scientists using discredited data. Does this discredit the Nobel Committee?

In recent years, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made an error by awarding a medal to an athlete who was found to have cheated, the IOC demands that the medal be returned. This is to assure that the integrity of the games is not tarnished. 

Such an action has never been demanded of the Nobel Committee. When it was ruled by the Supreme Court that Nikola Tesla, not Guglielmo Marconi, had invented the radio, Marconi was not asked to return the Nobel Prize for physics. It is unlikely that the Nobel Committee will recall the Peace Prize from the IPCC.  It is also just as unlikely that the integrity of the Nobel Committee can be restored.

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