Did Department of Energy conspire to hide global warming data?
Fox News has this interesting story. Apparently, the US Department of Energy funded the Phil Jones weather station temperature data and told him he didn't have to release the raw data - a fundamental tenet of good science so that others can duplicate your results.
Without the raw data, no one can repeat the Jones model. And the Climategate 2.0 emails finger DoE as backing Jones up in his efforts to deny skeptics a look at the data.
Making that case in 2009, the then-head of the Research Unit, Dr. Phil Jones, told colleagues repeatedly that the U.S. Department of Energy was funding his data collection -- and that officials there agreed that he should not have to release the data.
"Work on the land station data has been funded by the U.S. Dept of Energy, and I have their agreement that the data needn't be passed on. I got this [agreement] in 2007," Jones wrote in a May 13, 2009, email to British officials, before listing reasons he did not want them to release data.
Two months later, Jones reiterated that sentiment to colleagues, saying that the data "has to be well hidden. I've discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data."
A third email from Jones written in 2007 echoes the idea: "They are happy with me not passing on the station data," he wrote.
The emails have outraged climate-change skeptics who say they can't trust climate studies unless they see the raw data -- and how it has been adjusted.
"In every endeavor of science, making your work replicable by others is a basic tenet of proof," Anthony Watts, a meteorologist and climate change blogger, told FoxNews.com. "If other scientists cannot replicate your work, it brings your work into question."
Is the Department of Energy to blame? The Climategate emails reveal correspondence only between Jones and his colleagues -- not between him and the DoE.
"What's missing," Watts said, "is a ... directive from DoE that they should withhold station data gathered under their grant. The email may be there, but ... still under lock and key."
There have been several Freedom of Information Act requests for that station data that have been refused. The excuse has been that Jones is such a poor record keeper that no one can find the data. No one actually believes that, but there is little that can be done to change it.
The DoE needs to come clean and tell us if they did indeed direct Jones to hide the data from skeptics.