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Russell review to start work

Nearly three months after Climategate, Sir Muir Russell's review of the implications finally gets off the ground today. Well, he's going to make an announcement about starting work anyway.

Sir Muir Russell, who is chair of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and former principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, will explain the review's remit at 11am at a press conference and clarify which issues it will investigate. He will also set out the review's work plan and processes, invite submissions and evidence, explain the inquiry's openness and publication policy and provide an estimate for when he will report back. He will also introduce his team.


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Reader Comments (8)

Sky news are reporting this with the usual "underlying science is robust" statement, if it's so robust they should be able to show it, all I've seen are computer models and dodgy proxy graphs.

Feb 11, 2010 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJasonF

Sir Muir is between a rock and a hard place, it's not a job a coward would take on. I am assuming that the UEA want this to go away, they have two options, a condemnation of the activities of the CRU with the appropriate penalties for those involved in the shananigans, or a whitewash. There is probably a third option which expresses mild criticism and general dismay at the way things were in the CRU, but given the monumental problem of he continuous hounding of these brave, selfless, scientists it is understandable. That would be risky given the UK government is also setting up an enquiry, but if Lord Hutton could let Blair of the hook in the Kelly affair, who knows what Sir Muir could do?

I have a copy of what I believe is the full list of FOI requests to the CRU, there were 105, 58 of which were identical requests for temperature data from different countries. A large number were after climategate broke, and of the remaining FOI requests I can find only six before 2009, four in 2007 and 2 in 2008.

Feb 11, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Three months to just start an investigation in the leak of one file? He will be finished in three years plus, maybe. In India it could take 30 years (by that time it will be proven if we experience man made global warming, Mann made global warming or just simply natural climate change). This slow motion is all done on purpose, to get a government embarrassing story off the head lines, to give those in need time to claim amnesia, get dementia or die of old age.
Sir Muir could import some Indian know how for this - wait - they learn it from the British!

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

Inmteresting that though 2 previous jobs are listed his previous & most important one isn't. According to Wikipedia:

"He was appointed Permanent Secretary at The Scottish Office in May 1998, and to the Scottish Executive since its establishment in 1999. He was widely believed to be primarily responsible for the massive overspend on the new Scottish Parliament Building and was criticised by Lord Fraser of Carmyllie's enquiry for failing to keep the politicians informed..."

That he then got further lucrative jobs after blowing £400 million seems strange. It is possible that he actually just covered for the politicians who knew perfectly well what a mess they were making. If so he is particularly well qualified to do the sort of job UEA clearly want.

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

There is a litmus test by which everyone can determine whether this will be a whitewash, or an actual investigation: the calling of Mr Steve McIntyre to testify.

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMogumbo Gono

Bishop Hill

Guardian 11 February 2010: 'Head of UEA inquiry to outline scope
of review into hacked climate emails'

1. You treat today's Guardian story that Sir Muir Russell will
today set out the remit of his review.

2. It is worth noting that the Guardian story also incidentally
summarises as follows the issues arising out of the publication
of the Climategate E-mails & documents:

'Despite exaggerated blog and media claims, the emails do not
provide evidence of collusion among scientists to fabricate data
or invent hoax warming claims. However, a major investigation by
the Guardian has established that the scientists involved went
to great lengths to block FoI requests, abused the peer review
process to exclude rivals and apparently suppressed data flaws.'

2. But it will be observed that the Guardian's list signally
does not include what is scientifically the only important
issue arising out of the publication of the E-mails & documents,
namely: How valid is the CRU's analysis of the data comprising
the instrumental temperature record?

3. It seems that the Met Office, to its great credit, did wish to
address the issue. On 5 December 2009 the Met Office briefed the
press that it intended to undertake a complete reanalysis of the
data, to take three years:
'Met Office to re-examine 160 years of climate data - Times
'Scientists may re-examine temperature data to prove climate
change - Telegraph'

4. But seemingly the Government exerted pressure upon the Met
Office to drop the project:
'The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from
carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized
upon by climate change sceptics.'

And duly later on 5 December BBC News reported:
'An MO spokesman denied it would spend up to three years
re-examining the climate change data'

5. It will be interesting whether the scope of Sir Muir
Russell's review will also permit him, should he so conclude,
to recommend, in line with the original position that the
Met Office took up on 5 December, that the CRU undertake a
complete reanalysis of the temperature data, whether it be
to take three years or whatever.

Stephen Prower


Thursday 11 February 2010

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Prower

What is happening with the Pailamentary enquiry, is there any crossover between the two?

Isn't about time for a climate tribunal, to get the climate science out in the open. It could be chaired by people like Steve McIntyre, the renowned climate analyst and science auditor. We cannot go forward with climate science until such time as a climate tribunal is convened.

Feb 11, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrevor

I was the first to comment at the Grauniad and, true to their policy, my moderate comment was moderated out of existence. How does the Graundia expect to have a "collaborative effort to get close to a definitive account" of Climategate when it moderates opinions counter to the collaborative view?

Feb 11, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

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