Leo Hickman has had some more of DECC's correspondence relating to Climategate.
The first one that catches my eye is this email to the minister at DECC, informing him that the Russell Report will be published on 7 July. Although the email is dated 2 July, there is a "message within the message" dated 26 May 2010. This would appear to suggest that ministers were aware of the date of publication six weeks before the general public, which would be odd for an independent inquiry. I would counsel against leaping to conclusions, but it's worth checking out. The redactions in the document appear unjustified to me too.
Then there is this discussion of a hitherto little noticed email exchange in the Climategate II documents:
6. One of the hacked email segments is of an email from a Defra official (REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED REDACTED) to Professor Phil Jones in May 2009, discussing briefing for Ministers on the UK Climate Projections project. The text segment states “.....I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish…..”.
7. This conversation relates to a longer discussion between the Defra technical project lead and the contractors at UEA on a statistical tool called a “weather generator”, which is part of the package of climate information provided by the UK Climate Projections project. The weather generator provides statistical data about future daily climate variables such as episodes of heavy rain or very hot days. The discussion (of which the leaked sentence is one part) was a
conversation in which the Defra official was explaining to the contractor team that it was important for Ministers to have detailed briefing in order to correctly explain the tool to others.
8. The weather generator tool operates at a very small spatial scale (5km) which generated some contention within the climate science community whilst it was in development, as there are valid questions about the robustness of a climate projection tool operating at such a small scale. The request to the contractor was for information to help explain the strengths and limitations of the tool.
9. The project, including the weather generator tool, was assessed by a peer review panel in January 2009. The findings of the peer review were published. The weather generator tool was also peer reviewed at the project inception stage. The peer reviews both suggested that the approach used was valid, but that caveats needed to be explained.
10. The weather generator tool was launched by the Defra Secretary of State, along with the rest of the project, in June 2009. The tool is widely used by climate impact researchers, including projects funded through the Research Councils, UK Water Industry Research, the Environment Agency, Local Councils, the Macaulay Institute, and Manchester University to name but a few.
11. The hacked emails also contain exerts of emails from Bob Watson, Defra’s Chief Scientist; these do not appear to be causing media interest.
Or how about Lord Oxburgh being a signatory to a letter to the Times re Climategate?
Sceptics and parts of the media have seized the opportunity to claim that the whole edifice of climate change science is crumbling . This is far from the truth. We urge the media, the public, policy makers and the scientific community to calm their nerves and take a proportionate look at the evidence as a whole. What the overwhelming body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence shows is that climate change is happening and is very likely to be caused by human activity.
The whole directory can be seen here.