On August 12, 2009 Nature reported on attempts by Climate Auditors to obtain Phil Jones data and Jones' response:
Although Jones agrees that the data should be made publicly available, he says that “it needs to be done in a systematic way”. He is now working to make the data publicly available online and will post a statement on the CRU website tomorrow to that effect, with any existing confidentiality agreements. “We’re trying to make them all available. We’re consulting with all the meteorological services – about 150 members of WMO – and will ask them if they are happy to release the data”, says Jones. But getting the all-clear from other nations could take several months and there may be objections. “Some countries don’t even have their own data available as they haven’t digitized it. We have done a lot of that ourselves”, he says.
The letter to SMHI requesting permission to release their data was dated December 2009.
I wonder what CRU were doing in the intervening five months?
There have been some interesting developments on the subject of which countries are preventing the release of their raw temperature data. You may remember that the Select Committee inquiry into CRU were told that several countries, among them Sweden, Canada and Poland, were refusing to allow him to publish these figures.
Anthony Watts is now reporting a press release by a Swedish pressure group called the Stockholm Initiative, who have obtained the correspondence between Jones and the Swedish Met Office, SMHI. The suggestion is that SMHI weren't in fact preventing release at all, but there has been a very long thread at Climate Audit where several people have disputed this. This posting is my attempt to make sense of it all.
Here's a few more climate stories that I've come across in recent days:
Richard Tol continues to find grey literature cited in the IPCC's WG3 report. Andreas Bjorstrom says that in the Third Assessment Report only 36% of references in WG3 came from the scientific literature.
Climate scientists are planning to take out attack ads in the New York Times. I wonder if they'll call us "deniers". Judith Curry thinks that maybe doing some sound science would be a better approach.
The interest in whether the "great dying of the thermometers" caused a bias in the global temperature average continues. Lucia has invited Chiefio to go a guest post explaining his thoughts.
Roy Spencer has come up with a new way of estimating the Urban Heat Island effect.
Warmist affluence, sceptic squalor? Richard North looks at the sea of money in which climatologists are swimming.
A couple of days ago, Mrs Hill commented that she could no longer find the Met Office's seasonal forecast. We had a bit of a dig around the Met Office website and there indeed seemed to be no mention of a spring forecast.
In the rush of activity after the hearings on Monday, I neglected to follow this up, but the Met Office has now come clean anyway. The seasonal forecasts are to be scrapped.
The Guardian piece I cited in the last article quotes a physicist named Andy Russell who has written to the IoP expressing his dissatisfaction with their submission. It turns out that Andy also has a blog, which looks very interesting and can be seen here.
David Adam, the Guardian's green guru, is on the warpath, in hot pursuit of the Institute of Physics, or at least the identities of those senior members who drafted its statement on climate change.
Evidence from a respected scientific body to a parliamentary inquiry examining the behaviour of climate-change scientists, was drawn from an energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion, the Guardian can reveal.
JeanS is well known to followers of climate blogs, being a regular commenter and occasional author at Climate Audit. After Leo Hickman's piece the other day criticising anonymous posters, I asked Jean (not his real name), who is a professional statistician, whether he'd like to say something about his desire as a practising scientist to remain anonymous when contributing to blogs. The following has been lightly edited for language.
...being anonymous is deliberate decision I made after long consideration when I started actively commenting on climate-related blogs. The main reason is that I want to keep my real career out of this. I'm in the academic world, and unlike the US, we do not have a tenure system. People are only human, and anything, even a small thing, that can be used against you might be used, even if it does not have anything to do with the actual topic. That is, I see that using my real name would present some risks to my academic career but I can hardly imagine any situation where it might be helpful.
Andrew Orlowski takes a long hard look at the hearings on Monday:
Parliament isn’t the place where climate sceptics go to make friends. Just over a year ago, just three MPs voted against the Climate Act, with 463 supporting it. But events took a surprising turn at Parliament’s first Climategate hearing yesterday.
MPs who began by roasting sceptics in a bath of warm sarcasm for half an hour were, a mere two hours later, asking why the University of East Anglia’s enquiry into the climate scandal wasn’t broader, and wasn’t questioning “the science” of climate change. That’s further than any sceptic witness had gone.
Readers should also note the contribution from Josh. New friends eh? ;-)
The Guardian reports that the Institute of Physics has issued a clarification of its submission to yesterday's select committee:
The Institute of Physics has been forced to clarify its strongly worded submission to a parliamentary inquiry into climate change emails released onto the internet....
In a statement issued today the institute said its written submission to the committee "has been interpreted by some individuals to imply that it does not support the scientific evidence that the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming."
It says: "That is not the case. The institute's position on climate change is clear: the basic science is well enough understood to be sure that our climate is changing, and that we need to take action now to mitigate that change."
This is very interesting. I think I follow developments on the climate front as closely as anyone, but I can't say I've heard anyone suggest that the IoP was saying anything more than it actually did - that the climategate affair had worrying implications for the integrity of climatology.
In these circumstances, one also wonders who it was that "forced" the IoP to issue a clarification.
Muir Russell's panel have published the minutes of a prelaunch meeting from a month ago. It's not hugely exciting but a few points are worth making:
- They have two PR people on the team
- Boulton's history at UEA was discussed, but Philip Campbell didn't raise the subject of Nature's part in the back story
- "It was recognised that the questions were to be answered with respect to the standards and practices of the day".
- "It was noted that it had historically been difficult to secure funding for curation of data"
- "Muir agreed to approach the ICO in order to clarify where the review stood with respect to FOI"
- "William, Kate and Jim agreed to speak about how submissions and correspondence to the review should be filtered. A protocol for this should be prepared."
Does anyone else get a vague sense that solutions are being worked out?
(As an aside, I might point out that protecting the PDF file so that the contents can't be copied and pasted is rather irritating). [Update: I've got a work around for this now - thanks]