The long-awaited Muir Russell report on various controversies concerning the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was released today.
The report thoroughly examined various accusations of improper conduct, and in the main exonerated CRU scientists Phil Jones, Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn of wrongdoing in such areas as scientific research, peer review and the IPCC process, finding that “their rigour and honesty is not in doubt”. The report does criticize CRU, and indeed the University, for a lack of openness, particularly in the handling of freedom of information requests.
There is plenty to digest here, and the report will no doubt generate much commentary in the days to come. For now, though, I’ll present the report’s summary of findings, along with pointers to previous Deep Climate discussion of some of the issues.
How do they get away with it? That’s the inevitable question as I examine one of the most specious – and despicable – “climategate” allegations from contrarians, namely the oft-repeated claim that climate scientists at East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit inappropriately adjusted certain tree-ring temperature proxy data to provide a better match with instrumental temperature record.
In an extraordinary interview with FoxNews in December of last year, economist Ross McKitrick alleged that scientists were “faking the match” between proxy and temperature data. McKitrick averred this was “not being honest with the reader” and even invoked a comparison to falsified experimental medical research. Stephen McIntyre of ClimateAudit recently claimed that the “artificial correction” seemed “to have entered the CRU toolkit” (in his submission to the U.K. parliamentary committee examining allegations arising from stolen CRU emails, no less).
Yet a close examination of the computer code and ensuing research bears out the key contention of the firm rebuttals from East Anglia University, as well as CRU scientist Tim Osborn, namely that the specific adjustments in question were for private exploration only and never incorporated into CRU scientists’ subsequent published research temperature reconstructions. So, once again, McIntyre and McKitrick have made odious and unfounded accusations, based on non-existent evidence. They should withdraw these specious allegations immediately.
The headline and deck from Lorne Gunter’s op-ed piece in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal say it all.
Climate alarmists feeling more heat
But discredited data-fudgers have too much at stake to give up now
Once again, columnist Lorne Gunter, Canada’s answer to George Will, has launched an outrageous, libelous attack on climate science and climate scientists. And, once again, his diatribe is remarkably free of any actual facts, and contains several clearly erroneous assertions and accusations. Gunter does manage to maintain balance in one way, however; he gets off a number of whoppers about each of the two most cited global temperature repositories, the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia (CRU), and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA.
The only surprise is that this tripe has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, rather than Gunter’s usual haven in the anti-science newspaper of record, the National Post.
According to TimesOnline, investigators of the CRU email theft (dubbed SwiftHack or Climategate) have concluded that the release of the stolen material was held back for weeks in order to cause maximum damage to the upcoming Copenhagen conference.
This development, along with new reports of breakins and other attacks at the University of Victoria, should finally lay to rest the baseless rumour that the hacked email archive was assembled at CRU as part of a contingent FOI response and released by an inside whistleblower, a canard that was started by – wait for it – none other than Steve McIntyre himself!