Two inquiries into the research of several climatologists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) have now cleared the researchers of any wrong-doing. The second inquiry, which looked specifically at 11 representatives studies including global temperature findings and work with tree rings, announced yesterday that they found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit, and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it,” according to the panel, which included experts from the United States, Switzerland, and the UK.
The inquiries were instigated after the theft of private e-mails from researcher’s correspondence last November at the RU, which started a media firestorm. After yesterday’s announcement some science related media sites and liberal-leaning news sources are now dubbing the so-called ‘Climategate’ a ‘fake scandal’. While ‘climate skeptics’ are declaring that the inquiry itself was flawed.
But according to the past two inquiries, the e-mails have not revealed any scientific manipulation or attempt to deceive the public, which ‘climate skeptics’, media personalities, and a number of politicians claimed following the theft and release of the private e-mails.
“We found absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we agree with all of their conclusions but that was not the point. We were absolutely satisfied that these people were doing their job fairly and honestly,” Lord Oxburgh, the head of the inquiry, said yesterday as reported by The Independent. “As far as we could see all of the conclusions were honestly and sensibly arrived at. We had no reason to question the conclusions, we had no reason to believe that they were reached by dishonest means.”
By clearing the climatologists, the inquiries have also cleared decades of work on the science of climate change. However the panel did state that it would like to see better techniques used to analyze statistical data, though it added that such techniques would not have changed the researchers’ overall findings.
In the end, the inquiry’s 7 page report states that instead of scientists manipulating data for a political agenda, it “found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.”
(03/19/2010) Recently, Boston University issued a press release on a scientific study regarding the Amazon’s resilience to drought. The press release claimed that the study had debunked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) theory that climate change could turn approximately 40 percent of the Amazon into savanna due to declining rainfall. The story was picked up both by mass media, environmental news sites (including mongabay.com), and climate deniers’ blogs. However, nineteen of the world’s top Amazonian experts have issued a written response stating that the press release from Boston University was “misleading and inaccurate”.
(02/25/2010) As a child when I came down with pneumonia my parents did not rush me to see a policeman, a cattle rancher, or a local businessman. Instead they took me to see a medical doctor—someone who had studied that science for at least twelve years—and I was quickly given injections and put on antibiotics. Thanks to my parents’ ability to tell the difference between experts and non-experts, I survived.
(02/22/2010) Despite some politicians and TV personalities claiming that climate change is dead, a panel of influential US and European scientists held a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to set the record straight on the state of the science and the recent media frenzy against climate change. “There has been no change in the scientific community, no change whatsoever” in the consensus that globally temperatures are rising, said Gerald North, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. Recent data has shown that the decade from 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record.