The man at the centre of the Climategate scandal

February 16, 2010

By Stephen Murgatroyd                                                    
Columnist
Troy Media

Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd
Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd

EDMONTON, AB, Feb. 16, 2010/ Troy Media/ — The tone and texture of the science of climate change is shifting. From there being a consensus and declarations that “the science is settled”, scientists from all sides are now raising questions, offering different or challenging interpretations and competing theories.

In a confessional interview with the BBC, published by The Daily Express in Britain, the man at the centre of the Climategate scandal, Professor Phil Jones, formerly head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), admitted that there has been no warming since 1995. His admission goes to the heart of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):  he was a lead author and largely responsible for the claim that warming represented a major threat to the planet.

Won’t be receiving a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval

He also admitted during the interview that, while he was a good scientist, he was not at all good at keeping records, which is why he resisted requests to hand over his raw data for scrutiny under the Freedom of Information legislation in the UK. The Climategate emails themselves confirm just how chaotic these records were. In fact, it now appears that crucial data, including that relating to the famous “hockey stick graph” which showed dramatic warming over the last fifty years, has gone missing.

During his “confession” Professor Jones also admitted that he now accepts that the Medieval Warm Period, which affected large tracts of Europe, Greenland and North America, was warmer that the current temperature in these same regions.

But how then do we explain the apparent rise in temperatures, reported by CRU and used by climate scientists as part of their computer models? The explanation lies in the location of land stations used to measure the earths temperature. Many were located incorrectly, which the data seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from time to time. Some are next to air- conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous land stations is next to a waste incinerator.

A review of every station that produces data used by climate scientists – and not all of the data produced by land stations is used – suggests that their location presents a warming bias in the data. When their location is taken into account, the data suggests that there has been no statistically significant warming for 15 years.

In fact, Professor Terry Mills, professor of applied statistics and econometrics at Loughborough University in England, looked at the same data as the IPCC and found that the warming trend it reported over the past 30 years or so was just as likely to be due to random fluctuations as to the impacts of greenhouse gases. Mill’s findings are to be published in Climatic Change, a peer-reviewed environmental journal.

Warmists defending their ground

While these developments – the Jones “confession” and the work by a variety of scientists examining the temperature records – cast doubt on the cornerstone of the theory of man-made global warming, scientists at the heart of this theory are defending their ground. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has recently issued a new set of global temperature readings covering the past 30 years, with thermometer readings augmented by satellite data. Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the UK’s Met Office, said: “This new set of data confirms the trend towards rising global temperatures and suggest that, if anything, the world is warming even more quickly than we had thought,” The Times of London reports.

Climate science is a young science, with many competing views of the dynamics of climate and the ways in which climate can be best understood. What appears to be happening since the collapse of the Copenhagen climate change negotiations is that scientists have become more concerned with pursuing noble causes and the credibility and veracity of their science. This is a welcome development. Science is about systematic work, theory and scepticism. It’s good to see that all three are back in vogue.

Channels: The Calgary Beacon, February 16, Canada Free Press, February 19, the Sherbrooke Record, March 1, the Vegreville Observer, March 3, 2010

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One Response to "The man at the centre of the Climategate scandal"

  1. Peter2Feathers   February 16, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Finally! Some media outlets in North America are acknowledging the AGW scam and publicizing some of the many gaping holes in the theory, a thin one at that. Review your scientific method. "Consensus" is another word for bad science. And lastly, if you still believe in the Gore-acle then follow the money to find the truth. (Note to enviro-activists ready to jump on my comment: I like the environment, I just loathe the AGW scam.)