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Another day, another ‘climate-gate’ inquiry

Cross-posted from Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond

The University of East Anglia has announced details of the team that will be looking into the scientific papers produced by its Climatic Research Unit, following last year’s email theft and subsequent controversy.

Furious rows ensured after emails from the CRU published on the internet were taken by some as showing that Global Warming was a huge conspiracy. A number of inquiries have followed.

This particular inquiry is investigating the scientific publications of the CRU, which have been questioned by a number of climate sceptics as some of the emails published contained statements that they took to indicate manipulation of data*.

“The shadow hanging over climate change and science more generally at present makes it a matter of urgency that we get on with this assessment,” says Lord Oxburgh, the former chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, who has been selected to head this inquiry (press release).

“We will undertake this work and report as soon as possible.”

Lord Oxburgh’s panel will join another UEA inquiry looking into allegations of poor scientific practice. There is also a House of Commons select committee inquiry into the ‘climate-gate’ email incident.

And then there is the Information Commission’s now completed investigation, the ongoing police inquiry into the theft of the emails itself, and the confusion about whether an IPCC inquiry ever existed at all.

In a statement circulated by the Science Media Centre, Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, says, “We will now see predictable attempts by so-called ‘sceptics’ to discredit the panel before it has even started work so that its findings can be conveniently dismissed unless it hands a propaganda goal to those who promote denial and complacency about the causes and consequences of climate change. But nobody should be in doubt that this is a high-quality panel of individuals who have demonstrated both their authority and integrity.”

Full list of panel members, as supplied by UEA:

Lord Oxburgh FRS, former chair of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology.

Prof Huw Davies, Professor of Physics at the Institute for Atmospheric & Climate Science at ETH Zürich.

Prof Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prof Lisa Graumlich, Director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at The University of Arizona.

Prof David Hand, Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College.

Prof Herbert Huppert, Professor of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Cambridge.

Prof Michael Kelly, Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge.

* eg: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”


  1. Report this comment

    Justin Lau said:

    Those slandering our work are winning by forcing the divergence of public opinion, time, and resources from the work that is crucial, pushing us towards distractions.

    A bloody shame, because it has the potential to cause future resource attrition, but I guess that’s what they’re aiming for.

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