Friday, July 16, 2010

Inquiry into Behavior of CRU Scientists

It’s interesting to me that although there have now been several inquiries into the allegations of misconduct on the part of climate scientists at East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) stemming from the November 2009 hacked email incident, the mainstream media seem to have lost interest in the whole sordid affair. Global warming deniers used carefully selected quotes from the emails to smear the reputations of climate scientists and cast doubt on the science. The timing of this assault was no accident, occurring as it did just before the UN Conference on Climate held in Copenhagen in December 2009. It’s hard to say what impact the manufactured scandal had on the potential for achieving substantive change, but it certainly couldn’t have helped. The sad fact is that the entire hullabaloo orchestrated by the fossil fuel special interests and their lackeys was a sham. None of the carefully conducted inquiries have come up with a shred of evidence suggesting wrong doing on the part of the CRU climate scientists, nor have they cast doubt on their findings, or those of the many climate scientists around the world with whom they work. Global warming is real, and it’s past time we did something about it.

The latest inquiry to be published, “The Independent Climate Change Emails Review,” July 2010, was performed by a team of cross-disciplinary scientists chaired by Sir Muir Russell, former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, and included David Eyton, Group Head of Research & Technology at BP. This team concluded that, “on the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their
rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.” The team further stated, “we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.”

The inquiry did find that CRU scientists were reluctant to promptly address the myriad FOIA requests launched at the scientists and in my view, this reluctance is understandable. CRU is a small (16 staff) organization and many of the FOIA requests were meant to harass the scientists, rather than to acquire information for legitimate purposes.

In the meantime, the world’s combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on record. Taken separately, average ocean temperatures were the warmest for any March and the global land surface was the fourth warmest for any March on record. Additionally, the planet has seen the fourth warmest January – March period on record (NOAA).

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