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Josh 27


Acton on the SAP

Lord Oxburgh recently told Steve McIntyre that the Science Appraisal Panel was not actually appraising the science of CRU at all but instead was looking for evidence of misconduct. Martyn in the comments notes the way Professor Acton described the panel to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

Ah. Muir Russell's independent review is not looking at the science it is looking at allegations about malpractice. As for the science itself, I have not actually seen any evidence of any flaw in the science but I am hoping, later this week, to announce the chair of a panel to reassess the science and make sure there is nothing wrong.

It does look as if Professor Acton has made fools of our elected representatives. I wonder if they will take this lying down?

(H/T Martyn in the comments)


Josh 26


The ICO rules

The Information Commissioner has ruled on David Holland's EIR request - the one that was so central to the Climategate affair. This appears to be very important. In essence the Commissioner has set a wider rather than a narrower scope on EIR by ruling that information need not have a direct effect on the environment for it to be subject to the regulations. UEA have been found to be in breach of the regulations.

Full story here.


Good tricks...

A few links of interest:

Roger Pielke Jnr notes that the Russell panel has misrepresented what the IPCC is. He makes the point that it is meant to be a representation of all of the scientific literature. Russell suggests, incorrectly, that the authors can pick and choose which papers to include. This then helps them exonerate Jones on the charge of fabrication.

McKitrick's response is here.

But they seemed to take the view that any decision would be reasonable since the IPCC had the job of making a decision. The ICCER ignored the problem of conflict of interest, and took at face value claims by Professor Jones (page 73, paragraph 15) that were either untrue (i.e. our results are compatible with satellite data, contrary to his assertion) or were unsubstantiated (i.e. his claim that our results are artifacts of ocean circulation patterns, which is the whole point under controversy). Consequently their finding on this point is baseless.

Fred Pearce notes that the Russell panel failed to ask Jones if he deleted any emails.


The Russell review

I'm back in the saddle briefly. I've taken a look at the report and it looks pretty much as expected. The section on Ross McKitrick's allegation of fabrication makes for fairly jaw-dropping reading. I'm also intrigued by a section which deals with implied allegations rather than actual ones.

Nothing on the replacement of James Saiers at GRL either.

I'll add more comments as things occur to me. Feel free to add comments.

Update: Here's the bit on the fabrication allegation. Remember - the allegation is that Jones inserted a groundless statement that McKitrick's findings were "statistically insignificant". Here's what Jones said in his evidence to Russell:

The basis for this statement is that if the CRUTEM3 trend is reduced by the factor claimed by MM2004, the land-based record then becomes incompatible with the ocean and the satellite record. MM2004 make no mention of this in their paper. In writing Chapter 3 of AR4 the author team were mindful of this. MM2004‘s analysis of the land surface temperature record is completely at odds with the rest of the surface and lower tropospheric temperature records. MM2004 also fails to take into account the effects of changes in the atmospheric circulation.

And the panel said:

Having read most of the relevant papers... we observe a consistence of view amongst those who disagree with MM2004 that has been sustained over the last 6 years, that the large scale organisation of atmospheric circulation produces a spatially integrated response to forcing. Although we do not comment on the relative merits of the two views, we see no justification of the view that that this response was ―invented, or even that its various expressions in the response to reviewer Gray or the final text are fundamentally different.

 So Jones seems to have changed his argument from "McKitrick's findings are statistically insignificant" to "McKitrick's findings conflict with other evidence". Whether this is true or not is irrelevant of course. The fact remains that Jones has been unable to provide any support for the claim that was inserted in the IPCC text. This means that the allegation of fabrication stands. What is even more interesting, there seems to be an attempt to hide behind joint authorship - the finger of blame can't be pointed at Jones because everyone wrote the chapter.

The consequences are ugly: joint authorship implies joint and several responsibility for the text and allegation of fabrication that still hangs over it. I don't think this was what Sir Muir intended.

Who else is now implicated?


A break

I'm taking a break for a bit. I'll try to look in when the Russell Report comes out, but can't promise anything.

Be good while I'm away.


The auditor crosses the pond

Steve McIntyre has just posted a comment at CA saying that he's now going to attend the Guardian debate. Paying his own way too.

Why not hit the tip jar at CA and help him defray the costs?


A baseless attack on Leake

By strange coincidence, the story of an another attack on the Sunday Times' Jonathan Leake. An organisation called the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has emailed a number of journliasts claiming that Leake breached an embargo.

Click to read more ...


More Amazongate

Richard North has managed to get hold of two different versions of the IPAM report, which, you may remember, is the one the WWF says contains the scientific evidence for the claim that 40% of the Amazon is sensitive to slight changes in rainfall.

Neither of the two documents even mention the subject of the Amazon's sensitivity to rainfall.

This appears to be problematic for many people party to the row - Nepstad the scientist-cum-activist responsible for the claims, the WWF and of course dear old George Monbiot.

Read the whole thing.


Mann cleared

No surprise there then! The report is at the end of this post.

Night all.

Penn state clears Mann


Comments pagination

Sara in the comments asks whether I can set up the blog to have more comments per page. I certainly can, but what do others think? There's a balance to be struck between quick loading and having to go to a new page too often.


A late submission to Sir Muir

Mann et al have submitted a (very late) tale of woe to Sir Muir Russell's emails review. The signatories are a veritable who's who of hockey and this team's pucks are considerably out of kilter.

They need Sir Muir to protect them from harassment, they need Sir Muir to defend the "consensus" and they want Sir Muir to write off some of the evidence completely as not being in good faith. Oh yes, and does Sir Muir know they were harassed?

Give me strength.

Read it here.


More SciTech committee appointments

Via Farrah Bhatti's Twitter page come three more Labour party appointments to the Science and Technology Select Committee in the House of Commons. There has apparently been something of a struggle to find anyone else who is interested and the three late appointees are all from the new intake. Finally joining Andrew Miller and Graham Stringer are:

  • Pamela Nash (a former parliamentary researcher)
  • Gregg McClymont (a historian)
  • Jonathan Reynolds (professional politician)

The LibDems have yet to make their appointments to the panel.

(See also this interview with new committee chairman Andrew Miller, who says his priority for the new committee will be to maintain expenditure on science).


Nature on public relations

Reading more like a something from PR Week than a premier scientific journal, Jeff Tollefson's article in Nature describes how better PR is going to do the trick for the global warming movement.

At Climate Central, a non-profit organization based in Princeton, New Jersey, scientists work with journalists and writers to develop climate stories in partnership with media outlets. The idea came together in 2008, backed by high-profile scientists such as Jane Lubchenco, who oversees much of the nation's climate science as head the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

See also the accompanying editorial.