[Coral-List] Leaked e-mails from Climate Research Unit - University of East Anglia

Wood, Steve steve.wood at dominican.edu
Mon Dec 7 14:25:04 EST 2009

The quote below from the British 'Times Online' is a good example of poor,
one-sided science journalism.

1. Shoehorning the emails into the trope 'Scientists are in a conspiracy
against the public' the article alleges that a trick was used to "hide the
decline," perhaps not realizing that what was being used to hide the
decline are thermometer measurements from the modern era (1960s on,) which
we know to be more accurate than the proxy reconstruction of temperature
from tree-ring data. Jones and his colleagues publish openly about "the
decline" in this 1998 Nature paper:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html where they
state that since the 1960s tree-ring proxies decline away from thermometer
measured readings of local temperature for reasons that are unknown, but are
openly debated in the literature for the last dozen years or so.

2. The quote about keeping papers out of the IPCC report strikes me as
particularly hypocritical on the part of the Online Times because both
papers referred to (McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and Kalnay and Cai (2003))
appear in the references of the IPCC's AR4 report, Chapter 3. Jones may
believe the papers are poor examples of climatology, but that is almost
exactly the opposite of the article's accusation of Jones as being
"uncritical." If he were uncritical of the papers, he would not have
objected to their presence in the report!

Original article:

<blockquote>They should not be alone. The charge against Professor Jones is
that he
was unscientific, by virtue of being uncritical. In one e-mail, he wrote
of keeping two papers out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC). "I can't see either . . . being in the next
report," he wrote. "Kevin and I will keep them out somehow even if we
have to redefine what the peerreview literature is!"
In another, he discussed modifying a graph. "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

Interesting that the article in question doesn't interview Jones about the
emails before trying to accuse him of scientific fraud.

Steve Wood

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