Phil Jones : Back At Work

Glad to see Professor Phil Jones is back at work and enrolling students for the autumn on the Climate Change MSc postgraduate degree programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) :-

http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/courses/msc-climate-change

This course would probably be useful for a number of mainstream media journalists to follow. Even if they don’t have an appropriate background in Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental studies or similar, it could be of benefit to ameliorate their world view.

They could learn something from the lectures and coursework – that the Science of Climate Change is a serious and rigorous endeavour – unlike the apparently lax behaviour of their own profession over the last year or so.

Investigative journalism without the “investigation” part appears to be a mishmash of unverifiable facts and unfounded opinions. You need to know who is credible at the very least, and you can’t get that from following the vindictive views of public contrarians.

If you want to understand Climate Change, you need to study the Science, not just read denier-sceptic web logs or talk to Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton, and think that you have thereby become sufficiently informed.

“Climategate”-style attacks on Climate Change Scientists by negatively-motivated commentators are completely unacceptable. Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.

15 thoughts on “Phil Jones : Back At Work”

  1. We hear a lot about the “science” but not about the facts.
    The AGW hypothesis is not supported by the published facts.
    There is no correlation between the temperature numbers and the CO2 concentrations.
    Climate Change/Global Warming is clearly a boondoggle and efforts to curtail CO2 emissions are a criminal waste of resources.

  2. I am simply appalled by Prof Jones’ reinstatement. In any reasonable university, he would be finished.

    Where are the explanations for the released code and the comments in the “Harry_read_me.txt” files? We do not even know whether the temperature record compiled by the CRU is correct following adjustments because Jones has “lost” the data.

    In the view of many properly trained scientists, including myself, Jones is beyond the pale, despite extremely contrived investigations.

    This man should not be allowed to teach students

  3. Delighted to hear he is back at work. It is just a pity it has to be in the dismal “science” of man-made climate change.
    As far as I can tell the mainstream media is a complete poodle in the thrall of catastrophists like yourself and it would appear you wish to try and continue your baleful influence on it.
    Doubtless the real science will win out but I wonder if you will have done irrevocable damage by then.
    Please consider you may just be mistaken or let us have some proper research.

  4. Since when has applying fudge factors to models become science? And they award MS degrees for it? Science requires some degree of proof. “Hiding the decline” is not science; it’s subterfuge. Eliminating the MWP is trickery, not science. GW from manmade CO2 is fraud.

  5. “Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.”

    Indeed.

    Why would they want to trust anyone involved in cover-ups, deceptions, editor-manipulation, ad-hominems, shoddy science, celebrating the death of one critic, and threatening violence to another. I allude, of course, to insights obtained thanks to climategate.

    Why would they want to trust anyone involved in producing summary reports for policy makers which misrepresented the work of scientists which they claim to be summarising, exaggerating their confidence and their ability to make predictions, and being part of a process which took a prior position on CO2 and set out to make a case for it in the manner not of science but of a prosecutor in a court of law? I allude, of course, to the IPCC.

    Fortunately you mention some more reliable sources of information and insight into both the science, the politics, and the policy implications of the false prophets of climate: “Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton”.

  6. Pingback: Eye on Britain (2)
  7. [NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD QUESTION !]

    Is the extent of sea ice functionally related to the ambient temperature?

    [NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : THE SPEED OF THE SPRING MELT OF ARCTIC SEA ICE IN RECENT YEARS APPEARS TO BE INCREASING, WHICH WOULD BE IN LINE WITH THE RISING AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE. THE AMBIENT LOCAL TEMPERATURES IN THE ARCTIC ARE DESCRIBED ALONGSIDE THE CHART FOR THE WEATHER SYSTEMS BY NSIDC. ]

     

    Do underground volcanoes have any effect?

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : IN WHAT WAY DO YOU THINK AN UN-ERUPTED VOLCANO WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE YEARLY SEA ICE MELT IN THE ARCTIC ? ]

    Does arctic/antarctic ice correlate at all with global temperatures?

    Does arctic ice correlate with antarctic ice?

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : MY IMPRESSION IS THAT THE CHARTS SHOWING THE INCREASING RATES OF THE SPRING ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT, YEAR ON YEAR, CORRELATES WELL WITH RISING AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE. IN ANTARTICA, LAND ICE IS DECREASING, YET SEA ICE IS INCREASING. INTERESTING, EH ? ]

  8. Are you sure the Global temperature has been rising in recent years?

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : ARE YOU SURE YOU SHOULD ACCEPT WHAT CANADA FREE PRESS SAY ABOUT THIS MATTER ? PERSONALLY, I WOULD TRUST THE OPINION OF THE SCIENTISTS AS NASA AND NOAA, AND THE REPORT WRITERS OF THE IPCC ABOVE THE OPINION OF CANADA FREE PRESS WRITERS ANY DAY. AND ANYWAY, WE CAN LOOK AT THE DATA TO SEE QUITE EASILY WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON FOR OURSELVES – WE DON’T NEED THE CANADA FREE PRESS WRITERS TO TELL US WHAT TO THINK. ]

    Extract from piece in Canada Free Press dated Aug 5th

    “Let’s look at the NOAA claim that the surface temperature increased .11° C during 2000-2009. Although they did everything possible to hide this information from the public, media, politicians, and even fellow scientists, by the late 2000s even die-hard alarmists were eventually forced to accept that the surface temperature record showed no warming as of the late 1990s, and some cooling as of about 2002. In other words, overall, for the first decade of the 21st century, there was either no warming, or no warming and even some cooling.
    One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected

    One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected by the models (that is, about 0.2°C per decade). For example, as early as 2005 the then head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones, wrote in an email: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

    Fellow Climategate emailer and IPCC contributor Kevin Trenberth wrote to hockey-stick creator Michael Mann in 2009: “The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.” [italics added] Note the date: 2009, the last year of the decade. As far as Trenberth knew‚—and he should have known as a leading IPCC author‚—the planet hadn’t warmed for several years up to that time.

    Even Tim Flannery, author of the arch-alarmist The Weather Makers, acknowledged in November 2009: “In the last few years, where there hasn’t been a continuation of that warming trend, we don’t understand all of the factors that creates Earth’s climate, so there are some things we don’t understand, that’s what the scientists were emailing about. … These people [the scientists] work with models, computer modeling. When the computer modeling and the real world data disagree you have a problem.”[1] [italics added]”

    [ PREVIOUS NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM QUOTED HERE : THE SPEED OF THE SPRING MELT OF ARCTIC SEA ICE IN RECENT YEARS APPEARS TO BE INCREASING, WHICH WOULD BE IN LINE WITH THE RISING AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE. ]

  9. I don’t want any more “opinions”, and I cannot think why you would trust the IPCC.

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : THE IPCC IS A GROUP OF HIGHLY RESPECTED SCIENTISTS WHO REVIEW THE PEER-REVIEWED WORK OF OTHER SCIENTISTS. THOSE KIND OF CREDENTIALS CANNOT BE BOUGHT OR FORGED, SO THEY ARE THE PLACE TO GO TO FOR ACCURACY, EXPERTISE AND SKILL. ]

    I want facts.

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : THERE ARE MANY LINES OF EVIDENCE THAT THE IPCC PRESENT IN THEIR FOURTH ASSESSMENT REPORT, AND YOU ARE WELCOME TO READ WHAT THEY HAVE WRITTEN AND DOCUMENTED IN ORDER TO GLEAN MANY USEFUL FACTS. ]

    Show me the chart for the last circa 10 years temp data(from more than one source), and Mauna Loa CO2 data.

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : THIS KIND OF INFORMATION IS FREELY AND WIDELY AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. I COULD POINT YOU TO SOME GRAPHS, BUT YOU COULD EASILY FIND THEM FOR YOURSELF. ]

    What is the statistical correlation?

    [ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : IF YOU CARE TO READ THE IPCC WORK ON THE DETECTION AND ATTRIBUTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE “COMMITMENT”, YOU WILL DISCOVER THAT THERE IS A TIME LAG BETWEEN A RADIATIVE FORCING BECOMING APPLIED TO THE ATMOSPHERE AND THE EARTH WARMING UP. YOU WILL ALSO FIND THAT THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF “INTERNAL VARIABILITY” IN CLIMATIC CONDITIONS, OWNING TO PREVAILING COUPLED AIR AND OCEAN SYSTEMS. WHAT YOU WILL FIND IS THAT, AFTER ACCOUNTING FOR KNOWN SOURCES OF VARIATION IN NEAR-EARTH TEMPERATURES, THAT THERE IS A CLEAR TREND OF WARMING IN THE LATTER PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY AND INTO THE 21ST CENTURY THAT CANNOT BE ACCOUNTED FOR BY ANY OTHER REASON THAN ENHANCED GREENHOUSE EFFECT MOSTLY FROM THE WARMING EFFECT OF MOSTLY RISING CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE. IF YOU TAKE A TIME PERIOD OF SUFFICIENT LENGTH, SAY, 30 YEARS, TO COMPENSATE FOR SHORT-TERM VARIATION FROM THE KNOWN “OSCILLATIONS” IN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM SUCH AS ENSO, NAO, PDO AND SO ON, THERE IS A CLEAR, UNDENIABLE, STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT UPWARDS WARMING TREND IN THE DATA. CHANGES IN SOLAR OUTPUT CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR THIS. NEITHER CAN THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT. NEITHER CAN INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT. NEITHER CAN THE INCREASE IN LIVESTOCK. NEITHER CAN THE VOLCANIC OUTPUT… ]

    [ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM. FOUND YOU, RICHARD ! YOU ARE NOT REALLY A SEEKER AFTER TRUTH AS YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE UP YOUR MIND : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=16006586373. YOU ARE A SELF-DECLARED CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER. ANY EFFORT I MAKE TO LET YOU KNOW WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WILL PROBABLY BE WASTED ON YOU. IF YOU WANT A RATIONAL DISCUSSION AND YOU HAVE AN OPEN MIND, THEN GO AHEAD, ASK SOME QUESTIONS AND MAKE SOME POINTS. OTHERWISE, I CAN’T SEE THE BENEFIT IN REPLYING TO YOU ANY FURTHER, AS IT WILL SIMPLY BE WASTING YOUR TIME, AND MINE. ]

  10. The IPCC is not a scientific body. Its head, Dr Pachauri, is an engineer who learnt his trade in Indian railway workshops. He is not a scientist.
    The IPCC is a bureaucratic body whose mission is to support the AGW hypothesis. It cannot be called objective.
    Can you tell me why you believe the recent warming trend to be unnatural?
    Did anthropogenic CO2 cause the medieval warming and the Roman warming?
    I ma definitely a seeker after truth, and always have been. I am also a believer in scientific method.

  11. Global Warming, R.I.P
    August 07, 2010 By Claude Sandroff

    In a remarkable monograph, Roy W. Spencer presents hard evidence that 75% of the observed warming since the start of the 20th century is due to natural processes. He offers a detailed model describing how one of these processes, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), operates in the real world. Most importantly, he demonstrates that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a minor contributor to a global climate largely insensitive to man-made CO2.

    Thanks to this highly skilled climatologist and his The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled The World’s Top Climate Scientists, we can now taunt the often corrupt and overtly political planetary high priests with this: PDO means AGW is DOA.

    Written in a style that should be attractive to both warming newcomers and scientists from other fields, the volume’s appearance is not a welcome event for the world’s strident purveyors of global warming orthodoxy. For in the gentlest language possible, Spencer is telling the AGW clingers that they are scientifically incompetent lemmings.

    The “blunder” Dr. Spencer (a leading analyst of satellite-derived atmospheric data) refers to is a basic one: confusing cause and effect. Most would-be scientists who make this mistake once, let alone repeatedly, often go into another kind of work. It’s the equivalent of the graduate student who forgets to plug in his detector and then reports a successful negative check experiment.

    The effect Spencer seeks to explain is the 1.8ºC warming of the earth since 1900. He argues effectively that accepted global warming dogma and funding agency prejudices had discouraged potential heretics from seriously entertaining the idea that long-term, natural variations, rather than man-made CO2 “pollution,” could be operating over the timescale of a century to warm and cool our planet.

    And as the recent Climategate scandal has confirmed, the AGW church fathers will discredit, shun, and excommunicate any deviant member of the warming consensus congregation.

    Indeed, it is frustration with the controlling climate hierarchy that led Spencer to communicate his findings directly with the public in book form rather than in the peer-reviewed literature. He guides the reader through the fundamental blunder that has led almost every scientist astray.

    Observing increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperatures, scientists assumed that the former must have caused the latter. How did the warmers know that it wasn’t the other way around, and that higher temperatures caused higher CO2 concentrations? Or how did the warmers know that there wasn’t another process, a naturally occurring one, that caused the temperature rise, with increasing CO2 just along for the ride? Answer: They didn’t, because they never bothered to look.

    They never felt that they had to look, since emitting CO2 for the true believer is a kind of original sin, a crime committed by affluent societies that requires no corroborating evidence, let alone a scientific trial to determine guilt. But Spencer decided to look, peering into the CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) satellite data more deeply than anyone else in the field.

    And ultimately, with just four parameters, keen insight into the behavior of the PDA and clouds, a simple program, and a few thousand Monte Carlo simulations, he was able to produce a model that explains our current climate system and man’s role in it with unprecedented clarity.

    Spencer devotes several chapters to the important role of feedback in understanding climate and the need to carefully separate it from existing forces (causes) to avoid overestimating the sensitivity of climate to external changes.

    At the end of Spencer’s careful analysis, a simple picture emerges. The PDO is a long-lived ocean-to-atmosphere heat transfer process (similar to the better-known El Niño and La Niña) but of much longer duration. Cloud cover decreases significantly during the positive PDO phase, allowing more sunlight to reach the earth’s surface. In the ocean, this extra energy is stored as heat. In its negative phase, the PDO acts in reverse and cools the atmosphere. And all of this occurs in roughly thirty-year cycles. While this mechanism is operating, mankind is dumping a small, vanishing amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Big deal.

    The most prominent frauds active in promoting AGW have always tried to bury evidence of natural warming and cooling cycles. Truly, the Medieval Warming Period and Little Ice Age are threats to their very CO2-obsessed existence. But these eras occurred centuries ago, with only proxies (like tree rings) to indicate the actual prevailing temperatures. Hence, data from these eras are easily brushed aside and forgotten. Not so with recent thermometer measurements, and temperatures from two periods in particular that have always plagued the theory of AGW.

    The first is the period from 1900-1940. A full 60% of the temperature increase measured in the last century occurred during these forty years, when less industrialization existed worldwide and therefore less CO2 had been spewed into our atmosphere. The mild cooling period that ended in the mid-1970s is also baffling. But like any good theory, Spencer’s PDO-focused model fits the temperature data during these decades amazingly well. Natural processes — cloud formation and heat transfer — dominated the temperatures during these decades, as in every other decade in the modern era.

    There is no greater pleasure in a scientist’s life than being able to explain phenomena more simply and comprehensively than anyone else did before him. This sense permeates Spencer’s book, along with something else: moral outrage.

    Some wealthy, spoiled, self-hating Westerners might in their affluence be able to afford expensive energy alternatives to power — things like wind and solar that don’t directly involve the emission of CO2. But the rest of the world cannot. Cheap, affordable energy, the kind that comes from coal, natural gas and oil, is a prerequisite for any society to rise economically. Spencer seems thrilled to be able to tell the developing world that they have a free pass to burn hydrocarbons and prosper.

  12. By Ross McKitrick
    There is too much conflict of interest built into the report-writing process
    After the Climategate emails scandal of last winter, and discoveries of some embarrassing errors in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, asked the Inter-Academy Council (IAC) to review IPCC procedures. The IAC is a little-known branch of the Inter-Academy Panel, itself a little-known committee that connects national academic societies. It was a safe choice for Pachauri. The last IAC report was a glowing tribute to alternative energy schemes, coauthored by Pachauri himself, along with current Obama administration appointee Stephen Chu and a group of others. So I do not expect much independence of mind or hard-headed objectivity from the IAC. But with the report due out on Aug. 30, I guess we shall soon see.

    I was one of hundreds of people asked to respond to a set of inquiry questions. The questions, and my replies, are available on my Web page (rossmckitrick.weebly.com). Here is a summary of some of my input.
    IPCC policies, such as the requirement for an “objective, open and transparent” review process, sound impressive, but my experience is that the written policies are not always followed, and there do not appear to be any consequences when they are breached.
    For example, one rule states: “Review Editors will need to ensure that where significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain, such differences are described in an annex to the Report.” Yet no such annexes have been produced. I was involved in numerous areas where there were significant differences of opinion on scientific issues, such as flaws in surface temperature data, improper estimation of trend uncertainties and methodological flaws in paleoclimate research. None of these differences were resolved during the review process, yet no annexes were ever published, creating a false impression of consensus.
    After the publication of the AR4 I found that important text had been altered or deleted after the close of the review process, and the Lead Authors of Chapter 3 had fabricated evidence (on Page 244 of the Working Group I Report), by claiming that statistical evidence in two published, peer-reviewed articles on surface data contamination was statistically insignificant, when the articles show no such thing. The paragraph was inserted after the close of peer review and was never subject to external scrutiny. That Lead Authors are able to insert evidence and rewrite the text after the close of review makes a mockery of the idea that the IPCC reports are peer reviewed, and undermines the claim that they contain the consensus of experts.
    Selection of Working Group Chairs and Lead Authors appears to be under the control of a small circle of people committed to a predetermined view on global warming. In combination with the fact that the review process is toothless, this guarantees that the report contents are predictable given the names of the Lead Authors. Indeed there is not much point even publishing the report anymore: Once the list of Lead Authors is known, we can all guess what the conclusions will be. I am sure that there are many areas in the IPCC report where the conclusions will be sound. But in the areas where I have detailed knowledge and experience, this has not been the case.
    A major problem with the IPCC is that the assignments for Lead Authors (LA’s) often put them in the position of reviewing not only their own work but also that of their critics. There is too much conflict of interest built into the report-writing process, and what few safeguards are in place are ineffective.
    An example concerns the treatment of tree ring-based climate reconstructions in the Third IPCC Report. At the time, there were three studies presenting hemispheric temperature histories back to the Medieval era. One was by Michael Mann, whom the IPCC had picked to be Lead Author, and the others were by, respectively, Keith Briffa and Phil Jones (with coauthors).
    Briffa’s study did not support the view that the 1990s were the warmest decade of the millennium. In principle, that should not be viewed as a problem. The task of the IPCC is to summarize the science, and if the science is uncertain, then that is what the summary should say. The problem is that Mann’s study claimed the 1990s were the warmest, and he had the discretion to impose a judgment, putting him in a conflict of interest. Mann (and Jones) dealt with Briffa’s counterevidence by simply deleting the divergent portion of his data from the graph in the report, without explanation. In the 2007 IPCC report, the same trick was applied. This time at least one expert reviewer noticed it (Stephen McIntyre) and objected, but the objections were dismissed.
    The IPCC “peer review” process is not like the one academic journals use, in which reviewers actually have the authority to recommend rejection and require changes; instead it is more like a limited, voluntary public comment process. Since the IPCC gives Lead Authors the sole right to determine content and accept or dismiss comments, it is more like a weblog than an academic report.
    In addition, no one is assigned the role of reviewing a particular section or chapter. It is conceivable that parts of a report might not be read by any reviewers: Nothing in the IPCC procedures prevents this.
    Although there are more than 140 governments in the IPCC, only 23 governments submitted any review comments on the 2007 IPCC scientific report, and more than half of the comments were from only two countries: the United States and Australia. Not one African country submitted a comment, nor did any Middle Eastern or Arabic countries, nor did Russia nor the former Soviet states. Brazil submitted comments on three chapters and Chile commented on one chapter; other than that, there were no comments from any South American countries. None of the small island states in the Pacific submitted comments. In Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic commented on one chapter, and Hungary commented on three chapters; other than that, there were no comments from any government in Eastern Europe.
    Yet the fact that all the member states “accepted” the report and its conclusions is routinely invoked as evidence of its authority. It is hard to see why the government review process even exists, except to serve as window dressing.
    Ultimately, if the IPCC is going to have a review process at all, it has to delegate some actual authority to reviewers rather than treating them as chumps and discarding their input. In addition, there has to be a point in the review process at which an agreed-upon text is frozen and cannot be rewritten thereafter by Lead Authors after the reviewers have signed off.
    The IPCC began before the Internet did, and its structure is now obsolete. It adopted a rigid bureaucratic structure that had some relevance in the days before the Internet imposed deep transparency on public organizations. But times have changed and public expectations have evolved. Henceforth, from the start of the chapter review process, the attention of international bloggers will be intense, and every aspect of the report-writing process will occur in a fishbowl. Without major reforms to the process, the next Assessment Report will simply explode on impact. All it will take is for one error to be found, or one email to be leaked, or one graph to be manipulated, and the entire report will be discredited.
    This is not because there are armies of nasty, unreasonable bloggers out there. It is because the IPCC has become one-sided and brittle, and has no real ability to cope with legitimate differences of opinion. That makes it inevitable that there will be growing numbers of critics who see it as biased and insular. The choice is whether simply to press onwardº with the hope the IPCC will somehow regain its former glory, or to consider whether the critics actually have a point, in which case the process needs correction.
    Ross McKitrick is a professor of economics at the University of Guelph. rossmckitrick.weebly.com

    Posted in: FP Comment Tags: IPCC, Climategate
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