Memorandum submitted by Geoffrey Sherrington
CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT
Please accept this submission from an Australian
scientist. Because it is from Australia, it might provide a perspective
that stands aside from the UK and USA who participated in the
emails under investigation. If I have erred technically in this
submission, I am most willing to correct with your advice.
My only motivation is the conduct and promotion
of good science. This necessarily involves identification of bad
science. I have no contract or casual association with any Party
that could influence me, or me them, beyond normal media and blogging
I am now retired and no longer active with several
learned societies of the past. My career work was firstly with
exploration geochemistry in a highly successful team that I helped
manage. It was very high in world ranking. Later, in response
to the manipulation of policy by activist groups, I worked at
the interfaces between industry, science, economics and government.
The level of work was high. For example, it caused some Federal
Australian politicians to appear as defendants before the Full
Bench of the High Court of Australia.
In summary, I spent many years auditing the
quality of science, commerce and legislation, often in relation
to budgetary approval. My science experience overlapped with several
sub-disciplines of climate science, eg plant nutrition/dendro
chronology; past climates; use of natural radioisotopes; statistics
and mathematics such as interpolation onto grids; management of
large data bases; analysis of spatial data sets; satellite data;
There is much more that could be said to the
Inquiry. My full cooperation is offered. Where I have used quotations
from others, I seek to convey wisdom greater than mine, not mere
What are the Implications of the Disclosures
for the Integrity of Scientific Research?
1. "Whoever undertakes to set himself
up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter
of the Gods."
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove
me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
attr. Albert Einstein.
2. (Note: My response deals essentially
with climate temperature).
3. The implications of the disclosures per
se are not immediately serious. Hacks and leaks, like influenza,
are recurring nuisances that we tolerate. Disclosure commenced
once CRU realised that laws pertaining to FOI included them. I
have an FOI letter from Mr Palmer of CRU Ref: FOI_09-137 of
23 Sept 2009, 4 days after the disclosure.
4. But, implications for the integrity of
scientific research are serious. Science has been debased and
seen to be. Those like me who have questioned CRU for some years
were aware of the possibility that the Gods would laugh. CRU was
questioned about credibility and CRU's value was discounted some
years ago. The referenced CRU scientists, without doubt, showed
poor integrity. The public, plus other parties such as those who
fund scientific research, now have grounds to question the motives
and integrity of all scientists. Fewer students might now choose
to study Science. Belief-based decisions might now further erode
traditional Science-based decisions. We can expect to see an increase
in fringe topics like chemophobia, fear of nuclear power, organic
farming, homeopathy etc., as otherwise reasonable people lose
faith in mainstream Science.
5. Integrity now requires remediation such
as (a) a strong regulatory scheme to mandate the release of scientific
data and code. For CRU, the "prove me wrong" Einstein
test has been impossible because of the non-release of data. (b)
a sustained effort in educating teachers and students about correct
application of the scientific method to avoid more "shipwrecks"
(c) examination of copyright enforcement to avoid false conclusions
being drawn and spread by CRU using data owned by other States/Countries.
6. One must suspect that a coordinated effort
to promote global warming hypotheses was made by some people higher
in the chain of command, who stood to profit from the resultant
global economic reaction and predictable turmoil. If a recommendation
is permitted, it would be most important to set in chain the identification
of the "Mr Bigs" as was done in the similar, but older
case of the "Cambridge 5".
Are the terms of reference and scope of the
Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA
7. "There will be no loyalty, except
loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love
of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of
triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature,
no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science."
Orwell, G. "1984".
8. The short but clear answer is "No"
to all 4 Terms of Reference ("TOR").
9. TOR 1 assumes "hacked"
emails. I do not know if hacking is confirmed or assumed. The
act of hacking, if confirmed, is less serious than the conduct
it revealed. A reasonable scientist would easily find unacceptable
scientific conduct. Australia's Warwick Hughes criticized CRU
in a Tasman Institute 1991 review of the Australian component
of temperature records used in a 1986 Jones et al Southern
Hemisphere paper. As a scientist, I was a visiting reviewer of
several Tasman Institute programs at that time. I studied the
report and saw subsequent blocking of data release by CRU. An
often mentioned response from Professor P. D. Jones of CRU to
Warwick Hughes was along the lines of "We have 25 or
so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available
to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with
it?" It has continued for some years. By all reasonable objective
assessments, this is unacceptable scientific practice.
10. Thus, TOR 1 is not needed. It should
be taken as a given.
11. TOR 2 should be dealt with by British
police, not by Sir Muir Russell. There is abundant evidence of
alleged criminality within the documents. There are separate inquiries
afoot regarding copyright issues. The University of East Anglia
appears to have adequate policies to cope with this TOR. Their
failure was to enforce them. See 1255100876.txt in which Prof
P. D. Jones of CRU admits to data destruction in contravention
of University code of practice).
12. TOR 3same comment as TOR 2. See
email 1228330629.txt in which Prof P. D. Jones attempts to sway
staff at CRU away from the legal procedures required by FOI law.
13. TOR 4. It is yet to be established if
certain data used by CRU were obtained and/or used legally. Until
that is done, the work of Sir Muir would be impeded because of
his lack of powers to investigate criminality. See email 1237496573.txt
where Prof P. D. Jones admits to illegal use of British Meteorological
How independent are the other two international
14. Ever since the beginning of modern
science, the best minds have recognized that "the range of
acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science."
Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has
been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range
of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore
aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human
activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the
advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom. attr:
Fredrich August von Hayek.
15. (Note: The other two international data
sets are not defined. Here, he subject is treated as "Is
there collusion between CRU, NOAA and GISS to produce a global
temperature record [or the land part of it] that is substantially
16. The answer to this question is not known
by any person. The respective collecting parties acquire data
in various states of adjustment from various bodies and individuals
around the glob, such as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The volume of information is large and the adjustments to it are
so frequent that it would be formidable to recreate a day-by-day
comparison. There is no doubt that for some periods at some stations
all three bodies would report the same result, within the bounds
of error. However, prior disclosure of code and adjustment times
has not been forthcoming to allow an independent audit.
17. The data sets cannot be directly compared
because some deal only with land temperatures; others include
sea. In any case, the error bounds, when calculated with proper
formalism, are so large that the data sets would usually agree
sensu latissimo. This can be clarified by separate comparison
of temperatures from satellite observations since the early 1980s.
18. There is adequate prima facie evidence
of collusion at least involving Michael Mann (GISS) and P.D. Jones
(CRU). See email 942777075.txt. Here, a falsified graphic is used
to add instrumental temperature records to proxy temperature records
to change a perceived trend in the latter. This action is inarguably
wrong in Science.
19. People submitting to this Science and
Technology Committee will find difficulty with this question of
independence because of a lack of availability of raw data and
code, particularly from CRU. It successor/partner, the British
Meteorological Office at Hadley, belatedly released some temperature
data on or about December 8, 2009. There was little explanatory
metadata. There has not been time for a comprehensive analysis
for this submission.
20. I have included the British Hadley release
in the graph that follows, for Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia,
as an indication of the match or mismatch of CRU/Hadley data with
that of other compilers. There is grave reason for concern at
the overall mismatch, because no inference of man-made global
warming could be drawn from this graph, which is however a handpicked
station to show mismatch. The vertical span of 8 deg C is
to be contrasted with the IPCC "alarming" global estimate
of 0.8 deg C for a roughly similar period. It is hard to
take an accurate, small signal from noisy data. Note that all
traces on the graph derive from one data set held by the Bureau
of Meteorology, Australia. These data will change as knowledge
advances, but this set was in this form when constructed in December
2009. It shows severe manipulation.
21. Declaration of interest: My only motivation
is the conduct and promotion of good science. This necessarily
involves identification of bad science. I have no contract or
casual association with any Party that could influence me, or
me them, beyond normal media and blogging processes.