Memorandum submitted by Stephen Prower
1. I write in response to the invitation
that the Committee issued on 22 January 2010 for written
submissions from interested parties on three questions relating
to the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents
relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit at the University
of East Anglia.
2. I reply first to the question:
What are the implications of the disclosures for
the integrity of scientific research?
According to the annexed reports of the Times
and Daily Telegraph, on 5 December the Met Office took the
view that, in order to restore the integrity of the Climatic Research
Unit's analysis of the temperature data, the CRU must re-analyse
Later the same day, according to the annexed
report of BBC News, in confused terms a Met Office spokesman denied
the truth of the Times and Daily Telegraph's reports.
But I share the original view that the Met Office
took on 5 December upon the implications of the disclosure
of climate data from the CRU for the integrity of scientific researchthat
is to say for the integrity of the research that the CRU has conducted
with a view to establishing the global temperature record of the
past 160 years.
Namely I take the view that the disclosures
have so impugned the integrity of the CRU's research that the
integrity of the research can only be restored by a full new,
openly conducted, reanalysis of the temperature data.
3. I reply second to the question:
Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent
Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate?
1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges,
other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held
at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation
or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific
practice and may therefore call into question any of the research
For full comprehension, I submit that the words
"manipulation or suppression of data" in the terms of
reference and scope of the Independent Review should read more
extensively: 'manipulation, admission or suppression, or creation
Thus eg the "admission" of unreliable
data, or the unsupportable "creation" of infilling data,
are also capable, as well as the "manipulation" or "suppression"
of data, of corrupting the findings of an analysis of data.
4. I declare that I have no professional,
commercial or financial interest in the subject matter of the
I am retired. I had a scientific education in
the sixth form at school, and obtained a 2:2 degree in Natural
Sciences specialising in Geology from Cambridge University. Part
of the activities of my last job was to critically examine scientific
and engineering motorcycle research papers.
Within the limits of my non-specialised scientific
knowledge, during the last two or three years I have followed
some of the debates on climate change on the internet.
When I saw the Times story of 5 December
2009, I thought with pleasure and relief that at last the issues
between critical scientists, mathematicians and statisticians,
such as Steve McIntyre, and the Climatic Research Unit and Met
Office might be resolved in a mutually acceptable, proper scientific
I was thus greatly disappointed when the Met
Office reversed its position later the same day.
Correspondingly my interest in the proceedings
of the Committee is the hope that the Committee, upon consideration
of the evidence before it, will itself equally be disappointed
with the Met Office's action. So the Committee will recommend
in its report that the Met Office project again a full new, openly
conducted, reanalysis of the CRU's temperature data.
1. The Times 5 December 2009:
From The Times 5 December 2009
-EXAMINE 160 YEARS
OF CLIMATE DATA
Ben Webster, Environment Editor
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years
of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in
the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked
The new analysis of the data will take three
years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with
absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the
end of 2012.
The Met Office database is one of three main
sources of temperature data analysis on which the UN's main climate
change science body relies for its assessment that global warming
is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis
for next week's climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting
The Government is attempting to stop the Met
Office from carrying out the re examination, arguing that it would
be seized upon by climate change sceptics.
The Met Office works closely with the University
of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which is being
investigated after e-mails written by its director, Phil Jones,
appeared to show an attempt to manipulate temperature data and
block alternative scientific views.
The Met Office's published data showing a warming
trend draws heavily on CRU analysis. CRU supplied all the land
temperature data to the Met Office, which added this to its own
analysis of sea temperature data.
Since the stolen e-mails were published, the
chief executive of the Met Office has written to national meteorological
offices in 188 countries asking their permission to release
the raw data that they collected from their weather stations.
The Met Office is confident that its analysis
will eventually be shown to be correct. However, it says it wants
to create a new and fully open method of analysing temperature
The development will add to fears that influential
sceptics in other countries, including the US and Australia, are
using the controversy to put pressure on leaders to resist making
ambitious deals for cutting CO2.
The UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate
Change admitted yesterday that it needed to consider the full
implications of the e-mails and whether they cast doubt on any
of the evidence for man-made global warming."
2. The Daily Telegraph 5 December
TO PROVE CLIMATE
Climate scientists may re-examine 160 years
of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in
the reality of global warming has been undermined by "climategate".
Published: 8:00AM GMT 05 Dec 2009
A number of climate models, based on information
from weather stations around the globe, show the world has been
warming gradually since the 1850s.
But the figures have been called into question
following the "climategate" affair at the University
of East Anglia.
Sceptics alleged that emails stolen from the
Climatic Research Unit at the university show scientists were
willing to manipulate data to show global warming.
They also complain that the raw data for the
climate models was not made available to the public.
To try to restore public confidence the Met
Office is talking to other meteorological organisations around
the world about recreating the model using the same raw data but
more modern computers.
The whole process will also use any new information
and be more open to the public.
However, it could take up to three years for
the study to complete, meaning the scientific world would have
to wait until after 2012 to provide updated proof of the
extent of global warming.
The UEA has launched an independent inquiry
into the leaked emails and the United Nations will also be looking
into the scandal.'
3. BBC News 5 December 2009:
by admin on Dec 05, 2009, under International
The Met Office (MO) is to announce it will publish
the raw data it uses to analyse man-made global warming.
It follows a row about the reliability of data
from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East
Anglia which has been dubbed "Climategate".
The MO has written to 188 countries for
permission to publish the historic data it says proves that the
world is warming up due to man-made emissions.
A spokesman denied reports ministers had tried
to block the publication.
The material, dating back 160 years from
more than 1,000 weather stations around the world, is expected
to be released this week.
It comes as an independent review is announced
into leaked e-mails at the CRU in Norwich to see whether there
is evidence of manipulation or suppression of data "at odds
with acceptable scientific practice".
The MOone of the foremost global authorities
on climate changeworks closely with the CRU.
The MO's database is a main source of analysis
for the UN's climate change science body, the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which joins talks next week at
the long-awaited Copenhagen summit.
An MO spokesman denied it would spend up to
three years re-examining the climate change data, and said it
had already planned to publish the material long before the "Climategate"
But the spokesman admitted the e-mail row had
made the whole exercise more urgent.
Downing Street has said Gordon Brown is "unequivocal"
about the scientific case for action against climate change.
Mr Brown said the climate was the "greatest
challenge" facing the world.
He is one of several world leaders, including
US President Barack Obama, who will attend the Copenhagen summit
aimed at cutting emissions.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/12/05 05:31:20 GMT
© BBC MMIX'
(1) I am forced to rely upon a recital of the
BBC News story by WSM Weather, a Weston-super-Mare weather website,
rather than the BBC News story itself, because some unhelpful
person in the BBC has made the link to the story in the BBC News
archive that WSM Weather gives now no longer point to the story,
but instead to another, unrelated story.
(2) The Met Office denial as reported in the
BBC News story seems deliberately worded so as to confuse the
three-year project of a complete reanalysis of the temperature
data in the audience's mind with the unrelated impending announcement
two days later of the intention of the Met Office to release the
temperature data for a subset of over 1500 land stations.