Memorandum submitted by Phillip Bratby
"What are the implications of the disclosures
for the integrity of scientific research?"
The disclosures have been examined and taken
together with other published information it is concluded that
the whole of climate science may have been corrupted and the results
of research into climate change may be unreliable. This could
put the integrity of science in general into disrepute, leading
to public distrust of scientists. A truly independent examination
of climate science by physicists and statisticians is necessary
to determine the current state of knowledge of the climate and
whether any aspect of global climate change (which has always
occurred) is the result of human activities. Procedures need to
be put into place to ensure full transparency and disclosure of
the results of government-funded research.
1. My name is Phillip Bratby. I have a first
class honours degree in physics from the Imperial College of Science
and Technology and a doctorate in physics from Sheffield University.
I am a semi-retired energy consultant, being the sole director
of my own consultancy company. I worked in the military and commercial
nuclear power industry for over 33 years. Since my retirement
from full-time work nearly four years ago I have researched into
the physics behind the hypothesis of man-made global warming (climate
change as it is now called) and how "climate science"
has been conducted and I have participated in a review of the
2. I have no financial interest in the climate
change debate. I am a scientist who has taken an active interest
in the climate change debate and am very concerned about the manner
in which climate science has been conducted and its implication
for science in general and for the public trust of scientists
and scientific results.
3. Science works on the basis of falsifiable
hypotheses as discussed by Sir Karl Popper
"a theory should be considered scientific if and only
if it is falsifiable". In essence, any number of pieces
of evidence can support a hypothesis, but any single piece of
evidence can falsify the hypothesis, in which case the hypothesis
is discarded. Climate science is one in which in-situ experiments
cannot be performed and the methodology has become one of inductive
reasoning to "prove" a hypothesis. In other words, the
scientific methodology has been inverted in climate science; a
hypothesis was framed, and then data sought to confirm it rather
than to falsify it. An example of this in climate science is the
creation of the "hockey stick" reconstruction of past
global temperatures. This is discussed at length in "The
Hockey Stick Illusion" by A W Montford.
4. The scientific methodology requires full
disclosure of data, methodologies and results so that verification
and replication can be performed by independent scientists.
5. Climate science is not a hard science
in the way that physics and chemistry are. Even though the climate
is driven by physical processes and should be a sub-branch of
physics, it appears to be a mixture of many soft sciences, practised
mostly by environmental scientists with very little hard science
or statistical expertise involved. In particular, most of the
science, particularly at CRU, is controlled by paleoclimatologists,
and in particular by dendroclimatologists. Scientists in these
fields do not have the knowledge required to be experts in climate
science, even though they are portrayed as such.
6. In order to answer the question posed,
it is first necessary to examine the way in which scientific integrity
has been abused at CRU as revealed in the leaked emails. There
are two aspects to the work of the CRU. These are firstly the
reconstruction of past climate (paleoclimatology, the reconstruction
of past climate from proxy data) and secondly contributions to
the derivation and maintenance of a global temperature dataset
(eg HADCRUT), which CRU does in conjunction with the Hadley Centre
of the Met Office. The scientific integrity of both these functions
is discussed below based upon detailed analysis of the unauthorised
publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work
of the CRU.
7. Many of the emails between CRU scientists
and their overseas collaborators have been examined in detail.
Although the findings relate primarily to the CRU scientists,
because of the close relationship between international climate
scientists (as evidenced in the findings of the Wegman Panel Report,
which noted the presence of cliques of collaborative climate scientists),
it is evident that the findings are not just relevant to CRU,
but are relevant to the whole field of climate science.
8. Examples of the way the integrity of
the scientific methodology has been corrupted are given by extracts
from the emails. The examples below cover four areas that will
need to addressed in the future on the implications for integrity
of scientific research: data handling, computer models, peer review
and FOI. These factors are inter-related.
9. The raw data that the scientists were
using were not archived and were not released for independent
verification and replication. Only selected data were used that
confirmed the hypotheses; data that did not support the hypotheses
were ignored. This selective use of data is known as cherry-picking
and is alien to science. It has been likened to a drug company
performing trials of a drug on 100 patients with 10 of the patients
showing a recovery and 90 patients showing no improvement or harmful
side-effects. If the results for the 90 patients are ignored,
then the drug can be claimed to be 100% successful. The use of
data in this manner is not tolerated in any science other than
climate science and is totally unacceptable. Instances of fabricated
data also occurred.
10. Wang, a co-author of Professor Phil
Jones, Director of CRU, was accused of fraud; namely fabricating
data. Prof Tom Wigley, ex-CRU director to Jones "My guess
is that it [the data] does not exist ... Were you taking
[Wang] on trust? ... However, I am concerned because all
this happened under my watch as Director of CRU and, although
this is unlikely, the buck eventually should stop with me.".
Scientific malfeasance has evidently been going on for a long
time and there are no archived records as Jones admits "A
lot of this history is likely best left buried ... finding them
in CRU may be difficult! ... I don't think it is going to help
getting the real culprit to admit putting it together, so I reckon
Chris is going to get the blame."
11. Computer models of varying complexity
were used to manipulate data. The models were not properly documented,
were not archived or checked and were kept secret. Chris Folland
of the Met Office "The error arose from a pre-existing
hidden software bug that the person updating the data had not
realised was there. The software is a mixture of languages which
makes it less than transparent."
12. The "co-conspirators"
(the words of Prof Tom Wigley, ex-CRU director in an email dated
June 2005) manipulated the peer-review process so that their papers
were reviewed by their colleagues and so that sceptical papers
were not published. This manipulation involved threats to journal
editors: Jones "I'm having a dispute with the new editor
of Weather. I've complained about him to the RMS Chief Executive.
If I don't get him to back down, I won't be sending any more papers
to any RMS journals and I'll be resigning from the RMS."
Jones was asked by a journal "Please list the names of
five experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give
an unbiased review of your work. Please do not list colleagues
who are close associates, collaborators, or family members".
His response to colleagues suggested five names and included the
following "All of them know the sorts of things to say,
without any prompting".
13. Attempts were made to avoid releasing
information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Examples
are in emails from Jones: "When the FOI requests began
here, the FOI person said we had to abide by the requests. It
took a couple of half hour sessionsone at a screen, to
convince them otherwise" "All our FOI officers have
been in discussions and are now using the same exceptions not
to respondadvice they got from the Information Commissioner".
"I wouldn't worry about the code. If FOIA does ever get used
by anyone, there is also IPR to consider as well. Data is covered
by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding
behind them". "The two MMs have been after the CRU station
data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information
Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send
to anyone. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide
behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about
itthought people could ask him for his model code. He has
retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should
be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with
someone at UEA who'll say we must adhere to it!" "Keep
this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in FOI
requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received
re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we've found a way around this".
"Think I've managed to persuade the UEA to ignore all further
FOIA requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit."
Jones in an email headed IPCC & FOI "Can you delete any
emails you may have had with Keith. Keith will do likewise. Can
you also email Gene and get him to do the same? We will be getting
Caspar to do likewise."
14. It is evident that there have been serious
failings in the scientific research carried out at CRU and related
organisations. These are in the categories of the application
of quality management, scientific methodology, replication, peer-review,
keeping data and methods secret and avoiding FOI requests, funding-driven
science and advocacy-driven science.
15. Quality management: It is evident
that there has been no quality control at CRU and quality control
would appear to be an alien concept to CRU and many other organisations
involved in climate science. Orders of magnitude more money appears
to have been spent on foreign travel and expenses than on quality
management. As a minimum, a Quality Management System, such as
specified in ISO-9001:2008, should be used for all publicly-funded
research. This should cover topics such as data archiving, development,
documentation, control and use of computer codes and independent
checking of calculations.
16. Scientific methodology: There
should be clear guidelines concerning objectivity of the research.
Research should be investigative rather than agenda-driven and
17. Peer-review: Peer review is
a necessary part, but not the only part, in the process of publication
and acceptance of a paper and it is a process that is much misunderstood.
Peer review does not involve checking the paper or replicating
the research and so does not mean that the paper is correct or
reliable. Peer review consists solely of review by experts in
the field to determine that a paper is worthy of publication.
The peer-review process should be transparent. Reviewers should
be anonymous to the authors and all reviewers' comments and author
responses should be publicly available at the time of paper publication.
18. Replication: All raw and intermediate
data, codes and calculations (including methodology) should be
publicly archived and available prior to paper publication. This
will enable checking and replication to be performed after publication
and will eliminate the need for FOIA requests to obtain data and
codes. Data that has been obtained on a commercial basis and cannot
be released should not be used in publications.. The internet
has become an incredible resource by which published papers can
be independently reviewed, checked and replicated.
19. Science funding: Obtaining funding
to expand and carry on research appears to be a dominant issue
with the scientists involved. The CRU appears to be entirely reliant
on external funding. The funding decision-making process should
be made more transparent.
20. Advocacy: Publicly funded scientists
should not be advocating political solutions based on their results.
21. It is concluded that over at least a
period of 20 years, climate science has been seriously compromised
by the actions of a small group of scientists who have attempted
to control the debate about climate change. The effects of this
are potentially profound. For example a generation of work may
have been corrupted and may be unreliable. A generation of students
may have been corrupted and their work may be unreliable.
22. It is concluded that the compromised
climate science in the UK is not restricted to the CRU, but extends
to the Met Office, the Hadley Centre and various university departments.
23. It is recommended that all government-funded
research that does not have a security implication should be opened
up to full independent scrutiny. Auditable Quality Management
Systems should be introduced to cover all such research and to
24. It is recommended that a fully independent
review of all of the climate science research in the UK that has
been carried out over the past 20+years is undertaken to determine
the extent of the compromised science. The review should involve
physicists and statisticians.
25. It is recommended that all measures
that are being undertaken based on the compromised science are
stopped until the review is complete.
26. Because the general public relies on
the results of scientific endeavours being of the highest integrity,
it is necessary to ensure that trust is not lost and that any
scientists not practising honest science are removed from the
process. How can the public trust what they are being told about
scientific results that affect all aspects of their lives (eg
medical research) if they believe that government-funded scientists
are not completely open and honest?
27. Finally I recommend that the members
of the committee read chapter 15 of "The Hockey Stick
Illusion" by A W Montford.
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper Back
The Hockey Stick Illusion. A W Montford. ISBN978 1 906768 35 5. Back
Climategate Analysis, John P Costella. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/reprint/climategate_analysis.html Back
Congressional ad hoc Committee Report On The `Hockey Stick' Global
Climate Reconstruction. http://www.uoguelph.ca/¥rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf Back
The Hockey Stick Illusion. A W Montford. ISBN978 1 906768 35 5. Back