The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by Clive Menzies (CRU 19)

  I am a director of Clive Menzies & Associates Limited, an ICT support and services company specialising in the use of free and open source software.

  I am also a director of Fund Building Limited which provides marketing services for fund managers, helping them to build relationships with professional investment intermediaries and institutions. My experience includes investment and economic research in the context of fund management. I have no pecuniary interest on either side of the global warming debate.

  My interest in climate change has developed within the last year. Previously, I was persuaded to the view that man-made CO2 emissions were causing global warming and climate catastrophe inevitable unless action was taken to avoid it. I viewed sceptics with suspicion and as environmental philistines. However, people, who's views I respect, raised doubts which prompted me to arm myself with information to refute their challenges to the man-made global warming hypothesis.

  Contrary to my expectation, the more I investigated, the more sceptical of the hypothesis I became.

  Following several months of investigation, I can only conclude that structural incentives, to promote the global warming agenda and obscure the truth, exist and have prevailed hitherto. The contents of the documents and emails, leaked from the CRU, confirmed what was already becoming apparent, the man-made global warming hypothesis is founded on bad (politicised) science. My submission seeks to inform the Committee of the results of my research.


  1.1  The leaking of climate data from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia provided further evidence that the paleoclimatic science community had manipulated data and programs to make climate models fit the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis. Furthermore, the revelation by the Information Commissioner, that the University of East Anglia had contravened the Freedom of Information Act, exposes the practices adopted to frustrate the independent peer review process.

  1.2  There is however, a much larger issue: there are many international scientists who dissent from the AGW hypothesis and yet their views and research have been consistently suppressed by the IPCC, the media and politicians.

  1.3  There exists a perverse structural incentive to promote the AGW agenda and anyone questioning the science has been subject to ridicule and hostility.

  1.4  In December 2007, the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee published a report detailing submissions from more than 400 prominent international scientists, many of whom were current and past participants in the UN IPCC, criticising the climate claims made by the IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. In March 2009, the report was updated to include submissions from an additional 300 international scientists bringing the total to over 700.

  1.5  The Science and Technology Committee will have received submissions analysing the content of the leaked documents and emails. The emails offer at least circumstantial evidence of collusion to manipulate data and suppress dissent. Some of the documents demonstrate the woeful lack of rigour in the processes to create the climate models resulting in the now discredited hockeystick graph. The document, HARRY_READ_ME.txt, contains programmer's comments clearly exposing the haphazard approach to data storage, maintenance and record keeping. It shows the frustration of the programmer trying to obtain suitable data and code to produce the required result. Exposing these data, assumptions and methodologies to independent scrutiny would have undermined the AGW hypothesis.

  1.6  This submission addresses the following issues:

    MBH98, the paper which produced the hockeystick graph.

    Available temperature records.

    CO2's contribution to global warming.

    Claims of climate catastrophe.

    Suppression of dissent.

    Structural incentives to suppress the truth and the misuse of public funds.


  2.1  The 1990 IPCC Report contained a graphical representation of global temperatures during the second millennium, produced by H H Lamb (IPCC 1990 Figure 7c), which clearly shows the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) and that the then current temperatures fell short of those of the MWP. This accords with historical evidence of the Vikings settling and farming in Greenland from around 980AD to 1400. The onset of the LIA caused the collapse of the settlements (Jared Diamond, Collapse. ISBN-10: 0670033375) and Greenland has been gripped in permafrost ever since. Further confirmation of the LIA is provided by Samuel Pepys who wrote of ice skating on the Thames with Nell Gwynne in 1683 when the river and surrounding coastline froze for two months. That the globe has been warming since is neither surprising nor alarming.

  2.2  The 2001 IPCC Report, Summary for Policymakers, contained the hockeystick graph which showed a very different pattern of global temperatures during the same period as the HH Lamb graph in the 1990 report. This graph was output from the MBH98 study by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes (Mann et al). The graph showed global temperatures oscillating within a 0.5°C range throughout the second millennium before breaking out upwards in the closing decades and trending to go much higher. There was no evidence of the MWP or LIA.¥rmckitri/research/trc.html

  2.3  Steve McIntyre, a retired geologist with a mathematics degree, and Ross McKitrick, an economist and statistician, sought to obtain the data and methodology, used to produce the hockeystick, from Mann et al but were met with obfuscation and hostility. However, over time they were able to piece together a critique of the study and demonstrate that the hockeystick graph was unsupported by the evidence.¥rmckitri/research/trc.html

  2.4  In 2005, the US House of Representatives commissioned a report from a committee led by Edward Wegman, comprising three academics, to investigate and adjudicate between the work of Mann et al and that of McIntyre and McKitrick. The Wegman Report concluded: "It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimatic community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicised that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall our committee believes that Dr Mann's assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis." In the body of the report, it notes of the review process: "at least 43 authors have direct connections to Dr Mann by virtue of coauthoring papers with him".


  3.1  There are limited data sources available for global temperatures and each has their flaws requiring adjustment or context. There are surface temperature data for the last 150 years and earlier records are limited to the northern hemisphere. The temperature recording stations aren't evenly sited around the globe. Inconsistencies arose, such as in the former USSR, where cold weather subsidies created a downwards bias; once the USSR fragmented, records suffered further. The data are also affected by urban heating effects. Originally temperature recording stations were in remote locations away from centres of civilisation. Increasing urbanisation has created a warmer local environment leading to distortion of temperature records. The effect can be quite significant. Recorded differences, between Reno and its airport some way out of the city, can be as much as 10°F.

  3.2  Proxy data for temperature such as ice cores, tree rings, fossil pollen and coral reefs give us a much longer perspective on global temperatures but these are similarly flawed in various ways. Ice cores only show temperatures where there is deep ice. The width and density of tree rings vary with humidity as well as temperature (and possibly CO2 concentrations too). All these proxy data are location specific and can't provide a comprehensive record of global temperatures.

  3.3  Radiosonde (weather balloons) provide reasonably accurate data at the specific height at which they are set to record but again they are location specific.

  3.4  Satellite data provide comprehensive global coverage and are probably the most reliable. Adjustments need to be made for orbital decay. Satellites have a limited lifespan and records from successive satellites are spliced together which can produce distortions.

  3.5  History provides us with evidence of the environment in which people lived enabling us to make broad assumptions about relative temperatures.

  3.6  Temperature recording is improving and becoming more reliable. On the basis of current evidence, warming over the 20th century was due to natural variability following the LIA. Global temperatures have increased since the end of the last ice age (c 16,000 years ago). Within that long term trend there are shorter cycles (MWP 1000-1400AD, LIA 1400-1800). Satellite data show the last two years as being significantly cooler than 1998.


  4.1  The UK Met Office describes the AGW hypothesis as follows: "It is now clear that man-made greenhouse gases are causing climate change. The rate of change began as significant, has becoming alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long term." For the theory to hold true, the observable rate of temperature increase would be higher in the troposphere than at the earth's surface. The rate of temperature increase would be most noticeable in the tropics because that is where the surface would be radiating the most heat. This is what the AGW climate models predict. Yet observations, from weather balloons and satellites since 1958, have consistently shown this is not the case.

  4.2  Both sides of the global warming debate agree that there is a close correlation, over the last 800,000 years, of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere with global temperatures. Furthermore it is generally agreed that hitherto, the rise in temperatures preceded the rise in CO2 levels by around 800 years. However, the IPCC and the pro-global warming lobby insist that it is now CO2 which is driving the rise in temperature with no hard evidence to support this illogical premise. On the contrary, temperatures rose fairly rapidly from about 1900 to 1940 but then declined until the late 1970s during a period when CO2 emissions were rising in the post-war industrial boom. 95% of greenhouse gas is water vapour, CO2 is a relatively minor constituent making a marginal contribution to the greenhouse system. Some studies acknowledge that rises in CO2 concentrations have a warming influence but that it is logarithmic, ie. the first 20 parts per million have the most effect but thereafter the influence wanes to negligible by the time the current 388 parts per million are reached. CO2 concentrations have been much higher in the past but apparently not within the last 800,000 years.

  4.3  Man-made CO2 accounts for approximately 3% of total CO2 emissions.

  4.4  Most studies indicate that CO2's life in the atmosphere, prior being absorbed, is less than 10 years. The IPCC claims however, that CO2 lingers in the atmosphere for 100 years.

  4.5  CO2 is beneficial for promoting plant growth which is important if we are to feed the growing global human population without destroying our environment. Dutch growers buy CO2 to raise concentrations in their greenhouses to increase crop yields.


  5.1  Some of the most lurid claims of global warming relate to extreme weather events. Chris Landsea, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division in Miami, resigned from the IPCC in protest over claims that extreme weather events are a direct consequence of global warming. His studies show improved monitoring in recent years is responsible for most, if not all, of the observed trend in increasing frequency of tropical cyclones. A 2007 paper by Gabe Vecchi, another climate scientist at NOAA, concluded increased wind shear from rising sea surface temperatures make it more difficult for hurricanes to form and grow.

  5.2  Footage of the ice shelf crashing into Arctic Ocean makes good television but polar ice undergoes significant expansion and contraction through winter and summer. On the basis of satellite data, although there is some correlation of polar ice with global temperature, the data are inconclusive. In the last couple of years the polar ice in the Arctic has expanded. In the southern hemisphere, there is evidence of Antarctic cooling from 1966-2000.

  5.3  Glacial erosion in the Himalayas has been overstated by the IPCC (as indicated by the recent reversal of the claim that Himalayan glaciers will have disappeared by 2035). The most recent studies by researchers at ETH Zurich show that in the 1940s Swiss glaciers were melting at an even-faster pace than at present. The rapid erosion is ascribed to solar radiation rather than global warming.


  6.1  The leaked emails show how the website is used to promote the AGW hypothesis and suppress dissent. The site is registered to Environmental Media Services which is associated with Fenton Communications, a media strategy group. Regular contributors include Michael Mann and Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA GISS. Should publicly funded scientists be blogging on a political lobbying site?

  6.2  William Connelly, starting in 2003, is reported to have rewritten Wikipedia's articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models and on global cooling. On 14 February, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on 11 August, the Medieval Warm Period. All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn't like the subject of a certain article, he removed it—more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred—over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors found themselves blocked from making further contributions.

  6.3  The IPCC Summary for Policy Makers, produced from the climate scientists' submissions to the IPCC reports, is a political document agreed between IPCC and officials representing the participating governments. As a result there are inconsistencies between the science and the claims in the Summary.

  6.4  The IPCC implies that some 2,500 climate scientists support its claims. This paper by John McLean contains analysis of the number of contributors to the AR4 (2007) report:

Just because someone's name is on the IPCC report as a contributor or reviewer doesn't mean they are a climate scientist nor does it mean they endorse the Summary for Policy Makers' conclusions. As it says in the paper: "Fifty-three authors and five reviewers are all that might generously be said to have explicitly supported the claim of a significant human influence on climate."

  6.5  The US Senate Minority Report in 1.4 contains references to scientists being intimidated to discourage them from speaking out publicly.

  6.6  The mainstream media have failed, yet again, to hold those responsible to account. With a few notable exceptions, they participate in promoting the AGW hypothesis while ignoring, ridiculing or maligning "climate deniers".


  7.1  The IPCC was specifically set up to "asses the scientific basis of risk of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation." If there is no AGW, the IPCC has no raison d'etre and many of those involved will lose credibility and their livelihoods. $50 billion has been spent by governments over the last 20 years exploring and promoting global warming. Some of this money was well spent on science which improved our understanding of the climate. However, a significant proportion has been wasted by selectively funding research to support the AGW theory whilst failing to fund studies of alternative causes of climate change.

  7.2  Prof Stephen Schneider, Professor of Climatology at Stanford University, lead author of many IPCC reports is reported to have said: "We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public's imagination ... So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts ... Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest."

  7.3  Structural incentives weigh the science in favour of the AGW hypothesis. However, one individual has been a significant factor in the momentum behind the hypothesis. In addition to the opportunity to influence the establishment and promotion of the IPCC, Al Gore has a significant interest in perpetuating the AGW myth. Not least, having invested so much emotional, political and monetary capital into the project, it is almost impossible for him to reverse his position. He is Chairman of Generation Investment Management which holds 2.63% of Chicago Climate Exchange which owns the European Climate Exchange and is seeking to dominate carbon trading globally. Carbon trading amounted to some $140 billion in 2008; should the US adopt cap and trade policies this will be a multi-trillion dollar industry. Kleiner Perkins, in which he's a partner, has some $1Bn invested in stocks related to the global warming agenda.

  7.4  Rachendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, is similarly afflicted with conflicts of interest. Everyone who has a stake in this agenda stands to lose should the AGW hypothesis be exposed as a myth: the carbon trading and investment industry, local council climate change officers, climate change journalists etc.

  7.5  Governments have poured $billions into the climate change agenda which, if the AGW hypothesis is based on a flawed process, is misuse of public funds. For example, the UK Met Office included the discredited hockeystick graph in their Climate Change booklet widely distributed in November 2009.


  The leaked emails and documents from the CRU merely confirmed what was already evident, that temperature data and the methodology were manipulated to fit the AGW hypothesis. Further there was resistance to sharing information for peer review. The hockeystick graph is discredited and yet continues to be promoted by the UK Met Office. The CRU leak is tangential to the main issue; the man-made global warming hypothesis does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. There is a structural bias supporting AGW in much the same way as there existed a structural bias in the sub-prime mortgage market. We are in grave danger of making significant policy errors nationally and globally which will prejudice the lives of millions. We need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, protect our environment and build sustainable economies but CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a fundamental building block of life on earth. There are many ecological problems which we can mitigate and relieve; those are where we should focus our attention and resources.

February 2010

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 31 March 2010