Memorandum submitted by Douglas J Keenan
1.1 This submission describes some actions
by Philip D Jones, a professor at the University of East Anglia.
Some related science issues are also briefly mentioned.
2. REVIEW BY
2.1.1 In August 2007, I submitted an article
to the journal Energy & Environment. The article concerned
my allegation of fraud by a researcher at the University at Albany,
Wei-Chyung Wang. Specifically, I alleged fraud in the following
two research reports:
Jones P D, Groisman P Y, Coughlan M, Plummer
N, Wang W-C, Karl T R (1990), "Assessment of urbanization
effects in time series of surface air temperature over land",
Nature, 347: 169-172.
Wang W-C, Zeng Z, Karl T R (1990), "Urban
heat islands in China", Geophysical Research Letters,
2.1.2 Each report analyses temperature data
from some meteorological stations in China, over the years 1954-83.
(The first report also considers data from stations in the USSR
and Australia; Wang was only involved in Chinese data, and so
the other stations were not relevant for my article.) The first
report is quite important: it is cited for resolving a major issue
by the most recent (2007) assessment report of the IPCC.
2.1.3 As is standard with scholarly journals,
my article was sent to other researchers for commentwhat
is usually called peer review. Journal editors base their decision
on whether or not to publish an article on the comments received
from reviewers. Usually there are two reviewers: if the two agree,
the editor almost always follows their recommendation. If the
two disagree, the editor typically brings in a third reviewer,
as a tie-breaker. In all cases, though, the final decision rests
with the editor.
2.1.4 For my article, one of the people
asked to comment was Jones. Jones was asked in substantial part
because he would obviously be very familiar with the issues, as
he was the lead author of one of the two research reports.
2.1.5 Jones sent his comments to the journal
editor in early September. Afterwards, there was some discussion
between Jones and me. A full copy of the discussion is at http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5610/b0709.htm.
What follows is a treatment of the main issues in that.
2.2 Comment on Parker (2006)
2.2.1 Here is a statement from my article:
The study of Jones et al is not the sole
study relied upon by the IPCC report for its conclusion about
the insignificance of the urbanization effects. ... On the
other hand, assumptions made in one of the other main studies,
by Parker (2006), have since been strongly criticized, both in
the peer-reviewed literature and on scholarly blogs.
The statement was followed by a footnote, which
read as follows: "The only response from Parker of which
I am aware is blogged at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1813 (dated
July 2007); this also references the main criticisms." (Note:
that is the submitted version of the footnote; the published version
was slightly more detailed.)
2.2.2 Jones commented on the foregoing as
follows: "There are no peer-review publications that criticise
Parker (2006)". The comment is false. The most prominent
publication is by Pielke et al (Journal of Geophysical
Research, 2007)in a well-respected journal; there are
also other publications that are related. Jones would certainly
be expected to know this, since this is his area of research.
Even if he did not know it, he could have consulted the footnote
in my article.
2.3 The principal reference for Chinese data
2.3.1 The principal reference for the Chinese
data used by Jones et al and Wang et al is a report
that was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and
the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Concerning that, my article states
the following: "The DOE/CAS report was formally published
in full in 1991Wang et al and Jones et al used
a pre-publication version of the report". Jones, in his review
comments, said this: "The Tao et al (1991) report
was published after the two papers from 1990". Here again,
Jones seems to be trying to make it appear that there is a deficiency
in my article, when there is none.
2.4 Unavailable station histories
2.4.1 Here is another comment from Jones:
The 42-station pairs used in the two 1990 papers
were selected by Professor Zeng (who was a co-author on Wang et
al, 1990) .... In making her decision she did have access
to the station histories and the site population values.
2.4.2 This issue is discussed in my article
at length. In particular, the 1991 report (and the 1997 revision)
explicitly states that for 49 of the stations claimed to be studied
by Jones et al and Wang et al "station histories
are not currently available". It appears that Jones ignored
this part of my article.
2.5 More attempted misdirection by Jones
2.5.1 Another comment from Jones is the
All but one of the locations (ie one out of 34)
for which Keenan cites the numbers of likely moves indicated in
the site histories (on his web site, from Tao et al, 1991),
relate to the 42 sites of urban station data used in Jones et
al (1990). It is the rural sites that are crucial to the 1990
study, not the urban ones. The comparison in the Jones et al
(1990) paper was between the rural station data and the CRU
gridded temperature data available at the time (ie 1990).
2.5.2 Here is the relevant quote from Jones
et al: "We assembled a network of 42 station pairs
of rural and urban sites .... stations were selected on the basis
of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in
instrumentation, location or observation times." That assertion
is untrue, for both the rural stations (40 have no histories at
all) and the urban stations (nine have no histories; most of the
remaining 33 had substantial moves). Again, the topic of my article
is those untrue claims.
2.6 Further attempted misdirection by Jones
2.6.1 A further comment from Jones is the
Nowhere in the paper, nor in the Appendix, does
Keenan present the result of any analyses of temperature data
for any of the two sets of 42 station records. I would have thought
that this would be essential for any paper, making a constructive
or useful contribution to the discussion of "urban"
2.6.2 My article is about the fraud allegation.
Urban biases are discussed only insofar as they relate to the
article's topic. Again Jones appears to be trying to distract
attention away from the article's topic.
2.7 Another issue with no relevance
2.7.1 The next comment from Jones is this:
Site changes do influence the long-term homogeneity
of the temperature series, but the magnitude of such biases can
only be assessed by looking at the temperature data. In Brohan
et al (2006), we averaged all the homogeneity adjustments
for all adjusted stations across the world. The histogram in Figure
4 in that paper shows that applied adjustments are slightly more
likely to lead to cooling rather than warming (but this difference
is probably not significant).
2.7.2 My article is about the fraud allegation;
that is stated in the title, for example. The comment above has
no bearing on my article's argument.
2.8 Subsequent work on urbanization effects
2.8.1 The final comment from Jones follows:
The more recent papers on urbanization in China
(ie published in the last few years) generally look at differences
over the period from the early 1980s or just for the 1990s. Keenan
doesn't refer to the paper by Li et al (2004). One of the
purposes of peer review is to point out selectivity in referencing.
This paper adjusts some of the temperature data and concludes
the urbanization effect is of the order of 0.06°C during
the last 50 years.
2.8.2 Here is what my article says:
Since the publication of Jones et al (1990),
there have been several studies on the effects of urbanization
on temperature measurements in China. The most recent study, in
2007, is by GuoYu Ren and colleagues at the Laboratory for Climate
Studies, China Meteorological Administration. This study concludes
that a large part of the warming that has been measured in China
is due to the effects of urbanization on measurement. (The study
is also supported by the analysis of He et al (2007) for
the years 1991-2000.)
The most recent worksRen et al (2007)
and He et al (2007)would be expected to discuss
prior work, including Li et al (2004); indeed they do,
and they conclude that Li et al were overly optimistic.
Jones' claim to have found a deficiency is untrue.
2.9 Conclusions for first round
2.9.1 Jones has not found any problems with
my article. He has, however, repeatedly claimed to have found
such. The editor of the journal forwarded my rebuttals of those
claims to Jones, for further discussion.
2.9.2 This practice by the editor is unusual.
The editor, Benny J Peiser, was clearly making a strong effort
to determine what is true and to give Jones an ample chance to
criticize my article.
2.10 The 49 stations with no histories
2.10.1 In the second round, Jones commented
Attached is Tao et al (1991). Nowhere
in it does it explicitly state for 49 of the stations claimed
to be studied by Jones et al and Wang et al are
station histories not currently available. It says this for the
205. I'm attaching Tao et al. It is a scanned pdf, so the
find/search facility won't work. Zeng had the station histories
for the 84 sites we used. They didn't have adequate resources
in the 1989-90 period to digitise everything. Keenan has been
The 49 stations are all in the 205; so Jones's
comment is very misleading here. Zeng said in 1991 (and again
in 1997) that there were no histories for those 205: this point
is discussed at length in the Appendix of my article, which Jones's
2.11 More on rural sites
2.11.1 Here is the next comment from Jones
in the second round:
The data on Keenan's web site doesn't show that
his statement for the rural sites to be true. He only has the
station history for one urban sites. We chose those with few,
if any, site moves.
They obviously could not have made the choice
based on site moves, because for 49 sitesincluding 40 of
the 42 rural sitesthere were no histories of site moves.
2.12 Advice to the editor and conclusion
2.12.1 Jones then e-mailed the editor the
My responses the other week were limited to just
a few. I don't want you to take it as a formal review.
I don't see how any journal would ever contemplate
publishing such a paper.
I hope you'll reconsider.
2.12.2 Jones thus tried to persuade the
editor to not publish my articlean article that implied
strong criticism of work that he had published (Jones et al).
His attempts were clearly and repeatedly dishonourable, and were
not based on the article's merits.
2.12.3 The other reviewer, however, recommended
accepting my article. Editor Peiser then sent my article to a
third scientist for review; the third reviewer was also sent a
copy of the exchange between Jones and me. (All of this is common
practice.) The third reviewer recommended accepting my article
for publication. The editor then made his decision: my article
was to be published. (A copy is at http://www.informath.org/pubs/EnE07a.pdf.)
2.13 A further breach of trust
2.13.1 When an article is sent to a scientist
for review, the article is supposed to be kept confidential. It
has since emerged from the leaked CRU e-mails that Jones did not
abide by this, but instead sent copies of my article to several
others. This is a breach of trust.
2.13.2 Relevant e-mails that evidence this
include the following: 1188412866, 1188478901, 1188508827, 1188557698,
3. WORK FOR
3.1 Jones and a chapter of the IPCC Assessment
3.1.1 Every six years or so, the IPCC issues
an Assessment Report. Those reports are widely considered to be
the most authoritative assessment of the scientific understanding
of climate change. For the 2007 report, there were two scientists
with final responsibility for the chapter in the IPCC report on
"surface and atmospheric climate change" (here "surface"
refers to the surface of the Earth, ie where people live). Those
two were Jones and an American colleague, Kevin Trenberth.
3.1.2 The chapter on surface climate might
be considered the most important chapter of the IPCC report. It
cites Jones et al (1990), but it does not cite Wang et
3.2 Citing research known to be based on false
3.2.1 The principal statement in the report
of Jones et al that I alleged to be fabricated is this:
"The stations were selected on the basis of station history:
we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location
or observation times". My article argues that at the time
the report was published, Jones believed the statement was true,
and the responsibility for the fabrication lay with Jones' co-author
Wang. The following paragraph from my article is relevant:
How much did Jones know about Wang's fabrications?
As discussed in my Report on Wang's claims, it appears very likely
that Jones knew nothing at the time (1990). In 2001, however,
Jones co-authored a study, by Yan et al, which considered
two meteorological stations in China (at Beijing and at Shanghai).
This study correctly describes how the stations had undergone
relocations, and it concludes that those relocations substantially
affected the measured temperaturesin direct contradiction
to the claims of Wang. Thus, by 2001, Jones must have known that
the claims of Wang were not wholly true.
On 19 June 2007, I e-mailed Jones about this,
saying "this proves that you knew there were serious problems
with Wang's claims back in 2001; yet some of your work since then
has continued to rely on those claims, most notably in the latest
report from the IPCC". I politely requested an explanation.
I have not received a reply.
3.2.2 The study of Yan et al is the
Yan Zhongwei, Yang Chi, Jones P. (2001), "Influence
of inhomogeneity on the estimation of mean and extreme temperature
trends in Beijing and Shanghai", Advances in Atmospheric
Sciences, 18: 309-321.
Note that Jones is one of the three authors.
The study correctly describes how the Beijing station moved five
times, over 41 km, as well as having changes in observation times.
Shanghai also had a small move, as well as changes in observation
3.2.3 The above block quote from my article
implies that Jones committed fraud in his work on the latest report
from the IPCCie citing work that he knew to be based on
false claims. Note too that Jones must have read the quote when
he was reviewing my article; yet none of the review comments from
Jones address the quote, either explicitly or implicitly. Jones
seems to be thereby effectively admitting the fraud.
3.2.4 There is another aspect to this as
well. In 1993, Jones was the second author of a report that examined
temperature trends in China and certain other countries (Karl
et al, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,
1993). The report states (p 1014) that "Station histories
from the PRC [China] do not reflect any changes in instrumentation,
instrument heights, instrument shelters, or observing procedures
...". That directly contradicts the claim of Jones et
al to have chosen stations "with few, if any, changes
in instrumentation". So again, Jones knew that the IPCC Assessment
Report was citing work that was based on false claims.
3.3 Ignoring research that contradicts his
3.3.1 The reports of Jones et al and
Wang et al analyze the same data, but come to substantially-different
conclusions about that data. The IPCC (2007) Assessment Report,
though, only cites Jones et al, not Wang et al. That
seems to be contrary to how the IPCC is supposed to work. Consider,
for example, the following quote from IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri
(quoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Endangerment
and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section
202(a) of the Clean Air Act: Response to Public CommentsVolume
IPCC relies entirely on peer reviewed literature
in carrying out its assessment and follows a process that renders
it unlikely that any peer reviewed piece of literature, however
contrary to the views of any individual author, would be left
out ... There is ... no possibility of exclusion of any contrarian
views, if they have been published in established journals or
other publications which are peer reviewed.
3.3.2 If there is some reason for ignoring
Wang et al, it should be in the peer-reviewed literature.
I searched that literature (using the ISI Web of Knowledge) for
work that compared Jones et al and Wang et al. I
found only one such work, by Riches et al (Bulletin
of the American Meteorological Society, 1992). Riches et
al, which is co-authored by Wang, state the following (p 588).
Jones et al (1990) have assessed the urbanization
effects in time series of surface air temperature over land areas
in European parts of the CIS, eastern Australia, and eastern China.
The results suggest that urbanization influence appears to be
small. However, Wang et al (1990) have performed a more
detailed study on the urban heat island effect in China. The effects
were found to have a seasonal dependency, which varied considerably
across the country.
3.3.3 Thus, the citing of Jones et al
and the non-citing of Wang et al appear to contradict
the claims made by Chairman Pachauri, and indeed obvious good
practice in research. Jones, together with Trenberth, had final
responsibility for that selective citation. In other words, there
is evidence that Jones abused his position of responsibility for
the IPCC chapter to cite his own research (in support of global
warming) and ignore other research that contradicted his.
4.1 This submission to the Committee is
limited to 3,000 words. There are other topics that merit presentation,
but cannot be treated in such space. In reality, Jones is more
unscrupulous than the foregoing indicates. Simply put, Jones is
an incompetent who has advanced himself by joining what is in
effect a mutual benefit society.
4.2 In addition, there are many other researchers,
in other fields of science, who are at least as unscrupulous as
Jones. Consider that there are tens of thousands of scientists
in the UK, and yet none of those have been found guilty of scientific
fraud during the past decade, to my knowledge. It is not credible
that tens of thousands of people would all act with complete integrity
in all of their actions for a decade.
4.3 I once filed an allegation of scientific
fraud against a researcher at the University of Reading. The university
refused to investigate my allegation. I was told by telephone
that the university had no procedures for investigating such allegations,
because their professors always acted with integrity. With responses
like that, it is easy to understand why there have been no convictions
for scientific fraud.
4.4 On 2 February, a front-page article
in The Guardian reported on some of my work and described
me in part as a "researcher of scientific fraud". Indeed,
I have substantial experience with scientific fraud, in many fields,
in several countries. If the Committee is interested in taking
steps to address such fraud, I would be quite willing to provide
Declaration of Interests: None.