Written Evidence Submitted by Andrew Montford (UEA
Your committee recently heard evidence from
Lords Oxburgh and Russell and the Professors Acton and Davies.
As you consider your next steps I would like to draw together
in summary form some of the key features of the inquiries, which
I hope you will find useful. In their evidence, several of the
witnesses made highly controversial statements and I would also
like to clarify some of what was said.
As a result of the inquiries and the subsequent
evidence sessions before the committee, many facts are now clear
and apparently undisputed. In summary these are as follows:
1. The Oxburgh panel did not investigate
the science, but only looked for evidence of dishonesty. We do
not know if CRU science is a reliable basis for public policy.
2. Oxburgh told the committee that Acton's
claim that the science would be investigated was "inaccurate".
3. Oxburgh reported that the Royal Society
chose the papers for his panel to examine. This was incorrect
and the list was chosen by UEA itself.
4. Oxburgh said the papers sent to the panel
were chosen on the advice of the Royal Society. In fact the list
was sent to panel members before any such approval had been received.
5. The Oxburgh panel did not look at CRU's
controversial work on the IPCC reports. Because of this, many
of the most serious allegations were not examined.
6. Oxburgh did not look at Keenan's fraud
allegation, although the relevant paper was on the list his team
was to examine. Oxburgh seemed not to have heard of Keenan.
7. None of the key CRU critics were interviewed
by Oxburgh or Russell.
8. Neither of the panels gave CRU critics
the opportunity to challenge evidence from CRU or others.
9. Russell did not investigate the most
serious allegationsthose relating to deletion of emails.
While CRU purport to dispute some of the key
allegations made against them, on closer examination there is
little or nothing to support the case they are making. I list
below three key examples.
1. The list of papers for Oxburgh did not
included any of the key multiproxy temperature reconstructions.
In his evidence, Professor Davies said that he disputed this,
but this claim can be shown to be false. CRU has produced three
multiproxy temperature reconstructionsJones et al 1998,
Mann and Jones 2003, and Osborn and Briffa 2006. None were on
the list of papers for the Oxburgh panel and Professor Davies
offered no evidence to support a claim that they were.
2. McKitrick's allegation of fabrication
against Jones was disputed by Russell on the grounds that the
IPCC authors had other reasons why they felt McKitrick's paper
was wrong. Russell presented no evidence that Jones original claimthat
McKitrick's results were statistically insignificantwas
supported in the peer-reviewed literature. McKitrick's claim that
Jones fabricated this statement therefore stands unrebutted.
3. Russell claimed to have examined Keenan's
fraud allegation, but failed to mention or dispute the evidence
central to Keenan's casethe Yan et al. paper that showed
that the source documents behind Jones' findings did not exist.
Several of the key allegations have not apparently
been investigated at all.
1. It appears that Russell did not ascertain
if CRU staff actually contacted any of the journals they discussed
threatening, and if so what they said to them.
2. Russell was told that Briffa took home
emails for safekeeping. Acton told the committee that this was
probably because Briffa was unwell, although this contradicts
the statement that his reason was "safekeeping". No
further investigation appears to have been made.
3. Questions of cherrypicking of data and
the use of ad-hoc adjustments to data appear to have gone largely
There can be little doubt that neither the Oxburgh
or the Russell panels performed their tasks in an even-handed
and thorough way. Some of the most fundamental questions arising
out of the East Anglia emails have yet to be addressedan
extraordinary state of affairs after so much time has passed.
I believe it is vital that your committee now state plainly that
the University of East Anglia has failed to properly investigate
the allegations arising out of the emails, and either launch your
own investigation or call upon the government to set up a formal
22 November 2010