Climate Change Emails Show Evidence of Scientific Misconduct?

It's already looking like Phil Jones will not return to his position as the head of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, because of his attempts to thwart a Freedom of Information request.  But today the Guardian is reporting that its research into the emails reveals even more serious violations--misconduct that calls his scientific work into question:

Jones and a collaborator have been accused by a climate change sceptic and researcher of scientific fraud for attempting to suppress data that could cast doubt on a key 1990 study on the effect of cities on warming - a hotly contested issue.

Today the Guardian reveals how Jones withheld the information requested under freedom of information laws. Subsequently a senior colleague told him he feared that Jones's collaborator, Wei-­Chyung Wang of the University at Albany, had "screwed up".

The revelations on the inadequacies of the 1990 paper do not undermine the case that humans are causing climate change, and other studies have produced similar findings. But they do call into question the probity of some climate change science.

The apparent attempts to cover up problems with temperature data from the Chinese weather stations provide the first link between the email scandal and the UN's embattled climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as a paper based on the measurements was used to bolster IPCC statements about rapid global warming in recent decades.

Wang was cleared of scientific fraud by his university, but new information brought to light today indicates at least one senior colleague had serious concerns about the affair.

It also emerges that documents which Wang claimed would exonerate him and Jones did not exist.

The article in question is incredibly poorly written--short on details, and cryptic in its explanations.  So I withhold judgement as to whether this is a major issue.  But it is from the Guardian, not some right-wing paper with an anti-AGW agenda.  So I expect there will be some follow-up.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In