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.