Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Climategate' scientist attacks bloggers

In a flurry of interviews in recent days, the scientist at the heart of the "climategate" affair has broken a 12-week silence about the controversy that followed the publication of emails stolen from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.

Phil Jones, who has temporarily stood aside as the unit's director, admitted to the journal Nature that his much-criticised failure to keep records about the location of Chinese weather stations used in a major paper was "not acceptable".
In effect, Jones conceded that British climate sceptic Doug Keenan had been right in some of his criticisms of a 20-year-old paper that had used the Chinese data in an analysis that ruled out local urban influences as a significant factor in global warming.
Jones said he might submit a correction to Nature. But he nonetheless attacked bloggers and other critics for "hijacking the peer-review process... Why don't they do their own [temperature] reconstructions? If they want to criticise, they should write their own papers," he said.
Jones's main research is devoted to constructing a global record of thermometer measurements over the past 160 years. In a separate interview with the BBC discussing this work, he agreed that warming since 1975 had been no more rapid than in other recent eras, from 1860 to 1880 and 1910 to 1940.
But he said that, unlike past periods of warming, the most recent one could not be explained by natural factors such as solar changes or volcanic eruptions. Read more.

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