CRU’s Jones says Global Warming Science NOT Settled

BBC put questions to Dr Phil Jones, former head of the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit (CRU) about his views regarding global warming and Climategate.   The questions and his responses can be read in detail by clicking here.

Al Gore should probably wrap his head in duct tape before reading the following Jones’ response:

Q – –When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?

A–It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.

So,  Jones says neither he nor the vast majority of climate scientist think the climate change debate is over.   I just heard a boom.  Somebody did not tape his head  to prevent it from exploding.

For those who believe that CO2 is driving global warming,  Jones offers this:

Q–Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

A–Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

Here are the trends and significances for each period:

Period Length Trend

(Degrees C per decade)

1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
1910-1940 31 0.15 Yes
1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes

Jones added the period 1975-2009 to the first three periods from the BBC questionnaire.  He says that the periods are not statistically different from each other (which could probably be deduced without a statistical analysis).  It would seem to put into question any significant effect of  the increase in anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere after WWII .

And he does respond to the hockey stick temperature chart that eliminated the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from history with this equivocation:

Q–There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

A–There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

Ok,  Jones seems certain that there was a MWP in the Northern hemisphere.  But he doesn’t know if there was one in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time.   If the evidence was that the Northern Hemisphere temperatures were high  and  there was no data contradictory evidence,  why was the MWP removed from the hockey stick chart?

He still seems to be in some degree of hot water over his actions around  the Freedom of Information Act .

Q–Why did you ask a colleague to delete all e-mails relating to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC?

A–This was an e-mail sent out of frustration at one FOI request that was asking for the e-mail correspondence between the lead authors on chapter six of the Working Group One Report of the IPCC. This is one of the issues that the Independent Review will look at.

Oh my,  he just got mad and we need to forgive him.  I believe he did his best to deny anyone, by any means  access to his data.  See all the Climategate emails to learn how hard he fought any release.

Dr Jones says he never tried to subvert the process of peer review, but again, reading the Climategate email it surely looks like he and the members of his cabal did.

There are other postings on this topic that you might want to look into.  If so click here and here.


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