CRU’s chief weasel admits the science isn’t settled.

February 14, 2010

Via NewsBusters. This is like a Catholic cardinal admitting he’s an agnostic. Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, one of the primary sources of ammunition for global-warming alarmists, admits in a BBC interview that there has been no statistically significant warming in recent years, acknowledges the likelihood of warmer periods in the past (such as the Medieval Warm Period), and admits to manipulating key data to support the alarmist case. Here’s an example:

A – 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?

An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I’ve assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

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.

Read the whole thing. If this were an episode of Perry Mason, Jones would be crumbling under a cross-examination and just seconds away from confessing he murdered Mr. Boddy in the library with the candlestick. His evasions and caveats aside, Jones admits that the science is not settled, that the data is questionable, and that natural causes could explain climate changes. It’s a far cry from the “science is settled” arrogance pushed by leading alarmists and their puddingheaded followers.

Oh yeah, about that manipulated data:

Q – Let’s talk about the e-mails now: In the e-mails you refer to a “trick” which your critics say suggests you conspired to trick the public? You also mentioned “hiding the decline” (in temperatures). Why did you say these things?

This remark has nothing to do with any “decline” in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years.

The phrase ‘hide the decline’ was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

This “divergence” is well known in the tree-ring literature and “trick” did not refer to any intention to deceive – but rather “a convenient way of achieving something”, in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record.

I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time – an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report.

The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data.

The e-mail was sent to a few colleagues pointing out their data was being used in the WMO Annual Statement in 1999. I was pointing out to them how the lines were physically drawn. This e-mail was not written for a general audience. If it had been I would have explained what I had done in much more detail.

Weasel. Both Marc Morano at American Thinker and Coyote at Climate Skeptic, as well as Steve McIntyre at Watts Up With That?, demonstrate exactly the deception Jones and his colleagues were up to when they tried to hide the decline.

I’d call this a death-blow to the Cult of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but the persistence of folly never fails to amaze. And now that the cult has credulous Western governments on its side, the inertia behind economy and liberty destroying programs that will do no good and much harm will be difficult to overcome.

But they’re on the run.

RELATED: More at the Daily Mail, Watts Up With That, Climategate (headline: “OOOPS!”), Hot Air, Blue Crab Boulevard, Fausta, Hot Air again, and the Times of London. That last is another body blow. And have you noticed that almost all the good MSM coverage of Climategate is coming out of the UK, and precious little of it here in America?

Almost as if the US press is married to a particular agenda…  Thinking