A bombshell from the Oxburgh “inquiry”.
Obviously, the most contentious issue in the Hockey Stick controversy has been, uh, the hockey sticks – an area where CRU scientists Jones, Briffa and Osborn have been intimately involved as authors of key proxies, authors of multiproxy studies in the IPCC spaghetti graph, peer reviewers of journal articles and IPCC assessment authors. The core position of Climate Audit in respect to these studies is that the data and methods used in these studies do not permit assertions about the medieval-modern relationship to be made with any confidence. This gets played out in numerous disputes over individual proxies and individual statistical methods, but these do not deflect from the overall issue.
I heard from a reliable source that, during the Oxburgh interviews, Phil Jones admitted that it was probably impossible to do the 1000-year temperature reconstructions with any accuracy. Obviously, this would be a hugely important admission relative to this debate, but the Oxburgh Science Appraisal Panel “inquiry” did not report this admission even though UEA had announced that the Science Appraisal Panel would “re-appraise CRU’s science”.
I accordingly sent the following letter last week to Oxburgh (both to his House of Lords email and the UEA email address used for the “inquiry”), copying the letter to two members of the Parliamentary Committee and two journalists and forwarded it to the Muir Russell inquiry.
Dear Dr Oxburgh,
I am writing to you in your capacity as Chairman of the Science Appraisal Panel, which reported on April 14, 2010 on the independent external reappraisal of CRU’s science that had been announced by the University of East Anglia in February 2010.
It has come to my attention from a reliable source that, during one of his interviews with the Science Appraisal Panel, Phil Jones (of CRU) admitted that it was probably impossible to do these [1000-year temperature] reconstructions with any accuracy.
Given that this has been one of the most contentious, if not the most contentious issue, in the disputes about CRU’s science, the failure of the Science Appraisal Panel to record this important information appears to me to be a material omission that, in this case, distorts the research record.
Under the circumstances, I request that you forthwith issue an addendum that clearly reports Jones’ evidence on the probable impossibility of doing the 1000-year reconstructions with any accuracy.
This morning, I received the following remarkable response:
Dear Dr Mcintyre,
Thank you for your message. What you report may or may not be the case. But as I have pointed out to you previously the science was not the subject of our study.
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