Feeds

Oxburgh blesses Climategate boffins

Keep on keeping calm, and carry on

High performance access to file storage

All's well at CRU. The University of East Anglia's scientific enquiry into the Climategate affair, led by Lord Oxburgh, has exonerated the staff involved.

After just 15 days on the job, Oxburgh has dismissed the charges in a brisk five-page report. The academics under fire were the IPCC's leading authorities on temperature reconstructions, and their work was central to the claim that recent temperatures are anomalous.

Oxburgh finds space, however, to blame the Climatic Research Unit's external critics for taking a "selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU". These critics failed to account for the "difficult circumstances under which university research is sometimes conducted".

However Oxburgh admits the enquiry team looked at the issue with one eye shut. No critics of CRU's work, Stephen McIntyre or Doug Keenan, were interviewed, and the enquiry admits "We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work".

The only criticism is mild. The enquiry notes:

"It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical. Under such circumstances there must be an obligation on researchers to document the judgemental decisions they have made so that the work can in principle be replicated by others."

Oxburgh concludes: "We found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention."

McIntyre calls the report "flimsy and embarrassing" and "a feeble sleight-of-hand" in his initial commentary on Oxburgh's conclusion. McIntyre says the conclusion that the team "regrettably" "neglected" to indicate the divergence problem - when tree data disagrees with the instrumental temperature record - is incorrect

"The Climategate emails show that they did so intentionally," counters McIntyre.

Lord who?

The choice of Lord Oxburgh was questioned by critics, one of whom compared it to "putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank".

Oxburgh has paid directorships of two renewable energy companies, and is a paid advisor to Climate Change Capital, the Low Carbon Initiative, Evo-Electric, Fujitsu, and an environmental advisor to Deutsche Bank. Last month we revealed that Oxburgh had failed to declare his directorship of GLOBE, an international network of legislators with ties to the Club of Rome.

Oxburgh's is the second of two 'independent' enquiries commissioned by the University. The other, led by Sir Muir Russell, continues.

You can download the Oxburgh report here. It won't take you long to read. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.