November 30, 2009

Leaked Climate Data Not Likely To Impact IPCC’s Advice

Following the leak of many private emails between some of the world's leading climate experts, scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted to losing much of the raw temperature data it had stored.

The UEA's Climate Research Unit (CRU) made the revealing announcement after requests were made for the data under the Freedom of Information Act.

Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, filed a request for the data.

"We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenized) data," the CRU said on its Web site.

"The CRU is basically saying, "ËœTrust us'. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science," said Pielke.

Last week, hackers stole emails that were sent and received by CRU director Phil Jones during the past 13 years. The emails raised questions about the authenticity of data being reported by leading climate scientists.

"We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps," hackers said in a statement. "We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it."

"We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites," said a UEA spokesperson. "Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all this material is genuine."

"This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and have involved the police in this inquiry."

Meanwhile, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said on Sunday that the hacking breach would have no impact on the IPCC's advice to governments regarding climate change.

"The processes in the IPCC are so robust, so inclusive, that even if an author or two has a particular bias it is completely unlikely that bias will find its way into the IPCC report," he said.

"Every single comment that an expert reviewer provides has to be answered either by acceptance of the comment, or if it is not accepted, the reasons have to be clearly specified. So I think it is a very transparent, a very comprehensive process which insures that even if someone wants to leave out a piece of peer reviewed literature there is virtually no possibility of that happening."


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