‘Climategate’ panel set to report

By | April 14, 2010

Keyboard (Autocat)The second of three reviews into hacked climate e-mails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) is set to be released later.

It has examined scientific papers published over 20 years by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the heart of the e-mail controversy.

The panel was nominated by the Royal Society, and climate sceptics forecast it would defend establishment science.

But the BBC understands the panel has taken a hard look at CRU methodology.

It is thought to have focued on statistical methods used by the CRU and the way uncertainties inherent in climate science may have been down-played by government bodies.

Global picture

The review has been funded by UEA and chaired by Lord Oxburgh, a former academic and industry scientist.

The chair has been challenged over his other interests. Lord Oxburgh is currently president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and chairman of wind energy firm Falck Renewables.

Critics say clean energy companies would benefit from policies to tackle climate change. But Lord Oxburgh insists the panel did not have a pre-conceived view.

The panel includes Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society, who has been examining the way CRU used statistical methodology to develop an average annual global temperature.

It is easy to get a measurement precise in space and time from an individual weather station – albeit with uncertainties attached.

But some countries have many weather stations while others have very few, and there are large areas of the Earth with no surface measurements at all.

So to build up a global picture by assigning a proper statistical weighting to the importance of the various measurements is a notoriously challenging task. …

via BBC News – ‘Climategate’ panel set to report.

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