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Phil Jones is stepping down as director of the the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, one of the world's leading climate research centers, after emails were released implicating him in academic misconduct.  (Source: University of East Anglia)
Director admits emails about apparent warming deception "do not read well"

The University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit is one of the world's primary sources for climate data analysis and a close partner to the UN's International Panel on Climate Change.  Its researchers have published much of the work that has helped the theory of anthropogenic causation to global warming to gain acceptance in much of research community. 

Last week the CRU was the subject of a cyberattack.  Hackers released a 160 MB archive of stolen information from the center, including a number of emails from the center's director, Professor Phil Jones.

Some emails were merely embarrassing, such as Jones gloating over the death of a climate change skeptic.  Others offer signs of misconduct, with Jones appearing to carry out a campaign to remove climate skeptics from peer review boards.  The emails also show Jones discussing how he and researchers under him purposefully altered data to make warming trends seem greater -- what seems to be academic fraud.

The information in the emails has not been confirmed or denied, but the center has confirmed a leak occurred and that it is investigating the matter.  On Monday Jones announced via a press release that he would be stepping down as director while the investigations runs its course.  He says he still stands by his center's research, though, including his own.

The University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton supported Jones' decision to step down.  Jones said the move was necessary for the CRU to "[continue] its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible."

Supporters of warming have sought to minimize the results.  While they have not necessarily questioned the authenticity of the leaked archive, they argue that the leak is a smear campaign.  Jones has personally endorsed this theory, writing, "One has to wonder if it is a coincidence that this email correspondence has been stolen and published at this time. This may be a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks."

The leak indeed offers unfortunate tidings for proponents of climate change legislation.  With the U.S. preparing to commit to unprecedented and expensive emissions reductions at the UN Copenhagen global warming talks, members of the U.S. government are now voicing doubts.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Wisc.-R, is quoted as saying the emails "read more like scientific fascism than scientific process."  His colleague Rep. Ed Markey, Mass.-D, however complains that such criticism is merely a distraction from the "catastrophic threat to our planet."

Jones, at the center of the scandal, has made a comment that indicates the emails may be valid.  He admitted in a post that the emails "do not read well", but dismisses claims of data alteration and misconduct as mere "confusion".

A close supporter of Jones, Lord Stern, author of the U.K.'s 2006 Stern Report, on Tuesday looked to help the embattled climate change movement by speaking out on his views.  He says that the evidence of manmade warming is "overwhelming".  He added that all views on the topic should be heard, but that the opinions of warming skeptics might not be valid views in his estimation.  He called the skeptics "muddled and confused".

Confusion indeed seems afoot, but perhaps more at the CRU than anyplace else.  It should be noted that some researchers appear in the released emails to have not cooperated with Jones' campaign and risked their jobs to preserve their academic integrity.  Kevin Trenberth was among those who refused to participate and questioned the certainty of the CRU's conclusions on manmade warming.

The CRU has moved to silence one point of criticism.  It has agreed to publish missing land surface temperatures shortly.  The research center says that 95 percent of its data has been publicly available for "several years".  The center says that its conclusions that man is responsible for warming "correlate well to those of other scientists based on the separate data sets held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)."

It is apt that the CRU's release mentions America's GISS as the CRU warming scandal closely mirrors the controversy over data alterations by Dr. James Hansen director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).  Dr. Hansen's data was shown to have errors both in 2007 and 2008 which exaggerated warming trends.

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Yawn... another masher hit-n-run job.
By Lifted on 12/3/2009 2:52:55 AM , Rating: -1
Michael Asher coming back here to take pot shots at climate change news is getting tiresome. Be a man Mike (if you really are one), post under your real name (whatever that is), and tell us who much Exxon pays you to publish these. Or are you still getting your daily updates of news from Marc Morano and the other anti-environment lobbyists up on Capitol Hill?

I honestly don't care if every article you post is 100% factual, but at least be honest about who you are and who you work for if you want any of us to take your "articles" even remotely seriously.

RE: Yawn... another masher hit-n-run job.
By kyleb2112 on 12/3/2009 4:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
LOL. Nothing left for AGW fundamentalists to do but shoot the messenger. Of course you could help Barbara Boxer get to the bottom of "Email-Theft-Gate"!!!

Could keep your mind off your reality imploding.

By mdogs444 on 12/3/2009 9:37:39 AM , Rating: 4
Of course you could help Barbara Boxer get to the bottom of "Email-Theft-Gate"!!!

Yeah, funny how upset Barbara is over these emails that show how much of bunk this stuff really is. Why is it she never wanted to look into "Sarah Palin Email Hacked Theft Gate"?

By mdogs444 on 12/3/2009 6:44:46 AM , Rating: 1
and tell us who much Exxon pays you to publish these

I honestly don't care if every article you post is 100% factual,

another masher hit-n-run job.

So tell is this a hit and run job, much less funded by Exxon, if its 100% factual and has been on the news for over a week now?

Lay off the juice Lifted, that shit will kill ya.

RE: Yawn... another masher hit-n-run job.
By mattclary on 12/3/2009 9:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
Follow the money:

Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he'd been awarded in the 1990s.

RE: Yawn... another masher hit-n-run job.
By Vyctor on 12/3/2009 12:45:39 PM , Rating: 1
WOW! Stop the presses! A researcher is actually getting paid to do research!! Unbeleivable!! What now? Are you telling me that if all those people researching cancer are actually getting research grants that means that cancer doesn't exist? I sure feel much better now!!

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/3/2009 1:31:47 PM , Rating: 3
If the cancer researchers are falsifying their data to get more grant money, then we ought to make fun of them here on DT like this dork wad.

The implication was that he was falsifying data to get more research grants, since if he didn't falsify the data, no one would have much interest in the field to fund it, not that research scientists shouldn't get research grants. You knew that and posted to blind people to the real issue with your capital letters and exclamation marks and so-called rhetorical questions. Your father was an electric food trough wiper, and your mother smelled of elderberries!

By Jaybus on 12/3/2009 12:44:46 PM , Rating: 3
Absolutely. I have worked with scientists for most of my career. They rarely get to work on what they would choose to work on. They are in a sort of trap where they can only make a living by researching the topics some organization, government or otherwise, is willing to pay for. So it comes as no surprise to me that 2,500 scientists have accepted money to research climate change. It doesn't mean they believe it. It means they believe that's the only way they can make any money. Unscrupulous scientists know that they won't be financed again unless they tell their benefactors what they want to hear. And so they become statisticians.

Mark Twain put it best. "There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."

By rtrski on 12/3/2009 10:28:50 AM , Rating: 1
Really? I found it rather subdued. There wasn't a flaming "I TOLD YOU SO" anywhere to be found.

The implication PJ is stepping down out of a desire to hide and wait for a cool-down, vs. out of any sense of honor or rediscovered urge to embrace a more honest scientific debate vs. stacking the deck, is in the comments, not the article.

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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