Tags: climate | change | emails

British Seek Probe into Climate Data E-mails

Tuesday, 24 Nov 2009 03:04 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Former Chancellor Lord Lawson has called for a probe into charges that top climate change scientists manipulated data to bolster the case for man-made global warming, according to a report in the U.K.’s Telegraph.

This week, Lord Lawson launched a global warming think tank, which will include on its board a former senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister and a former deputy chairman of Barclays.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is being launched in anticipation of the United Nations’ climate change conference in Copenhagen, will have Lord Donoghue, who advised former Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and Barclays’ Sir Martin Jacomb included on its board.

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Lawson, who was chancellor between 1983 and 1989, said the independent think tank is “deeply concerned about the costs and other implications of many of the policies currently being advocated.”

He added that the integrity of the scientific research into climate change, which many countries base policy decisions on, could be dramatically flawed.

A flurry of e-mails and documents stolen from the University of East Anglia and posted on the Web indicate that researchers manipulated figures to gloss over the fact that world temperatures actually have been declining in recent years.

Lord Lawson, who has morphed into a prominent climate change skeptic since leaving politics, demanded that the apparent discrepancies be investigated.

"They should set up a public inquiry under someone who is totally respected and get to the truth," he told the BBC Radio Four Today program. "If there's an explanation for what's going on they can make that explanation."

One of the e-mails that has the former Chancellor baffled is one written by Phil Jones, the center’s director, in 1999: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

Jones has explained that he used the word "trick" to mean a "clever thing to do," rather than to indicate deception. He has denied manipulating data.

Kevin Trenberth of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research accused climate change skeptics of taking various documents out of context.

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