The New York Times’ Justin Gillis suggested the other day that climate skeptics have only a single legitimate champion in the person of Richard Lindzen and that he has only a single area of scientific inquiry — clouds — that could possibly bear any fruit. There are many disproofs of Gillis’s appalling contention, but one particularly potent one is Steve McIntyre’s important blog piece, reblogged here from Climate Audit. Followers of climate science owe it to themselves to read past Climate Audit posts and Andrew Montford’s crucial book The Hockey Stick Illusion. Even in the absence of such context, however, the obvious reliance of the Climatic Research Unit from the University of East Anglia (CRU) upon the small, cherry-picked dataset of Yamal tree rings is clearly a tale of scientific incompetence, at best, and fraud, at worst.
Originally posted on Climate Audit:
Phil Jones’ first instinct on learning about Climategate was that it was linked to the Yamal controversy that was in the air in the weeks leading up to Climategate. I had speculated that CRU must have done calculations for Yamal along the lines of the regional chronology for Taimyr published in Briffa et al 2008. CRU was offended and issued sweeping denials, but my surmise was confirmed by an email in the Climategate dossier. Unfortunately neither Muir Russell nor Oxburgh investigated the circumstances of the withheld regional chronology, despite my submission drawing attention to this battleground issue.
I subsequently submitted an FOI request for the Yamal-Urals regional chronology and a simple list of sites used in the regional chronology. Both requests were refused by the University of East Anglia. I appealed to the Information Commissioner (ICO).
A week ago, the Information Commissioner notified the University of East Anglia that he would be ruling against them on my longstanding FOI request for the list of sites used in the Yamal-Urals regional chronology referred to in a 2006 Climategate email. East Anglia accordingly sent me a list of the 17 sites used in the Yamal-Urals regional chronology (see here). A decision on the chronology itself is pending. In the absence of the chronology itself, I’ve done an RCS calculation, the results of which do not yield a Hockey Stick.