By Hamish Johnston
“We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it.”
That is the main conclusion of an independent panel of scientists nominated by the UK’s Royal Society to scrutinize the scientific methodology of researchers at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU).
The seven-member panel was set-up by the university and chaired by Ron Oxburgh – a geologist, former oil-company executive and member of the UK’s upper house of parliament. It released its findings today.
The panel looked at 11 “representative publications” produced by CRU members over the past 24 years.
While the report is good news for CRU scientists, some climate-change sceptics have accused the panel of being biased because Oxburgh is chairman of the wind energy company Falck Renewables and president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Oxburgh has insisted that the panel had no pre-conceived views on the CRU science.
This is the second report published after private e-mails of CRU members were hacked last year and made public. Critics of the CRU have alleged that the e-mails show that the scientists incorrectly interpreted data to support manmade climate change and also flouted freedom-of-information requests to make data and computer code available to their critics.
The first report – which was released on 31 March by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee – concluded that the University of East Anglia was mostly to blame for supporting a culture of non-disclosure.