Wednesday, March 28, 2012


cc: "Davies Trevor Prof (ENV)" <>, "Summers Brian Mr (REG)" <>
date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 16:08:12 +0100
from: "Preece Alan Mr (MAC)" <>
subject: RE: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
to: "Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)" <>, "Briffa Keith Prof (ENV)" <>, "Jones Philip Prof (ENV)" <>

Dear All

We should tell the EDP that this correspondent not only can't spell (for heaven's sake 'alledgedly) but they are simply misguided in their assertions. I wonder if in our statement, however, we might try to rise slightly above a straight fight over the allegations. Most people seem willing to accept that the climate is changing and that mankind is at least partly responsible - I wonder if we should press on that rather than the detail? This might look like a statement saying:

'It is a matter of regret that highly regarded scientists whose work is open to peer review should be subject to poorly informed and occasionally malicious attacks on their integrity. The Climatic Research Unit has been at the forefront of reasoned debate for over two decades to help people around the world understand how and why that climate is changing and how communities might make the best decisions about their future. CRU remains fully committed to well founded discussion of the causes of climate change and amelioration of its worst effects.

A specific rebuttal of the allegations being made with regard to the data from the Yamal region has been published on the CRU website. Legal advice is also being taken in the context of unsubstantiated and entirely unacceptable assertions that have been made in some areas about the way in which data has been selected. It is not acceptable that allegations about the work should be made without any supporting evidence.

The published work of colleagues in the Climatic Research Unit has been subject to scrutiny by the scientific community which, in a substantial majority, support its conclusions. In the run up to the Copenhagen climate talks it is inevitable that highly motivated groups on all sides will attempt to publicise their positions but this should not deflect attention from reasoned argument and concerted action in the face of the evidence that currently exists.'

Appreciate that it is an entirely different approach but my sense is that the opposition always want to dive into the detail partly because the scientific process and the way conclusions can be drawn is confusing to many people. The detail gives them scope for 'interpretation' and devilment.

I really do think we should press ahead with the letter to the Spectator whatever M&R think of the chances of success - it shows that we mean it.



Alan Preece
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University of East Anglia
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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)
>Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 3:16 PM
>To: Briffa Keith Prof (ENV); Jones Philip Prof (ENV)
>Cc: Davies Trevor Prof (ENV); Summers Brian Mr (REG); Preece
>Alan Mr (MAC)
>Subject: FW: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
>Dear Phil and Keith,
>Marcus has just received this message below from the EDP
>environment correspondent. He is telling her he knows nothing
>about it (true, as he has just returned from China).
>I have just dropped a note to the solicitor asking if she sees
>any problem in our warning her to be very cautious in how
>anything is phrased and issuing a statement along the
>following lines. (I think the last line would have to come
>directly from you Keith)
>For info, still no response from the Spectator to the letter.
>I have rung three times (fist time PA told me message had been
>opened) and emailed. Solicitor is now looking closely at the
>piece in the Spectator to judge whether to send a solicitor's letter.
>Best, Annie
>Draft statement
>Any implication that Professor Keith Briffa deliberately
>selected tree-ring data in order to manufacture evidence of
>recent dramatic warming in the Yamal region of northern Russia
>is completely false. A full rebuttal is published on the
>Climatic Research Unit's website.
>This stems from a report on the Climate Audit blog site - a
>site for climate change sceptics. The blog's editor, Steve
>McIntyre, has produced an alternative history of tree-growth
>changes in the Yamal region by substituting some of the data
>used in Prof Briffa's published and peer-reviewed analysis,
>with recent data from a more localised origin than the data
>analysed by Prof Briffa. While McIntyre's selection produces
>a different result, it cannot be considered to be more authoritative.
>This appears to be an attempt to discredit the work of the
>Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change in the run-up to the
>Copenhagen climate talks.
>Annie Ogden, Head of Communications,
>University of East Anglia,
>Norwich, NR4 7TJ.
>Tel:+44 (0)1603 592764
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Armes Marcus Mr (VCO)
>Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2:40 PM
>To: Ogden Annie Ms (MAC)
>Subject: FW: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
> Here it is Annie
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Greaves, Tara []
>Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 12:11 PM
>To: Armes Marcus Mr (VCO)
>Subject: FW: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
>Also, do you know anything about this?
>-----Original Message-----
>From: David_Robinson []
>Sent: 19 October 2009 22:45
>Subject: Climate Research Centre crisis spreads
>I draw your attention to the growing international climate
>change scandal that is engulfing the CRU and dragging the
>reputation of it, and Norfolk, through the mud.
>After several weeks of open criticism of the use of a
>particular, alledgedly flawed, CRU dataset there has been no
>attempted rebuttle by the CRU. Latest information suggests
>that dozens of 'peer reviewed' scientific papers that relied
>on the same dataset are now 'similarly flawed' and should be
>withdrawn. This, unfortunately, draws into question a
>fundamental part of the IPCC conclusion - namely, whether the
>recent global warming is in fact abnormal and hence
>attributable to man.
>I think the continued silence by the CRU on this subject
>profoundly worrying given the importance of the topic.
>Any light you can shed on this whole sorry story would be
>greatly in the public interest, especially given the
>Copenhagen summit fast approaching.
>David Robinson
>Sent via BlackBerry
>David Robinson MSc
>Blacklock and Bowers Limited
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