The second of three investigations, released yesterday (April 14), was carried out by Lord Oxburgh’s Science Assessment Panel into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The University said it ‘welcomes’ the report by the Lord Oxburgh’s independent Panel and says it clears it of ‘any scientific impropriety and dishonesty’.

The Oxburgh findings are the result of the latest scrutiny of CRU’s research.

The first was the original peer review which led to publication in some of the world’s leading international science journals; the second was the Inquiry by the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.

A spokesman said: “It is gratifying to us that the Oxburgh Report points out that CRU has done a public service of great value by carrying out meticulous work on temperature records when it was unfashionable and attracted little scientific interest.

“And that the unit has been amongst the leaders in international efforts to determine the overall uncertainty in the derived temperature records.

“Similarly, the report emphasises that all of CRU’s published research on the global land-based instrumental temperature record included detailed descriptions of uncertainties and appropriate caveats.

“We also welcome the confirmation that, although some have accused CRU of trying to mislead, the Unit’s published research emphasises the late 20th Century discrepancy between tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature and instrumental observations.”

The report also points out where things might have been done better, one is to engage more with professional statisticians in the analysis of data.

Another, related, point is that more efficacious statistical techniques might have been employed in some instances.

Specialists in many areas of research acquire and develop the statistical skills pertinent to their own particular data analysis requirements.

Luke Walsh

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