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Phil Jones is reported to have said some remarkable things recently:"Asked by the BBC what it means when scientists say "the debate on climate change is over," the keeper of the flame sounded chastened. "I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this," Jones said. "This is not my view"...
N - When scientists say "the debate on climate change is over", what exactly do they mean - and what don't they mean?It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.
Jones also noted that there's been no statistically significant warming since 1995, although the cooling since 2002 hasn't been statistically significant, either."
B - Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warmingYes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.
E - How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.
The context is this. First, the guy apparently 1) deleted and encourage others to delete data that might cast doubt on recent GW reports; and 2) suppress publication of contrarian studies. In addition, he escapes criminal prosecution on Freedom of Information charges only because the statute of limitations has expired, but is none-the-less relieved of his duties.
In a later interview Jones said that e-mails which appeared to suggest withholding data had expressed his irritation at the large numbers of requests which disrupted his team's work. He said "We were clearly being targeted" and that as most of the information requested was already available online, "I think they just wanted to waste our time". He now accepted that he should have taken the requests more seriously, and said "I regret that I did not deal with them in the right way. In a way, I misjudged the situation." He said that no data were destroyed. “We have no data to delete. It comes to us from institutions around the world. We interpret data. We don’t create or collect it. It’s all available from other sources." Jones added that "I am obviously going to be much more careful about my emails in future. I will write every email as if it is for publication. But I stand 100% behind the science. I did not manipulate or fabricate any data, and I look forward to proving that to the Sir Muir Russell inquiry.