Climate scientist steps down

Dr. Phil Jones, head of the Climate Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia will be stepping down temporarily. The university has announced that it will investigate Jones and the many statements he made in emails that were released on the Internet in recent weeks.

Jones’ messages are arguably some of the most controversial and have been seized upon by many as signs of a corrupt process involved in studying manmade climate change. One message in which he says he was able to use a “trick” to “hide the decline” of temperatures in the last decade has drawn charges of data manipulation. Jones and his colleagues have said he was simply referring to a substitution of tree ring data.

Notably as well, Jones was seen as an active figure in blocking access to climate data needed to replicate the conclusions he and other researchers reached. He openly discussed hiding behind other regulations to avoid releasing information under Freedom of Information laws and at one point said, “I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.” In the wake of the scandal, the university has said it will be releasing the data.

Ironically, some of the messages that were leaked show Jones asking some of the world’s top climate scientists to delete emails he did not want to see released. In one he wrote, “Leave it to you to delete as appropriate!”

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Central Climategate scientist to step down pending investigation
(The Examiner, 1 December 2009)