"The commission cleared the scientists and dismissed allegations that they manipulated their data. The "rigour and honesty" of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit were found not to be in doubt. The panel found that they did not subvert the peer review process to censor criticism as alleged, and that the key data needed to reproduce their findings was freely available to any `competent' researcher." (See above Wikipedia link and references therein).
"to reassess key CRU papers which have already been peer reviewed and published in journals. The panel did not seek to evaluate the science itself, but rather whether `the conclusions [reached by the CRU] represented an honest and scientifically justified interpretation of the data.'
Speaking to announce the panel's report, Lord Oxburgh said his team had found "absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever" and that "whatever was said in the emails, the basic science seems to have been done fairly and properly." He said that many of the criticisms and allegations of scientific misconduct had been made by people "who do not like the implications of some of the conclusions" reached by the CRU's scientists, that the repeated FOI requests made by climate change sceptic Steve McIntyre and others could have amounted to a campaign of harassment, and the issue of how FOI laws should be applied in an academic context remained unresolved. Another panel member, Professor David Hand, commended the CRU for being explicit about the inherent uncertainties in its research data, commenting that "there is no evidence of anything underhand -- the opposite, if anything, they have brought out into the open the uncertainties with what they are dealing with." (Ibid. with references)
"the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact". The emails and claims raised in the controversy did not challenge the scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity." The MPs had seen no evidence to support claims that Jones had tampered with data or interfered with the peer-review process. (Ibid. with references.)
"determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community..." Mann's extensive recognitions within the research community demonstrated that "his scientific work, especially the conduct of his research, has from the beginning of his career been judged to be outstanding by a broad spectrum of scientists." It agreed unanimously that "there is no substance" to the allegations against Mann. (Ibid. with references.)
"cleared the researchers and `did not find any evidence that NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) inappropriately manipulated data or failed to adhere to appropriate peer review procedures'. It noted that NOAA reviewed its climate change data as standard procedure, not in response to the controversy."
(Ibid. with references.)
"exonerated Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University of charges of scientific misconduct. It found no evidence of research misconduct, and confirmed the results of earlier inquiries. The OIG reviewed the findings of the July 2010 Penn State panel, took further evidence from the university and Mann, and interviewed Mann. The OIP findings confirmed the university panel's conclusions which cleared Mann of any wrongdoing..." (Ibid. with references.)
Petitions to reconsider this (endangerment finding) were raised by the states of Virginia and Texas, conservative activists and business groups including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the coal company Peabody Energy, making claims that the CRU emails undermined the science.
The EPA examined every email and concluded that there was no merit to the claims in the petitions, which "routinely misunderstood the scientific issues", reached "faulty scientific conclusions", "resorted to hyperbole", and "often cherry-pick language that creates the suggestion or appearance of impropriety, without looking deeper into the issues." In a statement issued on 29 July 2010, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said the petitions were based "on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy" and provided "no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare."
The EPA issued a detailed report on issues raised by petitioners and responses, together with a fact sheet, and a "myths versus facts" page stating that "Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results."
"The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced," the report said. "On the accusations relating to Professor Jones' refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change."
The panel set up by the UEA was comprised of an international group of researchers from institutions like MIT and Cambridge, and its charge was to examine the research performed by the CRU. 'The essence of the criticism that the Panel was asked to address was that climatic data had been dishonestly selected, manipulated and/or presented to arrive at predetermined conclusions that were not compatible with a fair interpretation of the original data,' as the report puts it. After it examined a number of publications and conducted interviews with CRU staff members, the panel concluded that the criticisms didn't hold water.
It said: "We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain."
Of the language used by the CRU scientists, the report said that it was generally "informal, using slang, jargon and acronnyms."
In his submission, Jones told the review that "the word 'trick' was not intended to imply any deception, simply the 'best way of doing or dealing with something'."
The review found, "crucially, the e-mails cannot always be relied upon as evidence of what actually occurred, nor indicative of actual behavior that is extreme, exceptional or unprofessional."
The Climatic Research Unit and University of East Anglia emerge from the latest inquiry with the science intact but a certain amount of bruising. The science remains sound, but the CRU is taken to task for its terrible mismanagement of Freedom of Information Act requests.
So, in the very broadest terms, the CRU did not, and, in fact, could not prevent other researchers from accessing the instrumental data record. Further, the CRU has not manipulated the data to obtain a preordained result. And, at the most basic level, the code is simply not required. However, this is not replicating in every detail the CRU's work, so the question of code and data sharing was examined in more detail.
"The end result: Mann is a scientist who behaves like a scientist. He is above board and, given his record, an extremely good researcher."
"Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed."
"Overall, the hockey stick appears to remain intact. As with past reconstructions, the Little Ice Age runs from about 600 to 200 years ago, and the Northern Hemisphere went through a Medieval Warm Period about a thousand years ago, although that event was not global or as significant as current warming."
"Given that he's a public figure, a defamation suit requires that the defendants have made their statement with "actual malice," which is defined as acting either "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." This is meant to protect vigorous arguments, including those made in public using flamboyant or exaggerated language. The defendants at National Review and CEI argued that they were simply using exaggerated language and that there's no way to establish a reckless disregard for the truth. (In fact, the National Review suggested that "issues of science are opinion because 'scientific truth is elusive.'") Thus, they argued that Mann's suit is baseless.
"The Court did not agree, and views such determination to be a question for discovery and eventual trial. In general, the decision suggests that there is a reasonable chance that Mann can show the "Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard." The ruling notes that the organizations have called for Mann's investigation multiple times; "if anyone should have been aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the [National Review] Defendants." Thus, continued attacks on Mann may be construed as a reckless disregard for the truth." -John Timmer
To see how misleading this is, it's easy to take an example. One scientist is quoted as saying, "The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what's included and what is left out." On its own, that sounds like an attempt to start with a conclusion and work your way backwards to selectively present data. And, in fact, many blogs are predictably presenting it that way.
However, the surrounding text makes it clear that the author was describing the best approach to writing and editing a half-page summary. The full text provides a very different impression:
"I think the hardest, yet most important part, is to boil the section down to 0.5 pages. In looking over your good outline, sent back on Oct. 17 (my delay is due to fatherdom just after this time), you cover A LOT. The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid [sic] what's included and what is left out. For the IPCC, we need to know what is relevant and useful for assessing recent and future climate change. Moreover, we have to have solid data—not inconclusive information."