Published February 15, 2010
The embattled ex-head of the research center at the heart of the Climate-gate scandal dropped a bombshell over the weekend, admitting in an interview with the BBC that there has been no global warming over the past 15 years.
Phil Jones, former head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, made a number of eye-popping statements to the BBC's climate reporter on Sunday. Data from CRU, where Jones was the chief scientist, is key evidence behind the claim that the growth of cities (which are warmer than countryside) isn't a factor in global warming and was cited by the U.N.'s climate science body to bolster statements about rapid global warming in recent decades.
Jones's latest statements seemed to contradict the CRU's data.
In response to the question, "do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically significant global warming?", Jones said yes, adding that the average increase of 0.12C per year over that time period "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."
Jones is nevertheless 100% confident that the climate has warmed, he stated, admitting that the Climate-gate scandal has undermined public confidence in science. The scandal has worn down Jones as well: Since the e-mails emerged -- and were subsequently posted online at www.EastAngliaEmails.com -- Jones has stepped down from his position, been forced to admit that he “misjudged” the handling of requests for information, and even acknowledged contemplating suicide.
Jones also allowed for the possibility that the world as a whole was warmer in medieval times than it is today -- a concession that may also undermine theories that global warming is caused by man.
In addition, Jones admitted that an overall lack of organization, and his poor record keeping and office-tidying skills, had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.
"To say when you're the record keeper for the globe's temperature that you're not a good record keeper, well, that's going to come back to haunt you for a long, long time," Pat Michaels.of the Cato Institute, a public-policy think tank, told Fox News.
For more information, see the full interview at BBC News.