Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.

[mugshot]That is from the University of East Anglia’s new release today.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, particularly once UEA and CRU made the mistaken decision not to send Jones out to talk to the media in the past week.

Jones isn’t Tiger Woods, and the scandal called ClimateGate isn’t a personal matter (and yes, I think Woods is making a serious mistake, too).  Jones and UEA should have jumped at the chance to talk to the status quo media about a subject it is too-rarely interested in — climate science.

The AP at least got the headline right:

UK climate scientist to temporarily step down

No, he hasn’t quit or been fired, at least not yet.

The UEA news release continues

 

Professor Jones said: “What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible.  After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for agreeing to this.  The Review process will have my full  support.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: “I have accepted Professor Jones’s offer to stand aside during this period. It is an important step to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the independent review can conduct its work into the allegations.

“We will announce details of the Independent Review, including its terms of reference, timescale and the chair, within days. I am delighted that Professor Peter Liss, FRS, CBE, will become acting director.”

An Independent Review is a great idea.  Perhaps they could look at the Arctic warming data CRU is ignoring (see “Why are Hadley and CRU withholding vital climate data from the public?“).

The AP story’s lede mistakenly claims that Jones “is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.”  Not! (see UK Guardian: “To stop a climate catastrophe … Scientists must stop sanitising their message”).

Because of such confusion, I do hope this Review covers the underlying science and issues a strong statement as the Royal Society and Met Office did (see Climate science statement from the Met Office, NERC and the Royal Society: It’s the hottest decade on record and “even since the 2007 IPCC Assessment the evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened”).

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