[Guest post by DRJ]
East Anglia CRU Chief Phil Jones announced he will temporarily step down pending an investigation into the leaked/hacked email scandal:
“The university [of East Anglia] said in a statement that Phil Jones, whose e-mails were among the thousands of pieces of correspondence leaked to the Internet late last month, would relinquish his position as director of Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent review.”
The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Trevor Davies and other global warming advocates nevertheless defended Jones from the implications of the scandal:
“Davies defended Jones and his colleagues, saying the publication of their e-mails “is the latest example of a sustained and, in some instances, a vexatious campaign” to undermine climate science. The sentiment was echoed by Nicholas Stern, a leading climate change economist, who said the person or people who posted the leaked e-mails had muddled the debate at a critical moment.
“It has created confusion and confusion never helps scientific discussions,” Stern told reporters in London Tuesday. “The degree of skepticism among real scientists is very small.
Governments are in the final days of preparations for Copenhagen conference, which is due to outline a new climate change agreement. Stern said the stakes were very high, explaining that if countries did not manage to reach agreement, world temperatures could rise by five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, making much of the world uninhabitable.
“We have a moment now when we could get a strategy agreed,” Stern said. “If it were to dissolve in disarray it would not be easy to put this momentum back together again.”
The scientists seem especially concerned with what this scandal will do to the Copenhagen conference.