The University of East Anglia established an inquiry to look at the integrity of the research being undertaken at the CRU. That is quite appropriate. The report is in – all five pages, seven if you include appendices. The bottom line is
We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures
were rather informal.
In and of itself, that conclusion isn’t a problem; it might even be true. Yet the report itself doesn’t allow anyone to follow the logic of how the inquiry came to that conclusion. Nor does it select examples of where there may well be integrity problems and then go through a discussion of the process whereby it is shown no integrity problem actually exists.
Rather we get comments like this
Although there are certainly different ways of handling the data, some of which might be superior, as far as we can judge the methods which CRU has employed are fair and satisfactory. Particular attention was given to records that seemed anomalous and to establishing whether the anomaly was an artefact or the result of some natural process. There was also the challenge of dealing with
gaps in otherwise high quality data series. In detailed discussion with the researchers we found them to be objective and dispassionate in their view of the data and their results, and there was no hint of tailoring results to a particular agenda. Their sole aim was to establish as robust a record of temperatures in recent centuries as possible. All of the published work was accompanied by detailed descriptions of uncertainties and accompanied by appropriate caveats. The same was true in face to face discussions.
In short; trust us, we’re an inquiry. The problem is all about a collapse in trust. Compare this with the equivalent investigation into Michael Mann, the report there went into some detail as to specific issues and questions posed to Mann and how he answered them, this report has none of that.
I did enjoy this line.
… CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue.