News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

University of East Anglia CRU personnel were in effect salesmen on commission, relied on 'soft money' grants and contracts for income til 1994, US government diverted taxpayer money from the beginning

University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit personnel were in effect salesmen or scientists on commission. The people who paid them had financial interest in the outcome. US politicians were there from the beginning. US EPA and Dept. of Energy are listed in CRU "Acknowledgements" (end of this post).

"History of the Climatic Research Unit," CRU, University of East Anglia, UK

"Since its inception in 1972 until 1994, the only scientist who had a guaranteed salary from ENV/UEA funding was the Director. Every other research scientist relied on 'soft money' - grants and contracts - to continue his or her work. Since 1994, the situation has improved and now three of the senior staff are fully funded by ENV/UEA and two others have part of their salaries paid. The fact that CRU has and has had a number of long-standing research staff is testimony to the quality and relevance of our work. Such longevity in a research centre, dependent principally on soft money, in the UK university system is probably unprecedented. The number of CRU research staff as of the end of July 2007 is 15 (including those (3) fully funded by ENV/UEA)."...

Universally used data sets took years

"The area of CRU's work that has probably had the largest international impact was started in 1978 and continues through to the present-day: the production of the world's land-based, gridded (currently using 5° by 5° latitude/longitude boxes) temperature data set. This involved many person-years of painstaking data collection, checking and homogenization. In 1986, this analysis was extended to the marine sector (in co-operation with the Hadley Centre, Met Office from 1989), and so represented the first-ever synthesis of land and marine temperature data - i.e., the first truly global temperature record, demonstrating unequivocally that the globe has warmed by almost 0.8°C over the last 157 years. This work continues year-on-year to update and enhance the record and its publication is eagerly awaited around the world. The most recent innovation has been the development of a comprehensive set of error estimates at the grid-box and larger scales (see Brohan et al. 2006 Adobe Portable Document Format fileand IPCC AR4 chapter 3 Adobe Portable Document Format file).

Besides the global temperature data set, there has been much CRU effort devoted to the compilation of a comprehensive, quality-controlled precipitation data base. This, together with CRU's high-resolution (0.5° by 0.5°) monthly datasets (for maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation, rainday counts, vapour pressure, cloudiness and wind speed) for all the world's inhabited land areas, has provided many researchers, in the UK and overseas, with their basic data for a whole range of studies....

As it became clearer, in the 1980s, that the world was warming, a question that was asked with increasing frequency was how much, if any, of the warming was a consequence of human activity? CRU had made an important contribution to the posing of that question, so was in an excellent position to attract some more research funding to address it. The UK Government became a strong supporter of climate research in the mid-1980s, following a meeting between Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher and a small number of climate researchers, which included Tom Wigley, the CRU director at the time. This and other meetings eventually led to the setting up of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, within the Met Office. At the same time, other governments were also taking notice and wanted more information. As this need was not being met by international scientific bodies and institutions at the time, they set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This was under the United Nations Framework (later the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC) and led to assessments being produced in 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007. CRU staff have been heavily involved in all four assessments, probably more than anywhere else relative to the size of an institution (see IPCC AR4 Authors)....

In 1995...a team of researchers from American institutes and from CRU, using the computer simulations of climate change caused by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, and sulphate aerosols (developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA), was able to detect the effects of these climate forcing factors in the climate observations. The results were in stark contrast to the consensus view expressed by IPCC in 1990,
  • when it was stated that the effect of increased carbon dioxide concentrations could not yet be identified in the observed record.
This work played a critical role in the conclusion reached by the 1995 assessment of the IPCC that "the balance of evidence suggests that there has been a discernible human influence on global climate". Subsequent IPCC reports have strengthened these statements...and led most governments, industries, multi-national companies and the majority of the public to accept that the climate is warming, and humans are part of the cause. Accepting the evidence is one thing,
  • but not all governments appreciate the full scale of the problem yet.
CRU has also played a major role in attempts to predict future anthropogenic climate change, and some of its consequences. In the late 1970s, rapid advances were being made elsewhere in atmospheric climate modelling... and, unlike the computer-intensive GCMs, they allowed the consideration of the consequences of a wider range of future emission scenarios and an assessment of the uncertainties.... CRU's work with these models led directly to the global-mean temperature
  • projections given by the IPCC in 1990 and to
  • corresponding projections of sea-level rise....
The dramatic increases in computer power over the last 30 years have mainly been used to increase the spatial and vertical resolution of GCMs and to simulate many more aspects of the climate system.... Earth System Models or Global Environmental Models (as GCMs are sometimes called) require the largest and fastest computers in the world. These resources are best allocated to improving the comprehensiveness of the models, as opposed to running extensive scenario combinations for IPCC reports every few years. MAGICC and other similar developments around the world,
  • therefore, continue to fill an important niche....
CRU researchers have also pioneered several approaches to the construction of regional climate change scenarios which can be used in climate impact assessments, environmental planning and climate policy debates.... In the 1990s, CRU incorporated model-based scenarios into integrated assessments of climate change undertaken for the UK, European and US governments. This work has led to the creation of several scenario software applications which are widely used by the research communities. This scenario
  • work has also been
  • incorporated into IPCC reports. ...
This moved the agenda from the scientific determination of the global warming problem to how to solve the problem. In the late 1990s, the UK Research Councils recognized the need for a centre to address these issues. CRU, ENV and other groups across the UK were successful with their bid, and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research was born in 2000. The Tyndall Centre focuses on solutions to the problem of climate change, while CRU continues to work on all aspects of climate science. CRU and Tyndall work together on some projects, but their specific aims and agendas are different. The growing practical applicability of CRU work is nonetheless reflected in the increasing range of academic users, stakeholders, decision makers and professional bodies with which CRU is involved, as well as the range of impacts sectors covered. The latter include agriculture, water, health, energy and, most recently, the built environment. These aspects of CRU work in the UK are also facilitated by strong links with the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) which was set up in 1997 - based at the University of Oxford. ...

A main thrust of the Unit's research programme since the early 1980s has, therefore, been global warming: the human contribution, the future climate response, and possible impacts of future climate change, with an increasing emphasis on adaptation to these impacts. But this was not to the exclusion of other research, much of it of commercial relevance. A few examples follow. From the late 1970s through to the collapse of oil prices in the late 1980s, CRU received a series of contracts from BP to provide data and advice concerning their exploration operations in the Arctic marginal seas. Working closely with BP's Cold Regions Group, CRU staff developed a set of detailed sea-ice atlases, covering estimates of data quality and climate variability as well as standard climatological means, and a series of reports on specific issues, such as navigation capabilities through the Canadian Archipelago. Assessment of the wind energy resource over the UK led to the development of predictive schemes to assess the potential power production at candidate wind turbine sites. Research on predicting canopy wetness as a vector for disease in cocoa plantations has been of special interest to Brazilian cocoa producers. Advice from CRU has been sought on far-future climate states in relation to the long-term safety of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste storage sites. On shorter-term timescales, work on extreme events with implications for nuclear power station operation has been undertaken. Perhaps, not surprisingly, the insurance and re-insurance industries have been a regular sponsor of research with studies evaluating the risk of hurricane landfall on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the US, the impacts of severe storms in Europe and the characteristic of the typhoon risk over Japan. Former public utilities, such as the Central Electricity Generating Board (and latterly National Power) commissioned work from CRU on acid rain, wind energy, and surface ozone.
  • Work has also been undertaken for Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace....
Today, CRU is still dependent upon research grant income to maintain the size and breadth of our research and student communities. The European Commission of the European Union (EU) provides the largest fraction of our research income under the Environment and Climate Change Programme. Since the mid-1990s, CRU has co-ordinated 9 EU research projects and been a partner on 16 others within the 4th, 5th and 6th Framework Programmes. Although EU funding is very important, we also endeavour to maintain the diverse pattern of funding reflected by the research described in this "history of CRU" and in the list of Acknowledgements below. ...

A number of CRU staff have been awarded medals, certificates or fellowships from the Royal Meteorological Society, the European Geosciences Union, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and the Leverhulme Trust."...
  • (All with financial interest. ed.)
(continuing): "Over the last 35 years also, several staff have been on the editorial boards of a number of major climatic journals  (International Journal of Climatology, Climatic Change, Weather, Atmospheric Science Letters, Journal of Climate, The Holocene, Boreas, Climate Research, Theoretical and Applied Climatology ). ...


This list is not fully exhaustive, but we would like to acknowledge the support of the following funders (in alphabetical order):
British Council, British Petroleum, Broom's Barn Sugar Beet Research Centre, Central Electricity Generating Board, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Commercial Union, Commission of European Communities (CEC, often referred to now as EU), Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), Department of Energy, Department of the Environment (DETR, now DEFRA), Department of Health, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Eastern Electricity, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Greenpeace International, International Institute of Environmental Development (IIED), Irish Electricity Supply Board, KFA Germany, Leverhulme Trust, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), National Power, National Rivers Authority, Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), Norwich Union, Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, Overseas Development Administration (ODA), Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates, Royal Society, Scientific Consultants, Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), Scottish and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research, Shell, Stockholm Environment Agency, Sultanate of Oman, Tate and Lyle, UK Met. Office, UK Nirex Ltd., United Nations Environment Plan (UNEP), United States Department of Energy, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Wolfson Foundation and
  • the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)."

"Climate" issue is first and foremost about "profound transformation in world society":

3/23/2008, "Fundamental Inadequacies of Carbon Trading for the Struggle Against Climate Change," by Daniel Tanuro,

"As a last word, let me state that the profound transformation of world society that is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change
  • real democracy, climate justice
  • will be essential for its success."
"Daniel Tanuro is the ecological correspondent of La Gauche, newspaper of the Belgian Socialist Workers Party. This is the text of his talk at the Conference on the future of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading in the EU organized by the Slovenski E-forum, Focus and the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, on March 21, 2008"


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