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Old March 1st 10, 07:00 PM posted to
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Default Met Office submission to Parliament

What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of
scientific research?

1. The UK enjoys a reputation for strong and robust science on the
international stage. In the field of climate research the Met Office
is widely acknowledged as world leading.

2. Whilst it would be arrogant to assume that any system or process is
perfect, the codes and processes in place to govern science research
across the UK, laid down by the Government Office for Science, the UK
Research Integrity Office and Research Councils UK, form a
comprehensive framework within which science research is produced and

In addition, the Met Office also adheres fully to the Civil Service
Code and operates to the highest standards of integrity and

3. All published science is subjected to a rigorous process of peer
review: a well-established method by which scientific evidence and
claims, and importantly the methodology behind these, are scrutinised
by qualified experts in the field. Peer review also promotes and
maintains open debate across the science community - crucial to
further developments in science.

4. Transparency and integrity are vital components in maintaining the
Met Office's, and the UK's, position at the leading edge in climate
science and we have wherever possible, but dependant on IPR ownership,
released the underlying land temperature component used in the HadCRUT
analysis. The Met Office's sea temperature component has been widely
available for some time.

How independent are the other two international data sets?

5. There is strong evidence that the globe has warmed. Three
independent global temperature data sets, HadCRUT, NCDC and NASA-GISS,
all clearly demonstrate the rise in global temperatures over the last
150 years.

Despite the large differences in the methods used to estimate global
temperature trends, these blended analyses are consistent in their
view of global temperature change.

6. There are numerous studies in the peer-reviewed literature that
attest to the robustness of the surface temperature records, their
independence and their non-reliance on specific individual station

Support for the reality of surface trends also comes from reanalyses
and changes in ocean heat content, glaciers, humidity and a host of
other indicators including phenological data.

Indicators from meteorological, oceanographic and physical
measurements are strongly consistent with the surface temperature
records discussed above.

7. The data come from numerous different technologies and have been
investigated by numerous independent groups.

Where multiple datasets exist for a given parameter none fundamentally
disagrees with the expected signal for a warming world. For the
surface records to be wrong would require all these other analyses to
be similarly wrong.

8. Annex A provides a detailed explanation of the differences between
the analyses with respect to data sourcing and methodology.

Annex A - Independence of the analyses

Independence of methodology

9. There is substantial independence between the methods used to
derive the principal estimates of global land-surface air temperature
trends: CRUTEM3 (Jones and Moberg, 2003; Brohan et al., 2006); NOAA
(Smith and Reynolds, 2005); NASA-GISS (Hansen et al., 2001). The
differences are summarised below and relate to choices of:
- source data;
- quality control and homogenisation criteria;
- gridding;
- merging of land and ocean data;
- in-filling for data void regions;
- calculation of the global mean diagnostic.

10. This independence of methodology means that the estimates provide
an indication of the true degree of uncertainty in the global-mean
surface temperature evolution.


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