The work plan is described here, saying that they plan to operate “openly and transparently”. They didn’t mention whether they had interviewed Jones, Briffa, Osborn, but, from talking to an English reporter, it’s my understanding that they’ve already done so.
An Issues paper is here.
The Issues Paper demonstrates an amusingly tin ear to the context of the CRU controversy. Of all possible terms to describe themselves, the Muir Russell committee refers to themselves as “the Team”. :)
….. the Team stresses that it has formed no view on whether they are fair or justified. …. the Team is not adopting those issues as its own criticisms.
3. The Team‟s approach is to distill the questions and criticisms into the broad questions set out below. Using its own enquiries and experience, it has added questions about the handling and dissemination of data, including the response to FOI requests.
4. The Team will invite CRU and other parts of UEA to respond in writing to these questions, and will follow up those responses as required. The Team expect the CRU to provide original documentary evidence to support its responses.
5. The Team invites those with an interest in the matter to comment on this Issues paper. The Team stresses that its remit does not involve re-evaluation of the scientific conclusions of the CRU work, still less a reappraisal of the scientific debate about the existence and suggested causes of global warming.
I’ve taken a first look at the Issues Paper, in which they say that they
distill the questions and criticisms into the broad questions set out below
The only information on the “distillation” process is that it was “using its own enquiries and experience”. One wonders exactly what those “enquiries and experience” consisted of. They haven’t talked to me (or sent me notice that they are seeking submissions.) Nor has anyone contacted me to say that “enquiries” had reached them. What were these “enquiries”?
The “distillation” in respect to “manipulation or suppression” of data is to four questions.
The first question is about the divergence problem. Having said that their “remit” doesn’t involve re-evaluation of the “scientific conclusions” of CRU work, the divergence questions are mainly scientific questions – some of them are ill-posed.
The second question focuses on an email of June 4, 2003 that’s barely made the Climate Audit radar screen – about “containing” the MWP, where the term is used in a quite different context than the Deming email. The third subquestion in this item looks scientific rather than conduct related.
The third question relates to the “trick” email. The questions show no evidence of having understood the context provided to the trick email by Jean S and myself.
The fourth question is about temperature data sets and whether they’ve been “selected preferentially”.
Question 5 is about peer review. They mention three blocking incidents out of all the possible incidents; they do not mention biased positive reviews.
Question 6 is about data access.
Question 7 is about keeping records of datasets, algorithms and software.
Question 8 is about FOI requests.
Update: UEA today announced another inquiry – this one into the scientific issues. Nothing was announced about who would be on this new inquiry, other than that the Royal Society will help them choose assessors.