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The Global Warming Policy Foundation regrets that the Oxburgh Panel has been rushed and therefore extremely superficial. The body of the report is hardly five pages long. The Panel should have taken more time to arrive at more balanced and more trustworthy conclusions as there was no need to rush the inquiry.

The Panel worked by interviewing and questioning staff members of CRU, but failed to interview critical researchers who have been working in the same field for many years. The Panel even ignored, as it admits, to properly review their written evidence.

We welcome the acknowledgement by the Panel that the Urban Heat Island effect on surface temperature records in and around large cities is important but poorly understood. We also welcome the admission that the IPCC ignored the expressions of uncertainty in CRU papers.

We also note, in the context of the long-term temperature record, its comment that “the potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work.”

In general, the report is being politely kind to CRU, but in essence rather critical of the disorganised and amateurish use of statistics. It is hardly an endorsement of the quality of the research being carried out at what is supposed to be the world’s leading unit which has received so much government funding.

Given the huge economic and social implications, one would expect that an independent audit would be more rigorous and more even-handed than the Oxburgh panel.