The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)

Jones, Phil

(1952) The climatologist who was the director of the CRU at the University of East Anglia. He notable for publishing a series of papers between 1982 and 2006 that led to the development of a gridded dataset of land-based temperature records — work that figured prominently in the IPCC TAR.


On November 21, 2009, the Associated Press confirmed reports of a computer breach at the CRU in which documents and e-mails were stolen and posted to the Internet. Two of Jones' e-mails in particular - one referring to a "trick" with data and the other mentioning hide the decline - were widely circulated. The incident has come to be called Climategate.

On 1 December 2009 the University of East Anglia announced that Jones would temporarily stand aside as director until the completion of an independent review.

Jones testifies

Part 1 of an un-edited video of Jones' appearance at the UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee, with Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, Prof Edward Acton.

Part 2

"I've obviously written some awful emails." (7:29) [Me too!]

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

The BBC asks Phil Jones if and why he support the AGW thesis

BBC Interviewer: Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

Phil Jones: … When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

BBC Interviewer: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

1. Click here to read an interview he gave to the BBC about the incident.

2. Click here to read a Sunday Times article that describes what he went through during Climategate.

3. He and Michael Mann worked together on paper that dealt with the temperature record of the past 1000 years. Click here to read it.

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