How well do you know your climate science? With leaked correspondence from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia as your reference – try this quick quiz:

1. Why did CRU Director Phil Jones make changes to temperature data for a diagram he was submitting for publication?

a)      To correct some errors

b)      To clarify some ambiguities

c)      To show a different perspective

d)      To hide the decline in temperature.


 2. Director of the CRU Phil Jones admits that the world has cooled since 1998, but what would happen if he just came out and said this?:

a)      Scientists would see it as an important trend worth monitoring

b)      Scientists would look at the data again and see if they could come up with reasons for it

c)      The scientific world would come down on him in no uncertain terms

d)      If the data changes, scientists change their minds – why, what do you do, sir?



3. Director of the CRU Phil Jones says that if contrarians ever hear there is a new Freedom of Information Act operating in Britain he will:

a)      Gladly comply, after all, it is in the interests of good science.

b)      Reluctantly comply – he has many better things to do with his time

c)      Seek legal advice as to the best path to follow

d)      Delete the files.


4.  A tree ring specialist describes some of the work by the famous Michael Mann (of hockey stick fame) as:

a)      Crap

b)      Scholarly works of impeccable distinction

c)      Excellent work but still requiring peer review

d)      Potential Nobel Prize winning material


5. One of Michael (“hockey stick”) Mann’s fellow scientists is amazed that someone so bright as Michael:

a)      Has not yet received a Nobel Prize

b)      Has not been knighted

c)      Has not been offered membership of the Royal Society

d)      Is unwilling to evaluate his own work objectively


6. In 1999, the World Wildlife Fund contacted the CRU to see if they could do what to information about extreme climate events in Australia?:

a)      Check on its accuracy

b)      Ensure that it did not alarm people unnecessarily

c)      Beef up the section on extreme events

d)      Provide some much needed balance .


7. In 2003, the World Wildlife Fund contacted CRU seeking:

a)      Objective data for their records

b)      A scientist with the right story whom they could give a few thousand Euros

c)      Clarification about the true state of climate change

d)      Reassurance and guidance.


8. Centre Director Phil Jones said the meetings you cannot turn down are:

a)      Meetings in Tahiti

b)      Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings

c)      Meetings with Al Gore

d)      Meetings with skeptics where you can thoroughly test your data.


9. Centre Director Phil Jones describes the death of climate sceptic John Daly as:

a)      A sad departure for a man with sincerely held opinions

b)      Sad, but they never did quite see eye to eye

c)      Cheering news

d)      A sobering reminder of our mortality.


10. A CRU scientist says next time he sees a particular climate skeptic he will be tempted to:

a)      Beat the crap out of him

b)      Show him the latest data

c)      Sit down to discuss their differences

d)      Invite him onto a review panel to help provide some much-needed rigour to the process.


11. CRU Director Phil Jones says he will not send papers to the Royal Meteorological Society because:

a)      Their scientific standards are not satisfactory

b)      Their proof-reading is not up to scratch

c)      They need a broader range of representatives engaged in peer review

d)      They want all data to be made available.



12. One correspondent believes a journal editor could be a skeptic. A suggested course of action is to:

a)      Enjoy the challenge and intellectual rigour of getting articles accepted

b)      Collect documentary evidence he is a skeptic and have him ousted

c)      Give him a phone call and thrash out their differences

d)      Submit only impeccably researched articles he cannot possibly refute.


Answers (of course):  d c d a d c b a c a d b

How well do you understand climate science?

0-4: Your peers will not be impressed with this score. Are you a sceptic? You may have to be ousted.

5-8: Could do better, but good enough to come along to climate conferences and enjoy the full cooked breakfast.

9-12: Well done! It’s first class flying, executive suites and buffet breakfasts all the way for you!