December 10, 2009

APS Comments on Stolen CRU Climate Files

Begins Examination of Society’s 2007 Statement on Climate Change for Possible Issues of Clarity and Tone

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the release of climate files stolen from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, some APS members have asked the Society to comment on the issues surrounding the matter. The CRU maintains the repository for temperature measurements used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The APS leadership has concerns about both the improper release of private e-mails and any premature rush to judgment regarding scientific integrity at the CRU. The CRU is in the process of investigating the matter. Once the full range of information is made available, the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) will examine the case and recommend how APS should act.

Meanwhile, the process to examine the APS 2007 Statement on Climate Change for possible issues of clarity and tone is under way. The APS Council has tasked POPA to examine the statement, and Dr. Duncan Moore, the current chair of POPA, will convene a subcommittee to carry out the task. Dr. Moore is professor of Optical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Business Administration at the University of Rochester. The subcommittee, which Dr. Moore is also chairing, will report its recommendations to POPA in early February, and shortly thereafter, POPA will post the text for a three-week APS member comment period. Dr. Moore’s subcommittee will use the comments it receives to finalize the wording before the April Council meeting. As POPA carries out its review of the 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change, it will consider any new information provided by the CRU investigation.

About APS

The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, Maryland (Headquarters), Ridge, New York, and Washington, D.C.