The Institute of Physics recently submitted a response to a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee call for evidence in relation to its inquiry into the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
The Institute’s statement, which has been published both on the Institute’s website and the Committee’s, has been interpreted by some individuals to imply that it does not support the scientific evidence that the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming.
That is not the case. The Institute’s position on climate change is clear: the basic science is well enough understood to be sure that our climate is changing – and that we need to take action now to mitigate that change. More information about IOP’s views can be found on its website here.
The Institute’s response to the Committee inquiry was approved by its Science Board, a formal committee of the Institute with delegated authority from its trustees to oversee its policy work.
It reflected our belief that the open exchange of data, procedures and materials is fundamental to the scientific process. From the information already in the public domain it appears that these principles have been put at risk in the present case, and that this has undermined the trust that is placed in the scientific process.
These comments, focused on the scientific process, should not be interpreted to mean that the Institute believes that the science itself is flawed.