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UEA’s climatic unit director steps down

Prof Phil Jones (left) and Prof Tim Osborn (right). Pic: University of East Anglia.

Prof Phil Jones (left) and Prof Tim Osborn (right). Pic: University of East Anglia.

University of East Anglia

The scientist who has led the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit for 18 years is stepping down.

Climatologist Prof Phil Jones, who was at the centre of the Climategate row over hacked emails, will be succeeded by Prof Timothy Osborn.

Prof Osborn, who has worked at the UEA since 1990, said: “UEA provides a superb environment for climate research and so it is a privilege for me to become the Climatic Research Unit’s next director of research.

“I’m looking forward to leading our pioneering climate research, establishing with greater certainty the details of how and why the Earth’s climate is changing and the consequences for the future.”

Prof Jones has published more than 400 research papers over 35 years. His work monitoring the world’s global temperature has been recognised with a string of awards, including from the European Geophysical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society.

He said: “Research in climate change has come on in leaps and bounds during my career.

“When I joined the Climatic Research Unit in 1976, research in the subject was just beginning, but today it is an essential consideration for any future planning.

“It is good to know that the leadership of the Climatic Research Unit is in excellent hands.

“I am not leaving UEA, but will continue my research on a part-time basis.”

Prof Jones made national headlines in 2009, when UEA emails were hacked in what became known as Climategate.

Climate change sceptics claimed the content of the emails showed that scientists were manipulating data.

But a string of committees found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.

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