Phil Jones (climatologist)

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Phil D. Jones
Jones in 2015
Born (1952-04-22) 22 April 1952 (age 72)
Alma materLancaster University
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
AwardsHans Oeschger Medal (2002)
AMS Fellow (2007)
AGU Fellow (2009)
Scientific career
FieldsClimatology, Paleoclimatology
InstitutionsUniversity of East Anglia
ThesisA spatially distributed catchment model for flood forecasting and river regulation with particular reference to the River Tyne (1977)

Philip Douglas Jones (born 22 April 1952) is a former director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) from 1998, having begun his career at the unit in 1976. He retired from these positions at the end of 2016,[1][2][3] and was replaced as CRU director by Tim Osborn. Jones then took up a position as a Professorial Fellow at the UEA from January 2017.[2]

His research interests include instrumental climate change, palaeoclimatology, detection of climate change and the extension of riverflow records in the UK. He has also published papers on the temperature record of the past 1000 years.

He is known for maintaining a time series of the instrumental temperature record.[4] This work was featured prominently in both the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports, where he was a contributing author to Chapter 12, Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes, of the Third Assessment Report[5] and a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 3, Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, of the AR4.[6]


Jones obtained a B.A. in Environmental Sciences (1973) from Lancaster University, an M.Sc. in Engineering Hydrology (1974) and a Ph.D. in Hydrology (1977) from the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.[1][7]


Jones has spent his entire career with the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).[8] He began as a Senior Research Associate in 1976, advancing to Reader in 1994 and later to Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences in 1998. Jones served as Director of the CRU for 18 years, jointly with Jean Palutikof from 1998 to 2004 and then on his own until he retired at the end of 2016.[1][2][9] Tim Osborn was appointed as his successor as the CRU Director.[2]

He was on the editorial board of the International Journal of Climatology from 1989 to 1994 and has been on the editorial board of Climatic Change since 2004.[1][3]

He has an h-index of 158 according to Google Scholar.[10]

Climate emails controversy[edit]

He temporarily stepped aside as Director of the CRU in November 2009 following a controversy over e-mails which were stolen and published by person(s) unknown.[11] The House of Commons' Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry concluded that there was no case against Jones for him to answer, and said he should be reinstated in his post.[12] He was reinstated in July 2010 with the newly created role of Director of Research, after a further review led by Sir Muir Russell found no fault with the "rigour and honesty as scientists" of Jones and his colleagues, although finding that the CRU scientists had not embraced the "spirit of openness" of the UK Freedom of Information Act. The university said that the new position was not a demotion and would enable Jones to concentrate on research and "reduce his responsibilities for administration."[13]

In October 2021 the BBC aired a television film The Trick on BBC One. The drama explored the controversy surrounding the unauthorized release and publication of documents and emails from Jones' department. Jones was portrayed by actor Jason Watkins.[14]

Awards and honors[edit]

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Philip Douglas Jones - Curriculum Vitae". Academia Europaea. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tim Osborn to take over leadership of CRU" (Press release). University of East Anglia. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Prof Philip Jones". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  4. ^ Jones, Phil; Mike Salmon. "Temperature". Climatic Research Unit. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis". UNEP/GRID-Arendal. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b "EGS Hans Oeschger Medallist – 2002". European Geosciences Union. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  8. ^ Pearce, Fred (2010). The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming. London: Guardian Books. p. VII. ISBN 9780852652299. OCLC 651155245.
  9. ^ "History of the Climatic Research Unit". Climatic Research Unit. Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Philip Jones". Google Scholar. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent review resulting from allegations following the unauthorized release and publication of emails and other documents from the Unit" (Press release). Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  12. ^ George Monbiot (7 July 2010). "The 'climategate' inquiry at last vindicates Phil Jones – and so must I". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  13. ^ McCarthy, Michael (8 July 2010). "'Conspiracy theories finally laid to rest' by report on leaked climate change emails". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  14. ^ "The true story behind The Trick". 27 September 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Hugh Robert Mill Prize". Royal Meteorological Society. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Winners of the Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Awards - Historical List" (PDF). Royal Meteorological Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Highly Cited Research". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  19. ^ "List of AMS Fellows". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  20. ^ "2009 Fellow: Philip D Jones". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  21. ^ "Honorary Fellows of RMetS". Royal Meteorological Society. Retrieved 10 January 2024.

External links[edit]