The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever

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New data shows that the “van­ish­ing” of polar ice is not the result of run­away glob­al warming

The “vanishing” of polar ice (and the polar bears) has become a poster-child for warmists. Photo: ALAMY

The “van­ish­ing” of polar ice (and the polar bears) has become a poster-child for warmists. Pho­to: ALAMY

When future gen­er­a­tions look back on the glob­al-warm­ing scare of the past 30 years, noth­ing will shock them more than the extent to which the offi­cial tem­per­a­ture records – on which the entire pan­ic ulti­mate­ly rest­ed – were sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly “adjust­ed” to show the Earth as hav­ing warmed much more than the actu­al data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the head­line “How we are being tricked by flawed data on glob­al warm­ing”, I wrote about Paul Home­wood, who, on his Notalotof­peo­ple­knowthat blog, had checked the pub­lished tem­per­a­ture graphs for three weath­er sta­tions in Paraguay against the tem­per­a­tures that had orig­i­nal­ly been record­ed. In each instance, the actu­al trend of 60 years of data had been dra­mat­i­cal­ly reversed, so that a cool­ing trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the lat­est of many exam­ples of a prac­tice long recog­nised by expert observers around the world – one that rais­es an ever larg­er ques­tion mark over the entire offi­cial sur­face-tem­per­a­ture record.

Fol­low­ing my last arti­cle, Home­wood checked a swathe of oth­er South Amer­i­can weath­er sta­tions around the orig­i­nal three. In each case he found the same sus­pi­cious one-way “adjust­ments”. First these were made by the US government’s Glob­al His­tor­i­cal Cli­mate Net­work (GHCN). They were then ampli­fied by two of the main offi­cial sur­face records, the God­dard Insti­tute for Space Stud­ies (Giss) and the Nation­al Cli­mate Data Cen­ter (NCDC), which use the warm­ing trends to esti­mate tem­per­a­tures across the vast regions of the Earth where no mea­sure­ments are tak­en. Yet these are the very records on which sci­en­tists and politi­cians rely for their belief in “glob­al warming”.

Home­wood has now turned his atten­tion to the weath­er sta­tions across much of the Arc­tic, between Cana­da (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in near­ly every case, the same one-way adjust­ments have been made, to show warm­ing up to 1 degree C or more high­er than was indi­cat­ed by the data that was actu­al­ly record­ed. This has sur­prised no one more than Traust Jon­s­son, who was long in charge of cli­mate research for the Ice­land met office (and with whom Home­wood has been in touch). Jon­s­son was amazed to see how the new ver­sion com­plete­ly “dis­ap­pears” Iceland’s “sea ice years” around 1970, when a peri­od of extreme cool­ing almost dev­as­tat­ed his country’s economy.

One of the first exam­ples of these “adjust­ments” was exposed in 2007 by the sta­tis­ti­cian Steve McIn­tyre, when he dis­cov­ered a paper pub­lished in 1987 by James Hansen, the sci­en­tist (lat­er turned fanat­i­cal cli­mate activist) who for many years ran Giss. Hansen’s orig­i­nal graph showed tem­per­a­tures in the Arc­tic as hav­ing been much high­er around 1940 than at any time since. But as Home­wood reveals in his blog post, “Tem­per­a­ture adjust­ments trans­form Arc­tic his­to­ry”, Giss has turned this upside down. Arc­tic tem­per­a­tures from that time have been low­ered so much that that they are now dwarfed by those of the past 20 years.

Homewood’s inter­est in the Arc­tic is part­ly because the “van­ish­ing” of its polar ice (and the polar bears) has become such a poster-child for those try­ing to per­suade us that we are threat­ened by run­away warm­ing. But he chose that par­tic­u­lar stretch of the Arc­tic because it is where ice is affect­ed by warmer water brought in by cycli­cal shifts in a major Atlantic cur­rent – this last peaked at just the time 75 years ago when Arc­tic ice retreat­ed even fur­ther than it has done recent­ly. The ice-melt is not caused by ris­ing glob­al tem­per­a­tures at all.

Of much more seri­ous sig­nif­i­cance, how­ev­er, is the way this whole­sale manip­u­la­tion of the offi­cial tem­per­a­ture record – for rea­sons GHCN and Giss have nev­er plau­si­bly explained – has become the real ele­phant in the room of the great­est and most cost­ly scare the world has known. This real­ly does begin to look like one of the great­est sci­en­tif­ic scan­dals of all time.