Top Scientists Start To Examine Fiddled Global Warming Figures

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The Glob­al Warm­ing Pol­i­cy Foun­da­tion has enlist­ed an inter­na­tion­al team of five dis­tin­guished sci­en­tists to car­ry out a full inquiry

LAGO PRETO LAKE an oxbow lake in Lago Preto Conservation Concession Amazonian Rainforest Yavari Valley Loreto Peru


Last month, we are told, the world enjoyed “its hottest March since records began in 1880”. This year, accord­ing to “US gov­ern­ment sci­en­tists”, already bids to out­rank 2014 as “the hottest ever”. The fig­ures from the US Nation­al Ocean­ic and Atmos­pher­ic Admin­is­tra­tion (NOAA) were based, like all the oth­er three offi­cial sur­face tem­per­a­ture records on which the world’s sci­en­tists and politi­cians rely, on data com­piled from a net­work of weath­er sta­tions by NOAA’s Glob­al His­tor­i­cal Cli­mate Net­work (GHCN).

But here there is a puz­zle. These tem­per­a­ture records are not the only ones with offi­cial sta­tus. The oth­er two, Remote Sens­ing Sys­tems (RSS) and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma (UAH), are based on a quite dif­fer­ent method of mea­sur­ing tem­per­a­ture data, by satel­lites. And these, as they have increas­ing­ly done in recent years, give a strik­ing­ly dif­fer­ent pic­ture. Nei­ther shows last month as any­thing like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as “the hottest year ever”.

An adjust­ed graph from the God­dard Insti­tute for Space Studies

Booker-puerto_3175673aBack in Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary, two items in this col­umn attract­ed more than 42,000 com­ments to the Tele­graph web­site from all over the world. The provoca­tive head­ings giv­en to them were “Cli­mate­gate the sequel: how we are still being tricked by flawed data on glob­al warm­ing” and “The fid­dling with tem­per­a­ture data is the biggest sci­en­tif­ic scan­dal”.
My cue for those pieces was the evi­dence mul­ti­ply­ing from across the world that some­thing very odd has been going on with those offi­cial sur­face tem­per­a­ture records, all of which ulti­mate­ly rely on data com­piled by NOAA’s GHCN. Care­ful ana­lysts have come up with hun­dreds of exam­ples of how the orig­i­nal data record­ed by 3,000-odd weath­er sta­tions has been “adjust­ed”, to exag­ger­ate the degree to which the Earth has actu­al­ly been warm­ing. Fig­ures from ear­li­er decades have repeat­ed­ly been adjust­ed down­wards and more recent data adjust­ed upwards, to show the Earth hav­ing warmed much more dra­mat­i­cal­ly than the orig­i­nal data justified.

So strong is the evi­dence that all this calls for prop­er inves­ti­ga­tion that my arti­cles have now brought a heavy­weight response. The Glob­al Warm­ing Pol­i­cy Foun­da­tion (GWPF) has enlist­ed an inter­na­tion­al team of five dis­tin­guished sci­en­tists to car­ry out a full inquiry into just how far these manip­u­la­tions of the data may have dis­tort­ed our pic­ture of what is real­ly hap­pen­ing to glob­al temperatures.

The pan­el is chaired by Ter­ence Kealey, until recent­ly vice-chan­cel­lor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Buck­ing­ham. His team, all respect­ed experts in their field with many peer-reviewed papers to their name, includes Dr Peter Chylek, a physi­cist from the Nation­al Los Alam­os Lab­o­ra­to­ry; Richard McNider, an emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor who found­ed the Atmos­pher­ic Sci­ences Pro­gramme at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma; Pro­fes­sor Roman Murei­ka from Cana­da, an expert in iden­ti­fy­ing errors in sta­tis­ti­cal method­ol­o­gy; Pro­fes­sor Roger Pielke Sr, a not­ed cli­ma­tol­o­gist from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado, and Pro­fes­sor William van Wijn­gaar­den, a physi­cist whose many papers on cli­ma­tol­ogy have includ­ed stud­ies in the use of “homogeni­sa­tion” in data records.

Their inquiry’s cen­tral aim will be to estab­lish a com­pre­hen­sive view of just how far the orig­i­nal data has been “adjust­ed” by the three main sur­face records: those pub­lished by the God­dard Insti­tute for Space Stud­ies (Giss), the US Nation­al Cli­mate Data Cen­ter and Had­crut, that com­piled by the East Anglia Cli­mat­ic Research Unit (Cru), in con­junc­tion with the UK Met Office’s Hadley Cen­tre for Cli­mate Pre­dic­tion. All of them are run by com­mit­ted believ­ers in man-made glob­al warming.

Below, the raw data in graph form

Booker-graph-2_3175679aFor this the GWPF pan­el is ini­tial­ly invit­ing input from all those ana­lysts across the world who have already shown their exper­tise in com­par­ing the orig­i­nal­ly record­ed data with that final­ly pub­lished. In par­tic­u­lar, they will be want­i­ng to estab­lish a full and accu­rate pic­ture of just how much of the pub­lished record has been adjust­ed in a way which gives the impres­sion that tem­per­a­tures have been ris­ing faster and fur­ther than was indi­cat­ed by the raw mea­sured data.

Already stud­ies based on the US, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the Arc­tic and South Amer­i­ca have sug­gest­ed that this is far too often the case.

But only when the full pic­ture is in will it be pos­si­ble to see just how far the scare over glob­al warm­ing has been dri­ven by manip­u­la­tion of fig­ures accept­ed as reli­able by the politi­cians who shape our ener­gy pol­i­cy, and much else besides. If the panel’s find­ings even­tu­al­ly con­firm what we have seen so far, this real­ly will be the “smok­ing gun”, in a scan­dal the scale and sig­nif­i­cance of which for all of us can scarce­ly be exaggerated.

More details of the Glob­al Warm­ing Pol­i­cy Foun­da­tion’s Inter­na­tion­al Tem­per­a­ture Data Review Project are avail­able on the inquiry pan­el’s web­site