For years, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) skeptics, in particular Steve McIntyre, have asked AGW scientists to make public their raw data on the grounds of Freedom of Information. For years, the AGW scientists, specifically those at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), refused.
Now that the CRU’s hacked e-mails and other documents indicate a systematic pattern of un/anti-scientific and outright deceptive behavior — omitting evidence contrary to AGW (e.g., the Medieval warming period); giving each other positive reviews in peer-reviewed journals while blackballing AGW skeptics from being published in “approved” journals — CRU’s host university is in damage control mode.
Word is the university says it will make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once CRU had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.
Alas, any celebration is premature. For, at the same time as the U. of East Anglia promises full disclosure, its scientists admit they had thrown away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based!
This means that other scientists will not be able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The data had been gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building. Or so they say.
In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”
The CRU is the world’s leading center for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change skeptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.
Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. “The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.
The dumped raw data were used to build the databases of AGW scientists showing how the world has warmed by 0.8C over the past 157 years. AGW scientists say this temperature rise is “unequivocally” linked to greenhouse gas emissions generated by humans. Their findings are one of the main pieces of evidence used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which says global warming is a threat to humanity.