Blue Ribbon panel to look at 'fiddled' global warming temps

 The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has empaneled a team of eminent scientists to examine raw temperature data from 3000 weather stations around the world in order to determine whether the books are being cooked or not.

Christopher Booker:

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”.

Back 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.

This is a massive undertaking given the amount of data that needs to be reviewed. But the volume of information will also make statistical analysis easier. There have been hints in the past that these "adjustments" have almost universally been upward temperature wise. If the analysis bears that out. it will be a pretty good sign that cheating has been going on.

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.

The fact that there have been "adjustments" does not necessarily mean that the books are being cooked. There are very good scientifically sound reasons to adjust much of the data due to changes in location and elevation of the weather stations. Has the station moved over the last few decades closer or farther away from an urban area? The adjustment in data would have to be made to account for heat contamination. Another adjustment would have to be effected if the weather station had been moved farther above or below sea level. 

The scientists will not be looking at whether or not the data had been adjusted, but rather the kinds of adjustments made and whether they significantly altered the temperature history of a specific station. 

It will be a while before we get any kind of report on the panel's progress. In the meantime, governments are going full speed ahead in advancing their carbon reduction schemes at the expense of jobs and the economy.