Did Climate Scientists Destroy Data? A: No.

The latest recycled claim from the climate denialists: Climate change data dumped.

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years. The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were 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.

The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.

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.”

Just one little problem with this latest tempest in a teapot — no data was destroyed. And the article at The Times, oddly enough, just happens to leave out that part of Phil Jones’ explanation.

According to CRU’s Web site, “Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit, said that the vast majority of the station data was not altered at all, and the small amount that was changed was adjusted for consistency.

The research unit has deleted less than 5 percent of its original station data from its database because the stations had several discontinuities or were affected by urbanization trends, Jones said.

“When you’re looking at climate data, you don’t want stations that are showing urban warming trends,” Jones said, “so we’ve taken them out.” Most of the stations for which data was removed are located in areas where there were already dense monitoring networks, he added. “We rarely removed a station in a data-sparse region of the world.”

Refuting CEI’s claims of data-destruction, Jones said, “We haven’t destroyed anything. The data is still there — you can still get these stations from the [NOAA] National Climatic Data Center.

By the way, here’s some information on the group spreading the “destroyed data” claim: Competitive Enterprise Institute.

CEI is a think tank funded by donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. CEI does not accept government funding. Past and present funders include the Scaife Foundations, Exxon Mobil, the Ford Motor Company Fund, Pfizer, and the Earhart Foundation[5][6]. …

CEI is also active in the legal aspects of antitrust and government regulation. As part of its “Control Abuse of Power” (CAP) project, CEI launched lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), respectively.

Again, the connection to energy industries and big tobacco. Almost every one of the main anti-AGW front groups is connected to either big energy or big tobacco, and often both.

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Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
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