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Friday, October 09, 2009
Govt-Funded Research Unit Destroyed Original Climate Data

By Christine Hall
October 5, 2009

CEI Petitions EPA to Reopen Global Warming Rulemaking

Washington, D.C., October 6, 2009 - In the wake of a revelation by a key research institution that it destroyed its original climate data, the Competitive Enterprise Institute petitioned EPA to reopen a major global warming proceeding.

In mid-August the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) disclosed that it had destroyed the raw data for its global surface temperature data set because of an alleged lack of storage space.  The CRU data have been the basis for several of the major international studies that claim we face a global warming crisis.  CRU’s destruction of data, however, severely undercuts the credibility of those studies.

In a declaration filed with CEI’s petition, Cato Institute scholar and climate scientist Patrick Michaels calls CRU’s revelation “a totally new element” that “violates basic scientific principles, and “throws even more doubt” on the claims of global warming alarmists.

CEI’s petition, filed late Monday with EPA, argues that CRU’s disclosure casts a new cloud of doubt on the science behind EPA’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide.  EPA stopped accepting public comments in late June but has not yet issued its final decision.  As CEI’s petition argues, court rulings make it clear that agencies must consider new facts when those facts change the underlying issues.

CEI general counsel Sam Kazman stated, “EPA is resting its case on international studies that in turn relied on CRU data.  But CRU’s suspicious destruction of its original data, disclosed at this late date, makes that information totally unreliable.  If EPA doesn’t reexamine the implications of this, it’s stumbling blindly into the most important regulatory issue we face.”

Among CRU’s funders are the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy - U.S. taxpayers.

Read the CEI petition to the EPA.

Read more about the data dump: The Dog Ate Global Warming, by Patrick J. Michaels

The data from the Hadley Data Centre, NOAA and NASA (the three station based data repositories) is seriously contaminated and can’t be used for trend analysis. Numerous peer review papers have indicated exagerrated warming of 30%, 50% or even more.

The global data bases suffer from a dropout of 80% of the world’s stations around 1990, a tenfold increase in missing months in remaining sites especially in the FSU and Africa, use of data designed for aviation purposed with large error tolerances for temperatures rendering them unusable for small trend changes and instruments with known warm biases that went uncorrected (HO-83), removed or absence of urban heat island adjustment despite numerous peer review papers (including two by data centre heads - Karl 1988 and Jones 2009) that indicated the importance of such adjustment, bad siting for instruments or shelters - 90% of the 1000 surveyed in the United States and early indications of similar issues internationally that result in warm biases.  The data centers then perform a final adjustment to the data (little to no documentation as to exactly, what or why) that includes what they call ‘homogenization’ which involves combining anomalies for stations in a region that results in a degradation of the accuracy for any well sited and accurate stations that may exist.

These land issues were augmented by issues over the oceans. The world is 71% ocean. Hadley only trusts their own merchant ship data, mainly derived from northern hemisphere routes. Hadley has virtually no data from the southern hemisphere’s oceans (80% of the hemisphere). NOAA and NASA use ship data reconstructions. The gradual change of buckets to ship intakes for taking ocean temperature measurements introduces uncertainties. Different sampling levels will make results slightly different. How to adjust for this introduced difference and get reliable data set has yet to be resolved adequately, especially since the transition occurred over many decades. NOAA included satellite data measurements (infrared and microwave) but announced in July 2009 the removal of satellite data due to ‘complaints’ about a cold bias in the southern hemisphere. The immediate result was a jump up of global ocean and ocean land temperatures and ‘new record warmth for the global oceans in July and August. This jump was similar to the jump up when urban adjustment was removed by NOAA for the US in 2007. Read more here.

To see for yourself how bad the global data sets are, go to the GISS map here at the top of the map box choose “raw GHCN data with USHCN corrections” instead of the default “combining sources at the same location” which mixes cities and rural. Then point at any part of the world and see how pitiful the data set is that is used to make those charts and graphs the alarmists love so much.  If any plot has gaps go to the bottom left and click “Download monthly data as text” and see all the missing months and gaps in the data (999.9).

Global temperature analyses by NOAA, NASA and Hadley is seriously flawed far beyond from the uncertainty caused by lost original data.

Posted on 10/09 at 08:05 PM
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