The London Times: "Climate change data dumped"

From the London Times:

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. . . .

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 centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible. . . . .

Remember this now:

Other revelations hit at the very core of the global-warming debate. The leaked e-mails indicate that the people at the CRU can't even figure out how their aggregate data was put together. CRU activists claimed that they took individual temperature readings at individual stations and averaged the information out to produce temperature readings over larger areas. One of the leaked documents states that their aggregation procedure "renders the station counts totally meaningless." The benefit: "So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!" . . .

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Blogger John A said...

"The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space..."

A bad decision. Possibly inadvertent, yet certainly questionable.

What would happen to an accountant who revised figures, even if properly, destroyed the original figures, and was unable to explain how he arrived at the "corrected" ones? Or an aircraft mechanic who altered a maintenance report and threw away the original with the only explanation that "I like the new report better, and did not have space to keep both?"

So they threw away papers: they never heard of that late Nineteenth Century invention, film? Or later microfilm/microfiche? Or even later electronic scanning and storage?

And they threw away nagnetic tapes. Without copying to a more compact medium. Come to that, when I was in commercial computer work, the maximum storage life of tape was estimated at ten years, with the recommendation to copy at least every eight years. Which was done, though I will admit a driving force was Government requirements to keep financial records.

11/30/2009 2:12 PM  

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