A group of prominent scientists is conducting an inquiry into the accuracy of temperature readings that are used to make predictions about global warming — and the investigation could dramatically change how we view the science.
The inquiry was prompted by claims that official temperature measurements taken by three different organizations conflict dramatically.
Average temperatures were the highest recorded in a March since record keeping began in 1880, according to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) sensor network. Yet readings taken by the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama – also official readings — do not support that assertion, British journalist Christopher Booker wrote.
“Neither shows last month as anything like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as ‘the hottest year ever,’” Booker wrote in Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
Manipulation of Data Alleged
Booker believes the disparities show that some of the temperature numbers might be doctored to support the global warming hypothesis. A London-based think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, has launched “a major inquiry into the integrity of the official global surface temperature records,” Booker wrote.
The Foundation has put together what Booker calls “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.” A sixth person will chair the panel.
The team is composed of chair Terence Kealey, former vice-chancellor of Britain’s University of Buckingham; Peter Chylek, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory; Richard McNider, the founder of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Alabama; Professor Roman Mureika, a Canadian expert in statistical methodology; Professor William van Wijngaarden, a physicist who has questioned the general scientific consensus on climate change; and Professor Roger Pielke Sr., a climatologist at the University of Colorado.
Booker says that global warming researchers are using a technique called “homogenization” to downplay temperature readings that do not provide evidence for global warming. Specifically, he says, decades-old temperature readings have been lowered and newer temperature readings have been raised.
“In particular, they will be wanting to establish a full and accurate picture of just how much of the published record has been adjusted in a way which gives the impression that temperatures have been rising faster and further than was indicated by the raw measured data,” Booker wrote.
Inquiry Denounced as Fake Controversy
Some scientists say that homogenization can reduce the amount of modern-day warming shown by weather station records, Guardian writer Bob Ward wrote. That indicates the temperatures could actually be higher than the official estimates, he said. The Guardian is a strong supporter of the global warming hypothesis.
Ward accused the Global Warming Policy Foundation of being a lobbying organization formed by former British cabinet minister Lord Lawson. Ward claimed the inquiry was an effort to create a “fake controversy” to discredit negotiations for a new international agreement to cut greenhouse admissions.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation website says it “does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.” It further says: “On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright skepticism.”
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