The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), Lord Lawson’s London based climate change think tank, has launched an enquiry into the integrity of data used to reconstruct global time-temperature series. These time-temperature reconstructions provide the core evidence that Earth’s lower troposphere is warming in response to rising CO2 levels.
The backdrop to this enquiry begins with UK climate and energy blogger Paul Homewood’s timely reminder of how temperature records may be adjusted to supposedly correct for non-climatic artefacts, a correction procedure commonly known as homogenisation. This was picked up by Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker who published a story levelling an accusation of one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time that drew a large amount of public interest.
The inquiry is to be led by Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham. Professor Kealey’s background is in medical sciences and he has published a book questioning the role of government funding of science. At first glance he may appear to be a curious choice. But on reflection, appointing an eminent scientist equipped with all the analytical skills required to assess the relevant data from outside the highly controversial sphere of climate science is exactly what is required.
The terms of reference of the enquiry are:
The panel is asked to examine the preparation of data for the main surface temperature records: CRU, GISS, NOAA and BEST. For this reason the satellite records are beyond the scope of this inquiry.
The following questions will be addressed.
1) Are there aspects of surface temperature measurement procedures that potentially impair data quality or introduce bias and need to be critically re-examined?
2) How widespread is the practice of adjusting original temperature records? What fraction of modern temperature data, as presented by CRU/GISS/NOAA/BEST, are actual original measurements, and what fraction are subject to adjustments?
3) Are warming and cooling adjustments equally prevalent?
4) Are there any regions of the world where modifications appear to account for most or all of the apparent warming of recent decades?
5) Are the adjustment procedures clearly documented, objective, reproducible and scientifically defensible? How much statistical uncertainty is introduced with each step in homogeneity adjustments and smoothing?
To be clear, I intend to make a number of submissions to this enquiry and welcome the opportunity provided by GWPF to convert the huge amount of work Roger and I have done in recent months (and years for Roger) into something that may have more lasting impact than the blog articles we have written (see link list at end of this post).
There is a call for members of the public to submit evidence.
The Panel invites submission of evidence on any matters related to the inquiry. Please send text in PDF format via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to submit an accompanying data set please send it in CSV format. Please note that all submissions will be considered as potentially publishable. If you want your submission to be treated as confidential please indicate that clearly in the document itself.
Individuals may make multiple submissions if they wish. We encourage you to keep each submission brief and focused. If your submission exceeds ten pages you might consider breaking it into shorter documents.
The deadline for submitting evidence is 30 June 2015.
Energy Matters blog posts:
By Roger Andrews
1) The Horrors of Homogenization
2) How Hemispheric Homogenization Hikes Global Warming
3) Homogenizing the World
4) Probing the Puzzle of Paraguayan Temperatures
5) The Worst of BEST
6) A Tale of Two Weather Stations
By Euan Mearns
7) Re-writing The Climate History of Iceland
8) Temperature Adjustments in Australia
9) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Africa
10) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Africa Part 2
11) The Hunt for Global Warming: South America
12) The Hunt For Global Warming: Antarctica
13) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Hemisphere Summary
14) Averaging Temperature Averages