Have climate change reports exaggerated, making the global warming threat seem much worse than it really is? The Global Warming Policy Foundation, a London-based think tank, has launched a major inquiry to find out whether official global surface temperature records are accurate.
Chairman, Professor Terence Kealey, a clinical biochemist who was vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, has assembled an international team of eminent statisticians, physicists and climatologists.
According to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), questions have been raised about the integrity of the surface temperature data, and the extent to which apparent warming trends may be the results of ‘adjustments’ made after the data have been gathered and examined.
Over the years, alterations to the data have frequently tended to cool the early part of the record and warm more recent years, which raises the apparent warming trend. (Image: ncdc.noaa.gov)
The team will review the technical challenges in precisely measuring surface temperature, and will determine whether there has been any adjustment of the data, their integrity, and to what extent, if any, they have exaggerated or toned down the warming trend.
GWPF believes warming is real, but…
“Many people have found the extent of adjustments to the data surprising. While we believe that the 20th century warming is real, we are concerned by claims that the actual trend is different from – or less certain than – has been suggested.”
“We hope to perform a valuable public service by getting everything out into the open.”
Prof. Kealey has issued a call for evidence to coincide with the inquiry launch:
“We hope that people who are concerned with the integrity of climate science, from all sides of the debate, will help us to get to the bottom of these questions by telling us what they know about the temperature records and the adjustments made to them.”
“The team approaches the subject as open-minded scientists – we intend to let the science do the talking. Our goal is to help the public understand the challenges in assembling climate data sets, the influence of adjustments and modifications to the data, and whether they are justifiable or not.”
Poor quality of raw data
Climatologists have long been concerned with the poor state of global surface temperature records, says the GWPF. Considerable effort has gone into adjusting the raw data to correct known biases and errors.
GWPF says these adjustments are not insignificant “For example it has been noted that in the temperature series prepared by NOAA for the USA, the adjusted data exhibits a much larger warming trend than the raw data.”
The inquiry will consider four major surface temperature series, each incorporating a number of layers of adjustment. The panel members are calling on interested parties to submit evidence.
Members of the team that will be carrying out the inquiry include Terence Kealey (chairman), Peter Chylek (physicist), Richard McNider (distinguished professor of science), Roman Mureika (professor of statistics), Roger A Pielke Sr. (meteorologist and climatologist), and William van Wijngaarden (physicist).
According to the Independent, the Global Warming Policy Foundation is “the UK’s most prominent source of climate-change denial”.
Update October 12, 2015: Top judges from around the world gathered at Britain’s Supreme Court to see how they could silence climate change deniers.