Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trust us, our data is good, we have no proof, but it is good

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 admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.

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.


At my work, I sometimes have to do trending and I will sometimes have to eliminate anomalies and explain them. I am expected to not throw the original data away in case someone else wants to look at the raw data at some future point in time. The raw data is considered more important to keep than my adjusted data as it is assumed that the adjusted data could easily be recreated by anyone if my calculations were correctly done, and the raw data is what is actually important. By tossing the raw data and only keeping the altered data it indicates to me that these are either really terrible scientists or they are covering something up, which is it? I don't know, but it does not engender trust or make me less of a skeptic.

If today's scientists are coming to their conclusions based on erroneous data collected and altered by an earlier set of scientists then it throws even the best scientists data into doubt as your conclusions are only as good as the data you use to reach those conclusions.

Thanks to CLS for pointing out this article.

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