There is a news release in the Sunday Times by Jonathan Leake titled “Climate change data dumped” [Note: the Roger Pielke referred to in the article is Pielke Jr]. This startling disclosure means that climate scientists will be unable to assess the mathematical methodology that CRU has used to convert the raw temperature data to the adjusted temperature data that were reported (at least up to the 1980s) in the 2007 IPCC assessment.
The article includes the text
“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.”
As also written in the news article
“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.”
This is an absurd claim that the new data is “value-added”. Indeed, we document a number of unresolved issues with the surface temperature data, which CRU now prevents anyone from assessing in our paper
Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.
The claim in the article that this elimination of the data up to the 1980s, however, suggests that raw data since that time period is available. This data needs to be independently scrutinized (i.e. not by GISS or NCDC) and each step of their “quality control” and “homogenization” quantitatively assessed [of course, GISS and NCDC should have the raw data prior to the 1980s].