In 2009 the Climate Research Centre (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK was accused of withholding and manipulating data. But while it was later cleared of the charges, the accusations still put a serious dent in the credibility of not just climate researchers, but researchers in general. For those of you wondering who was wrong and who was right in this so-called climategate now is your chance, since the CRU has released the raw data that was at the centre of it all.
The temperature records comprise data that go back 150 years from 5113 weather stations. It would have been 5132 stations were it not for Poland refusing to allow their records to be made public.
CRU’s pro-vice-chancellor for research, Trevor Davies gives as the most important reason for releasing the data, dispelling the myths that they are being secretive and the data have been inappropriately manipulated. And maybe most importantly to show that there is indeed evidence that global temperature is increasing.
But while it may seem a good thing that the data was made public, it may have a nasty side-effect. Not all parties that were involved in collecting the data were completely willing to release their records. This may make them less prepared to pool resources in the future, creating a difficult environment to perform global surveys.
© Jorn van Dooren | www.bitsofscience.org