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Panel To Probe Homogenisation’s Role In Warming Trend

Graham Lloyd, The Australian

Claims that homogenisation of global temperature records had exaggerated a trend towards global warming will be investigated by a taskforce of international scientists.

The independent panel includes climatologists, physicists and statisticians from Britain and the US and will be headed by former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Terence Kealey.

London-based think-tank Global Warming Policy Foundation said the integrity of official global surface temperature records was an issue of international concern.

The GWPF is a controversial voice in the climate change debate but Professor Kealey said his review 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,” he said.

Public concerns about the accuracy of homogenised temperature data have been heightened since some of the world’s leading climate agencies declared that 2014 had been the hottest year on modern records.

Mainstream media reports in Britain found examples where adjustments had dramatically altered the raw data in both South America and the Arctic.

In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has faced similar controversy over its homogenisation of temperature records. An independent review of BoM’s methodology is preparing a public response to a full-day workshop held with BoM last month.

Internationally, the GWPF said questions had been raised about “the reliability of the surface temperature data and the extent to which apparent warming trends may be artefacts of adjustments made after the data are collected.”

Climate agencies have defended the integrity of the homogenisation process and the national and international climate records.

They say changes are made to raw data for a range of legitimate reasons including changes to recording sites and measuring equipment.

The Australian, 28 April 2015