U.N. Panel Relied on Fraudulent Temperature Data

Published January 20, 2010

Researchers at the heart of the Climategate scandal tampered with Russian temperature data to assert far more warming in recent years than actually has occurred, according to the Russian Institute for Economic Analysis.

The tampered data underlie United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assertions the planet has been warming rapidly.

Unrepresentative Data Used

The Russian Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) reported on December 15 the Hadley Center for Climate Change, which provides the data for U.N. temperature compilations and is at the heart of the ongoing Climategate scandal, ignored 75 percent of the temperature data gathered by Russian stations.

Of the few stations the Hadley Center utilized for its Russian temperature reconstruction, it cherry-picked ones that showed more rapid warming than the majority of Russia’s temperature stations. It also chose to report data from temperature stations that did not have complete data histories, according to the Russian agency.

Selecting incomplete data sets allowed global warming advocates at the Hadley Center to fill in missing data with their own subjective guesses that substantial warming had occurred, while ignoring stations with complete data sets showing little or no recent warming.

IEA noted the Hadley Center also used a disproportionate number of stations in urban heat islands, which report warming temperatures for reasons other than greenhouse gases. More reliable temperature stations in rural areas outside the influence of urban heat islands were systematically ignored, IEA reported.

Global Warming Overstated

The revelations are a bombshell because U.N. climate models, gleaned from Hadley Center data, show more rapid warming in Russia than anywhere else in the world. With one-eighth of the world’s land mass, Russian temperature data disproportionately influence global temperature calculations and lead to assertions of significantly more recent global warming than has actually occurred.

If the tampered Russian data are removed from global temperature calculations and the correct Russian data are inserted, much of the alleged recent warming disappears from the global temperature record.

In addition, the revelation the Hadley Center so brazenly cherry-picked and tampered with Russian temperature data calls into question the center’s assertions of warming in other parts of the globe.

“The IEA authors calculated that the scale of actual warming for the Russian territory in 1877-1998 was probably exaggerated by 0.64ºC,” said IEA President Andrei Illarionov.

“If similar procedures have been used for processing climate data from other national data sources, the impact on the rate of change in global temperature would be considerable,” Illarionov added.

IPCC Gatekeeper Blocked Inquiries

Two scientific studies questioning the Russian data had been submitted to peer-reviewed scientific journals. However, the Hadley Center’s Phil Jones, who has been forced to step down from his position at the center as a result of the Climategate scandal, blocked them from publication.

Jones wrote in a 2004 email to fellow alarmist Michael Mann, “Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR [Journal of Geographical Research] and for GRL [Geophysical Research Letters]) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.”

The email not only demonstrates the Hadley Center’s Russian temperature compilations had been raising red flags for years but also raises the question of why Jones was given authority to block other scientists from publishing critiques of his temperature compilations.

“There has been a coordinated effort to manipulate instrumental data to produce an exaggerated warming that would point to man’s influence,” said Joe D’Aleo, executive director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project and the first director of meteorology at The Weather Channel.

“I will be the first to admit that man does have some climate effect, but the effect is localized. Up to half the Earth’s [reported] warming since 1900 has been shown in peer-reviewed literature to be due to land-use changes and urbanization,” D’Aleo added.


James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.