Met Office to release records that show global temperature rise
2009. 12. 11.
Records from nearly 2,000 stations worldwide may cool debate over leaked emails from University of East Anglia.

The UK Met Office will tomorrow release records from nearly 2,000 measuring stations showing a rise in global average land temperatures around the world, in a move that may help dampen the row over the hacked emails between scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

In the emails, the scientists at UEA's Climatic Research Unit apparently discussed attempts to inhibit access to emails and data that had been requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The CRU has been bombarded with requests to release data – which underpin the so-called HadCRUT temperature record – over many months but had always responded that they could not make all of it public because they needed permission from the numerous institutions around the world that had collected it.

In his address to the UN Climate talks in Copenhagen which opened yesterday, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, said that he suspected that the email hack was an attempt to undermine his organisation, which reports to world governments on the science of climate change.

"Given the wide-ranging nature of (climate) change that is likely to be taken in hand, some naturally find it inconvenient to accept its inevitability," he told the conference. "The recent incident of stealing the emails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts, perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC."

But the chief negotiator for Saudi Arabia, the world's number one oil exporter, told the conference that the emails would impact on the conference. "The level of trust is definitely shaken, especially now that we are about to conclude an agreement that ... is going to mean sacrifices for our economies," said Mohammed al-Sabban.

Last week, UEA announced an independent inquiry into the leak and conduct of the scientists, who deny any suggestion that they manipulated or withheld data.

Now the Met Office is releasing the raw data for around 1,900 monitoring stations spread roughly evenly around the world in an effort to silence critics who say that the lack of transparency was an act of subterfuge on the part of the scientists. The HadCRUT record of global temperatures is one of three major analyses of global temperature that are part of the

scientific information used in the assessment reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the UN body that reviews climate change literature and reports back to world governments.

The data to be released by the Met Office come from monitoring stations around the world that have been designated for use in recording climate data by the World Meteorological Organisation and show changes in mean temperature on a global scale over land. Some monitoring stations have been running for 150 years. The Met Office said the data show that global average land temperatures have risen.

The full record uses data from 5,000 monitoring stations and the Met Office said it would make that data public too once it had permission from relevant owners around the world.

The Met Office stressed that the information released today does not form a new temperature record. The full HadCRUT temperature curve, which has been peer-reviewed, remains the established record, along with

Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies' records

and those of the

National Climatic Data Centre in the US

. The Met Office said tomorrow's information release was part of a

policy to release as much of its temperature record information

into the public domain as possible. The organisation also plans to publish the computer code that aggregates the individual station temperature records to build the global map.


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