The “Climategate” scandal, which broke in November 2009, revealed what many skeptics had privately suspected. Prominent climate scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) had collaborated to keep data out of skeptics’ hands, subverted the peer review process, and used questionable methods to construct the temperature record on which the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change (IPCC) based its recommendations.
Now a new “Climategate” scandal is emerging, this time based on documents released by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in response to several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suits filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The newly released emails further demonstrate the politicized nature of climate science, revealing a number of questionable practices that cast doubt on the credibility of scientific data provided by NASA.
The emails reveal that GISS, like CRU, has done a poor job of preserving and managing its data. Although there is no evidence that GISS has destroyed its data, as CRU did in the late 1980s, Dr. Reto Ruedy of GISS admits in an email that “[The United States Historical Climate Network] data are not routinely kept up-to-date.” In another email, he reveals that NASA had inflated its temperature data since 2000 on a questionable basis. “[NASA’s] assumption that the adjustments made the older data consistent with future data… may not have been correct,” he says. “Indeed, in 490 of the 1057 stations the USHCN data were up to 1C colder than the corresponding GHCN data, in 77 stations the data were the same, and in the remaining 490 stations the USHCN data were warmer than the GHCN data.”