London, Feb 25 (ANI): Reports indicate that the whole of the world's instrumental temperature record is to be re-analyzed in an attempt to remove doubts about the reality of global warming.
According to a report in The Independent, the new analysis, which would take into account millions of observations dating back more than 150 years, will be carried out by several groups of scientists working independently in different countries.
It has been proposed by the UK Met Office in the wake of recent controversies over climate science, such as the "climategate" email affair at the University of East Anglia and revelations that the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contained inaccuracies and exaggerations.
The plan is for the entire global record of land-based air temperatures from 5,000 weather stations, which began before 1860, to be made freely available to anyone.
It will then be reanalyzed by at least three and possibly five groups of experts, whose different methods will be made transparent and open to scrutiny, and whose conclusions will be peer-reviewed.
The task is expected to take three years, and it is likely that its findings will form a core part of the next IPCC report, provisionally due in 2013 or 2014.
The Met Office stresses that it does not foresee that the new analyses will reveal any "substantial changes" from the basic conclusion in the last IPCC report, published in 2007, that the recent warming of the earth's climate is "unequivocal."
Rather, "this effort will ensure that the datasets are completely robust and that all methods are transparent," it explains in its proposal document.
This makes it clear that although the Met Office feels a more detailed temperature record is needed, in particular so that new extremes can be detected by daily records, a principal impetus behind the whole exercise is confidence-building.
Trust in the current global temperature record and its potential demonstration of a changing climate was shaken by the release in November of the emails from University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which is the guardian of one of the temperature record's main data sets. (ANI)