According to The Guardian, a UK-based climate change skeptic group founded by conservative Lord Nigel Lawson has been caught manufacturing a false controversy yet again. An April 27th article highlights that Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation has created “a fake controversy about the evidence for rising global temperatures as countries negotiate a new international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
Announcement by UK climate change skeptic group GWPF is politics, not science
Bob Ward, policy and research director at the Grantham Institute of climate change and the environment, was interviewed by The Independent on Monday. He noted: “I think this is a very obvious attempt to create a fake controversy over the global temperature record ahead of the [UN Climate Change] Paris summit. The only purpose of this review is to cast doubt on the science. It is a political move, not a serious scientific one.”
Details on new GWPF study
On Monday, GWPF announced the formation of an international team of “eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians” to investigate the reliability of current climate change data.
Professor Terence Kealey, former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, is chair of the new international temperature data review project.
Kealey studied medicine at Oxford University before lecturing on clinical biochemistry (in essence the analysis of bodily fluids) at Cambridge University. He apparently has no relevant experience in meteorology or climate change.
More on recent climate change controversy
The announcement of the new investigation into global warming data come after allegations by climate change skeptic bloggers that scientific organizations around the world have been exaggerating the actual amount of global warming based on global average surface temperatures.
The accusations of data tampering relate to data “homogenization” where the measurements of some weather stations are corrected for errors caused by factors such as different instruments or measuring methods.
A number of well-known climatologists have already spoken up to say that many changes to data due to homogenization actually reduces the amount of warming shown in weather station records.
Of note, U.S. science agencies NASA and NOAA, the UK Met Office, and several other organizations around the world all make independent records of global temperatures based on the data from global weather stations around .
The World Meteorological Organisation is the official arbiter of how homogenization is applied to more accurately reflect the global temperature record.
Lord Lawson’s group has history of false allegations
The Guardian also notes that befored the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in 2009, global warming denier spread misleading accounts about emails that had been illegally hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
Among the false accusations made against the University of East Anglia was a claim scientists had distorted the record of global average temperature.
A number of independent inquiries concluded that there had been no malpractice, and that all of the data were accurate and study conclusions were valid.
GWPF violated terms of registration as an educational charity
After a long investigation, the UK Charity Commission decided in back in 2014 that GWPF had broken the terms of its registration as an educational charity through its promotion of a one-sided position on climate change.
Lawson then decided to launch a lobbying arm, the Global Warming Policy Forum, which is not restricted by these regulations.
Several sources, however, have noted that Lawson’s foundation is still vigorously promoting climate change denial, seemingly thumbing his nose at Charity Commission regulations.