Clarification: Below I should have written “scientific integrity”, as that’s what I’d intended. The dumping may not have had a dishonest motivation, but it does undermine the ability of other researchers to reproduce the analyses and predictions of the CRU and thus the scientific integrity of their work. The context of the resistance to releasing data under the freedom of information act, documented in some of the leaked emails, makes it look suspicious but does not prove dishonesty.
It looks as if my earlier discussion of the “Mike’s Nature trick” email may become irrelevant to assessing the integrity of the CRU team:
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
In the context of these emails, which talk about resisting FOI requests and even include a suggestion to delete data subject to a FOI request (which would be illegal) this admission from the CRU does not look good at all.