To answer climate skeptics, agencies will refine data
GENEVA - World weather agencies have agreed to collect more precise temperature data to improve climate change science, officials said yesterday, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged environment ministers to reject efforts by skeptics to derail a global climate deal.
Britain’s Met Office proposed that climate scientists around the world undertake the “grand challenge’’ of measuring land surface temperatures as often as several times a day, and allow independent scrutiny of the data - a move that would go some way toward answering demands by skeptics for access to the raw figures used to predict climate change.
“This effort will ensure that the datasets are completely robust and that all methods are transparent,’’ the Met Office said. The agency added that “any such analysis does not undermine the existing independent datasets that all reflect a warming trend.’’
The proposal was approved in principle by about 150 delegates meeting under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization this week in Antalya, Turkey. E-mails stolen from a British university and several mistakes made in a 2007 report issued by a UN-affiliated panel prompted public debate over the reliability of climate change predictions.
Skeptics say scientists have secretly manipulated climate data and suppressed contrary views - allegations that have been denied by researchers and the climate change panel.
Scientists say global emissions must be cut in half by mid-century to avoid the melting of glaciers and ice caps, the flooding of low-lying coastal cities and islands, and worsening droughts.