A major embarrassment may be brewing for the U.S. government as researchers have allegedly found evidence that NASA scientists manipulated data in order to claim that the year 2005 was the warmest year on record, KUSI-TV has reported.
The San Diego-based TV station presented these findings in a one-hour special that aired on Jan. 14. It told the story of how computer expert E. Michael Smith and meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo discovered extensive manipulation of the temperature data by the government’s two primary climate centers—the National Climate Data Center in Ashville, N.C., and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York.
Smith and D’Aleo claim these centers engaged in data manipulation in order to give the appearance of warmer temperatures than actually occurred by reducing the number and locations of weather observation stations from about 6,000 in the 1970s to about 1,000 now.
"That leaves much of the world unaccounted for," D’Aleo said, with his colleague adding that comparing data from years when the figure was produced by averaging a large number of temperatures with those produced from a small temperature base "is like comparing apples and oranges."
The revelations follow the controversy that accompanied the recent Climate Summit in Copenhagen and which revolved around leaked emails from environmental scientists casting doubt on the validity of the data behind global warming.
Dubbed "Climategate," the issue prompted some conservative members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to call for the rescinding of the Oscar won by former Vice President Al Gore for the environmental movie An Inconvenient Truth.