The latest story exciting the denialosphere is being put about by novelist James Delingpole and is based on an analysis (translated here) by a right-wing Russian think tank. Delingpole quotes from a news story:

On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

Delingpole adds:

What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock.

The problem here is the IEA report does not support the claims made in the news story. I’ve reproduced the final graph from the report below. The red curve is the temperature trend using the 121 Russian stations that CRU has released data for, while the blue hockey stick is from a larger set of 476 stations. I’ve put them on top of the CRU temperatures for northern extratropics. The red and blue curves agree very well in the period after 1950, thus confirming the CRU temperatures. Well done, IEA!


The red and blue curves do diverge in the 19th century, but the one that provides more support for anthropogenic global warming is the blue hockey stick. The red curve shows warming in the 19th century before there were significant CO2 emissions, so it weakens the case that global warming is man-made. If CRU (not HAdley as claimed in the Russian news story) have “tampered” with the data, it would seem that they must have been trying to make a case against AGW.

The IEA analysis is, in any case, misguided. CRU has not released all the station data they use, so the red curve is not the CRU temperature trend for Russia at all. If you want that, all you have to do is download the gridded data and average all the grid cells in Russia. You have to wonder why the IEA did not do this.

Since Russia is a pretty fair chunk of the land north of 30 degrees north, the CRU graph above is a rough approximation of the what the CRUTEM3 trends for Russia is, and you can see that it looks like the blue curve and not the red one.

Steve McIntyre will no doubt be demanding the IEA’s data and code for their study. No doubt.


  1. #1 Bernard J.
    January 29, 2010

    Another week passes, and not a whisper from cohenite.

    I can only assume that he is still trying to construct an argument that won’t fall at the first hurdle, or that he has given in entirely and has slunk into the ale tent.

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