Last week the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) held a meeting in Antalya, Turkey where world weather agencies agreed to compile data from around the world and allow independent scrutiny of the raw figures. The UK Met Office put forward the "grand challenge" proposal which was accepted by 150 delegates from around the world. The details will be agreed upon at a conference to be held in Britain later this year.
The Met Office proposal explains that this "effort will ensure that the datasets are completely robust and that all methods are transparent" The proposal additionally states that "any such analysis does not undermine the existing independent datasets that all reflect a warming trend."
The proposal aims to have the entire global record of land-based air temperatures from 5,000 weather stations available to anyone. Several groups of scientists working independently in different countries will re-examine millions of observations, dating back to before 1860. The methods of the scientific groups will also be made transparent and open to scrutiny. The task is expected to take three years.
The Met Office stated that current measurements were "fundamentally ill-conditioned to answer 21st-century questions, such as how extremes are changing, and therefore what adaptation and mitigation decisions should be taken."
The new agreement came about amidst criticism that climate change data had been exaggerated in recent documents. Scientists and other climate specialists said the WMO has been trying to enhance data collection for years. Interestingly they said that it took a persistent campaign by opponents of climate change to take the issue more seriously.