No joke. This is apparently what happened at CRU, one of the main sources of data for the global warming alarmist camp, according to the UK Times Online:
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.
And the response from “proper” scientists is understandably one of amazement:
Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. “The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.
One of the comments sums it up well:
“Dear Inland Revenue [ATO, IRS], I enclose my latest accounts. Please note that I accidentally destroyed all the original invoices but I promise they were all entered correctly. Honest!”
Read it here.