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October 19, 2011: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just confirmed the pioneering research conducted by Anthony Watts, the author of the prominent Web site "Watts up with that?. Watts showed in a 2009 report (right) that the U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) surface temperature record is unreliable. The GAO now concurs.

Note: The USHCN, considered the best source of surface temperature data in the world, is used to assess climate change within the contiguous US. On this basis, the government estimates a rise in so-called "average surface temperature" across the US by 1.4oF since 1895.

USHCN data is combined with temperature records from around the world to determine global temperature trends. This trend is then used as the basis of the assessment reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on which governments base climate and energy policy costing hundreds of billions of dollars.

But the GAO has found that "42 percent of the active [USHCN] stations in 2010 did not meet one or more of the siting standards." Siting standards violated include temperature sensors located too close to buildings, roads and other heat sources that artificially increase measurements and so, ultimately, the supposed global warming trend.

Read Watts' report on flaws in the USHCN temperature network.

GAO writes that they "did not assess the effect of stations not meeting siting standards on the reliability of NOAA’s analysis of temperature trends." Until this is done and similar assessments carried out on the rest of the data used to determine global trends, it is clear that the global record is not reliable.

Read whole report "CLIMATE MONITORING--NOAA Can Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network", published by the United States Government Accounting Office (GAO).

Read one page GAO "Highlights".

Read Anthony Watts' reaction to this important vindication of his work. Read Watts' summary of his 2009 report.