So Was The Data Destroyed?
The Times article says so. CRU says not. The implication of data destruction is actually misleading:
The research unit has deleted less than 5 percent of its original station data from its database because the stations had several discontinuities or were affected by urbanization trends, Jones said.
“When you’re looking at climate data, you don’t want stations that are showing urban warming trends,” Jones said, “so we’ve taken them out.” Most of the stations for which data was removed are located in areas where there were already dense monitoring networks, he added. “We rarely removed a station in a data-sparse region of the world.”
Refuting CEI’s claims of data-destruction, Jones said, “We haven’t destroyed anything.The data is still there you can still get these stations from the [NOAA] National Climatic Data Center.”
In fact, according to RealClimate, all the original raw data can still be found at the meteorological services where they originated. This discussion and the many comments were helpful to me and may be to you. More raw data here and here. I generated the graph above from here.