While we're all banging on about CRU, it's important not to forget that there are other people producing temperature series and temperature reconstructions.
And other people looking at what they do.
One of these is EM Smith who runs a blog called Musings from the Chiefio. Like Climate Audit, it's pretty hard going sometimes but as the first outsider to actually get NASA's GISSTEMP global temperature index running, it's very important. Fortunately, the Chiefio has written a layman's introduction to what he has found.
It's all disturbing, but his comments on "The Great Thermometer Dying" are simply astonishing.
Since about 1990, there has been a reduction in thermometer counts globally. In the USA, the number has dropped from 1850 at peak (in the year 1968) to 136 now (in the year 2009). As you might guess, this has presented some “issues” for our thermal quilt. But do not fear, GIStemp will fill in what it needs, guessing as needed, stretching and fabricating until it has a result.