A recent submission to the arXiv archive suggests that altering the data to “inflate and dramatize weather conditions” may have a long tradition.
The Weather and its Role in Captain Robert F. Scott and his Companions’ Deaths by Krzysztof Sienicki
Abstract: A long debate has ensued about the relationship of weather conditions and Antarctic exploration. In no place on Earth is exploration, human existence, and scientific research so weather dependent. By using an artificial neural network simulation, historical (Heroic Age) and modern weather data from manned and automated stations, placed at different locations of the Ross Ice Shelf, and the Ross Island, I have examined minimum near surface air temperatures. All modern meteorological data, as well as historical data of Cherry-Garrard, high correlations between temperatures at different locations, and artificial neural network retrodiction of modern and historical temperature data, point out the oddity of Captain Scott’s temperature recordings from February 27 – March 19, 1912. I was able to show that in this period the actual minimum near surface air temperature was on the average about 13F(7C) above that reported by Captain Scott and his party. On the basis of the mentioned evidence I concluded that the real minimum near surface air temperature data was altered by Lt. Bowers and Captain Scott to inflate and dramatize the weather conditions.
And check out CA’s magnificent series on Phil Jones and the China Network.