NCDC writes ghost “talking points” rebuttal to surfacestations project

UPDATE: The “ghost author” has been identified, see the end of the article.

When I first saw it, I laughed.

When I saw the internal memo circulated to top managers at NOAA, I laughed even more.

Why?  Because NOAA and NCDC are rebuking an analysis which I have not even written yet, using old data, and nobody at NOAA or NCDC  had the professionalism to put their name to the document.

First let’s have a look at the National Climatic Data Center’s web page from a week ago:

ncdc_web_page_061209

I was quite surprised to find that my midterm census report on the surfacestations.org project evoked a response from NCDC. I suppose they are getting some heat from the citizenry and some congress critters over lack of quality control. I was even more surprised to see that they couldn’t even get the title right, particularly since the title of my report defines most of what NCDC is all about; Surface Temperature Measurement.

SurfaceStationsReportCoverHere’s the title of my report released in March.

“Is The U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?”

But NCDC calls it: “Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?”

True, a small omission, the word “surface”. But remember, this is a scientific organization that writes papers for peer reviewed journals, where accuracy in citation is a  job requirement. Plus, the director of NCDC is Thomas Karl, who is now president of the American Meteorological Society. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society is considered a premiere peer reviewed journal, and Karl has written several articles. For him to allow a botched citation like this is pretty embarrassing.

[NOTE: For those that just want to read my report, please feel free to download and read the free copy here PDF, 4 MB]

But the citation error is not just in the NCDC webpage, it is in the PDF document that NOAA and/or  NCDC wrote up. I can’t be sure since they cite no named author.

NCDC _talking_points

You can download it here (PDF 91KB)

I had few people point out the existence of the NCDC rebuttal to me in the last week, and I’ve been biding my time. I wanted to see what they’d do with it.

Over the weekend I discovered that NOAA had widely circulated NCDC’s “talking points” document to top level division managers in NOAA. I was given this actual internal email, by someone whom appears not to agree with the current NOAA/NCDC thinking.

Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 16:26:48 -0600
From: Andrea Bair <Andrea.Bair@noaa.gov>
Subject: Talking Points on SurfaceStations.org
To: _NWS WR Climate Focal Points <WR.Climate.Focal.Points@noaa.gov>,
_NWS WR MICs HICs DivChiefs <wr.mics.hics.divchiefs@noaa.gov>,
_NWS WR DAPM-OPL <Wr.Dapm.Opl@noaa.gov>,
Susan A Nelson <Susan.A.Nelson@noaa.gov>,
Jeff Zimmerman <Jeff.Zimmerman@noaa.gov>, Matt Ocana <Matt.Ocana@noaa.gov>
User-Agent: Thunderbird 2.0.0.21 (Windows/20090302)

Recently I was asked if we had any official talking points on the surfacestations.org report that came out recently.  Attached are some talking points from NOAA that we can use.

AB


Note the “NWS WR MICs HICs DivChiefs” It seems pretty much everyone in management at NOAA got this email, yet a week later the citation error remains. Nobody caught it.

I find it pretty humorous that NOAA felt that a booklet full of photographs that many said at the beginning “don’t matter” required an organization wide notice of rebuttal. Note also some big names there. Senior NOAA scientist Susan (1000 year CO2) Solomon got a copy. So did Matt Ocana, Western Region public affairs officer for the National Weather Service. Along with Jeff Zimmerman who appears to be with the NWS Southern Region HQ. The originator, Andrea Bair, is the Climate Services Program Manager, NWS Western Region HQ.

There are lots of other curious things about that NCDC “Talking Points” document.

1. They give no author for the talking points memo. An inquiry as to the author’s name I sent to my regular contact at NCDC a week ago when I first learned of this has gone unanswered. Usually I have gotten answers in a day.

2. They think they have the current data, they do not. They have data from when the network was about 40% surveyed. They cite 70 CRN1/2 stations when we actually have 92 now. Additionally, some of the ratings have been changed as new/better survey information has come to light. They did their talking points analysis with old data and apparently didn’t know it.

3. They never asked me for a current data set. They know how to contact me, in fact they invited me to give a presentation at NCDC last year, which you can read about here in part 1 and part 2

Normally when a scientific organization prepares a rebuttal, it is standard practice to at least ask the keeper of the data if they have the most current data set, and if any caveats or updates exist, and to make the person aware of the issues so that questions can be answered. I received no questions, no request for data and no notice of any kind.

This is not unlike NCDC’s absurd closing of my access to parts of their station meta database in the summer of 2007 without notice just a few weeks after I started the project:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/07/07/noaa-and-ncdc-restore-data-access/

4. They cite USHCN2 data in their graph, but they can’t even get the the number of stations correct in USHCN2. The correct number from their AMS publication is 1218 stations, they list 1228 on the graph. While the error is a simple one, it shows the person doing the talking points was probably not fully familiar with the USHCN2.

from NCDC's "talking points"rebuttal - click for larger image

from NCDC's "talking points"rebuttal - click for larger image

On page 6 of Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams, Jr. and Russell S. Vose, 2009: The United States Historical Climatology Network Monthly Temperature Data – Version 2.(PDF)  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (in press) there is this sentence:

As a result, HCN version 2 contains 1218 stations, 208 of which are composites; relative to the 1996 release, there have been 62 station deletions and 59 additions.

Sure maybe it is a typo, but add the fact that they couldn’t get my report title correctly cited either, it looks pretty sloppy, especially when you can’t count your own stations.

When I was invited to speak at NCDC last year, I had a lengthy conversation with Matt Mennes, the lead author of the USHCN2 method and peer reviewed paper here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/12/ncdcs-ushcn2-paper-some-progress-some-duck-and-cover/

What I learned was this:

a) The USHCN2 is designed to catch station moves and other discontinuities. Such as we see in Lampasas, TX

b) It will NOT catch long term trend issues, like UHI encroachment. Low frequency/long period biases pass unobstructed/undetected. Thus a station that started out well sited, but has had concrete and asphalt built up around it over time (such as the poster child for badly sited stations Marysville, now closed by NOAA just 3 months after I made the world aware of it) would not be corrected or even noted in USHCN2.

5. They give no methodology or provenance for the data shown in their graph. For all I know, they could be comparing homogenized data from CRN1 and 2 (best stations) to homogenized data from CRN 345 (the worst stations), which of course would show nearly no difference. Our study is focusing on the raw data and the differences that changes after adjustments are applied by NCDC. Did they use 1228 stations or 1218 ? Who knows? There’s no work shown. You can’t even get away with not showing your work in high school algebra class. WUWT?

For NCDC not to cite the data and methodology for the graph is simply sloppy “public relations” driven science. But most importantly, it does not tell the story accurately. It is useful to me however, because it demonstrates what a simple analysis produces.

6. They cite 100 year trends in the data/graph they present. However, our survey most certainly cannot account for changes to the station locations or station siting quality any further back than about 30 years. By NCDC’s own admission, (see Quality Control of pre-1948 Cooperative Observer Network Data PDF) they have little or no metadata posted on station siting much further back than about 1948 on their MMS metadatabase. Further, as we’ve shown time and again, siting is not very static over time. More on the metadata issue here.

While we have examined 100 year trends also, our study focus is different in time scale and in scope. If I were to claim that the surfacestations.org survey represented siting conditions at a weather station 50 or 100 years ago, without supporting metadata or photographs, I would be roundly criticized by the scientific community, and rightly so.

We believe most of the effect has occurred in the last 30 years, much of it due to the introducing of the MMTS electronic thermometer into the network about 1985 with a gradual replacement since then. The cable issue has forced official temperature sensors closer to buildings and human habitation with that gradual change.

NCDC’s new USHCN2 method will not detect this long period signal change introduced by the gradual introduction of the MMTS electronic thermometer, nor do they even address the issue in their talking points, which is central to the surfacestations project.

7. In the references section they don’t even cite my publication!

References

Menne, Matthew J., Claude N. Williams, Jr. and Russell S. Vose, 2009: The United States Historical Climatology Network Monthly Temperature Data – Version 2. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press.

Peterson, Thomas C., 2006: Examination of Potential Biases in Air Temperature Caused by Poor Station Locations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 87, 1073-1080. It is available from http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/87/8/pdf/i1520-0477-87-8-1073.pdf.

Yet they cite Mennes USHCN2 publication where the 1218 USHCN2 station number is clearly found.

It seems as if this was a rush job, and in the process mistakes were made and common courtesy was tossed aside. I suppose I shouldn’t be upset at the backlash, after all bureaucrats don’t like to be embarrassed by people like me when it is pointed out what a lousy job has been done at temperature measurement nationwide.

I’m working on a data analysis publication with authors that have published in peer reviewed climate an meteorology journals. After learning from John V’s crash analysis in summer 2007 when we had about 30% of the network done, few CRN1/2 stations, and poor spatial distribution that people would try to analyze incomplete data anyway, I’ve kept the rating data and other data gathered private until such time a full analysis and publication can be written.

As NCDC demonstrated, it seems many people just aren’t willing to wait or to even respect he right to first publication of data analysis by the primary researcher.

By not even so much as giving me a courtesy notice or even requesting up to date data, it is clear to me that they don’t think I’m worthy of professional courtesy, yet they’ll gladly publish error laden and incomplete conclusions written by a ghost writer in an attempt to disparage my work before I’ve even had a chance to finish it.

This is the face of NCDC today.

UPDATE:

WUWT commenter Scott Finegan notes that Adobe PDF files have a “properties” section, and that the authors name was revealed there. Here is a screencap:

NCDC_Document_properties

Thomas C. Peterson is the author.

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181 Responses to NCDC writes ghost “talking points” rebuttal to surfacestations project

  1. ralph ellis says:

    I’m afraid this is the face of political spin these days, especially in the UK. Everything is written to communicate the ‘party line’ with as much spin and saccharine as possible, with little or no respect to truth, integrity and honesty.

    Unfortunately, this attitude has now spread to other government-sponsored fields, including science. Your report potentially undermines the integrity of NCDC, and they can already feel this critisism reducing the budget for 2010, so they are manning the guns already. The truth and the underlying science are now immaterial, this is personal.

    This first broadside was just a precursor – a few 20 pounders aimed well clear of their primary target. When things get really rough, they will wheel out the 50 pounders and fire direct. Expect your server to go down regularly from now on, there will be no prisoners taken…

    I’ve see this too often.

  2. William says:

    This may be a sloppy rush job, but the main purpose is not to disprove you but to disagree with you. Then other people can cite the NCDC’s disagreement as if it really were disproof. It’s a standard trick from the political rebuttal toolbox.

  3. Leon Brozyna says:

    There you have it — politics and science don’t mix.

    And what better an illustration of that old saying – a picture is worth a thousand words. Stations sited on rooftops or surrounded by asphalt – you can feel the heat. Show a journalist or a congressperson a photo of a sloppy site or a blink comparator to highlight adjustments and that’ll have more impact than any other argument.

    Sounds like someone’s on the defensive, and it ain’t Anthony.

  4. Lee says:

    You’ve got them running scared and as Yoda once famously said;

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    I hope this half assed attack on you doesn’t lead to any suffering on your part, be nice if we hoist these idiots on their on petard though.

  5. TerryS says:

    Anthony, the lack of attribution, data, methods and inaccuracies in the report are all irrelevant.

    The only item of relevance is the graph which will quickly be taken up by many websites and pointed to with the claim “see, there is no problem with surface station quality”.

    The graph is now out there as part of an official rebuttal and, no matter what its provenance, it will keep on resurfacing in one form or another. Just like the hockey stick.

    I’d be willing to bet that many of your future “How not to…” articles end up with a significant part of the discussion taken up with this graph.

  6. Mike Borgelt says:

    Paraphrasing the pilot of a certain fictional tramp spaceship “they’re crooks, sweetie. if everything was all right they’d be in jail”

  7. dennis ward says:

    Have you been able to investigate urban shade islands yet, Mr Watt?

    By which I mean surface weather stations that were originally sited in places that were in the direct glare of the sun but were later obscured for at least part of the day by new building, thus throwing them into the shade.

    The resulting difference in temperature can be imagined by engaging in a simple experiment of going out on a sunny day and standing first in the shade and then in the direct sunlight.

    I would be interested to know how many stations fall into this category and how much they would skew temperatures in the same manner as urban heat islands.

    I would be expecting some kind of objectivity on this matter, of course.

    REPLY: Sure, Happy to, I’ll just drop everything right now and switch gears. ;-) I haven’t got the analysis report written yet and you want me to go off on another angle? Hardly practical at this stage. Though last fall I did do such an experiment with USB temperatures dataloggers (see at right sidebar) at a single COOP station that had an odd signal, so maybe I’ll write that up the the days ahead.- Anthony

  8. Jay Currie says:

    They can run; but they cannot hide.

    Faster please. Pretending climate change is hard work. The quicker these folks grab a clue the better.

  9. redneck says:

    Anthony,

    The reason the report was written by a ghost writer is because you have them spooked.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. ralph ellis says:

    >>The only item of relevance is the graph which will
    >>quickly be taken up by many websites

    True, but it may also be the hole in their armour. We have all seen the individual jumps in the temperature record, as sites have been relocated or built around, so the total comparison between good and bad sites cannot be coincident, as they attempt to show.

    If this graph can be falsified, then the reputation of the NCDC will be in tatters. As ever with spin and mirrors, if people can be shown the evidence behind the spin the organisation concerned loses all credibility.

  11. Peter Hearnden says:

    Anthony, I ALWAYS post using my real name, would that many of your most outspoken correspondents, notably the people who ad hom James Hansen, here showed that same ‘professionalism’…

    Anyway, I ‘like’ this paragraph:

    It seems as if this was a rush job, and in the process mistakes were made and common courtesy was tossed aside. I suppose I shouldn’t be upset at the backlash, after all bureaucrats don’t like to be embarrassed by people like me when it is pointed out what a lousy job has been done at temperature measurement nationwide.

    because you lament the lack of common courtesy and then go on to show precisely that same lack of common courtesy with your ‘bureaucrats don’t like…pointed out what a lousy job has been done’. Do you see it that way?

    Reply: There’s history here Peter, Anthony’s indignation is justified. ~ charles the “I offered to get him his ticket to North Carolina but he didn’t trust flying on miles” moderator

  12. Capn Jack Walker says:

    Final war for the future of mankind is joined.

    Sauron and Saruman have unleashed their death armies.

    The only ring that matters is in play.

    But this aint up to Hobbits no more, this is science and unfortunately for evil wizards this is now up to a literate humanity.

    They fear the light of reason and they fear question and they fear a question to belief and fefuse and refute their own biases or corruption.

    No officer in Australia under it’s law may administer a department while under criminal prosecution. That is Law. Your officer from NASA, regardless of your nation’s law, is now silent and has no speech thruout the scientific world.

    The ring is at play.

  13. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “Have you been able to investigate urban shade islands yet, Mr Watt?

    By which I mean surface weather stations that were originally sited in places that were in the direct glare of the sun but were later obscured for at least part of the day by new building, thus throwing them into the shade…..I would be interested to know how many stations fall into this category and how much they would skew temperatures in the same manner as urban heat islands.

    I would be expecting some kind of objectivity on this matter, of course.”
    D Ward

    As far as I understand it, Mr Watt’s analysis is purely examining siteing issues which breach the NOAA guidelines. This is completely objective. The issues are frequently UHI issues, primarily caused by convenience in siteing convenient ly for human access, but there are certainly shade issues as well.

    AFAICS, the two major cooling confounders are tree shade and close lawns, with associated sprinklers cooling the area. Where these are an issue they are certainly mentioned – here is the write-up for Happy Camp: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/08/01/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-26-counting-ac-units/. If you don’t have time to read it, here is a quote:

    “Additionally. for other biases, positive and negative there’s the buildings, the windows, the shade trees, the wind sheltering, and the lawn sprinkler. There’s also the big parking lot to the southwest, and the Stevenson Screen is at the top of a slope and there’s a parking lot downslope.

    When I mentioned to the site curator about the A/C units she said “hmm, I never thought about that” but then added, “But I can tell you that when we water the lawn, my high temps are lower”. I asked the curator what the prevailing wind direction was, and she said from the “south to southwest usually”.”

    All the data is there, Mr Ward. If you are particularly interested in shade (and it certainly is a problem) there is nothing stopping you examining the data and writing your own report. It would be courteous to ask Anthony first, of course – he may be able to help.

  14. alexis anders says:

    I think its very disingenuous of you to 1) write a blog post once or twice a week about how terrible the surface temperature record is 2) express indignation that someone has rebutted your points “which I haven’t even published.”

    I mean, I know the standards that apply to others don’t apply to you, but still…

  15. Stephen Wilde says:

    dennis ward (01:29:45)

    The whole point about properly chosen and maintained sites is that if the rules are obeyed there is no scope for such confusion about shading and direct sunlight.

    In the appropriate receptacle the instruments are supposed to be shaded from direct sunlight.

    In the proper location the instrument receptacle should be well away from the shade of vegetation and buildings.

    There should be nothing nearby which inhibits the free and ‘natural’ flow of air.

    The receptacle itself should be of a colour and of materials that do not affect the temperature of the passing air flow.

    ALL those parameters have been treated in cavalier fashion since the 1960s prior to which the standards were much more rigorously enforced which is why as a student I never found it practical to set up an officially recognised recording site.

    It is appalling to find such abandonment of standards throughout the western world let alone the rest of the planet.

    If those standards had been maintained the issue you raise would be a complete irrelevance.

    In any event the effect heat absorption, retention and later emission from nearby buildings is far in excess of any shading effect.

    As an aside, am getting fed up with TV weather personnel presenting a maximum expected UK temperature based on the temperature in London which is always at least 3C higher than the natural background temperature.

    The rest of the nation is becoming baffled by the misleading daily temperature ‘predictions’ coming out of London based weather offices.

    This week they keep telling it how hot it is or will be but that is based on London alone. For the rest of us a late June temperature in the low 20sC in the afternoon is entirely normal. There might be recordings of 26C or 27C in London but that is not representative of the real world but it is being used to perpetuate an impression of ongoing warming and future catastrophe.

    Unbelievable.

  16. Dave Wendt says:

    I can’t wait for Mr. Hansen to chime in with his contribution, which I have little doubt will include a characterization of your project as the death stations report. I hope you don’t have any outstanding tax liens or children who have given birth to or fathered any out of wedlock babies. I suspect you may soon be feeling a sense of kinship with Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, because your efforts are being seen as a threat to the prevailing orthodoxy and there is a well established system now in place for dealing with folks like you.

  17. Peter Hearnden says:

    There’s history here Peter, Anthony’s indignation is justified. ~ charles the “I offered to get him his ticket to North Carolina but he didn’t trust flying on miles” moderator

    Fine then if the claim is he’s better than them (and surely it is? ) rise above it!

  18. par5 says:

    Pre-emptive Denial, very classy!

  19. Peter Hearnden says:

    This week they keep telling it how hot it is or will be but that is based on London alone. For the rest of us a late June temperature in the low 20sC in the afternoon is entirely normal. There might be recordings of 26C or 27C in London but that is not representative of the real world but it is being used to perpetuate an impression of ongoing warming and future catastrophe.

    No, Stephen, they simply do not.

    Look at this – http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ – note that it’s warmer or as warm as London across large part of the country (Keswick for example or Exeter, indeed here on Dartmoor it’s only a degree or so colder than London (think height…)). Btw yesterdays high temperature for the Uk was in Glasgow, the day before Durham.

  20. Lee Kington says:

    I take note of this from NOAA’s talking points PDF:

    Q. Is there any question that surface temperatures in the United States have been rising rapidly during the last 50 years?
    A. None at all. Even if NOAA did not have weather observing stations across the length and breadth of the United States the impacts of the warming are unmistakable.

    And I respectfully submit this…

    Obviously the ‘selected’ a time frame that would emphasize warming. A form of Cherry Picking, a form of deceit, and though truthful at the same time it is a lie. But… at the same time we have been inundated about the acceleration of warming in recent decades. We have been told how much WORSE it is getting. They pointed out temps in the US….. so let us look at temps in the US over the last two decades. Let us use their data…..

    http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg136/BigLee57/8909.jpg

    My apologies to Anthony for the harsh tenor of my post.

  21. smallz79 says:

    dennis ward (01:29:45) :

    The point of the surface stations project is to cite the unreliableness of the Temp Stations. Not to prove the effects of UHI and now “UCI”. However I do remember reading about the few stations that were in such a predicament. The surface stations project is the overall big picture which is, Can we really believe that the US surface temperature stations are as reliable as have been believed up until now. This is what Anthony is working on, not so much of proving the effects of UHI/UCI (which do play role in the scheme of things), but only the reliablity of the surface station records past and present is what is called into question. I hope this helps.

  22. Terry says:

    As a Scientist with a long background in instrumentation and now with industrial clients who demand the best performance, otherwise I would very quickly have no credibility nor income, I just despair at the continual butt covering that goes on in this area of science (but perhaps I’m still naive and still believe that science should always strive for the truth). It is disgraceful. I just can’t understand why they don’t accept that there are flaws, FIX the bloody problem and get on with doing the science they were trained to do.

    No-one ever said that the stations were originally intended for climate studies with the level of precision that is now demanded. So it is not a blight on the original program and if they were not so bureaucratically intent on defending their position, we could all make some progress.

    A plea to Solomon, Zimmerman, Karl et. al…. You know it is broke, SO JUST GET ON WITH IT AND FIX IT.

  23. Bruce Hall says:

    Facts! You want facts? They can’t handle the facts.

    Sorry, Jack.

  24. Mark Young says:

    OT and Weather Not Climate:

    I just received this from the famous gardening supply outfit, White Flower Farms:

    Dear Mark Young,

    Gardeners talk incessantly about the weather, sometimes as an enemy, sometimes an ally. It has become pretty common for these conversations to be linked in some way with the broader topic of global warming, since current weather almost always seems unique at the time. We will spare you the larger context and simply say that we had temperatures in the 30s on four different nights in the last two weeks of May, and June has been warmer but wet. The undersigned has been on this property for 34 years and not seen the like of it. If you garden in the Northeast, and think things are moving a little slowly, you are absolutely right. Soil temperatures are still very cool and heat lovers like Tomatoes and Dahlias and annuals will be sulking for a while more.

  25. Geo says:

    I think we’re getting a litle too defensive here. I didn’t read that document as a rebuttal. Just as evidence that internally you’ve gotten their attention and they are starting to think about and analyze what you’ve found.

    Of course, it may develop later into a full-fledged attack, but I don’t see it yet from that doc.

    The thing that struck me as “missing the point” was their bit about how the many people involved in the project has an unknown impact on quality of the results. I guess I can see why at first blush they might think so, but it misses the real leveraging of “distributed processing” going on here. By making it about taking many high quality pictures, what has really happened is that you are able to centralize analysis to a much smaller number of people who do have the expertize/experience to review the data collected for each and put a reliable rating on them.

  26. Paul says:

    Freaking lightweights!

  27. INGSOC says:

    I will simply say that You have my unwavering support Mr. Watts.

    Many thanks.

  28. Gina Becker says:

    I wish we could find money to run a television advertising campaign, showing the broad public…

    1. Photos of all the poorly sited stations, including “rural” ones which are supposedly free from heat islands

    2. Urban heat island growth around stations

    3. Visuals and explanations on how the gradual MMTS changeover corresponds with temperature rise

    4. And the point: this is the USA, which has the most extensive, longest, best temperature record. Think what the rest of the world relies on.

  29. Aaron Edwards says:

    Thanks for all the hard work you are doing! It takes courage to defy the powerful and frightening forces of Big Brother and I admire you greatly for that. And what is the crime you are guilty of that should so enrage the know-it-alls at NOAA / NCDC?

    Simply asking a few intelligent questions no one there thought of, or if they did, dared not ask. That you had the audacity to ask for raw data, or worse yet collect your own, was apparently the ultimate affront to their thin skinned pseudo scientific sensibilities. The truth is the truth and I believe that whatever it is, it will eventually assert itself. The nonsense will slough off like so much dead skin from the hide of the evil genius “Gold Member”.

    On a different subject, am I the only one that has noticed a nation wide trend by local weather casters to over emphasize the “heat index” otherwise known by the pseudonym, “feels like temperature”? I have gotten to the point where I become angry at the mere mention of the term “heat index” by the local TV weather guys. Next thing you know your expensive HDTV screen you just bought is filled with a 1080p computer generated cartoon graphic depicting wildly inflated temperatures plastered all over south Texas warning every one of the dangers of humidity in conjunction with the expected high for the day. It is quite windy down here along the coastal counties and wind turbines are springing up like unwanted Hackberry trees but does not the wind cool one’s body in the summertime just as it does in winter? Surely the evil twin of “heat index” called “wind chill” must still operate, unless of course the laws of thermodynamics do not apply to TV weather physics. I am convinced it is just another subtle scare tactic employed by “dime a dozen meteorologists” with a narcissistic need to seek attention and justify the importance of their 8 minutes of smiley faced air time.

  30. Claude Harvey says:

    The bottom line for any bureaucracy is survival of the bureaucracy. The appearance of defensive talking points should come as no surprise to anyone when a threat to such an organization is presented. The quality of those “talking points” aside, I think complaining that those points respond to a work not yet completed and published is a bit hypocritical. The tone, tenor and thrust of the threatening work has been quite clearly publicized by its author, both here and in other public forums. You cannot expect to “have it both ways”.

    You are a magnificent warrior, Anthony. Take their counter punches with righteous smile. Your wounds will heal as they are washed with the waters of truth. Theirs will fester under a putrid pile of “talking points”.

  31. Mark Young says:

    Aaron Edwards,

    It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity!

    :D

    LOL!

  32. Harry G says:

    Anthony

    Bask in the glory. You have been noticed and you are doing good work. This is just the beginning. The science will win in the long term. Even Gallileo is quoted as saying something along the lines that “it only takes one humble truth spoken by one man to dispose of a clamouring consensus claimed by the masses”.

  33. tarpon says:

    William nails it: This may be a sloppy rush job, but the main purpose is not to disprove you but to disagree with you. Then other people can cite the NCDC’s disagreement as if it really were disproof. It’s a standard trick from the political rebuttal toolbox.

    This is how the politics of AGW game gets played, turning discussion into fact. Hey they had to do something, the trap was cutting to the bone.

    I wish America had it’s media back, instead of the state run pravda it now has.

  34. GlennB says:

    dennis ward (01:29:45) :

    “Have you been able to investigate urban shade islands yet, Mr Watt?

    By which I mean surface weather stations that were originally sited in places that were in the direct glare of the sun but were later obscured for at least part of the day by new building, thus throwing them into the shade.

    The resulting difference in temperature can be imagined by engaging in a simple experiment of going out on a sunny day and standing first in the shade and then in the direct sunlight.”

    You may imagine, I don’t think the actual air temperature is much different, other variables aside.
    But thermometers don’t stand in the direct sunlight and humans aren’t cotton region shelters in any event.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevenson_screen

  35. Dave L says:

    When you don’t understand something, think money.
    If you still don’t understand it, THINK MONEY.
    The memo has nothing to do with science, it is about MONEY.
    The liberals are spending the USA into oblivion, and their only recourse is to raise taxes. The latter is very unpopular, so hence, devise a distraction. In this case, the distraction is the global warming hysteria. See the haste to pass the Waxman cap and trade bill. Do you think for one minute that anyone in a current government position would survive if he/she did not walk the party line on supporting global warming? Those people at NCDC at just trying to cover their posteriors. Don’t be discouraged. Hopefully at some point public apathy will fade and people will begin to realize they have been misled …. in the name of MONEY.

  36. hunter says:

    This is just part of the pushback. Now that AGW has eaten our political system, we will only see more politicized efforts to silence skeptics.
    AGW is too big to fail.

  37. Mitchel44 says:

    Can’t seem to download the talking points PDF, it keeps telling me the file is damaged beyond repair.

    I won’t draw any conclusions from that, lol.

  38. C3H Editor says:

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing if just for once tax supported scientists and bureaucrats announced: “we need to get our house in order, first.” The NCDC would gain tons of credibility if they decided to thank you and all your supporters for the work already done, plus announcing an immediate quality control effort to bring every station into compliance within 24 months.

    For U.S. bureaucrats that now believe they can now “manage” the climate, how hard would it really be to put a QC program in place to properly manage their own surface station network?

    C3H Editor, http://www.c3headlines.com

  39. Frank K. says:

    From the “Talking Points”

    Q. What can we say about poor siting’s impact on national temperature trends?

    A. We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting.

    THIS IS STUNNING! Here we have a government agency (NOAA) which is given *** millions *** of taxpayer dollars a year to run the climate network, and they say that they have “limited information about station siting”??!! What are these people DOING all day long!! It’s like someone running a taxi service and not bothering to check to see if the taxis have had their oil changed…

    In addition, they say NOTHING about how they generated the comparison plot. The curves showing the 70 “good” stations looks smoothed to me – what smoothing did they use?

    I summary, a very lame and sloppy attempt to cover up what will in fact turn out to be one of NOAA’s most embarrassing episodes in its history.

  40. Konrad says:

    Anthony,
    There is a saying in Australian government bureaucracy – “never contradict the minister”. This comes before – “defend the bureaucracy, even at the expense of it’s stated purpose” The internal actions of the NOAA bureaucracy you have highlighted in this post bow to both these guidelines. The good news is George Orwell’s 1984 did not come to pass. We do not live in the age of Big Brother, but rather in the age of Little Brother. The comments, actions and gross malfeasance of bureaucratic hegemonies is now a matter of permanent record, although it is taking time for some to realize this.

  41. Stephen Wilde says:

    Peter Hearnden (03:38:01)

    I need only refer you to this morning’s (24th June) TV charts which showed temperatures in the range 17 to 22 for the whole country but 24 for London.

    We have a wind from north or north east coming off the cool north sea but they are trying to talk up a heatwave.

    In such a scenario I would expect highest temps on western coasts but by no means exceptional. We need air from a much more southerly point to produce a real hot spell and there is no sign of that for the forseeable. Nor have we had that setup at all since 2006.

    Better stop there because I am going off topic.

  42. Bill Illis says:

    We are supposed to completely change how our economy works based on the measurements these stations are recording.

    A new station doesn’t just magically appear in the middle of a parking lot. Someone has to design it, produce some drawings for contractors, spend several thousand dollars constructing it etc. You’d think they’d think about the importance of siting.

    The fact that they so readily dismiss the siting issue and the urban heat island issue should make one think about whether they are trying to make these measurements objective and accurate.

    How many important pro-AGW papers have been written by the head of the NCDC, Thomas R. Karl. He would be in the top five most influential researchers on the pro-AGW side and, being in charge of the NCDC, which is almost like the agency of record for the world-wide climate measurements, he is in a position to influence all of the records.

  43. Ric Werme says:

    I get the sense that surfacestations.org is giving the good folks at NOAA and the NCDC angst about the quality of their work. (The bad folks simply don’t care and are unaffected.) Hence, the leaders have turned to that staple of what the American education system has become and produced a memo to boost their employees’ self esteem.

    A false sense of self esteem merely delays the crash when reality knocks down the house of cards – self esteem has to be earned, not given. I suspect the best folks at NOAA and NCDC cringed when they read the talking points memo.

    That is really a rather sad report whoever it is has written, but that’s their problem. For us, it’s a sign that the surfacestations project will bring significant change. Keep up the good work guys. Things keep getting more and more interesting.

  44. George Patch says:

    ” But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels
    of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown. ”

    I can’t help but find this offensive. The thinking must be “If professionals can’t site the stations correctly, how can volunteers survey them?”

    I guess they have a point. It must be difficult since the network was screwed up so badly.

  45. Arn Riewe says:

    Geo (04:29:17) :

    “I think we’re getting a litle too defensive here. I didn’t read that document as a rebuttal. Just as evidence that internally you’ve gotten their attention and they are starting to think about and analyze what you’ve found.”

    That’s a little naive, I fear. I haven’t checked RC (why bother), but I’m sure if it hasn’t been posted, it will be shortly… “NOAA debunks WUWT claim!”

  46. Gary P says:

    From their talking points memo, “…there has only been one published peer-reviewed study that….”

    A number of people have commented on various sites that there may be a back lash against science as the climate continues to cool. I do not know if that will happen, but it has gotten to the point I now assume that anyone who uses the term “peer reviewed” in an article is lying. I also now assume that any government scientist who hides data or methods is lying Any journal that allows articles to be printed where the data and methods are not available is not worth reading.

    Have the words “peer review” now become the ‘tell’ of a liar?

  47. Scott Finegan says:

    According to the “Properties” dialog, thomas.c.peterson is listed as the author.

  48. david johnson says:

    The key point in the study is the graph showing that the 70 stations classified (by you) as “good” or “best” show almost exactly the same temperature trends as the set of all stations put together.

    You have validated their work!!

    Now it is true that this list of 70 station dates from “early June” (i.e., a few weeks ago). And its also true that you’ve added another 20 stations or so, and perhaps changed some ratings. But you don’t indicate that this makes any difference at all to the bottom line, or to the important work you’ve done to validate the excellent work performed at NOAA and NCDC.

    So here’s a public challenge: Does your latest data show that their is any systematic departure between the best stations (as determined by you) and the overall record?

    If the answer is yes, you will have something interesting to write about.

  49. Richard111 says:

    The is mention above of urban shade islands and doing experiments.

    (dennis ward (01:29:45) )

    I made myself a simple solar oven out of cardboard boxes and a small sheet of glass. Under ideal conditions I can get 300F inside the box within 20 minutes. Any haze or reduced sun angle will cause a dramatic drop in temperature. Complete cloud cover will result in no change from ambient inside the box.
    I have aquired much respect for the power of the sun from that simple execise.

  50. don't tarp me bro says:

    “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    Thanks. How do we trigger fear?Some times fear is triggered by a lie. It can be a fact that is misinterpreted. Sometimes fear is triggered by being caught lying. Example at time of a criminal arrest.
    Now that the industry has taken a turn to the political, models and simulations over rule raw data. Models are also applied to “help out” the data. In experimental design we test for accuracy of measurements. If too many measurements are in error and the errors are too large, the gathering has to start over.

  51. deadwood says:

    I think it would be far more informative to see the CRN1/2 and CRN 3/5 night time and daytime temperatures compared, assuming of course they can get the correct number of stations for analysis. But then again this might actually contradict the talking points.

  52. Steven Kopits says:

    Truly remarkable.

    This is, in a bigger way, all about the progress of society. The NCDC/NOAA now know there is such a thing as accountability. Everything they do and write, from station siting, to talking points and internal memos–it’s all public record, and it’s all permanent.

    For them, this episode carries the whiff of Watergate, an unnecessary initiative that ultimately undermines the integrity and credibility of the organization.

  53. Jack Green says:

    Please forward this to Dr Meier and get his take.

    I wonder what the temperature profile looks like if you throw out all the bad station data and only use the ones that are properly sited? I’m sure NASA/NOAA is doing that now and won’t like the answer. They will be most certainly working the problem backwards as well.

    Interesting and the next thing to check would be how many stations will be adjusted with some kind of forcing?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  54. Gary A. says:

    And if they eliminate the ASOS stations (which evidently are not deemed suitable for climate monitoring) from the best of, how many “good” stations are left?

  55. Jack Green says:

    Thomas C. Peterson *. NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina from properties of the email sent and then a google search. These people are politicians and enablers not scientists. This is a direct threat to their money source- fear of the world ending due to AGW.

    Amazing when the lights come on fraud science isn’t it. I wonder if there are any “talking points’ from when this project first came out. I’m sure they disregarded it at first but when the surprise conclusions came out- panick.

    This is something any layman can understand. If your thermometer shows the baby’s temperature is 105 you will rush to the emergency room. But if you know the thermometer is wrong after much effort you will just throw it away.

    NOAA is going to loose the trust of the people over this one.

  56. Gary says:

    The NOAA/NCDC talking points make this statement:

    “But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown.”

    - which is interesting considering that the USHCN has depended on many thousands of volunteer observers with varying levels of expertise to record temperatures all over the country for a century.

    Sure, there are training and instructions for observers. The Surfacestations project has instructions for taking photographs and conducting a survey too. Observers don’t do the data processing and Surfacestations surveyors don’t do the ratings so what’s the problem?

    We have found out how good the degree of standardization of USHCN siting is. Reproducability? Well, they don’t even run parallel measurements when they change a station location to detect a bias.

    Maybe the quote is just a statement of fact. But when coupled with the unprofessional behavior of NOAA Climate Services that fails to adequately reference the Project or even contact Anthony, you have to think maybe it was meant as an insult.

  57. David Corcoran says:

    It’s easier and cheaper for them to savage your work Anthony, than it is for them to fix problems with the surface station network.

  58. Ron de Haan says:

    Anthony, you are writing history now. Good work.
    The House of Cards is falling down.

  59. Jack Green says:

    Interesting that Thomas C Peterson wrote this publication as well. I haven’t read it yet but it has to do with surface station measurements.

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/87/8/pdf/i1520-0477-87-8-1073.pdf

  60. Sonicfrog says:

    Normally when a scientific organization prepares a rebuttal, it is standard practice to at least ask the keeper of the data if they have the most current data set, and if any caveats or updates exist, and to make the person aware of the issues so that questions can be answered. I received no questions, no request for data and no notice of any kind.

    Uhm. Hello. That is the defacto standard in Climate Science, isn’t it?

  61. Steven Hill says:

    Send me a list of those KY ones….I’ll can go now, you have my e-mail

  62. Robert Rust says:

    ======
    alexis anders (02:58:24) :

    I think its very disingenuous of you to 1) write a blog post once or twice a week about how terrible the surface temperature record is 2) express indignation that someone has rebutted your points “which I haven’t even published.”

    I mean, I know the standards that apply to others don’t apply to you, but still…
    =====

    Oh my heck… You want to compare the two? In one case, the facts are simply stated, supporting documentation provided, information on how the data was obtained is given, and any individual could recreate the data if they desire. In the other case, the data is mysteriously obtained, poorly presented, unsupported – reproduction is simply impossible.

    What standards are you trying to apply here????

  63. GlennB says:

    “Even if NOAA did not have weather observing stations across the length and breadth of the United States the impacts of the warming are unmistakable. For example, lake and river ice is melting earlier in the spring and forming later in the fall. Plants are blooming earlier
    in the spring. Mountain glaciers are melting. And a multitude of species of birds, fish, mammals and plants are extending their ranges northward and, in mountainous areas, upward as well.”

    What a load. All these things aren’t happening everywhere, and each could be explained by causes other than CO2 increases which have supposedly increased global temp a paltry 1degree.

    On a lighter note, I’d really like to see where fish are extending their ranges upward in mountainous areas.

  64. Paul Coppin says:

    As a minor bureaucrat, I instantly recognise this document and its attached email for what it is: a middle level bureaucratic “circle the wagons”, cover our collective asses, everybody-had-better-be-singing-the same-song-or-else email that govt middle managers everywhere send out when they sense that the politicos are going to want to know what the h*ll is going on. Its the pre-cursor cognitive dissonance stage.

    All the while, you can bet some are already crafting their own internal emails that show they questioned the upper-level orthodoxy, but of course, deferred to the Senior Team to provide the public response, while privately expressing sincere personal concerns to their immediate supervisors…

  65. Paul Coppin says:

    Gary P wrote:

    “Have the words “peer review” now become the ‘tell’ of a liar?”

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I think its now clear that the real “peer review” is happening in the better science blogs. The journalistic “peer review” is beginning to look more and more like the “crony review”, rather than the much-vaunted intellectual review it probably never really was.

  66. paulID says:

    alexis anders (02:58:24) :

    How is this disingenuous he has not published the paper yet they don’t have the courtesy to even check that the data is up to date and our good Mr. Watts is rightly upset about that. keep up the good work and keep them scared.

  67. John H says:

    Under Jane Lubchenco NOAA will be eroding into a political activist organization, period.
    BS will be regularily distributed.

  68. rephelan says:

    Scott Finegan (06:08:01) :
    “According to the “Properties” dialog, thomas.c.peterson is listed as the author.”

    That was very good, Scott. A quick search shows that the good Dr. Peterson has a very extensive and impressive CV. Much of his work seems to be in the area of station siting and climate data integrity and analysis. Much of his work, including a statement before a Congressional Committee, are avaolable in PDF format and make interesting reading.

    Initial Selection of a GCOS Surface Network

    The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation by the NRC Transportation Research Board (TRB) which was released March 11, 2008
    • Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure — Gulf Coast Study, US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Synthesis and Assessment Report 4.7, released March 12, 2008
    • Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, US Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Report 3.3, released June 2008.

    The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific by Thomas C. Peterson, William M. Connolley, and John Fleck

    Peterson, Thomas C. and Russell S. Vose, 1997: An overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature data base, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 2837-2849.

    Peterson, Thomas C., Russell S. Vose, Richard Schmoyer, and Vyachevslav Razuvaev, 1997: Quality control of monthly temperature data: The GHCN experience. International Journal of Climatology, submitted.

    Easterling, David R., Thomas C. Peterson, and Thomas R. Karl, 1996: On the development and use of homogenized climate data sets. Journal of Climate, 9, 1429-1434.

    Easterling, D.R. and T.C. Peterson, 1995: The effect of artificial discontinuities on recent trends in minimum and maximum temperatures. Atmospheric Research, 37, 19-26.

    Easterling, David R. and Thomas C. Peterson, 1995: A new method for detecting and adjusting for undocumented discontinuities in climatological time series. International Journal of Climatology, 15, 369-377.

    Peterson, Thomas C. and David R. Easterling, 1994: Creation of homogeneous composite climatological reference series. International Journal of Climatology, 14, 671-679.

    An overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature database
    Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; Dec 1, 1997; Peterson, Thomas C; Vose, Russell A ;

  69. Jim G says:

    If a station is surrounded by asphalt:

    On a day with minimal or low wind would show the maximum bias.
    But on a windy day, that bias would not be as great.

    How do you correct for this accurately in the adjusted data?
    (and keep a straight face?)

  70. MattN says:

    OK, so:
    1) This report does not have an author.
    2) The “author” did not request any data from you what-so-ever.
    3) The data the “author” DID use was old and incomplete.

    That about sum it up Anthony?

  71. Pingo says:

    Peter Hearnden,

    “Anthony, I ALWAYS post using my real name, would that many of your most outspoken correspondents, notably the people who ad hom James Hansen, here showed that same ‘professionalism’…”

    What do you think of this unauthored NCDC report then?

    Pingo

    PS I suggest other people check out Peter Hearnden’s postings at CLimate Audit where he got chased off with his tail between his legs having been thoroughly outwitted, and his postings under the “Devonian” handle at http://www.theweatheroutlook.com where he makes a habit of not contributing to debates apart from inciting moderators to get involved by making despicably false accusations of “lying” when he has lost the debate. He has history.

  72. DaveE says:

    They quote 1228 instead of 1218 sites. I believe this is simple typo that has slipped through.

    Peter Hearnden (03:38:01) :

    Look at this – http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ – note that it’s warmer or as warm as London across large part of the country (Keswick for example or Exeter, indeed here on Dartmoor it’s only a degree or so colder than London (think height…)). Btw yesterdays high temperature for the Uk was in Glasgow, the day before Durham.

    I haven’t had a chance to travel to Durham yet Peter but I do know that there’s been a new housing estate built to the west of the observatory within the last 2 years.

    DaveE.

  73. Pingo says:

    Stephen Wilde

    “I need only refer you to this morning’s (24th June) TV charts which showed temperatures in the range 17 to 22 for the whole country but 24 for London. We have a wind from north or north east coming off the cool north sea but they are trying to talk up a heatwave.”

    Well they are desperate that we may have another summer where 30c is only reached in bogus UHI spots. I dread the think what colour they will use as the graphics’ backing for teperatures, since they have gone through all their oranges and reds and we’ve only got up to around 25c so far. Perhaps we’ll see purples and blacks? More spin and no substance from the taxpater-looted Met Office.

  74. lulo says:

    Actually, they did cite you by name, and in the title page of the information report. They just spelt that incorrectly as well.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    “Watt’s New?”

  75. Harold Vance says:

    More document properties:

    File: response-v2.pdf
    Author: thomas.c.peterson
    Created: 6/12/2009 4:10:21 PM
    Modified: 6/12/2009 4:10:22 PM
    Application: Acrobat PDFMaker 9.1 for Word
    PDF Producer: Adobe PDF Library 9.0
    PDF Version: 1.5 (Acrobat 6.x)

    It’s pretty shocking to see such an inept response to your project on the part of a government agency. Where have the intelligent life forms gone? Private sector? Sheesh.

  76. The whole consept of talking points is repugnat. It realy seems to have an air of “I am smarter than all of you. My 2 second statment with nothing to back it up should be taken as truth; even though your argument was backed up with years of reasurch and facts.

  77. Richard Percifield says:

    This is all a part of the push for “Cap and Trade” Bill. The bill is to be released to the floor of the House of Representatives within the next few days. The Surface Stations Project would make it an embarrassment for the hearing if the data and pictures were released during this critical event without rebuttal.

    Probably some congressional staffer doing research saw this site and requested something be done about it. This would explain the rushed nature of the rebuttal and the inaccuracies contained therein. It is not written for a scientific discussion, but as political cover for members of congress. This may seem cynical, but given the actions of various bureaucracies and elected officials, well within their accepted normal behavior.

    I find that the Surface Station project to be one of the most objective studies I have experienced, far better than most grant supported studies. All data is included without “cherry picking” to get the desired result. All rules for the study are shown up front and followed. The best part of the study is that it starts with a question, “how well are the climate stations sited, and do they meet the requirements?”. Due to other commitments I have not been able to participate, but hope to assist in surveying the remaining stations in my area.

    While I am personally skeptical the magnitude of the effects caused AGW (as all scientists should be), as an engineer the data must drive the result. My employer would not tolerate sloppy data or biased analysis, and we as citizens should demand the same regarding the data and analysis. If AGW is as bad as the proponents say it is the data should show it. This data must be accurate, and the analysis open and objective. Unfortunately, the more data and analysis I see the less confident I am with the AGW Theory.

  78. gary gulrud says:

    In the coming austerity of US govt. I predict govt. run ‘science’ will be a big loser, right behind women, children and the poor.

  79. Richard Henry Lee says:
  80. MikeN says:

    Different parts of surfacestations.org show different numbers, and that’s probably why their hasty paper gets the numbers wrong. They cite 70% coverage for example, the same number I saw on the site.

  81. Frank K. says:

    George Patch (05:58:42) :

    ” But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels
    of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown. ”

    I can’t help but find this offensive. The thinking must be “If professionals can’t site the stations correctly, how can volunteers survey them?”

    I guess they have a point. It must be difficult since the network was screwed up so badly.

    George, I saw that too. I wonder if they know who the persons are (or were) that have been manning these stations all of these years? I wonder how many of the dedicated folks have advanced degrees? In any case, I don’t quite understand why they consider the “reproducibility” or “standardization” to be unknown. Just download the information (and pictures!) from the surfacestations.org website for goodness sakes! And, if they are so inclined, they could, you know, actually VISIT a few of these sites to see for themselves – what a novel idea!!

  82. Dave In CA says:

    Scott,

    Interesting, Thomas Peterson is a General Physical Scientist in the Climate Services Division…..

    It’s not surprising that he wrote this, since he is the one that wrote “Examination of Potential Biases in Air Temperature Caused by Poor Station Locations” back in 2006.

    Any guesses to what his conclusions were then? Hmmmm

  83. Bob Wood says:

    Maybe it was just amateurs reporting poor station sightings, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the relationship between concrete, asphalt, air conditioners and their effect on temperature monitoring.

  84. Cathy says:

    @Terry

    “I just can’t understand why they don’t accept that there are flaws, FIX the bloody problem and get on with doing the science they were trained to do.”

    Terry I’m currently visiting very cool Cape Cod. Anthony’s Surface Stations report is on the couch beside me. On the other side is my planetary atmospheres scientist son.

    He suggests that the answer to your question is ‘follow the money’. Certain persons who have invested their careers in supporting AGW are not going to go softly into that night of admitting their sloppiness and the resulting bad science.

    Watt can we say about the tenacity and courage of one individual to take on these bureaucracies? And remain civil in the face of some chillingly transparent attempts to discredit the work?

    I guess ‘thanks’ will have to do.

  85. Les Johnson says:

    A good article. Nice to see the bureaucratic spin meisters are still active.

    One small point though; I don’t think the recipients of the e-mail should be so clearly identified, and especially not their e-mail addresses.

    REPLY: Normally I would, but research shows their email address are all over the web. If you put in the names and NOAA in Google, the email addresses pop right up. They put their email addresses in all sorts of documents and web pages. – Anthony

  86. oakgeo says:

    Richard Percifield (08:33:08) :

    “If AGW is as bad as the proponents say it is the data should show it. This data must be accurate, and the analysis open and objective.”

    I think that boat sailed long ago. Data as we understand it is different in the politicized climate science arena, with CGM projections being afforded the same official confidence (and sometimes more) as directly quantifiable, empirical results. Its a travesty.

  87. Pamela Gray says:

    This kind of hubris among political quasi-scientific headquarter groups is typical and should ALWAYS be rebutted by a dry, technical letter pointing out both analytical and professional courtesy errors and should include, again dry and technical, professional advice on how to behave better.

    Before the public internet, this kind of back and forth was par for the course. The fact that we get a sideline seat doesn’t make it a new thing. There has always been a muddied trenchline actively engaged in back and forth feather ruffling. And quite unmannerly at that.

    Anthony, write the rebuttal letter on letterhead and send it registered mail, receipt required. Keep it as dry and technical as you can, especially in your section on professional courtesy 101.

  88. Antonio San says:

    “Peter Hearnden (02:18:21) :

    Anthony, I ALWAYS post using my real name, would that many of your most outspoken correspondents, notably the people who ad hom James Hansen, here showed that same ‘professionalism’…”

    Should Mr. Hansen show the restraint expected from a civil servant, avoid inflammatory sensationalism and extreme declarations, his personality would not attract the same passionate and sometimes over the top reactions. Perhaps Mr. Hearnden may want to offer the GISS director some professional advices?

  89. David says:

    The following statement is preposterous:

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I think its now clear that the real “peer review” is happening in the better science blogs. The journalistic “peer review” is beginning to look more and more like the “crony review”, rather than the much-vaunted intellectual review it probably never really was.

    That, no matter how one feels about the issue of climate change, is a sad indictment on the attack on science today.

    And I have had scientific research both accepted and rejected via the peer review process.

  90. Pamela Gray says:

    And just to bring a little perspective into the debate on calibration, the study I did would have never been published in a public journal if I had not calibrated EVERY time I took measurements. And my study had only 6 subjects in it. Even if the AGW’s prove right, the entire premise of relying on surface station data will have to be called into question due to this most basic missing step in data collection. Calibration. In the end, to further the global warming premise, scientifically calibrated data must be used. It simply must. Why? Because the overall rise in temperature is STILL within the error bars of surface station measurements. Therefore, based on everything I have learned about statistical significance, global warming has not been shown to be significant using surface station data. To say otherwise is not scientifically defenseable.

    Period.

  91. Jeff Id says:

    They’re scrambling like ants who’s hill got stepped on. Great job, Anthony. I don’t know what your final conclusions will be but they seem to realize a shoe is about to drop.

  92. don't tarp me bro says:

    This looks like a preemptive strike on behalf of the NCDC. Some times countering a pre emptive strike can go back to their statement. They used the word “disagree” in reference to your work.
    Anthony you have neigher completed your work nor offered a final summary.

    I would drop them a very short and complimentary note and ask them to give data they have and compare it with data you have not yet released and have them tell you what they disagree with and ask them to be very specific. They are simply disagreeing with data you haven’t given them and they need to be called on it. In court this is referred to by “I know what you are thinking”.

  93. Peter Ward says:

    I’ve lurked here for some time, but I thought I might be able to add a little to this particular debate.

    1. If NOAA doesn’t have good knowledge of siting, how does it know that it has 70 “good or best” sited stations?
    2. If there are only 70 “good or best”, what does that say about the rest of the 1218?
    3. The graph very helpfully confirms that the temperature has been falling steeply for the last few years and is now at a level lower than in the ’50s. Good work!

    As you say, hurriedly constructed and perhaps not taking full account of the implications of their rebuttal.

  94. evanmjones says:

    And if they eliminate the ASOS stations (which evidently are not deemed suitable for climate monitoring) from the best of, how many “good” stations are left?

    All but three CRN1 stations are located in airports.

    If AGW is as bad as the proponents say it is the data should show it.

    Even stipulating that the adjusted trend is correct, the data represents no crisis, whatever. The crisis is only shown in the models which project around five times as much warming for the 21st century as during the 20th.

    And as the temperatures have decreased around 0.2C so far this century, they’d better get move on.

  95. Rod Smith says:

    “But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown. However, at the present time this is the only large scale site evaluation information available so we conducted a preliminary analysis.”

    “Train wrecks” are usually pretty easy to spot though, as are air conditioning exhausts, BBQ grills, burning barrels, and asphalt. I would also bet that most folks can tell at a glance a horizontal measurement that is say less than half of the required 100 ft, and with probably 99.99% reproducibility.

    But please note that these folks, who are not even sure of where their sites are located, nor apparently how many reporting stations exist, or even what instrumentation is being used, “conducted a preliminary analysis,” and found no problems.

    It kind of reminds me of the old Doctor Joke where the Dr. looking over test results says to the patient, “I’m not sure, but I think the problem may be drinking. So the patient says, “Oh – I’ll come back when you’re sober Doc.”

  96. AnonyMoose says:

    This is the face of NCDC today.

    NOAA. The document’s only identification is its being on NOAA letterhead. The email also calls it an NOAA document.

    REPLY: Yes but it is posted on NCDC’s website, the name on the letterhead “NOAA Climate Services” relates to NCDC, and as we’ve recently learned, the document was authored by Thomas C. Peterson who is in fact at NCDC in Asheville, NC. Peterson is one of the most public faces of NCDC.

    - Anthony

  97. geo says:

    If RC chortles over this document, then they will only do so because Anthony put the document in public for them to point at, and himself labelled it a “rebuttal”, when it does not label itself that way nor anything close to that. The language in the doc is generally very neutral and cautious.

    It’s not only internal work product not meant for public consumption, it’s *early* internal work product. I think it is regrettable it is getting this much attention and smacked with the label “rebuttal” to boot. No one should give this document the kind of credence nor scrutiny that a document meant to be published to the public or submitted to a journal would justly receive. Goodness sakes, how many of you would like your early internal drafts given this kind of public scrutiny?

    As WUWT’s reach and influence grows, Anthony is liable to find himself the recipient of more of this kind of “over the transom” early work product –but it needs to be treated for what it is and not blasted for being what it isn’t intended to be.

    REPLY: Actually they posted this on the public web page under “what’s new” see the screencap of the NCDC web page at top. it is still there in public view.

    Hardly an “internal” document anymore when they post it on the public web page. – Anthony

  98. Greg says:

    ” But, as many different individuals participated in the site evaluations, with varying levels of expertise, the degree of standardization and reproducibility of this process is unknown. ”

    Sure, but we can standardize all of that with some RegEM and PCA work.

  99. Dev says:

    You’ll remember that Peterson is also the guy who wrote that moronic paper attempting to DENY there ever was a ‘Global Cooling’ scientific consensus in the 1970′s. Ha!

    From his bio:

    “Dr. Thomas C. Peterson is a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. After earning his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1991, Tom primarily engaged in creating NCDC’s global land surface data set used to quantify long-term global climate change. Key areas of his expertise include data archaeology, quality control, homogeneity testing, international data exchange and global climate analysis using both in situ and satellite data. He was a lead author on the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. Currently he is a member of the Global Climate Observing System Atmospheric Observation Panel for Climate, chairs the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology Open Programme Area Group on Monitoring and Analysis of Climate Variability and Change, and co-chairs the Unified Synthesis Product: Climate Change and the United States: Analysis of the Effects and Projections for the Future. The U.S. Department of Commerce has honored him with three Bronze Medal Awards and one Gold Medal Award. Essential Science Indicators has ranked him as one of the top 1% of scientists in the field of Geosciences based on Journal Citation Reports. He is the author or co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and three data sets.”

    Anthony, instead of trying to marginalize the surfacestations.org project, Peterson should be thanking you for doing his job for him.

  100. Robert Wood says:

    On the subject of internal e-mails suggesting shenanigans, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is making some dramatic accusations about the EPA.

    http://cei.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/Endangerment%20Comments%206-23-09.pdf

  101. Richard deSousa says:

    NCDC and GISS are really the gang that can’t shoot straight.

  102. geo says:

    Ah, and Peterson was co-author of that “Myth of 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” paper with William Connolley.

  103. Mark Lundborg says:

    The “obvious” effects of warming are:
    “For example, lake and river ice is melting earlier in the spring and forming later in the fall. Plants are blooming earlier
    in the spring. Mountain glaciers are melting. And a multitude of species of birds, fish, mammals and plants are extending their ranges northward and, in mountainous areas, upward as well.”
    Are not every one of these GOOD for nature and society??!!??!

  104. Alice says:

    Thomas C. Peterson of NOAA is also involved in the eco-activism movement (see photo here).

    Why did Peterson commit to this “hush-hush rush-rush” job under the cloak of anonymity, when based upon his eco-activist credentials he should have been proud to stand behind his work?

  105. Jeff Id says:

    Dr. Thomas C. Peterson is a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. After earning his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1991, Tom primarily engaged in creating NCDC’s global land surface data set used to quantify long-term global climate change. Key areas of his expertise include data archaeology, quality control, homogeneity testing, international data exchange and global climate analysis using both in situ and satellite data.

    I’m glad I don’t have his job. He seems to be the head doc in charge of everything known to be f’d up.

  106. MattN says:

    “The language in the doc is generally very neutral and cautious. ”

    Are you high? There is nothing neutral at all about that document. It is extrememly clear about where NOAA stands on the issue.

  107. Ray says:

    Don’t they have an internal critical review system in place before getting those things out?

  108. Indiana Bonez says:

    hunter (05:26:57) :

    This is just part of the pushback. Now that AGW has eaten our political system, we will only see more politicized efforts to silence skeptics.
    AGW is too big to fail.

    But it has failed with 48% American voters disbelieving AGW, 34% believe. (Rasmussan Reports national telephone survey, April,2009) And then there is the hard science. Ten years cooling.

  109. Jimmy Haigh says:

    geo (10:01:08) :

    Ah, and Peterson was co-author of that “Myth of 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” paper with William Connolley.

    Surely that’s not ‘the’Billy Connolly? – the Glasgow comedian? Well, the Global Cooling Consensus was very much there in the ’70s: I was there too and I remember it well.

    I agree with the vast majority of contributors here in that Anthony and his study has caused some serious concern in the higher echelons of AGW…

    Slightly off topic but as I was walking home this evening I could see a beautiful crescent moon, about 2 days after new, and the brightest “old moon in the new moon’s arm” I have ever seen! This is caused by light reflected back from the earth. Perhaps the earth is very cloudy and reflective at the moment? I believe the phrase “old moon in the new moon’s arms” dates from around the time of the Manuder Minimum but I’m not sure. It would be nice if it did…

  110. Brian D says:

    They sooo know they are going to get embarrassed. You’ve definitely ruffled some feathers over there, Anthony. I tipped the cookie jar for support.

  111. Jim PapsdorfF says:

    OT: looks like Warren Buffett has just Pelosi’s Cap and Trade bill on CNBC !!!

  112. Jimmy Haigh says:

    GlennB (07:35:26) :

    On a lighter note, I’d really like to see where fish are extending their ranges upward in mountainous areas.

    Yes – I’d like to see that too. Ihe image it conjures up in the mind is pretty funny. A team of crampon-wearing fish tied together with ropes. How about the ‘Hash House Halibut’ shouting ‘On! On! On!’ as the make their ground breaking ascents ever upward…

  113. urederra says:

    geo (10:01:08) :

    Ah, and Peterson was co-author of that “Myth of 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” paper with William Connolley.

    Meh… In the first paragraph he mentions the Nobel Prize the IPCC received. Too bad he forgets to say it was the PEACE one. Clearly, this paper wasn’t peer reviewed.

  114. Paul Coppin says:

    David (09:23:35) :

    The following statement is preposterous:

    “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but I think its now clear that the real “peer review” is happening in the better science blogs. The journalistic “peer review” is beginning to look more and more like the “crony review”, rather than the much-vaunted intellectual review it probably never really was.”

    That, no matter how one feels about the issue of climate change, is a sad indictment on the attack on science today.

    And I have had scientific research both accepted and rejected via the peer review process.

    What is preposterous, David, is “peer review”, IMO. I too, have had papers accepted. And I have been a reviewer. I didn’t have much respect for it in the 60s and 70s, and I don’t now. Too many times it was a battle of egos, rather than a critique of science.

    I’m not attacking science, I’m continuing to attack the the pomposity of it. As both this site and Climate Audit have shown, to name but a couple, a paper will get a much more thorough wringing out here than it will in any peer review, and I dare say, better than the published article will in the general audience, if recent history is any gauge. If it’s actually good, it’ll pass muster in the blogs, if not, well, que sera sera. While there are many learned defenders of peer review here, I’m not one of them.

    If, as a reader, you can’t discriminate between apt criticism of a paper in a blog, and idle chatter on it based on an agenda, then the paper is likely over the reader’s head anyway. I’m one of those people who really doesn’t care for people who like to tell me what to think about stuff.

  115. Billy Ruffn says:

    1. People who did the survey aren’t “scientists”
    2. It wasn’t “peer reviewed”.
    3. Analysis by highly-qualified NOAA scientists indicates statistically insignificant differences between the good and the bad & ugly
    3. Therefore, it “doesn’t matter” and so,
    4. It’s time to “move on”.

    Come on, Anthony. Get with the program!!!

  116. Gösta Oscarsson says:

    In the Swedish administration we used “talking points” when we had ministers that did not know the subject. Any similarity?

    Gösta Oscarsson
    ex central bureaucrat

  117. John Galt says:

    There are various AGW myths and memes propagated by the “How to talk to a Skeptic” sites that claim to debunk all the skeptics’ arguments. Unfortunately, those sites do no such thing and have themselves been debunked over and over.

    But the claim of debunking skeptics live on. Whenever somebody calls into question the quality of the data, they will inevitably reference this document and claim there is no problem with the data whatsoever.

  118. don't tarp me bro says:

    “Thomas Peterson, NOAA, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville. A lead author for Nobel prize winning IPCC: “Global Warming: Focus on Southern Appalachia.” After earning his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1991, Tom primarily engaged in creating NCDC’s global land surface data set used to quantify long-term global climate change. Key areas of his expertise include data fidelity, international data exchange and global climate change analysis using both in situ and satellite data. ”

    No wonder he is angry and will get angrier. He hasn’t been doing his job. It is he that is guilty of not finding bad locations and skewed data. “Data fidelity” Does that mean data that is just wrong? It is ok if it is wrong in the same magnitude?

    Looks like he dropped the ball and should be workin’ more and talkin less. Like they tell kids. he needs to be on task.
    When he got up this morning, I suspect he didn’t predict a thread would be online discussing him, identifying him and pondering why he is in charge of data fidelity and others are showing great numbers of weather stations are rendering junk data.

  119. Les Johnson says:

    Petersen? His paper, as I recall, on “the myth of cooling”, only had 1 reference to Kukla, and none to Lamb. Lamb of course, was a leading proponent of cooling, and founded the Hadley Climate Center out of this concern.

    This is my recap of an NOAA paper on the history of climate offices in the US. Its quite odd that Petersen missed it.

    1972 – Kukla-Mathews publishes in Science, an article about the end of the current inter glacial. Also writes a letter to Nixon in 1972, specifically warning about global cooling.
    1973 – First Climate office started in Feb 1973 (ad hoc Panel on the Present Inter Glacial). This was after a meeting of 42 of the most prominent climatologists, and apparently there was consensus about cooling. Especially as the NOAA, NWS and ICAS were involved.
    1974 – Office of Climate Dynamics opened.
    1978 -Carter signs Climate Program Act, partly due to the SEVERE WINTER experienced the preceding winter.

    http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/outreach/proceedings/cdw29_proceedings/Reeves.pdf

    These are papers and references to Lamb, and cooling.

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1792334
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v223/n5212/pdf/2231209a0.pdf
    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0006/000698/069895mo.pdf

    From the UNESCO meeting in 1961, published in 1963. The meetings discussed cooling, and its implications on the world. Some 115 scientists from 36 countries took part in the symposium. The following is from the wrap up speech.

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the evidence presented by Dr. Murray Mitchell, Dr. Rodewald and some of the other speakers is the way in which it falls into a pattern. Not only air temperature, but also subtropical rainfall, the tendency of hurricanes to move along certain tracks or seasurface temperatures, show a reversal of the preceding [warming] climatic trend during the last one or two decades. The true physical significance of Dr. Murray Mitchell’s result lies perhaps in the combined evidence, based on so many different variables.

    it has been extremely difficult by this means to avoid the conclusion that the warming trends [up to the 1940s] for the world as a whole, and for the Northern Hemisphere in particular, are truly planetary in scope. On the other hand, it cannot yet he demonstrated in this way beyond a reasonable doubt that the net cooling since the 1940s has likewise been planetary in scope. That this cooling is of such nature, however, seems reasonable and this should be verifiable if the cooling in the data areas were to continue for another decade or two in the future.

    All authors have been able to show, by using records dating back to the end of the eighteenth century that the warming up of large parts of the world from the middle of the nineteenth century until recently has been statistically significant. However, as pointed out especially by J. M. Mitchell and also shown for sea temperatures by M. Rodewald this increase in temperature has recently declined.

  120. don't tarp me bro says:

    I am impressed with this thread.
    Today we read the EPA is having meetings secretly to discuss findings which hurt their global warming political agenda.
    we find they are thin on money which explains why they are bigger on bluster
    We find data gathering people are complaining about anthony and haven’t been doing work they were hired to do
    NOAA is with NCDC planning an attack mode to save face.
    I am sorry, but when they claim health costs are high, so are costs to run gubment machines. A lot of the moneys are spent to CYA. Cover Your Anatomy.

  121. Methow Ken says:

    When AGW proponents combine a classic ”appeal to authority” with the logic of the moveon.org crowd (as in the post by Billy Ruffin above), you gotta know they are seriously worried that a major support structure for their elaborate but flimsy Potemkin village is at risk of collapse.

    Major kudos to surfacestations.org and Anthony, for this important public service.

  122. David Jones says:

    From the stridency of the defense of these talking points by some posters here I suspect that that whoever directed the dissemination of this paper has received a number of inquiries whose main gist is “WHAT WHERE YOU THINKING!” They at least realize how easy this will be to use to discredit the whole organization. The public gives short shrift to who have a problem and attack instead of just fixing the damn thing.

  123. L says:

    If I’m NOAA, this would be the moment to claim that weather station siting doesn’t matter, because the purpose of their work is not to document the actual temperature, but the change over time. Similarly, a bum thermometer as seen at HNL doesn’t really matter, it’s change they’re trying to document.

    And at first glance this can be a fairly convincing argument. What it ignores is that the siting of weather stations, to one extent or another, can show temps trending in only one direction, up. This is because the station itself disturbs the natural environment to begin with, and the human propensity to improve matters seems irresistable.

    First we improve access to the site by paving the road. We eliminate fire danger by abolishing vegetation. Next we build a small shop to simplify analysis of the data. But that’s uncomfortable, so heat and air conditioning are installed. Thus, a transformer is added to the site.

    For convenience of access, most new weather stations will be sited close to built-up areas which, in the nature of things, tend to expant to engulf the original, pristine site.

    Rarely do we unpave, de-air condition, remove transformers or tear down structures, so the direction of change over time will always be upwards.

  124. geo says:

    Anthony–

    Ah, my mistake, they did make it public. Okay, that makes it more fair game. And I’ll grant you that not even mentioning your name is downright weird.

    As to getting the name of your “mid-term census” wrong, I wonder what he was working from? I say that because the .pdf of your document only uses the word “surface” in the title on the cover and the requested citation at the bottom of page 2 (that certainly should have been followed). Internally starting on page 3 and at the top of every page the title is given without “Surface”. Was there a last minute title change, or just a lack of space for pager header information?

  125. evanmjones says:

    Rarely do we unpave, de-air condition, remove transformers or tear down structures, so the direction of change over time will always be upwards.

    One such (rare) example is The Blue Hill station in Massachusetts. When an access road was put in recently, the observers covered it with a thick layer of sand and carpeted the sand with vegetation. Saved ‘em from a CRN4 rating.

    Good People, there.

    And I’ll grant you that not even mentioning your name is downright weird.

    He-who-must-not-be-named.

  126. Richard Percifield says:

    oakgeo (09:15:35) :

    Wrote:
    “I think that boat sailed long ago. Data as we understand it is different in the politicized climate science arena, with CGM projections being afforded the same official confidence (and sometimes more) as directly quantifiable, empirical results. Its a travesty.”

    I would agree with you that the science is very politicized at this moment. Being only an “Applied Scientist” I can name several times I have been unpleasantly surprised by data that did not match my prediction. So given those humbling experiences I do not rule out AGW, but question the the magnitude of the effect. I certainly do not see in the data support the the dire predictions given by the proponents.

    In my world data trumps theory any day. In electrical engineering we have modeling programs that try to predict how a system responds to stimuli. I can tell you that many times the output from these programs bear no semblance to reality, and we know most of the parameters that affect the system. How can a model that does not take into account a vast majority of the variables affecting the climate work? Answer, it doesn’t.

    The problem for the NCDC is that eventually the cognitive dissonance will be readily apparent to the point that it cannot be ignored. Here in the central US the temperatures are moderating. Planting is happening later and killing frosts are occurring later. So no matter how skewed the data becomes personal experience will eventually prevail. The only issue is what damage will be levied upon us because of this bad data.

  127. geo says:

    “Talking Points Not Responding to that-which-we-cannot-name by he-who-must-not-be-named” would make a great SNL skit.

  128. Peter Hearnden says:

    ‘Pingo’ wrote of me:

    where he makes a habit of not contributing to debates apart from inciting moderators to get involved by making despicably false accusations of “lying” when he has lost the debate.

    OT but just to be clear since you bring a matter from another forum here:

    I DID NOT ask for you to be banned from said site or incite moderators so to do. OK?

    Reply: And that will be the last comment on a dispute from another time and place, from either side, and as always I DON’T CARE WHO STARTED IT! ~ CHARLES THE SHOUTING MODERATOR

  129. Jimmy Haigh says:

    [I meant it, no more comments on the subject] ~ ctm

  130. But their chart reveals another problem – or the UHI coverup itself.

    1) They select (cherry pick) 70 “best sited” stations – but (very cleverly) don’t identify what those sites are. But – equally obviouly, they “know” (or have some (unidentified) process) to what constitutes a “good site” from a “bad site” . Coincidently, 70 might the total number of sites that are actually correctly sited: Figure that over 90 percent of all 1218 are improperly sited, leaving less than 10% (close to or less than 100 ?) that “might” be correctly sited.

    2) They plot some temperature trend from those 70 sites, but don’t say what the raw data was originally was, or whether the plotted data has been “corrected” for regional UHI from OTHER stations. So, comparing an unknown line based on unknown sources with a known (but corrupted (er, corrected) by some unknown OTHER series of factors!) national trend – why should we be surprised that the two match?

    3) Most important: Note HOW the HI effect is supposedly “corrected” – all 1218 stations are reported.

    All of the stations within xxx number of kilometers (!) of the current station are compared against the current station, and a “UHI correction factor” is applied against the current station.

    They’ve “assured” us that 70 stations are “valid” – uncontaminated by HUI if you will.

    Assume you have 122 stations (out of 1218 total) with a +5C UHI. (Reasonable: downtown temperatures are actually +10 degrees F higher than “out in the suburbs” stations in every city radio report every night of the year. In fact, my assumed 122 stations itself might be “low” but its something to start with.)
    Assume another 244 have +2.5C UHI.
    Assume 244 have “only” +1.5C UHI, and another 488 have “just” .5C UHI. 50 then are “almost correct” with only .25C UHI correction, and that .25C difference must be in only the last few years as development comes closer. (Alt explanation: Those 50 are at airports, and their UHI is grossly distorted by runways and wind direction over the nearest runway or grassy area.)

    So, we should see 70 stations with NO change at all. But we don’t – we see ALL stations get “corrected” by the average of the “closest” area temperatures: High heat loads downtown or near an air[ort corrupt the LOW temperature stations “up” – regardless of the few “correct” stations across the nation. The relative few 122 very high temperature stations are dropped “down” a little – but their correction is dominated by the great mass of “nearby 488″ (30-60 mile area) “almost as hot” stations. Sicne the regional averaging is so large (instead of the only 5-10 mile UHI limit) the “region” is dominated by the hotter stations. Regions are also by nature grouped around the older (hotter) towns and urban centers, not the cooler rural thermometer stations.

    A guaranteed AGW-caused-by-man result.

    So, by their own definition, the first 70 must not “need” any UHI correction, and every one of the remaining 1148 MUST BE corrected for varying amounts of UHI bias.

    Further, the government’s UHI bias must be corrected (be different) every year since the various ground stations began recording.

    So, now we only have to find out how they actually “correct” (corrupt ??) the raw data naitonally and compare it to the regionally-averaged UHI-corrected official results.

  131. henry says:

    But the “talking paper” itself raises new questions:

    “We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting. Surfacestations.org has examined about 70% of the 1221 stations in NOAA’s Historical Climatology Network (USHCN). According to their web site of early June 2009, they classified 70 USHCN version 2 stations as good or best (class 1 or 2).”

    Work the numbers (using their own data). 70 stations out of the 1221 stations could be classified as good or best.

    Still leaves 1151 stations (about 94% or so) listed as either poor (3, 4 or 5) or with unknown siting problems.

    So the study still didn’t answer the main question: Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable? Well, 6% of it appears to be…

  132. kim says:

    You know, ‘doctor’ is an honorific fundamentally meaning ‘teacher’. I don’t mean to pile on so casually about a matter that has little meaning at all, but I don’t honor this author. Oh, no, quite the contrary.

    You better think twice, Santa Claus is coming….to town.

    H/t Patrick Sullivan
    ==============================

  133. kim says:

    Oops, I jumped to the conclusion it was Thomas Karl. Oh well, I’ll take that name, Thomas C. Peterson. I’ve got someone checking it twice, too.
    ========================================

  134. John Galt (11:39:38) : There are various AGW myths and memes propagated by the “How to talk to a Skeptic” sites that claim to debunk all the skeptics’ arguments. Unfortunately, those sites do no such thing and have themselves been debunked over and over.

    But the claim of debunking skeptics live on. Whenever somebody calls into question the quality of the data, they will inevitably reference this document and claim there is no problem with the data whatsoever.

    There still is NOT a comprehensive single rebuttal of Coby Beck’s army of straw dogs at Gristmill, or of Skeptical Science’s ditto. Rebuttals exist but only in fragmented form. IMHO these two websites in particular, plus RC’s “info” pages, plus New Scientist’s equivalent pages need integrated rebuttals to douse the AGW wildfire claims. IMHO, this is a job that a skeptics wiki (written by blog-peer-reviewed skeptics) could, should and would undertake, over time.

  135. Leon Brozyna says:

    I took another look at the talking points document:

    Talking Points related to: Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?
    Q. Do many U.S. stations have poor siting by being placed inappropriately close to trees, buildings, parking lots, etc.?
    A. Yes. The National Weather Service has station siting criteria, but they were not always followed. That is one reason why NOAA created the Climate Reference Network, with excellent siting and redundant sensors. It is a network designed specifically for assessing climate change. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/uscrn/. Additionally, an effort is underway to modernize the Historical Climatology Network, though funds are currently available only to modernize and maintain stations in the Southwest. Managers of both of these networks work diligently to put their stations in locations not only with excellent current siting, but also where the site characteristics are unlikely to change very much over the coming decades.

    While the surfacestations project is focusing on the condition of the USHCN, the ‘rebuttal’ makes it sound like the project is about all temperature data, then raises the high quality of the USHCN as proof that the data is good. So maybe they deliberately chose to misrepresent what the project is about. It’s bait-and-switch – a shell game – now you see it, now you don’t.

    So, in my mind, the citation error and the choice of phrasing in the talking points memo is deliberate.

  136. Phil says:

    Quoting from the talking points:

    “Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique.”

    In order to be able to replicate their graph, it would be necessary to know what technique exactly was used.

    Second, the analysis makes a fundamental error IMHO. The stations are split into two groups based on a survey done at the end of the trend period. The assumption that this split is valid for the entire period of the trend is unsupported. In other words, if a comprehensive station survey had been done say every 5 years, there might be a significant change in which stations were in categories 1 or 2 vs 3, 4 and 5 over the trend period, thus making the comparisons between the two station groups a little different than the graph shows. In fact, if there were none-trivial changes in station groupings over the trend period, might one not expect that there would be no overall difference between the two station groupings based only on the evaluations done at the end of the trend period?

    Unfortunately, the talking points admit to lack of quality control of station siting over the history of the data, when stating:

    “We are limited in what we can say due to limited information about station siting.”

    Thus, would it not be true that it would be impossible to evaluate any differences between “good” and “bad” stations over the trend period, since there is no information as to station siting except at the very end of the trend period (and that due to Anthony’s work)?

  137. Micajah says:

    McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog has a link to a news report from May that has a headline you might recognize:
    http://wbztv.com/local/surface.stations.weather.2.1008615.html
    “Is The U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?”

    Apparently, the talking points were prepared after that article or another like it made the rounds.

  138. Mike D. says:

    From Wiki here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talking_points

    A talking point is a neologism for an idea which may or may not be factual, usually compiled in a short list with summaries of a speaker’s agenda for public or private engagements. Public relations professionals, for example, sometimes prepare “talking points memos” for their clients to help them more effectively conform public presentations with this advice.

    A political think tank will strategize the most effective informational attack on a target topic and launch talking points from media personalities to saturate discourse in order to frame a debate in their favor, standardizing the responses of sympathizers to their unique cause while simultaneously co-opting the language used by those discussing the specific subject. When used politically in this way, the typical purpose of a talking point is to propagandize, specifically using the technique of argumentum ad nauseam, i.e. continuous repetition within media outlets until accepted as fact.

    Propaganda: non-factual or selective idea dissemination, loaded messages in order to further a political agenda. A corollary to censorship.

    How low has NCDC sunk? All the way to the bottom.

  139. Ted Annonson says:

    May I nominate this for “Quote of the week”?

    Mark Young (05:07:45) :

    It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity!

  140. ohioholic says:

    “Managers of both of these networks work diligently to put their stations in locations not only with excellent current siting, but also where the site characteristics are unlikely to change very much over the coming decades.”

    The part that I find interesting is the subtle concession that changes in the stations surroundings may have had an effect.

    “but also where the site characteristics are unlikely to change very much over the coming decades.”

  141. evanmjones says:

    McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog has a link to a news report from May that has a headline you might recognize:
    http://wbztv.com/local/surface.stations.weather.2.1008615.html
    “Is The U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?”

    And be sure to watch the 2-minute video on the right of the page (grin)!

    BTW, good call. NWS was well aware of that broadcast, and the similar omission of “Surface” is probably no coincidence.

  142. Neo says:

    It’s long past time to “abandon wornout dogmas,” as President Obama said in his inauguration. One of the dogmas, held by too many scientists and leaders, is that no matter what facts you find, you must report only those that support the current political narrative.

  143. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) says:

    Jeff Id (10:34:17) :

    Dr. Thomas C. Peterson is a research meteorologist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina. After earning his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University in 1991, Tom primarily engaged in creating NCDC’s global land surface data set used to quantify long-term global climate change. Key areas of his expertise include data archaeology,
    *********quality control,************
    homogeneity testing, international data exchange and global climate analysis using both in situ and satellite data.

    I’m glad I don’t have his job. He seems to be the head doc in charge of everything known to be f’d up.

    Jeff beat me to it LOL
    ALL to nice A.W.

  144. If we had elected representatives who paid attention to reality instead of the latest polls, we could get this AGW sham behind us and move on the the bright future ahead. Unfortunately, we have to go through a period of doubt and uncertainty about the rightness of western culture and values every couple of decades.

    At some point, there will be a reversal, and these bureaucrats will be tossed out on their ears, and relegated to the dustbin of history.

    The traffic controllers acted similarly back in the 80′s and thought they were indispensible. They weren’t.

  145. Roger Knights says:

    Lucy Skywalker (16:33:05) :

    John Galt (11:39:38) : There are various AGW myths and memes propagated by the “How to talk to a Skeptic” sites that claim to debunk all the skeptics’ arguments. Unfortunately, those sites do no such thing and have themselves been debunked over and over.

    But the claim of debunking skeptics live on. Whenever somebody calls into question the quality of the data, they will inevitably reference this document and claim there is no problem with the data whatsoever.

    There still is NOT a comprehensive single rebuttal of Coby Beck’s army of straw dogs at Gristmill, or of Skeptical Science’s ditto. Rebuttals exist but only in fragmented form. IMHO these two websites in particular, plus RC’s “info” pages, plus New Scientist’s equivalent pages need integrated rebuttals to douse the AGW wildfire claims. IMHO, this is a job that a skeptics wiki (written by blog-peer-reviewed skeptics) could, should and would undertake, over time.
    =====================

    Hear, hear!

  146. Adam Grey says:

    Normally when a scientific organization prepares a rebuttal, it is standard practice to at least ask the keeper of the data if they have the most current data set, and if any caveats or updates exist, and to make the person aware of the issues so that questions can be answered. I received no questions, no request for data and no notice of any kind.

    This brings to mind Lindzen using Wong et al 2001for his Iris hypothesis after they’d revised it in 2005/6. Lindzen was updated here recently (nearly 4 years later) with no chiding from the commenters. Perhaps Anthony could be as politely helpful to the NOAA. And perhaps the commenters could apply standards and approbation equally.

  147. Jeremy says:

    Peter Hearnden (02:18:21) :

    Anthony, I ALWAYS post using my real name, would that many of your most outspoken correspondents, notably the people who ad hom James Hansen, here showed that same ‘professionalism’…

    That’s actually quite amusing. You’re actually defending a civil servant for abusing a position of trust to affect politics.

  148. dennis ward says:

    I wish to thank all the people for their polite responses to my question.

  149. Perry Debell says:

    Jimmy Haigh (10:58:17) :

    Billy Connolly is a comedian, Rabid AGWarmist William Connolley is a joke.
    See his bio at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Connolley

    There is even a picture of his non listening ear’ole & the back of his head. What’s that all about??

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:William_Connolley.jpg

  150. Robert W says:

    Anthony and/or Moderator,

    If you have already seen this USCRN document “CURRENT CONFIGURATION
    OF US CLIMATE REFERENCE NETWORK STATIONS” please disregard.

    I found this info in the Data Example 7. “In systems with single sensors,
    this small temperature error would be very difficult or impossible to detect.
    Such time-dependent biases affect the fidelity of the climate record”.
    I have been reading with much interest your work on “measuring of surface
    temperature”. It appears from this article that a station with a single sensor
    could easily give incorrect data and NOT be detected and thus affect incorrectly
    Climate data.

    Here is the WEB paths to the article:

    1. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/research.html

    2.http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/documentation/research/
    CurrentConfigUSCRN-AMSmtg-Jan04-final.pdf

    3. Within the pdf document under 2. go to the last page “4″ item – 7.

    7. DATA EXAMPLE
    The figure below shows a real world example of
    temperature data differences from three probes at one
    site. One sensor developed a problem leading to an
    error of about 1C. Because of the redundant sensors,
    the close initial calibration of the sensors, and the
    hourly automated quality control review process, it was
    immediately clear when this occurred and which sensor
    was at fault. Repairs were quickly accomplished. In
    systems with single sensors, this small temperature
    error would be very difficult or impossible to detect.
    Such time-dependent biases affect the fidelity of the
    climate record. In the USCRN these can be detected
    quickly, and thus reduce uncertainty in the quality of
    the climate record provided to decision makers.
    The following figure shows 8 days of temperature
    difference data from three normally performing sensors.
    The temperature differences rarely exceed 0.2C.

    The Author of this PDF document is R. P. Hosker, Jr and
    was created on 11/3/03.

  151. RoyFOMR says:

    Jimmy Haigh (10:58:17) :

    Slightly off topic but as I was walking home this evening I could see a beautiful crescent moon, about 2 days after new, and the brightest “old moon in the new moon’s arm” I have ever seen! This is caused by light reflected back from the earth. Perhaps the earth is very cloudy and reflective at the moment?

    Thank you, I’d never made that connection, myself. Maybe there’s a Nobel Prize (or maybe just the odd PhD – undergrads, take note) waiting for an astronomer who can come up with a genuine ‘hockey stick’ to show how Earths’ albedo has increased (or not)-using lunar brightness as a proxy for cloud cover.
    There must be loads of raw, uncontaminated data out there, just waiting to be downloaded and then pored over. Better hurray up though folks. The data-retentive lunatics may get their hands on it first and we all know what means. Don’t we?
    Once again, Mr. Haigh, many thanks.

  152. RoyFOMR says:

    As a rider. Just think of the funding channels that will open up by making the connection between CC and astronomy.
    Go get those generous grants!

  153. Phil (16:56:38) :

    Quoting from the talking points:

    “Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique.”

    In order to be able to replicate their graph, it would be necessary to know what technique exactly was used.

    See, that makes my point earlier: If the 70 “best case” stations (those with no location errors – but with UHI-affected raw data????) have been “corrupted” with gridding and area averaging, then they MUST follow the same trend lines as the rest of the 94% bad location stations.

    The “area gridding” IS what smears the highest and medium UHI hot spots over on to the adjacent non-UHI sites that are correctly sited.

    Again: What are the 70 “good” sites, and what was their raw data.

    How many sites are non-UHI contaminated AND have good site locations?

  154. kim says:

    RoyFOMR, 04:02:45, I believe albedo’s been measured from moonglow for awhile, and I believe there is a suggestion of increasing albedo, but I don’t think the precision is to the point you could hang your hat on it. Careful, that point may be the oncoming view of a line and is sharp and may hurt if it is moving with any velocity.

  155. Marion Delgado says:

    You are yesterday’s news, phlogiston boy.

    REPLY: You mean like the “Fascist Oar“? ;-) Last updated Sep. 2008

    Folks have a look at the face of alarmism today. This is one of Tamino’s buddies. As for the claim, wait for the paper and we’ll see. – Anthony

  156. gary gulrud says:

    “For [director Karl] to allow a botched citation like this is pretty embarrassing.”

    Reminiscent of the spurious title “Dr.”.

  157. Marshall Hopkins says:

    The NCDC/NOAA temperature record is extremely unreliable. For example Coalinga Ca. almost always reports to be the hottest spot in the Central/Southern San Joaquin Valley, but is not true. It’s at a Fire Station Surrounded by asphalt, concrete, and brick, with a very restricted airflow. When I went by there back in 2003 with a NIST traceable thermometer, I was reading at least 3 degrees cooler than what the station was reporting, but yet they still use this as a forecasting guide for predicting temps in the San Joaquin Valley. I even question the ASOS readings as very often Vacaville, Stockton, and Modesto will report to be just as warm or warmer than Fresno during heat waves of over 100 degrees. I just don’t buy that.

  158. RoyFOMR says:

    Stargazer (08:55:03) :

    Albedo

    http://www.bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/

    http://current.com/items/89433545_earths-albedo-tells-an-interesting-story-why-the-earth-may-stop-global-warming-alone.htm

    Thanks for the links Stargazer. This site and the people it attracts never cease to amaze.

  159. Chris Knight says:

    There have been some comments from and about a certain Peter Hearnden.
    He is no stranger to managing a (personal) weather station and knows the limitations of changing from traditional to modern systems, as this note from his weater website shows:
    http://www.bridford.metsite.com/notes.html

  160. RoyFOMR says:

    Stargazer (08:55:03) :

    Albedo

    http://current.com/items/89433545_earths-albedo-tells-an-interesting-story-why-the-earth-may-stop-global-warming-alone.htm

    That link also links back to WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/earths-albedo-tells-a-interesting-story/

    That was nearly two years ago, Anthony, time for an update perhaps.

    Maybe a re-examination of albedo and Earthshine may help illustrate why Al Gore is full of Moonshine.

  161. wisc.edu says:

    Anthony,

    You seem upset that some talking points were developed by NCDC (anonymously) based on your incomplete survey of the HCN. Yet, last month you published your Heartland Institute paper with the very damming conclusion that both the U.S. and global surface temperature records were unreliable. If it is so critical to do an analysis based on a complete survey of the HCN, why then did you publish your paper last month before your survey was complete, and, more importantly, before you did any analysis of the observations themselves? How can you sure that an analysis of the data will support your conclusions?

    You also stated in your Heartland publication that “Since these MMTS/Nimbus electronic thermometers have been gradually phased in since their inception in the mid-1980s, the bias trend that likely results from the thermometers being closer to buildings, asphalt, etc. would be gradual, and likely not noticed in the data.” If that is true, why do Menne et al. state in the abstract of their forthcoming BAMS paper that “ The largest biases in the HCN are shown to be associated with changes to the time of observation and with the widespread changeover from liquid-in-glass thermometers to the maximum minimum temperature system (MMTS).”? Plus, the impact of the MMTS has been studied by others (Hubbard and Lin, 2006; Quayle et al. 1991). Have you ignored those studies for some reason?

    REPLY: Simply put, they used old data, never contacted me to ask for current data, listed no author, no citation of my publication, and showed no data or methods to arrive at the graph. Let me ask you: can you get a paper published with such techniques?

    Finding all of the best sites is the critical issue of the survey. Menne et al have not looked at all of the site biases. They know they can’t spot all these, and know they can’t assign a magnitude, so they don’t try. I published my census report 1) because I had an interest and offer 2) to help build interest in finding the last few best stations. We picked all the low hanging fruit already. A full paper with data analysis follows when I’m confident we’ve gotten all of the best CRN1/2 sites. – Anthony

  162. GlennB says:

    wisc.edu (21:09:28) :

    “Anthony,”

    snip

    Looks to me like your knee jerk resulted in a load of strawmen, nonsequitor and red herring. Who are you?

  163. tulbobroke says:

    david johnson (06:18:21) :

    The key point in the study is the graph showing that the 70 stations classified (by you) as “good” or “best” show almost exactly the same temperature trends as the set of all stations put together.

    You have validated their work!!

    Now it is true that this list of 70 station dates from “early June” (i.e., a few weeks ago). And its also true that you’ve added another 20 stations or so, and perhaps changed some ratings. But you don’t indicate that this makes any difference at all to the bottom line, or to the important work you’ve done to validate the excellent work performed at NOAA and NCDC.

    So here’s a public challenge: Does your latest data show that their is any systematic departure between the best stations (as determined by you) and the overall record?

    If the answer is yes, you will have something interesting to write about.”

    I agree with the above: if the best 70 stations (selected from Mr. Watts surfacestations.org site) show no significant difference from the whole network, where’s the problem?

    And what’s the response to the public challenge issued above?

  164. tulbobroke says:

    Dear Mr. Watts,

    Above you say, “5. … For all I know, they could be comparing homogenized data from CRN1 and 2 (best stations) to homogenized data from CRN 345 (the worst stations), which of course would show nearly no difference.”

    Doesn’t that imply that the homogenisation process works?

  165. evanmjones says:

    No, it just means they’re spreading the error around and blurring the differences.

  166. tulbobroke says:

    “evanmjones (13:26:24) :

    No, it just means they’re spreading the error around and blurring the differences.”

    You must be kidding: that would only work if they used cooling and warming adjustments.

  167. stan says:

    My son was just watching a Mythbusters episode on Netflix. They did a piece on whether it was better to run or walk through the rain. They flew to N.C. to interview Thomas Peterson of the NCDC because Peterson and a friend had conducted an experiment during a rain storm.

    Perhaps Peterson might be more effective in advancing science if he focused on his real job instead of drafting BS memos and running throught the rain.

  168. evanmjones says:

    You must be kidding: that would only work if they used cooling and warming adjustments.

    #B^1

    #P^U

  169. evanmjones says:

    And what’s the response to the public challenge issued above?

    It’s in preparation. Patience required. All of these issues will be directly addressed.

  170. Bill P says:

    Gina Becker (04:58:10) :

    I wish we could find money to run a television advertising campaign, showing the broad public…

    1. Photos of all the poorly sited stations, including “rural” ones which are supposedly free from heat islands

    2. Urban heat island growth around stations

    3. Visuals and explanations on how the gradual MMTS changeover corresponds with temperature rise

    4. And the point: this is the USA, which has the most extensive, longest, best temperature record. Think what the rest of the world relies on.

    I’ll second this. Too bad such a campaign couldn’t have run prior to the passage of the Waxman – Markey bill, but perhaps it’s not too late.

  171. Phil says:

    @ david johnson (06:18:21) :
    @ tulbobroke (06:02:39) :

    “So here’s a public challenge: Does your latest data show that their is any systematic departure between the best stations (as determined by you) and the overall record?”

    A trend difference between “good” and “bad” stations has already been identified early on, as follows:

    The methodology used to “compare” the “good” to the “bad” stations in the talking points memo appears to be very similar to that used by John V at climateaudit.org identified and posted at http://www.opentemp.org/_results/ very early on when there were less than 20 “good” rural stations identified at surfacestations.org (rural stations only were used in an attempt to avoid urban heat index or UHI contamination). Similarly to the claim in your comments and in the talking points memo now, the claim then was that there did not appear to be much of a difference when comparing trends between the “good” and the “bad” stations.

    However, in this comment (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-267760) Kenneth Fritsch did a multiple regression of population, altitude, latitud, longitude and CRN (quality) rating against anomaly temperature trends for 1920-2005. In this comment (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-268119), he found that the trend in degrees C per Century increased significantly as the station rating declined (i.e. the trend is greatest for the lowest quality stations – see graph).

    On that same thread, commenter RomanM in this comment (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-270488) did an analysis of covariance “…with the variables altitude, longitude and elevation as covariates, but with CRN rating and population as categorical” and also obtained similar results of a clear increase in trend as the quality of the station decreased. His results can be found at http://www.math.unb.ca/~roman/graphs/trendout.pdf and in the comment referenced above.

    Please refer to the referenced comments for more exact language. I may have unintentionally phrased things incorrectly in trying to summarize the analysis. Updating of these results may be difficult because unadjusted station data is no longer available in the new USHCN data sets. The publicly available USHCN data sets apparently use information from “not good” stations to adjust the temperatures of the “good” stations, so trend information may be all mixed up. Unfortunately, the computer code that shows exactly how these adjustments are done has apparently not been released yet either (see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6370 for more information and more comments). In closing, RomanM says in this comment (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6370#comment-347325), that his analysis “…should not be looked at as definitive in any particular way, but rather more as an example of what should be done in assessing the effect of station quality on trends given the presence of other factors.” In short, the talking points memo analysis appears to ignore other factors that may influence the trend comparisons.

  172. Phil says:

    @ david johnson (06:18:21) :
    @ tulbobroke (06:02:39) :

    “So here’s a public challenge: Does your latest data show that their is any systematic departure between the best stations (as determined by you) and the overall record?”

    The talking points memo analysis appears to ignore other factors that may influence the trend comparisons, such as population, altitude, longitude and latitude of the “good” stations. A multiple regression of population, altitude, latitud, longitude and CRN (quality) rating against anomaly temperature trends for 1920-2005 showed significant trend differences in an analysis done early on (1) by Kenneth Fritsch. Similarly, an analysis of covariance “…with the variables altitude, longitude and elevation as covariates, but with CRN rating and population as categorical” done at the same time by RomanM also showed significant trend differences (2).

    Unfortunately, updating of these results may be difficult because unadjusted station data is no longer available in the new USHCN data sets. In addition, the publicly available USHCN data sets apparently use information from “not good” stations to adjust the temperatures of the “good” stations, so trend information may be all mixed up (3). Although these analysis may not be definitive, I think they do show that it is important not to ignore other factors when making trend comparisons.

    (1) http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-267760 and http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-268119

    (2) http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3169#comment-270488 and http://www.math.unb.ca/~roman/graphs/trendout.pdf

    (3) see discussion at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6370

  173. evanmjones says:

    NOAA in all probability uses adjusted data, therefore homogenized. If so, comparisons are worthless.

    Analysis will be done using raw data (and TOBS). There are also angles that John V never considered.

    Patience, please.

    P.S., it is a scandal in and of itself if NOAA does not make raw data available.

  174. Hu McCulloch says:

    Anthony — The Talking Points memo at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf now (7/1) clearly lists your study, with you as author, in its references. It’s still dated 6/9, however.

  175. Gail Combs says:

    Hu McCulloch (13:27:37) :

    “Anthony — The Talking Points memo at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf now (7/1) clearly lists your study, with you as author, in its references. It’s still dated 6/9, however.”

    Changing information without changing the issue date or version number is standard Government policy lately. The USDA uses it on farmers all the time and then states the farmers are spreading “disinformation”

    Making copies of the original memos and putting them up on blogs has become standard self defense among those of us fighting the National Animal Identification System and other USDA/FDA idiocy. Seems overworked farmers are going to be expected to record and tell the US gov’t in minute detail everything they do on their farms or face million dollar fines but the government can’t do reasonable quality control over something as simple as a thermometer despite their fancy procedures and lofty PHds!

    The US govenrment and their tame puppet scientists lost all credibility with me long ago. To bad Thomas C. Peterson: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
    and other government officials are not subject to the same type of million dollar fines they are aiming at farmers. http://www.opednews.com/articles/A-solemn-walk-through-HR-8-by-Linn-Cohen-Cole-090314-67.html

    Perhaps we should find an honest congressman to sponsor a bill that subjects government officials to the same standards and fines they wish to subject farmers to….. No wait we will never be able to find an honest Congressman so scratch that idea.

  176. eric says:

    I have waded through a lot of comments that are irrelevant to the issue here.
    Lets put all of the ad hominem comments and copyright disputes aside and focus on the real issue here.

    NOAA does not own the 1228 or so surface stations or have the staff to control them and do physical upgrades and resite them to meet the ideal standards.
    It appears to me that they are using software to mak
    e adjustments so that temperature trends can be derived from them, even though the absolute temperatures they are measuring are affected by the equipment and the siting.

    By using their procedure for handling the data, they show that they can make the average US temperature trends for all the stations equivalent to the 70 good stations, and that the problems Anthony mentioned, do not really matter for the purpose of finding US average temperature trends. The graphs appear convincing to me.

    No one has presented a cogent argument that says NOAA is wrong about this important point ,as far as I can glean, but there is so much chaff on this page, I can’t be sure that I didn’t miss something.

  177. jeez says:

    eric

    The problem is they didn’t compare to 70 good stations. They compared to 70 data adjusted stations with the data strongly compromised and influenced by the surrounding network. They didn’t compare apples to apples. They compared one apple to itself.

  178. eric says:

    Jeez,
    Looking at what McIntyre said, he suspects that is what NOAA did, but he isn’t sure. You could be right. NOAA didn’t really specify what procedure they used to compare the good stations with the total.
    It is also correct to point out that no difference doesn’t imply both series are going to be accurate if the data from the good stations has somehow been corrupted by the bad. On the other hand, even good stations can have anomalies. Good does not mean perfect.

    It would certainly be worth determining what procedure was used.
    It also seems to be the case that GISS uses a different procedure to adjust the raw data for anomalies.

  179. jeez says:

    eric,

    Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice if NOAA actually disclosed what they did to make the graph. That might even be considered scientific.

  180. Curious says:

    It seems statistically dubious to me that the author of the graph plots a ‘good data’ curve vs. a ‘good data and bad data’ curve. Why confound both subsets into the 2nd curve? I think he should plot ‘good data’ vs. ‘bad data’.

Comments are closed.