NASA GISS: adjustments galore, rewriting U.S. climate history

Contiguous U.S. GISTEMP Linear Trends: Before and After

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

Many of us have seen gif animations and blink comparators of the older version of Contiguous U.S. GISTEMP data versus the newer version, and here’s yet another one. The presentation is clearer than most.

http://i44.tinypic.com/29dwsj7.gif

It is based on the John Daly archived data:
http://www.john-daly.com/usatemps.006

and the current Contiguous U.S. surface temperature anomaly data from GISS:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt

In their presentations, most people have been concerned with which decade had the highest U.S. surface temperature anomaly: the 1940s or the 1990s. But I couldn’t recall having ever seen a trend comparison, so I snipped off the last 9 years from current data and let EXCEL plot the trends:


http://i44.tinypic.com/295sp37.gif

Before the post-1999 GISS adjustments to the Contiguous U.S. GISTEMP data, the linear trend for the period of 1880 to 1999 was 0.035 deg C/decade. After the adjustments, the linear trend rose to 0.044 deg C/decade.

Thanks to Anthony Watts who provided the link to the older GISTEMP data archived at John Daly’s website in his post here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/28/an-australian-look-at-ushcn-20th-century-trend-is-largely-if-not-entirely-an-artefact-arising-from-the-%e2%80%9ccorrections%e2%80%9d/

NOTE: Bob, The credit really should go to Michael Hammer, who wrote that post, but I’m happy to have a role as facilitator. – Anthony

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211 Responses to NASA GISS: adjustments galore, rewriting U.S. climate history

  1. DoctorJJ says:

    Looks like about 1970 is the break point. Before then, they “corrected” everything down and since then everything has been up. Interesting.

  2. danbo says:

    How much do you get from your ads? How many times do I need to visit your green advertisers to get you 20 bucks.

    They’ll be getting plenty of money from me through my taxes. I’d like to help them help you pay your bills.

    REPLY: I don’t know what each click brings, it varies widely, some might be a nickel, others maybe 50 cents. Multiple clicks on the same day, same ad, only count for one hit. You have to spread it around amongst different stories, different ads for it to have more than a single click impact. – Anthony

  3. hunter says:

    Winston Smith would find the work GISS is up to double plus good.

    “who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

    “War is Peace,”
    “Freedom is Slavery,”
    “Ignorance is Strength

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    DoctorJJ: You wrote, “Looks like about 1970 is the break point. Before then, they ‘corrected’ everything down and since then everything has been up. Interesting.”

    Aren’t there two pivot points? One around 1964 and the other about 1900? Note how the change in the data before 1900 opposes the change after.

  5. Jim G says:

    It’s interesting that in order to correct for UHI, older temps (which should be less subject to the phenomena) are “corrected” down, while current data (which would be the most susceptible, is “corrected” up.

    Intriguing.

  6. ohioholic says:

    Ah yes, bend the current temperature upward. See, now if you extend the graph it looks like we are on the upward curve of the line instead of just before it.

    If someone sold you a stock that tanked, and the SEC discovered evidence of ‘adjustments’ like this, that person would be in the slammer for a good while. It’s called fraud in business, and ‘estimation’ in science.

  7. David Ball says:

    These guys have been caught at this type of shenanigans over and over, by Anthony and Steve Mcintyre at CA. I know you frown on words like fraud, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, ……….

  8. Squidly says:

    David Ball (19:05:09) :

    … I know you frown on words like fraud, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, ……….

    Sorry, but there simply is NO OTHER WORD … and I am quite frankly tired of the GISS and this kind of crap. Everyone in this country who “thinks” there is AGW needs to be made painfully aware of these kinds of things. Most people simply have no clue what is going on, and thus will accept anything presented to them with the NASA logo.

    Shame, shame, shame … it’s all going to catch up to them in the end though!

  9. DoctorJJ says:

    Bob Tisdale,
    You’re right. Looks like most everything before 1900 is corrected up. If we’re going all conspiracy here, I’m not sure what purpose that would serve, unless it’s to minimize the “warming” that occurred in the period ~1880-1900, which obviously couldn’t have happened since we weren’t dumping CO2 into the atmosphere back then.

    REPLY: Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony

  10. ohioholic says:

    REPLY: Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony

    Incompetence of this sort would land you in jail if we were talking about compiling financial statements, it is gross negligence. It is precisely this sort of thing that makes people think conspiracy, though. If this were a court of law, it would be pretty easy to sell a case of fraudulent behavior, although I do tend to agree that incompetence works just fine. The result of the negligence is the same whether you wish to believe it is intentional or not, which is the unfortunate part.

  11. brazil84 says:

    “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    My guess is that it’s a combination of (1) incompetence; and (2) cognitive bias. Most humans, knowing what result they want to get, will end up having their judgment a bit skewed.

    The folks behind GISS know that they are supposed to get a warming trend.

    My opinion only.

  12. DoctorJJ says:

    “REPLY: Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    Like I say, “If we’re going all conspiracy here…”
    Although, after all the other incidents that you have uncovered, with ALL of them tending towards warming, it does make you wonder.

  13. Mike D. says:

    More amusing ridiculae from the Register UK: Ecopocalypse causes giant fish ears — First Vulcans, then Obama, now les poissons

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/26/enlarged_otoliths/

  14. novoburgo says:

    Squidly (19:16:37) :
    “Most people simply have no clue what is going on, and thus will accept anything presented to them with the NASA logo.”

    And therein lies the problem! The big lie is working. Most people don’t have the time or the inclination to sift through the unlimited data available and consequently have to accept the mainstream media with its incessant message of global warming/climate change presented in little sound bites, ad nauseum. I’ve been watching this closely for over 15 years and the message never changes: global warming/climate change is real. Period! The masses have accepted this and only have doubts about the degree of impact. Sanity will not return until the majority figures out that they are being screwed and that’s going to take the help of the MSM. I really fear for my grandchildren’s future.

  15. Christian Bultmann says:

    danbo (18:32:04) :

    Don’t stop clicking on the ads those groups have usually a petition page where you suppose to send a form letter to your local politician just use that and change the content to what you think about GW wind power and so on.
    Just send one from the Forestethics group outlining instead of heating our houses with dirty tar-sand oil we could burn wood instead see what that does to the forest :)

  16. Jimmy Haigh says:

    brazil84 (19:38:47) :

    The folks behind GISS know that they are supposed to get a warming trend.

    The ‘incompetence’ feeds into the models which continue to predict the warming trend which feedbacks positively into the models which continue to predict the warming trend which feedbacks positively into the models …. and so on….

  17. I discussed these issues a couple of years ago when I was looking at GISS. See for example http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1142
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1139
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1891

  18. Andrew says:

    [ not going to allow that label to be applied to GISS without proof - Anthony]

  19. CodeTech says:

    I’d be outraged, except I’ve seen this before. By the way, the reason they are bringing up the oldest temperatures is an attempt to smooth climate. Most people I know are completely unaware that there ever was something called the “little ice age”. That little dip in temperature happens to be an inconvenient truth, but those in control of the data can just sweep it away (just like the Medieval Climate Optimum which Wikipedia is now claiming only affected a small part of the world).

    And again, I’d be laughing a LOT at this blatant manipulation except that so much is at stake. And after Friday, I’m genuinely concerned that the inmates are about to be handed the keys to the asylum, AND the bank next door to it.

  20. MarcH says:

    Hunter (18:42:10) , very troubling but I ‘m afraid its now Romm 101 for you!

  21. Who can we complain to?

    My own Congressman voted “no” on the tax-and-trade bill, (as did all the GA repubbies) but how effective is a single Republican’s voice when the democrats are ramming lies down through the media?

    The ABCNNBSBS media are campaigning this way to support the taxes and economic destruction, refusing to let contrary voices be heard. So how do you break through the voices on the so-called “science” channels as well – PBS, Discover, National Geographic, History – when they push the same propaganda?

  22. Jim Norvell says:

    Steve, you are but a lonely voice in the wilderness. GISS/NASA has thew ear of the ruling party in DC. Look at the carbon bill just passed in the House.

    Jim Norvell

  23. oakgeo says:

    It looks like the pre-1970 temperature variability is dampened by the corrections but the post-1970 temperatures seem to be enhanced. This heightens the apparent magnitude of the recent decadal warming and displays two CAGW tenets: unprecedented warming and a stable earlier climate (I know that usually means the MWP and LIA, but 20th C temps have been slightly smoothed here too).

  24. FatBigot says:

    I don’t share the pessimism of those who suggest that the little people are persuaded by the MSM soundbites. Opinion polls on both sides of the Atlantic and downunder suggest that a clear-ish majority of the little people still believe Chicken Licken to be a children’s story not a scientific fact.

    Every day more and more little people are doing their own investigations into the AGW hypothesis. We should not be surprised that the degree of scepticism increases as more learn of the last decade’s relative chilliness and read of warmists arguing that cooling is a consequence of warming. Nonsense is nonsense no matter how you try to dress it up. I remain confident that, as we little people are exposed to more nonsense we will conclude that cooling actually means cooling and that cooling is the opposite of warming rather than a consequence of it.

    The warmists stole a march by getting their potty hypothesis out first and proclaiming it to be settled science. It is a long slog to counter the advantage they gained for themselves, yet they are now behind in the opinion polls so things seem to be moving in the right direction.

    And as for whether the Giss wobble is a fraud, a conditioned response to fixed opinions, a genuine attempt to seek the truth or the result of incompetence, it really doesn’t matter. Either their new truth is the truth or it is not, either it is accurate or it is inaccurate; examination and analysis will provide the answer. The motive behind what they have done does not tell us whether their new truth is correct or incorrect in fact.

  25. JIm Clarke says:

    Real incompetence would lead to ‘adjustments’ in both directions. I have been following the global warming debate for 20 years and the only ‘adjustments’ that are ever made to the data increase the apparent human role in global warming.

    That’s not incompetence. That is an agenda!

  26. Leon Brozyna says:

    Take a blink comparator coupled with an explanation geared to a twelve year old and even a Congress critter ought to be able to smell what’s cooking – and it ain’t steak.

  27. j.pickens says:

    I do my bit.
    During this Spring and early Summer, New Jersey has been experiencing unusually cold and wet weather. Whenever I’m out and about, and the crappy weather comes up, with people complaining about the cold, I say “Must be that Global Warming”, and EVERYONE I have said this to either laughs, or makes a sarcastic comment about Al Gore or the AGW movement.

  28. LomaAlta says:

    From every other program the government has taken over we know that bureaucracy and mediocrity are synonymous, in fact inseparable. When extremist politics enter and capture the leading bureaucrats, add dishonesty to mediocrity.

  29. ohioholic says:

    This is actually kind of analogous to steroids in baseball. Everybody is dimly aware something is not right, everybody hopes the magnitude of the problem is exaggerated, scientific papers are being written the way home runs were being crushed, the people at the top benefit from the problem, and I am sure that big names will be outed when it all comes crashing down.

  30. John A says:

    While I share the general lack of respect for the GISTEMP “product”, I generally feel that what will send the global warming train into the buffers of reality will be the astronomical cost to trying to control the uncontrollable.

  31. Jason S says:

    wow.

  32. braddles says:

    Perhaps we need a new word for this. “Fraud” does not quite suit. It is a characteristic of scientific misconduct that the perpetrators, unlike financial and other conmen, usually believe in what they are promoting. They need to, because otherwise they would realise that they would be inevitably found out. They make up or adjust results because they think that they will ultimately be in accord with the truth. They are smart enough to come up with elaborate rationalisations to justify their actions to themselves and other believers.

    In science the easiest person to fool is yourself.

  33. John F. Hultquist says:

    Consider a town that grows into a city. The temperature apparently goes up because of the built infrastructure. You want to fix this. Should you raise the early numbers or lower the recent ones? Maybe a little of both? Whatever you do, the numbers after the correction are wrong – they do not represent real measured temperatures.

    If you lower the most recent temps they will not agree with those measured by someone with an accurate personal station. If you raise the historic ones all reporting, analyses, records and so on will not agree with the new data set. And there are several of these adjustments that go on, or not, depending upon who or what? This is sad.

    Perhaps if they could measure the temperature well to begin with . . .

    Oh, right. They haven’t, can’t, won’t, don’t recognize the problem, …
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That “Say my name” stuff is hilarious!

  34. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) says:

    David Ball (19:05:09) :

    These guys have been caught at this type of shenanigans over and over, by Anthony and Steve Mcintyre at CA. I know you frown on words like fraud, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, ……….

    it must be duck methane that has caused the GHG’s !

    I smell poo poo!

  35. Robert A Cook PE (20:40:51) : “Who can we complain to? The ABCNNBSBS media are campaigning this way to support the taxes and economic destruction, refusing to let contrary voices be heard. So how do you break through the voices on the so-called “science” channels as well – PBS, Discover, National Geographic, History – when they push the same propaganda?”

    Start a boycott of their advertisers?

  36. braddles (22:03:14) : “Perhaps we need a new word for this. ‘Fraud’ does not quite suit.”

    Ecorape?

  37. Pieter F says:

    Jim Clarke (21:04:07) : “That’s not incompetence. That is an agenda!”

    There is a well-documented late-20th century political strategy of the “manufactured crisis.” Indeed, Rom Emanuel has been quoted recently, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

    When one considers the Draconian response to the “climate crisis” (Waxman-Markey, for example) and such bizarre statements as “the debate is over; time to take action,” the entire matter looks more like a manufactured crisis every day. We apparently have the convergence of three manufactured crises — AGW, credit freeze in the financial markets causing a recession, and the “health care crisis.”

    — Hold on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  38. Richard Heg says:

    REPLY: Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony

    There are two types of incompetence in this world, the kind of incompetence where the mistakes tend to be in a particular direction and the kind of incompetence where the mistakes are random. The latter being the purer and infinitely rarer of the two.

  39. Richard111 says:

    I wouldn’t worry about adjustments on paper. What will be interesting is how they adjust the ice when they realise it is not conforming to forecasts.

  40. Stu says:

    Is someone keeping an accurate register of the people responsible for the release of data such as GISS temps to the public?, ie there needs to be an accountable supervisor who approves release of data such as this. I assume this one falls under Hansen again but there are literally hundreds of examples of climate data and reports that are based on “massaged” data.

    When the consensus turns full circle as I feel has already started these people need to be held accountable and not let off the hook.

  41. evanmjones says:

    Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony

    “It’s worse than a crime. It’s a blunder.”

    Romm 101

    Har! Har!

  42. Nylo says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I can tell you that most of that change probably happened at the same time that GISS introduced a very big adjustment worldwide, around April 2005 if I don’t remember wrong, which cooled the past and warmed the present quite a lot. I would love to be more precise but I need data which I have stored in a different computer. I will write more on this within 2 hours.

    About what caused that big adjustment, I have absolutely no idea. We should probably ask Gavin. Perhaps it was because of the inlets and outlets thing when measuring sea temperatures. But I don’t know.

  43. Pat says:

    “Richard111 (23:16:16) :

    I wouldn’t worry about adjustments on paper. What will be interesting is how they adjust the ice when they realise it is not conforming to forecasts.”

    The ice forcast will conform to the forecast, because the people who control the real data won’t release it and these very same people know John and Jane Doe don’t have the dough, or interest, to go and find out.

  44. evanmjones says:

    Easy. Find what minimum percentage of ice cover fits the conclusion best, then go with that.

  45. Pat says:

    WOW! Just been able to view the animated .gifs, I have to ask, is this real? That’s one hell of a massage session by NASA GISS.

    The frown has been turned up-side-down (Going from cooling to warming in an instant).

  46. TonyB says:

    To put this into perspective it is worth bearing in mind that the figure used by Giss is in itself an artefact, with the 1880 start date based on a very small number of stations (which have contuinally changed ever since in numbers and location). Below is Hansens original paper-used to make his presentation to Congress.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf

    To put the low spot in 1880 into context it is worth looking at CET-the 1880’s was the effective end of the LIA. In itself the LIA drastically reduced the overall mean average annual temperature-the recovery from that low point is pretty limited

    http://www.cadenzapress.co.uk/download/mencken.xls

    Tonyb

  47. Noelene says:

    I’ve clicked on the Australian government ads a few times.May as well spend some of our money on real science.They are certainly throwing a lot of money at farmers,I thought farmers did a good job in coping with climate change,but apparently they need government funded courses to show them how to cope.Whatever would we do without the government telling us what we need?

  48. Nylo says:

    (continued from above)

    The date when GISS introduced those major changes was sometime between February 2006 and June 2006. Global linear trends for the period 1880-2005 changed from 0.0496 ºC/decade to 0.0547 ºC/decade due to the adjustment that took place. I cannot say the exact time when the change happened because I don’t have the GISS data for March, April or May 2006, only February and June.

    Other minor changes since June 2006 have slightly reduced that trend for the period 1880-2005, which is 0.0542 ºC/decade for the current version.

    Regards.

  49. George says:

    There is still substantial warming in both cases. In one, the slope is 0.0044, the other 0.0035.

    Why is the last decade of data not included? Did I miss the reasoning there?

    This is my favorite hockeystick plot:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/uah/trend/plot/uah/last:140/trend/plot/uah/last:60/trend/plot/uah/last:36/trend

  50. VG says:

    Richard III I don’t think they can anymore.. The Scandinavians have decided not to follow the charade anymore…..
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

  51. Eric Flesch says:

    Perhaps the reason that the pre-1900 temperatures went up was so that the average temperature of those days would remain the same. 1880-1920, or 1860-1940, the average temperatures are likely well publicized so have been adhered to.

  52. rbateman says:

    Just make sure the Republicans in the Senate know what has been going on with the temperature records.
    How long have they been doing this? i.e. – when did they start monkeying with the historical records.
    Are there archived sets of individual stations that are preserved?
    I hope someone has taken notice and placed the original data in a safe place.
    Such records will be vital once the climate has turned hard against the AGW agenda if the current minimum continues to drag on.
    The nightmare will be if they have destroyed all the real data, and we end up needing it to plan out crop countermeasures.

  53. botosenior says:

    looks like m. mann methods.
    you smooth the variations in times said to be influenced by natural forcings (1880 f goes up, 1920-1940 goes down), and you push up the last years to bring the records high away from the 1930ies. if i would be an alarmist, i ll try to do the same.
    Hansen is our new Piltdown Man, for now on we should call him Piltdown James…

  54. Jim Papsdorf says:

    OT: Financial Times sees Obama Weak on Cap and Trade !!!

    “The cap-and-trade bill is a travesty. Its net effect on short- to medium-term carbon emissions will be small to none. This is by design: a law that really made a difference would make energy dearer, hurt consumers and force an economic restructuring that would be painful for many industries and their workers. Congress cannot contemplate those effects. So the Waxman-Markey bill, while going through the complex motions of creating a carbon abatement regime, takes care to neutralise itself.

    It proposes safety valves that will ease the cap if it threatens to have a noticeable effect on energy prices. It relies heavily on offsets – theoretical carbon reductions bought from other countries or other industries – so that big US emitters will not need to try so hard. It gives emission permits away, and tells utilities to rebate the windfall to consumers, so their electricity bills do not go up. It creates a vastly complicated apparatus, a playground for special interests and rent-seekers, a minefield of unintended consequences – and the bottom line for all that is business as usual……”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/706bbcde-640d-11de-a818-00144feabdc0.html

  55. Flanagan says:

    Ever wondered how much energy is involved in global warming? Glaciers lost approximately 6,000 km3 since the 70ies, which makes 6×10^18 g. Given that the enthalpy of fusion of ice is 333 J/g, we get approximately 2×10^21 J.

    That’s 2 billion terajoules. Hiroshima bomb was 63 TJ. The amount of energy that was necessary to melt all this ice was thus more or less the equivalent of 31 million Hiroshima bombs.

    The heat we get in the atmosphere is what has not been used to melt this ice or (with some delay) to warm the seas. Not counting the melting of the Arctic. In other words, it is more a collateral damage than the main issue, in my opinion. We should focus more on what happens to the overall glacier thickness and sea levels.

  56. Jim Papsdorf says:

    OT: Big Oil’s Reaction to Cap and Trade is “Import More” Gasoline !!!

    June 26 (Bloomberg) — America’s biggest oil companies will probably cope with U.S. carbon legislation by closing fuel plants, cutting capital spending and increasing imports.

    Under the Waxman-Markey climate bill that may be voted on today by the U.S. House, refiners would have to buy allowances for carbon dioxide spewed from their plants and from vehicles when motorists burn their fuel. Imports would need permits only for the latter, which ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva said would create a competitive imbalance.

    “It will lead to the opportunity for foreign sources to bring in transportation fuels at a lower cost, which will have an adverse impact to our industry, potential shutdown of refineries and investment and, ultimately, employment,” Mulva said in a June 16 interview in Detroit. Houston-based ConocoPhillips has the second-largest U.S. refining capacity. ……”.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=avLVPogS6lh0

  57. Bob Tisdale says:

    George: You asked, “Why is the last decade of data not included? Did I miss the reasoning there?”

    The earlier dataset ended in 1999, so to provide a trend comparison for the same period of time, 1880 to 1999, I deleted the last nine years of the more current data.

  58. Jimmy Haigh says:

    braddles (22:03:14) : “Perhaps we need a new word for this. ‘Fraud’ does not quite suit.”

    How adout: “eqavf”?

    I adjusted the first two leters down 1, left the middle one as it was, adjusted the 4th letter up 1 and the last letter up 2.

  59. Bob Tisdale says:

    George: You wrote, “There is still substantial warming in both cases. In one, the slope is 0.0044, the other 0.0035. ”

    Substantial? They equate to linear trends of 0.044 deg C/decade and 0.035 deg C/decade. That’s 0.44 deg C/century and 0.35 deg C/century. Substantial? To put it into terms used by a good friend, “That’s chump change.”

  60. Lindsay H says:

    NASA is a government funded organisation, it must have somwhere in its systems a methodology for any adjustments it has made to historical temperature records. These should be publically available.
    Has NASA given any reason for the adjustments ?
    Or is this some sort of internal political game being played?

  61. Konrad says:

    rbateman (01:11:05) :
    Re: crops and data

    Yes, it may be that we will need to adjust approaches to primary industry, due to the sudden onset of global cooling. I do not think the important data that would help with planning is actually lost. Many new interpretations of existing data have been presented, by those promoting AGW and solar scientists avoiding questions they never expected to be asked. This equates only to “muddying the waters”, there is enough data recorded before AGW politics came into popularity to help with agriculture planning for a solar minimum and a cooling planet. All we need to do is trash recent reinterpretations and adjustments.

  62. Micky C (MC) says:

    I could see this coming last year after the whole Douglass versus Santer debate on CA. The current thinking is climate = trend + noise and a whole lot of autocorrelation assumptions stuck in to deal with ‘noise’. My issue is that at some point you have to recognise that you are ignoring the persistence signal and sticking to fitting linear trends. It’s still all about the linear trends. Now some of that thinking works but its only temporary and I believe that when the models first started some people thought this idea was temporary. Nature just isn’t that simple and in the long run with dedicated investigation you see that.
    And yet a bad case of blinkering and not enough DISREGARD is still going on. Add to that the constant ‘corrections’ and it all looks a bit less settled and a lot more like Alastair Darling’s budget forecasts.
    I think its about time the debating stance against the AGW crowd should be ‘okay that’s interesting so far but now can you model El Nino and tell me how it changes the picture?’ And I don’t need to be an expert in climate science to ask that plainly obvious question.

  63. jeroen says:

    They can’t just keep adjusting upwards in the future. The problem is that its to late with all the new bills passing.

  64. urederra says:

    Frankly, I don´t understand adjustments at all.

    If you measure the temperature with a calibrated thermometer, one of those that reads 0º C when you dip it in water-ice mixture and it reads 100º C when you dip it in boiling water, I don´t know why you have to modify the readings.

    You may argue that it is because the thermometer is now placed in a location that is warmer that the surroundings, or so. But, Do we know how the quality of the locations in the 1930s or in the 1900s?

    Seems to me that all depends on weightings. And you may complain about the quality of the surface stations in the USA. My impression is that the rest of the world may be even worse. Every time I heard about the record temperatures of the day in Europe, the winner is almost always a thermometer located at an airport, Like the Honolulu fiasco, but on a daily basis.

  65. Alan the Brit says:

    Hmmmm?

    Squidly/Ohioholic, et al;-)

    Thing is, & I have no desire to play devil’s advocate here, but I can see the “get out of jail free card”! One simply claims that a discrepancy was found in data input/retrieval/complitation/processing/refining/adjustment/filtering, pick any combination of the aforementioned plus “it was the best available data at the time”, etc., is always good for rear covering. Quids in guys, no flies on them. However I must I always thought “refining” &”filtering” was what one does when wants to remove something one does not want! :-0

    As an engineer, I have to be squeaky clean, & genuinely believe I am doing the right thing, working the best way, & know my stuff, but even then I am still standing with a bullseye on my back if someone is so inclined. How lucky to work for GISS, or any other government department, where no responsibility appears to be aportioned or taken for the output! Perhaps I am being too harsh, after all it is only taxpayers money they’re spending so it needs no justification or rashionale?

    Keen on Thursday’s weather over London, contesting forecasts from Met Office + a private company, who will be right I wonder?

  66. steve says:

    I have to assume that NASA has legitimate reasons, at least from their own perspective, for all their adjustments. I am a bit suprised that a description of the adjustments has not been consolidated and made readily available for scrutiny. Perhaps they lack the foresight to see what will happen should the earth not warm and billions or trillions of dollars have been spent. There will be few politicians out there stating that “we” were wrong. There will be many out there saying “we” were lied to and demanding congressional investigations of the individuals involved. Sunlight is not only the best disinfectant it is also the best defense.

  67. No, it is not fraud. That requires a deliberate act. What we are dealing with here is another well-known phenomenon, “experimenter bias”. See:

    http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Experimenter_bias

    “Observer effects are rooted in the universal human tendency to interpret data in a manner consistent with one’s expectations.”

    It can, however, be argued that there is an element of dishonesty. Any responsible scientist will recognise that there is always a possibility of results being tainted by bias.

    Some of these are highly techical and difficult to recognise, and are often unintended – introduced either by the experiment design or at a subconscious level. Thus, it is incumbent on any worker to test their own results for the possibility of bias and to eliminate it where possible.

    That these results are not put through that filter can be dishonest but, as Anthony avers, it could also be incompetence. Equally, it can be culpable self-deception. The phenomenon is ignored because it will reveal findings that are contrary to those desired.

  68. Ozzie John says:

    Damn it, all those years of wasted study…

    I should have studied Political Science instead so I could have aligned to the logic behind todays “Real Climate”, along with the adjusted temperature data sets !

  69. Curiousgeorge says:

    It seems to me that, rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead, the problem has been an epidemic of that old bugaboo, the “Mind Projection Fallacy”. The scary part is that it seems to have also infested the various GCM’s, which then leads to a reinforcing output into the beliefs of people. It’s common for folks to believe that if it comes out of a computer program (especially a scientific one ) it must be true. Feedback loops are just as common in belief systems as they are in physical/natural systems.

  70. Anton says:

    Hello together Translate by Yahoo My article does not stand in connection with the editorial. My English is very bad. I have noticed that it a very extensive knowledge over the climate to have. My question. Do they know the book of Dr. walter Russel – Atomic Suicide? It describes the connection between climate warming and the distribution on scientific basis of radioactive one substances in the environment. Are responsible for climate warming. I expect a founded answer. thank you. Anton – Swiss Zentral Europa.

  71. George says:

    Bob,

    I know the trend is not much, but the difference between corrected and not corrected is not much either (20-30%?).

    Plus, if you continue that trend for a few centuries, you might see some actual changes…

    BTW, some glacier records run 250 years. I guess we had AGW 250 years ago, since they all seem to have a negative trend for the last couple of centuries…
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol308/issue5722/images/large/308_675_F1.jpeg

  72. Peter S says:

    “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    Never ascribe conspiracy or simple incompetence when ulterior-motives will do even more nicely – Peter

  73. Mr Lynn says:

    This may be a naive question, but isn’t it time to ask the NASA GISS people to respond to the charges here and explain what they have done, and why?

    And if they don’t respond, how about a FOIA request/lawsuit?

    /Mr Lynn

  74. Bob Tisdale says:

    Lindsay H: You asked, “Has NASA given any reason for the adjustments ?”

    Steve McIntyre discussed the adjustments to the U.S. temperature record at his website ClimateAudit a couple of years ago. The links he provided above are:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1142
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1139
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1891

    Regards

  75. Steven Hill says:

    Read the title and smile…

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/environment/story/1118989.html

    nah, man has more power than that little ole sun anyday.

  76. Steven Hill says:

    “NASA is a government funded organisation, it must have somwhere in its systems a methodology for any adjustments it has made to historical temperature records. These should be publically available.
    Has NASA given any reason for the adjustments ?
    Or is this some sort of internal political game being played?”

    Insert Taxpayer for government and yes, they lie now, not like when I was kid and they landed on the moon.

  77. Mr Lynn says:

    Re ‘fraud': If that is too strong a word, how about ‘chicanery’?

    /Mr Lynn

  78. Steven Hill says:

    Cap and trade and Gore is an investor.

  79. Peter Ward says:

    Whatever the truth behind the adjustments, the new graph suggests that we’re on the way down again, and quite steeply.

  80. tarpon says:

    DoctorJJ: You wrote, “Looks like about 1970 is the break point. Before then, they ‘corrected’ everything down and since then everything has been up. Interesting.”

    I think you are right, maybe 1975 — the 1970s was the ice age cooling hoax, and now we have the all gonna melt warming hoax. When the data doesn’t fit, make it up and hope no one sees the big picture. Same people, different made-up trend lines.

    I wonder what they will do when the driveway snows this year are piled higher than last year?

    They will not be denied their control and taxes.

  81. Michael Ronayne says:

    I want to share with all of you how very proud I am of the excellent blink comparator animations which are now appearing on the Internet in the service of exposing scientific fraud. To the best of my knowledge the following “Wiggle” graphic was the very first such animation which John Daly, Jerry Brennan and I did on August 17, 2001 to expose the incompetence of Dr. Phil and his crack team of Climateers at the Climate Research Unit (CRU).

    http://www.john-daly.com/cru/wiggle.gif

    I should be kind towards poor suffering Dr. Phil but I will not be. How very unreasonable of the British public to expect accurate weather forecasts one day in advance when Dr. Phil is providing forecasts one century in advance.

    John Daly observed many times, that it is absolutely critical to the Greenhouse Industry for past temperatures to be lower than today’s temperatures. This is a central dogma of their faith and they will go to extraordinary lengths of “adjust” past data to conform to holly scripture. One of the best weapons in our arsenal is the exposure of these data adjustments. As I have asked on more that one occasion:

    “If the evidence for global warming is that compelling, why is it necessary for those who believe in global warming, to misrepresent data in this manner to support their cause?”

    Keep up the good fight! All that counts is who is standing when the final bell rings.

    Michael Ronayne
    Nutley, NJ

  82. Andrew says:

    Anthony,

    What kind of proof do you require before I can apply that term? If it’s “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that you need, I think that info has already been offered by many sources, including this site.

    Andrew

  83. “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    I suspect that what we are seeing is a combination of cognitive bias and groupthink. Certain researchers are convinced that AGW is real so they expect to see a particular trend in the data. They are aware of the difficulties in measuring current and past temperatures and CO2 levels, and the difficulties in interpreting and comparing proxies, so they can always find a plausible rationalisation for adjusting the data to fit their assumptions. They are also surrounded by colleagues who think the same, so they will receive praise if their results show the “right” trend and hostility or ridicule if they don’t.

    It is not necessary to assume conspiracy, fraud or even incompetence when the common weaknesses of the human mind provide a sufficient explanation. Never underestimate the ability of intelligent, well-meaning people to be blinded by their own preconceptions, and never assume that it can’t happen to you as well.

  84. Vincent says:

    jorgekafkaza: “So how do you break through the voices on the so-called “science” channels as well – PBS, Discover, National Geographic, History – when they push the same propaganda?”
    So true. I tuned in to watch my favorite “The Universe”, and they were going to talk about the planet Venus. I should have known better, but naively walked right into the trap. After the few obligatory opening remarks about goddess Venus and the ancient Greeks, out comes the first salvo: “. . . but Venus can teach us about global warming,” followed by a talking head telling the viewer how carbon dioxide is making our planet hotter and hotter, the end result of which can be extrapolated from studying Venus. I switched off at that point.

  85. Ed Reid says:

    Stu (23:19:03) :

    At the risk of appearing to be a tecnical pedant, what spews forth from GISS is not properly referred to as data. Data is collected from instruments and recorded. Once it has been “massaged” through multiple “black box” computer programs, it is something else. GISS would likely argue with this interpretation, but their output is their suggestion of what the temperature data might have looked like if it had been collected timely from properly located, installed and maintained measuring stations.

    Call their final product and the process used to produce it whatever you wish, other than “data” and “data analysis”. However, remember that it cannot be picked up by its clean end.

  86. Mike Bryant says:

    I don’t know if anyone has said it, but I think that recycling these older articles is a really good way to get the word out. I think there are people becoming interested recently who have missed this older information.
    I think it’s time to pull out those oldies from this and other blogs, dresss ‘em up, find a new angle or two, pretty up the graphics and pictures and give ‘em a spin…
    I think there have been comments here that indicate that GISS adjustments are rather esoteric knowledge. Thanks for a new look at this ongoing butchering of the public’s trust.
    Mike

  87. Bill Marsh says:

    “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    Is that a corollary of Occam’s Razor?

  88. Mike Lorrey says:

    REPLY: Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony

    Anthony,
    We all lived through the Clinton era, where every “mistake” by the administration was explained away not as a conspiracy or coverup or fraud or other criminal malfeasance, but as “a mistake”, “didn’t know what we were doing”, “screw up”, “misplaced”, “misjudgement”, “misspoken”. When the people committing such actions are supposed to be the most capable and competent in the land, such to be judged by the populace as most capable of leading this country or doing its science, then any claims by them of incompetence should automatically result in their resignation or impeachment. No other outcome should be acceptable.

  89. John Galt says:

    So where is the peer-reviewed study used to explain and justify all these adjustments?

  90. Ian L. McQueen says:

    braddles wrote (22:03:14) :

    Perhaps we need a new word for this. “Fraud” does not quite suit. It is a characteristic of scientific misconduct that the perpetrators, unlike financial and other conmen, usually believe in what they are promoting. They need to, because otherwise they would realise that they would be inevitably found out. They make up or adjust results because they think that they will ultimately be in accord with the truth. They are smart enough to come up with elaborate rationalisations to justify their actions to themselves and other believers.

    From the point of view of this religious non-believer, the sentence “the perpetrators, unlike financial and other conmen, usually believe in what they are promoting” applies equally to the followers of any religious faith. Which, to me, certifies that AGW is a religion. Religions are based on faith, not proof, and that can be said of most AGW belief.

    IanM

    REPLY: Lets stop any further use of the word “fraud”. It is not supported yet. – Anthony

  91. wattsupwiththat says:

    NOTE: Lets stop any further use of the word “fraud”. It is not supported yet. – Anthony

  92. Cardin Drake says:

    You know, while they have been busy tinkering with the U.S. temperature record, it is with the global temperature record that they have done their best work.
    Somehow, I just am not believing that world-wide the temperatures in the 1920’s and 30’s were only .1 or .2 degrees above average. I have a feeling they looked a whole lot more like the U.S. temperature record.
    Has that particular manipulation been discussed on this site in the past?

  93. Ron de Haan says:

    [post excerpt plus link] ~ charles the moderator

  94. JP says:

    Anthony is absolutely correct. Until evidence comes forward, slinging words like fraud, conspiracy, etc…. is a bit over the top. The obvious problems lies in how our government conducts its business, and how the “scientific community” becomes a political advocate for one cause or another.

    In this case, based on the problems uncovered here and other places, not to mention the behavior of Dr. Hansen, the House and Senate should begin hearings concerning GISS. Since the recently passed ACES law depends heavily upon organizations such as GISS, it is incumbent upon Congress to ensure they are doing thier job. One of the obvious questions Congress could throw out is why GISS depends so heavily upon surface weather stations and not satellite derived tropespheric measurements? GISS is, afterall, part of NASA.

  95. Mr Lynn says:

    Steven Hill (05:04:10) :
    Read the title and smile…

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/environment/story/1118989.html

    nah, man has more power than that little ole sun anyday.

    Actually, the whole article, purporting to explain how the sun’s role in global warming is less than man’s, is a good example of how media pop-science promulgates misinformation and the AGW dogma. E.g., after quoting a law professor (not a scientist):

    “(V)ariations in solar energy output have far more effect on Earth’s climate than soccer moms driving SUVs,” Southwestern Law School professor Joerg Knipprath, writes in his ‘Token Conservative’ blog. “A rational thinker would understand that, especially if he or she has some understanding of the limits of human influence. But the global warming boosters have this unbounded hubris that it is humans who control nature, and that human activity can terminally despoil the planet as well as cause its salvation.”

    the author offers this rebuttal (note that ‘the sun’ has been reduced to “sunspots and solar wind”):

    Many climate scientists agree that sunspots and solar wind could be playing a role in climate change, but the vast majority view it as very minimal and attribute Earth’s warming primarily to emissions from industrial activity – and they have thousands of peer-reviewed studies available to back up that claim.

    Peter Foukal of the Massachusetts-based firm Heliophysics, Inc., who has tracked sunspot intensities from different spots around the globe dating back four centuries, also concludes that such solar disturbances have little or no impact on global warming. Nevertheless, he adds, most up-to-date climate models – including those used by the United Nations’ prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – incorporate the effects of the sun’s variable degree of brightness in their overall calculations.

    Ironically, the only way to really find out if phenomena like sunspots and solar wind are playing a larger role in climate change than most scientists now believe would be to significantly reduce our carbon emissions. Only in the absence of that potential driver will researchers be able to tell for sure how much impact natural influences have on the Earth’s climate.

    What we need are science writers (for newspapers, websites, TV documentaries, etc.) who are not in the tank for AGW, and who are willing and able to buck the ‘conventional wisdom’. Perhaps some of the readers of this blog might be able to obtain freelance gigs writing columns, scripts, and other squibs for climate realism. The tide will not turn on its own.

    /Mr Lynn

  96. Craig Moore says:

    May we use “humbug?”

  97. paul says:

    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

    A [snip] law invented by powerful deceitful people to explain away their shenanigans after they get caught red handed.

  98. Mr Lynn says:

    Oh botheration! Must have messed up the ‘blockquote’ function. Unfortunately, this primitive software does not permit us to edit or correct our submissions. Well, you can still figure out which is the newspaper article, and which is me. /Mr L

  99. timetochooseagain says:

    Nice application of Hanlon’s razor Anthony:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

  100. Arn Riewe says:

    Paraphrasing for the previous thread by Michael Hammer on the NOAA temp records, when your primary evidence for a hypothesis comes not from the data, but from the adjustments you made to the data, maybe you should check the adjustments first. Aw, hell no… why spend a few thousand dollars on an open and transparent analysis (popular terminology in some circles) when you can tax consumers and spend billions?

  101. Rod Smith says:

    Bill Marsh (06:50:57) :
    “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony”

    “Is that a corollary of Occam’s Razor?”

    As I remember it is called “Hanlon’s Razor.”

  102. Sam the Skeptic says:

    I keep being overcome by this child-like naivety. Sorry.
    Since climate is as complex as it is and since we know so little about how it works and since it could be important for our future to have some small idea of what is genuinely likely to be round the next corner, why do those who research it need to produce dubious figures , easily refuted “facts”, and in some cases outright mendacity to keep the scam going?
    I can see why politicians might need to or what could be in it for the eco-fascists but the scientists ought to be able to make a pretty good case for research funding regardless of which way things are trending. As it is when the s**t finally does hit the fan the whole concept of climatology will be so discredited that we could actually be in big trouble when we need the real research findings.
    PS Good to see the name of Richard North appear on here. Unless it’s a different one he is one of the UK good guys and well worth listening to.

  103. Pierre Gosselin says:

    GISS can try to produce a warming history all it wants, but people are not buying into it:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html

  104. Cardin Drake says:

    He will never agree to a debate. Step 1. Get Fox to agree to broadcast a debate. We will select a few people from the skeptic side, then invite Hansen or Gore for the other side.
    When they decline, somebody else will step up and want to do it.

  105. William says:

    I find the comparisons to integrity in the financial system interesting. While those responsible were held accountable to their actions, the end result was the same – people lost their money. Whatever the reasons for these adjustments, the end result will be taxes on CO2, shutting down coal plants, higher oil and gas prices, recycling by force, and many more jobs lost. Our government is not listening to these questions about their decisions.
    As Ms. Boxer said, they ” worked so hard to get that title” and are not going to give it up easily.

  106. lawyermommy says:

    I do not know why everyone is so caught up in climate this and the other. Maybe I am missing something but our right now is in a mess, at least here in the US. Should the weather be the source of so much talk??

    I am more interested in the economy, jobs, money for now. The rain and global warming will come later after the more important issues have been settled!

    Blessings!

    LM

  107. Fuelmaker says:

    I agree we should avoid characterizing this type of behavior as fraud. Braddles (22:03:14) : and Zalotocky (05:54:55) are much closer I think. Fraud is criminal and will force the offenders to defend their lives if seriously accused. We all need to be civil and help advance the science and give the people who publish a graceful way to correct themselves.

    Even Bernie Madoff probably started out by just cheating a little like a gambler who just lost, thinking he could make it up later when his system started working again. It will do no one any good if we criminalize error in science.

    And like Braddle said, it is easiest to fool ourselves. If solar minimum really is masking AGW, we will not look very smart to quibble about the data adjustments. I think the best approach is to point out the impossibility of using such disparate, uneven records to discern global temperature trends at all. The satellite records from the last 30 years are much more meaningful than any stitched together record.

  108. Bob Tisdale says:

    John Galt: You asked, “So where is the peer-reviewed study used to explain and justify all these adjustments?”

    For the USHCN papers, scroll down to the bottom of this page:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

    For the GISS papers relating to GISTEMP, refer to this one:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/references.html

    And refer to Steve McIntyre’s discussions:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1142
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1139
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1891

    Regards

  109. Bender says:

    Funny how “cooking data” is not tolerated on NASA flight programs, yet Hansen puts data through a blender, and is rewarded with ever increasing research dollars…at the expense of the Constellation program.

  110. Frank K. says:

    To me, the big message surrounding this discussion of GISS surface temperature “products” is this. Why is GISS in this business to begin with? Isn’t this kind of analysis within the purview of NOAA? Why do we have two government-generated temperature indexes that don’t even agree with each other? And if they did happen to agree, why do we have two (or more) groups doing this?

    I really see GISS as a big money sink. Any products that some agency needs could probably be done by NOAA. With the money you’d save, you could purchase some new satellites or ground equipment for research. As it is, we have GISS set up in a very expensive location (New York City) producing bad code (Model E and GISTEMP) and redundant products all at taxpayer’s expense (to the tune of millions of dollars). Has anyone reviewed their budget? What are they spending their money on? Is GISS just another place for researchers to have fun publishing papers and generating products (and press releases) that nobody needs?

    Everyone should remember the GISS example when your congressman or senator asks you to give “your fair share” of taxes to fund the government…

  111. Mike86 says:

    This is a bit OT, but has anyone else wondered about the $175/household cost the CBO is kicking out for the climate bill? How did we get from $3K-$20K/household to $175? Web references for the $175 number seem to start around 22Jun09, yet the bill was significantly altered that entire week, including the 300 pages on the last day. Now MSM is all about the CBO’s $175/household cost. Who wouldn’t save the world for $175?

    So what changed, what was subtracted, or what was ignored?

  112. David Ball says:

    lawyermommy (08:58:40) Boy, am I glad you are not my lawyer, …..

  113. Cold Play says:

    Whichever graph you look at does it really matter?

    Assumming the temperature record is dead accurate and that both graphs are accurate?

    The first shows a rise of 0.2C between 1880 and 2000. 120 years
    The second shows a rise of 0.5C between the same period.
    Why would anyone be concerned? Change the exagerated vertical scale and the change in temperature is not even worthy of discussion, but of course we will.

    Please accept this as constructive critiscism, the moving graphs especially when on stops at a later date show an exageratted distortion and I am sure this site would not want to be accussed of distorting data?

    There is a similar effect with the Central England Temperature graph which goes back to 1650, when it was “taken over” the temperature appeared to suddenly rise, but again change the vertical scale and what you get are benign climatic conditions.

  114. Cold Play says:

    Oops sorry for the typos and of course my comments are not peer reviewed.

  115. Tom in Texas says:

    Waterboarding at GISS-mo

    Where are the GISS whistleblowers?

  116. Sean says:

    I’ve always believed that fraud and conspiracy theories can be attributed to simple stupidity.

  117. EcoChemist says:

    The story today in the NYT by Paul Krugman is a riot.

    I would volunteer myself to be tried and given the death penalty as a “denier” (as they like to call it). There are no facts from Krugman or his readers… just lots of name calling and the usual “Wow you must be stupid!”.

    /waiting for my day in court

    (sorry about the ot, but i needed to vent about it)

  118. Brian Johnson uk says:

    In the South of the UK today it has been around 28º C and in 1976 it was around 36º C and yet on BBC Radio 5 this morning they had a doctor saying that warm weather was killing off old people rapidly. Stay indoors, keep cool etc. She hinted that global warming was going to make things worse and the Met Office having produced forecasts [from June 24th till this morning] for the 29th June showing no sign of a problem has just painted part of their map with warning colours from the Thames estuary to North Wales. Based on Thunderstorm actuals. So how much computer power is required to do that!

    Waiting for the sea level to rise as I type………..

  119. timetochooseagain says:

    lawyermommy (08:58:40) : You are not alone. Virtually all polls put those things you mentioned at the top of political priorities, and AGW at the bottom.

  120. The largest GISS headquarter buildings I’ve seen are in northern Washington DC – not in New York City. Then again, maybe that area “is” more expensive than in NYC. 8<)

  121. John Doe says:

    Frank K. (09:34:09) : “Why do we have two government-generated temperature indexes that don’t even agree with each other? And if they did happen to agree, why do we have two (or more) groups doing this?”

    I agree if you talk just about US, but globally I would like to have several independent agencies that measure and analyze climate data. One could be from the USA, but then European, Russian, Chinese, Indian maybe some more.

    Deviation of the measurement results gives us also an indication of accuracy but only if they are really independent.

  122. Robert Austin says:

    Flanagan (01:57:47) :

    Your post is off topic but deserves at least a comment.

    How about performing some additional calculations such as the energy lost from the global system during the Little Ice Age when glaciers advanced. This might put your energy values in context. Yes, sea levels are rising but sea levels have been rising since the last ice age. No smoking gun there.

    History shows cycles in climate are natural. Climate history shows that the earth’s climate since the 1970’s is not extraordinary or unprecedented. As much as the AGW proponents would like to switch the roles, the burden of proof is in the AGW camp.

  123. JP says:

    CBS got EPA Scoop concerning EPA censorship:

    http://tiny.cc/PEjQb

  124. Pieter F says:

    Rod Smith (08:35:42) : (Bill Marsh (06:50:57) : “Never ascribe conspiracy or fraud, when simple incompetence will do nicely – Anthony” “Is that a corollary of Occam’s Razor?”)
    As I remember it is called “Hanlon’s Razor.”

    Hanlon’s Razor goes like this:
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

    Or the variation which adds:
    “. . ., but don’t rule out malice.”

    It was Napoleon Bonaparte who used “incompetence” in place of “stupidity.”

  125. Ron de Haan says:

    Pierre Gosselin (08:50:43) :

    GISS can try to produce a warming history all it wants, but people are not buying into it:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html

    Thanks for the link Pierre, good article!

  126. Why if these sets of temperatures are adjusted with the errors, in recording temperatures, found by surfacestations.org, and draw it as comparison?

  127. Frank K. says:

    Robert A Cook PE (11:03:59) :

    “The largest GISS headquarter buildings I’ve seen are in northern Washington DC – not in New York City. Then again, maybe that area “is” more expensive than in NYC. 8<)"

    Actually, it is important to note that GISS is a subset (branch office, if you will) of the Goddard Space Flight Center – GSFC – which is, indeed, in the DC area. However, Hansen and his crew at the GISS are in fact located near Columbia University in NYC. As you point out, neither are low rent areas…

    By the way, I have tried to obtain the 2009 NASA budget with the line items from GSFC for the GISS related work and couldn't find it. It would be very illuminating to find out the details of the GISS budget for 2009 – 2010. I suspect they have been given a healthy increase in funding given the increases in the Earth Science budget for the GSFC.

    John Doe (11:11:16) :

    "I agree if you talk just about US, but globally I would like to have several independent agencies that measure and analyze climate data. One could be from the USA, but then European, Russian, Chinese, Indian maybe some more."

    "Deviation of the measurement results gives us also an indication of accuracy but only if they are really independent."

    I agree with you that it is useful to have independent verification from other groups, internationally. Of course, none of them can seem to agree on a unified method of analysis! However, in the US, with our national debt being out of control, it seems very wasteful to me to have multiple government agencies (NASA and NOAA) producing the *** same products **** (and in GISS's case, doing it badly).

    And to top it all off, we now know that the government want to create a National Climate Service, so as to hire people to do more redundant work to support the government's view of global warming!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/05/07/wuwt-poll-do-we-need-a-national-climate-service/

  128. Micky C (MC) says:

    A bit OT but it also reminds me of a phrase I hear in Ireland: “Never take an eejit with you; you’ll always find one when you get there”

  129. timetochooseagain says:

    Pieter F (11:47:19) : How come no one seems to be looking at the series of posts and properly crediting me for being the first in the thread to mention Hanlon’s Razor? I’ve got priority dang it! Hehe…

  130. John Galt says:

    I was being facetious with my comment regarding peer-review, but never-the-less the question remains: Where are the documents (scientific or otherwise) that support these adjustments?

  131. Eve says:

    I have the old records from GISS before (i hope) James Hansen started rewritting them. I am doing a graph, 1850 to 1975 from the old GiSS numbers then UAH numbers from then to now. I am at year 2000. I will see if some warming shows up after 2,000 but at present all the warming is from 1900 to 1953. Of course 1998 shows up high but it does not seen to take the rest of the years up.

  132. bluegrue says:

    Most of the change should be due to the differences in calculation between 1999 and 2001, as described in these two publications:

    GISS analysis of surface temperature change, Hansen et al. 1999, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30997-31022

    A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change, Hansen et al. 2001, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 23947-23963

    The former describes the status quo of 1999 and the changes with regard to Hansen and Lebedeff 1987, the latter documents the changes from 1999 up to 2001:
    * includes adjustments developed from station meta data (Karl 1990)
    * TOBS and station history adjustments
    * improved urban adjustments using satellite data
    Read the paper for details.

    Here is a blinker comparison of the US48 temperature data using properly scaled figures from the two Hansen papers referenced above:

    http://i41.tinypic.com/9bgidh.gif

    Now, if readers could please point out what exactly they find wrong with the corrections listed in Hansen 2001, as would behoove a science blog, instead of insinuating out of hand “fraud”, “manipulation”, “mistakes” or “incompetence”.

    P.S.: All that was required to find this info was to go to the NASA Goddard site, click on “+Publications” in the top menu, click on “Authors” in the left menu, select “James E. Hansen” and have a look at the papers of the period 1999 to 2001.

  133. Jack Green says:

    What would the models say if you input the raw data and project it forward? If the temperature data has to be “corrected” for inaccuracies doesn’t that compound or add the errors of the computer models?

    History matching incorrect input data means you get an answer that doesn’t mean anything. This should be earth shattering to the climate community. Has anyone gotten comments from them? Dr Meier etc???

    The silence is very loud.

  134. Craig Moore says:

    “It would be a wonderful thing for mankind if some philosophic Yankee would contrive some kind of “ometer” that would measure the infusion of humbug in anything. A “Humbugometer” he might call it. I would warrant him a good sale.”
    — P. T. Barnum

  135. Indiana Bones says:

    GISS can try to produce a warming history all it wants, but people are not buying into it:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124597505076157449.html

    A very strong article indeed. And interestingly the Alarmists are hard at work positioning their retreat. Only their strategy is the “surrender and call it victory” approach:

    http://www.pbl.nl/en/news/pressreleases/2009/20090625-Global-CO2-emissions_-annual-increase-halved-in-2008.html

    In spite of increasing emissions from new cars, factories and power plants, we have cut the rate of annual emissions by 50%. But has this any effect on
    atmospheric trends? Apparently not:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    So, just how much could man-made CO2 be contributing to atmospheric CO2? The truly perplexing development is that if the sustainable-ists had dropped the whole “climate change” facade – they could still have gotten the money for alternative energy. Now they have to surrender (gosh, there is no global warming) and call it a victory.

    Is that a sign post or Rod Serling up ahead?

  136. Frank K. says:

    bluegrue (12:38:49) :

    One of the common features of both the references you cited is that neither of them have a single equation! Isn’t that great???

    Some of the explanations of their algorithms (such as they are) are very confused and, in some cases, they do things with little justification.

    But – despite this – what I’d like for you to do, bluegrue, is to download the culmination of all of this research – the code GISTEMP. You can do so here…

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources/

    Once you study the source code, please return here and tell us all how the algorithms contained in your references are reflected in the FORTRAN code developed by GISS. If you happen to come across some equations in other references which you can relate to the source code, that would be a bonus. Extra points will be awarded if you can actually get it to compile and run correctly.

    Please take your time. GISTEMP, being of typical GISS quality, will take some effort to get through.

  137. kurt says:

    I’m thinking that the word you are looking for is “naive.” The word “fraud” is unjustified because most of those publicizing the corrected data really believe in both the corrections and in AGW. Similarly, “incompetent” is too harsh because the corrections are carefully considered and meticulously applied.

    The problem is in accepting theory as operative fact. Climate science is not a discipline where scientists are constantly slapped upside the head by the real world, for the simple reason that there is no way of effectively testing their theoretical results. In this case, being slapped upside the head is a good thing. Physicians get slapped upside the head when their pills and treatments are shown in studies to be only partially effective, if that. Engineers are slapped upside the head when their prototypes break in the real world and they have to go back to the drawing board. It is this repetitive experience that informs a person that when theory meets reality, theory is a loser on most occasions.

    This is anecdotal, but in my line of work, I talk to a lot of engineers and I have yet to meet one that buys hook-line-and-sinker into the global warning theory. It’s not that they find it implausible, it’s just that they don’t attribute much credibility to it. Michael Crichton was a physician, and I’m guessing that this training also underpinned his scepticism of AGW theory when identifying all the reasons why it could be wrong. I would assume that many meteorologists, who have to deal with forecasts being wrong, also have reservations about the conclusiveness of the science behind AGW theory.

    It not only is plausible, but likely, that all the scienctific procedures followed are correct, all the calculations performed are correct, but the result is nonetheless wrong for reasons that, without blame, could not have been anticipated. And it’s these very failures that lead to the advances that in turn eventually produce the correct result.

    Climate scientists are in a discipline where they are largely insulated from the reality of being regularly proven wrong, despite having done everything right. I think this leads to a naive overconfidence in the results of even methodologically sound scientific studies or calculations.

  138. Errata: “Why if these sets of temperatures ” must read “What if..”

  139. kurt says:

    “Jack Green (13:02:39) :

    What would the models say if you input the raw data and project it forward?”

    If I understand climate models, that’s the wromg question. The input of cliamte models are forcings like solar flux, CO2 concentration, aeresol concentration, etc. The output of a climate model is a stream of temperature data over a future interval. The inner workings of the climate model express the theory that relates the individual forcings to the individual output.

    The real question is whether the inner workings if the climate models were adjusted to best fit a temperature record that doesn’t reflect real variations in termperature, and if so, would those models produce a different result if they were calibrated to the raw rather than the unadjusted temperature data.

  140. Bob Tisdale says:

    Cold Play: You wrote, “Please accept this as constructive critiscism (sic), the moving graphs especially when on (sic) stops at a later date show an exageratted (sic) distortion and I am sure this site would not want to be accussed (sic) of distorting data?”

    Actually, I, as the author of the post, do not appreciate the accusation or even the inference that I in some way distorted the data in this post.

    Document your claims. You can accomplish this by downloading the data from the links I provided, importing them into spreadsheet software, plotting the data, uploading them to a picture hosting website, and providing links here at WUWT with your explanation. Don’t forget to make sure that all graph sizes are the same size. Then you can compare them to the following graphs that I imported to GIF Movie Gear software to create the animations.

    GISTEMP Version 2000:
    http://i44.tinypic.com/15je4j.png

    GISTEMP Version 2009:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/30i8390.png

    GISTEMP Version 2000 With Linear Trend:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/16la43.png

    GISTEMP Version 2009 With Linear Trend (Ends in 1999 for Comparison with Earlier Data):
    http://i43.tinypic.com/1zdvk2g.png

    If you were to open all of the linked graphs and flip between them, you’d notice a number of things. The scales are the same. The sizes of the graphs are the same. There’s no change in the curves when flipping between the graphs identified as 2000 data–the graph with the trend and the one without. The same thing holds true for graphs identified as 2009 data, with the following exception. I deleted the 2000 through 2008 data in the 2009 graph with the linear trend for the trend comparison.

    You, Cold Play, accused me of manipulating the data or the presentation of the data in the graphs. Document your accusation.

  141. Bill D says:

    John:

    Did you miss Bob’s comment below? He is referencing lists of numerous peer-reviewed papers that describe the rationales and methods for the temperature adjustments. You can access the abstracts of all of these papers, I think and your can probably find full copies of some of them online.

    John Galt (12:31:57) :

    I was being facetious with my comment regarding peer-review, but never-the-less the question remains: Where are the documents (scientific or otherwise) that support these adjustments?

    Bob Tisdale (09:21:33) :

    John Galt: You asked, “So where is the peer-reviewed study used to explain and justify all these adjustments?”

    For the USHCN papers, scroll down to the bottom of this page:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

    For the GISS papers relating to GISTEMP, refer to this one:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/references.html

    And refer to Steve McIntyre’s discussions:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1142
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1139
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1891

  142. John Galt says:

    kurt (13:45:35) :

    “Jack Green (13:02:39) :

    What would the models say if you input the raw data and project it forward?”

    If I understand climate models, that’s the wromg question. The input of cliamte models are forcings like solar flux, CO2 concentration, aeresol concentration, etc. The output of a climate model is a stream of temperature data over a future interval. The inner workings of the climate model express the theory that relates the individual forcings to the individual output.

    The real question is whether the inner workings if the climate models were adjusted to best fit a temperature record that doesn’t reflect real variations in termperature, and if so, would those models produce a different result if they were calibrated to the raw rather than the unadjusted temperature data.

    The climate models are designed to show what the modelers believe is driving recent climate changes. They took a short period of the late 20th century, saw a correlation between CO2 and temps and then built model that projects that projects correlation decades into the future.

    Unfortunately, the purported correlation between CO2 and increasing temps only fits for short periods of the 20th century climate while the opposite correlation appears to be the case from ~1940 – 1979. The models also included hypothetical feedbacks, which have yet to actually observed in the real world.

    In short, the models shown more warming from more atmospheric CO2 because that’s how the models were programmed.

    I am not implying fraud in the creation of these models, I am saying the modelers got it wrong. What is fraudulent, however, is how the modelers let the media mispresent their work.

  143. Tim Clark says:

    John Galt (12:31:57) :
    I was being facetious with my comment regarding peer-review, but never-the-less the question remains: Where are the documents (scientific or otherwise) that support these adjustments?

    The earliest one from Mitchell I can’t get my hands on. Enjoy!

    Karl, T.R., C.N. Williams, P.J. Young, and W.M. Wendland, Model to estimate the time of observation bias associated with
    monthly mean maximum, minimum and mean temperatures for the United States, J. Clim. Appl. Meteorol., 25, 145-
    160, 1986.
    Mitchell, J.M., Effect of changing observation time on mean temperature, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 39, 83-89, 1958.
    Karl, T.R., and C.N. Williams, An approach to adjusting climatological time series for discontinuous inhomogeneities, J. Clim.
    Appl. Meteorol., 26, 1744-1763, 1987.
    Karl, T.R., C.N. Williams, P.J. Young, and W.M. Wendland, Model to estimate the time of observation bias associated with
    monthly mean maximum, minimum and mean temperatures for the United States, J. Clim. Appl. Meteorol., 25, 145-
    160, 1986.
    Karl, T.R., H.F. Diaz, and G. Kukla, Urbanization: Its detection and effect in the United States climate record, J. Clim., 1, 1099-
    1123, 1988.
    Karl, T.R., J.D. Tarplay, R.G. Quayle, H.F. Diaz, D.A. Robinson, and R.S. Bradley, The recent climate record: What it can and
    cannot tell us, Rev. Geophys., 27, 405-430, 1989.
    Karl, T.R., C.N. Williams, F.T. Quinlan, and T.A. Boden, in United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), Environ.
    Sci. Div. Publ. 3404, Carbon Dioxide Inf. and Anal. Cent., Oak Ridge Natl. Lab, Oak Ridge, Tenn., 1990.
    Karl, T.R., R.W. Knight, and J. Christy, Global and hemispheric temperature trends: Uncertainties related to inadequate
    sampling, J. Clim., 7, 1144-1163, 1994.

  144. Martin says:

    I did a run on the V2009 series where I calculated the delta of two anomalies i.e. d_1881 = a(1881) – a(1880) along up to 2008 – thinking there should be a trend when a high year is not compensated with a low year. But I found the mean of all these deltas to be 0.0026 which is as good as zero – alas the linear trend in the year to year delta of the anomalies is flat on zero but completely uncorrelated R2=1E-5.
    I sometimes find it interesting to see if that kind of derivative runs away on series but here it stays put on the long run.

    Can anybody explain why or what it means.
    Note: I may have done something completely wrong – don’t hesitate to call me a fool but tell me why …

    BTW the two series (2000 and 2009) have a nicely matching year to year delta even they differ in the absolute value of the anomalies.

    Martin

  145. John Galt says:

    @Bill D (13:56:52) :

    There is some delay while posts are waiting moderation and that post was not visible before I posted mine.

    I thank you for the links, but the GISS documents are not helpful in determining why they back-adjusted the data. Is the answer in one or more of the 16 documents referenced on that page? If so, I’m not going to be able to sort through all of them to find the information I requested.

    Climate Audit does a wonderful job critiquing the adjustments, but these posts do not explain the GISS rationale for adjusting past observations.

    The question isn’t how (or why) does GISS adjust current readings, but how does it adjust historical data and what is the justification for this? I think that question alone merits an answer that is not buried in some other document.

    If GISS discovered that all the thermometers in use in the 1930’s read too high, then that’s newsworthy, don’t you think?

    BTW: I didn’t find the answer in the documents linked by bluegrue, either. I did a search on the PDFs and they don’t seem to address that issue, just adjustment of current readings.

    Thank you

  146. hogcatch says:

    What we do know is that the occurrence of climate change is nothing new to this planet, and our participation is all that we are unsure of!
    http://www.edwardjones.com/cgi/getHTML.cgi?page=/en_US/fa/index.html

  147. evanmjones says:

    Re TOBS.

    Method is all very nice, but wouldn’t it be even nicer actually to look at the B-91forms and see what those TOBS actually were? Which I understand NOAA does not do. Or is that too novel a concept?

  148. kurt says:

    I’m having a little trouble understanding how the comparison between the adjusted data in 2000 and the adjusted data in 2008 shows that a trend line from 1880 to about 1915 changed from neutral to cooling.

    My recollection of this, from what I read over at ClimateAudit, is that missing or unreliable data is interpolated using more recent information. For example, if an average temperature for month “x” was not available, it is deduced from preceding and subsequent months. I’m assuming that corrections for UHI and TOB, etc. also follow the paradigm that the adjusted data is derived from data points subsequent to the suspect data, hence revisions will necessarily involve ongoing alterations to the historical record.

    But there has to be some real-world phenomenon upon which those estimates/corrections are based, and that phenomonon can’t reasonably be expected to reach forward/back in time by a century or more. As an analogy, if a camera sensor has a bad pixel, good image processing software can estimate the value of that pixel from those of its neighbors. Though not guaranteed, you can at least pick a “statistically likely” value that over a number of images will me more likely correct than not. But I can’t imagine that there is any reason why the value of a pixel at one corner of a 15-20 megapixel image has any expected relationship to the value of a pixel at the other corner.

    In this instance, we know that the corrected version in 2000 had raw data values for the 1880-1915 period, but at some point after 2000 the corrections continued to adjust these values. Now I understand that these are anomolies from an average measured over a large base period of time, such that if you adjust the values of any year in that base year, the entire set of anomolies is going to have to be adjusted because the average just changed. Having said that, however, you would still think that the corrective process would affect “x” less and less as you move froward in time from “x”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case if information post-2000 could change a 35-year trend that started about 120 years ago.

    Just from eyeballing the animation it looks like the changes at the back of the 120+ year history are only slightly less significant, if at all, from the changes at the front.

  149. Bob Tisdale says:

    Kurt: You wrote, “I’m having a little trouble understanding how the comparison between the adjusted data in 2000 and the adjusted data in 2008 shows that a trend line from 1880 to about 1915 changed from neutral to cooling.”

    Please identify who you’re addressing your comment to. Thanks. In the post, I didn’t discuss the any change from neutral to cooling in the early data.

  150. Frank Kotler says:

    “Convenient Untruth”?

    Best,
    Frank

  151. I love that there’s a “Help Solve Global Warming” on this blog. Hilarious

  152. paralegalnm says:

    Mark Twain’s maxim of three lies, “lies, damn lies, and statistics” seems to apply here.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/greenhouse/Chapter1.htm

    Following the GISS timeline, the median average CO2 load humans have dumped into the atmosphere is 2 billion metric tons per year. In that time, the CO2 percentage of atmospheric gas has increased from 280 to 380 parts per million, which sounds less dramatic when transposed to the actual percentages, .028% to .038%.

    The one-half degree of global warming over a century can be attributed to many things. Land use, solar cycles, man’s productivity producing water vapor and other heat exchanges, . . . but our government has tied it to an increase of CO2 of .001%.

    The problem is only .001% of our government are NOT lawyers. Neither Joe Biden or Barack Obama had any experience or education outside of two years of law before going into politics. This makes them excellent liars, but horrible scientists.

  153. kurt says:

    Bob Tisdale (15:56:03) :

    “Kurt: You wrote, “I’m having a little trouble understanding how the comparison between the adjusted data in 2000 and the adjusted data in 2008 shows that a trend line from 1880 to about 1915 changed from neutral to cooling.”

    Sorry, this was only a comment based on my own comparison of the animation above. If you look at the first 35 years as it flashes from one version to the next you can eyeball a trend for the first 30-35 years of the bottom scale and see that it switches from approximately flat (2000 correction) to a cooling trend (2008 correction). My post was basically wondering what kind of correction algorithm would make such a significant shift in data so old between a 2000 correction and later corrections between 2001 and 2008. It was not a comment on anything specific that you wrote.

  154. Craig Moore – May we use “humbug?”

    Sure, as long as you prefix it with “Bah” and make your clerk work on Christmas day.

  155. kurt says:

    paralegalnm (17:11:38) :

    “In that time, the CO2 percentage of atmospheric gas has increased from 280 to 380 parts per million, which sounds less dramatic when transposed to the actual percentages, .028% to .038% . . . but our government has tied it to an increase of CO2 of .001%.”

    The difference between the two values is 0.01%. Moreover, this means that the concentration of CO2 has increased to about 36% of it’s original concentration in the atmosphere, which is not insignificant. There are a number of excellent arguments as to why man’s CO2 emissions aren’t dangerous, but the one that CO2 emissions must not have a significant effect because CO2 in total comprises such a small percentage of the atmosphere, in my opinion, is not one of them. In fact, it is the very first contributions of CO2 to the atmoshphere that should have the largest effect because the atmospheric IR-absorbtion v. CO2 concentration chart is logarithmic.

  156. I think many, probably most scientists are naively acting in good faith. They also often have appalling manners when their pet theories are disputed. They also often are unable to apply scientific method afresh, direct, when it is suggested that peer-review is suspect and that amateur scientists are bypassing this process and looking at evidence afresh, direct. They are often only able to stay in their privileged positions because of the work of eco-brownshirts of whom they are not aware, who, as Chris Horner shows in detail, attack and silence the climate realists, who would otherwise displace the climate naive. IMHO. But I could be wrong.

  157. theduke says:

    It is an amazing visual aid. The two thirds of the graph to the left of 1960 clearly move downward with the adjustment while the one third to the right clearly moves upward with the adjustment.

    Very dramatic.

    Can this be adequately explained by the adjusters? I won’t hold my breath.

  158. John Goetz says:

    It is not fraud. I believe it is largely an artifact of the last two year’s temperature record in the US being comprised of only ~130 US stations, almost all of which are airports. Furthermore, all but 15 of those stations are considered urban. Although the urban stations are homogenized with rural data, the rural stations involved in that homogenization have not had their data used by GISS since at least this time 2007.

  159. Eddie says:

    That’s pretty tricky. You’re taking the “new data”, but still only plotting through the year 2000 to reach an adjusted figure. How about you plot the latest cooling trend, too?

  160. Smokey says:

    kurt,

    Regarding the decreasing logarithmic effect of each succeeding increase in atmospheric CO2, I find that this chart shows how very insignificant any future CO2 increases would be:

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0115707ce438970b-pi
    [chart source]

    The CO2 question is essential to the entire AGW debate. If increasing CO2 will cause runaway global warming, then something must be done.

    But the science tells us that runaway global warming is only a scare tactic. In fact, there is no such thing as runaway global warming — which would require positive feedback and a large climate sensitivity number. The first one doesn’t exist, and the second one has been falsified [h/t to Bill Illis, among others].

    The chart makes clear that rising CO2 will have very little effect on the planet’s temperature. And that is the reason the CO2 = AGW crowd is getting so shrill.

  161. MikeF says:

    Flanagan (01:57:47) :

    Ever wondered how much energy is involved in global warming? Glaciers lost approximately 6,000 km3 since the 70ies, which makes 6×10^18 g. Given that the enthalpy of fusion of ice is 333 J/g, we get approximately 2×10^21 J.

    That’s 2 billion terajoules. Hiroshima bomb was 63 TJ. The amount of energy that was necessary to melt all this ice was thus more or less the equivalent of 31 million Hiroshima bombs.

    The heat we get in the atmosphere is what has not been used to melt this ice or (with some delay) to warm the seas. Not counting the melting of the Arctic. In other words, it is more a collateral damage than the main issue, in my opinion. We should focus more on what happens to the overall glacier thickness and sea levels.

    Hmm, that does sounds scary, doesn’t it?
    Well, according to
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/D7.html

    average hurricane produces 5.2 x 10e19J per day. That means that about 50 days of hurricanes will use up as much energy as your whole scary glacier melting. Counting both Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes that would take about what, 1 year or so?

  162. jtom says:

    For Robert A Cook PE (20:40:51; 6/28):

    As a fellow ‘Gawgin” (that’s Georgian for those who don’t speak Southern) I had the same question. My solution was to email our Senators telling them if they don’t defeat this legislation or filabuster it to death, I would be voting Libertarian when their reelections come up. Having an ineffective Congressman is tantamount to not having one at all. I would hope that Cambliss got a big enough scare last time, but the lack of public outrage from our Congressmen is very disturbing.

    If someone out there has access to them, let them know that being a good guy with the Dems and working out something more palatable is going to get them booted out of office. The only acceptable climate bill is no bill at all.

  163. crosspatch says:

    “I would be voting Libertarian when their reelections come up. Having an ineffective Congressman is tantamount to not having one at all.”

    I am simply going to vote against whoever is running against the incumbent in all races regardless of party.

  164. rbateman says:

    Has anyone stopped to consider the short-term consequeces of an extended minimum dropping the sea levels?
    Major ports, estuaries and the Panama & Suez Canals come to mind.
    Impinged accessability right when the literary record shows that trade is most needed to address potential crop failures.
    Now, that’s not something you scare people with, it’s something that makes your climate data very important. Any monkeying with the data to hide the cooling will impose delay on goverments making plans to deepen the channel entrances.
    The result is that the world’s economy & trade will take it in the chops, which is exactly what this Energy Bill before Congress will do. Bust our chops.

  165. a jones says:

    It is possible but far from certain that the ancients did build a canal from the Mediterrean to the Red Sea.

    Certainly when the new Suez canal was built many people thought that there might be a difference in sea levels between the two ends, as it were.

    There wasn’t then and there isn’t now.

    And unlike the Panama the Suez has no locks: but it does have level/tidal gauges, for all practical purposes there is no tide in the Med, about three inches I think, nor in the Red Sea, less than a foot.

    Since the Suez Canal was built and opened in 1869 these gauges show no change in sea levels at either end to an accuracy of approximately one inch.

    Does that answer your question?

    Kindest Regards

  166. pwl says:

    When does a correction stop being a legitimate correction and become scientific fraud?

    Is that the case here?

  167. Mark T says:

    Smokey (18:43:18) :

    But the science tells us that runaway global warming is only a scare tactic. In fact, there is no such thing as runaway global warming — which would require positive feedback and a large climate sensitivity number.

    Technically, a runaway condition can only happen in an active system. Any and all passive systems are bounded input, bounded output (BIBO) stable by definition since none of the poles of the system are in the right half plane.

    There would need to be an amplifier with a plug in the wall somewhere amplifying the energy input to the earth, which would imply an input of energy from somewhere other than the sun (since the sun’s energy is what would need to be amplified). Even if you accept the Venus climate as that of a greenhouse gone wild, it was not the result of a runaway: the end result is most definitely bounded. Physical, active systems that go into runaway conditions burn themselves out because their output is not bounded and there is not an infinite amount of energy in the universe capable of supplying the runaway.

    Mark

  168. Flanagan says:

    Well I think it’s not off-topic on the sense that most of the energy from excess greenhouse effect goes to melting ice and heating water, and only a fraction heats the atmosphere – so taking a look only at the average surface air temperature over only the US is not really related to global warming.

    The comparison with hurricanes is an interesting one, though completely irrelevant here. Hurricanes, like melting, are a consequence of heat being “captured” (by liquid water in that case) and thus also act as an energy “sink” (or more precisely a means to transfer energy) rather than an energy source. And I truly wonder how a hurricane could melt glaciers, so the connection between the two is at best dubious.

  169. Kurt says:

    “Smokey (18:43:18) :

    kurt,

    Regarding the decreasing logarithmic effect of each succeeding increase in atmospheric CO2, I find that this chart shows how very insignificant any future CO2 increases would be.”

    You are preaching to the choir, here. I was responding to a post dismissing CO2 because it’s concentration in the atmosphere is minute. I pointed out, correctly, that that was faulty reasoning (after all, that minute amount of CO2 is responsible for maintaining all plant life on earth – a very significant effect.) Your point is actually that the concentration is already so high that any additional increases have little effect, in essence taking the opposite tack from the original poster. Your point is valid, although it dismisses the alleged positive feedback scenarios (which I do not buy into by the way) and also dismisses an argument that an exponential increase in CO2 emissions over time will counteract the logarathmic response of additional CO2. Personally, I think the climate system has negative feedback, meaning that the response to even exponential growth in CO2 emissions will be muted.

    Somewhere above (or in a different post) there was a comment that accuracy is needed if you want to convince those who buy into AGW that the nightmare scenarios are wrong. All I was doing was discouraging an argument that is too easily rebutted.

  170. Philip_B says:

    That’s 2 billion terajoules. Hiroshima bomb was 63 TJ. The amount of energy that was necessary to melt all this ice was thus more or less the equivalent of 31 million Hiroshima bombs.

    Of course, the Earth receives 3,850,000 exajoules of energy from the sun each year. So 2 billion terajoules is 15 seconds of sunshine. Spread over half a century to melt your glaciers.

    And of course, a tiny fraction of the known and undisputed variation in solar output. Proving that glacier melt is insignificant on the scale of the Earth’s climate.

    Flanagan, I’m sure those numbers impress your friends, but they are unlikely to impress the rather more numerate crowd here. ;-)

  171. bluegrue says:

    @ Frank K. (13:36:34) :

    Once you study the source code, please return here and tell us all how the algorithms contained in your references are reflected in the FORTRAN code developed by GISS.

    If you had given the GISTEMP code you link to even a cursory look, you would have noted that the adjustments by Karl and TOBS are not calculated within the GISTEMP code, instead it uses the already corrected USHCN data in step 0. What was this act of misdirection trying to achieve? Set me off on a wild goose chase? Or did you try to impress other readers? FAIL on both counts. Urban adjustments are covered in step 2, again the interesting stuff (which site is rural) is done elsewhere.

    One of the common features of both the references you cited is that neither of them have a single equation! Isn’t that great???

    Has it even occurred to you, that there is no simple equation to cover the effects? Take a look at TOBS, for example: A Model to Estimate the Time of Observation Bias Associated with Monthly Mean Maximum, Minimum and Mean Temperatures for the United States, TR Karl et al., J. Appl. Met. 25(2), pp. 145–160, Feb. 1986
    (PDF). If you are interested, you can buy their code.

    Extra points will be awarded if you can actually get it to compile and run correctly.

    To learn what, exactly? TOBS and other interesting stuff are done elsewhere.

  172. bluegrue says:

    @ John Galt (14:28:42) :

    I thank you for the links, but the GISS documents are not helpful in determining why they back-adjusted the data. [...] BTW: I didn’t find the answer in the documents linked by bluegrue, either. I did a search on the PDFs and they don’t seem to address that issue, just adjustment of current readings.

    What part of

    In other words it was a two-legged adjustment with the two legs hinged at 1950 and with the slopes of the two lines chosen to minimize the mean square difference between the adjusted urban record and the mean of its rural neighbors.

    The urban adjustment in the current GISS analysis is a similar two-legged adjustment, but the date of the hinge point is no longer fixed at 1950, the maximum distance used for rural neighbors is 500 km provided that sufficient stations are available, and “small-town” (population 10,000 to 50,000) stations are also adjusted.

    don’t you understand? If you do this kind of adjustment, old values will vary.

    If so, I’m not going to be able to sort through all of them to find the information I requested.

    Reading up is part of science, get used to it. There is no executive summary.

  173. Pavel P. says:

    I think it’s the same data as in “Questions on the evolution…”, depicted November 14, 2008 on this site.

  174. M says:

    Interesting post. I made a graph showing the deviation between the 2009 data and the 2000 data: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_3vq8ECeb6L8/Sknkz72wIrI/AAAAAAAABqw/j6D_StPA8DA/s1600-h/giss+2009+minus+2000.JPG

    In 1968, the deviation is zero; in 1999, the deviation is +0,23 degrees Celsius.

    And in case anyone’s interested – link to the blogpost with the graph, translated by Google Translate (pretty rough translation, naturally, but there’s not much to read anyway): http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fnontelly.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F06%2Favvikelse-mellan-giss-2009-siffror.html&sl=sv&tl=en&history_state0=

  175. Pat says:

    “Philip_B (01:02:27) :

    That’s 2 billion terajoules. Hiroshima bomb was 63 TJ. The amount of energy that was necessary to melt all this ice was thus more or less the equivalent of 31 million Hiroshima bombs.

    Of course, the Earth receives 3,850,000 exajoules of energy from the sun each year. So 2 billion terajoules is 15 seconds of sunshine. Spread over half a century to melt your glaciers.

    And of course, a tiny fraction of the known and undisputed variation in solar output. Proving that glacier melt is insignificant on the scale of the Earth’s climate.

    Flanagan, I’m sure those numbers impress your friends, but they are unlikely to impress the rather more numerate crowd here. ;-)”

    Nice one!

  176. Zer0th says:

    paralegalnm: “Mark Twain’s maxim of three lies, “lies, damn lies, and statistics” seems to apply here.”

    Not wrong per se, however: usually attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and later popularized in America by author Mark Twain.

  177. Frank K. says:

    bluegrue (02:03:41) :

    Here is what you wrote previously, bluegrue:

    “Most of the change should be due to the differences in calculation between 1999 and 2001, as described in these two publications:

    GISS analysis of surface temperature change, Hansen et al. 1999, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30997-31022

    A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change, Hansen et al. 2001, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 23947-23963

    The former describes the status quo of 1999 and the changes with regard to Hansen and Lebedeff 1987, the latter documents the changes from 1999 up to 2001:
    * includes adjustments developed from station meta data (Karl 1990)
    * TOBS and station history adjustments
    * improved urban adjustments using satellite data
    Read the paper for details.”

    As you correctly point out, the papers “describe” the numerous adjustments that are made to the data (not just TOBS), including station merging, filling
    missing data, UHI adjustments, etc.

    If you had indeed looked at the GISTEMP for more than a minute, you would know that all of these additional adjustments (over and above TOBS) are contained in GISTEMP. So, my challenge to you was to go through the code and show us how these algorithms are implemented, and verify for us that they indeed are doing what is reported in the papers you cite. I can understand if you are frustrated…GISTEMP is not good code, and was released under duress by Hansen after the infamous Y2K debacle. You will also note that GISS is so proud of this code that it is listed under their Software link….NOT.

    “What was this act of misdirection trying to achieve? Set me off on a wild goose chase?”

    There is no misdirection here. GISTEMP is used to produce the GISS surface temperature histories — what better way to examine the adjustments made to the raw surface temperature data than to look at the code? GISTEMP should contain all f the algorithms described in the papers you cite, right?

    “Has it even occurred to you, that there is no simple equation to cover the effects?”

    The equations don’t have to be simple…they be complex if you prefer. Perhaps even differential equations. My point is that, here we have a code, GISTEMP, which is implementing an algorithm with numerous mathematical relations (e.g. spatial blending and averaging relations). Yet, nowhere in the references cited do I see these relations spelled out just as they are implemented in the software. The same goes for Model E, their equally bad AOGCM. GISS really doesn’t believe in proper documentation, you see. Just write some quick research code, publish your results, and move on. This would not be tolerated in most serious research institutions.

    So, why does all this matter? We are being asked here in the US to believe that we must engage in a destructive cap and trade policy, largely on the basis of temperature histories generated by codes like GISTEMP. It is therefore important to audit these codes and know what they are doing so we can be confident of the results. So far, I am not very confident…

    Finally, I must give GISS at least some credit for actually making their code available to the public. Try get the corresponding codes from NOAA or the Hadley Center…

  178. John Galt says:

    @bluegrue

    You may be surprised, but many of us do not have time to read through the 71 pages that make up the two documents to see if they contain what you say they contain.

    You are right about needing to read things for myself, but if you expect people to pay attention to you, you need to be more specific.

    I do not have unlimited time but I am willing to read documents linked by others. I did a search of those documents using a different set of keywords and didn’t find the relevant sections. You have some point in calling me out and you also need to realize that you should point out the relevant sections when you post a link to a document if you really expect someone to follow-up on what you post.

    I have briefly read the explanations of the adjustments and I am still not satisfied, but no, GISS did not adjust the data without posting some explanation, so I stand corrected on that point.

    Thank you

  179. bluegrue says:

    Frank K. (07:10:53) :
    As you can see from the NCDC’s information on USHCN adjustments the big players in the difference of 1999 and 2001 data – the difference this very post is about – are TOBS and SHAP. Neither of these is part of the GISTEMP code, GISTEMP uses input data that already incorporates TOBS and SHAP.

    what better way to examine the adjustments made to the raw surface temperature data than to look at the code?

    See above, GISTEMP does not handle raw data.

    The equations don’t have to be simple…they be complex if you prefer. Perhaps even differential equations

    Have you even looked at the Karl et al. paper I have linked to in my post? There are models that you simply can not wrap up in a closed formula, be it differential equation or whatever.

    I can understand if you are frustrated…GISTEMP is not good code

    I am not frustrated at the code, I am frustrated at you. You ignore the big corrections, the ones I specifically pointed out in my post, which are part of USHCN, and tell me to find them in GISTEMP. Then you tell me to go over the source code and verify to you that the code does what it promises to do (data in-filling, UHI correction, …). A few problems with this:

    a) I trust Hansen et al to faithfully implement the described algorithms, unlike you

    b) Verification takes a lot of time, and I consider it a waste of my free time because of a). Keep in mind that HadCrud, Gistemp and the satellite data agree reasonably well, given that they cover different data (HadCrud does not interpolate polar data, Sat is not surface)

    c) Assume I take the time and do verify the code and write up what happens. I am an anonymous voice on the internet. Even if I were to disclose my real life name, why should you trust my analysis more than Hansen’s? You would not, and again my time would be wasted. So why don’t you do it yourself?

    I half expect that some commenter down the line will cherry-pick a) only and ignore b) and c) to show how deluded I am.

    largely on the basis of temperature histories generated by codes like GISTEMP.

    If you choose to ignore our understanding of radiative and convective transfer, absorption spectra of CO2 and H2O, studies of climate sensitivity from paleo records, observed northward movement of hardiness zones, …., if you choose to forget everything else but the temperature record, then yes, it’s only the temperature record.

  180. bluegrue says:

    @ John Galt (07:35:36) :

    you should point out the relevant sections when you post a link to a document

    I’ll try and keep it in mind in the future.

    read through the 71 pages

    11 pages, if you just take the text of the 2001 paper, which describes the changes. ;-) I did not search for key words, but looked for the section headings. Yet I agree, you only have that much time.

  181. John Galt says:

    @ bluegrue (08:14:45) :

    I design and develop software for a living and teach college computer programming courses. I have looked at the source code for GISTEMP and it is a horrible, horrible mess.

    You can never trust that a programmer correctly expressed an algorithm in code. The code must be tested and verified.

    I also doubt Dr. Hansen personally writes much of the code himself, but that is possible. (I think Hansen is probably too busy doing other, higher-level functions than to write or review code, but I could be wrong. Do you have knowledge otherwise? It’s rare for some one in an executive position to be involved at that level, but it is possible.)

    If a student handed in a project coded like GISTEMP , he/she would not get a good grade. The code is sloppy, poorly organized and poorly documented. None of the standard programming practices are followed. Nor would any of my clients find code like that acceptable. Why should GISS accept a lower standard?

  182. Frank K. says:

    bluegrue (08:14:45) :

    “I am not frustrated at the code, I am frustrated at you. You ignore the big corrections, the ones I specifically pointed out in my post, which are part of USHCN, and tell me to find them in GISTEMP. Then you tell me to go over the source code and verify to you that the code does what it promises to do (data in-filling, UHI correction, …). ”

    Bluegrue – I’m not ignoring anything – you are in fact ignoring your own post!

    You cited several references which form the basis of GISTEMP and I merely suggested you check out the code. You then got frustrated with me – I think your frustration is misguided.

    “a) I trust Hansen et al to faithfully implement the described algorithms, unlike you”

    I’ve looked at the code. Have you??

    “b) Verification takes a lot of time, and I consider it a waste of my free time…”

    Don’t worry – you have plenty of company at GISS, who consider basic validation, verification, and testing to be a waste of their time too…

    “If you choose to ignore our understanding of radiative and convective transfer, absorption spectra of CO2 and H2O, studies of climate sensitivity from paleo records, observed northward movement of hardiness zones, …., if you choose to forget everything else but the temperature record, then yes, it’s only the temperature record.”

    Yes, the climate has warmed and cooled over thousands of years, regardless of our presence…[sigh]

  183. bluegrue says:

    I’ve looked at the code. Have you??

    My concern were the TOBS and SHAP, you’ll find that info in do_comb_step0.sh

    echo “replacing USHCN station data in $1 by USHCN_noFIL data (Tobs+maxmin adj+SHAPadj+noFIL)”

    plus looking up the readmes on the USHCN ftp site. I have not looked into filling in data or the two-legged urban correction; I gave it a cursory look and saw that there is not much to learn about how the urban/rural distinction is deduced from satellite data in step 2. It is just data handling, the decision urban/rural was taken elsewhere. You claim you have looked into the code: Have you found anything wrong (i.e. it’s not doing what it is claimed to do), or are you just dissatisfied with the aesthetics?

    Don’t worry – you have plenty of company at GISS, who consider basic validation, verification, and testing to be a waste of their time too…

    If I were in a research position, I would do all of the above. However, in my spare time I have better things to do. You have also nicely truncated my point, leaving out the good agreement with independent mean temperature calculations. If GISTEMP were indeed the only record, it would deserve much more scrutiny. As it is not and the other records agree reasonably well, this ceases to be a pressing matter.

    Yes, the climate has warmed and cooled over thousands of years, regardless of our presence…[sigh]

    And these changes were due to changes in forcings. Now we are introducing an additional forcing with anthropogenic changes in GHGs. …. [sigh]

  184. bluegrue says:

    John Galt (09:06:06) :

    I design and develop software for a living and teach college computer programming courses. I have looked at the source code for GISTEMP and it is a horrible, horrible mess.

    You won’t hear a contradiction from me. The question here however is not, whether it is well written or maintainable (all important stuff, don’t get me wrong), but does it do what it is supposed to do.

    I also doubt Dr. Hansen personally writes much of the code himself, but that is possible.

    I don’t have knowledge about that myself, I’d expect a mixture of him starting it out in the beginning and other group members and PhD students contributing.

    If a student handed in a project coded like GISTEMP , he/she would not get a good grade. The code is sloppy, poorly organized and poorly documented. None of the standard programming practices are followed. Nor would any of my clients find code like that acceptable. Why should GISS accept a lower standard?

    You’ll find a lot of quick and dirty programming in research. I think, very few researchers have an education in programming practices. You pick up what you need during your studies and work from there. So you have an idea of what you want to do and write a Q&D program. You don’t ha

  185. Smokey says:

    bluegrue,

    After reading the recent posts by you, Frank K and John Galt, it is clear that you are attempting to defend the indefensible. The fact is that GISS refuses to provide clear explanations and uncorrupted data. What do you think they’re trying to hide?

  186. bluegrue says:

    @John Galt
    Sorry, had to leave the PC and must have hit the submit button, that’s why the post broke off. Basically it comes down to programming not being part of the formal education of many scientists, you learn as you go when necessary.

    @Smokey
    TOBS and SHAP are not done by GISS, take it up with NCDC. For the other adjustments, the code is there, if quick and dirty. I don’t do conspiracy theories.

  187. An Inquirer says:

    RE: Bluegrue: “If you choose to ignore our understanding of radiative and convective transfer, absorption spectra of CO2 and H2O, studies of climate sensitivity from paleo records, observed northward movement of hardiness zones, …., if you choose to forget everything else but the temperature record, then yes, it’s only the temperature record.”

    Actually, I do not observe serious commentators on this blog to ignore the issues you reference. I consider myself very knowledgeable on these issues, especially when I talk with most AGW pessimists. However, I also know other items as well. For example, I do not ignore our lack of understanding on feedback mechanisms, and I do not ignore the fact that clouds will play a huge role in GMT trends. Also, I do not ignore that other factors can be behind observed phenomena. For example, the northward movement of plant species can be due to increased CO2 levels – plants do better with CO2-enriched air. And beyond that reality, why would we be surprised that plants move north as the world emerges from the Little Ice Age? Retreating glaciers reveal evidence that the local climate was more hospitable to flora in the past.
    Related to the subject of northward movement, I have often inquired about trends in the length of the growing season. I fully expect a lengthening trend, but no AGW pessimist has been able to provide any study to show that. The data that I can collect from county extension offices surprisingly does not show any consistent trend. On our farm, we tried in the 1970s to plant corn that had the same maturity dates as in the 1950s. It was a disaster. We have not yet returned to that maturity-date-corn even after a couple of decades of the GMT warming trend. Especially this year, we are so thankful that we did not venture to plant corn that would use the 1950s type of growing season.

  188. bluegrue says:

    @ An Inquirer (12:28:20) :

    Actually, I do not observe serious commentators on this blog to ignore the issues you reference.

    The passage you quote was a reply specifically addressed to Frank K. (07:10:53) :

    We are being asked here in the US to believe that we must engage in a destructive cap and trade policy, largely on the basis of temperature histories generated by codes like GISTEMP.

    Frank K. may not have ignored the issues I mentioned, but he played them down way too much, IMHO, hence my reply that you quoted.

    I have often inquired about trends in the length of the growing season. I fully expect a lengthening trend, but no AGW pessimist has been able to provide any study to show that.

    Take a pick, pretty obvious and neutral search terms on scholar.google.com, there’s lots of hits. A few examples: Menzel 2000 finds that in the period of 1951 to 1996 spring events in Europe have advanced by 6.3 days on average and autumn events have delayed by 4.5 days on average. Robeson 2004 finds that “results suggest that the growing-season length in Illinois became roughly one week longer during the 20thcentury”; of course this is a rather small area and the temperature data used is noisy, a study of the US would be better. Matsumoto 2003 finds growing seasons today begin 4 days earlier and end 8 days later as compared to 1950 in Japan. Feel free to add other regions (like your own) as search terms and look further.

  189. bluegrue says:

    @ moderator
    I think my latest comment from a few minutes ago ended up in the spam bucket, maybe there were too many links. Could you please check and delete this request? TIA

  190. bluegrue says:

    @ moderator
    All is fine, you were faster.

    Reply: A little patience next time please. We don’t need to be told about the spam filter. ~ charles the moderator

  191. Bob Tisdale says:

    Eddie: You wrote: “That’s pretty tricky. You’re taking the “new data”, but still only plotting through the year 2000 to reach an adjusted figure. How about you plot the latest cooling trend, too?”

    I lopped off the last nine years of the newer data so that the trend comparison was for the same period of time. Adding the nine years back in only increases the trend of the newer data to 0.053 deg C/decade, but there’s no way then to compare it realistically to the older dataset, so why do it?.

  192. Anthony Neale says:

    Is there a “warmist” answer to these questions? If we could fix CO2 at its current level would their models predict a rising or falling exponential trend to a value or something else? Is it too obvious that their models should make an accurate prediction to the present from data ending in 1959 or any date you like?

  193. Smokey says:

    bluegrue,

    Thanx for your quick search showing that growing seasons have been gradually getting longer. But no need to get alarmed, that is entirely natural.

    I suppose AGW followers are required to believe that a longer growing season is somehow a bad thing, just like they must believe that a [slight, fraction of a degree] warmer, more pleasant climate is something to be avoided, at a cost of $trillions. That is the corner they’ve painted themselves into.

    But hold your horses, pardner. The fact is that the climate has been warming naturally, in fits and starts, since the LIA [and from the last great Ice Age before that]. The warming trend line over the past couple of hundred years hasn’t varied much at all — thus throwing a monkey wrench into the GCMs, which wrongly claim the rise is accelerating. Lately, in fact, the climate has been cooling. [But don't worry, it will eventually return to its long term trend line; that's the theory of natural climate change].

    Prof. Akasofu had an article here not long ago. This is one of the charts from his paper: click

    As you probably know, the climate peer-review process is badly broken. Papers with sometimes glaring errors are commonly waved through, as long as they promote the politically correct AGW point of view. Shenanigans by government and international agencies are routine. [Please don't argue about this point, you will be crushed.]

    True climate peer-review now takes place on the internet, primarily because the established journals have become too lackadaisical, and their internal politics have become more important than the science. Some recent examples:

    Physicist Jan Hendrik Schön had numerous peer-reviewed papers published. Schön, a former Bell Labs scientist, had authored [or co-authored] one research paper every 8 days in one year alone. An amazing fifteen of Schön’s papers were [very uncritically] accepted for publication by both Nature and Science. Eventually — and no thanks to the peer-review referees or publications — Schön was outed as a monumental fraud who simply invented facts and experiments. When he was finally caught he resigned in disgrace — no thanks to the peer-review of Science and Nature.

    Another fraud, geneticist Hwang Woo-suk, was also peer reviewed by the editors of the the AAAS journal Science when he submitted a paper to their friendly peer-review team, claiming to have derived lines of stem cells from cloned human embryos. [Hwang also had 25 co-authors!]. After uncritical review by its referees, Science waved Hwang’s paper through and published it. Later, other scientists noticed discrepancies, and eventually Hwang ended up also resigning after admitting to fraud.

    And there are others. The point is this: neither Hwang nor Schön would have lasted a week on this site or others like it before their fraud was uncovered. Peer-review here is much more rigorous that in the laid back mutual back scratching of today’s climate peer-review process, which generally works like this: if you promote AGW, you’re waved through. But if you contradict AGW… just try to get published.

    With a system like that in place, controlled by a small clique, which in turn makes large government grants possible for those who are fortunate enough to be published, is it any wonder that fraud is regularly uncovered at those once prestigious journals?

    The climate peer-review system is even easier to game, because rather than using empirical measurements, those submitting climate papers rely mostly on computer models — and they jealously guard their [adjusted] data and methodologies, which are not archived so the public, whose taxes paid for the work, can verify the product. Steve McIntyre over at Climate Audit has done an excellent job of exposing their shenanigans. Just look up anything about Michael Mann there. That will get you started. And it will open your eyes.

    Skeptics are always ready to debate AGW. But alarmists hide out from debate [and the couple of debates they have agreed to ended up in embarrassing public humiliation]. If someone refuses to debate what they say they believe, that should tell you all you need to know about their motivations: money and prestige, not honest science.

  194. From Bluegrue:

    “You’ll find a lot of quick and dirty programming in research. I think, very few researchers have an education in programming practices. You pick up what you need during your studies and work from there. So you have an idea of what you want to do and write a Q&D program.”

    Hansen has been PAID by the government to do ONLY this since 1988:

    You’re telling me that he can do no better than “quick and dirty” unintelligent, badly-written, hacked, uncommentedn GISS code for twenty years, but that we MUST spend 1.3 trillion dollars immediately – with not even two days to debate the bill – based on that “quick and dirty” unaudited and undocumented code?

  195. gcapologist says:

    Imo – the adjustments (and staunch support of them) come not from fraud, stupidity, or group think, etc., but rather hubris. I have lived in these academic circles. I would call it more arrogant self confidence in the belief that the corrections are valid.

    Perhaps the adjustments are good for some sites, but I haven’t been convinced that blanket corrections are appropriate. I can’t believe (and even those doing the work don’t admit) that for example EVERY site that was moved from a city to an airport immediately began recording cooler temperatures (see http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ushcn/ndp019.html )

    I won’t like an adjusted curve until the “correction” for EACH site is supported by some sort of data (quantitative info is best, but qualitative would at least provide some support).

    “Correcting” each site in this manner would be a humongous undertaking. Until that time it is done, (and after as well), I would suggest those in charge of the official trends provide at least two versions of their trends (raw and adjusted), and maybe even a third ….. evidence based adjusted (of course, where the evidence is laid out for everyone to see).

  196. evanmjones says:

    Yes.

    I can’t believe (and even those doing the work don’t admit) that for example EVERY site that was moved from a city to an airport immediately began recording cooler temperatures

    Maybe not. But even if one stipulates that they did, there is no question that from that point onward, airports (on average) have warmed much faster than “good” stations, in fact much faster than the average of all stations, for a number of reasons. So, where’s the adjustment for that, then? Even if the initial adjustment is correct, there is no account made for conditions afterward.

  197. gcapologist says:

    I agree with you evanmjones. Anthony and others have shown that airport sites may not really be representative of the weather (and over time, climate) of the area they are deemed to represent.

    Certainly, the robustness of representations of US and global temperature trends can (and should be) questioned. imo the case is not closed.

  198. bluegrue says:

    @Smokey (16:39:30) :
    Smokey, you spin a nice fairy tale of what is happening. You are telling me that nothing has changed in the 20th century with regard to previous centuries, the warming trend is just the warming trend from the last ice age. Let us for the moment forget about Prof. Akasofu fixing the IPCC projections (NOT predictions) at the wrong place (the maximum of a “cycle”, instead of the trendline, a popular “mistake” (see e.g. Monckton)) and pretend to take it seriously. It implies a linear warming from the last ice age at a rate of more than 0.5°C/century (eyeballed from his plot) plus superimposed “cycles”. You told me, that the last century is just the same as previous ones. So let us project back to Roman times, 2000 years ago. Are you seriously contending, that the global mean temperature was 10°C colder in Roman times? I’ll spare you going back to the stone age. This simple consideration alone shows, that a warming of 0.5°C/century can not have been the rule over the last two millennia. I guess you’ll throw in another super-cycle now.

    Your understanding of peer-review is equally flawed: It is not the last line of defense, it is simply the first hurdle in scientific fact finding. Keep in mind, that Schön and Hwang were ousted by the scientific community, not some internet blog.

    The point is this: neither Hwang nor Schön would have lasted a week on this site or others like it before their fraud was uncovered

    You are kidding me, right? You must be. Remember Dr. Roy Spencer posting his piece on the interannual and trend signal of C13/C12 isotope ratio? The one with the (unfounded) bottom line:“If the C13/C12 relationship during NATURAL inter-annual variability is the same as that found for the trends, how can people claim that the trend signal is MANMADE??” ? Where was the critical thinking of the readers back then? Tamino pointed out that the equality of the slopes was a mathematical necessity. That was not good enough for WUWT. I showed, that you get the same result, if you substitute Dow Jones index and gold price on different timescales. Not good enough for WUWT. I posted a detailed mathematical proof here on WUWT. It was pretty much ignored. I do not claim fraud, but gross error. Don’t you think, there should have been at a minimum a heads-up attached to Dr. Roy Spencer’s article, if not a retraction? Nothing of that sort has happened. So don’t you dare give me your “would have lasted a week on this site”, it’s simply laughable.

  199. bluegrue says:

    @gcapologist (18:07:37) :
    I’ve done research in physics myself, feel free to accuse me of “arrogant self confidence”, too.

    If you are to come up with the number of rice corns inside a sack, you can either weigh the contents and divide by the average weight of the rice corn deduced from a small sample, or you can count the individual rice corns, checking each under the microscope whether it is broken or not and for how much of a rice corn it does count. Nothing wrong with the latter approach, but the first one will give you good enough accuracy for most practical purposes and works a lot faster, taking up way less resources. It’s an admittedly crude analogy, but to me it looks like Hansen is using the first approach, while you and others are advocating to use the second.

  200. bluegrue says:

    @ Robert A Cook PE (17:11:02) :

    Hansen has been PAID by the government to do ONLY this since 1988:

    Oh, I see. So he is not the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He is not running and improving GISS modelE. He is not writing articles for the peer-reviewed literature. ALL he is being paid for is maintaining the GISTEMP code and improving his coding skills, because you say so. You almost fooled me. Almost.

  201. kurt says:

    bluegrue (01:19:18) :

    @Smokey (16:39:30) :
    Smokey, you spin a nice fairy tale of what is happening. [Prof. Akasofu's graph] implies a linear warming from the last ice age at a rate of more than 0.5°C/century (eyeballed from his plot) plus superimposed “cycles”. You told me, that the last century is just the same as previous ones. So let us project back to Roman times, 2000 years ago. Are you seriously contending, that the global mean temperature was 10°C colder in Roman times?”

    The graph implies nothing of the kind. It shows a linear trend line of about 0.5 C as a “recovery from the Little Ice Age.” The Little Ice Age occurred circa 1700-1800, about a millenia and a half after the Roman era. Extending the trend line to be representative of temperatures prior to the Little Ice Age is silly, as doing so implies that the Little Ice Age had no effect on the trend line, which is exactly the opposite of what is posited by the graph.

  202. TonyB says:

    A Jones (22:13:18) : said;

    “It is possible but far from certain that the ancients did build a canal from the Mediterrean to the Red Sea.”

    It is thought there was more than likely a canal built by the ancient Egyptians but it was not one that was consistently open all the way through

    http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/canals.htm

    Tonyb

  203. Smokey says:

    bluegrue:

    Smokey, you spin a nice fairy tale of what is happening. You are telling me that nothing has changed in the 20th century with regard to previous centuries, the warming trend is just the warming trend from the last ice age. Let us for the moment forget about Prof. Akasofu…

    No, let’s not forget about the good professor, who has forgotten more climatology than you and your cronies at realclimate will ever know. That chart is not mine, as I made clear. Prof Akasofu put it together, and since he knows immensely more about the climate than you do, I accept his informed analysis as being much more accurate than anything you can possibly come up with.

    I’ve re-read my post @16:39:30 very carefully. Having read it again, I stand by it. Every word. And you could learn something yourself by memorizing the second paragraph.

    Now run along. Realclimate is waiting for your breathless report.

  204. bluegrue says:

    @ Kurt
    It was Smokey who claimed

    The fact is that the climate has been warming naturally, in fits and starts, since the LIA [and from the last great Ice Age before that]. The warming trend line over the past couple of hundred years hasn’t varied much at all

    and garnished it with Akasufo’s plot. All I did was take him by his words. And as I noted, it’s obviously not the right thing to do

    @Smokey
    Since when do you call on authority and go ad hominem, Smokey?

    I have taken the time to look a bit at the figure by the much acclaimed Prof Akasofu “who has forgotten more about climatology than” I “ever will”.

    Straight from Prof Akasofu’s PDF, linked by Anthony, the GISTEMP data he used in figs. 1a and 1b is from Hansen et al 1999, no idea why Akasufo could not be bothered to include the last ten years of data. Be that as it may, the caption of his fig. 2a claims “The red line is a smoothed version of the 5-year mean in Figures 1a and Figure 1b.”. I have superimposed fig4 of Hansen and fig2a of Akasofu and matched the scales by linearly stretching Akasofus plot by appropriate ammounts.

    Now take a look: http://i44.tinypic.com/33pf41z.png

    Would you please explain to me, which smoothing algorithm will result in the observable time shifts of the peaks (1900, 1940) into the future by about 2 to 5 years and the gross mismatch in the period 1905 to 1935, where Akasufo’s “smooth” is way too low, just as in the period 1980 to 1990? Would you please explain to me, why the 0°C mark on Akasofu’s plot is not in the middle between his plus and minus 5°C marks? Would you please explain to me, how he retains the full width of the time range, i.e. how does he interpolate the ends? How about a little audit of the graphic you base your argument on?

    Free hint: Akasufo can not have used a running mean.

    Oh, BTW, I don’t report to Realclimate.

  205. An Inquirer says:

    Bluegrue:
    First, an apology, and then a rant.

    I apologize that I did not clarify the time period of growing season trends that interests me. The widespread dip in temperatures in mid-20th century is wide recognized. It is child’s play to show a positive trend from then to the El Nino-affected 1998. Most of the studies cited used a starting point in mid-century or post-1970s and ended around 1998. My own records confirm a lengthening growing season in that time frame. I am more interested in comparing today’s length to the 1930s and what has happened since 1998.

    Even the studies you generated had words like “conflicting evidence” and “trends in fall freezes are not consistent” and “Our results do not correspond well with . . . with fluctuations in hemispheric mean temperature.”

    I know that both sides are guilty of just hearing the talking points, but it seems that Global Warming Pessimists have a profound weakness to not dig deep and understand what is really going on. For example, One study that did not start mid-century was the Illinois case that you cited. Here is a very relevant passage to understand: “lower portion of the October probability distribution shows modest cooling in Tmin (–0.2 ° C/100yrs for the 10th percentile), while middle and upper portions of the distribution show very large rates of cooling (up to –1.5 ° C/100 yrs for the 40th–70th percentiles).” In essence, they found that the end of the growing season was not getting later – although the last killing frost in April was getting earlier. (Now start the rant.) I do wish that researchers have understanding of the physical world, instead of just doing computer gymnastics. The effective growing season does not start with April’s last killing frost, but rather when farmers can get out into the field. How much can we plant when a foot of snow stands on the field – even though the last killing frost is gone? Though the last killing frost was long gone, how much planting was done during the spring floods along the Red River? The key to the length of the effective growing season is not April, but rather how soon the killing frost comes in the fall. Often researchers sound as ignorant and ridiculous as Obama did when he blamed global warming for the Red River floods. The causes of Red River flooding were just the opposite: (1) cold winter temperatures caused a hard freeze in the ground which cannot absorb as much melted snow; (2) cold temperatures meant that ice up north did not melt in a timely fashion which causes back-ups and floods; and (3) cold early spring temperatures led to blizzards instead of rain.

    Again, I have not yet seen studies that show that effective growing seasons are now longer than in the 1930s when farmers farmed the bottom of dried-up lakes. Given the wide-spread warming since LIA’s end, I fully anticipate that the growing season has lengthened, but so far studies so far seem to find that this is true from mid-century to the late 1990’s — and that has been a fortunate boon to feeding the world’s population. As a side note, I would be interested in seeing whether trends in growing seasons since 2000 has played a role in extraordinary growth in produce prices which have grown substantially above the overall CPI.

  206. bluegrue says:

    @ An Inquirer

    The widespread dip in temperatures in mid-20th century is wide recognized. It is child’s play to show a positive trend from then to the El Nino-affected 1998. Most of the studies cited used a starting point in mid-century or post-1970s and ended around 1998.

    I only cited three papers, two of which do not even include 1998 in their data; all of them determine their results from linear regression covering at least 4 decades worth of data, so the impact of 1998 is minimal at best and will certainly not determine the trend. Sorry, this is a non-issue.

    You brought up the issue of growing seasons, claiming there were no studies; I simply looked for what seemed to me to be the most obvious search terms and browsed the results. If you look at the data, you will notice that the dates typically vary by 10 to 30 days from year to year, so the record is very noisy; it is my impression from this minute collection of papers, that it is even more noisy than the temperature record. You’ll have difficulty to compare single decades like the 1930s and the post 1998 decade in a meaningful way because of this noise. If you further restrict yourself to a single region, you’ll have local climate, but nothing about global climate.

    I do wish that researchers have understanding of the physical world, instead of just doing computer gymnastics. The effective growing season does not start with April’s last killing frost, but rather when farmers can get out into the field.

    Your concern is absolutely valid and important from the farming point of view. Frost alone is an invalid metric for that. I also agree, that a longer growing season is beneficial, provided the other climate parameters like e.g. amount and timing of precipitation remain the same; the concern of climate change is that they may change to the worse. The studies I linked to seem to be more interested in whether a change in climate is detectable in the data or not, rather than being useful to give farmers hands-on advice. Hence sometimes rather artificial definition(s) of growing season are used, with the sole concern, that these definitions can be calculated for preferably long stretches of the climate record. So they use frost data or data of leaf growth and so on, they use what they have at hand.

    So much for the growing season from the point of view of climate change detection, now allow me to showcase an area where I am simply uninformed. How would an increase of effective growing season (in the sense you used it) by, say, 10 days increase the productivity? It is not obvious to me, as that period does not seem to be long enough to allow for an additional harvest per year. Would it simply diminish losses and increase crop security?

    As a side note, I would be interested in seeing whether trends in growing seasons since 2000 has played a role in extraordinary growth in produce prices which have grown substantially above the overall CPI.

    Don’t you think, droughts would have a bigger effect? They cut e.g. Australia’s wheat production in half in 2006 and 2007. Another strong effect is the increased demand for dairy products and meat in countries like India and China.

  207. An Inquirer says:

    Bluegrue

    Concerning droughts: no, I do not believe that they have any meaningful impact on produce prices. First, Australia has had worse droughts in the past, and I am confident that they will have similar droughts in the future. Second, globally, wheat and grain production is up. Third, produce – vegetables and fruit – is more typically irrigated as opposed to grains. Economic development and increased incomes in many places around the world have influenced meat & dairy consumption, but impact on produce is not obvious. If there really were definitive widespread trends toward healthier eating, then I would give substantial credit to that, but such trends tend to be very localized or restricted. I tended to put a lot of blame on energy prices until I found out how little it cost to transport produce. So that is why I remain curious on the impact of the growing season on produce prices.

    An increase in the growing season has a tremendous favorable impact on productivity. We would love to plant 120-day corn but we dare not. But we have gone from 93-day corn to 101-day corn, and our productivity has gone up over 100%. (If I told you how much over 100%, you may not believe me.) To be sure, some increased productivity is due to increased CO2 concentrations – at least 16% according to my reckoning. Better genetics and increased growing season account for the rest, and I can’t give you a good separation of the two.

    Quoting you: “You brought up the issue of growing seasons, claiming there were no studies . . .” To be picky, (1) you brought up the issue by referencing this trend as a reason why we do not need to get excited by poor GISS methodologies and data quality. (2) I did not claim that there were no studies; rather I claimed that I had not seen any studies and that GW Pessimists had not been able to show me any. If I properly define my question, I think that my request remains unanswered. I did look at eight of the studies that you linked to (not just the three you cited). I forget how many, but a lot of them did end around 1998, as I stated in my last post, and they all started in decades when we know GMT was low. Looks like mighty fine cherry picking! And to be relevant, the studies should include the last 11 or 12 years. I do wonder about using linear regression in a phenomenon that is characterized by oscillations and perturbations.

    I do think that we could agree on a few things. (1) Growing season length has increased since the cold decades in the middle of the last century. (2) We are not sure that the growing season has increased in comparison to the 1930s. (3) We would not be surprised if the growing season has lengthened as the world emerges from the LIA. And maybe I could venture a fourth: The science is not settled.

  208. bluegrue says:

    To be picky, (1) you brought up the issue by referencing this trend as a reason why we do not need to get excited by poor GISS methodologies and data quality.

    To be picky, I brought up northward movement of hardiness zones (related to lowest mean temperature), not length of growing season (timing of freeze events). And as I have told you before, I brought the matter up in response to Frank K.’s patently wrong assertion

    We are being asked here in the US to believe that we must engage in a destructive cap and trade policy, largely on the basis of temperature histories generated by codes like GISTEMP.

    If you really want to read up, don’t just stop on page 1 of the search results I linked to.

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