McIntyre on the NCDC Talking Points Memo

Foreword: I give thanks to Steve McIntyre for this analysis. Steve came to a conclusion similar to what I alluded to in my initial rebuttal where I said:

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

Steve does a superb job of deconstructing the memo’s undocumented results. Perhaps someday Dr. Thomas Peterson of NCDC will tell us how he did his analysis and show supporting data and methods. – Anthony

The Talking Points Memo

by Steve McIntyre reposted from Climate Audit

The NOAA Talking Points memo falls well short of a “full, true and plain disclosure” standard – aside from the failure to appropriately credit Watts (2009).

They presented the following graphic that purported to show that NOAA’s negligent administration of the USHCN station network did not “matter”, describing the stations as follows:

Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best… the two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication for this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.


Figure 1. From Talking Points Memo.

Beyond the above sentence, there was no further information on the provenance of the two data sets. NOAA did not archive either data set nor provide source code for reconciliation.

The red graphic for the “full data set” had, using the preferred terminology of climate science, a “remarkable similarity” to the NOAA 48 data set that I’d previously compared to the corresponding GISS data set here (which showed a strong trend of NOAA relative to GISS). Here’s a replot of that data – there are some key telltales evidencing that this has a common provenance to the red series in the Talking Points graphic.


Figure 2. Plot of US data from www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmpst.txt

An obvious question is whether the Talking Points starting point of 1950 is relevant. Here’s the corresponding graphic with the 1895 starting point used in USHCN v2. Has the truncation of the graphic start at 1950 “enhanced” the visual impression of an increasing trend? I think so.


Figure 3. As Figure 2, but to USHCN v2 start

The Talking Points’ main point is its purported demonstration that UHI-type impacts don’t “matter”. To show one flaw in their arm-waving, here is a comparison of the NOAA U.S. temperature data set and the NASA GISS US temperature data set over the same period – a comparison that I’ve made on several occasions, including most recently here. NASA GISS adjusts US temperatures for UHI using nightlights information, coercing the low-frequency data to the higher-quality stations. The trend difference between NOAA and NASA GISS is approximately 0.7 deg F/century in the 1950-2008 period in question: obviously not a small proportion of the total reported increase.


Figure 4. Difference between NOAA and NASA in the 1950-2008 period. In def F following NOAA (rather than deg C)

As has been discussed at considerable length, the NASA GISS adjusted version runs fairly close to “good” CRN1-2 stations – a point which Team superfans have used in a bait-and-switch to supposedly vindicate entirely different NASA GISS adjustments in the ROW, (adjustments which appear to me to be no more than random permutations of the data, a point discussed at considerable length on other occasions.)

For present purposes, we need only focus on the observation that there is a substantial trend difference between NOAA and GISS trends.

Given that, when NOAA’s Talking Points claim that there is a supposedly negligible difference between the average of their “good” stations and the NOAA average (which we know to run hot relative to GISS), then arguably this raises issues about the new USHCN procedures.

Y’see, while NOAA doesn’t actually bother saying how it did the calculations, here’s my guess as to what they did. The new USHCN data sets (as I’ll discuss in a future post) ONLY show adjusted data. No more inconvenient data trails with unadjusted and TOBS versions.

When I looked at SHAP and FILNET adjustments a couple of years ago, one of my principal objections to these methods was that they adjusted “good” stations. After FILNET adjustment, stations looked a lot more similar than they did before. I’ll bet that the new USHCN adjustments have a similar effect and that the Talking Points memo compares adjusted versions of “good” stations to the overall average.

So what they are probably saying is this: after the new USHCN “adjustments” (about which little is known as the ink is barely dry on the journal article describing the new method and code for which is unavailable), there isn’t much difference between the average of good stations and the average of all stations.

If the NASA GISS adjustment procedure in the US is justified (and most Team advocates have supported the NASA GISS adjustment in the US), then the Talking Points memo merely demonstrates that there is something wrong with the new USHCN adjustments.

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75 Responses to McIntyre on the NCDC Talking Points Memo

  1. Manfred says:

    this would be a breathtaking manipulation by noaa and would raise questions about their data sets in general, such as sea level data.

  2. don't tarp me bro says:

    Intentional alteration of data tells us we have to reject models and forcasts based on their studies. One of the keys in peer review is the ability to “replicate” a study. How can you “replicate” twisting or cheating on the data? Bernie Madoff can shed some light on puffing up data and reports.

  3. Leon Brozyna says:

    Well now, if you compare adjusted data for a few stations against adjusted data for all stations and find that they’re similar, all that tells you is that your adjustment method works. It doesn’t tell you all that much about what’s really happening.

    I would think that a researcher would welcome finding problems in the raw data; this is how problems are revealed. But then that might call for investigative field work rather than working up a computer algorithm to massage data into pleasing conformity. How about, instead of adjusting the data, getting out from behind the desk and fix the problems with station siting. Damn – there I go again, trying to use common sense.

  4. Bob Kutz says:

    So, they’ve got an agenda. Well demonstrated and freely communicated. Legislation to control climate change through CO2 reduction.

    They’ve been caught and freely admit they adjust (manipulate) the data. That is not in dispute.

    They refuse to provide the methodology and supporting data.

    Those manipulations ALL seems to be in favor of their hypothesis (and agenda). They are currently engaged in suppressing those in their organization with dissenting opinions. They seem to be brave enough to threaten such disenters openly in emails.

    Motive, method, opportunity, confession of the acts and coersion. All that’s really missing is proof of intent to deceive . . . which I would think would be somewhat covered by their unwillingness to share the methodology.

    What specific act would these people need to engage in before the word ‘fraud’ would begin to pertain, Anthony.

    I am not calling you out, I am just asking.

  5. John F. Hultquist says:

    How interesting. NOAA claims poorly sited stations don’t influence the analysis of temperature trends. Why then did someone find it prudent to dismiss one of the offending places?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/10/an-old-friend-put-out-to-pasture-marysville-is-no-longer-a-climate-station-of-record/#more-8349

    Furthermore, they can’t keep their own facts straight, can’t tell what they did or who did it, can’t ask for up-to-date information because they won’t acknowledge the source, and can’t produce a useful comparison.

    Someone tell Obama that no harm will be done and the government can save a lot of money by closing this agency down.

  6. Paul revere says:

    Is there any integrity left in the u.s. gov. scientific community or is all thats left of a once great org. all just lies and misinformation.

  7. Ron de Haan says:

    They were “mistaken”.

  8. Steve Briggs says:

    I’d like to suggest that we simply refer to the NOAA data, as having been madoff’d. Madoffing of data is nothing new, but Bernie took it to a whole new level. He should go down in history.

  9. evanmjones says:

    Watch it, son. You, too, can be “adjusted”.

  10. kim says:

    The longer they go without realizing that Steve is a heck of a lot smarter than they are, the more they are going to reveal the chicanery, and the deliberate deceit behind their work. Making a list and checking it twice. Uh huh.
    ============================================

  11. Curiousgeorge says:

    I know this should go on the earlier thread about the EPA, but it’s way down the stack. Anyway, Sen. Inhofe is calling for a inquiry into the Carlin report/EPA business. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/29/gop-senator-calls-inquiry-supressed-climate-change-report/ . Hope it gets some traction.

  12. Mark [uk] says:

    I could understand why the UK gov took the AGW bait ,but not the USA.
    Thanks to this site i am now informed..

    Many thanks to Anthony and the other contributers here.

  13. Mick says:

    Anthony, with do respect of your professionalism, you have to call a spade what it is. I still maintain my hunch/conspiracy/innuendo theorem regard of the hippie
    generation got into power and started making changes. Maybe with a help of foreign power help, for political reason. For the russkies the tree hugger/green/antinuclear agenda just suited fine.
    They are the useful idiot.
    If I’m out of line please delete my entry.
    Best Regards from OZ.
    Mick.

  14. timetochooseagain says:

    Steve Briggs (14:34:03) : Apply Hanlon’s Razor. It’s not malice (fraud) it’s stupidity (incompetence).

    They have no time to joust with us jesters, but we must jest with these adjusters.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Top analysis from a top statistician. Thanks Steve and Anthony for this clear demonstration of they way these publicly funded agencies work.

  16. Rod Smith says:

    Are we now to this point?

    NOAA = Noticeable Observation Alteration Activity

    NCDC = National Center for Data Corruption

  17. tarpon says:

    You know, there is a public law covering data quality, accuracy and analysis …

    http://www.sec.gov/about/dataqualityguide.htm

    It was passed bcak in 2001 when the hoax was heating up.

  18. rbateman says:

    So, if I take my daily temp record for January & February 1913, calcualte the daily average temp (Hi+Lo/2), add them up, divide by days in month, subtract 32, *5/9 and compare to GiSSmonthly series, I should find them the same.
    When I do this, I see the GISSmonthly has been upped.
    Jan 1913 av. is -0.07 GiSS is -0.7
    Feb 1913 av is 2.19 GISS is 3.1
    So they haven’t stomped the real data…yet.
    Would that be a correct conclusion?

  19. Mr Lynn says:

    If the analysis can’t be replicated from the raw data, then it’s not science; it’s ideology. Since these organizations are entirely taxpayer-funded, it should not be hard to develop a Freedom-of-Information-Act demand, and put them on the spot to put up or shut up.

    I wonder if Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Foundation could be enlisted. . .

    Senator Inhofe should also attempt to get an inquiry into suppression of data and methods going, though being in the minority he may have little ability to set the agenda of his subcommittee.

    /Mr Lynn

  20. MikeEE says:

    Just wanted to point out….

    Figure 4 is in deg. F and the trend appears to be about 0.7 deg. F/century, but the text just above it says 0.7 Deg C/century .

    Also, the caption has a typo – def F.

    Nice article though.

    MikeEE

  21. westhoustongeo says:

    Shirley, you jest;-)

  22. “The Greenhouse Effect in Central North America: If Not Now, When?” This paper was written by Thomas Karl, Richard Heim and Robert Quayle for the AAAS Science Magazine March 1991. This shows that Karl and Quayle wrote the articles defining all but one of the current adjustments to NOAA temperature data: TOBS, MMTS, SHAP and Urban; only FILNET’s write-up is not mentioned. NCDC is currently developing another step in the processing, described in Peterson and Easterling (1994) and Easterling and Peterson (1995).

    Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) published “Consequences” Vol. 1, No. 1 in Spring 1995: “The Authors all serve on the scientific staff of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s [NOAA's] National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), in Asheville, North Carolina. Thomas Karl, who has also been active in defining an international Global Climate Observing System, serves as the Center’s Senior Scientist. Robert Quayle is Chief of the NCDC Global Climate Laboratory and David Easterling and Richard Knight are staff meteorologists…” In 2004, operational responsibility for GCRIO shifted to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (USCCP).

    The adjustments are now apparently made without the raw data ever being visible; moreover it looks as if the adjustments now used were never explained transparently, in a way that would allow open duplication and checking. Yet the total effect of all the adjustments causes NOAA an upward trend of 0.7ºC/century more than GISS, in the years 1950-2000, and obviously this is not a small proportion of the total upward trend.

    Tom Karl is a well-known warmist with an unusual qualification constituting his doctorate. Karl, Quayle and Easterling have worked closely together. So have Easterling and Peterson. And Peterson is the undeclared author of the recent NOAA “Talking Points Memo” that dismissively discusses Anthony Watts’ Surface Stations work without ever mentioning his name or acknowledging his source material.

    It seems a very small world, and reminds me of nothing so much as Wegman’s social analysis of the paleoclimatologists, where the whole community is involved in mutual peer-reviewing and flea-scratching.

  23. FatBigot says:

    This piece is a fine illustration of the difference between those who apply technical knowledge and those who apply their own version of common sense.

    When I read an assertion that the siting of a large proportion of measuring stations next to sources of heat and/or heat retention makes no significant difference to anything that matters, my answer is an unequivocal: “nonsense”. It simply makes no sense.

    We are dealing with physical measurements here. And let’s be clear about what is intended to be measured. There aren’t all that many measuring loci. Each one covers the area between it and the mid-point between it and the nearest measuring device in each direction. The measurement it gives is the “official” measurement of air temperature for an area covered by the mid-points between it and the nearest measuring points in each direction, it can be many square miles.

    And, as I understand it, the measurements are intended to reflect the air temperature as determined by atmospheric phenomena, unaffected by ground level elements of human wibble.

    To suggest that a measurement taken next to an air conditioning vent and a measurement taken in the middle of a field produce results of equal merit is simply absurd. You can apply any formula of adjustment you wish, it will not be accurate unless it is tailored to the individual siting problems of each poorly placed measuring device.

    There is no way around this. Either you adjust individually (an impossible task in the real world) or you apply a general formula that is necessarily defective.

    You science and statistics chaps reach the same conclusion using computers and all sorts of other things we plebes simply don’t understand. We both understand nonsense when we read it, we just have different ways of explaining why it is nonsense.

  24. evanmjones says:

    Nice climate you got here.

    It’d be a shame if we had to adjust it . . .

  25. ohioholic says:

    I think it is extremely disingenuous of NOAA to claim that the rating system on their stations is irrelevant. If it doesn’t matter, why rate them in the first place? Also, if you know the algorithm used to ‘fill in the blanks’ you should apply it to the CRN 1/2 stations and fill in the blanks just to see what you come up with. I would be interested to know.

  26. Ron House says:

    I’ve just done something incredibly stupid – I went over to realclimate to see what they had to say about the latest issues. They were on about the suppressed EPA paper. For those honest and sincere people scouting these blogs trying to decide which side is right (as I was ten months ago), here is a classic example of a phenomenon I quickly noticed repeating over and over: the warming alarmists cannot put together an honest and clear argument. Here’s what I found them saying: “Finally, they end up with the oddest claim in the submission: That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid.”

    Well I can’t find that in the report! (Help me out folks if I have missed it.) Here is what I actually found: “In fact, there is no better way to obtain a good picture of how human health and welfare may trend in the future under increases in greenhouse gas emission than to assess how we have fared in the past during a period of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

    See the problem(s) here? Misrepresenting the strength of the claim (an assertion of likelihood misrepresented as a conclusion of impossibility); misrepresenting the scope of the claim (how welfare may trend under future increases misrepresented as a statement about no effect under unlimited CO2 increases). Yes, you’ll see this all the time in the scaremongerist literature. It is a sure sign of, at minimum, variance with the truth; at maximum, much worse.

  27. Bill Illis says:

    If they didn’t use the Raw data for the chart, we should thank NOAA for comparing 70 stations with an average 4.2 CRN rating with the full 1221 station network with an average 4.2 CRN rating (and then trying to pass that off as a valid comparison).

    Since the global temperature series of the NCDC uses a very similar homogeneity adjustment as the USHCN (in other words, just averaging the poor stations records into the good station records and thus, just simply accepting the poor station records as part of the average temperature record) …

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/images/ghcn_temp_overview.pdf

    … Let’s just do some simple math for the NCDC global temperature record – assume the global stations have the same rating as the US (or more than 50% with a 4 CRN rating) – assume these poor stations are contaminated by 1.0C worth of poor siting, urban heat island etc. over the past 120 years.

    That would mean temperatures have actually only increased by about 0.1C in the last 120 years since there is 0.5C worth of artificial contamination in the 0.6C rise in temperatures. [Not including any artificial increase in the records from over-enthusiastic Time of Observation Bias adjustments].

  28. D. King says:

    OT
    This finally hit Drudge.

    Sen. Inhofe Calls for Inquiry Into ‘Suppressed’ Climate Change Report

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/29/gop-senator-calls-inquiry-supressed-climate-change-report/

  29. James Allison says:

    OT sort of. By visiting this fine site and CA almost daily I really appreciate the badness of the ideological and political agenda being driven by the US Government climate science departments – presumably being driven by indirect instruction from highest levels of Government.

    The clever thing to do now is for an entity to find a way to transcribe the good skeptical science being done here and at CA into a format that the MSM will readily pick up on. Hearing this morning a National Radio NZ news person chatting to their Washington correspondent about the recent success of the Waxman/Markey Bill reminded me what an enormous task this will be. I was particularly struck by these news people giving such positive endorsement to Obama and his efforts to finally to stem industrial pollution of the US atmosphere. Like he was some kind of super hero.

  30. Curiousgeorge says:

    FatBigot (16:58:51) : Excellent synopsis.

    I would add that the relevant question for a scientist is not: “How accurately would the estimate agree with the true value of the parameter in the long run over all possible data sets?” but rather: “How accurately does the one data set that I actually have determine the true value of the parameter?”

  31. Annette Huang says:

    @ James Allison (17:58:50) : It’s a hopeless task. I sent a link to this website to Chris Laidlaw and Kim Hill (Radio NZ famous media critters) many moons ago, to no avail. They are wedded to the “CO2 is bad for you” meme and won’t entertain any other options.

  32. Konrad says:

    Lucy Skywalker (16:46:20)
    In a discussion of TOB on a previous thread, Nick Stokes provided a link to a 1985 Karl et al paper. I am still working through it, but I have already found some areas I want to look into further. I noticed that some of the work is model based and the paper’s conclusions mention climate change. Now I am very suspicious due to your mention of Thomas Karl’s involvement in other warming advocacy.

    I am beginning to suspect that Mr. Karl’s pet rat Toby crawled inside an instrument screen and died. Nobody noticed the smell at the time, but 20 years later I think the skeleton may still be there.

    Nick indicated the paper has been unchallenged for more than 20 years. It may be time to check on Toby’s whereabouts, and provide a proper burial if required.

  33. Queen1 says:

    There is a reason Rush has started calling the mainstream media, “state-run media.” We are at an odd juncture of history where the agenda of the power-brokers is aligned with the world-view of the press. The media won’t tattle on itself. They want the same thing the current crop of elites and bureaucrats wants: a reduction in individual liberty and a flattening of the distribution curve (except for the elites’ carve-out at the top). Warming is just a tool in the hands of very clever and dangerous people. The scientists go along because it’s a winner for them, too.

  34. J.Hansford says:

    ……So NCDC have produced a graph that shows that thermometers sited next to air conditioning outlets, car parks and on rooftops don’t matter because adjusting them makes it all better?

    Well then, it would seem that this AGW is a very well “adjusted” Hypothesis.

    It’s amazing really…. What one group calls “adjusting” another would call “fraud”.

  35. Jeff Id says:

    No name for the people being rebutted, no data or code for the rebuttal. Sounds like advocacy to me.

    I’m glad you carried this here Anthony, I read it at CA earlier but the behavior of our scientists needs to be noticed as much as possible.

  36. Jeff Id says:

    Gavin’s up to his ears in it over at RC.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/#more-691

    He’s saying everything he can to discredit Carlin’s critique. He’s mentioned everything except the main critiques that everything is based on models which can’t predict next year and the measured temperatures don’t match the models.

    I’m not defending Carlin, but gavin is down right funny in his shrill defense. These guys need a PR group.

  37. evanmjones says:

    TOBS is all very well. I have questions about the degree of adjustment, but at least I agree with the +/- sign.

    I wonder about UHI. Raw data for stations designated as urban trend around 0.5C warmer over the century and around 9% of stations are rated as urban. So the -0.05C adjustment may be on target. Or not. Because that presupposes that the sites designated as urban are actually urban and non-urban actually non-urban. And night-lights are a bogus method of determination. If the designations are wrong or the methodology flawed it all becomes very moot.

    But SHAP being a positive adjustment is an outrage for the magpies. The bogus reason they give is that a number of stations (about 72 out of 1221) were relocated to airports between 1950 and 1980. The airports were cooler (and so they were), and an upward adjustment was made. Okay, so far . . .

    But thing is that airports grew like crazy and their trends (sic!) are a LOT higher than average over the last three decades. Deregulation, urban creep and HO-83 sensor issues have all played a part. But no adjustment was made for THAT.

    All but three CRN1 stations are located in airports, and the upwards of a third of our CRN2s as well. Airports have a much better CRN rating on average than non-APs. So you can bet this affects the bum end of the NOAA graph.

    The MMTS adjustment is minor, but a crock. Yes, yes, an MMTS runs a wee tad cooler than an CRS. But that (falsely) presupposes that the MMTS is going to be sited in the same exact location as the CRS it replaces. Well, it ain’t, see? Not in most cases. Usually what happens is that, thanks to cable trenching limitations, it winds within 10 meters of the housing. Six out of ten of the current sites are CRN4, and the great majority of them are MMTS.

    FILNET (without the trimmings) is big bug in my, um, ear. That is a simple infill of missing data. That’s a neutral adjustment. So how did it get to be one of the biggest honking upward adjustments going (duking it out with TOBS for the #1 spot)? The observers all went fishing on the cool days? Well, there’s something fishy going on here, that’s for sure.

    And as for homogenization, well, that’s what the cook does when (s)he wants to conceal the pedigrees of the ingridimints. By the time he’s through, all the chunks are the same color and you can’t tell ‘em apart. A procedure recommended when cooking bad stew–or bad data.

    It’s an illusion, it’s a game,
    Or reflection of someone else’s name.
    When you wake in the morning,
    Wake and find you’re covered in cellophane.

    Well, there’s a hole in there somewhere.
    Yeah, there’s a hole in there somewhere.
    Baby, there’s a hole in there somewhere.
    Now there’s a hole in there somewhere.

  38. evanmjones says:

    He’s mentioned everything except the main critiques that everything is based on models which can’t predict next year and the measured temperatures don’t match the models.

    How’s he doing with the PDO/AMO correlation?

  39. gt says:

    OT, but I am reflecting on everyone’s effort in urging the Representatives not to vote for the climate bill. I haven’t called any of them; and as a Canadian living in the States, I don’t even know who is representing my district, even though I do pay Federal and State tax. While I appreciate everyone’s effort, I would like to go deeper and ask, why do we even need to call? My position is, if they can’t vote according to the Constitution (that 200+ year old document that the Representatives have vowed to follow and defend), and if they are open to be swayed by lobbyists and/or ordinary citizens, they should not be representing us.

    Imagine a lowly man living in a tyrannical regime (e.g. China during the Cultural Revolution) begs the state thugs on his knees not to confiscate his properties, harass his wife, and enslave his children. Well, our situation is really not that different, if our Representatives simply ignore our enormous outcry and vote according to the marching order, while at the same time take our tax dollar. We have given those parasites too much of our money, and too much power. It doesn’t matter all the facts and truths point against AGW; they’ll do what they can to further impoverish the mass, all with a snare, “yeah, what are you going to to about it?”

    That’s where we’re heading.

  40. Konrad says:

    evanmjones (20:04:36) :

    I’m not sure Toby the rat (TOBs) is at all well, but I’m going to a quick check with my cad software tonight.

    As to the rest of the USHCN adjustments, I can see so many problems. Infilling aside, UHI, site and instrument change adjustment plots do not show evidence of known station histories. The shapes of the plots are very strange. Where is the rural station dropout dip, the short cable dip and the latex paint dip?

  41. Tom in Texas says:

    evanmjones (20:04:36) :

    Evan, I’m finishing up a study of the temperature trends in South Central Texas (using raw data).

    Conclusions:

    San Antonio has a UHI over 3°F / Century (in line with several Melborne studies)

    Surrounding rural sites have a linear temperature trend of ≈ – 1°F / Century,
    i.e., a long term (100+ years) cooling trend. (not this month tho)

    “Tmin – Tmax” trends have me scratching my head.

  42. hoboduke says:

    Please stop debating climate change! It’s happening! In the 1st week of June it was 40 degrees in Wisconsin! I burned logs in the cast iron stove to keep warm! It is now 50 degrees with July around the corner! Climate change is real! I am glad that congress has taken bold action by submitting a bill they didn’t read, with a 300 page addition by staff and lobbyists right before voting. We don’t have time to think, it’s time to take action! Climate change is happening! We need to give the government total control of the climate. I want Summer to return to Wisconsin!

  43. Tom in Texas says:

    Don’t the models say the SW U.S. will be the canary in the coal mine?

    Well they were right on. We’re cooking down here – 103°F again today.
    Forecast is for 50% chance of thunder storms tomorrow.
    I’ll believe that when I see it.
    My lawn is brown and it hasn’t rained since ’07.

  44. rbateman says:

    D. King (17:45:24) :

    That’s the kind of thing that can make Al Gore disappear, and major backpeddaling begin.
    Sen. Inhofe.
    Well I’ll be.

  45. evanmjones says:

    “Tmin – Tmax” trends have me scratching my head.

    Mine, too, though I am not at liberty to go into details at this time.

    Don’t the models say the SW U.S. will be the canary in the coal mine?

    Well, Texas runs at a loss over the century. And the 30-year trend just about breaks even with the national average.

  46. Jeff B. says:

    If you don’t like the adjustment, we’ll just adjust the adjustment until you just stop bothering us about the adjustments.

  47. rbateman says:

    Tom in Texas (20:41:04)
    Look to your north, Tom.
    What is needed is a video of what has been happening to the Jet Stream the past 3 years.
    The SW is known for MegaDroughts, and the last one was in the 1450’s-1500’s.
    It was so bad that whole civilizations got up and left. Others were destroyed by the barbarians, whom they had subjugated when thier sustenance was compromised by the climate change.
    It was in one of those darned ‘minimums’, wouldn’t you know.

  48. evanmjones says:

    Where is the rural station dropout dip, the short cable dip and the latex paint dip?

    What you will see is a lot of step changes which often mysteriously coincide with recorded station moves.

    But since MMS station move records are so blasted incomplete and downright erroneous, it’s hard to tell.

    I don’t think too terribly many of the USHCN rural stations have dropped out. Only c. 110+ are classified as urban. But so many of the rural sites have egregious violations. Believe it or not, urban sites (thus alleged) actually have a better CRN rating, on average than rural!

  49. F. Ross says:

    They presented the following graphic that purported to show that NOAA’s negligent administration of the USHCN station network did not “matter”, describing the stations as follows:

    Two national time series were made using the same gridding and area averaging technique. One analysis was for the full data set. The other used only the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best… the two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication for this analysis that poor current siting is imparting a bias in the U.S. temperature trends.

    If the badly sited stations make no difference, one wonders what the comparison would look like if they only used, say, 35 or 10 of those stations classified as good …or 1 for the comparison?

    …to paraphrase Lewis Carroll, it appears that “the data mean exactly what they want them to mean.”

  50. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Good work on fathoming out what the AGW guys are doing. I guess their peer-reviewers never saw through all the shenanigans otherwise, surely, they would have said something?

    O/T: WUWT has been a busy place over the last few weeks since the last sunspot related post. I’ve been keeping an eye on them and there have been none of any consequence since then.

  51. Bill D says:

    I am really looking forward to the objective,, rigorous statistical analysis by Anthony of his surface station data. This should make a good peer-reviewed paper whether the results are positive or negative. It’s still a very much open question as to whether the good stations will show a different slope than the bad ones. I assume that Anthony either has a good understanding of statistics or can find co-auhors and collaborators that do. I hope that he plans is to write a formal manuscript that can be submitted to an appropriate peer-reviewed science journal. Getting a manuscript written for publication requires a careful description of the methods and criteria as well a citations on the importance of the surface temp data and previous relevant papers. Writing such a paper is much more difficult than putting together a blog post but getting a peer-reviewed paper would be worth the time and effort.

    I am not an expert on analyzing long term time series physical data. Perhaps analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) can be used on the annual means for the past 30 years. If the good stations show a lower slope, this would be an important result. If there is not statistical difference with such a large data set, this would show that station siting is unimportant.

  52. evanmjones says:

    I am really looking forward to the objective,, rigorous statistical analysis by Anthony of his surface station data.

    Wait for it . . .

    O/T: WUWT has been a busy place over the last few weeks since the last sunspot related post. I’ve been keeping an eye on them and there have been none of any consequence since then.

    Spots or posts? #B^1

  53. Jimmy Haigh says:

    evanmjones (22:52:49) :

    Spots or posts? #B^1

    Sorry – you are right. I was totally ambiguous there!
    There have been lots of posts of great consequence.

    There have been no sunspots of any consequence.

  54. Ron de Haan says:

    John F. Hultquist (14:09:20) :

    How interesting. NOAA claims poorly sited stations don’t influence the analysis of temperature trends. Why then did someone find it prudent to dismiss one of the offending places?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/10/an-old-friend-put-out-to-pasture-marysville-is-no-longer-a-climate-station-of-record/#more-8349

    Furthermore, they can’t keep their own facts straight, can’t tell what they did or who did it, can’t ask for up-to-date information because they won’t acknowledge the source, and can’t produce a useful comparison.

    Someone tell Obama that no harm will be done and the government can save a lot of money by closing this agency down.

    John,

    Someone tell Obama that no harm will be done….
    You mean like telling the fox he is not aloud to steal the chicken!

    The election of Obama was the final move to get the climate legislation in place.
    With this they were late on schedule because the basic plan was Al Gore to do the job.
    Lucky for us did not win the election, neither did Kerry four years later.

    It would save us a lot of energy if we simply accept the facts.
    Obama is a warmista pur sang and a big fan of the UN.

    If we want to save the US economy (and the rest of the world), we have to stop him and the political process by a majority vote against the Climate Bill in the Senate and prevent EPA to declare CO2 a poisonous gas.

  55. Tom in Texas says:

    “I am not an expert on analyzing long term time series physical data. Perhaps analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) can be used on the annual means for the past 30 years.”

    30years is long term?

  56. Curiousgeorge says:

    Someone needs to seek an injunction against the EPA to prevent them from issuing any regulation regarding CO2. Any competent lawyer should be able to make a case that it would cause unwarranted financial harm to businesses and individuals with no demonstrable benefit.

  57. old construction worker says:

    You know what this reminds me of? ? How our government adjust for “inflation”. Back in the 70’s before cost of living allowance was attached to social security, the rate of “inflation” was understated by only a few percentage points. How the real rate of “inflation” is reflected in the cost of health care. In health care, the government can’t substitute the cost of dog food for the cost of steak.

  58. Syl says:

    Tom in Texas (20:41:04) :

    “Don’t the models say the SW U.S. will be the canary in the coal mine?

    Well they were right on. We’re cooking down here – 103°F again today.”

    Well, weather patterns have shifted and the winds bringing moist air in to your area are going elsewhere these last couple of years. You’re hot because you’re dry…not because of CO2. Lower humidity allows for higher temps. Which makes me wonder about that positive water vapor feedback. I mean the more water vapor in the air, the less likely temps are going to skyrocket. Warmer at night, yeah, but during the day?

    That AGW thang is full of inconsistencies.

  59. Jack Hughes says:

    Queen1 writes:

    “an odd juncture of history where the agenda of the power-brokers is aligned with the world-view of the press. The media won’t tattle on itself.”

    Another odd feature is that the pols who are supposed to be running the show see themselves instead as part of a protest movement against the status quo.

    A kind of worldwide vandal-ocracy.

    I’m thinking especially about Penny Wong in Aus and Ed Miliband in the UK. Both are cartoonish caricatures of deadbeat student protestors against everything.

  60. Tim Clark says:

    Tom in Texas (20:41:04) :
    Don’t the models say the SW U.S. will be the canary in the coal mine?
    Well they were right on. We’re cooking down here – 103°F again today.
    Forecast is for 50% chance of thunder storms tomorrow.
    I’ll believe that when I see it.
    My lawn is brown and it hasn’t rained since ‘07.

    Expect a Texan to whine. :~P

    Plenty hot in Dallas — but no chance of a record

    The National Weather Service is talking about high temperatures of 103 today in Dallas and at Dallas-Fort Worth International, not to mention a searing 105 in Waco.

    True, those would be the highest temperatures this year — but 103 still misses the record for the date by 10 degrees.

    Back in 1980, the summer that encapsulates all that is hot about the Texas summer, the mercury climbed to 113 on June 26 and repeated the feat the next day. Those two days were the peak of a mind-numbing 11-day run of record-high temperatures that still stand 29 years later. Here are the specifics:

    June 23 104
    June 24 106
    June 25 109
    June 26 113
    June 27 113
    June 28 112
    June 29 108
    June 30 108
    July 1 109
    July 2 110
    July 3 109

  61. AKD says:

    Tom in Texas (20:41:04) :
    Don’t the models say the SW U.S. will be the canary in the coal mine?
    Well they were right on. We’re cooking down here – 103°F again today.
    Forecast is for 50% chance of thunder storms tomorrow.
    I’ll believe that when I see it.
    My lawn is brown and it hasn’t rained since ‘07.

    Where in Texas do you live? We had tons of rain (records even set) and cool temperatures in North Cental Texas up through the beginning of June. I didn’t turn my sprinklers on until a few weeks ago, and my lawn is currently growing out of control with only one watering per week. Nothing unusual in my part of Texas.

  62. Bill Illis says:

    Perhaps Anthony might be interested in this.

    If anyone remembers John V’s early look at temperatures from CRN1,2 stations versus CRN3,4,5 and then comparing that to GISS’ records, I believe John V and other posters may not have appreciated the problems with using the homogeneity adjusted numbers – like the NOAA above.

    Some of the earliest data John V produced showed a huge difference in just the TOBs-adjusted data between CRN1,2 and the CRN5 stations (using just the TOBs adjustment might be valid but I would prefer to see just the Raw data as well.)

    Effectively, the trend differential is 0.6C between CRN1,2 (TOBs only) and CRN5 (TOBs only) from 1900 to 2002 (5 year smoothing).

    http://www.opentemp.org/_results/20071002_CRN12R_CRN5_TOBS/temp5yr_1996_2005.png

    I still don’t buy that it vindicates GISS’ methods – there is still a problem with that analysis.

    At some point, we still need to compare the station’s ratings against the Raw and TOBs-only data trends.

  63. An Inquirer says:

    Tom in Texas, I am sure that I will not be the first to point out that 30 years is not a long time in climate history — in fact, far too short to establish a trend. The cycle involved in the PDO is at least 60 years, and in the last thirty years, you only have the positive cycle. The AMO may be a shorter cycle, but to have both PDO and AMO in positive cycles for a couple of decades — that phenomen probably won’t be repeated for 120 years.
    To have a positive GMT trend from 1980 to 2002 would surprise no one here. The PDO and AMO are enough to explain it. Others would point to lagged effect of certain solar phenomena. Throw in land use changes and UHI, and one may be surprised that the GMT rose so little! And most observers would not preclude that CO2 and other greenhouse gases can make some contribution, but there is nothing in the real science that conveys a message of catastrophic temperature increases.
    Here is an interesting note that I believe gets often overlooked: According to satellite measurements, oceans are no warmer now than they were in 1980. Yes, land tempeartures are up as we would expect from land use changes and UHI.

  64. An Inquirer says:

    I see that Austin, Texas, is finally getting a thunderstorm with a comfortable 73 degree temperature. I also note that Dallas so far this month has had 6.58 inches of rain compared to a past average of 3.92. Of course, many parts of Texas is in a severe drought, but the drought is not as widespread as it was in the 1930s.

  65. Tom in Texas says:

    AKD (07:33:21) : “Where in Texas do you live?”

    San Antonio.
    We just went from stage2 restrictions (sprinklers once a week on your designated day) to stage3 (sprinklers every 2 weeks).
    It’s easy to spot the the water wasters – green lawns.

  66. Rod Smith says:

    In spite of Anthony’s spectacular spotlighting of siting issues (and what I politely call institutional negligence), the question remains as to how well the instrumentation and operators perform despite of, or in addition to, the siting issues.

    One would expect instrument error (unknown at this time in direction and magnitude) to further degrade the USCHN observation accuracy. And for example, are observers even aware of proper procedures in reading instruments – for example, overcoming parallax error?

    I would not even remotely imply that Anthony do anything different than carry-on with his current survey, but everyone should recognize that he will not discover all of the possible errors embedded in the observations.

    In short, Anthony’s survey may just expose the tip of the iceberg.

  67. ohioholic says:

    “San Antonio.
    We just went from stage2 restrictions (sprinklers once a week on your designated day) to stage3 (sprinklers every 2 weeks).
    It’s easy to spot the the water wasters – green lawns.”

    Ha! I remember the days I spent in the Mojave, on Edwards. You had to have a green lawn per the Air Force regs for property upkeep, but you were only allowed to water once a day either at 6am, or 8pm. You could not tell the water wasters, but you could tell the people who painted the lawns green when it rained. The paint would run off into the street. Base institutions were among the offenders if I remember correctly. :)

  68. Tim says:

    I remember learning how a weather station should be set up in Geography lessons at school when I was 14 years old (25 years ago)….

  69. chris y says:

    re timetochooseagain- you say;

    “They have no time to joust with us jesters, but we must jest with these adjusters.”

    Just the right lilt and cadence. Cousteau-quality.

    I nominate this for quote of the week!

  70. Julie KS says:

    I live in San Antonio too. A swath of South and Central Texas is the only part of the US experiencing Extreme and Exceptional drought, according to these folks:

    http://drought.unl.edu/DM/MONITOR.html

    It’s still nothing like what my parents and grandparents had to deal with in our drought of record, back in the 50’s (unless this continues).

  71. RE Quote of Week suggestion: See http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1980

    Hansen tells us that he won’t “joust with jesters”, as presumably he’s too busy adjusting to have time for jousting. We by contrast have lots of time to jest with adjusters.

    “Better A Jester than Adjuster”
    Hansen et al 2001 describes:
    a) the gist of the adjustment;
    b) a jest of an adjustment
    c) just an adjustment
    d) a joust with a jester

    REPLY: LOL! – A

  72. Highlander says:

    All of this is corrupt.
    .
    How on Earth can ~anyone~ honestly say that averaging all those temperatures will provide =ANY= kind of TRUE assessment?
    .
    Thermal variations between disparate climate areas simply CANNOT be compared, nor ‘amalgamated’ with some idiot whole.
    .
    How does one compare the weather in a desert to the weather in a rain forest?
    .
    The very best which might accomplished is to look at ALL OF THEM SEPARATELY and make an astute observation regarding what’s happening AT EACH OF THOSE locations.
    .
    If one were to analyze a piece of art in the same way those idiots analyze weather, why one would be required to mix all of the colors together to get an ‘average’ of the color of the piece.
    .
    The essence of that would be: Gee, let’s compare the relative color and shade of this piece to that piece … Talk about tossing out the baby with the bath water!
    .
    Another analogue would be: Dump all of the world’s wines into a bucket each year and make a quality assessment of the whole rather than the unique qualities of each.
    .
    Science? SCHMIANCE!

  73. evanmjones says:

    How does one compare the weather in a desert to the weather in a rain forest?

    As best as I can recall it involves walking on rice paper . . .

  74. ohioholic says:

    evanmjones (16:39:51) :

    Snatch the pebble from my hand, and you are ready to adjust.

    Ah, but do you hear the air conditioning vent at your feet?

    I could come up with several more, but I am not sure if you are even referring to this, so I will abate. :)

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