Newly released FOIA’d emails from Hansen and GISS staffers show disagreement over 1998-1934 U.S. temperature ranking

From a Judicial watch press release

NASA Scientists Go on Attack After Climate Data Error Exposed

Contact Information: Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305
Washington, DC — January 14, 2010


Email from Sato to Hansen 8-14-07 click to enlarge (Note: email addresses redacted as a courtesy by WUWT)

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained internal documents from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) related to a controversy that erupted in 2007 when Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre exposed an error in NASA’s handling of raw temperature data from 2000-2006 that exaggerated the reported rise in temperature readings in the United States. According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.

These new documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal GISS email correspondence as NASA scientists attempted to deal with the media firestorm resulting from the controversy. In one exchange GISS head James Hansen tells a reporter from Bloomberg that NASA had not previously published rankings with 1998 atop the list as the hottest year on record in the 20th century.

Email from Demian McLean, Bloomberg to Jim Hansen, August 14, 2007: “The U.S. figures showed 1998 as the warmest year. Nevertheless, NASA has indeed newly ranked 1934 as the warmest year…”

Email Response from James Hansen to Damian McLean, August 14, 2007: “…We have not changed ranking of warmest year in the U.S. As you will see in our 2001 paper we found 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998. We still find that result. The flaw affected temperatures only after 2000, not 1998 and 1934.”

Email from NASA Scientist Makiko Sato to James Hansen, August 14, 2007: “I am sure I had 1998 warmer at least once on my own temperature web page…” (Email includes temperature chart dated January 1, 2007.)

(This issue also crops up in email communications with New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin a little over a week later.)

According to the NASA email, NASA’s incorrect temperature readings resulted from a “flaw” in a computer program used to update annual temperature data.

Hansen, clearly frustrated by the attention paid to the NASA error, labeled McIntyre a “pest” and suggests those who disagree with his global warming theories “should be ready to crawl under a rock by now.” Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.”

“This email traffic ought to be embarrassing for NASA. Given the recent Climategate scandal, NASA has an obligation to be completely transparent with its handling of temperature data. Instead of insulting those who point out their mistakes, NASA scientists should engage the public in an open, professional and honest manner,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

=================================

Here’s a large package of emails from NASA GISS in one large PDF with 215 page which I’ve made available on the WUWT server which can handle the traffic this is likely to get.

783_NASA_docs (warning large PDF 11 MB)

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137 thoughts on “Newly released FOIA’d emails from Hansen and GISS staffers show disagreement over 1998-1934 U.S. temperature ranking

  1. “…Instead of insulting those who point out their mistakes, NASA scientists should engage the public in an open, professional and honest manner,”

    Well, there’s the problem.

  2. “Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.””

    Not a very Scientific approach.

    Using the same language as the Norwegian foreign minister used in Copenhagen. Very strange.

    Why are they so hostile?

  3. And late last year, 2006 jumped by 0.19ºC to become joint warmest year in the USA lower 48 series.

    DaveE.

  4. so in 1999 Hansen claims:
    1934 – 1. 459
    1998 – 0.918

    but by 2007 he has “adjusted” the data to:
    1934 – 1.227
    1998 – 1.242

    so he magically managed to adjust 1934 down 16% and 1998 up 35% … gee I think we’ve seen that game before …

    I think the last earring Hansen had put in must have killed off his last remaining brain cells …

  5. Judicial Watch has always been sort of a loose cannon. Their announcement isn’t going to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

  6. Climate Progress was pushing some graph from James Hansen rather hard today. You mean it is laced with misinformation? George Zoros needs to watch his sock puppet site more closely.

    Hanson’s comment tells us he is immature in his work attitude.

  7. Eric (skeptic) (13:51:38) :

    Judicial Watch has always been sort of a loose cannon. Their announcement isn’t going to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

    But the emails will speak themselves will they not? They are not diminished in any way because of the credibility or lack thereof of the party that procured them.

  8. there will be a press release explaining how the public can’t possibly understand all this scary-looking but totally innocuous “science talk.” mark my words.

  9. Wow! So not only do they take my tax dollars and push for a result that lets them ask for and receive more, but then when someone catches them doing this, they call them names. Shame on you NASA…

  10. kwik (13:39:30) :

    “Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.””

    Not a very Scientific approach.

    Using the same language as the Norwegian foreign minister used in Copenhagen. Very strange.

    Why are they so hostile?

    It is simple. This hostility is defensiveness. Freud wrote of defense mechanisms. when proud people are exposed in error, they lash out. It is a natural reflex response . Joe Romm and James Hansen have almost identical maladaptive coping mechanisms.

    A real Scientist would scratch their chin and just dig deeper.

  11. “According to the NASA email, NASA’s incorrect temperature readings resulted from a “flaw” in a computer program used to update annual temperature data.”

    OMG… not the Flaw!

  12. The face of settled science surfaces…

    And today we have:

    “There will be a significant effort on the part of all in the administration to press forward,” [Todd Stern] said. “The president is focused on it, and the White House is focused on it.”

    You know what they say about fools.

  13. Al Gore, leading science denier, says the Earth is several million degrees-2 miles down.

    It seems the warmists need to adjust some of their claims.

  14. The same folks who think “Day of the Condor” and “JFK” are gospel because the government is behind all conspiracies apparently don’t have a problem believing every word NASA comes up with.

  15. Re: Dr. Bob (Jan 14 14:06),

    “Can someone please dumb this down for us?”

    If we don’t stop burning fossil fuels now, the planet’s gonna burst into flames sometime in the next 100 years and we’re all gonna die. Trust us, we’re scientists.

  16. It’s a pity to see what was once a vibrant and useful organization as NASA deteriorate down to it’s current level of embarrassment and malpractice. But then it’s to be expected in any organization that grows too old with fat cats, useless managers and pen pushers who have no scientific experience, and is becoming more and more like a political entity much like the UN. Sad but true. I expect China will replace the US in leading space research soon enough.

  17. the hotter they claim it gets the more taxpayer money they get. Give me a million dollars and I’ll tell you it’s d**n hotter than hades and getting worse every year.

  18. “andy (14:10:27) :

    The same folks who think “Day of the Condor” and “JFK” are gospel because the government is behind all conspiracies apparently don’t have a problem believing every word NASA comes up with.”

    We would love to, but their words change so often.

  19. Email Response from James Hansen to Damien McLean, August 14, 2007: “…We have not changed ranking of warmest year in the U.S. As you will see in our 2001 paper we found 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998. We still find that result. The flaw affected temperatures only after 2000, not 1998 and 1934.”

    But if it is an insignificant hair between 1934 and 1998 then why all the fear mongering saying that recent warming is unprecedented? You can’t have it both ways James.

  20. I really thought I’d never see NASA’s changing of historical data exposed in such a manner. Perhaps there is hope after all.

  21. Well i have read about 60 of those emails and i can say only one thing:

    What the [snip] is going on here??

    It sickens me that Steve and Anthony are being portrated like a bunch of loonies instead of themselfs..

    Keep up the good work Anthony and Steve! I love you!

  22. Simple: henceforth the CIA will audit NASA GISS temperature data. While they’re at it, perhaps they can check out whether Hansen’s boxers have been twisted into a permanent knot.

  23. Eric (skeptic) (13:51:38) :

    “Judicial Watch has always been sort of a loose cannon. Their announcement isn’t going to send shivers down anyone’s spine.”

    Only Daily Kos Kool-Aid chuggers would consider Judicial Watch a “loose cannon”. They are a widely recognised watchdog and whistle blowing group with a number of successes over the years not only in exposing scandal, but in forcing open closed government records found embarrassing by bureaucrats and big-government politicians. Lets all drop the ad hom attacking the messenger and look at the facts. The documents in question are NASA’s, so it really doesn’t matter who brought them to light.

  24. Hansen changes his mind and the data so often that it’s a wonder anything can be said about the historical ‘record’. I tried to think of something or someone with which to compare the frequency of his changes, but it would surely be offensive to any man, woman, or group to which his conduct could be compared, and I could come up with some real doozies. Let me just say that perhaps he’s way past due for retirement, and let it go at that.

  25. In 2007, on the 1934-1998 issue: I agreed that Hansen had been for 1934, before he was against it.

  26. I’m beginning to think that the forecast by Jim Hansen about 2010 having a 50% chance of being the warmest year is more like a promise than a forecast. :o)

    “Indeed, given the continued growth of greenhouse gases and the underlying global warming trend (Figure 3b) there is a high likelihood, I would say greater than 50 percent, that 2010 will be the warmest year in the period of instrumental data.”


    Source

  27. I’m glad to see FOIA acts successful on this. Is this about the first one, or did I miss other releases? And I wonder if Climategate will effect how FOIA requests are handled. I would think it would increase the pressure to release.

  28. Seems I read somewhere recently that 1998 is on top of the heap again. I was surprised because I remember this little episode a couple years ago. Do the different parts of NASA/GISS say different things. That could be inconvenient, too.

    Guess I must be a loonie too.

  29. OT

    Rothschild Family to Donate $50 Billion to Haiti Relief Efforts.

    This offer for help comes with no strings attached.

    There are estimates the Rothschild’s are worth $100 trillion.

    $50 Billion is but a drop in the bucket of the Rothschild’s budget.

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/121585

  30. I can’t judge the science, but I can judge the tone of the emails. Errors don’t matter. 0.15c difference seems big to me. H/T Steve yet again.

  31. Have the reasons for these adjusments (just to the US data set) ever been fully explained? It appears that Sato is joining other climate scientist who have lost some of the original data. Why was Sato not interested in US data after 2001? Was it possibly becasue the major adjustments done prior to 2001 had a desired effect? Sato claims to not know why the biggest adjustments were made!! He says , rather sadly, “I may have some of the data.”

    Really a rather telling letter.

  32. Peter of Sydney (14:17:11)
    I have to agree with your comments about NASA but there is hope, check out http://www.spacex.com/
    This company may have their Falcon 9 / Dragon space vehicle operational while NASA is still trying to make ARES work.

  33. edgar (14:19:55) :

    the hotter they claim it gets the more taxpayer money they get. Give me a million dollars and I’ll tell you it’s d**n hotter than hades and getting worse every year.

    Give me two million above that and I will claim it is worse that you thought.

  34. Hey, I’m flattered by the mention on your site today, but can you please correct the spelling of my name? Both versions are wrong.

    And here’s a link to the full Bloomberg story:

    http://tinyurl.com/2qq9k3

    If I remember correctly, we broke the NASA-temperature story among mainstream media, though blogs were there way before us.

    REPLY: Fixed, but you might also want to make a note to Judicial Watch, where the error originated.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2010/jan/judicial-watch-uncovers-nasa-documents-related-global-warming-controversy

    – Anthony

  35. revkin August 2007 – I never till today visited surfacestations.org and found it quite amazing. If our stations are that shoddy what’s it like in Mongolia?

    Love it.

  36. Anyone else amazed at how fluid history appears to be in some circles? Its as if the historical record is written in pencil. Funny that.

  37. James Hansen is a space alien. He was sent here to steal our precious supply of unobtainium, but he “went rogue” when he began to identify with the “dreadlocks and bong” tribe. Pass it on.

    CH

  38. what the world could use now is an inconvenient:
    1) apology
    2) oops
    3) i admit it, it’s not settled

    it’s ok to to change your mind. thinking people do it all the time.
    history used to be written by the victor, not any more.

  39. 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998

    It really is amazing that it took a big El Nino spike in 1998 to come close to matching what was happening in the 30’s.

  40. Hansen, clearly frustrated by the attention paid to the NASA error, labeled McIntyre a “pest” and suggests those who disagree with his global warming theories “should be ready to crawl under a rock by now.” Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.”

    Mad scientist James Hansen.

  41. I’ve made available on the WUWT server which can handle the traffic this is likely to get

    Yes it will, especially if major news outlets direct people here, as they should.

  42. To be fair, NASA is a large organization that does serious and good quality work in many areas. Climate change is not one of them. Nor should it ever have been. I believe the acronym is “Aeronautics and Space” administration. Not, the “Noble Authority on Simulated Atmospheres.”

  43. Dr. Bob (14:06:17) :
    Can someone please dumb this down for us?
    Not as dumbly, perhaps, as certain scientists think that we, the great unwashed, need but I’ll give it a stab.
    Catastrophic MMGW, to some, is an unfalsifiable certainty that must be accepted by all. They, like archbishop Usher with his peer-blessed nailing of the date of Creation, will defend their findings to the bitter end as if their careers and position depended on it!
    The public, however, is fickle and do not always understand the intellectual leaps made by the priesthood. Some even confuse Weather with Climate in heretical ways by thinking that colder weather may be climate when only warmer weather is climate.
    Wise men decided that, for the good of mankind, data that challenged the orthodoxy was evil and thus needed redemptive correction. Not Evil, Just Wrong.
    Recent cold spells have made the headlines and caused many to question the certainty that AGW is actually happening. Some, quoting obscure acronyms like UHI and arcane statistical tricks, are even questioning that GW (sans the Anthropogenic bit) is actually happening at all!
    When you believe that you are saving the World these exaggerations are a small price to pay. I have no issues with the zealots – they are unwell, misguided but sincere. It’s the rent-seeking hangers-on that I despise. They lie for profit alone and when they become the gatekeepers their lust becomes hideous. 
    The manipulation of data preserves their position. Is that dumbed down OK, Dr Bob?
     

  44. August 10 2007, email from Hansen. Cracker. Suggests saving data at least once a year so they have a record.

  45. “tarpon (14:07:04) :
    The face of settled science surfaces…

    And today we have:

    “There will be a significant effort on the part of all in the administration to press forward,” [Todd Stern] said. “The president is focused on it, and the White House is focused on it.””

    I think the Obama administration needs glasses… obviously they can’t focus properly.

  46. These so called climatologists don’t deserve to be called scientists. They are so sloppy with their data that if they were accountants, their corporations would have gone bankrupt long ago and we wouldn’t have any problems with their fraudulant behaviour, at least not on the scientific side.

  47. If I was a US citizen and I wanted a cultural change at NASA I’d write to my congressman demanding that NASA’s budget be cut then write to NASA and explain that the manipulation with US/Global temp data evident at GISS is why I’ve taken the action I have. Nothing talks like money.

    In fact this might be a good idea to apply to our own CSIRO and BOM.

    Cheers

    Michael

  48. Steve McIntyre (14:51:23) :

    In 2007, on the 1934-1998 issue: I agreed that Hansen had been for 1934, before he was against it.

    That sounds like john Kerry politics: I voted for it before I voted against it.

  49. Look, because we’re “climate scientists” and far more intelligent than you – there is no need for us to admit we were wrong. We are evolved, proud professionals. If ever you are able to reach the heights we have achieved – you then may criticize.

    Please fetch me a glass of water.

  50. Obviously I believe that 1934 was warmer than 1998 (click my name, I run a skeptic blog.)

    What I don’t understand is this: How do we reconcile that 1934 was warmer than 1998 with our current temperature graphs? For instance, this from the HadCRUT3 data set:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl

    Clearly shows that 1998 was 0.2’C or so warmer than 1934. Is this due to all of the adjustments? Would a more accurate graph show a peak in 1934, then the 40 year cooling period, then a rise in temperatures to the same amplitude as the 1934 peak?

    Thank you for any guidance.

  51. It appears August, 2007, was a very hot month for the
    NASA/GISS/NOAA/etc. folks.

    However, none of this activity was the result of a FOIA request.

    The request was “granted” a long time after August, 2007, and
    involved efforts by the FOIA personnel and the IT folks at the
    responding agencies.

    Other than researchers’ collective consternation at having their
    e-mails opened to public scrutiny, none of their precious time
    was expended in satisfying the Judicial Watch request.

    Wow. A systemic/systematic error = a “flaw”.

    Asking several times for data and a program (with some of the
    requests kept out of sight from other group members) earns you
    the dreaded “desperate character” designation.

    Anthony – can someone make up “Wanted” posters with SteveMc
    and your pictures ? The “Team” would buy them for dart practice
    and the rest of us for posting on our walls just above our monitors.

  52. HotRod (15:06:56) :

    I can’t judge the science, but I can judge the tone of the emails. Errors don’t matter. 0.15c difference seems big to me. H/T Steve yet again.

    Hmmm looks like two of us are using the same handle with only a difference in capitalization. That could be confusing

    Larry

  53. It looks like the climate gate disclosure may have some long term beneficial impacts, and will not only not fade away, but will turn over other rocks as various groups and individuals investigate things of interest.

    Larry

  54. That is one fast server you have. Normally a download of that size takes a couple of minutes or more depending on how a site is throttled. I got it in about 30 seconds.

  55. Thanks for the quick reply, Anthony. I should have guessed the misspelling lay with the source material; I messaged Judicial Watch.

    If you get a min, the second mention of “Demian” is still wrong in your post:-)

  56. Eric (skeptic) (13:51:38) :

    “Judicial Watch has always been sort of a loose cannon. Their announcement isn’t going to send shivers down anyone’s spine.”

    What evidence do you have and/or rely upon to justify the “loose cannon” label for Judicial Watch? Use of this unsupported “kill the messenger” crap suggests that your user ID should be Eric the idiot.

  57. As usual, our “objective” correspondent Mr. Andy Revkin at The New York Times is as thick as thieves with the climate gang over at NASA. What an absolute disgrace.

    Climategate++

    This “Reto Ruedy” character is so obnoxious that he might be thought of as the GISS equivalent of Michael Mann or Ben Santer.

  58. Richard deSousa (15:47:06) :

    “tarpon (14:07:04) :
    The face of settled science surfaces…

    And today we have:

    “There will be a significant effort on the part of all in the administration to press forward,” [Todd Stern] said. “The president is focused on it, and the White House is focused on it.””

    I think the Obama administration needs glasses… obviously they can’t focus properly.
    =========
    make no mistake, they are focused on it.
    but are cautious about which horse to bet.

  59. Hansen gave an oddly prescient interview to the Independent in 2007:

    “Many of them will be in trouble. They will effectively be pushed off the planet,” Dr Hansen said.

  60. Before adding the “WUWT” home page to my “favorites” list on my browser, I first put this WUWT blog entry on the list:

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html

    It showed the change of 1998 and 1934 so that 1934 became the warmest in the US. It also contained a link to a GISS page that gets updated:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt

    If you go to that GISS page today, you will find that 1998 has regained its position as the warmest year in the US: 1998 is 1.29 and 1934 is 1.26.

    Strange how that GISS “blackbox” calculation of annual means works. Depending on when you look at the posted results, you may find they have changed since the last time. Someone ought to take screenshots once in a while, so he can put together a “blinking” picture of the dancing numbers.

  61. Dr. Bob (15:58:52) :

    Obviously I believe that 1934 was warmer than 1998 (click my name, I run a skeptic blog.)

    What I don’t understand is this: How do we reconcile that 1934 was warmer than 1998 with our current temperature graphs? For instance, this from the HadCRUT3 data set:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl

    Clearly shows that 1998 was 0.2′C or so warmer than 1934. Is this due to all of the adjustments? Would a more accurate graph show a peak in 1934, then the 40 year cooling period, then a rise in temperatures to the same amplitude as the 1934 peak?

    Thank you for any guidance.

    I do not know the details of HADCRU’s correction scheme, but it cannot be very different from NCDC. If you go to this page right here, you will find a pretty thorough explanation of NCDC adjustment/correction scheme. The graph of effect of individual adjustments plus the graph of over-all adjustment tells the entire story of how the current decades and 1998 in particular appear on graphs so warm compared to the 1930s. The pertinent question to ask is “Are these adjustments correct and justified?” There is no answer at present, but there is reason for doubt.

    I hope this helps.

  62. Micajah (16:27:33) :

    If you had been keeping tabs, you would also have noticed that 2006 moved from +1.10ºC to +1.29ºC, now tying with 1998.

    DaveE.

  63. Okay, some stupid questions from the guy who rides the short bus to this site. Am I correct when I look at the first, complete e-mail and see that in July 1999, they have 1934 at a plus anomaly of 1.459, and 1998 at a plus anomaly of 0.918? And then, by August 2007, they state that the plus anomaly for 1934 is down to 1.249, while the plus anomaly of 1998 has risen to plus 1.226? Is that what it says?
    I’m somewhat familiar with the issues of diddlin’ with the data, and don’t understand the whys and wherefores of most of it, but some of it I understand. But if I am interpreting this e-mail correctly, that’s some heavy- duty diddlin’ of data. Why are historical figures changed this often, and changed to this degree? All I can say is: “VIVA VIAGARA!”

  64. So, in order to answer a FOIA request, the people who believe the planet is in imminent danger of catastrophe printed all the emails onto paper, scanned them, and then sent them electronically.

  65. The UK CRU version of Climategate centered around whether the 1990’s were warmer than any time in the past 1000 years. The US GISS version could be about whether 1998 was warmer than 1934!

    It seems the temperature readings were adjusted six times after analysis in July 1999 indicated that the temperature anomaly for 1934 was nearly 60% higher than for 1998. I’ve graphed the seven versions to show how GISS systematically adjusted 1934 down and 1998 up until 1998 was warmer than 1934 (the January 2007 analysis) or at least virtually indistinguishable (the March and August 2007 analyses).

    And this is just from one email in a treasure trove of 216 pages of them!

    In the UK CRU case, the Medieval Warm Period vanished to present a “nice tidy story”. In the US GISS case, a nearly 60% temperature anomaly difference vanished to show that 1998 was as warm as 1934! Are these guys serious scientists or just skilled magicians?

  66. As the Atomic Doomsday Clock’ post has shown “settled sciences” scaring tales for a world governance “project” which began back in 1945:
    Changes in the Doomsday Clock are determined by the Bulletin’s Board of Directors in consultation with its Board of Sponsors. No less a personage than Albert Einstein helped found the Board of Sponsors (which currently includes eighteen Nobel laureates), and Robert Oppenheimer was its first chairman.
    So, now “Climate Change/Global Warming” , by the foolish behaviour of its now desesperate promoters has become an unexpected and until now unknown wider and older conspiracy:

    http://www.agoodmanonline.com/pdf/free_range_2007_04.pdf

    Their aim:
    To equalize the economies of rich and poor nations, he proposed that funds from nations with trade surpluses would be confiscated by an international bank (or clearing house) and transferred to poorer nations whose goods had been exported at low prices

    http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/bringing-climate-change-global-governance

  67. Paddy (16:13:27)
    Judicial watch has gone after many cases of corruption over the years since I have followed them (at least since the Clinton era). I read their newsletter for many years. But they also glom on to various issues where they perceive some populist political sentiment, and then they run their press releases with just one or two facts and large amounts of innuendo.

    When they do thorough research to uncover corruption where they bring strong legal cases, they are quite effective. But when they go after issues like this one they are not going to have the knowledge and depth to make an effective case. I notice for example that there is no discussion of any legal issues which is their speciality. They really need to stick to their speciality.

  68. SteveSadlov (17:15:44) :
    When I was a child, NASA were my heroes. Childhood ended some time ago.

    I was an adult when our joint heroes were held so highly. Isn’t it sad when we find out that heroes end up as villains. Apologies to the true NASA Champions, those that stole your mantle are beneath contempt! You guys still rock, thank you!

  69. In mid-January 2009, the notorious Hansen declared unequivocally that “this coming year ['09] will be the warmest yet on record.” When Roger Pielke, Jr. queried the factual, scientific basis for this transparent folly, Big Jim responded with Warmists’ usual Argument from Authority, by Stipulation: “It’s true because we Ascended Masters say it is.” Pielke, Jr. coughed discreetly and named Hansen recipient of his coveted Bonehead of the Year Award, averring that despite their best efforts not even Climate Cultists like Briffa, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. would likely outdo James Stylites’ pronunciamento from atop his self-anointed NASA pillar.

    Anyone in contact with Pielke, Jr. might request his nominee for 2010. As Edward Lorenz said of Earth’s “climate” in general (1960), “The answer, at first glance obvious, improves on acquaintance.”

  70. What this all tells me is that my suspision that NASA has a time machine has to be true. Its the only way they could know that the temperatures back in th 30’s weren’t as high as the written records say they are.

    Actually the big baddie in all this really isn’t NASA it’s NOAA. NOAA is the one that compiles the GHCN and USHCN data sets and then mangles them and sends that output off to NASA GISS were they try a one size fits all de-mangle proceedure, then apply there own mangling proceedure which they hold up as something of real value.

  71. Re: David Alan Evans (16:39:59)

    You’re right: 1934 now gets the “purse” for third place, since 1998 and 2006 are tied for first place. I had only looked to see how 1998 and 1934 had changed.

    I wonder if things will change again when the figure for 2009 is posted. The GISS procedure seems to involve “spooky action at a distance,” since prior years are often changed by the entries for later years.

  72. One of my favorites from 23 Aug 2007 (p 111)

    Andrew Revkin Asks –
    “..finally, do you agree that generally we (globally) should be doing a lot more to improve surface temperature tracking? i never, til today visited http://www.surfacestations.org and found it quite amazing. if our stations are that shoddy, what’s it like in Mongolia?”

    James Hansen replies –
    “…Of course it is good to improve the station data. Temperature is an absolute measurement, however, so errors over time are not cumulative. When there are several thousand stations it is easy to find what seem like a huge number of stations with problems.”

    I’d say “it is easy to find what seem like a huge number of stations with problems” when 89% of the stations surveyed by Anthony rate below CRN 2

  73. Not A Carbon Cow (17:38:41) :

    u.k.(us) (15:34:35) :

    “history used to be written by the victor, not any more.”

    history used to be written by the vicar, not any more

    FTFY
    =========
    had to look up meaning of “ftfy”, now i know :)

    quick internet search brings up: Winston Churchill prophetically said: “history is written by the victors.”

    if victors was wrong, my next guess would have be generals.
    i was debating which to use in my comment, and was correct i guess.

  74. I spent some time eyeballing some of the the emails this evening after work, and the ones that left a particularly bad taste in my mouth were the ones by US-taxpayer-funded James Hansen.

    His tone in the emails matches his tone whenever he speaks: Sheer arrogance.

    That type of arrogant, insulting tone is not befitting for someone who draws his salary from public funds.

    But….what do you expect from a megalomaniac.

    Hey JIM!!! You and your ilk….Gavin….Michael…and the rest of “the team” and henchmen like Gore and Holdren that feed you, listen to these words:

    YOUR REIGN IS OVER.

    Its only a matter of time….and not a minute too soon!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  75. I’ve read through 87 of these e-mails and this is no Climategate Episode 2. It makes McIntyre look bad in a way since they are somewhat successfully pointing out to reporters and each other some things that McIntyre may have misunderstood (perhaps justifiably). GISS has had its code available all along, I believe, whereas McIntyre was asking for additional code that simply did not exist, based on rumors from the SurfaceStations.org project that NASA adjusted for bad station siting in some manner that was not included in the public version of GISS (?).

    I also must note that GISS does not evidently use “already adjusted” data. That’s another rumor I believe is false. The actual GISS source code that I have seen grabs data from GHCN raw and not GHCN adjusted.

    It speaks of McIntyre using a software robot to grab all the GISS station data from their public site that only allows listing of one station at a time. It operated too fast for their servers to keep up with and still provide a fast response to general users, so they blocked his IP, prior to knowing that it was his IP and prior, evidently, to knowing who he himself was (they claim). They then did seem to prevent him from getting their own data rather than what they claimed was identical data from GHCN, however.

    As of page 87 it’s all about GISS’s ‘Y2K bug’, in which they used a kludge to extend the US data after the USHCN stopped applying corrections, by using GHCN data instead. So they add a further kludge to artificially pull the GHCN data downwards to mend the step jump. Sloppy, indeed, but nothing along the lines of CRU machinations. The tone is one of somewhat hassled defensive damage control in a reactive sense, not the pro-active sort of offensive planning of CRU e-mailers. I would call it a case of a bad first impression, since Hansen seems to learn about ClimateAudit.org for the first time in the context of a literal attack on their web site (over-zealous spider software acting on a site that uses lots of CPU intensive scripts). So they wrote back that he had been un-blocked and could data mine in the wee hours of the night. Case closed, except for their discomfort with how the story would play out in the media, which is understandable since they are getting a barrage of inquires from reporters about it.

    But later, Gavin (confusingly, to me) tells chief programmer Ruedy (http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/rruedy.html) that “It does however highlight the rhetorical power of saying that the code is secret and things are being kept from the public. It may still be worth putting up a clean version of the adjustment program on the website in order to have something to point to in such cases.” (page 120)

    They make a further confusing point that the bug did NOT effect 1934 nor 1998 so could not have altered their ranking (even though it did?). Yet they make the point too that it only applied to US data, well within the margin or error, and make only minuscule difference to the global average (the US being only 2% of the surface of the planet).

    What is *highly* confusing to me is that they point out again and again that from 2001 (when they published a big paper), that 1998 and 1934 were a virtual tie (within 0.01°), but now (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.lrg.gif) 1998 is considerably hotter. However, as I state above, I believe the full source code and the exact raw data is available at present so should be fully auditable (ClearClimateCode.org is an example of this in progress).

    Ah! I was looking at the red line instead of the yearly points in black. They are still a virtual tie in the US (but not global) data.

    They do however mention that they are being stubborn about using the latest USHCN data rather than an older version. Discussion about this does not sound conspiratorial but indeed sounds very round about and bumbling in tone. They simply don’t care what difference it will make except in the sense that they want to head off any bad PR if the difference seems odd. I’m up to page 130 now.

    Not much more intrigue, but by page 180 the story is hitting the press, with the typical back-and-forth pro/anti slants, with them providing further pro-spin damage control as additional interest is being generated. It’s pretty boring stuff though. They discuss using the episode as a way to get their message out better. Their is no Michael Mann figure causing more harm than good in these. Hansen is curt instead of verbosely ponderous, and Gavin, always present, merely provides some textbook PR advice about not getting dragged into every argument.

    Then BOOM, at the very end (page 205 of 215) we confront possible and seemingly casual/sloppy data destruction as they attempt to produce a before/after plot of the correction. The crud has really hit the fan now and they are getting inquiries from student types but they don’t yet have a good form letter reply, it seems.

    At one point (page 209) Hansen quaintly seems to refer to the Internet the “ethernet”: “Your e-mail should be framed, as a counterweight to all the viscous ad hominem e-mails that have descended through the ethernet.”

    In conclusion, the thrust of the issue, the “Y2K bug” in GISTEMP, which is what these are all about, is not a huge smoking gun. What *remains* as a smoking gun is casually sloppy data and code archiving, over time, so that a historical audit of changes over time has become quite likely impossible to document and analyze. However, the idea that current code and current raw data is being withheld by GISS is not supported by these e-mails.

  76. “Temperature is an absolute measurement, however, so errors over time are not cumulative”

    Then how come those “absolute measurements” keep changing, Jimmy?

  77. Peter of Sydney (14:17:11) :

    It’s a pity to see what was once a vibrant and useful organization as NASA deteriorate down to it’s current level of embarrassment and malpractice.

    It seems to be an endemic condition at NASA. See also the laxity in adhering to procedure which led to the 1986 loss of Challenger and the 2003 loss of Columbia. The “What? Me worry?” attitude also led to the Apollo 1 fire.

    Not too long before the loss of Columbia, there was a documentary called “Space Shuttle Garage”, about what a Shuttle Orbiter goes through to get it ready for launch.

    The part I found especially amazing/disgusting was when a group of mechanics could not figure out how to use the special torque wrench for tightening the landing wheel nuts. They went through the procedure manual, which is a very large looseleaf binder (why is that not on a computer?!), and they still couldn’t get it to work. So they got the other special torque wrench (there are only two in existence) and still couldn’t get the nuts torqued correctly.

    Finally they gave up and put a note on the preflight checklist saying they didn’t get the wheel nuts torqued correctly. Can’t make it work? Leave it up to the next shift and hope they don’t lose the Post-It notes.

    I don’t recall now which it was on, History Channel, Discovery Channel or The Learning Channel. I did in 2003 and went to their website right after the Columbia crash and it wasn’t available to buy. Anyway, quite the poor choice of video to showcase how NASA operates.

    Hooo boy! Someone at NASA is going to get the boot! (Possibly.) Someone’s stash of cocaine was just found in the Shuttle garage. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/cocaine-found-in-nasa-space-shuttle-garage/story-e6frf7jx-1225819834366?from=public_rss

  78. Gavin, 16 Aug, 2007 18:16:22 emails R. Ruedy:

    “the issue is here that you are dealing with a hostile interviewer. In such circumstances, it is much better simply to point out clear errors. If you open up another front they will dive on that instead and abandon all the previous positions (since they are not sincere in any case).

    It does however highlight the rhetorical power of saying that the code is secret and things are being kept from the public. It may still be worth putting up a clean version of the adjustment program on the website in order to have something to point to in such cases.”

    ————

    “Clean version”? Meaning, one without a “fudge factor”??? Now, me thinks, we need to see the “dirty” version so we can judge for ourselves. I’m not trusting these code monkeys.

  79. boballab (18:25:39) :
    Actually the big baddie in all this really isn’t NASA it’s NOAA. NOAA is the one that compiles the GHCN and USHCN data sets and then mangles them and sends that output off to NASA GISS…

    My take on the progression of raw data to “value added” data is as follows:

    (1) NOAA (V2.mean.z vs V2.mean_adj.z) adjusts for station moves. (mostly minor and defendable adjustments).

    (2) NCDC (Menne) makes major adjustments for a multitude of factors – See:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/

    My favorite section is Homogeneity Testing & Adjustment Procedures – It made my head spin. I’d copy it here but it is pretty long.

    (3) GISS probably uses the NCDC dataset. I’ve compared the 2 datasets for San Antonio and they are basically the same – but other locations may vary.

  80. royfomr (18:11:47) :

    SteveSadlov (17:15:44) :
    When I was a child, NASA were my heroes. Childhood ended some time ago.

    I was an adult when our joint heroes were held so highly. Isn’t it sad when we find out that heroes end up as villains. Apologies to the true NASA Champions, those that stole your mantle are beneath contempt! You guys still rock, thank you!

    Ditto. The Earthbound, ingrown (like an infected toenail) NASA of Hansen is not the NASA of the space-faring pioneers of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Space Shuttle, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and many other noble and exciting endeavors. The Agency just needs a good rinse and an antibiotic to clean out the nasty detritus of politicized ideological enviro-whackoism.

    /Mr Lynn

  81. Slightly off topic. I did not realise how compromised Wikipedia has become. I just looked up ‘Ice Age’, and they have rewritten it to blame CO2 levels for ALL of the Earth’s previous climate! And of course mankind ‘from the earliest farmers’.

    Amusing or sickening – not sure which.

  82. N ever
    A
    S traight
    A nswer

    Hansen and his GISS buddy should be put on trial and sent to jail for Fraud, Waste and Abuse!

  83. That type of arrogant, insulting tone is not befitting for someone who draws his salary from public funds.

    Arrogance is not an unknown character flaw among engineers. I have been accused of it more than once myself (there is more than some truth to the allegation).

    What matters is honesty. Scrupulous honesty. Uncompromising honesty.

    With honesty (in matters of engineering and science) many other character flaws can be over looked. Mistakes must be admitted (I’m very scrupulous about that). Why? Well for one thing it hurts. And pain reprograms the neural network.

    To be good at science and engineering you have to love the pain of being wrong as much as you love the pleasure of being right. Otherwise error cascades.

  84. SteveSadlov (17:15:44) :

    NASA and children? How about this?

    http://climate.nasa.gov/kids/

    Progressives destroy everything they touch :(

    When I saw this I wanted to cry.

    From inspiring children to pursue science and achievement in my generation to brainwashing the children to pursue myth and mediocrity in this generation. BTW, I have been noticing the problem with ridiculous press releases from NASA since 1998 or so. I thought that they were just signs of isolated rot, but recently I came to the realization that its reached the brain.

    How about this work of US tax paid propaganda:

    http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/whatonearth

    Have these guys no shame?

  85. Dr. Bob:

    What I don’t understand is this: How do we reconcile that 1934 was warmer than 1998 with our current temperature graphs? For instance, this from the HadCRUT3 data set …

    NCDC data is for the US, HadCRUT is global (I think).

  86. Baby, it’s cold outside. There is no better wake up call for the general population than very real suffering, on a personal level. I can hear all the liberals screaming, “I didn’t know they meant me!”

  87. I think this kind of thing (1934 vs 1998 “race”) is exactly what makes certain people hopeful that tomorrow they will wake up to find that Al Gore has won the 2000 election.

    Actually, this “race” reminds me quite a bit of the end of the movie Cars, which was just as back and forth and just as exciting. Especially when we find out that what, 2005 comes out of nowhere and wins!!! (Hope I didn’t spoil that for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie.)

    If raw data isn’t good enough (and with UHI for one, it isn’t), then we really do need to own up to things and say we move these temps around all the time and thus have not come up with a solid methodology. Which would follow that we do not really know how many years we have left, whether 4 or 400 or 4M.

  88. Dr. Bob:

    What I don’t understand is this: How do we reconcile that 1934 was warmer than 1998 with our current temperature graphs? For instance, this from the HadCRUT3 data set:

    [Global Mean Graph]

    Dr. Bob, the 1934 vs 1998 problem relates only to the U.S..

  89. I’d like to also note that Steve McIntyre’s discovery of the NASA Y2K bug demonstrates again that the real “Peer Review” starts after a paper or even a temperature graph is published. Before Climate Science came along it had probably never even been imagined that a few peer reviewers would be sufficient to establish the reliability of a study or result, much less the “given truth”. At least as far as I knew.

    Good thing, too, that Anthony, enc., reviewed the surface stations! No one else cared. Why didn’t University departments of Climate Science or Meteorology wonder about it, especially after Anthony took up the task and started getting some pretty funny results?

  90. Fiction:

    Newly discovered email from J Hansen to S McKintyre:

    Thank you for pointing out the error. Our rigorous QA procedures failed us on this isolated occurrence. You can be sure we have rigorous archiving procedures which include all data and codes.

    I would like to point out to you that I have never described you as not having a light on upstairs, being an old contrarian full of malarkey or that you should crawl under a rock.

    Thank you once a gain for pointing out the error. Be sure we will issue a corrigendum to the paper and will acknowledge your assistance in this matter.

    Please feel free to ask for any of our data or codes as we are an open and transparent publicly-funded organisation and welcome independent verification and replication of our very important work.

    With warmest regards,
    James Hansen

  91. Anthony,

    For an pertinent but less insightful read, I strongly suggest
    you take a look at:

    http://governmentattic.org/docs/FOIA_Logs_NASA-HQ_FY2005-07.pdf

    This 133 page PDF format list contains the summary of NASA FOIA request logs from their FY05 through FY07 (early December 2008).

    Up until early 2008, the NASA reseachers can’t claim to have been
    bombarded by time-consuming FOIA requests.

    Well… they can claim it, but it would be untrue.

  92. This old layman has had doubts about global warming for the last couple of years. Nothing scientific about that; I simply haven’t detected any general warming in the seventy something years that I have been around. Like nearly all old Rhodesians, my children, grandchildren and great grandchild, are scattered around the world: Britain, Australia and the U.S. None of them have sensed any general warming in their various locations.

    I am quite capable of doing my own statistical analysis but I could only do that to my own, and anybody elses’ satisfaction, if I could lay my hands on impeccable data that is truly representative, tolerably accurately measured, and covering a very long period of time. It now appears to me, that, as I have increasingly come to suspect, there is no such data in existence.

    Consequently I am now waiting for you scientific types, who mostly seem to accept that some degree of warming is a fact, to convince me that there has been any warming at all since 1935. Come on chaps, if you believe there has been any warming at all, please convince Great Granddad.

  93. Ken Harvey (01:52:21) :

    Well grandad, I can tell you with some confidence that it has been getting quite HOT at both CRU East Anglia and GISS NASA.
    The staff there tell my fly on the wall that things have been hotting-up since about Nov. 2009

  94. There’s a lot of froth coming out in this blog.

    To me there’s only one question to be asked:

    ‘Why did the two temperature comparisons change so many times and what technical manipulations caused that to happen?’

    Only then can it be determined what was going on and what the judicious interpretation of all the changes might be.

    IMHO.

  95. “”
    dfbaskwill (14:33:48) :

    No wonder there are still those who swear we were never on the moon!
    “”
    Only the ones trying to sell something to the gullable recreational pharmeceutical types. For those that lived in the era, sending 3 guys up in a sardine can powered by a rocket using kerosine was a whole lot more believable than trying to do special effects with an ibm 360. Any sci-fi movie special effects of that era proves the point.

    Of course now it’s the 911 towers that couldn’t have collapsed because it’s inconvenient politically for imbiciles that can’t tell the difference between ‘run’ and ruin’ and think they know better how to ‘run’ our lives than we and are clueless about the loss of material strength for steel when heated. They probably never heard of such a thing as a blacksmith.

    [Allowed through, but no 911 discussion here please. RT - mod]

  96. Love this email exchange:

    Andy Revkin: “Do you agree that we should be doing alot more to improve surface temperature tracking. I never, til today, visited surface stations.org and it is quite amazing. If our stations are that shoddy, what’s it like in Mongolia?”

    Hansen’s complacent reply: “When there are several thousand stations it’s easy to find what seem like a huge number of stations with problems”.

  97. My first reaction after looking at the numbers table, with one column decreasing over time, the other increasing over time, is:

    “what other data has this been done to?”

    sea ice or other data that alarmists point to? i’m not accusing, just wondering.

  98. Seriously folks, does anyone believe that we know the real average temperature over the country to within .1 degree C?

  99. Concerning these FOIA’d emails

    I noticed the WUWT surfacestation reference in the NASA emails as provided to Judicial Watch. The email was an exchange between Hansen and Revkin. This can be found on pages 111 – 112.
    Revkin pointed out the surfacestation.org and …”found it quite amazing.”

    Note that Hansen replies “When there are thousands of stations it is easy to find what seem like a huge number of stations with problems”.

    I thought the station count dropped to a singular thousand stations which increased the concentration of those with a UHI issue.

  100. James Chamberlain (06:24:34) :

    My first reaction after looking at the numbers table, with one column decreasing over time, the other increasing over time, is:

    “what other data has this been done to?”

    sea ice or other data that alarmists point to? i’m not accusing, just wondering.

    Try looking at Sea Level, they have extropolated Metres of sea rise when there are only Cms.

  101. @Clawga – I thought the station count dropped to a singular thousand stations which increased the concentration of those with a UHI issue.

    Not to mention decreasing the number of stations representing high elevations or far north or south latitudes.

  102. It’d be just great if all science could attain the degree of intellectual purity of cryptography. A researcher who finds a flaw in a cryptographic method gets instant fame and adulation instead of being humiliated, marginalized, ejected, fired, defunded, tenure denied, character assassinated, ridiculed, harassed, shouted down…

  103. “Is it just me or is it taking GISTemp an unusually long time to release their Dec GMST anomaly value?”

    Probably because given the current weather they realize nobody would believe the December numbers they made up last June. They have to make up all new numbers now……

  104. Some time ago, Anthony posted a clip that shows pre-adjusted GISS transforming into post-adjusted GISS.

    I can’t find it, and I’m having difficulty remembering when that was posted. If anyone knows what I’m talking about and can provide a link, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks.

    REPLY: That doesn’t ring a bell, can you be more descriptive? -A

  105. Michael (15:03:10) :

    OT

    Rothschild Family to Donate $50 Billion to Haiti Relief Efforts.

    This offer for help comes with no strings attached.

    There are estimates the Rothschild’s are worth $100 trillion.

    $50 Billion is but a drop in the bucket of the Rothschild’s budget.

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/121585

    Now just a dog-gone moment. One-hundred trillion dollars is just about the entire capital stock of the entire planet, including my house and thine!

  106. The Diatribe Guy (13:10:59) :

    Some time ago, Anthony posted a clip that shows pre-adjusted GISS transforming into post-adjusted GISS.

    I can’t find it, and I’m having difficulty remembering when that was posted. If anyone knows what I’m talking about and can provide a link, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks.

    REPLY: That doesn’t ring a bell, can you be more descriptive? -A

    Refering to the Orlando, California record, maybe?

  107. REPLY: That doesn’t ring a bell, can you be more descriptive? -A

    I believe he wants the blink comparative graph showing pre-uhi/post-uhi and pre/tobs post/tobs –all in one post. About six months ago. I can’t find it either. It might have been Smokey that had it.

  108. Richard Garnache (07:09:33) :

    Seriously folks, does anyone believe that we know the real average temperature over the country to within .1 degree C?

    No. And what’s more, is mean global temperature even a useful number? If energy balance is maintained by radiation through the water vapor window, wouldn’t something like the fourth to fifth root of the mean of temperature raised to some power between four and five make more sense?

    Or, how about this? Mean temperature under an given set of forcings could be any number between X and X+Delta X, depending on whether the major contribution to longwave emission is a group of local hot radiators near the surface in the tropics/subtropics or a group of regional cool radiators in the temperate/polar regions? In the former case the earth mean temperature is lower than in it is in the latter case; but, in neither case is the mean temperature very meaningful.

  109. Oh, for heaven’s sake! I type my post once and it vanishes. I re-type it and do not manage to embed the doggone URL. So, let me try again…

    Dr. Bob (15:58:52) :

    Obviously I believe that 1934 was warmer than 1998 (click my name, I run a skeptic blog.)

    What I don’t understand is this: How do we reconcile that 1934 was warmer than 1998 with our current temperature graphs? For instance, this from the HadCRUT3 data set:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl

    Clearly shows that 1998 was 0.2′C or so warmer than 1934. Is this due to all of the adjustments? Would a more accurate graph show a peak in 1934, then the 40 year cooling period, then a rise in temperatures to the same amplitude as the 1934 peak?

    Thank you for any guidance.

    I do not know the details of HADCRU’s correction scheme, but it cannot be very different from NCDC. If you go to this page right here, you will find a pretty thorough explanation of NCDC adjustment/correction scheme. The graph of effect of individual adjustments plus the graph of over-all adjustment tells the entire story of how the current decades and 1998 in particular appear on graphs so warm compared to the 1930s. The pertinent question to ask is “Are these adjustments correct and justified?” There is no answer at present, but there is reason for doubt.

    I hope this actually helps this time.

  110. “That doesn’t ring a bell, can you be more descriptive? -A”

    Sorry. I hope I’m not misremembering…

    As I recall it was a graphic (youtube maybe?) that showed a nice chart, and then it rotated to the latest adjsuted data. I may have been in error when I called it pre-adjusted and post-adjusted. It may more accurately be what the GISS data showed some time ago versus what the GISS showed after continued application of their adjustments. I thought it was a graphic put together by someone else, as a guest post.

    If that’s still not enough to go on, don’t worry about it.

  111. The Diatribe Guy (13:10:52) :

    “That doesn’t ring a bell, can you be more descriptive? -A”

    Sorry. I hope I’m not misremembering…

    As I recall it was a graphic (youtube maybe?) that showed a nice chart, and then it rotated to the latest adjsuted data. I may have been in error when I called it pre-adjusted and post-adjusted. It may more accurately be what the GISS data showed some time ago versus what the GISS showed after continued application of their adjustments. I thought it was a graphic put together by someone else, as a guest post.

    If that’s still not enough to go on, don’t worry about it.

    Maybe it was the blink comparator of all those Illinois stations that Mike McMillan put up? Six months ago sounds too long ago though.

Comments are closed.