Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated

Hanksville_looking_north

Image: NOAA USHCN COOP station at Hanksville, UT, sited over a grave. Click for larger image. Photo by surfacestations volunteer Juan Slayton

by Anthony Watts

There has been a lot of buzz about the Menne et al 2010 paper “On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record” which is NCDC’s response to the surfacestations.org project. One paid blogger even erroneously trumpeted the “death of UHI” which is humorous, because the project was a study about station siting issues, not UHI. Anybody who owns a car with a dashboard thermometer who commutes from country to city can tell you about UHI.

There’s also claims of this paper being a “death blow” to the surfacestations project. I’m sure in some circles, they believe that to be true. However, it is very important to point out that the Menne et al 2010 paper was based on an early version of the surfacestations.org data, at 43% of the network surveyed. The dataset that Dr. Menne used was not quality controlled, and contained errors both in station identification and rating, and was never intended for analysis. I had posted it to direct volunteers to so they could keep track of what stations had been surveyed to eliminate repetitive efforts. When I discovered people were doing ad hoc analysis with it, I stopped updating it.

Our current dataset at 87% of the USHCN surveyed has been quality controlled.

There’s quite a backstory to all this.

In the summer, Dr. Menne had been inviting me to co-author with him, and our team reciprocated with an offer to join us also, and we had an agreement in principle for participation, but I asked for a formal letter of invitation, and they refused, which seems very odd to me. The only thing they would provide was a receipt for my new data (at 80%) and an offer to “look into” archiving my station photographs with their existing database.  They made it pretty clear that I’d have no significant role other than that of data provider. We also invited Dr. Menne to participate in our paper, but he declined.

The appearance of the Menne et al 2010 paper was a bit of a surprise, since I had been offered collaboration by NCDC’s director in the fall. In typed letter on  9/22/09 Tom Karl wrote to me:

“We at NOAA/NCDC seek a way forward to cooperate with you, and are interested in joint scientific inquiry. When more or better information is available, we will reanalyze and compare and contrast the results.”

“If working together cooperatively is of interest to you, please let us know.”

I discussed it with Dr. Pielke Sr. and the rest of the team, which took some time since not all were available due to travel and other obligations. It was decided to reply to NCDC on a collaboration offer.

On November 10th, 2009, I sent a reply letter via Federal Express to Mr. Karl, advising him that we would like to collaborate, and offered to include NCDC in our paper.. In that letter I also reiterated my concerns about use of the preliminary surfacestation data (43% surveyed) that they had, and spelled out very specific reasons why I didn’t think the results would be representative nor useful.

We all waited, but there was no reply from NCDC to our reply to offer of collaboration by Mr. Karl from his last letter. Not even a “thank you, but no”.

Then we discovered that Dr. Menne’s group had submitted a paper to JGR Atmospheres using my preliminary data and it was in press. This was a shock to me since I was told it was normal procedure for the person who gathered the primary data the paper was based on to have some input in the review process by the journal.

NCDC uses data from one of the largest volunteer organization in the world, the NOAA Cooperative Observer Network. Yet NCDC director Karl, by not bothering to reply to our letter about an offer he initiated, and by the journal not giving me any review process opportunity, extends what Dr. Roger Pielke Senior calls “professional discourtesy” to my own volunteers and my team’s work. See his weblog on the subject:

Professional Discourtesy By The National Climate Data Center On The Menne Et Al 2010 paper

I will point out that Dr. Menne provided thanks to me and the surfacestations volunteers in the Menne et al 2010 paper, and I hear through word of mouth, also in a  recent verbal presentation. For that I thank him. He has been gracious in his communications with me, but I think he’s also having to answer to the organization for which he works and that limited his ability to meet some of my requests, like a simple letter of invitation.

Political issues aside, the appearance of the Menne et al 2010 paper does not stop the surfacestations project nor the work I’m doing with the Pielke research group to produce a peer reviewed paper of our own. It does illustrate though that some people have been in a rush to get results. Texas state Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon suggested way back at 33% of the network surveyed that we had a statistically large enough sample to produce an analysis. I begged to differ then, at 43%, and yes even at 70% when I wrote my booklet “Is the US Surface Temperature Record Reliable?, which contained no temperature analysis, only a census of stations by rating.

The problem is known as the “low hanging fruit problem”. You see this project was done on an ad hoc basis, with no specific roadmap on which stations to acquire. This was necessitated by the social networking (blogging) Dr. Pielke and I employed early in the project to get volunteers. What we ended up getting was a lumpy and poorly spatially distributed dataset because early volunteers would get the stations closest to them, often near or within cities.

The urban stations were well represented in the early dataset, but the rural ones, where we believed the best siting existed, were poorly represented. So naturally, any sort of study early on even with a “significant sample size” would be biased towards urban stations. We also had a distribution problem within CONUS, with much of the great plains and upper midwest not being well represented.

This is why I’ve been continuing to collect what some might consider an unusually large sample size, now at 87%. We’ve learned that there are so few well sited stations, the ones that meet the CRN1/CRN2 criteria (or NOAA’s 100 foot rule for COOPS) are just 10% of the whole network. See our current census:

When you have such a small percentage of well sited stations, it is obviously important to get a large sample size, which is exactly what I’ve done. Preliminary temperature analysis done by the Pielke group of the the data at 87% surveyed looks quite a bit different now than when at 43%.

It has been said by NCDC in Menne et al “On the reliability of the U.S. surface temperature record” (in press) and in the June 2009 “Talking Points: related to “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” that station siting errors do not matter. However, I believe the way NCDC conducted the analysis gives a false impression because of the homogenization process used. As many readers know, the FILNET algorithm blends a lot of the data together to infill missing data. This means temperature data from both well sited and poorly sited stations gets combined to infill missing data. The theory is that it all averages out, but when you see that 90% of the USHCN network doesn’t meet even the old NOAA 100 foot rule for COOPS, you realize this may not be the case.

Here’s a way to visualize the homogenization/FILNET process. Think of it like measuring water pollution. Here’s a simple visual table of CRN station quality ratings and what they might look like as water pollution turbidity levels, rated as 1 to 5 from best to worst turbidity:

CRN1-bowlCRN2-bowlCRN3-bowl

CRN4-bowlCRN5-bowl

In homogenization the data is weighted against the nearby neighbors within a radius. And so a station might start out as a “1” data wise, might end up getting polluted with the data of nearby stations and end up as a new value, say weighted at “2.5”. Even single stations can affect many other stations in the GISS and NOAA data homogenization methods carried out on US surface temperature data here and here.

bowls-USmap

In the map above, applying a homogenization smoothing, weighting stations by distance nearby the stations with question marks, what would you imagine the values (of turbidity) of them would be? And, how close would these two values be for the east coast station in question and the west coast station in question? Each would be closer to a smoothed center average value based on the neighboring stations.

Essentially, in my opinion, NCDC is comparing homogenized data to homogenized data, and thus there would not likely be any large difference between “good” and “bad” stations in that data. All the differences have been smoothed out by homogenization (pollution) from neighboring stations!

The best way to compare the effect of siting between groups of stations is to use the “raw” data, before it has passed through the multitude of adjustments that NCDC performs. However NCDC is apparently using homogenized data. So instead of comparing apples and oranges (poor sited -vs- well sited stations) they essentially just compare apples (Granny Smith -vs- Golden delicious) of which there is little visual difference beyond a slight color change.

We saw this demonstrated in the ghost authored Talking Points Memo issued by NCDC in June 09 in this graph:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/ncdc-surfacestations-rebuttal-graph.png?w=510&h=368

Referencing the above graph, Steve McIntyre suggested in his essay on the subject:

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.

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.

There’s references in the new Menne et al 2010 paper to the new USHCN2 algorithm and we’ve been told how it is supposed to be better. While it does catch undocumented station moves that USHCN 1 did not, it still adjusts data at USHCN stations in odd ways, such as this station in rural Wisconsin, and that is the crux of the problem.

Hancock_473405_South_44

USHCN station at Hancock Experiment Farm, WI

Or this one in Lincoln, IL at the local NWS office where they took great effort to have it well sited.

Lincoln_Looking_West

Lincoln, IL USHCN station, NWS office in background. Click to enlarge


Thanks to Mike McMillan for the graphs comparing USHCN1 and USHCN2 data

Notice the clear tendency in the graphs comparing USHCN1 to USHCN2 to cool off the early record and leave the current levels near recently reported levels or to increase them. The net result is either reduced cooling or enhanced warming not found in the raw data.

As for the Menne et all 2010 paper itself, I’m rather disturbed by their use of preliminary data at 43%, especially since I warned them that the dataset they had lifted from my website (placed for volunteers to track what had been surveyed, never intended for analysis) had not been quality controlled at the time. Plus there are really not enough good stations with enough spatial distribution at that sample size. They used it anyway, and amazingly, conducted their own secondary survey of those stations, comparing it to my non-quality controlled data, implying that my 43% data wasn’t up to par. Well of course it wasn’t! I told them about it and why it wasn’t. We had to resurvey and re-rate a number of stations from early in the project.

This came about only because it took many volunteers some time to learn how to properly ID them. Even some small towns have 2-3 COOP stations nearby, and only one of them is “USHCN”. There’s no flag in the NCDC metadatabase that says “USHCN”, in fact many volunteers were not even aware of their own station status. Nobody ever bothered to tell them. You’d think if their stations were part of a special subset, somebody at NOAA/NCDC would notify the COOP volunteer so they would have a higher diligence level?

If doing an independent stations survey was important enough for NCDC to do to compare to my 43% data now for their paper, why didn’t they just do it in the first place?

I have one final note of interest on the station data, specifically the issue of MMTS thermometers and their tendency to be sited closer to building due to cabling issues.

Menne et al 2010 mentioned a “counterintuitive” cooling trend in some portions of the data. Interestingly enough, former California State Climatologist James Goodridge did an independent analysis ( I wasn’t involved in data crunchng, it was a sole effort on his part) of COOP stations in California that had gone through modernization, switching from Stevenson Screens with mercury LIG thermometers to MMTS electronic thermometers. He sifted through about 500 COOPs in California and chose stations that had at least 60 years of uninterrupted data, because as we know, a station move can cause all sorts of issues. He used the “raw” data from these stations as opposed to adjusted data.

He writes:

Hi Anthony,
I found 58 temperature station in California with data for 1949 to 2008 and where the thermometers had been changed to MMTS and the earlier parts were liquid in glass. The average for the earlier part was 59.17°F and the MMTS fraction averaged 60.07°F.

Jim

A 0.9F (0.5C) warmer offset due to modernization is significant, yet NCDC insists that the MMTS units are tested at about 0.05C cooler. I believe they add this adjustment into the final data. Our experience shows the exact opposite should be done and with a greater magnitude.

I hope to have this California study published here on WUWT with Jim soon.

I realize all of this isn’t a complete rebuttal to Menne et al 2010, but I want to save that option for more detail for the possibility of placing a comment in The Journal of Geophysical Research.

When our paper with the most current data is completed (and hopefully accepted in a journal), we’ll let peer reviewed science do the comparison on data and methods, and we’ll see how it works out. Could I be wrong? I’m prepared for that possibility. But everything I’ve seen so far tells me I’m on the right track.

If doing a stations survey was important enough for NCDC to do to compare to my data now for their paper, why didn’t they just do it in the first place?

We currently have 87% of the network surveyed (1067 stations out of 1221), and it is quality controlled and checked. I feel that we have enough of the better and urban stations to solve the “low hanging fruit” problem of the earlier portion of the project. Data at 87% looks a lot different than data at 43%.

The paper I’m writing with Dr. Pielke and others will make use of this better data, and we also use a different procedure for analysis than what NCDC used.

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285 thoughts on “Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated

  1. I am from the UK, after a while you start to recognise the “Spin, spin, spin” that is put on facts. It seems to me, and doubtless most readers and contributors here, that they haven’t got a leg to stand on.

    The BBC article about CO2 not having much of an effect on temperatures, I note it is not open to comment, is a prime example of the same.

    All power to your elbow people.

  2. The thing that sets alarm bells ringing for me in all this is that when 1228 stations are compared to just 70 stations which my calculator tells me is about 6% of all stations then the results are almost exactly the same. That, while it may be correct seems highly unlikely to me and makes me think that the homogenisation process could have more influence on the trend than the raw data.

  3. It is not uncommon for downtown Denver to be 10-20 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside in the winter. This is because of snow removal, pavement, buildings, generated heat, pollution, etc. Weather Underground in conjunction with Google Maps provides a great way to visualize this real time for Denver or most other cities in the world. UHI is very much alive and it is astonishing that any serious scientist could be so deluded as to not recognize it.

    http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?zip=80002&magic=3&wmo=99999

  4. Wow, Anthony, you remind me of a childhood game called the ‘Rock-em, Sock-em’ robots. You just keep taking the jabs and keep on looking good…

    One other note; those NCDC authors seem to have .GOV as their email address.

    So, no need for them to bother with a day job, while they defend their orthodoxy from the army of part-time davids….

    Your Tax Dollars At Work…

    You are an inspirational guy.

    Thanks,
    RR

  5. Nice Job Anthony,

    Dilligence in the face of everything the advocaticians can throw. There is absolutely no reason for them to act this way except fear of an unwelcome result. This is the second pre-emptive attack on surfacestations project, I’m becoming certain they know something is afoot.

    Bad math, bad results, more warming and the ridiculous claim that urban warming doesn’t exist or isn’t significant. It takes guts to make that claim and sign your name on the paper.

    Thanks to everyone who’s put time and effort in to this very important project. Open the data and the corrections, and let the truth fall where it may.

    The team is very nervous.

  6. Agreed that NOAA using its homogenized data is not a valid test of these stations.

    Great work on all of this and I’m looking forward to your rebuttal.

  7. Anthony:

    This climate business has taken so many twists and turns lately that I have lost track of the status of your Stevenson Screen experiments. Have you ever had time to collate that data and publish it anywhere? And congrats on the SPPI compendium. Good reading for these winter nights.

    REPLY: I’ll save that story for another day. -A

  8. Good job Anthony … keep punching, the bag about to split wide open. Just make sure to get out of the way when it does.

    I wonder what would happen if we just used rural temp stations … out in the country everywhere.

  9. I have a feeling that a FOI request at NOAA/NCDC would reveal a great deal of juicy e-mail activity about “surfacestations”, demonstrating that the Jones&Mann climate leadership has been even more pervasive than previously thought.

  10. Yet more emails (OT). This just gets better and better.

    “The Competitive Enterprise Institute today charged that a senior official of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency actively suppressed a scientific analysis of climate change because of political pressure to support the Administration’s policy agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

    As part of a just-ended public comment period, CEI submitted a set of four EPA emails, dated March 12-17, 2009, which indicate that a significant internal critique of the agency’s global warming position was put under wraps and concealed. “

  11. As a statistician it really puzzles me why they do this ‘homogenization’ process when looking for temporal trends, especially the stations haven’t been moved at all over a suitably long timeframe. It sort of makes sense (if done correctly) to predict what the temperature might have been like at places between stations, but surely if looking for changes over time then it would be best to use the raw temperature data from the actual stations?!

    Nice post Anthony, good luck with your comment. It’s (yet another) story that needs told.

  12. The one in the shade of a tree is, it says, in Rural Wisconsin (at first I thought the text below was referring to this picture as being of a “well sited” station in Ilinois – and being ironic)
    What would be interesting would be to know of those stations surveyed, which of them, sorted by category, are still contributing data in our vanishing surface stations.
    It would be a pity of it proved that some of the better sited were no longer being used.

  13. Clearly, these NCDC guys made nice to you, Anthony, just to better be able to stab you. [snip]

  14. Anthony: Thanks for the background and update. There’s been misinformation and misdirection about the Surface Stations Project at AGW proponent sites recently, as you noted. And as you’re aware, the trolls have even thrown in a few off-topic comments on other threads here at WUWT, with the intent of inciting replies and carrying misinformation back to the blogs that serve as their home bases. Let’s see if the trolls appear in a thread that actually addresses this.

    Regards

  15. Anthony: Thanks for the update. The blog Skeptical Science [http://www.skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html] was taking some rather cheap shots at you.

  16. Two questions for Dr. Menne:

    (1) Did you ever visit any of the USHCN sites? Even one?
    (2) If the answer to (1) is a “yes,” did you offer to help with the Surface Stations project in any way. Provided data? Anything?

    This episode says a lot about the professional ethics (or lack thereof) of the NCDC…

  17. How will the politicos extract themselves from this mess?
    It is sad for me that my heroes are now younger than me.
    I joined facebook today with the sole purpose of passing the message on.
    Thank you Anthony,Steve M, Ross M, Joe, Steve M, Cheifio,Jeff, and Australians, etc.
    UK readers must keep “hitting” the BBC, MSM and S and T MPs.
    Every little helps! (ref. to TESCO ad)

  18. A playful lead photo for a serious subject, Anthony. I am delighted that you leave no stone unturned in describing the disgusting process of public servants lying to save their hides — and their superiors ideological driven pseudo-science. More power to you and I hope the “subscriptions” (tips, donations) keep pouring in. This is our real investigative journalism.

  19. “The problem is known as the “low hanging fruit problem”. You see this project was done on an ad hoc basis, with no specific roadmap on which stations to acquire.”

    Since the Menne study had a sample less than 100%, a method for random selection of stations should have been used. Since the population is known to not be homogeneous, (rural vs urban, etc.) the sampling method would be complicated. As you point out, the station selection was ad hoc. Another climate science paper with implementation of inappropriate statistical methods.

  20. I appears to be time to put 20 and out into effect at NOAA and NASA. Also an independent review of their work output should be required before any publication in the future. Maybe it is time to outsource the weather service and climate research with funding based on reliability and accuracy.
    The Menne paper appears to be GIGO! and not worth the E space it consumes.

  21. Will you let us know when your complete study is presented for peer review? And how long after the review will it be available for the public to review?

    Thanks for all your work and insight.

  22. Apologies for being OT Anthony, but Monckton’s tour down under is starting to generate a fair bit of press. Here is a 20 minute video interview with him (just wait a few seconds to get through the gratuitous commercial):

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/climategate-gives-lord-of-the-sceptics-plenty-of-ammunition-20100127-mywc.html?autostart=1

    And I see Bjorn Lomborg has published an opinion piece in The Australian bagging the ETS approach the current Premier (Rudd) is pushing:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/axe-the-tax-if-you-want-to-go-green/comments-e6frg6zo-1225824114850

    I expect a lot of coverage will be coming throughout the 2 week Monckton tour :)

    Once again sorry for being OT, but there was no suitable thread on the main page.

  23. Perhaps they think the final destination of the grave resident in Hanksville will provide a warming bias for the weather station?

  24. I have seen much discussion of the Menne et al 2010 paper doing the rounds, and I am unconvinced by the arguments. I feel the claim that measuring anomalies can counter the problems of poor siting and UHI effects is false. Measuring anomalies could only be a valid method if conditions at the station site (regardless of rating) and any UHI influence within the nearby area remained constant over the entire period that a temperature trend is to be measured for.

    It is clear that many of the stations identified in the Surfacestations project have degenerated over time. Measuring anomalies can not correct for this.

    UHI influence is a gradually increasing influence over time. Measuring anomalies can not correct for this.

    Homogenization is not a solution. Homogenization just soils good data.

    Any honest attempt to measure temperature trends over time should only be using well sited truly rural stations with long records and comparing actual temperature averages. Studies using homogenization, anomalies instead of averages and frantic hand waving belong in the wicker filling cabinet.

  25. [quote Frank K. (17:04:35) :]
    This episode says a lot about the professional ethics (or lack thereof) of the NCDC…[/quote]
    Agreed about the ethics, but I’d say it’s also about bad data.

    The fact that NOAA put out a story using their homogenized data tells me Anthony is on to something here.

    NOAA’s manipulation of temperatures is really at the heart of all this. If they’re manipulating temperatures to give the appearance of global warming then defending themselves with the data they’ve already manipulated is meaningless. The average person may not know that using homogenized data makes for a meaningless reply, but NOAA knows it’s meaningless.

    At the very least, I think Anthony’s work will help turn the discussion to NOAA’s raw data vs. their homogenized data. And that’s where the discussion needs to be to get at the truth to what’s going on.

  26. Perhaps the “Briffa” trees were right after all? Perhaps there has been no warming at all, but cooling? “I Talk to the Trees” song seems a suitable theme.

  27. John Phillips (17:09:31) : “…As you point out, the station selection was ad hoc. Another climate science paper with implementation of inappropriate statistical methods….”

    Given that “climate science” is really religion and politics, there are no “inappropriate statistical methods.” The objective is propaganda, not science. Any lie will do.

  28. Excuse me, but the word “jerks” comes to mind. Is that too vociferous for polite blogs? How exceedingly unprofessional. I suggest you sue NCDC blue. Or FOIA them blue. I would like to read all their emails. Menne, Karl, et al. are public employees. I pay their salaries and I am sick and tired of doing that.

    NCDC is incompetency personified. They cannot or will not survey their own stations, they cannot do their jobs, but they still collect their paychecks every week. Then when unpaid volunteers do their jobs for them, they cheat, lie, fold, spindle, and mutilate the data and the analysis.

    And what’s up with JGR Atmospheres? Are they j***ks, too? And how. What has happened to their integrity? Or has it been non-existent from Day One?

    I appreciate your courtesy in this, Anthony, but it was NOT reciprocated. NCDC is pathetic. Fire the whole pack of them. If they are going to leach off the taxpayers, they can do it in an unemployment line. Outrageous!

  29. “Anybody who owns a car with a dashboard thermometer who commutes from country to city can tell you about UHI.”

    I regularly see 4-5F difference in my commute through Charlotte NC out to the country where my work is.

    Every. Day.

  30. Anthony, the offense against you is worse than discourtesy. Unless you provided your results to Drs. Menne and Karl with the explicit understanding that they could freely use those data in a publication, with no more than an acknowledgment of thanks to you, then their use of the data in a publication amounts to scientific theft. The journal would potentially be an accessory after the fact; depending on whether the editor knew the lack of permission granted. If nothing else, the editor of JGR Atmospheres is likely guilty of professional negligence.

    The fact that you had published your data on line in surfacestations.org might mitigate the legal ramifications, in that a judge could decide that you had no expectation of privacy after posting your results and allowing free access.

    However, that does not remove the serious ethical lapse of Dr. Menne, Dr. Karl, or JGR Atmospheres. They absconded the scientific and publication priority of your data without your explicit permission. There is no excuse for that, whatever.

    It’s more than a professional discourtesy. It’s professional theft of data. In science, value rests in results. Note how jealously proxy data are held by climatologists. It’s inconceivable that Drs. Menne and Karl did not consciously know they were violating a very basic ethical principle of science.

    REPLY:
    I made the same arguments with them that you cite, they dismissed them – Anthony

  31. How about a new post showing a numbered list of the last stations to be reviewed, with city, GPS coords, etc? I know it’s on surfacestations.org, but maybe with a more prominent post, volunteers would find it easier to tackle one or two close to them. Maybe you could do a final push to close the gap to 100%.

  32. Bulldust (17:26:12) :

    Thanks for the video of Christopher, Lord Monckton of Brenchley.

    Does that boy, (who hasn’t seen even half of one of the known cycles), give the AGW crowd a similar hard time?

    I would think not.

    DaveE.

  33. Hi Bulldust,

    eager to get both sides of the debate, I started to watch Monckton, but have had to stop after a couple of minutes. The part about Haitians living on and now, no longer being able to afford Mud Pies, was too much for me.

    I finished up on the floor crippled by hysterical laughter.

    But I was impressed by his “Faux Sincerity” and his ability to keep a straight face.

    I’ll get ’round to watching the rest when I think I can cope.

    I’ll get back to you in due course.

  34. BTW, regarding the analysis of glass vs. electronic temperatures, it is good that you have long records, but the longterm averages of old glass vs new electronic does not seem to deconvolve a change in the weather over that timeframe.
    RR

  35. Well Anthony, if and when you submit for publication, if all goes well you should be hearing back from them in about……18 months.

  36. Since when is reading a thermometer equivalent to doing relativistic astrophysics? The sheer mendacity of these inputs boggles the mind. AGW has always been an indefensible excuse for clubbing capitalist seals, but surely a bit more subtlety would be in order?

  37. Dave N (17:30:26) : | Reply w/ Link

    Perhaps they think the final destination of the grave resident in Hanksville will provide a warming bias for the weather station?
    ——————————————————————

    LOL I was thinking that If it’s classified a CRN5, it’s evidence he’s been condemned to the sulfurous place. If it’s a CRN4, he’s still in Purgatory.

  38. You just know that whatever you, (Anthony), & Pielke Snr produce, it’s going to get a hostile review, AND it will be the people whos papers you were not allowed to review.

    My prediction and I’m usually nervous about predicting the future. ;-)

    DaveE.

  39. i am in houston texas, i notice on my car thermometer that when i drive in from the suburbs where i live to town about 15 miles there is a 5-6 degrees rise in temperature. heck just getting off interstate 45 and on to fm 1488 and driving into the state forest a distance of less than a mile usually results in a drop of 2 degrees. A few weeks ago i drove across san antoino from basically east to west on interstate 10 the temperature in the country was 44 degrees F when i got to down town it was 49 and then as i passed through then out to the west of town it dropped back to 44. So yes heat island effect is a very big deal and i can see it every day.

  40. Anthony;

    Thank you for finding time in what seems to be an almost man killing schedule to post this. I have read the Menne paper, though I only had time for a quick run through, and I hadn’t really seen any really obvious flaws. I still came away with the nagging thought that this looks way to on the nose to be real. From my experience the trap that most amateur numbers chefs fall into when trying to cook the books is not being able to resist the impulse to make it look to good. It’s a lot easier to forget to look behind the curtain when the appearance of unnatural perfection isn’t there to trigger suspicion.
    The little game they played with the invitation to participate is interesting, one might even say exceedingly strange. It’s hard not to think of it in terms of the overriding arrogance demonstrated in the CRUtape emails.
    At any rate the clarifications you offered make me feel better about trusting my instincts on these matters. The record of the little man in the back of my head continues to improve. He’s actually on an impressive unbeaten streak in this CAGW fiasco.
    In regard to your post’s title, my first sentence, and the incredible number of irons you seem to have in the fire at the moment, I hope you’ll remember to set aside a little quality time for yourself to recharge. The work you are doing and have done here is incredibly important, but in the end “this to shall pass” and I would be terribly saddened if I dropped in here one day and found out your title had been contradicted.

    REPLY: Thank you, most sincerely. – Anthony

  41. Menne et al 2010 looks like it uses USHCN v 2, which we know has been heavily ‘adjusted’ from the v 1 data set. The adjustment took place subsequent to Tom Peterson’s examination of the siting problems (Peterson 2006).

    While Dr Peterson’s paper compared good and bad sites with good sites that had been homogenized with bad sites (thus producing the unsurprising result that they looked similar), they now had a handle on the issues surfacestations.org might bring up. They might very well have taken those issues into account in generating the v 2 adjustment algorithm.

    The paper speaks of two data sets, ‘adjusted and ‘unadjusted.’ In this case, the adjustment referred to is ‘homogenization,’ not the adjustments in USHCN v 2, which I believe is their ‘unadjusted’ dataset. If the v 2 changes account for siting problems, we may be comparing similar sets, just as Peterson 2006 did.

    A second concern is that the data sets weren’t compared directly.
    The anomalies were interpolated to a quarter-degree lat-long grid, and then area-weighted to generate the total anomaly for the U.S.

    This was done for the good stations, and done again for the poor stations, to generate the temperature curves. Problem here is that the good and poor stations have different locations on the lat-long grid, and the interpolated, area-weighted grid points could easily blend out to produce similar numbers. Whatever tendencies the grid had (similar or different) would be carried uniformly through the years plotted on the temperature chart.

    That said, my main question is how this study would look using the USHCN v 1numbers.

  42. Anthony,
    Remember that good actions almost always hurt right now but lead to your long term betterment. Bad actions almost always feel good right now but lead to your long term determent.

    Your actions have been very good. Thank you.

    Mike Ramsey

  43. There’s more, too. Menne made an even more fundamental process error.

    But we’ll get back to that when the paper is completed.

  44. I think the rush to judgement on your findings will be their undoing. Never good to play your hand so quickly, as they have done. One might call it “premature edification”.

  45. The NCDC has clearly underestimated the consequences of their poor decision in regard to your mutual cooperation.
    You offered your cooperation on an equal basis, they refused in a very unprofessional and impolite manner, which resembles nothing more but their utter arrogance cloaking poor standards of operation and massaging data in support of policy rather than objective and honest science.
    They have known from the beginning they were going to lose the argument if honest and objective input would.
    You have done your best to save them from losing their reputation.
    They have decided otherwise.
    So they deserve what’s coming to them.
    And it will be served cold.
    May the best team win.

    Watts up with That!

  46. “Rumours of my death…”
    “…But everything I’ve seen so far tells me I’m on the right track.”

    I have followed this project with some enthusiasm for a long time and have even tried to find one of these stations here in TX (not easy btw). Know that this project is a success no matter what the result is.

  47. Go to the NCDC site and read the order of corrections applied to data. Correction for UHI is last. Now read Karl and Williams (1987) regarding the homogenization. In it you will find the admonition to do the homogenization last. The reason should be apparent to anyone. Doing homogenization with known, secular (slow-drift) errors in select portions of the data will smear these into the entire set of data.

    Even if we were to agree that every separate correction that NCDC does is accurate, then doing them out of order is a problem. We do not agree that the individual corrections are necessarily correct.

    The issues with corrections are a small subset of the universe of issues with the surface data–this could go on and on ad nauseum.

  48. There’s also claims of this paper being a “death blow” to the surfacestations project.

    Plus there’s really not enough good stations with enough spatial distribution at that sample size.

    “There’s” seems to be mis-used here, whether intended as “There is” or “There has”. Both of the subjects are plural, so they should be “There are”.

    REPLY: Fixed, I’m overly tired today, and whn tht hapnz I sturt to slurr my werds – Atony

  49. Ish. 43% scientifically selected would of course be very representative. 43% ad hoc with easily discerned bias is of course “not so much”.

    I truly respect NOAA and NCDC, while being more than occassionally frustrated with them. I think they’ve got bias, and it shows, but I really do believe their hearts are in the right place and they are at least trying to be fair, as they see it.

    I’ve been very disappointed to discover just how large a role bias plays in science, mostly by way of the Climategate letters. Understand, I’m not entirely against “bias”, however bad a name it has. Usually what is referred to as “bias” is a result of long experience. It’s the gut reaction. It has a place in science, by all means –but that legitimate place is a starting point for investigation, not enforcing an ending point.

    As an amateur (tho published in an academic journal) historian, I very much believe the idea that “If you’ve done the work, you get to have an opinion and indeed have a responsibility to share it for the benefit of the future”. . .but what I suspect and what I know I can prove are very distinct areas.

  50. Anthony, Your withholding of the data is just as bad as CRU.

    The only difference is you cannot be subject to FOIA!

    Free the Data! Please.

    REPLY: Oh please. It is common practice for researchers to release data in an SI when they publish the paper, and that’s exactly what I plan to do. – Anthony

  51. Anthony,

    It’s interesting that they chose to rush out first with essentially a defensive move before seeing your paper. Moving preemptively is a weaker position. Strategically it says that they believe your paper will be damaging to their agenda and difficult to attack. As frustrating as this cheap shot is, you should view it as confirmation that you’re on the right track and that they are worried. Too bad they can’t put the same energy into actually improving the network and their data methods in pursuit of accuracy. Sadly, the increased funding that supporting alarmism brings is a powerful incentive. Such incentives can cause not only blind-spots but biases and now, apparently, unprofessional behavior. Keep up the good work!

  52. Anthony

    Menne et al have demonstrated that a PhD does not make one a better person. Their mothers must be embarrassed.
    I understand your reluctance to go to press with inadequate data. Having worked with large geologic and environmental databases in the past, good QA/QC is vital as is having an adequte data distribution. The optimum, having 100% of the data in faultless form is a mission seldom accomplished. If one is concerned that the data in inadequate, it most probably is.
    Keep up the quality work.

  53. Anthony: quick note on your pie chart up top. Shouldn’t the ranges be
    CRN 1/2: <=1 deg C
    CRN 3: 1 deg C to <2 deg C
    CRN 4: 2 deg C to = 5 deg C.

    I think that’s what you mean. The way you have it written can interpreted as CRN 3 should include 91% of the pie and with CRN 4 & 5 being subsets within it. After all, 6 deg C IS greater than 1 deg C.

    No biggie and perhaps I’m interpreting it wrong. Just hoping to make sure the details are correct.
    Keep up the good work.

  54. “Our current dataset at has been quality controlled.”

    Irony abounds whenever I write sentences with phrases like “quality control” in them as inevitably they need some themselves. The grammar of your above sentence needs a wee bit of tweaking or clarification of meaning. I can’t make out what the “at” is doing in there, either some word is missing after it or it’s spurious possibly due to an edit.

    [:)] Loved the pic by the way! This is a grave topic after all!

    REPLY: Meant to write “at 87%” thanks fixed -A

  55. Smarmy is the adjective that comes to mind in reading the Menne abstract and his ostentatious thanks to Anthony for his assistance. Anthony, your courtesy is unfailing but I think you are too generous in this case. I agree with the sentiments of Ron de Haan above. The best team will win!

    OT – in his State of the Union Address, Obama declared that global warming is undeniably true. A rumble of dissent followed this assertion. There is still so much work to accomplish in demolishing this scam, but there are seeds of hope thanks to the dedication of Anthony and his moderators, Steve M and Ross M, D’Aleo, E.M. Smith, Lucia, and others like James Delingpole and Terence Corcoran who are bringing the many facets of this scam to the attention of an increasingly appreciative public.

  56. Even without sorting by “quality” of stations, there is no significant warming trend in the raw data. A strong PDO, but nothing alarming.

    I’m still waiting for a shot at CRU’s raw data… although that will likely be manufactured, as Jones had suggested that was the only way to reproduce it.

  57. It’s ridiculous to homogenize in the first place. It is bogus from the getgo. There is zero need for it; it can only corrupt the process. Just take the average of trends within each grid and then average the grids. That takes care of the station distribution issue then and there. (I think that’s how USHCN1 did it.)

    And yes, there is indeed an “MMTS adjustment” of +0.05C/century in USHCN1.

    And, yes, siting matters. I can’t say more on this yet, but all will be made clear.

  58. It appears to me that all that Menne et al shows is that crappy sited and illogically adjusted sites produce a result that is similar to the “warming shown by GISS etc. We already knew that! GIGO. Crappy siting and adjustment is how they produced the original “record”.

  59. ShaneOfMelbourne.

    I’ve seen you elsewhere on Australian sites.

    You bemoan that the temperature at 2 LaTrobe street, (which used to be semi rural), is now recording record temperatures!! It wasn’t surrounded by high rise buildings back when the previous records were set!

    People like you sicken me! You have no compassion as far as I can see!

    You deride Monckton about mud-pies. It’s not uniquely Haitian, it happens in Africa too!

    Cheap electricity, clean water, encouraging local farming, they’re what we should be doing: not discouraging all these things which was what Copenhagen was really about.

    DaveE.

  60. Pat Frank (18:06:27) :

    Anthony posted his data on the internet. Is there anything on the internet that you feel is not in the public domain?

    I won’t argue that NCDC exhibited poor form regarding authorship, despite the generous acknowledgements. But when you spend your days accusing scientists around the world of everything from incompetence to conspiracy to commit fraud, one should expect very little in the way of professional courtesy. This is one of those occasions when I am simply staggered by the hypocrisy shown by Anthony, contributers to this blog, etc. (intentionally avoiding use of the “D” and “S” words lest I unintentionally offend someone).

    Menne, et al. performed a very clear, concise analysis that, among other things, demonstrated poorly sited stations did not meaningfully deviate from good sites (or “pristine” sites if you include the comparison to the admittedly brief USCRN series). Now, given that the sample relies on 43% of non-QA’d data should we consider the science settled? Of course not. But the finding is significant and worthy of publication. This is how science and the peer review process works. At the very least, it provides an opportunity for Watts, et al. to reproduce the analysis using a larger sample size, arrive at alternative conclusions, and have those findings published.

  61. David Alan Evans (19:09:45) :

    David,

    I found the relevant sites.

    I have always made a point of checking claims, no matter how outrageous, before comment. This time I didn’t.

    Thanks for that.

    And no, not laughing.

  62. (18:06:27) REPLY: “I made the same arguments with them that you cite, they dismissed them – Anthony”

    That’s really vile behavior. The fact that Tom Karl is Director of the NCDC means they can be dismissive with impunity. But in a just world, they’d be at least reprimanded. Under the circumstances of absconded priority, JGR should ethically de-publish the paper.

  63. tokyoboy (19:30:42) :

    Thanks.

    I copied straight from the address bar. Sorry, don’t know what went wrong.

    Google or bing “mud pies Haiti” should find something not to laugh about.

    Again. apologies.

    DaveE.

  64. Anthony: I looked under project and saw that you are looking for volunteers to conduct site surveys of temperature stations. I noticed that there are several temperature sites in New Mexico that have not been reviewed. If I am qualified I would be interested in conduction a survey. I live in Torrance County which is the geographical center of the state. I am not sure where is sign up. Perhaps you could let me know more specifics. Jon

    REPLY: I’ll check our current status and advise. Thanks – Anthony

  65. Btw, as someone who has contributed –I dunno, 13-15?– photographic surveys to surfacestations.org, I have to say that I always felt that the true value of this project was *entirely* independent of what results were eventually arrived at as to impact –none, small, large– on the temperature record.

    Why? Because it gives *vastly* more confidence to those results, whatever they are eventually arrived at in the hurly-burly of scientific point-and-counterpoint.

    I understand it is easy to get caught up in the battles of the moment, but one shouldn’t miss that point. Theory and statistics are beautiful things, but they are much more powerful when then are supported by a wealth of nitty-gritty observation.

    REPLY: it was 14.5 (remember the first one?) Thanks, Anthony

  66. good one….

    China Daily: Do three errors mean breaking point for IPCC?
    By Li Xing
    While covering the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, I took a morning away from the main venue to attend a forum of “climate skeptics”. ..
    I left the forum before the morning session ended. I felt that most of the speakers were too emotional and politically charged to be considered objective.
    But I was impressed by the presentation of Dr Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist and founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service, who challenged the IPCC findings with his research data. ..
    I believed the IPCC reports, which summarize the research of some 4,000 scientists, but I had some serious reservations. For one thing, the IPCC reports contained very little data from Chinese researchers. I was told the IPCC refused to consider Chinese data because the Chinese research was not peer-reviewed.
    China is not a small country. Its landmass spans several climate zones and includes the roof of the world. I have to wonder how data from China would affect the IPCC’s findings.
    Several Chinese scientists who have gone over the IPCC report believe that the IPCC may have overstated the link between global temperature and CO2 in the atmosphere.
    In a paper published in the December issue of the Chinese language Earth Science magazine, Ding Zhongli, an established environmental scientist, stated that the current temperatures on earth look normal if global climate changes over the past 10,000 years are considered. ..
    A series of “climategate” scandals now add more reason to give the IPCC research closer scrutiny.
    Last November, hackers revealed that some scientists had favored data which supports the case for “global warming” in order to enhance their grant proposals.
    Just last week, the IPCC announced that it “regrets the poor application of well-established IPCC procedures” in a claim that glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away by 2035…
    Then over the weekend, the media revealed that the IPCC had misrepresented an unpublished report, which it said linked climate change with an increase in natural disasters..
    I am particularly troubled by the fact that top IPCC officials do not seem to take these revelations seriously. Interviewed by the BBC, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chairman of the IPCC, dismissed the matter as a “human mistake”.
    Ancient Chinese considered three a breaking point. They could forgive two errors, but not a third. Now that the IPCC has admitted three “human” errors, isn’t it time scientists gave its work a serious review?

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2010-01/28/content_9388523.htm

  67. geo (19:45:16) :

    Ack, Anthony, you had to remind me of my Moriarty —Pembina, ND! I still blush at the allusion!

    It’s a helluva one-way drive for me, but if you tell me this spring (remember, spring comes late to the upper Midwest!) that you just have to have Pembina and I’m the only volunteer in any kind of reasonable reach at all. . . .I’ll go back.

  68. ShaneOfMelbourne

    Being human myself I can see how easy it is to dismiss out of hand, something so far out of your experience.

    DaveE.

  69. Phil M (19:37:08) :

    “I won’t argue that NCDC exhibited poor form regarding authorship, despite the generous acknowledgements. But when you spend your days accusing scientists around the world of everything from incompetence to conspiracy to commit fraud , one should expect very little in the way of professional courtesy. ”

    Maybe that’s because some of these scientists ARE incompetent and HAVE conspired to commit fraud! (cf. CRU e-mails).

    You should also read here how Mr. Tom Karl’s questionable ethics and strong arm tactics caused well-respected climate researcher Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. of CERES to resign from CCSP committee. Nothing about Karl’s behavior in Anthony’s case surprises me one bit…

  70. I like to see an analysis of the temperature trends excluding all readings taken at or near populated areas. I think I don’t need to explain why.

  71. Who cares how many stations they plot? They adjust the data!

    They need to plot the raw “good” stations vs. the modified all stations. That will show how bad they are screwing with things.

    [REPLY - Oddly enough, that alone won't do. There's more going on, and you have to dig it out of the data (I can't be more specific at this time). But, yes, on top of it all, it appears that they are screwing with things. ~ Evan]

  72. I have several questions. I recently read an article about the NOAA [I think] reducing the number of surface stations in Canada from 1000 to 250. It concluded by saying Canada ran a network of 1400 surface stations.

    Does Canada collect all the data and pass on the data for those stations selected by NOAA, or are the NOAA stations dealt with by the NOAA themselves?

    If Canada collects all the data then it should have a copy of te raw untouched data [for comparison], if not then there are apparently many other stations which could be used as a source. It has no reason to modify or delete the source data.

    Are the NOAA stations of special quality and superior to those operated by the Canadian government? The article suggests not.

    I would imagine that most countries have a network of surface stations so even if the CRU, NOAA, GISS data sets are junk there should be enough data to start again from scratch, or am I missing something?

    [Does the Bolivian government have any stations? Are there NO stations in Bolivia, or just no stations selected by NOAA/CRU/GISS?]
    ______________
    PS. If raw data for a scientific paper/report is modified or deleted then that paper is junk. It must be verifiable and independently reproducible by ANY individual. [eg. CERN producing a paper saying they have discovered the Higgs boson, but the data has been deleted, just trust us!]

  73. Thanks so much for that. I’m having a discussion with a warmist about station siting and his refrain is that it matches the satellite data pretty well. Which doesn’t account for what was done to the pre-satellite data. My guess was – from previous discussions on the matter here and at CA was that old data was cooled to enhance the trend. I look forward to your forth coming paper.

    BTW my argument with the warmist was that bad data collection methods – even if it conformed to the satellite record was not the right way to do science. Suppose the satellite data was in error. (something I admitted as unlikely) how do you catch that from bad surface data.

    As an engineer I insist on proper methods – not just proper results. I don’t care if you come up with the proper speed of light (to 14 9s) using a stop watch and a wooden meter stick. The results can’t be trusted.

    I chided him for his acceptance of sloppy methods. Thank you so much for this post. And I had a look at the widget page earlier today. ;-)

  74. In his state of the union address this evening, President Obama (warmist-in-chief) made mention of the solid science of “global warming”. The audible response from the Congress was a large multitude of cat calls. This is more evidence that there is now a major chink in the armor of the AGW crowd.
    Climategate, as well as the high quality work of folks like Anthony are definitely making a difference, and when the message reaches the halls of the USA congress, that’s where it counts the most.

  75. Good work Anthony, and by association, any and all who work dilligently with him to seek truth from obscurity.

    Good onya’s.

  76. Menne, et al. performed a very clear, concise analysis that, among other things, demonstrated poorly sited stations did not meaningfully deviate from good sites (or “pristine” sites if you include the comparison to the admittedly brief USCRN series). Now, given that the sample relies on 43% of non-QA’d data should we consider the science settled? Of course not. But the finding is significant and worthy of publication. This is how science and the peer review process works. At the very least, it provides an opportunity for Watts, et al. to reproduce the analysis using a larger sample size, arrive at alternative conclusions, and have those findings published.

    Weeeelllll, let’s put it this way. Dr. Menne’s “very clear, concise analysis” is about to get the pins knocked out from under it. Something that might have been avoided had he accepted Anthony’s invite. It turns out he failed to perform a vital part of the analysis, and the results are glaring: poorly sited stations do indeed meaningfully deviate from good sites.

    At the very least, it provides an opportunity for Watts, et al. to reproduce the analysis using a larger sample size, arrive at alternative conclusions, and have those findings published.

    There will be “alternative conclusions”, all right. And they will not be due to the larger size of the sample. (Although the earlier sample was rather poor, not quality-controlled, and did not separate airports and wastewater plants.)

  77. Facts have an amazing way of cutting through political BS. I look at the UAH lower tropsphere data today and see significant warming over the year 2000. Warming. I do not care about your statistical follies. I look at the ground truth. What can be measured and recorded. All I see is warming. What do you suggest? Nothing is changing, or it is all natural change? The first is just denial. The second sort of begs the question, ” well, shouldn’t we do something to limit the impact anyway?”. So much Arrogance, Ignorance, and Greed in this blog… A.I.G. where have I seen that recently? I wonder if it could be related? The question is not “watts up with that” (sic) but WHYs up with that. Why this obfuscation and half truth? Why this obtuse denial of real science and the scientific method? This debate is actually no longer about science. Science on America’s Right is dead. Knifed through heart. All that is left is a dog fight for ideology and political power… ask Chris Horner from the CEI, he is the one who wrote it. Read everything in this blog in that context. Most of what you read is written with the full knowledge of how disingenuous it is. Every fight has a loser. The irony is that if y’all “win” we will all lose. Sad.

  78. David Alan Evans (19:36:34) :

    ShaneOfMelbourne.

    I’ve seen you elsewhere on Australian sites.

    Sorry Dave, you are mistaken. I have made a few posts here, but read quite a bit, looking at both sides of the debate. I have never made a post on another climate change site, so you must have me confused with someone else.

  79. Hi Anthony, clearly the Menne paper has a significant methodological flaw that you have highlighted. I assume that with Roger Pielke you are just looking at the data from USHCN 1 and 2 stations compared with all data homogenised. This would be an interesting comparison and as close to definitive as you will get. At least the Menne paper provides you with methods to compare the data.
    Is this data available currently (I presume not from your post). It would be nice if we could see it after you have published. At least with this publication prior, it should be relatively easy to get accepted as the site selection and analysis will clearly be more informative with a larger dataset.
    I look for ward to the results.

  80. Pat Frank (18:06:27) wrote:

    “It’s inconceivable that Drs. Menne and Karl did not consciously know they were violating a very basic ethical principle of science.”

    [to which Anthony replied:]

    “I made the same arguments with them that you cite, they dismissed them”

    Yet another instance (as if more were needed) in which those with a vested interest in promoting the AGW “message” demonstrate that their standard operating procedures do not include adherence to any ethical principles.

    It’s almost as if they’ve all been contaminated by some kind of virus and they are refusing the only treatment available: a truth serum.

  81. Incidentally, I gridded the US 20th century USHCN1 data (using 5°x5° grids).

    If you average all the station trends, ungridded and equally weighted, you get +0.141C/century warming for raw data, +0.314 for TOBS and +0.588 for FILNET.

    The gridded data (i.e., the average of all grids as opposed to the average of all stations), shows +0.268C/century for raw, +0.430 for TOBS, and +0.699 for FILNET.

  82. evanmjones (21:02:57) :

    As a scientist far more interested in truth than ideology, I welcome and encourage comparitive analyses, at all times. Menne, et al. analyzed publicly available data and were quite effusive in their acknowledgments. There’s no conspiracy or hoax there.

    [REPLY - Oh, I'm not saying there is any hoax or conspiracy involved. I think Menne was doing the best he could with what he had. But he overlooked a vital, critical part of the analysis which turns his conclusion completely on its head. When the paper comes out, I will discuss this in detail. ~ Evan]

  83. Tim (16:38:05) wrote:

    “The Competitive Enterprise Institute today charged that a senior official of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency actively suppressed a scientific analysis of climate change [...] ”

    And you can read all about this at the website of the (very courageous, IMHO) person whose work was suppressed:

    http://www.carlineconomics.com

  84. When I first saw the Menne paper I was floored that so many people could buy into it. It was too good to be true. The notion that a sample size of less than 6% could so closely match the population size so closely was in my opinion ludicrous. My statistics may not be the best but I calculated a confidence interval of such a sample size to be approximately 11%.

  85. It is easy to imagine several reasons why once a day thermometer records would not agree with subsequent thermocouple or thermistor devices recording many times a day. Logically, if there was not to be an expected difference, it would be hard to justify the expense of the change.

    Now, it’s hard to justify the expense of spending more public funds on fiddling what is a flawed record. Would it not be better for authorities to do a better job with station-by-station metadata sheets instead of inventing New Math? That is the subject of a song by math lecturer Tom Lehrer partly reproduced here

  86. evanmjones (21:02:57) :

    [REPLY - Oh, I'm not saying there is any hoax or conspiracy involved. I think Menne was doing the best he could with what he had. But he overlooked a vital, critical part of the analysis which turns his conclusion completely on its head. When the paper comes out, I will discuss this in detail. ~ Evan]

    That first sentence puts you in the minority on this blog, I’m afraid. Will you be submitting your paper for publication?

    [REPLY - Perhaps it does. But I am not willing to impugn Dr. Menne's motives. We all know how scientists fall in love with their theories. (A scientist is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.) That's one of the reasons peer and independent review is necessary. Without going into any detail (not being at liberty to do so), yes, what I am alluding to will be submitted for publication. ~ Evan]

  87. Thankyou Wattsy well done.

    The thing that upsets me is that these wags at NOAA GISS etc treat people like Anthomy and S McIntyre and others as somehow….I dunno, inferior? not worthy? contempt?
    The smug arrogant so and so’s have it coming to ‘em and doesn’t this really give it to ‘em.
    Even with the MIGHT of NASA behind it, goliath suffers a gaping wound at the hands of (David) Watts.

    Well done again “David” the Thermometre Terminator

    [REPLY - Well, okay, maybe they're not frauds or conspirators. But they sure as shooting ARE intolerable snobs! ~ Evan]

  88. Will you all excuse me if I am pedantic for a moment. I think that it would bring clarity to the discussion if, when we discuss UHI effects, we use the term “delta UHI” effects, meaning change in the UHI effect over time.

    As observed above, anybody with a thermometer in their car can observe UHI effects when driving from a rural location into a city. However, from the viewpoint of the temperature record, that, of itself, isn’t all that important.

    What IS important is the change (ie ‘delta’) in UHI effect over time. In many cases, a temperature station might have started off as a truly rural location (I for one do not accept that a town of 10000 people is ‘rural’ for this purpose!) say in 1900, but then a major city might have grown around the location over the subsequent period. That growth of human population would have caused the UHI effect to increase over time, thus exaggerating the warming compared with a truly rural station.

    Some urban locations might actually, for some reason, lose population. And it is conceivable that the delta UHI effect at that location could be negative over time.

    More precision on this matter would be useful.

  89. Evan has alluded to this at points, but I have to say that the times I thought baby jesus tear ducts were welling up was when I was in 20-miles-from-the-nearest-McDonalds, South Dakota. . . five miles on dirt roads to get there. . . 160 acre farm surrounded to the horizon by other 160 acre farms. . .and there’s the MMTS nestled up 10 feet from the farmhouse. And 100 yr old S. Dakota farmhouses are not exactly known for their excellence in insulation.

    [REPLY - Note that geo has done quite a number of site surveys. ~ Evan]

  90. Phil M (21:35:04) “That first sentence puts you in the minority on this blog, I’m afraid.” I remember all the talk of “big oil” from the pro-AGW side long before your statement. That is a whopper when it comes to conspiracy theories. As Barnum and Bailey said “Come see the egress”. Submit that for publication.

    [REPLY - Well, I think the peak-oil crowd is also simply in error. They just seem to forget the honorable and ancient dictum, "peek and ye shall find". A very basic, but woefully common "Club-of-Rome" style error. ~ Evan]

  91. PhilM (19:37:08) , it’s not that Anthony’s data was public. I made it clear in my post at (18:06:27) that the issue was about priority of use. Anthony and his volunteers collected those data. First use, by any worthy scientific ethic, belonged solely to them. Dr. Menne and Dr. Karl absconded with that priority ownership in a clear violation of professional ethics.

    Since posting, I’ve looked at Anthony’s 2009 Heartland report, “Is the US Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” and at Menne, et al. 2010 “On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record,” as linked above. It’s very clear that Dr. Menne did not rely on the data in Anthony’s 2009 report to inform his analysis, which would have been completely acceptable.

    Instead, he and his coauthors document that they used the full data set then at Anthony’s surfacestations.org, although they’re very coy about explicity stating that they just went right ahead and downloaded it directly. Maybe the admission looked too stark in print.

    They then used the information obtained from surfacestations.org to collate and categorize the stations and to direct their analysis. This is highly unethical, in that it absconds the priority of analysis and publication from Anthony and his co-workers. Dr. Menne, et al., knew from conversations with Anthony that he intended his own analysis of his data. Knowing this, they went ahead and preempted his right.

    REPLY: Just wondering Pat, are you a member of the AGU? – Anthony

  92. “ShaneOfMelbourne (18:14:59) :

    eager to get both sides of the debate, I started to watch Monckton, but have had to stop after a couple of minutes. The part about Haitians living on and now, no longer being able to afford Mud Pies, was too much for me.”

    Anyone thinking Haitians are wealthy enough to not be eating mud pies should really do some reading.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1577057/Haitis-rising-food-prices-drive-poor-to-eat-mud.html

    Yes they do!

  93. mondo: Yes, quite. As a matter of fact, I looked at urban vs. rural USHCN1 trends [sic] (as compared with their background grids), and what NOAA considers to be urban sites clock in at a solid 0.5C/century greater trend than suburban/rural sites of equivalent microsite quality. As for what NOAA classifies as urban, suburban, or rural is a matter of some dispute.

    An interesting side-note is that, on average the micrositing of urban US sites is slightly superior to suburban/rural. This is quite unexpected. It also strengthens the argument that meso/macrosite is every bit as important a factor as microsite when it comes to climate stations.

  94. Oh, forget it! We had to lump the CRN1s and 2s together.

    Besides, all but 3 (count ‘em, THREE) CRN1 stations are airports. And we had to separate out airports for a whole slew of reasons.

    Once you yank out all the CRN1&2 stations that are airport sites, there are only 59 left! (And one of those is at a Wastewater Plant.)

    So, when the dust clears, only 6% of USHCN stations are worth the paper their B-91 forms are printed on!

  95. As the person who did the survey of the Lincoln, IL site – it’s nice to see it cited in a post :) Yes, the site is the way it should be – no buildings close by, no roads close by, no tarmac or parking lots close by. It was a refreshing change from most of the sites I surveyed in Illinois.

  96. Pat Frank (21:52:20) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists. Particularly since it is, in essence, an inventory of public property. It’s not clear to me why all data should be shared – except now. If they want to use incomplete, non-QA’d data, let them. Then point it out later when an article is submitted for publication. I disagree with the commonly used tactic of casting dispersions on well educated, highly trained scientists who make a career, not a hobby, of collecting and analyzing climate data.

  97. (Excuse the Aussie lingo in this post…It is how our current Prime Minister speaks at times to impress the country blokes!) )It is obvious that there will be adverse warming effects from poorly sited such as many tarmac and air conditiooning vent etc affected sited screens.
    And by siting from country to city. If this were not the case we may as well throw science out the window…It is obvious to a child…fair suck of the sauce bottle, mate!…And how can one compare global temps when they vary from 6,000 stations to 2,000 stations as one moves through the years…fair shake of the sauce bottle again mate…and they are all homoginsd like modern milk…fair squeeze of the sauce bottle mate…And the sites that are deleted are the least variation or negative tendency of temp in the main…fair whack of the sauce bottle mate…Wake up mate it is a big scam or at the least biased to the extreme in favour of the result one wants to try and prove a point!

  98. tfp (19:02:11) :
    Anthony, Your withholding of the data is just as bad as CRU.

    The only difference is you cannot be subject to FOIA!

    Free the Data! Please.”

    There is a point that NOBODY gets about this. Anthony HAS FREED HIS DATA.

    The DATA is the photos. The METHOD is the rating system. The RESULT
    is what you get when you apply the METHOD to the DATA.

    What Anthony first released were preliminary RESULTS. results of applying a method to a set of photos. Menne picked up that result. that result had not been peer reviewed. In fact Menne ( and other like me) was informed that the result had to be QCed.

    So please, understand what the RATING IS. the rating ( 1-5) is the RESULT
    of applying a METHOD ( the rating system) to the DATA (photos)

    So its actually worse than Anthony explains. Menne could have used more than 43%. he could have just taken the time to look at the photos and apply the method. But why do that work when you can just snag a random file off the internet and hit run. but hey its climate science

  99. It is my contention that the global temp trend is governed only by the stations with the least warming, or the greatest cooling. The coolest station in a grid should be fixed and all others homogenized toward that station. If the globe was warming, the coldest stations would be warming. If a station is cooling, it doesn’t matter what the rest of the heat islands are doing, the globe is still cooling. The very idea that you would use heat island thermometers to measure global temp is ludicrous. It is like measuring the temp trend in your house by setting the thermometer next to the heater while it is on… Duuu. If the family room at the other end of the house is still cooling, the house is still cooling.
    Stephen

  100. geo (21:47:12) :

    As Menne, et al. pointed out, it is one thing to identify systematic siting issues. (e.g. the sensor next to the farmhouse). It is quite another to publish a statistical analysis in a peer-reviewed journal that demonstrates a systematic bias in the data. They are not the same thing.

    Let me be clear: I applaud the effort. But the lack of objectivity on both sides of The Climate Change Debate really bothers me.

    [Well, that's why god made peer review -- and that's why it's sacrilege to mess with the peer review process (a la climategate). Love (objectivity) goes out the window when money (politics) comes innuendo. The statistical analysis in a peer-reviewed journal that demonstrates a systematic bias is pending. Wait for it. You'll find it very interesting. ~ Evan]

  101. Let us be perfectly clear on this point:

    The only reason Anthony has not released all the data and methods is that the paper is not yet published. When it is published, ALL WILL BE RELEASED.

    The problem arises when the hockey team (et al) publishes papers announcing the impending end of life as we know it, demands that we blow a trazillion dollars on it, suborns the peer review process, uses political influence to suppress dissenting views, fantasizes about tossing us in the klink (and worse), and and THEN refuses to release data and methods!

  102. steven mosher (22:27:40) :

    The 1-5 rating system Anthony used is public property. It was created by NOAA.

    REPLY: Actually no, it was created by Meteo France for their network, NOAA borrowed it. I was the first to apply it retroactively to the existing network as means of doing a survey of existing stations. Both Meteo France and NOAA used it to find new sites.

    My application produced value added data that existed no place else. – Anthony

  103. The NCDC Chart showing the “good or best” 70 USHNC stations data almost exactly replicating the the 1228 stations data is just not statistically credible. It has to be what we statisticians call a fudge! I have only been following this AGW issue for six weeks, and I am somewhat in a state of shock. Climate science must hang its head in shame.

  104. Re: Pat Frank (Jan 27 21:52),

    I agree with your post.

    It’s more than a professional discourtesy. It’s professional theft of data. In science, value rests in results. Note how jealously proxy data are held by climatologists. It’s inconceivable that Drs. Menne and Karl did not consciously know they were violating a very basic ethical principle of science.

    REPLY: I made the same arguments with them that you cite, they dismissed them – Anthony

    In addition, if this paper is published in a journal with “stolen” data, it invalidates the journal.

  105. Stephen: The problem is that when dealing with individual grids, there are so damn few well sited stations (often none at all) per grid that the average is statistically insignificant. One has to address the whole lot at once or it’s like randomly throwing darts in a dartboard.

  106. It’s reasonable to assume that NCDC director Karl did not bothering to reply to your letter because he was too busy firefighting FOIA and other issues, as the Climategate emails have revealed. His influence is all over Climategate.

  107. Is it possible the stations were chosen because they were ‘well acquainted’ with the people operating it? I

  108. steven mosher (22:15:43) :

    with 2% of the stations being CRN1 no responsible analyst would suggest moving forward before a complete census was taken..

    Why the heck didn’t the feds just send letters to the curators of the unsurveyed stations asking them to photograph their sites from several angles, add a couple of notes about direction (“looking west”), and send them in? The facts are important to all — they’re a matter of public interest. Why force volunteers to track down the stations’ exact location and brave watchdogs to take photos? Lots less effort would have been needed if the feds had got with the program.

    REPLY: Actually Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. believes that NOAA and/or NCDC started just such a program in the early 2000’s, and then deep sixed it for unknown reasons. Some NWS offices do have photos of their weather climate stations.

    For example NWS San Diego has quite a list: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx/cpm/station.php?wfo=sgx

    and so does SFO:

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/cpm/stations.php

    AFAIK, these are the only NWS offices with COOP photos online. Requests by Pielke for additional photos have gone unresolved. May be an FOI type job is needed to find out. – Anthony

  109. PS: Could it be that they’re not proud of their stations and would rather their gory details were kept hidden?

  110. evanmjones (22:18:50)
    Please tell me that 6% have long records with limited station moves and complete metadata….

  111. Is it possible to kill 2 birds with one stone?

    i.e Seek out stations in desert like conditions hence eliminating (mostly) affects of Water Vapour, leaving only the affects of CO2. These stations should also show warming at night more so than at daytime.
    Any thoughts?

  112. Reading from the outside this looks like:

    1. Feign to engage with the enemy through offers of collaboration.
    2. Trash their data without professional right-to-reply.
    3. Gain benefit from their dataset through professional publication.

    Sounds typical unprofessional actions to me.

    Suggest you look to publish independently as and when.

  113. Ah, I remember the Great Hot Summer of 2003, where I used to leave West London at 6pm with the car thermometer reading 33 degrees C, and drive home 45 minutes into the hills, where it read 27 degrees C… In the recent cold weather in the UK I left the house at -5.5C and drove down into the Thames Valley in Reading where we reached the dizzy heights of +1C in the town centre…

    Anthony, where can I find a really good summary of how surface stations ought to be set up in order to get decent readings? And who is mapping the UK ones for you?

  114. Phil M (19:37:08) wrote:
    “Anthony posted his data on the internet. Is there anything on the internet that you feel is not in the public domain?”

    There’s a lot of public information on the internet and a lot of incorrect or incomplete one, too.
    In my area of study, there are huge public databases of DNA sequences which anyone can access or deposit in. However, if I intend to use some of these data in my comparisons, I check first the publications where they are cited or I contact the authors in case the sequences refer to an unpublished work. Which would be also the correct approach for Menne et al., especially in the light of their former offer of collaboration with Anthony.

    Heck – even a journal-published material it is not always reliable. There are sequences of some macaca monkeys, from a South Asian study, that clearly belong to fungi! I wrote to the journal’s editor, but to no avail.

  115. One point of confusion here is that temperature trends are based on anomalies, not temperatures averaged across stations.. This is why the Menne paper found no effect of station rating on the trends. Scientists don’t simply average the temperature across stations. They measure the increase in temperature in time at each station separately. This approach is rather insensitive to any local biases. But it is the basis of the temperature trends produced by climate scientists.

    I agree that publishing the results without Anthony’s direct input or coauthorship is a bit iffy. The surface station projection is important is showing that siting problems do not effect the trend in temperature anomaly. Certainly it was correct to cite the efforts of the the surface station project in the acknowledgements. I’ve published papers based on long term data sets collected by other scientists. The originators of the 10-20 year data sets were coauthors. On the other hand, we always agreed on the methods of data analysis and the conclusions. I doubt that Anthony would have agreed to be a coauthor of the Menne paper (?)

  116. Re: BillD (Jan 28 03:25),

    Seems you have not been reading up stream . Check E.M.Smith’s post. The temperatures are homogenized, filled in and “corrected” before the anomaly over a bunch of stations is computed. This is what the program does from what I understand. It may be in the wish list of what you call “climate scientists” that the anomaly is taken per station and then averaged but it is not in the basket.

    So it is not really surprising that these “scientists” treat other people’s data ( and not government funded at that) as an open buffet at a wedding.

  117. [Response: Much more relevant is that Watts still, after years of being told otherwise, thinks that the global temperature analyses are made by averaging absolute temperatures. - gavin]

    Anthony,

    This comment is of course from real climate. I think it is worthy of a post.

  118. Actually the meta data for the station in the photo above should have the date of death . If it was installed soon after the internment there will be the “compost heap” effect and a cooling correction has to be applied for the first year(s) :).

  119. Please tell me that 6% have long records with limited station moves and complete metadata….

    Long records, yes. Only two USHCN stations started up as late as 1940. Most are from 1900 or before. Station moves? Well, define “limited”. If you move a station from the outskirts of town to the middle of town you get an outrage like Lampasas, TX. Sometimes a station stays put, but he mountain comes to Mohamed as a town or city grows around it. Station move records are woefully incomplete and even when they are known, there is no reliable way to establish microsite issues. As for complete metadata, an estimated average of 30% is missing (i.e., the readings were never taken).

  120. The surface station projection is important is showing that siting problems do not effect the trend in temperature anomaly.

    Sez Menne.

    However, he’s wrong. They do. As will be shown in the upcoming paper.

  121. As a kind of amateur statistician, I too am puzzled why they would use so-called “homogenised” data in a statistical study of many stations. it means they are doing a kind of “average of averages”.

    Even without any systematic effects of the kind discussed in the article, this must act to smooth the data to give an erroneously un-noisy plot, and falsely increase the confidence level of the trend line ?

  122. EH Smith,

    Thank you for your work. Am generally skeptical but have had some problems addressing some of the claims that my friends who are AGW proponents make about shoddy/specious work by skeptics. I’ve been trying to counter these arguments by looking at the references and data provided in a few select topics related to surface temperature claims. In particular your piece on Central Park. I came across a claim that your “raw” data is in-fact homogenized and matches the GISS homogenized data set precisely (once converted from C to F). Am wondering whether you’d seen and/or responded to this critic?

  123. Casey (22:41:35)

    I agree, the most likely answer is that the whole thing is based on the thermometer on Hansen’s desk.

  124. Phil M (22:27:21) :

    “His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists. Particularly since it is, in essence, an inventory of public property.”

    So, Phil, did you help out at all with the surface stations project? Did you visit any of the sites? Did Dr. Menne? Did Tom Karl? Did anyone at the NCDC? Why are they all of a sudden now interested in Anthony’s “inventory of public property”?

    You can still contribute, Phil M. There are many sites that are yet to be surveyed…

    But, I can understand if you’re too busy…I mean, it’s just an “inventory of public property” after all…

  125. mondo (21:45:47) :

    … I think that it would bring clarity to the discussion if, when we discuss UHI effects, we use the term “delta UHI” effects, meaning change in the UHI effect over time.

    … Some urban locations might actually, for some reason, lose population. And it is conceivable that the delta UHI effect at that location could be negative over time.

    More precision on this matter would be useful.

    Some portion of the “Delta UHI” effect as you call it is related to increasing intensity of energy usage in urban areas. Heating buildings, running lights, all sorts of HVAC equipment, industry, etc., etc., all of it has to be degraded eventually to heat. I have done some rough calculations and the effect in urban areas is a significant fraction of the calculated Delta “greenhouse effect” of increasing CO2. Thus, even with a stable or falling population there is a potential for positive Delta UHI. More precision about the UHI is never going to be possible until people stop looking at it statistically and begin making site-specific measurements.

  126. REPLY: Actually Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. believes that NOAA and/or NCDC started just such a program in the early 2000’s, and then deep sixed it for unknown reasons. Some NWS offices do have photos of their weather climate stations.

    I found a page at NOAA that spoke of a study about the effect of placing cooperative stations on rooftops. I am unaware that the study was ever finished or that the results are available, but they did begin such a study.

    Probably they will eventually learn of the need for a slight temperature adjustment…upward.;)

  127. There is a lot of talk on this thread about Menne et al having scooped surfacestations.org, and that Menne et al appropriated data from surfacestations, or that they did not because it is public data, and so forth.

    Menne et al did acknowledge surfacestations.org and were at least respectful. Certainly they should have been more cognizant of the value that a lot of volunteers and Anthony added to the data set. However, we all know that professional scientists are rarely aware of the contributions of others — look at the controversy around Salk and the vaccine for instance. They are often ungenerous people. We wish they were otherwise.

    However, the Menne et al study looks pretty minimal to me, looks like it has errors of its own, and I’m not convinced it settles anything. Among other thing, using just a data set to prove its own internal consistency, unless done with care, looks very circular.

  128. tfp (19:02:11) :

    Anthony, Your withholding of the data is just as bad as CRU.

    The only difference is you cannot be subject to FOIA!

    Free the Data! Please

    As a scientist, don’t release it before it is all gahtered and quality checked.

    CAGW is dead. Do you want a partial autopsy report from the ambulance on the way to the coroner?

    The ones writing a report with 43% of the stations gathered are violating rules for testing for randomness of samples.

  129. Frank K. (05:27:59) :

    “So, Phil, did you help out at all with the surface stations project? Did you visit any of the sites? Did Dr. Menne? Did Tom Karl? Did anyone at the NCDC? Why are they all of a sudden now interested in Anthony’s “inventory of public property”?

    Why would those first five questions matter? Did Anthony help with any of the projects so regularly criticized on this site? or collect any of the data? Did you?

    They are “all of the sudden interested” because Anthony and other have been leveling accusations of incompetence and fraud for quite some time. I’ve already stated that the treatment Anthony was given regarding authorship is exceedingly rare, in my experience, but not surprising given the context.

    I don’t personally know Menne, but I’ll speculate that had Anthony extended a larger amount of professional courtesy to this point, his request to not use the data would have been heeded. As we all know, scientists are very sensitive to things like reputation and no one wants to be known as a data thief. It’s quite bad form. But, right or wrong, the data were publicly available and posted on the internet. And in the past, that has been the only criteria for all things posted on this site (e.g. CRU emails).

  130. Nigel S (05:25:15) :

    “I agree, the most likely answer is that the whole thing is based on the thermometer on Hansen’s desk.”

    That sounds about as scientific as a dashboard thermometer, doesn’t it?

  131. Thanks for the great work and soon-to-be-published paper! I was wondering, since Menne rushed and published his first, will it have to be a rebuttal paper (with the attending complications), or would it be separate? I would think the latter would be the obvious scenario, since it’s your data, but as many people have already said, this is climate science.

    Keep up the good work!

  132. Anthony,

    I am glad to hear that you are still showing vital signs. According to a musical contact of mine, someone at RC has ordered a choral copy of the World War 1 song;

    Oh! We don’t want to lose you, but we think you ought to go,

    so perhaps they are planning on singing you to death; probably their best shot.

    There is also a rumour that Robespierrehumbert has been sharpening Madame Guillotine (open to interpretation?), but as you can only legally be executed during the month of Thermidor, which was abolished in 1806 and reabolished with the aid of the IPCC recently, you should be pretty safe for the moment.

    I therefore look forward to some more ‘Vendémiaire’ Premier Cru Watts efforts in the future.

  133. I came across this post by Anthony the other day.

    ….Some folks have commented that becuase I’ve posted my “How not to measure temperature…” series, that I’m only focused on finding the badly sited stations. While they are a dime a dozen and often visually entertaining, actually what we want to find are the BEST stations. Those are the CRN1 and 2 rated stations. Having a large and well distributed sample size of the best stations will help definitively answer the question about how much bias may exist as a result of the contribution of badly sited stations….

    The ‘definitive’ way to establish if the official US temp records are biased is to do a quantitative analysis.

    I was disappointed this endeavour was cut off two years ago, when steven mosher and John V and others ran analyses at climateaudit on data from good stations as it emerged. The transparency was refreshing.

    It is a theme uncontested here that plotting the raw data is what is needed to verify or invalidate the temp record. However, this apprehension may be about to change. In a post above;

    They need to plot the raw “good” stations vs. the modified all stations. That will show how bad they are screwing with things.

    [REPLY - Oddly enough, that alone won't do. There's more going on, and you have to dig it out of the data (I can't be more specific at this time). But, yes, on top of it all, it appears that they are screwing with things. ~ Evan]

    I sincerely hope that a temp series using the raw data from good stations is plotted in the upcoming paper. This is what has been promised, and everyone here would agree that this was the expectation we’ve been labouring under.

    At the same time, a plot of data that is “dug out” (if raw temps ‘won’t do’) should be plotted with a clearly explained rationale.

    It will be ironic if the raw data is ‘adjusted’ in the upcoming paper. Evan, is that what we can expect?

    I’d like to commend once more, and as I’ve done elsewhere, the contribution to climatology that has been made by the surfacestations project.

  134. I did read over a few comments at skeptical science and, instead of seeing anything skeptical about the Menne paper, it was mostly pure worship. The number of outright ridiculous statements was mind boggling.

    The first thing that popped into my head was the Menne paper is actually another blow to the surface stations credibility. It is completely accepted that UHI is real in the science community. If these poorly sited stations show no warming bias that means there MUST be a cooling bias somewhere in the process. In other words, since two wrongs don’t make a right, it furthers the claim of BAD SCIENCE.

  135. @Phil M (22:34:18)

    As I pointed out further upstream, the value of the project in the long term is in giving more confidence to the eventual scientific consensus. SS is the complete antithesis of Briffa’s magic tree in Russia. Nor do I think Anthony’s paper will be the last word either. . .but eventually there will be consensus, and we’ll have greater confidence in the actual bias these sitings issues cause (or don’t cause), and that will be made possible by having all this raw data.

    I only mention the farmhouse (really, the inherent limitations of the MMTS system) to give a sense of the regret when you’re coming up on a site that you know ought to just be dead perfect for an uncontaminated collection site. . . and then its not.

  136. Doing so-called “preliminary” analysis on data produced by a census attempt is a cardinal sin in Statistics: It creates the possibility that biases in a subset will shape subsequent analysis.

    Actually submitting such analysis for publication is either ignorance (I run in to Ph.D.s who do not understand basic Statistics on an almost daily basis, so I cannot rule out) or a malicious attempt to preempt the effect of a proper analysis.

    In statistical analysis, the number of observations does not matter as much as the process by which those observations were collected. Random sampling allows you to use the standard tools whereas an incomplete census does not.

  137. UHI ?? As one who doesn’t always remember mnemonics, I had to go to Google to learn that UHI stands for “Urban Heat Island”. Please, Mr. Watts, the first time you use a mnemonic or abbreviation in a posting, please spell it it out– some of us are a bit slow.

  138. evanmjones (19:26:40) :

    It’s ridiculous to homogenize in the first place. It is bogus from the getgo. There is zero need for it; it can only corrupt the process. Just take the average of trends within each grid and then average the grids. That takes care of the station distribution issue then and there. (I think that’s how USHCN1 did it.)

    I would go so far as to say even averaging a grid is bogus. Unless the grids are only a mile across, you can’t average an area where the temp variations can be as much as 10f even just 5 miles apart and end up with anything meaningful.

  139. Reading this Menne paper, one questions comes up immediately.

    What has all this to do with science?

    – it starts in the cheapest possible way, with attacks like Heartland/ tobacco/ oil.
    What a nice move after Pachauri …

    – it admits, yes, most of our stations are completely rubbish, but the results of the remaining are just fine. Don’t you use the bad ones for your analysis? Or do you? How did this “selfsnip” pass peer-review … (well, we know already)

    – using incomplete data un-authorized, without even asking the owners … what an un-scientific behaviour.

    As somebody said it already: something starting this way is not worth reading. Low-level propaganda.

  140. steven mosher (22:27:40) :

    tfp (19:02:11) :
    Anthony, Your withholding of the data is just as bad as CRU.
    The only difference is you cannot be subject to FOIA!
    Free the Data! Please.”

    There is a point that NOBODY gets about this. Anthony HAS FREED HIS DATA.

    One rule for NASA one for Watts

    When NASA release data without the processing code all hell breaks loose in the blogosphere.

    But it’s fine if Watts publishes the raw photos without the processing to give rating.

    The ratings were once published online but then updating was stopped. I assume NASA used this freely available data?

    Is the data owned by Watts. It has been gathered by volunteers. Is paperwork in place assigning rights to watts?

    REPLY: Yes, the user agreement every volunteer agrees to when they sign up assigns me the rights. – Anthony

  141. Inscription:

    They always said I’d go to that hot place when I died. Well, here I am, and it aint so hot.

  142. Hansen has a better thermometer on his desk because he has a PHD.

    Just remember M.D’s rely on rectal thermometer readings taken by orderlies and nurses aids. Not even RN.s They also don’t vary location. They don’t take a reading for you from your roomate 7 feet away. They don’t move the thermometer between “down there” and your mouth.

    Next time one of the elites sees healthcare, they must demand the Doctor insert the thermometer and wait for a reading. Let me know what the doc’s reaction is.

  143. Phil M (06:10:42) :

    So I would assume the answer to my questions are “no”? OK, that’s what I wanted to know…Thanks.

    “They are all of the sudden interested because Anthony and other have been leveling accusations of incompetence and fraud for quite some time.”

    (cf. the CRU e-mails)

  144. Phil M (22:27:21) said:

    Pat Frank (21:52:20) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists.

    In my opinion you are being disingenuous and dishonest.

    The issue is climate researchers refusing to release data and methods after they have published.

  145. Phil M (22:27:21) said:

    Pat Frank (21:52:20) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists.

    In my opinion you are being disingenuous and dishonest.

    The issue is climate researchers refusing to release data and methods after they have published.

  146. Phil M (22:27:21) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists. Particularly since it is, in essence, an inventory of public property. It’s not clear to me why all data should be shared – except now. If they want to use incomplete, non-QA’d data, let them. Then point it out later when an article is submitted for publication. I disagree with the commonly used tactic of casting dispersions on well educated, highly trained scientists who make a career, not a hobby, of collecting and analyzing climate data.

    You’re either being purposefully obtuse, or are simply not too bright.

    What you describe is exactly what happening here. The difference is Anthony warned Dr. Menne ahead of time that what he was doing wasn’t a good idea. Anthony was under no obligation, either ethically or scientifically, to place data online before the analysis and publication was complete. I simply can’t believe you’re even mentioning this. Do you also excoriate Mann, Jones, and all the other hockey players for their failure to release data and methods YEARS after publication? If not, you, sir, are a hypocrite.

  147. evanmjones (22:35:08) :

    Let us be perfectly clear on this point:

    The only reason Anthony has not released all the data and methods is that the paper is not yet published. When it is published, ALL WILL BE RELEASED.

    Doesn’t matter, Evan. “People” like Phil M will still be purposefully obtuse.

  148. Btw, regarding the guidelines developed by Meteo France. . . is there a nice readable article somewhere on how those were developed, and the science that went in to doing so? In other words, why should we have confidence that those guidelines actually produce the results they say? If there isn’t such an article, perhaps inviting them to provide one would be appropriate?

    REPLY: Yes, there’s a paper my Michel Leroy, who developed it.

    From the USHCRN manual:

    The USCRN will use the classification scheme below to document the
    “meteorological measurements representativity” at each site.

    This scheme, described by Michel Leroy (1998), is being used by Meteo-France
    to classify their network of approximately 550 stations. The classification
    ranges from 1 to 5 for each measured parameter. The errors for the different
    classes are estimated values.

    Over at Climate Audit in a comment, Hu McCulloch has a translation of the French paper:

    Hu McCulloch
    RE 310, 313, I actually did a rough translation of Michel Leroy’s Meteo France site classification manual last year, which is the source of the 5 degree error figure for Class 5.

    Here’s how to get one:

    I still haven’t heard back from Leroy if it’s OK to release my translation. Perhaps he heard I’ve been keeping bad company…. Anyway, if anyone wants an unofficial copy of one or both, pls e-mail me at mcculloch (dot)2(at)osu(dot)edu.

  149. DEK (21:05:41) :
    “Facts have an amazing way of cutting through political BS. I look at the UAH lower tropsphere data today and see significant warming over the year 2000. Warming. I do not care about your statistical follies. I look at the ground truth. What can be measured and recorded.”

    I agree with you that facts are important, but at the end of the day we just don’t know what the global average temperature is, as none of the instruments climate scientists currently use are perfect, including the satellite MSU’s.

    Before climate science can advance we need to find a method to determine what’s happening which doesn’t rely on some calibrated proxy method or statistical sleight of hand. Strange we don’t seem to be getting even the basics right, like good thermometer placement? It beggars belief!

    Menne et al have behaved in a despicable manner – it will be good to see them roasted when the report using the extended surface-stations project data. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

  150. Phil M (22:27:21) :

    Pat Frank (21:52:20) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists. Particularly since it is, in essence, an inventory of public property.

    Anthony need not have released any of the data until he was ready, it

  151. Don’t play golf with Dr. Menne. Once he gets done homogenizing his score he’ll be able to card something under par even though he used a hundred strokes to get around.

  152. DEK (21:05:41) :

    Facts have an amazing way of cutting through political BS. I look at the UAH lower tropsphere data today and see significant warming over the year 2000.

    What warming? As has been shown several times there is no warming this century. The warming all took place in the 1980s and 90s according to UAH.

    Maybe you are just unaware that you need to compare like periods. We are currently in a El Nino situation. If you look closely at the post 1998 period you will the the temps balance almost perfectly when you compare El Ninos to El Ninos and La Ninas to La Ninas.

    As for the rest of your rant, since it was based on a misunderstanding, I hope you will revisit your thought process.

  153. Found this among comments at skepticalscience. Is Dave right??

    Kforestcat at 12:20 PM on 23 January, 2010
    Gentlemen

    You really ought to read the methods used before you gloat. The individual station anomaly measurements were based on each stations “1971-2000 station mean”. See where the document states:

    “Specifically, the unadjusted and adjusted monthly station values were converted to anomalies relative to the 1971–2000 station mean.”

    In other words, the only thing this study measures is the difference in instrument error at each station. The absolute error occurring at individual stations because the station had not been properly located is not measured. A poor station with an absolute temperature error of +5 degrees C still has a bias error of +5 degree C – no matter what the variation occurring due to instrumentation type.

    I’m a chemical engineer with U.S. government and 20 years of research experience in various areas including environmental mitigation. If one of my phD’s came to me with this nonsense, I’d fire him on the spot.

    —–
    Another post:

    Gentlemen

    I’m fully aware of how anomaly data is used ( having used it in my own research) and I know full well what can go awry in the field experiments. We are talking about every day instrument calibration and QA/QC – this is not rocket science. I firmly maintain the Menne 2010 paper is fundamentally flawed and entirely useless.

    NASA’s individual station temperature readings are taken in absolute temperature (not as an anomaly as you have suggested). The temperature data is reduced to anomaly after the absolute temperature readings for a site are obtained. For example see, the station data Orland (39.8 N, 122.2 W) obtained directly from the NASA’s GISS web site. The temperatues are recorded in Annual Mean Temperature in degrees C – not as an anomaly as you have suggested. (Tried to attach a NASA GIF as visual aid -but did not succeed).

    Bottom line. Menne has to have (and use) absolute temperature data to get the 1971-2000 mean temperature and then divide the current temp with the mean to get the anomaly. We are back to the same problem – Menne is measuring instrument error – he is not measuring error resulting from improper instrument location. The Menne paper is absolutely useless for the stated purpose.

    Anyone who actually collects field data, I have, knows they are going to immediately run into two fundamental problems when an instrument is improperly located. 1) they are not reading ambient air temperature and 2) neither temperature readings nor the anomaly can be corrected back to a true ambient because other factors are influencing the readings.

    For example: Suppose we have placed our instrument in a parking lot. Say the mean 1971-2000 temperature well away from the parking lot is 85F; but the instrument is improperly reading a mean of 90F. Now on a given day, say the ambient temp is 93 but your instrument is reading 105F (picked up some radiant heat from a car). Ok our:

    Actual anomaly is 93F – 85F = 8F;
    Instrument anomaly is 105F – 90F = 15F.

    The data is trash. There is simply no way to recover either the actual ambient temperatures nor an accurate anomaly reading. What you are missing is that an improperly placed instrument is reading air temperatures & anomalies influenced by unnatural events.

    The readings bear no relationship to either the actual temperature nor the actual anomaly – the data’s no good, can’t be corrected, and will not be used by a reputable researcher.

    Finally, it’s not entirely surprising that Menne finds a downward bias in his individual anomaly readings at poorly situated sites. Because: 1) a poorly located instrument produces a higher mean temperature; hence, the anomaly will appear lower; and 2) generally there’s a limit to how hot an improperly placed instrument will get (i.e. mixing of unnaturally heated air with ambient air will tend to cool the instrument – so the apparent temperature rise is lower than one might expect).

    Had Mennen (NASA) actually measured both absolute temperature and calculated anomaly data using instrumentation at properly setup sites, within say a couple of hundred feet of the poor sites, as a proper standard to measure the bias against – our conversation would be different.

    As it stands Menne’s data is useless nonsense and not really worth serious discussion.

    Dave

  154. Yet another great piece. Well done.

    NCDC were obviously monitoring this blog, they noticed that the updates stopped at surface stations.org, assumed the number crunching was going on at that point, and decided to get in first. (We have seen efforts to hold awkward papers back so they can get their retaliation in first before, I wonder if that would have happened here?)

    I think it’s good NCDC did this, it exposes their methods and the inherent weaknesses to public scrutiny, and their results to ridicule. Well done Menne and Karl. Since your side has all almost the funding, our side needs all the ammunition you can give us.

  155. Anthony,
    Love your website and appreciate your excellent work on the USHCN. Tragic that Menne and company have stooped to such antics. It only proves the desperate state of their position. I hope their sleezy move gets wide exposure….and sooner vs. later.
    In discussing MMTS vs. Stevenson Screens/liquid-in-bulb I am reminded of your experiment comparing Stevenson Screens with bare wood, whitewash, and latex paint. Was not your actual air temperature taken with an MMTS? If so, did it not show that all 3 Stevenson Screens registered higher daytime temps than the “actual” air temp (MMTS)…on the sunny day you sampled (A Typical Day in the Stevenson Screen Paint Test)?
    Is there a paper or study out there formally comparing the 2 methods (MMTS vs. Stevenson Screen)?

    REPLY
    : working on one, but search for Hubbard et al who I think did one.

  156. I take it from all the comments that the un-named authot of this essay, is actually Anthony ?

    I always wonder who wrote what, when I don’t see an Author’s name at top or bottom.

    Anyway, I love that picture of the Stevenson Screen growing hair from the recycling remains of the dearly departed.

    What i really found fascinating was the process, of using the data of surrounding “measuring” stations, to fudge the data at the “Surrounded station”.

    I always thought the concept of gathering data was to actually measure something, somewhere and report what you measured.

    Perhaps when taking treasured photographs of the Grand Canyon, one should also take shots of some surrounding “ho-hum” locations, that aren’t as interesting as the GC, and then Photo-Shop those in with the GC to more fairly represent the beauty of that big hole in the ground.

    After all, the surrrounding countryside, may get it’s self esteem deflated, by showing off the grandeur of that wonder of nature. I wonder what Gaia thinks ?

    REPLY: Good point, I’ve added my name. Our WP engine doesn’t automatically add authors, added now -A

  157. I meant “almost all”, not “all almost” in my last post.

    Phil M (22:27)

    That’s ridiculous. Nobody on the luke-warm-to-skeptic side has complained that data has not been made public as it is gathered, let alone prior to publishing a paper. The complaints arise when it takes a up to a decade to get data out in the open, long after expensive policies are being put in place relying on the studies that used the data.

  158. Phil M (06:14:06)

    Gosh you are busy.

    I don’t think anyone is proposing to destroy the global economy on the strength of their dashboard thermometer readings but the thermometer on Hansen’s desk is a lot more dangerous.

  159. Putting aside decorum issues, the main problem as I understand it is the data set used in this study. It’s a 43% subsample, which at first blush doesn’t sound so bad, but 1) it’s not quality controlled and 2) it’s far from a random subsample; in particular rural areas are underrepresented. Looking at the charts in the paper, it’s remarkable how well the trend series constructed from the good sites and the poor sites track each other. So I don’t think it’s plausible there’s a problem with too small a sample size per se (if there were, either or both series would be noisier and track poorly even if the trend overall was similar). But that doesn’t rule out a bias issue. There could be some bias that for some reason is more or less confined to rural stations. Or there could be some bias with the data collection that is corrected by quality control.

  160. One of the neatest things about the surface station project is that to counter these results, one has to contradict the most important principles of experimental science. In particular, that of founding one’s inferences on the best measurements possible. Now we have people in the AGW camp essentially saying, “Oh, quality of measurement doesn’t matter in this case.”
    So it looks like WUWT has these guys rapidly painting themselves into a corner.
    (Unless climatologists have created a new scientific paradigm.)

  161. tfp
    You wrote:

    “One rule for NASA one for Watts”

    wrong one rule for both:

    “When NASA release data without the processing code all hell breaks loose in the blogosphere.

    But it’s fine if Watts publishes the raw photos without the processing to give rating.”

    Here is where you dont get it

    The PROCCESSING, the METHOD, is not a piece of code. It is a set of RULES
    Let make it easy.

    1. I post 1000 photos.
    2. I give you a rule for rating those photos: Score 1 point if there is an Apple in the picture; score 0 if there is no apple.

    Count the apples.

    I have posted my data and my method.

    Now, 40% of the way through of counting the apples, I post the results
    I’ve looked at 400 pictures and I’ve counted 100 apples.

    You take my RESULTS and go off to write a paper.
    I point out to you that you had better double check the counting I did.
    I point out to you that I’ve got more pictures to go through.
    I point out to you that we could work together.
    I point out to you that the data (photos) are there and the method
    is there, YOU could count them all by yourself if you like.

    Did you think that people would not notice how you ignored my explantion that the method ( the processing steps) has been posted.

    Photos = Data
    LeRoy rating rules = Method
    Final rating = Result.

    GISS temperature;
    temperatures = DATA
    Source code = Method.
    Pretty chart = Result.

    In the case of GISS they post all three. In the begining they only posted
    DATA and RESULT.
    In the case of Anthony he posted his data (photos)
    posted his method ( rating system)
    and will publish his result, journals willing.

    Then that result will be used to feed another method.

  162. “”” captdallas2 (04:22:39) :

    [Response: Much more relevant is that Watts still, after years of being told otherwise, thinks that the global temperature analyses are made by averaging absolute temperatures. - gavin] “””

    Well a lot of us talk in a similar vein; as if we think that scientists are actually reading Tmperatures that somehow relate to the SI recognised Kelvin Scale. Yes Gavin we know they don’t do that.

    Has it ever occurred to you Gavin; that maybe that is wherein lies the problem.

    If you make observations of the size of elephants, and report your data in Pyramid Inches; please don’t be surprised when people question your results.

    The whole idea of having internationally recognised units and scales for Physical properties, is just so people can communicate useful information to each other.

    “limatologists” or “Climate scientists”; whichever they prefer to call themselves, have nobody else to blame, but themselves, when they insulate themselves from the scientific community, with their own custom “ancient astrology” ways of discussing what they imagine is actually real science.

  163. “Veronica (01:56:48) :

    Anthony, where can I find a really good summary of how surface stations ought to be set up in order to get decent readings? And who is mapping the UK ones for you?”

    I have asked this question several times – Hern/Hurn (?) is the one I would love to check out – now known as Bournemouth International Airport. It reminds me of Stansted Airport – when I was a child we could drive to the end of the runway and wait for hours for a plane to land – it was so exciting and such a treat. Sometimes a disappointment when nothing came in. Imagine the effect of all those extra aircraft and all those extra buildings.

    Perhaps Veronica and I should start the process – but what do we do with the pictures? I am no scientist/engineer/statistician – there must be someone in the UK who can take this on. Show yourself!

    REPLY: an attempt was started for a UK surfacestations in 2008, but because the majority of stations were at airports, and because of airport security concerns, the were forced to scuttle the project. I don’t recommend a retry. Taking photos of the airport infrastructure in Britain is a fast track for trouble these days. – Anthony

  164. Richard M – {The first thing that popped into my head was the Menne paper is actually another blow to the surface stations credibility. It is completely accepted that UHI is real in the science community. If these poorly sited stations show no warming bias that means there MUST be a cooling bias somewhere in the process.}

    Eggsactly my first thoughts also, but then I realized that what they are trying to show, is that sighting has no overall bearing on long term trends. If we had one box in a perfect spot, another under a tree and a third on a runway tarmac. Number one reads “true” temps. # 2 reads shade temps and sun temps, and number 3 reads sun and reflected temps. The “anomoly” from each different site, according to what I understand from this paper, should be consistent no matter of the sighting. So if # 1over time, read an average of 15C and has an anomoly that is plus .4C over the last 20 years, then we would expect to see about the same anomoly from the tarmac sighting, though the long term average of the tarmac may be 3-5C higher then site one. It’s not temperature, but anomolous tempshifts from an average.

    At least that is how I understand the paper.

  165. PS another issue you raise is homogenization. But the paper includes comparative charts of the unadjusted temperature anomaly which I would have thought would exclude homogenization (I could be wrong). But even if they are applying some statistical procedures, I don’t see that philosophically as a problem so long as the series for good and bad sites are computed only with data for that kind of site (i.e. the homogenization of the bad sites doesn’t depend on data from the good sites in any way or vice versa). (Of course, there may be some problem with the methodology. If so, that’s of course fair game. It’s just a different kind of objection that the sites issue.)

  166. This was a shock to me since I was told it was normal procedure for the person who gathered the primary data the paper was based on to have some input in the review process by the journal.

    Anthony, you’ll just have to accept that your review also could not possibly measure up to the exacting standards employed by the WWF ‘reviewers’. Then there’s always “Nature’s” reviewers, too, who are perhaps even a little better?

    This situation also kind of reminds me of when Matt Drudge hit the scene and the entrenched Evolutionary dead end Media Journalists started complaining about how affronted they were that Drudge could get away with his teeny tiny widdle ~32 year old self only working from his own sources and without those “layers and layers” of Editors to review his work. Drudge simply blasted them on the basis of results vs mistakes, and that was the end of that.

  167. Props to Dr. Menne, Mr. Karl, et al. They managed to get the word ‘robust’ into the article not once, but twice.

    Their article fails, though, to answer the question raised by Anthony in his heartland paper. That question is, “Is the surface tempearture record reliable?”

    Their answer seems to be “It doesn’t matter!” Well, they do acknowledge that it is not reliable. Then they admit that their method does not require anything resembling a reliable network. Their result is robust!

    Indulge an analogy if you will. Is there a difference between Kobe beef and roadkill? The NCDC answer to that question is it doesn’t matter because regardless of meat input the USHCN sausage tastes the same.

    The progress of science marches on…

  168. This is Steig all over again. Find a hot spot and use a statistical trick to spread it all over the place.

    If we accept that Anthony’s high quality sites are in fact high quality, how much adjusting do you really need to do? Maybe TOB, station move, transcription error, observation gaps? After that, the data stands on its own merits, the trends of this data set are true trends of the data set. Its too bad that it might not be spatially representative in all respects, but infilling the grid is an open invitation to mischief. A better comparison of the pristine stations to the ‘record’ would calculate an anomaly value from a collation of adjusted observations of actual USHCN stations that accurately recreates the distribution of observed station quality. Such selected stations should also be subject to a degree of spatial inadequacy statistically equal to the spatial shortcomings in Anthony’s sample.

    You can’t make too many claims about the correct average national temperature with this method, but you can can make a meaningful comparison of the observed trend shown in each dataset. If Menne is correct, the two trends should be pretty darn close. Somehow I doubt it.

    The shabby treatment dispensed to Anthony by these authors makes me think they swiped their high school science fair idea from the kid next to them in home room.

  169. Richard M (06:47:00) :

    “I did read over a few comments at skeptical science and, instead of seeing anything skeptical about the Menne paper, it was mostly pure worship. The number of outright ridiculous statements was mind boggling.”

    Yes, very sad really, objectivity has clearly left the building over at the now very poorly named Skeptical Science. All they do now is bow to the party line at Real Climate. You can count on them parroting anything Gavin says no matter how obviously bogus.

  170. I was thinking about the rush to publish this and I think that part of the motivation was to get something in print on the subject before Anthony was able to publish his findings so Menne could be one of Anthony’s peer reviewers.

  171. [Crust (10:01:07) :

    Putting aside decorum issues, the main problem as I understand it is the data set used in this study. It’s a 43% subsample, which at first blush doesn’t sound so bad, but 1) it’s not quality controlled and 2) it’s far from a random subsample; in particular rural areas are underrepresented. Looking at the charts in the paper, it’s remarkable how well the trend series constructed from the good sites and the poor sites track each other. So I don’t think it’s plausible there’s a problem with too small a sample size per se ]

    No crust that is a problem. The sample size is too small for them to track each other so well. The fact is they shouldn’t. The tracking points to number fudging not “robustessnessessstation.”

  172. Imagine my surprise. You go to the trouble of collecting information about surface stations, have your data in the public domain, and some sly old dog sneaks up and springs a paper on you, crowing about you getting it all wrong.

    He who laughs last, laughs longest, however. Good luck with your paper, Anthony.

  173. I read the Menne et al Paper the same way as Leo G @10:16:21

    The strong argument on Skeptical Science is that Anthony’s approach is flawed as it does not recognize the correct methodology of comparing trends rather than absolute temps. For the Contra-Skeptics, the nail in the coffin would be the confirmation from Post 1979 Satellite observations in addition to the high trend correlation between the class 1 & 2 sites with the class 3 to 5 sites.

    Here is what I do not get.

    I would assume that True_Temp=Observed_Temp + Constant +Error Term Where the Constant is a relatively stable coefficient which might be attributable to the sensor type, location, exogenous influence etc. the Error term is some stochastic element which might be influenced by the quality of the measuring instrument, observational error, idiosyncratic time dependent factors etc. I would assume that the magnitude of the error term is greater for CRN 5 than for CRN 1? In the case of a parking lot, I would assume that this contributes to the Constant term but not the Error term? So, many of the arguments in favor of Menne work only if the bias from the exogenous factor (parking lot, Air conditioner) is a constant which is not subject to TOB or seasonal influence. If there are cars in the lot during the day parked close to the sensor, the heat of the engine coupled with the solar effect on the asphalt would influence the Max_Temp but presumably by midnight neither factor would be present (assume no cars at night). So the Avg temp would be biased higher. So far no effect on trend as this would affect the constant term in the equation. But what if the parking lot supports a pool which is used in summer only, and there is a staff building with an A/C located near the sensor which runs in the summer only. So the bias of these two factors would have a seasonal component? I would imagine that there is some of this type of effect. As the most isolated and better rated sites (ie. CRN1) would have less of this influence and error, then Menne should find higher correlation of Climate Trends within the CRN1 group than within CRN 4/5 or between CRN1 and CRN4. Was this the case?

    Next the error term. Is there a constant error term with a mean of zero and some defined variance which is influenced by the LIG/MMTS sensor type or other measurable factor. Is there such an observed factor and is it higher in the CRN 3/4/5 sites? If so, this should have shown up in the Menne study and should have reduced the observed correlation between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sites.

    Long story short, my simple/uneducated understanding of Menne et al suggests that the argument holds water if there is a constant bias for a given site vs other site. If the bias is not constant (day vs night or seasonal examples above) or there is a stochastic term which is greater for CRN 3/4/5 sites, then I would think that the correlation in trends would be lower.

    Am I wildly off base?

  174. The second sort of begs the question, ” well, shouldn’t we do something to limit the impact anyway?

    Of course. And since water vapor is the biggest contributor and an amplifier of CO2 I propose we start drying out the atmosphere. We need to ban humidifiers and subsidize dehumidifiers.

    And washing clothes is out. And we need to cover all the lakes and oceans with poly tarps. For starters.

  175. How does the equipment change help the alarmist position ?

    If all the recording sites are properly adjusted to remove the effect of the equipment change then the previous position is reinstated and poor sites are once again more likely to biased to the warm by virtue of the types of site defects that prevail ?

    All he has done is point to an additional complicating factor which has not yet been taken into account. I don’t see how it affects the site review at all.

    Or have I missed something ?

    Furthermore the site characteristics must have an effect on long term anomalies where the site defects are increasing in intensity over time as with more and more nearby development.

    And then again if one has several sites with different degrees of site defect then the term ‘anomaly’ has no meaning because one can never get a reliable reading to measure the amount of anomaly from. Even if one of the sites were perfect you would never be able to tell, it would disappear in the melee of surrounding defective sites and be given no additional weight for it’s perfection.

    Is that science ?

  176. Another question, there is mention of a constant avg. temp. difference between LIG and MMTS. Are the error terms for LIG and MMTS affected by temperature? In other words at extreme high or low temps does LIG have a bigger error term? Same for MMTS. My question has to do with whether the correlation of trends between MMTS sensors is affected by vary high or very low temperatures and is this an adjustment made by NCDC?

    REPLY: each reading is rounded to the nearest degree F when recorded by the observer, and the precision and accuracy of both instruments is comparable. That leaves only the shelter (Wood box -vs- plastic gill shield) or siting (MMTS units get closer to heat sources such as buildings, etc due to cabling issues – can’t get past sidewalks, driveways, etc) as culprits – Anthony

  177. Nigel S (05:25:15) :

    “I agree, the most likely answer is that the whole thing is based on the thermometer on Hansen’s desk.”

    That sounds about as scientific as a dashboard thermometer, doesn’t it?

    Depends. Is Hansen’s thermometer in a temperature controlled room? Is the dashboard reading connected to a thermometer that samples outdoor temps?

  178. REPLY: each reading is rounded to the nearest degree F when recorded by the observer, and the precision and accuracy of both instruments is comparable. That leaves only the shelter (Wood box -vs- plastic gill shield) or siting (MMTS units get closer to heat sources such as buildings, etc due to cabling issues – can’t get past sidewalks, driveways, etc) as culprits – Anthony

    That method introduces sampling noise – increasing the error bars.

  179. Hi all

    Could you share your thoughts wether my thinking is in the ballpark of way off.

    NCDC strategy
    1) Move the discussion from temperature to trend
    2) Prove that AGW is still happening
    3) End the discussion about temperature differences between
    urban and rural stations

    So NCDC needed to homogenize then trend between all types of stations

    1) They decided what is the trend they need
    2) They needed that the trend is similar to urban stations
    3) Both urban and rural stations were adjusted to fit this trend
    (homogenization)
    4) Thus the trend was taken from urban stations and applied to rural stations
    5) With rural stations this required that the history of the station was made
    colder than it was in order to get the trend they needed and still match to
    current temperature (this has been observed)

    Then NCDC publishes a study that points out that there is no difference in trend between urban and rural stations (thus proving what they have done to station history)

    What needs to be done is to prove that historical data of rural stations was adjusted towards cold. For this purpose we need the raw data, what has now been pulled from public availability.

    Menne’s paper is actually a good thing. We now have a scientific evidence what NCDC has inappropriately done to historical climate data.

  180. A quick note to Nick Stokes.

    I had another look at the anomaly issue. had to go back and review the code.

    In General if you work in anomalies they you dont have to be concerned in principle with droping out stations. That is IF, you calculate an anomaly for each station relative to itself. GISS don’t do this.

    At issue is the combination of scribal records to create one record and more importantly the creating of reference stations ( see CA posts) from mulitple stations. Very simply. If you create an anomaly first for the station and THEN combine and average anomalies you dont have a big problem.
    But if you first combine stations on the basis of temp and THEN create an anomaly, its an open question.

    GISS do the latter

    Oh. Buy the book.

    http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/climategate-the-crutape-letters/8243144

  181. RSG (09:49:10) :
    Anthony,
    Love your website and appreciate your excellent work on the USHCN. Tragic that Menne and company have stooped to such antics. It only proves the desperate state of their position. I hope their sleezy move gets wide exposure….and sooner vs. later.
    In discussing MMTS vs. Stevenson Screens/liquid-in-bulb I am reminded of your experiment comparing Stevenson Screens with bare wood, whitewash, and latex paint. Was not your actual air temperature taken with an MMTS? If so, did it not show that all 3 Stevenson Screens registered higher daytime temps than the “actual” air temp (MMTS)…on the sunny day you sampled (A Typical Day in the Stevenson Screen Paint Test)?
    Is there a paper or study out there formally comparing the 2 methods (MMTS vs. Stevenson Screen)?

    I think you’ll find references to this in peterson03.

    Quayle did a study as well.

    There are two types of studies:

    1. side by side same exposure. This tests to bias in a perfect situation.
    2. Large scale studies that would take into account actual siting.

  182. M. Simon (13:09:17) :
    Nigel S (05:25:15) :
    Is the dashboard reading connected to a thermometer that samples outdoor temps?

    I think the thermometer built into the dashboard is actually showing the temperature of the large amount of air being sucked into the engine. It’s a side effect of the car’s computer needing to know the air temperature so it can better control emissions. So it is closely related to the outside temperature. If the air intake is under the hood, the temperature warms up as the engine warms up, and turning on the air conditioner causes an upward jump due to the heat from the air conditioner’s radiator. Many modern cars have the air intake connected to a space outside the engine compartment and near a wheel well, and those are sucking in air from outside the car.

  183. I may be a little over blunt. Romm is posting about this./ Someone asks if he has ever read the Watts 2010 paper. Apperently he is practicing voodoo and knows what it will say. Dr Masters seems to be reviewing it also and using the same voodoo model. They need to be called out.

    Why a PHD is dirt for reputation now.
    If romm has a phd and Masters does also, what is with their mind reading and entrails readings?

    No other professions has stunts like this.

    Criminal Jones won’t release files that he is under law required to release. Then these clowns release reports on a story that is not written.
    As bad as Coakley winning story posted in the boston Globe the day before the election.

  184. The way I read it, the offer of “co-author” was in reality an offer of “data-supplier”. Hence, the acknowledgement of receipt of data. These words of the NCDC director say it all:

    “We at NOAA/NCDC seek a way forward to cooperate with you, and are interested in joint scientific inquiry. When more or better information is available, we will reanalyze and compare and contrast the results.”

    “If working together cooperatively is of interest to you, please let us know.”

    The phrase, “When more or better information is available…” indicates the provisional nature of any future cooperative work. The invitation to “please let us know” holds no promise of future work. The director is only asking for an expression of interest.

    As for the ethical issue, one could interpret the NCDC communications as a request for the use of data.

    It’s also a relief that someone has finally done some analysis on the surface station project and got it published. Wasn’t a preliminary analysis done of the data a couple of years ago, with results much in line with this later study?

  185. PhilM (22:27:21), I don’t see why this subject is so hard for you to understand. The issue isn’t about the data itself being hacked or stolen. Neither of those claims appear in my posts, and so your rejoinders are irrelevant at best.

    One more time: The issue is that Anthony owned the scientific priority of his own data. Prof. Karl had no right to publish on it first, and neither did Dr. Menne. They chose to abscond with Anthony’s right to priority. That is a serious breach of scientific ethics.

    This has nothing whatever to do with the accusations leveled at AGW workers who hid their data after publication and, just as bad, refused to elucidate their analytical methodologies.

    I’ve been a practicing experimental scientist for many years now. It’s not just common practice to reveal all your methods and protocols in the very same publication carrying your results and conclusions. It is mandatory. At least it has been so in every discipline except climate science. There, we get protests and claims of IPO when others want the same information that is automatically given in other fields.

    Let’s be clear: there would have been no requests for release of information if the climate scientists now under the gun had followed the normal standard of openness common to the other branches of science. They have called the present onus down upon their own heads by way of the obscurantism in publication and obstructionism in practice they have regularly engaged for at least 10 years.

  186. Nigel S (09:54:42) :

    “I don’t think anyone is proposing to destroy the global economy on the strength of their dashboard thermometer readings but the thermometer on Hansen’s desk is a lot more dangerous.”

    My amusement was aimed at the offering of anecdotal dashboard/car temperature readings as evidence of UHI. Apparently, a large number of folks here think that siting a climate station 30 meters from a building is a catastrophe, but temperature readings from in instrument mounted in a moving vehicle are somehow providing useful climate data.

    I also got quite a chuckle from all the comments last year about how cool the summer was, how snowy the winter was, etc. and how that was surely evidence contrary to AGW. Then the yearly temp anomaly from UAH comes out and presto: +0.25 C.

  187. Pat Frank (16:13:29) :

    I guess you (and a few others) will have the last word on this. We seem to be going around and around.

  188. Two questions:
    1) What is the “raw” data they use? In my opinion it should be the data written down by the station operators and entered into a database with no adjustments.
    2) Why can’t we just calculate the average of all the thermometers on a year by year basis and see how much temperature has increased? That might not be representative of the earth’s total surface temperature but it would tell us how much the recorded temperatures have increased.

  189. Phil M (19:37:08) wrote:
    “Anthony posted his data on the internet. Is there anything on the internet that you feel is not in the public domain?”

    I repeat:

    Why don’t you read their guidelines to see if they adhered to them?

    http://history.nasa.gov/footnoteguide.html

    They post standards, then ignore them. They are typical, arrogant, self justifing narcissists.

    Sponsored Results
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  190. ClaytonB (18:50:38) :
    I have followed this project with some enthusiasm for a long time and have even tried to find one of these stations here in TX (not easy btw).

    Mandolinjon (19:43:47) :
    Anthony: I noticed that there are several temperature sites in New Mexico that have not been reviewed. I live in Torrance County which is the geographical center of the state. Perhaps you could let me know more specifics. Jon

    Clayton: I’d be interested in knowing what station you couldn’t find. I got some foundational info on several stations last October that I didn’t succeed in finding. (Eagle Pass, Catarina, Falfurrias, Muleshoe, Mexia) Need to get someone to follow up.

    Mandolinjon: I’m sure Anthony will get you up to speed. One place not currently in the gallery is Dulce, which is a V2 replacement station for Durango, CO.

    You guys can contact me at juanslayton@dslextreme.com

  191. Phil M (17:12:14) : “Then the yearly temp anomaly from UAH comes out and presto: +0.25 C.”

    And now we know why we cannot trust those numbers. WHen you approach things with an open mind, you learn a lot.

  192. Brendan H: As for the ethical issue, one could interpret the NCDC communications as a request for the use of data.

    One may interpret it that way, or they just could have said it plainly. Why they didn’t speaks volumes.

  193. Phil M (19:37:08) :

    “Anthony posted his data on the internet. Is there anything on the internet that you feel is not in the public domain?”

    Umm, what? “Public domain” has a very specific meaning in law. Yes, there are idiots who treat everything on the internet as if it were in the public domain, (and they often get away with it for the same reason most speeding violations are never ticketed) but it most assuredly is not.

  194. I would go so far as to say even averaging a grid is bogus. Unless the grids are only a mile across, you can’t average an area where the temp variations can be as much as 10f even just 5 miles apart and end up with anything meaningful.

    Well, unless the stations are equally distributed (and they’re NOT), you have to grid, even though it’s not perfect. The average of all USHCN stations is over 0.1C/century lower than the gridded data because station density in the sharply cooled southeast is much greater than in the sharply warmed southwest. That has to be accounted for.

  195. Doesn’t matter, Evan. “People” like Phil M will still be purposefully obtuse.

    I think he will be reasonable. It’s just as valid for the AGW side to be skeptical of the skeptics as the other way ’round. All we have to do is release all data and methods and answer any criticism — which may be valid, as well: after all, If Menne missed a trick, it’s by no means impossible we will, too.

  196. Brendan H: As for the ethical issue, one could interpret the NCDC communications as a request for the use of data.

    J.A.: One may interpret it that way, or they just could have said it plainly. Why they didn’t speaks volumes.

    Well, Dr. Menne was invited in. It was a disappointment that he did not accept. Instead he went ahead on his own and used an incomplete, unvetted data set and also overlooked a very important consideration (which he would not have, had he joined the team).

    I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it “theft”, but it was a bit on the rude side, in spite of any acknowledgments.

  197. Just read Menne’s paper. He did do you guys one pretty big favor. They are now officially on recent record as not being able to use the paucity of 1 and 2 sites, nor their geographic distribution, nor geographic distribution of MMTS vs Stevenson Screens, as an excuse.

    That is a pretty big service they did you right there.

    [REPLY - Mmm, yes. But with only 59 non-airport CRN1&2 sites, it's still pretty thin, and that makes for wider error bars. But we can't help that. Menne used 70, but he included many airport sites, which do not, not, repeat NOT count as "good" sites and are rigidly segregated in the paper. He also used a number of sites that turned out on closer inspection to be CRN3s. P.S., you touched on another very, very live wire, but I cannot discuss it at this time! ~ Evan]

  198. P. Kenny (07:16:22) :

    UHI ?? As one who doesn’t always remember mnemonics, I had to go to Google to learn that UHI stands for “Urban Heat Island”. Please, Mr. Watts, the first time you use a mnemonic or abbreviation in a posting, please spell it it out– some of us are a bit slow.

    There’s a Glossary tab you can click.

    REPLY: Good point, I’ve added my name. Our WP engine doesn’t automatically add authors, added now -A

    Glory be!

  199. juanslayton (18:56:07) :

    Thanks for all those recent surveys; it really helped round out our data set. But I have a question about some of those stations. For several, there was no sensor in evidence (even if there was a rain gauge).

    In cases where you interviewed a curator (or neighbor, or whatever) who indicated the former location (either as an addendum to a photo or in your survey report sheet), I included the station in the ratings. But I had to prune a few where there was no actual indication of the exact location of the sensor.

    For example, Alice, TX. There’s a mark on the ground where an MMTS might have been. And there’s a Google Earth street-level photo that just possibly-maybe-might be an old shot of the MMTS at the given coordinates, but Anthony and I could not confirm it. If you interviewed an ex-curator or other reliable witness, we could include Alice. But all it said was “last site”, so I had to axe it. (We can’t take NOAA’s word alone on such matters; they are far, far too unreliable. I’ve seen coordinates given to five decimal places that were three quarters of a mile off! [ref., Norwich, NY.])

    I got the impression that if the station was closed or could not be located, you shot the location of the coordinates given by NCDC. However, if I’m wrong about that, please let me know and post any location confirmations so I can find and evaluate them.

    In any case, thanks for all the help; it is appreciated all ’round.

  200. geo (19:25:27) :

    “Umm, what? “Public domain” has a very specific meaning in law. Yes, there are idiots who treat everything on the internet as if it were in the public domain, (and they often get away with it for the same reason most speeding violations are never ticketed) but it most assuredly is not.”

    You can’t make data freely available on the internet and then sue someone for downloading and discussing it. No, we’re not talking lawsuits in this forum. But I feel the principle is the same. Obviously you don’t. I’m satisifed with that outcome. Thanks for the interesting point of view.

  201. evanmjones (19:42:36) :

    I think he will be reasonable. It’s just as valid for the AGW side to be skeptical of the skeptics as the other way ’round. All we have to do is release all data and methods and answer any criticism — which may be valid, as well: after all, If Menne missed a trick, it’s by no means impossible we will, too.

    He hasn’t been reasonable so far. I see no indication he’ll change his ways.

  202. Phil M: I think the point is that the ratings were a non-QCed work-in-progress. NCDC knew this and therefore should have held off. (Or joined in! They were welcome!)

    And the use of airports is inexcusable–they have warmed like holy hell since they were located there, and the USHCN1 web page itself says they were put in airports because their original siting was deemed to be very damn lousy in the first place. They have warmed nearly as much as CRN4 sites in the 100-year data and around as bad as even CRN5 sites in the 30-year data! So these are considered by NCDC to be “good” sites . . . why? If they’d inquired, we would have pointed this out to them.

  203. PhilJourdan (18:57:11) :

    “And now we know why we cannot trust those numbers. WHen you approach things with an open mind, you learn a lot.”

    I’m a little confused, but assuming you mean you don’t trust the numbers from Menne, et al. The satellite surface temps clearly show a slow, steady increase in temperature over the last 30 years.

  204. He hasn’t been reasonable so far. I see no indication he’ll change his ways.

    Well, he hasn’t yet seen the final argument, and the last clever knot. (And Menne looks reasonable — on the surface.) But he will, and so will everyone. I’ll withhold judgment until then.

  205. Brendan H: As for the ethical issue, one could interpret the NCDC communications as a request for the use of data.

    J.A.: One may interpret it that way, or they just could have said it plainly. Why they didn’t speaks volumes.

    Evanjones: “Well, Dr. Menne was invited in.”

    The account that heads this thread says that Menne made the initial invitation. In any case, the offer of co-authorship and the exchange of data are clear signals of an intention to use it. I can understand that the collectors of the data should have first use, but according to this source, this privilege has its limits:

    “NIH recognizes that the investigators who collected the data have a legitimate interest in benefiting from their investment of time and effort. NIH continues to expect that the initial investigators may benefit from the first and continuing use, but not from prolonged exclusive use.”

    http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm

    I’m not sure whether two years would constitute “prolonged exclusive use”, but this project seems to have been dragging on for an awfully long time. And we’ve seen plenty of postings about the project over that period. Do those postings amount to “first use”?

    [REPLY - As Anthony was the one compiling the data, it was his prerogative to make the invite, which he did. Furthermore, as Anthony has pointed out, he would not have had a leading role in the NCDC formulations. Dr. Menne, on the other hand, would have been welcome to join Anthony and would have been free to make any contribution he cared too, but he did not so join. This is not a legal point, rather, it is one of courtesy and noblesse oblige, regrettably neither of which was forthcoming. ~ Evan]

  206. Evenmjones, you are just too good at this. The hints you are dribbling out about “missing” this and “missing” that are delightful.

    “…also overlooked a very important consideration (which he would not have, had he joined the team).”

    “…you touched on another very, very live wire, but I cannot discuss it at this time!”

    “…hasn’t yet seen the final argument…”

    “…the last clever knot.”

    You should write a gumshoe novel.

    [REPLY - *enigmatic smile* We can't blame NOAA. Anyone might have missed it . . . ~ Evan]

  207. Phil M. – {My amusement was aimed at the offering of anecdotal dashboard/car temperature readings as evidence of UHI. Apparently, a large number of folks here think that siting a climate station 30 meters from a building is a catastrophe, but temperature readings from in instrument mounted in a moving vehicle are somehow providing useful climate data}

    But in a peculiar way, is this not sorta what Menne et al. are saying in their paper? That it is not the temp that we are interested in, but the anomaly from a median?

    So when I go from the coast, to my property in the interior, the highway travels through a mountain pass. As we go through, I am always checking the truck thermometer to see what the “difference” (anomolay?) is from the base of the pass to the peak. If the thermometer is skewered to a bias, that really shouldn’t matter as it is the difference that I am interested in, correct?

    [REPLY - I can see UHIs by the dashboard lights. Ain't no doubt about it. ~ Evan]

  208. evanmjones (20:40:50) :

    Well, he hasn’t yet seen the final argument, and the last clever knot. (And Menne looks reasonable — on the surface.) But he will, and so will everyone. I’ll withhold judgment until then.

    I meant he was being unreasonable in his comparison of Skeptics asking for data from already published papers with Anthony not providing updates to data from an UNpublished paper. He’s just a Contrarian.

  209. So when I go from the coast, to my property in the interior, the highway travels through a mountain pass. As we go through, I am always checking the truck thermometer to see what the “difference” (anomolay?) is from the base of the pass to the peak. If the thermometer is skewered to a bias, that really shouldn’t matter as it is the difference that I am interested in, correct?

    Correct, I think. However, when the bias for a site isn’t consistent, that’s where you have a problem. When the AC is on one day and blowing heat outside near the MMTS, that’s a bias. But if it’s not on the next day… Or, when the site was initially prepared, it was setup properly, but 20 years later a structure was built nearby. Then 2 years later some asphalt was laid to accommodate more parking. Then 5 years later the small road nearby was paved and widened to 2 lanes in both directions. Lots more traffic. These are creeping, inconsistent biases that cannot be accounted for.

  210. I meant he was being unreasonable in his comparison of Skeptics asking for data from already published papers with Anthony not providing updates to data from an UNpublished paper.

    Yes, I think that is unreasonable.

  211. A huge potential bias in station siting is altitude and climate zone (different altitudes and climate zones have different sensitivities to atmospheric conditions). A heat wave can cause a thermometer to always read higher at noon but not be representative of the area because of its placement in a sensitive area. This would be okay if the data plots remain constant. But what if they don’t remain constant? Sensor fall out could have biased the data over time because of this skewed representation becoming a factor, not actual global warming. Over representation in one of these and you get a non-random sample, the death knell of significance.

  212. Leo G (21:10:56) :

    “So when I go from the coast, to my property in the interior, the highway travels through a mountain pass. As we go through, I am always checking the truck thermometer to see what the “difference” (anomolay?) is from the base of the pass to the peak. If the thermometer is skewered to a bias, that really shouldn’t matter as it is the difference that I am interested in, correct?”

    Assuming the bias of the thermometer is constant with regards to temperature, right. As long as you’re looking at the change (“delta”), the actual value doesn’t really matter for some applications. (I spent a while repairing, installing, and replacing hydrometeorologic/climatic sensors and our guidance was to never be concerned with absolutes. As long as the sensor is recording, you can determine the offset via some statistical and/or geographic comparison. Water supplies have been managed this way for decades.)

    On the other hand, taking into account changes in elevation, insolation, various forms of cooling, heat from the vehicle, etc. uncertainty regarding the source of the delta you are observing is ginormous, to use a technical term.

  213. Jeff Alberts (21:15:13) :

    “He’s just a Contrarian.”

    Actually, I’m agnostic. The ultimate skeptic.

  214. Phil M (22:27:21) said, and has still not replied to my statement from earlier today:

    Pat Frank (21:52:20) :

    Whatever the nuance, two things are certain: 1) Anthony put the data on the internet 2) Someone downloaded it and used it. It wasn’t hacked or stolen.

    His reluctance to release data seems at odds with accusations leveled at AGW climate scientists.

    Your trying to claim that there is a moral equivalence between the actions of Climate Scientists, who have done everything possible to prevent access to the data they used (in some cases in spite of publication policies requiring disclosure of the data) and Anthony Watts actions demonstrates a certain stubborn thickness.

    Particularly since it is, in essence, an inventory of public property. It’s not clear to me why all data should be shared – except now. If they want to use incomplete, non-QA’d data, let them. Then point it out later when an article is submitted for publication. I disagree with the commonly used tactic of casting dispersions on well educated, highly trained scientists who make a career, not a hobby, of collecting and analyzing climate data.

    Quite apart from your attempt to diminish the contribution and expertise of Anthony Watts, there are several problems that you seem unable to comprehend:

    1. When you use phrases without understanding them, eg casting dispersions (the correct phrase is casting aspertions) you look stupid.

    2. The data generated by people operating on the public dime is in principle owned by the public. It is data that has been generated by private individuals that is not owned by the public.

    3. Anthony holds copyright on the collection of data he has assembled, even if they are photos and descriptions of public property.

    4. Anthony has scientific priority on the data. The journal that has published the Menne paper should withdraw it because of the clear breach of scientific ethics that has been committed.

  215. Jeff 21:20:38 – yes, didn’t look at that part of the scenario, thanx!

    Phil M – My God, these things are really too technical! Now every time that I go through the pass I’ll be trying to mentally adjust/homogenize my little bit of data to get the right readings!!!

    :)

    Evan – you are having too much fun! This subject is serious!

  216. Anthony,

    The Menne et al paper specifically compares CRN1 and 2 stations to the other stations with and without adjustments and finds good agreement between the two samples in either case. The criticisms regarding homogenization aimed at the talking points memo simply aren’t relevant here.

    Whichever blog poster claimed that UHI was dead was indeed wrong, and, indeed, this was never about UHI as you say. Perhaps you should re-iterate this for your readers and Steve Goddard who is a regular poster on your blog.

  217. I was in Nyssa, Oregon yesterday evening and noticed a Stevenson screen next to the parking lot of the Amalgamated Sugar plant. I don’t know if it’s a USHCN station.

    You can see it using the street view on Google Maps. There’s only four images where the screen is visible, but in two it’s partially obscured by vehicles and it’s blurry in one of the shots where it’s fully visible.

  218. In the Menne et al paper, the decision to restrict their analysis to times later than 1980 strikes me as somewhat odd. The reasons given for this (e.g. on p.6: “Figures 2 and 3 depict values since 1980 to highlight the period of widespread instrument changes and possible degradation of exposure characteristics.”) would seem to make the inclusion of earlier data even more worthwhile, at least as a point of comparison.

    Maybe I’m just being obtuse, but to me this seems to be a rather obvious Dig Here sign – would it cost a lot of effort to exactly reproduce the relevant plots from Menne et al, but extend the covered time period?

  219. “When you use phrases without understanding them, eg casting dispersions (the correct phrase is casting aspertions) you look stupid.”

    Perhaps.

    “Your trying to claim”

    It’s “you’re”

  220. Gregg E. (03:58:28) :

    “I was in Nyssa, Oregon yesterday evening and noticed a Stevenson screen next to the parking lot of the Amalgamated Sugar plant. I don’t know if it’s a USHCN station.”

    Probably –I collected a Stevenson Screen at a sugar plant parking lot in S. Dakota. I sort of get why wastewater plants and airports (they’re public infrastructure and tend to have significant green space) get used. I have wondered why sugar plants seem to be popular tho –other than they seem to have 24/7 guards available to take readings. If yours was like mine, I’d bet that Stevenson Screen was close to the guard house.

    Of course the other thing all three have in common. . . they generate a lot of heat. They’re probably mini-UHI all by themselves, even when “out in the country”.

  221. Folks are throwing the term “public domain” around pretty lightly. Publication of a copyrighted work on the internet does not magically void the copyright. The copyright attaches to any original work, regardless of registration. Works enter the public domain because the statutory protection has expired, or the author disclaims the copyright, or the author has no legal standing to claim copyright (government publications for example) or in the absence of a claim of authorship, the provence of the original work cannot be determined.

    Copyrighted material that is published, whether here or in print can be reproduced in a limited manner under the doctrine of “fair use”. Thus a passage from a journal article can be quoted by another author, but the party doing the quoting cannot copy the original work under the guise of fair use. I can reproduce a limited piece of the Beatle’s White Album in a music review to discuss a chord progression or vocal technique, but I cannot reprint the entire songbook note for note. The Menne paper crosses way over the bounds of fair use and I am sure they damned well know it. It is nothing more than a contemptible effort to diminish Anthony’s (and everyone else’s) efforts, or to incite Anthony to join into a pissing contest with a skunk. AW should be commended for disdaining this provocation. As the saying goes, “you don’t have to show up at every fight you are invited to.”

  222. >> Pat Frank (16:13:29) :

    … The issue is that Anthony owned the scientific priority of his own data. Prof. Karl had no right to publish on it first, and neither did Dr. Menne. They chose to abscond with Anthony’s right to priority. That is a serious breach of scientific ethics. <<

    The issue is even bigger than that. Since Karl and Menne have demonstrated their lack of ethics here, how can we believe anything they publish? These are the gatekeepers of the US temperature data, also used by GISS and CRU. This lack of ethics makes all three surface data records suspect.

  223. George:

    No crust that [the close tracking of the series for good stations and bad stations in Menne 2010] is a problem. The sample size is too small for them to track each other so well. The fact is they shouldn’t. The tracking points to number fudging not “robustessnessessstation.”

    Thanks for the reply. Where do you think they fudged the numbers? Note that the station classification was from surfacestations.org. Most of the temperature data is older than the (pretty recent) surfacestations.org data so it would be pretty hard to pre-fudge that for the study. Do you think they used a bogus methodology? As I understand it, at least for the unadjusted series, what they did was pretty simple. So it should be pretty easy to replicate (or contradict if it was fudged as you say). I imagine that our host, Pielke and/or the latter’s students are working on the replication (if they haven’t done it already) for their reply.

  224. @Phil M (20:21:05) :

    “You can’t make data freely available on the internet and then sue someone for downloading and discussing it. No, we’re not talking lawsuits in this forum. But I feel the principle is the same. ”

    You’ve switched context on me now. I was responding to your startling tossing of “anything on the internet” into the public domain. . .now you’re back to talking about just Anthony’s work.

    There are of course “fair use” provisions in the law, and the legal right to analyse and review pretty much anything that appears anywhere (and not just the internet) so long as while doing so one doesn’t go beyond “fair use” in reproducing protected material. I’m not suggesting that what Menne did was illegal –I’m just rather strongly protesting your stated idea that Anthony’s work, and the entire internet!, are in the “public domain”. They aren’t.

    And of course, any author may agree to make their work public domain if they individually choose to do so –Wikipedia works like that. But Anthony most assuredly has not, and to make that point, surfacestations.org includes the following notice:

    “Unless otherwise noted, all text and images contained on this web site are the property of surfacestations.org and/or its affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, or licensors, and are protected from unauthorized copying and dissemination by United States copyright law, trademark law, international conventions and other intellectual property laws.
    © 2007, 2008, 2009 surfacestations.org. All rights reserved.”

    Again, I’m not suggesting Menne broke the law –I am insisting that “public domain” is not the defense for that, however.

  225. Richard Sharpe (22:19:31) :

    As Boris pointed out, it can be pretty easy to let an unintentional misspelling sneak through. I guess I was little tired and trying to mash-up “disparaging” and “aspersions”. I guess we both look stupid?

    While I always enjoy a spirited discussion, your comments seem to be written as personal affronts towards me. I have no interest in engaging you or anyone else in those types of discussions. Also, as I pointed out to another person, this conversation seems to be circular in that it boils down to a simple difference of opinion. To me, your argument indicates some course of legal action as a logical next step. Perhaps your energy would be best directed towards that endeavor.

  226. From NAS:

    ” ‘Fair use’ exceptions enable scientists and educators to use copyrighted materials — such as published research papers — for free or at reduced costs, if the information is used for research, teaching, or other specific purposes.”

    Now, this particular passage closely follows a reference to publicly funded data, so I’m not sure how it applies in this case. I look forward to someone providing more information here, as I haven’t the time.

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=5504

  227. I suggest we all write to the journal that Menne’s recent paper is being published in and protest the clear lapse in professional and scientific ethics demonstrated by Menne et all.

    Let them know that the world is watching.

  228. geo (06:02:04) :

    Clearly, it was my off-hand, and incorrect, usage of “public domain” that introduced some confusion here. I was trying to articulate the point you just made – Menne, et al. broke no laws. I’ll choose my words more carefully in the future.

  229. Since The Other Side is now coming out in favor of transparency and data access, and it may eventually become settled policy, let’s remember then to renew our quest for the data Steig has withheld.
    ——–

    Phil M.:
    My amusement was aimed at the offering of anecdotal dashboard/car temperature readings as evidence of UHI. Apparently, a large number of folks here think that siting a climate station 30 meters from a building is a catastrophe, …

    Strawman. A distance of 30 meters would be fine with us. (It’s the official minimum.) The objections are almost all to sitings within a dozen feet or so.

    … but temperature readings from an instrument mounted in a moving vehicle are somehow providing useful climate data.

    A car thermometer is fit for its purpose, which is NOT, as your strawman claim would have it, to “provide useful climate data.” Rather, it is simply to detect whether there is a gross temperature difference between urban and rural locations. If a large number of these anecdotal (actually instrumental) observations confirm one another, the evidence is strong. (Such measurements can be falsified or confirmed by siting and comparing meteorological thermometers in the nearby rural vs. urban locations the car thermometer is comparing, if any critic cares to do so, so in principle the claim is a scientific one.)

    The data collecting instruments needed to detect the signal of global warming from the vast noise of weather are not attempting to detect a gross anomaly, but a tiny one. Therefore, there’s no hypocrisy in demanding that they be more accurately calibrated and fine-tuned, etc.

  230. Anthony and Evan,

    I sincerely hope the upcoming paper will include some field checks of recent station data, using calibrated thermometers located at various distances and directions from existing USHCN stations.

    It should not be too difficult to get thermometers that are reliable to within 0.1 to 0.2 C and use them to fact check existing stations. (Hourly or more frequent readings please.) One issue would be how long you need to have the fact checking thermometer in place, but for large UHI effects it shouldn’t take long. Perhaps as little as a couple weeks and certainly no more than 2 months to estimate the delta.

    After that the questions is how many bad and good stations do you need to field test this way. 10 each? 20? 50? Also of course, how many reference testing sites do you need around each USHCN site you are checking, and how far away do you need to go when macrosite issues are evident? Obviously getting absolute references for a large sample of existing stations is probably beyond the scope of anyone but the feds.

    I find it rather unbelievable that 30 years into the AGW scare that we haven’t already verified (or quantified the error of) the accuracy of temperature measurements (and their weekly/monthly/yearly averages) at each site with actual field tests, and instead NASA/NOAA/NCDC are developing algorithms to “homogenize” the data, throwing away data, making up data out of thin air, etc.

    Perhaps we can hope for such a large scale effort to begin after Obama leaves office in 2013.

  231. Roger Knights (09:08:43)

    Excellent response to Phil M. When Phil makes the comments you quoted:

    “Phil M.:
    My amusement was aimed at the offering of anecdotal dashboard/car temperature readings as evidence of UHI. Apparently, a large number of folks here think that siting a climate station 30 meters from a building is a catastrophe, but temperature readings from an instrument mounted in a moving vehicle are somehow providing useful climate data.”

    It’s quite obvious he has an agenda, and/or a serious ignorance of what constitutes valid data. I don’t recall anyone here referring to poor USHCN sensor siting as a “catastrophe”. That’s just an absurd comment as the issue is that the temperature readings will be affected towards warming.

    And indeed car thermometers can collect quite valid evidence of the delta from urban to suburban to rural. Since no one is claiming an absolute accuracy, or even a delta accuracy to less than one degree, Phil’s comment is roughly equivalent to suggesting that the human eye is insufficient to judge that there is a difference in outdoor light between sunny and cloudy days.

    My anecdote is that my car thermometer perfectly matches the nearby local airport station on cloudy days, or at night. On sunny days the heat from the road surface makes it read higher, of course. When I drive from my suburban house to out of town the delta is 2 to 4 degrees cooler on average, and when I drive downtown it’s 2 to 4 degrees warmer on average.

    Should I infer from this, Phil, that the temperatures downtown are the same as in the rural areas outside of town??!! Or should I assume that my car’s thermometer is completely unreliable in any area but near the airport thermometer that it matches so well?

  232. “[REPLY – As Anthony was the one compiling the data, it was his prerogative to make the invite, which he did.”

    The account that heads this thread says: “In the summer, Dr. Menne had been inviting me to co-author with him, and our team reciprocated…” So from this statement it appears that the invitation came from D Menne. But perhaps the sentence is missing some information.

    “Dr. Menne, on the other hand, would have been welcome to join Anthony and would have been free to make any contribution he cared too, but he did not so join. This is not a legal point, rather, it is one of courtesy and noblesse oblige, regrettably neither of which was forthcoming.”

    I think it’s been established that Menne wanted only the data. I don’t see any ethical point here, but if you’re referring to the jump on publication, possibly.

    Interesting, though, that this issue has really only come to the fore in the past week or so. The “How not to…” series has been running for some time now, with plenty of judgements about the quality of the US surface stations. But people still value getting published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.

  233. Is the ushcn_station list freely available on the web:
    Ok time to put this to rest:
    1) I run http://www.surfacestations.org
    2) There are 1221 … The US Historical Climatological Network is what they are surveying. Our surveyors select from the USHCN master list, which you can see here: http://www.surfacestations.org/USHCN_stationlist.htm

    Posted by: Anthony Watts at September 23, 2007 12:00 AM

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/007079.html

    Watts reference

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2007/06/05/surfacestationsorg-is-ready-and-your-assistance-is-needed-by-anthony-watts/

    i.e. the data is well referenced by watts and others on the web.

    In the mene papaer ther is no direct quoting of the watts’ document
    It’s data is referenced
    It is acknowledged as a source of data.

    the use policy for the site is:
    Intellectual Property Rights
    Unless otherwise noted, all text and images contained on this web site are the property of surfacestations.org and/or its affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, or licensors, and are protected from unauthorized copying and dissemination by United States copyright law, trademark law, international conventions and other intellectual property laws.

    Copying has not occurred
    Dissemination has not occurred
    The data has been accessed, but then all the watts/pielke links invite people to access the data.

    The data is placed on line for public viewing.

    Compare this to the childish prank of CRU mole posts on this and climate audit – data was discovered and dowloaded from a location not referenced on any public facing page (this falls into computer misuse act).

    Watts has been preparing his surface station for over 2 years. When will the document be published? Is it surprising that Menne jumps the gun with the data as it is?

    steven mosher (10:04:15)
    In the case of Anthony he posted his data (photos)
    posted his method ( rating system)
    and will publish his result, journals willing.

    ridiculous! You are suggesting that the rating is all about personal impression of the photos? Surely data should be analysed for dicontinuities etc.?

    “free the data, Free the code, free the discussion”

    REPLY: Free your name “tfp”. I don’t like coward trolls that can’t put forward anything positive or relevant. This has been explained to you and you persist with your our version of reality. So far you’ve done nothing but complain on this blog, at least Mosh and I have done something, he wrote a book, I did a nationwide project with hundreds of volunteers and published a booklet on it. I have a peer reviewed paper, albeit with data borrowed from me, and another on the way. Besides launch complaints from the comfort of cowardly anonymity, what have you done? Quite frankly I’m tired of you. Put up or shut up time buddy. Prove to us your your self imagined “galactic hero” status. And ahead of time, just so you know, I’m not the least bit concerned if you are offended. Have the integrity to put your name to your challenges. Don’t want to meet me in the open? That’s fine, but don’t come here anymore wasting my time. – Anthony

  234. Phil M (21:40:59) :

    Assuming the bias of the thermometer is constant with regards to temperature, right. As long as you’re looking at the change (“delta”), the actual value doesn’t really matter for some applications. (I spent a while repairing, installing, and replacing hydrometeorologic/climatic sensors and our guidance was to never be concerned with absolutes. As long as the sensor is recording, you can determine the offset via some statistical and/or geographic comparison. Water supplies have been managed this way for decades.)

    On the other hand, taking into account changes in elevation, insolation, various forms of cooling, heat from the vehicle, etc. uncertainty regarding the source of the delta you are observing is ginormous, to use a technical term.

    Which is why you can’t measure temp in two separate places, average them, and expect something meaningful as a result.

  235. tfp (18:26:28),

    Apples & oranges. Anthony’s data belongs to a private citizen; Briffa’s belongs to the taxpayers. And please, no malarky about secret agreements. We’ve seen that the same people share the data with anyone they feel like sharing it with, and agreements be damned.

    And your post @18:10:50 defending the obvious lack of professional ethics by Menne, et al. makes me wonder where you draw your own ethics line.

    Didn’t you read the account of what Menne did? He wrote: “If working together cooperatively is of interest to you, please let us know.” Then he went ahead and used Anthony’s data anyway, without saying a word about it. That’s some HE-RO you’re so eager to defend.

    If Menne did me and my colleagues in that underhanded way, I would have responded a lot stronger.

  236. Anthony this is why I will not post under my real name:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jan/27/james-delingpole-climate-change-denial

    “Within a few minutes of the comments opening, they had published the man’s telephone number and email address, a photo of his house (“Note all the recycling going on in his front garden”), his age and occupation”
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100024152/monbiot-an-apology/ Damocles on Jan 28th, 2010 at 2:23:
    “I’ve got to say that I saw the comments on that blog and I was rather shocked.
    Bue then you pulled it and that was a redeeming act.”

    I’m sure you get similar.

    I do not want to expose my family to hate mail/death threats/abuse. My pseudonym is my firewall.

    I have posted analysis on scientific threads/ I have posted comments like the above where I see unfair bias. Its your blog do what you will!

    REPLY:
    OK Fine, final question then. Your electronics company there in the UK has a contract with the U.S. Navy for some avionics test systems. Somebody takes that design, reverse engineers it, and sells a product based on your work. Is that fair use?

    That’s the case with me here. All my pages have a copyright notice on them. I did the work for over two years, and Menne et al took the work and made something from it without permission, against my protestations even. Unless you are prepared to say your company’s designs should be fair game for anyone to use and profit from, I suggest you kindly refrain from criticizing my project further. – Anthony

  237. Unfortunately I’m starting to lose faith in the scientific process. I know people are- well people and will have their biases. But I at least expect people to be upfront and honest in their work. You’re taught that the data will lead to the conclusion but now the conclusion comes first and the rest is politics.

  238. I do think the appearance of “Is the US Surface Temperature Reliable?”, Watts, 2009 does muddy the waters here a bit on the appropriateness of what Menne did. While not peer-reviewed, it was more than the typical internet posting as well. It raised serious claims from a respectable cache of detailed data. No author, having gone that far, it seems to me, has the right to expect that anyone who has doubts about the claims made in such a publication, in such circumstances, and with a good deal of publicity, should just sit around and wait (for how long?) to leave the claims made in such a published source uncontravened if they feel they need contravening.

  239. I left a “Record” there out of the title and acronym of Anthony’s fine Heartland paper. Sorry about that. . .

  240. geo (19:58:29) : | Reply w/ Link

    I do think the appearance of “Is the US Surface Temperature Reliable?”, Watts, 2009 does muddy the waters here a bit on the appropriateness of what Menne did. While not peer-reviewed, it was more than the typical internet posting as well. It raised serious claims from a respectable cache of detailed data. No author, having gone that far, it seems to me, has the right to expect that anyone who has doubts about the claims made in such a publication, in such circumstances, and with a good deal of publicity, should just sit around and wait (for how long?) to leave the claims made in such a published source uncontravened if they feel they need contravening.
    .

    If the author has doubts about what is being discussed on the open internet boards, he/she should go and gather his/her own data, and not use data gathered by somebody else to publish the contradiction. It is unethical in scientific circles. And the scientific magazine who publishes this, and the peers who review it without stopping it forfeit their title to “science” and “scientific”. Using somebody else’s data is ethical in science after it has been published in peer review literature and referencing it there. One could stretch that to conference proceedings, where there is no “peer review” except by the conference peers.

    The internet boards are something like science workshops, where people throw ideas around that are not yet published. Even in such a case, if somebody tries to preempt an original idea from somebody else, picked from the discussions, one would have to be very careful not to be found “stealing”.

  241. The Heartland publication is a bit beyond “internet posting”, however.

    There is some culture shock here, and there’s going to be some roiling over the next several years while it gets sorted out. I think the discussion of that point is what I enjoyed most about Mosh & Fuller’s book.

    If Anthony’s Heartland pamphlet had been a peer-reviewed paper in a major academic publication, all the usual (tho too often ignored or diddled) rules about data archiving would have applied, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

    I just think it would have been cleaner for Anthony to wait to “popularize” his work (ala the Heartland piece) until after the academic publication of whatever academic paper he produces. I don’t see any reasonable reason to think the Menne paper would even exist without the Heartland publication.

  242. Chris BC (13:35:58) :

    The NOAA is not disputing the rather stark offset effects of poor micrositing. Their CRN rating system is based on LeRoy (1999), after all. What’s at issue is the more subtle effects of good/poor siting on a station’s trend.

    Unfortunately, we can’t establish that by means of field experiments. That has to be done by means of longer term statistical analysis.

  243. Assuming the bias of the thermometer is constant with regards to temperature, right. As long as you’re looking at the change (“delta”), the actual value doesn’t really matter for some applications.

    Yes, it’s all about the delta. The question is whether those factors causing an offset bias also cause a delta bias. There is also the possibility that an offset bias occurs and is not fixed by adjustment (Lampasas, TX, springs forcibly to mind), and a severe offset bias gets directly included in the delta calculations.

  244. Phil M (17:12:14)

    My amusement was aimed at the offering of anecdotal dashboard/car temperature readings as evidence of UHI. Apparently, a large number of folks here think that siting a climate station 30 meters from a building is a catastrophe, but temperature readings from in instrument mounted in a moving vehicle are somehow providing useful climate data.

    An anecdote yes, but ……
    My car temperature sensor saved my life.
    Driving on the New England highway (Northern NSW, Australia) towards Armidale, I was aware of an approaching snowstorm (a rare event) and the temperature gauge kept descending from 10degC to 1degC. At the moment the gauge registered zero,the road lost its wet shine and became frosty dull, the tires lost traction on a long sweeping bend and I drifted off the road. Now, I had been observing the temperature closely and had anticipated this event and slowed down and no major damage was done, but others were not so lucky.
    Australians are not used to ice and snow.
    So, I can say that in an absolute sense my sensor was very accurate, I do not know where in the car it is located, but as my house is bristling with sensors, the one in the vehicle can be compared with these and it comes in as very accurate through a 35degC delta.
    They may need to be accurate for this precise motoring event.

  245. Some further explanation of my last. . . .

    On another forum (sports) I frequent, for a couple years now I’ve had as part of my sig the idea that ” ‘Hypocrite!’ is the charge one fanboy throws at another fanboy for the sin of being right *this time*.” And what I mean by that is the idea when you can’t attack on the merits, you attack on “hypocrisy”.

    Now, for this particular case there are reasons to attack Menne on the merits. I won’t go into them in depth here, because they are covered upstream and I comment on some of them upstream as well, so I don’t feel a need to do so again.

    To me, on the cultural issues, the false dichotomy has been between “academic” and “non-academic”. I do believe this is a false dichotomy that is cultural hangover. To me, the *real* intellectually defensible dichotomy is between “intended to be taken seriously” and “not intended to be taken seriously”. The first of those should include data archviing.

    Did Antony intend “Is the US Surface Temperature Record Reliable?” to be taken seriously? I think he did. I should be surprised if he says he didn’t.

    Now, having said all that, and admitting both that this is my opinon, and most assuredly we are in an age of transition where many people of good will are making what will be considered to be ‘mistakes’ in the rear view mirror in years to come, I think both Anthony and Mennie’s sins are misdemeanor variety by my lights (tho re Menne I limit that to his use of unauthorized data, re then other substantive sins such as I mention on my first post on this thread).

  246. tfp (18:10:50) posts:
    “Within a few minutes of the comments opening, they had published the man’s telephone number and email address, a photo of his house (“Note all the recycling going on in his front garden”), his age and occupation”

    Your response then goes on to just about do the same all but naming the company worked for. Is this an attempt at intimidation?

  247. Nice post. I particularly like the elegant writing style and the cool tone— understatement really does work when the facts are outrageous enough to speak for themselves.

    I’d like to make a technical suggestion. As I understand it, a big problem and a good reason to delay data analysis is that the sample is biased. Suppose there are 1000 stations, and you have sampled the easiest 600, and we know this “easiest” bias is likely to matter because “easiest” and “biggest urban heat island effect” are correlated. Do we need to wait till we sample all 1000 stations?

    No, I think. I don’t have time now to figure out the statistical technique to use, but this is a “sample selection” or “truncation” problem of the kind for which Heckman won the Nobel in econ a few years back. If I get to it, I ‘ll try to leave another comment, but maybe someone else can comment on this– a statistician or econometrician. Those folks enjoy this kind of problem.

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