Controversial NASA temperature graphic morphs into garbled mess

UPDATE: Repaired – see below

Figure from NASA report valid at 18:00 UTC Feb 15, 2011

What happened to that image? Back in 1999, Dr. James Hansen of NASA penned a report on surface temperatures still located on their servers. However, the critical figure for the report, a GIF image, has mysteriously become garbled. Steve Goddard has the back-story at his blog Real Science:  “Data Corruption at GISS

In 1999, Hansen wrote a report which was largely inconsistent with his current claims. Twelve years ago he understood that the US climate was hotter and more extreme in the 1930s. He also knew that 1934 was the hottest year in the US.

Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit discussed part of the issue with GISS data adjustments back in 2007 with a post here at WUWT, see:

Lights Out

Regardless, help NASA fix this “clerical” error, as the original image exists all over the internet:

Uncorrupted Version of NASA report Figure

UPDATE: Steve Goddard reports that it has been repaired:

It now has the original file date, too. I’d sure like to know who modified the file on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:33:14 PM.

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

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91 thoughts on “Controversial NASA temperature graphic morphs into garbled mess

  1. Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.

  2. Glad you are covering this! Just read about it at Steven Goddard’s site after seeing it mentioned in a comment at Delingpole’s.

    This seems to be a “smoking gun” that anyone can understand.

  3. Did anyone aware of this just contact GISS and let then know that a file on their server appears to be damaged?

  4. Have you sent a note to the website curator?

    I just did, informing him of this blogpost and the corrupted figure 1 in the article.

  5. Just out of curiousity, I used a “page freshness” tool to look at the file for the figure,

    It responds with “The server indicates that the page was last modified: 01/18/2011 15:33:14″

    I’m sure NASA will quickly correct this minor technical glitch.

  6. Bad spot on the disk. Not all that uncommon on images that stick around for a long, long time. Somebody emailing them about it might be a bit more productive, however.

  7. Are NASA hoping that we’ll forget the graphic ever existed?
    Do they think that by removing it from their site, that we will no longer remember it?

    Remember what?
    What site?
    Who are they?

  8. As the headpost says, click on the link to Steve Goddard’s website for the backstory on this.

    I’m surprised that the article here on WUWT doesn’t include the key graphic: a blink comparator GIF file showing what was in the article for US temps vs the current revised historical temps: http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1998changesannotated.gif?w=500&h=355&h=355

    http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1998changesannotated.gif?w=500&h=355&h=35d

  9. fredT says:
    February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.
    =======================================================

    I don’t know Fred. It’s been this way for almost a month. It isn’t the original image file. It’s a different one. It seems that on both sides of the pond, they are playing with the websites. Moving things, changing stuff, altering original files. You don’t think things like this matter? That’s fine. Personally, I’m not fond of my government entities sending anything down the memory hole. And, if there are changes of information that warrants a change in the graphics, I want it annotated and explained. This is what we pay them for. I’m truly sorry you don’t see things in this manner.

  10. All is right with the world. The image has now been restored.

    It reports a modification time of Fri 27 Aug 1999 01:20:25 BST. This means the anybody who has loaded the “bad image” may keep on getting it served up from their cache (or proxies cache) as the bad image has a later timestamp

  11. Mike86 : “I’d suggest using the same Y-axis on the two graphs. Makes comparisons easier.”

    Indeed. The current presentation is chartsmanship at it’s best. It may not be ‘hiding the decline’ but it is definitely ‘making the increase seem bigger than it actually is’.

  12. geo says:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Bad spot on the disk. Not all that uncommon on images that stick around for a long, long time. Somebody emailing them about it might be a bit more productive, however.
    =======================================================

    I think the e-mailing has already been done. I like your generous approach to image file. However, I’m fairly sure it is a different .gif file altogether rather than a corruption of the old one. A commenter on Steve’s blog has the details.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/data-corruption-at-giss/#comment-37899

  13. fredT says:
    February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.

    ############

    Fred, i’ve been “defended” or rather trying to explain how changes in the data used for the chart made in 1999 and the algorithm used for the chart made in 1999, are responsible for the change. Basically, Hansen used a different algorithm in the 1999 paper and he used different data. Both the quality of the data and the quality of the algorithm improved. Of course the answer is different. And of course Steven and others have not listened to somebody who actually lobbied to have hansens code released. Of course they havent listened to somebody who has read the papers, read the code, and run the code. Having said all that, it disturbs me a bit that NASA is quiet about this. Hansen could well explain the reason far better than I can. But he wont. And now this.

  14. In light of the information given by the commentator Iconoclast, over at Mr. Goddard’s place, it appears to me that an appropriate response to this so-called “corruption” of a .gif file is <b"GOTCHA!".

  15. Personally I find this posting very offensive in the use of innuendo and implied accusation of deliberate foul play, on the basis of zero evidence. Whereas on the one hand there is the cry for engagement and reconciliation etc., on the other hand there’s this stuff which just serves to alienate and reinforce the polarization.

    Poor showing Ryan, is my view.

  16. TerryS says:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:38 am

    All is right with the world. The image has now been restored.
    ========================================================

    Except, it’s a different one.

    Copied image at the top of this page, 15.6 KB (15,973 bytes)
    New image at NASA GISS………………14.5 KB (14,844 bytes)

    Now, my eyes aren’t that good to spot any differences in the representations, if there are any, but it are indeed, different files.

  17. You know, I’m at the point of saying “who cares?” It’s NASA GISS after all. They do what they want, say what they want, all while slurping up NSF/DOE/NASA/NOAA money and “stimulus” funds for follies such as the IPCC AR5 and, of course, the manic CAGW press releases. Nothing surprises me with them anymore. But more importantly, I don’t consider them now to be a worthwhile source for climate science information. You know what you’re going to get. And there are many, many other groups out there doing good, honest work – we should defer to them.

    GISS is just an amusing side show…

  18. steven mosher says:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

    fredT says:
    February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.

    ############

    Fred, i’ve been “defended” or rather trying to explain how changes in the data used for the chart made in 1999 and the algorithm used for the chart made in 1999, are responsible for the change. Basically, Hansen used a different algorithm in the 1999 paper and he used different data. Both the quality of the data and the quality of the algorithm improved. Of course the answer is different. And of course Steven and others have not listened to somebody who actually lobbied to have hansens code released. Of course they havent listened to somebody who has read the papers, read the code, and run the code. Having said all that, it disturbs me a bit that NASA is quiet about this. Hansen could well explain the reason far better than I can. But he wont. And now this.
    ======================================================
    Mosh, you’re entirely incorrect in your assertions above. Many of us have listened to you. We(I can’t speak for anyone else.) I simply reject the notion of a fluid historic reality. It is of no value to publish information as fact, knowing it has a high likelihood of changing in the near future. It is an insidious practice and lends itself to inviting corruption. It shouldn’t be done. It shouldn’t be allowed to be done. It shouldn’t be condoned.

  19. > geo says:
    >February 15, 2011 at 11:26 am
    >
    >Bad spot on the disk. Not all that uncommon on images that stick around
    >for a long, long time. Somebody emailing them about it might be a bit more
    >productive, however.

    FWIW – This type of error corrupts the data in a file but does not cause a change to the modification timestamp.

  20. fredb: You are committing the same crime that you allege me to have committed. Did you consider that I am simply Posting something that was written up in Tips and Notes? Did you see anyplace that I said these views represent me? Did you see a “Post by Dr. Ryan N. Maue” in the headline.

    I only put up a link to Steve Goddard’s Real Science and — if you compare his post to what I edited — it is pretty tame by comparison.

    You can question my academic credentials anonymously if you wish, and use ad hominem attacks to accomplish your goal, but I’d prefer if you applied your sage advice to yourself.

    My postings here on WUWT are tailored to “media coverage” of climate change and how journalists treat skeptics and alarmists — including the choice of language and political tactics to accomplish their goals.

    I have in no place described myself as a Skeptic, denier, or an alarmist. I have not written an op-editorial or been interviewed and asked what my political affiliation is or my stance on marriage or who I voted for — or believe it not, whether I “believe” in global warming or not. But, if you did ask, I would be “agnostic” about climate change — as I would “let the chips fall where they may”. Global warming is a proven fact over the millennia and past hundred years or past 30-years. As an academic, I wish to understand the AGW and natural variability components with the best possible precision (in terms of numbers).

    I oppose scientists using their positions at an Institution to push for a particular political point of view. So, just as there is this mythical “separation of church and state” written somewhere in the Constitution, I believe there is a “separation between science and the state media”. Because, in the instances where scientists access and manipulate the media for their own personal political gain or policy goal, the scientific method has been abolished.

  21. funny, FredB, how you are so “offended” by any attempt to point out a problem but not offended in the least by Hansen’s blatant fakery on almost every front.

    quite an interesting bit of selective outrage you’ve got there.

  22. fredT says:
    February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am

    “Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.”

    If this was just some isolated incident your comment would be valid. But it is not. It is part of a pattern of ‘errors,’ all of which conveniently support the AGW line.

  23. Are Freds naturally antagonistic towards Ryans?

    Ryan accurately quotes other people. Gives accurate brief history of past posts.
    Ryan states, “Regardless, help NASA fix this “clerical” error, as the original image exists all over the internet:”

    Error gets fixed. Job well done.

    Freds…….paraphrasing……”Ryan sucks. How can we reconcile with the warmistas if all of these evil innuendos are being thrown about? How pathetic!!”

    WUWT?

  24. fredT says:
    February 15, 2011 at 10:51 am
    Ryan, you are a ‘real’ academic and yet you think a messed-up graphic on an old web page is redolent of corruption, and deserving of an email barrage to the GISS? This is pathetic.

    fredT,
    You forgot to put the “/sarc” at the end of your post.

  25. I find that comforting….

    In only one decade the data and algorithm changed…
    …to give new and improved data historical temperatures

    That can only mean two things:

    The facts they told a decade ago, were not facts at all….yet they screamed they knew what they were talking about

    ….or the data and temperatures they provide today should be looked at as suspect because they might decide in 10 more years to use new and improved data and algorithm, and the whole thing changes again

    ….in only 10 years

    Yet they claim they are basing their science on science that is decades old…………

  26. Bob Tisdale says:
    February 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I must’ve come in late to this discussion, because I just opened the GISS webpage and the old graphic is still there.
    ========================================================

    Well, it may be only coincidence, But, it was changed in short order after it appeared on WUWT. Maybe it was the first time an e-mail made it to Hansen and/or webmaster. I’ll attribute it to concern over the possible scrutiny WUWT can provide.

  27. fredb says:
    February 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    Personally I find this posting very offensive in the use of innuendo and implied accusation of deliberate foul play, on the basis of zero evidence. Whereas on the one hand there is the cry for engagement and reconciliation etc., on the other hand there’s this stuff which just serves to alienate and reinforce the polarization.

    Poor showing Ryan, is my view.

    fredb,
    You too forgot to put the “/sarc” at the end of your statement.

  28. Ryan Maue says:
    February 15, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    “I oppose scientists using their positions at an Institution to push for a particular political point of view. So, just as there is this mythical separation of church and state written somewhere in the Constitution, I believe there is a separation between science and the state media. Because, in the instances where scientists access and manipulate the media for their own personal political gain or policy goal, the scientific method has been abolished.”

    Unfortunately, climate science, as epitomized by the IPCC AR4 report of 2007 and nearly every paper and press release since then, has become a political tool by the activist “greens” of the world, many of whom are climate scientists themselves. In fact, you can see the political spin presented nakedly within supposed academic publications. A great example is the notorious “Climate Change and Trace Gases” by Hansen et al. Here’s the opening paragraph (I have bolded the scare quotes):

    “Palaeoclimate data show that the Earth’s climate is remarkably sensitive to global forcings. Positive feedbacks predominate. This allows the entire planet to be whipsawed between climate states. One feedback, the ‘albedo flip’ property of ice/water, provides a powerful trigger mechanism. A climate forcing that ‘flips’ the albedo of a sufficient portion of an ice sheet can spark a cataclysm. Inertia of ice sheet and ocean provides only moderate delay to ice sheet is integration and a burst of added global warming. Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures.

    For some extra laughs, please read the last paragraph of the paper where Hansen sings the praises of switchgrass energy!

  29. James sexton.

    Well, when the subject is the hsitorical temperature record you’ve got to consider this.

    Hansen writes a paper in 1999. He has a dataset and a method. That gives an ESTIMATE of the temp in 1934.

    If more data should become available, if bad data is identified, if a problem is found
    in the algorithm then we WANT the estimate of the past to be redone.

    the issue here is NOT that the estimate changed. the issue is this.

    there is no clear TRACEABILITY to the changes that were made and there effects.

    if tommorrow NOAA decides to fund the recovery of MILLIONS of records that sit in boxes at NCDC, I want that data to be used. Even if it forces a change in the estimate of the past. If I find a better algorithm, I intend to use it. but in both cases I am duty bound to provide a traceable history of the changes made and the effects of the changes. Hansen hasnt done this. I dont think this lapse on his part MEANS he is corrupt. he’s lazy.

    because science doesnt practice the same rigorous methods that engineering does we have these issues. Thats why the global temperature index is not a science question. Its a history question… that uses math

  30. Is the core problem is that there is no defined and stated policy of data audit trail at GISSI.

    Solution seems obvious – Legislators should introduce a “Public Data Protection Act” better known as the Don’t touch my history junk” legislation that requires public data on the web to have an audit trail with accessible archived history. Most Wiki pages have it, and we have more storage than we know what to do with. It would be very easy to implement.

  31. Mosh,

    We’ve been down this road. I understand what you are saying. I heard you the first time you’ve made similar statements. But I’m incredulous that “new” information would be found from 1934. The properties of mercury in a tube were well known, even all the way back in 1934. Again, if the pronounced temperatures are expect to change, why make any pronouncements?

    GISS is on record of pronouncing 2010 as the hottest year evuh! But, you and I both know these algorithmic temperatures are subject to change and will likely do so. It is perverse the make proclamations as if they were factual when one knows they aren’t. But let me guess! I predict, in the near future, 2010 is likely to warm. As it gets further from the present, it will cool. And, it may especially cool if another year comes close the same anomalous value.

    Honestly Mosh, I’ve no interest in debating this again. The last time there was a debate here on this subject………. well, the conversation devolved. So, in the interest of fairness, I’ll let you have the last word and let it go for now.

    James

  32. Steven Mosher says: (2:08PM);

    “the issue here is NOT that the estimate changed. the issue is this.

    there is no clear TRACEABILITY to the changes that were made and there effects.” ……

    “because science doesnt practice the same rigorous methods that engineering does we have these issues. Thats why the global temperature index is not a science question. Its a history question… that uses math.”

    Thanks for the clarification of how to look at the global temperature index. In the medical device world the FDA would of written up (via a 483) Dr. Hansen for violating software validation principles. There would likely be a bit of a write up for a lack of a justification for the statistical techniques (ie the math) used as well.

  33. Mark Miller.

    Almost all of climate science is history.

    And yes there would be write ups for violation of software principles.

    I look at it this way. The system to control an airplane is quad redundant. Lives are at stake. In the same way climate science is being asked to determine settings for “control” of the climate: set the c02 to 450ppm and hold. Given that huge amounts of money and lives are at stake, we should expect a little more rigor from the science.

    And if scientists are not trained in these rigorous methods then they need to do what they have always done. Turn their insights over to engineers who know how to make things that work.

  34. well fine….

    Since all of Hansen’s numbers changed after 1999, throw out everything he said prior to that….obviously, since the facts changed and what he said prior was based on those facts
    …including everything he said in front of congress in 1988 that started this whole mess

    Knowing that the numbers can change like that, who would believe it anyway

    and since the real temperatures are not following any of his predictions

    the poor guy is looking like the last baffoon………………….

  35. Mosher said…

    “And if scientists are not trained in these rigorous methods then they need to do what they have always done. Turn their insights over to engineers who know how to make things that work.”

    Hey something we can agree on! ;-) Completely!

  36. Latitude says:
    February 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    well fine….

    Since all of Hansen’s numbers changed after 1999, throw out everything he said prior to that….obviously, since the facts changed and what he said prior was based on those facts
    …including everything he said in front of congress in 1988 that started this whole mess
    ========================================================

    Yeh, all prior work is invalidated,………. by himself. Yet, people act as if there is validity to his statements……go figure. How many studies did he produce using errant data?

  37. RonS February 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    > geo says: >February 15, 2011 at 11:26 am
    >Bad spot on the disk. …

    FWIW – This type of error corrupts the data in a file but does not cause a change to the modification timestamp.

    How convenient this (a ‘bad spot’) can be claimed in light of:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/data-corruption-at-giss/#comment-37905

    The Iconoclast February 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm:

    Thank you, Steven Goddard, for the original file.

    There is zero chance that the new figure was accidentally corrupted:

    The files have the same size, 500 x 182 pixels.

    Both files are well-formed GIF files.

    The files have different sizes. The old one is 15,973 bytes. The “corrupted” one is 14,842 bytes.

    THE COLOR PALETTES ARE DIFFERENT BETWEEN THE TWO FILES. THE OLD FILE HAS 16 COLORS. THE NEW FILE HAS 29 COLORS.

    The files begin to differ at byte 11. This is immediately after the standard GIF header and the width and height.

    99% of the bytes are different in the new file from the old file.

    IT IS CERTAIN THAT THE NEW FILE WAS CONSTRUCTED, NOT CAUSED BY CORRUPTION.

    So, (1) ‘new’ file constructed, (2) uploaded to server and (3) served up on the web …

    (1) had the flawed process, not* (2) or (3).

    *Not (2) for the same reason not (1) (See “The Iconoclast” reasoning in light of his findings above re: gif file contents)

    .

  38. Correction:

    *Not (2) for the same reason not (3) (See “The Iconoclast” reasoning in light of his findings above re: gif file contents)

  39. To those who think this is an accident – a challenge. Find an example of another similarly corrupted but valid gif image on the web. Good luck with that.

  40. fredb says:
    February 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Personally I find this posting very offensive in the use of innuendo and implied accusation of deliberate foul play, on the basis of zero evidence. Whereas on the one hand there is the cry for engagement and reconciliation etc., on the other hand there’s this stuff which just serves to alienate and reinforce the polarization.

    Engagement and reconciliation are being pushed by some people, as though salving or preventing the abrasions of personality conflicts has anything at all to do with the alleged CO2=CAGW Climate Science issues; instead of solving the real problem by simply pushing for Climate Science to adhere to the scientific method and its principles.

    Certainly by now, what is so difficult about understanding where the real problem is, and why aren’t you personally offended by that critical failure of Climate Science?

  41. kramer says:
    February 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm
    What a strange coincidence that the Central England Temperature record has just been made harder to find…

    Some days ago during the blizzards I went onto the nws.noaa.gov website to view some kind of a map showing the latest national observed temperatures and colored temperature gradients. I was surprised to discover only the forecast temperqature maps were to be found with some effort, despite the record low temperatures in places like Oklahoma. Is this normal, or has NOAA taken to burying those maps in difficult to find locations on the website?

  42. Ryan shouldn’t have even linked to Goddard’s blog. If you really wanted to discuss this non-story just write it from scratch without reference to the usual ludicrous conspiracy theories Goddard pushes for.

    The whole thing about a gif image on a website breaking is ridiculously petty in my opinion. I can’t for the life of me figure how that image can be so important, nor how a conspiracy involving it’s deletion would make sense. Couldn’t we always go and download the Hansen 1999 paper that has the graphic in it anyway?

    All the allegations against Hansen are like this. Wrong, flawed, or irrelevant. If I had a penny for everytime someone defended a single such accusation aimed at Hansen by insisting that the actual case was the sum of all the “other things” he had been accused of, I’d be rich. There’s not one good argument against Hansen’s science, just a load of little wrong, flawed or irrelevant talking points that collate in people’s minds.

    Quite a few on this thead in fact. Such as the claim made by one commenter that Hansen proclaimed the 1999 graph as “fact”. He never did. The yearly values in the record have always been subject to uncertainty. It’s not fixed in stone and never has been presented as such.

    The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.

  43. All of this is a good argument for hard copy printed material.

    I can go to my library and pull old temp records in bound books and know, right or wrong, that is what was published in the ‘old days’.

    Electronic publishing is very tricky.

    Opens up all kinds of opportunity for mischief.

  44. onion2 says:

    “The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.”

    You forgot: /sarc

  45. Goddard of course does what Goddard will do, and he has found the fan base he deserves over there. What Ryan’s post and many responses here prove is that WUWT is little better.

    An old web page gets garbled for a few days, and “Conspiracy!” shouts the crowd.

    [Reply: If you’re so unhappy here you can simply move on. ~dbs, mod.]

  46. steven mosher says:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:46 am

    “Fred, i’ve been “defended” or rather trying to explain how changes in the data used for the chart made in 1999 and the algorithm used for the chart made in 1999, are responsible for the change. Basically, Hansen used a different algorithm in the 1999 paper and he used different data.”

    This is a classic case of a Red Herring. The issue is not what data and code Hansen used or why they were changed. The issue is that at one time Hansen published his belief that 1934 was the warmest year on record in the USA and at a later time he published the denial of that belief, holding that some other year was the warmest. As a scientist, he has to explain why he has rejected earlier beliefs and now considers them false. References to different data sets and different code are merely excuses and do not address the fundamental scientific question of why Hansen changed his belief about 1934. That is what needs explaining and that is what a scrupulously honest scientist must address.

  47. onion2 says:
    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.”

    The differences between the two graphs are significant . To me, this means that at least one of the graphs is crap or both graphs are crap. Knowing that we don’t really a handle on UHI and bad station siting, I don’t have confidence in either graph. Maybe the surface station project will give us a better picture when it comes to fruition.

  48. @steven mosher

    the issue is this.

    there is no clear TRACEABILITY to the changes that were made and there effects.
    if tomorrow NOAA decides to fund the recovery of MILLIONS of records that sit in boxes at NCDC, I want that data to be used. Even if it forces a change in the estimate of the past. If I find a better algorithm, I intend to use it. but in both cases I am duty bound to provide a traceable history of the changes made and the effects of the changes. Hansen hasn’t done this. I don’t think this lapse on his part MEANS he is corrupt. he’s lazy.

    Yup. Exactly — accountability.

  49. @onion2

    All the allegations against Hansen are like this. Wrong, flawed, or irrelevant.

    Whoa, boy, hold them horses back before they trample some old ladies crossing the street. Over generalization will get you nowhere fast.

  50. onion2 says:

    “The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.”
    ========================================================

    Yeh, ’cause the mercury is moving up and down so much in the past. Why just the other day mercury went up so fast it broke through the thermometer 77 years ago. Orwellian.

  51. onion2 says:

    “The yearly values in the record have always been subject to uncertainty. It’s not fixed in stone and never has been presented as such.”
    ========================================================

    Ooooookaaaaay, that’s good to hear. All historical temp values are subjective and as being such, we should change the earth’s entire socioeconomic structure, spend trillions of dollars, loose our autonomy, surrender liberties and starve a few poor bastards on the way. Because we know we’re getting hotter based on the temp record we know is crap. I love the logic. Malthusian.

  52. Gneiss says:
    February 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Goddard of course does what Goddard will do, and he has found the fan base he deserves over there. What Ryan’s post and many responses here prove is that WUWT is little better.

    An old web page gets garbled for a few days, and “Conspiracy!” shouts the crowd.
    =======================================================
    lol, in your alternate reality I suppose that could be true. Here’s something fun to do. On your keyboard, keystroke Alt+f. Type in the word conspiracy. You and Onion are the only ones to use the word here. Oh, on Goddard’s site? After compiling all the times Goddard used the word conspiracy or a variant and all of 49 posts in his thread, I come up with a grand total of ……………..once.

    “Before anybody gets too deep into conspiracy theories, I’d just like to point out that …..” On the bottom of a 49 comment thread, an admonishment not to jump to a conspiracy theory.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/data-corruption-at-giss/#comment-37905

    But I do like the misinformation campaign. Believe it or not there are some that would like a genuine dialog with warmists. You show to be the perfect example of why skeptics shouldn’t. Go find some scruples, some skeptics may dialogue with you after that.

  53. onion2 says:
    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “All the allegations against Hansen are like this. Wrong, flawed, or irrelevant. If I had a penny for everytime someone defended a single such accusation aimed at Hansen by insisting that the actual case was the sum of all the “other things” he had been accused of, I’d be rich. There’s not one good argument against Hansen’s science, just a load of little wrong, flawed or irrelevant talking points that collate in people’s minds.”

    You are not holding Hansen to the standards appropriate to science. At one time, he said he believed that 1934 was the warmest year in the last 100 for the USA. At a later time he denied that belief. It is his responsibility to give a full accounting of why he came to deny his earlier belief. Part of the accounting might be that he once believed the data set on the older graph but later came to believe that it is in error. He must give a reasoned explanation of this. That might be all the accounting he would give, but it might not. There might be other reasons that he now denies an earlier belief.

    “Quite a few on this thead in fact. Such as the claim made by one commenter that Hansen proclaimed the 1999 graph as “fact”. He never did. The yearly values in the record have always been subject to uncertainty. It’s not fixed in stone and never has been presented as such.”

    How much uncertainty? Enough to make them indistinguishable from the later set that shows that 1934 is not the warmest year? If so, why publish the change at all? Why deny his earlier belief? Why not publish the uncertainty? We are not used car buyers here. We expect science as practiced by scrupulously honest scientists and we will accept no less. It is time to step up to the plate, Mr. Hansen. Give a full accounting of yourself as scientist.

  54. If anyone wants to see how the records have been changed, this is the actual data.

    The 1930s have been adjusted down by 0.15C and,

    1999 has been adusted up by 0.35C.

    So the trend has been adjusted upward by 0.5C.

    Obviously the people who were measuring the temperature in the 1930s did not know what they were doing. But worse than that, the people who were measuring the temperature just 11 years ago were quite blind and we need to change their measurements by 0.35C.

  55. James Sexton writes,
    “lol, in your alternate reality I suppose that could be true.”

    My alternate reality largely overlaps with the real reality, where that could also be true.

    Ryan Maue posts,
    “ the critical figure for the report, a GIF image, has mysteriously become garbled. Steve Goddard has the back-story at his blog ….
    help NASA fix this “clerical” error, as the original image exists all over the internet”

    Al Gored says:
    “This seems to be a “smoking gun” that anyone can understand.”

    Latitude says:
    “was this a trick to hide the decline ..
    ..or just a travesty”

    KGuy says:
    “Are NASA hoping that we’ll forget the graphic ever existed?
    Do they think that by removing it from their site, that we will no longer remember it?”

    Mosher says:
    “Having said all that, it disturbs me a bit that NASA is quiet about this. Hansen could well explain the reason far better than I can. But he wont. And now this.”

    Jim says:
    “How convenient this (a ‘bad spot’) can be claimed in light of: ….
    There is zero chance that the new figure was accidentally corrupted:”

    Ian H says:
    “To those who think this is an accident a challenge. Find an example of another similarly corrupted but valid gif image on the web. Good luck with that.”

    kramer says:
    “What a strange coincidence that the Central England Temperature record has just been made harder to find”

    Jack Simmons says:
    “Electronic publishing is very tricky.
    Opens up all kinds of opportunity for mischief.”

  56. Theo Goodwin says:
    February 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    “………..It is time to step up to the plate, Mr. Hansen. Give a full accounting of yourself as scientist.”
    ========================================================

    Well, it has been a few years. I think it safe to say he won’t. BTW, an excellent wording of a few issues brought up about GISS and Hansen. Again.

    To be redundant, I still cannot fathom how people believe history should be fluid. Or that how if they recognize the fluidity that they would lend credence to the fluid temps. The statement, “2010 was the hottest year ever! But subject to change.” This expresses two contrary and conflicting thoughts. It the values of 2010 changes and is expected to change then one doesn’t know if it was indeed hottest or not. “2010 was the hottest year ever!” This is a declarative statement. It is a statement of certitude. It isn’t compatible with stating, in the next breath, “the values of 2010 temps will change.” And, then to have people not apologize for this Orwellian thinking, but come and defend this concept and the person behind it…..????!!!!!

  57. onion2 says:
    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    “There’s not one good argument against Hansen’s science, just a load of little wrong, flawed or irrelevant talking points that collate in people’s minds.
    Quite a few on this thead in fact. Such as the claim made by one commenter that Hansen proclaimed the 1999 graph as “fact”. He never did. The yearly values in the record have always been subject to uncertainty. It’s not fixed in stone and never has been presented as such.

    The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.”

    Orion2

    I am only now trying to gain an understanding of the science of climate change. I am not qualified to question the the assumptions in the science. I do have some qualifications in analytical chemistry, systems development, quality engineering, economics and technology management. My professional career was mostly in regulated environments so I am used to having folks ask me about the assumptions behind the models (algorithms) and specifications I developed and used to ensure product performance in the field. It’s been awhile since I have had to delve into complex, noisy, process(es) to figure out cause and effect (and what I can personally do about it in a cost effective manner).

    I my old world I was confident enough in the measurement systems that I used (as I ran gauge R&R’s on them and verified their calibration daily) to have a very good estimate of average system output (or my point estimate) when I reported it. My point estimate, average system response, (blood glucose level in my world, or say Temperature Anomaly in the graphs noted above) was always reported with the corresponding SD. I take it the SD in the Temperature Anomaly data is reported somewhere- I would suggest having it included in the graphs above as it would clear up a lot concern about how noisy the estimates are.

    I don’t think anyone would have any issues with updating a graph like the ones presented above as new data comes in. The problem as Steven stated above “is the issue here is NOT that the estimate changed. the issue is this.there is no clear TRACEABILITY to the changes that were made and there effects.”

    The reason the FDA required those of us in the regulated medical device industry to document our changes was to make sure that the information was reviewed, approved and evaluated for it’s effect on other systems that used the data as an input in their models, assumptions, etc…

  58. Onion2;

    1. Being a paranoid conspiracist does not eliminate the possibility that there is a conspiracy and they are out to get you. A mountain of pebbles is still a mountain. The number of allegations against Hansen are many, and they are a mountain of pebbles only because he takes great care to ensure that direct comparisons of his science are never possible, leaving only a mountain of details behind that don’t add up. Still a mountain, and all it would take is full, complete, detailed disclosure to discredit the mountain of pebbles and set the record straight in his favour. Yet he doesn’t. Odd that.

    2. The very essence of the accusation against Hansen that the mountain of pebbles suggests is, in fact, that he is manipulating the past. I too think that a giff going bad is no cause for alarm and a more likely event than many would suppose. Large financial databases have multiple levels of error checking and correction to protect against things as unlikely as a cosmic ray striking a hard disk drive and flipping a single bit from a 0 to 1 or a 1 to 0. Sound like science fiction? It isn’t, it happens. I doubt that the hard disk on which that original giff was stored had anywhere near the level of ECC that VISA uses to make certain your statement is correct. Hard drives get corrupted. Period.

    BUT – it is a pebble, and it looks like a lot of other pebbles that make a mountain. Hansen keeps updating the big picture with new graphs based on new algorithyms based on new research. And despite all the new algorithyms and new research, the result is consistant. The present and recent few decades change hardly at all. But the temperature rise in the thirties keeps getting smaller, and the earliest parts of the graph, the late 1800′s keep getting colder. I’m not the first to have noticed this. Hansen’s explanations of why are obscure obfuscation at best. And each time he gets away with it, he calculates a new slope and claims that warming is accelerating.

    Odd that all his new research and new algorithyms change the near term record, which is the most scrutinized because we are living in it, the least, and the past, which few pay much attention to, the most. There’s no new data from the 1880′s to the 1980′s that I know of. Do you know of some that has been added in recently to the temperature record? No? So all the changes are driven by new alorithyms then? OK, let’s ask the obvious question.

    Why is it that the new algorithyms which supposedly correct the raw data for UHI, result in the least change for the near term where UHI is the highest and the most change, to the negative, where we have the least influence of UHI on the data in the first place?

    The chart is another pebble that may be of different extraction than the rest of the mountain, but it does sit atop a mountain of pebbles that look the same.

  59. Gneiss says:
    February 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    James Sexton writes,
    “lol, in your alternate reality I suppose that could be true.”
    ========================================================
    Gneiss, how is it that you can read these posts but not the pertinent ones? And how is it that you don’t understand what you’re reading.

    Are you actually quoting Mosh as being a conspirator theorist towards GISS? Read up the thread or read past posts. Steve Mosher has ardently defended GISS and their methods.

    Latitude says:
    “was this a trick to hide the decline ..
    ..or just a travesty”

    Can you not discern derisive sarcasm from a conspiracy theory?

    When kramer says: “What a strange coincidence …” It was indeed, a strange coincidence. I could go on, but you get the point,…….. I hope.

    More…….what is now known…….. A different .gif file was placed on the web page. (See Steve Goddard’s “back story” to understand how we know this. The link is provided above.) It showed the image seen at the top of this thread. As Anthony likes to state often,……paraphrasing, “never ascribe to malfeasance what can easily be explained by incompetence”, and this is true. However, the incidents of gross incompetence by many people and agencies of the warmist agenda is, in my estimation, beyond believable. Many instances are documented here. Take the time and run through the archives. These are suppose to be our best and brightest! So, ok, they get yet once again, another mulligan. Someone replaced the image file with another on a web page. But they didn’t bother to see how it rendered …. I wonder what it was suppose to render?

  60. James Sexton February 15, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Gneiss, how is it that you can read these posts but not the pertinent ones? And how is it that you don’t understand what you’re reading.

    I’ll take the category “Computer Advancements” for $200 Alex …

    What is a pre-Watson model ?

    .

  61. onion2 says:
    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.

    Seriously, onion2, how do you let yourself get away with answering a legion of valid criticisms of GISS’s methods by means of an infantile whine?

  62. Thus is not a case of accidental data corruption. The header of the file was modified with a different (legal) set of parameters in January. That doesn’t happen by accident.

    But it is always entertaining seeing people defend GISS. 1934 was hotter before it was cooler.

  63. Incompetence is H0, malice is H1. Under H0, errors are equally distributed on an anti/pro-AGW speculation axis. Findings: all errors are on the pro-AGW side. H0 is rejected with 10 sigma confidence.

    Malice rulz!

  64. I may be somewhat old-fashioned, but I am always very surprised when people such as Onion state that it’s okay to sneak into historical records, alter them, then sneak out again. And I use the term ‘sneak’ advisedly.
    If alterations must be made, the reasons must be recorded and signed off by the person who carried out the alteration, otherwise ‘history’ becomes something more akin to fiction.

  65. Alexander K says:
    February 16, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I may be somewhat old-fashioned, but I am always very surprised when people such as Onion state that it’s okay to sneak into historical records, alter them, then sneak out again. And I use the term ‘sneak’ advisedly.
    If alterations must be made, the reasons must be recorded and signed off by the person who carried out the alteration, otherwise ‘history’ becomes something more akin to fiction.

    Although I agree with most of your statement, I can’t agree with “signed off by the person who carried out the alteration”, Anotated yes, but it should be “signed off” by the persons Peers and not his “Pals” or “Team” either.

  66. How did NASA (that’s what I’m calling GISS from now to hopefully shame someone at NASA to do something) ever get a man to the moon, when they can’t even write a simple log of changes?

  67. “I may be somewhat old-fashioned, but I am always very surprised when people such as Onion state that its okay to sneak into historical records, alter them, then sneak out again. And I use the term sneak advisedly.
    If alterations must be made, the reasons must be recorded and signed off by the person who carried out the alteration, otherwise history becomes something more akin to fiction.”

    What is most insidious about altering the historical climate records is the fact that they are currently being used to defend billions of dollars in tax increases (“to save the planet from CO2″) and massive decreases in our standards of living to accommodate the phony “green” agenda (not to mention the utterly insane and inane “geoengineering” boondoggles). The bottom line is that the more warming there is in the “historical record” the more political pressure that can be brought to bear to realize, in whole or in part, the “green” agenda. And, of course, our politically-connected climate scientist friends will be rewarded handsomely for their efforts…

  68. onion2 says:
    February 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm
    [....]
    The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.

    After years of painstakingly calibrating the instruments and observing the indicated temperatures to within a half degree under all kinds of adverse conditions, you now want to tell us it is a “travesty and wrongness” for the observer and author/s of the records to expect their temperature records to be “set in stone and should never change”?

  69. @onion2

    “The actual travesty and wrongness is how many commenters wrongly think temperature records should be set in stone and should never change.”

    Well there’s regulatory standards for documenting and archiving measurement such as temperature, then there are the double standard of the official and unofficial measurement for pecker heads.

  70. Well, over at the Journal of Clownology is an article reminding everyone of the famous corollary to Murphy’s Law:

    “Constants aren’t; variables won’t.”

    - which seems eerily appropriate in light of Dr. Hansen’s Orwellian rewrite of the temperature record. Or do I mean Kafkaesque instead of Orwellian? Never mind – I’m just a clown, I never got an advanced degree in idiocy from the University of East Anglia like some managed to do.

  71. The consistent “improved” record is reminicent of projects in private industry: a decent idea today becomes a good idea tomorrow and a brilliant idea two days from now. Economic benefits increase as time increases from point of conception (Say, a new Principle. Estimated Net Profit is proportional to t-invested).
    There is a subtle pressure to make your project “nicer” and more assured as the project goes up the ladder. The most iffy projects become sure-things after about 18 months.
    Which is why we got the Edsel and the Saturn (never made a dime its entire production run).

  72. According to Climate Change alarmism CRU, GISS, BOM, and NIWA the future temperature record and climate is certain, only the past temperature record and resulting climate is in doubt.

  73. James Sexton says:
    February 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    February 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    “This is a declarative statement. It is a statement of certitude. It isn’t compatible with stating, in the next breath, “the values of 2010 temps will change.” And, then to have people not apologize for this Orwellian thinking, but come and defend this concept and the person behind it…..????!!!!!”

    Right on the money. Though you don’t have to use as strong a word as “certitude.” The statement is a crisp, clear affirmation of something that is believed to be true. A later denial of that statement requires an explanation of why it is no longer believed to be true. That explanation might require a scientist to muster all his resources. In not embracing this responsibility, Hansen and others are shirking their duty as our duly appointed heads of government departments. Let us not forget that it was only twelve years ago that the always cock-sure Hansen asserted his belief in this statement. Let us also not forget that Hansen is not just some scientist but occupies the number one position in our government regarding matters of climate science. If Hansen is shirking his duty then our government is shirking its duty.

  74. How many “fred-single-initials” are there trolling this blog anyway?

    There is nothing “pathetic” about exposing more attempts to send vital data down the Memory Hole, much as you and other alarmists wish it so.

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