Another GISS miss: warming in the Arctic – the adjustments are key

GHCN Temperature Adjustments Affect 40% Of The Arctic

The two graphs from GISS below, overlaid with a hue shift to delineate the "after adjustment" graph. By cooling the past, the century scale trend of warming is increased - making it "worse than we thought" - GISS graphs annotated and combined by Anthony Watts

By Paul Homewood

imageimage

                         Before                                                           After

There has been much discussion recently about temperature adjustments made by GHCN in Iceland and Greenland, which have had the effect of reducing historic temperature levels, thereby creating an artificial warming trend. These can easily be checked at the GISS website, where both the old and new datasets can be viewed as graph and table data, here and here.

It has now been identified that similar adjustments have been made at nearly every station close to the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and, going East,via Norway to Siberia, i.e 56 Degrees West to 86 Degrees East, about 40% of the circumference.

So it is perhaps time to recap where we are now.

Background

The NCDC has produced the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), a dataset of monthly mean temperatures, since the 1990’s. Version 2 was introduced in 1997 and included “Methods for removing inhomogeneities from the data record associated with non-climatic influences such as changes in instrumentation, station environment, and observing practices that occur over time “. The GHCN datasets are used by both GISS and HADCRUT for calculation of global temperatures, as well as NCDC themselves.

In May 2011, NCDC brought out Version 3, which “enhanced the overall quality of the dataset”, but made little difference in overall terms. However, only two months later in July, a Google Summer Student, a graduate called Daniel Rothenberg, was brought in to convert some of the GHCN software and make modifications to “correct software coding errors”. The result was Version 3.1, which went live in November 2011. (The full technical report is here).

It is this latest version that has thrown up the Arctic adjustments we are now seeing.

Until December, GISS used Version 2 unadjusted temperatures. Since then, they have changed to using Version 3.1 adjusted temperatures.

Basis of Homogeneity Adjustments

It is worth taking time to be clear why temperature adjustments are made (or should be). As far as GHCN are concerned, they explain their logic thus :-

Surface weather stations are frequently subject to minor relocations throughout their history of operation. Observing stations may also undergo changes in instrumentation as measurement technology evolves. Furthermore, observing practices may vary through time, and the land use/land cover in the vicinity of an observing site can be altered by either natural or man-made causes. Any such modifications to the circumstances behind temperature measurements have the potential to alter a thermometer’s microclimate exposure characteristics or otherwise change the bias of measurements relative to those taken under previous circumstances. The manifestation of such changes is often an abrupt shift in the mean level of temperature readings that is unrelated to true climate variations and trends. Ultimately, these artifacts (also known as inhomogeneities) confound attempts to quantify climate variability and change because the magnitude of the artifact can be as large as or larger than the true background climate signal. The process of removing the impact of non-climatic changes in climate series is called homogenization, an essential but sometimes overlooked component of climate analysis.

It is quite clear. Their algorithms should look for abrupt changes that are not reflected at nearby stations. It has nothing to do with “averaging out regional temperatures” as is sometimes claimed.

GISS also make homogeneity adjustments, but for totally different reasons. In their case, it is to make an allowance for the Urban Heat Island Effect (which is not spotted by GHCN because it is a slow change).

Effect of The Adjustments

Appendix A lists every current GHCN station with records back to 1940,that lie between Greenland, at a latitude of 56 W, around to a point about midway across Siberia at 86 E and  which are situated close to the Arctic Circle.  The table shows the adjustment made by GHCN for 1940 data. Out of 26 stations, the adjustment has reduced actual temperatures in 23 cases, many substantially. In contrast, 2 remain unchanged and only one has  a positive adjustment (and this is insignificant). As a crude average, the adjustment works out at a reduction of 0.70 C.

These adjustments typically extend back to the beginning of the station records (though Reykjavik is an exception) and most continue at the same level till about 1970. ( Some of the Russian stations  last longer – e.g. Ostrov Dikson’s disappears in 2009).

By 2011, however, the adjustments disappear at ALL of these sites. In other words, an artificial warming trend has been manufactured.

It is worth spelling out two points :-

1) Within this arc of longitude, there are no other stations within the Arctic Circle.

2) With the exception of Lerwick and Vestmanneyja, I can find no stations, in the region, below a latitude of 64 North with similar adjustments. Why is 64 North significant? GISS produce zonal temperature data, and their “Arctic” zone goes from 64 North to the Pole. Coincidence?

Is there any justification for adjusting?

Trausti Jonsson, a senior climatologist at the Iceland Met Office, has already confirmed that he sees no reason for the adjustments in Iceland and that they themselves have already made any adjustments necessary due to station moves etc before sending the data onto GHCN.

Clearly the fact that nearly every station in the region has been adjusted disproves the idea that these sites are outliers, which give biased results not supported by nearby stations.

GHCN were asked in January to investigate this issue and so far have failed to come up with any explanation. Unless they can do this, the assumption must be that the adjustments have been created by faulty software.

Discussion

In global terms, these few stations make no tangible difference to overall temperatures. However, they do make a significant difference to temperatures in the Arctic, which are derived from a small number of stations such as these and then projected over hundreds of miles.

Across much of the Arctic, temperatures were as high in the years around 1940 as they are now. History should not be revised at the whims of an algorithm.

What should happen next? In my view, GHCN should immediately revert to Version 3.0 until the matter is properly investigated and any issues resolved. They maybe just need to put Version 3.1 down as a bad experience and start from scratch again. I believe they also need to seriously review their Quality Control procedures and question how these anomalies were allowed to arise without being flagged up.

It should not be up to independent observers to have to do this.

References

1) GISS still archive the Version 2.0 data here. (Also GISS, following requests by me and others, have included a link to Version 2.0 on their main site).

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data_v2/

2) And can be compared with Version 3.1 here.

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

3) The adjustments can also be seen in graph format at GHCN here. (The station numbers can be obtained at GISS)

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/products/stnplots/

Footnote

I originally set this table up yesterday, 9th March. Today I noticed a few had changed slightly, presumably at the monthly update, so have amended them. It appears GHCN are still fiddling with their algorithms as the same thing occurred last month.


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90 Responses to Another GISS miss: warming in the Arctic – the adjustments are key

  1. MyersKL says:

    I respect you, Anthony. Good gentlemen.

    Do you believe human-induced CO2 causes the planet to do certain things? For example, warming.

    It’s been my experience that the triatomic molecules don’t have a union. But who knows.

    My guess is that longwave is not unionized. The protons get together and exert a few shots towards the earth. But a few have a mind of their own.

    Thanks, Anthony. Not knowing makes us better.

    I respect you.

  2. Anything is possible says:

    Good work, Paul.

    The “Reykjavik experience” strongly suggests to me that GCHN are simply allowing the step changes identified by their algorithms to drive their adjustments without making any attempt to contact the local meteorological agencies to determine whether those changes may be driven by natural or anthropogenic factors.

    At best, this could be described as lazy and sloppy, mixed with a whiff of downright arrogance.

    Conspiracy theorists will no doubt offer up more sinister explanations………..

  3. JRR Canada says:

    Why is it always worse than I thought? Is it systematic stupidity or confirmation bias? When the whole story finally trickles out I suspect it will not be a great time to be a govt climatologist. GIGO was the only thing I retained from programming lessons 30 years ago, how did that morph into data in gospel out?

  4. Green Sand says:

    You may find a possible reason at:-

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2011/

    “Footnotes”

    “Exchange of continental and marine air masses in the Arctic implies that coastal meteorological stations should provide a better estimate of surface air temperature change than would measurements of ocean temperature. Satellite infrared observations, as discussed by Hansen et al. (2010), support our conclusion that the GISS analysis does not exaggerate Arctic temperature anomalies, indeed, the anomalies seem to be conservative.”

    I wonder how many people in this field have qualified as Physiotherapists?

  5. Alex says:

    are there any examples were the adjustments go in the other direction? It seems like every time they make a change it’s too support the cagw narrative. Also they should NEVER destroy the original data after adjusting, that’s just poor data managment or straight up fraudulent.

  6. _Jim says:

    Can Mosher explain any of this?

    He explained the rationale behind the TOB (Time of Observation for thermometry msmts) fairly concisely, if not accurately on several occasions …

    .

  7. Barry Brill says:

    Relocations, and changes in instrumentation, land use, or observing practices are totally random events, especially when spread over several countries and decades. Inhomogeneities from such non-systemic events bias the temperature record upwards and downwards in roughly equal measures. Overall, they should balance out.

    Using non-random adjustments to correct random errors is the device used by New Zealand’s NIWA to lower the older temperatures and create a trend. The device is effectively rebutted by paras 63-66 of Prof Bob Carter’s affidavit at http://tinyurl.com/84ufe38.

    According to the figures in Appendix A, 100% of the non-climate influences detected by GISS had the effect of over-stating temperatures. This is surely a statistical impossibility.

  8. Nick Stokes says:

    There’s a post here with a Google Maps device that shows stations with their trend differences due to adjustment over various periods. They aren’t all one way.

    REPLY: True, not all adjustments are increasing trend, but the vast majority are. Each new revision of USHCN, GHCN, and HadCRUT adds a little more of this post facto historical revisionism in cooling the past. If this were stocks or company performance data, people would go to jail. – Anthony

  9. steven says:

    The “experts” like their jobs but won’t come forth and deny conclusions made by politicians because most of these people would never find another job like the one they have now. Come on boys, tie it all in to the warming trends between the ice ages with a little speculation about off gassing from the warming between the “Ice Ages”. Where is the study that verifies greenhouse gases are not released from the warming trend that has existed between ice ages so many times before (as measured in ice samples)?

  10. Tez says:

    Consistency is the key.
    NIWA in New Zealand did the same with their data and “hey presto” this climate warming thingy is global. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/16/new-zealands-niwa-sued-over-climate-data-adjustments/
    Then of course there is Mann who abolished the MWP and grafted on higher temperatures after 1960. (No link required)
    Chuck in a few scare stories, “we havent had weather like this for over 100 years” etc, get your peer review mates to agree, then just sit back and watch the grants flow in.
    Might even be in with a chance of a nobel prize too.

  11. Jeff Carlson says:

    Mr. Stokes …

    how about a link … that way we can be sure its not just in your head :)

  12. steven says:

    One more thing, Which do you think is worse, being insistent about assuring the inconclusive facts are permitted a role in a hearty destruction of a country that cares, or would you in your benevolence destroy a bastion of human rights and succes in case you were in some unlikely way correct that “emissions” were in fact some miniscule part of what happens between “Ice ages” I stand in horror of the silence of the myopic.

  13. michael hart says:

    Thanks for doing this, Anthony. It’s always educational to be reminded how the fine details affect the big picture, and this makes me curious to learn more.
    How many other locations around the globe have large areas represented by very few weather stations that could accidentally have a disproportionately large effect on temperature statistics? Could examining them teach us about the algorithms used in these adjustments? [Easter Island is one location that I have read as having a huge area with only one weather station. Is that correct?

  14. DavidA says:

    And I take it these are the stations which will be used in the new improved HADCRUT4 — now with Arctic — temperature record?

  15. Mike McMillan says:

    GISS has a consistent history of revising the slope upward by lowering the readings of past observations. I first spotted the alteration of past “raw” temperature readings in USHCN v2 because I was making blink charts of the GISS homogenization changes, and I had the unaltered charts of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin saved. I noticed the GISS changes were starting to look less violent than I remembered, then I went back to the old charts only to find USHCN had been altering the raw data to make it look more like Dr Hansen’s improved variety.
    USHCN alterations here.

  16. Bruce Hall says:

    “He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past”.

    George Orwell – 1984

  17. Nick Stokes says:

    Nick Stokes says: March 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm
    “There’s a post here with a Google Maps device…”

    Sorry about the link not working – it’s here

  18. Alan S. Blue says:

    A 2.2 degree offset for Reykjavik?

    With the on-site meteorologist reporting no station moves worthy of such an adjustment?

    Would it be possible to acquire further details? What style of thermometer in the early years – with instrumental error, when, exactly, was the TOBS switch done there, what do they use -now-, and how well does it correlate to the satellites?

    And I’d still like a calibration instead of a correlation between a station and the best estimate of the lower troposphere for that locale. Yes, it’s apples-to-oranges. But a ground station isn’t any better than a proxy for the gridcell temperature either.

  19. nofreewind says:

    And to add to the arctic temperatures we have arctic ice that has disappeared. It looks like we are back to where we started from in 1974.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

  20. The homogeniety adjustments have been tested rigorously in a blind test.
    That is, temperature signals are held from the algorithm writers.
    The temperature series are then “infected” with various forms of error.
    The algorithms are then tested for their ability to restore the series to the truth.
    I’ll suggest that everybody read the papers and the code.

    Or not. you can act just like those people who read the Gleick memo and came to conclusions
    without doing any due diligence.

    Finally, GISS is old hat. The better methods do no ad hoc adjusting. And their answer comes out the same.
    I’ve used unadjusted GHCN and adjusted GHCN. v2, v3, v3.1
    The warming doesnt disappear. It CANNOT. if it disappeared, then UHA would be wrong as well.
    Understand. The world is warming. That warming has been going on since the LIA. Our estimates
    of that warming get better as we get more data. Our error bars get smaller as we add more data.

    Focusing on GISS is a waste of time. Old method. Smaller dataset. and confusing unnecessary adjustments.

  21. Bill H says:

    Too Funny…

    First let me say there are two distinct possibilities. One, that this is indeed a technical error and not an out right deception… or Two, this is an outright deception to give credence to the Alarmists creed.. given the past behavior of the Fellows like Mann and Hansen, among others in their field the behavior lends itself to question the problem… Warming in the arctic is necessary to keep the CAGW meme alive.

    I shall stay skeptical and believe that this is most likely intentional deception.. If Hansen has had any input, it is most definitely questionable data changes.

  22. pat says:

    the slight “adjustment” of Connie Hedegaard’s position from a couple of days back is encouraging:

    11 March Financial Times: Delay EU carbon levy, says air industry
    By Peter Marsh in London, Joshua Chaffin in Brussels and Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing
    Airbus and six large European airlines said the plan to bring global airlines into the EU emissions trading scheme for carbon dioxide, which the industry has steadfastly opposed, is creating an “intolerable” threat to the European aviation industry by opening up the possibility of trade battles with China, the US and Russia…
    ***A spokesman for Connie Hedegaard, Europe’s climate commissioner, reiterated the bloc’s determination to press ahead with the scheme next year, but added the EU was “keen on exploring the different possibilities and flexibility that the legislation allows”…
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3362d176-6b9c-11e1-8337-00144feab49a.html

  23. kbray in california says:

    MyersKL says:
    March 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    You sound a little off focus today.

  24. Vincent Gray says:

    I have yet to see, or even hear of, adjustments for recent changes to automatic measurement, Has anybody even investigated it? It seems that adjustments all have to be made to historic measurements, and they are always downwards.

  25. pat says:

    12 March: The Australian: Graham Lloyd: Climate outpost of Cape Grim a breath of fresh air in carbon debate
    The public interest is a far cry from the days in the early 1970s when a team of young CSIRO scientists towed a caravan to Cape Grim, a windy outpost on a hill straddling Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean in Tasmania, to establish what has arguably become the world’s most important weather station…
    On Wednesday, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO will release their updated climate summary based on a review of the latest climate change data from stations including Cape Grim…
    It ensures the weather station receives the purest air possible after it has spent a week circulating and blending over the great Southern Ocean sink. Cape Grim’s readings provide the benchmark for measuring the level of carbon dioxide in the southern hemisphere’s atmosphere. A similar station in Hawaii does the same for the northern hemisphere but Cape Grim, Cleland says, can lay claim to the cleanest air in the world.
    CSIRO chief research scientist Paul Fraser was one of the Cape Grim pioneers who would spend a week at a time in extreme conditions to take samples of the air. He says Australia’s involvement came about because of a spur-of-the-moment decision by the Australian delegation at the 1972 Stockholm Convention.
    “Australia put its hand up and said it would build one and later tried to get out of it,” Fraser said…
    Air from the top of the tower is fed into a series of instruments, including an unassuming electronic box in the centre of the main Cape Grim laboratory. The box has a screen, measuring about 23cm across, with a real-time read-out of the atmosphere’s CO2 reading.
    This week it was 387.19 parts per million.
    According to Cleland, the standard base line is 388ppm, which is up from 330ppm when the Cape Grim station was first opened, and 275 that had remained constant for 2000 years until the start of the industrial revolution…
    And it is today helping to answer one of the great mysteries of climate change science: what makes clouds form.
    Melita Keywood, senior research scientist, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, says clouds are one of the hardest things to simulate in climate models.
    “There has always been a big discussion about how important aerosols are,” she says. “But only in the past four or five years have the aerosol teams and the cloud teams been working together to try to understand cloud-aerosol interactions, which is one of the biggest uncertainties.”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/climate-outpost-of-cape-grim-a-breath-of-fresh-air-in-carbon-debate/story-e6frg6xf-1226296512907

  26. George says:

    It appears GHCN are still fiddling with their algorithms as the same thing occurred last month.

    They have been changing the adjustment every month. With every passing month than make older temperatures colder. It’s often just a tiny amount each month but it adds up. This graph shows the total CHANGE in NCDC database temperatures since May 2008. You can see that older temperatures have been adjusted colder, modern temperatures adjusted warmer.

    http://climate4you.com/images/NCDC%20MaturityDiagramSince20080517.gif

  27. George says:

    Another interesting graph from climate4you that shows adjustments for one recent (Jan 2000) and one older (Jan 1915) date. Notice how those two dates diverge in temperature over time.

    http://climate4you.com/images/NCDC%20Jan1915%20and%20Jan2000.gif

  28. pwl says:

    How can people who perpetrate such manipulations to data get away with this form of scientific fraud? It’s criminal fraud once they have received any monies based upon these fraudulent fabricated manipulated data. I’d say a full prosecution is in order with little bared rooms for Hansen et al. and anyone else involved.

  29. Steve O says:

    The staff at GISS should be glad they chose science instead of business.

    In the accounting world, restatements to income are rare, but when they do happen they are accompanied by very detailed explanations of exactly what changed and why.

    “Yes, the accounting department installed some new accounting software to make the depreciation expenses for accurate. Yes, I suppose it doubled net income reported for the last 50 years. Why do you ask?”

  30. Werner Brozek says:

    steven mosher says:
    March 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    Focusing on GISS is a waste of time.

    In the graphs below, there are 4 slopes from December 1978 when the satellites started. Without looking, do you care to guess which one is GISS?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1978.9/trend/offset:0.31/plot/rss/from:1978.9/trend/offset:0.22/plot/gistemp/from:1978.9/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1978.9/trend/offset:0.08

  31. LazyTeenager says:

    Barry Brill says
    Relocations, and changes in instrumentation, land use, or observing practices are totally random events, especially when spread over several countries and decades
    ———-
    This would represent a pretty major assumption of dubious value unless proven.

    Hypothetically lets say a meteorologist publishes a paper describing a new more accurate measurement practice. For example every site is issued with more accurate thermometer and observers are now required to record the value with proper rounding instead of truncating down to the nearest degree.

    This is noticed around the world in a month and used to update station practices over 2 years. The result is an instant world wide discontinuity in temperatures.

    Conclusion: it’s not hard to imagine scenarios where biases are added or removed over large areas on short timescales.

  32. Mac the Knife says:

    It’s the same chicanery, just a different day, from the Mann Made global Warming Team….
    I can’t say exactly why, but these repeated diversions from the truth and the repeated evasions of any responsibility for the same remind me of Charles Durning’s unrivaled charicature of the same kind of double talk and deceit!
    ‘Dance A Little Side Step’ – Best Little Whore House In Texas 1982

  33. Manfred says:

    steven mosher says:
    March 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Finally, GISS is old hat. The better methods do no ad hoc adjusting. And their answer comes out the same.
    I’ve used unadjusted GHCN and adjusted GHCN. v2, v3, v3.1
    The warming doesnt disappear. It CANNOT. if it disappeared, then UHA would be wrong as well.
    ————————————————–

    The warming since 1979 is not really of interest.

    However, it is interesting to know, if the Arctic has been warming since the last cyclical high in the 1940s, as this is the only of 3 climate model hotspots purported to have shown some warming since then.

    Without warming, sea ice would be a non issue as well and I really don’t know whatever data would then be left to scare school children and politicians.

  34. Marc77 says:

    I would not be surprised to learn that their algorithm has a tendency to remove variations around the trend. It would explain why it seems to remove the colder period of the 1970s and the warmer period of the 1940s.

  35. Ian Ogilvie says:

    Paul Homewood says:
    “GHCN were asked in January to investigate this issue and have so far failed to come up with any explanation. Unless they can do this, the assumtion must be made that the adjustments have been created by faulty software.”

    “Faulty software”???

    With the best of intent human affairs are rent by imperfect knowledge, random mistakes and unconcious individual biases born of our common frailties, These things can invariably be recognised because of their random and countervailing nature as innocent products of the human condition.
    However when one is confronted with results which can only be founded upon the joint imput of numerous individuals making the same mutually supporting mistakes, the same absence or ommissions of data and the same ommissions to communicate with the primary sources of data, then one knows that the lack of randomness, the consistency is a fabrcation of deliberate intent.

    Even legal precedents of criminal conspiracies recognise that simple reality.

  36. shortie of Greenbank says:

    Nice for a first pick comparison here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501945780000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501945780000&data_set=14&num_neighbors=1

    Though in reality the nearby Southport adjustment actually moved early temperatures slightly up in version 3.1 the adjustment of the site above would be hard to justify to that level. Another long term trend in Amberley Aero was massively adjusted with at least 15 years data suddenly ‘injected’ into the graph from version 2.0 to 3.1? I’m gathering this is predicted adjustments from other nearby sites… though those sites are probably coastal compared to this inland site looking at the disconuity dates of the sites really close to this one (also harder to compare since scale is 21.5oC in ver 2.0 and 21.0 in ver 3.1).

    To me adjustments look to a warming trend overall regardless of whether the sites are in or near the arctic or not.

  37. Mooloo says:

    I’ve used unadjusted GHCN and adjusted GHCN. v2, v3, v3.1
    The warming doesnt disappear.

    But the aim of these is not to remove the warming, is it? It is to get rid of the unfortunate bump around 1940 that spoils the case for CO2 induced warming.

    You know this is the real problem, yet you insist on red herrings such as “warming doesn’t disappear”.

    CO2-AGW doesn’t need recent warming to be shown. It needs previously warming to be erased. That’s what the hockey stick did, and that is what this is doing.

    We know it’s warming. We also know that it has warmed in the past. Except that is being removed, as we watch.

  38. johnmcguire says:

    Mr. Mosher says at 5:53, we should ignore the biased shenanegans of the so called scientists because there is better data available. I believe that to ignore deception is to allow it to continue. I believe that to accept or condone deception is to be tainted by it. I don’t believe the scientists of yesteryear were less capable or less knowledgeable than those of today, in fact I conclude the opposite. I believe the practice of adjusting the temperatures of the past to be criminal malfeasence. I have been observing these processes for three years now and have reached the point where I don’t believe anything a CAGW proponent says. Mr. Mosher, These comments are not to be interpreted as a reflection on you in any way what so ever. I make it a point to read your comments. It is simply your remark about ignoring these people of low character brought about my indignant reflection. Please consider I realize the very real possibility of a warming earth. I don’t accept that it is catastrophic or overtly anthropogenic. I have come to believe cyclic. I remain open to understanding but will only accept being lied to once, Those who would decieve me are no longer worth listening to. I would like it to be a couple of degrees warmer as I think it would make farming a little easier, I’d like that.

  39. Barry Brill says:

    I’ve used unadjusted GHCN and adjusted GHCN. v2, v3, v3.1 The warming doesn’t disappear.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    The issue is the extent of the warming. Human attribution depends critically on the slope exceeding natural variability by a significant margin.

    AGW theory suggests warming increases with latitude. If there was no material warming in the Arctic during 1940-2011, that must cast doubt on the global record.

    The man-made warming from v3.1 adjustments (0.7°C) is much larger than the original climate signal in the historical data. The adjustments might well play a role in the human attribution chapter of AR5, and the policies that follow. They are important.

    Appendix A sets out the results of the v3.1 algorithm. How different are these figures than the adjustment efforts in v2 and v3? Do they address the same alleged inhomogeneities?

    The separation of inhomogeneity-spotters from algorithm-writers doesn’t offer much comfort. If this algorithm delivers 95% downward adjustments and 2% upward adjustments, it is prima facie skewed.

  40. Marko in Helsinki says:

    Once again either a clear attempt to deceive, i.e. fraud or simple ignorance, i.e. they have no clue what they are doing. If it’s fraud, who is the right authority to investigate and deal with these kind of issues?

  41. Philip Bradley says:

    Note the step change in Archangel temps at the start of Soviet Union around 1920, likely related to the introduction of heavy industry and high density housing for workers.

    After then there doesn’t look to be any warming trend at all.

    IMO this is a general problem with all Soviet era data. Ie, the temperature record affected by industrialization, and then post 1991 de-industrializtion.

  42. Mindert Eiting says:

    ‘every current GHCN station with records back to 1940′. The essence is in the word ‘current’. Suppose, you did a medical experiment and 80 percent of the subjects dropped out. You may check of whether adjustments can be found in the records of the remaining 20 percent, I would check the records of the dropped stations. Has anybody noticed that many dropped stations had time series out-of-phase with the remaining stations? That this effect becomes stronger the higher the latitude? Just some suggestions for research.

  43. Doug Proctor says:

    Steven Mosher says … various things.

    The CAGW debate is a fascinating social science study in that smart people like Mr. Mosher can drop common sense in favour of intellectual justifications. We know that others’ stories of struggle and achievement show then in better light over time. We understand the bias that benefits. All those working in technical fields know that our projects will provide better results with lower risks the longer we push them.

    It is human nature to drop outliers that discourage and retain outliers that support. But those at the top, those making decisions, are supposed to watch for this, discount it where simple, and send the boys back to their pencils and paper where it becomes extreme.

    The consistent warming bias of (especially) GISS used to be denied. But it is unavoidably clear. Each revision increases it. The only way it can be real is if temperature measurements in the past were fundamentally misrepresenting the actual temperature. It is not a question of this bit or that bit. It is that fundamentally scientists miscalled temperatures all over the world. They were all wrong, but more wrong the longer ago it was.

    Does this make sense? All those people, in all those places, didn’t do it right and the ones ten years before them did it even worse than they did? And always in a way that was warmer than it really was?

    Each variable can be out 5% and nobody will complain. But when each variable is out by 5% in the same direction, the errors AS A GROUP are unacceptable. I’m in private industry and see each day how five groups each give themselves the benefit of the doubt – because they “believe” in the rightness of the end result. When the group project comes together, it is always magnificent, always a low-cost, low-risk, high-reward venture. Otherwise, why bother? And why be involved in it if there is no excitement, nothing stimulating you to get up in the morning?

    Common sense says that when you talk about something long enough it gets more definite. Common sense says that those who are involved drink their own whiskey. Common sense says that those who are asked to buy the whiskey understand these things and require some reality to be re-injected. Mr. Mosher, all skeptics are saying is, does the pattern make sense as a whole? It doesn’t, and your mother could tell you that.

  44. Alexej Buergin says:

    Either the good schools of Iceland produce bad meteorologists, or then there is a (political?) problem that stops Mr. Jonsson from explaining to us what the temperatures in Reykjavik around 1940 really were, and what they are now. I am sure he knows.
    The state of Iceland went broke recently. Maybe they want a carbon tax to get their finances into order?

  45. Alexej Buergin says:

    “steven mosher says:
    March 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    Finally, GISS is old hat. The better methods do no ad hoc adjusting. And their answer comes out the same.”

    So what was the real mean temperature in Reykjavik in 1940 according to the “better methods”: 5°C or 3°C?

  46. Brad says:

    Are you sure the first two graphs above markers “before” and “after” are not identical?

  47. M Courtney says:

    Stecve Mosher:
    Yous say, “Finally, GISS is old hat. The better methods do no ad hoc adjusting. And their answer comes out the same”. Which seems believable. There are regular complaints about the readjustments of GISS and its credibility must be damaged.
    However, GISS is important for two reasons.
    Firstly, computer models of the climate are tuned to fit the past observations; not well tuned but still they try. GISS may be old hat but it damages the climate models.
    Secondly, the other methods are tuned (calibrated, adjusted in advance) in accordance with the espected reality. And from point one we seem to have some circular reasoning.
    GISS is not independant.

  48. One unwarranted temperature adjustment is fraud. A million unwarranted temperature adjustments is Science®.

  49. markx says:

    Thanks Anthony, great information and very nicely worded.

    It is much more powerful for just pointing out the facts without bellowing ‘fraud’, ‘conspiracy’ etc.
    (Yep, you knew we’d do enough of that in the comments section, right?)

    Good points by Doug Proctor : March 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm:

    … re the psychology of it all. I think the marketers and propagandists must have done a mighty job to get so many people “emotionally committed” to AGW as “the biggest problem ever faced by the human race”. Most of these people, as smart as many of them appear to be, remain dedicated to their beliefs, in spite of evidence which should at least give pause to think. It has become almost religious in its intensity.

    And as is also pointed out by Doug – that fact that almost every adjustment heads the data in the one direction is absolutely unbelievable. There cannot possibly be any real evidence as to the accuracy of records written down on paper (and I emphasize that point) decades ago. I can understand adjusting or deleting the odd ‘completely off the scale probable error’, but really, such series should be treated with the same level of respect shown relics on an archaeological dig- and be preserved as precisely as they were recorded.

  50. mat says:

    Mosher
    ‘you can act just like those people who read the Gleick memo and came to conclusions’
    Erm so you read them and came to no conclusions ? what? not even ones that support your own preconceptions/biases ? not a very believable human reaction !
    ‘due diligence ‘
    What like checking that they were real or not gained by deception ?
    PMSL!

  51. Mosh said;

    ‘The world is warming. That warming has been going on since the LIA. ‘

    Exactly. A point I have made many times. It was pretty warm during much of the the 16th century cooled substantially for much of the 17th century but has shown an upwards trend for 350 years.We can trace it back to the mid 1600’s.

    Now when I say that the warming has been going on since the LIA you tell me its ‘anecdotal’ but when you say it thats supposed to be factual?
    tonyb

  52. PaulM says:

    Steven Mosher says read the code.
    But the code for the GHCN v3 adjustments has not been released.
    This post is not about the global average, it’s about the arctic and the systematic “adjustment” of the warm 1940s.

  53. H.R. says:

    George says:
    March 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    It appears GHCN are still fiddling with their algorithms as the same thing occurred last month.

    They have been changing the adjustment every month. With every passing month than make older temperatures colder. It’s often just a tiny amount each month but it adds up. This graph shows the total CHANGE in NCDC database temperatures since May 2008. You can see that older temperatures have been adjusted colder, modern temperatures adjusted warmer.

    http://climate4you.com/images/NCDC%20MaturityDiagramSince20080517.gif
    =====================================================================
    George, that’s a perfect snapshot of ‘hands in the cookie jar.’ Hard to argue against that graph.

  54. Blade says:

    steven mosher [March 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm] says:

    “Understand. The world is warming. That warming has been going on since the LIA

    And somewhere pigs must be flying! Anyway, of course what Steve says is true. What is also true is that there are several warming/cooling phases of differing periodicity overlapping and intersecting each other.

    * Last Glacial Maximum to the current Holocene Interglacial
    * Little Ice Age to Modern Warm Period <– Mosher acknowledged
    * 1960’s-1970’s cool period to 1990’s-2000’s warm period

    Looks obvious that both items [1] and [2] are still in effect, while item [3] remains in doubt as we may have just turned the corner again towards a cooling in a 30/60 year micro-cycle. It is worth noting that the climate scaremongers dug their feet in just as item [3] switched from cold to warm, how clever.

    So just how do the climate scientists propose to account for *all* of these natural pro-warming signals from their work: “Our estimates of that warming get better as we get more data. Our error bars get smaller as we add more data.”, and to what end?

    Question: Is there enough room in that total alleged sub 1°C temperature rise during the past century to account for all of these warming signals? Just how does that one degree get subdivided?

    [1] – Last Glacial Maximum to the current Holocene Interglacial
    [2] – Little Ice Age to Modern Warm Period
    [3] – 1960’s-1970’s cool period to 1990’s-2000’s warm period
    [4] – As yet unidentified warm/cold phase changes
    [5] – Man’s contribution via CO2 and other emissions

    What I am asking is this – we have almost a one degree temperature rise, why is that even news at all? That is easily explained by any of the first three items. Perhaps emissions from human beings aren’t all they are cracked up to be (duh!). Looking at these simple facts one might deduce that a true alarmist scenario would be adding in other parameters like a sudden rash of large volcanic eruptions, or even an impact event. And it is easy to see how a well-placed Orbital Parameter (Milankovic, etc) can tip the whole thing badly when it occurs. In my opinion we are really living on the edge, but not the way the alarmists explain it. We are living on the edge of a tipping point to cold, not catastrophic warming.

  55. Nick Stokes says:

    Barry Brill says: March 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    “AGW theory suggests warming increases with latitude. If there was no material warming in the Arctic during 1940-2011, that must cast doubt on the global record.”

    Doug Proctor says: March 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    “The consistent warming bias of (especially) GISS used to be denied. But it is unavoidably clear. Each revision increases it. The only way it can be real is if temperature measurements in the past were fundamentally misrepresenting the actual temperature.”

    You’re missing what Steven is saying. Posts like this make people think that someone has replaced the old data with new. But they haven’t. GHCN publishes its unadjusted data set, and that is what it says, unadjusted. The original readings.

    And you can use these to construct a temperature index. Steven has done it. So have I, and many others. And we get essentially the same result as GISS, without using any of their adjustments.

  56. LazyTeenager says:

    Philip Bradley says

    Note the step change in Archangel temps at the start of Soviet Union around 1920, likely related to the introduction of heavy industry and high density housing for workers.
    ———–
    I a wondering about the historical context for that era and how that might affect temperature readings, not so much actual temperatures.

    Around that time we had:
    The Great Depression
    WW1
    WW2
    The Russian revolution

    Someone like to claim people were concientiously recording temperatures while this was all going on?

  57. Pete in Cumbria UK says:

    GISS simply can’t deal with or handle reality. Period.
    Maybe they should stop handling anything else until they can.

  58. RomanM says:

    The plots in reference 3 above do not seem to exist. All of the subdirectories that I checked were empty.

    The “Last Modified” date on all of them reads 12/03/2012 5:14:00 AM.

  59. Don Keiller says:

    Fraud, pure and simple.
    The most lucrative scam ever, bar none.
    It makes Enron and Madoff look like small players.

    Lock the b******s up!

  60. Australis says:

    Nick Stokes – if you are using unadjusted data that starts 0.7°C higher than GISS adjusted data you ought to get a different result.

    If not, it tends to suggest that your method is impervious to data values (like the hockey stick!).

  61. Philip Bradley says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    March 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm
    Steven Mosher says … various things.

    The CAGW debate is a fascinating social science study in that smart people like Mr. Mosher can drop common sense in favour of intellectual justifications. We know that others’ stories of struggle and achievement show then in better light over time. We understand the bias that benefits. All those working in technical fields know that our projects will provide better results with lower risks the longer we push them.

    LOL

    Mosher is always pushing what he is intellectually invested in, namely BEST.

    BEST is merely a rehash of the same fundamentally flawed data used by HadCRU, GISS, etc, namely min/max temps.

  62. Latitude says:

    I think someone just said that GISS’s data and formulas….are so bad they have to adjust it….to make it match everyone else’s

  63. Björn says:

    I think there is a simple metadata [SNIP]up somewhere behind this , f.x. below is a link to a monthly value time series for Stykkishólmur in Iceland from 1830-1999 at the web site of the Icelandic weather bureau in text for.
    http://www.vedur.is/Medaltalstoflur-txt/Stykkisholmur.txt
    fetch it, and compare the common values in GISTEMP for the same station
    accessible here
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/findstation.py?datatype=gistemp&data_set=14&name=&world_map.x=324&world_map.y=65

    Here is a small sample of the first 3 months of the years from 1926 to 1930 from each table

    Iceland Weatherbureau GISTEMP SURFACE ANAL.
    Year Jan Feb Mar Year Jan Feb Mar
    1926 0.2 1 -0.7 1926 -0.2 1 -0.7
    1927 -2.4 0.6 2 1927 -2.4 0.6 -2
    1928 -1 -0.3 1.3 1928 -1 -0.3 -1.3
    1929 1.8 2.1 5.4 1929 -1.8 2.1 -5.4
    1930 -2 0.9 -3.3 1930 -2 0.9 -3.3
    As can be seen january 1926 and 1929 have the same absolute value but diffrent signs
    same for marz 1927, 1928 and 1929, and I counted at least 20 other instances like this in
    the entries for the same three months and from 1925 to 1950 , i.e in something like 75 monhtly values there is a different prefix on every third one or so, resulting in a GISTEMP reading close to 11°C lower than the Icelandic meterological service for the month of marz 1929 ( a -5.4 instead of a 5.4 °C) which is biggest and double digit diffrence I spotted , but there are also a significant number of multidegree values the 2 – 7 degree interval.

    All in all , this looks most like some of the prefixes are being reversed somwhere, but as there is no acess to the daily records at either place, it is not possible to say where, so GISS could vell be the innocent party, though I would probably wage a small bet on odds that they have been running an errant software on the data, as it is hard to imagine that 23 stations have conspired to send in unidirectional bad data in concert.

  64. I have just done a comparison between the v2 and v3 temperatures for the Ostrov Dikson station, August only because all other months have “999C” lapses.

    Brief results: 1918-1956: v3 depresses temperatures by 1.1C.
    1957-1974: v3 exaggerates temperatures by 0.6C
    1975-1989: v3 depresses by 0.1C
    1990-2011: v2 and v3 identical.

    Conclusion: v3 adds a warming trend of 1.1C per century.
    Repeating the exercise with v3.1, the additional warming trend is 2.4C per century.
    If repeated for other high-latitude stations, these adjustments are creating a fake warming trend for the Arctic.

  65. Bill Illis says:

    This is the chart showing why Reykjavik needed to be adjusted. The difference between it and its nearest neighbours within 1500 kms.

    There is only one tiny change required. This whole algorithm went way off course somewhere and adjusted all of the neighbors up instead of finding the few which were a problem..

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/products/stn-vs-net/ghcn/62004030000.tavg.raw.WMs.52g.anomaly.gif

    Readme file explaining how to read the above chart and why adjustments might be required. Reykajavik fails except for perhaps WWI in 1918.

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/products/stn-vs-net/README-stn_vs_net.plots.pdf

  66. the_Butcher says:

    They seem to get away with basically anything, so why do they bother faking data in low profile?
    Nothing seems to touch them, hell even Obama would be jealous…

  67. If anybody would like to check my workings, here’s the method:
    For Ostrov Dikson v2: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.222206740006.1.1/station.txt
    Look for August 1918=4.3C Aug 1919=9.1C Aug 1920=5.4C…… Aug 2011=4.2C

    For Ostrov Dikson v3.1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.222206740000.14.1/station.txt
    Look for August 1918=4.1C August 1919=8.9C August 1920=3.7C……. Aug 2011=4.2C

    Incidentally, the Ostrov Dikson v3 seems to have been ‘disappeared’. It went:
    August 1918=3.3C Aug 1919=8.1C Aug 1920=2.9C…… Aug 2011=4.2C

    The simplest of spreadsheets, showing the ‘adjustments’ between v2 and v3.1 shows the clumsy hand of the ‘adjustor’. Up to 1956 he’s lopped off 0.3C +/-0.1C. From 1957 on he’s upped it by mostly 1.5C, and from 2009 there’s no fiddle factor. Rather like a bloke who crosses the finishing line at the marathon saying, “What, me? A ride in a taxi? You SAW me come down the finishing straight!”

  68. Stephen Fox says:

    Steven Mosher wrote: The warming doesnt disappear. It CANNOT. if it disappeared, then UHA would be wrong as well.
    Understand. The world is warming. That warming has been going on since the LIA. Our estimates
    of that warming get better as we get more data. Our error bars get smaller as we add more data.

    Yes Steven, we believe that too. The issue (as you very well know) is what is causing the warming and an important aspect of that is when the warming occurred. If considerable warming occurred before the steep post war rise in CO2 emissions, then why should the current rise be due to CO2? Clearly, reference to UAH (which is what I assume you mean by UHA) is pointless, since that record is only the last 30 years.
    In the longer term, the same kind of issue arises with the MWP, which was ‘disappeared’ by the HSG.
    When warmists talk about ‘unprecedented’ warming, whilst systematically altering our ‘records’ of the past how should we not be sceptical?
    That you ‘answer’ the wrong argument in such a very condescending way reveals you as both rude and less intelligent than you think you are.

  69. Allan MacRae says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    February 11, 2012 at 8:05 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/08/interesting-presentations-from-the-nagoya-workshop-on-the-relationship-between-solar-activity-and-climate-changes/#more-56210
    Allan MacRae says: February 9, 2012 at 12:36 am
    In this complex case, I suggest that the best test of one’s scientific credibility is the degree to which one can accurately predict future global temperatures.
    How many of you are prepared to go on record with your best estimate?
    ___________________________________________
    This is a good start (regarding Nicola’s earleir post).

    I say there is zero probability of major global warming in the next few decades, since Earth is at the plateau of a natural warming cycle, and global cooling, moderate or severe, is the next probable step.
    In the decade from 2021 to 2030, I say average global temperatures will be:
    1. Much warmer than the past decade (similar to IPCC projections) ? 0% probability of occurrence
    2. About the same as the past decade? 20%
    3. Moderately cooler than the past decade? 40%
    4. Much cooler than the past decade (similar to ~~1800 temperatures, during the Dalton Minimum) ? 25%
    5. Much much cooler than the past decade (similar ~~1700 temperatures, during to the Maunder Minimum) ? 15%
    In summary, I say it is going to get cooler, with a significant probability that it will be cold enough to negatively affect the grain harvest.
    ____________________

    Two possible weakensses of Nocola’s approach:

    1. Use of Hadcrut3.ST with its apparentl warming bias of about 0.07C per decade. Should also be plotted wth UAH LT as a check of Hadcrut3.

    2. Assumption of a humanmade (CO2?) warming component that will keep temperatures ~constant – I wish. I will bet on the cooling yellow line or similar , not the level black line.

  70. Brad

    Are you sure the first two graphs above markers “before” and “after” are not identical?

    It is easy to check the tables on the GISS website. That’s where I got the actual numbers from.

  71. Steve Mosher

    I appreciate your comment about GISS being old hat!!

    Presumably you would therefore support the whole organisation being shut down.

    REPLY:
    I’d offer to take up a collection for Hansen’s retirement, but he’s already got quite a bit of money squirreled away thanks to his ongoing climate activism – Anthony

  72. I have just received this message from Trausti Jonsson at the Iceland Met :-

    thank you for the list, it is very useful for me. The adustments for 1940 in Iceland are way out of line. But I am not so worried about this at the time being – as I still hope that it will be corrected later. But at the time being the overall credibilty of the dataset is very doubtful. For the next few weeks I have a number of deadlines to attend to but after that I should be able to work on the problem.
    Best wishes,
    Trausti J.

    Sums things up pretty well.

  73. Mosher: “Understand. The world is warming.”

    Not all of it. ALLIANCE.MUNICIPAL.AP(37645) is cooling at -1.1C/decade since 1980

    http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/some-of-the-world-is-cooling/

  74. JJ says:

    steven mosher says:

    The homogeniety adjustments have been tested rigorously in a blind test.
    That is, temperature signals are held from the algorithm writers.
    The temperature series are then “infected” with various forms of error.
    The algorithms are then tested for their ability to restore the series to the truth.
    I’ll suggest that everybody read the papers and the code.

    The issue at hand is not the algorithms’ ability to find error where it exists, but their propensity to find and “correct” errors that aren’t there. That you so frequently provide condescending answers to the wrong question is telling. It is a strong indicator of bias.

    Finally, GISS is old hat. The better methods do no ad hoc adjusting. And their answer comes out the same.

    Their answer? As if there were only one “answer” that comes out of such a process. Some of the “answers” may be the same, but some of the “answers” change. That is the point of the adjustments – if they have any legitimacy at all, they must be changing something in a significant way. If they aren’t there is no reason to perform them. Again, answering the wrong question.

    I’ve used unadjusted GHCN and adjusted GHCN. v2, v3, v3.1 The warming doesnt disappear.

    Who said “dissapear”? Modifying the pattern and magnitude of the warming is all that is necessary to tell a tale. Again, answering the wrong question.

    It CANNOT. if it disappeared, then UHA would be wrong as well.

    UAH? That only goes back 30 years. The topic at hand is adjustment induced warming that conveniently tapers to zero over the UAH period of record. Back when there wasn’t an objective check, the adjustments are much greater in magnitude, and getting bigger with every iteration. That is the topic of this post. Again, answering the wrong question.

    Understand. The world is warming. That warming has been going on since the LIA.

    That is not the question. The question is whether or not there has been anything other than LIA recovery warming going on over the last 70-80 years. The answer to that question has been tied to the pattern of warming and the relative magnitude of warming between periods. Again, answering the wrong question.

    Focusing on GISS is a waste of time. Old method. Smaller dataset. and confusing unnecessary adjustments.

    What does it matter if the adjustments are confusing and unnecessary, if (as you allege) they have no effect? If all datasets provide the same “answer”, by what justification do you disparage any of them? That the “new and improved” methods’ unnecessary adjustments are easier to make?

    Personal investment: Achieves buy in, returns sell out. Something we must all be vigilant against.

  75. CRS, DrPH says:

    The Canadian band The Guess Who said it best:

    F-I-D-D-L-I-N spells fiddlin’
    D-R-I-N-K-I-N spells drinkin’
    I’ll tell you something you might not know
    You can’t go fiddlin’ without your bow
    F-I-D-D-L-I-N spells fiddlin’

    (from the song “Fiddlin'”, on the LP “So Long Bannatyne”)

  76. @ Nick Stokes

    There may be other stations with cooling trend adjustments. Has it occurred to you though that they might be correct?

    Alternatively, they may be in error too, which does not give anybody much confidence.

  77. @ Roman M

    The plots in reference 3 above do not seem to exist. All of the subdirectories that I checked were empty.
    The “Last Modified” date on all of them reads 12/03/2012 5:14:00 AM.

    I have had the same problem since Friday. I assumed GHCN were doing the monthly update, but that usually only takes a day.

    The link should give a graph like this.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/ghcn-say-it-cant-be-that-cold-in-greenland/

  78. Verity Jones says:

    Paul,
    I noticed them disappear before (a while back) and assumed they were only a temporary feature while NCDC was working on the adjustments, so there is some sort of update/cycle happening. I learned download any I needed (e.g. http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/cherrypicking-in-bolivia/). Glad you spotted the V3.1 thing. It is hard to keep up with the various versions.

  79. Anything is possible says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    March 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

    You’re missing what Steven is saying. Posts like this make people think that someone has replaced the old data with new. But they haven’t. GHCN publishes its unadjusted data set, and that is what it says, unadjusted. The original readings.

    And you can use these to construct a temperature index. Steven has done it. So have I, and many others. And we get essentially the same result as GISS, without using any of their adjustments.

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

    The keyword here Nick, is “essentially”.

    Nobody with any credibility can argue that the globe has not warmed somewhat since the start of the GISS record in 1880 : It is the precise extent and, equally crucially, timing, of the warming, which is exercising everybody’s minds.

    The raw temperature constructions by both yourself and Zeke (kudos to you both for your work on these) show the same thing – that the GISS adjustments have 2 effects :

    The first is to slightly increase the extent of the warming.

    The second (more important in my view) is to adjust the timing of the warming, so that more of it occurs later in the record. This is crucial because it has the effect of “improving” the correlation between rising temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2, and improving it at the expense of that inconvenient “natural variability” which the CAGW brigade would so love to sweep under the carpet.

    That’s the real issue here……….

  80. Tim Folkerts says:

    A few questions for Paul Homewood…

    In “THE U.S. HISTORICAL CLIMATOLOGY NETWORK MONTHLY TEMPERATURE
    DATA, VERSION 2″ by Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams Jr., and Russell S. Vose, it states:

    … there has been a widespread conversion from afternoon to morning observation times in the HCN. Prior to the 1940s, for example, most observers recorded near sunset in accordance with U.S. Weather Bureau instructions. Consequently, the U.S. climate record as a whole contains a slight positive (warm) bias during the first half of the century.

    * Do you think that changing the collection times would create a bias that SHOULD be corrected?

    The paper also states:

    … with shifts caused by the transition from liquid-in-glass (LiG) thermometers to the maximum–minimum temperature system (MMTS; Fig. 6g). Quayle et al. (1991) concluded that this transition led to an average drop in maximum temperatures of about 0.4°C and to an average rise in minimum temperatures of 0.3°C for sites with no coincident station relocation.

    * Do you think that changing the thermometers would create a bias that SHOULD be corrected? Do you disagree with the Quayle’s conclusions for the direction or magnitude of the shifts?

    * Finally, this particular paper specifically covers US stations in the HCN – should similar adjustments be made internationally? Do you know if such changes (thermometers or collections times) were made in any of the stations you list, and if so, when was this done for the stations? Should these changes in conditions be “corrected” or should the data be left in its raw, inconsistent form?

  81. “and to an average rise in minimum temperatures of 0.3°C ”

    Or was the bias created by short MMTS cables that brought thermometers closer to heated homes?

  82. @ Tim Folkerts

    * Do you think that changing the collection times would create a bias that SHOULD be corrected?
    * Do you think that changing the thermometers would create a bias that SHOULD be corrected? Do you disagree with the Quayle’s conclusions for the direction or magnitude of the shifts?

    Thanks Tim for pointing these out. My understanding from the Iceland Met Office is that their “actual” temperature data is already adjusted for these factors.
    Secondly, the GHCN algorithm is not designed to pick up gradual changes such as these, which still raises the question why they have suddenly appeared now.

  83. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    Following the Arctic GISS pea…………

  84. Kev-in-UK says:

    I am not keen on Steve Mosher using the following terminology:

    ..The algorithms are then tested for their ability to restore the series to the truth..

    Firstly, the truth may well be ‘out there’ but without time travel – it will never be known in such a factual or accurate sense. Any algorithms output must logically be an ‘estimate’ per se. (which brings an interesting point on error bars – if we have a series with a +/- 1 deg F error bar, and we use an algorithm to infill or correct a series – is the error range significantly increased for ‘that’ corrected data? just curious!)

    Secondly, if we don’t know the truth, how do we know that an algorithim is restoring it! LOL – Yeah, I’m being a bit facetious – but even testing an adjacent stations ‘good’ data with an algorithm won’t necessarily mean that algorithm holds true for the ‘bad’ station data? Again, just sayin….

  85. Tim Folkerts says:

    Paul replies:
    My understanding from the Iceland Met Office is that their “actual” temperature data is already adjusted for these factors.
    This seems like a key factor here, that gets to the core of your post. I think you ought to be more more certain about a central tenet of your claim.

    Secondly, the GHCN algorithm is not designed to pick up gradual changes such as these,
    1) These are NOT gradual changes. Up until one day a station has an old thermometer; the next day it has a new thermometer. Up until one day the temperatures are recorded in the afternoon; the next day it is recorded in the morning. These are clear step-functions in the conditions.
    2) I am not an expert on the algorithms they use, but they claim in the paper:

    More generally, accounting for both sudden and gradual changes is critical because spurious results may occur if only the sudden changes are corrected …

    and

    It is important to note, however, that while the pairwise algorithm uses a trend dentification process to discriminate between gradual and sudden changes, trend inhomogenieties in the HCN are not actually removed with a trend adjustment.

    This makes it seem that they are indeed trying to deal with gradual changes (eg urbanization or plant growth). Do you have support for your claim that the “algorithm is not designed to pick up gradual changes” ?

    which still raises the question why they have suddenly appeared now.
    So what is the answer? What changes “suddenly appeared” in V3 compared to V2? Are these changes indeed justified or not? Simply noting that the adjustments make it “worse than we thought” says NOTHING about whether the adjustments were legitimate. Some adjustment do indeed make it “worst than we thought”; they do indeed make it seem like people are “cooling the past”. Either show that 1) the adjustment are wrong, or 2) they left out (inadvertently or intentionally) adjustments that would be in the other direction or 3) accept that the adjustments are proper.

    Is there a specific adjustment in the new Version 3 that you think is incorrect?

    The possibility of a “double adjustment” to the Iceland data is definitely worth a look. On the other hand, if the adjustments were made by the Iceland Met, then there should be no signal left to detect and the algorithm should not have found anything to correct. I would enjoying hearing a more specific discussion on the issue of how (if at all) Iceland Met adjusted the data, and how GHCH adjusted the potentially-preadjusted data.

  86. Paul Matthews says:

    Tim, I suggest you look at the blog of the icelandic met office at
    http://icelandweather.blog.is/blog/icelandweather/
    Please also look at the sequence of posts at Paul Homewood’s blog notalotofpeopleknowthat.

    Many of your questions have already been answered. The adjustments are not justified. For example, there was an abrupt and definitely genuine cooling in Iceland in 1965, clearly apparent in the raw temperature data and seen in the SST data and well established in the literature. This is largely removed by the adjustments.

    I emailed GHCN on Jan 17th asking about these adjustments. I have had no answer except an acknowledgement saying “Please stay tuned for further updates”.

  87. @ Tim Folkerts

    Paul replies:
    My understanding from the Iceland Met Office is that their “actual” temperature data is already adjusted for these factors.
    This seems like a key factor here, that gets to the core of your post. I think you ought to be more more certain about a central tenet of your claim.

    Trausti Jonsson of the Iceland Met confirms that their data is already adjusted and both datasets can be accessed on his site here.

    http://icelandweather.blog.is/blog/icelandweather/

    Secondly, the GHCN algorithm is not designed to pick up gradual changes such as these,
    1) These are NOT gradual changes.

    All the changes you talk about, of course, did not happen on one day, but were gradually introduced. If you are right, though, we should be seeing similar adjustments across the world, not just Arctic regions.

    Either show that 1) the adjustment are wrong, On the contrary it is up to GHCN to show they are right, which they have failed to do. Meanwhile the Iceland Met say as far as they concerned

    “The adustments for 1940 in Icleand are way out of line. “

  88. Zahid says:

    Zeke Hausfather (21:44:01) : To me at least the results aapper indistinguishable: That’s because you didn’t do the homogenize and Grid / Box steps as GIStemp does. So first take your Eureka temps and spread them 1000 km in all directions as fill in’ and homogenizing to any stations missing data or that were discontinued after the baseline. THEN take those and spread them another 1200 km into empty grid boxes. I make that about 2200 km RADIUS of influence. That’s how GISS does it. And that’s why the GISS graph has a small box for Eureka (the first image up top with a mostly grey arctic Canada) but then the whole thing turns blood red when you smear the data around ala GIStemp.Look, if you’re going to play climate scientist’ you really must learn all the tricks of the trade. Try reading Hansen’s papers for starters. The Reference Station Method and Optimal Interpolation would be good search terms to start with. For advanced study, read the GIStemp source code. I know where you can read it on line So, go back to your map, and draw a 1200 km radius circle around Eureka. That is the MINIUM area it will directly be used to fabricate the Grid Box anomaly. Now draw a 1000 km radius circle. Any OLD stations in that radius will be homogenized with Eureka (now, we don’t know how many or how much). Then put a 1200 km radius around each of THEM. That’s the ultimate reach of the data. Well, maybe not the ultimate ultimate I did leave out one additional reach’ step After the 1000 km homogenize’ there is an added 1000 km UHI’ adjust. To the extent it’s backwards’ you could get bogus warming from it. Not that that ever happens. Well, not more than 1/2 the time . then after the UHI correction’ it goes to the Grid/ Box step. So in theory you could chain this out to 3600 km radius. But I’m sure that rarely happens. After all, you would need to have nearly no other stations nearby, since the code uses the closest stations first. And I’m sure there must be dozens of stations up there’ What, only one you say? Who knew? So just remember, this is climate science’. You can’t expect to apply simple mathematics to it and find the warming influence. So your toy world’ experiment was doomed from the beginning.

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