Dear NOAA and Seth, which 1930′s were you comparing to when you say July 2012 is the record warmest?

The press release is out, and the usual serial bloviators are rushing to trumpet the news. July 2012 was the hottest ever on record! “Yikes! We’re gonna roast! Global Warming!” they wail on Twitter and blogs. The driver of this is AP’s Seth Borenstein, who never met a hot story he didn’t like.  Here’s a quote from that story Ouch July in US was hottest ever in history books:

The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees. That breaks the old record from July 1936 by 0.2 degree, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Records go back to 1895.

Three of the nation’s five hottest months on record have been recent Julys: This year, 2011 and 2006. Julys in 1936 and 1934 round out the top five.

Of course the first thing I do when I see these sorts of things is go look at the data. It tells a far more interesting and credible story. Here’s some graphs NCDC and Seth won’t ever put in a press release or AP story:

From NCDC’s Climate at a glance page:

Now let’s compare to July 1936:

A few things stand out right away.

1. Due to regional weather pattern variability, one state in 1936 had below normal temperatures, Texas. Take the 1936 Texas below normal temperature out of the mix and there goes your 0.2F record making difference with July 2012.

2. Many states had warmer temperatures in 1936 than 2012.  Here’s a table, all numbers in degrees Fahrenheit:

State 1936 2012
Montana 74.7 71.4
N. Dakota 79.7 73.8
S. Dakota 83.8 78.8
Minnesota 76.2 74.4
Wisconsin 74.8 74.7
Nebraska 83.1 80.0
Iowa 82.7 79.4
Kansas 85.1 84.3
Oklahoma 85.8 85.5
Missouri 84.9 83.7
Illinois 83.1 81.7
Indiana 80.9 80.2
Mississippi 82.0 81.8
California 76.3 75.0

Now compare that to the same map of 1934, and we also see many warmer states than in 2012.

What’s interesting is that that if AGW had overcome natural variability, and many claim this, we wouldn’t see any statewide temperatures in 2012 lower than in 1936 or 1934.

And with all the adjustments that have been going on, which 1930′s are we really talking about? The real one or the adjusted one? NASA GISS uses NCDC adjusted data, which according to this graph from Steve Goddard, suggests there’s been a whole lot of adjusting going on.

The graph below shows the almost two degree US upwards adjustment trend being applied by USHCN between the raw thermometer data and the published monthly data.

The adjustments they are making are greater than the claimed trend, meaning that all man made US warming is occurring inside ORNL and GISS computers.

Speaking of adjustments, I recalled the GISS Y2K debacle in 2007 where McIntyre discovered a mistake in GISTEMP. I’ve recovered the graphs from Hansen’s 1999 press release. This was originally part of “Lights Out Upstairs”a guest post by Steve McIntyre on my old original blog. Just look at how much warmer 1934 was in 1999 than it is now. Much of this can be attributed to NCDC’s USHCNv2 adjustments.

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

Steve McIntyre wrote then:

In the NASA press release in 1999 , Hansen was very strongly for 1934. He said then:

The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability.Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.

This was illustrated with the following depiction of US temperature history, showing that 1934 was almost 0.6 deg C warmer than 1998.

From a Hansen 1999 News Release: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/fig1x.gif

However within only two years, this relationship had changed dramatically. In Hansen et al 2001 (referred to in the Lights On letter), 1934 and 1998 were in a virtual dead heat with 1934 in a slight lead. Hansen et al 2001 said

The U.S. annual (January-December) mean temperature is slightly warmer in 1934 than in 1998 in the GISS analysis (Plate 6)… the difference between 1934 and 1998 mean temperatures is a few hundredths of a degree.


From Hansen et al 2001 Plate 2. Note the change in relationship between 1934 and 1998.

Between 2001 and 2007, for some reason, as noted above, the ranks changed slightly with 1998 creeping into a slight lead.

The main reason for the changes were the incorporation of an additional layer of USHCN adjustments by Karl et al overlaying the time-of-observation adjustments already incorporated into Hansen et al 1999. Indeed, the validity and statistical justification of these USHCN adjustments is an important outstanding issue.

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

I’ve prepared a before and after graph using the CONUS values from GISS in 1999 and in 2011 (today).

GISS writes now of the bottom figure:

Annual Mean Temperature Change in the United States

Annual and five-year running mean surface air temperature in the contiguous 48 United States (1.6% of the Earth’s surface) relative to the 1951-1980 mean. [This is an update of Figure 6 in Hansen et al. (1999).]

Also available as PDF, or Postscript. Also available are tabular data.

So clearly, the two graphs are linked, and 1998 and 1934 have swapped positions for the “warmest year”. 1934 went down by about 0.3°C while 1998 went up by about 0.4°C for a total of about 0.7°C.

And they wonder why we don’t trust the surface temperature data.

In fairness, most of this is the fault of NCDC’s Karl, Menne, and Peterson, who have applied new adjustments in the form of USHCN2 (for US data) and GHCN3 (to global data). These adjustments are the primary source of this revisionism. As Steve McIntyre often says: “You have to watch the pea under the thimble with these guys”.

So the real question is: which 1934 and 1936 is NCDC and Seth Borenstein comparing to? It looks to me like we might not be comparing real temperatures to real temperatures, but rather adjusted ones to highly adjusted ones.

Finally, remember this statement from the AP July 2012 “hottest ever” story:

The average temperature last month was 77.6 degrees.

I have a way to apply a sanity check to this. but I’ll need some crowd-sourcing help. Stay tuned.

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

UPDATE: Dr. Roy Spencer makes an interesting plot, which I’ve annotated to show a color key and years 1934, 1936, and 2012.

He writes in: July 2012 Hottest Ever in the U.S.? Hmmm….I Doubt It

Using NCDC’s own data (USHCN, Version 2), and computing area averages for the last 100 years of Julys over the 48 contiguous states, here’s what I get for the daily High temps, Low temps, and daily Averages (click for large version):

As far as daily HIGH temperatures go, 1936 was the clear winner. But because daily LOW temperatures have risen so much, the daily AVERAGE July temperature in 2012 barely edged out 1936.

So, all things considered (including unresolved issues about urban heat island effects and other large corrections made to the USHCN data), I would say July was unusually warm. But the long-term integrity of the USHCN dataset depends upon so many uncertain factors, I would say it’s a stretch to to call July 2012 a “record”.

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87 thoughts on “Dear NOAA and Seth, which 1930′s were you comparing to when you say July 2012 is the record warmest?

  1. If US figures are so alarmingly distorted, and the US records are reputedly among the best kept in the world, how much worse is it going to be for other worldwide data?

    At least sea surface temperatures should be affected only by the shift from ‘bucket measure’ to ‘engine intake measure’, but has that even been examined to see if it’s been handled properly in the major temperature datasets?

  2. Mr. Watts, if I was a fudging climate scientisto crook, I would sure hate to have you on my tail.

    REPLY: I don’t know that they are crooks, but I do think they are victims of a large confirmation bias. They expect to find AGW driven warming …and they do. – Anthony

  3. Karl, Menne, and Peterson, who have applied new adjustments in the form of USHCN2 (for US data) and GHCN3 (to global data).

    Not sure what this implies. Do you mean that the new numbers are simply the result of the station changes in USHCN2 vs. USHCN1, without reference to other “adjustments”?

    REPLY: I’m saying USHCNv2 has a greater magnitude of positive adjustments than USHCNv1 – Anthony

  4. And they are comparing digital today with analog data from as far back 1890′s. What a crock. What about heat island effect? Who calibrated those analog temperature indicators (sic)? Were the thermommymeters in wood encased housings, next to the garage, hanging in front of the busiest bar in town? Anthony, you do good work. I can not even comprehend comparing data from to different types of indicators. The temperature could vary by a half a degree or more just from the analog versus digital interpretations. We used short guys to look at the thermometers because the mercury looks higher on the one degree line.

    I do remember my mother (God rest her soul) telling me how hot it was in rural Wisconsin during the 1930′s and her and her sister had to dig up sugar beets in the heat to earn extra money during the Great Depression. Tough times back then.

  5. Anthony says:
    >>REPLY: I don’t know that they are crooks, but I do think they are victims of a large confirmation bias. They expect to find AGW driven warming …and they do. – Anthony<<

    Fair enough – but if your bank manager/car dealer/retailer/etc acted in the same way, such as giving you a quote, then later inflating the price, what would you call them? Ok, this may be purporting to be science, but it isn't – it's false, misrepresentation, and as you say biased – at best, you could call it 'crooked science'?? Personally, it turns my stomach that they can get away with it so blatantly under the banner of 'science' – it's like some kind of climatology science club with diplomatic immunity……..shameful IMO..

  6. I have always thought the adjustments were in the wrong direction. With UHI and other land use issues providing a warm bias, it seems that to adjust so you can compare “apples to apples”, the present would have to be adjusted DOWN not up to compare the past numbers to current, but even that blanket statement is wrong, because there are parts of our country that are even more wooded and wild than they were in the 1930s. Areas that are wilder now would need a slight upward adjustment to adjust for the difference (e.g. now greenfield areas that used to be the city of Detroit). Of course I haven’t looked, but my gut reaction is there would be many many more thermometers which required downward adjustment due to increased warm bias due to land use than those that would need to be warmed. I find it ludicrous that anyone would decrease the temperature of the past for ANY reason.

  7. The 1930′s saw huge drifts of grasshoppers inches long from early emmergence due to the warm early Spring and subsequent feast on early maturing greenery. You could sweep a net and have three days worth of bait. Nowadays, you are lucky to find a grasshopper an inch long (I haven’t found one yet) and several sweeps of the net yields nothing. Spring has been too cold for many years now to sustain a large insect population in NE Oregon. The ripple affect will be amazing as grasshoppers are a major food source for many larger animals and larger carnivorous insects. Wonder what the praying mantis is doing these days.

  8. “1. Due to regional weather pattern variability, one state in 1936 had below normal temperatures, Texas. Take the 1936 Texas below normal temperature out of the mix and there goes your 0.2F record making difference with July 2012.”

    Don’t you mean Washington? Texas looks to be higher according to the graphic I’m seeing.

  9. David Larsen

    Not to mention that, like music, temperature is continuous and does not come in discrete digital accomodating quantae. Your HD (Digital, not high definition) radio will not give you the entire breadth of the music it plays. Digital temperature will necessarily be rounded off.

  10. Multiplying each state’s average temperature by its land area, and then dividing by the total land area of CONUS48, I get the following average temperatures :

    1936 77.1 F

    2012 77.0 F

    1934 76.7 F

  11. 1. Due to regional weather pattern variability, one state in 1936 had below normal temperatures, Texas. Take the 1936 Texas below normal temperature out of the mix and there goes your 0.2F record making difference with July 2012.

    Looking at the 1936 map, I see Texas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island as “Below Normal,” and Maine as “Much Below Normal.” Thats six states. Does taking any one of those six states out of the mix make July 1936 hotter than July 2012?

  12. Autumn and winter are to follow, as they tend to.
    The blush of the heat will come off the rose, until next summer.
    It is already happening in Chicago.

  13. “Of course the first thing I do when I see these sorts of things is go look at the data. It tells a far more interesting and credible story” – the data says exactly what they said: Three of the nation’s five hottest months on record have been recent Julys: This year, 2011 and 2006. Julys in 1936 and 1934 round out the top five.

    “Take the 1936 Texas below normal temperature out of the mix and there goes your 0.2F record making difference with July 2012.” – yep, take out bits of the data that don’t conform to your ideology, and the data conforms better to your ideology. You think that tells us anything about the real world?

  14. I would say the the 2012 does indeed confirm AGW, the best ANY state did was normal, with the bulk of them above average.

  15. Ah, yes, the old dancing temperature data trick. Never let us forget. But mainly, never let them forget.

    Meanwhile, and speaking as an Englishman … July 2012 the record warmest? Bwahahahahahaha …

  16. NBC’s Brian Williams just ran with the story using the backdrop of the Olympics and their larger audience to push the agenda.

  17. Dateline Death Valley CA. 1913.

    The hottest air temperature ever recorded, in the western hemisphere.

    http://www.nps.gov/deva/naturescience/weather-and-climate.htm

    More Data from that astonishing Valley.
    Period of Record General Climate Summary – Temperature
    1961 -2012

    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliGCStT.pl?ca2319

    POR – Daily Temperature Averages and Extremes

    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliFTrec.pl?ca2319

    Source Home:

    http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?ca2319

    Was Death Valley even included in any of the findings?

    Thanks for the Great blog.
    Dave

  18. OMG!! The July temperature record increased by 0.2F in 75 years (after adjustments). This surely proves CAGW theory.
    ROFL. If I was a CAGW supporter I really wouldn’t be wanting this one to get too much publicity.

  19. The “since records started” also misses a whole lot of known and measured temps. Most of the NCDC starts in 1895.

    I was looking at Armagh to explore Christy’s Tmin idea, and noticed something that we can’t see in NCDC. The Met Office record for Armagh has monthly max and min back to 1865, and a definite curve was visible from 1865 down to about 1920 then gradually up to the present. Nothing in that record is very dramatic, though; nowhere near the wild gyrations that most of the US experiences from the effects of continental air masses, mountain rain shadows, etc.

    I still say we shouldn’t be messing with lots of sites. We should focus on a handful of mainly ocean-influenced sites with long and thorough records if we want to see anything about truly global trends.

    http://polistrasmill.blogspot.com/2012/08/christys-minimum-temp-hypothesis.html

  20. Adjusting/manipulating data to support a proposition or hypothesis is like heroin addition: once you start, you just can’t stop, no matter what the cost, no matter whom you hurt.

  21. I note that a smart young intern in the Pleasant Hill Missouri office of the NWS has an article showing that this summer is not as hot as 1980. She never even mentioned the 30s, and here, anyway, 1934 and 1936 were 4 degrees warmer than 1980 (for the whole summer).

  22. If you want to see (local) manmade climate change in action, 1934 and 1936 are great examples. Back then, we didn’t know anything (or at least do anything) about good agricultural techniques like crop rotation or cover crops. As soon as a decent drought hit, we got the Dust Bowl, which drove temperatures through the roof. The two strongest years of the Dust Bowl were 1934 and 1936.

    We caused those record high temperatures that we’re comparing today’s record against. Seems like a moot point.

  23. “The adjustments they are making are greater than the claimed trend, meaning that all man made US warming is occurring inside ORNL and GISS computers.”

    Does not follow. FAIL!

  24. What bugs me more than the data manipulation is the total lack of respect for two old measuring concepts:

    1) Calibration between instruments and measurements. There is no way the thermometers used in the 1930’s could be calibrated to the same degree (unintentional pun, but hah!) as modern instruments. They *might* be close, but someone somewhere should know that delta and be compensating. I’m not convinced that this is happening.

    2) Significant digits. You can only compare fine measurements based on the accuracy of the least. I don’t know how accurate a 1930’s thermometer was, but betting that modern sensors are much better. Comparing this years temperature to 1936 seems no better than homeopathy.

    0.2 delta? Pffft, that’s just noise . . .

  25. The fact the lower 48 may be one of the hottest while the global temperature is barely positive argues that this has nothing to do with CO2. You’d expect every place to be a little warmer. Not so. However, if you think about it as weather and changes in the jet stream it makes perfect sense.

  26. Remember when the alarmists dismissed Steve McIntyre’s analysis that showed 1934 was the hottest year and that the 1930′s was the hottest decade? They said it only covered 2% of the Earth’s surface, and therefore wasn’t significant. A whole year and a whole decade are not significant when it goes against their agenda, but a single month is, when it supports it. Honest people have been and are noticing things such as this. It is why the alarmists are losing converts.

  27. I love the OTT panic driven headlines of ‘Warmest in US history’. Even if it were actually true i’d still say who cares? The USA is only 236 years old, most states only have reliable recorded weather data for about half that having started in the late 1800s. And yet we are supposed to get excited about a dodgy 0.2 of a degree in a nation where UHI brings into question decades of data? This of course on top of the cooling of the 1930s to further an already pointless and largely disproved computer driven hypothesis.

    Just a curiosity, but how much below 300ppm was the CO2 level in 1934? From what i’ve read it wasn’t much above pre-industrial levels through the entire decade. So I guess the 1930s Dustbowl era was simply a weather phenomenon, and this one month is warming. Ahem.

    The media needs a history lesson on top of the usual science lesson. An ethics lesson should wouldn’t go amiss either.

  28. I have always greatly admired both Anthony and Steve McIntyre, for being so patient. This morning I compared them to a starfish, who applies pressure, and slowly opens an oyster without damaging their shell. I myself am more of a hammer.

    Today is the fifth anniversary of a great day, August 8, 2007. If you look at the archives of this site, you’ll see it started in November, 2006, and as late as July 24, 2007 Anthony could post interesting and important stuff, and there would only be a single comment. However on August 8 there were 143.

    August 8 was the date of this great post by Steve McIntyre: http://climateaudit.org/2007/08/08/a-new-leaderboard-at-the-us-open/

    Rush Limbaugh got wind of it, and once he blabbed about the website, the Climate Audit website was overwhelmed. However the public now knew about Hansen’s “adjustments,” “readjustments,” and “Re-readjustments.”

    The cat was out of the bag. All Hanson has done since is retreat, and be amidst a decline you can’t hide. It is pitiful.

    I advise people to go back and read the comments from August 8, 2007. It is very clear people were already on to Hansen’s game. People have been very patient, putting up with Hansen’s antics for five -snipping- years now.

    However, as you study that history, I’d like to say it was the study of history that made me suspect Hansen, and I hammered him (and was at times snipped on other sites,) long before August 8, 2007.

    One thing Hanson does that resembles the study of history more than science is that he has various “versions” of the truth. (If you don’t think history has “versions”, ask both sides of a divorce for the “history” of what led to their divorce.) However he made a big mistake true historians never make. He fooled around with the raw data. Changing temperatures was like changing the place and date of an actual battle. (Even when historical versions vary, they agree about dates and places.)

    A second mistake he made was to take sides. A true historian may be aware of the passions involved in the two, three, four or more sides of an event, but he stands back like Colombo and tries his best to see “Just the facts, Mamn, just the facts.” (With passion being a fact.)

    Unfortunately true historians have been replaced by pseudo-historians, who deem a single side “politically correct.”

    If you think a single side’s single view is best, and a so-called “consensus” is a good thing, try dribbling and shooting a basketball with one eye closed. It turns out depth perception is a handy thing to have, and it requires two eyes. A Cyclops lacks. A thesis requires an antithesis to achieve a synthesis. A two-party-system achieves wonderful things, but a one-party-system eventually crumbles like Zimbabwe.

    Hansen’s focus on “versions” demonstrated he was more of a historian than a scientist, and his stressing of, “the ‘politically correct’ version, approved by a ‘consensus’ and denied by ‘deniers,’” told me all I needed to know. I sensed a scallywag ,without needing to know any Math, or understand computers.

    However I knew I had shortcomings, concerning Math and Computers, and Hansen liked to become haughty and say I couldn’t possibly comprehend him, due to my shortcomings.

    Therefore I was sure glad to become aware there were men who were good at Math and Computers who suspected Hansen. And the day I became aware there were others August 8, 2007. Before that I knew nothing of Climate Audit and WUWT, and let me tell you, there were times I felt horribly alone.

    Long live the Truth! And long live those good men who demand Truth be our Guide!

  29. MW: ” As soon as a decent drought hit, we got the Dust Bowl, which drove temperatures through the roof.”

    You’re confusing things here. When a drought hits there is less humidity in the air, and so a lower specific heat capacity, and so warmer atmospheric temperatures. Ceteris Paribus anyways. This is the same reason deserts tend to be high temp record holders. Death Valley famously as well as the less well known Lut desert in Iran.

    But the Dust Bowl itself was marked by dust storms. Or large quantities of airborne particulates. Which, again as ceteris paribus, will increase albedo and reduce the amount of radiation received on average. Which will lower temperatures.

    All things equal can you imagine how much hotter it would have been on average over time without the dust storms keeping things cooler than the drought itself allowed?

  30. Climate is always changing.
    So is it fair to compare a 1934 above/below “normal” to a 2012 above/below “normal?
    Is the same “normal” being used for both?

  31. Once you’ve established that DF (DeltaFunding) is directly proportional to WTWTP (Worse Than We Thought Possible) it all becomes clear that DF=CFF x WTWTP where CFF=Consensus Fudge Factor (CFF is a really big dimensionless number – ref Oreskes, the 97% thunderbolt and, most importantly, ‘The Science is settled’ theorem by the Nobel prize-winner , Al Gore – best known for the seminal ‘Gosh, if you think it’s hot in Texas, try sticking a thermometer inside Momma Earth and see what happens to it!’
    Note that the units on the LHS of the equation are measured in $Billion per annum while WTWTP, notwithstanding provenance, illlogic or scientific relevance, utilises Post-Normal Transmutational Algebra to create equivalence and balances the equation dimensionally while maximizing the product!
    Please note that these are both valid SI units where SI is ‘Smugness Index’ in general and ‘Snail Iconography’, if you’re using the current president of The Royal Academy, as an excellent example of a typical specimen.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/8/a-voice-from-the-ivory-tower.html

    may add a wee bit of light to that last claim!

  32. There seems to be a renewed push by The Team and their MSM ‘manmade global warming’ acolytes at the moment. I figure it must be the death throes of a failing religion or some such.

    BTW, wasn’t that latest broadside from old James “Handcuffs” Hansen truly nauseating? The way he was gurning into the camera was obscene. “Mmmm, lovely well-fudged data!”

    }:o(

  33. Windy says:
    August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    “… yep, take out bits of the data that don’t conform to your ideology, and the data conforms better to your ideology. You think that tells us anything about the real world?”

    The whole study is about taking out parts of the globe. It’s not the “real world” from the get-go. It’s the “real lower 48 states of the US”, and but for a few freak events of history, Texas would be no part of it and Canada would.

  34. GlynnMhor says

    “If US temperatures are so alarmingly distorted, and the US records are reputedly among the best kept in the world, how much worse is it going to be for other worldwide data?”

    * * *

    Excellent point. I’ve long remained sceptical of temeperature records everywhere. As Michael Crichton brilliantly put it : “How do we know these ‘old records’ are up to date? What if the reader was sick for a week, or went on a vacation?”
    There’s also the problem of throwing so much faith in barely 100 years of temeprature records on a planet that’s only 5 billion years old. Sheesh.

    @Caleb

    Would you happen to have a link for the talk on Steve Mcintyre that Rush Limbaugh gave? Mr. Limbaugh is one of my idols, and an excellent force on debunking AGW. I never knew he was aware of Mcintyre’s great work. I’ve done a google search for it, but google is not being kind right now. TIA.

  35. @Ted hartley: “I would say the the 2012 does indeed confirm AGW, the best ANY state did was normal, with the bulk of them above average.”

    This hardly confirms AGW. All it says is that we had an unusually warm July. We already know that the climate has warmed over the past ~150 years. The question is: were man-made emissions the primary cause?

    Vis-a-vis July’s heat wave, we need to answer the question: Is the magnitude of the heat wave too large to be consistent with natural causes? Those trumpeting last month’s “record” heat have not established this (or even tried to, as far as I can tell).

  36. i am a peripheral observer of the GM debate. The above articla seems to posit that the near record (or record) heat is just a variant of normal. Can someone explain (in layman’s terms) why we did not see glacial and sea ice retreat in the 30′s like we have seen in the last 30 years? Thanks for any replies.

  37. I just heard a CNN reporter state that July was 3 degrees warmer than the previous record. Makes you wonder—-well, no, not any more.

  38. I notice “1936….Some of the following data is preliminary and not quality controlled”. Some of those old data are really tough and take a lot of cooking.

  39. Gerald Wilhite: “Mr. Watts, if I was a fudging climate scientisto crook, …”
    Anthony’s REPLY: I don’t know that they are crooks,

    Sorry, Anthony but I have to go with Gerald on this one. When Climatologists have been presented with ample evidence of fraudulent AGW data, work, and claims; and the Climatologists continue to take advantage of AGW funding at Taxpayers’ expense – they are stealing from us. Those tax dollars could be used for helping to pay down our national debt, providing our Veterans with better medical services, improving our education system (obviously faltering in Science).

  40. Has anyone read a valid/credible reason/statement by USHCN for: “the almost two degree US upwards adjustment trend being applied by USHCN between the raw thermometer data and the published monthly data”?

  41. Maus: “… will increase albedo and reduce the amount of radiation received on average. Which will lower temperatures.”

    I would have figured the heat trapping effect would be greater than the increase in albedo, making a net increase in temperatures. Can’t find concrete data either way though, except Saharan dust in the upper atmosphere making oceans cooler, but I’m not sure if that’s apples to apples.

  42. Anthony

    Interesting comparison you might like to perform. Compare the yearly adjustments Steve Goddard shows with the results from Schaal et al 1977.

    They looked at Time Of Observation (TOBs) biases in the US record as a result of observers in the 5000 COOP weatherr stations progressively switching recording times from the afternoon to the morning. In 1910 around 10% of observations where recorded in the morning. By 1975 it was 55% and presumably has kept changing since then (that is until we factor in the cooling bias dues to the switch to MMTS since then)

    Schaal et al reported a cooling bias due to this of between 1 – 1.5 C between 1910 & 1975 across different parts of the US. Steve seems to have, perhaps unwittingly, captured this in his graph.

    Thats why TOBs adjustment is so important. Otherwise we might be fooled into thinking there was no warming, just because the station keepers started to prefer taking readings in the morning.

    REPLY:
    Noooo, they didn’t “prefer” they were ordered to, and if you’ve talked to as many observers as I have, you’d know what I know…they didn’t always get and/or follow orders. the TOBS adjustment is a mess. I’ll explain why in a future post. Until then stay comfortable in that thought cocoon of “climate science always does everything perfect and people always do what they are told”. – Anthony

  43. Sleeper said

    Quote

    Can someone explain (in layman’s terms) why we did not see glacial and sea ice retreat in the 30′s like we have seen in the last 30 years? Thanks for any replies.

    Unquote

    1. Ice reports at the time, well covered on this site, contrary to your statement, cconfirm low ice then

    2. Recent picture evidence that shows Greenland Ice extent much less then than now. (Nte less than now)

  44. You’d think these guys would slow down their adjustments now that people are looking closely at them.

    Well No.

    The fact that they are continually getting away with it and have so many apologists on their side, they have just been emboldened to go even wilder.

    So we can’t stop Karl, Peterson and Menne as long as they are in charge of the NCDC.

  45. MV: “”Can’t find concrete data either way though, except Saharan dust in the upper atmosphere making oceans cooler, but I’m not sure if that’s apples to apples.”

    Seems like an apple to me. But if you’re not satisfied then we must throw the gauntlet and settle this like men that fancy pocket protectors. Replicate the experiment until we’re both satisfied that enough variables are accounted for to allow us to reject at least one hypothesis.

    We’ll need several Okies, some old farm equipment, and a few trillion in Federal science grants.

  46. “You have to watch the pea under the thimble with these guys”

    There is no pea under any of the thimbles.

  47. Being an agency of the United States government, the NOAA report was specific to the United States. Why are some of you drawing conclusions of this to the world’s climate and how it is changing?

  48. Sleeper says:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    “Can someone explain (in layman’s terms) why we did not see glacial and sea ice retreat in the 30′s like we have seen in the last 30 years?

    The first thing to note is that the 1930s did not last for 30 years.
    The second thing to note is that some glacial ice did melt in the early part of the 1900s and there is documentation. Even the Wikipedia article mentions this – note paragraph #2:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850

    See for example ( retreat starting in 1780 to 2001):

    Do an ‘image’ search for: glacial retreat
    Lots of links to follow and beautiful photos. Enjoy.

    So, there is no reason to explain a lack of melting. Melting happened.

  49. If it’s exceptionally warm in the US, it has to be exceptionally cool elsewhere.
    It’s been a cool few weeks here in Australia and I believe they’ve had rare snow in South Africa.

    Similar would have happened in the 30s. Somewhere other than the US would have experienced exceptional cold.

  50. @Ted Hartley

    50% of ALL temperature measurements are “above average”. Another 50% are “below average”. Why is it surprising that during a heat wave year more than half the states have above average nighttime temperatures? That is why they are called ‘heat waves’.

  51. Anytime I hear the talking heads claim a weather record here in the Denver area, I ignore them. In the 1930s, the official temp was taken at Stapleton Airport. Currently, it’s at DIA, 16 miles to the northeast and in a completely different micro-climate. They are comparing apples to oranges.

    I live in Arvada on the west side of town near the foothills, 19.57 miles from DIA and about 14 miles from Stapleton. So similar distances apart. During a recent hot spell of 5 days of over 100 degrees, the temps in Arvada only went over 100 once. The other days we were 5-9 degrees cooler. I’m assuming that the temps differ between DIA and Stapleton in a similar way.

    Also, when we get afternoon thunderstorms, which are frequently very localized, it can be 20 degrees cooler in one area than out at DIA. If the storms come in early enough in the afternoon, those areas aren’t anywhere near the official temps for the day. Since the usual thunderstorm pattern here is from the southwest to the northeast, the Stapleton area would usually cool off earlier in the day than DIA.

    So who’s to say what a record is when, even at the same location, the temperature can vary from day to day and year to year depending on a thunderstorm and physical location of the equipment.

    So far, summer is still hot and winter is still cold with some variation based on things like La Nina. When that’s no longer true, THEN I’ll consider getting worried.

  52. Sleeper says:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm
    “Can someone explain (in layman’s terms) why we did not see glacial and sea ice retreat in the 30′s like we have seen in the last 30 years? ”

    You should check out the 1930′s satellite record…..

  53. I have been told time and time again by Warmists that the USA is only a small part of the globe and therefore record cold temperatures are not representative of the globe. OK. What has changed now?

    We are dealing with a bunch of adjusting cherry pickers.

  54. RE: “J. Felton (the Cowboy) says:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm…@Caleb

    ….Would you happen to have a link for the talk on Steve Mcintyre that Rush Limbaugh gave?”

    No. But I imagine Rush has transcripts of all his old shows at his website, however I think you might have to be a paying “member.” (I’m not.)

    I first heard of McIntyre’s posting on a very small, morning radio show, which mentioned an article in the Toronto Star. The Toronto Star gave a link to Climate Audit, which hadn’t crashed at that point.

    I’m not sure, but I think the news spread from the Toronto Star to “Instapundit,” and Rush got the news from Instapundit. It all happened between August 8 and August 10, 2007. Check out Anthony’s archives. People were pretty nervous when Climate Audit went down.

    Back at the time I was chewed-out for mentioning Hansen’s re-readjusting. It was assumed I had heard the news on Rush’s show, and I was accused of being a “ditto head.” I was taken aback by the magnitude of the venom I faced, from people I was quite close to.

    I’ve never been very good at handling rejection, (especially rejection slips.) One good side effect of the Global Warming debate is that it has toughened me up, and taught me how to rebut in a firm but (somewhat) polite manner.

  55. Given the United States is a small area of the planet. Id love to see how the rest of the planet fared back in 1936. It’s clear to me that 36′ was a good deal warmer than in 12′, yet Co2 levels are much higher than back then, humm. A lot of focus this year has been about US warmth but when you look at the overall world, it’s not been so warm. Take last winter. It was warm in US and here in the UK but a large chunk of Eurasia was brutally cold. They seen to use and focus on any warmth over the United States as a weapon to fight their lost and unjust cause.

    markvoganweather.com

  56. It might be hot in the U S A but in Australia it is bloody cold enought to freeze the nuts off a monkey

  57. Ted hartley says:
    August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I would say the the 2012 does indeed confirm AGW, the best ANY state did was normal, with the bulk of them above average.

    So a one month record, in just the USA which is only 0.2deg Farenheit ( 0.1 deg C ) above 1934 proves that Man has heated the planet. My god, that’s amazing how you correlated warming to man, with just that meagre evidence. Outstanding work Ted
    /sarc

  58. As an ex seafaring gentleman and ex operator of a maritime mobile weather station reporting every 6 hours in the 70′s I treat these “Mummy, mummy, it’s the end of the world….save me!!” moments with the contempt that they deserve. I took sea temperatures as part of the report. If it was rough we would ring down to the engine room for an inlet temperature. On a really hot day send the cadet down to the deck with a bucket and rope that stood in or out of the sun behind the bridge wing. He might carry the thermometer or bring the bucket of water back up. Sometimes we would swing the bucket over the side from the bridge wing and haul it up. We might use the same bucket for washing the bridge windows. Every now and then the met office man would come on board, have a few beers and sign the instrument inspection and calibration report.
    All good fun. All we were asked to do was get a sea temp to the nearest 1/2 degree!
    Then I read about sea temps to the nearest thousandth of a degree being spewed out of computers and that the sea has warmed by half a degree in a century and the land by 1.5 degrees in 200 years. With moved, built around, changed position, changed screens, multiple replacement instruments, different height operators reading them, lazy observers, guesswork on wet days, asking the kid to nip out and read it, dropped, coughed over temperatures, randomly placed, near airports, roads, a/c units, the list goes on…
    It is such complete and utter bunkum.
    Take away their computers. give them window cleaning kits and road sweeping brushes. Make them useful members of society again.

    If you want my highly scientific assessment of the current state of knowledge, here it is:

    Its about as warm as it has been for the last thousand years give or take a degree or so.

    Get over it.

    Ivor Ward

  59. dennisambler says:
    August 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Sleeper says:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm
    “Can someone explain (in layman’s terms) why we did not see glacial and sea ice retreat in the 30′s like we have seen in the last 30 years? ”

    You should check out the 1930′s satellite record…..

    ————————————————–
    That is bloody hilarious… thank you !!!!

  60. Australia`s 12 operational tidal stations also have air temperatures recorded and there not been an increasing trend for the last 20 years. The BOM has advised me that the trend is too short a period for judging climate trends, yet the government climate change commission used the sea level data from these same stations to try and convince Australians to agree to a carbon tax. The BOM also advised me that the data equipment for air temperature was not up to the standard required for climate assessment. To be fair to the BOM , they did not compile the climate commission report. You pick up this on the WACLIMATE SITE

  61. In July, 1936, MD’s all-time high was recorded surprisingly near me (only 12 miles away) at 109F. WV (112F) & PA (111F) also set their all-time highs. 100F+ days were a dime-a-dozen. This July here, one day was 98F, and 2 days, 97F.

    Nuff said.

  62. ****
    REPLY: Noooo, they didn’t “prefer” they were ordered to, and if you’ve talked to as many observers as I have, you’d know what I know…they didn’t always get and/or follow orders. the TOBS adjustment is a mess. I’ll explain why in a future post. Until then stay comfortable in that thought cocoon of “climate science always does everything perfect and people always do what they are told”. – Anthony
    ****

    Anthony, TOBS seems to me almost intractable. Other than going manually thru each & every record & pinpointing any double counts (very difficult) & calculating that way, the only reasonable solution I see is taking NCDC’s “algorithm” and checking its results against some smaller subset of random stations (w/their TOBS determined the manual way). It least that could get some idea of how close their algorithm is.

  63. @Maus: I don’t think dust in the upper atmosphere compares to an entire column of dust from the surface on up. This wasn’t bright sand being kicked up either, but midwest topsoil. I’m obviously a warmist, but I don’t mind being proven wrong.

    Appreciate the humor, I’m applying for a grant now. I’ll let you know when we’re rich^H^H^H^Hfunded. ;)

  64. I’ve been studying the difference between how much the daily temp rises – how much it falls at night.
    Here’s a chart for the US 1940-2010

  65. Can anyone show the simple math on TOBS over a two week period for one station? Please show how, when your thermometer records the high and the low in the past 24 hours, how changing the time you read it changes that recording other then for the one day you make the switch. After that you will always get the true high, and the true low. Over time the change from the one day (when observation times changed) becomes meaningless as all the days since the change must have the true high and low. What am I doing wrong here?

  66. Could someone help me understand why these types of data are never reported with margins of error. It seems to me the differences discussed are not only within the amount of “adjustments” applied to the data, but potentially within the margins of error. Further, it seems to me the data from the 1930′s has to have a significantly larger margin of error than the satellite data. Surely there must be some articles on this somewhere? And being trained scientists, why are margins of error seldom provided with the data?

  67. If you want an accessible read on draught and paluvials, a paper by Richard Seager, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, “Climate and Draught: The State of Science 2010″ gives a historical perpspective of climate in the contiguous United States and trashes our notion of drought in the last 100 years. In his words “the past was scary”.

  68. Will someone kindly explain why (Tmax+Tmin)/2=Tavg even yields a valid datum in the first place? I have lived in areas where the diurnal temperature swing can be 50F or more during the summer (7000′ above sea level), yet where I currently live, the daytime Tmax might be equal to my old digs, but the diurnal swing might be only 10F. The above math yields a higher Tavg for here, yet says nothing about the fact that Tmax in both locations is the same. I certainly do not believe it to be “warmer” here than there, yet relying on Tavg it “must” be warmer (to use warmist logic.) Why would not a measurement of local heat content integrated over 24 hours or even better, 30 days, be a better way to track any perceived “global warming” and which month-year is actually hottest? I know those old white boxes were “supposed” to record humidity and barometric pressure as well as Tmax and Tmin.

  69. Valeria Rogers says:
    ““Yikes! We’re gonna roast!” Not funny. We are. …..
    August 9, 2012 at 11:49 am
    Here in the UK we can feel the cold, the wet, the total cloud cover for all but a few days over the last six months. The AGW camp is always telling us that local is irrelevant and it is weather not climate. Just answer the question why not at least give equal publicity to the new network that says the claim for record temperatures is far from true and why make spurious claims if the intent is not to deceive? Without calling them criminals I am not sure what description fits a group that deliberately falsifies claims. One cannot help wondering if it is like the Case of Nick Leeson who made dodgy trades and then dug himself in deeper and deeper trying to cover up the errors.
    Incidentally using an unshaded thermometer of the right type placed in direct sunlight can give an answer nearly 100 degrees c above the real one so your example is totally misleading rather than just irrelevant.
    I know it is hard for Americans to believe but the USA is only a small part of the world and Russia is having the same sort of weather we are.

  70. JohnH says:
    August 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    To be fair to the GISS folks, how do they justify their adjustments?
    _____________________________
    In England they use “The Dog Ate My Home Work” (After refusing to honor FOIA) link

    In New Zealand the use “The Goat Ate My Home Work” however a citizens group with the tenacity of a bulldog has dragged them kicking and screaming into court after FOIA did not work. The update is at Jo’s Don’t mention the Peer Review! New Zealand’s NIWA bury the Australian review

    And in Australia, They use “Lets toss it out and start over” Threat of ANAO Audit means Australia’s BOM throws out temperature set, starts again, gets same results

    Now don’t those explanations that make you feel comfortable with the data?

  71. It was the second year without a 90 deg. day in July for Portland OR, and it was downright chilly through July on the central Oregon coast until the last few days. The weather guy kept telling us temperatures were running several degrees below normal. When the east sizzles, we usually have to wear our sweaters.

  72. David says:
    August 9, 2012 at 7:39 am
    Can anyone show the simple math on TOBS over a two week period for one station? Please show how, when your thermometer records the high and the low in the past 24 hours, how changing the time you read it changes that recording other then for the one day you make the switch.
    ====

    This has puzzled me as well. It’s like going back and looking at a past F1 race and saying, “You know, if the start/finish line was a half a kilometer back, Coulthard would have had the fastest lap and therefore he should be adjusted up and declared the winner.”

    It doesn’t make any sense. And In the long run it has to even out — by definition. As long as a day is still 24 hours, a week 7 days and a year 365 (and a bit) days, there can be no long term bias.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that TOBS adjustment stands for There’s Our Bull Shit adjustment.

  73. Disko Troop says:
    August 9, 2012 at 3:45 am

    As an ex seafaring gentleman and ex operator of a maritime mobile weather station….
    ________________________________
    I agree.

    The claim Climastrologists make that they know the temperature of the earth to 0.01C more than a hundred years ago despite the fact that in Australia for example Around 30% of all readings in the Fahrenheit era (before 1972) were whole numbers, and about 18% afterwards. (It should have been 10% if the observers were following the rule book). This effect shows us that the measurements were much more slap dash than the BOM would like us to believe… just does not past the smell test. The precision and accuracy claims are complete and utter weasel feces and that is why they can get away with all the “Corrections” to the data.

    Take a look at these GISS records (Contiguous 48 U.S. Surface Air Temperature Anomaly (C)) and see what happened to the 1931 and 1934 temperature . Also notice the annual mean data for 1880 is reported as -.47 then -.41 then -.27 and then -.26.

    These are John Daly’s “snap shots of the data”

    as of June 2000: http://www.john-daly.com/GISSUSAT.006

    as of March 2001: http://www.john-daly.com/GISSUSAT.103

    as of February 2007: http://www.john-daly.com/GISSUSAT.702

    as of this morning (08/08/2007): http://www.john-daly.com/GISSUSAT.708

    This is from comment by JerryB at the above linked 2007 ClimateAudit http://climateaudit.org/2007/08/08/a-new-leaderboard-at-the-us-open/ mentioned by Caleb @
    August 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm.

  74. “one state in 1936 had below normal temperatures, Texas.”

    Uh, …what happenned to New England?

    According to the map, there are 5 States with below normal temperatures.

    And, …. could you go over how this (i.e. some states being colder than normal) make the average U.S. temp warmer, again?

  75. Maybe off subject but has anyone else noticed that in the summer when it is hot they call it global warming and in the winter when it is colder than normal they call it climate change?

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