How GISS creates long term Antarctic warming

From Tallblokes Talkshop, note what happens before 1958.

by Roger Andrews

The close match between GISS and me after 1955 is encouraging in that it shows that there’s at least one corner of the Earth where GISS hasn’t seriously mutilated the raw data. But GISS bumps Antarctic warming up from little or none since 1955 to two full degrees since 1900 by extending the Antarctic record back to 1904. Here’s where GISS gets the pre-1955 temperatures from:

The 1945-55 temperatures come entirely from stations on and around the Antarctic Peninsula that show much more warming than the mainland stations over the period of common record after 1955, and the 1904-44 temperatures come from a single station – Base Orcadas in the South Orkneys northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Projecting temperatures from the Antarctic Peninsula over the entire the entire 64-90S latitude zone, which covers an area of 25 million square kilometers, is bad enough, and projecting temperatures from  a single record like Base Orcadas over a zone this large is even worse. But it gets worse yet. The map below shows where Base Orcadas is. At 60 degrees 44 minutes south latitude IT ISN’T EVEN IN the 64-90S latitude zone. It’s in the next GISS latitude zone up – the 44-64S zone.

It’s hard to see how data manipulation in the service of global warming could get much more creative than that.

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70 thoughts on “How GISS creates long term Antarctic warming

  1. Would have tought Orcadas would give a warmer past series, thus messing up their upward trend.

    Wait – let me guess – they work some kind of adjustment on the data to add value & reduce it a lot?

  2. I see the vertical axis is “Temperature Anomaly”, what’s the real temperature? Surely Base Orcadas will be much warmer, being surrounded by sea.

  3. Look, it’s obvious that it’s getting warmer … deniers can’t seem to assimilate this fact. If 64S is 25 million square Km, then what the hell is the area covered by ~60deg 44 min? This must logically be much, MUCH warmer

    This is clearly fraud, writ large. Who is responsible? Ohhh, GISS, that explains a lot…..

    Full kudoes to Tallbloke and his correspondents. This is simply appalling, but what else do we expect from our scientific betters…..

  4. This GISS mob are clever little vegemites, this cunning graft of temperature series is like grafting an orange on to a palm and making it a tropical fruit. Do they not understand or realise that outside their cloistered paradise of public money, others actually think and observe. I do hope some one in America asks them to clarify this rather odd mismatch and ask them for what reason they could possibly have for such blatant fudging. This is not science, but a deliberate attempt to prove some thing that is not occurring. Shame on them.

  5. I notice there isn’t much slope to any of the three series in themselves. The trend only appears when you plot all three together and could well be due to differences in the mean lines of each series.

  6. All that can be deduced from the top graph with any degree of confidence is that there has been no significant change in Antarctic temperature since measurements began in 1958.

  7. They could have got an even bigger anomaly by using a station in Cape Town.
    I expect that GISS did not expect anyone to check. Since sea ice in the Antarctic has increased I would expect a definite negative temperature anomaly. I expect your eyes will now be concentrated on GISS claims like never before.
    Please keep us posted.

  8. 60 deg 44 mins south? To put that in perspective, 60deg 44 mins North goes through the most northerly part of the UK – the Shetland Islands. Its south of Anchorage Alaska, just north of Stockholm Sweden, passing through Helsinki Finland, slightly north of St Petersburg Russia, and quite a bit south of Iceland, which is entirely outside the Arctic circle (just).

  9. Out and Out Fraud. No other way of putting it, heads should roll for this. GISS needs root and branch clean out.No place for data manipulation or for data “accountancy” sack and revoke their pensions

  10. Best not to check on Base Orcadas temperatures with Weather Underground. The recent info is at Intellicast, and it’s relatively warm, the lowest low of the past two weeks was on October 9 at 32°F, barely freezing.

    But WU says the station is not responding, and the “History and Almanac” section says the temperature yesterday was 1830°F (999°C).

    Wow, that’d be a lot of global warming. And by the GISS 1200km temperature smearing technique, clear evidence the warming is now so bad that Antarctica must be melting and the continent is losing land ice. What greater proof would you need?

  11. There is a range of 4 deg C prior to 1955 and since then the range is only 2 deg C. It sure looks like increasing CO2 is dampening variability and bringing much more stable conditions to Antarctica or then again maybe the data series really is crap.

  12. Can you plot the full record of the Base Orcadas and the combined 1945-1955 peninsula stations, together with the mainland Antarctic stations only, up to current? That should give some idea of the difference in trends between the different latitudes…

  13. GISS temperature record for Base Orcadas, note it’s uncertain (AFAIK) how much is real measurements, with whatever amount of adjustments, and how much is made-up “infilled” measurements (“records” created from “nearby” stations when the station itself has no measurements):

    Thrown in a spreadsheet, by the Annual Average numbers, from 1903 to 2011 (entire record) the warming trend was 0.206°C/decade.

    But for the past 16 years, 1996-2011, trend was 0.322°C/decade. Guess Orcadas didn’t get the “Pause” memo.

    Someone please check with Bob Tisdale what the surrounding sea surface temperatures were, if they had that much rise. As it is, I’m suspecting the normal AHHI effect (Antarctica Habitation Heat Island).

  14. The 1904-44 temperatures come from a single station – Base Orcadas in the South Orkneys northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.

    That kind of extrapolation from far away is even extra invalid in the case of Antarctica.

    Antarctica is a special situation where the ice is so pure as to be whiter than clouds. High-albedo shading, reflective clouds, ordinarily cooling, instead warm Antarctica. A reduction in cloud cover which would relatively warm other landmasses or the ocean can instead cool Antarctica.

    The major distinction is illustrated in the following image, where, in the example of 1982 to 2004, there was simultaneously cooling over the ice and yet warming over the ocean a moderate number of miles away:

    The reason for the sharpness of the difference? Temperature trends in Antarctica, like temperature trends elsewhere and “global warming,” are caused in large part by changes in average cloud cover (influenced by changes in cosmic ray flux, in turn driven by variation in solar activity and the interplanetary magnetic field which deflects many GCRs).

    As seen by comparison of the preceding with the plot at , Base Orcadas is right out way in the ocean (on a tiny island) where it would show warming during the 1982 to 2004 period despite Antarctica as a whole cooling during that period. Likewise, what temperature change Base Orcadas showed over the 1904 to 1944 period would be utterly different than the temperature change in Antarctica meanwhile.

    Decades of Antarctica having temperature trends different from the bulk of the rest of the world are illustrated, with the reason explained, within

    With apologies for a graph that had to be rotated to make it more readily readable, actual Antarctic temperatures over the past several centuries, as reconstructed by Thamban et al. 2011, are shown in

    As one sees if comparing to global average temperatures (Loethle 2007 reconstruction) meanwhile, as shown as one of the plots within (click to enlarge), Antarctic temperature trends over the decades and centuries very much differ from elsewhere. Antarctic ice temperature trends are nothing like those of Base Orcadas on an island way out out in the ocean of different surrounding albedo.

  15. One wonders where they have hidden all those tempts/studies that demonstrated a forested and animal populated Antarctic ? How could there possibly be any “unprecendented warming” when the place was once the stomping grounds of dinosaurs up to their eyeballs in greenery.

  16. From wayne Job on October 22, 2012 at 2:07 am:

    This GISS mob are clever little vegemites…

    So they’re at least good for spreading on sandwiches?

    GISS likes to spread around the taxpayer “bread”, usually among themselves. Instead taxpayers should be spreading GISS on bread? What a Revolutionary concept!

  17. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    October 22, 2012 at 3:24 am
    Can you plot the full record of the Base Orcadas…

    It’s actually two spliced records, neither of which show any warming until you put them together.

  18. Such kind of record extension does not necessarily have to be wrong. If there is a good correlation between overlapping parts of these records, fill-in based on this correlation may be pretty close to reality.
    Main problem of the graph is, I believe, absence of error bars corresponing to realistic uncertainity of the record.

  19. Ferdinand Engelbeen says:
    October 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

    You beat me to it, this is the obvious way of checking what impact this splicing of different data sete is having. I’m sure the GISS folks will have performed such a basic QA check…

  20. Base Orcadas.
    Started in 1904. Were the instruments accurate back then?
    How old was the measuring instruments when installed?
    It looks as if GISS threw in a huge correction for a more northerly location of Base O.

  21. This methodology is safer and saves time and resources. The northern equivalent, would get Arctic temperatures by simply setting thermometers in northern Scotland or southern Norway.

  22. here’s the skinny on Base Orcadas from another talkshop contributor. Check these plots!
    Jostemikk says:
    October 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm
    Thanks for an interesting topic. Feel free to use this graphs if they are of any interest.;topic=1003.0;attach=3080;image;topic=1003.0;attach=3082;image;topic=1003.0;attach=3084;image

  23. As Kevin Trenberth once said “It is hard to make data where none exist”
    And yet that’s par for the course in AGW land.

  24. HenryP says:
    October 22, 2012 at 4:44 am
    I wonder what you think of my comment here:

    I remember you and Leif having a go at each other some time ago about the influence of the planets, if I am not mistaken?
    Do you still think that it is the pull of the planets causes my observed weather cycle?

    In my view there is no single sine wave solution.

  25. Bloke down the pub:

    At October 22, 2012 at 2:11 am you say
    All that can be deduced from the top graph with any degree of confidence is that there has been no significant change in Antarctic temperature since measurements began in 1958.
    And please remember that the first IPCC Report (AR1) projected greatest warming in the Arctic and the Antarctic because those regions have little atmospheric water vapour to mask warming effects of increasing CO2.

    Figure 5.4 in the AR1 shows projections of surface air temperature (ten year means) due to doubling CO2 for winter (December, January & February) and for summer months (June, July & August) provided by three climate models.

    The models were
    CCC: Canadian Climate Centre
    GFHI: Geophysical Fluids Dynamics Laboratory
    UKHI: United Kingdom Meteorological Office

    The Figure shows their projected Antarctic temperature rises were
    In winter
    CCC: 4 to 8 deg.C rise
    GFHI: 4 to 8 deg.C rise
    UKHI: 2 to 6 deg.C rise.
    In summer
    CCC: 6 to more than 12 deg.C rise
    GFHI: 6 to more than 12 deg.C rise
    UKHI: 2 to between 8 and 12 deg.C rise.

    Very conservatively, the projections can be interpreted as being
    winter rise of 4 deg.C
    summer rise of 8 deg.C
    providing a very conservative estimate of annual rise of 6 deg.C in Antarctica for a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    Mauna Loa data shows annual atmospheric CO2 has increased by 19% (from 315.97 to 391.57 ppmv) since 1959. Hence, making the very conservative assumption of linear temperature increase in response to increase in atmospheric CO2 then the IPCC projection says
    Antarctic temperature should have increased by more than 1 deg.C since 1958.

    The observed trend is less than a third of the projection.


  26. This is like using one weather station in Bermuda to establish the historic temperature record for all of North America.

    Fraud indeed!!

  27. Surely someone has since compared the records to see how these three sources compare? Do Orcadas and A Peninsula track the polar region temps? That would give at least some idea of the justification for the record.

  28. Wonder how the farmers here in NE Oregon would like it if they were told to expect temperatures and precipitation based on Newport Beach’s sensor on the Pacific Coast? Or maybe even a sensor perched on an atoll half way to Hawaii? Based on these temperature series we should be able to develop a bananna plantation, or at least grow cranberries, yes?

    Come on Hansen, have you no practical knowledge whatsoever?

  29. tallbloke says
    In my view there is no single sine wave solution.
    henry says
    true there could be a few more, but I think this one is the more important one, causing a clear weather cycle, more wet during cooling and more dry during warming.
    Where do you you think the blue line (actual measured) must go but further down south? The fit I finally chose is in fact the most modest one giving me the lowest possible rate of cooling. If I use any other fit I get much higher cooling rates. Remember that the total warming/cooling rate over the whole of this 88 year cycle is 0.0 K per year….
    I also think that the correlation of my sine wave

    with the dates of the level of Nile flooding is stunning.
    I thought you would be interested as W.Arnold thought that that 100 year weather cycle must be related to the movement of the planets.

  30. As someone who lives at 60 N, I’m happy to report that the temperature across the Arctic today is a balmy 4,5 deg C.

  31. To put Louis Hooffstetter’s one weather station another way, it would be like using El Paso TX or Omaha NB to identify the temperature in Breckenridge CO. Both are within the 1200 km

    smoothing radius

    which various warmists like to use.

  32. more soylent green!

    At October 22, 2012 at 7:11 am you suggest

    They should rename GISS to GIGO.

    I respectfully disagree, I think

    They should rename GISS to MIGO (i.e. Money In, Garbage Out).


  33. My grandmother taught me that a man with one watch has a good idea of what time it is, and a man with two watches is never sure what time it is. Now I think we can add that a man with three watches can claim it is whatever time he wants it to be.

  34. Something to ponder: This is really just more evidence that the temperature reconstruction too unreliable to be usable prior to 1950. Unfortunately, this is the period that paleoclimate people are forced to use for their “calibration period” (due to the divergence problem post 1960).

    I personally don’t have a problem with starting any analysis in 1950.

  35. It seems the general philosophy of pro-AGW climate science is that ‘you can be imaginative in how you manipulate the data, so long as it gives the ‘right’ answer.’

    If it gives the ‘wrong’ answer, then bin it to avoid accusations of fraud or denialism.

    Its very much like a policeman (or woman) collecting evidence for a murder when he (or she) already knows who done it. Its ok to fix the evidence to make sure you get the right man (…or woman).

  36. Thank you everyone for you comments. I’ll respond as time permits.

    But in the meantime another skeleton has fallen out of the closet. In a comment above Tallbloke posted some graphs from Jostemikk, and I reproduce one of them here:;topic=1003.0;attach=3082;image

    This graph shows that there are in fact two temperature records in the South Orkneys – Laurie Island and Louise Island, which is something I didn’t know when I wrote the post. Laurie Island, which shows warming, is the one that GISS and just about everyone else uses as “Base Orcadas”. Louise Island, which doesn’t show warming, appears as “Base Orcadas” only in the KNMI “adjusted” GHCN data base, I suspect by mistake.

    Another graph posted by Tallbloke in an earlier comment further shows that the Laurie Island record, the one that GISS uses, contains a large artificial discontinuity in 1951 that adds maybe 1.5C of overall warming.

    Here’s how the Laurie Island and Louise Island records compare when this discontinuity is removed.

    Not perfect, but I think good enough to show a) that the Laurie Island record is indeed warming-biased and b) that there’s been no significant warming in the South Orkneys since 1900.

    So it seems that not only did GISS base all of its Antarctic series before 1945 on a demonstrably contaminated record from a station located miles outside the Antarctic, it also ignored an uncontaminated record sitting right next door.

  37. I’m guessing that Base Orcadas, judging by it’s latitude, was so cold from 1904-44 because of the expansion of the antarctic polar vortex due to the ozone hole, which we’re told today is the only way the sub-arctic regions of Antarctica cool in the face of global warming.

  38. HenryP says:
    October 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Lets discuss it on a more appropriate thread. Call by on the De Vries cycle thread at my place if you like.

  39. Roger Andrews says
    b) that there’s been no significant warming in the South Orkneys since 1900.
    henry says
    As I was saying, earlier on:
    Remember that the total warming/cooling rate over the whole of this 88 year cycle (plus some lag years either way) is 0.0 K per year….

    In the old days on remote stations they used a simple method to establish the mean: take the max and the min for the day and divide by 2.
    I am asking how you can compare those results with current results where measurements are taken every second and recorded and a mean is calculated for the day?
    Better to keep looking at maxima only, it will give you most of what you are looking for..

  40. Minor oops to be sorted out:

    Jostemikk says:
    October 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm
    Roger Andrews:

    “You have solved the problem. Thank you.”

    My new name could easily be JosteERRmik. Louise Island is located on the Antarctic Penninsula, and that’s the funny part. Not so funny is that the Louise part of the explanation on the data from KNMI Climate Explorer wasn’t ment to be typed. I have never heard of the Louise Island before, and can’t explain what happened.

    I’m sorry for my mistake, and I can assure you I only intended to show the difference between the two versions of GHCN (adjusted) data v2/v3.

    I’ll guess this doesn’t make any difference. They adjust their adjustments all the time. GHCN adjusts their data several times a month.The GHCN data is downloaded from:

    The reason I typed the date oct 17 2012 on the graph is because they have changed the data several times before and since that date. Take a look at this, and its from Klimaforskning member la1goa on another GHCN station:


    ghcnm.tavg.v3.2.0.20120908.qcu.dat 716.66815186 + 0.45558590x Black

    ghcnm.tavg.v3.2.0.20120908.qca.dat -1415.11840820 + 1.53020287x Blue
    ghcnm.tavg.v3.2.0.20120921.qca.dat -677.69775391 + 1.16321862x Red
    ghcnm.tavg.v3.2.0.20121009.qca.dat -767.05212402 + 1.21529031x Green;topic=994.0;attach=3090;image

    I’ll correct the graphs in my next post.

    Jostemikk says:
    October 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    With appologies to Roger and Roger:;topic=1003.0;attach=3092;image;topic=1003.0;attach=3094;image

  41. vukcevic said
    6 years jail sentence each for the Italian scientists who failed to predict the earthquake.
    Climate scientists watch out!”

    Really ?!

    Can anyone arrange a Climate Team conference in Italy for Ben Santer, Mike Mann, James Hansen, Lubchenko, et al.

  42. If Louise Island is on the Antarctic Peninsula and not on South Orkney I guess I’d better apologize to GISS for accusing them of something they didn’t do.

    But it’s still curious that no one uses the Louise Island record. It’s only one in the Antarctic Peninsula that goes back close to the turn of the century and as far as I can see there’s nothing wrong with it, except of course that it doesn’t show any warming.

  43. Henry Clark says:
    October 22, 2012 at 4:10 am

    Antarctica is a special situation where the ice is so pure as to be whiter than clouds. High-albedo shading, reflective clouds, ordinarily cooling, instead warm Antarctica. A reduction in cloud cover which would relatively warm other landmasses or the ocean can instead cool Antarctica.

    This insight about whiter-than-white Antarctic snow with greater albedo than clouds, is fascinating and opens up many intriuging questions.

    – It underlines a central controlling role for cloud in climate and global temperatures, not only at the equator and the ITCZ, but all the way to the poles;

    – it adds plausibility to the hypothesis by Tzedakis and others that interglacial intervals terminate after a period of reciprocal north-south glaciation, called the “bipolar seesaw”

    – it has major nonlinear-chaotic pattern implications. The classic scenario identified by Alan Turing for biological pattern formation includes a simple model such as: one signal chemical promotes growth at short range, a second signal chemical inhibits growth at long range. Mix up their two effects and the result is emergent complexity. So a fat big Antarctica at the bottom of the world respnding in the opposite direction to global cloud-driven temperature trends could have profound influence on spatio-temporal climate and temperature patterns (but I have no idea what kind of influence). It could act to stabilise attractors in certain regimes.

  44. Its no coincidence that on those graphs of Louise Island, the 1940 region is the warmest…..which coincides with almost all of the temp records before they were adjusted. Its getting beyond a joke, all the evidence points to 1930 -1940 period as the warmest time in the record.

  45. If they can use an island 3,300km from the South Pole for anomalies for the Antarctica then they can use Stockholm for the Arctic.

  46. Billy Liar says:
    October 22, 2012 at 7:06 am
    You all seemed to have missed the fact that the GISS motto is: ‘Cooling the Past’
    “cooling the past to fund the future”

  47. I am VERY happy that the Talkshop has been reclassified OUT of the Transcendent Rant category. A good move for all concerned.

  48. Even the “peninsula” stations are mostly on K George Island in the S Shetland Islands, 100km off the coast of the actual Peninsula, and therefore out in the ocean currents.

  49. vukcevic says:
    October 22, 2012 at 8:26 am
    6 years jail sentence each for the Italian scientists who failed to predict the earthquake.
    Climate scientists watch out!

    Sadly I do not believe that is true. The earthquake scientist made it clear that there was a large level of uncertainty which media presentation lost in the transmission as far as I can see. Climate scientist have always maintained a spurious and unjustified certainty but are now so entrenched in the political machine there is no chance whatever of them being held accountable for the immense waste of money their predictions have caused.
    We still have not even got the fact that the data discrepancy between the new reference network and the old one is greater than any warming or even that there is a discrepancy. I am not sure if it has got as far as there being a comparison at all.
    No i believe they are safe as too many too powerful and rich people have too much to lose.

  50. It’s amazing the lucky coincidences the agw folks get. It turns out that in the same year they get the new stations in Antarctica the temperature on the mainland spikes 3C in that year. How coincidental because without that spike the record might look flat. It also is very convenient that Antarctica is such a large land mass that including such a spike at 1945 helps with that thorny problem of the decline in temperatures between 1945-1975. Placed right in the middle this helps a lot to lift those temps to give the nice smooth upward graph for worldwide temps that matches the models much better. Lucky thing that Antarctica decided to turn blast furnace on at 1945. SARCASM OFF.

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