GISS Releases (Suspect) October 2008 Data

by John Goetz

Update: Thanks to an email from John S. – a patron of climateaudit.org – we have learned that the Russian data in NOAA’s GHCN v2.mean dataset is corrupted. For most (if not all) stations in Russia, the September data has been replicated as October data, artificially raising the October temperature many degrees. The data from NOAA is used by GISS to calculate the global temperature. Thus the record-setting anomaly for October 2008 is invalid and we await the highly-publicised corrections from NOAA and GISS.

Update 2: The faulty results have been (mostly) backed out of the GISS website. The rest should be done following the federal holiday. GISS says they will update the analysis once they confirm with NOAA that the software problems have been corrected. I also removed the subtitles since the GISS data no longer reflects October as being the warmest ever.

GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Studies) Surface Temperature Analysis (GISSTemp) released their monthly global temperature anomaly data for October 2008. Following is the monthly global ∆T from January to October 2008:

Year J  F  M  A  M  J  J  A  S  O

2007 85 61 59 64 55 53 53 56 50 54

2008 14 25 62 36 40 32 52 39 50 78

Here is a plot of the GISSTemp monthly anomaly since January 1979 (keeping in line with the time period displayed for UAH). I have added a simple 12-month moving average displayed in red.

oct2008

The addition of October has changed some of the temperatures for earlier months:

GISS 2008   J  F  M  A  M  J  J  A  S  O

As of 9/08  14 25 62 36 40 29 53 50 49 ..

As of 10/08 14 25 62 36 40 32 52 39 50 78

The 0.78 C anomaly in October is the largest ever for October, and one of the largest anomalies ever recorded. Although North America was cooler than normal, Asia apparently suffered from a massive heat wave.

Also, after several months of being downgraded to a 0.61 C anomaly, 2005 has been lifted back to 0.62 C.


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November 10, 2008 1:33 pm

The anomoly for August ’08 was initially released as 0.39, adjusted to 0.50 last month, and re-adjusted to 0.39 this month. Laughable.
Secondly, the UK Met Office says: “Maximum, minimum and mean daily temperatures were all below average across the UK. Most areas, provisionally had their coldest October since 2003, but Northern Ireland had its coldest since 1993 with mean temperatures around 1 deg C below average.” But GISTemp has the UK warmer than normal. GISTemp can’t be trusted.

terry46
November 10, 2008 1:37 pm

I”m not so sure we should take this information at face value.With so many faulty temperaues sites here in the U.S. ,how not to measure temperatures,that Anthony has showed on this site watts up with that I feel sure there is a lot of bias .And as far as Asia is concerned this is the first i’ve heard of this masive heat wave.How do we know there isn’t the same bias there to .

November 10, 2008 1:37 pm

Anthony,
Can you over lay the GISS plot with the Satellite plot, to show the difference?
Russ

malcolm
November 10, 2008 1:49 pm

Are the GISS methods peer reviewed and reproducable by independent scientists?

November 10, 2008 1:53 pm

Excerpt from a global weather news blog posted Nov. 1st: “Eastward, however, over southern central and northern Europe (Scandinavia), the cool gave way to above-normal temperature. Eastward from Poland, Hungary and Romania into western Russia, mean monthly temperature 1.5-3.0 degrees C was widespread. And, still farther east, things really got warm. The greater part of the vast Russian Federation land mass together with northeast China and much of central Asia (Kakazhstan) had mean monthly temperature 3 to 5 degrees C above normal. Departures above normal of 1.5 to 3.0 degrees C above normal were widespread over China as a whole as well as Japan, Korea and a significant fraction of the Subcontinent. Indochina was also warmer than usual.”

Harold Ambler
November 10, 2008 1:56 pm

Moscow’s temperature was frequently warmer than London’s during October, I happened to see, and that is super unusual. Also, most other temperatures I looked at across Russia were very warm throughout the month. Nonetheless, the GISS value seems incongruously high compared to UAH.
The GLOBAL sea ice anomaly at zero as of today, and one would not anticipate such a situation to follow on the heels of the warmest October ever.

November 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Unprecedented! This may be the tipping point we have been waiting for. Can we now march forward and seize the helm of the Earth ship, and steer a clear course to green freedom? Yes we can!

Jared
November 10, 2008 1:59 pm

Wow…has there ever been a greater discrepency between the satellite and GISS records than now? I doubt it.
The NOAA says the U.S. just had their 44th coolest October (out of 114 years), much of Europe was cool, ice extent grew at a record pace and snowcover exploded in Asia…and yet somehow we just had the warmest October globally ever?

Bill Illis
November 10, 2008 2:01 pm

One needs to see the GISS anomaly map to believe it.
All of Russia and the Arctic above Russia was +4.0C (and more maybe 13.7C?) above normal. (Obviously the ice was not refreezing as the satellites showed.)
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=10&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=10&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

Richard deSousa
November 10, 2008 2:02 pm

Laughable… GISS is Hansen’s sand box… no one else is allowed to play there unless they are part of the “team.”

Bill Marsh
November 10, 2008 2:10 pm

That’s outrageous. GISS is rapidly approaching the edge of lucidity. People looking out the window will be able to see that it is unrealistic.

james griffin
November 10, 2008 2:24 pm

It si about time Hansen explained himself, this is bizarre.

Michael Hauber
November 10, 2008 2:26 pm

Well I’ve had a look at GISS maps, and most of the hot red is around east Asia and also far northern Europe. I used 250 km smoothing and one thing that stands out like a sore thumb to me is the coverage of Australia. Only one red spot, which correponds to one of the most remote corners of our coastline.
Heatwave in Asia? Well being autumn, would it need to be a heatwave? Or just an extended mild autumn and late winter? Being a keen ENSO watcher I’ve noticed a fringe of warm water around North East Asian (Pacific side) which would be consistent with unusually warm conditions on land in that area.
Why is Giss so different to satellite? Perhaps poor coverage in areas like Australia that may have been closer to average, and high coverage in areas like Asia where there has been a lot of heat?
The difference between GISS and Uah probably has an explanation if someone looks hard enough, and this explanation may tell an interesting story….

The engineer
November 10, 2008 2:28 pm

How is that possible. Extreme cold weather in Arctic, North America, Europe and Bhutan. The southern hemisphere must have been 1,5 degrees celcius warmer than normal just to break even.
Isn’t anyone going to come up with a viable alternative to Hansens Folly ?

vivendi
November 10, 2008 2:29 pm

The addition of October has changed some of the temperatures for earlier months
How’s that possible? Why do temps need to be changed even months afterwards, aren’t they measured and automatically recorded in real-time?
May be Oct will be corrected as well, in Jan next year?

Ed Scott
November 10, 2008 2:35 pm

China joins Algore and the UN/IPCC in the global scam with the caveat: The cost is for thee, not for me.
China tells rich polluting nations to change lifestyle
“Chinese officials have said wealthy nations should divert as much as 1 percent of their economic worth to paying for clean technology transfers and helping the Third World overcome damage from the rising temperatures bringing more heatwaves and droughts, more powerful storms and rising sea levels.”
http://fe9.story.media.ac4.yahoo.com/news/us/story/nm/20081107/ts_nm/us_china_climate

John Finn
November 10, 2008 2:35 pm

There might be one or two issues with the GISS figure (e.g UK as mentioned by Fred in first post) but it would seem to be broadly correct. There were a number of very warm areas around the globe in October. As i’ve already mentioned on the UAH thread, AMSU temperatures support the warm surface record. October AMSU temps at 900mb (3300 ft) are also at record high levels.

Chuck L
November 10, 2008 2:41 pm

You can count on the media picking up on the GISS figures and completely ignoring/disregarding UAH, RSS, and even the Hadley figures (when they are released).

TinyCO2
November 10, 2008 2:42 pm

I think he must be using the Magic 8 Ball method of climate prediction-
Has the temperature gone up?
● As I see it, yes
● Ask again later
● Better not tell you now
● Cannot predict now
● Concentrate and ask again
● Don’t count on it
● It is certain
● It is decidedly so
● Most likely
● My reply is no
● My sources say no
● Outlook good
● Outlook not so good
● Reply hazy, try again
● Signs point to yes
● Very doubtful
● Without a doubt
● Yes
● Yes – definitely
● You may rely on it
Twice as many positive answers than negative.

hereticfringe
November 10, 2008 2:42 pm

The NSIDC just put out a press release claiming that the latent heat of fusion from the freezing of the arctic ocean is keeping arctic air temperatures above normal… while there may be truth to that claim, they neglect to point out that the heat capacity of the atmosphere is dwarfed by the heat capacity of the ocean, and they neglect to mention that the atmosphere can give up its heat to space rather quickly, especially when the sun is constantly below the horizon.
In a way, they are admitting that the additional heat that may be gained by the arctic ocean when the sea ice shrinks and more sunlight is absorbed is offset by the rapid cooling of the sea when there is no ice layer present to insulate it when the sun goes down.
This is pretty much basic thermodynamics at play here. If the sea ice goes down below normal, the regrowth rate will be much higher because there is no ice layer to act as a blanket to keep the arctic ocean from losing its stored energy…
There is a lot of spin doctoring in the NSIDC press release if you ask me…

Philip_B
November 10, 2008 2:57 pm
Chris
November 10, 2008 2:58 pm

I agree with Fred that the Oct 08 GISS anomalies for Britain appear to be plain wrong – i’ve posted about this on Lucia’s blog.
However, there’s no doubt that anomalies really were pretty high over Russia. This is confirmed by the MSU/AMSU TLT anomaly map:
http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_monthly.html?channel=tlt
(Click next to “Anomaly” at the top of the screen)
Also, note that UAH has “NoExt Land” (i.e. land masses north of the tropics) for Oct 08 at +0.62C making it the third warmest after 2005 (+0.75C) and 1998 (+0.70C)
http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

John Finn
November 10, 2008 3:16 pm

How is that possible. Extreme cold weather in Arctic,
This is the kind of stuff that needs to be challenged and corrected. The Arctic has not been cold – it has been considerably warmer than average.

Chris
November 10, 2008 3:18 pm

This is the Met Office anomaly map for Britain in October 2008:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/2008/october/maps/TMean_Anomaly%20No%20Stations.jpg
It’s in relation to the 1961-1990 average (no more than ~0.1C different to the 1951-1980 average, which is the standard GISS baseline)
Note that most of the country has an anomaly of between -0.5C and -1.0C. The pockets marked -0.5C are the least cold bits (i.e. anomaly between -0.5C and 0C)
Now compare GISS:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/
You can even change the GISS baseline to 1961-1990 to be sure.
It’s GISS that’s wrong.

Jared
November 10, 2008 3:19 pm

John Finn-
You continue to ignore corrections about the AMSU satellite data. One more time: you cannot take the daily readings at face value. They have to be corrected because of satellite drift. Did you expect October 2008 UAH to be cooler than October 2007? It was, by .06C.
Chris-
Yes, the satellite data confirms that much of Russia was warm. But not 4-13C above normal, as GISS’s map shows. Funny how it’s always the least populated areas that GISS broadbrushes with red…

Frank. Lansner
November 10, 2008 3:19 pm

Todays forecasts tells that we will have quite a cooling within 14 days:
http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/prog1.jpg
http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/prog2.jpg
Explanation for the above:
Left column: Temperature anomaly for 10-17 nov
In the middle: Temperatures 10-17 nov.
Right column: Temperatures 18-26 nov
On the above you see that there are 8 coolings vs 1 warming region when going from 10-17nov to 18-26 nov.

Richard
November 10, 2008 3:19 pm

I find it interesting that with all the technology available to us and all the money being spent we cannot get to a figure we can all agree on. Yet we are suppose to believe that scientists can figure out with total certainty what the temperature was a thousand years ago from looking at a few tree rings, sea shells and other proxies.

Leon Brozyna
November 10, 2008 3:26 pm

However does GISS manage to do these things?
Silly question. Try this little trick, courtesy of a November 5 posting at ICECAP’s Blogosphere column (sorry, no direct link).
http://icecap.us/index.php
In that post there’s an image in pdf format (listed below) that compares two GISS graphs, sort of a before and after comparison, showing the effect of the adjustments GISS makes. When you click on the link and the pdf file comes up, use your arrow keys to alternate between the two images. You can see how earlier temperatures are adjusted downward and more recent temps are adjusted upward. As the author notes, Hansen seems to be creating his own hockey stick.
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/NASATEMPS.pdf
GISS — what’s that stand for? Gore’s Institute for Silly Science?

Chris
November 10, 2008 3:39 pm

“Near-surface air temperatures in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska were more than 7 degrees Celsius (13 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal and the warming extended well into higher levels of the atmosphere.”
(from the latest NSIDC press release)
Doesn’t seem to fit with this:
http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_monthly.html?channel=tlt
(click on “Anomaly”)
Also, surface temperatures at Barrow were far from record-breaking at a mean of -5.1C
(compared with e.g. 1902 at -3.8C, 1911 at -2.7C, 1938 at -3.8C, or 1949 at -4.5C to name some much earlier Octobers that were milder, alongside many more recent ones)
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.425700260000.1.1/station.txt
[ Of course, there’s also more urban heat effects these days, even at these high latitudes http://www.geography.uc.edu/~kenhinke/uhi/HinkelEA-IJOC-03.pdf ]

Bruce
November 10, 2008 3:40 pm

I clicked on a station from Russia near the center of the huge temp anomalie (link posted by Bill Illis)
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.222300540001.1.1/station.txt
A third of that data in the monthly set is 999.9 (which I assume means it is missing).
I suspect the problem is that the GISS “algore-ithm is actually adding in the 999.9 as if it was real data.

Pieter F
November 10, 2008 3:42 pm

How can Hansen be so out of step with the other data sets and the common sense observations? This past October was simply not that warm, whether one considers the general impression of weather reports or the satellite data. We will no doubt see the news media and the politicians pick up Hansen’s extreme without consideration of the other data sets.

Dave Andrews
November 10, 2008 3:45 pm

Well guess what?. On some days here in North Wales (UK) it was really cold in October and on some other days it wasn’t. But that’s only weather.
However, if its warm in Siberia its climate according to GISS. Are they credible anymore?

Graeme Rodaughan
November 10, 2008 3:49 pm

Hi Leon,
How long before the “Equatorial Global Warming Measurement Project” is initiated with the steady installation of new temperature stations along the equator that are then averaged over the world ground station data set.
A 10 year program that would provide a convenient method to keep the warmists happy.
(Just joking).

Chris
November 10, 2008 3:57 pm

Well that’s interesting! The first station I click on in the “offending” dark orange area of Russia has a mean temperature of 8.1C for October. That’s pretty damn warm for 65.8 degrees north! And appears to beat the previous record by an impressive 7.5C. Except….. the mean temperature for September was also 8.1C. Coincidence?
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222234720005&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
Hmm, better check with its neighbour. Oh dear, it’s also well into positive numbers at 6.9C, way way way over previous years. OK I’m truly alarmed for the first time. The first station’s figure must have been correct. Except…. The second station had a figure of 6.9C for September too. Double coincidence?
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222235520002&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

Fernando
November 10, 2008 4:08 pm

Silly question …
I’m facing a religious problem.
I do not know how to express my feelings.
Let us pray
GISS:
…and forgive us our trespasses,(emissions)
…but deliver us from CO2.
Maybe one day, will be compulsory in schools from around globe.
FM

Michael Hauber
November 10, 2008 4:11 pm

Also Cryosphere Today ice maps from October show noticeably less ice over Northern Asia than previous years.

November 10, 2008 4:13 pm

RussS asked for a comparison of GISTEMP with satellite. Here’s the unsmoothed data of GISTEMP and RSS (baselines adjusted):
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/plot/rss
and the same smoothed:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/rss/mean:12
Two things to note:
1) There have been times when GISTEMP has been way higher than RSS before, and vice versa
2) On average they track fairly well together.
I think this is probably a one or two-month blip, but given its magnitude granted it’s interesting to speculate on why it might be in terms of on-the-ground reality…

John M
November 10, 2008 4:15 pm

I have the perfect “win-win”
Obama should appoint Hansen to an Adminstration post.
He can publish the monthly GDP numbers.
Dow 15,000, here we come!

DEG
November 10, 2008 4:16 pm

Bruce
Really interesting idea. Is there some way to get the data from the different measurements stations. The link you provided seem to be dead.

November 10, 2008 4:18 pm
Caleb
November 10, 2008 4:19 pm

I hate to say this, but I fear science is not involved. This amounts to unmitigated gall. I feel it is pure propaganda.
I have become such a cynic that I believe they had two sets of data: One would be released if Republicans won, and another if Democrats won.
I confess I have no evidence to substantiate such a suspicion, but the way they re-re-re-re-adjust data just makes my stomach turn. Have they no shame?

Chris
November 10, 2008 4:26 pm

OK, I’ve found 5 more Russian stations with Oct 08 mean temp identical to that of Sep 08. I don’t know how to react except by laughing. I mean, here we are in the 21st century, using the most incredible technology to communicate with each other around the world, in an era where we can send probes to Mars and watch videos on a mobile phone. And yet…… we’re wasting our time having to spot ridiculous errors in a simple database used to track mere surface temperature recordings?

Chris
November 10, 2008 4:29 pm

My last comment (16:26) followed on from an earlier one, but the earlier one looks like it may have vanished? Just in case it doesn’t re-appear, here it is again:
Well that’s interesting! The first station I click on in the “offending” dark orange area of Russia has a mean temperature of 8.1C for October. That’s pretty damn warm for 65.8 degrees north! And appears to beat the previous record by an impressive 7.5C. Except….. the mean temperature for September was also 8.1C. Coincidence?
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222234720005&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
Hmm, better check with its neighbour. Oh dear, it’s also well into positive numbers at 6.9C, way way way over previous years. OK I’m truly alarmed for the first time. The first station’s figure must have been correct. Except…. The second station had a figure of 6.9C for September too. Double coincidence?
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222235520002&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

November 10, 2008 4:44 pm

I had to walk out of the opening general session of a wildfire conference in Tampa this past week when, during an “expert” panel discussion, the gentleman from NOAA announced that the wildfires in Alaska will most assuredly become larger and more frequent over the next century, due mainly to the 20°F rise in temperature, caused, of course, by AGW. (The rest of the world is going to burn to cinders from AGW, too, but Alaska’s temps are, apparently, going to equal sub-Saharan Africa… Nevermind that almost a century of intensive fire suppression and unscientific forest management practices [Read: Zero logging in fire-suppressed forests] have been scientifically proven to be the de facto reasons for increased fire intensity and severity, along with the vastly-increased wildland/urban interface areas, across the US & Canada.)
During the course of the next few days, I talked to a number of fellow pyromaniacs fire professionals who just shook their heads in disgust at the unmitigated, unsubstantiated AGW fear-mongering by the NOAA representative. We’ll keep on doing our parts to try to help keep the citizens of the U.S. safe from wildfires and Anthropogenic Global Cooling™ by continuing to do what we do best— Burning the woods and adding millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. 🙂
Keep up the great work, Anthony [snip]

November 10, 2008 4:49 pm

During September I was looking regularly on the wetteronline.de weather prediction maps of Asia and Northern Amerika in order to find out why certain parts of the Arctic sea were gaining some much ice extent so rapidly.
The biggest gains in ice extent happened along the Siberian coast, temperatures there were much colder than in northern Alaska. Also, there was a lot of snow falling in Siberia during October, more than last year. See the UIUC ice extent maps.
All this is inconsistent with the GISS October map mentioned here.
In contrast, Russia up to Ural quite often had considerably warmer temperatures than Germany.
My best guess is they made an honest mistake like the one suggested by Bruce.

Jared
November 10, 2008 4:57 pm

Wow, I can’t believe GISS would make the mistake of carrying over September’s Russian numbers into October (if that indeed is what happened)…that certainly would explain the huge area of ridiculous warmth (up to 13.7C above normal, apparently, lol) over Siberia – no doubt greatly contributed to the warm GISS number for October.
As several of us have been saying, temperatures that warm would simply not support the rapid ice/snow growth seen in that area over the past month.

Chris V.
November 10, 2008 4:59 pm

Russ asked:
“Can you over lay the GISS plot with the Satellite plot, to show the difference?”
Here’s another one, comparing GISS, Hadley, UAH, and RSS:
http://cce.890m.com/giss-vs-all.jpg
Once you get past the short-term noise, there isn’t a heckuva lot of difference between them.
How anyone can claim that GISS is somehow fudging their data is beyond me.

Patrick Kiser
November 10, 2008 5:04 pm

Quite simply, there is an input error.
In completing random check of the cities in warm area, every city with October 2008 data has identical data for both October and September:
Moskva 10.9 both months
Kraznojarsk 8.6 both months
Turuhansk 8.1 both months
Tarko-Sale 6.9 both months
Bor 8.1 both months
These were just the first five I’ve checked. I did also look at data in the US (St. Louis) and France (Dijon), and these appear to be actual temperatures.
Given that they are using September temperature readings for October, it is no surprise that they are getting such a large positive anomaly. I would be interested in finding out if there is an efficient way to notify NASA of these errors, so that they can correct their number.

EJ
November 10, 2008 5:08 pm

You all know I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but could this be a sneaky way to set up the BO presidency with an urgent need to regulate CO2?

Manfred
November 10, 2008 5:11 pm

from now on peer reviewed papers should now reject articels that refer to GISS temperatures.

Chris
November 10, 2008 5:14 pm

HadSST2 is out: globally, the ocean surface temperature anomaly dropped from +0.371C in Sep 08 to +0.317 in Oct 08.
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadsst2gl.txt
This matches nicely [bearing in mind different baselines] the drop in UAH satellite-derived temperature anomaly over the global oceans from +0.11C to +0.03C
http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

Patrick Henry
November 10, 2008 5:15 pm

Arctic ice area back to normal today, for the first time in several years. No doubt due to the record October warmth up north.
http://eva.nersc.no/vhost/arctic-roos.org/doc/observations/images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

Mike
November 10, 2008 5:18 pm

What goes on is a contest. That is to say “The will of freedom” vs. “The will of Government”. I’ll be damned if the will of the governmnet beats me and the rest of us who will defend the will of freedom. Here’s a few pearls for Hansen and the rest of those who wish to impose their will on us, “The will to fight for freedom and independence in 1776 still exists today”. “There are a great many of us who will under no circumstance allow the oppression of government rule to pervade over our freedom—-PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Finn
November 10, 2008 5:21 pm

My best guess is they made an honest mistake like the one suggested by Bruce.
It probably is a mistake but I’m surprised they’ve not managed to pick up such obvious outliers.

mr.artday
November 10, 2008 5:22 pm

GISS=Gore Institute of Swindle Science. Nothing silly about the cost to consumers of B.O.’s skyrocketing electricity prices.

November 10, 2008 5:28 pm

You would think the temp map results would have drawn a “red flag” with somebody…. te he.

H.R.
November 10, 2008 5:34 pm

@John M (16:15:28) :
You wrote, “I have the perfect “win-win”.
Obama should appoint Hansen to an Adminstration post.
He can publish the monthly GDP numbers.
Dow 15,000, here we come!”
I LIKE the way you think! Except… you left out the tipping point. That’s where the Dow runs away to 140,000 by 2050.
Hmmm… now you’ve got me thinking. We’ve had a tech bubble, a real estate bubble, and an oil bubble. Is a global temperature bubble next?

ning
November 10, 2008 5:38 pm

That’s right BC, boreal forest fire incidence has absolutely nothing to do with climate whatsoever….
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JD006738.shtml
…..yeah.
Of course fire management practices have influenced the occurrence of wildfires, but your statements against this NOAA chap are just as un-nuanced lacking any legitimate context in climate. Yes, there is considerable ignorance of the causes and role of wildfires in controlling the ecology of the boreal forests amongst climate and atmospheric folks (this is changing – see ARCTAS this year), but that doesn’t negate the influence of climate now or the influence of a future changed climate upon this phenomenon.

Chris
November 10, 2008 5:44 pm

I guess it’s more likely they’d have noticed a similar mistake if made in April 🙂

MattN
November 10, 2008 5:52 pm

Not to worry everyone. After making CERTAIN headlines, Hansen will adjust Oct 08 down at least .1. No one will notice. Except us.

Richard Sharpe
November 10, 2008 5:53 pm

It probably is a mistake but I’m surprised they’ve not managed to pick up such obvious outliers.

When you believe in global warming you don’t go looking for things that will change your beliefs.

MattN
November 10, 2008 5:53 pm

This is, BTW, a significantly better view of what really happened last month: http://www.remss.com/data/msu/graphics/tlt/medium/global/ch_tlt_2008_10_anom_v03_2.png
I encourace you to compare it to previous years. Not remotely close to the warmest October.

Chris V.
November 10, 2008 5:55 pm

Let’s not forget “the mother of all mistakes” – the arithmetic error in the UAH processing algorithm. When it was discovered (back in 2005?), the UAH decadal temperature trend increased a whopping 25% (from 0.09 to 0.12 degrees).
I didn’t hear anybody back then saying that “peer reviewed papers should now reject articles that refer to UAH temperatures”, or that there was something nefarious going on.
And nobody here seems to think that the UAH results have been forever “poisoned” because of that (rather significant) error.
UAH made a mistake. The latest GISS results may be a mistake. If so, it will soon be corrected. That’s the way science works. Deal with it.

John M
November 10, 2008 6:02 pm

Chris V. (17:55:50) :

And nobody here seems to think that the UAH results have been forever “poisoned” because of that (rather significant) error.

No, we leave that to the Tamino denizens. Funny, I haven’t seen you giving a similar caution over there.

hyonmin
November 10, 2008 6:09 pm

Chris V.
You are probably correct, but people here see our president elect using these numbers (probably through advisers) to proceed with his declared position to stop the use of fossil fuels. It is a blind process without science or rational thinking. But you must also note that NASA has very poor oversight when publishing a data set that is used world wide. Maybe this is the new government standard and none of us has to pay our taxes as no one is checking.

Brooklyn Red Leg
November 10, 2008 6:10 pm

Isn’t it time someone called for ‘Dr’ Hansen’s head on a silver platter? Or else sued him for fraudulently wasting tax payer’s money?

November 10, 2008 6:10 pm

A five minute check of the text files in the hotspot reveals a number of other stations in which September data has been copied across to October, e.g. Enisejk, Kolpasevo, Suntar, Viljujsk, Minusinsk and Tura.
See my post on this here.
Simon
Australian Climate Madness

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 6:11 pm

Never attribute to conspiracy what one may attribute to idiocy.

EJ
November 10, 2008 6:26 pm

Remember folks,
Climate changes, right? My question is simple. Does CO2 cause climate change? The vast majority of the studies, which assume warming due to AGW, never address this simple question.
How can manipulating 0.00006 ppv of our atmosphere cause a tipping point?
We know the oceans inhale a few years worth of man’s emmissions every yearly breath she takes.
This GISS nonsense needs to be rooted out with FOI action. The first thing I would try to archive is the ORIGINAL, uncorrected, RECORD for all data available.
Do GISS unadulterated data still exist? Then request all calcs and other materials supporting the manipulate of the data. Get all the data first.
Can this be done?

Mike Bryant
November 10, 2008 6:33 pm

“As several of us have been saying, temperatures that warm would simply not support the rapid ice/snow growth seen in that area over the past month.”
.
Maybe that’s why CT has Arctic Sea Ice Area falling precipitously.

Editor
November 10, 2008 6:34 pm

But wait; it gets even stranger. Check out Erbogacen at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.222248170006.1.1/station.txt and you’ll see
Year Sep Oct
2000 4.7 -7.9
2001 4.6 -4.0
2002 5.7 -5.8
2003 6.4 -5.0
2004 5.8 -4.3
2005 7.3 -3.9
2006 6.1 -8.9
2007 5.8 -2.6
2008 999.9 5.0

kim
November 10, 2008 6:36 pm

This is a scream. September ’08 is the hottest October on record. Oh, my God!
=======================================

Editor
November 10, 2008 6:45 pm

Question… is there a way to download all the text data for Russia (or the entire planet for that matter) in one step, and look at it later?

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 6:47 pm

My hat is old.
My teeth are gold.
I have a bird
I like to hold.
My shoe is off.
My foot is cold.
My shoe is off.
My foot is cold.
I have a bird
I liked to hold.
My hat is old.
My teeth are gold.
And now
my story
is all told.
–Dr. Seuss

Les Johnson
November 10, 2008 6:48 pm

evanjones: Never attribute to conspiracy what one may attribute to idiocy.
Remarkably similar to my “Never attribute to conspiracy, that which can be accounted for by incompetence.”
Either I read this somewhere, and forgot enough to lose the source; or its a universal truth.
I agree. Its such an elemental error, that it has to be a simple mistake.
It does warm my heart, though, to see Hanson’s name attached to it.
[REPLY – Many variations. An oldie but a goodie. ~ Evan]
[Reply 2: Never assume malice when stupidity will explain it ~ my variation, charles the moderator.]

Pamela Gray
November 10, 2008 6:52 pm

I wonder. If the oceans are getting colder, where is the heat going? Is it evenly and well distributed in the atmosphere? Does it evenly dissipate into our outer atmosphere and beyond? Given that nothing else we have finally seen pictures of, I doubt it. Warm air escaping from cooling oceans likely swirl and glob over the land masses before finally loosing energy to the upper atmosphere and beyond. It is not out of reality’s realm to consider that dissipating warm ocean air can ride the wind to warm different parts of the planet before eventually leaving altogether and leading to global cooling. But at first, it probably starts with uneven application, just like CO2, ozone, etc.

kim
November 10, 2008 6:56 pm

Hey ej, that bird you’re holdin’ is pinin’ for the apparently warm fjords.
============================================

Les Johnson
November 10, 2008 6:57 pm

It should be simple to find the error source. The NCDC, Hadley and GISS all use NOAA data.
If everyone has the same tropical October, its the NOAA. If only GISS has palm tree October, then its GISS.
This is assuming that the NOAA is the clearing house for foreign data, as well as domestic.

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 7:01 pm

Well, its beau’iful plumage is blue with cold.

EJ
November 10, 2008 7:02 pm

ning,
That the climate changes, I conclude, cool. I love the seasons. According to my study, the Earth’s climate has never remained constant, especially to the tenth of a degree, the last four billion years.
You are here to save us from climate change. Are you sure you really want this? What to you is the perfect global temperature? And in light of the geological record, how do we prevent the climate from changing. Start geo-engineering the atmosphere? Surely you don’t think spending trillions to try to manipulate 0.000002 ppv of our atmosphere of CO2 would create a tipping point.
We can’t hardly even measure this, can we? Hang out with some other people, eh?
And you are saying that we need to reduce our output of CO2 by how many 100 thousandths ppv? Have you not ran the calcs?

November 10, 2008 7:03 pm

It’s eminently possible for land temperature in the northern hemisphere to get out of whack with the ocean temperatures after a La Nina year because atmospheric moisture levels take a dive during the La Nina. Then, when the northern hemisphere has summer, there is a greater than usual reduction in cloud cover. Result is more than usual heating of the atmosphere over the land masses. China and Russia get lots of sunshine.
Meanwhile the thing that has caused the La Nina, an increase in cloud cover south of the Equator continues, the southern hemisphere has a very cold winter and when the northern summer ends the ocean is found to have lost energy. Then, watch out because the swing to cold may catch you short of heating oil.
If the tropics are cold the supply of moisture streaming to high latitudes may not be enough to give an outstanding snow fall.

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 7:07 pm

All very well. And I do not question your theory.
But the other metrics don’t see it, and it looks as if there might have been a rather embarrassing data error involved. So I think we need to take a wait-and-see attitude here.
–Just noticed. JG sayeth it’s an NOAA screwup.
BTW, for purposes of clarification, I am NOT username “EJ”, although those are my initials.

Patrick K
November 10, 2008 7:09 pm

I do have other problems with how GISS records monthly mean temperatures over in Russia. Generally, the US and Western European GISS mean temps correlate pretty well with the mean temperatures that publicly available. Here’s a comparison between WeatherUnderground and GISS mean monthly temps for a couple random cities:
Dijon, France
Oct. 10 10.2
Sept. 13 13.8
Aug 18 18.6
Jul 19 19.8
Jun 17 17.8
May 15 15.9
St. Louis WU GISS
Oct. 14 14.6
Sept. 21 21.8
Aug 24 24.8
Jul 26 26.3
Jun 25 24.9
May 17 17.3
And then here are the comparisons between the two for a couple of Russian cities in Centigrade:
Moscow WU GISS
Oct. 7 10.9
Sept. 10 10.9
Aug 17 17.5
Jul 18 19.1
Jun 14 15.6
May 10 11.3
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
WU GISS
Oct. 3 8.6
Sept. 8 8.6
Aug 14 15.2
Jul 17 18.8
Jun 16 18.0
May 8 9.5
We now know that the October temps are just wrong, but why are all of GISS’s mean temperatures 1-2 degrees higher? Given that data from Russia result in a huge part of the temperature anomaly over the past 22 months, it seems to me that it may be due to this discrepancy. Any thoughts?

Editor
November 10, 2008 7:12 pm

But wait; it gets even stranger. Erbogacen at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.222248170006.1.1/station.txt is missing Sept, but has Oct
Year Sep Oct
2000 4.7 -7.9
2001 4.6 -4.0
2002 5.7 -5.8
2003 6.4 -5.0
2004 5.8 -4.3
2005 7.3 -3.9
2006 6.1 -8.9
2007 5.8 -2.6
2008 999.9 5.0
The 5.0 would make more sense in Sept than Oct. And change my earlier question to how does one get all the NOAA/GHCN data in one download.

EJ
November 10, 2008 7:15 pm

I hope we all know too that man could cease all output of CO2 and the atmospheric CO2 could still rise, at the same rate, prior to the demise of mankind. We killed ourselvses for no reason.
Reason is a good word to ponder here.

Noblesse Oblige
November 10, 2008 7:17 pm

Nothing new here. GISS trend has been running ahead of everyone else for some time. For this year through October, regressing GISS gives nearly twice the positive slope of RSS. For whatever reason, this is a consistent pattern over the years. NASA would do well do address this credibility problem. But alas I suspect that fear of charges of ‘muzzling’ and ‘interfering with the integrity (sic) of the scientific process,’ not to mention reprisals from Congress, rule out any rationalization of what everyone knows is a corrupt result.
Good, informative blog. Keep it up.

November 10, 2008 7:17 pm

ning, you’re making the exact same mistake (By design?) that the AGW profits, er, prophets are making when you attempt to correlate increased wildfire activity across North America with “anthropogenic global warming” “anthropogenic climate change”— Correlation, no matter how unproven, does NOT equate to causation.
The mythological creature that goes by the name of “anthropogenic global warming climate change” has, in no way whatsoever, been scientifically proven* to be a significant, nor even minor, contributing factor to the progressively increasing wildfire activity that we’ve been seeing over the past few decades.
If you know anything about fuel loading in the wildland fire environment, (and the history of fire suppression in the US & Canada) you know that the fuel loading (grasses, shrubs, trees, houses, businesses, etc.) across just about all biomes in North America have been increasing, sometimes exponentially, since plants don’t propagate in a linear progression. (Look up the spread of exotic invasive plants species, as an example. Once a “tipping point” is reached, the population explodes.) Widespread fire suppression, poor forest management practices and dramatically increased wildland/urban interface (humans moving into non-urban areas) are THE proven overwhelming factors in the increased wildfire activity. Period.
*Note: Any modeling based on Algore’s & Hansen’s data doesn’t count. It has to be boots-on-the-ground, hard data to be considered “scientifically proven”. The Biggest & Baddest™ “UberFuelModels” have failed miserably when put to the test in the real world. The actual experts in Southern California had to give the modelers the bad news recently. (The researchers had to give the “Please don’t sue us, model makers!” disclaimer at the conference before they revealed to us that the models they’d used in their studies had taken the dive into oblivion.)
Now, back to those balmy Siberian Indian Summer beach parties on the Arctic ice floes! Surf’s up! (That WAS the topic of this post before I swerved OT, wasn’t it?)

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 7:17 pm

Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were a tender and callow fellow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That no one wept except the willow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That dreams were kept beside your pillow.
Try to remember when life was so tender
That love was an ember about to billow.
Try to remember, and if you remember,
Then follow.
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember,
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
And follow.
–The Fantastiks

November 10, 2008 7:18 pm

[…] the post and comments atWatts Up With That for […]

Les Johnson
November 10, 2008 7:21 pm

John Goetz: your
GISS uses the GHCN v2 data. I have confirmed that the GHCN data from NOAA is the problem. Thus we should be complaining about NOAA quality control issues rather than GISS quality control issues.

Technically, I agree.
But, in business, if one of my suppliers makes a mistake, my client does not sympathize with ME. Rather, he blames me.
Rightly so. I should have checked the product before sending it out.

evanjones
Editor
November 10, 2008 7:23 pm

“Any modeling based on Algore’s & Hansen’s data doesn’t count. It has to be boots-on-the-ground, hard data to be considered “scientifically proven”. The Biggest & Baddest™ “UberFuelModels” have failed miserably when put to the test in the real world.”
Seven-six-eleven-five-nine-an’-twenty mile to-day –
Four-eleven-seventeen-thirty-two the day before –
Boots-boots-boots-boots-movin’ up an’ down again!
There’s no discharge in the war!

–Kipling

hunter
November 10, 2008 7:30 pm

I think anything associated with Hansen & co. should be tossed out as unreliable.
They have too much money and political power at stake to be credible.
The world data is telling us very different data:
Ice refreezing at record rates in the north, glaciers accumulating mass, and temps down.
Yet here is this GISS graph, with crazy numbers?
I smell more of Hansen’s back filling to jsutify the desired answer.

Les Johnson
November 10, 2008 7:35 pm

Walter Dnes:
My guess is that Hanson’s averaging algorithm put in a value of 5 degrees, for Erbogacen, based on neighboring stations.
If the neighbors were 5 degrees for Sept, then the algorithm would insert that value for Erbogacen for September, to replace 999.9, and that would also be the misplaced value for October.

J.Hansford.
November 10, 2008 7:47 pm

So GISS have used Asia’s SEPTEMBER averages for October. In so doing, have falsely created a massively high October anomaly….
It’s amazing that GISS could make such simple mistake. To just take a massive Oct. anomoly of .078c without pause for thought…. Is to realize that these people are blinded by their own bias.

Les Johnson
November 10, 2008 7:53 pm

Anthony: in a post by Patrick K (19:09:38) :, he shows consistently higher temps for selected cities, when comparing GISS to Weather Underground.
Does not Hanson claim to account for UHI? It wouldn’t appear so, based on that limited sample. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Fred
November 10, 2008 7:54 pm

off topic… but of interest.
The Sun Shows Signs of Life
After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life. “I think solar minimum is behind us,” says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
His statement is prompted by an October flurry of sunspots. “Last month we counted five sunspot groups,” he says. That may not sound like much, but in a year with record-low numbers of sunspots and long stretches of utter spotlessness, five is significant. “This represents a real increase in solar activity.”

November 10, 2008 8:14 pm

But the “Russian problem” still doesn’t explain the UK discrepancy (comment #1). 🙂

J.Hansford.
November 10, 2008 8:15 pm

Les Johnson (19:21:05) :
[“But, in business, if one of my suppliers makes a mistake, my client does not sympathize with ME. Rather, he blames me.
Rightly so. I should have checked the product before sending it out.”]
I absolutely agree…. As a Australian prawn trawler owner operator. If I shot my trawl away in a national park closure due to a navigational error…. I would loose my licence, be called a criminal and be fined more money than my business could ever pay back… Just one little mistake…. And this has happened to a few guys…
Don’t forget that Australian Trawlers have Satellite tracking devices on them which are linked and watched in real time by Australian Fisheries Service personnel….. These are honest mistakes in navigation or interpretations of closure lines made by the trawlermen…
Yet Scientists can simply just say anything they please. Mistakes, deliberate distortions and all…. Whether this be Climate science or Marine Biology. Makes no difference.
There is one rule for the Elites and another for the poor slobs that thought working for themselves was noble and enterprising.
If it keeps going like this, there will be tears before bedtime…. It is getting intolerable.
If they are going to politicize Science… There needs to be accountability.

Bill Jamison
November 10, 2008 8:20 pm

People claim that blogs aren’t doing “real science” yet situations like this prove how valuable blogs can be. Without a blogs like this one and CA and their devoted readers I seriously doubt this error would have been found this quickly, if at all!
And yet some people still believe we know the temperature 200+ years ago within .2 degrees. Amazing.

kent
November 10, 2008 8:21 pm

Lets see, NASA flew a space craft into Mars because they didn’t know the difference between yards and meters. They also blew up one shuttle because they wanted to save a few dollars by only having two rubber bands instead of three. They also ignored protocols and launched when the temperature was too cold. Then they had a problem with slabs of ice smashing into another shuttle causing it’s destruction. Having spent tens of millions of dollars trying to solve the ice problem, they have yet to succeed. To think that this Agency is still listened to is… well just wrong.

Editor
November 10, 2008 8:24 pm

John Goetz (19:03:51) :

GISS uses the GHCN v2 data. I have confirmed that the GHCN data from NOAA is the problem. Thus we should be complaining about NOAA quality control issues rather than GISS quality control issues

I partially agree. However, I work on software that is littered with various tests to make sure the data we’re working with makes sense. I work on file systems, not climate, so tests are for things like “is there actually a data block for the part of the file we’re looking at?” “Is the file size negative?” Or “is the block we’re freeing already marked as free?”
It wouldn’t be much to ask GISS to verify things like anomalies are in the range that are normally seen and flag things like the 15.7°C anomaly as being so wrong that the input data may be corrupted or bad. Then again, from what I’ve read about their code quality, perhaps it is too much to ask.
I assume enough people have contacted GISS about this that there’s no point in having the rest of us do so.
Google News doesn’t have any stories about the warmest October (except for Hong Kong and Los Angeles), so the bad data point has broken free yet.

AnyMouse
November 10, 2008 8:30 pm

The NSIDC just put out a press release claiming that the latent heat of fusion from the freezing of the arctic ocean is keeping arctic air temperatures above normal…

Was the NSIDC press release due to the erroneous GISS information? But I’m not finding that press release at the NSIDC site, nor on news sites. Where is this press release?

Editor
November 10, 2008 8:32 pm

evanjones (19:17:40) :
> Try to remember the kind of September….
Hear how the wind begins to whisper.
See how the leaves go streaming by.
Smell how the velvet rain is falling,
Out where the fields are warm and dry.
Now is the time to run inside and stay.
Now is the time to find a hideaway
Where we can stay.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
I can see it.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
I can tell.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
What are we gonna do?
Soon it’s gonna rain.
I can feel it.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
I can tell.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
What’ll we do with you?
We’ll find four limbs of a tree.
We’ll build four walls and a floor.
We’ll bind it over with leaves,
And run inside to stay.
Then we’ll let it rain.
We’ll not fell it.
Then we’ll let it rain,
Rain pell-mell.
And we’ll not complain
If it never stops at all.
We’ll live and love
Within our own four walls.
We’ll find four limbs of a tree.
We’ll build four walls and a floor.
We’ll bind it over with leaves,
And run inside to stay.
Soon it’s gonna rain.
Come run inside to stay!
Soon it’s gonna rain.
For soon it’s gonna rain.
I can see it.
I can feel it.
Run inside and…
Then we’ll let it rain.
We’ll not feel it.
Then we’ll let it rain.
Ran pell-mell.
And we’ll not complain
– Happy ending…
If it never stops at all.
Then we’ll let it rain.
Why complain?
We’ll live and love within our walls.
Happily we’ll live and love,
No cares at all.
Happily we’ll live and love
Within our castle walls.
[REPLY – #B^1]

Patrick K
November 10, 2008 8:38 pm

Regarding questions about GISS’s UK mean temps, here are comparisons with WeatherUnderground:
WU GISS
Bournemouth 10 13.7 (same temp as in Sept. 2008)
Waddington: 9 10.3
Valley 10 14.0 (same as Sept. 2008)
So it looks like Bouremouth and Valley are input duplications from Sept., and Waddington is just GISS’s typical ginning up the temperature by 1-2 degrees.

Patrick K
November 10, 2008 8:45 pm

Add these as duplicates:
Eskdalemuir
Leeming
Tiree
Malin Head
Dublin Airport
Casement Aero

Douglas Janeway
November 10, 2008 8:46 pm

At first glance I was stunned at the anomaly, especially after seeing the UAH satillite data set for October. I have never trusted GISS. This is just another example of why NASA needs to dump the program. The Russians seem to have trouble with submarines as well. Hats off to John S. for looking a little harder.

Edward Morgan
November 10, 2008 8:51 pm

These pictures acted as a catalyst for some kind of perspective on Earth for me thought you lot might like to see too, http://www.jordanmaxwell.com/articles/pictures/pictures2.html (sorry to be off topic.) Ed.

Philip_B
November 10, 2008 8:53 pm

Congrats to John and others for finding this rather startling error. Let’s hope it get’s some traction in the media. Andrew Bolt has already covered it on his blog.
http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hansen_september_the_hottest_october/

DR
November 10, 2008 8:53 pm

Chris V,
In your gleeful posting concerning UAH, you fail to mention not only the recent RSS adjustments that come more into line with UAH, but their earlier admission to a major error (.1k) this year, and that Spencer & Christy were credited for aiding in the diagnosis of this most “grievous” error 🙂
You also failed to mention a recent study by Randall and Herman that concluded UAH is the more accurate data of the two groups. It is also true UAH is transparent and fully discloses and documents all adjustments with explanations. It appears you simply cannot bring yourself about to admit there are serious problems with surface station data.
ftp://ftp.remss.com/msu/data/readme_jan_2008.txt
January 16, 2008
We discovered an error in our processing of AMSU data from NOAA-15 for TLT. A new version,
version 3.1 is now available and should be used for all applications. This new version
is in much better agreement with other sources of tropospheric temperature. We apologize for
any inconvenience.
What was the error?
Last January, I made a small change in the way TLT is calculated that reduced the absolute
Temperatures by 0.1K. But I only used the new method for 2007 (the error).
When the data are merged with MSU, MSU and AMSU are forced to be as close as possible to each
other over the 1999-2004 period of overlap. This caused the error to show up as a downward
jump in January 2007. To fix the problem, I reprocessed the 1998-2006 AMSU data using the new
code (like I should have done in the first place), and merged it with the MSU data.
We would like to thank John Christy and Roy Spencer, who were very helpful during the diagnosis
process.
Carl Mears, RSS, January 16 2008

steven mosher
November 10, 2008 8:54 pm

It comes down to this. When the belivers at GISS see a high anomaly they think nothing of it. It validates their belief. So they don’t think to check the sources–NOAA.

Harold Ambler
November 10, 2008 9:30 pm

Given the using-last-month’s-data issue in both Russia and the UK, it would make sense to look through the raw data for the past, oh, say, 30 years, to see whether this exact problem may be one that has corrupted GISS anomaly values for any, or all, of the period.
Without asserting bad motives, one might want to see whether the pattern is generally one using the warmer month’s data, i.e. on the falling side of the yearly curve.

An Inquirer
November 10, 2008 9:40 pm

I understand that GISS uses satellite data for its estimates of sea surface temperatures. I note that most oceans have missing data in the GISS October 2008 Graph (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008). Since oceans cover 70% of the earth, is there an impact on GISS by missing the ocean data? Also, GISS seems to have data on oceans when there is an island in the area! How far into the ocean does GISS assume the island temperature to be representative of SSTs — thereby wiping out the need for satellite information?

GK
November 10, 2008 9:44 pm

Serious questions need to be asked of NASA’s management. For Hansen to still be employed by NASA is a sad indictment of the NASA administration. The public needs to start calling for massive funding cuts to NASA. They are not competent enough to be spending public money any longer if they can allow this sort of scientific fraud to go on.

November 10, 2008 9:56 pm

Correcting obvious errors of these data is commendable if it can be accomplished but anyone that thinks they can accurately determine the earth’s surface temperature at any point in time is either delusional or has ulterior motives.

Bill P
November 10, 2008 10:29 pm

Nibblin’ on sponge cake
Watchin’ the sun bake
All of those Russians covered with oil
Strumming my six-string
On my front-porch swing
Smell those shrimp they’re beginning to boil
Wastin’ away again in…

November 10, 2008 10:35 pm

[…] was the hottest October ever recorded.  Wait! September?” Read more here and also here. […]

Graeme Rodaughan
November 10, 2008 10:57 pm

What is the bet that this story breaks in the MSM – BEFORE the correction is noted?
What is the bet that the correction is never noted by the MSM?
Steve M at Climate Audit covers this also http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4318,
Note that he also includes a link to actual russian weather for a simple check on what’s been happening during October.

Graeme Rodaughan
November 10, 2008 11:07 pm

This story kick’s Ar$e…
LOL.
It really goes to the whole data management quagmire at GISS. The GISS data is not worth the cost of the electrons…

F Rasmin
November 10, 2008 11:33 pm

So what was are the real global temperatures for October fron GISS?

November 10, 2008 11:35 pm

[…] – this time NCDC’s Karl 10 11 2008 It has been one of those days…first the GISS data train wreck in apparently reusing last months temperatures to make this months “hottest October […]

F Rasmin
November 10, 2008 11:35 pm

Here in sub-tropical BRISBANE, I had the blanket on the bed for the third night in a row! Roll on global warming!

David Archibald
November 11, 2008 12:33 am

Climate science on the warmer side has degenerated to competitive lying. There’s hundreds of millions of dollars of grant money at stake. Hansen saw Willis fiddling with the XBT data to remove the recent cold trend, and knew he had to make a big move to show his new political masters that he still had what it takes. There is no way that carrying over selected stations could have been accidental. It doesn’t matter that he got found out, the important thing is that he made the effort to tell a big one. That is what will please them and it shows that he can still be relied upon.
This is a link to Willis’ XBT story: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/11/correcting-ocean-cooling-nasa-changes-data-to-fit-the-models/
It is like living in the old Soviet Union. NASA is preparing us for a change of history. Does it really take that much effort to process the Argo data? I think we need Spencer and/or Christy to take on the oceans as well. It should be possible to get monthly updates on ocean heat content.

John Finn
November 11, 2008 12:48 am

So it looks like Bouremouth and Valley are input duplications from Sept., and Waddington is just GISS’s typical ginning up the temperature by 1-2 degrees.
Actually the Waddington figure is more worrying. The Sept duplicates are easy to spot but who would have spotted the Waddington error if it hadn’t been for the duplicates. Would the Russian temperatures, say, have been picked up if they were just a degree or two above their true values.

Brian Johnson
November 11, 2008 12:57 am

Being a non PC person, I wonder, can some contributers kindly use “man made” instead of “Anthropogenic”?
Thanks in advance,
Brian Johnson NLAMN [No Letters After My Name]
GISS – Gives Inaccurate Scientific Statistics

henry
November 11, 2008 1:11 am

Was this the “October surprise” that everybody was expecting?

Rutger
November 11, 2008 1:36 am
November 11, 2008 2:02 am

The current temperature in Olenek, Russia is -28 deg C, 31 degrees below the “October” GISS Olenek temperature, and is predicted to go to -33 deg C on the Day After Tomorrow. Dozens of related links, jokes, observations, explanations are summarized in my text about this story,
http://motls.blogspot.com/2008/11/rss-msu-0013-deg-c-month-on-month.html

UKIPer
November 11, 2008 2:02 am

Real temperatures could be 0.5c lower if you multiply 10c (average temp drop from Sept to Oct in Russia) by 0.125 (Russia is 1/8th of world’s land mass) by 0.4 (rough approximation of land cover on earth). Cuuld be a higher reduction due to UK, Ireland and possible issues elsewhere.
I expect it’ll just be 0.2c ish though!

November 11, 2008 2:04 am

[…] Read more on the fraudulent GISS data on the websites below: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/10/giss-releases-october-2008-data […]

Phillip Bratby
November 11, 2008 2:21 am

Anymouse:
it’s at http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ to the right of fig 3

Phillip Bratby
November 11, 2008 2:32 am

In the old days of chivalry, those responsible (in charge) would have fallen on their swords and resigned, with abject apologies for allowing such poor quality control (even a lowly minion should have seen something was wrong).
It will be interesting to see the blame being apportioned (or the whole sorry story just quietly dropped with business as usual continuing).
Money on Hansen resigning? 1000 to 1 against?

November 11, 2008 2:35 am

[…] Oh the Wheels on the Bus are Falling Off, Falling Off Update: Thanks to an email from John S. – a patron of climateaudit.org – we have learned that the Russian data in NOAA’s GHCN v2.mean dataset is corrupted. For most (if not all) stations in Russia, the September data has been replicated as October data, artificially raising the October temperature many degrees. The data from NOAA is used by GISS to calculate the global temperature. Thus the record-setting anomaly for October 2008 is invalid and we await the highly-publicised corrections from NOAA and GISS. watts up with that […]

Dave
November 11, 2008 2:48 am

Here in Western Europe, it’s already in the newspapers today: “October 2008 is warmest October month ever according to NASA temperatures”

pkatt
November 11, 2008 4:14 am

Just my ol off topic self.. but is anyone else having a hard time seeing the latest sunspot? And the hopeful Nasa strikes again….. hehe
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/07nov_signsoflife.htm

chemist Peter
November 11, 2008 4:22 am

I have got the average temp for Olenek, from weatherunderground. I used the mean temperture from every day. It was -6.5 deg C.
Range was 2 (1 Oct) to -18 deg C (19 Oct).

Phil M
November 11, 2008 4:48 am

You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?
Actually, I think Anthony should re-instate monitoring GISStemp graphs each month
– it would help show up gross errors like this
Although Anthony doesn’t believe that GISStemp is reliable, it’s still a very important data-set
Besides, the general trend for GISStemp isn’t *that* different than RSS or UCH
– and it would be worth being able to discuss why there are such differences.
Otherwise, this site might be accused of just promoting data that agrees with it’s view-point.

barbee butts
November 11, 2008 4:53 am

More sloppy ‘science’ from a group of so-called professionals who (apparantly) don’t give a whit about accuracy.
Let’s hope this time they don’t respond in a condescending or snarky manner.
The credibility of the American-nay, Global scientific community is eroding at an alarming rate which is of great concern to many.

November 11, 2008 5:10 am

It’s been mentioned before (Michael Ronayne, back in April, I think), but is worth mentioning again.
This is rather like the scene in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm shows the people in the control centre that the dinosaurs are breeding; the computer hasn’t been programmed to take into account the possibility that the total number of dinosaurs could be increasing, and of course no-one has given the odd readings much thought, because they knew an increase couldn’t possibly be happening.
The same kind of blinkered mindset at work in NASA GISS?
RIP, Michael Crichton; you understood the mentality of these people very well.
To misquote Dr Malcolm: God creates Global Warming. God destroys Global Warming. God creates Man. Man destroys God. Man creates… climate models.

Robert Wood
November 11, 2008 5:15 am

The credibility of climate science is melting faster than the modelled ice 🙂

Robert Wood
November 11, 2008 5:34 am

Global warming IS man-made, after all :^)

Steven Hill
November 11, 2008 5:54 am

This is so simple. Hansen needs the perfect data to feed Obama for his major CO2 cap and tax programs to be added in 2009. GISS is worthless data but perfect for political reasons.
Looking toward the Eastern sky, someday I am going home.
Steve

Mike Bryant
November 11, 2008 6:10 am

“John Finn (00:48:22) :
So it looks like Bouremouth and Valley are input duplications from Sept., and Waddington is just GISS’s typical ginning up the temperature by 1-2 degrees.
Actually the Waddington figure is more worrying. The Sept duplicates are easy to spot but who would have spotted the Waddington error if it hadn’t been for the duplicates. Would the Russian temperatures, say, have been picked up if they were just a degree or two above their true values.”
Interesting John, I guess if they had just fabricated the numbers it would have been harder to spot. However this type of “mistake” does give them some way out. What am I saying, has GISS ever owned up to a mistake?
I think the mistake was one of laziness. The recent cooling has made the old algorithm insufficient to produce desired results, hence the new tack.

Mike Bryant
November 11, 2008 6:13 am

I wonder if this is a new trick or has it been used repeatedly in the past? I bet this little prevarication has been used repeatedly but not noticed. Thank you John S.

Flanagan
November 11, 2008 6:22 am

It might also be possible that october temperatures were more or less the same in some regions of russia, no? There were some post from guys in Moscow on climate audit telling that october has actually been warmer than september in that city. I think we’d better wait for corrections (if any) before going crazy about this.

Patrick K
November 11, 2008 6:29 am

Not to pile on, but in doing more comparisons with Weather Underground, it does appear that several of the Russian sites consistently show higher mean temps in GISS than they do in WU:
Moscow WU GISS
Oct. 7 10.9
Sept. 10 10.9
Aug 17 17.5
Jul 18 19.1
Jun 14 15.6
May 10 11.3
April 9 9.4
March 1 1.8
Feb -3 -1.5
Jan -7 -5.8
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
WU GISS
Oct. 3 8.6
Sept. 8 8.6
Aug 14 15.2
Jul 17 18.8
Jun 16 18.0
May 8 9.5
Vytegra, Russia
WU GISS
Oct. 7 8.2
Sept. 8 8.2
Aug 15 14.4
Jul 17 16.4
Jun 13 12.6
May 8 7.8
April 3 4.3
March -2 -2.0
Feb -5 -3.5
Jan -7 -5.5
Kazan, Russia
WU GISS
Oct. 7 7.8
Sept. 10 10.0
Aug 18 19.1
Jul 20 20.7
Jun 16 16.4
May 11 12.4
April 7 8.2
March -1 0.1
Feb -7 -6.6
Jan -12 -11.7
Narjan-mar seems to be an exception, skewing a little colder:
Nar’jan-mar, Russia
WU GISS
Oct. 2 5.7
Sept. 6 5.7
Aug 9 9.7
Jul 15 15.9
Jun 9 9.0
May -1 -1.1
April -8 -7.6
March -13 -14.5
Feb -15 -14.5
Jan -9 -9.2
IF Weather Underground is rounding down all of its mean temps, GISS’s anomalies may be less noticable. If not, then, with very few exceptions, the data skew warmer for GISS.

Patrick K
November 11, 2008 6:56 am

It looks like they also have the duplicate problem with Sept.-Oct temps in Gabes and Gafsa, in North Africa.

kim
November 11, 2008 7:19 am

Steven Hill (05:54:06) Southeastern sky, my good man, southeast.
====================================

November 11, 2008 7:19 am

From NOAA website:
Contacts
For questions/assistance with GHCN-Monthly data, please contact Russell.Vose@noaa.gov
For assistance with the GHCN-Monthly web site, please contact Jon.Burroughs@noaa.gov

Patrick K
November 11, 2008 7:46 am

Not to be a pest, but someone last month had noticed that the Finnish Sept data were duplicates of data from August. I just rechecked, and these data are still in the Oct. dataset
Oulu
Sept. 4 WU 7.4 GISS
Aug.
Interestingly, there are no actual data for Oct. Apparently, someone saw something was odd, but they didn’t bother to change the previous data.

MAK
November 11, 2008 7:48 am

The problem with September data replicated as October data also applies to all stations in Finland.

Patrick K
November 11, 2008 7:49 am

Sorry about the last post. I just rechecked, and these data have been duplicated in Oct.:
Oulu
Oct. 4 WU 7.4 GISS
Sept. 6 WU 7.4 GISS
And the WeatherUnderground means are lower than the “real” GISS data.

Wondering Aloud
November 11, 2008 8:03 am

Chris V
I hope this “mistake” will soon and publicly be corrected, I personally doubt it.
GISS takes a lot of flack not because of this error but because it is widely reported as authoritative and has a history of very questionable quality. They have more than 70 “corrections” of their past record in the last few years these changes overwelmingly make the past cooler and the present warmer. Documentation for these changes range from doubtful to non existent but they are much of the supposed warming signal. We have proof that the USHCN that is a part of GISS is strongly biased toward warming and that the bias has not been accounted for. No corrections or explanations are forthcoming on these problems, so the hope they will correct or even acknowledge this one is overly optimistic.
This is not an unheard of blog, they almost certainly know that their October numbers in Siberia are silly, have they made a correction or issued a warning? Wouldn’t you have done so if the work was yours?

November 11, 2008 8:08 am

[…] Chris commenting at WUWT noticed that some of the GISS temperature data records for Northern Asia at GISS show identical readings for September and October. For example: Turuhansk (65.8 N, 87.9E) which whows 8.1 C for both September and October. […]

November 11, 2008 8:26 am

JohnGoetz:

GISS uses the GHCN v2 data. I have confirmed that the GHCN data from NOAA is the problem. Thus we should be complaining about NOAA quality control issues rather than GISS quality control issues.

No. If GISS’s temperature is affected (as it appears to be), the error is shared. It’s true the GISS gets their data from NOAA. So, if NOAA makes an error, it will propagate.
That said, GISS puts out a data product. They are responsible for their product.
The process involves humans who should have written a script to check for certain types of outliers. September raw temperatures that match Octobers to the exact decimal place should be flagged at both GISS and NOAA. Anomalies 9C out of whack should be flagged.
These things can be correct, but they should be checked.
I should note that the ftp site I look at to find NOAA anomalies has not reported an October temperature. So, NOAA held their horses on processing the data and reporting. So did Hadley.
See
NOAA: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies
Hadley: http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly/monthly.land_and_ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat .
As much as climate addicts like to see the processed data, it’s better for an agency to wait.
Of course, this issue will resolve itself. After all, no one really acts based on one month’s climate report. So, next month, we’ll know how far out of whack GISS’s report was. But, I don’t think it’s fair to just blame NOAA/NCDC. This sort of mistake is something programmers at GISS should be able to catch.
REPLY: The root of this problem lie is the antiquated multiple black box style of spaghetti code that is GISTEMP. And the fact that it is FORTRAN, rather than a modern language. Since the provenance of the code is owed to multiple programmers that have come and gone (Their model software is even worse) I think they’ve basically lost control of it. Hell when they released it last autumn, nobody could get it to compile and run. Big red flag.
I have a similar project for weather bulletins that was born in 1998. 10 years later it is unmanageable for the same reasons and we are starting over from scratch with a fresh project. GISS should have done the same long ago. – Anthony

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 8:32 am

If GISS’s temperature is affected (as it appears to be)
Well, I did notice one of their graphs looking down its nose at me.

Sven
November 11, 2008 8:34 am

This seems to be a major problem. Is there anybody out there who would have the time and resources to go over the “root” or station data for a longer period? Is it only sept-oct 2008? What other anomalies, like significant differences with WeatherUnderground, would be found? There’s enough work for a major research project!

Editor
November 11, 2008 8:41 am

Here in Canada, Nov 11th is a federal holiday (Remembrance Day). Is it also a holiday in the US? I took 1 day of vacation time Monday the 10th, to give myself a “4-day-weekend”. If a lot of people did something similar at NOAA and GISS, then maybe the people who should’ve caught the problem were not in. The computer output wasn’t halted, and it sailed through unchallenged.

November 11, 2008 8:44 am

NOAA normally puts out their Global dataset around the middle of the month. So the fact that they have not put anything yet (other than USA data) is not unusual. However, the GHCN error will propagate into their GMST as well.
Reply: The GHCN data as of Nov. 10 was generated from .dly files with November temperature records.

Sven
November 11, 2008 9:01 am

Wow! It seems that they are trying to hide the tracks and it might be hard to carry out the work I proposed in my posting at 08:34…
From Climate Audit commentary No.44:
PaulM:
November 11th, 2008 at 9:55 am
GISS has now deleted the duff station data.
But the incorrect 0.88 anomaly is still there in Fig.C.txt, as is the ‘red Russia’ graph.
I wonder whether they will acknowledge the error, or try to pretend that it never happened?

November 11, 2008 9:07 am

I was talking about this NOAA release:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2008/oct/global.html#introduction
which has the GHCN as a large part of the data.

November 11, 2008 9:10 am

One can’t generate any October maps either at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/

Pamela Gray
November 11, 2008 9:15 am

What I don’t get is this reliance on measuring devices spread throughout the countries, some of which are not known for even reasonable monitoring of such things) that are uncalibrated prior to each and every measure taken. When I was doing my research, I calibrated the electrical impedance of the electrodes prior to each and every measurement taken from the subjects. I also calibrated the signal I was using, again each and every time I used it. This step was recorded in the data base so that the final results could be verified as being reliable. Any change I measured with the electrodes could be said to be the result of the subject’s brainstem response and not the measuring device or calibration problems of the signal going in.
With surface stations, many have disappeared from the grid (potential bias). They are not calibrated on a daily basis (potential bias). Missing data is entered as a made up value instead of just “missing” (potential bias). The data is being handled by a group of people who want it to come out a certain way (potential bias). Am I missing something here? Has standard research design changed that much? How is it that this data even sees the light of day?

November 11, 2008 9:16 am

[…] Hansen and His Merry Band of NASA/NOAA Socialist “Scientists” continue busily packing the booster rockets for The Obamessiah’s Algore I economy-destroying ICBM (Intentionally-Caused Bolshevik […]

November 11, 2008 9:21 am

[…] on in temperature reporting. The scientists are ‘laughably’ playing games with the data, and it shows. Or should that be ‘laughably’ called […]

November 11, 2008 9:34 am

NOAA has not released their October Global report yet per above link(which is not unusual as they normally do it the middle of the month). So there is no cached version available. Hopefully the folks at the NCDC will catch their error in the GHCN monthly database and NOAA will capture more realistic data in their report.

November 11, 2008 9:34 am

[…] Todas las mediciones oficiales apuntan a que 2008 será uno de los años más fríos de la última década. Sin embargo, el Instituto Goddard (GISS), perteneciente a la NASA, uno de los principales organismos de referencia del Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático de la  ONU (IPCC) acaba de anunciar que el pasado mes de octubre ha sido uno de los más calurosos de la historia. En concreto, según sus mediciones, la temperatura global registró el pasado mes un aumento de 0,78 grados centígrados respecto a la media de referencia. Una anomalía muy significativa, pero que no encaja con la evolución histórica que viene registrando el aumento medio de la temperatura global en octubre a lo largo de los últimos años (por debajo de 0,6 grados centígrados, y descendiendo), tal y como recoge el portal WattsUpWithThat. […]

crosspatch
November 11, 2008 9:53 am

“And the fact that it is FORTRAN, rather than a modern language. Since the provenance of the code is owed to multiple programmers that have come and gone (Their model software is even worse) I think they’ve basically lost control of it.”
I believe, Anthony, from reading over at CA that there is even some more modern Python thrown in there for good measure. So it seems someone is hacking at it with some more modern tools but overall you seem to be correct in your conclusion that at this point it is just a mess.
I believe they finally did get something close to the posted source code to run, maybe after converting many of the routines to another language, I don’t remember now. But I don’t think they ever got the thing to spit out identical results to what Hansen gets.
One of the problems with the thing seems to be that missing values are “filled” using averages over time. That means that an anomalous reading today change the average and therefore values far in the past. That is probably why the huge anomaly this month bumped 2005 back up; it changed the average value that was used to fill in some missing data for that year. While that could effectively reduce the slope of warming by raising past temperatures when recent temperatures rise, the change would have differing impact depending on the amount of missing data in the past. Also, Hansen seems to set a “break point” of sorts for some stations where temperatures appear to get adjusted upwards after that point, and downwards before. That effectively increases or exaggerates the warming.
Anyway, GISS is, as you said, a mess.

Pamela Gray
November 11, 2008 9:59 am

Has this happened before? Is this a measure of how many stations currently on the grid that are unable to report because they do not work anymore? If this is a one-time problem, why are so many stations apparently not reporting this time around? Has the data been scrubbed prior to September for similar problems and this one just got through by mistake? Exactly how many current stations report 999 for any one month but we don’t see that till after it has been scrubbed? How many 999 months does a station have to go through before it is finally kicked off the grid? I remember the last time the data base was reduced. It didn’t happen gradually but more all at once. And temp averages changed because of it. I have a hunch that worldwide, there are as many stations not working anymore as there were back then. But is there a reason why they are keeping them on the grid this time instead of dumping them like they did earlier in the last century?

Steve Berry
November 11, 2008 10:11 am

evanjones. You have my sense of humour – and I’d like it back please.
[REPLY – Sorry, sir. Your receipt is not in order. (On second thought, we could always just share it.)]

November 11, 2008 10:19 am

[…] many people will have read there was a glitch in the surface temperature record reporting for October. For many Russian […]

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 10:34 am

DR-
You completely missed my point. I am not criticizing the UAH data (in fact, in an earlier post I pointed out that GISS, Hadley, UAH, and RSS all show essentially the same trend over the long run).
What I am pointing out is the blatant double standard exhibited by some/many here.
GISS/Hanson make a mistake involving a small area of the earth for a single month and (some) posters here want Hanson’ head on a platter.
But UAH’s mistake- which affected 20+ years of data, well, that’s not even worthy of mention.

Harold Ambler
November 11, 2008 10:36 am

GISS’s argument that surface stations provide more reliable results than satellites becomes increasingly untenable. When you try to explain to an earthling, i.e. someone not obsessed with climate, why the Goddard Institute for Space Studies uses surface stations you can watch their eyes roll as they try to make sense out of the thing. Maybe there is no sense to be made out of it anymore?

November 11, 2008 10:36 am

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
2008-11-11: Most data posted yesterday were replaced by the data posted last month since it looks like some mishap might have occurred when NOAA updated their GHCN data. We will postpone updating this web site until we get confirmation from NOAA that their updating programs worked properly. Because today is a Federal Holiday, some pages are still showing yesterday’s data.

Fernando
November 11, 2008 10:36 am

well;
RealClimate; our comments under attack.
We in the peanut gallery. under attack.
well…well

Larry Scalf
November 11, 2008 10:45 am

Bizarre, totally bizarre. It’s time to get a new weatherman, lol – Hansen is obviously out of his element now. He can’t even figure out which data is good and which is corrupt. Satellites rule, GISS drools.

November 11, 2008 10:48 am

[…] GISS Releases (Suspect) October 2008 Data […]

Greg Johnson
November 11, 2008 10:48 am

<>
Except for the media reporting October 2008 as the warmest October ever. And since this is really more about driving policy than it is about science, this is actually the bit that actually matters.

Greg Johnson
November 11, 2008 10:49 am

**Of course, this issue will resolve itself. After all, no one really acts based on one month’s climate report.**
Except for the media reporting October 2008 as the warmest October ever. And since this is really more about driving policy than it is about science, this is actually the bit that actually matters.

November 11, 2008 10:50 am

(I posted this comment earlier but it might have fallen foul of the spam filter)..
It’s been mentioned before (Michael Ronayne, back in April, I think), but is worth mentioning again.
This is rather like the scene in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm shows the people in the control centre that the dinosaurs are breeding; the computer hasn’t been programmed to take into account the possibility that the total number of dinosaurs could be increasing, and of course no-one has given the odd readings much thought, because they knew an increase couldn’t possibly be happening.
The same kind of blinkered mindset at work in NASA GISS?
RIP, Michael Crichton; you understood the mentality of these people very well.
To misquote Dr Malcolm: God creates Global Warming. God destroys Global Warming. God creates Man. Man destroys God. Man creates… climate models.

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 11:47 am

Whom gods destroy, they first make mad.

November 11, 2008 11:47 am

I suppose everyone thinks that the temps coming from Russian weather stations are totally reliable, and that Putin and Co. would not manipulate data to their own advantage if possible. Come on, folks, get real. Putin’s not stupid, he knows that the more we spend on this CO2 folly, the longer our economies will be flat on their backs. When the data conflicts so drastically with that of our own satellites, I think it’s time we reevaluate the data stream from Russian ground stations.

ning
November 11, 2008 11:57 am

BC,
I’m not saying that there is any solid proof that AGW has caused changes in wildfire incidence rates or severity. I certainly didn’t say that, nor did the paper I cited say that. Neither would I support the NOAA chap you quote, presuming that they were accurately quoted. The upward trend in wildfire incidence and the apparent correlation with rising temps is likely superficial. I was actually talking about the variability in climate, so was the paper I cited. I’m saying that climate variability undoubtedly plays a role in modulating the temporal and spatial variability in incidence rates and severity of boreal forest fires. The paper I cited is one example of many highlighting the correlation between wildfires and climate variability. Can you honestly ignore the impact of El Nino on wildfires in places like SoCal and Indonesia for example? True, correlation does not necessarily imply causation, but how you can state that knowing full well that temperature and precipitation control growth season, dry fuel loading and peat/humus drying rates is odd. Given this, how can you so confidently rule out the possible influence of future climatic change upon wildfires….bizarre!
I wholeheartedly agree with your statements regarding the influence of misguided human management of forests upon wildfires and the influence of the spread of sub-urban dwellings into fire prone areas upon wildfires. This is not in question. I just don’t see how this somehow undoes what we know about plants, rainfall, temperatures and dry fuel loadings.

hyonmin
November 11, 2008 11:58 am

Chris V
We are not paid to get it right. Hansen is paid to get it right and spends his time lobbying for CO2 reductions and supporting AGW civil actions world wide. NASA has created a non science climate in their own house and attempts to perpetrate it on the world. It was not just a simple error but one of continuing errors. If we are to believe the president elect he will spend trillions of dollars fixing a non problem. Simple mistake indeed!

John Philip
November 11, 2008 12:18 pm

Mountains, molehills
There were 90 stations for which October numbers equalled September numbers in the corrupted GHCN file for 2008 (out of 908). This compares with an average of about 16 stations each year in the last decade (some earlier years have bigger counts, but none as big as this month, and are much less as a percentage of stations). These other cases seem to be mostly legitimate tropical stations where there isn’t much of a seasonal cycle. That makes it a little tricky to automatically scan for this problem, but putting in a check for the total number or percentage is probably sensible going forward.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/mountains-and-molehills/langswitch_lang/fr

MartinGAtkins
November 11, 2008 12:25 pm

MSU TLT Oct Rank warmest
1995 10 0.205 9
1996 10 0.125 12
1997 10 0.22 8
1998 10 0.461 2
1999 10 0.063 14
2000 10 0.103 13
2001 10 0.327 5
2002 10 0.139 11
2003 10 0.464 1
2004 10 0.331 4
2005 10 0.394 3
2006 10 0.315 6
2007 10 0.225 7
2008 10 0.181 10

November 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Thanks, MartinGAtkins.
But wouldn’t it be more accurate [and honest] to say that October 2008 ranks as the 5th coldest, rather than the 10th warmest out of the last 14 years?

Jared
November 11, 2008 12:43 pm

John Phillip-
There were only 908 stations globally used for the October 2008 numbers? That seems awfully low, considering that the U.S. has thousands of NOAA recognized stations alone…

Leon Palmer
November 11, 2008 12:43 pm

The GISS error points out, if it needed to be pointed out again, the advantage of satellite data over ground station data…

Colin MacDonald
November 11, 2008 12:52 pm

One or two Russian bloggers have commented that October seemed to be about as mild as September, a possible explanation for the similarity in the two datasets. Now I didn’t have the energy or the brains to work out the odds on this; I did however do a quick scan of the UK Met Office UK climate dataset. In any two succesive years the chance of a particular month showing an identical temperature for both years are about 1 in 80. The chances of two months following each other being identical are of course much lower. There is no year recorded where October was as warm or warmer than September, although theoretically possible the chances of this must be fairly minimal. The odds against identical temperatures being recorded over a number of stations dispersed across Russia must be astronomical.
In similar vein has anyone ever thought to calculate the minimum number of stations needed to give a meaningful world average temperature? I would have thought a mere hundred would do if they were properly scattered. At the moment there seems to be a tyranny of numbers, surely fewer stations of absolutely unimpeachable quality would give a more accurate figure. And less chance of a GISS type screw up. I would do this myself but lack the neccessary geek qualities.

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 1:00 pm

IIRC Hansen said it could be done with as few as 60.
Seems to me like a lowball.

tty
November 11, 2008 1:14 pm

John Philip:
Suppose UAH or RSS was off one month by something like 0.7 degrees, do you think RC would classify it as “a molehill”?
Of course mistakes happen, what is interseting is that an obviously absurd result sailed straight through GISS, most likely because it was wrong in the “right” direction. I am quite sure this would never have happened in March/April for obvious reasons.

November 11, 2008 1:24 pm

Jared,
GISS doesn’t need to have many stations when they do 1200 km smoothing.

John Philip
November 11, 2008 1:43 pm

Jared – Messrs Watts and Goetz know far more about this than I but from memory I believe the Met Station element of GISTEMP is built on about 4000 land stations globally, being the subset that have a reasonable history. There’s a list of the stations actually used here
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/station_list.txt
US Stations have a country code cc=425.
I suspect Gavin means the corruption is confined to a single data file containing 908 station records, but I could be mistaken. If it is 90 stations affected globally then a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates that correcting this foulup is unlikely to move Oct 08 off the top spot as warmest Oct in the GISS dataset.

Mike Bryant
November 11, 2008 1:43 pm

I’ll wager that when the corrections are made another couple of warm spots will pop up.

Neil Crafter
November 11, 2008 1:54 pm

is this change we can believe in?

pkatt
November 11, 2008 2:00 pm

Can we just go back to a system where actual temp is measured over the course of a month and an adverage temp is reached by adding them all up and dividing by the number of days in the month. who came up with this anomily crap anyhow?

Earle Williams
November 11, 2008 2:16 pm

evanjones,
As I recall, without a link to verify, it was Gavin Schmidt that said 60 good stations worldwide would be sufficient. He may have been referencing someone else’s work at that time…

tarpon
November 11, 2008 2:21 pm

I have a simple question, does anybody at GISS know the meaning of data quality auditing? Or is it now 100% ideology nonstop?
What would any legitimate business do if one of their research groups published this obviously flawed data set? Why yes, you are right, they would be fired.
Science deserves better.

Manfred
November 11, 2008 2:26 pm

Chris V.,
I don’t think this error is comparable to any error that occured with one of the satellite systems.
This error was ridicilously obvious, and should have been discovered and corrected immediately.
Either there is practically no quality control at all, or the software is just to poor to be maintained or checked.
Both cases demand, that GISS/NOAA should no longer be used or referred to in scientific literature.

Jared
November 11, 2008 2:43 pm

Thanks for the info, John Phillip.
But I guarantee fixing this error will remove October 2008 from the top warm spot. Remember, because of GISS’s smoothing methods, as described by others in this thread, those 90 stations can cover a very big area (and do, in this instance, if you look at the absurdly large 4-13.7C anomaly on the GISS map). Russia is geographically the largest country on earth.
Once again, look to the satellite data. RSS and UAH are showing Oct 2008 to be one of the coldest in the past 10 years, so there is no way I’m going to believe GISS if it still says October 2008 is even close to the warmest ever.

Joseph Murphy
November 11, 2008 2:46 pm

GISS was slow to realize their mistake because the wrong answer looked so atractive to them.
>>John M (16:15:28)
HAHAHAHA, thanks for a good laugh!
Thanks and keep up the good work WUWT.

November 11, 2008 2:46 pm

Unless Gavin has an inside track, where is he getting this 90 of 906 stations?
Secondly if that is the case, even so, the correction should be significantly down to below “record” values.

November 11, 2008 2:48 pm

[…] was the hottest October ever recorded.  Wait! September?” Read more here and also here. […]

Ellie in Belfast
November 11, 2008 2:51 pm

If local climate is long term weather in one place, and if we accept that it is variable and extremes will cancel out in the long term to reveal a trend, would it not be more valuble to examine say a 10 year running average of climate at specific sites ?
If we were to take a small number of well spread reliable stations (60 as Hansen suggests? or more?) what would the trends be? Could we then average the trends and how would that look? Has someone done this already? Am I suggesting something ludicrous?

crosspatch
November 11, 2008 2:55 pm

“has anyone ever thought to calculate the minimum number of stations needed to give a meaningful world average temperature?”
One would have to find a place where surrounding conditions are relatively static. I suppose that fixed buoys scattered about the world’s oceans would do the trick. No need to have land stations at all, really. There wouldn’t be such a wide range between high and low either. Use buoys to measure “surface” temperature globally between the arctic and antarctic and use satellite data to fill in the polar regions. That should give a pretty darned good idea of “global” temperature, I would think. No need to go measuring all that noise introduced by land masses since most of the planet is ocean anyway.

Ron de Haan
November 11, 2008 2:58 pm

I have no words but one: unbelievable

crosspatch
November 11, 2008 3:02 pm

Come to think of it, we can probably already do that. Chances are that at any given time there is a ship of one sort or another in just about any grid square one might draw up in the oceans. Just have ships report daily air temperature and position at a given time each day. It could be automated. The ships would report local current air temperature at, say, 0000Z, automatically. That would give you a “snapshot” of world temperatures at that given moment. You could track changes in average global temperature on a daily basis that way.
Since the ships would be reporting their position along with their data, you select one closest to the center of the grid if more than one report from that square. Such a thing would probably be a lot more accurate than land-based temperature measurements.

Jørgen F.
November 11, 2008 3:08 pm

Today the Danish government tripled Bjørn Lomborgs research budget for 2009. The reason: He is constantly mentioned as one of most influential scientist’s world wide and the Government is hosting a big environmental event next year.
The decision to raise his research budget however is heavily criticized in the local media because of the fact that he doesn’t think that global warming is the world’s biggest treat.
Lomborg thinks that problems like malnutrition, malaria, AIDS and poisoned water in the 3. World is more important to solve than reducing Co2 emissions…What evil thoughts!
You ask: How much is his budget next year? 1,5 million $….
I don’t even think GISS could buy a desent data cleansing application for 1,5 M$

November 11, 2008 3:31 pm

How many polar bears will drown before we come to our senses?
Global WARMING (or freezing.. I’m not sure) can be stopped if we all stop driving, eating meat, buying things, going to work, drinking water from plastic bottles, using plastic bags for groceries, spraying crops, killing seals, voting for right wing leaders, having kids, and building homes.
Listen to those that know – we are doomed.

Mikael H
November 11, 2008 3:40 pm

Considering the costs such “science” could bring, this is far more embarrasing and worse than the Mars Polar Lander imperial/metric scandal in 2000.
But, lets look at the positive side; They do not control nuclear power plants…

Richard Lawson
November 11, 2008 3:42 pm

Copy of e-mail sent to our friend James E Hansan of NASA this evening
Dear James
Re: Heatwave – Russia – October
Read this on your NASA profile:
“One of my research interests is radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres, especially interpreting remote sounding of the earth’s atmosphere and surface from satellites. Such data, appropriately analyzed, may provide one of our most effective ways to monitor and study global change on the earth. The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained, so that the key information can be obtained.”
Well once again you have influenced the measurements obtained.
Hockey stick revisited me thinks. Surely retirement beckons.
Kind regards
Richard Lawson
Ps apparently there is some great skiing to be had in the Urals at the moment!

November 11, 2008 3:45 pm

Daily Tech just reported this.
The article’s last sentence:
“Dr. Hansen could not be reached for comment.”

November 11, 2008 3:48 pm

The error “might” have been a legitimate error – Hansen is so careless with all other data and statements that form all of the parts of his zealous “mission to convert the earth” that he would NOT be checking himself or expecting an error when/if he (or his underlings) makes a mistake that shows temperatures are HOTTER.
(Note that if the mistake had shown a negative or lower temperature, Hansen would have been all over it immediately.)
However …. This DOES demonstrate that Hansen’s basic, fundamental “scientific methods and practices” as head of GISS is fatally flawed and politically motivated.

Note that this “error” by Hansen is being picked up by sevarel political websites, as additional evidence of the false hysteria associated with Hansen’s AGW religion.

November 11, 2008 3:55 pm

When you run a scam its a scam ,very simple really ,you have no quantified equasion that can predict the furure ,if you did you could predict everything ,without it you have nothing but rhetoric ,dont you people know its simply impossible .

Kate
November 11, 2008 4:04 pm

The secret society of climate science continues.
Hansen could never be reached for comment because these folks (Hansen, Schmidt, Mann, etc.) think they’re so exclusive because they’re the gate keepers and key holders to the most important scientific data around these days, the temperature record.
None of them ever want to discuss their adjustment procedures, computing algoritims, or data collection processes (ie. which station to use and why not to use others).
I bet we’ll all see some press release in the coming weeks explaining that 2008 is the 5th or 8th warmest year ever recorded by GISS and how remarkable it is because we weren’t having an el nino. And WOW, could you imagine if we WERE having an el Nino? Those 4-13.7°C anomalies would be centered over the Pacific instead of Russia.
GISS should be tossed to the scrap heap. The number of mistakes found that artificially inflate temperatures are increasing with each month that passes. Temperatures from the 1920’s and 1930’s remained the same for 50-60 years until global warming became an issue and Hansen was put in charge of keeping the NASA temperature record. Suddenly it was adjusted colder at the beginning of the 20th century and wamrer at the end. Then it was found out that an error in GISS algoritim was the cause of this mistake. I guess when someone has to readjust the data dozens of times to suit their point of view there’s a greater chance for a mistake.

November 11, 2008 4:18 pm

[…] LINK TO HANSEN SHENANIGANS […]

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 4:20 pm

Come on Manfred!
Do you really think that the GISS error (which involved less than 10% of the stations, for a single month, and was discovered within 24 hours) is more serious than the UAH error, which significantly affected their global anomaly trend for more than 20 years worth of data?
That there was an error in the UAH data was also “ridiculously obvious” to many for a long time, because it was so different from the GISS, Hadley and RSS temperature trends.
Would you be as magnanimous if GISS announced a 20+ year error, and suddenly increased their temperature trend by 25%?
But the UAH temperatures are produced by Spencer and Christy (who are on the side of goodness and light), while GISSTemp is produced by the evil Hanson. 😉
I don’t think the UAH data should now be thrown out because they made a mistake- they fixed it! And I don’t think the RSS or GISS data should be thrown because they made (and fixed) some mistakes.
You also might want to take a look at this:
http://cce.890m.com/giss-vs-all.jpg
and tell me which temperature set(s) “should no longer be used or referred to in scientific literature”, and why.

Mikael H
November 11, 2008 4:32 pm

From DailyTech:
“NOAA’s Deputy Director of Communications, Scott Smullens, tells DailyTech that NOAA is responsible only for temperature readings in the US, not those in other nations.”

paulm
November 11, 2008 4:35 pm

Ok, but isnt the temp trend still going up? It still looks like GW is real. There have been cooling periods around 1950 and 1965. Its not like the temp is going to go straight up.

crosspatch
November 11, 2008 4:48 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if it was discovered that this same kind of error has happened before and gone unnoticed. Particularly if it happened at only a few scattered stations here and there. So until someone goes back and checks every single data point from every single station, I really have little confidence in the data as presented. That checking should be coming from Hansen’s budget.

Bob B
November 11, 2008 4:58 pm

Chris V–re-plot you data over the last 10yrs and you will see a difference

Chris
November 11, 2008 5:06 pm

[Chris V: “You also might want to take a look at this:
http://cce.890m.com/giss-vs-all.jpg “]
Also worth checking out lower chart of this:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Monthly/upper_air_temps.gif
Not so good for RSS then?

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 5:17 pm

Bob B –
The inset in that graph shows a running 5-year average since 1980. Over the last 10 years, UAH looks to be the outlier (but not by too much). What do you see?

November 11, 2008 5:20 pm

All four series for last 10 years, baselines adjusted:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:120/offset:-0.15/mean:12/plot/gistemp/last:120/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/uah/last:120/mean:12/plot/rss/last:120/mean:12
The differences are not that great given the radically different way they are calculated, I think.

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 5:38 pm

Chris-
I take it you think that UAH is better (in part) because it agrees better with the surface station data (at least over the time period covered by that graph)?
I have no position on whether UAH or RSS is closer to reality over the long run. But I agree with you that comparison with the surface-stations (either Hadly or GISS-they’re both pretty much the same) is the appropriate metric.

Bob B
November 11, 2008 6:04 pm

Chris V–if you plot a graph by month you will see a big difference in the slope of the cooling trend. Taking an RMS or RSS fit of the data is deceiving.

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 6:09 pm

Paul-
I agree with you. When four different groups using different methods on different data sets get essentially the same result, I have to think there is some underlying reality there.
I have never understood how people can claim that the satellite results are so much more reliable than the surface stations when: 1) they are all so close to each other; and 2) the two satellite temps differ from each other as much as they differ from the surface stations.

Derek D
November 11, 2008 6:13 pm

Funny that those who scream the loudest about the implications of this data, show the greatest ineptitude in gathering it. Looks like ol’ Jim Hansen (or “JiHad” as I call him), feeling a heightened sense of the walls crumbling around him, let desperation get the best of him and took his ruse embarrassingly over the line.
It should be priceless to hear his explanation. He now has to explain not only how such a blunder could be made by such an alleged expert, but also try to salvage the credibility of the “peer review” process that he and his ilk give the daily propaganda pieces found at realclimate and elsewhere. In light of such poor fact checking, peer-review seems highly suspect.
Most hilarious of all is that this news comes right on the heels of Gavin Schmidt’s (JiHad’s troll) editorial piece in an Australian publication, defending realclimate as being full of highly accurate scientific data and peer reviewed publishings.
While it is easy to laugh, I think the noble thing to do at this point is extend a gesture of kindness to JiHad and Schmidt. If you see either one of them, be a pal and kindly help them pull the MASSIVE FOOT out of their mouths…

November 11, 2008 6:36 pm

Chris V:
I’m curious. Why would you post one chart [twice] that ends in year 2000, and another chart that ends in 1990?
I’ll see your charts and raise you: click

Pete
November 11, 2008 6:38 pm

….speculating…
Putin is playing games in Siberia.
He directs his temperature folks to keep the numbers high to influence the U.S. in their march to Cap & Trade and perhaps others in the West That slowly hobbles the U.S./Western economies and then he can catch up militarily.
He remembers what Reagan did to outspend the U.S. to end the cold war.
Could China do such a thing also?

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 6:38 pm

Has this happened before?
Good point.
It’s never the first time they did it, is it? It’s the first time they got caught.

November 11, 2008 7:14 pm

John Goetz (16:18:33): Exactly my point in my comment at RC.

DR
November 11, 2008 7:38 pm

Chris V
You keep bringing up UAH “twenty year error”. RSS is still in error according to Randall and Herman
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2007JD008864.shtml
Diurnal correction signatures still exist in the RSS LT time series and are likely affecting the long term trend with a warm bias.
What part of that don’t you understand?
There are also a multitude of studies concluding surface station data having a warm bias for the last 30 plus years.
Choose your poison.

Jeff Alberts
November 11, 2008 7:39 pm

Chris V:

I agree with you. When four different groups using different methods on different data sets get essentially the same result, I have to think there is some underlying reality there.
I have never understood how people can claim that the satellite results are so much more reliable than the surface stations when: 1) they are all so close to each other; and 2) the two satellite temps differ from each other as much as they differ from the surface stations.

Then I guess they don’t “get essentially the same result”…

An Inquirer
November 11, 2008 8:03 pm

crosspatch (14:55:32) :
“meaningful world average temperature . . . fixed buoys scattered about the world’s oceans . . . use satellite data to fill in the polar regions.”
I have doubts that you have found the Holy Grail of the global temperature. Year by year, the precise location of ocean currents shift so by fixing a particular longitude and latitude, you could be unduly influenced by inconsistent currents. Also satellite data does not capture the polar regions.”

An Inquirer
November 11, 2008 8:14 pm

Chris V. (16:20:08) :
Chris V: I do not think you are fair in equating GISS errors with the need to adjust UAH data.
The GISS error reflects a continuation of sloppy and questionable practices. The need for the UAH adjustment was due to the discovery of a phenomenon not previously explored – orbital decay. The issue was found because UAH data and procedures were so open and reproducible.
The “error in the UAH data was” not ‘ridiculously obvious.’ At the time, GISS and Hadley were using unknown procedures of unknown quality control. (Hadley procedures are still largely unknown and quality control issues still rage.) I do not believe that RSS was in disagreement with UAH – RSS was developed because of the orbital decay issue.
RSS and UAH have a collegial relationship where RSS readily acknowledges UAH help in solving its own shortcomings.

Vincent Guerrini Jr
November 11, 2008 8:34 pm

Actually we do have to consider that people do revise data and correct it ect. We’ve all been a bit over the top. However I still do not trust GISS data sorry, because its repetitive and always goes up! LOL

November 11, 2008 8:43 pm

Conspiracy theory? Maybe not, but what government *doesn’t* manipulate data to their own advantage, especially one with a near-dictator in charge? Hell, NASA is an agency of the USA government, and it’s clear that temp data manipulation (ok, ‘adjustment’) has taken place, as documented on this blog over and over again. If we continue forward, as we have, with blinders on, it’s going to be a rough road ahead.

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 8:44 pm

Smokey-
you’re confusing me with Chris (I’m Chris V.). WRT your link, I don’t think 6 years is sufficient to establish a long-term trend. Maybe I’m wrong. In 5? years we’ll know.
DR-
I’m only harping on the UAH correction to counter all the people who are harping on this recent error in GISSTemp. I don’t have a dog in the UAH vs RSS debate. Given all the uncertainties and possible sources of error in determining temps from the MSU data (WAY more difficulties than dealing with surface stations!) I am a little surprised that they are so close to each other, and to the surface stations.
Jeff-
I dunno. When I look at all four temp sets plotted relative to the same baseline, they look pretty similar to me! There’s a lot of noise in the short run, but over the long run they track each other pretty closely. Harping on the little details misses the big picture- kind of like comparing the S and P 500 to the DOW.

Vincent Guerrini Jr
November 11, 2008 8:54 pm

Jorgen F: The Scandinavians have been quite smart about this whole AGW thing and have not gone over the top, even though you think they would consider the pretty high anomalies seen over the past few years especially in Sverige. I think they realize that this could actually be “normal” in the context of “climate”. No silly statements or rash actions/commitments have actually come out of Scandinavia compared to USA, Britain or Australia. For example, Australia has committed AUD$50 billion to further cooling a cooling earth! Probably no one has bothered to look at the global temperature record since 2002, LOL.

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 9:04 pm

DR said:
“There are also a multitude of studies concluding surface station data having a warm bias for the last 30 plus years.”
I am unfamiliar with these studies, but is that bias quantifiable? If it is, it is correctable. And GISS and Hadley both take steps to do that.
Do a little research into what goes into processing the raw MSU data to get the RSS and UAH temperatures. There are a ton of variables they have to deal with- orbital drift, instrument drift, interference between various layers of the atmosphere, instrument changes… It’s a lot more complicated than dealing with the surface station data.
For example, did you know that 9 (I think) different satellites have been used to collect the MSU data? Each time a new one comes on line and replaces an old one, there is a “step change” that has to be corrected for. It’s kind of like when a surface station gets moved, except with the satellites, it’s not just one measurement point, it’s the entire data set!
It’s kind of like moving every single surface station every few years! Imagine the fun posters on this blog would have with GISS if the surface stations did that!
UAH and RSS certainly do a very good job in correcting for this stuff, but I hope you will forgive me if I don’t take the satellite measurements as the “ultimate authority” on temperature changes.

November 11, 2008 9:19 pm

ning @ (11:57:32) :

I was actually talking about the variability in climate, so was the paper I cited. I’m saying that climate variability undoubtedly plays a role in modulating the temporal and spatial variability in incidence rates and severity of boreal forest fires.

ning perhaps we got our wires crossed. Of course climate variability plays a role in wildfire incidence— natural climate variability. We see it in FL (where I burn) every year. Some years are wet (very few wildfires), while some are dry (lots of wildfires). What I’m saying (and an ever-growing number of others) is that “man-made climate variability” is something that has been conjured out of thin air by a group of politicians, Leftist eco-activists and their “scientists” as a means to control every aspect of the lives of the citizens of the world. For “scientists” to make hysterically-inaccurate predictions (yes, the NOAA guy was quoted accurately) and have said predictions be put into Socialist wealth-redistribution schemes, as well as misguided forest management policies, is simply unconscionable.
The more light that is shone on the UN’s IPCC and Algore and his croneys, the more it is becoming obvious that their cause isn’t based upon sound science, but a Marxist political agenda.
Again, thanks for clearing up what I misunderstood about your previous comment.
Now, I must retire for the night so that if the weather is right tomorrow, I and my co-pyros may increase our carbon footprints by a matter of tens, if not hundreds or thousands, of tons. 😉

November 11, 2008 9:21 pm

paulm (16:35:28) :
Ok, but isnt the temp trend still going up? It still looks like GW is real. There have been cooling periods around 1950 and 1965. Its not like the temp is going to go straight up.
No.
Global temperatures have declined slightly the last ten years.
More accurately: From 1995 through 2005, temperatures were essentially stagnant, after rising approximately 1/2 of one degree from 1970 through 1995.
This year’s radical decline over the 2007-2008 winter means that average global temperatures today are about the same as it was in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The current trend (with the current La Nina cold weather oscillation continuing through (probably) the middle of next year) indicate that this cooling trend will continue.
The entire premise of the AGW extremists is based on the single 25 year period (in earth’s history) between 1970 and 1995 when both CO2 and temperatures both rose. Before 1970, temperatures were falling radically while CO2 rose, and after 1995, temperatures have remained steady (or declined) while CO2 rose.
No prediction made by any AGW climate control computer programs has been correct over even short periods of time (1-4 years).

Chris V.
November 11, 2008 10:17 pm

An Inquirer said:
“The need for the UAH adjustment was due to the discovery of a phenomenon not previously explored – orbital decay.”
No, they had an arithmetic error in the formula they used to calculate the effect of orbital decay.
You think the GISS errors show “a continuation of sloppy and questionable practices”. What about an arithmetic error that goes uncorrected for 20+ years? What does that show?
I only brought this up to show the double standard that’s been applied here by posters who have said things like “GISSTemp should no longer be accepted in any peer reviewed paper!”.
I am not condemning UAH!!!! I only used it as an example because I know how much a lot of the posters here LOVE UAH. 😉
The fact is that ALL the data sets have had errors. I am sure they ALL will have more errors in the future.
The important thing is that they get corrected, right?

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 10:35 pm

We like UAH because it operates in the clear.
Yes, the important thing is that the errors are corrected.
And while we’re at it, any agency that conceals any part of its procedures should be decertified and dismissed as non-science. Data. Algorithms. Operating Manuals. Code. After all, what reasonable person could possibly argue with that? GISS? NOAA? HadCRUT? Yoo-hooo!
Besides, how else will we be able to correct the errors?
Meanwhile, General Ripper, what about a nice spot of tea and the code?

November 11, 2008 10:36 pm

[…] Via Headless Blogger comes this quote by Aussie blogger Andrew Bolt after an error was discovered in the GISS dataset for October. September was the hottest October ever recorded. Posted in Quote […]

evanjones
Editor
November 11, 2008 10:46 pm

I am unfamiliar with these studies, but is that bias quantifiable? If it is, it is correctable. And GISS and Hadley both take steps to do that.
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007JD008465.shtml
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/jgr07/M&M.JGR07-background.pdf
http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/cr/v33/n2/p159-169/
And for good measure:
http://www.ejournal.unam.mx/atm/Vol21-2/ATM002100202.pdf

Vincent Guerrini Jr
November 11, 2008 11:58 pm

At Least Chris V has put a possible valid point across re satellite data complexities point taken from a die hard skep[tic

Jared
November 12, 2008 12:17 am

Chris V.-
Sorry, but you cannot compare the mathematical formula error that UAH had with this glaring and much more obvious error. Why did the UAH error take so long to find? Because it wasn’t very obvious. This GISS error was so obvious that it was discovered within 24 hours of GISS releasing their October numbers…and yet somehow their own people did not catch it.
There is no excusing it, this is an example of very poor quality control.

MartinGAtkins
November 12, 2008 1:07 am

Smokey (12:35:04)

Thanks, MartinGAtkins.
But wouldn’t it be more accurate [and honest] to say that October 2008 ranks as the 5th coldest, rather than the 10th warmest out of the last 14 years?

Not really, because Oct 2008 is not the 5th coldest over the entire data set. Also I posted when the headline of the thread stated GISS had it at the warmest ever. None the less I understand your intent.

Sven
November 12, 2008 1:54 am

What’s up? The data that was withdrawn from the GISS website last night until the mess will be sorted out seems to be back and the same as before?! The explanation at the beginning of the page that there are problems with data is removed and the graphs bear a text: “(Last modified: 2008-11-10)”. No, it’s not in my cache…
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.lrg.gif
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.txt

Sven
November 12, 2008 1:56 am

What’s up? The data that was withdrawn from the GISS website last night until the mess will be sorted out seems to be back and the same as before?! The explanation at the beginning of the page that there are problems with data is removed and the graphs bear a text: “(Last modified: 2008-11-10)”. No, it’s not in my cache…
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

Sven
November 12, 2008 1:58 am

What’s up? The data that was withdrawn from the GISS website last night until the mess will be sorted out seems to be back and the same as before?! The explanation at the beginning of the page that there are problems with data is removed and the graphs bear a text: “(Last modified: 2008-11-10)”. No, it’s not in my cache…

November 12, 2008 2:32 am

Vincent Guerrini Jr (20:54:50) : Jorgen F: The Scandinavians have been quite smart about this whole AGW thing – except for Bert Bolin, and appointing Al Gore to be a Saint, they seem pretty canny, with Segalstad, Svensmark, Humlum, and others… must be all those years hands-on in the Arctic… seeing fluctuations every year…
The “Long Tail” of small mistakes that add up – Joe D’Aleo comments in What’s New and Cool (ICECAP) on the factors: “How about looking at the known warm biases… like a 66% station dropout, tenfold increase in missing data, little or no urbanization or land use change adjustment based on flawed science and bad siting. Even here in the US, recall Anthony Watts’ band of volunteers have found only 4% of the nearly 600 stations surveyed thus far met the government’s standards for ideal siting and 69% were poorly or very poorly sited.
It would be nice to see a piece of work that puts all these together clearly, Lomborg-style – or tell me if it already exists please!

Sven
November 12, 2008 3:26 am

Sorry for cross posting with Climate Audits’s thread…
Re my post at 01:58:26 – the data and maps are gone again from GISS site, though the explanation about errors in source data that was there yesterday is still missing?!

November 12, 2008 3:27 am

I couple of days ago in another thread I pointed out that GISTEMP had spiked before and hence this wasn’t particularly unusual or likely to persist. But the revelation of this error has made me think – has this happened before?
Looking at the monthly deltas of GISTEMP:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1979/derivative
there are some pretty big spikes in there, some even bigger than this month’s error.

Mike Bryant
November 12, 2008 4:20 am

OT
According to Spaceweather:
“New-cycle sunspot 1008 is growing rapidly. The sun is purple today because the picture was taken through a violet Calcium-K filter, which reveals bright magnetic froth around sunspots. Photo credit: David Leong of Hong Kong”
I wonder why the SOHO sun image link at the top right of this page has not been updated. Is this spot visible without the filter?

November 12, 2008 4:26 am

Just a quick note: Since GISS have now withdrawn the data I’ve also backed out the errored data from WFT; it seems only fair. Hence the plots above now won’t show Oct 2008; that’s the problem with dynamically generated graphs!
(but I did keep a copy for posterity 😉

Dotto
November 12, 2008 4:29 am

The plots are for October 2007 and October 2005

Dotto
November 12, 2008 4:31 am

I find it strange with these Octonber heat waves in Siberia previous years

Mike Bryant
November 12, 2008 4:40 am

Dotto,
That October 2007 graphic is telling. Wasn’t that huge anomaly precisely when the Arctic sea ice was making a historic comeback? Perhaps Hansen used this trick before and wasn’t caught.

Dotto
November 12, 2008 4:47 am

I think there is more in it than just problems in October 2008. Looking back one finds relatively frequent heat waves in Siberia. Maybe there is a general problem with data from this region due to: large temperture drops in Sept-Oct transition, slow data fram Russia, very few measurement spots per area. All this results in high impact for Earth:s temperature.
Could someone who knows how to do it check for dupilcated tempertures in the areas and years seen in the plots above?

Mike Bryant
November 12, 2008 4:49 am

Hmmm I can’t seem to get the any GISS link to load. Did they shut down the website?

Ha ha ha
November 12, 2008 4:50 am

The “climate scientists” a couple of hundred years back weren’t all that honest either…
http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/the-story-of-the-witchdoctor-and-his-climate-predictions
Enjoy!

Dotto
November 12, 2008 5:06 am

Just after publishing my findings here I can not access http://www.giss.nasa.gov/ anymore. Strange!
I have copies for 2007 and 2005

November 12, 2008 5:08 am

MartinGAtkins,
I was not referring to the entire data set, but only to the past 14 years. I thought you were, too, in your original post. I think we’re still on the same page.
What has always bothered me is the constant referring to anomalies as always the ‘#X warmest year’, rather than the ‘#X coldest year’ — which is equally accurate. Unless there’s something I’m missing.
It seems that if a particular year is above the mean, it should be called the X warmest, and if it’s below the mean it should be called the X coldest.
Chris V, my apologies for the name confusion.
The reason I posted that chart was in response to the charts that were posted ending eight, and eighteen years ago respectively. We know there was a warming trend during those years, and to post charts ending in 1990 and 2000 misrepresents the current situation. It appears that it was done in order to claim that global warming is still occurring. At the present time, it is not.
I suggest checking out woodfortrees‘ chart: click
The planet is still emerging from the last Ice Age, and it is to be expected that there is a gradual warming trend occurring, interspersed with decades of cooling. That is the standard theory.
But what is now being claimed by some as their new hypothesis is that this natural warming is instead caused by human emitted carbon dioxide, and that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 will lead to catastrophic, runaway global warming. The fact that CO2 continues to rise while temperatures fall discredits this claim, and their current fallback position seems to be that CO2 also causes global cooling.
According to the Scientific Method, the burden of proof is on those putting forth a new hypothesis — not on those in the mainstream of science, who understand that the planet has been gradually warming for the past 11,000 years, and continues to do so.
Since the catastrophic AGW hypothesis has been repeatedly falsified, what we are left with is the current climate, which is well within natural parameters. It is entirely normal. The current and expected minor temperature fluctuations are nothing to be worried about.
Those still pushing the failed AGW/CO2 hypothesis have ulterior motives, which is why they consistently hide out from any neutral, moderated debate regarding their AGW/CO2/runaway global warming claims.

Dotto
November 12, 2008 5:10 am

Just after publishing my findings here http://data.giss.nasa.gov/ became unavailable.

Editor
November 12, 2008 5:15 am

John Philip posted the link to Gavin’s ‘mountains and molehills’ statement, but I dare say many here might not have taken the trouble to read it. Words like ‘craven’ and ‘mealy-mouthed’ come to mind, but tell me if I am being unfair. The link is
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/mountains-and-molehills/
It seems the recent GISS error is a molehill, whereas the ocean-cooling story, which was found to be really an ocean-not-warming story after some equipment errors had been corrected, was apparently a mountain.
To my way of thinking, Gavin should have acknowledged and thanked the person/s who brought the error to his attention. Instead, he tried to play it down, and attacked the “Watt’s blog” to boot.

kim
November 12, 2008 5:28 am

egrey (05:15:10) Hah, John Phillip calls Gavin’s post a ‘dignified and measured response’. Touting models over data and whining about Freedom of Information requests sounds ‘outrageous and hysterical’, to me.
========================================

Dotto
November 12, 2008 5:34 am

To the administrator of this site.
Send me an email and I will send copies of the GISS temperture anomaly maps of October 2007, 2005 and 1999 which I copied before the site was closed down.

DaveE
November 12, 2008 5:34 am

I can’t get here http://data.giss.nasa.gov/ either.
DaveE

Fernando
November 12, 2008 5:53 am

Evan Jones, please.
In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between natural persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement. There is no limit on the number participating in the conspiracy and, in most countries, no requirement that any steps have been taken to put the plan into effect (compare attempts which require proximity to the full offence).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(crime)
FM

November 12, 2008 6:01 am

[…] El Instituto Goddard (GISS), perteneciente a la NASA, acaba de registrar uno de los meses de octubre más calidos de la historia. Un aumento de 0,78 ºC en la temperatura global. Sin embargo, el investigador Steve McIntyre denuncia que el GISS ha copiado los datos registrados en Rusia en septiembre.Todas las mediciones oficiales apuntan a que 2008 será uno de los años más fríos de la última década. Sin embargo, el Instituto Goddard (GISS), perteneciente a la NASA, uno de los principales organismos de referencia del Panel Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático de la ONU (IPCC) acaba de anunciar que el pasado mes de octubre ha sido uno de los más calurosos de la historia. En concreto, según sus mediciones, la temperatura global registró el pasado mes un aumento de 0,78 grados centígrados respecto a la media de referencia. Una anomalía muy significativa, pero que no encaja con la evolución histórica que viene registrando el aumento medio de la temperatura global en octubre a lo largo de los últimos años (por debajo de 0,6 grados centígrados, y descendiendo), tal y como recoge el portal WattsUpWithThat. […]

Dave
November 12, 2008 6:21 am

I think I hae a stupid question, but can someone help me with this?
I don’t know how to use this site:
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
Which one of all those altitudes I have to choose?

Mike Bryant
November 12, 2008 6:27 am

The health of the entire climate science community is so wretched it has me retching. YUUCK!

Patrick K
November 12, 2008 7:30 am

I’m not too concerned about posting the bad data, but looking at comparisons from the past few years between mean data provided in WeatherUnderground and those provided by GISS, it really does appear that GISS often lists the temperatures as being 1-2 degrees C higher. I have noticed this less in the US (where temps seem to be the most stable), and much more common in Russia (see my earlier post.)
There may be a reasonable explanation for this, but, at first glance, it raises some concern for me. Has anyone else looked into this? What have you found?

November 12, 2008 7:55 am

[…] it appears I am not the first to notice this. At WUWT, Dotto commented: Dotto (05:06:28) […]

November 12, 2008 7:57 am

Is Anthony’s blog on West Coast time? It’s 8:56 and giss.nasa.gov is down for me too!
Dotto–I’d love to see your images. I’m curious to see what was up!

Chris V.
November 12, 2008 8:11 am

Smokey-
The graphic I posted goes through 2007 (not 2000).

November 12, 2008 8:43 am

John Goetz:
I have added a simple 12-month moving average displayed in red.
I suggest when you do that not to use Excels ‘moving average’ function [as it introduces a phase shift]. Instead make a column next to your data column [say it was B] with this function =AVERAGE(Bn-6:Bn+6) and omit the first and last 6 points, then plot both columns.

November 12, 2008 8:59 am

[…] Did we just survive the warmest October ever? […]

November 12, 2008 9:40 am

Chris V.:

“Smokey-
The graphic I posted goes through 2007…”

I can see why you would leave 2008 out:
click1
click2
click3
click4
click5

Ron de Haan
November 12, 2008 9:43 am

Many governments all over the world are in the final stage of legislation procedures
in the fight against AGW.
This “honest” mistake comes at a convenient moment in time and I am quite sure we can expect some more in the near future.
The media is bombarding the public with bias news and documentaries on any level at an intensity never seen before.
See what will happen after the USA joins the new AGW religion.
Welcome to

David Segesta
November 12, 2008 10:10 am

The most regrettable part of this is that Steve McIntyre, being a Canadian, cannot run for president of the United States.

Les Johnson
November 12, 2008 10:12 am

Can we get Dotto’s images posted here?

Chris V.
November 12, 2008 10:47 am

Smokey-
I didn’t make that graph. It doesn’t include 2008 because it shows annual anomalies. 2008 isn’t over yet.
Evanjones-
Two of your links are about UHI- a well-known effect, that GISS adjusts for. You may not like the way GISS does their adjustments, but that’s a separate issue.
Your other two links (about the same paper) are interesting. But their conclusions do seem to be in disagreement with satellite and sea-surface temperature data.
BTW, I assume Mckitrick and Michaels figured out the difference between degrees and radians for this latest paper?
http://timlambert.org/2004/08/mckitrick6/

Carlo