I was driving in the middle of Nevada when all this happened, and was offline the entire time. So I can’t claim any credit here. But, it sure is nice to see that the collection of people who visit and post here have had an impact. I offer my particular thanks to WUWT contributor John Goetz. It seems Gavin agrees. I’m up early this morning on my trip back home, and I was quite surprised to find this on RC. See this comment from Gavin Schmidt on Real Climate:
You and McIntyre are mistaken. The first intimation of a problem was posted on Watt’s blog in the comments by ‘Chris’ at around 4pm EST. By 7pm in those comments John Goetz had confirmed that the NOAA file was the problem. Notifications to the GISTEMP team of a problem started arriving very shortly after that, and I personally emailed them that evening. However, no action was taken until the next morning because people had left work already. They had decided to take the analysis down before 8.14am (email time stamp to me) since the overnight update to the NOAA file (uploaded 4.30am) had not fixed the problem. McIntyre’s intervention sometime that morning is neither here nor there. Possibly he should consider that he is not the only person in the world with email, nor is he the only person that can read. The credit for first spotting this goes to the commentators on WUWT, and the first notification to GISTEMP was that evening. – gavin
John Goetz writes later in RC comments, it appears that Steve McIntyre at least raised the consciousnous level with his first blog posting:
For what it is worth, Chris posted his discovery on WUWT about 45 minutes before I made my update indicating an error existed. However, I made my posting because of two emails Steve Mc sent me about two hours prior. The first was the email John S. sent him, quickly followed by a confirmation from Steve. I simply had not checked email due to being busy with work. Steve had already written most of his post by the time I saw the emails.
Not sure it really matters who was there first. I am ashamed to say I saw the big red blotch in central Asia and was so insensitized that I did not investigate it further. Perhaps I’ve lost my critical eye.
Despite some commenters there at RC referring to WUWT in less than glowing terms, I’m pleased that this blog has been a vehicle for, ahem, “climate change”. 😉 Being first really isn’t all that important, getting the data right is.
Quality control is the issue. It is the reason that I started the surfacestations.org project. If after QC for climate data has been suitably addressed with a standards compliant methodology, such as ISO-8000, I’ll be satisfied with the final data. Right now I’m not convinced that the surface data is truly representative.
Gavin, if you’d like to do a guest post here on this error, the floor is yours. Just leave a comment or drop an email. – Anthony