"The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained…"

Many readers here marvel at the scope of adjustments that NASA GISS performs on weather station data.

Along those lines, Michelle at Read N Say points out something interesting in Jim Hansen’s NASA page.

Dr. James Hansen

Below is an excerpt from her post:


This is his background copied from the official NASA GISS web page:

Research Interests:

As a college student in Iowa, I was attracted to science and research by James Van Allen’s space science program in the physics and astronomy department. Since then, it only took me a decade or so to realize that the most exciting planetary research involves trying to understand the climate change on earth that will result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition.

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.

I am also interested in the development and application of global numerical models for the purpose of understanding current climate trends and projecting humans’ potential impacts on climate. The scientific excitement in comparing theory with data, and developing some understanding of global changes that are occurring, is what makes all the other stuff worth it.

He actually says, in the second paragraph, “The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained, so that the key information can be obtained.”

To me this sounds like spin for “The hardest part is making the numbers show what I want them to”. Let’s see how long it takes for that sentence in the NASA GISS website to get changed.


The above in italics is from Michelle’s post.

In Hansen’s defense, perhaps what he meant was something along the lines of trying to extract useful information from a  noisy signal.

On the other hand, with a plethora of issues with GISS data, including adjustments to pristine data, failing to catch obviously corrupted data, significant errors in splicing and reporting pointed out by bloggers, and pronouncements from the man himself that such people are “jesters” and that vandals in England should be defended and energy company executives should be put on trial, one wonders if Hansen really wasn’t just speaking his mind.

Blink comparator of GISS USA temperature anomaly – h/t to Zapruder

UPDATE 1/26 Lucia at The Blackboard wrote to Jim Hansen to get his take on it. Surprisingly, he emailed back.

Lucia,

This sentence refers to satellite measurements. You could look at the report “Long-Term Monitoring of Global Climate Forcings and Feedbacks”, which is available from my office — but you could also find several papers that I wrote in the early 1990s if you go to www.giss.nasa.gov, then Publications, Authors, my name.

Jim Hansen

But now a new question arises. Why doesn’t then GISS embrace satellite measurements?

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Edward Morgan

“Influence the nature of the measurements obtained.” How do you go about influencing something fundamental like a nature? Does he mean make it up like Al Gore said so that people act? Surely we’d have more chance with a true target and an honest shot.

Amazingly, most, if not all of Hansen’s adjustments result in what looks like increasing temperatures. What are the odds, eh? click

Del

I assume the excitement jim Hansen talks about when comparing theory with data occurs only when they correlate. If this excitement is what makes all his other stuff worth it that puts a lot of pressure on achieving correlation between his theory and the data.

Scott R

I have never defended the man before, but I believe that he is trying to say this:
The satellites are typically designed and operated for purposes not entirely commensurate with the collection of the kinds of planetary atmosphere data that he is looking for. He has to work with data that are not ideally suited to the task (proxy data, data-taking intervals that don’t match up with the diurnal cycle, data that is available only when other people aren’t using the instrument for something else,). Also in the specification of requirements for new instruments, his needs are competing with the needs of other investigators who are interested in completely different things.
But I admit that it could also reveal something about his state of mind, i.e. his “inner book-cooker”.

Mike Bryant

I believe that these insights into Jim Hansen’s methods and also the hysterical nature of some of his promoters is what is causing the disbelief among the populace.
The increasing drumbeat of article after article trying to press AGW into our subconscious has made many realize that we have become the target of a climate crusade. Some of the ranting and raving of the scientist/crusaders has become almost laughable as they see the futility of their task. I hope that this increasingly hopeless crusade of climate propaganda does not devolve into an inquisition.

philincalifornia

Smokey (10:29:16) : wrote
Amazingly, most, if not all of Hansen’s adjustments result in what looks like increasing temperatures. What are the odds, eh? click
Zorita et al., (from a previous thread) seem to be pretty handy with those kinds of statistics:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109115047.htm
Incidentally, when I typed my one word response “infantile” regarding that paper, I regretted not typing “Infantile – even Tamino would cringe upon reading that paper”. Then, I few days later, I went over there to see if he had indeed made any comments on it. He supported it. That was the last time on that site for me.
I haven’t counted the data points, or flipped the coins, but I’m guessing it’s probably a one in two to the power 30 or more chance that Hansen [snip – let’s not use that term here, Anthony].

Tim L

the hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained.
this could mean to stop reading the rural temps.
Anthony we need to process the rated stations you have, you can add more stations later.
TX Tim
Jeff ID? we are out of time.

Stephen Wilde

The word ‘INFLUENCE’ is a Freudian giveaway.
He should have said ‘INTERPRET’. However he previously uses the word ‘interpret ‘ correctly so one must assume he realises what he is saying.
Later he says ‘understanding global changes that ARE occurring’. Another Freudian slip. He should have said ‘that MAY BE occurring’.
The fact is that he appears to first decide on the changes that ARE occurring and then seeks to INFLUENCE the results of data collection.
He also says:
“that the most exciting planetary research involves trying to understand the climate change on earth that WILL result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition.”
He should have said ‘MAY result’ so in his ‘excitement’ he has clearly made the subjective decision that human input WILL cause changes and he seeks to exert ‘influence’ to show that the data confirms his predetermined conclusion.
Is that the way a scientist is supposed to operate ?

Novoburgo

I think his statement refers to the actual mechanics or methods of obtaining measurements. At the time this was probably (?) altruistic.

Sam the Skeptic

As someone who is a student of the English language rather than a scientist I am intrigued by two things:
First, yes – the idea of “influencing the nature” of the data, which seems to me a polite way of saying “fiddling the figures”‘
Second, the idea that “the most exciting planetary research involves trying to understand the climate change on earth that will result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition.” Which would seem to beg the question somewhat. I would have thought that the basis of planetary research ought initially to be to find out whether changes to the atmospheric composition *are* anthropogenic before you go on to study climatic changes which may, or equally likely may not, arise therefrom.
I am perfectly happy to subscribe to the idea of AGW when someone actually proves it to be a) possible; b) plausible; c) actually happening!

Smokey – Amazingly, most, if not all of Hansen’s adjustments result in what looks like increasing temperatures. What are the odds, eh? click
Have you got this blink chart the wrong way round? It seems to show the adjustments are all up for old temperatures with no adjustment for recent ones

Harold Pierce Jr

ATTN: Anthony
I’m looking at the March 1901 USHCN record from Telluride Co, and the temperatures for Tmin are shown as whole numbers with an implied error of +/- 1 deg F. The computed mean is shown as 10.87097. Now what is that nonsense? It implies the therometer is measuring temp to +/-0.00001 deg F. Why isn’ the computed mean shown as 11 deg F
On the graph the curve lies mostly between +/- 0.5 deg C , that is within measurement error. I would conclude that there has been little change if any in the mean temp. Please explain.
BTW, I counted at least 7 errors in this record, e.g, -1 should be 11, -5 should be 15 and -3 should be 13. For the Dec 1901 record I counted about 10 errors. Don’t these records under go data quality checking? How can these USCHN records be trusted?

Edward Morgan

[snip]

Ed Scott

The following is an excerpt from Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties (2005), which can be read on-line at:
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11175.
It is an unsettling fact that Holdren is a bona fide member of the new administration. That does not send a chill up my leg, but it does send a chill up my back and cause the hair on my neck to stand-up.
————————————————————-
Methods for Developing Emissions Scenarios
Most emissions scenarios are developed using the IPAT model (Ehrlich and Holdren, 1971) in which environmental impact is the result of a multiplication of three driving forces: population, affluence per person, and technological impact per unit of affluence. When applied to greenhouse gas emissions, the impact is the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, while the technological factor is the rate of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP). The IPAT model has a long history in environmental studies, and there has been much debate over whether it is the proper approach (Chertow, 2001). As a purely mathematical multiplicative identity, it must yield correct emissions rates if all of the PAT factors are well known.

David S

That blink comparator is interesting. At first I thought the recent high temperatures were simply shifting the average up which would have the effect of making the anomoly go downward in earlier years. But the 1880 to 1890 timeframe shows an upward change between the 1999 graph and the 2008 graph. Does Hansen actually detail his adjustment methodolgy anywhere?

Michael Monce

As a scienctist myself, I may give him a pass on the ill-formed sentence containing “influence”
However, the quite that struck me was:
“that the most exciting planetary research involves trying to understand the climate change on earth that will result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition.”
Note here he says that anthropogenic changes *WILL* result in climate change. He is obviously starting from that position. A major pitfall in any science research is to get too wedded to your pet theories. From what I have read from him, to even consider other data is something is not willing to do. That’s when de stopped doing science.

Michael Monce

sorry for the typos, should be ‘scientist’ and last sentence ‘he’ instead of ‘de’

Pierre Gosselin

I’m having a hard time with the term “nature”.
“nature of a measurement obtained”?
By “nature”, maybe he means physical property, e.g. time, weight, mass, length, temperature etc. Or maybe “accuracy”.
No matter, one evaluates and assesses obtained measurements. One certainly does not influence their nature. That to me means tampering, manipulating, coaxing, fudging, etc.
Just the fact that he uses the term “nature of the measurements” shows he has very poor scientific communication skills. I don’t think there’s a scientist in the world who would know what he means with this gibberish.
Any scientists here who do?

Pierre Gosselin

Still,
I can’t believe the guy would be so off his rocker as to openly admit he manipulates data.
He uses really lousy technical communication. Such a poor communicator ought not be at the Director level of any major scientific facility.

Pierre Gosselin

Let’s see now…
He has already rewritten temperature records, climate records.
Oh!
Soon he’ll be rewriting his bio!
Download it NOW before it disappears!

Ron de Haan

This is an interesting subject.
In regard to the measuring of temperatures however I am am convinced that we should standardize the instrumentation, set strict rules to the location and position of the equipment in relation to buildings, parking lots etc. and simply measure the temp without any correction.
The step from correction to manipulation and from manipulation to corruption is….
rather small.
I once bookmarked WUWT with the article about introducing ISO standards for measurements so I am triggered to the subject of basic standards for measurements every time I open this site.
I think Anthony will agree with me for 100% in regard to tis subject otherwise there would not be any reason to make an inspection round to verify weather the stations.
Colin Aldridge (11:23:04) :
“Smokey – Amazingly, most, if not all of Hansen’s adjustments result in what looks like increasing temperatures. What are the odds, eh? click
Have you got this blink chart the wrong way round? It seems to show the adjustments are all up for old temperatures with no adjustment for recent ones”
Colin, maybe it has been his intention to create a steeper graph in order to create a strong visual increase of temp in order to keep the AGW doctrine based on rising CO2 levels alive.
I personally am getting sick and tired of all the CO2 talk.
CO2 is not a dominant warming factor.
We have to look at other mechanisms which is why the recent article about IGR is so interesting.

DAV

To be fair, he could have meant” “Influencing WHAT measurement methods are used and what SPECIFIC measurements are taken” when he said “The hardest part is trying to influence the nature of the measurements obtained.” What experiments are done during a government funded project is largely political. HST, for example, can only accommodate so many instruments and, similarly, the shuttle. The process of deciding who gets to fly has many similarities to sausage making.
“Such data, appropriately analyzed …” is almost ALWAYS true: most calculations yield the right answer when done correctly. Its a tautological filler statement.
I often see similar language in proposals. I don’t like Hansen all that much but I think it unfair to read too much into the stilted idioms of governmentese. FWIW, I don’t think he’s intentionally dishonest to the point of making cynically blatant confessions. In fact, I don’t think he’s dishonest at all. — it’s just that he can’t seem to separate his work from his biases.

Ron de Haan

There is one other remark I would like to make.
I wonder if a character like Hanson is the right man on the right place.
Here you have a scientist with a mission in control of (manipulative data)?
It’s is like having a bank robber in charge of a bank.
So not only certify the procedures, but also the people.

Ken Hall

Scott R, The trouble with your argument is, much of his raw data comes from satellites that are specifically and solely used for monitoring the climate. So that satellite data IS the exact raw data he needs. He just fails to show HOW he “appropriately analyses” that raw data to consistently get results that show on-going and increasing global heating from raw data that shows on-going cooling.
Well done for being generous and looking for a positive message though. That is so much more than he would be to the people he disagrees with.

Richard Sharpe

Sam the Skeptic says:

I would have thought that the basis of planetary research ought initially to be to find out whether changes to the atmospheric composition *are* anthropogenic before you go on to study climatic changes which may, or equally likely may not, arise therefrom.

Well, I think that there is a good evidence that humans have had an effect on the composition of the atmosphere … however, in my opinion, there is no good evidence that our effect on the composition of the atmosphere has changed the climate in ways that are distinguishable from normal climate change.

JimB

I was about to ask the same thing. I remember seeing the blink a while back, and showing it to my wife, saying “How can it just have gotten COLDER at a given spot in 1930. You can’t DO THAT!”
Of course, then I read the whole BBC thing, and as it turns out?…I guess you CAN do that.
JimB

Pierre Gosselin

Steven Wilde,
I don’t it’s unusual for a scientist to start out with a hypothesis such as
“climate change on earth that WILL result from anthropogenic changes of the atmospheric composition”. I don’t see anything wrong there in itself.
But, what is wrong is the act of changing the data so that it does support your hypotheisis. Indeed a mentally sound scientist would change his hypothesis, and not change the data.
Overall, your points are interesting and you are certainly on the right track.
Psychologically, the man appears to have a rigid agenda, and a problem with reality.

Richard Sharpe

Stephen Wilde says:

Later he says ‘understanding global changes that ARE occurring’. Another Freudian slip. He should have said ‘that MAY BE occurring’.

Perhaps you are reading too much into it. The climate changes all the time on different time scales. Perhaps that is what he was referring to.

Joel Shore

Scott R:

I have never defended the man before, but I believe that he is trying to say this:
The satellites are typically designed and operated for purposes not entirely commensurate with the collection of the kinds of planetary atmosphere data that he is looking for. He has to work with data that are not ideally suited to the task (proxy data, data-taking intervals that don’t match up with the diurnal cycle, data that is available only when other people aren’t using the instrument for something else,). Also in the specification of requirements for new instruments, his needs are competing with the needs of other investigators who are interested in completely different things.

Bingo!! In addition, he might also be taking a bit of a swipe at the Bush Administration for blocking the launch of an instrument that would have been crucial for better determining the earth’s energy balance, among other things:

NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, which was waiting to be launched and would have given unique insight into global warming, is terminated because it had Al Gore’s Initials on it.

(from http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN06/wn021706.html ) Now, why the Bush Administration has wanted to block an observatory that could provide crucial scientific information on global warming…perhaps that is a good subject for a future post here!!

bill

It’s sad that we will all be impoverished to implement “solutions” for imaginary problems, but even sadder that these poor souls are involved in what Dante called “complex fraud”.
Those who willingly participate in “complex frauds” doom themselves to an eternal fate deep within Hades’ lower circles.
When we see blatant distortions of truth in order to increase funding to those willing to do or say anything for more money, as catholicfundamentalism.com reminds us, we should pray that they repent while they still have time.

Kohl Piersen

I’m with Scott R. Irregardless of the statistical lacunae that have been found in his methodology, statistics etc, the statement he makes seems to me to be fairly straight forward – the raw data from satellites MUST be processed in various ways before it can be used for anything. Jim Hansen is excited by that task – so would I be!
I think it is enough to concentrate on a man’s actual errors; it is unnecessary to pile on at every utterance. Who amongst us does not make ambiguous statements every now and then?

George E. Smith

Well, I am not one for jumping in and flat out accusing “scientists” of falsifying data. Yes I might chide one for “making up data where none exists.”
but at the same time, I can’t get too het up, when something like the recent WU Antarctica paper comes out. There can’t be anything more vexing to a scientist, than having a though about something; and not having any or enough data to process the idea.
So trying to obtain ANY clue form a dearth of data, is ok; so long as you don’t try to reqad too much into it.
So what is the Budget of Hansen’s department (of NASA). I though I saw $180M somewhere; and it seems as if for that we get a number once a year ofr that year’s GISStemp anomaly. Well yes monthly numbers are available too. But the next thing Hansen does, is toss out that $180M number, and hide it inside a 5 year running average, which looks “smoother”.
You gain no information by taking an average; you are throwing information away. The original monthly numbers are the most information you will ever have, unless you have all the original raw numbers form all the weather station sites.
When a lot of this GISStemp stuff, and UHI stuff was discussed fairly openly on on Rvkins NYT blog, a lot of AGWers wanted to ask which of the Hansen sites one wanted to eliminate; presumably for UHI reasons.
The problem with GISStemp,is NOT that there is too much information; there isn’t nearly enough information, and the haphazard (spatial) way it is gathered makes it almost useless.
Even if it were possible to correctly determine the true average temperature of the earth’s surface, or some level in the lower troposphere (it isn’t); that informatyion has no more scientific validity or usefulness, than calculating the average telephone number in your local telephone directory. It is simply applying mathematical processes to a set of numbers; the result of which serves no purpose.
Hansen’s very latest GISStemp number gives zero information relating to the fundamental question: “Is planet earth radiating the correct amount of energy back out into space to keep its near surface temperature range within liveable ranges.
Every different type of surface material or morphology, has a different spectral emiisivity or emittance, different specific heat, thermal capacity , thermal conductivity etc.
So there is NO simple relationship between any average surcae temperature, and any energy flux in and out of the earth.
Personally, I place almost no credibility, in anything other than an anecdotal fashion, to ANY temperature data that predates IGY in 1957/58. The space age began about that time and meaningful satellite temperature data only became available about 1979. Almost simultaneous with that time, was the first placments of oceanic buoys out in the ocean to simultaneously record near surface water and air temperatures. The results of those buoy data reported in Jan 2001 (I think it was Geophysical Research Letters) showed that for that 20year or so period, and those specific ocean locations; the air temperature increases were only about 60% of the water temperature increases (I’m reporting from memory here, so look it up if you want accurate numbers).
So that means all the previous global temperature measurements for 73% of the surface that is ocean were suspect. The IMPORTANT result of that paer, though was that the ocean water and near surface air temperatures ARE NOT CORRELATED. Why would you expect them to be, when air currents are usually much faster than water currents, so the air and water never remain in contact long enough to equilibrate. Also ocean current meanderings, mean you can return to the same GPS co-ordinates; but you won’t be in the same water, that you were in before. So to me that means all global temperature data prior to around 1979-80, is worthless, since you cannot recover the near surface air temperatures from the near suface water temperatures.
The other recent pqaper that I find crucial is the Wentz et al paper reported in Nature July 2007; “How Much More Rain will Global Warming bring?”
The crux of their paper is: a 1 deg C rise in global surface temperature, results in 7% increase in global evaporation; a 7% increase in Total atmospheric moisture, and a 7% increase in total global evaporation.
So you turn on the water into your bath tub, and you pull the plug. The water will rise until the rate of outflow exactly equals the rate of inflow (precipitation and evaporation). The water level will stop rising at that point. If you torn on the tap some more to increase the inflow (evaporation), the water level will rise again (total water content) and eventually the outflow (precipitation) will again equal the inflow due to the increased drive pressure from the higher water level, and the water again stops rising.
So this isn’t even 8th grade sience class; this is grade school stuff.
So what about the GCM predictions for this scenario (global circulation models: Global climate Models; I don’t care which.
Wentz reported that the GCMs AGREE with the 7% increase in evaporation and total atmospheric water content. Hooray; we’ve finally got some agreement.
BUT !! the GCMs predict (according to Wentz et al) that the total global precipitation only increases by from 1% to 3%; not 7% !!
Excuse me earth to GCM; the INFLOW is from 2 1/3 to 7 times the OUTFLOW but the WATER LEVEL IN THE BATH remains the same.
Now quite apart from the fact that the GCMs can’t predict the outcome to better than their customary 3:1 fudge factor; they can’t even satisfy elementary continuity criteria.
If the INFLOW and the OUTFLOW don’t return to equality, the TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC WATER CONTENT must keep changing; and in this case it must keep increasing; evidently the oceans will end up in the sky !
So to me, that reduces the credibility of the GCMs to zero. I don’t need any more information and no more quipment than a stick on a desert island sandy beach to put a stake through that piece of nonsense.
The other piece of nonsense is that the earth’s albedo, and the amount of cloud cover do not change. Well the people with the cloud cover satellite say they don’t.
Lt me see now; we can actually observe a 7% increase in total global precipitation as a result of a one deg C mean surface temperature rise; but not another molecule of additional cloud cover appears; we 7% more rain from no more cloud; no more cloud density; no more cloud persistence time; no more combination of those three.
“”Rubbish !!”” that’s my comment on that.
Wentz et al made no mention of increased cloud cover; and they didn’t deny any either; well I just said they din’t mention it; but I did; I think it went up; and I think the combination of precipitable cloud area, cloud density, and cloud persistence time, wnet up about 7%; well lets say between 4.04 and 12.1%. That’s the 3:1 mandatory climatology model fudge factor.
So do I think climatology science is in trouble; well I think it has nearly as much credibility as astrology does.
But I believe some good people are working to try and rectify that situation; and restore some credibility to what has a similar stigma to Economic science.
George; who’s just expressing his humble opinion.

Ed (a simple old carpenter)

Colin,
I think the blink chart is okay. Put your mouse on the chart at about 1965. Right around there the chart pivots, Hanson made temps before that cooler and temps after that hotter. In this way he makes current temps seem hotter when compated to past temps.

Ed Scott

United States & Global Data Integrity Issues
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
January 27, 2009
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/DAleo-DC_Brief.pdf
Issues with the United States and especially the global data bases make them inadequate to use for trend analysis and thus any important policy decisions based on climate change. These issues include inadequate adjustments for urban data, bad instrument siting, use of instruments with proven biases that are not adjusted for, major global station dropout., an increase in missing monthly data and questionable adjustment practices.
Anthony Watts started a volunteer effort to document siting issues with all 1221 stations in US. He and his team is now through over 600 stations.
An audit by researcher Steve McIntyre reveals that NASA has made urban adjustments of temperature data in its GISS temperature record in the wrong direction. The urban adjustment is supposed to remove the effects of urbanization, but the NASA negative adjustments increases the urbanization effects. The result is that the surface temperature trend utilized by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is exaggerated …
The net warming in the UHI adjusted GISS US data set from the peak around 1930 to the peak near 2000 was a meager 0.15C. It may be assumed the same would be true for the world if we could make a similar needed UHI adjustment.

Neil Crafter

Colin
Huh?
That’s not what the blink chart does for me. Clearly Hansen makes the past colder and the recent past warmer and hay presto a significant warming trend appears.
Anthony
Do we really need to see Mr Hansen’s smug face peering out at us at the top of your page? Please please put another photo there of anything, or quickly put up another thread so its displaced!?

Collected temperatures data, as we have seen from number of the recent posts, is frequently corrupted by human activities near the measuring stations an it is going to be used for initiating costly governmental programs (from our taxes), and taking, for humanity, far reaching decisions. If reliable data are to be collected then a number of buoys should be positioned at selected locations (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well in the Arctic and Antarctica) linked with satellite communications. Data then could be received by anyone with a suitable equipment. This way experts around the world could have access to reliable information, make assessment and than governments can take appropriate actions.

Allen63

I was thinking along the lines of Scott R. The statement is ambiguous and subject to interpretations.
Possibly, he meant that the satellites are up there — he didn’t put them there — but, he would like to have a “say” in what phenomena they measured. That is, to “influence” how the satellites are used — not how to corrupt their data to his purposes.
On the other hand, I genuinely think GISS over “massages” the available temperature data — in an unproven way that makes their temperature reconstructions almost certainly inaccurate and unworthy of extensive analysis.

Jonathan

Amusing though this is, I basically agree with Scott. There are a number of perfectly innocent meanings of this comment. For example, any experimentalist knows that any measurement is inevitably contaminated, and one seeks to maximise the sensitivity to the quantity of interest (the signal) while minimising the sensitivity to everything else (the systematic and random noise).
More generally this is indicative of something I have frequently noticed at RealClimate, which is a remarkable lack of political sensitivity to how their statements will be perceived by readers. While I agree that they are playing political games, I disagree with the common view that they are master manipulators: they are in fact remarkably inept.

james griffin

Hansens statement certainly infers he is fiddling the figures and this appears to be born out by the charts underneath the article.
From memory the data set used to show rapidly climbing figs for the 90’s but now appears to show then tailing off.
However the figs for the new millenium show then climbing in a simailar manner to old figs fo the 90’s…..but we are clearly living in cooler times.
Something is amiss.

Tom

I think what is very telling is that Mr. Hansen doesn’t seem to even realize that his comments on adjusting the data could be interpreted as injecting his bias into the data. He just assumes that everyone that reads what he writes will have have no problem with his comments. It’s this casual attitude he presents, which even if he is not consciously manipulating the data, suggests that he is not taking the necessary precautions with the data to prevent his personal bias from creeping in.

I was going to mention the same thing Smokey. You seem to have found one that has historic temperatures cooler after adjustment. Why the present is not adjusted down for obvious UHI effects in populated areas, instead of adjusting the past up when on average, less adjustment would be needed there a long time ago for UHI has always been a mystery to me.
If this is not done carefully, you might end up with artificially biased heating in the adjusted dataset. Then you might draw inappropriate conclusions that might not really be there.
Oh. er, um, yeah. Nevermind.

I meant “warmer after adjustment”. So rare it confused me.

John Philip

Smokey, in the single example you linked to (Racine), did you try downloading the data and comparing the linear slope before and after the adjustments? I did, and the effect of the adjustments is a 44% decrease in the rate of warming.
Hansen must be slipping 😉

In this Hansen doc: http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1999/1999_Hansen_etal.pdf
There is a graph a few months earlier than the graph used in the gif 1999/2008 in this writing above.
For Hansen a few months can do a difference, on the graf im talking about:
http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/hansen99.jpg
you can see that the trendcurve is 0,05-0,1 K lower for the last 10 years of the 20 century than one can see in Hansens curve above made a few motnhs later in 1999. And very interestingly, see on the older Hansen curve the year 1934…. It has a positive anomaly of almost +1,5 K.
This huge anomaly has been removed within these few months in 1999… – a HUGE change done 65 years after measurements where taken, Hansen You impress me… and the other tops of the 1930´ies was not changed likewise.. it just happened to be the one year that was too inconvenient that had to go.
K.R. Frank

Mongo

David S (11:34:38) :
That blink comparator is interesting. At first I thought the recent high temperatures were simply shifting the average up which would have the effect of making the anomoly go downward in earlier years. But the 1880 to 1890 timeframe shows an upward change between the 1999 graph and the 2008 graph. Does Hansen actually detail his adjustment methodolgy anywhere?
In a word David – no. Climateaudit.org details the efforts to reconstruct the methodology used. It’s pretty arcane – and frustratingly so as the methods that GISS uses are done so at taxpayer expense, and are a mystery.

Mike Bryant

I agree, there is something about becoming so engaged in whatever real work that you are doing, that also makes a person less able to communicate well with others. Public relations is a science in itself, and perhaps NASA would do well to hire real PR professionals. Of course if they do that we will have no clue whatsoever about what is really happening.

Steven Hill

What was Hansens’ views in 1977?

Steven Hill

WOW, if one reads United States & Global Data Integrity Issues
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
It’s really kinda simple at how the earth has heated up so much in the last few years.

evanjones

The computed mean is shown as 10.87097. Now what is that nonsense? It implies the therometer is measuring temp to +/-0.00001 deg F. Why isn’ the computed mean shown as 11 deg F
You can get part of the way there by oversampling. But I think that calculating to finer than a tenth of a degree/year nationwide is what logicians and historians refer to as “the fallacy of misplaced precision”.