Pielke Senior: Revkin perpetuates a myth about the surface temperature record

A Myth About The Surface Temperature Record Analyses Perpetuated On Dot Earth By Andy Revkin

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

On the weblog Dot Earth today, there is text from Michael Schlesinger, a climatologist at the University of Illinois, that presents analyses of long term surface  temperature trends from NASA, NCDC and Japan as if these are from independent sets of data from the analysis of CRU.  Andy Revkin is perpetuating this myth in this write-up by not presenting the real fact that these analyses draw from the same  original raw data.  While they may use only a subset of this raw data, the overlap has been estimated as about 90-95%.

The unresolved problems with this surface data (which, of course, applies to all four locations) is reported in the peer reviewed paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

I discuss this issue in my recent post

Further Comment On The Surface Temperature Data Used In The CRU, GISS And NCDC Analyses

where I document that even the CCSP 1.1. report acknowledged this lack of independence.

Andy Revkin’s post on the surface temperature record data sets is not journalistically accurate.

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David Schnare

It is time to start over from scratch with a 100 percent transparent process, including a robust debate on how to adjust raw data. GISS, CRU and NCDC should be allowed to comment, but we need a new, independent unit to put all this together.
For the U.S., a joint effort by the State meteorologists, using a standard methodology, would spread the costs. How the rest of the world wants to do it, I’m not sure, but it’s time to disinvest in GISS and NCDC for this work.

Third Party

“‘…is not journalistically accurate.”Never put “accurate” and any form of the word “journaliam” in the same sentence. Journalists and reporters both tell “stories” and proudly admit it. Journalists are worse than the reporters, by definition.

TerryBixler

Something like Anthony’s efforts at http://www.surfacestations.org/ need to be recognized by GISS and acted upon. Improve the accuracy of one improve the accuracy of all.

Ron de Haan

Has Revkin been informed about this?

4 billion

As surface temperature records reflect Satelitte temperature measurements for the last thirty years, the issues with Surface temperature measurement cannot be that significant.

On topic, I just sent Andy an email about this with a bit of a rough tone. The reporting is completely irresponsible in my opinion. I basically let him know he’s on the team unless he cleans this up. Hell I screw up and admit my mistakes but this doesn’t smell at all like a ‘mistake’. The NYT has been useless in reporting good information.

Evan Jones

For the last 30 years I tend to agree (though the sat trendline is a bit lower). But that may well be because UAH/RSS are keeping them honest. Note where the emails talk about flattening that inconvenient 1940s “bump”.

rbateman

It would make everyone’s job easier if these issues were addressed, rather than left lying around to gum up the works. Big Climate has made a mess of things.

Ed Scott

The Scientists Involved in Deliberately Deceiving the World on Climate
By Dr. Tim Ball Monday, November 30, 2009
Liberal is an anagram of braille. Appropriate because they appear unable to see or read about the climate science scandals.—Tim Ball
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/17364

David Schnare (16:36:30) :
Why “adjust” raw data at all. If the measuring station is designed, installed and maintained properly, the data collected from it is an accurate record of the temperatures at the site. If the sites are selected properly, the data collected from all of them are an accurate record of the temperature history of the area covered by the stations.
From a climatological point of view, we should have no interest in temperatures measured at airports and sewage treatment plants, on the roofs of buildings and parking structures, adjacent to parking lots and concrete pads, etc. Why locate measuring stations at those locations and then attempt to “adjust” away the expected errors. Place the stations where they belong in the first place and maintain them to assure they continue to provide accurate readings.

King of Cool

A major victory for sceptics – Tony Abbott wins election by 1 vote as Australia’s new Opposition leader and he will oppose Kevin Rudd’s ETS. Could this one straw be the beginning of the collapse of a global house of cards?

Jack Green

We need to separate the science from the politics. Science: the data clearly shows no runaway warming. Politics: HCRU destroyed the data because it doesn’t support their case and shows that they “tricked” the results.
If the data doesn’t fit then the models are wrong.

latitude

“Why “adjust” raw data at all.”
David, why adjust raw data at all, if all you are trying to show is a trend?

Bill in Vigo

This is just proof that there is no longer such a thing as an investigative reporter. And they have been replaced by editorial journalists. What we get is some “authority tells them how to think and they tell us what to think” this eliminates having to burden oneself with the odious task of thinking.
IMHO they are as much at fault as the activities of the “climate scientist” and may well be criminal due to the hiding of or denying of studies of the opposing view. This as far as I am concerned is falsely misdirecting the opinions of the voters and misleading and wrongfully advising the administrators of western nations.
It is time for new administrators in the study of climate that have the utmost shame and disregard for the nefarious shenanigans that have been foisted upon the people of the world.
It is time to close down the IPCC due to it’s compliance and fostering of the activities of these people. This is a prime example of to much power in to small a group that corrupts with out fail.
If the original raw data is available at the original sensor sites it should be regathered and properly recorded and then duplicated and digitally stored for replication and dissemination at any time.
This conduct called climate science is profoundly not science and may very well be criminal conduct. I would proudly serve on the jury. Unfortunately I have read to much to educate and think for myself to be considered for the job. I have great fears that these people will get by with out even a slap on the hand.
In my opinion GISS, NCDC, NOAA HADCRUT, et. al. have been in collusion for political advancement of personal opinion. The Science for this reason has been corrupted.
SHAME ON THEM ALL!!!!!!!
My rant is currently concluded,
Bill Derryberry

William

O/T. Murdoch’s Sky News here in the UK has just had a “report from high in the Himalayas” (complete with reporter on camera) telling us that the CO2 produced by the western world is, for the first time, melting the glaciers in the highest mountains in the world. The enormous lakes formed by the melt is threatening all the villages located next to the (previously) dry river beds.
Makes one wonder why the villagers built there in the first place – perhaps for the abundant fresh water available for life to continue. Of course, the reporter had to show us the extent of the flood water during the last flood (that had never happened before?).
Makes you wish they could at least get their story straight.

Bill Illis

The small difference between the satellite trends and GISS, Hadcrut3 (0.04C per decade) is not so small when you extend that difference back from 1979 to 1880.
0.04C per decade times 100 years equals 0.4C. In other words, that small difference is actually a large difference when the time scales are taken into account.
Now take out the impact of the ENSO and the AMO and the discrepancies are even larger. Now extend the time period from 1850 to 2100 (25 decades) and we don’t have 3.0C per doubling anymore.

Keith G

Clearly, the independence of the databases used by CRU, NASA, NCDC and others is pivotal.
Personally, I like the quote from Phil Jones (as reported by Pielke) which would seem to weaken the veracity of the claim that they are independent:
“No one, it seems, cares to read what we put up [….] on the CRU web page. These people just make up motives for what we might or might not have done. Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center……”
If CRU’s pronouncements are now suspect, then it would seem prudent to be equally suspicious of the pronouncements of these other bodies as well.

royfomr

@ed
Liberal is an anagram of braille. Appropriate because they appear unable to see or read about the climate science scandals.—Tim Ball
Now that Oz appears to have re-invented the concept of an Opposition Party, mayhaps Sanity is on its way back. A climate sceptic heading up a major Opposition political party! Not only 20-20 vision but a deft touch as well.
What next? Joined up thinking- thank you Australia. Darn it, I may even have to get some Fosters in. I won’t drink it, that’s for sure, but I will always respect the land of its birth.
PS- What was the defining moment: ClimateGate or last weeks rugby result against us Scots? Thanks again Australia, thanks ozzies!

Jesper Berg

Liberal is an anagram of braille. Appropriate because they appear unable to see or read about the climate science scandals.—Tim Ball
True. But they feel so strongly that anthropogenic CO2 will kill Mother Earth.

Mark Sutton

4 billion (16:58:33) :
“As surface temperature records reflect Satelitte temperature measurements for the last thirty years, the issues with Surface temperature measurement cannot be that significant.”
Yes, it’s a lot easier to adjust the past:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/14/the-evolution-of-the-giss-temperature-product/

Off topic (sorry) but, well, it didn’t take long for the alarmist propaganda to kick in again, did it? And it’s crazier than ever, judging by this morning’s UK Times:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6938356.ece
Presumably this reaction is in some sort of inverse proportion to the impact of Climategate on the IPCC’s credibility. If that’s the case, then it will only get worse. Pretty risible, in a chilling sort of way.
Thought people might like to know.

royfomr

William (17:35:15) :
O/T. Murdoch’s Sky News here in the UK has just had a “report from high in the Himalayas” (complete with reporter on camera) telling us that the CO2 produced by the western world is, for the first time, melting the glaciers in the highest mountains in the world. The enormous lakes formed by the melt is threatening all the villages located next to the (previously) dry river beds.
Makes one wonder why the villagers built there in the first place – perhaps for the abundant fresh water available for life to continue. Of course, the reporter had to show us the extent of the flood water during the last flood (that had never happened before?).
Makes you wish they could at least get their story straight.
Agree totally. It would be even better if they’d got a recent quote ffrom the horses mouth- the Indian glacier specialist whom, after a lifetimes study, stated that Himalayan Glaciers were actually growing!
Get your facts right folks- we’ve moved on and it’s no longer acceptable to parrot the party line.
“By your lies you will be revilled; with your truth you will be revered”

Queenslander!

King of Cool-
If the ETS is blocked as looks likely, (although if 7 Liberals vote for it it will get up) the Australian government can call an alection of both houses of parliament. Many people here expect the Liberals to be decimated in that election and the ETS will go through anyway. So not over yet!
All we can hope for is that Climategate will become a scandal in the mainstream media across the world.

What concerns me is this code, taken from the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro
;
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
;
yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’
;
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)
which apparently yields this prop to depress the 30’s temps and elevate the end of the 20th century temps (source: AJStrata)

Keith Minto

PS- What was the defining moment: ClimateGate or last weeks rugby result against us Scots? Thanks again Australia, thanks ozzies!
royfomr (17:44:01) :
I would say Climategate, it led to a grassroots movement that led to a leadership spill and, Climategate questions in Parliament that have silenced the Government. The MSM has been slow, the blogsphere has been in meltdown.
There is a whole lotta learnin’ goin’on down here.

Revkin is a schill for “big climate research”.

Wayne Delbeke

“O/T. Murdoch’s Sky News here in the UK has just had a “report from high in the Himalayas” (complete with reporter on camera) telling us that the CO2 produced by the western world is, for the first time, melting the glaciers in the highest mountains in the world. ”
However – read this – the “scientists” studying the glaciers say they are NOT melting. Just depends which mike you put in which hands it seems.
http://www.scidev.net/en/news/himalayan-glaciers-not-shrinking-rapidly-.html
But wait – do a search and you can get whatever answer you want ….
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=himalayan+glaciers+november+2009&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
In other words: “The science is NOT settled.”

Thortung

denverthen,
I take heart from the almost unanimous derision of the times piece in the comments. Rational people aren’t going to tolerate being lied to any more.

Mr Lynn

Brit Hume, in his occasional commentary on Fox News’s Special Report, actually used the word ‘fraud’ today, in connection with ‘global warming’ and Climategate. Of course, that is just Fox—have any of the other major media paid any serious attention to Climategate, other than passing mention of ‘hacked emails’?
I expect it is going to take a major recantation, to wit: “I confess—I was part of the grand conspiracy to create the myth that global warming is real and caused by CO2; we all thought it was to best way to bring the world together, by fighting a common enemy. But the enemy was not real!”
Barring such a revelation, we’ll have to see the perpetrators frog-marched off to jail before the media grudgingly admit that they’ve been hoodwinked, not just by a cabal of erstwhile scientists, but by the leading political and academic elites of the world, not excluding The Goracle and the President of the United States and his chief advisors.
In other words, the rug is lifted, and the sweeping has begun. They’re not going to give up the chance for ‘global governance’ and vast ‘carbon’ riches without a struggle. And aside from the inconvenient truths revealed by the ‘hacker’, the globalists and faux scientists still hold all the cards.
Watch your backs, skeptics, keep on the offensive, and don’t be afraid to use the ‘F’ word.
/Mr Lynn

Steve Schapel

Keith,
It is a romantic notion, for sure. But I doubt very much that Climategate had much to do with it. It looks to me that the tensions and entrenched positions were already will in place within the Liberal Party, and the leadership crisis probably would have happened with or without Climategate, which has not been referred to in any of the reported discussions.

Paul Coppin

“Why locate measuring stations at those locations and then attempt to “adjust” away the expected errors. Place the stations where they belong in the first place and maintain them to assure they continue to provide accurate readings.”
Ok, I’ll bite… just where would that be…?

King of Cool

Queenslander! (18:17:42) :
King of Cool-
If the ETS is blocked as looks likely, (although if 7 Liberals vote for it it will get up) the Australian government can call an alection of both houses of parliament. Many people here expect the Liberals to be decimated in that election and the ETS will go through anyway. So not over yet!
All we can hope for is that Climategate will become a scandal in the mainstream media across the world.

Yes Queenslander, it ain’t over yet, but I sense the tide is turning on this issue. I do not think either of your two hypotheticals will eventuate especially after the public listen to some real opposition and information on the ETS from Tony Abbott like this in his first speech to the media as leader:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2009/12/01/2758298.htm
An election on an ETS will be a minefield for any political leader. I believe Rudd knows this and the fact that a double dissolution could backfire badly, certainly to the extent of losing seats and even the election itself.
No-one in the MSM foresaw that Abbott would secure victory as opposition leader and most of them waged a vigorous campaign in favour of an ETS. They could have also misread the real mood of the public on an ETS especially when the masses are more educated on all the facts.

Tom T

I don’t have a problem with different groups using the same data set. What I do have a problem with is if they don’t tell us what they are doing to the data. If they want to keep that secret,then don’t call it science.

@royfomr:
[i]”Darn it, I may even have to get some Fosters in. “[/i]
Please be advised that no self-respecting Aussie touches Fosters. I don’t even know where you can buy it in Queensland (a state which would easily cover the UK, and most of Western Europe in size).
An urban myth, a bit like AGW.

Keith G

Tom T: if you have two groups using the same data set, and one group whose application of that data is suspect, but the second group gets the same results as the first, then what does that say about the application of the data by the second group? For me, a few red flags are raised. Clearly, both groups need to make public “what they are doing with the data”.

rickM

Lucy Skywalker (18:18:35) :
What concerns me is this code, taken from the CRU code file osborn- tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro
;
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
Wow Lucy – that is pretty breath taking isn’t.

pat

print media has at least some coverage. how to get the tv news to do their job. that is the question. what is despressing is the liberals could have used their media time this past week to at least direct people to websites, but no-one even mentioned the word ‘climategate’ which might have prompted searches online.
there are many pollies, as we know, on all sides, who have a vested interest in creating the ‘green bubble’ so how to get the story to the public. it is truly shocking that one speaks to ordinary people every day who have no idea the very foundation of ‘global warming’ has collapsed.

Alan S. Blue

Paul Coppin,
The goal is to measure the average temperature of the “gridcell.” The various methods use different sized gridcells, but they’re all mammoth when compared to the size of downtown areas. There can be some reasonable consternation about where to properly put a gridcell thermometer for, say, NYC. It is large enough that its Urban Heat Island is a reasonable fraction of its gridcell.
But the vast majority of the country is non-city. The last statistic I recall has “cities” as less than one percent of the continental US by land area. So where does the thermometer go in a city of 5000 people crammed into a one square mile block when your gridcells are a hundred miles square?
In the firestation’s parking lot next to the barbeque pit isn’t the right spot. Between the airport’s runway and taxiway isn’t the right spot. “On tour” between the post office, the roof of the post office, and various other locales is also not the right spot. (At the very least, please run both instruments in any move for an overlapping period of time the sake of sanity.)
There are solid guidelines for emplacement of such a climatological station as far as microsite issues are concerned. Any random site (or set of sites) should be statistically more useful than dead center in the city.
There is an attempt at an Urban Warming Adjustment. There is not an attempt at adjusting for microsite issues. And the UWA seems like it could use quite a bit of improvement. Some sites that are both truly rural -and- have minimal microsite issues don’t appear to have nearly the warming measured at stations inside even relatively miniscule cities.

pat

just after posting on this topic re the ‘green bubble’, i read the following. some good points, some bad, but read it all, and the comments. people are getting angrier by the minute and it is the involvement of the scamsters that needs to be revealed:
UK Telegraph: European Climate Exchange chief Patrick Birley defends the carbon trading system
People don’t trade carbon because they are good people,” exclaims Patrick Birley, the chief executive of the ICE European Climate Exchange, with characteristic bluntness.
By Rowena Mason
As the man in charge of the world’s biggest exchange for companies, banks and hedge funds to trade permits to emit carbon dioxide, Birley is fed up with the environmentalists’ charge that dirty capitalists should not profit from the global effort to tackle climate change. ….
Mr Birley is the first to admit that the European system “hasn’t actually reduced emissions” so far. But having run exchanges throughout his career, he has faith in the ability of the market to deliver in its own good time.
“The goal of the system is reducing emissions: why should it matter how we get there?” he asks.
“Carbon-related products are probably the most profitable part of trading for any of the investment banks right now, because the margins are so good,” Mr Birley admits. “Because it’s such a specialist area, a little bit of knowledge goes a very long way.”
Part of what makes the profits potentially so high are the price swings…
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businesslatestnews/6686057/European-Climate-Exchange-chief-Patrick-Birley-defends-the-carbon-trading-system.html

OKE E DOKE

FYI JOHN STOSSEL WILL BE ON O’REILLY ON TUESDAY. SUBJECT IS CLIMATEGATE.
SHOULD BE GOOD

Noelene

It’s interesting to see how the media handled the press conference given by Abbot.He said a lot,but all this rag covers is that he flirted with one of his party members.That is what the opposition is up against in the media.I hope Abbot is reading websites like this one(thanks Anthony and moderators),it will give him plenty of ammunition,but really he should be asking Rudd how long he intends to let China and India off the hook,a question that should be answered by the IPPC,people will not be fooled for much longer.
http://www.smh.com.au/national/no-more-flirting-abbott-tells-gillard-20091201-k2ue.html?autostart=1

Paul Coppin (19:19:26) :

“Why locate measuring stations at those locations and then attempt to “adjust” away the expected errors. Place the stations where they belong in the first place and maintain them to assure they continue to provide accurate readings.”
Ok, I’ll bite… just where would that be…?

In the US, that would be the US CRN – Climate Reference Network. Very raw data from each station is available nearly immediately every five minutes. Each station has three temperature sensors, several precip sensors, wind, solar radiation, fan speed, battery voltage, minutes the data logger door was open, etc.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/observations.htm
Come back in 30 years when there’s a decent length record.

Andrew

Lucy Skywalker;
RE: briffa_sep98_d.pro
This will explain it:
http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s5i64103

GV

Andy Revkin = The Alarmist Lord Haw-Haw

Dr Tom

I do not believe there is a feasible empirically based method or theory, absent human guesswork and unprovable assumptions, to accurately adjust measurements taken in heat islands so that the effect of the heat island environment is removed from the measurements. In all my extensive reading on this subject I have never seen such a method described.
Andrew, do you agree, or have you found such a theory?

Chuck Bradley

We should not compute a global average and then make plots of the average over time. Instead, make plots of the temperature at thousands of places and look at lots of the plots at the same time. UHI makes one plot a little higher than another. Moving a station or changing the instrument means a new plot. Small town newspapers and personal weather diaries can be used. See if the trends change at the same time. The residents can see the data so any “corrections” are more likely to be caught. We might even learn something about regional patterns.

KimW

royfomr (18:04:12) : and William (17:35:15) : Glaciers melting. Here in NZ, this was the lead item on the national news and how Copenhagen was the only hope for the world. The item featured an expert crawling inside an ice cave to show how the glacier was rotting from within and the big deep lake of meltwater. Also our PM committed us to pay $25 million, perhaps $50 million to the Commonwealth fund for Climate change moderation. In other breaking news from yesterday, a former french colony – Rwanda – has now joined the Commonwealth – wonder why. Madness, sheer madness.

Andew P.

Monbiot has gone quiet in the last few days, and Revkin still appears to have his head in the sand, but the NYT does have this in the science section:

Andew P.

sorry – hit return too early; NYT link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/science/01tier.html?_r=2
meanwhile Richard Black over at the BBC continues to punt the alarmism:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8387137.stm

Gene Nemetz

Nah, not Revkin. He’s just misunderstood.