Quote of the week #27

Since we missed a few weeks on this feature while climategate roiled, I’m treating readers to a double feature this week.


This QOTW is from our friends at NASA GISS, who never excel in their quest to provided enlightenment and insightful windows into the way they work via recently FOIA’d emails from NASA GISS.

This one came from one of those emails, and centers around the Y2K error discovered in the Detroit Lakes data via the surfacestations survey done there and the controversy that surrounded a peculiar jump in the data.

“Hide this after Jim checks it”

Head on over to Climate Audit and read this gem by Steve McIntyre.

This is what I wrote on July 26th, 2007 about it in:

How Not to Measure Temperature, Part 25

This picture, taken by www.surfacestations.org volunteer Don Kostuch is the Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN climate station of record. The Stevenson Screen is sinking into the swamp and the MMTS sensor is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to the nearby A/C units.


The complete set of pictures is here

From NASA’s GISS, the plot makes it pretty easy to see there was no discernible multi-decadal temperature trend until the A/C units were installed. And it’s not hard to figure out when that was.


And as you know, that curious jump in the GISS record, even though it coincided with the placement of the a/c heat exchangers (I checked with the chief engineer of the radio station and he pulled the invoices to check), it turns out that wasn’t the most important issue.

Who says pictures don’t matter? In this case a single photo started an entire chain of events.

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UK Sceptic
January 23, 2010 11:24 am

It’s data, Jim, but not that you’d know it.

January 23, 2010 11:28 am

After one Marguerite in the blissfully warm Florida sun – I deem this quote of the week – a real winner.
Warm is good.
WUWT is too .

January 23, 2010 11:30 am


photon without a Higgs
January 23, 2010 11:32 am

I cannot say here what I would like to say when I see the jump gap in the graph.
The mad scientist at NASA creating the hottest decade on record.
Do his graphs have bolts in their neck?

January 23, 2010 11:33 am

Moderators: quick editing check.
Above Title: “Quote if the week”?
[Fixed, thanks. ~dbs]

photon without a Higgs
January 23, 2010 11:38 am

What would America think if it saw Steve M, and EM Smith painting James Hansen into a corner at a Senate Investigation hearing?

Kevin Kilty
January 23, 2010 11:47 am

The actual analysis of individual temperature records will tell many interesting tales that aggregation of data hides. Appropriate measurement should always trump calculation.

Craig Moore
January 23, 2010 11:51 am

“Quote if the week #27”
Seem to speak for itself.
[Fixed, thanks. ~dbs]

Dave F
January 23, 2010 11:52 am

Hmm. Where do you hide an air conditioner that big?

January 23, 2010 11:53 am

“Hide this” is fast becoming the laugh line of the year. I need not elaborate.

Kevin Kilty
January 23, 2010 12:00 pm

Oh! “Quote of the week” not “if the week”
[Fixed, thanks. ~dbs]

January 23, 2010 12:14 pm

“. . . quest to provided enlightening . . . .”
[Thanks, fixed. ~dbs]

January 23, 2010 12:21 pm

Wait a sec… this proves that that warming is man made!

January 23, 2010 12:26 pm

Are you kidding? That is ths strongest temperature station in the country:

Sorry, your “sinking into the swamp” line triggered a flashback 🙂

Mike McMillan
January 23, 2010 1:00 pm

I blinked the Detroit Lakes chart above with the current GISS homogenized version.
They corrected the Air Conditioning temp jump by raising the pre-AC temperatures.

January 23, 2010 1:03 pm

How many frauds must be revealed by auditing before the alleged Anthropomorphic Global Warming Climate Change Hypothesis (AAGWCCH) dam breaks and collapses into shards in public view? What will be the proverbial last straw? How long can Blood & Gore, Pachauri, Maurice Strong, Mann, Jones, …, et. al. and others keep their fingers in the dam holding back the devastation that awaits their careers? How long before they end up in that newly reopened supermax prison in Illinois for their crimes against humanity?
Of course some, such as Strong, are out of reach of the law as he allegedly resides out of reach inside the perimeter of the Great Wall of China likely plotting his socialist take over of the planet via the climate scams.
I suppose we won’t know which audited claim or discovered factual piece of information will be the one that tickles that last card holding up the house of cards that is the fracturing AAGWCCH edifice.

January 23, 2010 1:11 pm

Excellent quote, but Anthony’s piece here misses Steve McIntyre’s interesting piece on what was hidden, with his conjecture as to why. What was asked to be hidden was Hansen’s note at the NASA website, a note about the GISS adjustments that were rapidly made in response to Steve Mc’s discovery in August 2007 of a glitsch in January 2000 throughout the GISS records.
Despite having its own serious station problems as well, Detroit Lakes was in this episode the trigger that alerted Steve to look closely at the whole record. GISS responded by altering the “raw” US data up to 2000, to “hide the incline” at that point, and smooth the line. Hansen and his followers wrote a note that was to be “hidden” on the NASA website, Steve surmises, because going to the official NASA website by the front door would require peer-review, and this was not desired.

Doug in Seattle
January 23, 2010 1:17 pm

photon without a Higgs (11:38:42) :
It won’t happen. Certainly not as long as “Don’t call me Ma’am” Senator Boxer runs the show.
Even Senator Barton didn’t call McIntyre – he had North and Wegman testify. North gave just enough tetimony to cloud the issue and Wegman destroyed the Hockey Stick. Guess who the press covered?

Britannic no-see-um
January 23, 2010 1:57 pm

Just read Steves piece from your CA link. Unbelievable what the flies on NASA’s wall knew but the world didn’t.
Never been to Detroit Lakes but with those av temps I’m surprised they need aircon. A roaring fire, maybe.

Anand Rajan KD
January 23, 2010 2:01 pm

This is the funniest global warming picture.

Henry chance
January 23, 2010 2:10 pm

Makes me sick to see the errors and cheating.

Mark Wagner
January 23, 2010 2:26 pm

@ Mike McMillan (13:00:34):
They corrected the Air Conditioning temp jump by raising the pre-AC temperatures
Which is why, as a numbers guy, this whole GISS “adjustment” thing smacks of someone got a sign wrong in the computer code. Like they’re counting backward and adjusting prior years rather than adjusting “future” years. Counting backward in a loop rather than forward would be easy to do, and difficult to discover without good testing, which is something that these guys probably don’t do.
Of course, now they’re in too deep to admit the error, even if discovered.

January 23, 2010 2:32 pm

It’s all that Heidi DeKline’s fault. She’s bad news, distracting those hard working datafudgers.

Tsk Tsk
January 23, 2010 3:03 pm

Mean annual temp for MN is a nearly useless metric. We have some of the largest temp swings on the planet. We can easily range 100+F over the course of a year. We get some lovely humidity in the summer to boot.

Peter of Sydney
January 23, 2010 3:04 pm

The whole process of gathering, processing and reporting of these temperatures needs to be completely re-evaluated and redone. There’s just too much doubt. The first thing I would do is discard all readings that are located at urban areas like airports, buildings and car parks. These are definitely “poisoned” and should be invalidated for the purpose of generating an average world temperature. If I were to take the temperature of a sick patient, I would not be placing the thermometer on the cigarette that patient happened to be smoking at the time. One would say this is just common sense. When it comes to climate science, there’s definitely not much of that.

Robert of Ottawa
January 23, 2010 4:08 pm

photon without a Higgs (11:32:06) :
Photon, I find it hard to keep up with all this; but flash over (as a photon surely must) to the WUWT archives http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/20/darwin-zero-before-and-after/ and your Q will be answered ( or A’d?).

January 23, 2010 6:08 pm

Seriously what is up with all the “adjustments” to the data? Temperature is temperature. Unless you discover the thermometer was giving incorrect readings and needed to be calibrated or there was a significant change in the siting of the station, the data should not be touched or altered in any way. Any change that needs to be made to the original data should be well reasoned and well documented on a site by site basis. Any other manipulation in not justified and would be such that you would be expelled from your undergraduate university for falsifying data.

photon without a Higgs
January 23, 2010 6:23 pm

Robert of Ottawa (16:08:03) :
yes, they found a way to give life to Manmade Global Warming—adjust the temp data!!
And voilà!! It lives!

Norm in Calgary
January 23, 2010 8:18 pm

Will Boxer, Pelosi, Waxman, or Markey still be employed by the US Government this time next year?

B. Smith
January 23, 2010 9:44 pm

Norm in Calgary (20:18:20) :
Will Boxer, Pelosi, Waxman, or Markey still be employed by the US Government this time next year?
I surely hope not, Norm! MAYBE, just maybe, the uprising in Massachusetts will inspire “regime change” here in my home state and voters will kick our Village Idiots to the curb for recycling into lawn food.
The ultimate in “going green”!

Patrick Davis
January 23, 2010 9:59 pm

I was discussing AGW with someone in another blog last night and I mentioned your surface stations project and discoveries about GISTEMP made by E. M. Smith etc. His reply was that the whole thing was “Silly”.
Had to laugh, seems to me he’d not actually seen/read any of these discoveries.
It’s so difficult to get people to look outside the AGW box.

Phillip Bratby
January 23, 2010 11:18 pm

Here’s another good quote from Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, a climatologist at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, who is vice-chair of the IPCC: “Despite recent events the IPCC process is still very rigorous and scientific”.
See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7000063.ece

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)
January 23, 2010 11:45 pm

And folks keep saying there never was a problem with y2k…… and yet……..
I’m just saying.

Martin Brumby
January 24, 2010 5:06 am

A copy of an email I sent today to Phil Willis MP.
Other readers in the UK might like to add their two-pennorth.
Phil Willis MP
Thank you for the courtesy of your response dated 29 November 2009.
I now note in the press:-
Phil Willis, Chairman of the Commons Science and Technology Committee said:
“There are a significant number of climate deniers, who are basically using
the UEA emails to support the case this is poor science. We do not believe
this is healthy and therefore we want to call in the UEA so that the public
can see what they are saying.”
Whilst I welcome your Committee’s attention to this matter I have to say
that your use of the term “climate deniers” (coined I believe by Jim Hansen,
who also refers to coal trains as ‘Death Trains” and coal fired power
stations as “Death Factories”) is deliberately offensive and does not auger
well for the impartiality of the Enquiry or inspire confidence in the likely
It is now becoming increasingly clear not only that the UEA have indulged in
poor, and probably fraudulent ‘science’ to further their personal agendas
but that other ‘Climate’ study establishments including the US National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute
for Space Studies (GISS) also stand accused (on the basis of material
obtained under Freedom of Information requests) of quite blatant
cherrypicking and distortion of World Temperature records. Witness the fact
that Bolivia, now mapped by GISS as being a global ‘hotspot’, has not
contributed ANY temperature data to NOAA’s database for over twenty years,
the Andean ‘hotspot’ now being represented as manipulated averages of
Pacific beach and Amazonian jungle temperature data.
“Anthropogenic Global Warming” is now positively an Article of Faith for the
Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Parties, who vie between
themselves as to who is ‘Greenest’. It is also a matter of record that, when
the Government’s Climate Change Bill went through the House of Commons on
29 October 2008, no less than 463 MPs voted in favour, with only 3 against.
This despite the fact that no-one (least of all the Government) had any idea
how much this would cost. DECC have subsequently come up with a cost
estimate of £18 billion per year for until 2050 although (having multiplied
previous estimates by 10) they suggest a ‘benefit’ of £1,024 billion
(seemingly plucked from thin air). You may believe these figures if you
wish. But you will allow that it might now be a good idea if MPs actually
considered whether, in fact “The science is beyond dispute and the facts are
clear” as Barack Obama asserted in 2008 and whether actions to move to a
‘Low Carbon Economy” (which might be a good idea in an appropriate
timescale, once we understand the implications) has now to be pursued as a
matter of great urgency.
A good starting point might be for MPs to acknowledge that since Margaret
Thatcher with Sir Crispin Tickell and Sir John Houghton back in 1988,
virtually every Government Scientific Advisor has not only been convinced of
AGW but have often been recruited from the ranks of alarmist activists. And
needless to say the present Government has been the most assiduous in
following this procedure. So both the Government and the majority of MPs
(who generally have little scientific training themselves), are advised by
‘scientists’ who share the general aspirations of the Green Party.
MPs across the House have seen the indignation of the public concerning the
(rather overblown) expenses scandal. I put it to you that, when it is
generally recognised how flimsy is the scientific basis for the recent
doubling of domestic fuel bills (let alone Ofgem’s prediction of an average
bill of £5,000 pa by 2020) then it may be recognised that little
difficulties with expenses are a mere bagatelle. I predict some measure of
irritation both amongst your constituents and the public at large.
I remain of the view that a full Public Inquiry conducted by a Senior High
Court Judge is called for. But it is important that any examination by the
Commons Science and Technology Committee is not perceived to be partisan or
a whitewash. I suggest that the use of expressions like “climate deniers”
will scarcely assist you in this task.
Martin Brumby

Robert of Ottawa
January 24, 2010 5:54 am

That photo of Detroit Lakes looks like the IPCC office.

Andrew Roberts
January 24, 2010 9:59 am

Wouldn’t it be better if they just pretended none of this happened and played another game.

January 24, 2010 10:20 am

Mann…the new Churchill (Ward Churchill that is)
“I love global warming scientists.
They taste like chicken.” Hannibal Lecter
Great graphics on tees, bags and bumper stickers from a conservative perspective!

January 25, 2010 10:08 am

Any comments on Menne 2010? They use the surfacestations.org data and create series showing temperature trend separately for highly rated and poorly rated stations. Surprisingly, the trends don’t look that different: Minimum temperatures show a slightly greater warming trend for poorly rated, but on the other hand maximum temperatures show the opposite; the main story I think is they’re just pretty similar.
REPLY: There will be a detailed post on this soon

January 25, 2010 10:13 am

Re REPLY: Thanks, looking forward to it.

January 25, 2010 10:38 am

Where did that graph of the temperature with the step change come from? I checked the GISS website and looked at all three versions, but none of them had that step change.

January 27, 2010 8:36 am

photon without a Higgs (11:38:42) :
What would America think if it saw Steve M, and EM Smith painting James Hansen into a corner at a Senate Investigation hearing?”
–I don’t have much faith in Senate hearings. The late Michael Crichton described his experience with them as a “Stalinist show trial.”
[see the Charlie Rose interview on youtube]

January 27, 2010 8:59 am

Just wondering if any update on your reply to Menne 2010? . The authors graciously thank you and your volunteers for all your work.

January 28, 2010 9:13 am

The reply to Menne 2010 is here.

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