The Beeville Science Fair Hoax – but look at the story the data tells

This really is a low, why would anyone mess with kids on something like this? There is madness about. Ecotretas looks at the Beeville, TX station data, and I’ve visited the site personally but deferred the survey to surfacestations volunteer Juan Slayton who surveyed it about the same time. What Ecotretas is observing is the change from USHCN1 to USHCN2 adjustment algoritms. – Anthony

Guest post by Ecotretas

Great interest has developed on the Internet relating to the story about Julisa Castillo’s “Disproving Global Warming” project. It admittedly had received a NSF prize, with Al Gore in the jury. It has now been confirmed as most probably a strange hoax.

While most of the Internet is judging why would Al Gore be in this jury, or if there is such a thing as “National Science Fair” associated with the National Science Foundation (note the same initials), which both set my BS detector very high on Sunday, I was quickly on the run to find out what temperatures were like in Beeville, TX. Checking out the paper’s claims was far more interesting than being skeptic about the news…

First thing to check was for USHCN data. Quick to find it out at the GISS website, and first graph above. Looking at it, I wondered what type of station was this. I went to the surfacestations.org site, and discovered it was a reasonably well located station. But then, the temperature graph, a little more than one year old, was slightly different, as can be seen in the above second graph.

Looks like there was some tweaking going on! But discovering anything more about Beeville seemed pretty difficult. Some interesting information about the station can be found at NOAA. But what really surprised me was the graph uploaded by “Tom in Texas”, referenced in the comments section in a Watts Up With That post. It shows that adjustment data for Beeville is greater than 2ºF for the last 110 years.

While other information might help in settling all these different graphs, it seems like the real news will be about how temperatures are being dealed with in Beeville…

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John Blake

There is no joy in Beeville– GISS/NOAA has struck out.

juanslayton

“I’ve visited the site personally but deferred the survey to surfacestations volunteer Juan Slayton who surveyed it about the same time.”
Would that it were true! I spent the night at Beeville my way north, but I didn’t do that station. I think you want to credit Wisneski. : > )

James Sexton

I hate being a spell/grammar demon, especially when I’ve my own problems with it, but, it’s “dealt with” not “dealed with”.
REPLY: Cut him some slack, he’s not a US citizen, he’s writing in a second language. -A

See http://www.unur.com/climate/ghcn-v2/425/72251.html
We have Beeville 5ne (28.45, -97.70) (not at an airport) and Beeville/Chase Naas (28.37, -97.67) (at an airport).
Could it be that the airport data is being used to adjust the non-airport data?

Sorry, I should have added this to my previous post. See http://www.naschasefield.com/history.htm for the history of The History of NAS Chase Field, Beeville, TX:

Chase Field was depicted in the 1960 Jeppesen Airway Manual (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) in its enlarged, jet-capable configuration, with a total of three paved runways (8,000′ Runways 13L/31R & 13R/31L, and 6,000′ Runway 17/35), as well as a number of taxiways, a large ramp, and two hangars.
According to USN Cdr Dave Winiker (ret), “NAAS Chase Field hosted 3 of the Navy’s advanced training squadrons (VT-24,25,& 26) in the early 1960s.”

Rhoda R

Those pre 1950 adjustments need to be explained!

James Sexton

I got the real U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama using the 800 number, but it is after hours there. It would be interesting if they knew anything about this………as far as the changes, this just once again shows there is no one in this world that can with any degree of certainty state whether the earth is getting warmer or not. They’ve mucked with the temps so much, I doubt anyone can re-create a true temp reading for all of the stations they’ve jacked with.

TomRude

This re-inventing the past data is a common issue in Europe too where dedicated researchers are supposed to look at the archive and redraw the truth…

papertiger

Texas A&M – sanctum sanctorum of the blessed consensus. Home of Andrew Dessler.. Maybe someone could ask Dr. Andy what happened here. You know. For a giggle.

James Sexton

James Sexton says:
June 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm
I hate being a spell/grammar demon, especially when I’ve my own problems with it, but, it’s “dealt with” not “dealed with”.
REPLY: Cut him some slack, he’s not a US citizen, he’s writing in a second language. -A
REPLY to the REPLY…….I was cutting slack. It was my desire to be helpful that prompted my post. It is my wish for this site and Ecotretas to be able to engage in thoughtful exchange of ideals without being encumbered by word trolls. Yes, it was my own personal sacrifice to risk appearing as one, but it was for the greater good. YW!

kim

Judy Curry said today at climate audit that we need a whole new surface temperature data set.
====================

James Sexton

TomRude says:
June 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm
“This re-inventing the past data is a common issue in Europe too where dedicated researchers are supposed to look at the archive and redraw the truth…”
Well, now that’s at least 3 continents we know of. As shown at this site, they’ve done it Down Under and here in North America. I haven’t seen one in Europe, but I’ll take your word for it. In the Arctic and South America, they just extrapolate. One thermometer per 1200 km! Wasn’t it Darwin that was actually cooler when they showed a significant warming trend? It was one of the Australian locations. New Zealand has their own “oops, got caught” events. I don’t think Africa ever got properly measured and neither has the Antarctic. I dunno, maybe Asia hasn’t been altered or improperly measured? But then, they mostly don’t care. China builds coal plants like its a race. India doesn’t believe Pachy and started their own climate science body. The middle east is otherwise preoccupied. Russian scientists seem to use climatologists as a source of humor. Have we heard anything from Japan since Kyoto? What’s left? It’s just us “developed” peoples that seem to twit about climate and create fictional history. Has anyone looked into why it seems to be just a few players (in terms of cultures) in the climate alarmism? It’s really giving me a complex.

Z

REPLY: Cut him some slack, he’s not a US citizen, he’s writing in a second language. -A
Although the grammar/spelling nazis may seem to be having a go to you (and you seem very sensitive to it) in virtually all instances they are just trying to help people put a final “buff” onto the product they’re producing.
English is a bit of a pain with its irregular verbs, similar synonyms and abhorrent apostrophes but that’s what editors normally do for writers, and they are quite an important part of the publishing process.
REPLY: In a perfect world, I’d have time to do this. – Anthony

John Rutter

The “adjusted data minus raw data” chart shows roughly the same slightly positive 0.25 degree adjustment from 1968 onward. Even though it is a short period, what does the trend from 1968 to the present look like? It looks like an increasing trend.

James Sexton

kim says:
June 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm
“Judy Curry said today at climate audit that we need a whole new surface temperature data set.”
She was right. Our friend Judith seems adept at politics. It would literally take a lifetime(she’s probably angling to be that one to do it) to put all the pieces back together again. We should have 2 independent sets of data……if we could only find out what we did with the original data…….:-| Sadly, the dog ate the homework of one group, and the other doesn’t know how to read a thermometer without upwardly moving the reading. Perhaps it’s the angle from which they’re looking at it.

gman

I would be interested to read Julisa’s project.I hate to see a young person put off by this dispicable act.

tokyoboy

I have a similar experience. On the NASA/GISS site, the temp data for Albany, Texas (categorized “rural”) showed a monotonous cooling trend of about 1 degC over 100 years at least two years ago, but today it looks like this:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425722660020&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
The “adjustment” consists essentially of a 1.5 to 2-degC suppression (!) of the temp for a century ago. How can this be rationalized??

netdr

I did a study for the Dallas area which I have lived in since 1975. If I had a kid in school it is simple enough to enter into a science fair.
The site of the DFW airport was a cow pasture in 1975 and around that time an international airport and a city of around 30,000 people was built. Jet exhaust and thousands of square feet of runway and a small city have to add temperature. Contrary to what you might expect, going from a cow pasture to a small city causes more warming than going from a big city to a bigger one.
Here is the unadjusted data from NASA
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425722590000&data_set=0&num_neighbors=1
Note the run up of about 2.5 ° C between 1970 and 2009.
Here is the adjusted data: Note there is no noticeable change.
[The UHI effect was not corrected for.]
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425722590000&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1
Here is an unadjusted plot from Hensley field which is 20 Km away.
Note that there is no upswing after 1970. It was in a slightly more urban area both before and after 1970 and not much changed. [Too bad they stopped taking data in 1996.]
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425722590000&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1
The meaning of these graphs is that there is a substantial UHI effect in the DFW temperature record which hasn’t been adjusted out.
Does that mean that all UHI everywhere hasn’t been adjusted out ?
No but it makes me suspicious.
To do your own area go to:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/
Select adjusted or unadjusted
Click on your location on the map.
Please share what you find with us.

sky

kim (5:10pm):
Ask Judith Curry if she’s willing to wait, say, 100 years for that “new” data set to be obtained? What we really need is for AGWers to stop “adjusting”–MESSING WITH–the existing station data that covers the 20th century and stop pretending that most stations have remained in unchanged environments throughout that time. It’s the arbitrary adjustments and the indiscriminate use of UHI-corrupted records that constitute the real hoax of the climate story. It surpasses the Beeville girl’s phony “prize” by many orders of magnitude in its significance.

kim

sky @ 6:06
I agree, but read Judy’s entry now at the tail end of the lost glacier data thread. She says no original data has been lost and that two separate efforts are underway to recreate HadCru. So, we needn’t wait a century for better data.
=================

Geoff Sherrington

(1) The USA has maintained many missile silos for many years. Each is equipped with temperature recording devices. Plausibly, they have not had site changes.
It would be scientific to compare the USA military record with the other USA compendiums. Why are the military scientists keeping such a low profile?
(2) Some international airline pilots report that temperatures measured by their instruments when the aircraft are on the ground, differ from the national met service advice. Given that so many high class stations are now at airports, this discrepancy needs examination. One pilot has reported verbally “Australia is consistently far worse than Zambia”.
Besides, the difference can be a safety factor for aviation. It was was not, there would be no need to measure it.

Ian H

Consider that her parents claim to have entered her project in this `national science fair’ and sent it on to the `NSF’ after it didn’t do well in the local contest. So just how is a hoaxer supposed to have induced her parents to do that? How would a hoaxer contact them and supply them with false information about this `National Science Fair’. And why! Why go to all the bother – a letter – a plaque – a cup! It is baroque to imagine that some third party did this for political reasons to make a point (what point?) in the climate debate.
There is a much more likely explanation, and that is that one of the parents did it. Motive? Perhaps they just wanted to make their daughter feel special after her project didn’t do well at the local science fair. Or perhaps one of the parents has strong opinions about climate themselves and helped the child with the project. Perhaps that parent then thought the project hadn’t been fairly evaluated.
I can see why one of the parents or perhaps a close relative might have chosen to do this. Darned if I can see why anyone else would or even could. It would require the resources of something like a spy agency to set this up and deceive the family in this way.
Unfortunately because of the charged nature of the climate debate this sad little fiasco now finds itself the focus of international media scrutiny. Poor girl. She doesn’t deserve that. She is the one person in all this whose innocence, in my opinion, is beyond doubt.

DR

Kim said:

Judy Curry said today at climate audit that we need a whole new surface temperature data set.

Can you link to that Kim? Thanks

Geoff Sherrington

Alan Cheetham says:
June 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm
Similar patterns exist at other locations worldwide. Something fundamental seems to have happened about 1950. Do you have a favoured explanation for it? I tend to relate it to the end of WWII with the increased number of airfields and the growth of aviation in general, affecting the number of airport weather stations quite dramatically, plus scrutiny of their past practices (like type of screen, daily observation time of day). Plus transition of control from military to civvy personnel. This is but a guess.

Mike G

@Rutter
“…interesting trend.”
See the recent post from Dr. Spencer.
No wonder Algore thought it was millions of degrees below the surface of the earth. If every time the temperature goes up it’s anthropogenic and down it’s natural variation, it’ll soon be millions of degrees on the surface, too!

latitude

“To do your own area go to:”
I would if I could netdr. When I click on Florida on the map, I get stations in Mexico.

P.F.

TomRude says: June 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm “This re-inventing the past data is a common issue in Europe . . .”
Didn’t the CRU destroy all original data, leaving only the processed data available for reference?

James Sexton

@ netdr Dr. Spencer did a little study and posted at this site with variants of the concept and updates. Try http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/10/spencer-global-urban-heat-island-effect-study-an-update/ first, I guess. But, yes, it shows movement from small or no population to slightly more is more significant(tempwise) than moving from a city of 500,000 to 1,000,000. I wish he’d show/study more on this subject, but I know he’s awful busy.

James Sexton

kim says:
June 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm
sky @ 6:06
“I agree, but read Judy’s entry now at the tail end of the lost glacier data thread. She says no original data has been lost and that two separate efforts are underway to recreate HadCru. So, we needn’t wait a century for better data.”
Sigh,
Kim, if the original data is preserved, then there isn’t much to do. Have Judith send it to me and I’ll post it here and at Climate Audit. Well, it doesn’t have to be me, there are more people here and there (at Climate Audit) that are more than capable of putting the data into a coherent format. The last thing we need is someone “recreating” data to fit their views. Just Google Ms. Judith to see her views. Perhaps she’s changed her point of view, we all do from time to time, but I’ll remain skeptical until I see raw data.

@latitude You can always try to locate your station by entering something like dallas site:unur.com into Google’s search box. My site is not fully indexed by Google, but a substantial number of the stations with links to their GISS information can be found this way.
Or, you can use the station locator provided by the NWS and navigate to the appropriate page starting from http://www.unur.com/climate/ghcn-v2/

Alan Cheetham says:
June 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm
NOAA GHCN database:
Beeville Chase/NAAS and Beevilee 5NE unadjusted
Beeville 5NE Unadjusted and Adjusted
—…—
Thank you!
Maybe them there rural cowboys in the Texas farm and ranch country back before 1950 had to be “uncorrected” by Hansen’s GISS for NOT having an Urban Heat Island?

Graeme W

DR says:
June 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm
Kim said:

Judy Curry said today at climate audit that we need a whole new surface temperature data set.

Can you link to that Kim? Thanks

http://climateaudit.org/2010/06/04/losing-glacier-data/#comment-231587

pat

speaking of hoaxes, this is all from the philippines’ media today:
Climate change ‘a moral issue’ – ex-US vice president Al Gore
He even quoted from the Bible, saying, “Love thy neighbor.” Gore, who was once congressman of Tennessee in America’s so-called Bible Belt, quoted from the Good Book several times, even though he noted that he was not proselytizing.
“If we are doing harm to someone who’s [present] here, then we would stop,” Gore said. “If we do mortal harm on others [who’s] not here, that’s a moral issue as well.”
He said that people today would have to answer to future generations, especially given overwhelming evidence that business as usual has contributed to rising carbon dioxide emissions that were now at alarming levels. The Nobel Prize winner added that other pieces of evidence on global warming include more severe storms, drought in others because of increased evaporation caused by warmer temperatures, melting polar ice caps and other glaciers also resulting in raising levels, and potentially cataclysmic events…
Gore said that it was not yet too late to reverse the harmful effects of climate change, citing the opinion of scientists whom he trusts.
If God has given the people the technology to destroy the Earth, “surely we can do something,” he explained…
The polar ice caps—a disturbing large part has already melted—can come back, Gore added. But if people continue not doing enough, climate change will eventually be irreversible, he explained…..
http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/component/content/article/42-rokstories/19120-climate-change-a-moral-issue–ex-us-vice-president-al-gore
Gore draws crowds to climate change lecture
He said that aside from the natural cycle of melting ice caps, statistics show that climate change does not move in a linear direction.
Gore cited as proof the sudden spikes in temperatures in the last few years. He even warned that the Philippines is not spared from the disasters made worse by climate change. Gore said storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” are some of the examples…
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/06/09/10/gore-draws-crowds-climate-change-lecture
Climate crusader gets warm welcome
Though basically weaving the same urgent cautionary tale and messages of hope, about a third of Gore’s almost two-hour presentation presented material not found in the 2006 documentary.
These included images and references as fresh as May this year, like that on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and massive, unprecedented floodings in urban America and Asia….
“Here in the Philippines you had a series of storms,” Gore said, adding that he purposely did not include more images since they may be too painful to bear for his local audience…
For the next two hours, Gore held the SMX viewers in rapt attention with images and charts hammering down apocalyptic warnings: ancient glaciers receding if not totally vanishing in a matter of decades, lakes and rivers drying up, stronger storms, droughts in areas where there used to be none, and flooding in towns where residents were too complacent to think about getting a “flood insurance.”
The melting polar ice caps, if not slowed down, will raise sea levels to the point where “the map of the world will have to be redrawn,” he said.
On a subtler but still ominous scale, global warming and resulting “shifts in the seasons” have led to the resurgence of diseases that were once declared under control, and the emergence of new viruses, as in the case of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
“I was told by an agricultural expert in the Philippines that it has become more difficult here to predict when to plant,” Gore added…
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100609-274647/Climate-crusader-gets-warm-welcome

James Sexton

latitude says:
June 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm
“To do your own area go to:”
“I would if I could netdr. When I click on Florida on the map, I get stations in Mexico.”
lmao! latitude and Florida has been….extrapolated!!!! And I thought that technique was just for the Arctic and South America!! (Well, other parts of Cali too)
Dude! Sorry to hear about your extrapolation. Maybe one day when Florida grows up, they can have a temp all their own!

tokyoboy

netdr says: …….. June 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm ……
Re the Albany, Texas temp data I mentioned above, search for the “raw GHCN data + USHCN corrections” does not yield the graph I used to see two years ago, which exhibited a very monotonous 1-degC cooling trend from 1892 to 2007. The current graph is a tilted hockey stick, being in no way similar to the good old one. Does this mean that the graph I was familiar with two years ago was “raw GHCN data” before “USHCN corrections”, and is no more searcheable ??

Doug in Seattle

DR:
I’m not Kim, but here is Dr. Curry’s comment on CA.
http://climateaudit.org/2010/06/04/losing-glacier-data/#comment-231583

Stepping aside frm the “is it a hoax or not?” question, is the DATA in the attached graphic correct?
That is, is the only warming noted in Beeville’s unadjusted data from station moves and and instrument changes?

Mike G

Still boggles the mind that Hansen, et al, consider “The Greatest Generation” to have been too stupid to read a thermometer.

netdr

James Sexton says:
To do your own area go to:”
I would if I could netdr. When I click on Florida on the map, I get stations in Mexico.
**************
Exactly where you click on the map matters.
I clicked on Jacksonville [approximately] and got OCALA and JacksonvilleNAS etc.
Play around with it a little it is easy to use.
Actually to be honest I got the idea from a kid’s science fair project and liked it.
How is that for full disclosure ?
To do your own area go to:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/
Select adjusted or unadjusted
Click on your location on the map. [It is a little delicate so be as precise as you can]
Please share what you find with us.
Oh yes I borrowed the information on small cities UHI from Dr Spencer. It makes sense when you think about it.

National Science Fair data.
In pdf format.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/40363568

James Sexton

pat says:
June 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm
“speaking of hoaxes, this is all from the philippines’ media today:
Climate change ‘a moral issue’ – ex-US vice president Al Gore
He even quoted from the Bible, saying, “Love thy neighbor.”
He said that people today would have to answer to future generations, especially given overwhelming evidence …”
If he’d actually read the Bible, then he’d know future generations isn’t to whom we answer.

James Sexton

netdr says:
June 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm
James Sexton says:
Apparently, I gave a poor attempt at humor. I still think it was a hoot, but obviously lost on everyone else. Swing and a miss.

Dave F

REPLY: Cut him some slack, he’s not a US citizen, he’s writing in a second language. -A
I am learning Spanish, and I can tell you the difference in grammar style is pretty marked, just as a side note. English must be a pain to learn as a second language.

Steve Schapel

pat (June 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm)…
Thanks for that information. I had been wondering where Gore had got to. The international crusader sure seems to be laying it on thick! Unfortunately a lot of people in the Philippines will take his word as gospel.

AnonyMoose

James Sexton says:
June 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm
I got the real U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama using the 800 number, but it is after hours there.

The initforthegold link already says that Space Camp didn’t get anything from the NSF.

James Sexton

AnonyMoose says:
June 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm
…..
” The initforthegold link already says that Space Camp didn’t get anything from the NSF.”
Yeh, I saw what they said. I’m not familiar with initforthegold people. So, I’ll see for myself or until I see what someone I trust says. I’m sure they’re fine people, I’m just not familiar with them. I tend to agree with Ian H June 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm but, I’m not prepared to accuse anybody of anything. As pointed out in the post, there are innocent people effected. One should walk gingerly in this regard until all the facts are known.

Lynn Erickson

Regarding references to NASA/GISS and GHCN temperature records in general, according to their web documentation, even the “raw” data has been somewhat adjusted. It’s been a while since I thoroughly read the documents, so I don’t remember exactly what the adjustments are, but the “raw” data is minimally adjusted.
The only truly raw web data is the USHCN raw available at:
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/
Read the readme.txt for an explanation of what the files contain, and the file formats.
I’ve written some routines to graph data from these files, and find the truly raw data a good starting point for sanity checks of US temperatures. I haven’t found any equivalent files available for GHCN data.

Mike G

Can we trust tinypic.com with our archived gifs, etc.? Lots of people have agendas. They might invite Dr. Hansen to come in a doctor our data.
REPLY: Thats just silly, way off the scale, non issue -A

George Turner

REPLY: Cut him some slack, he’s not a US citizen, he’s writing in a second language. -A
I could tell by his name, Ecotretas, which isn’t commonly encountered in English, unlike the names Billy, Bob, or Billy Bob.