Tipping point at GISS? Land and sea weight out of balance

While Alan mulls over big red dots in NOAA’s graph where no data exists, Frank Lanser finds that GISS global temperature trend is warmed up by weighting land data more.

Guest post by Frank Lansner http://hidethedecline.eu/

GISS  temperatures compared with land ocean ratios

GISS temperatures compared with different ratios of land: ocean data values. Art - Jo Nova

The simple task of combining Land surface temperature with Sea surface temperatures has become an odd complex algorithm for GISS. It seems that they weight land data more and more during the 20th century leading to extra heat added to the GISS global temperatures.

Thus in 1900-1920 the GISS LST+SST graph is mostly spot on the used SST graph (the HADISST/Reynoldsv2). This means that the GISS global temperature around 1900-1920 appears to weight land data zero %

The land fraction is increasing during the 20th century, especially after 1980:

Fig2

The real land fraction of the Earth is of course 30%, but around 1980 GISS uses 40%, in 1988 55% – and in 1995 no less than 73%. (The high land % weighting around 1995 leads to a reduction in temperature decline due to Pinatubo volcanic cooling.)

GISS ends up in 2007 using a land weighting of 67%.

In general GISS defends use of larger land fraction due to their 1200km zones around land stations reaching some Ocean areas. But this does obviously not explain a land fraction that appears to go from near zero to around 70% globally during the 20th century.

Besides, the land temperatures for all stations including the coastal stations appear to show significantly different behaviour compared to the SST´s:

(Taken from PART3 of my new article, http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/the-perplexing-temperature-data-published-1974-84-and-recent-temperature-data-180.php)

And therefore, just shifting SST´s out with land temperatures are questionable.

The topic has been discussed somewhat at Joanne Nova’s site:

http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/did-giss-discover-30-more-land-in-the-northern-hemisphere/

What is the impact of the still greater land fraction in GISS data? If the 30% land fraction from the real world was used, GISS 2007 would be 0,55K warmer than GISS 1900.

With the still increasing GISS land fraction actually used, we have GISS 2007 0,72K warmer than GISS 1900.

The difference is 0,17K added by not using 30% land constantly. But this calculation could be done in many ways.

We know for a fact that the oceans cover 70% of the planet. So why not use 70% of data from SST?

data sources:

GISS global Land + SST

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

GISS land temp

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt

Both HADISST and Reynolds can be seen using:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

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Jason Joice

GISS = Gotta Increase Somehow Survey
You just showed us how.

Chas the Physicist

So let’s see how this “new math” works…
Water has a heat capacity of about 4200 J/kg-K, and soil has a heat capacity of about 800 J/kg-K, and so (sarcastically speaking) we should clearly weight heat measurements from soil at twice the contribution of water (this in addition to the volumetric ratios of earth to water already noted)…
This somewhat reminds me of Pielke’s comments on “missing heat”:
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/comments-on-the-npr-story-by-richard-harris-entitled-the-mystery-of-global-warmings-missing-heat/
These AGWers believers have long ago strayed well into the scientific misconduct regime. What they promote is truly “political science”.

Leon Brozyna

The way they (NOAA, GISS, et al) adjust, tweek, & homogenize data, they’ll be showing record setting warmth when the glaciers return and NYC is under a mile of ice.

richard telford

Either GISS have made a mistake, or you have. Are you sure it’s not the latter? Consider what happens when the anomalies are presented relative to the series mean rather than an arbitrary period.

DirkH

Leon Brozyna says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm
“The way they (NOAA, GISS, et al) adjust, tweek, & homogenize data, they’ll be showing record setting warmth when the glaciers return and NYC is under a mile of ice.”
With one thermometer worldwide left and Gavin holding a blowtorch to it.

Jose Suro

With the still increasing GISS land fraction actually used, we have GISS 2007 0,72K warmer than GISS 1900.
Don’t make me get out my calculator! Give it to me in C!

F. Ross

Really nice that Hansenizer GW amplifier. Can I get one at Radio Shack maybe? Does the output go to a four klystron decausing-megneting assister?

peter fimmel

Chas the Physicist says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm
“These AGWers believers have long ago strayed well into the scientific misconduct regime. What they promote is truly “political science”.”
Its closer to being “political physics”

Michael Jankowski

Seems to me the land fraction should be decreasing. After all, rising sea levels should be increasing the sea-to-land ratio of area coverage, right?

Its closer to being “political physics”
Maybe closest to being “political climatology.”
…Oh, sorry. Redundant.

John F. Hultquist

There is a map in Frank’s Part 4, more prominent in Joanne Nova’s comments, that used a color scheme that is not intuitive. As someone keeps writing: There is no need to complain of fraud when incompetence will do as an explanation.
Thus (knowing a little about cartography), the automated packages to make computer generated maps will have a default color scheme (or scale, as used by Frank L.) designed to satisfy the look of the product based on the maximum and minimum values or the end-points established by the person requesting the computer run. Note that the end-points are +/- 5. This is a crude map. and so, hard to read but the max values seem to be somewhere between 2 and 3. That is, I do not see the darker red/orange colors on the map – but if the program expects them then it can force the odd choice of middle or neutral color. This seems to be the case here.
The person asking for the computer generated map has to set values that are “intuitive” and/or force an outcome that is, likewise, intuitive.
One would have to know the nature of the mapping software and what was asked for to know what went wrong in this particular case. This is just one issue – among many – raised by Frank in his 4-part series. If you know anyone claiming to be a geographer, planner, and so on, that works in the field of GIS (geographic information systems), ask them about this.

Roger Knights

Can’t those ARGO buoys be modified to also take air temperatures? That would eliminate the need to extrapolate from land-based coastal stations.

Curiousgeorge

I think I know. They simply flattened out all the vertical land surface (mountains, etc. ), which of course makes it spread out and presto-chango! Land is now 70% and water is 30% (or whatever it works out to ). 😉

SM

Harrumph!
The new model Hansenizer GW amplifier goes up to eleven.

wayne

See R. Gates, it’s a figment in the data manipulations! Stop eating it.

899

DirkH says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Leon Brozyna says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm
“The way they (NOAA, GISS, et al) adjust, tweek, & homogenize data, they’ll be showing record setting warmth when the glaciers return and NYC is under a mile of ice.”
With one thermometer worldwide left and Gavin holding a blowtorch to it.
If he has his way, it’ll be a rectal thermometer, and you just know where that will be shoved …

intrepid_wanders

Consider what happens when the anomalies are presented relative to the series mean rather than an arbitrary period.

I am very sure that it will not change anything on the “Land Fraction” chart.

Theo Goodwin

Once GISS reads this article, their next chart will show readings from land ONLY.

Geoff Sherrington

How do I get old posts back from Climate Audit before their crash and rejigging? CTM, I have a recollection that you caught them and put them somewhere safe.
I’m looking for a Phil Jones email to me about early 2007 where he says that he can reconcile New Zealand land and ocean temperatures, but cannot do so with Australia. This was when the IPCC was writing its settled science statement. To this day I don;t know how Phil fixed the problem.
Re this GISS thread, it seems to me that there’s a problem with two sets of dynamics, one ocean, one land, being analysed by people with static models in the forelobe of the brain.

Steve in SC

Maybe that congressman from Georgia had something when he said Guam was going to capsize because of the extra weight. Then again, he replaced Cynthia McKinney.

Hobo

ho hum.
Wake me when land gets to 110% weighting, then you get my attention.

Hobo

Leon Brozyna says: “The way they (NOAA, GISS, et al) adjust, tweek, & homogenize data, they’ll be showing record setting warmth when the glaciers return and NYC is under a mile of ice.”
I noticed today they eliminated completely the homegenity adjustment for Seligman AZ recently. It now matches the temp record exactly.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425723760070&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
Does that happen often?

LightRain

This is absolutely crazy, you can’t keep score without a program. Why not use one cell earth wide based on Las Vegas? Actually why don’t they use the Argo SST monitors? Then eliminate the areas with no thermometers and adjust the area covered that actually do have thermometers, then subtract for UHI, not the other way round.

Rattus Norvegicus

Go read the code and tell us where this adjustment is made. Be sure and tell us all when you find it, but I won’t be expecting anything real soon, or ever, because it ain’t there.

Bob

I just KNEW it. Of course they are making up and manipulating data to justify the leftist political agenda. But then again, if these surveys showed cooling, well, then I’d probably feel differently.
/sarc

KenB

The Gmails will be flying between the “posies” trying to create a diversion so the truth (mistake???) (No, a competent scientist would fix that error) of this alarming planet climate changer, wont be exposed in the MSM. This the REAL (Climate) story that needs exposure, perhaps we can pray for a GISS “insider” to blow the whistle…….HarryreadME, where are you mate!!

Arno Arrak

This article and many others keep referring to Pinatubo cooling that is a myth. The original error comes from Self et al. who first claimed it in their contribution to the big Pinatubo book “Fire and Mud” of Newhall & Punongbayan. They looked at an out-of-context section of the satellite temperature curve, noticed a temperature drop that followed the eruption, and claimed it for Pinatubo cooling. What their segment of the satellite curve showed was the peak of the 1990/91 El Nino and the La Nina cooling that followed it in 1992/93. If you look at the full satellite curve you see a repeating pattern of El Ninos followed by La Ninas. There were five such peaks in the eighties and nineties before the 1998 super El Nino arrived. But they simply failed to understand that a La Nina cooling follows after every El Nino peak. This would have been obvious had they looked at the entire data set. And then complain that they cannot understand why surface cooling is clearly documented after some eruptions (Gunung Agung in 1963) but not others (El Chichon, 1982). The answer is pot luck. Real cooling stays in the stratosphere and apparent surface cooling happens only when the eruption takes place at the beginning of a La Nina. This happened with Pinatubo. But El Chichon lucked out – poor timing. An El Nino was just building up when it erupted and there was no La Nina available to appropriate for its imagined cooling.

u.k.(us)

The threat of a 1 degree temperature change, causes concern among reporters.
Al Gore, says I told you so (from a private pity party he is headlining).
Windmills spin (with coal/ng backup), towards our green future.

Jose Suro says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm

With the still increasing GISS land fraction actually used, we have GISS 2007 0,72K warmer than GISS 1900.
Don’t make me get out my calculator! Give it to me in C!

A Kelvin is the same size as a degree Celsius, so the difference between two temperatures is the same. The only differences between Kelvins and degrees Celcius are the wordplay (never say degrees Kelvin) and that 0 K is absolute zero but 0°C is the freezing point of water, 273 K.

cce

The GISTEMP “Land” series is not an index representing changing land temperature. It is an index that attempts to represent global temperature using only land based measurements. Results are weighted by latitude zone, not land area, and the temperature change from coastal thermometers are over-represented, making it warm much slower than a “land only” index.
By contrast, the Land-Ocean index uses SST where available, except for areas of sea ice, in which case measurements from the nearest land measurements are used.
The minor differences between the various temperature analyses are due to their choice of ocean data, and GISTEMP’s interpolation over land and sea ice. If you apply the same masks and use the same ocean data, they are virtually identical.
Please read everything by Zeke at Lucia’s.
http://rankexploits.com/musings/author/zeke/

dp

If the Hansenizer GW Amplifier has been productized I’d sure like one – Puget Sound has been miserable cold since fall of last year.

Gary Mount

I believe that the term Centigrade should be used when referring to a temperature difference without reference to an actual measured temperature. Two temperature scales use units of Centigrade, the Kelvin and the Celsius. The term Centigrade has in its name “Centi” meaning one hundred, which is the number of units between the temperature of freezing water and boiling water.
Some people use the term Centigrade when they mean Celsius, but the Kelvin scale also uses the Centigrade unit.
Using the letter C however to represent the units you are using can be confusing as Centigrade and Celsius both start with C, obviously. Usually one can tell by the context whether one is referring to a measured temperature or a difference between two measured temperatures.
For example in this post “0,72K” is used. It is easy to tell the writer does not mean the temperature is barely 1k above absolute freezing or -458.374 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a 1980’s text book I have, the author states that the term Centigrade should be considered obsolete. I believe that is true only if one was using Centigrade when meaning Celsius. Obviously the 100 nature of Centigrade makes the term still valid and perhaps preferred rather than using K to represent a unit of temperature.
I will agree however that the term Centigrade sounds awkward.

CCE:
You write that the Land index is not just a land index. This is very true and I have recently covered this subject very closely in PART 2 of my summary of temperature graphs, check it out:
http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/the-perplexing-temperature-data-published-1974-84-and-recent-temperature-data-180.php
However, we DO know that Oceans are 70% of the planets surface, and thus, whatever you do with the last 30%, it should not lead to a result that differences much from SST.
And most importantly:
What ever you do, you have to do it for all years!!
1) How do you justify around ZERO % land data used 1900-20 and then 70% land data used in 2007?
2) How do you justify around 40-45% land data used arounf 1980-85 and then 65-70% in 2007?
The last massive increase in land data 1980-2007 indeed speeds up the warming of the last decades, so its pretty obvious we need a look at this.
The heat added by GISS when they make their remarkable combining of “land” data and SST is so significant that i think this should be investigated to full detail, thats why I come foreward with my initial observations.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Rattus Norvegicus said on July 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm:

Go read the code and tell us where this adjustment is made. Be sure and tell us all when you find it, but I won’t be expecting anything real soon, or ever, because it ain’t there.

Small problem being, that is not THE code, it is the Clear Climate Code project’s attempt at “reimplementing” GISTEMP in the Python programming language. Thus it is not what produced the results seen above.
Let us know when you find the real code that NASA actually runs to generate those numbers, okay?

Policyguy

Yes,
Political Science. Political Policy. Political garbage…
There is enough data here to refute these egregious claims, can anyone pull it together?

Policyguy

I forgot to add: Political Climatology and Political Physics

Neil Robertson

Ric Werme @ 8:54, I’ll join you in Pedant’s Corner (a place I’m often found) and point out that the units of the Kelvin scale are not Kelvins but kelvins.
Re the main article, if GISS’s only explanation for the high land percentage is “…their 1200km zones around land stations reaching some Ocean areas”, it is patently inadequate, absent peer-reviewed evidence that ocean areas hundreds of km offshore follow land temperatures more closely than oceanic ones. Does such evidence exist?
Was the decrease in the land weighting between 1995 and 2007 (73% to 67%) perhaps due to ‘dying of the thermometers’ and a consequent decrease in the number of 1200km radius zones available for use?
I’ve just realised that each of those zones amounts to almost 1% of the earth’s surface (0.88%). It wouldn’t take too many badly-chosen stations with unrepresentative microclimates (Eureka anyone?) with that sort of weighting to skew the results.

Neil Robertson

I have a question. The expenditure of trillions of dollars are being contemplated on the basis of what everyone (on both/all sides of this debate) recognises is an incomplete data set. It’s understandable that historically, sparsely populated areas of the earth should have had sparse coverage for weather data; the political and economic value of the data was lower, and crucially full-time human presence was needed to provide the data.
Now we have the network of ARGO buoys reporting ocean temperature data direct via satellite links, and available almost in real time. Why is there not a network of similar land-based stations in remote areas worldwide, or even (as far as I’m aware) strong demands from the AGW research community for the creation of such a network? The cost would surely be trivial compared to the vast amounts of money at stake, or that is already being committed to all sorts of AGW research, much of it based on assumptions forced on researchers by the lack of data. Not only would this network greatly increase the comprehensiveness of land-based data records, but it could provide data almost completely free of UHI bias.
In fact, wouldn’t automated systems of this sort be greatly preferable even in more urbanised areas, thus removing many of the practical issues that lead to the massive prevalence of siting problems recorded on WUWT and elsewhere, and missing data from many stations?

cce

kadaka (KD Knoebel): Let us know when you find the real code that NASA actually runs to generate those numbers, okay?
Found it 2 years ago. It’s over here:
ftp://data.giss.nasa.gov/pub/gistemp/ GISTEMP_sources.tar

And that’s the old link. Here is the latest code:
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources/ GISTEMP_sources.tar.gz

DoctorJJ says:
July 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm (Edit)
GISS = Gotta Increase Somehow Survey

Good one. here are some more:
IPCC = Inaccurately Produced Climate Claptrap
NOAA = Notoriously Overestimates Actual Anomalies
NSIDC = No Sensors Indicate Decadal Cooling

Tenuc

So what GISS have done is rehash a version of the old shell scam. Keep moving the target quickly enough and the punters won’t see what you’ve done.
The IPCC cargo cult scientists know that the scam must go on until their political paymasters put the CO2 tac machinery in place. Their position gets evermore precarious and here’s hoping this is the final tug which will pull the mat from under the CAGW scam.

CCE:
Well thats the point 🙂
Looka at the years 1900-20: The brown land graph is not the same as the SST curve, see?
But.. The combined GISS Land+SST is the same as SST 1900-1920 and thus, the land data (brown curve) must have been weighted… aound zero. Can you follow this?
But in 1995-2007 land is weighted around 70%… What ever changes in landstation data you might point out, this appears wrong.
And the change in land cover from 1980-85 (40%) to 1995-2007 (70%):
So in 1980 there where hardly any landstations near the cost? (WRONG!!) And then in 1995 suddenly they use uch more coastal temperature stations? (WRONG!!)
In fact there is certainly not more land stations use in 1995-2007 and thus the idea that a MASSIVELY bigger ocean area covered from land in 1995 compared to 1985 is complete nonsense. There is no massevely bigger ocean coveragere from land in 1995 than there was in 1985 to explain a raise in GISS land% use from 40% to 70%.
Its good to be careful, but sceptics should not be so careful that they dare say nothing at all.
Change in use og coastal temperature station can at most explain a tiny fraction of the problems here.

Scarface

@Policyguy
I’m afraid we are currently dealing with Physical Politics, of the postmodern kind.
Politicians can bend everything in the the direction they want. Scientific facts will not stop them, only votes. And that’s what’s making things difficult, because it’s (still) political correct to support AGW.
In my view, WUWT and other anti-AGW websites play an important role in spreading trustworthy knowledge and facts about climate and climatescience to the people.
Once people realize they are being scammed, only then will they vote AGW out.
And that will be the end of the Physical Politics we are currently enduring.

Sean McHugh

Weightgate? Surely this leaves no doubt of GISS’s trickery. If this can be ignored, what can’t?

Rattus Norvegicus

kadaka,
You mean like here. The ccc code reproduces GISTEMP output just about perfectly, and as such implements the same algorithms. It just happens to be a much cleaner implementation which is much easier to read.

Neil Robertson says:
July 18, 2010 at 12:34 am
> Ric Werme @ 8:54, I’ll join you in Pedant’s Corner (a place I’m often found) and point out that the units of the Kelvin scale are not Kelvins but kelvins.
Augh! How could I have made that mistake!? That hertz! I think °C is still Celsius, so Kelvin follows those who forget history.
BTW y’all, all this comes from an effort several decades ago to standardize unit terminology and honor scientists involved in the measurements, hence hertz replaced cycles per second, centigrade was replaced by Celsius.
http://home.comcast.net/~igpl/Temperature.html says
In 1948, the Ninth General Conference on Weights and Measures changed the name “degree centigrade” to “degree Celsius” (symbol °C) in honor of Anders Celsius.
In 1954, the Tenth General Conference on Weights and Measures selected the degree Kelvin as the metric unit of thermodynamic temperature. The degree Kelvin was named in honor of its creator, Sir William Thomson, Baron Kelvin of Largs, Lord Kelvin of Scotland. The conference defined the degree Kelvin by assigning the exact value 273.16°K to the triple point of water. The triple point of a substance is the thermodynamic singularity at which the gas, liquid, and solid phases may coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium. A triple point is therefore a much more accurate temperature reference than either a freezing point or a boiling point.
In 1967, the Thirteenth General Conference on Weights and Measures changed the name of the thermodynamic temperature unit degree Kelvin (symbol °K) to merely kelvin (symbol K). The conference redefined Celsius temperature as the thermodynamic temperature minus 273.15 kelvin.

geo

An article that starts with insisting that land is weighted at 0% for 1900-1920 in GISS gets a high degree of suspicion from me. I understand that the author feels the data justifies that conclusion. I just don’t believe it, and think it far more likely that something else is going on that the author has failed to grasp in some fashion.
Of course, there is always the possibility that he’s right and I’m wrong –but a few paras and a graph or two aren’t enough to convince me of it.