Is Hansen's Recent Temperature Data Consistent?

By Steve Goddard

Dr. John Christy recently wrote an excellent piece “Is Jim Hansen’s Global Temperature Skillful?” which highlighted how poorly Dr. Hansen’s past predictions are doing.

This post raises questions about GISS claims of record 2010 temperatures. The most recent GISS graph below shows nearly constant warming from 1965 to the present, with 2010 almost 0.1°C warmer than the actual warmest year of 1998.

HadCrut disagrees. They show temperatures flat over the past decade. and 2010 about 0.1°C cooler than the warmest year 1998.

Looking more closely, the normalised plot below shows trends from Jan 1998 to the present for GISS, HadCrut, UAH and RSS

GISS shows much more warming than anybody else during that period. Hansen claims :

The difference of +0.08°C compared with 2005, the prior warmest year, is large enough that 2010 is likely, but not certain, to be the warmest year in the GISS record.

The discrepancy with the other data sources is larger than Hansen’s claimed 0.08 record. Is it a record temperature, or is it good old fashioned bad data?

Either way, it is still far below Hansen’s projected temperatures for 2010. This is not pretty science.

Hansen made temperature  forecasts which have proven too high. Now his “measured” temperature data is pushing higher than everyone else. Would you accept the other team’s coach doing double duty as the referee? In what other profession would people accept this sort of conflict of interest?

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Dave Wendt

“Hansen made temperature forecasts which have proven too low.”???

Robert

“Hansen made temperature forecasts which have proven too low”
I am sure you mean “too high”.

jack morrow

No where Steve. But, remember the money and the prestige of NASA is at stake and their people are in control of the purse strings.

Roger Knights

Hansen made temperature forecasts which have proven too low.

TYPO? Shouldn’t that be “… too high”?

MODERATOR :
Just noticed a typo
“Hansen made temperature  forecasts which have proven too low”
Should read :
“Hansen made temperature  forecasts which have proven too high”
Thx
Reply: Fixed ~ ctm

Hobo

I thought that world temps were dropping the last 10 years or so, or is that just the US temp record?

jeez

Gistemp methodology is accurately documented and the code is available. It has been reproduced by multiple citizen scientists.
It departs from other indexes for known reasons which can be debated both in the literature and in the blogosphere. Backhanded insinuations of evil intent, such as this, do little to further productive discussion.

rbateman

It’s that time of the Economy known as weeding out the underachievers.
In Hansens own word “Shut ‘er down”.
The $$$ can be put to better use elsewhere.

Given the similarity with NIWA’s curve, I wonder if Hansen has been helping them. 🙂

Pat Heuvel

If, indeed, Hansen had made forecasts which were too low, he could subsequently claim that the actual temperatures were far worse than even he thought… we’ve never heard that before, have we?

Evan Jones

I thought that world temps were dropping the last 10 years or so, or is that just the US temp record?
World. But bear in mind the 10-year stretch is currently running over 2000 La Nina ground. Low starting point.

rbateman

Let Hansen run his own private company in a sink or swim mode.
He could call it Hansens Institute for Climate upwarming Studies, or HICupS.

Mike G

Geez jeez,
Look at the graphs. There’s nothing that can justify that!

using the 12 month running average from 1998 (the only time in the past 12 years when the running average of all 4 data sets was almost the same) is also illustrative:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/07/hansen-maintains-title-of-leading.html

jeez
GISTEMP departs from HadCrut because they generate Arctic data where they have none.
Conflicts of interest are highly frowned upon in all fields, and most people are smart enough to avoid them.

jeez,
The inference of “evil intent” is from your own mind. I didn’t say anything along those lines.
Think about that.

latitude

“GISS shows much more warming than anybody else during that period”
Then it would be the out and out lier.

Robert

The UK met office already has showed that Hadleys sampling is at the lower scale of the warming and that they likely miss out on the warming of the 2000s. What more evidence do you people need before you stop hauling out the 1998 is the warmest argument…

Robert Wykoff

I am a little confused on that HADCRUT graph, that I have seen in at least two posts. I remember a few years ago where Hansen was coerced to concede that the 1930’s were actually warmer than 1988, yet this graph shows the 1930s barely even blipping above the “Normal” line, and way way way lower than 1988.
Watts up with that?
Reply: That was the US index, this is the global index. ~ ctm

Robert Wykoff

(sorry, 1998)

bob

What is the real world experience closer to?
Hansen’s prediction of 0.24 C per decade or the null hypothesis of no warming due to anthropogenic causes?

jeez

Yes Steven, known, documented, and not changed recently to my knowledge.
Under other conditions this methodology could lead to a cooling bias (although I have my own opinions on the confirmation bias which seems rampant throughout climatology).
So what is the point of your accusations of conflict of interest if you already know the reasons for the departure, yet fail to mention it in your original post?
How does it contribute to the discussion?
It’s not like CRU and GISS don’t know they do this differently.
It’s not like the reasons for this departure of indexes isn’t known and documented.
Conflicts of interest are completely neutralized of negative intent with full disclosure.
Full disclosure exists here. What are you accomplishing by ululating about this?

jeez,
People avoid conflicts of interest because they are good, not because they are evil.
If Hansen is going to tout a record temperature to the press and politicians, he needs to include disclaimers that more sophisticated satellite and other ground based data disagree. He needs to mention that the slope of his his recent trends are several times higher than modern satellite data. He needs to mention that he extrapolates data 1200 km. He needs to mention that he has very little data at either pole or in Africa.
Does he do any of that?

Steven: Is there any reason you’ve excluded the other surface temperature-based dataset, the product from the NCDC?

jeez

All is documented, but you made me look even harder at your cherry-picked example.
If you change the start date of your plot from 1998 to 1999, which is much closer to “the past decade”, GISS tracks almost identically to the satellites and radiosondes.
So the suspected results of your conflict of interest are a direct result of a carefully chosen start date.
I am no fan of Jim Hansen, but this post adds nothing to the discussion and in my opinion, reduces the credibility of this site.

John Morrow

Steve:
Nearly 50 years ago, my mean, old maid, 9th grade English teacher taught me that the word “data” is plural/”datum” being the singular. If you would so kindly consider changing the first word of you title from “IS” to “ARE”, then she may continue to rest in peace and not come back to haunt me. (I realize you were merely following Dr. Christy, but must you perpetuate his error and risk my being haunted? Alternatively, you coul add (sic) after “IS”, but we don’t want to offend Dr. Christy any more than neccesary.)

John Morrow

SIGH! Your not you and could not coul. Now I am really going to be haunted for failure to proof before posting.

“Would you accept the other team’s coach doing double duty as the referee? In what other profession would people accept this sort of conflict of interest?”
I’d say the mafia but I’d not want to tarnish their, by comparison, upstanding good name.

BFL

In almost any other scientific field, generation of data where none exists to prove an outcome would result in scorn and possible dismissal, but not with the AGW group. This is a Sect where “just trust us” still works for those not discerning enough to see through the flack and disinformation. It also helps to plainly point out where the discrepancies lie when not so obvious as these are very sly types capable of twists subtle enough to compete with the CIA. Of course I’m sure their reasoning is justified for job protection and an inability to handle embarrassment at any level.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

jeez says:
August 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Gistemp methodology is accurately documented and the code is available.
It’s the first I’ve heard GISTemp is that open to the public. What a waste all those FOIs requests were.
Reply: Gistemp was opened up a couple of years ago, likely as a result of some of McIntyre’s error catching. There are many other reason for FOI’s. ~ ctm

PSU-EMS-Alum

Maybe I’m missing something, but shouldn’t the WoodForTrees graph be this:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.45/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.18/trend/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.25/trend
(Note that I used the processing step of “To (time)” not “Last (samples)”).
That paints an even worse picture for Hansen!

Dave F

jeez says:
Conflicts of interest are completely neutralized of negative intent with full disclosure.
I don’t know that I would go that far.

jeez

Dave F,
Yeah, the word “completely” was perhaps too much, I was in a hurry.
Peter Foster,
You misunderstand my intent. I am no fan of Hansen or GISS. Read everything I wrote again. Steven knew the reason for the departure but failed to mention it. He chose a start date that makes his point while the next year completely negates it. This post is targeted as a gotcha post against GISS by highlighting conflict of interest, but is transparently weak and without substance. If a method is open and documented then that needs to be the starting point for the discussion of why it differs from another method.

Peter Foster

If Jeez thinks that GISS is all above board then perhaps he could explain why GISS US graphs pre 1999 show the 1940’s warmer than 1998 but post 1999 graphs show the 1940’s warm period distinctly below the 1998 peak. Were all the thermometers reading wrong 50-60 years ago or did someone at GISS in 1999 do a fiddle.

PSU-EMS-Alum

James Hansen is obviously and unabashedly biased. In his own words he thinks that:
“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/15/james-hansen-power-plants-coal
The fact that an individual with such obvious biases remains in position of power and influence at NASA makes a mockery of the entire organization…

Amino Acids in Meteorites

jeez says:
August 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Backhanded insinuations
Since the room for James Hansen’s 1988 testimony was heated up by politicians it’s hard to believe he is pure a the driven snow.

899

If you think that’s bad, check this out:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/antarctic-ice-future/

Amino Acids in Meteorites

There are many other reason for FOI’s. ~ ctm
I thought learning about method was part of it.

DR

Hansen has stated breaking the law is justified to save the planet. Extrapolate from that.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Robert says:
August 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm
The UK met office already has showed that Hadleys sampling is at the lower scale of the warming and that they likely miss out on the warming of the 2000s. What more evidence do you people need before you stop hauling out the 1998 is the warmest argument…
UAH and RSS also have 1998 the warmest.

Tom in Texas

899 says:
August 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm
If you think that’s bad, check this out:

Oh no, not Judith Curry.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

jeez says:
August 16, 2010 at 6:10 pm
So the suspected results of your conflict of interest are a direct result of a carefully chosen start date.
Now it appears you are implying intent.

I am afraid Dr. Hansen has become a political figure rather than a scientist. You can never trust his science again. Defending eco-terrorists, and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars extreme agenda money readily show his motivations. Big money buys big science.

Duke C.

jeez says:
August 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm
ul·u·late (ly-lt, yl-)
intr.v. ul·u·lat·ed, ul·u·lat·ing, ul·u·lates
To howl, wail, or lament loudly.

Now who is engaging in ululation?
Keep those intransitive verbs coming, jeez. Adds to the entertainment value.

TomRude

McKitrick 2010 answered why this surface temperature stuff is manufactured garbage. How many times do we have to get the pavlovian reaction to it?

Colin from Mission B.C.

Robert says:
August 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm
“Hansen made temperature forecasts which have proven too low”
I am sure you mean “too high”.
Heh. Oh, good … I read that line over and over trying to make sense of it in the context of the article.

The start/end date was chosen to be El Nino peak to peak. I actually cut Hansen some slack by extending until August. A real apples for apples comparison ends in January and is much worse.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.45/trend/plot/uah/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.18/trend/plot/rss/from:1998/to:2010/offset:-0.25/trend

Bob Tisdale,
WFT does not have an NCDC option.

jeez

Here is HadCrut vs. GISS starting one year later. Same story, different year.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/last:2010/offset:-0.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1999/last:2010/offset:-0.45/trend
Two years later. Same story different year
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/last:2010/offset:-0.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2000/last:2010/offset:-0.45/trend
Three years later. Same story different year.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/last:2010/offset:-0.4/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001/last:2010/offset:-0.45/trend

Oh dear, you attempt to make your point by deleting UAH (the satellites) which, if added back, shows a trend very close to Gistemp in two of those three cases.

I’ll just show the last one, since I already did 1999.

I don’t think everyone here understands my point of view. I want to increase the credibility of WUWT not tear it down. Shrill accusations of conflict of interest where the methods are transparent only serve to make this site an advocacy site and not a science site. I don’t like Hansen, but Goddard’s objections in this post are misguided.

If you are going to include satellite data, it is critical that you do El Nino peak to peak – because satellites exaggerate ENSO events.