RSS global temp drops, version change adjusts cooler post 1998

Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA has published the January 2011 global temperature anomaly. It is not far from zero, and dropped quickly much like Dr. Roy Spencer’s UAH data this month. But, there’s a surprise. RSS has changed from Version 3.2 to 3.3 of their dataset, and adjusted it a bit cooler in the near term. Here’s a comparison plot:

Sources:

V3.2 ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/monthly_time_series/rss_monthly_msu_amsu_channel_tlt_anomalies_land_and_ocean_v03_2.txt

V3.3 ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/monthly_time_series/rss_monthly_msu_amsu_channel_tlt_anomalies_land_and_ocean_v03_3.txt

Curiously, there’s no mention of this new v3.3 data set on their web page describing the MSU data products they produce:

http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html

Perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to updating it yet.

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Perhaps.

Girma

QUEENSLAND’S plan to become a world leader in clean coal is in disarray, with the state abandoning its ZeroGen project after taxpayers pumped $150 million into the initiative.

http://bit.ly/ezNW1x

Mick

If a instrument require a human reading/interpretation and that is a qualified one then it is explained.
However if an instrument data is adjusted BACKWARDS

Mick

Sorry mods, don’t know what happened. What I mean is:
…BACKWARDS, the human intervention have to be explained/reasoned.

Ken Hall

Am I seeing things? A temperature record which has been updated which then shows the modern temperatures lower than the earlier version?
What would Hansen say?

Looks like the 66 year sine wave of short term (3x the 11 year solar cycle) climate changes is heading back down.
Now, the question becomes: Has the 400 year long-term climate cycle peaked between 2000-2010, and we begin the Modern Ice Age?
Or do we continue the long climb up from the Little Ice Age towards a Modern Warm Period peaking in 2060-2070? (Then begin the 450 year decline into the Modern Ice Age?)

ahab

“Perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to updating it yet. ”
Have some guts and say what you really think

Mike McMillan

Looks like the oscillation is getting larger. Typical chaotic behavior prior to climate runaway. If we get period doubling and bifurcation, we won’t have to worry about 2012.

Scottish Sceptic

racookpe1978 says: February 4, 2011 at 1:07 am
“Looks like the 66 year sine wave of short term (3x the 11 year solar cycle) climate changes is heading back down. “
Hold your horses … one of the characteristics of 1/f type noise is that it appears to have cycles (and trends). That is to say, because low frequency noise dominates, you signal appears to rise and fall as if there were some underlying “force” driving it to move.
So, one must use very strict statistical criteria to determine whether there are cycles and trends (which I know isn’t what the “scientists” do – but we are better than them!

I don’t know which record to trust, does anyone else? This post shows RSS being adjusted downwards. How did that happen? Did the calibration against too-fast-rising land temperatures reveal itself as faulty? In fact, do the satellite sensors depend on the land records for calibration? and if so, is that after Hansen has waved his wand over the mix?
I still incline to unearth rural station records, individual ones at that, preferably ones that can be compared with reasonably nearby urban records. For to date, I think the picture shown by many intrepid collectors of rural records is pretty stunning, and from all over the world too.
Verity published my piece here but I’ve updated the original here

frederik wisse

Just an observation from an outsider . Nearly all published statistics nowadays are contaminated with ideological smoothing of reality . Would the singsong of al gore cs be nowadays dropping temperatures then they would be showing unprecedented cooling and robust temperature drops proving their point , no need to flee into drug -related orwellian double speak . Looking into the details of the sst anomalies as presented by unysis certain cosmetics in painting reality can easily be detected . There are very clear maps of the extent of northern hemisphere sea-ice , showing sea-ice west of nova zembla , east of greenland and north of the fram strait . On spots where the ice floor is visible and registered by satellites , the sst surface anomaly registration is showing clearly above mormal temperatures between 1 and 2 degrees celsius . Is the ice too hot over there ? Is there daily smoothing going on to serve a not so hidden agenda ? Is the registration so inaccurate that any anomaly under half a degree celsius is well under that standard deviation in the statistics ? How are the temperatures in and around the fram strait measured and does the possibility exist to verify their correctness ?

Jimbo

I have recently read some speculation by Warmists that man-made greenhouse gases MIGHT make El Ninos stronger. It doesn’t look like that according to the top graph.

Alan the Brit

Is it me? I don’t seem to be able to determine that 2010 was the second ever “warmist” (deliberate) year after 1998. It looks way down from where I am sitting!
I am still struggling to find a definitive website that explains how we won’t have another ice-age for 50-100,000 years. Could someone kindly point me in the right direction. I can find sites that tell me this is so, but with no evidence or apparent explanation, other than “orbital mecahnics” variation. BTW they appear to be warmist sites, but then I am biased!

DaveF

Why do we need all this adjustment anyway? Surely the raw data is enough? If we just add up the number of degrees and divide by the number of thermometers, year after year, it may not give an accurate average world temperature, but it will tell us whether it’s getting warmer or not, which is what we want to know. The only adjustment necessary being for increased UHI or for re-siting. Or am I being Simple Simon here?

Scottish Sceptic

I’ve started producing a “global temperature simulator” based on a 1/f noise generator. I’d like to find people who could progress this project further so I’ve put the very crude basic model on the internet in the hope of attracting interest.
the urls are:
http://www.haseler.net/pink.ods (openoffice – it works)
http://www.haseler.net/pink.xls (micro$oft excel – as saved from openoffice)
The simple instructions are: “open it, click on tab and press f9” to see how a 1/f type signal behaves over a 2000 “month” simulation (170 years) There’s an email in the files for contact.
For info. I’ve not used macros it is just a simple spreadsheet and graph.

Scottish Sceptic

That should say: I’d like to find people who could help progress this project further.

Dave Springer

CAGW boffins used up all the trust and good will between science and the public. There was a lot of trust and it went a long way towards wrongly convincing the public that burning fossil fuels was causing irreparable catastrophic harm. Several years ago when I realized CAGW had no foundation in science and was in fact just another FUD-based narrative (FUD = fear, uncertainty, dread) being used to acheive political/ideological goals I suspected the only thing that would stop these criminals in their tracks would be for the climate to start turning colder. After finding there was a 60-year warming/cooling cycle that was due to change I was hopeful it would happen before it was too late.
It looks like the worm has turned just in time. Now however we have to deal with two awful consequences. The first of course is that global cooling is bad. It engenders a need for even more fossil fuel consumption and even worse it adversly impacts agricultural production through shorter growing seasons, late killer frosts early in the season and early killer frosts late in the season.
In earlier times I would have counted on science, engineering, and technology as being able to counter the effect of global cooling and thus let the march of progress and continue the global rise in living standards. Now I’m not so sure. When the global warming brouhaha fully collapses and everyone learns how they’ve been hoodwinked the public trust in science may be harmed to a great extent. The next time the science establishment declares that the sky is falling and we must do this and that to prevent a catastrophe no one will listen and the next time the impending catastrophe may be for real.
What the AGW boffins did is unforgiveable. If it were up to me every last one of them that cried wolf over AGW should be fired and have their credentials rescinded so that they may not be employed in any position of public trust ever again.

“Am I seeing things? A temperature record which has been updated which then shows the modern temperatures lower than the earlier version? ”
They already got all of the play out of the high temps earlier. Now they can quietly reduce temps, making it easier to hit record highs again and at a steeper incline than would otherwise be the case. They get to have their cake and eat it too.

P. Solar

ahab says:
February 4, 2011 at 1:15 am
>>
“Perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to updating it yet. ”
Have some guts and say what you really think
>>
How about have some bloody manners?!
Anthony’s comment seems fairly sensible and I see no justification for your language.
The version notes he links to do not (yet?) have any details concerning version 3.3 . That is rather sloppy since they have published the data. It seems unlikely that they intend to leave v3.3 undocumented.
I’m sure you would not address him a comment like that face to face so why do it here?

P. Solar

I’m always very dubious when I see this sort of adjustment , though I think this must be the first time I’ve seen anyone adjust temperatures downwards. Maybe that reflects their policy bias too.
It will be interesting to see how they document the changes .
This is getting like estimates of crowd sizes at demos. Organisers exaggerate 100% , police cut numbers in half.
Wasn’t it Disraeli who said “there are lies , damn lies and (climate) statistics” ?

David W

“Mike McMillan says:
February 4, 2011 at 1:42 am
Looks like the oscillation is getting larger. Typical chaotic behavior prior to climate runaway. If we get period doubling and bifurcation, we won’t have to worry about 2012.”
Can I have all your money then since you wont need it any more.

Chris Wright

Lucy Skywalker says:
February 4, 2011 at 2:02 am
“I don’t know which record to trust, does anyone else? This post shows RSS being adjusted downwards. How did that happen? Did the calibration against too-fast-rising land temperatures reveal itself as faulty? In fact, do the satellite sensors depend on the land records for calibration? and if so, is that after Hansen has waved his wand over the mix?”
One of the satellite guys that regularly posts data here repeatedly states that the satellite sensor is calibrated against an on-board source, clearly suggesting that calibration does not depend on the thermometer records such as GISS. Of course, if calibration did depend on GISS then they would no longer be independent and, worse, the satellite record would be badly contaminated.
I would suggest that the on-board source is used to correct for sensor drift. If so, it is quite distinct to the actual calibration process. To perform the actual calibration you would have to depend on theory alone – or you do indeed calibrate against a more ‘reliable’ source which presumably means thermometers.
I hope that the satellits record is not contaminated by the appalling thermometer records. But I would like to know how precisely the sensor outputs are converted to temperature. I seriously doubt that the on-board source can do this.
Chris

Patrick Davis

“P. Solar says:
February 4, 2011 at 4:56 am”
Or Mark Twain.
But yes, it is odd that this new dataset is adjusted, either way, I don’t care. It is still adjusted (Mannipulated). Opens up even more questions about their methods, data and “science” IMO. What base measure was used to re-adjust the data? What data was used (Can’t be stuff from UEA CRU, the cat ate it in the move)? Why the adjustment now (After Climategate, the Copenhagen failure, massive cold almost everywhere, dare I say globally)?
I smell a, politically biased, fishy smelling temperature rat!

Frank K.

So the global mean temperature index is back to where it was when I graduated high school [lol]. (…that was back when “Flock of Seagull”s was a popular band…)

beng

Blasphemy! Don’t they know that ALL changes in the near past must be made upward. Downward adjustments must be limited to pre-1960s or so.

Chris Wright

WUWT has an interesting explanation about satellite calibration etc by Dr Roy Spencer:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/12/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/
He answers my question right at the end:
“Fortunately, John Christy has spent a lot of time comparing our datasets to radiosonde (weather balloon) datasets, and finds very good long-term agreement.”
I think I’m satisfied. Of course, it does mean we have to worry about whether the rediosonde data has been ‘adjusted’ to match the surface data.
Overall, I’m reasonably satisfied that the satellite record is reliable. By the way, doesn’t AGW theory predict that the satellite (atmospheric) record should show more warming than the surface?
Chris

Alan the Brit says:
February 4, 2011 at 2:39 am
___________________________
A practical optimist wouldn’t worry too much about the next ice-age. It seems that ice-ages develop fully when reduced solar heating is exacerabated by the loss of solar heat by reflectance from a larger cover of ice and snow.
Just as we could likely thaw the polar regions at present by dispersing soot on them, so could we manage the cryosphere when our solar orbit would otherwise cause continental glaciation.

Pamela Gray

My bet: Readjusted satellite orbital drift due to a quiet Sun. The adjustment then forced a recalculation of readings.

kramer

Where does RSS take the temp readings from, the entire earth? If so, that would include UHI temp, right?

Ron Clutz

I’m just wondering if these adjustments are only the typical effect of showing anomalies on a graph. Since the data points are deviations from “normal”, they must change if you change “normal”. And if (as UAH did recently) you shift from a 20-year, to a 30-year baseline, “normal” will change and so will many of the data points.

Scott Covert

I won’t speculate why the temps are adjusted (Possibly recalibration of the on board RTDs? Not likely unless cosmic rays are messing with them since RTDs are pretty stable)… wait, I just speculated…
It’s refreshing to see some adjustments on the other side of positive (I guess, but all adjustments need to be clearly documented and justified).

MackemX

Good reason to adjust 2010 figures down (after everyone’s been told it was the warmest year ever) is that it increases the likelihod of 2011 being warmer than 2010 (according to the record) or at least, not as much cooler as is likely to be the case.
Is that too cynical?

I just sent them an email asking about it.

roger

David W says:
February 4, 2011 at 4:56 am
“Nah! He spent it all on a bridge to live under.

pyromancer76

A change without mention of the new data version? Why should they; they’re in charge.
@Lucy Skywalker. Beautiful update. Excellent analysis from “experimental” data — the real thing. I am sending it on. Thanks.

Tom T

Lucy Skywalker: Although I don’t think he is connected with RSS, Dr Spencer has stated often that the satellite data is not calibrated with ground based instruments. The point of the satellites is to have an independent record of temperature.

Stephen Rasey

I was about ready to comment that we should demand that the Adjustment be plotted on the chart along with the anomaly. Then I realized I’d fallen into the mental trap…. Adjustment to the Anomaly???
Just like the ice curves where we see not only the anomaly, but we can see the total ice cover, we need to see the total average temperatures against the averages for the prior years. “But if we do that, we would not be able to see the anomaly.” Precisely.
We are being brainwashed into looking at a temperature divergence from some hidden-from-the-reader mean, itself corrupted with unknown manual adjustments that accounts for unknown instrument drift and unknown UHI bias. As bad as that is we are spoon-fed plots that completely ignore the standard deviation of the sample population, which is a function of the calendar data, and the mean standard error of the original temperature mean.
The statistical sins we are committing are enormous. Yet, through shear repetition, the sins become accepted and the brainwashing succeeds.
“There’s a flea on the wing on the fly on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the middle of the sea.” — Children’s Campfire Song

Daniel H

The v3.3 dataset is mentioned briefly in a presentation that was given to NOAA by RSS scientist Carl Mears and RSS founder/scientist Frank Wentz back in September of 2009. On page 22 of the 24 page presentation, they state:

Schedule
Next few months:
1. Release Version 3.3, which includes data from AMSU on NOAA-18, AQUA, and MetOP-A
2. Submit paper on error analysis
Next 18 months:
1. Streamline and modularize processing system – port as many components as possible to python. (HDF-EOS4??)
2. Get ready for ATMS on NPP – Jan 2011 launch?
3. Improve monitoring tool/automatic report generation

So they are a bit more than a year late in releasing the v3.3 dataset (if they are indeed referring to the same thing). The PDF for the presentation can be downloaded here [792KB]:
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/sds/SDS_AMSU.Mears.Sept09.pdf

j.pickens

Looking closely, I see that while the highs were lowered, the lowers were “highed” as well. Look at month 250, the low valleys are lower than they were preadjustment, but the majority of the more recent low valleys were adjusted upwards. What’s up with that?

j.pickens

Ooops, I read it wrong, the red is the older set.
So, they did raise the lows around month 250, and have lowered the lows since.
This adjustment around month 250 goes counter to the rest of the adjustments.
What does this mean?

Ron Clutz

Stephen Rasey says:
“As bad as that is we are spoon-fed plots that completely ignore the standard deviation of the sample population, which is a function of the calendar data, and the mean standard error of the original temperature mean.”
Bang on. And then we get years ranked as the warmest by differences of a few hundreths of a degree F.
“Global climate statistics are like sausages: You really don’t want to know what goes into them.”

Duster

Alan the Brit says:
February 4, 2011 at 2:39 am
Ice core data shows a distinct “saw toothed” shape with the descent into glacial epochs marked by a long, gradual cooling followed by an abrupt warming. Additional texture seems to be supplied by shorter-term Dansgaard-Oeschger events and other noise. If you restrict the data to the terminal Pleistocene and the Holocene, we appear to be on the downslope into the next glacial epoch, but still near the upper edge of the shoulder in the curve, even with the resent “warming.”

Robuk

You don`t need thousands of weather stations you just need a couple of hundred pristine rural stations scattered across the planet, the New Zealand set is a good start.
When will someone make the commitment, everything is linked to these bloody dodgy temperatures.

Murray Duffin

racookpe1978 says:
Now, the question becomes: Has the 400 year long-term climate cycle peaked between 2000-2010, and we begin the Modern Ice Age?
Or do we continue the long climb up from the Little Ice Age towards a Modern Warm Period peaking in 2060-2070? (Then begin the 450 year decline into the Modern Ice Age?)
Both and neither – see http://www.agwnot.blogspot.com/

richard verney

Robuk says:
February 4, 2011 at 11:18 am
You don`t need thousands of weather stations you just need a couple of hundred pristine rural stations scattered across the planet, the New Zealand set is a good start.
When will someone make the commitment, everything is linked to these bloody dodgy temperatures.
/////////////////////////////////
Agreed. There is absolutely no point in trying to make a so called global average temperature/temperature anomaly . This is especially so since for the main part climate change is a local issue and many places have their own localised climate. further, it is important to know where in the world there is warming (eg., the poles, the NH, equitorial regions, or SH etc) since the impact on man will be significantly different in each area. It would also be interesting to know the pattern of warming during the course of the day and the seasonal pattern.
Each country should compile its own record based upon good quality rural data that does not need adjustment. If these as a whole do not show a warming trend, then global warming would appear to be a myth.

Keep in mind that by adjusting recent temps down slightly, it makes next years lows look less drastic… It’s all about trying to keep the trend alive.

Edim

Robuk,
Absolutely agree!!! In fact, I think even 10 – 20 very good stations covering all continents would be enough and much more scientific than that fake official “average global anomalies”. Something like a global temperature index or even more of them (10, 20, 50, 100 stations). Like top 10, top 40, top 100 “global temperature index”. Even a trend over the last 30 – 60 or more years would be very telling.
No adjustments! Not even UHI! Every station have some positive UHI trend, but for some very rural stations it is probably negligible.

I re-read Roy Spencer’s explanation of the satellite temperature derivation.
He does say that within around 1 deg C is as good as it gets but that you can use it for climatology because the measurement methods are very stable.
Then mentions that the instrument drifts due to body temperature, which it should not do.
I don’t like the calibration method either. Any temperature above 290 or so K is an extrapolation and using 2.7K as the low end is well below any lowest temperature likely to exist in the atmosphere which in reality most of the time will be 200K or warmer.
The RTDs and associated electronics are never recovered. There are huge ASSUMPTIONS about stability and the effects of ionising radiation.
I’m unimpressed. Satellites are great tool for forecasting as it’s like having a very dense grid of radiosonde data. For climatology – meh.
And where are the error bars on that graph?

Greg Meurer

To those who can do math:
The change represented by ver3 appears to be enough to change the slope of trend line.
The trend line reported for ver2 through Dec. ’10 is 0.163 K/decade. The trend line looks like it has dropped to less than 0.15 K/decade. Could someone check this. the last time I had to calculate I trend line was as an undergrad and over 4 decades ago.
Thanks.

Strange. RSS v3.3 average annual anomaly for 2010 is 0.476°C, significantly lower than the 0.55°C in 1998. And here comes the trillion dollar question.
Is it worse than we thought or better?