July was also the 329th consecutive month of positive upwards adjustment to the U.S. temperature record by NOAA/NCDC

Andrew Freedman

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of frenetic tweeting and re-tweeting of this “sound bite” sized statement from this Climate Central piece by Andrew Freedman.

July was the fourth-warmest such month on record globally, and the 329th consecutive month with a global-average surface temperature above the 20th-century average, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

It should be noted that Climate Central is funded for the sole purpose of spreading worrisome climate missives. Yes it was a hot July in the USA too, approximately as hot as July 1936 comparing within the USHCN, No debate there. It is also possibly slightly cooler if you compare to the new state of the art Climate Reference Network.

But, those comparisons aside, here’s what Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman and NOAA/NCDC won’t show you when discussing the surface temperature record:

Final USHCN adjusted data minus raw USHCN data Graph created by Steve Goddard

It isn’t hard to stay above the average temperature value when your adjustments outpace the temperature itself. There’s about 0.45°C of temperature rise in the adjustments since about 1940.

Since I know some people (and you know who you are) won’t believe the graph above created by taking the final adjusted USHCN data used for public statements and subtracting the raw data straight from the weather station observers to show the magnitude of adjustments. So, I’ll put up the NCDC graph, that they provided here:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif

But they no longer update it, nor provide an equivalent for USHCN2 (as shown above), because well, it just doesn’t look so good.

As discussed in: Warming in the USHCN is mainly an artifact of adjustments on April,13th of this year, this graph shows that when you compare the US surface temperature record to an hourly dataset (ISH ) that doesn’t require a cartload of adjustments in the first place, and applies a population growth factor (as a proxy for UHI) all of the sudden, the trend doesn’t look so hot. The graph was prepared by Dr. Roy Spencer.

There’s quite an offset in 2012, about 0.7°C between Dr. Spencer’s ISH PDAT and USHCN/CRU. It should be noted that CRU uses the USHCN data in their data, so it isn’t any surprise to find no divergence between those.

Similar, but not all, of the adjustments are applied to the GHCN, used to derive the global surface temperature average. That data is also managed by NCDC.

Now of course many will argue that the adjustments are necessary to correct the data, which has all sorts of problems with inhomogenity, time of observation, siting, missing data, etc. But, none of that negates this statement:  July was also the 329th consecutive month of positive upwards adjustment to the U.S. temperature record by NOAA/NCDC

In fact, since the positive adjustments clearly go back to about 1940, it would be accurate to say that: July was also the 864th consecutive month of positive upwards adjustment to the U.S. temperature record by NOAA/NCDC.

Dr Spencer concluded in his essay Warming in the USHCN is mainly an artifact of adjustments :

And I must admit that those adjustments constituting virtually all of the warming signal in the last 40 years is disconcerting. When “global warming” only shows up after the data are adjusted, one can understand why so many people are suspicious of the adjustments.

To counter all the Twitter madness out there over that “329th consecutive month of above normal temperature”, I suggest that WUWT readers tweet back to the same people that it is also the 329th or 864th consecutive month (your choice) of upwards adjustments to the U.S. temperature record.

Here’s the shortlink to make it easy for you:

http://wp.me/p7y4l-i66

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“Lies. Damn lies. And statistics.” We in England have a statue to the guy who (apparently) said that – President Lincoln. It’s in Parliament Square.
And, I suggest, he would recognise the import of the post above, that much – at least, of the touted CAGW is a statistical artefact.
Have a wonderful one!

Mark Twain: “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

Dr. Deanster

How come we can’t get the Main Stream Media to report on this Graph from the NOAA??
It would seem to me that the Graph itself would put much of the AGW hyperventilating to rest.

Vincent

What are the physical processes that underlie the upwards adjustment of the raw tempertature records?
After much reading, I have not yet heard one good explanation, based on a physical process for doing so.
If you consider Urban Heat Island, then present temperatures should be adjusted down. But they adjust them up?

Justthinkin

Freedman??? I wonder if he sees the irony in there.
I wonder if the warmistas get away with a lot of their “unprecedented”,”never seen”,etc statements is because they are aimed at,and devoured by,KIDS? Of course 100F is going to be all of the above,if you are only 20 yrs young.

USHCN is only the U.S. [“adjusted”] data. But the central question concerns global warming. So let’s look at the global satellite record, which is by far the most accurate temperature measurement.

Peter Miller

Well, when you realise the headline scary stuff was made by government, and/or, quasi-government bureaucrats just doing the bidding of their political masters, which is:
“Make us look green and good when we increase taxes and give out insane subsidies for renewable energy to our buddies.”.

Latitude

lame……three times it was hotter

DirkH

It looks like during the 90ies they found other ways to manipulate the temperature – probably by killing thermometers – so they stopped adjusting upwards. Do they have a political reason to show ever increasing temperatures? Maybe they get paid more on hot days?

richardscourtney

Anthony:
Your post pertains to the frequent adjustment to the U.S. temperature record by NOAA/NCDC. However, the same problem exists for all the global temperature data sets obtained from ‘surface’ measurements.
The frequency of these adjustments prevented publication of a paper of which I was lead author. That paper shows the global temperature data sets are ‘not fit for purpose’. An email about this from me was one of the documents leaked from CRU by ‘climategate’. Hence, I made a submission about it to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee that did the so-called investigation of (actually a whitewash of) ‘climategate’.
My submission explains how the frequent changes to the global temperature data sets prevented publication of the paper, and why those data sets are not ‘fit for purpose’. It includes as Appendices the pertinent email and a draft of the paper. It is on the UK Parliamentary Record where it can be read at
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc0102.htm
Richard

Darren Potter

Dr. Deanster: “How come we can’t get the Main Stream Media to report on this Graph from the NOAA??”
Because that would go against MSM’s political agenda. The MSM is not about reporting truth or fact. MSM is about disseminating propaganda and driving society to a predetermined goal. Global Warming has never been about man-made CO2 and it’s claimed effects on earth’s climate.
Global Warming is about driving society to a elitists group’s idea of Utopia. While, the United Nations saw Global Warming as a way to redistribute wealth, power, and control via guilt trip and fines using a well orchestrated ruse. Naturally, the Greenies who despise wealth and power, and longed for Utopia, were all to eager join in the SCAM. As for the so called scientists of Global Warming, they jumped on board Global Warming, since it meant nearly unlimited funding forced out of Taxpayers. Global Warming continues now, because they are all in so deep; some to the point of prosecution for waste, fraud, and abuse.

TerryT

“comparing within he USHCN” missing T

Daveo

Smokey on August 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm
That’s nice smokey, pity we don’t live In the
Lower Stratosphere!
RSS shows a trend of .133k per decade down here, but you already know that don’t you….

Peter Roessingh

There is a very clear description of the reasons behind the adjustments here:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html
You really do not adress the reasons for the adjustments in this post. If you want to make the point that the adjustments are not justified, or not correct, you need to give arguments for that!
REPLY: And yet, it still doesn’t change the headline whether the adjustments are valid or not. – Anthony

pat

Absurd. And a scientific fraud.

Could someone please tell me why the general public is never told that the temperature records are changed by government activists to make the tempuratures look hotter? If FaceBook was cooking the corportate records in such a fashion someone would go to jail. How does Hansen and crew get away with this so blatently? Serious question: how do they get away with it?

I believe 329 is a lie.
Here is the most recent January’s
Year Temperature Rank
2012 36.49 115 115
2011 29.87 35 35
2010 30.92 56 56
2009 31.19 59 59
2008 30.83 55 55
2007 31.66 67 67
2006 39.71 118 118
2005 33.61 95 95
2004 30.61 51 51
Look at all the low rankings!

Mike Hebb

Well, we are still creeping out of the little ice age. What would you rather have, a frost every month?

Smokey, the global satellite record seems to reveal the real source of the current USHCN U.S. data adjustment amount. The drop in the satellite record from 1980 looks a lot like an inversion of the amounts of the increasing USHCN adjustments upward, Perhaps they monitor the most accurate temperature measurement from the satellites to see what they have to add each month to keep up with Nature.

Mickey Reno

CAGS = Catastrophic Antrhopogenic Global Scamming

Jan 1900 to Jul 2012 = 1339 months.
1200 months for 1900 to 2001, leaving 139 months for the start of the 21st century.
So far, then, 139/1200 of the 21st century is above the average of the 20th century (about 11%). In another 1061 months, we’ll see if this century is hotter or not.
But now to the 20th century values. Their values imply that the last 190 months of the 20th century were warmer than the average of the 1010 months prior. Since they like ratios, a quick calculation means there was at least a 1010:190 (101:19) ratio of cooler months (below the average) to warmer months (above the average).
Wow. Sure seems that it’s worse than we thought.
Well, it is.
For example, GISS says that the best ESTIMATE for absolute global mean (based on an averaging period from 1950-1981) is 57.2 deg-F. So that’s their “zero”, the point at which they’d say a particular month is above the 20th century average..
But this article is based on NCDC data, and their page says the 20th century average is 60.4 deg-F. And they used the entire century for their averaging period.
NCDC’s 20th century average is 3.2 degrees HIGHER than GISS’s 20th century average.
Seems that none of the “climate scientists” can say exactly what the 20th century average was – which makes the whole “it’s been the 329th consecutive month with a global-average surface temperature above the 20th-century average” an exercise in stupidity.

Robin Hewitt

Looking at those two graphs you might wonder If they changed the correction from degF to degC but forgot to adjust the numbers. Reminds me of when we decimalised the pound sterling and a lot of shops simply changed the d’s to p’s. The effect was similar.

NZ Willy

I read the adjustments description at the site given by Peter Roessingh, and it is clear that they are happily adjusting against the UHI when sites are moved from urban to rural or airports. But that presupposes that the UHI was constant at the old site throughout its history, when in fact the UHI would have been gradually increasing throughout. The old sites would have been well-placed at their inception, with subsequent urban development necessitating the eventual shift of sites. I daresay that process of steady UHI build-up throughout the life of the old sites has not been adjusted for in the official datasets, as that would constitute a significant downwards adjustment, negating much of the existing upward adjustments.

tjfolkerts

Smokey says: August 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm
“USHCN is only the U.S. [“adjusted”] data. But the central question concerns global warming. So let’s look at the global satellite record, which is by far the most accurate temperature measurement.”
Smokey, you should understand the data you cut & paste before drawing any conclusions. “TLS” data is for the stratosphere. Since the total energy from the earth is about constant, a drop in temperature (and hence a drop on energy from the stratosphere) would be expected in order to counteract the warming (and increased energy output from the ground.
The DROP that you point out for the STRATOSPHERE is, in fact, exactly what the IPCC expects to accompany WARMING in the TROPOSPHERE. So your data is supporting the IPCC’s models and conclusions. Thanks! 🙂

Climate model results summarized by the IPCC in their third assessment show overall good agreement with the satellite temperature record. In particular both models and satellite record show a global average warming trend for the troposphere (models range for TLT/T2LT 0.6 – 0.39°C/decade; avg 0.2°C/decade) and a cooling of the stratosphere (models range for TLS/T4 -0.7 – 0.08°C/decade; avg -0.25°C/decade)
Wikipedia

To Dr Deanster
You stated “How come we can’t get the Main Stream Media to report on this Graph from the NOAA??
It would seem to me that the Graph itself would put much of the AGW hyperventilating to rest.”
I believe you answered your own question. They are part of the progressive team pushing for the real agenda of controlling peoples actions. I think it has, long ago, passed from being about saving the planet. The climate, along with environmentalism in general has just become a means to an end.

Jan P Perlwitz

And why is Mr. Watts talking about the US surface temperatures and the adjustments in the USHCN data, although the quote he cites is about the globally averaged surface temperature anomaly?
I don’t know what Mr. Watts argument is supposed to be. I don’t see it. Is he suggesting that the statement in the quote is false, because there were adjustments made to the USHCN data set (which represent only ca. 1.6% of the area of the whole globe and don’t matter much for the globally averaged temperature anomaly, anyway, even if the adjustment in the USHCN data were significantly flawed, an assertion for which Mr. Watts still has to provide the evidence)?

REPLY:
Oh gosh, Mr. Perlwitz, why don’t you write up the answer on your new GISS approved smear page? I wouldn’t want to offend your delicate sensitivities here. Either way, whether the adjustments are valid or not, it still doesn’t change the headline. – Anthony

SergeiMK

Well, Anthony has praised the new CONUS USCRN network as being the REAL data.
This site has some of those stations plotted
http://climateandstuff.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/uscrnusrcrn-conus-data.html
It seems that the data shows an average temp increase of some 40 stations is +o.3 degC /decade and the maximum figures show +0,6deg C per dacade all over the 2002 to 2012 range.
It also shows a 6.8 deg C over since 2010 (somewhat irrelevant but interesting)

REPLY:
Yes, but if I tried to make a claim for cooling with 3 years worth of data, the climate attack dogs would be all over me. Even Ben Santer says 17 years is the minimum needed – Anthony

DaveA

Can’t for the life of me understand why the adjustment quantity is continuously increasing (and aligning with the rise in the record, just co-incidentally?). Those events which warrant an adjustment happen in an instant and would register as a (near) constant shift there after.

mbw

It is truly amusing that these adjustments are somehow causing glaciers to melt and numerous species to shift their habits. How do they do that?

James Allison

Peter Roessingh says:
August 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm
There is a very clear description of the reasons behind the adjustments here:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html
You really do not adress the reasons for the adjustments in this post. If you want to make the point that the adjustments are not justified, or not correct, you need to give arguments for that!
========================================
From the link you provided the second sentence of NOAA’s Introduction says “The USHCN is comprised of 1221 high-quality stations from the U.S. Cooperative Observing Network…….. ”
Peter, do you think that statement is justified or correct?

Neo

So you’re saying that AGW is real and the anthropogenic agent is NOAA.

Maus

Peter Roessing: “There is a very clear description of the reasons behind the adjustments here:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html
Sure, let’s give the most minimal inspection to things possible. The UHI adjustment procedure is mentioned at your link as the final step of their fiddling and that it ‘uses the regression approach outlined in Karl, et al. (1988)’.
But this is meaningless by itself. Are they using his 1988 calculated average effect based on the siting, network, climate, technology and population at the time? Are they using his exact derived coefficients regarding the individual population/UHI correlation? Have they ever rebased the thing? And if yes or no, do they do it on a yearly basis to capture the varying nature of the human hives the network stations are scattered about in?
I don’t know as they don’t say and leave to much open to interpretation. But what it is clear is that Karl found just what Goodrich found in 77[1]. But what is clear is that the UHI that completely escaped Muller’s attention ranges from an average of 0.06 for a pop of 2000 to 2.57 for a pop 10 Million, where ‘average’ is the alteration of the midpoint of Tmin and Tmax as used everywhere else in the field.
But this poses a significant problem when facing population growth and station resitings. Let me state here that I am unaware of what alternations have occured in the situation with the population distribution with respect to the COOP stations. I haven’t bothered to look since I don’t get paid to do this nonsense.[2] But the population in the US (Including everything not just CONUS) is 128.5% of that as in 1988. But lets assume there are no siting differences with respect to the distribution and that only population has changed, equally distributed as an average affair. Then all of the biases for UHI will be on the increase in general. How much? That depends. Assuming a decadal increase of 0.2 C then a city of pop 100,000 (1988) will explain just less of the difference, while a city of pop 200,000 will have heated *more than* the decadal increase over the last 24 years.
All of this is aside any issues of siting alterations of the very plain fact that the population in city centers has outpaced the population in rural areas over the same time frame. Such that if the USHCN is doing anythig at all close to what Karl (1988) is on about — whether or not they are rebiasing or simply using the 1988 regression curves — then we know that there is an increasing *negative correction* against the unadjusted data.
Now why does this matter? Because the UHI correction is the very last thing performed into the entire series of adjustements and occurs only after data selection and cleaning (outliers), homogenization, TOB (with all the nonsense that implies), MMTS bias corrections, and backfill of missing data by interpolation. Every one of which save MMTS precedes Karl 1988 (Quayle 1991) and except for that one are all authored by Karl.
But here’s the kicker: Aside from the MMTS instrumentation correction there are no other possible manners to introduce a constant and consistent bias in the measured temperatures *other than the UHI correction* of Karl 1988. Such that unless there are significant shenanigans in the siting changes over time then it is *absolutely mandatory* that the correction over time will be *increasingly negative*. Or it’s just plain ol’ fraud.
But if we assume that all the positive difference is due to siting changes then it must be that the current siting is *more rural on a population basis* then it was in 1988. But the average national effect by an 85% rural network composition in 1988 was estimated to be 0.06 C on the high side. Such that if we moved *every single station to the middle of nowhere by now* then the total *possible* positive correction with respect to 1988 has to be – 0.06 C. And yet the correction over that time, by eyeballing the graphs above, is nearly 0.2 C.
The entire notion is unsupportable without appeal to a desperately unwarranted cock-up of epic magnitude in the period between 1988 and the preset. Full stop. But all that tells us is that the USHCN adjustments are entirely out of line with respect to the only time-sensitive changing bias in their data fiddling routines. eg. The post-adjust temps are pure GIGO by accident or by fraud.
Some closing notes: Karl (1988) defines ‘rural’ — for the baseline — as populations of less than 2000, and had an average of 700. He also hazarded that the regression values were no good on a global basis and strongly emphasized that it could not be used to predict UHI per station due the variances involved (His R values were in the range of roughly 0.5 to 06) and that it should only be used for *regional* alterations. The regions for which he provided a rough map of, but did not go into the justifications for in the 1988 paper. There is more of course and some questions to be asked. But on the whole there is nothing terribly offensive about Karl (1988) other than considerations about accuracy and error bars.
[1] I believe it was 77. It’s a thread just a few days back on UHI effects in California.
[2] Big Oil can send me funding propositions care of the Koch Brothers, Fox News, Anthony Watts, or any other Secular Satan that is supposed to be a front-man for ‘denialist’ propaganda.

Ian W

mbw says:
August 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm
It is truly amusing that these adjustments are somehow causing glaciers to melt and numerous species to shift their habits. How do they do that?

Simple answer – They don’t because they haven’t

John Trigge (in Oz)

If, as one would expect given its importance, the monitoring systems are getting better, why are the largest adjustments being made to the latest data?
Surely, if the new systems are automatic, well-sited and therefore free of biases, they need LESS adjustment rather than more.
As one of our famous Oz politicians is well known for saying – “Please explain!”

David Ball

Neo says:
August 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm
Strictly speaking, NOAA is a “forcing”. 8^D

Theo Goodwin

Anthony is celebrating the record number of adjustments. Take it or leave it. I say Hoorah! for the record number of upward adjustments. I see many more to come. Everyone making those upward adjustments should get a green jacket like at the Masters Golf Tournament.

Stephen Pruett

There are undoubtedly reasons for the adjustments. However, the adjustments include assumptions and estimates. When the selection of these values determines whether there has been a recent warming trend or not, please excuse our skepticism. I don’t think there has been an intentional effort to raise temperatures, but it is seems likely that once an adjustment was found that increased temperatures, it was found to be satisfactory and there wasn’t much work to verify assumptions and estimates. Finally, I have asked many people on many occasions where I can find a record and explanation for the adjustments on a station-by-station basis. If the adjustments are so easily defended, why not get them out into the public domain? The reason they aren’t could just be that it hasn’t been a priority and people are busy. But, it should be a priority now, because commenters on this blog are representative of millions of voters who are demanding accountability for use of federal funds on climate issues. Resistance to getting this done simply fuels suspicion, which is already at a high level.

Peter Roessingh

@James Allison
That is not the point. Anthony defends his headline, but does not address the reasons behind it.

Bill Illis

I think the total adjustments are even higher in the most recent several months, closing in on a over 0.8C since 1934 (less than that since 1895).
The problem is that noone knows what the total adjustments are. Do you know? Does anyone? Does Tom Karl even know? We could ask him perhaps but I don’t think he ever responds to questions from non-Team players.

HADCRUT3 1992 Dec -0.007 below long term average.
I believe that is much less than 329 months ago.

James Allison

mbw says:
August 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm
It is truly amusing that these adjustments are somehow causing glaciers to melt and numerous species to shift their habits. How do they do that?
================================================
Then tell us what should happen instead to “numerous” species and glaciers as the Earth continues to climb out of the LIA?

So Climate Central is yet another P.R. wing of the catastrophists.
As if SEJ weren’t enough to inculcate “right-thinking”. On their front page they write:

“I have a built-in bias against reporters who have axes to grind. I think there are reporters that allow their own bias to encroach on their journalism, and that’s a crime against journalism.” — Don Hewitt

Flip over to their page on Climate Change and read the predetermined views to be propagated. It also does a “nice” inuendo on WUWT:

Watts Up With That is one of the more civil and well-read of the denier blogs. It is not reliable as a source of factual information. It does not disclose its funding sources. Anthony Watts, its proprietor, has worked as a broadcast weatherman for years but has no degree.

(bold mine)

Peter Roessingh,
I thought the reasons behind Anthony’s headline were quite clear: USHCN and other government agencies “adjust” the temperature record. They either lower past temps to show a scary rise, or they show artificially higher current temperatures.
That is not OK. That is dishonest, no? Flagrantly dishonest! You, as a taxpayer, are paying for that deceptive propaganda. Is that A-OK with you? Because it’s not OK with me.

Feb 1994 -0.090. Less than 329 months ago. Over 200 months less.

Daveo

Smokey on August 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm
No smokey, the adjustments are there for a reason and are clearly explained.
What is dishonest is the TLS graph you put up earlier in this thread, and called it global temps.

David Ball

Anyone can see they are trying to match the Co2 curve.

Frank K.

Jan P Perlwitz says:
August 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm
“And why is Mr. Watts talking about the US surface temperatures and the adjustments in the USHCN data, although the quote he cites is about the globally averaged surface temperature anomaly?”
I guess Mr. Perlwitz GISS thinks that the U.S. is not part of the globe [heh]… /sarc
(I wish that instead of blogging, GISS would turn their attention to addressing real problems with the crappy Model E and other “products” they produce. I wonder what government charge code they use for blogging anyway…hmmm).

Goldie

So in the 21st century, with literally millions of dollars thrown at it and with computer power beyond the dreams of those who lived in the early to mid 1900s, we can’t measure surface temperature as accurately as some bloke with a mercury thermometer in 1940? Hardly surprising that a lot of people don’t believe the temperature adjustments are valid.
If these adjustments are really true, then it is a scandal of stupendous proportions that with all of our technology we can’t even measure the temperature correctly!
On the other hand, if the adjustments are not required then that is an equal scandal.
This is the equivalent of pleading guilty either way!

nemo

Bernd Felsche: Is cute how that bolded phrase is linked. Presumably the selected phrases are ones they wish associated by search engines with the link.

Question… is it possible for the general public to get ahold of raw and adjusted GHCN data for analysis?