Guest Essay By Walter Dnes

There have been a number of posts on USHCN temperature adjustments, including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. They have focused primarily on annual adjustments. Whilst looking into the USHCN adjustments, I noticed that each of the 12 months is adjusted differently. Here is a plot of average USHCN temperature adjustments, for each month plus the annual average, by year for 1970-2013:

Here is the full plot for 1872-2013.

The calculation of average monthly adjustment consists of:

1. Calculating the total accumulated values of (final-temp – raw_temp) where the raw and final values of USHCN monthly temperatures were both non-missing
2. Count the number of occurrences where the raw and final values of monthly temperatures were both non-missing
3. Divide item 1 by item 2.

As you can see, there are marked differences in adjustments since 1970 for each month. To analyze in more detail, we need to look at some numbers. In the table below…

• The columns “2013” and “2014” list the average adjustment in Celsius degrees for the corresponding months in the years 2013 and 2014 (where available).
• “Slope” means the slope attributable to USHCN adjustments, in Celsius degrees per century, during the period from 1970 to 2013.
 Month 2013 2014 Slope January 0.1206 0.0991 1.432 February 0.1735 0.1687 1.519 March 0.1357 0.1313 1.455 April 0.0089 0.0101 1.281 May -0.0785 -0.0828 0.955 June -0.0842 -0.0856 0.775 July -0.0922 -0.0881 0.676 August -0.1344 0.783 September -0.1298 0.949 October -0.0751 1.046 November -0.0244 1.206 December 0.0283 1.220 Annual -0.0126 1.108

What are the implications of the USHCN adjustments?

1. The talk about winters in the USA getting warmer may be an artifact of the adjustments. The adjustments for January/February/March are the highest of the 12 months. In 2013, they combined to average +0.1433 Celsius degree, while the overall annual adjustment for 2013 was -0.0126 Celsius degrees.
2. This is a booby-trap for the unwary. When you see articles in February/March/April about HUGE upward adjustments by USHCN so far during the year, you’ll know why. By the following January, the adjustment will cover the entire calendar year and look more reasonable. Mind you, this is still over half a Celsius degree above the adjustments for the 1930s.
3. Speaking of the 1930s, one wonders if this an attempt to disappear the heat waves and droughts of “The Dirty Thirties” in a manner similar to attempts to disappear the Medieval Warm Period. It’s hard to talk about “the hottest ever”, when there’s “inconvenient data” around, showing that the 1930s were hotter. The 2nd graph shows the adjustments from the 1870’s onwards. Compare 2013’s -0.0126 annual adjustment with annual adjustments for the 1930s…
• 1930 -0.5586
• 1931 -0.5628
• 1932 -0.5639
• 1933 -0.5770
• 1934 -0.5877
• 1935 -0.5851
• 1936 -0.5846
• 1937 -0.5907
• 1938 -0.5852
• 1939 -0.5810

Data Sources

USHCN monthly data is available on the web in the ftp directory ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2.5/ The specific files used for my analysis were…

Odds and Ends

1. Station USH00381310, i.e. “CAMDEN 3 W”, South Carolina has raw data for August 1853. The next piece of raw data for that station is August 1906. The first piece of any final data for any station is 1866. I wonder if the date is a typo.
• There is some USHCN raw data for the years 1853, 1868, 1869, and 1871 onwards.
• There is USHCN final data from 1866 onwards

Wait a minute. Where does the USHCN final data for 1866, 1867, and 1870 come from, if there is no USHCN raw data for those years? A closer look shows that the small amount of data for those 3 years is all from station USH00303033 “FREDONIA”, New York. It’s located at 42.4497 -79.3120 which translates to 42° 26′ 59″ North 79° 18′ 43″ West. This is near the shore of Lake Erie, not that far from Canada. Let’s check what nearby Canadian data is available for that time span.

• Select the “Search by Proximity” tab
• Select 200 in the “kilometres away from” menu
• Click on the “location coordinates:” radio button and enter latitude 42 26 59 and longitude 79 18 43
• Click on the “for years from” radio button, and select 1866 to 1870
• Click on the “Search” button.

The 2 closest sites are Simcoe at 90 km, and Hamilton at just over 100 km. There are another 6 sites within 165 km of Fredonia.

It sort of makes sense that the Fredonia data was created from these sites. I can’t think of any other semi-reasonable explanation. I’ll leave it to professional meteorologists like Anthony to comment on the validity of using data from sites located northwest of Lake Erie to generate estimated data for a site southeast of Lake Erie.

2. “The Rise and Fall of USHCN Raw Data” is of interest, in that the less raw data available, the more estimation has to be done to fill out the data set. The theoretical full annual complement of data is 1218 stations with 12 months of data per year, meaning 1,218 * 12 = 14,616 station-months each year. The following graph shows the number of raw and final station-months in the USHCN data over the years. The graph ends at 2013.
1. Plots of adjustments over period of record first alerted me to the fact that adjustments were 12 separate data sets, 1 for each month. I ran a script to crank out adjustment plots for all 1218 stations in USHCN, “to see what I could see”. The plot below is an example. Note the period from 1904 to 1911. The adjustments for all 8 of those years were…
• January -2.91 degrees each year
• February -2.94 or -2.95 degrees each year
• March -3.00 degrees each year
• April -3.03 degrees each year
• May -2.93 degrees each year
• June -2.84 degrees each year
• July -2.86 or -2.87 degrees each year
• August -2.87 or -2.88 degrees each year
• September -2.90 or -2.91 degrees each year
• October -2.88 or -2.89 degrees each year
• November -2.95 or -2.96 degrees each year
• December -2.94 or -2.95 degrees each year

Other portions of the data have their own stretches of the same adjustments 12 months apart.

Article Rating
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Marc Blank
August 23, 2014 4:49 pm

Hail, hail Fredonia, land of the brave and free!

Rob
August 23, 2014 4:51 pm

Very important post.
What they do at times is troubling.
…That’s why I keep my own original
data, and do much more accurate
analysis of local stations of interest.

August 23, 2014 4:52 pm

Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
I’d say [they’re] fudging the graphs

Bill Illis
August 23, 2014 5:07 pm

Re-Writing history. Or, more accurately, changing history.
It is not the scientific method.
The individuals doing this need to be removed from their positions as soon as possible before they do more damage to the human race. Re-writing history has never been in the general interest of the human society, only a few select individuals at the expense of everyone else.

Latitude
August 23, 2014 5:25 pm

Walter or JTF…I was under the impression “adjustments” were made every time a station reported….which is once a month

Joel O'Bryan
August 23, 2014 5:29 pm

Between the USHCN temp adjustment residuals shown here and from those shown StevenGoddard.WordPress, the data manipulation is getting worse. But Nature has a way of imposing the truth in an in-your-face sort of way whenever Man thinks “he” is in the climate driver seat.
IF (BIG “IF”) we had an honest and accountable Federal government, preparations for a bitterly cold winter would be underway. Even if it doesn’t happen, the consequences are trivial of being prepared and not having one, versus the catastrophe of being unprepared if it happens. This is what happens when America elects politicians who don’t feel accountable for their decisions.
Some steps the Federal government SHOULD be doing:
– Appropriations to move additional money to state-run supplemental heating programs for the poor.
– Relaxing restrictions on natural gas drilling on Federal land.
– Relaxing coal fired electricity regulations to ensure the electrical grid can keep cities warm.
– Using tax credits to encourage natural gas suppliers to stockpile supplies in underground reservoirs.
– Providing propane suppliers with incentives to stockpile reserves.
– Encouraging people to provision wood for their wood fired heating units to relieve the burden on electricity, fuel oil, and natural gas in the Northwest, where wood burning heat supplementation is more common.
Of course, every one of the above prudent steps are an anathema to Obama and his band of eco-nuts bent on driving their agenda down America’s throat regardless of the consequences.

Hans H
August 23, 2014 5:34 pm

Their narrow escape from climategate encouraged them…they are all in.

Sweet Old Bob
August 23, 2014 6:00 pm

USHCN =Usual Suspects Have Control (of the) Numbers….

SIGINT EX
August 23, 2014 6:08 pm

Looks untrustworthy to me.
Just leave them alone to their insane machinations.
There will come a blatantly obvious moment when they realize the game is up and they are going to be spending many years of nights in a Federal pin with a same-sex sweaty bunk-mate not of their choosing nor educational background.
Well, that fate is for them. Leave them to their fate.

Editor
August 23, 2014 6:19 pm

> Latitude says:
> August 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm
>
> Walter or JTF…I was under the impression “adjustments” were made every
> time a station reported….which is once a month
As I mentioned in the “Data Sources” section, there are “raw” temperatures (where available) and “final” temperatures for each site/month. This post uses data downloaded in early August 2014. Barring the correction of typos, I hope that “raw” data for 50 years, in this download, ago ends up absolutely identical to the same site/month “raw” data for 50 years ago, in next month’s download.
I think you’re asking whether the “final” value for a site/month 50 years ago stays constant, or whether it follows the example if GISS and changes with each monthly download. I don’t know the answer to that question, because I haven’t been following USHCN. I should know the answer in a couple of weeks, when I download the next batch of data. It’ll have August data available, but I can also compare past data to this month’s download.

Robert_G
August 23, 2014 6:24 pm

How about adding a parenthetical explanation–e.g., (U.S. Historical Climatology Network)– to the title or first occurrence of USHCN as a matter of courtesy to readers. Lack of such explanation is a frequent , and unnecessarily obfuscating, occurrence on this site. In this case, reference “2” was the first one to decipher the abbreviation.

george e. smith
August 23, 2014 6:42 pm

Dunno, how you guys dredge this stuff up; and I use the word “dredge” advisedly, because it does appear to come out of the muck.
But however you do it, sure impresses the hell out of me.
So thanks for the enlightenment. Their machinations never cease to amaze.
G

Latitude
August 23, 2014 6:48 pm

Walter Dnes says:
August 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm
I think you’re asking whether the “final” value for a site/month 50 years ago stays constant, or whether it follows the example if GISS and changes with each monthly download. I don’t know the answer to that question, because I haven’t been following USHCN. I should know the answer in a couple of weeks, when I download the next batch of data. It’ll have August data available, but I can also compare past data to this month’s download.
=====
thanks…I think you’ll find the same type of algorithm in place again
Looking forward to you update

Doug Allen
August 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Thank you Walter,
Yours is another article that shows how so much of critical analysis and peer review is done in the blogdom. Your data mining and analysis is another look at temperature adjustments that, whether justified or not, show amazing tone deafness to the suspicions of data torture that exist among skeptics and probably anyone who studies the data. If adjusted data records can better reflect past reality, climate scientists need to do it with footnotes which include rationale and adjusted data. Leave original data alone! Knowing that Roger Maris’ home run record was in 162 games instead of 156 is valuable information. I appreciate the footnote, Adjusting Babe Ruth’s record to 62 homers is unacceptable. Perhaps a few more NL homers are hit now because of the high altitude ballparks Atlanta, Phoenix, and Colorado. Should old homer records be adjusted up or newer ones adjusted down. Of course not! Why are data more sacrosanct in baseball than in climate science?

RACookPE1978
Editor
August 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Thank you. Very, very good work!

David Harrison
August 23, 2014 7:12 pm

Wow! A hockey stick graph if ever I saw one – it proves that increased CO2 levels have had a direct affect on the adjustments to the measured temperature!

CarlF
August 23, 2014 7:29 pm

The USHCN folks present their data to the uninformed (me) as if it is all good and equal in quality and accuracy. Yet, it seems they adjust it every year, and it seems like it is always adjusted in the same direction (cold in the past, warmer today). Would it not be more appropriate for them to provide an error range rather than adjustments, because obviously every adjustment is due to uncertainty about the original numbers. Should we have any faith at all in the data? Is the original raw data still available, and why is that not presented along with the final revised data with explanations. The USHCN isn’t science any more, it is propaganda.

SonicsGuy
August 23, 2014 7:30 pm

What was done to “disappear” the Medieval Warm Period?
By the way, can you show us where is the data for Lamb’s hand-drawn graph? .
Or provide a scale for the vertical axis, on the graph shown here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/the-medieval-warm-period-a-global-phenonmena-unprecedented-warming-or-unprecedented-data-manipulation/

BusterBrown@hotmail.com
August 23, 2014 7:38 pm

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on writing 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name, many of them quite long, are wasted because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

Jason Calley
August 23, 2014 7:47 pm

Doug Allen says: “Why are data more sacrosanct in baseball than in climate science?”
Because no one has figured out how to justify a worldwide tax on energy usage by changing baseball data.

mark l
August 23, 2014 7:54 pm

This is an ongoing crime. The original data must be restored and it is available to do so.

Tom J
August 23, 2014 8:03 pm

About a year or so ago they were having a contest in the office where my niece works. It was a weight loss contest and there was going to be a monetary prize for the employee who lost the most weight. The day of the weigh-in at the start of the contest my niece developed a virtually insatiable thirst which could only be satisfied by chugging gallons of water. Needless to say it was strictly coincidental that she had a virtual lake full of water sloshing around in her belly as she stepped onto the scale. It’s amazing how much weight loss can conveniently occur following just one admittedly lengthy vacation at the toilet following a weigh-in.
Now, I know the foregoing little tome doesn’t sound very scientific. But I can’t help but wonder if the USHCN is sort of the same thing in reverse. And there’s no denying that there’s prize money involved.

August 23, 2014 8:07 pm

You must understand : this is world-best-practice. 97% of weather station data are treated this way with excellent results.

August 23, 2014 8:12 pm

Here’s further evidence of fraudulent depression of the historical record in order to generate a spurious warming trend: http://endisnighnot.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-past-is-getting-colder.html?m=1

Scott
August 23, 2014 8:22 pm

Some mention here if the top relalizes what is being done, and when they find out, these folks will be punished. I think its obvious that the top knows and has ordered that proof be found by any means possible. (they are just following orders, it serves the agenda, same as with the IRS)

August 23, 2014 8:22 pm

It sort of makes sense that the Fredonia data was created from these sites. I can’t think of any other semi-reasonable explanation. I’ll leave it to professional meteorologists like Anthony to comment on the validity of using data from sites located northwest of Lake Erie to generate estimated data for a site southeast of Lake Erie.

It doesn’t take a professional met to roll ones eyes at this practice. The prevailing winds in winter are from the northwest. As they cross Lake Erie in early winter they are warmed and humidified by Lake Erie and when they hit the hills south of the lake, they create the western New York snow belt.
In the spring persistent ice on the Lake cools the wind, impacting either side of the lake as spring tries to establish new wind patterns.
The New York Thruway Dunkirk/Fredonia exit is where we got off to go skiing at Holiday Valley and at a hill a group of families developed on Tug Hill (not the famous, snowy Tug Hill plateau in upstate New York).

Rick K
August 23, 2014 8:27 pm

This may be a stupid question: Is there any way to create and crowdsource our own network?

Editor
August 23, 2014 8:58 pm

> BusterBrown@hotmail.com says:
> August 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm
>
> Ugh. Yeah, we’re all trying to hide any warming features of
> the record!!!! It must be a government conspiracy. Sorry
> that, as we last checked, May 2014 was the warmest May
> in recorded history (last 150 years).
See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/25/do-we-care-if-2010-is-the-warmist-year-in-history/ for a history of “The Decline and Fall of 1934 US Temperatures”
* In July 1999, 1934 US temp was reported as 0.541 warmer than 1998 (We can’t have that now, can we)
* In November 2000, 1934 was reported as 0.082 warmer than 1998
* In January 2001, 1934 was reported as 0.036 warmer than 1998
* In January 2006, 1934 was reported as 0.305 warmer than 1998
* In January 2007, 1934 was reported as 0.015 *COOLER* than 1998
* In March 2007, 1934 was reported as 0.003 warmer than 1998
* In August 2007, 1934 was reported as 0.023 warmer than 1998
The above was done at GISS, which is part of NOAA, along with USHCN. In the post, I noted that the average USHCN adjustment for 2013 was .5751 higher than 1934.

(Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on writing 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name, many of them quite long, are wasted because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

August 23, 2014 9:29 pm

There may indeed be willful bias contained somewhere in there but by offering mere innuendo about fraud with everybody piling on, it’s little different from a bunch of creationists offering up examples of supposed irreducible complexity as a final product in order to disprove Darwin theory. Most of the adjustment is for time of day (TOBS) which is a normal attempt to adjust results closer to reality, so folding that into shrill calls for jail time destroys the ability for skeptics to be taken seriously when they do have real fraud to expose. Most of you writing here are simply partisan verging on rabid fools to the extent you cannot sociologically fathom what bad PR this sort of response to a post like this is for you.
The hockey stick team gifted skeptics with the most brazen out and out fraud of all, the bladeless Marcott 2013 hockey stick media sensation. But Steve Goddard’s influence has you all screaming about widely accepted time of day bias adjustments instead that make you sound like lunatics since those are not examples of fraud themselves and only become so if you can clearly prove that they are being applied excessively rather than normally. Steve McIntyre tried to talk sanity into this issue this year:
“Paul, I looked at TOBS and other adjustments in some detail in 2007. This examination included collation of raw and TOBS data for all stations and the calculations of the differences (that you say that you have not yet done on an overall basis.) On balance, I was unoffended by the adjustment, though undoubtedly there are some issues around the edges. I do not view it as a major issue and urge you to consider that as a caveat. I suggest that it would be worthwhile for you to review some of the CA posts on the topic.
If the observation time in a max-min measurement is in the afternoon, it will measure warmer than if the measurement is at midnight. As I recall, the adjustments are intended to adjust to a common midnight basis. Nothing wrong with that. Yes, overall it slightly increases the trend, but this has a rational explanation based on historical observation times. Again I don’t see a big or even small issue.
Your comparison of the overall graphic to graphs of individual stations in Kansas and elsewhere is misconstrued. Likewise, your claim that “it is apparent that NOAA have significantly underestimated the size of their adjustments, as shown on the graph above” is, in my opinion, both incorrect and unsupported by the evidence that you have presented. Similarly, your accusation that NOAA should “come clean” about the difference between raw and TOBS data is, in my opinion, unwarranted, as NOAA has provided extensive and accessible raw and TOBS data for stations.
I certainly do not think that the evidence that you have adduced warrants the somewhat overheated rhetoric on this topic and urge you to dial back your language.
Regards,
Steve McIntyre”
By forcefully pointing this out, I am regularly attacked and labeled a “hater.” But what’s to love about incompetent claims? So go insult Steve instead, I’m just relaying the message.

Editor
August 23, 2014 9:38 pm

> SonicsGuy says:
> August 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm
>
> What was done to “disappear” the Medieval Warm Period?
For starters, there was the splicing of modern temps to a tree-ring data set that was not-so-arbitrarily cut off at 1960. You see, the tree-ring data shows temps *FALLING* after 1960. That’s where “hide the decline comes from”. Of interest is the fact that the CAGW crowd swears up-and-down that tree-ring data is valid when it doesn’t show a warm Medieval Warm Period, but totally invalid, when it shows falling temperatures after 1960. Talk about cherry-picking.
By the way, I wonder if Michael Mann has analysed any tree rings from Greenland http://www.ualberta.ca/~publicas/folio/38/16/03.html
> In 1991, two caribou hunters stumbled over a log on a snowy Greenland
> riverbank, an unusual event because Greenland is above the tree line.
> Closer investigation uncovered rock-hard sheep droppings. The hunters
> had stumbled on a 500-year-old Viking farm that lay hidden beneath the
> sand, gift-wrapped and preserved by nature for future archeologists.
But then, of course, the fact that there were trees growing on Greenland 1,000 years would be rather “inconvenient” for warmists, given that trees don’t grow there today. The site was investigated in detail. It’s summarized in a Master’s thesis document (warning; 9,747,660 byte PDF) available at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq22551.pdf One of the interesting passages occurs on “Page 16” of the thesis, page 27 of the PDF file…
> For the Vatnaverfi district of the Eastern Settlement it is estimated
> that over 100.000 sheep and goats may have been pastured at the
> height of the Norse period (Jacobsen 1987).
This is based on solid archeological evidence, not some tree rings from Siberia. The day that you can host 100,000+ sheep+goats in a small area of Greenland, using medieval technology, is the day that I’ll consider admitting that today is at least as warm as the MWP.

Editor
August 23, 2014 9:55 pm

> Rick K says:
> August 23, 2014 at 8:27 pm
>
> This may be a stupid question: Is there any way to create and
> crowdsource our own network?
It would probably be way too expensive. The problem is that you can’t use the average thermometer or “automated weather station” from your local big box hardware store. They just aren’t precise enough. To generate a reliable temperature data set you need professionally calibrated and inspected and maintained equipment. And the volunteer observers have to have at least some training. In short, you would need something resembling a government or corporate structure running expensive equipment.
Cheap autostations are great for generating maps at Weather Underground like http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?lat=43.446999&lon=-80.472504&zoom=10&wxsn=1 for “weather geeks” following storm tracks. But they don’t generate reliable daily/monthly temperature data sets.

August 23, 2014 10:32 pm

The tobs adjustment is a function of the month, latitude, longitude, and other factors.
Hmm, in a little bit Zeke will have a post showing folks
1. why tobs is required
2. what kind of error you get if you dont apply it.
The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.
understand.. when you continue to play the fraud card about adjustments you undermine the credibility
of the people who want to make a legit case about micro site.

David A
August 23, 2014 10:56 pm

Further evidence of distorted data is making a comparison of all time highs for each decade at continuously active USHCN stations. The 30s and 40s easily surpass the 1990s and 2000s. This factoid is not subject to any TOBS bias. The adjustments easily exceed the TOBS adjustment, which has legitimate questions anyway. What is more is the adjustments are not stopping, but continuing in the FUBAR of data and homogenization, moving well past the TOBS adjustments Steve M was referring to. The spread between GISS and RSS is ever widening as a result.

Lawrie Ayres
August 23, 2014 10:56 pm

I do hope a record of actual temps as opposed to adjusted temps is available. One day we will need accurate data to help us understand the present and prepare for the future. The abomination coming from our own Bureau of Meteorology ensures future scientists will be working in the dark. I still don’t see the need for adjustments anyhow. At least if they are necessary the actuals should be published as well then it will be blatantly obvious that the BoM, and it seems the USHCN, are really cooking the books.

David A
August 23, 2014 10:58 pm

Walter Dnes, thanks for the post, and you ay want to look at the increasing spread between the satellites and the surface stations.

Old England
August 23, 2014 11:19 pm

In the UK there is a process known as judicial review where a court can be asked to review and make a ruling on a question put to it on a point of law. I don’t know if a similar process exists in the US.
I’m just wondering if a clever legal mind can consider the manipulation of the data, which I assume is US government funded, and see if there is a legal basis to ask a court to rule on the legality of adjusting it and the method used?

Peter Miller
August 23, 2014 11:31 pm

In ‘climate science’, as in George Orwell’s 1984: “Only the future is certain and the past subject to change.”

August 23, 2014 11:37 pm

Joel O’Bryan says:
August 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm
“IF (BIG “IF”) we had an honest and accountable Federal government, preparations for a bitterly cold winter would be underway.

This is what happens when America elects politicians who don’t feel accountable for their decisions.”
“Some steps the Federal government SHOULD be doing:
– Appropriations to move additional money to state-run supplemental heating programs for the poor.
– Relaxing restrictions on natural gas drilling on Federal land.
– Relaxing coal fired electricity regulations to ensure the electrical grid can keep cities warm.
– Using tax credits to encourage natural gas suppliers to stockpile supplies in underground reservoirs.
– Providing propane suppliers with incentives to stockpile reserves.
– Encouraging people to provision wood for their wood fired heating units to relieve the burden on electricity, fuel oil, and natural gas in the Northwest, where wood burning heat supplementation is more common.”
———————-
Joel, I’m with you on all but the first bullet. The remaining five do not involve taking money from your pocket and my pocket under threat of incarceration. Could you please explain where in the Constitution the federal government gets the authority, BY LAW, to appropriate money for “STATE-RUN, supplemental heating programs for the poor”?
The big government we have right now in Washington DC is directly responsible for this CAGW fiasco/lie we’re fighting. A small federal government doing only what they are allowed to do would not have created this mess that threatens our very economy and possibly the existence of many here and elsewhere on the planet.
This is what happens when we elect politicians who don’t follow the supreme law of the United States. States, localities, and each of us, need to step up and prepare for the coming frigid Winter. We need to stop challenging our Federal Government to do more than is allowed, and do it at the state and local levels ourselves. That was the intent, which has resulted the incredible country we have and lifted more out of poverty than any other form of government EVER! And this continues to slip away.
Please stop arguing that the Federal government should do more than is in the Constitution. THIS ISN’T HELPING.
Bruce

David A
August 23, 2014 11:39 pm

Further evidence of algorithm and homogenization complex errors is to isolate certain stations, like the much graphed Iceland data, and ask anyone, Mosher, Nik, or GISS to explain those particular adjustments. They CAN NOT!.
So we have, 1… ever greater disparity between the surface stations and the satellite readings. 2… continuously active high records heavily favoring the 30s and 40s, and 3…completely unexplainable individual station adjustments that are known to be wrong and way high; all this, in conjunction with thousands of dropped stations, a progression to ever more airport stations, a dropping of rural stations, and a complex algorithm and homogenization process that in the end is simply FUBAR…
… exactly as Gavin Schmitt of all people warned…”Eos, Vol. 79, No. 28, July 14, 1998
“Unless we are vigilant, “data sets” will evolve and data that have been so painstakingly collected and saved will be distorted and twisted beyond all usefulness…. If we do not take care, the gold standards of climatology may in time turn to lead.”
It has, prophecy fulfilled.

August 23, 2014 11:41 pm

Excellent work, Walter. Thanks.
Lawrie Ayres says:
I do hope a record of actual temps as opposed to adjusted temps is available.
Yes! If USHCN published all raw data along with its ‘adjusted’ data, and showed the methodology they use for getting from raw to final, we could see what they’re doing, and probably figure out why.
There is no reason why they cannot post every step of the way, from raw to final. Well… no reason, except that they’re posting climate alarmist propaganda instead of real science.
Without total transparency, USHCN cannot be trusted.

August 23, 2014 11:42 pm

Mini Ice Age cometh
Northern Ireland (home of the famous Armagh observatory) recorded its lowest August minimum temperature ever of – 2C (yes, minus 2 degrees Celsius).

Udar
August 24, 2014 12:05 am

Steven Mosher says:

The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.

I can understand the need for this adjustment 50 years ago. I can even understand the need for it 25 years ago. I do not understand why it is required to be continually making this adjustment, up to now.
Can you explain why is it that current state of the art automated stations still can not take temperature measurements at proper times and need to be adjusted?

Claude Harvey
August 24, 2014 12:12 am

Reminds me of a classic “shell game”. Move those shells around fast enough and the suckers lose track of which one is hiding the pea. In fact, this looks suspiciously like an “advanced shell game” where none of the shells is hiding the pea, because the pea is long gone.

Editor
August 24, 2014 12:35 am

> Lawrie Ayres says:
> August 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm
>
> I do hope a record of actual temps as opposed to adjusted temps is available.
The raw data is available, as noted in the “Data Sources” section of my post. To get the adjustments, I wrote a script that subtracted “raw” temperatures from “final” temperatures, where both were non-missing, i.e. not equal to the “special flag value” of -9999. I was thinking of posting the code, but the article is long enough already. Besides I didn’t want to get into a “geek war” of my-preferred-language-is-better-than-your-preferred-language.

M Courtney
August 24, 2014 1:11 am

The adjustments to the 1930s data are harder for me to understand than interpretation of data as it is being gathered..
Do we now have more meta-data about the 1930s measurements than they had at the time?
Has the nature of measured temperature changed? If so why? And if so, are the records a function of the definition of temperature or the physical world.
Anyone who has read Steinbeck knows that the measured 1930s temperatures were believable so what is the reason for the current disbelief?

Stephen Richards
August 24, 2014 1:37 am

NikFromNYC says:
August 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm
While I am a huge admirer of Steve Mc I choose to disagree with this reply. His definition of fraud is not coincident with mine unless he is prepared to call it dishonesty. They may not be DELIBERATELY adjusting the data in a manner that maintains global warming in the data but they sure as hell know that it is the result of their adjustments.
Also, when training as a physicist, I was told that there is one meme which is totally sacresancte. YOU MUST NEVER ADJUST PAST DATA WITHOUT A PROVEN, FALSIFIABLE REASON. They have not presented one as yet.
So I’m calling it fraud. They have knowingly adjusted past, verified data with no proven, falsifiable reason and have published the result as proven (not the word I want but can’t find the other).
So Nik, is it your opinion that Steve is correct?

Bruce
August 24, 2014 2:09 am

Has anyone sought the reasons for these adjustments from the perpetra(i)tors and made a study of their methods to determine if they have any validity? One would imagine that they must have their reasons for what they do and be able to justify the adjustments – at least in their own minds. It would be good to know if there are accepted, logical reasons for the adjustments or not.

Ken Towe
August 31, 2014 5:26 pm

The NCDC has systematically changed virtually every monthly temperature for each of the 48 states for at least the important warming years from 1921 through 1940. The average annual lowering is between 0.7°F and 0.8°F. The changes are often seasonal and individual state monthly values have been changed by as much as +3°F to -2°F. These specific changes have been discussed and well explained in detail: “Inconsistencies in NCDC Historical Temperature Analysis?”
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=75

August 24, 2014 2:25 am

Walter,
one of the conundrum’s with the USHCN is that infilling is routinely and widely used as you know.
I have had a long running battle with Steve Mosher, Zeke and Nick Stokes on several sites over the number of real stations in the 1218 listed which they refuse to answer, presumably because the number of made up [infilled] stations is extremely high.
“Zeke has a post at SG where he admits that there are only 650 real stations out of 1218 . This is a lot less than only 918 that he alludes to above.”
Nick Stokes said “When I last looked a few weeks ago, in 2014 numbers reporting were Jan 891, Feb 883, Mar 883, and 645 for April. Many are staffed by volunteers and some reports are late. So 918 sounds right.”
The issue came up that only about 600 stations had reported data in April and May this year. The excuse from the claimed high 800’s normally available is that the stations breakdown and are harder to fix problems to get reports from in winter which is understandable. I presume the observers who are older and slower may have had problems accessing the sites in the bad winter this year.
[Zeke said” As I mentioned in the original post, about 300 of the 1218 stations originally assigned to the USHCN in the late 1980s have closed, mostly due to volunteer observers dying or otherwise stopping reporting”.]
Your observation on the trends difference in different months is reflective of the problems accessing the sites and data.
The more stations off line the more infilling is done which then incorporates a fixed TOBS bias. because they were off line the assumption is that any recordings would not have been made at the right time and a set correction factor is added in increasing the station temperature in the many more missing stations.
[Mosher said ““angech The TOBS adjustment would be done once. the adjustment that would/could change on a daily basis is PHA. Man are you dense”]
Sorry this is long winded, basically the less reporting stations due to winter the more made up the results with a possible bias.
angech

Julien
August 24, 2014 2:34 am

Yes, but this is still “man made” warming, after all… We can’t deny.

NielsZoo
August 24, 2014 6:01 am

If I did this kind of measurement “adjustment” on data I take on systems we design, which show they’re operating to the required performance spec, my clients would sue us and win for falsifying data.

don penman
August 24, 2014 6:09 am

There is no global temperature it does not exist,it is not a description of reality.It is possible to describe the earth and that description is clear,there is no single temperature on the earth.The average temperature is meaningless just statistics and nothing else,it is just another invention like the la nina ,el nino thing which was never discovered by observation but which we are told is real but only seems to be defined by statistics.What happened in 1998/1999 ? Nothing that I can remember it was just another year like any other but if you look at the global temperatures for these years there is a massive spike.How can this describe reality?

Editor
August 24, 2014 6:11 am

And as nobody else has mentioned it, I will.
UHI
In his paper “A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change”, back in 2001, Hansen included a table showing that just 17% of USHCN sites were truly rural, i.e “unlit”.
The percentage is almost certainly less now.
Urban sites dominate the US record.

The other Ren
August 24, 2014 6:32 am

to Steven Mosher –
“Can you explain why is it that current state of the art automated stations still can not take temperature measurements at proper times and need to be adjusted?”
and add to that why a station has been adjusted multiple times for a given year in the past. Didn’t get it right the first time.. or the second time.. or the third time.. or the fourth time.. or the fifth time…..

John Peter
August 24, 2014 6:51 am

Steven Mosher says: August 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm
“The tobs adjustment is a function of the month, latitude, longitude, and other factors.
Hmm, in a little bit Zeke will have a post showing folks
1. why tobs is required
2. what kind of error you get if you dont apply it.
The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.
Will be interesting to see another explanation from Zeke.
Pardon my ignorance, but how do people like Mosher, Zeke and the other “adjusters” know that the old temperature readings were too low and as we now see, the warm thirties were not as warm now as they were then? I would like Zeke or one of his ilk to explain exactly how we now “know” that the thirties were not as warm as they were even just a few years ago before the latest batches of adjustments. Where did the dustbowl heat go? the deep ocean below 2000 metres without a trace? I cannot imagine this issue will go away. Someone will need to re-write Steinbeck and destroy all old issues.

RWhite
August 24, 2014 7:27 am

Steven Mosher says:
August 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm
The tobs adjustment is a function of the month, latitude, longitude, and other factors.
Hmm, in a little bit Zeke will have a post showing folks
1. why tobs is required
2. what kind of error you get if you dont apply it.
The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.
understand.. when you continue to play the fraud card about adjustments you undermine the credibility
of the people who want to make a legit case about micro site.
_________________
So basically you are saying “don’t call us on our bullsh@t so you can call us on our other bulsh@t” That is how I am reading this.

Evan Jones
Editor
August 24, 2014 7:37 am

When you calculate a multiyear trend with multiple stations, it is necessary to trend each month separately and then average the months (preferably weighting for days per month, but that doesn’t change things much). Doing it by year leads to spurious results because sometimes months are missing, and if that month is a winter month, the year will have a warm bias and vice-versa.
So I would assume that they also mangle the results by month, as well.

Evan Jones
Editor
August 24, 2014 7:50 am

The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.
Something is required, for sure. TOBS bias is as real as a punch in the nose.
If it occurs at the very beginning or end of a study period or if it flips back and forth leaving roughly equal phases at each end (important!), then it matters little, at least to the linear trend. But if it comes in the middle, it is a walloping big trend bias.
But why even go there? It’s a step change. So why not simply split the trend and let that act as the “adjustment”? I have looked at a couple of stations so far (and will do more). When I split the trend, the (very real) step change is removed and the combined trend is increased. BUT the final results are still lower trend than the TOBS-adjusted data. This suggests they may be overcorrecting. I won’t know, of course, until I’ve done up a few more stations.

Evan Jones
Editor
August 24, 2014 9:03 am

Urban sites dominate the US record.
No. they do not. ~9% of USHCN sites are urban. It is true that only 2% of land area is classified as urban, so there is overrepresentation. But it does not dominate.
Furthermore, UHI is not the main problem with trends (sic!). The problem is not mesosite. The problem is microsite. Well sited urban stations have much lower trends than poorly sited rural stations. Yes, yes, I know it is warmer in cities, but not so much for the trend.
When it comes to trend (which is what’s important), Microsite is the “new UHI”. If you lean on UHI, you are barking up the wrong tree. But bad microsite (Anthony’s premise) utterly dominates trend.
Don’t confuse or conflate the two.

SonicsGuy
August 24, 2014 9:21 am

Walter Dnes says:
“Of interest is the fact that the CAGW crowd swears up-and-down that tree-ring data is valid when it doesn’t show a warm Medieval Warm Period, but totally invalid, when it shows falling temperatures after 1960.”
It’s a matter of science — a lot of work has been done to validate proxies.
You never answered my other questions:
1) Where is the data for Lamb’s graph? I’d like to calculate some trends.
2) What is the scale on its vertical axis? 0.1 C? 1 C? 10 C?
I can’t put any trust into a graph that doesn’t have any data, or that doesn’t label its axis. How can you?
Thanks.

Ian W
August 24, 2014 10:27 am

Steven Mosher says:
August 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm
The tobs adjustment is a function of the month, latitude, longitude, and other factors.
Hmm, in a little bit Zeke will have a post showing folks
1. why tobs is required
2. what kind of error you get if you dont apply it.
The tobs adjustment is required. this is Provable.

Steven,
It doesn’t need to be provable it needs to be validated.
So as there are such a very small number of stations in the USHCN, the TOBS adjustment (and any other messing with the data) needs to be validated by taking out a known _correct_ TOBS station and then creating its new data from the ‘homogenization’ algorithm; and, take a known correct automated station reporting hourly and from its noon temperature observation create its correct TOBS temperature. The largest of the errors that you will get will become the error bars for the algorithms in use.
From a QMS standpoint, every single station should have a history recorded of actual data and correction, why the correction was made, how the correction was made and a sign off by a forecaster or better qualified meteorologist NOT a computer scientist or a treemometer specialist. Repeated corrections to old data (which we appear to be seeing) need to be formally documented and signed off by senior members of NOAA stating why the repeated adjustment of old data is necessary after the first correction, specifying what the errors were in the old correction algorithm and the impact on each station’s reporting. I know that documentation, quality management, and validation are not what academics do – preferring instead getting agreement from a set of like-minded academics (called peer review), but this creation of a climate record is no longer an academic game it is directly responsible for energy poverty worldwide.
So climate science must move from academia to the engineering world of QMS. validation and detailed documentation of each site – there are startlingy few to do after all. In particular the creation and use of changed data that then has to be revisited and changed again indicates a gross error has been made and that cannot be ignored it must be documented: what the error was, why it was made and who incorrectly accepted the work, and who is going to fix it and how. If an engineer builds a bridge and its subsequently collapses and say 100 people die then all hell is let loose. If climate scientists mislead politicians with incorrect data and thousands of people die of cold in energy poverty _in a single month_ oh that’s alright {shrug} they’ll create another unvalidated algorithm and agree it between them, That approach is no longer acceptable. It is time that climate scientists took full responsibility for their provision of (mis)information – this is not an academic argument.

John Peter
August 24, 2014 10:52 am

Interesting post about BOM adjustments in Australia to create warming by making past cooler.
http://joannenova.com.au/2014/08/the-heat-is-on-bureau-of-meteorology-altering-climate-figures-the-australian/

Jim G
August 24, 2014 11:19 am

Steven Mosher
I am just as convinced that these adjustments are based upon sound science as I am that the IRS treatment of conservative groups was warranted and/or a small local mistake, that the Benghazi murders were due to a movie, that inflation is negligible (when if calculated using the 1980’s techniques it would be 9.5%) and that GDP is presently positive given all the changes made to that calculation recently. Figures lie and liars figure.

Editor
August 24, 2014 12:25 pm

> angech says:
> August 24, 2014 at 2:25 am
> Walter,
> one of the conundrum’s with the USHCN is that infilling is
> routinely and widely used as you know.I have had a long
> running battle with Steve Mosher, Zeke and Nick Stokes
> on several sites over the number of real stations in the 1218
> listed which they refuse to answer, presumably because
> the number of made up [infilled] stations is extremely high.
Assuming you can trust the raw data file, the monthly raw data counts I get from my early August download are
Year 2013 2014
Jan 921 895
Feb 915 891
Mar 913 893
Apr 910 896
May 915 885
Jun 897 767
Jul 912 638
Aug 899
Sep 899
Oct 898
Nov 899
Dec 890
It looks like some data may be slow coming in and being processed. Hopefully, within the next few months, the late June and July data will come in. This does raise a question though…
Item… NOAA puts out monthly summaries soon after the end of the month.
Item… late data comes in over the next 2 or 3 months
Item… I believe I’ve seen people stating that NOAA’s summary numbers are changed a few months later
This actually “makes sense” in a wierd way. They’re putting out a quickie summary based on incomplete data, and adjusting as more data comes in.

Beale
August 24, 2014 3:22 pm

[Mosher said ““angech The TOBS adjustment would be done once. the adjustment that would/could change on a daily basis is PHA. Man are you dense”]
To the best of my memory, I haven’t heard of PHA before. What does it mean, and how can it be vald?

August 24, 2014 3:23 pm

It may be worse
. Mosher says “Monthly values calculated from GHCN-Daily are merged with the USHCN version 1 monthly data to form a more comprehensive dataset of serial monthly temperature and precipitation values for each HCN station”
How many months later do they merge The GHCN data with the USHCN? Does this mean they make amendments on amendments.

August 24, 2014 4:07 pm

Walter, the figures are very interesting, both Nick Stokes and Zeke who would know better have insisted 4 months ago that the number of presumed actual stations is around 918 in replies to me when they both would have known that it has been under 900 for a year on your figures.
The ease with which they hide the truth when they know it is hard to find makes their arguments to be open and honest difficult to swallow.
USHCN originally only used 138 stations out of the 1218/9 for the purpose of making up their historical graph and persisted with it for a long time.
Is it your understanding that the current graph represents all 1218 stations or are they still using a selected subset.
The increase from 638 listed July 2014 to the 896 range April may not be due to missing stations just modified infilling from the GCHN that comes in later to make it look as if they are using more real stations.
Zeke has already implied that there are only 650 working real stations in an offhand comment.

August 24, 2014 4:14 pm

Pairwise Homogeneity Adjustment Software The automated pairwise bias algorithm (PHA) software (Menne and Williams 2009) version 52i.
Steve Mosher says “The tobs adjustment is a function of the month, latitude, longitude, and other factors.”
Not really, It should be an adjustment made to a temperature record due to it not being recorded at an inconvenient time. The function of the month, latitude, longitude is basically irrelevant if you have a complete set of trustworthy records as they are all incorporated in it.
On the other hand if you want to make up a record for a non existent or closed station or a station in a site that you would like instead of where it really is, then you need all those bits of data to construct such a station and then pretend that the temperature it has was recorded at the wrong time and needs an additional TOBS adjustment made to it.

Editor
August 24, 2014 5:56 pm

> angech says
> August 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm
>
> USHCN originally only used 138 stations out of the 1218/9 for the
> purpose of making up their historical graph and persisted with it
> for a long time.Is it your understanding that the current graph
> represents all 1218 stations or are they still using a selected subset.
To be honest, I don’t know.
> The increase from 638 listed July 2014 to the 896 range April
> may not be due to missing stations just modified infilling from the
> GCHN that comes in later to make it look as if they are using more
> real stations.
Again, I don’t know.
> Zeke has already implied that there are only 650 working real
> stations in an offhand comment.
What was the context of that comment? My August 5th download had only 638 stations with July raw data. If the comment was in the context of getting the montly summary out right away, that looks correct. A later official summary can use late data that trickles in during the next month or so.

SonicsGuy
August 24, 2014 7:18 pm

justthefactswuwt says:
“http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/others/lamb.ppp.1965.pdf”
Thanks for the link. Lamb’s much quoted result is Figure 3. In the caption it says those data have been “adjusted,” and some of it is “opinion.”
Hardly sounds very scientific, does it?

SonicsGuy
August 24, 2014 7:23 pm

Jim G says:
“I am just as convinced that these adjustments are based upon sound science as I am that the IRS treatment of conservative groups was warranted and…”
Richard Muller formed BEST specifically to take a new look at the data. They did, thoroughly, and essentially found the same results as everyone else.
So why not accept it? That was the close look at the data from a self-identified “skeptic” that so many people like you had been calling for.
But now it’s clear that since it didn’t give the result you want, you won’t accept it. So what will it take? Clearly it will take a dataset that matches your preconceived notions. And tha’s not science.

SonicsGuy
August 24, 2014 7:27 pm

justthefactswuwt says:
“According to Jones et al. 2009;
“The Lamb (1982) time series does have an explicit temperature scale, and the best-fit scaling between this curve and the IPCC curve indicates that one tick-mark interval on the IPCC figure
corresponds almost exactly with 1°C. The degree of smoothing for both these curves is unknown, but Lamb (1982) states that the red curve is based on 50-yr means (supported by earlier publications).”
I can easily imagine the howling that would take place here if the IPCC today offered up such a graph. I’m sure you can too.

David S
August 24, 2014 8:12 pm

This won’t get resolved until someone from NOAA is forced to explain the adjustments on the witness stand while under oath.

Jim G
August 24, 2014 8:28 pm

SonicsGuy says:
What a coincidence that the adjustments look like a hockey stick! I guess that I am skeptical of your self described skeptic’s motivations. The adjustments are so obviously biased in a certain direction. As far as the result ” I want “, just stick to the observed data.

August 25, 2014 3:07 am

Walter, took an hour to find
What was the context of that comment? My August 5th download had only 638 stations with July raw data. If the comment was in the context of getting the monthly summary out right away, that looks correct. A later official summary can use late data that trickles in during the next month or so.
Zeke Hausfather says: at Real Climate A Different Approach To The USHCN Code
Posted on May 11, 2014
May 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm
“The difference is straighforward enough. Even if you use monthly rather than annual averages of absolute temperatures, you will still run into issues related to underlying climatologies when you are comparing, say, 650 raw stations to 1218 adjusted stations. You can get around this issue either by using anomalies OR by comparing the 650 raw stations to the adjusted values of those same 650 stations.
The reason why the 1218 to 650 comparison leads you astray is that NCDC’s infilling approach doesn’t just assign the 1218 stations a distance-weighted average of the reporting 650 stations; rather, it adds the distance-weighted average anomaly to the monthly climate normals for the missing stations. This means that when you compare the raw and adjusted stations, differences in elevation and other climatological factors between the 1218 stations and the 650 stations will swamp any effects of actual adjustments (e.g. those for station moves, instrument changes, etc.). It also gives you an inconsistant record for raw stations, as the changing composition of the station network will introduce large biases into your estimate of absolute raw station records over time. Using anomalies avoids this problem, of course”.
As you can see Zeke implicitly admits there are only around 650 real [raw] stations in this slip of the tongue at Steve Goddard’s

August 25, 2014 3:08 am

Do not know why Steve Goddard did not pick him up on this.

Evan Jones
Editor
August 25, 2014 3:58 am

But now it’s clear that since it didn’t give the result you want, you won’t accept it. So what will it take? Clearly it will take a dataset that matches your preconceived notions. And tha’s not science.
Try pulling that one on me and see what you get.

Eliza
August 25, 2014 9:18 am

All the above is useless handwaving (in my view). This is now criminal activity with criminal intent and is against the law (intentionally to alter government funded data). It about time Federal Law Enforcement agencies seize ALL temperature USCHN, NSCD ect., records/documents and impound the organization.

SonicsGuy
August 25, 2014 9:30 am

justthefactswuwt says:
“Yes, we shouldn’t trust anything the IPCC generates, it is clearly an ineffective and biased organization…”
Your biases are thunderous, and not intellectually honest.

Brian H
August 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Every adjustment should leave a permanent record of the before and after, and the steps inbetween and their justifications. Failing this, all adjustments need to be backed out and ignored.