Guest essay by John Goetz
As noted in an earlier post here, approximately 66% of the GHCN record is estimated after processing by the GHCN adjustment models. In the current GHCN data set, there are 226 unique country codes represented. Following are the top and bottom stewards of temperature data, by country, based on the frequency that the GHCN adjustment models replace their raw data with an estimated value.
The top 10 countries with the most pristine temperature record:
|TROMELIN ISLAND (FRANCE)||0.0%|
|COCOS ISLANDS (AUSTRALIA)||0.0%|
|WESTERN SAMOA / SAMOA||0.0%|
|ARGENTINE BASE IN ANTARCTICA||0.0%|
|PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN||0.4%|
The 10 bottom-feeding countries requiring the most adjustment are:
|CHRISTMAS ISLAND (AUSTRALIA)||95.7%|
|NIUE (NEW ZEALAND)||95.6%|
|SOUTH GEORGIA (U.K.)||93.3%|
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||92.5%|
There are several things of note in these rankings, not the least of which is the fact that the United States ranks 7th in having its temperature record adjusted. One is that three of the top 10 countries come from the former Soviet Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Moldova). Taken as a whole, the countries comprising the former Soviet Union have data estimated just 22% of the time.
Also of note are the two middle eastern countries of Qatar and Yemen making the top 10 (The winner, Djibouti, is just a stone’s throw away from Yemen across the Red Sea). With all of the turmoil in the region, it is surprising the countries were able to keep their records so polished. Overall, the countries comprising the traditional definition of the middle east have their temperature records estimated a modest 43% of the time.
Other countries of note, the percentage of their record that is estimated, and their global ranking (from least estimated to most estimated) out of 226 are:
- North Korea, 28.3% (43rd)
- China, 36.9% (53rd)
- Canada, 41.2% (61st)
- Brazil, 56.7% (106th)
- Australia, 59.5% (119th)
- India, 74.5% (167th)
- Mexico, 75.7% (171st)
Of final note, the countries that make up the current European Union have 45% of their temperature record adjusted.
Note: This post was updated to set the featured image.