Uncovered: decades-old government report showing climate data was bad, unfit for purpose

IPCC Knew from Start Climate Data Inadequate

Climate Monitoring Weather Station at the University of Arizona, Tucson, measuring temperature in the University parking lot if front of the Atmospheric Science Building. The station has since been closed. 2007 Photo by Warren Meyer

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences, the research arm of the National Research Council, released a study expressing concern about the accuracy of the data used in the debate over climate change. They said there are,

“Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records,” that “place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.”

The people who reached these conclusions and their affiliations at the time follows.

———————-

  • THOMAS R. KARL (Chair), National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
  • ROBERT E. DICKINSON,University of Arizona, Tucson
  • MAURICE BLACKMON,National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • BERT BOLIN,University of Stockholm, Sweden
  • JEFF DOZIER,University of California, Santa Barbara
  • WILLIAM P. ELLIOTT, NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • JAMES GIRAYTYS, Certified Consulting Meteorologist,Winchester, Virginia
  • RICHARD E. HALLGREN,American Meteorological Society, Washington, D.C.
  • JAMES E. HANSEN, NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York
  • SYDNEY LEVITUS, NOAA/National Oceanic Data Center, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • GORDON MCBEAN, Environment Canada, Downsview, Ontario
  • GERALD MEEHL, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • PHILIP E. MERILEES, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California
  • ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER, CIESIN, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
  • ROBERT G. QUAYLE, NOAA/National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
  • S. ICHTIAQUE RASOOL, University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • STEVEN W. RUNNING, University of Montana, Missoula
  • EDWARD S. SARACHIK, University of Washington, Seattle
  • WILLIAM H. SCHLESINGER, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • KARL E. TAYLOR, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
  • ANNE M. THOMPSON, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Ex Officio Members
  • W. LAWRENCE GATES, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
  • DOUGLAS G. MARTINSON, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York
  • SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • PETER J. WEBSTER, University of Colorado, Boulder

—————————

These are prominent names, many of them important in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and promotion of its ideas. For example, Gordon McBean chaired the formation meeting of the IPCC in Villach Austria in 1985. Bert Bolin was appointed first IPCC co-chair along with Sir John Houghton. Thomas Karl and James Hansen were two dominant figures in terms of the control and manipulation of the data right up to their very recent retirements.

Karl chaired the study, so he knew better than any that to achieve the results they wanted, namely a steadily increasing temperature over the 120 + years of instrumental record, was made easier by the inadequacy of the data. They ignored the fact that the inadequacy of the data negated the viability of the work they planned and did. For example, the extent, density, and continuity of the data are completely inadequate as the basis for a mathematical computer model of global climate. In short, they knew they would have to create, make up, or modify data to even approximate a result. The trouble is the data was so inadequate that even with their actions the results could not approximate reality.

Despite this, the IPCC committed to the surface data even though elsewhere decisions were made to reduce the number of stations and thus further limit the coverage. There were two main reasons for the reduction, the increasing diversion of funds to global warming research and expensive computer models, and the anticipation of weather data from satellites. NASA GISS produced a plot (Figure 1) to show what was happening. I expanded each graph to show the important details (Figures 2, 3, 4).

clip_image002

Figure 1

Commendably they upgraded the data, but all that does is emphasize the anomalies.

clip_image004

Figure 2

Important points:

· There are no stations with over 130 years of record.

· There are approximately 300 stations with about 120 years of record.

· Virtually all the stations with over 100 years of record are in the eastern US or western Europe.

clip_image006

Figure 3

Important points;

· First significant decrease after 1960 anticipating satellite replacement.

· Second decrease around 1995 associated with switch of funding to global warming away from data collection and reduction of stations used.

· Figure 2 shows maximum number of stations at approximately 7200, but Figure 3 shows it at approximately 5500.

clip_image008

Figure 4

Important points;

· Despite reduction in number of stations, coverage only declines slightly. That is scientifically not possible.

· Currently 20 percent of the Northern Hemisphere and 25 percent of Southern Hemisphere has no coverage.

· Quality of the coverage is critical but very variable as Thomas Karl notes in the forward “Unlike sciences where strict laboratory controls are the rule, climate researchers have to rely on observations collected in different countries and using differing instruments.” Remember, the US coverage is the best yet, but only 7.9% of their stations are accurate to < 1°C. Here is an example from the preface to the 1951-1980 Canadian Climate Normals of what Karl is reporting. “No hourly data exists in the digital archive before 1953, the averages appearing in this volume have been derived from all ‘hourly’ observations, at the selected hours, for the period 1953 to 1980, inclusive. The reader should note that many stations have fewer than the 28 years of record in the complete averaging.”

Although he did not contribute to the study, Kevin Trenberth commented on its release that,

It’s very clear we do not have a climate observing system…This may be a shock to many people who assume that we do know adequately what’s going on with the climate, but we don’t

Despite this Trenberth, created an energy balance model that is central to the entire greenhouse effect climate claims.

The National Research Council study focussed on the inadequacies of the instrumental record. It appeared shortly after H. H. Lamb released his autobiography (1997) in which he expanded on the larger limitations for climate research. He wrote that he established the Climatic Research Unit, because,

“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”

So, in 1999 the people involved in the creation and control of the IPCC knew that the data during the 120 years of human activity was inadequate. They also knew that the data necessary to show the extent of the impact was equally inadequate. That didn’t stop them, but it meant they knew they had to create the data they needed and how to do it.

The IPCC could maintain the story and the data that supported their claim of human caused global warming (AGW) if they controlled all the data sources. This all started to unravel after 2000 A.D.

1. The satellite data confirmed by balloon records were reaching a length they could no longer ignore. By 2007 the IPCC included the following comment in the Fourth Assessment Report (FAR).

“New analyses of balloon-borne and satellite measurements of lower- and mid-tropospheric temperature show warming rates that are similar to those of the surface temperature record and are consistent within their respective uncertainties, largely reconciling a discrepancy noted in the TAR.”

2. Severely cold winters and increased snowfall captured public attention as many cartoons attested.

clip_image010

3. The pause or hiatus passed the 17 years Benjamin Santer required before even considering the pattern.

4. The gap between increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and actual temperature continued to grow.

But none of this stopped the search for proof Thomas Karl created a record and wrote a paper with Tom Peterson that claimed the hiatus did not occur using data and methods with serious limitations. After exposure of the misuse, the co-authors refused a congressional subpoena seeking the data and methods used.

Karl and others involved in the deception that is anthropogenic global warming (AGW) knew from the start and better than anyone, the severe limitations of the instrumental data set. They likely knew from Lamb’s work the limitations of the historic record. Despite this, or rather because of this, they oversaw the building of computer models, wrote papers, produced ‘official’ Reports and convinced the world that it faced impending doom through runaway global warming, insisted. Their work, based on what they knew was inadequate data from the start, achieved universal acceptance. Of course, they also knew better than most how to manipulate and select data to make points that supported their false hypothesis; at least until the satellite data achieved scientific status, but even then, they maintained the deception. They prove they are charter members of the post-fact society. The latest example was triggered by panic over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and analysed by Tony Heller.

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115 thoughts on “Uncovered: decades-old government report showing climate data was bad, unfit for purpose

  1. “Climate change” as a public topic is far more a horse to ride by those intent on changing society and ushering in the long-anticipated socialist utopia than it is concern over the health of our precious biosphere.

    You know you are dealing with an ideology when the the solutions demanded to mitigate the effects of “climate change” mostly converge on socialistic government policy. That is less energy use, less mobility, less choice, less after-tax income, less growth, less liberty, less prosperity, less personal comfort.

    • Buckwheaton: That really nails it. I believe Dr. Ball has consistently and I think rightly attributed the warming fraternity’s birth and (so far) triumph to the political acumen of one man, Maurice Strong. What a brilliant choice of a Trojan horse he made for bringing innocents into the collectivist fold. To date every other accessory of the collectivist credo – obedience to authority, the surrender of individual morality, hatred of the people’s enemies – has sped us along almost to serfdom under cover of a feigned mortal danger, and much faster than by appeals to the usual utopianism. I have to admit a grudging respect that. Not even Madison Avenue in its prime could have mounted a campaign better than, “stop driving your cars and burning fires or we’ll all die.” Not even Lenin or Hitler was as subtle.

    • No mate, you’re dealing with people who face facts and explore feasible responses to inconvenient facts.
      Time is fast running out for you boys in this forum – climate dislocation is fast reaching an undeniable momentum.
      You guys haven’t been helpful.

      • That’s a bald faced statement with zero facts to back it up. It doesn’t even rise to being a proper argument. If that’s the best you can do, don’t waste your time.

      • Sorry andrewpattullo, your post got between mine and that of Jack Davis. It wasn’t visible when I started composing (comments sometimes take a while to appear). My comment was directed at Jack Davis.

      • Jack Davis-

        Climate dislocation? How many people have been “dislocated” by climate? If you were previously, inconveniently unaware of the FACT that extreme weather events/NATURAL DISASTERS happen…er….naturally and are completely uncontrollable and cannot be attributed to actual climate changes, now you aren’t.

        Since you love it when people face inconvenient FACTS, here’s a couple more you need to face:

        FACT-More people being born, or moving, to places in which NATURAL DISASTERS occur on a regular basis-such as typhoons, earthquakes, floods, droughts etc=more people affected by NATURAL DISASTERS. It does NOT equal more people being affected by “climate”.

        FACT-according to IDMC statistics the “average” number of people who get (their official term) “displaced by disasters” per year is 27.5 M. With the EXCEPTION of 2012, every single year since 2010, the average number of people who have been dislocated has been LOWER than the “average”:
        2011=15.7 M
        2012=32.4 M
        2013=21.9 M
        2014=19.3 M
        2015=19.2 M
        2016=24.2 M

        So, your statement that “climate dislocation is fast reaching an undeniable momentum” is categorically and factually FALSIFIED by the very people who gather the “facts” on it.

        More “facts” that can be helpful to you:
        Not everyone who posts here is a “boy”.
        “Time” runs out on everyone at the exact same speed…
        People who make ugly insinuations that others are avoiding facts, make idiots of themselves if they don’t actually have their own facts straight.

      • Jack Davis-

        Climate dislocation? How many people have been “dislocated” by climate? If you were previously, inconveniently unaware of the FACT that extreme weather events/NATURAL DISASTERS happen…er….naturally and are completely uncontrollable and cannot be attributed to actual climate changes, now you aren’t.

        Since you love it when people face inconvenient FACTS, here’s a couple more you need to face:

        FACT-More people being born, or moving, to places in which NATURAL DISASTERS occur on a regular basis-such as typhoons, earthquakes, floods, droughts etc=more people affected by NATURAL DISASTERS. It does NOT equal more people being affected by “climate”.

        FACT-according to IDMC statistics the “average” number of people who get (their official term) “displaced by disasters” per year is 27.5 M. With the EXCEPTION of 2012, every single year since 2010, the average number of people who have been dislocated has been LOWER than the “average”:
        2011=15.7 M
        2012=32.4 M
        2013=21.9 M
        2014=19.3 M
        2015=19.2 M
        2016=24.2 M

        So, your statement that “climate dislocation is fast reaching an undeniable momentum” is categorically and factually FALSIFIED by the very people who gather the “facts” on it.

        More “facts” that can be helpful to you:
        Not everyone who posts here is a “boy”.
        “Time” runs out on everyone at the exact same speed…
        People who make ugly insinuations that others are avoiding facts, make idiots of themselves if they don’t actually have their own facts straight.

      • Even if your “facts” were facts (they are actually models), the only response explored is decarbonisation. And to show that works has required epic fraud – there’s no other word for Stern’s work since he knows his discount rates are absurd.

        If you believe in all this I feel sorry for you. The only dislocation coming is similar to the one all those believers are suffering over Venezuela right now – the realisation of being utterly and totally wrong.

      • Welcome to the show, Jack Davis. You have a lot to learn, but you’re in the right place here for an education. That is, if you are open to it. There’s lots like you,who have only just tuned in, and missed the last thirty-plus years of ”the time is running out”

        Perhaps, to begin with, you would like to give us an example of what you consider to be a ‘feasible response to an inconvenient fact’ …So far, we got Windmills. (Sorry to be facetious.)

        Regards, Eamon.

      • Jack Davis

        Can we call you “Jackie” as in the infamous University of Virginia and Rolling Stone Magazine saga? Is all your concern just in your own mind? Do you have other motives in your statement? Show some proof to support your claims. Is your real name Jack or Jackie? A lot of eyes are on you.

      • Climate dislocation has to date caused zero refugees. Where is this momentum that is causing your bowels to quiver?

    • Well said Buckwheaton. The REAL “inconvenient truth” is that there are two primary types that are hot and heavy into the whole anthropogenic global warming meme. As an example, Al Gore is in the first type below – those who fell for his hogwash are in the second.

      1. Watermelons – green on the outside, red in the middle. Inconvenient Al Goricle is a prime example of this category (Goricle because wherever he goes he seems to bring unseasonably cold weather, including blizzards and icicles – not to mention the play on the word “oricle”. Anyhow, for them, pretending to want to “save the planet” is all about gaining more power and control over others – along with stealing every penny they can get their grubby hands on, just as it is for so many who push socialism and communism (e.g., red in the middle). Of course a large part of that is massive wealth redistribution – exactly how and to whom THEY say should and shouldn’t have the $$, power, control, etc.

      2. AGW True Believers. These are the pathetic desperate types who look for any major “cause” they can hop on to help make themselves feel somehow worthy and noble. For them, they buy the pseudo-science hook line and sinker (or pretend to), so they can claim they are holier-than-thou and that they’re saving the planet. Then they pat themselves on the back feeling all smug and self satisfied while they in total oblivion (or just massive willful blindness) proceed to emit copious amounts of CO2 themselves, and ignore the gross harm those policies are doing, including killing the most vulnerable people with fuel poverty and so on. They’re moral narcissists.

      Neither one of these groups gives a rip about the actual body of science which doesn’t even remotely support the grossly flawed AGW hypothesis.

    • You know you are dealing with an ideology when published reports from 2 decades ago are blatantly and maliciously distorted, as this one was by this guest author who obviously assumes no one will read the actual report and realize the headline and picture misrepresent it by 180 degrees. Far from admitting that weather stations (which DO NOT constitute an observing system) are faulty, the long list of scientists are actually advocating in 1999 the development of a true earth observing system, meaning satellite observations ! Observations from space that cover the entire earth as well as the layers of the atmosphere and the oceans. If the system is said to be inadequate, it is in the context that we can and need to do so much better . But it takes funding and ideological support to launch satellites and that is what they are laying the foundation to request, given the importance of establishing long term records of not only temperature but so many other relevant measurements. 2 very important satellites, Terra and Aqua, were launched in 1999 and 2002, initiating the Earth Observing System that was being proposed. Misuse of those scientists names in this way hits a new low even for this arena. Due to the satellites, several IPCC reports have followed the initial one with improved analysis. Supposed inadequacies of 18 years ago constitute a non issue anyway.

      • And yet of course, these warmist do not like the satellite data and constantly try to undermine it.

        The satellite has its issues but it has better coverage and is not polluted by poor siting, UHI and station drop outs. It is also measuring the area where one would expect to first observe warming and where the warming should be the greatest.

        The real problem with the satellite data is that it does not extend to cover the 1930s/1940s which was a known warm period.

        I suspect that if we had better data, we would see that the Northern hemisphere is no warmer today than it was in the 1930s/1940s. There is simple insufficient data to draw any conclusions on the Southern hemisphere.

      • Highcloud, why would they be calling for a system to accurately measure the earth’s temperature, if one already existed.
        The only one mischaracterizing is you..

    • Yes, and exactly the same tactic was used to create what has become the European Union. The open ‘let’s create a European superstate’ was rejected so it was suggested to Monnet to try a trade and customs union instead as the first step and then expand slowly from there.

    • “””””….. · There are no stations with over 130 years of record.

      · There are approximately 300 stations with about 120 years of record. …..”””””

      And there are NO Oceanic stations that are older than about 1980, which is also close to the dawn of the satellite age around 1979.

      In 1980, the first floating oceanic buoys were deployed to simultaneously measure oceanic near surface (-1 meter) water Temperatures, and near surface (+3Meter’s) oceanic air Temperatures (lower troposphere).

      Professor John Christy of UAH , et al reported on those buoy results around January 2001 (If I remember correctly). I think it was in Geophysical Research letters.

      For the 20 or so years of data they found that the air Temperatures and water temperatures are not the same, and for that period, I believe their air temperature increase was only about 60% of the water temperature increase.

      I may have the numbers all screwed up, so you better read the paper.

      Most importantly they found the water and air temperatures generally do not even correlate, so it is impossible to go back to 1852 or whatever and correct the erroneous water Temperature data that was derived from buckets retrieved from uncontrolled depths on ships decks, or later from engine room cooling water piped in from ship dependent depth.
      Of course why anybody would even expect oceanic air Temperatures and water Temperatures to be the same is quite beyond me, given the relative speeds of ocean currents and wind speeds.

      So I don’t believe any global Temperature data prior to 1980, since 70% of the earth surface is oceans.

      G

      Christy’s 1981 (?) paper and the Wentz et al paper “How much more Rain will Global Warming Bring ? ” SCIENCE July 13-2007 (I think) are two of the most important climate papers in existence (IMHO of course).

    • Tom Wigley to Phil Jones, about how to adjust-down the 1940s “warm blip,” to support the Hockey Stick narrative:
      FOIA/1254108338.txt

      From: Tom Wigley
      To: Phil Jones
      Subject: 1940s
      Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2009 23:25:38 -0600
      Cc: Ben Santer
      
      Phil,
      
      Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly
      explain the 1940s warming blip.
      
      If you look at the attached plot you will see that the
      land also shows the 1940s blip (as I'm sure you know).
      
      So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC,
      then this would be significant for the global mean -- but
      we'd still have to explain the land blip.
      
      I've chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an
      ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of
      ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common
      forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of
      these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are
      1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips -- higher sensitivity
      plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things
      consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.
      
      Removing ENSO does not affect this.
      
      It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip,
      but we are still left with "why the blip".
      ...
      
      • Phil Jones, to Michael Mann:

        Phil Jones wrote:
        >
        >> Mike,
        > Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
        > Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
        >
        > Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
        > have his new email address.
        >
        > We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
        >
        > I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature
        > paper!!
        >
        > Cheers
        > Phil

    • Well, the climate change charlatans had enough temperature data to know they had to change it all to promote CAGW and make things look like they are getting hotter and hotter, and the current year is the “hottest year evah!”.

      Unmodified temperature charts from around the world look like the Hansen 1999 chart above, they don’t look like Hockey Stick charts (the 2017 chart).

      And if you assume that the temperature profile in the Hansen 1999 chart represents the global temperature profile (and I do), then you see that the temperature since the 1930’s has been in a downtrend for all these years, and the supposedly “hottest year evah!” of 2016 did not get as hot as the 1930’s (0.4C hotter than 2016), so no trendlines were broken, and it appears we are headed lower, not higher.

      So the Climate Change Charlatans had enough temperature data to go to jail if we were to charge them with the Fr@ud they have perpetrated on humanity. They have severly injured human progress with this costly diversion of resources. People have gone to jail for less.

  2. to achieve the results they wanted, namely a steadily increasing temperature over the 120 + years of instrumental record, was made easier by the inadequacy of the data.

    I think this is the most important (my) revelation in the post, how true, lots of wiggle room.

  3. Dr. Ball,

    How does this statement in IPCC’s FAR;

    ““New analyses of balloon-borne and satellite measurements of lower- and mid-tropospheric temperature show warming rates that are similar to those of the surface temperature record and are consistent within their respective uncertainties, largely reconciling a discrepancy noted in the TAR.””

    support your assertion that satellite data, confirmed by balloon records, refuted land temperature records?

    • This referred to the pause. Since then the surface is reputed to be warming considerably faster then the trophspheric record, the exact opposite of CAGW theory.

  4. To me the saddest part of this is all the other names listed that sat quietly for all these years knowing their names were attached to a paper stating the use of the data was a fraud. They were never scientists.

  5. Month of August is peak of summer in London.
    Al Gore arrives to convince Brits that they are suffering incessant heat of catastrophic global warming.
    The London’s August weather promptly morphs into mid October’s, Al Gore effect one might say.
    Mr. ex-Vice President go back to the USA, we had enough rain and cold weather, we are desperate for few hours of sunshine.

    • V

      Re Al Gore

      Ever heard the observation that “Vehemence and veracity are seldom synonymous”?

      That was the summation in one UK paper (I can’t remember which one) of Ralph Nader’s first tour of UK

  6. It’s all part of the patriarchy and the maleness of real science. We need to broaden science to include our wishes, our emotions, our desires. There is no real truth, only what we make of it and our belief in it.
    If we all clap our hands three times, the fairies will return to Earth and we’ll have that 200 mile/gallon carburetor everyone promised in the ’70s…

    • Your first three sentences indicate that you have been paying attention to current events.

  7. They could drop that station’s temperature readings by 2C or so simply from moving it a few meters.

    • It would change the recorded temp but it still wouldn’t relate to a temperature of that station (if one existed there) 100 years ago or even 70 years ago. To better approximate a historical sameness you might need to move the station a part of a mile into an estate garden or nursery. The current location, between buildings on a street still would exhibit seasonal misrepresentations from reflections of buildings.
      Remember there is a certain perverseness in keeping records, one likes to be the custodian of the “best ever”. Nothing remarkable about maintaining decades of normal readings, when a few spikes make all the news.

      • The only stations which can actually be trusted to accurately show decadal trends are the ones whose surroundings have not changed since they were first installed. Even changes in nearby vegetation will influence temperatures over time slices which are years apart. The folly becomes grander with the fretting over 10ths of a degree. Is the calculated global temperature even accurate to within one degree celsius?

    • Gore’s Internet has provided the great unwashed with built-in BS monitors. Or increased their sense of smell. Surprised someone hasn’t come up with a climate change adaptation for the grand old game of Corporate BS Bingo that’s played quietly by individuals bored spitless in corporate meetings who check off corp-speak words. like . . . synergistic. . . aggregate . . . going forward . . . accrual . . . legacy. . .at the end of the day. .

      http://www.bullshitbingo.net/cards/bullshit/

  8. Report is “hidden” by asking for $40, I don’t have for a hobby interest. I consider it a subtle form of censorship.

    • When I click on the link I am able to download the report for free. If you can’t get that message I can make it available on Dropbox

  9. Can anyone explain to me how these “scientists” can average “Weather” and get “Climate” considering the fact that weather data is not collected in large portions of the globe? Wouldn’t the lack of data form these areas and the purposeful assigning of data from other areas corrupt the outcome? And I read on here that they are selecting these bogus numbers to represent areas larger than the state of Texas!
    It is not as if they were interpolating data from a table of sine or tangent values to get an estimate of the sine of a number between the two values given in the table. At least the value of the sine/tangents between the two given numbers in the table follow mathematical laws as to their actual value, making the approximation, interpolation, of this number usable. However, doing that for determining the temperature of the area midway between Omaha and Kansas City is worse than throwing a dart at a list of temperatures on the wall.

    • They “infill” data using Monte Carlo methods, which is apparently a scientific term substituted interchangeably for what most of us would call a “crapshoot”.

    • “Can anyone explain to me how these “scientists” can average “Weather” and get “Climate” considering the fact that weather data is not collected in large portions of the globe? Wouldn’t the lack of data form these areas and the purposeful assigning of data from other areas corrupt the outcome?”

      One would think so.

      Tony Heller had some visuals not long ago showing where NASA was claiming there was extreme heat in parts of Africa, and then Tony showed a map of where the weather stations were located in Africa, and the supposedly extremely hot portion had NO weather stations in it for hundreds of miles in any direction, yet NASA’s heat map showed it as extremely hot.

      The satellite temperature measurements are the only ones we can have any faith in. The surface temperature record has been bastardized to the point it is unusable in its current form. It is a creation of fiction meant to sell a product: CAGW.

    • Most large data sets, weather related or not, are averaged. There is a science to extracting trends from the data that exists, even if it is not perfect or is sparse. I just love how y’all discount statistical methodology as “made up” fill-in numbers and then pat yourselves on the back for being so clever. Monte Carlo dart board cutesy comments don’t further any argument.

      • I believe the datasets being discussed are of the global temperature record. Anyone can enter the “right” assumptions into the raw dataset that will show, categorically, that the earth is cooling. Or, categorically, that the earth is warming.

        The points made are rightly curious as to why all of the “statistical adjustments” increase the apparent warming. Especially as the anecdotal record would point the other way.

        I just love how y’all blindly follow your prophets, without a scintilla of doubt or jot of scepticism. Clever dickie holier than thou comments ditto.

      • Here are just two of the problems. How do you average temperatures from different measurement locations when the parameter you are looking for, heat content, relate to things like altitude and humidity, and of course temperature. You simply can’t do it.

        Please tell us what science will extract trends of heat content from data missing this information!

        Now address this. If the thermometer I live near has been there for 100 years with minimal changes, why does it need to be averaged with another thermometer (or many) to obtain a trend of cooling or heating. If the planet is heating, surely some of the thermometers will show it without spending billions for people and computers to get a global temperature that isn’t even useful for forecasting down to locales.

      • Highcloud,
        “There is a science to extracting trends from the data that exists, even if it is not perfect or is sparse.”
        No, there is no such branch of Science. There are several branches of Mathematics which can help on in such and exercise, however one must also be aware of the limitations of those techniques. Much of this depends on the type of data as well, of course. There was recently a series of articles on Averaging here that should really read. It would be doing the subject an injustice to try to condense it to a single reply.

  10. RE: Fig 2. · There are approximately 300 stations with about 120 years of record.

    And how many of these records are not sliced, diced, and homogenized by the “experts” of the field?

    • dp

      Just a quibble – it is the fakeness of the ‘science’ that is settled. Science isn’t faked. It just ‘is’. Also, it doesn’t care. ‘Fake science’ cares.

  11. “By 2007 the IPCC included the following comment in the Fourth Assessment Report (FAR).”

    NO ! the 2007 report was called AR4. FAR was already used to refer to First Assessment Report.

    • You’d think highly trained scientists could name their reports with a sensible, systematic, sortable set of acronyms. But even this simple task was beyond them.

      FAR – First Assessment Report 1990
      SAR – Second Assessment Report 1996
      TAR – Third Assessment Report 2001
      AR4 – Fourth Assessment Report 2007
      AR5 – Fifth Assessment Report 2014

  12. I made a similar point to Nick Stokes the other day on his post, and even posted the plot of station drop outs, and a. Plot shoeing how the use of airport data is becoming an ever greater percentages of the composition of the data set.

    One should not overlook the fact that airports themselves have changed beyond all recognition since the 1930s/1940s. So even if an airport was in the dara set in say 1946, it will be very different today. In the past, airports often had grass runways, no cargo terminals, no mass parking and only a very small departure building.

    BEST ought to have audited all stations and used only the prime stations in iis data set. Prime stations being those best sited, no moves, no nearby change in land use, no encroachment of UHI , best practices of maintenance and record keeping etc.

    BEST ought to have worked with the cream of data, rather than the crud.

    The prime stations ought also to be retro fitted with the same type of LIG ad used by that station in the 1930s/1940s and we should now observe again using the same procedure and practice as used by each individual prime station.

    In that matter we could obtain RAW data which needs no adjustment and compare that to each prime stations historic RAW data.

    Really a missed opportunity.

    • Agreed. Before BEST got started, I wrote a letter to Elizabeth Mueller asking for a careful audit on each station. She actually responded, but with pap (or is it pablum)?

    • Airport weather stations where designed only to give data useful to aviation in the immediate area. They were never intended to be spread over massive areas with a claimed accuracy they simply do not have.

    • Nick can “prove” to you that don’t need to use many stations at all to get a good estimate of the global record. Stations drop-offs, siting, historical adjustments…none of these are issues at all. If only Karl, Trenberth, et al, were so enlightened.

  13. Regarding all IPCC `experts`. Remember Richard Feynman`s great insight:

    `SCIENCE IS THE BELIEF IN THE IGNORANCE OF EXPERTS`

  14. Apparently back in 1999, Thomas Karl had not yet forgotten his scientific ethics: following are his 10 principles for good data collection and management, which seem excellent to me. Too bad they were not followed.

    The panel concludes that the ten climate monitoring principles proposed
    by Karl et al., 1995, should be applied to climate monitoring systems:
    1. Management of Network Change: Assess how and the extent to which a
    proposed change could influence the existing and future climatology
    obtainable from the system, particularly with respect to climate
    variability and change. Changes in observing times will adversely affect
    time series. Without adequate transfer functions, spatial changes and
    spatially dependent changes will adversely affect the mapping of
    climatic elements.
    2. Parallel Testing: Operate the old system simultaneously with the
    replacement system over a sufficiently long time period to observe the
    behavior of the two systems over the full range of variation of the
    climate variable observed. This testing should allow the derivation of a
    transfer function to convert between climatic data taken before and after
    the change. When the observing system is of sufficient scope and
    importance, the results of parallel testing should be documented in
    peer-reviewed literature.
    3. Metadata: Fully document each observing system and its operating
    procedures. This is particularly important immediately prior to and
    following any contemplated change. Relevant information includes:
    instruments, instrument sampling time, calibration, validation, station
    location, exposure, local environmental conditions, and other platform
    specifics that could influence the data history. The recording should be a
    mandatory part of the observing routine and should be archived with the
    original data. Algorithms used to process observations need proper
    documentation. Documentation of changes and improvements in the
    algorithms should be carried along with the data throughout the data
    archiving process.
    4. Data Quality and Continuity: Assess data quality and homogeneity as a
    part of routine operating procedures. This assessment should focus on
    the requirements for measuring climate variability and change, including
    routine evaluation of the long-term, high-resolution data capable of
    revealing and documenting important extreme weather events.
    5. Integrated Environmental Assessment: Anticipate the use of data in
    the development of environmental assessments, particularly those
    pertaining to climate variability and change, as a part of a climate
    observing system’s strategic plan. National climate assessments and
    international assessments, (e.g., international ozone or IPCC) are critical
    to evaluating and maintaining overall consistency of climate data sets. A
    system’s participation in an integrated environmental monitoring
    program can also be quite beneficial for maintaining climate relevancy.
    Time series of data achieve value only with regular scientific analysis.
    6. Historical Significance: Maintain operation of observing systems that
    have provided homogeneous data sets over a period of many decades to a
    century or more. A list of protected sites within each major observing
    system should be developed, based on their prioritized contribution to
    documenting the long-term climate record.
    7. Complementary Data: Give the highest priority in the design and
    implementation of new sites or instrumentation within an observing
    system to data-poor regions, poorly observed variables, regions sensitive
    to change,
    8. Climate Requirements: Give network designers, operators, and
    instrument engineers climate monitoring requirements at the outset of
    network design. Instruments must have adequate accuracy with biases
    sufficiently small to resolve climate variations and changes of primary
    interest. Modeling and theoretical studies must identify spatial and
    temporal resolution requirements.
    9. Continuity of Purpose: Maintain a stable, long-term commitment to
    these observations, and develop a clear transition plan from serving
    research needs to serving operational purposes.
    10. Data and Metadata Access: Develop data management systems that
    facilitate access, use, and interpretation of data and data products by
    users. Freedom of access, low cost mechanisms that facilitate use
    (directories, catalogs, browse capabilities, availability of metadata on
    station histories, algorithm accessibility and documentation, etc.), and
    quality control should be an integral part of data management.
    International cooperation is critical for successful data management.

    The panel’s evaluation of existing climate records, using these ten
    principles, shows that only about half of the principles are being followed for
    some of the variables most useful for climate change detection and attribution.
    For other records, only one or two principles are being followed adequately. The
    application of all but one of the principles of climate monitoring needs
    improvement.

  15. Not surprisingly, Dr. Ball has taken his key statement out of context:

    “Climate researchers have used existing, operational networks because they have been the best, and sometimes only, source of data available. They have succeeded in establishing basic trends of several aspects of climate on regional and global scales. Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality, and continuity of the records, however, still place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results. Federal agencies should undertake a joint effort to improve the observations from these networks.”

    This report is a plea for more funding for better data collection. The report found many deficiencies, but noted that all data – except rainfall over the ocean – was adequate for IPCC reports and National Climate Assessment reports except rainfall over the ocean:

    “Integrated Environmental Assessment: Anticipate the use of data in the development of environmental assessments, particularly those pertaining to climate variability and change, as a part of a climate observing system’s strategic plan. National climate assessments and international assessments, (e.g., international ozone or IPCC) are critical to evaluating and maintaining overall consistency of climate data sets. A system’s participation in an integrated environmental monitoring program can also be quite beneficial for maintaining climate relevancy. Time series of data achieve value only with regular scientific analysis.”

    No, these scientists were not stupid enough to say the data used in their reports was unsuitable.

    • The report grades 17 climate characteristics on ten principles. Every one of the 17 fails on at least FIVE of the principles. Seven fail on NINE of the 10 principles, including sea surface temperature, land precipitation, sea precipitation, and sea level. And the positive rating is merely “adequate”, not “highly reliable” or “excellent” or even “fully satisfactory”!

      Integrated assessment is the ONLY principle that has an adequate rating on a majority of the 17 characteristics. It is cherry picking to name it and not any of the others. “Management of Network Change” and “Parallel Testing” each fail for SIXTEEN of the 17 characteristics, and “Metadata” (a bare minimum requirement today for any acceptable database) fails 15.

      • Dr. Ball is complaining about the fact that this data was in Integrated Climate Assessments – not the other nine or 17 characteristics of ideal data collection. He claims that the authors of Integrated Climate Assessments knew and wrote that the data was inadequate for this Integrated Climate Assessments. In fact, they said the opposite of what Dr. Ball claimed.
        Why is the data far from ideal? When we first began collecting temperature data about 150 years ago, no one anticipated that the data would later be used to monitor changes in mean global temperature of about 0.1 K/decade. The data we have is far from ideal for this purpose. Nevertheless, the scientists writing Integrated Climate Assessments believed that the data was suitable for detecting overall warming of about 1 K in the 20th century. You are free to disagree with their opinion that overall warming could be adequately characterized using the existing data. Dr. Ball should not be allowed to take their words out of context and claim their assessments were FRAUDULENT.

      • They are scientists. They should already know that heat content is what your after. Tell us what you need to know in order to calculate heat content at any location. Then tell us how averaging temperatures from different altitudes and humidity’s even allow what they are doing. How else could it be anything but fraudulent from legitimate scientists.

    • Thus the creation of the USCRN. See the NRC report at this link.
      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/why.html

      BTW, the USCRN pages show photos of how surface stations SHOULD look.
      If you wanted to win over the average person in the CAGW freak show, show them a picture of how surface weather stations are located in the exhaust of wall air conditioners, or on parking lots, or in the middle of an airport with jet plane exhausting in the direction of the thermometer. Then show the picture of a USCRN station, properly located and scientifically maintained.

    • Perhaps they weren’t stupid. But the question is still unanswered:
      We’re they ethical?

      [“Were they” instead? (“We are they unethical” makes little sense otherwise.) .mod]

      • Moderator,
        The darn autofill function turned “were they ethical?” Into something else.
        Thanks for catching that…..

    • Frank,
      I don’t know you personally so I shall refrain from any biased and illogical statements about what may or may not surprise me about your behavior. I shall however say that you missed the point Dr Ball was making in this “guest OPINION”.

      Dr. Ball is SHOWCASING the fact that in 1999, these prominent “scientists” signed a report in which they ACKNOWLEDGE that the data they currently had (in 1999) was “deficient, inaccurate, low in quality, and lacking in continuity” such that it placed “serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.” But then those same scientists went on to USE that “deficient, inaccurate, low quality, lacking in continuity” data from 1999 to SUPPORT the work they did in the future on the IPCC reports.

      Maybe this will help illuminate your lack of understanding better:

      “No, these scientists were not stupid enough to say the data used in their reports was unsuitable.”
      That is NOT Dr. Ball’s point.
      This is:
      These undersigned scientists were not honest enough to say the data used in the IPCC reports had been previously determined, by themselves, to be unsuitable.

      • Aphan: What does this passage mean?
        “Climate researchers have used existing, operational networks because they have been the best, and sometimes only, source of data available. They have succeeded in establishing basic trends of several aspects of climate on regional and global scales.”
        IMO, they are referring to the observed changes reported in the IPCC’s SPM’s. Now the whole passage:
        Climate researchers have used existing, operational networks because they have been the best, and sometimes only, source of data available. They have succeeded in establishing basic trends of several aspects of climate on regional and global scales. Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality, and continuity of the records, however, still place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.”
        IMO, the limitations in the data refer to things like: 1) inability to detect acceleration in rate of SLR. 2) Homogenization of temperature data adds 0.2 K to observed land warming. 3) Difficulties combining changes sources of SST data, especially dubious changes around WWI. 4) Dubious OHC record before ARGO. 5) Changing radiosonde instrumentation and the “hot spot”. Climate scientists are far more candid discussing the limitations of their data when asking for more funds than they are when advocating for emissions reductions.
        Is the lack of candor acceptable? Absolutely not. Is is fraud or proof of hoax, as Dr. Ball misleadingly implies? No.
        According to Schneider, ethical scientists are required to tell the whole truth with all of the caveats. The IPCC’s SPM’s certainly lack many essential caveats mentioned above. Worst of all is the lack of caveats about the AOGCMs. The IPCC’s SPMs are clearly not scientific documents. (That makes them politicized, but not fraudulent or a hoax.)
        If one examines the process by with the IPCC’s SPMs are produced (unanimity among a hundred political appointees advised by a handful of trusted scientific IPCC insiders with a self-perpetuating point of view), no one should expect these to be scientific documents. This is the BIG LIE about the IPCC. When skeptics like Dr. Ball misrepresent the problem as fraud or a hoax, they are wrong and easy to dismiss.
        In law and politics, we attempt to discover truth, justice and optimal policy through an adversarial process in which each side is given equal time to present its case and neither side is expected to be candid about the weaknesses of their position. If you’ve ever been involved in a law suit, you’ll know how inefficient and expensive this process can be. Scientist don’t have the time or money to waste on an adversarial process, so ethical scientists are expected to report all of strengths and weaknesses (caveats) associated with their work. Climate science has become entangled with making the world a better place (policy advocacy), a process where Schneider tells his fellow scientists that one needs to get lots of publicity by telling scary stories, making dramatic over-simplied statements and hiding doubts. The IPCC process produces policy advocacy disguised as science. That doesn’t make it a hoax or fraudulent.
        In essence, our fossil fuel-based civilization is on trial with the IPCC serving as prosecutor, judge, and jury, with no defense attorney present. Making policymakers and citizens understand the true perversion of the IPCC’s process is difficult.

    • I have read the second quote in Frank’s post five times and I still cannot read into it any assertion that the data was accurate, only that it could be used in the development of environmental assessments (i.e. models).

      • Solomon: The data was adequate for Integrated Climate Assessments – the section of the IPCC’s reports that discuss how our climate has changed in the last 100+ years. The sections based on observations. “[Scientists using marginal data] have succeeded in establishing basic trends of several aspects of climate on regional and global scales.”

        AOGCMs are used for attributing past change and projecting future change. These are more sophisticated subjects than “basis trends”. AOGCM’s are supposed to be tuned to provide the best possible representation of current climate, not tuned to assign 100% of past warming to anthropogenic causes. It would be unethical to tune a model to agree with the historical record and then use that model to attribute 100% of warming to man. In theory, the inadequacies in past data should no impact on AOGCMs. In practice, who knows. The strategy used to tune an AOGCM is not usually discussed in papers – but disclosure will be required for AR6. However, there are far better reasons to be skeptical of AOBCMs than the possibility they were tuned to agree with marginal data.

    • I guess it all depends on how you interpret “serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results”. If my mechanic said they had “serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed” on the bakes of my car, you can be sure I wouldn’t drive it. How can they say something like that, and then report such puny trends in global average temperatures and pretend they are significant?

  16. “Deficiencies in the accuracy, quality and continuity of the records,” that “place serious limitations on the confidence that can be placed in the research results.” Sounds like an invitation for adjustments. You can adjust data to create a lot of confidence in your case.

  17. “Uncovered”? Why is this report something that is “uncovered”? This implies it was “covered” before now — hidden or lost or forgotten. What is new about it now?

  18. I seem to remember reading here about how many cold-weather stations were lost when the USSR collapsed? Something like 5,000 reporting stations?

  19. One gets the sense reading early IPCC reports that the IPCC started out as real scientists doing real science, but then it got hijacked by advocacy scientists doing for-hire advocacy science. (Didn’t one well-known advocacy scientist have a business card that read “Have hockey stick – will travel”?

    • Nah. What we ended up with was planned from the beginning. They simply couldn’t start out as complete alarmist advocates without tipping everyone off. This is all part of Maurice Strong’s (and every other communist pretending to care about the environment) playbook.

  20. If you cannot measure it, you cannot ‘know it’ but you still can guess it. And throwing no amount of models at it will change.
    Oddly considered how important such measurements are , the resource level out in is a bit of a joke.

    • Even if you can measure something, that does not mean you understand it.
      At least be able to have a reliable quantification. For example. concentration with a defined range of error.
      The current claims that “global average surface temperature” have a reliable value is simply false.
      I’ve never seen the surface temperature plot include any indication of relative error.

      The only global temperature that has some clear scientific methodology started in 1979 with the satellite data.
      But that is not truly global. Also, the microwave sounder data are also not surface measurements, they can’t be as the atmosphere is totally opaque to IR below 1000 meters.

      • “they can’t be as the atmosphere is totally opaque to IR below 1000 meters” Can you educate me, if that is still possible, as to what you are refering to? I hadn’t heard that before, and I am extremely curious about it. Is it all IR, or just what the satellite sensors are looking at? Please excuse my ignorance.

  21. “Despite reduction in number of stations, coverage only declines slightly. That is scientifically not possible.”

    Dr. Ball, it is possible, because removing two of three stations with greatly overlapping coverage results in only a small decrease. The trick is how large an area is considered covered by a single station – an incredible radius of 1,200 km or 745 miles (Figure 1 c). Thus each station provides coverage for 4.5 million square km (~1.7 million sq mi.) .

    By this standard, a station just outside Winnipeg provides ‘coverage’ for everywhere from Calgary to Chicago and from Kansas City to the border with Nunavat on the Hudson Bay. In US terms, the weather in Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, Miami, and Dallas. and all space in between, could all be (accurately) covered by a single station in Atlanta. With such a large area per station, you could theoretically cover all the land of the earth with less than 50 stations.

      • “Intellectually dishonest” yes, straight dishonest, no. I agree its BS, but since they labeled it and used that as the convention, it’s more unethical and/or unjustified than pure dishonest.

  22. Come on!

    Where are the usual trolls and drive-by undefended comments? I wanna see some torn apart :)

    • It’s nice and warm now, they have all gone outside to enjoy the weather. They will be back when it gets colder.

  23. “Currently 20 percent of the Northern Hemisphere and 25 percent of Southern Hemisphere has no coverage.”

    Surely you are talking about land surface here. The oceans cover a lot more of the surface than that, and they are effectively uncovered as well. (Areas outside the trade lanes are uncovered.)

  24. The article has photo of a temperature station in the middle of a parking lot.

    I guess we are supposed to laugh and make fun of those crazy warmunists.

    No so.

    The temperature in a parking lot is very important and we should demand more thermometers in parking lots.

    In fact, the station should have an external LED temperature readout so the people parking in the lot would know how much to leave their car windows open (so their car interior is not too hot when they get back to their car).

    If that was done, a temperature station would have some value.

    Meanwhile, surface temperature stations currently have no value in the era of weather satellites,
    and should be abandoned or bulldozed to the ground.

    Also:
    This is another good article in a long series of good articles by Dr. Ball
    — no other writer here is so consistent.

  25. Thanks Dr Ball another dagger to the heart of CAGW. The warmist religion is a false faith that is only supported by hyperbole.

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