Recent USHCN Final v Raw Temperature differences

By Andy May

While studying the NOAA USHCN (United States Historical Climate Network) data I noticed the recent differences between the raw and final average annual temperatures were anomalous. The plots in this post are computed from the USHCN monthly averages. The most recent version of the data can be downloaded here. The data shown in this post was downloaded in October 2020 and was complete through September 2020.

There are two ways to compute the difference and they give different answers. One way is to subtract the raw from the final temperature month-by-month, ignoring missing values, then average the differences by year. When computed this way from the USHCN monthly values, the values are only subtracted when both the raw and final average temperature exist for a given month and station. Using this method, the numerous “estimated” final temperatures are ignored, because there is no matching raw temperature. This plot is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Plot of USHCN final temperatures minus raw data. The difference between final and raw monthly average temperatures is computed when both exist for a specific month. The differences are then averaged. Data used is from NOAA.

In Figure 1 we can see two things. First, the number of raw data stations drops quickly from 2005 to 2019. As we can see in Figure 2 this is not a problem for the final temperatures. How is this so? In turns out that as the active weather stations disappear from the network, the final temperature for them is estimated from neighboring stations. The estimates are made from nearby active stations using the NOAA pairwise homogenization algorithm or “PHA” (Menne & Williams, 2009a). The USHCN is a high-quality subset of the larger COOP set of stations. The PHA estimates are not made with just the USHCN high quality stations, the algorithm utilizes the full COOP set of stations (Menne, Williams, & Vose, 2009).

Figure 2. Final temperatures from 1900 to 2019. Notice 1218 values are present from 1917 to 2019. As shown in Figure 1, these are not all measurements, a significant number of the values are estimated. Data used is from NOAA.

So, what happens if we simply average the values for each month in both the raw dataset and the final dataset, ignoring nulls, then subtract the raw yearly average from the final yearly average? This is done in Figure 3. We realize that the raw values represent fewer stations and that the final values contain many estimated values. The number of estimated final values increases rapidly from 2005 to 2019.

USHCN Final-Raw

Figure 3. USHCN final-raw temperatures computed year-by-year, regardless of the number of stations in each dataset. The sharp rise in the temperature difference is from 2015-2019.

Discussion

The above plots use all raw data and all final data in the USHCN datasets. Information about the data is available on the NOAA web site. In addition, John Goetz has written about the data and the missing values in some detail here.

The USHCN weather stations are a subset of the larger NOAA Cooperative Observer Program weather stations, the “COOP” mentioned above. USHCN stations are the stations with longer records and better data (Menne, Williams, & Vose, 2009). All the weather station measurements are quality checked and if problems are found a flag is added to the measurement. To make the plots shown here, the flags were ignored, and all values were plotted and used in the calculations. Some plots made by NOAA and others with this data are made this way and others reject some or all flagged data. Little data exists before 1900, so we chose to begin our plots at that date. There are less than 200 stations in 1890. All the weather stations in the USHCN network are plotted in Figure 4, those with more than 50 missing monthly averages between January 2010 and the end of 2019 are noted with red boxes around the symbol.

Figure 4. All USHCN weather stations. Those with missing raw data monthly averages have red boxes around them. Data source: NOAA.

Conclusions

The plots above show that the overall effect of the estimated, or “infilled,” final monthly average temperatures is a rapid recent rise in average temperature as is clearly seen in Figure 3. In Figure 3 the overall monthly averages from the estimated (“infilled”) final weather station values are averaged and then compared to the average of the real measurements, the raw data. This is not a station by station comparison. The station-by-station comparison is shown in Figure 1. In Figure 1 the monthly differences are computed only if a station has both a raw measurement and a final estimate. The values from 2010 to 2019 still look strange, but not as strange as in Figure 3.

Clearly the rapid drop-off of stations during this time, which averages more than 20 stations per year, is playing a role in the strange difference between Figures 1 and 3. But, the extreme jump seen from 2015-2019 in Figure 3 is mostly in the estimated values in the final dataset. We might think the 2016 El Nino played a role in this anomaly, but it continues to 2019. The El Nino effect reversed in 2017 in the U.S., as seen in Figure 2. Besides, this anomaly is not in temperature, it is a difference between the final and raw temperature values in the USHCN dataset.

Figure 4 makes it clear that the dropped stations (boxed in red) are widely scattered. The areal coverage over the lower 48 states is similar in 2010 and 2019, except perhaps in Oklahoma, not sure what happened there. But, in the final dataset, values were estimated for all the terminated weather stations and those estimated values apparently caused the jump shown in Figure 3.

I don’t have an opinion about how the year-by-year Final-Raw anomaly in Figure 3 happened, only that it looks very strange. Reader opinions and additional information are welcome.

Some final points. I used R to read and process the data, although I used Excel to make a lot of the graphs. The USHCN data is complete and reasonably well documented for the most part, but hard to read and get into a usable form. For those that want to check what I’ve done and make sure these plots were made correctly I’ve collected my R programs in a zip file that you can download and use to check my work.

I plan to do more with the USHCN data and its companion GHCN (Global Historical Climate Network) dataset. I’ll publish more posts on them as issues come up.

Confusing tob

One point of confusion in the data, unrelated to this post. NOAA calls their time-of-day corrected data “tob.” It stands for time-of-day bias and accounts for minimum and maximum temperatures taken at different times in different stations. All the tob data supplied on their ftp site has 13 monthly values. I’ve read the papers and the documentation but cannot figure out why there are 13 monthly values for tob, but only 12 monthly values for all the other datasets. I emailed them to ask but have not received an answer to date. Does anyone know? If so, please put the answer in the comments.

Download the R code used to read the USHCN monthly raw and final data and compute the data plotted in this post here.

You can purchase my latest book, Politics and Climate Change: A History, here. The content in this post is not from the book.

The bibliography can be downloaded here.

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Don K
November 3, 2020 6:27 am

Nice essay Andy. I don’t do temperatures because I mistrust the apparently innumerable corrections. But lots of folks do. I’ll be looking forward to reading the comments.

Mr.
Reply to  Don K
November 3, 2020 7:20 am

I don’t know why they even bother starting with thermometer readings these days.
Why not just make up some numbers right from the get-go?

Reply to  Mr.
November 3, 2020 11:45 am

Mr. Mr.
The article seemed to miss mentioning the small claimed margin of error for the “data” — something that could not possibly be calculated because such a large percentage of the numbers are made up … and those made up numbers are never verified by actual measurements.

So the government bureaucrat “scientists” can make wild guesses, call them “infilling” to sound more scientific than “wild guesses”, and then they go to the bank to cash their big paychecks. They can never be proven wrong !

NOAA make up about 40 percent of the US numbers and we supposedly have the best weather station system in the world. That should have been mentioned in the article.

It would save the taxpayer money if they would just make up ALL the numbers and skip the measurements and wild guess infilling. On the other hand, the US land surface is just a small percentage of the total surface area of our planet. Almost all the other nations have less complete surface coverage with their weather stations. NASA claims record high temperatures in parts of central Africa where the surface grids have NO weather stations.

Surface temperature “data” are not fit for real science analyses.

The sparse non-global surface “data” before 1920 are completely worthless.

The Southern Hemisphere did not have adequate surface coverage before World War II.

The UAH satellite data, since 1979, have sufficient global coverage with little infilling, and are measured in a consistent environment, where the greenhouse effect takes place. They have the potential to be accurate enough for scientific analyses.

GaryP
Reply to  Mr.
November 3, 2020 4:31 pm

Tony Heller created a graph that explains the corrections with the highest correlation of any graph ever in climate studies.

The corrections to the temperature correlated almost perfectly with the increase in CO2 content in the atmosphere. He has proven that NOAH has fudged the temperature numbers so that temperatures appear to increase perfectly with CO2 concentration. They do not. Only the “corrections” to the actual readings correlated with CO2. Just plot the corrections in the third graph vs. the Mauna Loa measured CO2 concentration. There is only one way errors in thermometer readings correlate with CO2 levels: fraud.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  GaryP
November 6, 2020 3:38 am

his chart is wrong

1. he cut off the early period
2. he calculated averages wrong

M Seward
Reply to  Don K
November 3, 2020 9:11 am

The idea that the data from these thermometer ‘sets’ is fit for purpose in determining a temperature trend is ludicrous imo. The change in locations, the massive influence of steel, concrete and bitument heat islands, the switch to electronic sensors and the removal af such large numbers of stations just turns the whole exercise into scientific dumpster diving IMO. As for the ‘corrections’ rubrics, they sound a bit like executive bonus formulae to me. I mean if you were a climate scientist seeking ongoing funding who wouldn’t calculate temperature rise over time?

This is not about science per se, it is about the credibility of the witnesses.

shrnfr
Reply to  M Seward
November 3, 2020 11:05 am

Hydrology has a large influence too. When you pave and build, the rainfall goes into the catchbasins and down to where they dump the water. It does not sink into the soil as it probably did earlier. That means that you do not have the cooling effect of the heat of evaporation.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  M Seward
November 3, 2020 1:43 pm

SYNGENTA has a myriad of data plotting diurnal temperature by Zipcode. This information is used to determine the growing season of each crop species.
https://www.greencastonline.com/growing-degree-days/home
A significant discussion of the advent of Solar Cycle 25 and its significant impact on 2020 massive crop losses is available on https://iceagefarmer.com.
Pretty tough to manipulate this data when it impacts crop yields. All we have to do is get USDA to report accurate crop losses. (sic)

Robert B
Reply to  M Seward
November 3, 2020 3:35 pm

Its not just that it’s a bit foolish thinking that you can measure an intensive property of something that is so not constant even in the one spot with time, the sampling is far from ideal, spatially and temporally. A mean of minima and maximum is used instead of a mean of almost continuous measurements, and no concern that modern measurement of maxima are picking up bursts of heat that are a degree or more than the 10 minute average.

Then this data has to be fixed and missing data filled in, calculated from data not good enough to get an average temperature of the globe to within a degree even if there was complete coverage.

What could go wrong?

Mr.
Reply to  Robert B
November 3, 2020 8:12 pm

Well Robert, nothing can go wrong when you have already decided what the end result is that you’re going to publish.
That’s climate “science” 101.

ATheoK
Reply to  M Seward
November 4, 2020 7:52 pm

“M Seward November 3, 2020 at 9:11 am
The idea that the data from these thermometer ‘sets’ is fit for purpose in determining a temperature trend is ludicrous imo.”

Agreed M Seward!
• Different locations.
• Different topology.
• Different plant growth and families.
• Different altitudes.
• Different sensor equipment.
• Different sensor technology.
• Changes of equipment and sensor technology at the same location over time.
Different environments.
• Wild changes in deployed sensors ranging from 200 stations to 1200 stations and down to 860 stations.
• Data absent, often without explanation.
• Data infilled using data from stations up to 1,200 km (745 miles) away .
• Data ‘adjusted’ using data from ‘other’ stations, often repeatedly to better fit assumptions.
• Tolerances of equipment originally at full degree markings averaged with equipment alleged to have tolerances to hundreths of a degree.

• Averaging temperature data from different equipment, different accuracy ranges, infilled and adjusted data, different altitudes, different environments, different climates, different landscaping, etc. etc. and an official government agency pretending the data is not only valid but predicting impending doom!

A lack of science from beginning to end.
A lot of tax monies could be saved by firing every employee who participated in this temperature fraud.

rbabcock
November 3, 2020 6:30 am

Thank you Andy for an open and documented article.

The 13 month issue might be the fixed solar calendar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Fixed_Calendar

Bill
Reply to  rbabcock
November 3, 2020 8:50 am

That’s a lot of Friday the 13ths!

Larry in Texas
November 3, 2020 6:33 am

Andy, Tony Heller has been talking about this for sometime now. Check out Tony’s website, real climate science.com, where he posts his videos. NOAA is flagrantly filling-in phony estimated values to account for these missing stations you referred to. The estimates, of course, are warmer. Tony explains this in detail on his videos – he’s checked the raw data, too.

griff
Reply to  Andy May
November 3, 2020 9:57 am

Tony is not somewhere you should be looking if you want accurate information.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 10:40 am

You’re one to talk, griff.

Nelson
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 10:43 am

Griff, your a fabulist of the first order. I challenge you to show work by Tony that is inaccurate. He gives all of his code and its easy to check against the data.

fred250
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 11:57 am

Never once have you been able to counter anything he puts forward

You have no data or evidence of anything to put forward.

You are a KNOWN LIAR and a known denier of actual data facts and science.

If you say you don’t like something, it is a GREAT PLACE to start looking for the TRUTH and the FACTS.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 12:11 pm

So NOAA and NASA dats is not accurate then griff ? Because the data tony uses. You download his analysis and data fetch program and test it. I’m sure tony would be interested in your thoughts

Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 2:23 pm

But your comments are full of accurate informations ?
Wha I can’t see them ?

Jl
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 3:11 pm

Want to show proof of that, Griff?

Gunga Din
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 5:02 pm

Hi griff!
For my little spot I have the daily record highs and lows obtained in 2007.
That 2007 list says that in 1998 nine (9) record highs were set in 1998.
The 2009 list says that no (0) record highs were set in 1998.
Of course, if all nine (9) of those records were broken between 2007 and 2009, that would explain it.
But the 2012 list says there were seven (7) record highs set in 1998. Seven (7) records declared were … re-set?
These are NOAA lists and numbers
Please explain that before implying that Tony Heller is inaccurate in pointing out AND showing that the past temperature records have been tampered with.

Graemethecat
Reply to  griff
November 4, 2020 1:40 am

What Griffiepoo really means: “Please Mummy, make the nasty Tony Heller go away!”.

d
Reply to  Larry in Texas
November 3, 2020 8:40 am

Larry’s right. I think Tony’s helped explain the fig 3 anomoly, in great detail.

griff
Reply to  Larry in Texas
November 3, 2020 9:56 am

Tony ‘make it up’ Heller?

He has no credibility whatever.

(Your lack of credibility is based on your attacks on people without providing evidence of alleged errors or incompetence, you FAIL to do it over and over, if you keep doing it, I will start deleting your baseless attacks) SUNMOD

Smart Rock
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 10:40 am

He has no credibility whatever

Well you would say that, wouldn’t you, because you don’t like his conclusions. Others find him quite credible.

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 10:52 am

Black Pot, meet Kettle.

Redge
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 11:30 am

If you have an issue with Heller’s work, why not write an essay to refute instead of just saying it’s carp?

fred250
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 12:05 pm

You have NEVER been able to show any time he has been incorrect.

You don’t like that FAC, and are know to be a highly DISHONEST and fact free troll.

Your comment shows that Tony Heller’s place is a GREAT PLACE to start looking for TRUTH and FACTS,

That is how low your credibility is , griff.

Notanacademic
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 1:13 pm

What about your credibility Griff. Fred250 has been asking two simple questions for quite a while now,why don’t you answer them and earn yourself some.

Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 2:25 pm

Show us your corrective papers including the citations.
You can’t ?
So you should better shut up.

Jl
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 3:13 pm

As opposed to “Griff make it up about Heller with zero evidence..”?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  griff
November 3, 2020 4:36 pm

How would your fact-finding be considered reliable when you think 3 meals daily for 7 days amounts to 20 meals?
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/03/11/californias-permanent-drought-is-now-washed-away-by-reality/#comment-2652755

And here you are on Aug 29, claiming Germany is the world’s 5th largest economy https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/08/28/germany-chancellor-calls-for-europe-wide-carbon-pricing-on-transport-and-industry/#comment-3071668

Yet on Aug 22, exactly one week earlier you were claiming Germany is the world’s 4th largest economy
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/08/22/the-green-new-deal-means-monumental-disruption/#comment-3066616

November 3, 2020 6:34 am

Andy,

My graph of the disappearance of stations agrees with the orange line on your figure 1. 400 stations gradually vanished starting in 1989, the MannHansen year.

comment image

Did these stations stop recording? Most had been recording for 100 years, a heroic and admirable contribution to science. It is doubtful they ‘went out of business’ because NOAA withdrew funds. Their instruments were in place, nothing expensive about noting TMAX, TMIN, SNOW, PERC each day.

Has anyone contacted one or more of the blocked stations? Is there a blog post anywhere that reports the direct scoop?

Surely the data still exists. Mr. Trump tear down this wall. Get the data.

Wim Röst
Reply to  windlord-sun
November 3, 2020 7:39 am

Is there a system in ‘which stations must disappear’? Someone must organize the process of loss of stations.

What is planned?

November 3, 2020 6:53 am

Do you follow Tony Heller’s work?

This article appears to be very similar to Tony’s analysis–that he’s been blogging about for the last 10+ years:

“Alterations To The US Temperature Record
NOAA also provides the raw (unadjusted) monthly temperature data. For average temperature, it is available at this link. The unadjusted raw monthly graph shows much less warming than the adjusted data, and has recent years cooler than the 1930s.”

https://realclimatescience.com/alterations-to-the-us-temperature-record/

dh-mtl
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
November 3, 2020 7:28 am

Excellent article from ‘realclimatescience’

I recently compared the global atmospheric temperature record, GISS, with the ocean surface temperature records, ENSO and AMO, since 1880. GISS shows an increase of 1.1 C in the atmospheric temperatures over that period, while ENSO and AMO shows little to no trend (only cyclic variations) in the ocean surface temperatures over the same period.

I would argue that it defies the laws of physics that the atmospheric temperature should decouple from the ocean surface temperatures by 1 C. over the last 140 years.

It seems that the ‘temperature adjusters’ have only adjusted the atmospheric temperature databases, but have forgotten the sea surface temperature databases. Another ‘smoking gun’ in the evidence of data manipulation to fabricate the global warming/climate change narrative

Javert Chip
November 3, 2020 7:02 am

Gosh. Climate scientists are fiddling the statistics?

Are you kidding me?

I’m sure personal ethics & professional embarrassment will cause them to immediately explain & correct their work. If enough of this were to happen, untrained peasants would soon lose respect & trust in climate science.

Tom Waeghe
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 3, 2020 11:12 am

Good one! LOL!

fred250
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 3, 2020 1:30 pm

We better ask Peter Gleike about ethics of climate scientists, hey ! 😉

fred250
Reply to  Javert Chip
November 3, 2020 1:31 pm

Or people who deliberately tamper with air-conditioners for important climate meetings. 😉

NavarreAggie
November 3, 2020 7:15 am

For a real surprise, you should cross-plot the yearly mean temperature difference against atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The linear relationship will surprise you. Tony Heller has shown significant correlation between the data adjustments and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

In other words, if you torture the data, it will confess!

Lawrence E Todd
November 3, 2020 7:23 am

NOAA has a time machine that can go to the past and collect data and a heat pump to modify the more recent ones. I was a data and database administrator and what I used anomalies for was to find data entry errors. Then I would go back to original documents or back to the original sources and do corrections. Infilling data was not allowed.

November 3, 2020 7:29 am

Thanks for digging into this Andy. It reminds of Ross McKitrick’s graph of some years ago, also showing rising temps coinciding with the great decline in # of stations reported.

comment image

I did an analysis of the stations given top ratings for siting by WUWT, and found that the flagging allows removal of recent year data so that values are infilled from elsewhere. For example, see San Antonio

comment image?w=1000

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/temperature-data-review-project-my-submission/

It always seemed to me that missing data should be infilled by means of the trend observed at that particular station.

Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 7:31 am

“I plan to do more with the USHCN data and its companion GHCN (Global Historical Climate Network) dataset. I’ll publish more posts on them as issues come up.”

1. USHCN IS NO LONGER USED. It ceased to be the data of record YEARS AGO.
2. One of the issues with USHCN is it is NOT a high quality record like many peole think
A) many of the stations are spliced.
B) and many stations have estimated data ( as the author notes)
3. The ENTIRE adjustment approach was SCRAPPED

Basically NOBODY USES USHCN IN ANY GLOBAL RECORD. It has been replaced ENTIRELY
along with TOBS

GHCN is NOT A COMPANION to USHCN

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 8:13 am

USHCN is used by me. Stations are recording, stations are reporting, NOAA is posting the data daily in USCHN. This is the baseline gold standard data. It is “high quality” because a) long-term history at each station; b) large number of stations, 1200; unadjusted.

A) I don’t know what “spliced” means in this context.
B) USCHN raw (not final or TOBS) has some estimated dailies, but insignificant.

It is impossible to “replace” USCHN.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  windlord-sun
November 6, 2020 2:59 am

“A) I don’t know what “spliced” means in this context.
B) USCHN raw (not final or TOBS) has some estimated dailies, but insignificant.

It is impossible to “replace” USCHN.
######################
if you don’t know what spliced is then you have not read the documentation
nor do you understand the inventory file.

Short version. when they had stations that were physically close to together they SPLICED
the records and pretend they are one station.

See the inventory to show you which stations are combined

USHCN is easily replaced. it is a SUBSET of a larger data set.

In short. in the 90s they had a large dataset ( Some first order stations and COOP)

First order stations are the best in that they collect data at midnight ( NO TOB problem)

Anyway, they went through all the stations and tried to pick the longest ones
in some cases they had to splice together 2 or 3 stations to get a long record.

later some of these long stations went offline, got closed, so you end up with 30%
of them estimated.

At the same time the BASE datasets grew as more old data got recovered.

USHCN is easy to replace because

A) it was spliced to begin with
B) many of the stations stopped reporting
C) other records of the past were recovered from old paper and micro fiche

Hint, I’ve only been working with USHCN since 2007

I stopped in 2012 when it was clear that

A) it was a subset of the WHOLE DATABASE
B) there were better ways to compile a complete record

Steven Mosher
Reply to  windlord-sun
November 6, 2020 3:41 am

windlord cannot read the readme

“COMPONENT 1 is the Coop Id for the first station (in chronologic order) whose
records were joined with those of the HCN site to form a longer time
series. “——” indicates “not applicable”.

COMPONENT 2 is the Coop Id for the second station (if applicable) whose records
were joined with those of the HCN site to form a longer time series.

COMPONENT 3 is the Coop Id for the third station (if applicable) whose records
were joined with those of the HCN site to form a longer time series.

to make long stations they SPLICED some shorter stations together

Here is the CLUE

USHCN is REPLACEABLE because it is NOT SOURCE DATA

It is a SUBSET of the TRUE SOURCE DATA

that’s why guys like me, having discovered this long ago, use the real source data

and why, guys like you and Heller use a dataset that was slated for the trash heap in 2011

RIP in 2014

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 10:43 am

Right. A 50-million recording of direct measurement is garbage, but a model temp reconstruction is fact.

Wrong

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Andy May
November 5, 2020 11:33 pm

“. I do not think PHA (pairwise homogenization) has been scrapped, it is still used in both USHCN and GHCN as far as I know. The tob correction is also still used in both datasets as far as I can tell. So I don’t think you can say the entire adjustment approach was scrapped. I’m new to this, but I just read about both techniques being used.”

you don’t know the history. neither does Heller.

USHCN used to use
1. Filnet –infilling
2. Shap — stationmoves
3. TOBS — Time of observation
4. A UHI adjustment– based on population
5. A MMTS adjustment – based on Qualyes work

FIVE different adjustments

Then it was changed to this

1. TOB
2. PHA.

Internally to NOAA the PHA team argued that TOB was not needed, that PHA could do the
full job. the decision was made to keep running the TOB adjustment and then run PHA after
it.

Now, here is the thing to understand. TOB can ONLY BE USED ON USA STATIONS
It can ONLY BE USED on stations where you have a GOOD RECORD of the changes
to Observation times. TOB code only works on CONUS stations.

Over time USHCN started to lose stations. Stations closed.
So USHCN was DISCONTINUED as the official dataset of the USA.
around 2014. There are just too many estimated values in it.
It is “retained” for LEGACY reasons. But NASA GISS and all the rest of us
just stopped using it. The switch was made to using GHCN v4.
USHCN is dead.

GHCN does not use TOB. it CAN’T that’s because karl’s 1986 TOB correction code
IS HARD CODED FOR THE USA.

So GHCN doesn’t use TOB, cant use TOB. the TOB software is tied EXCLUSIVELY
to the USA and USA geography.

GHCN uses PHA exclusively. So now with GHCN v4 there are 27000 stations
they are all adjusted by ONE PROGRAM. that program is PHA. TOB is not used
TOB is used ONLY on USHCN which is a deprecated data set.

So to repeat

USHCN USED TO BE THE OFFICIAL RECORD of the USA. 1218 “long stations”
it is not the official record anymore.

A) it used to use about 5 different adjustment codes
B) that list of 5 was reduced to 2: TOB is run first and then PHA is run
C) USHCN has been DISCONTINUED as an official dataset.
D) the code is run every month, but the output isn’t used by any major group to
construct a global average.
E) the dataset is posted only for legacy reasons. Like if someone wants to check an
an old paper that used USHCN or if some government agency is slow to switch to
the new official dataset.

GHCN v4 is a global record. it only uses PHA. It doesn’t use TOB because
A) TOB is specific to USA geography ( and things like sun rise times)
B) TOB requires an accurate record of the changes in time of observation (even USHCN has issues)
C) ONLY the USA has a major TOB problem
( a few countries, norway, Canada, japam, Australia have a few stations with changes
in TOB but none of them can or would use karl’s 1986 fortran program)

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 9:15 am

Steven Mosher, your entire position is an appeal to authority. I [we?] do not care the you and/or NOAA has denigrated direct measurement USHCN and given it’s reconstructions an “OFFICIAL” dataset designation.

Moreover, you are falsified by either of these two daggers:

1) constructing an “average” global temperature model by projection from short measuring, proxy-duct taping, gridding, and homogenization, is a red herring. It does not answer the question “is there any abnormal warming or cooling over the past 120+ years?”

2) despite all the complex model building and temperature reconstructions, if the purported abnormal warming is a fact, why does it not show up anywhere in the 50-million direct measurements from 1200 weather stations in USHCN?

What I find most fantastic is the claim that USHCN is “not a data source,” while your alphabet soup of models is valorized as such.

I also will fire a torpedo at this:

“Over time USHCN started to lose stations. Stations closed.”
They did not close. Why would stations having recorded for 100 years out of pure dedication to factual science suddenly stop? NOAA simply stopped posting their recordings. This suppression began (what a coincidence) with the jump-off of the MannHansen project in their time of glory 1988-9.

So USHCN was DISCONTINUED as the official dataset of the USA around 2014.”
I {we?] don’t care.

“There are just too many estimated values in it.”
NOT IN THE RAW.
From my website
https://theearthintime.com
The analysis was conducted on the RAW dataset, not the TOB or FLs
Number of recordings, 49,868,490
Missing/redacted [-9999]: 58,737
Estimated [e]: 10,455

“USHCN is dead.”
USHCN is the gold standard of measurement. Not for the purpose of deriving an average, rather for showing 1200 [once you provide the redacted data from 400 stations] sine waves one by one for examination, looking for evidence of abnormal warming. If it is not found anywhere, then there is none.

Attempts to destroy USHCN are like religious terrorists blowing up temples and statues from another religion once they conquer, like that priest who burned the entire writings of the Maya in one day, like Mao destroying any and all people and artifacts that did not fit his agenda for constructing communists.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 8:39 am

…USHCN…has been replaced ENTIRELY….

Afraid I haven’t been keeping up, Steven. What replaced it?

Reply to  Andy May
November 3, 2020 11:44 am

Andy,
” Although when you look that up you get a very strange answer”

You shouldn’t write about this stuff if you can’t get your head around the basics. The answer is not strange; it is full and clear:
“The USCRN serves, as its name and original intent imply, as a reference network for operational estimates of national-scale temperature. NCDC builds its current operational contiguous U.S. (CONUS) temperature from a divisional dataset based on 5-km resolution gridded temperature data. This dataset, called nClimDiv, replaced the previous operational dataset, the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), in March 2014. Compared to USHCN, nClimDiv uses a much larger set of stations—over 10,000—and a different computational approach known as climatologically aided interpolation, which helps address topographic variability.”

As it very explicitly says, nClimDiv replaced USHCN as the operational dataset in March 2014. USHCN is not now used.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 12:20 pm

… and as such, nClimDiv is useless for answering the question “Has the been any abnormal warming over the past 120 years” because
a) it is a model, not measurement;
b) it only goes back a few years.

Expunging 120 years of measurement is the ultimate “hide the prior warmth.” After all, why bother altering the data from the 20th century when you can just snap your fingers and send it into the void!

“nClimDiv replaced USHCN as the operational dataset in March 2014. USHCN is not now used” is a petition to the gods, an ardent dream. Alarmists want USHCN to disappear, and the want it replaced by the model. Wishing does not make it so. Nor does bureaucratic declaration.

USHCN is the permanent, authoritative baseline, gold standard.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 12:49 pm

“a) it is a model, not measurement;
b) it only goes back a few years.”

Complete nonsense on both counts.

Editor
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 3:36 pm

Nick ==> “a different computational approach known as climatologically aided interpolation, which helps address topographic variability.”

I’d say that was pretty different alright.

The error bars for CAI are as follows:

“Interpolation errors associated with CAI estimates of annual‐average air temperatures over the terrestrial surface are quite low. On average, CAI errors are of the order of 0.8°C, whereas interpolations made directly (and only) from the yearly station temperatures exhibit average errors between 1.3°C and 1.9°C.” [ link ]

The average error is 0.8°C — and the errors in interpolations made “directly (and only)” from the yearly station temperatures ??? 1.3 to 1.9°C .

I would assume that these are +/- error bars. Greater than all the posited increase in global temperatures since 1890.

That is different . . . . admitting HUGE error ranges.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 4:27 pm

Kip,
“Greater than all the posited increase in global temperatures since 1890.”
Different things. The numbers you quote are the variability associated with interpolating individual points. The variability of a global average is very much less. And errors are reduced again by using anomalies.

Editor
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 4:36 pm

Nick ==> Errors are not reduced by using anomalies — they are just ignored. You know this very well.

You can’t turn lousy numbers into precise results — that is one of the fallacies that is ruining much of scientific effort in many fields — epidemiology, climatology, and the social sciences.

Your stack of temperature records with very wide error bars (up to +/- 1.9°C for interpolated stations) still have the same error bars when reduced to anomalies. You can not just “wish” the error range away.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 4:51 pm

“And errors are reduced again by using anomalies.”

That is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 4:53 pm

Anomalies are just the difference from a calculated mean.

The errors DO NOT magically disappear.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 5:12 pm

“Errors are not reduced by using anomalies”
The error in the population average estimate is reduced. The reason is that the greater homogeneity of anomalies reduces sampling error, which is the main contributor to the error in the population average.

Editor
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 5:40 pm

Nick ==> You have definitely stated the fallacy correctly — the belief that more and more division and subtraction and averaging actually IMPROVES the quality and accuracy and precision of the data. It does not do so in the real world.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 7:01 pm

“The reason is that the greater homogeneity of anomalies reduces sampling error, ”

LOL.. the farce continues !!

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 7:39 pm

Talk about a misleading and disingenuous comment Nick!

How is it you managed to leave out the last sentence of the paragraph?

“You shouldn’t write about this stuff if you can’t get your head around the basics..! – Nick Stokes”

You managed to redact the ultimate and all important qualifying sentence in the entire paragraph:

However, nClimDiv preserves USHCN’s groundbreaking methods to detect and correct station biases brought on by changes to the station network over time.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 8:02 pm

“all important qualifying sentence”
How is that an all important sentence? It just says that nClimDiv does some things similarly. Doesn’t change the fact that, as explicitly stated, nClimDiv replaced USHCN in March 2014.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 8:40 pm

“… the fact that, as explicitly stated, nClimDiv replaced USHCN in March 2014.”

You keep repeating that, as if it will eventually be true. “Replaced?” No.

You are making a petition to the gods, an ardent dream. Alarmists want USHCN to disappear, and the want it replaced by a model — a temperature reconstruction using temperature measurement — how absurd is that?

Wishing does not make it so. Nor doesa bureaucratic declaration of “replacement.” Mr. Stokes, this is the age of cancel culture, and you are extremely lame at it.

USHCN is the permanent, authoritative baseline, gold standard. It can’t be cancelled.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 9:55 pm

“USHCN is the permanent, authoritative baseline, gold standard.”
Like fred, I don’t think you know what USHCN is.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 10:31 pm

We all know that USHCN is a load of agenda driven garbage

Pity you are too slow and brain-addled to have figured that out, Nick !

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 10:41 pm

“We all know that USHCN is a load of agenda driven garbage”
So you don’t agree that “USHCN is the permanent, authoritative baseline, gold standard.”? Well, OK. But you did say that
“USHCN brought the data tampering to an end, as it was bound to do.”
and complained
“WHY was USHCN dropped from the data sets”

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 4, 2020 2:14 am

I know what USHCN is.
There is some confusion in this thread about it.

Here is the NOAA FTP download page.

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2.5/

Notice that there are three flavors for both TMAX and TMIN, namely RAW, TOB, and FLs.

RAW contains 50-million direct measurements from 1200 [redacted recently to 800] weather stations over 120+ years. There is a small amount of “estimation” in RAW, but it is basically raw!

The contention is with FLs, “FINAL” dataset. That set is not measured data — it contains constructions and reconstructions, deploying Pairwise Homogenization Algorithm and extrapolation, making it a model, fraught with all the problems constantly exposed in the activities of climate scientists.

Moreover, the concept of FLs is the drive to construct an overall average temperature model. This is an error, if your goal is to answer “Is there any abnormal warming evident in the United States over the past 120 years.” To answer that question, you have to examine the sine curve in the RAW dataset of 1200 stations one by one.

To all of us outraged by data manipulation, I suggest realizing that the RAW data is on file, and receiving updates daily. The cause for rage is when advocates push the FLs dataset out front and Cancels the existence of RAW, justified by the notion that Final (FLs) is ‘more accurate model of average temperature.’ Which is the wrong quest.

Here is what RAW shows:

http://theearthintime.com

My new claim is as follows: USHCN RAW is the permanent, authoritative baseline, gold standard.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 6, 2020 3:35 am

windlord is wrong

Nclimdiv goes back to 1895

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/climgrid/

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 6, 2020 9:28 am

Steven Mosher November 6, 2020 at 3:35 am
windlord is wrong Nclimdiv goes back to 1895
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/climgrid/

For the moment, let me stipulate that it indeed goes back to 1895.

What I don’t have wrong: That is not direct measurement data. It is a gridded model.

… the folly of temperature reconstruction performed on direct measurement of temperature?

“How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies …” ~ Alice

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 6, 2020 10:24 am

“And errors are reduced again by using anomalies.”

“You shouldn’t write about this stuff if you can’t get your head around the basics.”

Same person.

Reply to  Andy May
November 3, 2020 12:43 pm

Bottom line – it doesn’t matter what the climate record is called.
They’re exactly the same, the same anticlockwise rotation with vertical stretching, to change the 1930s from being much warmer than the present in the USA, to being much cooler. For the cooling in the 1950’s to 70’s to disappear. Label it what you like. The fraud is the same and everyone knows what is being done.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Andy May
November 5, 2020 11:34 pm

No

nClimDiv replaced USHCN

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 6, 2020 3:01 am

nCLIMDIV

Vose, R.S., Applequist, S., Durre, I., Menne, M.J., Williams, C.N., Fenimore, C., Gleason, K., Arndt, D. 2014: Improved Historical Temperature and Precipitation Time Series For U.S. Climate Divisions Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0248.1

this is one reason why NASA GISS don’t use USHCN any more

No USHCN, no TOB adjustment

Do you guys read the readmes and literature?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 9:50 am

Steven: Why is this data set still maintained? What is the accepted replacement? Has anyone looked critically at any adjustments to this replacement?

I have this nagging feeling that each replacement is just a newer more cleverly hidden adjustment system. When the adjustments come to light, they once again move on to a new data set

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 5, 2020 11:43 pm

“Steven: Why is this data set still maintained? What is the accepted replacement? Has anyone looked critically at any adjustments to this replacement?

I have this nagging feeling that each replacement is just a newer more cleverly hidden adjustment system. When the adjustments come to light, they once again move on to a new data set”

the replacement is nClimDiv
Why is it still maintained?

Well I have told some guys there to just nuke the dataset. But they responded like this

A) Since old published papers used the data, we have to keep it around for legacy
B) some agencies like forestry and others have old programs that used USHCN
C) Some people still like to use it because it has a daily min max version and
GHCND is a pain in the ass.

They have the code. they just run it.

the adjustment system is now ONE program as opposed to the FIVE it used to be.
That one program has been benchmarked and independently verified
One of the goals of our work was to independently verify it. We did

Unlike the USHCN adjustment code, the new system is totally open.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 10:10 am

Mosher
Would you care to comment on why the USHCN data are still being collected and published if it “IS NO LONGER USED?”

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 3, 2020 11:49 am

USHCN, as used here, is just the name for a list of stations that were, until March 2014, used to compile the CONUS average (which was also often shortened to USHCN). The stations still exist and report temperatures, regardless of what the readings are used for or what list they are par of. Many will be included in the longer list, nClimDiv, that are now used for the CONUS average.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 12:32 pm

And Climdiv shows NO WARMING except for a bulge from the 2015 El Nino, since 2015.

USHCN has put an end to the data tampering. !

comment image

Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 12:55 pm

“USHCN has put an end to the data tampering. !”
In fact, your graph does not show USHCN at all. If you go back to its source, you can get to to show USHCN (to 2014), and it will show USHCN almost identical to nClimDiv and USCRN.

Which just means that USCRN is affirming the others.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 1:35 pm

Why would I bother showing a highly corrupted data set when a pristine one is available

NOTHING from before 2005 can be trusted….. period.

The adjusters have made darn sure of that. !

Glad you agree there has been no USA warming except from the El Nino Big Blob since 2005.

Change your foot next time.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 1:40 pm

“USHCN almost identical to nClimDiv and USCRN. ”

Of course it is , over that short period

The data adjusters KNEW they couldn’t allow it to be disparate from the new system.

USHCN brought the data tampering to an end, as it was bound to do.

But you knew that didn’t you Nick. !

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 1:44 pm

You also have to ask , if it is still being calculated, WHY was USHCN dropped from the data sets.

You only have to look at what they have been doing now, to answer that question.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 3:17 pm

“Which just means that USCRN is affirming the others”

No, USCRN is a check on REALITY

Funny how everything leveled off as soon as a reliable system, not subjected to massive tampering, was introduced. 😉

Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 3:35 pm

“USHCN brought the data tampering to an end, as it was bound to do.”
You have a totally muddled idea of which is which.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 4:55 pm

WRONG,

You KNOW that USCRN brought the tampering to an end.

Stop your childish attempts to avoid that facts.

Your credibility is dropping to griff level.

fred250
Reply to  fred250
November 3, 2020 5:24 pm

fantasy maths.. the Nick way !

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 5, 2020 11:58 pm

Mosher
Would you care to comment on why the USHCN data are still being collected and published if it “IS NO LONGER USED?”

USCHN is a name for a collection of data and its associated adjustment process.

lets see if I can explain — I will use approximate numbers and leave out some detail

There is SOURCE DATA over 20000 stations in the USA GHCN DAILY MIN MAX

back in the 90s NOAA tried to collect these into 1 “BEST” dataset of long stations

they selected 1218. They had to stitch some stations together
Then they had to adjust them. This collection was called USHCN

USHCN is a DERIVED product that drew from GHCND primarily
it is a SUBSET of all the data that was stitched together and adjusted in a
specific way.

Over time they changed the adjustment codes
Over time 30% the 1218 stations went off line..
So they estimated missing data.

In 2014 they decided that these “1218 stations” AND THE ADJUSTMENTS that
define what they are would no longer be the official record.

they built a new official record. Starting again with the MAIN SOURCE GHCN DAILY
they built nClimDIV.

as a “dataset’ it is still on line. every month they take the DAILY source file (20K plus stations)
and they build SUBSETS

A) USHCN SUBSET
B) ncCLIMDIV SUBSET

so “A” as a subset still exists but it’s no longer official and its not used in global climate records
it used to be used by NASA GISS but they stopped using it in 2014

fred250
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 12:29 pm

As mosh says..

Why use a fabricated , tortured and corrupted data set, like USHCN or BEST, when you have much better data available.

These fabrications are now so tainted with agenda driven junk-science as to be TOTALLY USELESS as a historical representation of US temperatures.

Only the raw data , as used by Tony Heller, has any meaning.

Fortunately there is a better , untainted system, which shows basically no warming since 2005

comment image

And because it exists, the the data tampering has also stopped and the the ClimDiv collation matches USCRN almost exactly. Agin showing no warming except for the bulge from the recent El Nino/Big Blob event

comment image

Ktm
Reply to  fred250
November 4, 2020 5:34 am

Bingo.

As soon as a high quality, tamper-resistant network came to be, CO2 forgot how to warm the contiguous US.

CO2 is just an old curmudgeon, remembering the glory days when it could influence contiguous US temperatures like a control knob. Now it just sits on the porch and yells at USCRN to get off his lawn.

This is why Mosher and Stokes want to emphasize the land-ocean temperatures. Much less controlled, much lower quality, tampering is not only allowed but encouraged as necessary.

Even early data from pre-1900 should be used when it is high quality. USCRN is only a few dozen stations. You don’t need a lot of data, you need good quality data. Polluting good data with bad is their MO.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  fred250
November 6, 2020 12:06 am

“And because it exists, the the data tampering has also stopped and the the ClimDiv collation matches USCRN almost exactly. Agin showing no warming except for the bulge from the recent El Nino/Big Blob event”

USCRN shows less warming than adjusted records

In fact USCRN proves that adjustments DONT warm the record

USCRN proves that the “poor’ stations are actually quite usable if you you know what you are doing

here is a test

A If USCRN is a gold standard then PREDICT what will we see if we compare

USCRN versus nCLIMDIV (adjusted)
USCRN versus USHCN ( adjusted)

What will we see if we compare a gold standard with these two adjusted datasets?

anyone bold enough to predict?

What will see if we compare the gold standard with stations that have bad siting?
UHI? by airports?

what will we see ?

Predict!

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 12:21 am

Here are all 3 records

USCRN
USHCN
nCLIMDIV

things to note

the unadjusted goldstandard is WARMER THAN the official data for the USA

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&datasets%5B%5D=climdiv&datasets%5B%5D=cmbushcn&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=ann&begyear=2005&endyear=2020&month=9

whats that tell you boys

Pat Frank
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 2:15 pm

Steve Mosher, “1. USHCN IS NO LONGER USED.

Thanks for shouting, Steve.

We all know the USCRN now provides the measurement of record in the US. Since 2005.

So, let’s all notice that all the temperature difference graphs start at 1900. Let’s see, that’s … 105 years before the USCRN entered the scene. We notice further that adjusted USHCN temperatures were used to construct the record across 1900-2005.

That fact makes the difference graphics relevant and your rant irrelevant.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 5, 2020 11:59 pm

“We all know the USCRN now provides the measurement of record in the US. Since 2005.”

NOPE.

the official record is nclimdiv

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 6, 2020 12:25 am

wrong pat USCRN is NOT the official record

‘NCEI now uses a new dataset, nClimDiv, to determine the contiguous United States (CONUS) temperature. This new dataset is derived from a gridded instance of the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN-Daily), known as nClimGrid.

Previously, NCEI used a 2.5° longitude by 3.5° latitude gridded analysis of monthly temperatures from the 1,218 stations in the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN v2.5) for its CONUS temperature. The new dataset interpolates to a much finer-mesh grid (about 5km by 5km) and incorporates values from several thousand more stations available in GHCN-Daily. In addition, monthly temperatures from stations in adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico aid in the interpolation of U.S. anomalies near the borders.

The switch to nClimDiv has little effect on the average national temperature trend or on relative rankings for individual years, because the new dataset uses the same set of algorithms and corrections applied in the production of the USHCN v2.5 dataset. However, although both the USHCN v2.5 and nClimDiv yield comparable trends, the finer resolution dataset more explicitly accounts for variations in topography (e.g., mountainous areas). Therefore, the baseline temperature, to which the national temperature anomaly is applied, is cooler for nClimDiv than for USHCN v2.5. This new baseline affects anomalies for all years equally, and thus does not alter our understanding of trends.”

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 4:07 am

The “Revelation of the Method” by Steven Mother:

The switch to nClimDiv has little effect on the average national temperature trend or on relative rankings for individual years, because the new dataset uses the same set of algorithms and corrections applied in the production of the USHCN v2.5 dataset.

;-(

Pat Frank
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 3:10 pm

Call me cynical, but this graphic includes the USCRN anomaly plot since 2005.

The normal period is 1981-2010, which means the anomalies were generated by subtracting the average of the 1981-2010 air temperature from each annual average temperature since 2005.

The 1981-2010 normal is calculated using USHCN measurements.

That means the uncertainty of the USHCN 1981-2010 measurement set should propagate into the 2005-2019 USCRN anomalies.

The lower limit of uncertainty from systematic measurement error in the USHCN normal is about ±0.46 C.

So, using very standard error propagation through a difference, the uncertainty in the anomaly temperature is (T_n±0.46) C – (T_crn±0.05)C = (ΔT_anom±0.46)C

But the NOAA graphic has no uncertainty bars. The superhero assumption of perfect accuracy and infinite precision rides again.

Picture how the NOAA graphic would look with ±0.46 C uncertainty bars.

At the 95% confidence interval, the anomaly is indistinguishable from 0 C.

fred250
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 3, 2020 3:54 pm

nice use of maths Pat,

Nick and Mosh will be along soon, with their lack of understanding , in a hilarious attempt to undermine you. 🙂

Ktm
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 4, 2020 5:39 am

USCRN is the only reference that I know of that doesn’t start at zero.

They started it at ~+1.8, and it has stayed around that level for the last 15 years.

Just set it at zero from the beginning (or some brief period at its own beginning) and stop with the games.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 6, 2020 2:16 am

wrong pat

‘ USCRN observations since commissioning to the present (4-9 years) were used to find relationships to nearby COOP stations and estimate normals at the USCRN sites using the normals at the surrounding COOP sites derived from full 1981-2010 records (Sun and Peterson, 2005).”

NOT ushcn

fred250
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 3, 2020 7:06 pm

“One of the issues with USHCN is it is NOT a high quality record like many peole think”

ROFLMAO

Nobody thinks USHCN has any real quality at all !

As you say, it is a manufactured, tortured, agenda-driven load of GIGO.

Just like BEST is.

DMacKenzie
November 3, 2020 7:45 am

So how is it that the decline of 1/3 in number of stations happen to be “warm” stations ? Since the trend of the remaining stations results in lower average temperature by a rather large whole degree C ?
Yet those expensive well sited USCRN stations, not part of USHCN, show…..NADA

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=p12&begyear=2004&endyear=2020&month=12

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 3, 2020 8:01 am

So the airport stations that were USHCN were upgraded to automated electronic stations and moved to alternate non-USHCN record keeping. Maybe the default reduction in jet engine exhaust blasts and reduction in nearby asphalt runways on the remaining USHCN station records explains the effect ?

DMacKenzie
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 3, 2020 8:58 am

#@$&-it Andy…..is that graph axis “ Raw Final “ or “ Final minus raw”….it makes a big difference…

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Andy May
November 3, 2020 10:52 am

Thanks, sorry I spazzed, nice work by the way.

Meab
November 3, 2020 7:56 am

Much of the adjustments are to correct for differences in the time of day that measurements are taken. 1) Near uniform warming througout the day should cause the temperature average formed by multiple measurements taken at different times to increase at about the same rate as measurements taken at the same time. The average will be different between the two cases but, given near uniform warming through the day, the rate of increase in the average should be nearly the same. The average is only useful to determine the rate of increase anyway as the average itself is meaningless; it averages places at different elevation, relative humidity, hours of solar insolation, etc. – the average you get is dependant on the number of stations of each characteristic used in the average. If warming occurs more in overnight temps (as it does) the correction could be either positive or negative depending on how many temps taken at night are included in the average. It would be far more useful to compute a day and a night average and determine the rate of change of each separately. 2) As more and more stations are computerized and thus capable of frequent measurements and calibration checks one would expect the adjustments to flatten out, but that’s not happening. Something seems fishy here.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Meab
November 3, 2020 8:44 am

It’s not quite as simple as the time of taking a reading…..the old mercury thermometer stations only showed the low and high positions of a steel float on the mercury column of the thermometer. So only overnight low and yesterday’s daytime high were recorded. The time the reading was recorded is of no significance except in very rare cases were the reading was taken at a time that was lower than last nights low or higher than yesterday’s high. And the odds of that are 50/50, so cancels over a year average.
Now continuous electronic monitors do have time of measurement issues. Also speed of measurement issues. Electronic probes can show a temperature increase from a small passing convective current that the old mercury thermometers wouldn’t have been able to warm up for…..

Meab
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 3, 2020 10:25 am

Nope, sorry. There was a widespread conversion of USHCN stations to electronic designs before 2009 at which time some were relocated to sites less susceptible to the urban heat island effect. Adjustments were made to account for time of day issues at the time of conversion (which should have made a small effect in the average RATE of warming – adjustments for location could introduce a substantial one-time correction). Therefore, the adjustments should have plateued since 2009. They haven’t. See figure 1. There was an unexplained dip a few years ago but the last data point is right back on the trend of increasing adjustments. That can’t be right.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Meab
November 6, 2020 2:30 am

wrong.

“There was a widespread conversion of USHCN stations to electronic designs before 2009”

COOP stations and others were transitioned to MMTS before this

the TOBS adjustment corrects for trend changes due to change in observation time

Steven Mosher
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 6, 2020 2:35 am

“The time the reading was recorded is of no significance except in very rare cases were the reading was taken at a time that was lower than last nights low or higher than yesterday’s high. And the odds of that are 50/50, so cancels over a year average.”

wrong.

there are several effects. One is the end of month effect, one is a high being counted twice
and the other is early morning cold fronts biasing the results

These Biases were First identified in the late 1800s

then again with Mitchell’s work in the 50s

then again in the 1970s by agriculture researchers in Indiana who were concerned
about biases in heating Degree days.

farming matters

it wasn’t until 1986 that the bias was addressed by NOAA

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Meab
November 3, 2020 2:26 pm

“Near uniform warming througout the day should cause the temperature average formed by multiple measurements taken at different times to increase at about the same rate as measurements taken at the same time. ”

This just isn’t true and is easily shown to be untrue. The daily temperature curve resembles a cosine wave. Thus the warming (and cooling) throughout the day changes radically. At sunrise the rate of warming starts off slowly but increases during the morning. At mid-day the rate of increase has slowed significantly. Then the temperature starts to fall slowly but increases through sunset and early night. Toward sunrise the rate of cooling has decreased significantly.

Do *any* scientists spend a lot of time outdoors any more? A 13 year old Boy Scout could point out the problems with this assumption.

Meab
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 3, 2020 9:10 pm

Multiple measurements as in multiple stations participating in the average some of which having the measurement time of day different than others. If the warming is uniform throughout the day, the warming curve is still the same shape – just displaced by the amount of warming. Sorry that you got so confused by such an easy concept.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Meab
November 4, 2020 7:00 am

No confusion here. The warming/cooling curve is DIFFERENT at different times of the day. The rate of warming/cooling is defined by the derivative of the cosine. The derivative of the cosine varies between 1 and 0 from zero to pi/2. The value you get depends on when you take it.

When you average temperatures taken at different times in different locations you wind up with an uncertainty interval that can be quite large.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Meab
November 4, 2020 8:18 am

The warming shape of each station remains the same but the shape of the average is not the shape of either, it is combined. Adding two sin or cos waves that vary in phase does not give you a similar sin or cos wave.

The other question is fitness of purpose. If two data streams are incompatible because of a physical measuring difference, you can’t simply create new data to try and fit your purpose. That is close to what Mann did to his hockey stick graph.

An example is taking older measurements recorded as integers (+/-0.5 uncertainty) and trying to make adjustments to the old data in order to match newer thermometers that are recorded to (+/-0.1 uncertainty). You can’t go back in time to know what the actual rounding was for each temperature. Changing the value and/or the precision of previously recorded data is modifying that data. Knowingly using a database that has done this is acceding to the changes and you are treading in the foggy marshes where postmodern science says “the ends justify the means” with all the same risks that entails.

The most appropriate thing to do is break the data and trends into separate units by the type of measurements that were/are being done. If the values and/or rates don’t match explain what you think the differences are and let the viewer decide what is correct.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Meab
November 6, 2020 2:27 am

“Much of the adjustments are to correct for differences in the time of day that measurements are taken. 1) Near uniform warming througout the day should cause the temperature average formed by multiple measurements taken at different times to increase at about the same rate as measurements taken at the same time. ”

measurements are taken (recorded) once a day

the TOB Time of OBbservation Bias has been reported since the late 1800s.

it became an issue of importance in the 70s in farm belt states because the change
of observation times was biasing the temperatures cold and the agriculture industry
which depends on HDD heating degree days needs accurate data

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Meab
November 6, 2020 2:41 am

Here is the first observation of the TOB

1890

6 years prior to any theories about C02 causing increased warming

https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/qj.4970167605

Joel O'Bryan
November 3, 2020 7:59 am

“the extreme jump seen from 2015-2019 in Figure 3 is mostly in the estimated values in the final dataset. “

The climate scam marching orders from the White House OSTP to NOAA was obviously received loud and clear. The Pause was/is a real problem that had to be “corrected” away. Multiple efforts from Tom Karl (the Karl, et al. 2015 Pause buster paper using arguably fraudulent SST corrections published in SciMag that required pal review to make it through) and still on-going by those he left behind to carry on the temperature hustle. Without those corrections the Pause would likely be unequivocally back in a couple years after the on-going La Nina conditions persist into 2021.

It’s past time to Terminate the climate scam on the surface station temperature records.

Old.George
November 3, 2020 8:33 am

Believer in CAGW: The answers violate my theory so the data must have errors that need correction in the direction of CAGW.
Scientist: In Physics, if your theory makes a prediction that turns out wrong, your theory is wrong.
Mother Nature: I don’t care what you believe. I have one Commandment: My way. Ignore me at your peril.

Old.George
November 3, 2020 8:36 am

Prediction is difficult, especially about the future. Models should always predict the then-future of the past, too.

Harry Davidson
November 3, 2020 8:45 am

If you drop far flung rural stations and just keep the ones close to cities, then the interpolated estimates for the defunct far flung stations will be raised by UHI. If you don’t tell people what you are doing, and then say “But the countryside is warming just as much as the cities”, that is lying.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 3, 2020 10:15 am

Effectively, the remaining stations are receiving more weight for the average(s) that is computed. If the retained stations are indeed near cities, then that means the UHI effect is being amplified.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 4, 2020 8:38 am

I have a different take. UHI was originally desired to be removed so climate scientists could show how much warming was being caused over and above past CO2 concentrations. To this day the the heat from UHI is still being adjusted. The IR radiation folks want to do this so their radiation budgets work out properly when compared to the past.

UHI is real heat being added to the atmosphere. Anyone that has done highway construction can tell you that concrete/asphalt is a very good conductor of heat to the surrounding air compared to the grass ditches on either side. Energy use in heating, cooling, transportation, manufacturing all add heat that has never existed before. UHI bypasses the IR/CO2 processes and uses conduction/convection. As cities grow with more and more concrete, dark roofs, etc. this will grow also.

Steve CASE
November 3, 2020 9:11 am

Our friends on the left will point out that the United States Historical Climate Network doesn’t cover the world so to quote a well known politician, “What difference does it make?”

The United States isn’t the world, but it spans North America with a good variety of geography and topography which makes it a good sub-set of a land mass. World-wide, the US has the best sampling of weather data of any significant land surface. If the US does not show warming, a strong explanation is needed as to why it is an outlier compared to the rest of the world as a whole. Taken from (Richard Verney, WUWT, July 2017)

What we are treated to in the so called “popular” press is graphics from NASA usually their Land Ocean Temperature Index which covers 1689 months through September. So far in 2020 NASA has made the following number of changes

Jan  Feb Mar Apr May Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep Oct Nov Dec
319 240 313 340 298  404  319 370  303

Over the past decade those changes look like this:

comment image

November 3, 2020 9:17 am

The first of the 13 months of TOB data is most likely the last month of the previous year.

ferdberple
November 3, 2020 9:50 am

Statistics relies on the independence of the samples. As soon as you start doing infilling or homogenization you are adding extra weight to some stations at the expense of others. It is a fatal mathematical flaw.

A more reliable method would be to randomly sample the RAW data and rely on the Central Limit Theorem. The biggest problem will be to correct for popukation movement from NE to SW during the past 150 years.

Harry Davidson
Reply to  ferdberple
November 3, 2020 11:34 am

Climate stats increasingly remind me of the great “Saccharin causes cancer” paper back in 1976. Not only did the data not prove that, it didn’t prove anything, but right down at the ‘might suggest’ level, it suggested that Saccharin had a mild preventative effect. That paper is still being quoted today as proof that Saccharin causes cancer.

Strangely the only people in science I know who believe insignificant man made global warming are doctors.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  ferdberple
November 3, 2020 2:29 pm

I wonder why this isn’t done this way? This is a good suggestion!

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ferdberple
November 4, 2020 7:14 am

Sampling is not even a good solution. To have good samples, each sample must be representative of population distribution. The CLT, even if proper, would still give you only the estimate of the mean of the population. The data you have is finite and the only data (that is, the entire population) that you have or will ever have. Simply find the mean and variance. Forget sampling, it is used when you don’t know the entire population.

You can not simply join two populations (that is, different station’s data) and find a common mean. You must also pay attention to the variances of each population. Generally the variance of the total will increase. See:
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/ap-statistics/random-variables-ap/combining-random-variables/a/combining-random-variables-article.

November 3, 2020 10:46 am

Climate4you.com maintains a record of these intentional and significant adjustments by GISS and NCDC in its Reports on Observations (monthly). By GISS at…..http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_September_2020.pdf
but for NCDC temperature manipulations go to earlier Monthly Reports of Observations e.g. ….
http://www.climate4you.com/Text/Climate4you_January_2014.pdf

Monthly manipulations of temperature records are completed by GISS and NCDC from the original temperature records for three dates January 2000 and January 1910 (January 2000 and January 2015 for NCDC). Recent changes of temperature show January 2000 record has been regularly increased by GISS from 0.17 deg C to 0.25 deg C from April 2008 to October 2020 while the January 1910 record has been decreased by GISS from -0.28 deg C to -0.41 deg C to produce an overall total upward adjustment (difference) of +0.66 deg C.

Similarly the total upward adjustment created by NCDC (increase of January 2000 plus downward adjustment of January 1915) is +0.51 deg C.

The manipulations are much clearer by using USHCN tavg_latest_raw_tar data to create your own analysis. For example rural stations in the State of Washington at Davenport and Dayton (far from urban heat islands) show century-scale consistent downward trends of -0.31 deg C. and -0.25 deg C. with the greatest decrease occurring since the heat waves of the 1930s-1940s.

Rich Enthoven
November 3, 2020 11:03 am

I am with a group that did a lot of this kind of work last spring. We downloaded the GHCN database for the continental US. 12,748 stations with 7.3 million station months. We looked at a lot of issues like missing data, changing station mixes, etc.

Notable findings included:
– The CONUS GISTEMP graph can be reproduced fairly closely using the adjusted temperatures and looking at stations that consistently reported from 1920 on. i.e. You don’t need gridding or interpolated readings for GISTEMP trend.
– The average adjustment of consistently reporting stations rose from a low of approx -.5 degrees C (colder) in 1936 to consistently positive adjustments (over zero) since 2007.
– The actual raw measured temperatures at the same set of stations does not show any positive temp trend since the 1920s. Cooling trend from 1920’s to 1980. Warming trend since then even in the raw data.
– Relocations of the stations don’t affect the average adjustment level.
– Large US airports (in top 50) have not had a consistent adjustment trend of any kind.
– Smaller US airports (name implies airport, not top 50) were adjusted -.4 degrees in the 1920 – mid 1930s and have been adjusted at or above zero since the mid 1990s.
– The geographic distribution of adjustments has been very inconsistent. For example, in 1934, the upper Midwest (MI, IL, IN, WI) were heavily adjusted colder when compared to the Rockies (NM, CO, AZ) which were adjusted much hotter during that year. In 2016, the middle states (Rockies to Mississippi River) of the US have been adjusted hotter while the NW US and mid atlantic coastal regions are adjusted colder.

Let me know if you would like further data from these studies.

Guy
Reply to  Rich Enthoven
November 3, 2020 12:39 pm

This looks interesting – yes please Rich, do let us see further data from your studies.

Dan Murphy
November 3, 2020 11:44 am

Andy,
Thanks for this post.

Please watch these 3 videos from Tony Heller. Besides having graphs that look very similar to yours, he also examines NOAA’s explanation for the TOD adjustments. NOAA’s logic sound good, but it can be tested by comparing stations that supposedly required TOD adjustments with those that did not. Tony shows that the TOD hypothesis is faulty.

https://realclimatescience.com/2020/10/new-video-alterations-to-the-us-temperature-record-part-one/
https://realclimatescience.com/2020/10/new-video-alterations-to-the-us-temperature-record-part-2/
https://realclimatescience.com/2020/10/new-video-how-the-us-temperature-record-is-being-altered-part-3/

I think we also need to ask the question of why NOAA is altering current measurements (post 2000) upward, especially if our measurement methodology and equipment is supposedly better than ever today.

Regarding the disappearing stations, we have to ask the question why have those stations been removed from the program. A valid reason might be that those stations suffer from recent urbanization, i.e. the urban heat island effect and are no longer good locations. An obviously invalid reason would be that those stations have shown a decreasing temperature trend that would go against the prevailing AGW narrative.

Leitwolf
November 3, 2020 12:07 pm

Essentially it is a representation of the Keeling Curve..

fred250
November 3, 2020 12:12 pm

For comparison, Here is USCRN and UAH 48

comment image

Surface temperatures seem to respond more in either direction, so the Big Blob/El Nino has caused a drift away from the ZERO TREND that existed until 2016, also a slight divergence between USCRN and UAH48 but both are now gradually leveling back out and the slight divergence disappearing..

comment image

November 3, 2020 12:12 pm

Andy
“The plots above show that the overall effect of the estimated, or “infilled,” final monthly average temperatures is a rapid recent rise in average temperature as is clearly seen in Figure 3. In Figure 3 the overall monthly averages from the estimated (“infilled”) final weather station values are averaged and then compared to the average of the real measurements, the raw data. This is not a station by station comparison.

More to the point, it is a comparison between two different sets of stations, representing different places. The main contribution to the difference in averages comes when one set just consists of hotter places. That isn’t related to changes in weather or climate. And the set of raw stations varies from month to month. I know it is a favorite activity of Tony Heller, but you just can’t usefully subtract the averages of two different and inhomogeneous datasets.

And, as Mosh and I endlessly remind, USHCN was replaced in March 2014 by nClimDiv for CONUS averages. You can still get the data for the USHCN list of stations if you want, and make up your own averages. That is your activity; it is not something that NOAA does.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 1:47 pm

” nClimDiv for CONUS averages”

And shows NO WARMING since 2005.

Your point is…….. meaningless, Nick.

You are just trying to hide the data tampering by yapping from behind a 6ft fence.

fred250
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 3, 2020 3:20 pm

“You can still get the data for the USHCN list of stations if you want, and make up your own averages”

And it shows this… comment image

fred250
November 3, 2020 12:19 pm

USCRN has got the data tampering under control,

… so much so that Climdiv matches USCRN almost exactly, and has no effective warming since 2005

Just the bulge from the 2015 -> Big Blob/El Nino effect, now nearly disappeared.

comment image

Certainly, I would not trust anything before USCRN, it is so totally adjusted, infilled and tortured as to be worthless.

ron sterren
November 3, 2020 12:38 pm

I would love to see a plot of only data recorded compared to data with estimates included.
I would also like to see a year by year plot of stations that were removed and if they were rural or city stations.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  ron sterren
November 6, 2020 2:15 am

no difference

RickWill
November 3, 2020 12:47 pm

Any temperature measurement that shows global warming or cooling is suspect. Earth’s sea surface temperature is tightly controlled with 271.3K the lower limit and 305K the upper limit. Ocean circulations can shift averages slightly between these limits but the limits are firm; no surprise that the global surface temperature is close to the arithmetic mean of these limits 288K. The moored buoys in the tropical oceans have no trend:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg3LJuByjstkozrzc
Unlike the rubbish that comes out of climate models.

Bindidon
Reply to  RickWill
November 3, 2020 4:11 pm

RickWill

Again nonsense, like your comment I replied to this afternoon:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/11/02/uah-global-temperature-update-for-october-2020-0-54-deg-c/#comment-3117974
*
How can you compare a tiny region like the Tropical Pacific with the rest of the World?
That is disingenuous AND incompetent.

I tell you this: instead of endlessly criticizing people on the basis of vague assumptions, try to learn what they really do.

J.-P. D.

fred250
November 3, 2020 1:27 pm

Funny what you can find if you go looking

comment image

fred250
November 3, 2020 2:02 pm

Which data does the US public get to see via the MSM?

Climdiv, with no warming since 2005, or USHCN fake data ?

fred250
November 3, 2020 3:06 pm

We can see from NOAA data 2000 when the hottest period in the USA was

comment image

Brief gap then no more warming from 2005.

November 3, 2020 3:46 pm

So another version of the huge problem of uneven data from surface stations and weather balloons.

Recall at one point that a big government database had only one reporting station north of 60 – the variable one at Alert, near 80N and Greenland. Location chosen long ago for a usable harbour to set up an establishment there. Subject to a Foehn wind.

Then there are the oceans, with reporting variable, much of from ship engine coolant water flows with measurement not intended as climate data and with questionable accuracy. (I ask if location is recorded with temperature, because local weather varies short term.) Certainly not in the days before SATNAV, except in coastal areas covered by Loran C.

Yes, satellites cover the globe but alarmists evade that data?

TheFinalNail
Reply to  Keith Sketchley
November 4, 2020 10:34 pm

Keith Sketchley

“Yes, satellites cover the globe but alarmists evade that data?”

The differences, in terms of both scale and trend, between the 2 main global satellite (lower troposphere) temperature producers are much greater than those between the surface data producers. Especially since 1998 when AMSU radiometers came into use. UAH v6 is consistently cooler than RSS v4 when both are set to the same anomaly base.

The overall warming trend since 1979 in UAH (+0.14 C/dec) is also substantially lower than that in RSS (+0.22 C/dec). By contrast, differences in the trends of the surface data sets over the same period are relatively small (+0.17; +0.19; +0.18 C/dec; HadCRUT, GISS and NCDC respectively).

Changes between versions of satellite data sets also tend to produce large fluctuations in trend. UAH v6 (2015) reduced the global warming trend in the previous version by -0.03C/dec. RSS v4 (2017) increased the trend in the previous version by +0.05C/dec. You often see the satellite data sets described as “pristine” or similar; but disagreements between producers over how to interpret AMSU data and the sometimes radical trend changes that can accompany updates suggests they are not quite there yet.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
November 5, 2020 4:07 am

Indeed there was an ‘overall warming trend’ beginning in ~1970s, but it ended, replaced by an overall cooling trend since then. How did the satellites miss it?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  TheFinalNail
November 6, 2020 7:03 am

UAH has a horrible bias over land, northern land, post 1997.
the reason is simple

Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 3:04 am

jesus guys

“https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/background

NCEI now uses a new dataset, nClimDiv, to determine the contiguous United States (CONUS) temperature. This new dataset is derived from a gridded instance of the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN-Daily), known as nClimGrid.

Previously, NCEI used a 2.5° longitude by 3.5° latitude gridded analysis of monthly temperatures from the 1,218 stations in the US Historical Climatology Network (USHCN v2.5) for its CONUS temperature. The new dataset interpolates to a much finer-mesh grid (about 5km by 5km) and incorporates values from several thousand more stations available in GHCN-Daily. In addition, monthly temperatures from stations in adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico aid in the interpolation of U.S. anomalies near the borders.

The switch to nClimDiv has little effect on the average national temperature trend or on relative rankings for individual years, because the new dataset uses the same set of algorithms and corrections applied in the production of the USHCN v2.5 dataset. However, although both the USHCN v2.5 and nClimDiv yield comparable trends, the finer resolution dataset more explicitly accounts for variations in topography (e.g., mountainous areas). Therefore, the baseline temperature, to which the national temperature anomaly is applied, is cooler for nClimDiv than for USHCN v2.5. This new baseline affects anomalies for all years equally, and thus does not alter our understanding of trends.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Comparison of national nClimDiv normals and national USCRN estimated normals for each month of the year for maximum, mean and minimum temperatures.
So as not to compare apples and oranges, the departures of nClimDiv and the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN) values from normal values for each network are compared rather than the absolute values. The 30 years from 1981 through 2010 provide the basis for the normal period for each month and network. Data exist for nClimDiv from 1895 to present, so a normal is simply the 30-year average of the gridded data. USCRN observations since commissioning to the present (4-9 years) were used to find relationships to nearby COOP stations and estimate normals at the USCRN sites using the normals at the surrounding COOP sites derived from full 1981-2010 records (Sun and Peterson, 2005). The normal values for each month are then subtracted from each monthly temperature average to create anomalies or departures from normal that can be compared between networks over time. In the final step, the station data are interpolated to 0.25° latitude by 0.25° longitude grids over the lower 48 states and then combined in an area weighted average for the whole U.S. The final results of this process are the monthly National Temperature Index (NTI) values for nClimDiv and USCRN. Figure 1 displays the differences between nClimDiv normals and USCRN estimated normals for national maximum, mean and minimum temperature. Since the normal values in each of the networks do not maintain the same relationship from month-to-month, comparing absolute values would be confusing.

Figure 2
Figure 2: Comparison of annual national anomalies for the nClimDiv (solid) and USCRN (dashed) maximum (red), mean (green) and minimum (blue) temperatures.
In addition to comparing NTI’s for nClimDiv and USCRN for 1 month, users may compare anomalies between nClimDiv and USCRN for the last 3, 6, 12 months, year-to-date (YTD), and annual periods. These are available on the time series graphing page. Close agreement between these two datasets demonstrates that nClimDiv and USCRN are both capable of accurately measuring the surface air temperature of the U.S. currently, in the past, and into the future. By verifying the USCRN result, the nClimDiv shows that a network with a relatively small number of carefully located and extremely accurate stations can represent the U.S. temperature record into the future. Having both is the best of all worlds, two records moving in lockstep into the future and providing independent verification of the temperature changes in the U.S. during the coming century. Close agreement between these two datasets demonstrates that nClimDiv and USCRN are both capable of accurately measuring the surface air temperature of the U.S. currently, in the past, and into the future (Figure 2).

A more detailed description of the nClimGrid dataset, which is used to compute nClimDiv, is available as Vose et al., 2014. Interested users are encouraged to read Vose et al., 2014 and its citations for further information.

References
Sun, B. and T. C. Peterson, 2005: Estimating temperature normals for USCRN stations. Int. J. Climatol., 25: 1809-1817. doi: 10.1002/joc.1220.
Vose, R.S., Applequist, S., Durre, I., Menne, M.J., Williams, C.N., Fenimore, C., Gleason, K., Arndt, D. 2014: Improved Historical Temperature and Precipitation Time Series For U.S. Climate Divisions Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0248.1

Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 3:11 am

The transition away from USHCN was announced in 2011

Fennimore et. al., Transitioning…, NOAA/NEDIS/NCDC (2011)

and completed in 2014

Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 3:15 am

Nasa GISS used to use USCHN for input into global data

they STOPPED USING IT IN 2011

They HAVE NOT USED USHCN SINCE 2011

FFS people read the manual

https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates_v3/

See the BOTTOM entry in the change log

January 18, 2017: The legacy code, a mixture of Fortran/Python/C/sh routines was replaced by a pure Python code, an adaptation of the work done by the Clear Climate Code team. The results of the two codes are not identical, but the differences are well within the accuracy of the whole method. Global mean estimates e.g. may differ by an occasional ±0.01°C.

The new version of the code is made available on this site. A slightly modified version was made available at 6 PM EST to deal with the possibility that the switch to “https” might prevent a successful download of the input files.

October 21, 2016: While restructuring the “Station Data” site in April 2016, a bug was introduced in the utility creating the text and CSV tables of the station data. It caused the skipping of some years. That bug was fixed. It had no impact on the graph or any other part of the analysis. Thanks to David Appell for bringing it to our attention.

September 12, 2016: The gridding process was slightly modified at the poles: Rather than treating the 40 sub-boxes ending at the North pole and at the South pole as individual boxes with centers at 84N and 84S respectively, they are now combined into a single box centered at the pole. The impact of this change on the global means is insignificant; however the maps look somewhat more realistic in the polar regions.

May 13, 2016: Some temperature series from GHCN and the various SCAR sources turned out to be identical, but we treated them as separate stations, giving too much weight to such a series compared to neighboring stations during the gridding process. Now we are only using one of these series; if possible we select the SCAR READER/surface data, else the GHCN data; we use the remaining two SCAR sources only if no other data are available for that location. The impact on the results was minimal (less than 0.01°C for the global monthly means). This was done by including these duplicate stations into the list of discarded records. The downloadable source package was updated correspondingly.

January 20, 2016: Some tables are now presented in human-readable as well as machine-readable CSV format. Unfortunately, the wrong files were used. That mishap was corrected at 5:30 PM; however, the replacement files were created by a newer version of the GISS analysis. On 1/21/2016 they were replaced by the proper files.

The currently used SCAR data are made available from the main GISTEMP site. The animations were updated to include the most recent data.

The maps page has been updated and uses a rewritten program to generate the map and the zonal line plot. Plots for the most recent available month are displayed when the page is first loaded. We anticipate making related updates to the station data and graphs pages in the coming weeks.

July 19, 2015: The data and results put on the public site on July 15 were affected by a bug in the ERSST v4 part of the automated incremental update procedure. The analysis was re-done after recreating the full version of SBBX.ERSSTv4 separately. We would like to acknowledge and thank Nick Stokes for noticing that there might be a problem with these data.

July 15, 2015: Starting with today’s update, the standard GISS analysis is no longer based on ERSST v3b but on the newer ERSST v4. Dr. Makiko Sato created some graphs and maps showing the effect of that change. More information may be obtained from NOAA/NCDC’s website. Furthermore, we eliminated GHCN’s Amundsen-Scott temperature series using just the SCAR reports for the South Pole.

June 13, 2015: NOAA’s NCEI (formerly NCDC) switched from v3.2.2 to the new release v3.3.0 of the adjusted GHCN, which is our basic source. This upgrade included filling some gaps in a few station records and fixing some small bugs in the homogenization procedure. NCEI’s description of those changes is available here. One of the impacts was removing some data that the GISS procedure had always eliminated and the list of GISS corrections was correspondingly reduced. Hence the (insignificant) impact on the GISS analysis was slightly different from the impact described in that document. The changes produced a decrease of 0.006°C/decade for the 1880 to 2014 trend of the annual mean land surface air temperature rather than the 0.003°C/decade increase reported by NCEI. Both are substantially less than the margin of error for that quantity (±0.016°C/decade). Impacts on the changes of the annual Land-Ocean temperature index (global surface air temperature) were about 5 to 10 times smaller than the margin of error for those estimates.

Please note that neither the land data nor the ocean data used in this analysis are the ones used in the NCEI paper “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus” that appeared on June 4, 2015. For the ocean data, GISS still uses ERSST v3b rather than the newer ERSST v4, but will switch to that file next month, when we add the June 2015 data; the collection of land station data used in that paper includes many more sources than GHCN v3.3.0 and will probably be incorporated into a future GHCN v4.

May 15, 2015: Due to an oversight several Antarctic stations were excluded from the analysis on May 13, 2015. The analysis was repeated today after including those stations.

February 14, 2015: UK Press reports in January 2015 erroneously claimed that differences between the raw GHCNv2 station data (archived here) and the current final GISTEMP adjusted data were due to unjustified positive adjustments made in the GISTEMP analysis. Rather, these differences are dominated by the inclusion of appropriate homogeneity corrections for non-climatic discontinuities made in GHCN v3.2 in 2011/2012. See the earlier notes from December 14, 2011 and September 26, 2012; more details are provided in the FAQ.

December 29, 2014: The title on the US temperature graph was corrected by replacing “Continental US” by “Contiguous US”. References to the corresponding graphs in the literature were updated.

September 15, 2014: Color maps using the Robinson projection or polar projection are now presented without contour smoothing, since that process occasionally results in skipping some color bands. It seems however to work fine for the equirectangular projection.

July 14, 2014: The missing China May 2014 reports became available and are now part of our analysis. That correction increased the global May 2014 anomaly by a statistically insignificant 0.002°C.

June 17, 2014: Analysis was delayed hoping the missing reports from China would become available. Unfortunately, this has not been the case yet. Please note, that the current May 2014 data are therefore not directly comparable to previous records.

Febuary 14, 2014: Two January 2014 reports from Greenland (Godthab Nuuk and Angmagssalik) and one from Mongolia (Dauunmod) were disregarded since they seemed unusual and proved to be inconsistent with other reports.

January 21, 2014: The GISS analysis was repeated this morning based on today’s status of the GHCN data. The changes were well within the margin of error, e.g. the L-OTI mean for 2013 changed from 0.6048±0.02°C to 0.6065±0.02°C, a change of less than 0.002°C. However, rounding to 2 digits for the L-OTI table changed the 0.60°C used in some documents prepared last week to 0.61°C. This minuscule change also moved year 2013 from a tie for the 7th place to a tie for the 6th place in the GISS ranking of warmest years, demonstrating how non-robust these rankings are.

January 21, 2014: The GISTEMP maps webpage now defaults to using the Robinson map projection. The previous default “regular” projection is labeled as Equirectangular.

August 14, 2013: The July 2013 report from Jaskul (46.2N, 45.4E) is inconsistent with its June 2013 report unlike the reports from neighboring stations. In that region, the July mean has been consistently higher than the June mean and not 4.3°C colder as the current report would indicate. Hence that report was not used in our analysis.

May 24, 2013: The time series and seasonal cycle website plotting tools were restored, which completes the return of the interactive features disabled in January. A problem with porting graphics software between servers led to a longer delay than expected.

May 15, 2013: The 3/3013 report from Dushanbe was corrected and the 3/3013 report from Kuwait was deleted in GHCN v3, so that these two GISS deletions were dropped.

April 15, 2013: Two March 2013 reports, one from Kuwait International Airport and one from Dushanbe (38.5N, 68.8E), did not agree with neighboring reports or with Weather Underground data. Hence they were not used in our analysis. The faulty February 2013 report from Nema was replaced by a corrected report in GHCN v3.

April 1, 2013: A comparison of our global analysis using NOAA ERSST (our current approach) for ocean temperature as opposed to NOAA OISST concatenated with HadSST1 is available on Dr. Sato’s webpage.

March 21, 2013: This update was delayed by an investigation of some unrealistic looking reports from various stations in Mongolia. NCDC eliminated the reports today. In addition, the February 2013 report from Nema also seems unrealistic and has been eliminated. Finally, from now on we will incorporate into our analysis the reconstructed Byrd station data provided by Prof. David Bromwich.

February 24, 2013: The GISTEMP maps and station data website plotting tools were restored.

January 16, 2013: Starting with the January 2013 update, NCDC’s ERSST v3b data will be used to estimate the surface air temperature anomalies over the ocean instead of a combination of Reynold’s OISST (1982 to present) and data obtained from the Hadley Center (1880-1981).

January 14, 2013: Due to technical problems with the webserver onto which the GISTEMP webpages were recently migrated, interactive plotting tools such as making maps of the surface temperature anomaly and line plots of station data were disabled as the site was migrated onto newer hardware.

November 19, 2012: The machine which hosted the GISTEMP web pages will be decommissioned shortly, and all files and utilities have been moved to a new server. As the new machine uses a different architecture and OS, many utilities required some adjustment. Please send email to reto.a.ruedy@nasa.gov if you notice any problems.

September 26, 2012: NOAA/NCDC replaced GHCN v3.1 by GHCN v3.2. Hence the GISS analysis is based on that product starting 9/14/2012. Version v3.2 differs from v3.1 by minor changes in the homogenization of the unadjusted data. A description of the modifications in the adjustment scheme and their effects are available here.

February 17, 2012: The analysis was redone on Feb 17 after learning from NOAA/NCDC that the operational version of GHCN v3 was only made available that afternoon.

February 12, 2012: The reported December 2011 data for the stations LIEPAJA, ALEKSANDROVSK, and ST.PETERSBURG were replaced by corrected reports and the strange Dec 1991 report from MALAKAL is no longer part of the adjusted GHCN v3. The corresponding entries in the GISS list of suspicious data were removed.

January 18, 2012: The reported December 2011 data for the stations LIEPAJA, ALEKSANDROVSK, and ST.PETERSBURG were clearly incorrect and were discarded. Also, a likely artificial discontinuity for the station record of SHIQUANHE was eliminated by disregarding the data for 2005-present.

December 14, 2011: GHCN v2 and USHCN data were replaced by the adjusted GHCN v3 data. This simplified the combination procedure since some steps became redundant (combining different station records for the same location, adjusting for the station move in the St. Helena record, etc). See related figures.

Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 4:06 am

Andy

it is important to distinguish SOURCE data from data collections

SOURCE data is data from which collections are made.

USHCn is not source data. it is a collection made from various SOURCES

source datasets are things like RAWS, SNOTEL, ASOS, SOD, GCOS, and ISH, USCRN, USRCRN, GHCND,
COOP, EC,NIFC,SNM
there are many many source datasets
these can be minute by minute, hour by hour, synoptic, or once daily

USHCN is collection of a TINY NUMBER of stations that is constructed from these UR sources
Then adjustments are made to USHCN. TOB and PHa

TOB is SPECIFIC to TWO datasets

USHCN and nCLIMDIV

The TOB adjustment is used to set all observations to a consistent recording time of midnight.

GHCN— global historical climate network has about 16 different sources
it does not use TOB. it cannot. it uses PHA exclusively

For global climate studies the suppliers of data products take GISS as an example
don’t use USHCN, they use GHCN M ( version 4)

later I will upload a bunch of TOB papers for you.

bottom line if yu read heller he doesn’t understand

A) USHCN is not used by GISS
B) TOB is NOT the result of “double counting” TMAX

it’s way more complex than that.

PS, I don’t have the 13 month problem maybe you read the data in wrong. let me double check

Steven Mosher
November 6, 2020 7:00 am

So Andy on TOB.

The 13th column is the yearly average as best I can recall. You can double check this, but I think
they do a yearly average and then round up and stuff it in column 13 I can write a quick program to verify, but I recall this from many years ago.

So on to TOB.

It is NOT due SOLEY to the Double counting of TMAX as some people think. It is more complicated than that. ONE part of the bias comes from counting previous month’s days as current month’s days.

Some explanation is required here. The official way to measure temperature is from midnight to
midnight. Stations that do this are called FIRST ORDER stations because they are the best. All over the
world this is the standard. You measure midnight to midnight. That’s the day. So Oct 31 ends midnight
Oct 31. The USA does have FIRST ORDER stations. These are NWS stations, FAA, Airforce, and navy.
A lot of these are in DSI-3210 as a primary source. First order stations will have minute by minute data,
or sometimes hourly, sometimes synoptic, and sometimes min max taken at midnight.

In the USA however, we decided to also let volunteers and citizens collect temperatures. No one could expect them to get up at night and read the thermometer. So they were allowed to record the temp at whatever time they pleased. 7AM, noon, evening. In this scheme they would record from noon Oct 31 to noon Nov 1
and call that period a day. When in truth it spreads over 2 dates. So comes the problem. Is the data
used as Nov 1 or Oct 31? well to monthly averages it matters.

Now in months where there isn’t a huge monthly swing ( say summer in the midwest) the “end of month
effect” ( also called “drift” in the literature) will be small. In winter months it is bigger.

Next comes the “cold front” effect. In months where a cold front comes in before your measurement taking
a morning cold event will replace the previous evenings cold temp. When you check the USHCN TOB data you will see that adjustments are made to TMIN as well as TMAX. Finally, in SOME months in SOME regions you will also get a bias to TMAX.

The bias comes about NOT by double counting TMAX solely (like some think). The bias comes from end of month shifting, from cold fronts plowing through and from the timing of TMAX relative to the time you collect. Both Tmin and Tmax are impacted and the cause isn’t simply double counting.

Also, if you want to see the effect, understand that it changes based on the month and the region

IF you want to see little effect from TOB, then look at the summer because the Time of Observation bias is small in the summer. If the temperature gradient throughout the month is low
and if there are no cold fronts and if the hottest part of the day occurs later then you’ll have small bias.
If you want to see bigger effects then look in the other seasons, like spring and winter.

The other thing you want to do to find little bias is check out particular states. Certain parts of the country have small TOB. Karl 86 details this in some hard to read charts. Other areas will have larger TOB. It is all geography dependent.

So if you want to pick cherries (like some) you can pick different seasons and different regions and show anything you want to: no change from TOB, negative changes, and positive changes. you can cause
a lot of confusion if that’s your thing.

Now on to the history. Short version. yes TOB is real. It mattered to INDUSTRY before it matter to
climate scientists. It’s a systematic bias that can be removed. It is a USA problem. Global dataset
do not EXPLICITLY correct for it

History

#1 Ellis 1890
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iAY-6y7bFVDja6lAWhoUQMa8e4-0xqaU/view?usp=sharing
Ellis details the BIAS that comes from changing the time at which a min max reading is taken

“Examining the various columns of Table I. it is seen how persistent is the
tendency to difference in one direction. Especially is this so as regards the
means of the minimum readings, which not only differ more than do those of the
maximum readings, but differ also by amounts that vary considerably with the
time of year, being apparently greatest in spring and autumn, less in summer,
and least, being indeed reversed in direction, in winter. The difference between
the means of the minimum readings in the month of September is esiiecially
remarkable, particularly in the year 1886.”

$$$$$$$$$$$

Next up is Mitchell circa 1958

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IMAVEdgjAcCVoYj83woXYlAxFB8M7FhU/view?usp=sharing

“In the United States, mean temperatures are
customarily derived from half the sum of the
daily maximum and minimum temperatures

occurring in the 24-hr period ending at obser-
vation time. In the case of first-order Weather

Bureau stations, this observation time nearly coin-
cides with midnight. In the case of the thousands

of cooperative stations throughout the country,
however, each voluntary observer is granted wide

latitude in selecting an observation time compati-
ble with his personal routine and with his own

use of the climatological data. Most observers

take their observations either in the early morn-
ing (near 0800), in the late afternoon (near

1700), or at the seasonally varying hour of sunset.

Nearly all of them share an understandable re-
luctance to read their extreme thermometers at

midnight.

The typical long-record cooperative station has
been manned during its history by a succession of
observers, sometimes succeeding generations of a
single family. Many changes of observer have
coincided with changes in station location, but

others evidently have not [9]. In the latter in-
stances, as in the former, it is reasonable to expect

a discontinuity of record, inasmuch as no two
observers are likely to have identical observing
schedules. There is also the possibility, of course,
that an observer finds it necessary to vary his
observation time at regular or irregular intervals,
however slightly, and not be disposed to note the

fact on his observation forms. The essential ques-
tion to be answered is: what is the typical range

of error introduced into climatological temperature
records by these events?”

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

next up is Schall agronomy department at Purdue, circa 1970s

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dlhxW2AelcBQRC3IaDHyuQkHH5ygBadA/view?usp=sharing

I include Schall because you can see the issue this bias has on agriculture and predicting fossil fuel
use for industry.

Next up is Baker, soil science

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1csFut2iL9E9rZLZOuyzugWlNLSbbs1tO/view?usp=sharing

If you want to understand TOB you have to read baker.

next up is Head. Phd thesis so it’s clear and easy to understand and has a good bibliography

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15aB5Qy4U3bMWFve3V5DE-HjvrF2BHFby/view?usp=sharing

Since TOB is SYSTEMATIC BIAS, the bias is amenable to correction. Head’s Phd is one of the first
attempts to estimate this systematic bias for a large USA area.

next is Karl 86

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bPxk6OXT-AYTMxH9ykChKe_2M9Yb0tkw/view?usp=sharing

A few points about karl

1. It forms the basis of the code used to correct for the systematic BIAS that comes when you CHANGE
your time of observation.
2.The Correction is USA specific. It only works with USA data. This is why it isn’t used on global
data. Also, Countries outside the USA don’t have this problem generally. The USA does because
we mixed FIRST ORDER stations ( midnight to midnight) with CIVILIAN VOLUNTEER data COOP data.

3. TOB adjustments are POSITIVE and NEGATIVE
4. TOB adjustment are different MONTH TO MONTH
5. TOB adjustments are different for different parts of the USA.

lastly is Vose

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PCzXXAhi8z9PvlDkbN6XHvI0J-1ydjmZ/view?usp=sharing

Vose is a verification of the adjustment code.

now, everyone has a cow about TOB. but

1. the bias is real, documented in the literature back to 1890
2. the skeptic John Daly CONFIRMED the existence of this bias.
3. The Bias is systematic but geographically and seasonally complex
4. The bias can be positive, negative, big, small, and seasonally and geographically dependent.
5. IF you never CHANGE your time of observation there will be NO TREND ERROR
6. In the USA volunteers changed their time of observation. This introduced TREND errors
7. the trend errors happen in Tmin, Tmax, and Tavg.
8. Volunteers often changed their time of observation multiple times!
9. the bias does not come SOLEY from “double counting” of TMAX, TMIN can also be
double counted and there is a end of month drift problem.
10. In the USA summer months are least impacted.
11. TOB is used exclusively in USHCN and nCLIMDIV
12.USHCN and nCLIMDIV run TOB first, and then Pha
13. USHCN is not an official data collection anymore, nCLIMDIV is official record of the USA
14. USHCN uses 1218 stations derived from 11 different original sources.
15. nCLIMDIV uses 10000 stations derived from even more sources than USHCN
16. Most global climate records use GHCN M (monthly) as their source
17. GHCN M does not use TOB adjustments. it uses PHA.

the simple fact is PHA can also “find” and correct any TOB so the TOB program is redundant.

PHA is here
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3/software/52i/

it has been open and available for test forever.

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