[asa] NASA quickly changes climate history data.

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu Aug 09 2007 - 20:33:56 EDT

Note that ClimateAudit's server is down at the
moment probably due to too much traffic trying to
access the web site. :) ~ Janice

Hawkins: Earth may Reach 250 Degrees C! ! ! ! ! -
Actress Stops Washing Hair to save the earth -
1934 Now Warmest Year in U.S. History

Excerpt of one item at above link:

Steve McIntyre: "I observed recently that
Hansen’s GISS series contains an apparent error
in which Hansen switched the source of GISS raw
from USHCN adjusted to USHCN raw for all values
January 2000 and later. For Detroit Lakes MN,
this introduced an error of 0.8 deg C. I’ve
collated GISS raw minus USHCN adjusted for all
USHCN sites (using the data scraped from the GISS
site, for which I was most criticized in
Rabett-world). Figure 1 below shows a histogram
of the January 2000 step for the 1221 stations
(calculated here as the difference between the
average of the difference after Jan 2000 and for
the 1990-1999 period.) < > NASA admits error:
“When we did our monthly update this morning, an
offset based on the last 10 years of overlap in
the two data sets was applied and our on-line
documentation was changed correspondingly with an
acknowledgment of your contribution. This change
and its effect will be noted in our next paper on
temperature analysis and in our end-of-year
temperature summary.”
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1868 (Stay tuned
for this developing story) [snip]


Did Media Or NASA Withhold Climate History Data Changes From The Public?
Sheppard | August 9, 2007 - 11:30 ET

A change in climate history data at NASA's
Goddard Institute for Space Studies recently
occurred which dramatically alters the debate
over global warming. Yet, this transpired with no
official announcement from GISS head James
Hansen, and went unreported until Steve McIntyre
of <http://www.climateaudit.org/>Climate Audit discovered it Wednesday.

Comment: August 9, 2007 - 14:40 ET

Reuters has a story right now that claims the
coming years will be hotter than 1998, which they
say is the warmest on record. I wonder if the
story will be corrected in light of this new
info. You can see the story on drudge.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
New Rankings for Warmest Years

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

With the changes to the GISS data made today
after an error was found by Stephen McIntyre,
1998 falls to #2 behind 1934 as the warmest year,
followed by 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999 and
1953. Expect more changes to come in the months
ahead as more scrutiny of the data bases takes
place. Note in the graph below, the peak in the
five year mean around 2000 is a mere 0.25F higher
than that in the early 1930s. [Click above link to see chart]

10 of the top 20 warmest years occcurred since
1980, 10 from the 1920s to 1950s. Only 4 of the
top 10 occurred since the 1980s, 6 fell in the
prior warm period. See details of the new
rankings <http://icecap.us/images/uploads/NEW_RANKINGS.pdf>here.

Don’t expect any press releases from NASA or NOAA
about this change nor much coverage on the networks or major newspapers.


GISS Has Reranked US Temperature Anomalies
Filed under:
Change Metrics Roger Pielke Sr. @ 4:42 pm 08/08/2007

The hard work of of Steve McIntyre
Audit) and Anthony Watts
has resulted in the identification of a
significant error in the assessment of the
rankings of what have been the warmest years in
the United States as identified by GISS. The
current warmest year is 1934. This new
information can be read at

Climate Science recognizes that this adjustment
by GISS is but one of a slew of issues they need
to explore, however, it is a clear example of the
value of the research that Anthony and Steve are doing.

Congratulations for this achievement!

44 Comments [so far]

Comment #1
    * A comment from a long time lurker:
ClimateAudit and surfacestations are due
applause. The self-proclaimed experts have
deceived themselves. Also your efforts of
documenting/photographing climate stations are
bearing fruit with this increased attention. Time
and further efforts of surfacestations will
ascertain the “quality” of climate stations and
how much credibility should be placed on the
“adjustments” made by Jones and Hansen. The
evidence to date does not look good for the
latter. Comment by Mike Rankin August 8, 2007 @ 5:03 pm
Comment #7
    * GISS may well have to adjust 2006 down a
bit further [as Steve M observes, it’s only been
adjusted down by 0.10 as compared to 0.15 for all
other years]. As it stands, we are looking at a
bladeless “Hockey Stick”, and for all intents and
purposes at the falsification of the
anthropogenic warming hypothesis for North America.
    * Of particular note is that the Climate
Audit piece indicates that GISS has erased the
old [unadjusted] data, giving it the makings of
an excercise in covering one’s tracks. The
legality of this must be questionable given that
we are dealing a federally funded agency. Astounding.
    * Comment by tetris August 8, 2007 @ 7:01 pm
Comment #9
    * I have made my 3rd request for access to
GISS source code to try to decode what they do.
They have refused prior requests. Lack of access
to source code makes this sort of exercise far
more time consuming than it ought to be.
Yesterday they completely overwrote their US data
set, changing virtually every number prior to
2000, explaining this only with a cursory comment
on their webpage. In addition, they have changed
their UHI adjustments so that in many cases the
changed UHI adjustments offset the error in their “raw” data.
    * Even before these change, I was unable to
track their pre-2000 data to any archive. It was
sort of like USHCN adjusted data in the 1990s but
diverged in earlier periods. I’ve requested a
copy of the original data set or information on its provenance.
    * I would welcome letters to GISS urging them
to fully disclose their source code.

    * BTW the CRU situation is much worse as they
have refused to even identify the stations that
they use. In fairness to GISS, they provided
enough information that you could leverage on it,
but CRU has resolutely refused such information.
    * Comment by <http://climateaudit.org>Steve
McIntyre August 8, 2007 @ 10:03 pm
Comment #12
    * Re: 6 Steve Bloom
    * That a good number of publicly funded
research groups [no use pointing fingers here, I
trust], all openly advocates of AGW, over the
past decade or so have got away with the
perversion of withholding the basic data
purported to underpin their “climate science” is
in the process of coming to an end. The
unravelling of the GISS temperature story has
only just begun and is bound to have
repercussions. You can fool all of the people
some of the time, some of the people all of the
time, but not both. The non-scientific,
professional press have been airing questions
about the IPCC “science” for some time now, and
the mainstream media are picking up on the fact
that some things don’t smell all too good in the
AGW/Climate Change larder. It’s bound to get hot
in certain academic circles when the blame starts
getting past around. Just a Reality Check.
Nothing to do with paranoia. Comment by tetris August 9, 2007 @ 12:13 am
Comment #14
    * Steve, First, congratulations. I’ve been a
lurker at your site for about 6 months now and am
very impressed at how you and other contributors
are willing to wade in and get your hands dirty
with raw data (if you’ll pardon the slightly
mangled metaphor). Your patience and hard work
have paid off handsomely for everyone.
    * Now my question, regarding data and source
code: NASA/GISS is a publicly funded entity, yes?
Isn’t there some law(s) that states that
everything obtained by publicly funded research
belongs to the public? Does anyone out there
know? Maybe the uber-wonk, Peilke Jr.?If the
tradition of scientific glasnost is decaying, this could be the needed lever.
    * Keep up the good work; you must be doing
something right to have the AGW evangelicals so aroused.
    * PS: I notice that many posters put a pithy
saying under their closing, and as I’m starting
to post comments now and again, I thought I
should have one too; so I naturally turned to my
hero, Richard Feynman. I finally managed to glean
just 2, but since I can’t bear to give one up, I’ll post both:
    * “Science: Belief in the ignorance of experts.”
    * “What is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.”
    * Comment by PaddikJ August 9, 2007 @ 2:31 am
Comment #15
    * ..The whole issue came up because of some
photos Anthony Watts volunteers took of the
Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN site in July.

    * Climate Audit first commented on the Detroit Lakes site on July 26th.


    * The debate/discussion continued with a post
at <http://rabett.blogspot.com/>http://rabett.blogspot.com/ on August 1st.
    * With a further look at the data, Steve
McIntyre discovered the Y2K error and announced it on August 3rd.


    * And NASA corrected it’s GISTEMP data on August 7th. I believe.

    * <http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/>http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
    * All happened very fast.
    * Possibly Steve McIntyre could comment on
whether or when he thinks the Y2K error would
have been discovered if these photos had not been taken.

    * And while it appears Anthony Watts
intentions were only to document this site, its
unintended consequences have resulted in a
significant correction to NASA’s GISTEMP records
for all of the US. (And within 20 days of the photos being taken!)
    * Very interesting (and valuable) work.
    * Comment by Paul G. August 9, 2007 @ 2:57 am
Comment #30
    * Re: 24 goinggreen
    * You do not appear to understand the
implications of the GISS adjustments: if CO2 is a
so called greenhouse gas, it was supposed to
force an increase in temperatures. This has not
happened and is not happening. 1934, during the
Depression and the ensuing economic downturn [=
less use of hydrocarbons = less CO2] is the
warmest year on record since 1900. There is no
post-1998 Hockey Stick as forecast by the IPCC.
The CO2 based AGW hypothesis has been falsified. Back to the drawing board.
    * Re: 29 Robert Wood
    * You latter comment is spot on. The same
observation was a the heart of recent article in
World Economics, which refers to the very strong
bias in the information served to up the
population via the IPCC, and in an article in
last week’s Financial Times of London with the
well chosen title “The Steamrollers of Climate”.
    * I note with interest that several outspoken
CO2 driven AGW proponents are now furiously
trying to broaden the hypothesis to include a
wide range of unspecified anthropogenic elements
in an even broader and nebulous concept of global
climate change. Comment by tetris August 9, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
Comment #36
    * Re:#20, Among other things, the change
refutes the claim by AGW alarmists that the
temperatures at the end of the 20th century were
the “warmest in a millllllion years!”. In fact,
the last decade of the 20th century wasn’t even warmer than the 1930s.

    * Also, as others have said, this was the low
hanging fruit. The error noted by Steve M. was
obvious, its source was obvious, and the fix was
obvious. The keepers of the data could not argue
against it and so they caved in and adjusted their data in less than a week.

    * The fact that one error had such a profound
impact on a key piece of hype that is used to
push the need for drastic action should make
everybody pause and wonder what the eventual
outcome will be of the broader issues being
looked at by Anthony Watts and his volunteer observers.
    * What happens if there is another tenth of a
degree (or more) taken out of the dataset by
errors and biases uncovered there? Doesn’t that
begin to call into question the whole theory of
AGW? If the models can account for warming up to
the 1950s with natural forcings, but not all of
the warming since 1980, then what happens if that
chunk of the post-1980s warming is found to be
error or measurement artifacts? Will the experts
admit that the models can account for all warming
with natural forcings? Then what? The wheels fall
off the AlGore snake-oil-mobile…
    * Comment by Bill F August 9, 2007 @ 2:39 pm
Comment #37
    * Doug Keenan last week initiated proceedings
against Wang and Jones for scientific fraud. The
1990 co-authored papers purported to show that
UHI was of no consequence, and were amongst those
selected by the IPCC to downplay the UHI issue.
It appears the sites they used were not only
cherry picked, but data from the sites
manipulated to fit the conclusions. Stir up a
cesspool and the odour only gets more odious, it
seems. Comment by tetris August 9, 2007 @ 2:41 pm
Comment #38
    * The ranking of 1934 as the hottest year is
fairly consistent with the analysis I did [and
about which you dedicated a post on this site].
As of 2006, the state record temperatures count
for 1934 was 25 versus 29 in 1936… compared with
19 in 1998.

    * I suspect that with further analysis, there
will be little doubt that the 1930s were the
hottest decade on record for the U.S. That may
not necessarily follow for the rest of the world,
but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some correlation.

    * Comment by
<http://hallofrecord.blogspot.com>Bruce Hall August 9, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

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Received on Thu Aug 9 20:34:35 2007

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