Temperature Trends

Did Federal Climate Scientists Fudge Temperature Data to Make It Warmer?

Practicing the Dark Art of Trend Adjustment

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Best Temperature Photo
Dreamstime: Meryll

"Right after the year 2000," climate change skeptic Tony Heller claimed last month, federal climate scientists "dramatically altered US climate history, making the past much colder and the present much warmer….This alteration turned a long term cooling trend since 1930 into a warming trend." Heller (nom de blog Steven Goddard) says that these adjustments " cooled 1934 and warmed 1998, to make 1998 the hottest year in US history instead of 1934."

Heller's assertions induced a frenzy of commentary, attracting the attention of The Drudge Report, the Telegraph, The Daily Caller, and Fox News. A few days later, the hullabaloo was further stoked by reports that scientists at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) had quietly reinstated July 1936 as the hottest month on record in the continental U.S. instead of July 2012. (For the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—the NCDC's parent agency—has declared 2012 the hottest year on record for the lower 48 states, and the months between August 2011 and July 2012 as the hottest 12-month period on record. The year 2012 was also the warmest year in the 36-year satellite temperature record.)

In response to the brouhaha, the NCDC press office sent out a rather defensive statement noting that its new U.S. temperature dataset based on climate division adjustments has, indeed, restored July 1936 to its hellish pinnacle. "We recalculate the entire period of record to ensure the most up-to-date information and to ensure proper comparison over time," said the press release (which, oddly, is not available online). "In this improved analysis, July 1936 is now slightly warmer than July 2012, by a similar very small margin." It added that this "did not significantly change overall trends for the national temperature time series" and that the "year 2012 is still easily the warmest on record."

But never mind the quibbling over which month in the past century was the hottest. Is Heller right when he claims that NCDC scientists are retrospectively fiddling with the national thermostat to bolster the case for man-made global warming?

The answer is complicated.

When Heller produced his temperature trend for the continental United States, he basically took the raw temperature data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network from 1895 to the present and averaged them. He made no adjustments to the data to take into account such confounders as changes in location, equipment, time of observation, urban heat island effects, and so forth. Heller argues that these changes more or less randomly cancel out to reveal the real (and lower) trend in average U.S. temperatures.

In contrast, the researchers at the NCDC have spent years combing through U.S. temperature data records trying to figure out ways to adjust for confounders. In 2009, the NCDC researchers detailed how they go about adjusting the temperature data from the 1,218 stations in the Historical Climatology Network (HCN). They look for changes in the time of observation, station moves, instrument changes, and changes in conditions near the station sites (e.g., expanding cities). They filter the data through various algorithms to detect such problems as implausibly high or low temperatures or artifacts produced by lazy observers who just keep marking down the same daily temperatures for long periods.

They've clarified a lot this way. For example, simply shifting from liquid-in-glass thermometers to electronic maximum-minimum temperature systems "led to an average drop in maximum temperatures of about 0.4°C and to an average rise in minimum temperatures of 0.3°C." In addition, observers switched their time of observation afternoon to morning. Both of these changes would tend to artificially cool the U.S. temperature record.

Urban areas are warmer than the countryside, so previous NCDC researchers had to adjust temperature datasets account for the effects of urban growth around weather stations. The center's 2009 study conceded that many HCN stations are not ideally situated—that they now sit near parking lots, say, or building HVAC exhausts. Such effects tend to boost recorded temperatures. The researchers argue that they do not need to make any explicit adjustments for such effects because their algorithms can identify and correct for those errors in the temperature data.

Once all the calculating is done, the 2009 study concludes, the new adjusted data suggests that the "trend in maximum temperature is 0.064°C per decade, and the trend in minimum temperature is 0.075°C per decade" for the continental U.S. since 1895. The NCDC folks never rest in their search for greater precision. This year they recalculated the historical temperatures, this time by adjusting data in each of the 344 climate divisions into which the coterminous U.S. is divvied up. They now report a temperature trend of 0.067°C per decade.

The NCDC have also developed a procedure for infilling missing station data by comparing temperatures reported from the nearby stations. Why? Because as many as 25 percent of the original stations that comprised the HCN are no longer running. Essentially, the researchers create a temperature trend for each missing station by interpolating temperature data from nearby stations that are still operating. Skeptics like Heller argue that that the virtual "zombie stations" that infill missing data have been biased to report higher than actual temperatures.

Some sort of infilling procedure needs to be done. Let's say that there are records from five stations, all of which report time series of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The average of each therefore comes to 3. If two stations fail to report on the second day, missing records of 2, then the average of their remaining four records is now 3.25 instead of 3. In trying to address the problem of missing data from closed stations, the NCDC folks average other stations to fill in the absent 2s. According to climate change skeptic blogger Brandon Shollenberger, what Heller does is the equivalent of averaging the raw data from the notional five stations to report 3, 3, 3, 3.25, and 3.25. "He'd then accuse the people of fraud if they said the right answer was 3, 3, 3, 3, 3," Shollenberger writes.

Let's assume that all of the NCDC's adjustments are correct. What do they reveal? The center's 2009 study concluded, "Overall, the collective effect of changes in observation practice in the U.S. HCN stations is the same order of magnitude as the background climate signal (e.g., artificial bias in maximum temperatures is about -0.04°C per decade compared to the background trend of about 0.06°C per decade). Consequently, bias adjustments are essential in reducing the uncertainty in climate trends." In other words, the asserted bias is almost as big as the asserted trend. Even with the best intentions in the world, how can the NCDC be sure that it has accurately sorted the climate signal from the data noise such that it has in fact reduced the uncertainty in climate trends?

Well, for one thing, other scientists have found a similar trend. Another group of researchers at Berkeley Earth use a different statistical method in which any significant changes to the temperature record of any station are treated as though a new station had been created. They use eight times more data than the NCDC does. Via email, Berkeley Earth researcher Zeke Hausfather notes that Berkeley Earth's breakpoint method finds "U.S. temperature records nearly identical to the NCDC ones (and quite different from the raw data), despite using different methodologies and many more station records with no infilling or dropouts in recent years." He is also quite critical of Heller's simple averaging of raw data.

The NCDC also notes that all the changes to the record have gone through peer review and have been published in reputable journals. The skeptics, in turn, claim that a pro-warming confirmation bias is widespread among orthodox climate scientists, tainting the peer review process. Via email, Anthony Watts—proprietor of Watts Up With That, a website popular with climate change skeptics—tells me that he does not think that NCDC researchers are intentionally distorting the record. But he believes that the researchers have likely succumbed to this confirmation bias in their temperature analyses. In other words, he thinks the NCDC's scientists do not question the results of their adjustment procedures because they report the trend the researches expect to find. Watts wants the center's algorithms, computer coding, temperature records, and so forth to be checked by researchers outside the climate science establishment.

Clearly, replication by independent researchers would add confidence to the NCDC results. In the meantime, if Heller episode proves nothing else, it is that we can continue to expect confirmation bias to pervade nearly every aspect of the climate change debate.

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201 responses to “Did Federal Climate Scientists Fudge Temperature Data to Make It Warmer?

  1. We live in a climate with an unpredictable past.

    1. In the Soviet Union, you can’t change the future, but you can change the past!

      1. In Soviet Russia, past changes you!

      2. up to I looked at the bank draft that said $5552, I be certain that my mom in-law truley making money parttime at there labtop.. there brothers friend has been doing this 4 only about 17 months and just now paid for the morgage on there mini mansion and got a great Volkswagen Golf GTI. read more at works33.com
        (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

        1. Go to hell and die.

    2. Best. Quote. Ever.

      1. Obligatory Orwell:

        “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

        1. Pretty sure that was specific to Stalin.

        2. And he who controls the spice, controls the universe!!

          Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    3. A brilliant point actually – much like predicting the GDP contraction for Q1 of 2014 (going from an annual 0.1% growth to a -2.9% shrinkage in the second correction) – it will be “interesting” to see how different the corrections are for Q2. What seems to be missing in all this are re-estimates based on assigned missing values (where values are actually not missing). This gives you a range of values for each data point… you know what the value “ought to be”… you know what your estimates are… you can then build a model to predict “ERROR”. This lets you independently estimate the sources of error in your RAW values.

    4. This is true but the media spins global warming or climate changing to better suit them.

  2. Clearly, replication by independent researchers would add confidence to the NCDC results.

    Phhht! That’s old science. We’ve got consensus now!

  3. The answer is complicated.

    That would be a ‘yes’.

    1. And most of America figured this out about five years ago. Reading Reason is starting to make me feel like I’ve entered a Wayback Machine or something.

      1. Settled, people! It’s all settled. There’s no sense talking about it, President Gore already told us that it’s settled.

      2. Well, if you’ve got a Wayback Machine, couldn’t you just remeasure the temperature in 1934 for these guys and solve the question once and for all?

  4. Well, let’s see. They’re incentivized, both directly and implicitly, to create a story of a dire situation. They won’t share their methods for acquiring their data, and they are hostile to reasonable criticism.

    I think the answer here is pretty clear.

    1. Since they still pretend to care about Scientific Method, they had to release the data they were using.

      And gee whiz, they managed to “adjust” a cooling trend into a warming trend.

      Yeah Science!

  5. History is written by the victors . . . . and federally-funded bureaucrats.

    1. You’re just on the wrong side of history.

  6. Hmm it’s rather muggy outside today. I need to go calculate the temperature and adjust it accordingly.

  7. “…we can continue to expect confirmation bias to pervade nearly every aspect of the climate change debate.”

    That sounds nicer than Bullshit.

  8. Ron,

    Why did you decide to exclude Watt, Pielke, et al’s identification of significant siting issues through his Surface Stations project from this overview?

    Why also not acknowledge that over the past week there has been a shift towards people accepting Goddard’s claims of serious defects in the value added data set – when you originally published Watt’s initial argument that he didn’t think Goddard was right?

    1. What is going on is that the USHCN code is that while the RAW data file has the actual measurements, for some reason the final data they publish doesn’t get the memo that good data is actually present for these stations, so it “infills” it with estimated data using data from surrounding stations. It’s a bug, a big one. And as Zeke did a cursory analysis Thursday night, he discovered it was systemic to the entire record, and up to 10% of stations have “estimated” data spanning over a century:

    2. Assuming Watts is being accurate here, this really merits an ‘update’ extension by Bailey to the original article. Thanky Tarran.

    3. Watts and others have written a mea culpa for their initial assessment of Goddard’s work.

    4. Like I said when Watts originally threw the flag, I find him the most honest broker in the market. He was extremely forthright yet again about why he has changed his mind. If only everyone in this debate were equally dedicated to science.

      1. BL: they are saying that Goddard uncovered a problem not that the way he parsed the data is right.

    5. t: I have actually queried all the folks you mention. May I also suggest you click on the “ideally situated” link?
      Happy 4th y’all!

  9. And seriously Reason, Climate Change Chicanery?

    Since this morning’s links there has been an article on stupid regulations, the unfolding Obamacare disaster, the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, another article on stupid regulations, and the free(-ish) press being on life support in the UK.

    Meanwhile there was just one (ONE!) article about pot and nothing at all about ass-sex and Mexicans! Why aren’t you writing about the things we truly care about and wasting our time talking about all this other fluff?

    You Reason paleotarians are almost unbearable at times. You keep pushing this stuff and ignoring the critical issues of the day and before you know it you may have the freedom to buy weird food or light a firecracker without the threat of being fined or being thrown in a rape cage, but when you want to celebrate with some MJ fuled buttsex with your undocumented manservant you will find the heavy hand of the government has got you by the balls.

    What then?! Huh?!

    1. Maybe they can do a three-in-one …

      Mexican medicinal pot use during ass-sex?

      Pot legal, ass-sex legal, Mexicans not???

      Is pot fueled Mexican ass-sex the new GoT theme?

      1. I may never get tired of this new meme.

        1. I, on the other hand, was tired of it this morning.

          1. Don’t let me down one more time.

          2. Oh, you’re no fun anymore.

            1. When was UnCivil ever fun?

              1. I thought all libertarians were well versed in Monty Python.

                1. +1 eel-filled hovercraft

        2. Why does the troll dancer get to pick the meme? I thought it was somebody else’s turn this month.

      2. pot fueled Mexican ass-sex

        I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    2. To be clear here, your comment is a jab a a previous stupid comment by another reader?

    3. If “Ass sex, Mexicans and Pot” isn’t already available on a t-shirt, I’ll be very disappointed.

      1. I believe the LP has already trademarked that slogan, unfortunately.

    4. There’s no sugar-coating it, the lack of MJ fueled Mexican ass-sex coverage is letting us down one more time.

    5. “What then?” I think you ask the heavy hand of government to squeeze as you reach the penultimate moment.

      1. Maybe the penultimate moment might be one moment too late ?

  10. In addition, observers switched their time of observation afternoon to morning.

    If the purpose of your data collection is historical analysis of time-series data, why would you ever do this?

    1. Recommendation of weather service decades ago.

  11. why would you ever do this?

    Stupid inclusive-or dishonest

    1. Argument closed! The data is as clear as….as…..as clear as a Hawaiian Birth whatevertheycalledit.

      1. I think it’s called an “Hawaiian Hanging Chad”.

  12. OT

    Maine republican governer is a cop-killing domestic terrorist…

    http://news.yahoo.com/maine-go…..57773.html

    LePage held eight meetings with individuals connected to the sovereign citizens movement, a loosely affiliated group of individuals who challenge the authority of state and federal governments. The FBI says individuals connected with the movement have been responsible for the murder of six police officers since 2000.

    Therefore the republican governor of Maine is directly responsible for killing six cops since 2000.

    1. I can almost hear the writers of the next season of 24 furiously storyboarding.

    2. Cool. When’s he going to run for president?

      LePage seems like a pretty OK guy for a successful politician.
      Even though I’ve known about him for several years now, I still hear “Paula Page” every time I hear his name.

    3. Our current Lt. Gov. ran an add in the Tribune that her Team Red opponent supported the beltway sniper (because NRA).

      I ceased to be amazed at the left’s ability to point to an nth degree of separation as proof of guilt while denying direct personal relationships as anything but coincidence.

    4. Sure, if by “is directly responsible,” you mean, has indirect links with alleged terrorists, of the sort that George W. Bush cited regarding Saddam Hussein when he was contriving excuses to invade Iraq.

    5. “Therefore the republican governor of Maine is directly responsible for killing six cops since 2000.”

      Exactly like Obama is responsible for Bill Ayers youthful indiscretions….it would seem…

      Except I don’t think Ayers killed anyone…

  13. CDC tells drowsy drivers to not hit the road. I was unaware that being sleepy was a disease. We’re all fucked.

    1. It’s a chronic ailment which has a 100% morbidity rate.

    2. People get hurt. People who get hurt end up getting medical care. People who get medical care are in the ‘health system’. anyone in the ‘health system’ is therefore subject to “public health” scrutiny.

      Centers for Disease Control therefore has a say in the matter of your driving habits.

    3. Carbon dioxide is now a pollutant so why not sleepyness a disease?

    4. Is this really something people need to be told by anyone?

    5. There’s an epidemic of sleepy truckers.

      1. Well, that’s what happens when you start testing for amphetamines.

      2. You can get sleep trucked in?

        1. Yup, Sandman was getting back problems, and his cousin Louie is in the Teamsters.

  14. As a Master of Science (puffs out chest) I have to say I find the practice of ‘infilling’ both disturbing and offensive. No, you can’t just extrapolate your raw data. GO MEASURE IT. Station not working? FIX IT. If I had ever tried to ‘extrapolate’ some of my raw data set from other parts of my raw data set my supervisor would have raped me…more than he already did.

    1. Sounds like you work for a bitter-clinging denier to me.

      1. Haha no he was only sceptical of things that went against his preconceived notions. He could be wildly credible one day and a sceptic hard-ass later that same day. I’m glad I only did a MSc, but that’s another story.

        1. I’m glad I only did a MSc, but that’s another story.

          I’ve lived through a story like that.

          1. Brothers in arms lab coats. Wanna compare scars?

      2. Sounds to me like he works for Warty.

        1. Warty would be a hell of a lot more self-aware than the guy I worked for. We got along in the end but there were rough times.

          1. In my experience most students don’t care for their advisers. Count me amongst them.

    2. The software development, configuration management, and verification practices at Climatic Research Unit — University of East Anglia are so bad as to be nearly criminal in my professional opinion.

      1. Better or worse than the IRS?

        1. The IRS email scandal is just a straightforward case of obstruction of justice. As far as I know, the IRS software that runs the income tax system is generic bloatware produced by the federal procurement process and mostly works the way it is intended to work.

          The software models developed for measuring and predicting climate change are fundamentally fucked (as indicated by the leaked emails). Coded by people not qualified to do the work; hacked to produced the desired outcome; funded by government contracts. Borderline fraud in my opinion.

          1. Yeah. I agree with you I was just being an ass.

          2. Where is the borderline part?

            1. mens rea

              Zealots that truly believe their own crap are actually more dangerous than mere criminals.

              The destruction of data to avoid FOIA requests should have brought jail time.

              But I’m not convinced the original fuckups were intentional instead of just gross incompetence.

      2. I downloaded one of the older models about 5 years ago – Model E. The coding in it was atrocious…even for Fortran. I would fire one of my developers if they wrote shit like I saw in that lump of spaghetti.

        1. My first job out of college was writing Fortran for the AV-8 fight simulator. What a mess. I could only take it for 6 months before fleeing to the private sector. I don’t know that all government funded software is that bad but I have my suspicions.

          1. Fortran 4 and assembly, but not government code 😉

    3. “you can’t just extrapolate your raw data.”

      No shit.

    4. I would say, go ahead and infill it if that’s the accepted protocol, and then put in the paper “one drawback is that we had to infill, making the conclusions less certain”. Don’t infill and then shout, OMG my paper proves WE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

    5. I agree fully as a building designer I often do site/land surveys based on a 10×10 grid and then interpolate the topography in between. However when in the filed a 10×10 grid can go completely around a boulder or a group of trees so you have to physically measure these outside items. I’ve seen site plans by others that use infill and they completely miss banks and scarfs, you name. I can make mountains and valleys disappear from any site. real measurements for real world results.

    6. Did you not have a full functioning force fielded extrapolator?

    7. Interpolating can be OK. The real problem here is that some stations had valid data and they STILL interpolated. Then they claim that their algorithm is working properly. Incredible.

  15. Hot enough for ya?

  16. Bullshit corporate middle-management lingo word of the day:

    Upgradation.

    A middle manager’s love isn’t like a square’s love.

    1. Any company wherein jargon like that isn’t laughed out of the building (with the speaker booted too) has grown too large for efficiency and should start pruning managers.

      1. has grown too large for efficiency and should start pruning managers.

        *nods knowingly*

      2. I think they need to do a Deep-Dive SWOT Analysis, some Blue Sky thinking, then set a new Cadence for upgrades based on the Voice of the Customer.

  17. Everyone talks about the weather, but Obama is doing something about it!

  18. We have a consensus among ‘scientists’ about climate change. It seems they are now desperately trying to get the climate on board with them.

  19. 0.07 degrees/decade? What’s the measurement error on the equipment?

    1. I read somewhere that mercury thermometers have an accuracy of +/-2 degrees for a 4 degree swing. this is not even a decimal point but somehow they believe they can make a math program that literally has to guess where it swings and how far down to the 100th of a degree. I don’t buy it for a minute. lets go beyond the accuracy of the thermometer itself if you are short and looking up at it, it is hotter if you are tall it is lower and if your right on level with it then you still only have a 4? swing. Things are even worse for metal coil thermometers.

  20. ” In the meantime, if Heller episode proves nothing else, it is that we can continue to expect confirmation bias to pervade nearly every aspect of the climate change debate.”

    So both sides are at fault, eh, Ron? I’m glad I didn’t pay to read this. What I hear you thinking, rather than saying, is “Heller is 90% out to lunch, but I don’t quite have the balls to say so.”

    1. Apparently Goddard is not even mostly out to lunch on this one. His main point is correct.

  21. (Link from Drake in AM links)

    “Does climate change impact national security? ASU gets $20M to find out”

    http://www.azcentral.com/story…../12082781/

    ASU scientists are totally unbiased. Not a smidgen of bias anywhere in sight. Completely objective.

    Those climate deniers on the other hand are just paid shills for Big Oil.

  22. Should we really be listening to philosophy majors who don ‘t read the scientific literature on this subject which was debunked back in 1999?

    1. Credentialism is the worst thing to happen to science. It used to be that nobody cared if you were a tenured don or a patent clerk. It was about the science. Things have gone down hill since them.

      1. Credentialism is the worst thing to happen to science.

        ^This^

        Credentialism and public funding.

        1. The public funding brought about the credentialism.

          Government employees are conditioned not to understand or question anything, but to worship authority.

      2. Oh come on, what would a patent clerk know about science?

      3. Right. If a guy comes off the street and can hold his hands steady, he should immediately be hired as a brain surgeon.

        Also, those who demonstrate that they can fly an Airbus by wire should immediately be hired to save us all money on airline labor…..

        1. And those who demonstrate that they can manipulate media sympathy should immediately be made Senator and later on Secretary of State.

    2. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 2:45PM|#
      “Should we really be listening to philosophy majors who don ‘t read the scientific literature on this subject which was debunked back in 1999?”

      Good question, commie kid. Why should we listen to you?

      1. For starters , I ‘m not a philosophy major. May I ask, when is the last time you solved a differential equation ?

        1. \frac{dx(t)}{dt} = Ax(t) = x(t) = e^{A(t-t_0)}x(t_0)

          1. Yes, right. Would you also agree that one should analyze the dependent variable when there is a change in the independent variable?

            1. “Would you also agree that one should analyze the dependent variable when there is a change in the independent variable?”

              You had to get what degree to learn to ask that question?

              1. 8th grade. Maybe you should talk to Ronald bailey who thinks that temperature data from years where the co2 concentration remained constant should be included in an analysis of what happens to global temperature when humans pump co 2 into the environment.

                I just finished my analysis of temperature data from the years. 4000 b.c. To present and concluded that there is only a 0.000004 oC /decade increase in temperature. happy days climate change de-Nile-lists you were right all along. Accredited ph.d climate scientists are stooopid. Eat shit thomas Mann.

                1. *Yawn* CO2 remains constant? When? Even without human intervention the Earth breathes significantly over the course of a year. Maybe you should ask why the amount of global temp rise from 1910-1940 is about the same as the catastrophic warming we should all be afraid of from ~1975-1998.

                  But I digress:

                  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6158/617

                  We used high-resolution proxy records from sediment cores to extend these observations in the Pacific 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record. We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ? 0.4?C and 1.5 ? 0.4?C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century.

                  Emphasis mine.

                  http://www.nature.com/nclimate…..ATE-201309

                  Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability.

                  And since we’re playing the my-dick-is-bigger-than-yours game, when was the last time that you shipped $1BB worth of sensors that rely on quantum mechanical effects for their very operation? I do it about every 6months.

                2. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 8:44PM|#
                  “8th grade”
                  Yeah, about right.

        2. So you’re a run of the mill imbecile? OK, why should anyone listen to a run of the mill imbecile?

          1. I can also do an energy balance… deltaH= T

            1. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 5:35PM|#
              “I can also do an energy balance… deltaH= T”

              Shame thinking isn’t part of your skills.
              Snobbish twits are a dime a dozen.

              1. You are calling someone a snob?

                Wait a sec… YOU? Ahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahahahahaha. Ahahahahahahaha. Ahem… Hilarious.

                1. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 8:48PM|#
                  “You are calling someone a snob?”
                  Asshole, every see me brag on my degrees?
                  No, you’re not just a snob. You’re a slimy, obnoxious snob.

                2. Dude you are just name dropping with talk of DE’s and “analysis” of past temps. Plenty of uncertainty in Climate science to justify the so-called denialism. One indicator that the warmers are not terribly sincere or at least caught in a black hole of confirmation bias is that they really haven’t offered a falsifiable/testable theory.

                  Despite having active volcanoes under the ice, Antarctica’s ice extent is at a maximum relative to the record keeping period. So Polar Amplification bites the dust.

                  RSS and UAH show that the tropical Tropospheric hot spot doesn’t exist…another prediction down the drain.

                  Here are some parting thoughts

                  “Hide the decline”

                  “We have to make the MWP go away”

            2. deltaH=T?

              Change in enthalpy is temperature? You need to define your variables, sport. Typically heat is Q, but that would make delta Q = T, which is, um, wrong. Or are you trying to capture entropy (not energy balance)? That would be S=int(deltaQ/T). Still not what you’re looking for? It’s OK. Thermo is hard.

              1. Thank you for this.

  23. A good article. Thanks Ronald.

  24. I remember typing in temperature versus time data into Excel using data I got from Hadley and NASA a few years back. I forgot exactly what I chose as the beginning and end points, but the rather robust result I got, both from using politically manipulated ground temperature data AND the atmospheric data that NASA engineers have been adjusting so they can get new grants was an increase of about. 0.15-0.20 oC/decade.

    In contrast to the Purdue dropout that runs the oil and gas industry’s favorite website, I chose to base my estimate of the effect of rising co2 concentrations on a time period when there actually was a change in the co2 concentration rather than lumping that analysis in with a period (1890-1950) where there was a relatively small increase in co2 partial pressure. Why is the time period I selected (1970- 2010) where I got an increase of about 0.17 oC/decade more likely to be accurate than the 0.065 oC/decade prediction of the Heartland Institute’s guest speaker.

    1. Is that how you spent your time while the bank was taking your house?

      1. No, I only spent an hour or so on this. If I recall correctly, the data from NASA was comma-delimited so easy-peasy.

        I spent most of the time on my housing situation trying to find a lawyer crooked enough and a lender greedy enough to enable me to get a new mortgage on a better house. You keep telling me– and I confess I’m still incredulous– about how great the free market is and I guess the good thing about it is that you can use the greed of one corporation against the greed of another. Oh yeah, I managed to get a couple thousand from BofA so I would dismiss my lawsuit. Can I get a high five?

        1. A couple of thousand dollars?

          Wow. That’s a lot of money.

          High five.

          1. I hope that took you 5 minutes.

            1. Well, we don’t all have your kind of money, Brian, and your contempt for the less fortunate. That’s why some of us out here have a fond regard for the word expropriation.

            2. Well, we don’t all have your kind of money, Brian, and your contempt for the less fortunate. That’s why some of us out here have a fond regard for the word expropriation.

              1. Passive-aggressive behavior:

                Passive-aggressive may also refer to a person who refuses to acknowledge their own aggression (in the sense of “agency”), and who manages that denial by projecting it. This type of person insists on seeing themselves as the blameless victims in all situations.

                1. Passive-aggressive behavior:

                  I don’t see how you could call my feelings about the rich in America passive. I doubt their worth, compensation and relative value in society and have repeatedly made that point.

                  1. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 8:52PM|#
                    “I don’t see how you could call my feelings about the rich in America passive. I doubt their worth, compensation and relative value in society and have repeatedly made that point.”

                    I do.
                    You’re a fucking ignoramus. That’s the way anyone can call you on your bullshit.

              2. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 6:12PM|#
                “Well, we don’t all have your kind of money, Brian, and your contempt for the less fortunate”

                I’m sure you are “less fortunate” but our contempt concerns your promotion of thuggishness and mass murder, not your inability to make money.

              3. You misspelled benevolence by proxy.

        2. As someone who has spent over fifteen years in the mortgage business, I can tell you that any mortgage issues you experience have little to do with the free market. Thanks in large part to your fucking fellow travelers in congress and HUD who have spent decades miring that whole industry in bullshit rules and regulations that help no one but banks and attorneys. With a notable exception that the rapist Bill Clinton, in a fit of civic duty to the investment banking industry, repealed key portions of Glass Steagall.

          If the free market were in place, instead of a vastly distorted and over regulated marketplace, you likely wouldn’t be up shit creek with your mortgage. And banks like B of A would rightly no longer exist. But go ahead, keep blaming ‘the free market’ for your woes. And ignore all the contributions your fellow travelers made.

          Regardless, I hope you catch a break on the whole thing.

          1. My favorite part about commies is the straw man they create regarding the free market.

            It never occurs to them that despite thousands of pages of rules and regulations, these major issues keep happening.

            Silly me, thousands of pages were not enough. Still too free markety.

        3. You keep using greed as if it is always a bad thing. But, I suppose you went to work to earn no pay this morning, so you at least have the moral high ground.

          BTW, you live in the US. You haven’t seen a free market in much of anything.

          1. How about Somolia? Is that better? I think they have low gubment regs.

            1. You can always tell when a shitlib has run out of arguments when they go to the Somalia well.

              1. craig is pretty damn shallow; figure one or two posts before you get KOCK BROS!!!!!!!

    2. Oh, good. Commie kid can copy data and, uh, make assumptions!

      1. bad data in bad data out

        1. “bad data in bad data out”

          It’s far worse. The data says X, therefore humanity *must* do Y, and not one consideration of what happens if humanity does A, B or C instead, since those aren’t directed by TOP MEN.
          Are you a lab rat? Commie kid is smart; you must be a lab rat. Commie kid can be trusted to tell humanity what to do, since he’s TOP MEN.

    3. using data I got from Hadley and NASA a few years back

      By Hadley and NASA data, I assume you mean their cooked data?

      Or did you have the raw data?

      1. They now report a temperature trend of 0.067?C per decade.

        Which is 2/3 of a degree centigrade, call it a whole degree in Fahrenheit, per century. This is a crisis?

        For perspective, the average difference in temperature between where I work and where I live is around 2 – 3 degrees. Yes, it will take 200 – 300 years for my house to be as hot as my hospital. Yet, oddly, despite being in the climate where my house will be in a few centuries, all the same plants and animals can be found around the hospital as are around my house. Well, except for the mountain lions.

        1. I saw Ronald bailey’s favorite scientist, richard lindzin, making precisely the same erroneous statistical argument– in effect, using the variation in end points to argue for the null hypothesis. I used the same data that he used– and, oh yeah, he cherry picked his beginning and end points– used a regression analysis on the entire data set, applied a f-test, and found the data showed an unequivocal rise in temperatures. This led me to exactly the same conclusion about credential ism that is expressed above and, more specifically, a lowered opinion about the level of professorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

          1. And yet you neglect the fact that temperature rose by a similar amount from 1910-1940 WITHOUT significant CO2 emissions (flat as you call it). So here we have a case of a natural fluctuation of the same magnitude as the purported warming and yet you KNOW with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that the majority of the warming since 1950 is due to human influence. You also neglect the fact that temperature has been stable for between 12-17 years even with record levels of CO2 emissions. The fact is that a true hypothesis test shows that the models are breaching the lower 95% confidence interval and are rapidly approaching the 2% interval. And yet you laughably claim to understand what the null hypothesis is.

            Can you tell me what tomorrow’s Powerball will be? Your powers of divination are amazing.

            1. Where did american commieist disappear to? Certainly he/she/it will want to provide a retort to your reply. Unless he/she/it can’t.

              1. Celebrating the 4th of July?

                1. jace|7.4.14 @ 9:14AM|#
                  “Celebrating the 4th of July?”

                  Confused it with May Day.

            2. Burn, you’ll not see a response from the thief and contract breaker.

      2. Why is the time period I selected (1970- 2010) where I got an increase of about 0.17 oC/decade

        Same thing, only my hospital is in the same climate my house will be in a 100 years.

    4. Is there a point here somewhere?

  25. Dear Non elite Umm we mean non super smart people community.

    Ignore the fact that every climate model we have predicted has been wrong. Ignore that yes we are peer reviewed but the peers reviewing us also need this to be real to get the massive research budgets as we do. Simply ignore everything and believe us cause you are stupid and we are researchers from a Ivy league school.

  26. The center’s 2009 study conceded that many HCN stations are not ideally situated?that they now sit near parking lots, say, or building HVAC exhausts. Such effects tend to boost recorded temperatures. The researchers argue that they do not need to make any explicit adjustments for such effects because their algorithms can identify and correct for those errors in the temperature data.

    As an engineer who has worked with temperature measurement and control using advanced algorithms, I can say that this practice is absolute bullshit for maintaining any kind of temperature record.

  27. american socialist|7.3.14 @ 5:45PM|#
    …”I used the same data that he used–“…

    The problem YOU have here is not totally your snobbishness, but likely a result of it.
    You think that your statement here is enough to settle the matter, since you are so very smart and one of the top men and everybody should now just ask what to do.
    You ignore that we here and “we” in many other places have heard THE SAME DAMN CRAP SINCE EHRLICH WAS PREDICTING MASS STARVATION, and every one was based on really good data and processed by really smart TOP MEN and we should have, oh, probably aborted you (and saved us from hearing it all over again).
    ….”the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change?.There will be more police cars?.[since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”
    http://beforeitsnews.com/liber…..57872.html
    Yeah, I know, there was some, uh, mistake and it the goal posts got shoved back and moved over there, sorta.
    I don’t care, Malthus blew it and every damn Malthusian that’s come down the pike since has blown it, since they think predicting human futures has to do with crunching numbers and watching lab rats.
    Rank stupidity. YOU have a problem.

    1. And to save the effort of beating on a strawman, I do not “deny” that the climate is changing; I would be amazed if it were stable within the ranges we can now measure.
      I do not “deny” that human activity has some effect on the changes.
      I do reject the proposals that the ‘solution’ requires gov’t control of the economy, trusting (as I do) humanity on an individual level to find very good solutions to most all problems.

      1. Easy, big fella. He/she/it’s an overt commie, so arguing against it should be self evident as a waste of your time.

  28. More Koch Brothers seeding of FUD….because it makes them money!

    I love “libertarianism”. It’s the perfect philosophy for total selfishness!

    Greed is Good.

    Libertarian “free markets” would allow us to subcontract all the silly NOAA stuff like the current hurricane tracking to the lowest bidder. And, since we know business can be trusted, the same corporation could also be involved in selling generators for 10X the normal price in the areas where the Hurricane is likely to hit!

    Moreover, they could fudge that data a bit to make sure all the other enterprises they owned or had interest in….did better!

    Think I am describing something outlandish?

    No way – I’d describing what is happening right now with the Kochs and this site (and hundreds of their other efforts)….

    Me? I’ll take the big bad gubment anytime over the Kochs.

    1. How many did the VA kill today?

    2. Me? I’ll take the big bad gubment anytime over the Kochs.

      I pray that you eventually get your wish. Good and hard.

    3. Just to take one of your points, generators are *worth* ten times more after a disaster.

    4. craiginmass|7.3.14 @ 9:24PM|#
      …”Me? I’ll take the big bad gubment anytime over the Kochs.”

      You bet! Why, where else can fucking ignoramuses hope to steal enough to get along?
      I mean, if craig can’t get thugs to grab stuff, how can craig sit around all day on the profits from those who actually work?
      You expect craig to produce something people wnat? Ha! It is to laugh!
      craig expects everyone else to make sure craig doesn’t have to lift a finger, and craig is more than willing to use armed thugs to get what he wants!
      Slimy? Why, that’s not the half of it for craig!
      Asshole, we got your number when you walked in the door.

      1. Yes, you seem to know craig very well. He sits on the corner and is paid by the Kochs to drum up…well, whatever they pay me for!

        1. craiginmass|7.4.14 @ 11:44AM|#
          ‘Yes, you seem to know craig very well.”

          Slimy takers are well known.

    5. The lowest bidder? So it would only occur to government to monitor the climate?

      Well, you’ve solved that mystery, case closed. Want to talk about Santa Claus–I mean, government spending now?

      1. It would only occur to gubment to do it in a true non-profit fashion.

        Tell me – what would stop any other entity from taking advantage of the “free market” by either lying or using the information for the benefit of their other corporate entities.

        Answer: nothing. In fact, it would be against the entire reason for corporate existence not to take financial advantage of ANY leg up they have on the public and other corporations (short of total fraud – but knowing things earlier is not fraud).

        1. How about the media? The media is there to serve the informational needs of the public. Competition therein, just like anywhere, clears out the morons and promulgates the good ones. The media are (gasp!!!!!!!!!) corporations.

          Now stop whacking off to this echo chamber fantasy in which government bureaucrats are morally superior to everyone else and possess no human flaws. They operate on politics, which taints the integrity of everything they do. When they are wrong, they are not subject to the risk of going out of business, so they continue to impose their stupidity upon the rest of us.

    6. Well, I’m glad Craig hasn’t become irrational or anything. Would make the discussion oh so much more difficult.

      1. Right – all this Koch Generated pollution and GW doesn’t do anything at all. In fact, it makes it nice and warmer in these cold climes – good for all of us.

        Meantime, real science and biology is at work:

        “June 24, 2014
        NOAA, partners predict an average ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico; slightly above-average
        hypoxia in Chesapeake Bay
        Scientists are expecting an average, but still large, hypoxic or “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico
        this year, and slightly above-average hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay .
        NOAA-supported modeling is forecasting this year’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone to cover an
        area ranging from about 4,633 to 5,708 square miles (12,000 to 14,785 square kilometers) or
        about the size of the state of Connecticut.
        While close to averages since the late 1990s, these hypoxic zones are many times larger than
        what research has shown them to be prior to the significant human influences that greatly
        expanded their sizes and effects.

        1. He’ll continue to shriek about the GW pink unicorn until a long cooling cycle proves him dead wrong.

          Then, like any elitist snob, he’ll pretend he never believed in it to begin with. Like Time Magazine with its ice age hysteria in the 1970s.

    7. Have a Koch and a smile!

      1. Right, the Kochs have absolutely nothing to gain by denying climate science, by denying that pollutants kill people, by denying health care for people, by denying that a living wage is the foundation of a free society…..

        Nothing at all.

        They became multi-billionaire by being the nice guys…who try to help people and the country, right?

        It’s so blatantly obvious that it amazes me you need more proof. Let me guess – you also thought Haliburton and Brown and Root and Blackwater all got 10’s of billions from Mr. Cheney and Bush….and that there was absolutely no connection?

        Sure?

        Reason and Logic are the LAST things I see at work here. Rather, conclusions are already made and then folks look for some workaround in order to make it fit their already existing conclusion.

        1. Right, the Kochs have absolutely nothing to gain by denying climate science, by denying that pollutants kill people, by denying health care for people, by denying that a living wage is the foundation of a free society…..

          It’s quite amusing that your rant is nothing more than a collection of SWPL-y talking points. You might as well have posted that in a pair of pajamas while drinking hot chocolate.

  29. Ron’s problem is his source- it’s not just that Steven Goddard isn’t Steven Goddard, it’s that RealScience has about as much to do with science as The American Thinker has to do with thought.

    With both sides hiring PR hacks and appealing to the better angels of disinformation, mere science doesn’t stand a chance in the Climate Wars.

    1. I thought this was one of his better articles on the climate issue, although I agree with your disdain of sources…add Anthony Watts to Goddard (Heller).

      But the sad fact is for the skeptics, all they are left with is pretty much conspiracy theories…that the government is cooking the books, that scientists are bought off, that the data is fudged purposely, and even more.

      I still wait for the day that Libertarians accept the science (they purport to be the intelligentsia of the political class) and say they just want to debate the solutions.

      Instead, we’re still at the conspiracy theories. Sad.

    2. By the way, I might add that Politifact checked through some of this when FOX aired it, and they pretty much dismissed the whole thing.

      http://www.politifact.com/pund…..bal-warmi/

      You can accept Politifact or not, but their quote of Judith Curry (a skeptic herself) was noteworthy:

      “That said, Curry also tweeted that “what Goddard did to the data was bogus.”

      1. Curry had backed up from that position. Acknowledging there are issues with the so -called Zombie stations. Same for Watts, though the Politifact “update” was more mild than it should have been.

        Do try and keep up.

        1. I need to keep up?

          Alas, Benny, let me do my best to keep YOU up:

          “Goddard has been wrong before, and the comments at Goddard’s blog can be pretty crackpotty.”

          “While I haven’t dug into all this myself, the above analyses (that criticized Goddard/Heller) seem robust, and it seems that Goddard has made some analysis errors.”

          And all said by who? Judith Curry. And when? Less than a week ago.

          http://judithcurry.com/2014/06…..ard-right/

          Initially she called what Goddard did bogus, and now she says he made errors in his analysis. Hate to tell you this, its the same thing. The errors made his analysis bogus. She hasn’t walked anything back about Goddard’s analysis. By the way, her tweet saying Goddard’s analysis was bogus was dated 6/28 as well.

          Sorry you were saddened that Politifact stuck to their guns that it was a pants on fire lie.

          You really do need to keep up.

          1. you have to take science off the table to understand the majority of libertarian sentiment.

            AGW is a political tool to increase taxation.

            if it wasn’t such a damn immoral cause then ppl would be more willing to give the science a chance.

            if you aren’t HIGHLY suspicious of AGW ‘researchers’ there is something wrong with you. the political motive is blinding and overpowering.

            to trust the ‘elite class’ under such circumstances is dereliction of self.

            1. Taking science off the table when discussing the climate?

    3. And I do agree with Ron at the end…we all have to wary of confirmation bias. Reason, as well as NOAA.

  30. You know when an article starts out with “attention of the Drudge Report” that you are in for some deep BS….
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/5

    Meantime, the warmer oceans are making for a early July Hurricane about to hit me……pretty powerful too.

    But, rest assured, nothing is happening. Listen to the Kochs. This will help them pay more people to lie so they can make more billions for themselves (whilst others suffer and die from their pollutants).

    1. Warm water due to AMO cycle that produces Yankee Clippers, not CO2 induced warming.

    2. Meantime, the warmer oceans are making for a early July Hurricane about to hit me……pretty powerful too.

      Yeah, hurricanes NEVER form in July!

      1. Well, they certainly almost NEVER do this:

        ” It’s the earliest hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina since records began in the mid-19th century”

        1. ” It’s the earliest hurricane to make landfall in North Carolina since records began in the mid-19th century”

          Yeah, hurricanes NEVER form in July!

    3. Yeah. Actually I’m betting that the people who can actually afford underground bunkers with supplies of bottled, filtered air, water, and food to last at least their lifetimes and those of their families have probably invested in such solutions, along with their investments in creating parallel science that denies man-made climate change. If they take the real science seriously enough to go to such lengths to deny it, they have to believe in it at least some, right?

  31. “HIDE THE DECLINE” Michel Mann.

  32. Mr. Bailey wrote:

    Some sort of infilling procedure needs to be done. Let’s say that there are records from five stations, all of which report time series of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The average of each therefore comes to 3. If two stations fail to report on the second day, missing records of 2, then the average of their remaining four records is now 3.25 instead of 3. In trying to address the problem of missing data from closed stations, the NCDC folks average other stations to fill in the absent 2s.

    No, Mr. Bailey, if the data don’t exist, you do not estimate, interpolate, “infill,” or assume the data to be “2”, just because that is what the temp was yesterday. That is not data, by definition, because “two stations fail to report on the second day.” Fail to report what? They failed to report data.

    Why do you assume that the original 5 stations are the optimum for siting, rather than 3 (from the second day), or 7? If 7 stations were the ideal number for the geographical area that you postulated, rather than the 5, why not posit the 2 extra hypothetical stations and “infill” their data, because we “need” the data to form the ideal 7-station matrix of stations?

    You confuse needing data with actually having data.

  33. When a doctor seeks to check your core temperature via your ears, do you insist on his driving a thermometer into your brain to MEASURE IT ?

  34. I know what. Let’s just continue as we have since the start of the Industrial Revolution and doggone it, we’ll see if an irreversible climate catastrophe happens or not. In other words, do nothing and wait. Only way to settle the argument.
    http://robinwestenra.blogspot……d.html?m=1

    1. Can I presume you’re at the shallow end?
      Great strawman you have there, and I’m Sure you are stupid enough to think it was oh, so clever.
      If you’re rather not look like the ignoramus you are, LEARN SOMETHING before you post, idjit.

  35. Good report.

    Re: “The center’s 2009 study conceded that many HCN stations are not ideally situated?that they now sit near parking lots, say, or building HVAC exhausts. Such effects tend to boost recorded temperatures. The researchers argue that they do not need to make any explicit adjustments for such effects because their algorithms can identify and correct for those errors in the temperature data.”

    I’m no expert, but consider:

    Since the 1930s, possibly billions of heat-absorbing/radiating structures (including dark roads, parking lots, etc.) have have been added to the earth’s surface, replacing an unfathomable number of acres of CO2-drinking vegetation. The ever-spreading out of the added heat from these structures might, I suspect, make it very difficult for the algorithms — processing rules created by humans and subject to interpretation and error — to successfully separate all this heat out so that accurate calculations can be made.

    Could someone please enlighten this layperson?

    “Does the ‘fireplace-brick effect’ contribute to global warming?” http://relevantmatters.wordpre…..l-warming/

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