A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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So NASA – GISS says it does not ‘fudge’ numbers

The NASA climate tweet:

“NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias.”

Thanks to Ole Humlum at Climate4U we can see NASA – GISS not-fudging temperatures below. They are very active at it.

This graph shows how thermometers from 1910 still need to be adjusted, even 100 years later. They need constant correction (the bottom blue line is the month of Jan 1910). Strangely, even modern thermometers need  correction too (the top red line is January 2000).

Over the eight years since 2008, the anomaly for Jan 1910 was re-estimated in many steps to be 0.7C cooler than it was thought to be back in 2008. Meanwhile the anomaly for Jan 2000 was adjusted to be 0.09C warmer between 2008 and 2016. Presumably the original raw temperatures were already adjusted prior to 2008. Who knows?

And you thought that temperature data was just a number on a page and once a calendar year was over it was finished. How naive. Turns out it’s a fluid entity traveling through the fourth dimension. Luckily NASA GISS are able to capture the way temperatures of the past are still changing today.

Diagram showing the adjustment made [...]

NASA Apollo Astronaut Walter Cunningham says trust in NASA and science has been abused

Four Apollo Astronauts are outspoken skeptics. This includes Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmidt (2 of the 12 men who walked on the moon) and Phil Chapman (Apollo 14) and Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7).

Donn F. Eisele, Walter M. Schirra, Jr. and Walter Cunningham.

Walter Cunningham is a fighter pilot and a physicist and was the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission. In a 263 hour mission in October 1968 the three astronauts covered four and a half million miles.

Over forty years later, he describes how the public trust built by the astronauts and technical specialists who put man on the moon has been abused by opportunists. NASA and science has changed. UPDATE: Ask yourself how hard it would be for the BBC, ABC or New Scientist to have done this interview (and years ago). Cunningham confirms that none of them have ever approached him to ask why he is openly skeptical, which tells you all you need to know about the impartiality of mainstream “journalists”. … * * * Below are selected snippets of Larry Bell’s interview with Walter Cunningham: “Those of us fortunate enough to have traveled in space bet our lives on the competence, dedication, [...]

Has the world started cooling? Hints from 4 of 5 global temperature sets…

I’m not keen on short term trends at all, they have a habit of flicking in and out of statistical significance with each month’s new data, or even switching from cooling to warming. But for what it’s worth, and only time will tell, perhaps the world entered the downswing of the PDO cycle in temperatures circa 2005.

If the world was entering a gently cooling phase, this is what it would look like

Syun Akasofu pointed out that there was a simple 60 year oscillation of global temperatures (about 30 years of warming, about 30 years of mild cooling) on top of a long slow rise that started more than 200 years ago. He predicted that we were at the top of one of the cycles, and were about to see the beginning of a cooler cycle. This early data suggests he may be right.

See the little red dot with the green arrow at about the 2010 mark. Dr Syun Akasofu

The cooling for the last eight years is statistically significant in 4 of the 5 major air temperature datasets. One, UAH, shows a small (statistically insignificant) rise since 2005.

And here’s the political point: how many of [...]

Blockbuster: Anthony Watts skewers Muller, BEST, and the surface record all in one paper

It’s all up on Watts Up now.

What Anthony Watts and Evan Jones have revealed is breathtaking.

[Art thanks to: Cartoons by Josh]

This new pre-print paper by Anthony Watts accomplishes so much. Assuming that no major problems are found, the pieces of the jigsaw fit and pass the common sense test. Yes, hot air rises off concrete. There goes half the warming trend. The most accurate thermometers in the right places are not recording high trends. High estimates come from combining good records with poor ones then adjusting that up. They show Muller and BEST’s latest exaggerated claims of 1.5C are meaningless. They show that only class 1 and 2 stations (which are placed well, not next to concrete, car-parks, or air-conditioners) give reliable data and the warming trend from these stations is much lower than the warming trend from Class 3, 4 or 5 stations. It’s what we always knew — thermometers near artificial heat sources are measuring artificial warming, but it’s not the global kind. Mueller, BEST, GISS, Hadley and all the others should have removed the data from poor stations entirely. No amount of statistical chicanery can correct the artificial warming effect no [...]

Messages from the global raw rural data. Warnings, gotcha’s and tree ring divergence explained!

Have you wondered what the global raw rural data tells us?

What did those thermometers say before the adjustments, smoothing, selection, and averaging?

This just might be the first time anyone has publicly compared the global raw data to published adjusted data sets in this way.

Frank Lansner has been dedicated in the extreme, and has developed a comprehensive Rural Unadjusted Temperature Index, or RUTI. One of the most interesting points to come out of this extensive work is the striking difference between coastal stations and inland stations. Frank kept noticing that the trend of the inland stations was markedly different from coastal stations and island stations.

Fig1. Red-Blue lines mark regions where there was a different coastal to inland trend. In green areas the two trends were similar.

What he finds is perhaps not so unusual: The coastal areas are heavily influenced by the sea surface temperature. Inland stations record larger rises and falls in temperature, which is hardly surprising. But, the implications are potentially large. When records from some stations are smoothed over vast distances (as in 1200 km smoothing), results can be heavily skewed by allowing coastal trends to be smoothed across inland areas. What Lansner [...]

BOM, GISS have record setting bugs affecting a million square miles?

How bad are these datasets? How sloppy are the data records?

Western Australia (WA) covers 2.5 million square kilometers (1 million square miles, about a third as big as the USA). The average of all WA stations over one month last year was adjusted up by as much as a gobsmacking 0.5 degrees due to a database “bug” – which contributed to August 2009 being the hottest August on record?! That’s one heck of a bug!

Could it get worse? Unbelievably, GISS seems to have lost data for key WA locations that an unpaid volunteer found easily in the BoM online records. GISS only has to maintain copies of records for sixteen stations in WA* which have temperatures current to 2010, but in seven of them they are missing data, and it affects the results. Are they random errors? No, shock me, six errors are upwards: in one case making the spring 2009 average temperatures for Kalgoorlie-Boulder 1.1 C degrees warmer!

But with no-one auditing our BoM or NASA’s GISS, and no team jointly receiving raw data or regulating standards in either agency, temperatures recorded in the field could potentially be listed in official records as being quite [...]

Did GISS discover 30% more land in the Northern Hemisphere?

… UPDATED with GLOBAL values! The questions get bigger.  (See below) July 18th.

Frank Lansner has been a busy man, and he’s asking some very thought provoking questions.

The Northern Hemisphere has a ratio of 40% land to 60% oceans, and the Hadley Met Centre seems to use a similar ratio (NH HadCrut Series: 58% ocean, 42% land). But  Frank Lansner wondered why, when he graphed the GISS land-data-set alongside the combined-sea-surface-temperatures (CSST), GISS comes up with an “averaged” line that runs much closer to the land data set and not the sea surface set. If it were weighted 60:40 (ocean:land) the combined Northern Hemisphere line ought to run slightly closer to the ocean based temperatures.

So Lansner mixed the land and sea temperatures in different ratios and graphed them and an odd thing occurred. Perhaps there is some good reason for it, but the GISS NH average line is currently running close to a mix that could be almost 70% land, and only 30% ocean. Back in 1985 the NH Average was closer to the sea temps as would be expected. In fact as late as 1995, the NH line still ran at around 40% land area. But somewhere [...]

Is there any unmassaged data out there?

This is yet another example of things that don’t add up in the world of GISS temperatures in Australia. Previously, we’ve discussed Gladstone and Darwin.

Ken Stewart has been doing some homework, and you can see all the graphs on his blog. Essentially, the Bureau of Met in Australia provides data for Mt. Isa that shows a warming trend of about 0.5 degrees of warming over a century. GISS takes this, adjusts it carefully to “homogenize urban data with rural data”, and gets an answer of 1.1 degrees. (Ironically among other things, “homogenisation” is supposed to compensate for the Urban Heat Island Effect, which would artificially inflate the trend in urban centers.)

To give you an idea of scale, the nearest station is at Cloncurry, 106km east (where a flat trend of 0.05 or so appears in the graph). But, there are other trends that are warmer in other stations. Averaging the five nearest rural stations gives about 0.6 degrees; averaging the nearest ten stations gives between 0.6 and 0.88 degrees.

Mt Isa and surrounds with temperature trends


GISS goulash at Gladstone

Gladstone is half way up the coast of Queensland, and though GISS (the Goddard Institute of Space Studies) can claim it has not “adjusted” the data, it appears to have cherry picked it.

Thanks to Ken Stewart for his detailed attention. The information here and graphs come from his blog.

Here’s how you double the warming trend without “adjusting” the data.

Start with several different records The oldest is the BOM (Bureau of Met) Post Office. The highest is the BOM radar, which stepwise jumps up a whole degree. The last is the BOM Airport, which confirms that the Radar for some reason is 1 degree higher than the rest.