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Old 08-10-2007, 11:21 AM  
morphius morphius is offline
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Global Warming: Interesting change in climate numbers from NASA

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My earlier column this week detailed the work of a volunteer team to assess problems with US temperature data used for climate modeling. One of these people is Steve McIntyre, who operates the site climateaudit.org. While inspecting historical temperature graphs, he noticed a strange discontinuity, or "jump" in many locations, all occurring around the time of January, 2000.

These graphs were created by NASA's Reto Ruedy and James Hansen (who shot to fame when he accused the administration of trying to censor his views on climate change). Hansen refused to provide McKintyre with the algorithm used to generate graph data, so McKintyre reverse-engineered it. The result appeared to be a Y2K bug in the handling of the raw data.

McKintyre notified the pair of the bug; Ruedy replied and acknowledged the problem as an "oversight" that would be fixed in the next data refresh.

NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the US global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

Then again-- maybe not. I strongly suspect this story will receive little to no attention from the mainstream media.

An nice summary here: http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/200...ttest_yea.html
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...
Four of the top 10 years of US CONUS high temperature deviations are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999). Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900. (World rankings of temperature are calculated separately.)
...
I salute the work of Steven McIntyre, he has now made two major contributions to climate science.
1) Proving how the Mann "hockey stick" used in all Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, was based on unsupportable data and methods.
2) Proving how yearly temperature anomalies for the USA are based on data that had been processed incorrectly.
Interesting stuff.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiptap
The error exists but it has nothing to do with Y2K. A Y2K error would not have affected 1998 data. So what is taking place. Will loosely there have always been two distinct data sets from the Federal Government for US and US only temperatures. One set has always had 1932 warmer than 1998. But the distinction doesn't exceed margin of errors. In other words the two years are statistically the same. However there was an error with the data set that rewarded 1998 as warmer and in the correction 1932 gets the ribbon. But again the two are statistically the same. As far as the change for the 21st Century scores, will the claims of the article are not true. The averages of both data sets are used in the WORLD TEMPERATURE average. And it is that number that indicates the rise in WORLD temperature.

And I have argued all along that removing our dependence of oil and reducing our gluttony (not our standard of living) in consumption of carbon based energy sources serves us well beyond GW concerns.
You do realize, of course, that there were long periods of global warming during the Roman and the Viking periods respectively. This ISN'T a new phenomenon. Not discounting it entirely but just making the point that before we go into full fledged panic mode, we need to do some more study as to whether or not it is a natural and cyclical occurence.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:07 PM   #17
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I'd hold off on taking this story as gospel.

My earlier column this week detailed the work of a volunteer team to assess problems with US temperature data used for climate modeling. One of these people is Steve McIntyre, who operates the site climateaudit.org.


That site is complete offline.


NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place.


According to this Wikipedia entry, the data affected was only 2000-2007... NOT 1998 as is suggested here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_McIntyre
Stephen McIntyre found an error in the surface temperature record kept by GISS.[6] GISS has acknowledged the error and incorporated a correction in their data set.[7] The error affects the surface temperature record from 2000 through 2007.


It's only Wikipedia... but the orginal article is just some blog. So I'd hold off for the full story.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jAZ
... but the orginal article is just some blog.
Actually, the blog's author seems to be funded by the Marshall Institute a conservative policy think tank that is funded by ExxonMobile and a number of conservative foundations like the Richard Mellon Scaife foundation.

http://www.marshall.org/experts.php?id=98

Stephen McIntyre

Stephen McIntyre has worked in mineral exploration for 30 years, much of that time as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada.


http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=36

Founded in 1984, The George Marshall Institute primarily focused on defense issues, advocating funding for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative and Star Wars. GMI has since branched out and is one of the leading think tanks trying to debunk climate change.

GMI works on a range of issues, including civic environmentalism, climate change, national defense, bioterrorism, and missile defense. GMI publishes papers and holds "roundtables." Many of these roundtables have featured climate change skeptics such as Roger Bate, Willie Soon, Margo Thorning, and GMI's own Sallie Baliunas. In 1989, the Marshall Institute released a report arguing that "cyclical variations in the intensity of the sun would offset any climate change associated with elevated greenhouse gases." Although it was refuted by the IPCC, the report was used by the Bush Sr. Administration to argue for a more lenient climate change policy. GMI has since published numerous reports and articles attacking the Kyoto protocol and undermining the climate science. GMI is a former member of the Cooler Heads Coalition. GMI used to restrict its funding sources to private foundations and individual donars to avoid conflict of interest, but in the late nineties, then GMI President Jeffrey Salmon wrote, "when the Institute turned its attention to the science of global warming, it decided it would appeal successfully to industry for financial support." This fall, the Institute received its first-ever grant from a corporate foundation-- the Exxon Education Foundation. (http://web.archive.org/web/200209130...rg/funding.htm) According to Media Transparency.org, the Institute received $5,757,803 since 1985 from conservative foundations including the Castle Rock Foundation (Coors), Earhart Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Carthage Foundation.

Last edited by jAZ; 08-10-2007 at 10:24 PM..
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:26 PM   #19
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Jaz - all you have to do is look at the NASA data to see that the 30's were hotter then the 90's.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
Jaz - all you have to do is look at the NASA data to see that the 30's were hotter then the 90's.
What data source are you looking at. I couldn't make heads or tails of the link I saw on this on Digg.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:31 PM   #21
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Their is a link to the NASA data right in the Blog of the RAW data:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
Their is a link to the NASA data right in the Blog of the RAW data:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt
I saw that and the other link to what seemed to be the original data (both are at the bottom of the Wikipedia article I linked).

I can't translate that after 2 beers and a complete absence of any understanding of what I'm looking at there. How do you look at that data and "see that the 30's were hotter then the 90's"??? I'm not sure I've had enough beer to be confused about that part.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:57 PM   #23
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Here is a quick way, the second number is the above or below average, basically, so just sum them up for each decade.

1930 0.16
1931 1.08
1932 0
1933 0.68
1934 1.25
1935 0.04
1936 0.21
1937 -0.13
1938 0.86
1939 0.85
SUM 5

1990 0.87
1991 0.69
1992 0.3
1993 -0.44
1994 0.46
1995 0.34
1996 -0.17
1997 0.03
1998 1.23
1999 0.93
SUM 4.24
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
Here is a quick way, the second number is the above or below average, basically, so just sum them up for each decade.

1930 0.16
1931 1.08
1932 0
1933 0.68
1934 1.25
1935 0.04
1936 0.21
1937 -0.13
1938 0.86
1939 0.85
SUM 5

1990 0.87
1991 0.69
1992 0.3
1993 -0.44
1994 0.46
1995 0.34
1996 -0.17
1997 0.03
1998 1.23
1999 0.93
SUM 4.24
I have a question. Wouldn't the average then have to be higher since there were less decades and thus data to "average" than there is in the 90s?

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Decade 1: .4
Decade 2: .6
Decade 3: .3
Average: .43
Decade 4: .7
Decade 5: -.3
Decade 6: -.8
Decade 7: 1.24
Average: .31


Am I wrong in that logic?
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
I have a question. Wouldn't the average then have to be higher since there were less decades and thus data to "average" than there is in the 90s?

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Decade 1: .4
Decade 2: .6
Decade 3: .3
Average: .43
Decade 4: .7
Decade 5: -.3
Decade 6: -.8
Decade 7: 1.24
Average: .31


Am I wrong in that logic?
I think the average is re-figured every year.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
I think the average is re-figured every year.
Wouldn't that still mean that the averages are off?
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:23 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
Wouldn't that still mean that the averages are off?
not if they adjust all the numbers to match the "new" average.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:56 PM   #28
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What are the temperatures. This seems excessively and unnecessarily confusing (above, below the average).

99-degrees, 75-degrees...

Where the actual data?
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:22 AM   #29
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http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...-and-all-that/

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1934 and all that
Filed under: Instrumental Record Climate Science— gavin @ 5:33 PM
Another week, another ado over nothing.

Last Saturday, Steve McIntyre wrote an email to NASA GISS pointing out that for some North American stations in the GISTEMP analysis, there was an odd jump in going from 1999 to 2000. On Monday, the people who work on the temperature analysis (not me), looked into it and found that this coincided with the switch between two sources of US temperature data. There had been a faulty assumption that these two sources matched, but that turned out not to be the case. There were in fact a number of small offsets (of both sign) between the same stations in the two different data sets. The obvious fix was to make an adjustment based on a period of overlap so that these offsets disappear.

This was duly done by Tuesday, an email thanking McIntyre was sent and the data analysis (which had been due in any case for the processing of the July numbers) was updated accordingly along with an acknowledgment to McIntyre and update of the methodology.

The net effect of the change was to reduce mean US anomalies by about 0.15 ēC for the years 2000-2006. There were some very minor knock on effects in earlier years due to the GISTEMP adjustments for rural vs. urban trends. In the global or hemispheric mean, the differences were imperceptible (since the US is only a small fraction of the global area).

There were however some very minor re-arrangements in the various rankings (see data). Specifically, where 1998 (1.24 ēC anomaly compared to 1951-1980) had previously just beaten out 1934 (1.23 ēC) for the top US year, it now just misses: 1934 1.25ēC vs. 1998 1.23ēC. None of these differences are statistically significant. Indeed in the 2001 paper describing the GISTEMP methodology (which was prior to this particularly error being introduced), it says:

The U.S. annual (January-December) mean temperature is slightly warmer in 1934 than in 1998 in the GISS analysis (Plate 6). This contrasts with the USHCN data, which has 1998 as the warmest year in the century. In both cases the difference between 1934 and 1998 mean temperatures is a few hundredths of a degree. The main reason that 1998 is relatively cooler in the GISS analysis is its larger adjustment for urban warming. In comparing temperatures of years separated by 60 or 70 years the uncertainties in various adjustments (urban warming, station history adjustments, etc.) lead to an uncertainty of at least 0.1°C. Thus it is not possible to declare a record U.S. temperature with confidence until a result is obtained that exceeds the temperature of 1934 by more than 0.1°C.

More importantly for climate purposes, the longer term US averages have not changed rank. 2001-2006 (at 0.66 ēC) is still warmer than 1930-1934 (0.63 ēC - the largest value in the early part of the century) (though both are below 1998-2002 at 0.79 ēC). (The previous version - up to 2005 - can be seen here).

In the global mean, 2005 remains the warmest (as in the NCDC analysis). CRU has 1998 as the warmest year but there are differences in methodology, particularly concerning the Arctic (extrapolated in GISTEMP, not included in CRU) which is a big part of recent global warmth. No recent IPCC statements or conclusions are affected in the slightest.

Sum total of this change? A couple of hundredths of degrees in the US rankings and no change in anything that could be considered climatically important (specifically long term trends).

However, there is clearly a latent and deeply felt wish in some sectors for the whole problem of global warming to be reduced to a statistical quirk or a mistake. This lead to some truly death-defying leaping to conclusions when this issue hit the blogosphere. One of the worst examples (but there are others) was the 'Opinionator' at the New York Times (oh dear). He managed to confuse the global means with the continental US numbers, he made up a story about McIntyre having 'always puzzled about some gaps' (what?) , declared the the error had 'played havoc' with the numbers, and quoted another blogger saying that the 'astounding' numbers had been 'silently released'. None of these statements are true. Among other incorrect stories going around are that the mistake was due to a Y2K bug or that this had something to do with photographing weather stations. Again, simply false.

But hey, maybe the Arctic will get the memo.
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIEF4EVER
You do realize, of course, that there were long periods of global warming during the Roman and the Viking periods respectively. This ISN'T a new phenomenon. Not discounting it entirely but just making the point that before we go into full fledged panic mode, we need to do some more study as to whether or not it is a natural and cyclical occurence.
Yes I am well aware that Greek and Roman and even earlier Mesopotamian or Egyptian times (along with the North Star not being Polaris but between two stars of the little dipper because of earth's wobble not seen today) were warmer than the AVERAGE temperatures for the 20th Century. The small slow movement toward colder temperatures gave rise to the investigation of whether the Interglacial Period of the Present ICE AGE might be waning. And the resulting media speculation of the 70's about the world cooling. It is against this background that the precipitous rise in temperatures has raised the concern that human activities could influence climate.

It has been my position since 9/11 that we were better served by spending the deficit in shoring up our borders and reinforcing our infrastructures rather than fighting in Iraq. And in the process move away from new infrastructures that subsidize burning of fossil fuels and toward renewable sources.

This will put downward pressure on oil prices and at the same time diminish the power of oil rich nations including Russia.
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