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A little perspective on the U.S. and global temperature records
GISTEMP ^ | 08/10/2007 | cogitator

Posted on 08/10/2007 8:24:21 AM PDT by cogitator

There's been some ballyhoo about an adjustment to the U.S. temperature record from GISS (it will be interesting to see if the NOAA record will require a similar adjustment). What some are apparently forgetting is that the U.S. warm temperature anomaly (the Dust Bowl) in the 1930s, and the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, was somewhat disconnected from the global temperature trends. The two graphs below illustrate this.

Global land-ocean temperature record

Note that there is also a global meteorological-station-only record; graph can be found at the Source URL.

U.S. Temperature Record

A substantial difference can be perceived.

But why?

[Important note: First notice that the global land-ocean temperature record includes the anomalous tropical warmth of the 1930s into the 1940s, which was apparently "magnified" (see below) by interactions with the North American land surface.]

What Caused the Dust Bowl in the US Midwest in the 1930's?

Was the Dust Bowl predictable?

An excerpt from the latter link is provided below:

"The inability to correctly model the spatial pattern of the Dust Bowl drought, and its deviation from the typical pattern of tropical SST-forced drought, makes us wonder how unusual the Dust Bowl pattern was. Analyses of instrumental data since the mid nineteenth century - shows that none of the other five multiyear droughts in this interval (1856-65, 1870-77, 1890-96, 1948-57 and post 1998) had a similar pattern. For a longer record we examined the updated version of the gridded tree ring records within the North American Drought Atlas. Computation of the spatial correlation between the Dust Bowl pattern and six year low pass filtered data revealed only three prior droughts that had an anomaly correlation exceeding 0.4 (Figure 4). All were in the Medieval period. No other droughts had an AC exceeding 0.31 presenting a clear separation between Dust Bowl type droughts and the more commonly occurring pattern with a center in the Southwest and southern and central Plains."

MY SHORT SUMMARY: The warm temperatures of the 1930s were extremely unusual in the United States. This has been known for quite awhile. The adjustments to the United States temperature record do not significantly change the current climate understanding: i.e., the 1930s were anomalously warm in the United States for one particular and unusual reason; the current warm temperatures in the United States are linked directly to the warming trend over the entire globe (with some minor exceptions like central Antarctica).

I don't really want to be attacked for my political motivations for posting this, because I don't have any. I will not respond to any non-scientific discussion - that's why I posted this in the "Science" forum and not "News/Current Events". I'm attempting to help people to understand the issue better, and not to get "carried away" with the latest "global warming refutation". My advice: don't get too excited. Keep reading. Try to separate knowledge from belief.

Oh yeah; you can also read my profile.


TOPICS: Education; Science
KEYWORDS: agw; climate; global; local; warming
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It's interesting that just before this story came out, RealClimate published a short summary of how increasing atmospheric CO2 affects the climate.

The CO2 Problem in Six Easy Steps

If you're uncertain about the basics of the issue, this is a great place to start.

A few postings, notably #105, #111, #112, and #114, touch on the GISS adjustment.

1 posted on 08/10/2007 8:24:24 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Killing Time; Beowulf; Mr. Peabody; RW_Whacko; honolulugal; SideoutFred; Ole Okie; ...


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GREENIE WATCH



2 posted on 08/10/2007 8:27:15 AM PDT by xcamel ("It's Talk Thompson Time!" >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: cogitator
It's interesting that just before this story came out, RealClimate published a short summary of how increasing atmospheric CO2 affects the climate.

RealClimate? Those guys are as biased as they come regarding human-caused global warming. And they wasted no time downplaying the GISS adjustment. What other problems are lurking in the data? A sane, unbiased scientist, upon discovering one major problem in their datasets, would proceed to examine all other inputs for similar problems, instead of treating the problem data set as an outlier.

But that's what bias does to a scientist. It removes their objectivity. And science without objectivity is little more than propaganda.

3 posted on 08/10/2007 8:30:54 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator
I don’t think anyone is arguing that the earth is not going through a slight warming period.

The argument is with those who claim we are the cause and we are all doomed unless we go vegan and walk to work in dirty cloths.

4 posted on 08/10/2007 8:31:14 AM PDT by PeteB570 (Guns, what real men want for Christmas)
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To: dirtboy
RealClimate? Those guys are as biased as they come regarding human-caused global warming.

Any perceived or real bias does not affect what is written in "The CO2 Problem in 6 Easy Steps". (Perhaps in the responses to comments, but not the actual article.) And this was only a sidebar to my post, anyway.

5 posted on 08/10/2007 8:39:38 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
Any perceived or real bias does not affect what is written in "The CO2 Problem in 6 Easy Steps".

Really. I imagine a month ago the global warming alarmists would have said no bias or error infected the GISS data, either.

The onus is now on the global warming crowd to go back through all their data sets and models to look for bias. They are the ones calling for massive societal changes. They need to show their science is airtight.

But they won't, because their science isn't. As was noted in another blog post on the GISS data, scientists take taxpayer money but often won't provide the source code for their modelling and adjustment. Until that happens, they have no credibility outside their echo chamber.

6 posted on 08/10/2007 8:44:36 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator

August 9th 2007 marked the death of the Global Warming Conspiracy.

Those men intimately involved, and every single one of the “scientists” and “researchers” who co-authored papers with the inner group of criminal conspirators MUST be brought up on charges, and must be stripped of their credentials.

This could be the greatest and longest lasting achievement of the Bush administration.

The fraud has been apparent for a decade, it’s time for the charlatans to pay the piper.


7 posted on 08/10/2007 8:46:04 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: cogitator

Thanks for the link. Climate and prediction has so many not always well understood variables. For example when no planes flew the three days after 9/11, scientists discovered there was an increase in the rate of evaporation from test pans in the farm belt. Evaporation is not caused by heat, but by photons striking the water. Without airplane pollution, more photons were hitting the test water.

There was also a link discovered between climate and drought in northern Africa after Europe began cutting its air pollution, which was blowing south over Africa. And since our hurricane precursors originate in Africa, what has the reduction of European air pollution done to our hurricane patterns?

Science is so complicated and interactive that I wish individual disciplines would not be so territorial and dogmatic, and that non scientists would not pop off with so much ill considered and silly/hostile commentary.


8 posted on 08/10/2007 9:05:07 AM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: cogitator
The GISS adjustment certainly is not the be-all end-all of the discussion. It is merely one of a host of problems, and it came about more as a side-effect of a larger investigation of UHI contamination on an extremely large scale, as well as poorly described adjustment procedures.

The GISS problem is merely a clear example of how long very basic errors sit around because despite claims of widespread peer-review, they've never really been examined...and hundreds of papers cite them, and other networks gain credibility by matching them...just as with the Mann MHB98/99 papers.

Mann claimed his papers were not just read, but actively peer-reviewed by THOUSANDS of scientists; the TAR heavily relied on his work (in part because the IPCC made him a chapter author, which he took full advantage of)...and yet it took 8 years and congressional pressure before the math was thoroughly checked and found "not skillful".

The GISS calculations are widely cited, and a great deal of faith is placed upon Hansen's team performing adjustments for which they are not required to really explain what they are doing in any examinable detail.

Mr. McIntyre, did not find the error by himself - he lacks the resources to set up an alternate climate reference network - but the adverserial process narrowed down the error which had been overlooked for 7-1/2 years.

In May, Mr. Watts noticed that his local USHCN station (labelled as "high quality" by the NOAA) was both severly outside of NOAA standards for environment and adjacent to several features that have been demonstrated to induce a measurement error in the 5C range; this was concurrent with his finding that just the change in paint type on Stevenson shelters was enough to alter station readings.

Mr. Watts then went to another local USHCN site, and found lesser, but substantial problems.

Mr. Watts then set up an internet site and began recruiting volunteers to systematically record other sites in an attempt to get a complete census of the USHCN network, and evaluate whether the network is consistant with the NOAA claims.

This survey is still ongoing (with approx 270 out of 1200 surveys completed), and results from it are suggestive in nature only, however while there are some sites which appear pristine (as the network is represented) - at least as regards a consistant environment - even if all further sites surveyed turn out to be proper, the numbers of sites outside of parameters seems enough to overwhelm the signal purported to be selected out of it.

One thing that appears to have happened systematically, is that sites were commonly moved adjacent to buildings apparently so as to allow the migration to MMTS sensors with a commonly used cable length. This occurred gradually in the 1980s and 1990s.

Generally the most extreme warming trends have been associated with the most absurd site placement, such as the site sitting IN the parking lot.

The claim has been made that the various semi-documented adjustment procedures account for the ill-placement. To date, it appears as though many of the most ill-sited sites have been adjusted down....and pristine sites adjusted upwards(or more properly, adjusted downwards in the past more than recently). Again, the survey is incomplete, and the adjustment methods are not clearly stated.

One of the sites photographed was the site in MN, which it was discovered had a large jump, and two large AC compressors placed absurdly close;
some associates of Mr. Watts assumed that the relocation of air conditioning compressors next to the sensors were responsible for a sudden jump in site records; this was countered that the jump did not exactly match (though there does seem to be a signal as well) the relocation by Mr. Rabbet and his AGW associates; Mr. McIntyre then dug about attempting to match other records, and discovered that for some reason that a semi-adjusted record which had been replaced some time ago, suddenly replaced the more adjusted records beginning in Jan 2000, without being normalized.

GISSs attempts to correct the programming error that caused that use further non-public adjustments, and though the programming error only directly affected data since Jan 2000, apparently the data was used to adjust data prior to that time as well. These source for these "corrections" are unknown as well...which is the real problem.

Many prominent studies which use the USHCN network don't identify exactly which sites they used - even upon explicit request - which again, blocks review. Others such as the "light1 = urban/light0 = rural" have been shown to have not merely flawed assumptions, but downright silly...and have been relied upon by other studies for use to derive controls.

9 posted on 08/10/2007 9:31:55 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: cogitator
By the way...I consider your posts and arguments generally valuable: Early on, by exposing my ignorance of updates in a subject that I hadn't looked at in several years, and more recently in formulating alternate evaluations.

I agree with you that interpretation of the finding of the error is in some ways overblown, but the real point is that there ARE systemic problems with the data; the scientists don't know "nothing" but are far more confident than their data would objectively suggest they should be; peer-review is much less than it is represented as, at least as regards the upper levels of climate science; and widespread refusal of prominent climate scientists to make their data and methods open for review of reproducibility is allowing errors such as the GISS one to continue undetected for absurdly long periods of time...and then there's the widespread reference-kiting.

You undoubtedly will receive a lot of abuse here, but as for me, thank you...even if I disagree on a lot of points.

10 posted on 08/10/2007 9:48:00 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: lepton
Generally the most extreme warming trends have been associated with the most absurd site placement, such as the site sitting IN the parking lot.

even if all further sites surveyed turn out to be proper, the numbers of sites outside of parameters seems enough to overwhelm the signal purported to be selected out of it.

Or maybe not.

Surface stations

To make it scientific, they are going to have to work a bit harder than taking pictures and finding data problems at a few stations.

The bottom line is that this may cause the USHCN principals to examine their methods and data; and the ultimate bottom line will turn out to be the current scientific understanding of the issue -- the world is warming and the scientists know why.

Or why else is spring earlier and winter later?

Early Warning Signs: Spring Comes Earlier

Arctic spring arriving weeks earlier

Climate changes shift springtime

Warming Trend Seen in Late Freeze, Early Thaw

11 posted on 08/10/2007 9:51:41 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: lepton
the scientists don't know "nothing" but are far more confident than their data would objectively suggest they should be

I can't remember where I read it, but there are many examples in the history of science where a recognized "great mind" really did have insight into breakthrough knowledge, but the data available didn't always agree with what he or she knew had to be the nature of nature. Sometimes this knowledge resulted in "adjustments" to the data by the "great mind". (Sometimes it turned out later that the adjustments made ad hoc were found to be due to an instrumental or bias error not immediately perceptible; the "great mind" knew that this must be the case but couldn't prove it at the time, but the adjustments made to prove the point (or publish the paper) turned out to be exactly what was required).

Two sort-of like this examples: Gregor Mendel and Einstein's cosmological constant.

Which gets back to what I quoted. That confidence comes from knowledge, not just data. Sometimes such confidence is misplaced. But I respect the minds of those who are investigating the way the world's climate works.

12 posted on 08/10/2007 10:00:06 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: dirtboy; cogitator
"And they wasted no time downplaying the GISS adjustment. What other problems are lurking in the data? A sane, unbiased scientist, upon discovering one major problem in their datasets, would proceed to examine all other inputs for similar problems, instead of treating the problem data set as an outlier."

I agree with dirtboy's skepticism toward all the data sets. Not too long ago the stratosphere temperatures showed cooling and it was explained as something that would be expected from global warming. Then a correction in the bias was done to the data set and it showed the stratosphere temperatures to be warming and the scientists said that that was exactly what they had expected to see the stratosphere temperatures warming. Can't have it both ways.

I also see from the RealClimate link that they used a weighted formula for temperatures values to arrive at the "average" global temperature. I work in seismic processing and we deal with huge volumes of data and one of the holy grails is to "regularize" data sets and it involves much more than a simple weighted formula. In fact, there is no actual algorithm today in the seismic industry that is even close to 100% accurate and all the various algorithms are very data dependent.

I also have a problem with the concept of "climate sensitivity" being a value for a system in equilibrium when in fact the Earth is a non-equillibrum system in which temperature gradients drive the weather.

These are just random thoughts.

13 posted on 08/10/2007 10:14:19 AM PDT by avacado
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To: avacado
I also have a problem with the concept of "climate sensitivity" being a value for a system in equilibrium when in fact the Earth is a non-equillibrum system in which temperature gradients drive the weather.

Well, you just kicked the global warming holy grail like an old coffee can. If you normalize a non-equilibrium system as being in equilibrium when you start your models, lo and behold, you are guaranteed to demonstrate climate change! You could run last night's baseball line scores through the model and show climate change.

I love the latest "proof" from the global warming weenies - that their latest wundermodel shows how natural factors are buffering global warming recently, but we're guaranteed to have warming take off come 2009! I wonder how much of that "proof" relied on the pre-adjustment GISS data...

14 posted on 08/10/2007 10:21:57 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator
I can't remember where I read it, but there are many examples in the history of science where a recognized "great mind" really did have insight into breakthrough knowledge, but the data available didn't always agree with what he or she knew had to be the nature of nature.

Wegner and continental drift comes to mind.

However, plate tectonics was not subsequently proven by computer models, but hard science from the field.

Whereas when we look at hard science regarding solar variation and paleoclimate, human-caused global warming falls apart.

15 posted on 08/10/2007 10:25:25 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator

I’ll read through the Surfacestations link more thoroughly later (heading out), but the first scan suggests the guy who wrote it is doing the hyperbole thing himself, discounts that we still don’t know whether the GISS adjustments are appropriate since they are functionally secret, and appears to have used the quasi-averaged adjusted data that is being disputed to show that the two sites are more alike than the raw data shows.


16 posted on 08/10/2007 10:31:18 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: dirtboy
"Well, you just kicked the global warming holy grail like an old coffee can."

LOL!!! You got me laughing with that line!

"I love the latest "proof" from the global warming weenies - that their latest wundermodel shows how natural factors are buffering global warming recently, but we're guaranteed to have warming take off come 2009! I wonder how much of that "proof" relied on the pre-adjustment GISS data..."

I hadn't heard that "global warming" is being delayed until 2009. Was that on that link?

17 posted on 08/10/2007 10:31:56 AM PDT by avacado
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To: avacado
Natural forces offset global warming last two years: study
18 posted on 08/10/2007 10:44:12 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: dirtboy
From the link:

But global warming will begin in earnest in 2009, and a couple of the years between 2009 and 2014 will eclipse 1998, the warmest year on record to date, in the heat stakes, British meteorologists said.

Oops, 1998 is no longer the warmest year on record.

19 posted on 08/10/2007 10:48:03 AM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator

For later.


20 posted on 08/10/2007 10:54:16 AM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: dirtboy

Thanks for the link! I was laughing the whole time I read it. Basically, they decided to treat the Earth as a non-equilibrium system and decided to use REAL data and found that the Earth will not be heating up.

This whole “global warming” debacle is sending real science back to the dark ages... especially with buffoons like Al Gore (a non scientist) leading the charge.


21 posted on 08/10/2007 10:59:28 AM PDT by avacado
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To: cogitator
but there are many examples in the history of science where a recognized "great mind" really did have insight into breakthrough knowledge

Many laughed at Tesla. Even Edison had some rather unkind things to say about him. :)
22 posted on 08/10/2007 11:26:27 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: avacado
especially with buffoons like Al Gore (a non scientist) leading the charge.

Al Gore is the ultimate anti-environmentalist, anti-conservationist, anti-scientist, etc. He's the Court Jester on PCP.
23 posted on 08/10/2007 11:28:54 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: cogitator
The two graphs below illustrate this.

Your 1st graph is BS, it's showing 2002 was as warm as 1998 and 2004 was nearly a whole .1 higher than 1998, which is news to me, someone is playing with the numbers there. Not to mention they always clip the end off the 5 year moving average at 2003 so you don't see the leveling off at the end.

MY SHORT SUMMARY: The warm temperatures of the 1930s were extremely unusual in the United States. This has been known for quite awhile.

Translation: Anything that embarrassingly contradicts global warming we will just dismiss and chalk it up to being unusual or an anomaly, this way we can still keep our religion and continue to push for world socialism

The adjustments to the United States temperature record do not significantly change the current climate understanding

The hell it doesn't. Back in that time period the United States was pretty much the only country keeping accurate temperature records on a consistent basis(i.e. How many weather stations were there in China, Africa, South America, Antarctica, etc. consistently taking accurate temperature readings in the 1930's). If they can't get the United States right, why should we believe the rest of the world is without error?

I don't really want to be attacked for my political motivations for posting this, because I don't have any.

You post from and believe every word without question from Realclimate.org, which is hosted by Al Gore's very own campaign manager and you have no political agenda, suuurrre.

24 posted on 08/10/2007 11:44:06 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: avacado
Then a correction in the bias was done to the data set and it showed the stratosphere temperatures to be warming and the scientists said that that was exactly what they had expected to see the stratosphere temperatures warming. Can't have it both ways.

Yes, but you can be confused between the troposphere and the stratosphere, which is what you've done here. The stratosphere has been cooling since satellites started measuring -- primarily due to ozone depletion and secondarily due to global warming. The troposphere was not showing warming (in the Spencer & Christy MLS data set), but they adjusted it -- and 1998 kicked it higher -- and now it does. Other groups analyzing the same data get higher lower troposphere warming trends than Spencer and Christy do.

I also see from the RealClimate link that they used a weighted formula for temperatures values to arrive at the "average" global temperature.

This is required for areas with sparse spatial coverage, for one thing.

25 posted on 08/10/2007 12:08:19 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: dirtboy
Oops, 1998 is no longer the warmest year on record.

In the United States (which is why I wrote this little posting). Globally, 1998 was much warmer than any other year since 1880 (whenever the official start year of the instrumental record is) and will be -- until there's another strong El Nino event. The year that happens will be the new global temperature record year.

I'll go beyond the IPCC and say that I have 100% confidence in my final statement above, beginning with "until". The only factor that could change that outcome would be a true decrease in solar radiance. I don't see that happening, thought some solar scientists have made that prediction. (And if they're right, it's good for the globe.)

26 posted on 08/10/2007 12:17:12 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
I don't see that happening, thought some solar scientists have made that prediction. (And if they're right, it's good for the globe.)

The millions who died of cold and starvation during the Little Ice Age might beg to differ there.

27 posted on 08/10/2007 12:23:02 PM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: cogitator
"Yes, but you can be confused between the troposphere and the stratosphere,..."

You are right... I had them mixed up. But it still leaves me puzzled that before the correction they explained the cooling as a valid result of global warming. And now they do a correction and and get a warming trend and explain that as valid.

"This is required for areas with sparse spatial coverage, for one thing."

Yes I know. And attempting to "regularize" data based on a simple weighting algorithm is not very accurate whatsoever.

28 posted on 08/10/2007 12:40:44 PM PDT by avacado
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To: qam1
Your 1st graph is BS, it's showing 2002 was as warm as 1998 and 2004 was nearly a whole .1 higher than 1998, which is news to me, someone is playing with the numbers there. Not to mention they always clip the end off the 5 year moving average at 2003 so you don't see the leveling off at the end.

According to the GISS global analysis, 2005 (not 2004) was warmer than 1998. You missed the point (2003) that's mostly covered by the red moving average line. For more on that:

Global Temperature Trends: 2005 Summation

"The highest global surface temperature in more than a century of instrumental data was recorded in the 2005 calendar year in the GISS annual analysis. However, the error bar on the data implies that 2005 is practically in a dead heat with 1998, the warmest previous year."

There is indeed a discrepancy between the 2005 temperature anomaly shown at the link above and the one shown on the graph to which your posting refers (the one in my original composition). Both of these are directly linked from GISS. The temperature anomaly in 2005 is above 0.6 C in the graph posted here, and below 0.6 C in the GISS 2005 temperature summation. I have no idea if this is a plotting error or due to a revision to the data. I have always based my understanding on the 2005 summation, which indicated that 2005 was very slightly warmer than 1998 in the GISS analysis (NOAA had 2005 just below 1998). [Note that the 2005 summation probably hasn't been revised since January 12, 2006. The graph at the top of the article was revised on January 8, 2007. I find that interesting, because it may imply that in the current GISS analysis, 2005 is now warmer than originally reported in the 2005 summation!]

As for 2002: Global Temperature Trends: 2002 Summation

Translation: Anything that embarrassingly contradicts global warming we will just dismiss and chalk it up to being unusual or an anomaly,

I still have yet to see anything that embarrasingly contradicts global warming. Your misconceptions certainly don't.

Back in that time period the United States was pretty much the only country keeping accurate temperature records on a consistent basis(i.e. How many weather stations were there in China, Africa, South America, Antarctica, etc. consistently taking accurate temperature readings in the 1930's)?

I refer you to the Global Historical Climatology Network and this PDF document: Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) quality control of monthly temperature data. Judge for yourself. From the latter document: "Despite the problems encountered with various source data sets and individual time series, evidence was repeatedly seen, in both the digital archive and in old documents such as the 1894 Deutsche Ueberseeische Meteorologische Beobachtungen in Deutsch-Ost-Afrika (Peterson and Griffiths, 1997), that weather observations were generally made very meticulously. There are 4.7 million station months of temperature data in GHCN starting in 1701 and continuing to the present. This embodies the systematic observations of our environment by tens of thousands of individuals over centuries of human history."

Speaking of RealClimate, the discussion in "6 Easy Steps" is actually quite illuminating. Did you know that there are two reasons that the GHCN temperature record is substantially unaffected by the revisions to the GISS data? See the responses to #110 and #112 to see why.

29 posted on 08/10/2007 1:02:55 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: lepton

Once upon a time, way back when, I was a professional Metrologist.

NOT a Meteorologist, a Metrologist.

 My profession was measurement standards and their applications.

 When I read stories about thermometers being placed in parking lots, next to buildings and other obviously poor locations, I am forced to ask “Is any one paying attention”?

 These are fundamental and substantial issues and are at the core of this debate.

 If I cannot trust these “scientists” to simply place the instrumentation in a proper environment, how can I possibly be expected to respect their conclusions?

 The point about the algorithm used to “normalize” the data is also highly suspect.

 Does anyone remember the term G I G O?

 Without reproducible and verified standards that are open to review and inspection, I will continue to look at human caused global warming as nothing more than a religion.

 I deal in facts.

 Opinions are for the Editorial page. Cheers,

knewshound

http://www.knewshound.blogspot.com/

30 posted on 08/10/2007 1:05:20 PM PDT by knews_hound (Sarcastically blogging since 2004.)
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To: dirtboy
The millions who died of cold and starvation during the Little Ice Age might beg to differ there.

It's currently a lot warmer than then. If the Sun decides to cool off a bit for the next century or so, then thank you Mr. Sun and I think human civilization has better sources of heat and more enlightened agricultural practices than in the 1600s and 1700s. We can always increase our CO2 emissions if it looks like it's getting too cold!

31 posted on 08/10/2007 1:05:41 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
It's currently a lot warmer than then.

But still cooler than the Medival Warm period, a time of formerly unprecedented human prosperity that ended with the onset of the Little Ice Age.

Warm is good.

32 posted on 08/10/2007 1:07:59 PM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: avacado
But it still leaves me puzzled that before the correction they explained the cooling as a valid result of global warming. And now they do a correction and and get a warming trend and explain that as valid.

The stratosphere is cooling and the lower troposphere is warming. Both are valid results of global warming. The critical necessity of lower troposphere warming is higher (for the theory) than stratospheric cooling. Go to the bottom of this page (you can read the rest if you want):

Description of MSU and AMSU Data Products

TLT is lower troposphere, TMT is mid-troposphere, TTS is troposphere/stratosphere, and TLS is lower stratosphere. And I hope you know what the big warming bump in 1991 in the TLS was caused by.

For benefit of others, here are the TLT and TLS plots:

And attempting to "regularize" data based on a simple weighting algorithm is not very accurate whatsoever.

I defer to your expertise.

33 posted on 08/10/2007 1:15:18 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: dirtboy
But still cooler than the Medival Warm period,

Debatable and not resolvable (according to both the NAS and the IPCC) with currently available data and analyses. That is ultimately one of the main outcomes of the "hockey stick" evaluation -- beyond 400 years ago quantitative comparisons of global and regional temperature are inconclusive.

Best that can be said is that it was warm then (MWP) and it's warm now.

34 posted on 08/10/2007 1:19:20 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
Debatable and not resolvableEngland had vinyards during the MWP.

Best that can be said is that it was warm then (MWP) and it's warm now.

Like I said - warm is good.

35 posted on 08/10/2007 1:25:05 PM PDT by dirtboy (Impeach Chertoff and Gonzales. We can't wait until 2009 for them to be gone.)
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To: dirtboy
English vineyards again
36 posted on 08/10/2007 1:28:22 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
I guess my point is that while the data for the troposphere showed cooling before the known correction, scientists were putting faith in the models even though the data showed different.

And attempting to "regularize" data based on a simple weighting algorithm is not very accurate whatsoever.

"I defer to your expertise."

I am only a software engineer developing simple algorithms and doing seismic system design. But "regularization" of data is a big big issue in the seismic field and we have PhDs and double-PhDs working around the clock on algorithms. A weighting scheme is a very basic and not so good method for spatial interpolation and extrapolation.

37 posted on 08/10/2007 1:29:10 PM PDT by avacado
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To: dirtboy
Like I said - warm is good.

Not for some people.


38 posted on 08/10/2007 1:36:37 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: avacado
I guess my point is that while the data for the troposphere showed cooling before the known correction, scientists were putting faith in the models even though the data showed different.

And that's a very good point.

39 posted on 08/10/2007 1:36:44 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
And that's a very good point.

My take is that most of the scientists will use tools, like models, in the best way they know how and as better methods come along they will continually reevaluate their understanding of what they are seeing. I know the IPCC is not popular here and I will admit that they are under a lot of political pressure, but many of their scientists do some excellent work and report fairly on their findings and even on the limitations of those findings. The only exception to that I readily make is to the 'statement for policy makers' because that always seems so political and should be retitled something along the lines of "statements for people who don't care what we have to say as long as we say what they want us to."
40 posted on 08/10/2007 7:35:25 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: cogitator

“I still have yet to see anything that embarrasingly contradicts global warming. “

Contradiction? No. Embarrassment? Yes.

The big story here is not the disproof of global warming, but the disproof of that anti-scientific claim from the AGW alarmists that “the science is settled”, which even recently Al Gore repeated. The hell it is.

When even the basic question of the underlying data is in question, most of the studies done up to now should be considered tainted and in need of review and revision.

Arguing global GISS data to ‘prove’ the changes are not significant is a bit of a non sequitor.

The questions are about US data, which is now being revised in a way that dampens some of claimed ramp up in recent temperatures and leaves us with 1934 as the hottest year on record, in the US.

But these revision to US data are a tip of the iceberg that could come:
- US temp records have been considered the ‘cleanest’ of the records globally, and it calls into question reliability of all the data
- there has been way too much secrecy in the algorithms used to make the temp adjustments; the light of day needs to shine on how these records are being constructed; when that happens, surely a lot more than this dataset will be affected

The AGW alarmist camp keeps hand-waving everytime

“There are 4.7 million station months of temperature data in GHCN starting in 1701 and continuing to the present. This embodies the systematic observations of our environment by tens of thousands of individuals over centuries of human history.”

Such a statement in no way refutes the main thing at issue, explained on Coyote blog:

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/08/official-us-cli.html
“One of the interesting aspects of these temperature data bases is that they do not just use the raw temperature measurements from each station. Both the NOAA (which maintains the USHCN stations) and the GISS apply many layers of adjustments, which I discussed here. One of the purposes of Watt’s project is to help educate climate scientists that many of the adjustments they make to the data back in the office does not necessarily represent the true condition of the temperature stations. In particular, GISS adjustments imply instrument sitings are in more natural settings than they were in say 1905, an outrageous assumption on its face that is totally in conflict to the condition of the stations in Watt’s data base. Basically, surface temperature measurements have a low signal to noise ratio, and climate scientists have been overly casual about how they try to tease out the signal.”

Unless and until the ‘internals’ of how termperature adjustments are calculated are made public *and* a deep and thorough review of the actual quality of temp. instruments used to construct global means, charts such as “global average temperature” will be of dubious validity.

Is there evidence the global temperature data should be reviewed? Yes, consider this:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/nvst.html

That’s how science has to work. Get the facts right. If even the facts are not settled, the science can hardly be said to be so.


41 posted on 08/10/2007 8:55:18 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: cogitator

Coyote blog has some informative posts on the subject:

This explains the issue of ‘adjustments’:
http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/07/an-interesting-.html

suspicious adjustment factors and quality of temp sites:
http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/06/signal_to_noise.html

temperature numbers revised:
http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/08/official-us-cli.html


42 posted on 08/10/2007 9:03:03 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: P-40

Now that Mr Snowman has been exposed as a Democrat primary voter, with his recent exposure on YouTube sucking up to Democrats running for President, I say: Let him melt. :-)


43 posted on 08/10/2007 10:12:24 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: avacado; dirtboy; cogitator; Exton1
From the FR Archives:

A 1240-Year Record of Arctic Temperatures

44 posted on 08/11/2007 9:55:11 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Granddaughters!!!)
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To: WOSG
Did you read post 11 (especially the first link, "Surface stations"?)

When even the basic question of the underlying data is in question, most of the studies done up to now should be considered tainted and in need of review and revision.

I disagree. It remains to be shown that there are sufficient errors in the data to significantly affect conclusions drawn from them. Remember that science is self-checking, in a lot of ways. Models indicate Arctic polar amplification of global warming, for example. The data shows similar patterns. So does the retreat of sea ice. So does increasing SST in the North Atlantic. Etc.

The questions are about US data, which is now being revised in a way that dampens some of claimed ramp up in recent temperatures and leaves us with 1934 as the hottest year on record, in the US.

The graphs I posted show that 1934 was virtually as warm as 1998 in the U.S. The revision was very minor. 1998 was globally significantly warmer than 1934.

US temp records have been considered the ‘cleanest’ of the records globally, and it calls into question reliability of all the data

Why? The U.S. has urbanized much more rapidly than other areas of the world. Why does the data have to be "cleaner" just because we're the United States? Do you think a trained weather station operator in Sri Lanka can't make a reliable temperature measurement? Your statement seems to be just an assertion.

there has been way too much secrecy in the algorithms used to make the temp adjustments; the light of day needs to shine on how these records are being constructed; when that happens, surely a lot more than this dataset will be affected.

I suggest, with no time to check right now, that this "secrecy" is illusory, and that it will turn out that much of this information is actually publically available. One of the purposes of Watt’s project is to help educate climate scientists that many of the adjustments they make to the data back in the office does not necessarily represent the true condition of the temperature stations.

It remains to be shown that the true condition of the temperature stations substantially affects the quality of the data set. Read the Peterson paper again, noting how spatial corrections from five stations have to be correlated.

45 posted on 08/13/2007 6:08:24 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

” It remains to be shown that there are sufficient errors in the data to significantly affect conclusions drawn from them.”

I’ll put you down as “not getting the point”.
When errors are found in a particular process, you need to correct the process or you are exposed to the risk of further errors due to flaws in the process. The process itself has been shown flawed and should be fixed. For more on this, you can look at for example books on Six Sigma Quality or works by Deming.

“Models indicate ...” models are not data.

“The data shows similar patterns.” The data cannot be trusted unless the processes used to derive them are corrected and shown to be so with full transparency.

“Remember that science is self-checking, in a lot of ways. “

It cannot be fully self-checking if data and data adjustment methodology is not made transparent. Yes, they publish papers, but they don’t publish the underlying data that enable true reproducibility. This was part of the ‘hockey stick’ controversy as well. The climate science community has been overly lax in not making sure results are truly reproducible.

“The graphs I posted show that 1934 was virtually as warm as 1998 in the U.S. The revision was very minor.” Another ‘missing the point’ comment.

“The U.S. has urbanized much more rapidly than other areas of the world.” LOL. This is certainly news to the billions now living in cities in Asia, Africa, and South America.

“Why does the data have to be “cleaner” just because we’re the United States?” — I am merely repeating statements from climate scientists that have stated as much.

If you want to believe that stations in Yemen and Sri Lanka are as well-maintained as US stations, go ahead, but unless a thorough review of station quality and temperature adjustment metrics is done, we cannot infer that global temp measurements are reliable to the precision required to say much about global warming. The potential signal to noise is too small.

“It remains to be shown that the true condition of the temperature stations substantially affects the quality of the data set.” -— So, unlike every other branch of science where skepticism reigns and nothings is assumed true unless proven so, AGW ‘science’ is assumed true unless proven false. Sweet. It’s a nice gig to have, but it’s not science!


Here is a quote that gets to the heart of (a) non-US temperature records such as these China records are non-reliable (b) why merely statements in published papers are not sufficienct (and often completely false) (c) why one small error is just the tip of the iceberg (d) temperature record consistency is a lot worse than climate science community has let on. From newsbusters, a post about the Keenan report:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/08/10/un-s-ipcc-accused-possible-research-fraud
As Keenan stated in his full report concerning this matter (emphasis added throughout):

Meteorological stations sometimes move, and this can affect the temperature measurements of the stations. For example, one of the stations relied upon by the above two papers was originally located on the upwind side of a city and later moved, 25 km, to be on the downwind side of the city. Such a move would be expected to increase the measured temperatures, because a city generates heat. Another station relied upon by the papers was originally located in the center of a city and then moved, 15 km, to be by the shore of a sea. Such a move would be expected to decrease the measured temperatures.

Those that have read the work of Anthony Watts at SurfaceStations.org certainly can understand what Keenan was talking about. He continued:

It is clear that when a station moves, the temperature data from before the move is not, in general, directly comparable to the data from after the move. This problem can occur even if the move is over a small distance. For example, if a station moves from being in the middle of a field to being by an asphalt area, then the measured temperatures would be expected to increase, even though the distance moved might be only 100 m. (A related issue is that the land use around a station can change over time, and this can affect measurements.)

In global warming studies, an important issue concerns the integrity of temperature measurements from meteorological stations. The latest assessment report from the IPCC indicates that the global average temperature rose by roughly 0.3 °C over the period 1954-1983. Thus, if errors in temperature measurements were of similar size to, or larger than, 0.3 °C, there could be a serious problem for global warming studies. The papers of Jones et al. and Wang et al. both consider this issue. The paper of Jones et al. is one of the main 2 works cited by the IPCC to support its contention that measurement errors arising from urbanization are tiny, and therefore are not a serious problem.

With that in mind, the problem Keenan identified was that the papers in question misrepresented the static condition of a large number of weather stations:

Regarding station movements over time, the papers of Jones et al. and Wang et al. make the following statements.

The stations were selected on the basis of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times. [Jones et al.]

They were chosen based on station histories: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times.... [Wang et al.]

Unfortunately, these statements appear to be quite false:

Each paper gives the same reference for its statement: a report resulting from a project done jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The DOE/CAS report (available via http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/ndps/ndp039.html) resulted from concern over “possible CO2-induced climate changes”. Its purpose was to present “the most comprehensive, long-term instrumental Chinese climate data presently available”. It contains, in particular, histories of some Chinese meteorological stations, including the different locations of those stations and the dates on which they moved, if any.

The DOE/CAS report was formally published in full in 1991-Wang et al. and Jones et al. used a pre-publication version of the report. A revised version of the report was published in 1997, but the station histories are the same in the two versions.

Jones et al. and Wang et al. consider the same 84 meteorological stations in China. Regarding 49 of those stations, the DOE/CAS report says, “station histories are not currently available” and “details regarding instrumentation, collection methods, changes in station location or observing times ... are not known” (sect. 5). For those 49 stations, then, the above-quoted statements from the two papers are impossible.

Shocking. But there was more:

Regarding the remaining 35 stations that were analyzed by the two papers, I have prepared a summary of the relevant information from the DOE/CAS report. The summary is available at http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5620/b17.htm. As an example from the summary, one station had five different locations during 1954-1983, with the locations as much as 41 km apart. Two other stations each had four different locations. At least half the stations had substantial moves (two other examples, of 25 km and 15 km, were given above). Moreover, several stations have histories that are inconsistent, making reliable analysis unattainable.

(The station that moved five times during the study period, #54511, is discussed by Yan et al. [Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 18: 309 (2001)]; the authors conclude that some of the moves affected temperature measurements by 0.4 °C. The authors also discuss another station, #58367, which had a single move of 4 km; the authors conclude that the move affected temperature measurements by 0.3 °C. The authors’ statistical analysis, though, is invalid-e.g. it does not consider significance-so the conclusions are unproven.)

Additionally, the following statement from the DOE/CAS report seems apposite: “Few station records included in the PRC data sets can be considered truly homogeneous [i.e. have no significant changes in location, instrumentation, etc.]. Even the best stations were subject to minor relocations or changes in observing times, and many have undoubtedly experienced large increases in urbanization.”

The essential point here is that the quoted statements from Jones et al. and Wang et al. cannot be true and could not be in error by accident. The statements are fabricated.


46 posted on 08/13/2007 6:33:19 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: cogitator

A snippet from Steve McIntyre ...

http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/does_hansens_error_matter_gues.html
Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog is offline, he has asked me to post this here - Anthony
...

Schmidt observed that the U.S. accounts for only 2% of the world’s land surface and that the correction of this error in the U.S. has “minimal impact on the world data”, which he illustrated by comparing the U.S. index to the global index. I’ve re-plotted this from original data on a common scale. Even without the recent changes, the U.S. history contrasts with the global history: the U.S. history has a rather minimal trend if any since the 1930s, while the ROW has a very pronounced trend since the 1930s.

These differences are attributed to “regional” differences and it is quite possible that this is a complete explanation. However, this conclusion is complicated by a number of important methodological differences between the U.S. and the ROW. In the U.S., despite the criticisms being rendered at surfacestations.org, there are many rural stations that have been in existence over a relatively long period of time; while one may cavil at how NOAA and/or GISS have carried out adjustments, they have collected metadata for many stations and made a concerted effort to adjust for such metadata. On the other hand, many of the stations in China, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere are in urban areas (such as Shanghai or Beijing). In some of the major indexes (CRU,NOAA), there appears to be no attempt whatever to adjust for urbanization. GISS does report an effort to adjust for urbanization in some cases, but their ability to do so depends on the existence of nearby rural stations, which are not always available. Thus, ithere is a real concern that the need for urban adjustment is most severe in the very areas where adjustments are either not made or not accurately made.

In its consideration of possible urbanization and/or microsite effects, IPCC has taken the position that urban effects are negligible, relying on a very few studies (Jones et al 1990, Peterson et al 2003, Parker 2005, 2006), each of which has been discussed at length at this site. In my opinion, none of these studies can be relied on for concluding that urbanization impacts have been avoided in the ROW sites contributing to the overall history.


47 posted on 08/13/2007 8:00:50 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: cogitator

A paper on this topic of reliability of non-US temperature records, that shows biases in global temperature records, likely due to inadequate controlling for things like heat island effect.

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/gdptemp.html

ABSTRACT:
Monthly surface temperature records from 1979 to 2000 were obtained from 218 individual stations in 93 countries and a linear trend coefficient determined for each site. This vector of trends was regressed on measures of local climate, as well as indicators of local economic activity (income, GDP growth rates, coal use) and data quality. The spatial pattern of trends is shown to be significantly correlated with non-climatic factors, including economic activity and sociopolitical characteristics of the region. The analysis is then repeated on the corresponding IPCC gridded data, and very similar correlations appear, despite previous attempts to remove non-climatic effects. The socioeconomic effects in the data are shown to add up to a net warming bias, although more precise estimation of its magnitude will require further research.


48 posted on 08/13/2007 9:02:59 PM PDT by WOSG ( Don't tell me what you are against, tell me what you are FOR.)
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To: WOSG

From a guy that doesn’t know degrees from radians. Next.


49 posted on 08/13/2007 10:19:21 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: WOSG
I am merely repeating statements from climate scientists that have stated as much.

For future reference, can I have a couple names and quotes?

If you want to believe that stations in Yemen and Sri Lanka are as well-maintained as US stations, go ahead, but unless a thorough review of station quality and temperature adjustment metrics is done, we cannot infer that global temp measurements are reliable to the precision required to say much about global warming. The potential signal to noise is too small.

You haven't read Peterson et al. on QA/QC of GHCN data, apparently.

I may reply more later. But the blogs are hashing this out pretty well, better than you or I could.

50 posted on 08/13/2007 10:21:25 PM PDT by cogitator
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