GWPF Launches Enquiry into Integrity of Temperature Data

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), Lord Lawson’s London based climate change think tank, has launched an enquiry into the integrity of data used to reconstruct global time-temperature series. These time-temperature reconstructions provide the core evidence that Earth’s lower troposphere is warming in response to rising CO2 levels.

The backdrop to this enquiry begins with UK climate and energy blogger Paul Homewood’s timely reminder of how temperature records may be adjusted to supposedly correct for non-climatic artefacts, a correction procedure commonly known as homogenisation. This was picked up by Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker who published a story levelling an accusation of one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time that drew a large amount of public interest.

The inquiry is to be led by Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham. Professor Kealey’s background is in medical sciences and he has published a book questioning the role of government funding of science. At first glance he may appear to be a curious choice. But on reflection, appointing an eminent scientist equipped with all the analytical skills required to assess the relevant data from outside the highly controversial sphere of climate science is exactly what is required.

The terms of reference of the enquiry are:

The panel is asked to examine the preparation of data for the main surface temperature records: CRU, GISS, NOAA and BEST. For this reason the satellite records are beyond the scope of this inquiry.

The following questions will be addressed.

1) Are there aspects of surface temperature measurement procedures that potentially impair data quality or introduce bias and need to be critically re-examined?

2) How widespread is the practice of adjusting original temperature records? What fraction of modern temperature data, as presented by CRU/GISS/NOAA/BEST, are actual original measurements, and what fraction are subject to adjustments?

3) Are warming and cooling adjustments equally prevalent?

4) Are there any regions of the world where modifications appear to account for most or all of the apparent warming of recent decades?

5) Are the adjustment procedures clearly documented, objective, reproducible and scientifically defensible? How much statistical uncertainty is introduced with each step in homogeneity adjustments and smoothing?

To be clear, I intend to make a number of submissions to this enquiry and welcome the opportunity provided by GWPF to convert the huge amount of work Roger and I have done in recent months (and years for Roger) into something that may have more lasting impact than the blog articles we have written (see link list at end of this post).

There is a call for members of the public to submit evidence.

The Panel invites submission of evidence on any matters related to the inquiry. Please send text in PDF format via email to admin@tempdatareview.org. If you wish to submit an accompanying data set please send it in CSV format. Please note that all submissions will be considered as potentially publishable. If you want your submission to be treated as confidential please indicate that clearly in the document itself.

Individuals may make multiple submissions if they wish. We encourage you to keep each submission brief and focused. If your submission exceeds ten pages you might consider breaking it into shorter documents.

The deadline for submitting evidence is 30 June 2015.

Energy Matters blog posts:

By Roger Andrews

1) The Horrors of Homogenization
2) How Hemispheric Homogenization Hikes Global Warming
3) Homogenizing the World
4) Probing the Puzzle of Paraguayan Temperatures
5) The Worst of BEST
6) A Tale of Two Weather Stations

By Euan Mearns

7) Re-writing The Climate History of Iceland
8) Temperature Adjustments in Australia
9) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Africa
10) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Africa Part 2
11) The Hunt for Global Warming: South America
12) The Hunt For Global Warming: Antarctica
13) The Hunt For Global Warming: Southern Hemisphere Summary
14) Averaging Temperature Averages

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59 Responses to GWPF Launches Enquiry into Integrity of Temperature Data

  1. mbe11 says:

    Why would one leave out the satellite data when trying to determine if the data is accurate. You cannot have one set of data saying up and the other saying down on the same thing at the same time. One or both are incorrect. This reminds me of the Shuttles, NASA did a lot of number shuffling and told themselves all was okay while ignoring the engineers who said it was not.

  2. Roger Andrews says:

    I get the impression from the GWPF’s terms of reference that all they propose to do is rehash the work that’s already been done on homogeneity adjustments to the land air temperature records. This would be a pity because these adjustments are only a small part of the problem. The big problems are with the ocean SST and combined land-ocean series, which no one ever seems to look at.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      I think the narrow terms of reference are fine for the time being. If it summarises and evaluates the work that has been done, formalises and places this more prominently in the public eye then something might be achieved.

      It would be very handy to have a post on the SSTs, how they are complied, what they show and how they are merged with land air temperatures 😉 In particular, I’d be interested to see land air temperatures for islands compared with adjacent SSTs.

      • I think the narrow terms of reference are fine for the time being

        I get the sneaking suspicion that the narrow terms of reference have been adopted because the GWPF, like so many others, has identified the homogeneity adjustments applied to the surface air temperature records as the only problem, whereas in reality they are only a small part of the problem.

        As to what the problems are, I summarized them in my email to you yesterday:

        1. HadCRUT4, GISS LOTI, NCDC land & ocean and BEST land and ocean, the series most commonly used to calculate “global warming”, combine surface air temperatures over land with SSTs in the ocean. This is not a valid approach. SSTs and SATs show different trends and must be considered separately. HadCRUT4 et al. mix apples and oranges and do not give meaningful results.

        2. The large adjustments HadSST3 and some other SST series apply to the raw ICOADS data are unsupported by hard evidence and are almost certainly invalid. The raw ICOADS series is more likely to be indicative of actual SST trends in the 20th century and it’s quite different to HadSST3 et al.

        3. The algorithms GISS, NCDC, BEST and CRU use to “homogenize” surface air temperatures are unquestionably flawed. However, they add significant warming only over land areas in the Southern Hemisphere, and since these areas make up only about 10% of the Earth’s surface area their global impact is muted. The main question as I see it is one of credibility. These scientific institutions have an important job to do and they shouldn’t be using flawed algorithms to do it.

        4. Current published temperature series show SSTs over the ocean and air temperatures over land areas. Air temperatures over ocean areas, which contain 70% of the planet’s atmospheric mass, get left out of the analysis. We need a published series that plugs them back in. GISS publishes some series that do this (such as its 1200km projection series, which is a close match to my “verified” series) but they rarely if ever see the light of day. Ocean air temperature coverage could also be improved by the judicious addition of marine air temperature data.

        I’ll work on a post on this as time permits.

  3. Jeff says:

    mbe11, even GWPF probably know that without substantial processing, adjustment for bias and modelling nothing useful comes from the raw satellite data. And a medical biochemist like Kealey stands little chance of fathoming what that is all about.

    This sounds like deja-vu since we’ve had the Koch funded BEST setup to refute the other indices and come to the same conclusion. It is funny that BEST is now considered part of the conspiracy.

    I’m surprised they didn’t find someone independent to chair the review rather than a member of their advisory board. They might also have chosen someone from a numerate discipline, such as a statistician or mathematician. BTW Kealey’s views on science funding are bizarre.

    The Independent has an article about the review: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/climate-change-sceptic-group-sets-up-inquiry-into-accuracy-of-global-temperature-records-10204961.html

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Some medics are numerate, especially those working on epidemiology and pharmacology (testing drugs). From what I’ve seen there is good reason to hold those to account who are responsible for curating and adjusting the temperature records. They seem to have lost site of what they are doing – or have they?

      The enquiry will find that the adjustments sum to zero at global scale for the time being. What concerns me at present are the massaging of regional data. Notably Iceland where the 1930s “record warmth” was written out of the history books by applying adjustments to already adjusted data.

      I also have my suspicions about where homogenisation will end if left unchecked.

      • Jeff says:

        Where exactly do you think it will end? Surely it will improve, that is how such science goes. It is directly testable, as Victor Venema has shown (see Kit’s link 1:30pm). The algorithms and source code are published and reproducible. It is an ideal situation for interested parties to help to improve the methods. But the naivety of the 5 questions implies that sadly this is not GWPF’s aim.

        • A C Osborn says:

          Jeff, do you mind if I ask you a few questions.

          1. Have you ever actually looked at the Output of the Final Data issued by NCDC/GHCN?

          I downloaded the NCDC/HCND files on the 09/02/2015 ( 9th Feb 2015), the data was run on the 07/02/2015.
          I downloaded the exact same files today which was run today.

          2. would you expect the data for a weather station for 1878 or 1879 to have changed between February and now?

          This is the data for 1878
          101603900001878TMAX 1440 G 1570 G 1740 G 2260 G 2530 G 2670 G 2940 G 3240 G 2780 G 2550 G 1880 G 1760 G
          101603900001878TMAX 1556 G 1686 G 1856 G 2376 G 2646 G 2786 G 3056 G 3356 G 2896 G 2666 G 1996 G 1876 G
          and for 1879
          101603900001879TMAX 1700 G 1720 G 1740 G-9999 2130 G 2910 G 2890 G 3030 G 2700 G 2360 G 2170 G 1440 G
          101603900001879TMAX 1816 G 1836 G 1856 G-9999 2246 G 3026 G 3006 G 3146 G 2816 G 2476 G 2286 G 1556 G

          Bearing in mind that this is ostensibly the same data from the same weather station processed 2 months apart

          3. do you personally find the changes evident in the data acceptable?

          • JerryC says:

            My assumption would be that Gavin and Mike were able to travel back to 1879 their heavily modified (solar-powered) DeLorean and determine the correct temperature. 🙂

          • A C Osborn says:

            And they do the trip every month before each Computer Run. LOL

          • Jeff says:

            You downloaded homogenized data, I suppose, not raw data. The changes are just an artefact of the way the data is processed and presented, nothing suspiscious. It is described on their website somewhere, although I don’t remember where.

            If you have doubts about that, imagine as an artificial example, you decide to present the temperature history of Aberdeen as anomalies using as a baseline the most recent 120 months. This means that every month, all of the anomalies going back to 1880 (or whenever the record starts) have to be recomputed because the new month’s data has altered the baseline. There is nothing untoward going on. It is just the maths.

            This is an artificial example just to illustrate the sort of effect that can happen. I don’t remember the real details but is something to do with the homogenization relying on current data and no more.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Then homogenised data are not actually data but a derivative of it. When we hear about new temperature records being set we may think that the measurements made this year were higher than last, but that is not necessarily the case.

            Processing of data is normally the domain of remote sensing. For example seismic or well log data where a physical parameter is estimated from a derivative of what is being measured. Thsi can be model dependent and a better model may lead to better processing. Processing of this sort should not be applied to deterministic data such as the thermometer record. Actual known corrections to errors are permissible but not bulk data processing.

          • Jeff says:

            Of course homogenized data are derivative, nobody would claim they are not, but they are data no less. Just like monthly averages are derivative – derived directly from daily readings. In the case of homog. data the derivation is clearly more complicated. Homogenization has most effect on older, more uncertain, data and so is unlikely to change our view of whether this year is warmer than last – and such estimations come with clear error margins.

            “Processing of this sort should not be applied to deterministic data such as the thermometer record.”

            A thermometer is deterministic – for a given ambient temperature the mercury rises a predetermined amount. But that is as far as determinism goes for the thermometer record from practical climate measurements. There are many well known non-climate, non-deterministic, factors that affect the recorded values – homogenization is about removing these. The thermometer record is not deterministic.

          • JerryC says:

            If the old temperature records aren’t reliable, then they aren’t reliable and should be discarded. You can’t take bad data and make it good by running it through a computer model. That’s not science, it’s alchemy.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Jerry, I don’t understand why anyone would want to defend homogenisation. You are absolutely correct. If you have bad (i.e. wrong) data you simply cannot change it to what you think it should be or what you want it to be. There are more than enough stations with what appear to be reasonable data to allow one to discard the bad. But there of course one makes a choice about what is good and what is bad. Nord Ads on Greenland is classic bad – I’m not sure how much weight this is given in developing the picture of Arctic warming.

          • Jeff says:

            Euan, does your objection, shared with JerryC, to homog. of bad data apply also to the satellite record? As I mentioned above and as is widely known, nothing useful comes from the sat data without it being thoroughly processed to remove non-climate effects. Do you reject the sat record too? You have to if you wish to be consistent in your position against homogenization.

            The various methods of processing the temp record have pros and cons but they all result in the conclusion that the Earth is warming. You co-author Roger seems to agree that Earth is warming. Homog is not needed to tell us that.

            ACOsborne answered esewhere but I’ll respon here to keep it together: did you actually understand what I wrote? And that it was an example of a similar mathematical effect not of the actual situation? I’ve read my text a few times and it seems quite clear on that. Please try to understand and digest what I actually said instead of attacking what I didn’t say.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            Roy Spencer et al have a new version of their satellite series

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/
            http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/#comment-190527

            Roy, many thanks for this update and much hard work. My initial reaction was “oh no not another adjustment to the temperature record”. But why should it be OK for you to adjust the satellite record while we may protest about GHCN adjusting their homogenisation algorithms? I think I have an answer to that but I’m interested to see what others may think first.

            Here’s what GHCN say about homogenisation:

            The Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly (GHCN-M) temperature dataset was first developed in the early 1990s (Vose et al. 1992). A second version was released in 1997 following extensive efforts to increase the number of stations and length of the data record (Peterson and Vose, 1997). Methods for removing inhomogeneities from the data record associated with non-climatic influences such as changes in instrumentation, station environment, and observing practices that occur over time were also included in the version 2 release (Peterson and Easterling, 1994; Easterling and Peterson 1995). Since that time efforts have focused on continued improvements in dataset development methods including new quality control processes and advanced techniques for removing data inhomogeneities (Menne and Williams, 2009).

            And here’s what V3 adjustments look like in Australia. The adjustments in this case sum to zero. But are we really supposed to believe that they have anything to do with non-climatic breaks in the records.

          • Jeff says:

            If I were inclined to argue for adjustment of the satellite dataset but against adjustment of the temperature dataset (or maybe all other data, I’m not sure), as I understand you do, I’d want to show that these datasets differ in some fundamental way. For example I might argue that satellite data contains biases that are exactly known and quantified whereas themometer data biases are largely unknown. It would then be consistent to argue that only known biases should be removed with an appropriate model and maths and your position would be sound. In that case RSS and UAH would now give and would always before have given the same results – sadly something that is not true, if you know your UAH/RSS history. So maybe satellite data biases (orbital drift, instrument degradation, differences between satellites making up the dataset etc) are not exactly known or quantified and maybe some (or much) guesswork is involved. If that is true (and I don’t know whether it is) then your position is inconsistent.

            Also I imagine that oil and gas exploration involves a fair amount of adjustments to data to compensate for this that and the other biases, some known, some guessed. Is that wrong?

    • A C Osborn says:

      Perhaps you are reading the wrong newspaper.
      The Telegraph makes it clear who is on the panel.
      “Dr Peter Chylek, a physicist from the National Los Alamos Laboratory; Richard McNider, an emeritus professor who founded the Atmospheric Sciences Programme at the University of Alabama; Professor Roman Mureika from Canada, an expert in identifying errors in statistical methodology; Professor Roger Pielke Sr, a noted climatologist from the University of Colorado, and Professor William van Wijngaarden, a physicist whose many papers on climatology have included studies in the use of “homogenisation” in data records.”

      mbe11, there is a massive difference between Satellite derived data and Thermometer derived data, especially the old thermometers where the data trail goes all the way back to the piece of paper that the results were originally recorded on, at least in the USA.
      You can actually pull up a digitised version of the original paper log, I have done so, so you can literally compare the starting point to to the final product.
      With Satellite data it is all algorithms and mathematics converting IR readings in to apparent Temperatures, not something that your average scientist/Mathematician can do without the total assistance of the originators of the data.
      I am not saying that RSS or Roy Spencer of UAH would not agree to help but that is not what this initial study is about.

  4. There are now several criticisms of this review and its intentions. See here for a start, and then the links at the bottom of the article:

    http://variable-variability.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/two-new-reviews-of-homogenization-methods.html

    And off topic, but wondering when you’ll be resuming your Skeptical Science debunking Euan?

    • Euan Mearns says:

      There are issues too with the Victor Venema article you link to. According to the BEST boys:

      In summary, it is possible to look through 40,000 stations and select those that the algorithm has warmed; and, it’s possible to ignore those that the algorithm has cooled. As the spatial maps show it is also possible to select entire continents where the algorithm has warmed the record; and, it’s possible to focus on other continents were the opposite is the case. Globally however, the effect of adjustments is minor. It’s minor because on average the biases that require adjustments mostly cancel each other out.

      http://judithcurry.com/2015/02/09/berkeley-earth-raw-versus-adjusted-temperature-data/

      And according to GISS:

      No attempt was made to automatically detect and correct inhomogeneities, assuming that because of their random nature they would have little effect on the global mean.

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/FAQ.html

      Regarding debunking the debunker, I currently got a list of about 20 posts to write that will take me several months to do.

    • A C Osborn says:

      Kit, there was one little sentence in that post that said it all for me, “These non-climatic changes in temperature have to be removed as well as possible to make more accurate assessments of how much the world has warmed.”.
      Note the “Warmed”, not changed, or changing. The bias is already there that is has warmed and yet those same adjustmens are now showing non existent warming for the “Warmest” this or that EVER.

      The UN WMO is firmly in the AGW camp, this in their latest literature “Around 93% of the excess energy trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases from fossil fuels and other human activities ends up in the oceans.”

      • The bias is already there that is has warmed

        That’s because it has. Firstly the adjustments have cooled the raw data, and secondly, even without the temperature record it is clear that the Earth is warming from proxies such as sea level rise, melting ice sheets, glacier retreat, earlier springs and so on. Do you really dispute that the Earth is warming?

        The UN WMO is firmly in the AGW camp, this in their latest literature

        Where else will the excess energy go? Particularly if you’re disputing a rise in surface temperatures. Unless, of course, you don’t think that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas…

        • A C Osborn says:

          It may be a Greenhouse gas, but it also a refrigerant.
          Compared to the various forms of H2O it gets completely swamped in radiative bands.
          The higher up you go the more it cools than warms and NASA have stated that the cooling by it has increased.
          So I don’t think any of the warming since LIA is down to CO2, or since the Last Ice Age for thatr matter, when you were talking about real Seal Level Rise.

    • Kit,
      Victor’s post is very good, but I think this one provides a better analysis of the GWPF review.

      • Euan Mearns says:

        I’ve stolen VV’s title. Why not? He’s the man who knows. Moyhu also has something interesting to say. All I have to say is: WTF?

        In case you’ve missed it, there’s a real one, and then there’s the GWPF’s comedy one. You can read the GWPF’s stuff at tempdatareview.org, though why you’d bother I don’t know. As Moyhu points out, the figure used on that page is badly misleading, and certainly unbefitting any serious review. Anyone with a clue would refuse to be associated with anything with that on its terms of reference; but then again, anyone with a clue would refuse to be associated with the GWPF anyway.

        I really can’t see how this can possibly even be supposed to work. People have tried attacking the temperature records before, and its always a dismal failure. Think of BEST; think of the nutters in NZ; think of the children… oh, hold on. Anyway, the last thing the GWPF wants is an actual credible serious review of the biases. Or at least; the last thing they should want. Perhaps they’re so self-deluded they really think there is something there.

        Which brings me back to: how do they think this will work? Do they seriously expect the various national meteorological services to make submissions to their tinpot panel? I rather doubt that will happen. All they’ll get will be a few like Moyhu, and a pile of nutjobs.

        Yes, cram packed full of science and physics eh? I will be making a few submissions to that enquiry and since you seem to share the view that I am a nutjob, you should not be surprised to learn that I have placed you straight to comment moderation.

        This is what GHCN V3 has done to GHCN V2 records on Iceland. The point is that the Iceland records are carefully curated already adjusted for non-climatic artefacts. Doing this again is quite plainly wrong and anyone defending this has, to put it quite simply, no interest in truth and science. The graphic shows, in yellow, records deleted, in green records added and the numbers are the adjustments made by GHCN to V2.

        Then net result of all this is to add significantly to the warming gradient and to create the illusion that the recent past on Iceland is somehow anomalously warm while in the real world the 1930s were just as warm as the recent past.

        • I will be making a few submissions to that enquiry and since you seem to share the view that I am a nutjob

          I don’t really. From what I’ve heard, you write some interesting stuff about energy policy. I’m trying to illustrate that the general view amongst those who understand the basics of climate science is that people who dispute the global temperature record in a major way, or suggest some kind of extensive fraud, are probably verging on being nutjobs. You may not like this. It may not be very nice. It does, however, exist. You can, of course, stick your neck out and hope that somehow you will manage to show that your concerns are valid and that the majority of the scientific community were simply wrong. You can decide how likely that is. What you can’t do is take a position that many regard as absurd and insist that people don’t perceive it that way.

          To be clear, this isn’t about looking at the temperature record and maybe finding new ways to do the analysis or new ways to present the data. Those are all good things and – as I understand it – there is a review on this, highlighted in Victor’s post. The issue is statements like this

          accusation of one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time

          This, however,

          Doing this again is quite plainly wrong and anyone defending this has, to put it quite simply, no interest in truth and science.

          is just ridiculous hyperbole. I do find it disappointing when people who may be able to make a positive contribution, make these broad generalisations, especially when it seems very clear that they don’t have the skills or basic knowledge to draw such strong conclusions.

          Here, for example, is a very unscientific statement

          Then net result of all this is to add significantly to the warming gradient and to create the illusion that the recent past on Iceland is somehow anomalously warm while in the real world the 1930s were just as warm as the recent past.

          How do you know that the 1930s were just as warm as the recent past?

          So, apologies for seeming to suggest that you were a nutjob. That wasn’t really my intent. I don’t know you and have no interest in making such accusations. However, if you’re going to choose to take such a contrary position, you probably are not going to be taken seriously by anyone other than those who are taking a similarly contrarian position.

          • A C Osborn says:

            I notice that you just completely gloss over Euan’s comment that the fact the IMO had already done the necessary Homogenising for the Icelandic records, they also have extensive records about serious Ice loss and other climatic conditions to support their Homogenised values.
            The GCHN & GISS homogenisation programs couldn’t care less about the ACTUAL quality of the REAL data and just blithely add their own adjustments to everything.
            And you have the nerve to call it Science.
            I have been on your Web Site many times so I know exactly where you stand regarding this subject, CAGW and sceptisism, so I also know that there is absolutely no point in trying debate these subjects with you.
            But can I leave with this morsel, perhaps you should review the supposed basis of Modern Science,
            the Mertonian Norms and see how well the post normal Climate Science fits them.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            AC and ATTP – one thing that AC is right about here is that neither of you will reach agreement today, probably never. So there is not much point arguing. By all means post data.

          • I also know that there is absolutely no point in trying debate these subjects with you.

            As far as I’m aware, you’ve never actually tried.

            And you have the nerve to call it Science.

            I didn’t really call anything science – as far as I can remember – but if this is the typical level of your rhetoric and tone, I’m probably pleased that you didn’t bother trying to debate anything with me. I can’t imagine that it would have gone well.

            Seriously, I just have a real issue with statements like this

            The GCHN & GISS homogenisation programs couldn’t care less about the ACTUAL quality of the REAL data and just blithely add their own adjustments to everything.

            You stated this is a fact. How do you know this? Also, it’s clear that if I do happen to disagree, that you’ve made it very clear what your position actually is, discussing this with you would be pointless (well, unless I happen to enjoy online shouting matches, which I don’t).

          • Euan Mearns says:

            OK Amen. So we’re not agreeing to disagree. But agreeing that we are unlikely to ever agree.

          • But agreeing that we are unlikely to ever agree

            About how science progresses and about the fundamentals of data analysis, probably.

            If you’re suggesting that I could never be convinced that the global temperature record is in error, then no. However, that would require a proper, detailed analysis, peer-reviewed publications, genuine scientific scrutiny, and – at least – the beginnings of acceptance by the broader scientific community.

            Promoting the idea that there’s been widespread fraud, making claims about how science should always/never work, stating with certainty that some things are absolutely true/absolutely false….. that’s not going to do it.

            Furthermore, that the GWPF review appears to be motivated by various claims of fraud/scientific misconduct means that it is going to be ignored by anyone credible. That is not – IMO – the correct starting point because if the final conclusion is that there is fraud/misconduct then everyone will – quite rightly – assume that it discovered what it wanted to discover. Of course, there will be some who will highlight it (Booker, Delingpole, Montford, Watts) but noone credible will pay it the slightest bit of notice.

          • A C Osborn says:

            ATTP, you asked how I “Know” that
            “The GCHN & GISS homogenisation programs couldn’t care less about the ACTUAL quality of the REAL data and just blithely add their own adjustments to everything.”
            Because it is self evident in the Icelandic Met Office case.
            The people who worked on the Icelandic datasets have confirmed that the data that GISS & GHCN Adjusted was already homogenised (not Raw) and that it clearly reflected the Climate of Iceleand at that time.
            The fact that both GISS & GHCN have then re-adjusted data confirms that their algorithms cannot tell what the Quality level is of the data it is working with.

            I can only assume that you have not read the extensive posts by Paul Homewood on this subject, which includes comments and a post by a Representative of the Icelanc Met Office.
            Euan has also been in contact with Iceland Met Office as detailed here.
            http://euanmearns.com/the-iceland-meteorological-office-versus-ghcn-v2/

          • Euan Mearns says:

            I genuinely don’t have time to engage today. I have a rare conference presentation in Bruxelles next week and I have to prepare (On European gas security).

            I agree with you that the fraud / scientific misconduct line is barren (whilst admitting I briefly flirted with those notions some months back). Coming to this cold about 3 months ago I was basically astonished at the data adjustment practices being deployed and have spent a very substantial amount of time trying to characterise and understand these. And I still am astonished. En route I have now become distracted by the very nature of the temperature record itself.

            Regarding Iceland adjustments I sent emails to GHCN requesting explanation but received no response. It should be simple and straight forward for them, but its not. Hence I welcome the GWPF enquiry that will offer some leverage.

            I don’t understand why “warmists” are making such a fuss about these enquiries. If the published work etc is of a high and unbiased standard then the enquiries will find nothing sensational to report.

            Clive Best has today published a set of GHCN V1 records which offers those who want to an opportunity to compare V1 with V2 and V3. I will certainly spend some time looking into this.

            http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=6534

            Here’s my first chart. Its interesting for me to observe that V1, V2 and BEST raw are fairly identical most of the time but not all of the time.

            I’m hoping that Clive may also get a functioning BEST platform so that we can look inside and see what they do.

          • Coming to this cold about 3 months ago

            That speaks volumes really. I think I may have accused you of hubris on Climate Etc. Any reason why that isn’t an entirely reasonable description? I can’t think of one.

          • I’ll make a more serious point. Something you learn after a good deal of time in a research/academic environment is that when you think you’ve seen something in what others are doing that is obviously wrong, you’ve probably missed something and it is you that are wrong. There are lots of people working on these temperature datasets. If you think you’ve discovered something after 3 months, it’s virtually certain that someone else has done the same. Why didn’t they draw the same conclusions you? Probably because after thinking about it a bit more they discovered something that you have yet to discover. The alternative is that they’re covering it up and involving themselves in a massive scientific fraud – all 5 teams?

          • Jeff says:

            “I don’t understand why “warmists” are making such a fuss about these enquiries.”

            There’s a symmetry there. Warmists, like me, don’t understand why you and others make such a fuss about the indices. If there was something in what you all argue – that BEST, which was once a skeptic’s best friend, couldn’t find – then by now you should have quatified it, described it, written it up in journals, or earned PhDs on the back of it. You wouldn’t need a biochemist to lead another “review” into it.

            Yet just on your page here I’ve discussed with one poster who is upset about changes to a dataset he doesn’t understand, you claiming that the temperature record is “deterministic”, when clearly it is far from that (else we would not be having this discussion) and you claiming that data should never be adjusted, contrary to common practice in other fields (ATTP can explain his field) and yet apparently having confidence in the wholly synthetic satellite analysis. And go to other skeptic sites and you’ll encounter a wealth of comments containing other inconsistency, misunderstand and misrepresentation. How is a warmist to respond but to shake his or her head and say, not again!

  5. A C Osborn says:

    Euan, you may be interested in this post at WUWT by Frank Lansner on how microclimates affect temperatures and basically get removed by homogenisation.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original-temperatures-project/

    • A C Osborn says:

      PS I think I may have already asked you back in 2014.

    • Euan Mearns says:

      Thanks for the link AC. That’s an AMAZING post. Over weekend email from Clive said that he had found GHCN V1 on an obscure server and hoped to be able to read it.

      • A C Osborn says:

        I took the liberty of emailing Frank and he say’s he would very much like to help the GWPF Enquiry.

  6. A C Osborn says:

    UAH have released a new version of their Satllite data, it has gone from version 5.6 to version 6.0.
    Their latest work to resolve Satellite drift problems has lowered the temp trend slightly, bringing it closer to the RSS values.
    See the article at Roy Spencer’s forum
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/

  7. A C Osborn says:

    Eaun, Jeff’s response to my questions is both expected and saddening.
    Although he didn’t answer the first 2 questions it is apparent that the answer to question 1 is No and the answer to question 2 is yes, based on what he has read, that homogenisation will change the past every month.
    It does make you wonder why they have a supposedly fixed anomaly baseline of 1901-2000, as that also changes on every run as well.
    This comment sums it up “The changes are just an artefact of the way the data is processed and presented”, to him the changes do not matter as that is what should happen as it makes the data “more Accurate”.
    Jeff obviously thinks that it is OK for a miniscule 1.0 degree C change in every month over 100 years ago. In fact it changed all the temperatures up to 1940 in the same way.
    To him this is “Scientifically valid”, it does not matter to him that anyone who used the previoulsy homogenised data since 1878 in any kind of Correlation study could have had their results & conclusions totally invalidated because modern “science” is now saying the data that they used was wrong.

    Try telling that to the IMO, that they did not understand their own Icelandic climate as well as some so called Scientists and a bunch of mathematicians 50 years later.
    In fact anyone using the February or March data is also now wrong. Does that mean that to be correct every study should be rerun every month to ensure that they stay “current”?
    It is obvious that Jeff is not an Engineer or a real Scientist.

  8. Euan Mearns says:

    This is a general response to ATTP up thread. Not something I’d usually do, but then venturing on to his blog today I find this:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/matt-ridley-on-coal/

    I actually think this is unfortunate as – from what I’ve heard – Euan Mearns seems quite knowledgeable about energy and energy policy. People like myself could learn quite a lot from people with such expertise. It is hard, however, if you can’t distinguish genuine competence from hubris.

    Not much physics on show there then! So I went exploring to find out who ATTP actually is.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/about-2/

    🙂

    For the moment, I’ve decided to remain anonymous. I don’t really know why. No particularly good reason and I certainly don’t intend to use my anonymity to attack those who are not. I am not a climate scientist, but a professional and active scientist who teaches and carries out research at a university – regarded by some – as amongst the best in the world. The views I express here are my own and not those of my employer.

    Flicking through the recent links on this blog I find ZERO original content. It is all social commentary, laced with ad homs. For those who don’t realise it I spend 12 hours a day researching data for this blog. I don’t always get things right, and quite often I find I have merely duplicated what has been done before. But I look at data and try to draw unbiased and informed conclusions from it. I don’t simply patrol other blogs looking for something or someone to smear.

    And so lets flick on….

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/testing-the-iris-hypothesis/

    I thought I might revert back to a bit of physics and discuss a recent paper that aims to try and test the Iris hypothesis.

    Its just not really what I’d expect an academic physicist to say. And so flicking on….

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/ecology-and-the-environment/

    While doing my PhD I did 3 trips to the Antarctic, including one where I over-wintered. Standing on the helicopter deck watching wandering albatrosses gliding behind the ship is one of my fondest memories. Having Adelie penguins follow you around the bay ice is another. When the old South African base was deemed uninhabitable (being under 20 metres of ice can do that)

    So I’m really interested to know how a base came to be under 20 m of ice. Which base and by what mechanism? And what did you do your PhD on?

    I’ve also lived on the East and West coasts of the USA and now live in Scotland.

    One of the best universities in the world? Wanna meet for a pint?

    PS – Apollo Astronaut Program Scientist Phil Chapman says:

    I wintered in Antarctica long ago. I was a NASA scientist astronaut during Apollo.

    But that just happens to be true.

    • I’m no longer anonymous. You can find out who I am easily enough. I tend not to state it explicitly as I do prefer separating my online climate debate persona from what I do professionally.

      laced with ad homs. …. someone to smear.

      Do you want to point out an actual ad hom? Smear? I appreciate I’ve accused you of hubris, so maybe that qualifies. It also seems justified. I apologise if that seems overly blunt, but try putting yourself on the other side. You have decades of experience in the energy industry. I gather you’re quite well-regarded. Imagine someone with no formal experience in your field suddenly claiming – after 3 months work – that they’d identified some obvious and basic error in something fundamental to your field. You’d probably rip them to shreds (metaphorically, of course), and rightly so.

      Not much physics on show there then!

      Some of my earlier posts were a bit more explicitly physics orientated, but there’s only so many times you can write about the greenhouse effect, lapse rate, ocean heat content analysis,…. before you run out of things like this that are suitable for a blog. It is just a blog, not a peer-reviewed publication.

      For those who don’t realise it I spend 12 hours a day researching data for this blog.

      Yes, and I gather some of it is quite good. I don’t think this particular post is an example of that, though.

      So I’m really interested to know how a base came to be under 20 m of ice. Which base and by what mechanism? And what did you do your PhD on?

      You lay 3-4m diameter, 20-30m long cylinders of armco on the surface and slide pre-frabricated living/sleeping/working quarters inside and join them up with smaller cylinders that act as corridors. You doze snow on the sides to keep it stable. The build up of snow is about 1-2m per year and so 20 years later it is about 20m below the surface. South African. VLF radio propagation in the Earth’s ionosphere and magnetosphere. That’s not what I work on anymore.

      One of the best universities in the world? Wanna meet for a pint?

      Certainly feasible. Not sure you’re being serious, though. Not sure it would be a good idea, either?

      Its just not really what I’d expect an academic physicist to say.

      What would you expect one to say? I’ve worked/studied in an academic physics environment for more than 25 years and I can’t say that I can identify some generic way in which academic physicists speak.

      But that just happens to be true.

      Are you accusing me of not telling the truth?

      • Euan Mearns says:

        Imagine someone with no formal experience in your field suddenly claiming – after 3 months work – that they’d identified some obvious and basic error in something fundamental to your field.

        .

        Well I write a lot and produce a lot of charts. And as far as I’m aware most of the time I simply present the data not a comparative basis. So if you imagine that I have identified errors, I’m guessing it is you who has made that comparison in your own mind.

        20m meters below the surface is still snow / firn. You need to get to over 80 m to get ice. So there we still have a credibility gap. You don’t seem to know what it takes to convert snow to ice.

        But hey ho, I live in Aberdeen – its no secret. We should get together for a pint. Favourite watering hole is The Tay Bank, Dunkeld, overlooking the River Tay, Birnam Hill and the Telford Bridge. I can take you canoeing on the river if you want. Last, weekend walking my dogs down there I saw 4 ospreys on the first day.

        E

        • 20m meters below the surface is still snow / firn. You need to get to over 80 m to get ice. So there we still have a credibility gap. You don’t seem to know what it takes to convert snow to ice.

          Oh god, is that what you were getting at. We probably shouldn’t meet for a drink as I tend to avoid arseholes!

          • Euan Mearns says:

            🙂

            Does anyone seriously believe this guy is an academic physicist at one of the world’s top universities in Scotland? He says his identity is public knowledge so someone please let me know who he/ or she is. AC? I will send links to the Principle of his / her esteemed institution.

          • Oh dear, I thought I’d cancelled that one. Apologies, I guess. I think I posted another one about pedants. Anyway, this discussion has pretty much gone as expected. I guess you’re proud that your discovery of amazing data manipulation that may not really be an error and that doesn’t indicate any hubris on your part, has been picked up by Booker and provided some motivation for an analysis by the GWPF? Not sure why, but anyway, each to their own.

          • I will send links to the Principle of his / her esteemed institution

            Seriously? What has this got to do with the principal of my institution, and why would you possibly want to send them links? I don’t particularly care as I can’t imagine they would either. I don’t think it has anything to do with them or with my institution. I can’t think of a positive reason as to why you would want to do that. I can think of many negative ones. Also, what made you send the other link to Richad Muller? Again, not that I care, but are you expecting me to go “oh no, he’s sent it to another physicist”?

          • Euan Mearns says:

            I know a LOT of academics. I was one myself. My wife was one until recently. I still know hundreds. Academics are by nature incredibly guarded about what they say in public. They hardly ever comment on blogs. And if they do, they are very careful what they say.

            We probably shouldn’t meet for a drink as I tend to avoid arseholes!

            This doesn’t cut the mustard. So you either work at a World Class Scottish University funded by public money (my money) or you don’t.

            Since you say your identity is known, you should simply post your name and CV here. This is me, but note I no longer have an association with the UoAberdeen.

            http://euanmearns.com/about-euan-mearns/

          • Academics are by nature incredibly guarded about what they say in public.They hardly ever comment on blogs. And if they do, they are very careful what they say.

            Yes, I do have a habit of saying things I probably shouldn’t. Doesn’t make me not an academic. Again, apologies; what I said was uncalled for.

            This doesn’t cut the mustard. So you either work at a World Class Scottish University funded by public money (my money) or you don’t.

            Oh no, the “I pay tax therefore I have some kind of right to insist on something about others who I regard as being paid out of the public purse”. Surely you have a more nuanced understanding of this whole concept, and surely you understand that universities are no longer publicly owned and that academics are not public servants? I pay tax too, you do realise?

            Since you say your identity is known, you should simply post your name and CV here.

            As I already mentioned, I have kept my online persona separate from my professional life. Until such time as that becomes illegal (or there is some requirement that I don’t), I shall continue to do so.

            I know who you are and – as I’ve already said – I gather you are well-regarded in the whole energy policy arena. I do think it is unfortunate that you’ve decided to go down the “temperature manipulation” rabbit hole, as it doesn’t inspire much confidence. It’s been done before and as I indicated earlier, is typically regarded as being remarkably silly by most who understand this basic topic. If you’re fine with that, carry on, but don’t be surprised if – for example – the GWPF review is only taken seriously by those with whom you already agree, and mocked/ignored by everyone else.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            I gather you are well-regarded in the whole energy policy arena.

            Well actually not. I am quite strongly anti solar in the arctic, anti energy subsidies of poor to rich, anti wind where it f*cks up peoples and birds lives, I’m actually anti burn everything, and pro-nuclear with some reservations.

            I conceived and co-convened what was viewed by many who attended as one of the best energy conferences ever:

            http://globalenergysystemsconference.com/

            You may well regard me as an arse hole and you will be judged by that.

          • You may well regard me as an arse hole and you will be judged by that.

            Fair enough, I guess. I can only apologise so many times. You don’t need to accept any of them. They exist nonetheless.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            OK, so you didn’t mean it, you didn’t expect me to publish it, even though I’ve posted virtually all of your moderated comments. No hard feelings, I accept your apology. But now you have to start constructing your dialogue as such. Based on data as presented in the long link list to this post.

            Its 00:27 here in Scotland, I’m off to bed.

          • A C Osborn says:

            Sorry Euan, I should have warned about ATTP, he not only has a very condescending attitude and rude to boot he does not allow dissenting comments on his own blog.
            Here is an example.
            http://manicbeancounter.com/2015/01/31/andthentheresphysics-on-paraguayan-temperature-data/

          • he not only has a very condescending attitude

            Hmmm, okay, I might have a tendency to be somewhat condescending at times.

            and rude to boot

            Rude? I can certainly be blunt, but I can only think of two occasions where I’ve been rude, this being one of them. I don’t claim perfection and typically apologise if my behaviour is less than ideal. Are you expecting perfection?

            I will add that I find it difficult to describe positively someone who asks what appears to be a genuine question only to discover that they had guessed that I was using some incorrect terminology and that they were simply waiting for me to respond so that they could pounce and say (paraphrasing) “it’s firn/snow not ice, you lose credibility”. In this case, I think they may even have been wrong (it certainly seemed like ice) but not only am I not a glaciologist, I also don’t care enough to even to argue about it. Maybe you find this a perfectly reasonable way to interact. I find it irritating.

            he does not allow dissenting comments on his own blog.

            This is not true. I moderate quite heavily, but that doesn’t mean I don’t allow dissenting comments. I gather that Euan can be quite strict in his moderation at times. I don’t have a problem with that – if so – it’s his blog, just as mine is mine. The example you gave is also someone who wanted to post what was essentially a weakly threatening comment. I can’t be bothered having to deal with that.

          • Euan Mearns says:

            OK so I’ve had a look at your CV and you really are a Reader of Physics at a Scottish University and you’ve been to Antarctica. I will say no more. Reviewing your comments I’d say you have added ZERO to our understanding of the temperature record and adjustments made to it. As mentioned yesterday I have a conference presentation to prepare for next week and will be leaving this conversation. I suggest you don’t waste time posting more comments. And in interest of giving me back my day, simply ask that others refrain from commenting on this particular thread.

            http://www.energywise.nl/module/index/events/show/28

  9. JerryC says:

    I guess we can say that Energy Matters has finally “made it” as a climate blog, now that Ken Rice is here to bore everyone to death. 🙂

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