Auditing the Abuse of Temperature Records

What I don’t get is the disrespect of the adjusters for the reality of micro climates. BEST acknowledges that >30% of US records show a cooling trend over the last 100 years. Why can’t reported cooling be true?

I did a 2013 study of the CRN top rated US surface stations. Most remarkable about them is the extensive local climate diversity that appears when station sites are relatively free of urban heat sources. 35% (8 of 23) of the stations reported cooling over the century. Indeed, if we remove the 8 warmest records, the rate flips from +0.16°C to -0.14°C. In order to respect the intrinsic quality of temperatures, I calculated monthly slopes for each station, and combined them for station trends.

Recently I updated that study with 2014 data and compared adusted to unadjusted records. The analysis shows the effect of GHCN adjustments on each of the 23 stations in the sample. The average station was warmed by +0.58 C/Century, from +.18 to +.76, comparing adjusted to unadjusted records. 19 station records were warmed, 6 of them by more than +1 C/century. 4 stations were cooled, most of the total cooling coming at one station, Tallahassee.  So for this set of stations, the chance of adjustments producing warming is 19/23 or 83%.

In the Quest for the mythical GMST, these records have to be homogenized, and also weighted for grid coverage, resulting in cooling being removed as counter to the overall trend.

The pairwise homogenization technique assumes that two local climates move in tandem. Thus, if one of them diverges, it must be adjusted back in line.  But I question that premise. It’s obvious that a mountaintop site will typically show lower temps than a nearby sea level site. But it is wrong to assume that changes at one should be consistent with changes in the other. Not only are the absolute readings different, the patterns of changes are also different. Infilling does violence to the local climate realities. It is perfectly normal that one place can have a cooling trend at the same time another place is warming.

Weather stations measure the temperature of air in thermal contact with the underlying terrain. Each site has a different terrain, and for a host of landscape features documented by Pielke Sr., the temperature patterns will differ, even in nearby locations. However, if we have station histories (and we do), then trends from different stations can be compared to see similarities and differences..

In summary, temperatures from different stations should not be interchanged or averaged, since they come from different physical realities. The trends can be compiled to tell us about the direction, extent and scope of temperature changes.

What Paul Homewood, Steven Goddard, Booker and others are doing is a well-respected procedure in financial accounting. The Auditors must determine if the aggregate corporation reports are truly representative of the company’s financial condition. In order to test that, samples of component operations are selected and examined to see if the reported results are accurate compared to the facts on the ground.

Discrepancies such as those we’ve seen from NCDC call into question the validity of the entire situation as reported. The stakeholders must be informed that the numbers presented are misrepresenting the reality. The Auditor must say of NCDC something like: “We are of the opinion that NCDC statements of global surface temperatures do not give a true and fair view of the actual climate reported in all of the sites measured.”

The several GHCN samples analyzed so far show that older temperatures have been altered so that the figures are lower than the originals. In some cases, more recent temperatures have been altered to become higher than the originals. Alternatively, recent years of observations are simply deleted. The result is a spurious warming trend of 1-2F, the same magnitude as the claimed warming from rising CO2. How is this acceptable public accountability? More like “creative accounting.” Once a researcher believes that rising CO2 causes rising temperatures, and since CO2 keeps rising, then temperatures must continue to rise, cooling is not an option. In fact 2015 dare not be cooler than 2014.

We are learning from this that GHCN only supports the notion of global warming if you assume that older thermometers ran hot and today’s thermometers run cold. Otherwise the warming does not appear in the original records; they have to be processed, like tree proxies. Not only is the heat hiding in the oceans, even thermometers are hiding some.

Once you accept that facts and figures in the historical record are changeable, then you enter Alice’s Wonderland, or the Soviet Union, where it was said: “The future is certain; only the past keeps changing.” The apologists for NCDC confuse data and analysis. The temperature readings are facts, unchangeable. If someone wants to draw comparisons and interpret similarities and differences, that’s their analysis, and they must make their case from the data to their conclusions. Usually, when people change the record itself it’s because their case is weak.

My submission to the International Temperature Data Review project has gone to the panel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s