RealClimate logo

Mountains and molehills

Filed under: — gavin @ 11 November 2008 - (Español)

As many people will have read there was a glitch in the surface temperature record reporting for October. For many Russian stations (and some others), September temperatures were apparently copied over into October, giving an erroneous positive anomaly. The error appears to have been made somewhere between the reporting by the National Weather Services and NOAA’s collation of the GHCN database. GISS, which produces one of the more visible analyses of this raw data, processed the input data as normal and ended up with an October anomaly that was too high. That analysis has now been pulled (in under 24 hours) while they await a correction of input data from NOAA (Update: now (partially) completed).

There were 90 stations for which October numbers equalled September numbers in the corrupted GHCN file for 2008 (out of 908). This compares with an average of about 16 stations each year in the last decade (some earlier years have bigger counts, but none as big as this month, and are much less as a percentage of stations). These other cases seem to be mostly legitimate tropical stations where there isn’t much of a seasonal cycle. That makes it a little tricky to automatically scan for this problem, but putting in a check for the total number or percentage is probably sensible going forward.

It’s clearly true that the more eyes there are looking, the faster errors get noticed and fixed. The cottage industry that has sprung up to examine the daily sea ice numbers or the monthly analyses of surface and satellite temperatures, has certainly increased the number of eyes and that is generally for the good. Whether it’s a discovery of an odd shift in the annual cycle in the UAH MSU-LT data, or this flub in the GHCN data, or the USHCN/GHCN merge issue last year, the extra attention has led to improvements in many products. Nothing of any consequence has changed in terms of our understanding of climate change, but a few more i’s have been dotted and t’s crossed.

But unlike in other fields of citizen-science (astronomy or phenology spring to mind), the motivation for the temperature observers is heavily weighted towards wanting to find something wrong. As we discussed last year, there is a strong yearning among some to want to wake up tomorrow and find that the globe hasn’t been warming, that the sea ice hasn’t melted, that the glaciers have not receded and that indeed, CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Thus when mistakes occur (and with science being a human endeavour, they always will) the exuberance of the response can be breathtaking – and quite telling.

A few examples from the comments at Watt’s blog will suffice to give you a flavour of the conspiratorial thinking: “I believe they had two sets of data: One would be released if Republicans won, and another if Democrats won.”, “could this be a sneaky way to set up the BO presidency with an urgent need to regulate CO2?”, “There are a great many of us who will under no circumstance allow the oppression of government rule to pervade over our freedom—-PERIOD!!!!!!” (exclamation marks reduced enormously), “these people are blinded by their own bias”, “this sort of scientific fraud”, “Climate science on the warmer side has degenerated to competitive lying”, etc… (To be fair, there were people who made sensible comments as well).

The amount of simply made up stuff is also impressive – the GISS press release declaring the October the ‘warmest ever’? Imaginary (GISS only puts out press releases on the temperature analysis at the end of the year). The headlines trumpeting this result? Non-existent. One clearly sees the relief that finally the grand conspiracy has been rumbled, that the mainstream media will get it’s comeuppance, and that surely now, the powers that be will listen to those voices that had been crying in the wilderness.

Alas! none of this will come to pass. In this case, someone’s programming error will be fixed and nothing will change except for the reporting of a single month’s anomaly. No heads will roll, no congressional investigations will be launched, no politicians (with one possible exception) will take note. This will undoubtedly be disappointing to many, but they should comfort themselves with the thought that the chances of this error happening again has now been diminished. Which is good, right?

In contrast to this molehill, there is an excellent story about how the scientific community really deals with serious mismatches between theory, models and data. That piece concerns the ‘ocean cooling’ story that was all the rage a year or two ago. An initial analysis of a new data source (the Argo float network) had revealed a dramatic short term cooling of the oceans over only 3 years. The problem was that this didn’t match the sea level data, nor theoretical expectations. Nonetheless, the paper was published (somewhat undermining claims that the peer-review system is irretrievably biased) to great acclaim in sections of the blogosphere, and to more muted puzzlement elsewhere. With the community’s attention focused on this issue, it wasn’t however long before problems turned up in the Argo floats themselves, but also in some of the other measurement devices – particularly XBTs. It took a couple of years for these things to fully work themselves out, but the most recent analyses show far fewer of the artifacts that had plagued the ocean heat content analyses in the past. A classic example in fact, of science moving forward on the back of apparent mismatches. Unfortunately, the resolution ended up favoring the models over the initial data reports, and so the whole story is horribly disappointing to some.

Which brings me to my last point, the role of models. It is clear that many of the temperature watchers are doing so in order to show that the IPCC-class models are wrong in their projections. However, the direct approach of downloading those models, running them and looking for flaws is clearly either too onerous or too boring. Even downloading the output (from here or here) is eschewed in favour of firing off Freedom of Information Act requests for data already publicly available – very odd. For another example, despite a few comments about the lack of sufficient comments in the GISS ModelE code (a complaint I also often make), I am unaware of anyone actually independently finding any errors in the publicly available Feb 2004 version (and I know there are a few). Instead, the anti-model crowd focuses on the minor issues that crop up every now and again in real-time data processing hoping that, by proxy, they’ll find a problem with the models.

I say good luck to them. They’ll need it.

815 Responses to “Mountains and molehills”

  1. 201
    jcbmack says:

    The rest one can learn by going to a community college, four year university or into a masters/PHD program… it matters not whether it is ivy league or not, though I hear good things about Oxford; any accredited college will instruct one in the matters at hand; I am tired… I prefer my college faculty position and tutoring; “life happens to us, when we are busy making other plans…” There are us nerds well educated who are just tired and come to a blog like this, discuss and then go back to teaching their cockatiel to speak and saying… yes dear to the spouse (newly married:)

  2. 202
    jcbmack says:

    For those in NY,

  3. 203
    Les Johnson says:

    jbmack: Its generally the policy to give a reference with the item you are quoting.

    Can you imagine trying to follow a published paper, without foot notes or reference numbers?

  4. 204

    This fixation over surface temperature as the prime indicator of GW should be of a secondary nature perhaps in the near future, I give example: Resolute a few days ago, surface temperature -18 C, today surface temperature -29 C. So it would seem that the atmosphere has cooled by 11 C.
    Yet the Density Weighted Temperature of a few days ago was 242.61 K tonight it is 242.37 K . The entire atmosphere cooled all right by by 0.24 C. THat is because there was a steep inversion off surface along with a warm thick isotherm right above. Which is the better indicator of true temperature change ? How long would it take for a nice outfit like NOAA or NASA or some other group to make total atmospheric temperature changes more popular ?

  5. 205
    Rod B says:

    Mark (185), Branden’s general comment, “It is human nature to accept data without question when it supports a position that one has a strong emotional attachment to and to vigorously question data only when it is in conflict.”, is generally true, following the law of expected results. Though his follow-on specific assertion, that a deep negative anomaly would not have made it through the raw data, is totally incorrect. In this particular case we’re talking raw data anomalies that escapes detection; how one then would block an “undesirable” anomaly has no answer.

    I don’t know my discrepancies viz-a-viz ‘157, 143, 109, 89, 88, my own figure “pulled from the air in 86”, etc, etc, etc’. I’m not sure what you think I said in my #182, but it was nowhere near the complex convoluted analysis you gave it. What I said was (and my sole point was) that I do not think that the data anomaly discussed in this thread adds any weight to skeptical arguments. I did then add that I wished skeptics would quit jumping all over it. In my earlier post (retracting my comments in 33, BTW) I very very simply said that I think Gavin is correct and no Herculean effort ought to be done to weed out sparse and random raw data anomalies at the outset, but should be found and corrected as they are today, and everyone ought to hear the outbursts form some skeptics and move on.

    I can’t cogently respond to your post because I really can’t comprehend what your complaint/assertion toward me is. Are you asserting that I am not a true skeptic? Are you bothered that I don’t lambaste fellow skeptics whenever they say something? Are you PO’d that I claim to be a skeptic but support Gavin in this case… (and some others)? What??

  6. 206
    jcbmack says:

    oh I should also mention that the special issue of Scientific American Earth 3.0 features Hansen and Gavin says a few words as well. The article begins on page 60.

  7. 207
    jcbmack says:

    Britannica is a better source for such information. Shout out to Sci Am; good issue.

  8. 208
    jcbmack says:

    Wikipedia is trash.

  9. 209
    jcbmack says:

    Rough guide to weather is a nice place to begin.

  10. 210
    jcbmack says:

    There is no defense for wikipedia.

  11. 211
    jcbmack says:

    AOS princeton is very good as well.

  12. 212
    jcbmack says:

    Hugh Hurt has a fine book: Aerodynamics for naval aviators; the reason it is good is that alot of problems involving square roots, many basics of physics and chemistry are contained within well written book; the math skills applied and the understanding of forces, like weather on the aircraft, is quite telling and can assist one who needs balanc, perspective, and practice. Many sources outside of the global climate change debate end up supplementing looking at data in various areas.

  13. 213
    Deep Climate says:

    What’s up with Steve M at CA?

    Re: Gavin 128

    This appears to refer to a recent CA post “Watch the pea” (now renamed to the less inflamatory “Watch the ball”).

    It seems, though, that SM was not claiming the Canadian data was missing. Rather he appeared to insinuate that Hansen may have changed the “methodology” when he “‘fixed’ the problem”, since he saw no difference in the Canadian data. Or at least that’s what I infer from these comments:

    “Why can Hansen obtain values for October in the Canadian Arctic Islands today when he couldn’t on Monday?”

    and in the update, *after* getting set straight at RC:

    “It is also reasonable to inquire as to whether changes in methodology had occurred.”

    The original title, with its allusion to the nefarious “pea in the thimble” would appear to confirm this interpretation.

    But of course as usual he didn’t make himself entirely clear, so who knows for sure? I’m sure Gavin will be reassured to find out SM was “only” speculating about a possible sudden convenient change in methodology, with the usual lack of evidence, not making a statement about missing data.

    Apparently SM still hasn’t learned that when downloading a file from GHCN, or anywhere else, one really should note the exact timestamp. If he had done that, he might have realized that the GISS analysis could not have been based on that version of GHCN and avoided his silly mistake.

  14. 214
    Former Skeptic says:

    #213 Deep Climate:

    Sigh. Yup, that’s a typical McI. post. I’ve long given up on McI. and lack of intelligence at CA because of his shiftiness, among other less-than-desirable traits. Have you read this? It sums up the tripe that permeates that site these days:

    OT: Don’t you mean “Watt’s up with Steve M at CA?” instead? :-)

  15. 215
    Mark says:

    RodB, #205, so “generally true” is fine if it’s giving the message that AGW is overblown at best, made up at worst?

    Just trying to find out what “skepticism” means.

  16. 216
    MrPete says:

    Several people have commented on the presumed difficulty of QC/QA for data emitted by NOAA and/or brought in to GISTEMP.

    A data QC/QA professional would not find it all that difficult. What we’re looking at here is detection of valid sensor data (from nature) vs invalid data (due to human or computer error.)

    I’m hoping that simply making that suggestion would help spark some ideas. A few simple tests, plus some more sophisticated ones, would reveal much. For example:
    * Outliers (way too high, too low)
    * Zeros of all kinds (test the data chain: what comes out when zero is inserted at various points?)
    * Missing data (again, test the data chain)
    * Data propagation errors (check deltas between values in time and data-proximity… a few identical values can be natural, but not very many)

    All of the above can be automated.

    Statistical analyses can help, as can more sophisticated understanding of sensor failure modes (e.g. too many all-zero or all-one bits force a particular set of available values… if one understands what that looks like after passing through the data chain, it can be detected.)

    As always, QA is most effective early in the production chain. By the time the problem propagates to the Real World, many people are affected.

    On the significance of the challenge. Yes, I agree with some who say the actual data error may well be a minor nit. However, the revealed lack of QA/QC in the entire data processing chain is not minor at all. We’re dealing with a global sensor network designed to provide important data.

    Suppose instead of sensing global temperature, that this was a nuclear power plant. How carefully do you think those sensors and data should be QA’d? The parallels are pretty good. Minor blips are no big deal but we do not want to be fooled by our data measurements. It’s more than embarrassing; it’s potentially catastrophic.

  17. 217
    tamino says:

    jcbmack — I wish that rather than post a dozen short comments that are less than perfetly coherent, you’d take the time to collect your thoughts into one, or just a few, comments. It’s a courtesy to your fellow readers.

  18. 218
    dhogaza says:

    And, Mr. Pete, what is your evidence that such checks are NOT performed?

    And surely you’re aware that no matter how many such checks are made, human ingenuity will lead to mistakes that will, from time-to-time, defeat them.

    The burden is upon those of you who claim that, in essence, no data QA is done at all to demonstrate that this is true.

    Given that we’ve been told that “SEP=OCT” (presumably generalized to “this month = last month”) as been added to the set of EXISTING QA checks, I’d say it might be difficult for you to meet that burden.

    As always, QA is most effective early in the production chain.

    Which is obviously true to anyone with even minimal experience in the area. Which simply underscores the point that the attack on GISS, rather than those who provide the datafiles they use, is a politically-driven attempt to discredit them.

    However, the revealed lack of QA/QC in the entire data processing chain is not minor at all.

    Again, there’s no evidence of this at all. The fact that a particular error was not anticipated in advance and therefore not guarded against, is not evidence that “there’s a lack of QA”.

    Again, if QA were able to predict and test for, in advance, the (in practice) infinite number of ways for people and machines to screw up, airplanes wouldn’t crash, bridges wouldn’t fail, etc.

    You know this.

  19. 219
    Jonathan says:

    jcbmack: I have two science degrees from Oxford and am now a professor at an internationally famous institution. I have 60 published papers including articles in Nature and PNAS, and commissioned opinion pieces in Nature and Science. On the whole I can reasonably claim to know what I’m talking about.

    Two years ago I believed, like you, that potentially catastrophic global warming was a well established fact. I started reading the blogs (principally RealClimate, WUWT and ClimateAudit) purely out of interest to see how deluded the “denialists” were. It didn’t take long to realise that they in fact had a number of excellent points, and that the evidence for catastrophic global warming is far more shaky than is commonly believed.

    Please don’t pretend that all sceptics are fools or knaves. Some of us would just like to see little more evidence and a little less spin.

  20. 220
    Hank Roberts says:

    William Connolley’s publication record, plus his reputation for tenaciousness and accuracy in the edit wars, are good reason to follow the Climate section of Wikipedia.

    Yes, it’s Wikipedia. Don’t trust — verify. You can watch attempts to insert bogus material happen — and be confuted.

    In this particular field, there, science and PR are interacting at fast-forward speed. It’s a meta-message just in how it exists.

    It’s an education in how to read and cite sources — basic to teaching people without an academic background how to think about the field.

  21. 221
    Jonas N says:


    Thanx for clarifying that: “The GISTEMP analysis is not … the ‘historical record’”

    I guess that’s the main point made by critics here and in the past, ie that GISTEMP data should not be taken as a world climate thermometer.

    But even if the different misstakes and data-updates for october can be sorted out, on thing still baffles me:

    How can the current dataset (regardless if correct or properly updated) give an ‘anomaly’ of 0.61°C when plotted with a 1200km smoothing radius, while a 250 km radius gives a completely different value of 0.78°C ?

    A striking difference of 0.17°C depending on plotting parameters!? (I’ve noticed the same thing for older data, mostly with somewhat lower discrepancies)

    How can this be?

    [Response: The average is only over the area that is filled in – depending on how clustered the anomalies are, the map with the wider interpolation could have the same, less or more. Only the 1200km product is the ‘official’ number. – gavin]

  22. 222
    Hank Roberts says:

    > the blogs (principally RealClimate, WUWT [Watts] and ClimateAudit)

    Have you noticed a difference in reading those three, at all?
    Care to say what general area you’re publishing in, and whether it’s related to climate science?

  23. 223
    Rod B says:

    Mark (215), when I say the law of expected results is generally true, it means its robustness (accuracy) follows a scale — sometimes solid and seemingly almost conscious and deliberate (“seemingly” because this process refers to a functional result that in fact is NOT conscious or deliberate), sometimes not evident at all, and all steps in between. It is not a phenomenon unique to climatology. But in that arena it would apply to scientific endeavors that both support AGW and that are skeptical of AGW.

    “Skepticism” is the doubt about the professed truth of something. It ain’t complicated, but is evident with varying degrees . In my case (which may be different from other skeptics), there are some aspects of AGW that I am scientifically troubled with and do not fully accept. If you’re upset that I don’t hold other skeptics to the same standards, well, 1) I’m not trying to understand them, but 2) I do in fact occasionally take some to task as can be found in a few RC threads, including THIS ONE.

  24. 224
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Jonathan, you say that you would like to see more evidence? Like what? Do you seriously doubt that the planet is warming? Do you doubt that we’ve increased atmospheric CO2? That CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that the science in which you claim to have two degrees isn’t related to climate.

  25. 225
    dhogaza says:

    It didn’t take long to realise that they in fact had a number of excellent points, and that the evidence for catastrophic global warming is far more shaky than is commonly believed.

    Then you’ll have no problem listing a number of them, in specific detail, along with an intelligent response to the scientific debunking of them (since you’ve gotten them from denialist websites)?

  26. 226
    David B. Benson says:

    Jonathan (219) wrote “… potentially catastrophic global warming …”

    Do you doubt global warming, or just that it is potentially catastrophic?

    Here is a suitable definition for

    catastrophic – extremely harmful; bringing physical or financial ruin; “a catastrophic depression”; “catastrophic illness”; “a ruinous course of action”


    This already has occured to peasants in Bolivia and Nepal; possibly to ranchers in Chile. As best as I can tell it is happening in southeastern Europe, especially the southern Ukraine. In Alaska momentous changes have occured and are occuring; whether these are catastrophic or not might depend upon perspective.

  27. 227
    Hank Roberts says:

    Perhaps the problem is the same one on which that debate a while back foundered. Catastrophe is anticipated, not yet shown to have happened.

  28. 228
    Richard C says:

    tamino #217
    How dare you suggest that. Next thing you know he will be talking about vegetable stew.

  29. 229
    Deep Climate says:

    #214, Former Skeptic:
    Thanks for the link – that’s a pretty hilarious dissection of the general cluelessness that reigns at CA. But at least that thread seemed to have avoid the insinuations of scientific fraud that all too often find their way into the meanderings at CA.

    #219, Jonathan:
    I gave up on WUWT pretty fast, as it borders on the cretinous IMHO (for example the fatuous posts on the big “temperature drop” between January, 2007 and January, 2008). CA is marginally better, but not by much, and seems to contain more dark mutterings about the motivations of Mann, Hansen et al. I’d be interested in what you consider to be the strongest points raised on CA and WUWT – perhaps the #1 post from each?

    You (and everyone else) should also check out Tamino’s Open Mind – some great insights there:
    Although he did get the relatively minor PCA issue wrong (as used in MBH98 and MBH99), he’s more than redeemed himself with some great posts on the problems with UAH satellite-derived tropospheric temperature record, sea ice, the recent curious CO2 discontinuity and on and on.

    #220, Hank:
    You’re right – Connelly does a great job at Wikipedia. Unfortunately some dreck still creeps in. For example, the article on “Solar Variations” actually cites Soon and Balinuas’s Fraser Institute publication on sunspot correlation, apparently in all seriousness!

  30. 230
    jcbmack says:

    Tamino thank you for expressing your opinion, but I have my reasons for doing this from time; also I am not incoherent, but you have been less than accurate, so perhaps you should do more referencing? to time and so shall it be… Jonathan there are a few climate skeptics out there with a good background, but they are not as numerous as the ones who understand the seriousness of global warming; I never pretended as if no one on the other side of the debate had no education; I myself have two associates degrees, two bachelors degrees, and two masters degrees plus 38 credits, and I have attended both non prestigious and prestigious universities and I have to tell you that the education is the same and sometimes the the non prestigious is actually better with smaller classrooms, and teachers who are atcually paid more to teach and train us. Tamino, again in brief you make some good contributions, but you should check what you type sometimes.

  31. 231
    jcbmack says:

    Hank #220; verify, yes, however, that goes with any source, but a non-scientist or non science student can be easily misled by errors, especially the frequent ones in wikipedia; britannica like any edited text does contain some errors, but far fewer and once a person has the ability to read Britannica they should have better critical thinking skills.

  32. 232
    jcbmack says:

    Now one last incoherent post Tamino, having said what I did, I enjoy reading many of your posts, and we should be civil, but take a look at the recommended reading; I cannot stand when people want to comment, but not have the education, and this was the point I was making with short sentences:)Hank is an infomrmed lay person and I am familiar with your work online Tamino, but, I alod know that many green movements are more harmful for the environment becuase they are what I call a wikipedia generation.

  33. 233
    wittgenstein says:

    Just wandering in, really, to ask Gavin Schmidt if he would be interested in a two-cents worth of rebuttal to some critical posts on Newsvine (topic: sunspot activity as end of global warming) by someone called Spaceman, whom I suspect of being Steve McIntyre, or at least a surrogate of same. I’ve thrown some good punches for Mr. Schmidt, but thought since that site has a large readership, that a personal response might be of some value in the junk science and cherry-picked claims and facts. Just a request. I wholly support Gavin and crew and applaud their efforts.

  34. 234
    jcbmack says:

    But what were we discussing??? Oh yes, the NOAA errors, the process of rectifying them and what are the warming/cooling trends for October; any progress Gavin?

  35. 235
    jcbmack says:

    In academic writing, Hank, wikipedia is not allowed.

  36. 236
    Richard C says:

    With regards to catastrophic, what about Katrina. Ok, it cannot be laid at the door of global warming, and GW changes with be much slower. However consider that this happened in the richest country in the developed world and the city still hasn’t recovered. How are poor countries going to cope with rising sea levels happening in slow time?
    Does anybody else find it ironic that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka offered aid?

  37. 237
    jcbmack says:

    It is my concern, that we disuss these matters of the climate in a real fashion, meaning, that from the lense of our own areas of expertise, experience, readings and observations we must disseminate and analyze the data in a fair and balanced manner in light of most of the evidence. I respect all my fellow posters, even those who have zero background, those who are alarmists, but have no idea why, and denialists of the same stock. I have research experience, but no, I do not work for NASA or the NOAA, I am just a scientist, and educator who has a clear view of the dangers of several global climate change trends and causal factors.

    What should be made clear, despite lack of the biology and some chemistry in the models, great improvements have been made and we do not base our knowledge on global warming on the models; they supplement. Personally I understand how the models work, the shortcomings and advantages, and most atleast know general examples, however, this does not change global warming pattern.

    For skeptics regarding some cooling in the artic, the answer is very simple: increased precipitation will cause cooling and lead to thicker vertical thickness:) I am not happy about the NOAA discrepencies either, however, this is not the fault of NASA and hopefully in the future a new quality control measure will decrease this type of incident; also my keys stick on my laptop, so sometimes words get typoed:)

  38. 238
    Hank Roberts says:

    > in academic writing … not allowed

    Your experience is not universal. Once you get past your thesis, it will be up to you and your journal editors (who are often constrained by the journal’s copyright rules). Much discussed. See, e.g.:

  39. 239
    ScaredAmoeba says:

    Gavin and all @ RC despite the ignorant & objectionable accusations, I for one appreciate all your very hard work very much.

  40. 240
    Hank Roberts says:

    Lose the (formerly?) web-standard trailing slash, for that link to work.

  41. 241
    jcbmack says:

    Bottom line wikipedia makes me nervous and has enough mistakes and omissions to not be helpful.

  42. 242
    jcbmack says:

    Most writers stay away from wikipedia, and I never -allow my students to use at any level,though there may be some helpful info, their Biology, chemistry and physics articles are more than terrible; and I digress.

  43. 243
    Former Skeptic says:

    #219 Jonathan:

    I’m a retired chess IM with a former peak rating of 2500+ ELO; I’ve been a Mensa member since high school and was my college’s homecoming king. Don’t believe me? Good. Feeling’s mutual. Credentials – especially those of the amorphous kind you list – mean diddly squat on the interwebs unless you can prove who you are.

    I used to follow CA, WUWT, CliSci, Prometheus, Lucia’s rank exploits blackboard, Motls’ blog etc. and devoured their stuff voraciously. Then I did myself a favor and looked at their claims with the peer-reviewed literature – with RC, Deltoid, Rabett, Stoat and Tamino being good signposts – and judged the merits of each. It was then easy enough to call BS on the skeptics. Looks like you haven’t, or are not applying your supposed scientific training well enough.

    >Please don’t pretend that all sceptics are fools or knaves. Some of >us would just like to see little more evidence and a little less >spin.

    And some of us, finally realizing how scientifically empty the claims of the skeptical camp are, decide to get with the program.

    reCAPTCHA: pride Jamaica. “I don’t like cricket…I love it!”

  44. 244
    Ray says:

    Mountains and Molehills…speaking of. Russia’s winter temp anomaly looks to have been skewed warm by uninsulated central heating pipes and rooftop sensor locations.

    Siberia is one big chunk of real estate.

    Your thoughts?

  45. 245
    Eli Rabett says:

    Of course that got messed up.

    #216 Mr. Pete, such checks are made at NOAA for the USHCN, and here is a description of some of the things done with global data at NOAA. Eli’s experience is that when you wander into a field and say, gee, that is obvious, why don’t they do that. The answer is that they thought of it too. This all goes to show that google is your friend. Visit him.

  46. 246
    Eli Rabett says:

    And continuing my JCBMack, here is another paper by Peterson and Co on quality control in the Global Historical Climate Network

  47. 247
    jcbmack says:

    If anyone references wikipedia after they have a masters degree, they have serious problems; you cannot use wikipedia in a PHD thesis and you certainly cannot publish in peer review either. Wikiepedia is second rate and no university takes them as a serious source for a thesis or research paper.

  48. 248
    Brendan H says:

    Jcbmack: “But what were we discussing??? Oh yes, the NOAA errors, the process of rectifying them and what are the warming/cooling trends for October; any progress Gavin?”

    Jcbmack, you read as if you are in a — how can I put it — very ‘up’ mood. Is there something you should be taking for this?

  49. 249
    Mark says:

    RodB, #223
    “Skepticism” is the doubt about the professed truth of something

    But you maintain you’re a skeptic yet you only require adamantine proof of AGW’s effects, not of the “notA-GW” effects. In NONE of the cases where someone has come up with an idea that “explains” GW by something other than Anthro CO2, you do not doubt the professed truth. If someone says “there are lots of things that show the considered truth of AGW is a lot more shaky than commonly believed” you do not ask “what are they?” and thereby show skepticism. Or if they say “it’s cooling now, so no problem!” you do not ask for their proofs of this effect nor of the causes thereof.

    Your skepticism is directed. And the direction of it is at best partisanship (the same partisanship that others rail about with the climatologists: all in a huge world-wide scheme to keep high paying jobs with the governments of the world going along because they can tax us poor rich people). At worst, denialism.

    So which is it? Are you biased to find only problems in AGW or are you a denialist? You aren’t ***skeptical*** since you evince this only on one side of the situation. Rather like me saying “I am an honest man” but I am only honest when it looks like I could get caught.

  50. 250
    Mark says:

    RodB, further to #223: “2) I do in fact occasionally take some to task as can be found in a few RC threads, including THIS ONE.”


    After I pointed out your duplicity in claiming neutrality under the title of skepticism when all evidence points to being false?