UPDATE: Make that FOUR interesting articles today: Watts Up reports that a new paper attributes half the global warming signal in the last century to “data homogenisation” – that’s plain old fudging to you and me. And in 2/3 of the stations, the process resulted in a temperature increase. What a surprise! Not. Read it all.
I am as prepared as anyone to accept that we are causing some warming of the climate. However, the precise amount and whether it’s a problem is the key issue.
The surface temperature data sets all show a fairly marked recent warming (far more than the satellite record), but how much of that warming is due to changes in the climate, and how much is due to, say, urbanisation, or data “homogenisation”? Homogenisation is a polite way of saying “fudging”, by the way. Excuses to “adjust” raw data for a variety of reasons, some legit, some less so – changing instrumentation, location etc etc.
Despite the fact that you would expect surface temperatures to have generally increased with population and urbanisation, and therefore any adjustments should cool the more recent records to compensate, the bizarre thing is that the data sets appear to be “cooling the past”, to make the present appear warmer… huh?
Three interesting articles today from various blogs concern the surface temperature record. Firstly we have Steven Goddard on the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN):
The animation below shows how USHCN turns a measured strong cooling trend since 1930, into a strong computer generated warming trend.
USHCN2 uses a three step process to cool the past and warm the present. Going from the actual measured daily data to “raw monthly” reduces the decline. The TOBS adjustment flips the trend from cooling to warming, and then a final mysterious adjustment creates a strong warming trend.
Whatever the final mysterious adjustment is, it has to include UHI – which would do the exact opposite of what we are seeing.
Watch those older temperatures plummet inside Tom Karl and James Hansen’s computer games, which are used to influence critical US government policy decisions.
They cool the 1930s by 1.3 degrees, and then claim that the past decade has been the warmest by a few tenths of a degree. Enron accountants would be proud of such fine data presentation. (source)
See? Man-made global warming! Then we have Jo Nova on the Bureau of Meteorology, which hasn’t yet worked out a rather fundamental rule of temperature recording:
In total, the ACORN-SAT database released in March displays about 1,000 (one thousand) violations of [the] simple rule that for any day
The Maximum Temperature must be greater than the Minimum Temperature.
This is a blindingly obvious type of error which should not have escaped quality control. It throws serious doubt on the whole ACORN-SAT project. In my opinion, these violations indicate that the entire ACORN-SAT database is suspect, and should be withdrawn for further testing. (source)
Hmm. And finally, over the ditch in New Zealand, the National Institute for Atmospheric and Water Research (NIWA) is in court today faced with a challenge that its temperature record is also not so ‘hot’ (heh):
A climate change group has taken the National Institute for Atmospheric and Water Research (NIWA) to court over what they say are inaccurate temperature recordings.
The New Zealand Climate Education Trust – a branch of the NZ Climate Science Coalition – are challenging NIWA figures which show a rise in temperatures in New Zealand of 1degC over the past 100 years.
This figure is significantly higher than global warming figures around the world and the trust is questioning how NIWA calculated the figures and whether they are accurate.
It believes there has either been no warming or a trivial warming of around 0.2degC.
The group’s lawyer Terry Sissons told the High Court at Auckland today that NIWA could have obtained inaccurate New Zealand average temperatures due to ‘sudden site relocations’ and by regularly changing temperature gauging instruments.
“We’re not saying that climatic changes are not happening but let’s at least ensure the evidence gathered for the benefit of New Zealanders is accurate and is done properly,” Sissons said. (source)
So in other words I think we have a ‘consensus’, ladies and gentlemen: surface temperature records are a crock the world over.