The Leading Data Tampering Excuses

NOAA massively tampers with US temperature data, to turn a century of cooling into warming.

Spreadsheet         Data

The two leading excuses for tampering with US temperature data are time of observation bias, and changing station composition.

The time of observation bias adjustment is based on the idea that most stations during the 1930s reset their min/max thermometers during the afternoon, causing some double counting of hot maximum temperatures. NOAA adjusts for this by cooling the past, and warming the present.

It is simple enough to test their theory out, by splitting the stations into two groups – 1930s morning stations, and 1930s afternoon stations. If the TOBS theory is valid, the morning stations (blue line below) would be warming faster than afternoon stations (red line below.) But as you can see, the slope of both lines is nearly identical – both are cooling at about the same rate. The morning stations are warmer, because they are located at lower latitudes where people are more likely to work outside earlier in the day, The average latitude of the morning stations is 38.5°N and the average latitude of the afternoon stations is 39.7°N.

The changing station composition adjustments are based on the fact the set of USHCN stations in use varies from year to year.  Again, it is simple enough to test this theory out, by using only the 896 stations which were active in both 1918 and 2018. The black line below is the set of all stations and the brown line is the set of stable stations. The stable stations are not cooling quite as fast as the set of all stations, but the difference is minimal.

Tamino tried to sucker his readers over this concept, but the bottom line is that there is no valid excuse to tamper with temperature data.

USA Temperature: can I sucker you? | Open Mind

NOAA data tampering is the excuse for turning cooling into warming.

NASA 1999   NASA 2016

Which then becomes the excuse for destroying civilization.

Achieving these limits will require “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society,”

Charles Mackay wrote about this in 1841.

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles Mackay

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15 Responses to The Leading Data Tampering Excuses

  1. Gator says:

    And yet the one valid reason for adjusting temp data, UHI, gets nowhere near the attention it deserves. Tamino is a joke without a punch line.

  2. Mr GrimNasty says:

    I’m sure most readers already know, but the Australian BoM has just pulled off a breathtaking adjustment to the ACORN series – see Jo Nova, there’s a couple of articles.

    The BoM is still crunching numbers, but provisionally they have said this summer was the hottest ever!

    • spike55 says:

      According to UAH, Australia summer was 2nd warmest below 1991

      • Mr GrimNasty says:

        Nice to know, thanks – notalotofpeoleknowthat seems to have some final data – 1991 is hot in BoM’s data but not outstanding, this summer has supposedly surpassed all others by nearly 1C.

  3. feathers says:

    God bless you Tony! Many thanks again for the education. My takeaway is no matter which dataset you use (morning, afternoon, all-stations, or the “stable set (1918-2018), max temps across the US are trending cooler.

  4. Dee says:

    I’ve noticed NOAA appear to have dramatically decreased the amount of gray area on their coverage maps.

    How did that mysteriously happen.

    Gray areas represent missing data….

    • Mr GrimNasty says:

      Perhaps the coverage (rectangle size) for each station has been increased by default or you have selected a different viewing option?

  5. MeMyselfAndI says:

    Many years have passed since I read it, but I believe MacKay’s book ends with “soon to be washed into the sea of the things which once were.”

  6. RW says:

    Great post.

    Is that Tamino’s graph of the average station latitude per year? If so, is it accurate?
    Is it the ushn stations? If “yes” to the above, wouldn’t that suggest cooling could be an artifact of station latitude? So the mean has moved .5 degrees north on average across 100 years or so starting in 1910 ish. Looking at your time-of-observation split graph Tony, it’s about 2 ish degrees for a 1.2 degree shift in latitude (morning vs. afternoon time-of-observation station mean latitude difference). So rough math might put us at less than 1 degree artificial reduction in temp over said time frame. Not much to ‘correct’. So it makes me wonder what the mean latitude per year graph looks like going back even further. If it isn’t your graph Tony, can you corroborate it or expand on it for us?

    One way to get around this might be to group stations into small ranges of degrees, take average max temps within each range, and then average those averages together. This would compensate for bias introduced by different distribution of station latitudes over the years. Presumably gridding is supposes to achieve something like this. Something like this has to be done, because as Tony has pointed out here before, the latitude matters.

    And yes, changing the mixup of station latitudes over time would also affect the trends. Trends on absolutes is still great, we just have to control for latitude next, i think.

  7. RW says:

    Great post.

    Is that Tamino’s graph of the average station latitude per year? If so, is it accurate?
    Is it the ushn stations? If “yes” to the above, wouldn’t that suggest cooling could be an artifact of station latitude? So the mean has moved .5 degrees north on average across 100 years or so starting in 1910 ish. Looking at your time-of-observation split graph Tony, it’s about 2 ish degrees for a 1.2 degree shift in latitude (morning vs. afternoon time-of-observation station mean latitude difference). So rough math might put us at less than 1 degree artificial reduction in temp over said time frame. Not much to ‘correct’. So it makes me wonder what the mean latitude per year graph looks like going back even further. If it isn’t your graph Tony, can you corroborate it or expand on it for us?

    One way to get around this might be to group stations into small ranges of degrees, take average max temps within each range, and then average those averages together. This would compensate for bias introduced to the overall average by changes to the distribution of station latitudes over the years. Presumably gridding is supposes to achieve something like this. Something like this has to be done though, because as Tony has pointed out here before, the latitude matters. To be sure, Tony has shown us that time of observation seems a non-issue.

    And yes, changing the mixup of station latitudes over time would also affect the trends. Trends on absolutes is still great, we just have to control for latitude next, i think.

  8. AndyDC says:

    The alarmists are in a life and death struggle for their existence and thus their maniacal shrieking has increased exponentially.

  9. Advocatus Diaboli says:

    Excellent post, Tony. One of your best ever. You have taken on alarmist excuses for fiddling with the temperature data, and destroyed them. Just what I love to see–bravo!!

  10. oldscout says:

    Tony,
    Thanks for explaining the basis for the “adjustments” to USHCN. I assume all stations still using max/min thermometers have gone now to morning reset, since that is believed more accurate. Many must be using automated remote sensors reporting every few minutes, obviating the reset problem. If that is the case, why are they still applying adjustments? Are old stations continuing to drop out and new ones being added?

    One would think the TOBS problem has been eliminated by standardization and modern equipment, and the site problem by maintaining the existing ones. I can’t see the need for future adjustments, even if you accept the rationale for past ones.

    Also, do you know whether the UAH satellite record for the US matches the raw data from USHCN? I don’t recall seeing a UAH trend for the US only.

    • spike55 says:

      Over the period of overlap, the reported USHCN data has a trend of about .2C/decade vs UAH trend of about 0.1C/decade.

      The problem is that the surface data also has a standard deviation about 1.4 times the UAH data, with higher maxs and lower mins than the UAH data.

      Sort of makes them hard to compare.

      What is interesting is that this century, until USHCN was stopped in early 2014 , USHCN shows a COOLING trend of about 0.18C/decade.

  11. Pops says:

    It seems to me the natural way to operate min/max thermometers is to reset the max at dawn and reset the min at dusk. Did they really only reset once per day? Surely they were brighter than that…

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