Alterations To The US Temperature Record

For the past decade or so, I have been documenting how US temperature graphs released by NOAA and NASA are not representative of their own raw data. This work has been high profile on a number of occasions, but has been repeatedly censored by the press as “conspiracy theory.” This happened as recently as yesterday on DailyKos.

Reality is that the data alterations are no secret, and that NOAA and NASA acknowledge that they do it. In this post I will document the magnitude of the adjustments and how they can be visualized.

This graph of US temperatures was posted by NASA in 1999, showing a strong cooling trend from the 1930’s through the end of the century. The years 1934 and 1998 are circled.

NASA 1999

And this is NASA’s current graph, which now shows a strong warming trend during that period.

NASA 2019

Here is an animation showing how the data has been altered over the past 20 years.

It is more difficult to locate historical NOAA graphs, because they are generated dynamically and are not archived on the Internet. One example I can document is Texas. The graph below is NOAA’s current 1895-2010 graph for Texas, which shows a strong warming trend.

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Anthony Watts captured the same graph in 2012, and it showed no warming.

Climate scientists who have been claiming Texas is warming are totally wrong. | Watts Up With That?

And this graph showing no warming was posted by the San Antonio Express News in 2012.

Mims: Research shows Texas is not warming – San Antonio Express-News

On January 26, 1989 the New York Times ran this headline : “US Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend”

After examining climate data extending back nearly 100 years, a team of Government scientists has concluded that there has been no significant change in average temperatures or rainfall in the United States over that entire period.

While the nation’s weather in individual years or even for periods of years has been hotter or cooler and drier or wetter than in other periods, the new study shows that over the last century there has been no trend in one direction or another.

The study, made by scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was published in the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters. It is based on temperature and precipitation readings taken at weather stations around the country from 1895 to 1987.

U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend – NYTimes.com

Now NOAA shows lots of warming from 1895 to 1988.

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

There is no question that the US temperature record has been altered over time. Additionally, the National Climate Assessment shows that summer temperatures were much hotter in the US ninety years ago, which is not consistent with current NOAA graphs.

Temperature Changes in the United States – Climate Science Special Report

The US temperature is very important, because the vast majority of stations which NOAA has long-term daily temperature data for are located in the US.

ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/daily/figures/station-counts-1891-1920-temp.png

The global temperature record has seen similar data alterations. In 1989, Tom Karl at NOAA said earth had cooled from 1921 to 1979.

Analysis of warming since 1881 shows most of the increase in global temperature happened before 1919 — before the more re-cent sharp rise in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. said Thomas Karl, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

While global climate warmed overall since 1881, it actually cooled from 1921 to 1979, Karl said.

“In spite of all the well-publicized concern about global warming, you must understand that there is still considerable uncertainty among scientific experts about a number of critical factors which determine global warming,” NOAA administrator John Knauss said in a statement issued for the geophysics meeting.

07 Dec 1989, Page 14 – Santa Cruz Sentinel at Newspapers.com

NOAA now shows a strong warming trend during that period.

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

There is no question the data has been altered. Now let’s look at the alterations being made to the US temperature record. This is the current NOAA US temperature graph for average temperature. It shows a strong warming trend since 1895.

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

I can reproduce this graph fairly closely by taking a simple mathematical average of the NOAA United States Historical Climatology Network “final” (adjusted) monthly data set, which is available at this link. The software I wrote to calculate and generate this graph is open source and is being used by hundreds of people.

Here is the current NOAA US temperature graph for average maximum temperature. It also shows a strong warming trend since 1895.

Climate at a Glance | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

I can closely reproduce that graph by taking the numerical average of the NOAA United States Historical Climatology Network “final” (adjusted) monthly data set, which is available at this link. It shows a strong warming trend and recent years much warmer than the 1930s.

NOAA also provides the raw (unadjusted) monthly temperature data. For average temperature, it is available at this link. The unadjusted raw monthly graph shows much less warming than the adjusted data, and has recent years cooler than the 1930s.

The unadjusted average maximum temperature is available at this link. The unadjusted raw monthly graph shows much less warming than the adjusted data, and has recent years much cooler than the 1930s.

The NOAA unadjusted monthly temperature data, also closely matches the NOAA daily temperature data, which is available at this link. The graphs below show daily average and maximum temperatures.

The graph below plots unadjusted monthly average temperature vs. daily temperatures, with excellent correlation.

And this is the same graph for monthly unadjusted maximum temperatures vs. daily maximum temperatures. Again, the correlation is very good.

Also note that the frequency of hot days in the US has plummeted. The graph below plots the frequency of 95F (35C) days vs. year, and shows that there has been much less hot weather in the US over the past 60 years compared to the period from 1910 to 1960.

This correlates well with the graphs from the National Climate Assessment.

Temperature Changes in the United States – Climate Science Special Report

Now let’s get into the interesting part, comparing monthly adjusted (final) average temperature vs. unadjusted (raw) average temperature. This next graph shows the difference between the average adjusted and unadjusted temperatures – i.e. the adjustments. It shows a hockey stick of data alterations, with older temperatures cooled by about one degree (F) and recent temperatures warmed by about one degree.

And the next graph is the smoking gun of something amiss. It plots the adjustments vs. atmospheric CO2. It shows a very close correlation between NOAA US temperature adjustments and CO2.

And here is a more detailed view, showing extremely good correlation between the adjustments and CO2. The next graph includes data for the first nine months of 2020, and has an R² of 0.981.

The implication of this is that the huge adjustments being made to the US temperature record are being made to match global warming theory, which is the exact opposite of how science should be done. The unadjusted data shows essentially no correlation between CO2 and temperature.

In the next blog post I will analyze what I can deduce about the very poorly documented NOAA temperature adjustments, and what questions they need to be asked.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Alterations To The US Temperature Record

  1. Eric Hatfield says:

    This is a nice summation of several previous videos.

    The unaltered data for the US clearly shows warming into the 1930s, cooling from the 40s through the 1970s and some warming since then. I have a hypothesis to explain the temperature behavior.

    The initial warming was simply due to the sun going through the grand solar maximum that finished pulling the climate out of the Little Ice Age. Later solar cycles (those after 1940) continued to be hot and short suggesting a grand solar max continuing. So why didn’t the climate continue warming? That was overcome by mankind’s industrialization and WW2 (for a short time) polluting the atmosphere and allowing less solar energy to come into the system. Naturally climate cools in response. What happened in the 80’s? By the 1970s we decided polluting the air wasn’t a good idea and most if not all western nations implemented clean air standards. The air cleaned up allowing more solar energy to come through and the climate warmed in response. Should any of that be a surprise?

    You could say that mankind was responsible for climate change since the 1930s, but not the way global warming alarmists claim.

  2. Davide says:

    The correlation between adjustments and co2 is stunning.
    But I’m sure some “scientist” would say it’s just a random phenomenon, not a smoking gun of artificial and wanted activity.

  3. KevinPaul says:

    This post exposes the dailykos hit piece and completely debunks it as pure bunkem and politically motivated anti-science claptrap. The dailykos can be flushed as garbage journalism fully entrained in the redshift movement bend on destroying the free-world.

  4. Richard Yanda says:

    Nice job of substantiating the junk science used by NOAA and NASA. I only suspected that they used CO2 as a normalizing factor but I said to myself, “That’s just wrong.” These people are not just incompetents, they’re crooks. They should be taken to court and lose their jobs. Somehow we have to find legal support to stop this fraud.

  5. Conrad Ziefle says:

    This whole NOAA process of managing temperature data is baffling. Science, in part, is about intelligently collecting data and then recognizing what the data implies. When you decide that the data is contaminated and you attempt to clean it, you are in danger of injecting your predisposition for a given outcome into the data. That’s not science, and should be unacceptable to a scientific mind. You wonder, what kind of culture exists at NOAA and NASA? What kind of engineers and scientists go along with this program of data modification? Are they “true believers” who were converted to the global warming cult by grade school and high school teachers, and for whom any data that conflicts with the “truth” must have been twisted by the indolence of their predecessors? Or are they without ethics, and willing to make the data show whatever they’re told to make it show?
    It appears to me, that NOAA and NASA need to be “audited” by independent scientists who have no incentive to prove or disprove the global warming theory, and if they have been misleading the public regarding the truth then a bunch of people need to be fired, and their reports discredited. By the way, is there a safe repository of the original, unaltered data? If there isn’t, then it needs to be established.

  6. David Sea says:

    I can’t believe that science has been destroyed to produce an un-scientific conclusion that the majority of educated people believe in! What has happened to our brilliant civilisation?

  7. Doctornigel says:

    A cooling adjustment to the data would be more logical. You could argue the negative adjustment to the raw data was to compensate for increased heat island effect at most temperature stations. You could include the 20 or so pages of calculations you would have to have to even guess what that adjustment would be. Then the graph would show that , in the grand scheme of things, our climate is pretty stable.

  8. Mr. Conrad Ziefle has made all the correct points that need to be examined with this process. Apparently NOAA and NASA can’t be trusted to give us a record data, so a lot of people need be fired to get things sorted out.

  9. Mr. Conrad Ziefle has made all the correct points that need to be examined with this process. Apparently NOAA and NASA can’t be trusted to give us a record data, so a lot of people need be fired to get things sorted out.

  10. Graham Bennett says:

    Nobody should be surprised at NASA crookedness and secrecy. Remember the Challenger disaster. If anyone wants a NASA testimonial, they should watch the Netflix series, then try and lecture us on NASA “science”.

  11. Rich Enthoven says:

    I did a lot of similar work last summer looking at entire US GHCN database. I did a lot of similar work last summer. I downloaded the entire GHCN database for the continental US. Through 2019 it contained data from 12,748 stations with 7.3 million station months. Unadjusted temperature measurements show a modest cooling trend in the CONSUS (-.36 °C/century) – especially since the very warm 1930’s and early 1950s. Even with temperature adjustments from NASA, the overall average adjusted temperature measurement shows a trend of only +.2 °C/century since records began in 1895. The adjustments dominate the temperature trend as they have gone from a low of -.52 °C in 1901 to a positive adjustment of +.02 °C since 2015.

  12. Rich Enthoven says:

    As Tony noted, its pretty easy to match the GISTEMP without complicated ‘gridding’ algorithms. By filtering to eliminate station readings that have missing months in the data, starting the trend in 1920’s to capture more than 1,000 stations which report consistently, and normalizing the average temperature to variance from 1950 – 1980 it is easy to recreate a time series that is very close to the GISTEMP using the GHCN data set.

  13. Rich Enthoven says:

    But, if you take the same set of stations and look at unadjusted temperatures, you get the same conclusion as before. The unadjusted, consistently reporting stations show now trend since 1920.

  14. Rich Enthoven says:

    Also looked closely at the NASA adjustments as related to airports; latitude; average temperature; number of relocations; and other factors which I can post if Tony or anyone wants to review.

    Here was an interesting one – apparently NASA feels the need to adjust the Midwest differently than the rest of the country. This graph is a heat map of adjustments made in 1934 – which was the hottest unadjusted year.

  15. Mark Austin says:

    How about heat island effect in regards to temperature stations location… If I recall a lot of these stations have literally been swallowed up by urban sprawl changing the ambient air temperature around them. That would be an interesting study, what would happen if we eliminated stations based on location over time, would we see increases in ambient air temperatures for stations now surrounded by concrete and buildings? I would think so…
    Cheers!

  16. Rich Enthoven says:

    The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects don’t appear to explain the adjustments. Since 1930 approximately 17 of the now largest 50 US airports have been reporting temperatures consistently enough to be included in the GISTEMP set we assembled above. The set became very stable by 1950. These locations do show average warming trend of +.8 C° per century since 1930 which might be expected given the large heat signature of major airports. However, the adjustments do not show any consistent trend since inception. The pattern of adjustment seems to defy any technological or measurement error explanation.

  17. Rich Enthoven says:

    We also identified 150 – 200 airport stations (station name that indicates airport) that have reported consistently since 1930. These locations also show a gradual warming of both measured (blue) and adjusted (yellow) temperatures. At these locations, we see NASA cooling the old readings substantially during 1930 – 1948. More surprisingly, we see adjustments above the measured temperature from 1996 to a peak in 2002. Apparently, the thermometers at these locations read too low for a decade during the late 1990’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *