NOAA E-Mail Confirms Large-Scale Rewrite Of U.S. Temperature Data In 2014 …”Improvements In The Dataset”

On Mike Brakey’s recent post on the NOAA’s 151 degrees of fudging of the temperature datasets for the state of Maine, one reader was “so incensed” that he e-mailed the NOAA and his congressman.

Well, he got a reply from Derek Arndt at NOAA, which he sent to Mike Brakey, who in turn sent me Arndt’s reply – which I post as follows:

Hi Mr. XXXXXXXXX

In early 2014, we changed to a new version of the dataset upon which our US temperatures are drawn. The new dataset took advantage of a lot of older data that hadn’t been digitized (from paper) when the old dataset was constructed. It also took advantage of advancements in quality assurance that detect station moves, changes in observing practices, etc.

We began sharing with the community these upcoming changes as early as 2011: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/GrDD-Transition.pdf  In early 2014 we published a more complete methodological paper:

Vose, R.S., Applequist, S., Durre, I., Menne, M.J., Williams, C.N., Fenimore, C., Gleason, K., Arndt, D. 2014: Improved Historical Temperature and Precipitation Time Series For U.S. Climate Divisions Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0248.1

Maine was one of the states that saw the biggest differences in temperature. This is probably why blogs focus in on it. In addition to the general reasons for changes that other states witnessed:

  • The new method used stations in neighboring Canada to inform estimates for data-sparse areas within Maine (a great improvement)
  • In the old dataset, the year 1913 was particularly problematic, resulting from a keying (transcription) error from many years ago that is now corrected. 1913 is often held up as evidence of “tampering” when in fact it is probably one of the biggest improvements in the dataset, and brings our value much more in line with what was observed at the time.

Thanks for contacting us. It is a privilege to serve you.

Deke

 

35 responses to “NOAA E-Mail Confirms Large-Scale Rewrite Of U.S. Temperature Data In 2014 …”Improvements In The Dataset””

  1. Mike Heath

    I don’t understand this.
    1913? Maine? where is the problem?

  2. A C Osborn

    Is there only 1 Maine Weather Station?
    What kind of keying error (Daily) could cause an Annual error of 4 degrees C?
    After all that is all they store, the rest is all down to algorithms.

    1. A C Osborn

      And what type of Quality system would llow such a large keying error.

  3. Jeff

    Knowing my US relatives who were alive in 1913 (grandfather born in 1881, grandmother born in 1888), their fastidiousness, care, or as the Germans call it “grundlichkeit”, would likely make their data far more accurate than anything we i-Thing-stressed folks of today could hope to achieve….. My father was brought up with the guidance that everything worth doing is worth doing well, and that lying or fudging data is just plain wrong (worse, a sin).

    I call “Fail” or “BS” on NOAA. Then again, what’s new about that?
    There’s a lot of grant money riding on “warmth”.

    I sure hope and pray that there are folks archiving the real data.
    CAGW – cooking the books, as fast as possible…..

    1. Lemon

      Genauigkeit – Exactness. Nicht Genau – Not exact

      1. Jeff

        Genauigkeit is a different word, tending torward picky.
        Grundlichkeit is more of a process, a way of behavior.
        I think you mean ungenau, which is inexact….

    2. Jeff

      )(/&)(/%($ US keyboard – gruendlichkeit – where are my umlauts when I need them……

  4. sod

    From the “fudging”article:

    “They assumed no one would archive temperature data. But I did. My research indicated they used the same algorithm across the United States at the same time. Fortunately I had archived their data from 2013 for Maine and recently compared it to their 2015 data (see above table).”

    From the NOAA:

    “We began sharing with the community these upcoming changes as early as 2011: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/GrDD-Transition.pdf In early 2014 we published a more complete methodological paper:

    Vose, R.S., Applequist, S., Durre, I., Menne, M.J., Williams, C.N., Fenimore, C., Gleason, K., Arndt, D. 2014: Improved Historical Temperature and Precipitation Time Series For U.S. Climate Divisions Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. “

  5. David Appell (@davidappell)

    I don’t see the great evil that was done — just people trying to more accurate determine Maine temperatures.

    1. AndyG55

      By cooling the past.. of course..

      And how you of all people know anything about accuracy. ?

      Seriously ?? don’t make me laugh.

    2. c

      A comment from a person who has no technical knowledge. Of course if you keep your eyes closed you will not see evil unless that it is in your dreams. But, unpeg your nose do you notice an aroma from the back of your body.

  6. KuhnKat

    Still waiting for the engineering quality paper that explains how one can use a station miles to hundreds of miles away to infill or adjust data when we know microclimates can make a joke of using another station within a mile…

    Basically they are saying they want to use the stations with the largest UHI to adjust other stations?

  7. lemiere jacques

    i never see changes in curves as a problem…
    the problem is error bars and confidence.

    if any SUPPOSED improvement in data set changes dramatically the resulting curve for the sake of confidence in data the difference raw/corrected should be regard as error bars…
    when the hypothesis necessary to improve the data are not “certain” it is the only way to preserve absolute confidence in the data .

  8. Mikky

    The NOAA E-mail looks highly plausible to me, congrats to them for such a swift response. Sceptics need to massively up their game on homogenisation, there are no doubt some errors, but talk of systematic fraud is ridiculous, and will do enormous damage to the sceptic cause.

    Temperatures are just phenomenology, like pretty much all raw scientific data they need to be properly adjusted before they can be used. It is to the theoretical side of AGW where scepticism should be directed.

    1. DirkH

      Talk of systematic fraud is ridiculous? I don’t think so. The government scientists know, as long as there is climate panic, their funding is safe. NASA founded an own institute for the fraud; GISS, an institute that uses NO satellite data. They don’t wanna compromise their satellite data, they know they can better defraud the public by mixing surface thermometer data, it violets the Nyquist theorem much more, so NASA will later have all the excuses NASA wants.

    2. DirkH

      Also, Mikky: Why do all the adjustments always cool the past and warm the present? If your beloved government scientists were truly finding errors and adjusting them innocently, should we not see adjustments in both directions, ones that increase a warming trend, and ones that don’t?

      No, Mikky; these people have nice fat paychecks and no integrity whatsoever.

      1. sod

        “Also, Mikky: Why do all the adjustments always cool the past and warm the present?”

        Please look at the facts:

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/07/understanding-adjustments-to-temperature-data/

        “infilling” for example does not change the trend at all.

        “Pairwise Homogenization Algorithm (PHA) ” is cooling Tmin.

        Do not fear the facts, take a look at them.

        You too can understand TOBs and why the effect is the way it is.

        1. DirkH

          Thanks, sod, I will not bother looking into the homogenized fabrications, as RSS and UAH are much better to detect any Global Warming, as I repeatedly stated. And as long as they detect no tropospheric hotspot developing, I rest assured in my conclusion that the CO2AGW theory is still a falsified mess, and that anyone promoting it IN THE FACE OF ITS FALSIFICATION is an unscientific liar.

        2. AndyG55

          Seems that it is you that does not understand how TOBS is an invention to allow the falsification/manipulation of data.

          SG has proven time and time again that changes due to the TOBS algorithm DO NOT match reality.

          You can ignore that as much as you like, but it does not change the fact of what TOBS really is.

      2. Squildly

        Dirk, you are absolutely correct, as Tony Heller (StevenGoddard) has shown repeatedly. It is a statistical IMPOSSIBILITY (that simply means, impossible) for all of the adjustments to COOL the past and further WARM the present. Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!

        I don’t believe this NOAA email anymore than I believe their HCN temperature data … which means, I don’t believe it for 1 second. Anyone who does is a fool.

        1. sod

          “Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE!”

          That is complete garbage. StevenGoddard has never shown anything and you can easily see him being picked apart by more rational voices, even from the “sceptic” side.

          For example TOBS is working that direction, because time of observation has been moved from pm to am and not the other way round.

          judithcurry.com/2015/02/22/understanding-time-of-observation-bias/

          Do not ignore the facts and start reading some stuff beside Steven Goddards blog.

          1. AndyG55

            Facts and data are beyond your brain-wash child-mind.

            SG has many links to REAL data, real scientific analysis.. but you ignore them because it is what you do.

            You have nothing except empty rhetoric.

  9. BobW in NC

    What I love is, unless Anthony Watts’ surfacestations.org is complete garbage, the only temperature adjustments that should ever be made are those where the monitor site is basically not in the middle of a field with no near adjacent heat source. The standards are:

    Climate Reference Network Rating Guide – adopted from NCDC Climate Reference Network Handbook, 2002, specifications for siting (section 2.2.1) of NOAA’s new Climate Reference Network:

    Class 1 (CRN1)- Flat and horizontal ground surrounded by a clear surface with a slope below 1/3 (<19deg). Grass/low vegetation ground cover 3 degrees.

    Class 2 (CRN2) – Same as Class 1 with the following differences. Surrounding Vegetation 5deg.

    Class 3 (CRN3) (error >=1C) – Same as Class 2, except no artificial heating sources within 10 meters.

    Class 4 (CRN4) (error >= 2C) – Artificial heating sources = 5C) – Temperature sensor located next to/above an artificial heating source, such a building, roof top, parking lot, or concrete surface.”

    So—There is NO reason for NOAA (or anyone else) to adjust temperatures down except to account for improper initial monitor siting or changes in its surroundings. And adjusting temperatures UP??? Should NEVER be done!

    We are being scammed!

    1. BobW in NC

      Sorry – forgot the link: http://www.surfacestations.org/

  10. Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd

    “infilling” does not change the trend at all. That’s amazing. Sod, what if the infilled data is completely wrong? You’re assuming it’s correct or close to the station they are homogenizing with.

    1. AndyG55

      What he means is that infilling SHOULD NOT change the trend.

      Yet at NOAA, it certainly does.

      He proves our point for us. Thanks, sob.

      1. sod

        “What he means is that infilling SHOULD NOT change the trend.

        Yet at NOAA, it certainly does.”

        You are just plain out wrong. Please start to look at facts instead of just saying what you think is happening.

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/slide18.jpg

        1. AndyG55

          Again you quote the pseudo-sceptic , J. Curry.

          Poor girl must be aching from sitting on the fence.

          https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/?s=infilling

          You haven’t figured out her game yet , have you, little child. You seriously are gullible and DUMB !!!

          1. sod

            Andy, you have nothing to offer but insults.

            Just look at how Zeke agrues and how Goddard does.

            http://judithcurry.com/2014/07/07/understanding-adjustments-to-temperature-data/

            Zeke is in contact with the scientists. He is reading and quoting real scientific articles on the stuff that he is looking at.

            The Goddard argument on infilling is just plain out insane. He is doing the averaging the wrong way, he is not really looking at the data for infilling but instead just assumes, taht the difference must be because of infilling.

            https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/infilling-is-massively-corrupting-the-us-temperature-record/

            What Goddard does is just plain out junk and it is no surprise, that even the “sceptic” community does not accept his findings.

          2. sod

            [-snip. You’re repeatedly posting activist nonsense. With writers like Nutticelli the Guardian has an agenda. Even the NOAA admits they’ve changed the data. Your BS is getting tiresome. -PG]

        2. AndyG55

          I must say, I wonder about your naivety.

          What are you, 17, 18 .. or maybe mid twenties and living with your mother ??

          1. David Johnson

            ha ha!. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Andy

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