Data Tampering: GISS Caught Red-Handed Manipulating Data To Produce Arctic Climate History Revision

Changing the Arctic Climate
By Ed Caryl

GISS and the GHCN are preoccupied with the Arctic, bestowing large “corrections” on the few and far northern stations. The raw data of the Arctic did not tell the story they wanted to hear, and so GISS took it upon themselves to rewrite it.

Let’s start with Figure 1 from Paul Homewood’s article How GISS has totally Corrupted Reykjavik’s Temperature, used by permission.

Figure 1: Corrupted Reykjavik’s temperature

In January of this year, Paul Homewood of Not A Lot of People Know That, wrote an article describing GHCN and GISS changes to the temperature data that resulted in early 20th century cooling in Reykjavik, Iceland. Because I had stored many annual temperature records for Arctic stations in preparing A Light In Siberia in September of 2010, this prompted an investigation into whether GHCN and GISS had pulled the same on other station data. The short answer…yes they had!

Last year in May, GHCN did a major revision of their historical temperature database. They changed the title of the database to GHCN-M version 3. GISS followed. They refer to the new data as GHCN_v3. The important thing to note is that GHCN_v3 already contains homogeneity “corrections” so there is in most cases now, no difference between
GISS “raw” data (after removing suspicious records), and “after GISS homogeneity adjustments.” As a result, we only get to see temperature data that has already been modified by the hand of man (or a computer under the direction of a man).

What has this done to temperatures? You get one guess.

Figure 2. This is a GHCN comparison of database version 2 and version 3. Land and Ocean Temperatures for January. Source: NOAA/GHCN here.

The chart is subtle in that the scale is chosen to hide the slope and amount of the change trend. But look closely. Note that the change trend is from cooler in the past to warmer in the present, even though the temperature trend is already in that direction. They just added another ~0.1°C to the century trend.

What did they do in the Arctic? Above the Arctic Circle, there are few weather stations.

Figure 3. This is the last ten years temperature trend. From GISS.

The red Arctic grids on the anomaly maps represent ten stations, most in Arctic Russia. It is a bit difficult to sort out specifically which stations these are. Eleven stations in or close to these locations were investigated. Many have quite large “corrections.” Ostrov Dixon is the red grid square on the left on the north coast of Russia. Barrow is the orange grid square at the top of Alaska. Figure 4 is the first example.

Figure 4. This is the temperature change and change amounts to the Ostrov Dixon (Dickson Island) station.

The mainstream climate scientists have always disliked the warming in the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, and the cooling in the 1960’s and 70’s. At several locations in the Arctic they have sought to “correct” these years.

Figure 5. Ostrov Kotel (Kettle Island)

At Ostrov Kotel they simply warmed the whole series from just before 1950 to 1995 With obvious steps at each end of the change. At Barrow, (Figure 6) the change was a series of ramps. This makes little sense at Barrow. For all its history the measuring site has been at the airport. Barrow has a well-documented heat island, but the correction is in the wrong direction for that. Again, the correction takes away most of the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s cooling.

Figure 6. This is the temperature change at Barrow.

At most locations they were not so obvious. For 11 locations that seem to be the heart of the warm grids, here are the plots.

Figure 7. The GHCN/GISS corrections at 11 Arctic locations.

It is very difficult to see a pattern in Figure 7. Some stations have a wild pattern of corrections of several degrees. Some have just a few spikes here and there. Some have a definite pattern.

Figure 8. This is the average “correction” of all the stations in Figure 7 with a linear trend line.

Figure 8 shows the pattern: cooling of the distant past, and warming of the inconvenient 60’s and 70’s.

Figure 9 below shows the average anomaly for those 11 stations:

Figure 9. This is the average anomaly for the 11 stations before and after GHCN “corrections”, with trend lines.

In Figure 9, the “corrections” have doubled the warming trend from 0.7°C per century to 1.4°C per century. The pesky warming in the 20’s and 30’s, and the cooling of the 60’s and 70’s are now nearly on the same level, almost wiping out that inconvenient AMO cycle.

I had data from a dozen other Arctic and Northern Siberian stations from last year. Most of those had just a few minor changes. Here (Figure 10) is the average correction for all 23 stations. As one gets further from the extreme Arctic, the changes begin to average out. If all stations around the globe are included, the average becomes that slow warming “correction” seen in Figure 2.

Figure 10. This is the average of 23 Arctic stations.

GHCN seems preoccupied with the Arctic, bestowing large “corrections” on the few far northern stations. This is in line with the “climate scientists” belief system:

  • The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the globe.
  • Ocean cycles have little effect on the climate.
  • The present decade is the warmest.
  • CO2 rules.

This confirmation bias gets reflected in every evaluation step when reviewing temperature records. The result is that each new data release further confirms what they look for. Can we trust the GHCN and GISS temperature data? You be the judge.


41 responses to “Data Tampering: GISS Caught Red-Handed Manipulating Data To Produce Arctic Climate History Revision”

  1. Paul Homewood

    I have now identified a string of stations from Greenland in the West across into much of the Russian Arctic which all show similar adjustments.

    BTW the old data can still be accessed at GISS on

  2. lapogus

    Paul, thanks for the link to the old GISS data – I had a few old GISS graphs of various locations around the north Atlantic, and have been using to create graphs using GCHNv2 for other stations. I have compared the old and new GCHN datasets for stations in Scotland – and not found any significant changes in Tiree, Aberdeen-Dyce or Eskdalemuir. Lerwick (Shetland) seems to have had some slightly adjustment but across the Irish Sea, the adjustments to Dublin Airport are significant. Belfast does not though. (I wonder if they have decided not to tamper with UK Met office data?) I have also looked at Bodo Vi in Norway and the adjustments there are also suspect. I have not looked at any English stations.

    Pierre – have you or is anyone looking at German stations? What about Sweden, Finland, Poland?

    1. DirkH

      E.M.Smith has analyzed the stations contained in GISTEMP, nation by nation; end of 2009 or start of 2010, on his blog, chiefio.
      He gave Germany a free pass on global warming – no remarkable temperature rise in Germany over the last 100 years.

  3. Frank Lansner

    Hi Pierre, thankyou for keeping an eye on these things.

    Theres another Arctic station having the same fate, but this was earlier and it was more “innocent” looking. But just flat wrong.

    Iceland, Akkureyri.
    See fig. 13 and 14, of RUTI Greenland and Iceland:

    Akkureyri :
    First Icelandic meteorologic inst gave GHCN the original version. Then the Icelandic institue and Hadcrut later both warm adjusted Akkureyri so that GHCN now is the only place we can see the cold original.

    So why did Icelandic meteo. accept this?
    Probably because Akkureyri had an even colder trend than most other iceland temperature stations.

    But this is EXACTLY as it should be. Why? Because Akkureyri is the only station on Iceland that is not coastal. All around the world we can see that non-coastal areas normally shows colder trend after 1930 than coastal stations.

    Iceland meteo. did not know this, and the Akkureyri station showing just what is quite normal was changed to something that did not happen.

    RUTI Coastal temperature stations:

    The same effect we can see for De bilt, that showed colder trend than the coastal stations Hadcrut suddenly needed to use in Holland:

    I could go on…!

    K.R: Frank

    1. Paul Homewood

      Out of eight Icelandic stations, seven had these sort of adjustments, incl Akureyri.

      Iceland Met sent me their actual temp records that confirm the GHCN adjustments are incorrect.

    2. Mindert Eiting

      According to the GHCN base we have world-wide at the end of 1969 on duty 9644 stations. In the epoch 1970-99 we observe that 9434 dropped out. Included were 2918 new stations. Therefore, at the end of 1999 we have 3128 stations on duty. This is sometime called the great dying of the thermometers. The question is of drop-out and inclusion were random. Research may be done by computing for each station the correlation of its time series with a regional series. One will find much higher correlations for the surviving stations. All higher moments of the temperature distribution (variance, covariance, skewness, etc.) are affected.

      1. DirkH

        The deletion of thermometers is very systematic.

        Joe D’Aleo about the Death Of The Thermometers:
        (GHCN ,NCDC, NOAA, GISS, HadCrut affected!)

        And about the growing discrepancy between thermometer products and satellite products.
        NOAA/GISS/Hadley vs RSS/UAH satellite data:

        1. Mindert Eiting

          Yes Dirk, in the line of Lansner’s comment, they dropped thousands of deviant stations. I also found evidence that this dropping was more extreme in the direction of the poles. Is there something in the AGW theory requiring warming into that direction? With this selection procedure we can prove that every homeopathic medicine works. From a scientific point of view, this is almost unbelievable.

          1. DirkH

            GISS and the others have been doing it for years and the MSM have never said a word about it. They got away with it so they continue with it. CO2AGW science and the MSM are in a parallel universe now, reporting from a fantasy world, and the discrepancy widens every day.

            For both of them, this is an increasingly instable position. Pulses of sanity like Die Kalte Sonne disrupt their system.

            As the instability grows, even the tiniest disruption might be sufficient to make the entire monstrosity fall. Expect more anger and more collapse. Gleick was just the beginning. Expect defectors.

  4. Ed Caryl

    Thank you Paul and Frank for the added tips and links. This suggests more work.
    I have a mystery. Ostrov Vrange (Wrangle Island) was uniformly warmed by about 1.5 degrees between V2 andV3. Not just for a stretch of years, the whole record! I don’t read Russian, so researching this is difficult. Anybody?

    1. Paul Homewood

      Nothing surprises me, Ed!

      GISS changed the whole Reykjavik record, because in their contortions current temperatures were lower than their adjusted figures said (which of course could be easily checked).

      This obviously caused problems!! So to get rid of the problem, they reduced every tempertaure back to 1911 by over a degree!

  5. Paul Homewood

    Trausti Jonsson, a senior climatologist at the Iceland Met, told me :-

    “In 1965 there was a real and very sudden climatic change in Iceland (deterioration). It was larger in the north than in the south and affected both the agriculture and fishing – and therefore also the whole of society with soaring unemployment rates and a 50% devaluation of the local currency. In the questions above the year 1965 is mentioned twice. It is very sad if this significant climatic change is being interpreted as an observation error and adjusted out of existence.

    I have been working for more than 25 years in the field of historical climatology and have been guilty of eager overadjustments in the past as well as other data handling crimes. But as I have lived through these sudden large climatic shifts I know that they are very real. ”

    The effect is clearly seen here.

  6. Frank Lansner

    Hi Paul!

    Very interesting info indeed. I could inly see that GHCN has the cold trended version while Nordklim and hadcrut has the warm trended version. I was surpriced howcome nordklim could have the warm trended version too, its from 2001.

    Paul, I understand that you have an unusual knowledge of how things are done with temperature stations, and if you have any comments on any area world wide on RUTI, I would we very interested to hear your comments:

    GISS reykjavik: Am I using a wrong link, or is this GISS link to reykjavik adjusted? Looks cold trended:

    K.R. Frank

    1. Paul Homewood

      Hi Frank

      That Reykjavik graph is the “old version after homogeneity adj”, i.e after allowing for UHI.

      Compare with the new “after homogeneity”.

  7. J

    Isn’t such tampering illegal? Tax payer funded research corruption? Where is the GAO? Inspector General? FBI?

    1. DirkH

      If you want to know what they do to ARGO data, read the headpost here:

      (The link points to a comment of mine that explains the link between CO2 concentrations and temperature – the REAL link, don’t tell anyone 😉 ; but scroll up to the headpost to see how they get rid of evidence with ARGO. No data escapes before it confesses CO2AGW. Well, it should be called CO2’AGW because that’s what happens…)

  8. Paul Homewood

    At a tangent to Mindert’s observation about the drop out of stations, the situation is so bad in Africa, that I can only find one (yes ONE) rural station in the whole of Africa with even a semi complete record back to 1940.

    This is Calvinia in South Africa, which (surprise, surprise!!) shows no warming trend.

    So how on earth does Hansen get Africa to be one of the fastest warming places on the planet?

  9. Verity Jones

    This shows the “quality control” adjustments in GHCN-V3 for Reykjavik:

    I’ve been down the adjustments and homogenisation rabbit hole and driven myself nearly mad with it. It is not pretty, but don’t stop.

    It is worth looking at the two presentations 7_1 and 7_2 from here: and this from a guy I have met and would really trust.

    1. Ed Caryl

      I read that last paper with a lot of interest. I have travelled all over Utah, and have been past nearly all those locations. The only sites that have not seen land-use changes are the sites within the National Parks and Hanksville. Strangely enough, I consider the Hanksville site to be one of the better locations. The CRS was built over the small gravestone (which isn’t much different than the ground around it), the antlers have been untouched for years, and the location is at the edge of a rather small town that hasn’t changed for 100 years. There isn’t much vegetation around because the climate is desert. The only problem is that the CRS hasn’t been repainted since it was installed. I think maintenance is nearly as big a problem as siting.

  10. jarlgeir

    The following sites have also been “adjusted” by GISS:

    Nuuk, Greenland
    Jan Mayen
    Tromsoe in Norway;topic=500.0;attach=1633;image

    There are also 3 different sets of GISS temperatures for Sri Lanka, scroll to page 5 to see the illustration. As Sri Lanka is not in the artic by any sane definition, we should assume these “adjustments” are global.

  11. R. de Haan
    1. Dery

      Steve,I find your argument quite hlloow and tending to nit-pick over data. To dispute the rise in arctic temperatures over the past few decades leaves me suspicious that you are not being completely neutral in your observations. GISS data extrapolation techniques are well within the bounds acceptable scientific technique, and the areas not covered, even if they (in some extremely unusual phenomenon) had cooler temps than extrapolated, the areas that are covered are so high, that the arctic would still show warming. In short, your argument is specious at best, and I await your next Arctic Sea Ice update, as temps remain high in the arctic region (as they’ve been for the whole winter and spring) and the extent for 2010 year-to-year data has now fallen below 2007, 2008, 2009, 2005, & 2003. Just a statisical fluke, I’m sure, but it seems your mult-year ice is not holding up quite as well as you’d thought

  12. matti


    There could be a wider problem with the global surface temperature data collection [not satellite data]
    Solar physicist Sami Solanki and his colleagues at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research together with a group led by Ilya Usoskin at University of Oulu in Finland. Solanki compared solar records to temperature records and found a strong correlation between solar activity and temperature
    But they said:
    However, it is also clear that since about 1980, while the total solar radiation, its ultraviolet component, and the cosmic ray intensity all exhibit the 11-year solar periodicity, there has otherwise been no significant increase in their values. In contrast, the Earth has warmed up considerably within this time period. This means that the Sun is not the cause of the present global warming.

    Yet the UAH Satellite based temperature data do not show “considerable warming within this time frame “. Matter of fact the satellite temperature record is quite flat from 1979-2000 except for the 1998 El Nino.

    It is very suspicious that global temperature records and solar records had moved in unison going back some 500 years or more to the start of the Little Ice age and suddenly in the post 1980 era or the so called global warming era, they do not. To me there appears to be something wrong with our ground based global temperature data collection where temperatures seem to be constantly adjusted and only upwards. Typically errors if real are made in both directions. . The satellite data is telling the real story, in my opinion.

    From my own analysis the sun activity and global temperatures seem to move in unison with a variable lag time due to the action of the oceans. The past century solar and temperature records seem to show this if the correct temperatures records are used even after 1980.

    1. Ed Caryl

      All I can say is yes. I totally agree.

  13. Paul Matthews

    Verity, it is unfortunate that GHCN have not followed the ‘hippocratic oath’ on page 23 of talk 7_1 by Menne:

    • First, do not flag good data as bad
    • Then, do not make bias adjustments where none are warranted

    Certainly, in the case of the Iceland adjustments, the only examples I have looked at in any detail, they have made both these errors.

    1. DirkH

      Oh, it was a google summer student who made a small mistake. Nothing to see here, move along.

    2. Verity Jones


      Oh I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the ‘hippocratic oath’ is quite ironic – often the adjustments are crazy (see: example)

      1. Ed Caryl

        The link doesn’t take me to the correct article!!!

        1. DirkH
          1. Ed Caryl

            And this article was written before the GHCN_v2 to GHCN_v3 change. I wonder what the situation is now?
            I wonder how many man-hours of work would be necessary to sort all this out?

  14. Howard T. Lewis III

    Combine this with the other ‘global warming’ frauds and that Rothschild genetic misadventure planning to produce huge quantities of dry ice to transport to the poles to maintain the earth’s temperature and halt ‘global warming’, and you get a better idea of what European royalty leadership and their cutting edge scientific research is all about. Most people here in Hawai’i believe it and welcome Fukushima radiation here with open arms.

  15. julie

    Does it really matter? As the Arctic continues to recover ice it will ‘correct’ any public misconceptions regarding the reliability of the guff they are being fed :))

    1. Hugh K

      Hi Julie – “Does it really matter?”

      As any client of Bernie Maddoff would certainly agree, it only matters when all of the money is gone. Just as Bernie assured investors he was only interested in their financial well-being to gain their vote of confidence, western governments via a few bought-off, self-promoting Gleiks are buying political votes with your/our money all in the name of the planet’s well-being. The only difference I can detect in either scam is the present retirement accomodations of Bernie and the future retirement accomodations of current western government officials. Meanwhile, the Gleiks are replaced with a clone and the enablers (us) that paid for both scams are simply left broke.
      Does it really matter? Many western governments, having spent a considerable amount of your/our money, then borrowed obscene amounts have created a serious financial crisis. Much of this money went to fund failed/failing green projects/studies we could not afford in these worsening economic times. We are running out of time to wait for the inevitable arctic ice recovery. A recovery that history has shown will simply be tricked/downplayed/taken out of context/hidden by those addicted to tax payer funded/borrowed government handouts.
      Until honest, dedicated scientists reclaim the helm from those few that have Gleiked the system and individuals interested in maintaining a secure life for themselves and their children realize the western world’s financial systems are on the verge of collapse and demand our governments stop funding this green road to ruin, sadly, it really does matter.

      Danke P Gosselin, thank you Ed Caryl and Paul Homewood for the enormous amount of your time you have given to promoting real science and seeking the truth.

  16. Warwick

    Send “The RICO Boys” in as surely there is now ample evidence of Economic Loss, Fraud, massive Public Expenditure with no basis.
    We have lost the temperature gain they have been boasting in two years so WTF!!!
    Lock them up fraud is fraud is fraud!!!

  17. MikeN

    Is it possible to find old GISTEMP results?
    I’m trying to find that page as it appeared at different points in time, particularly early 2008.

  18. E.M.Smith


    I have a version of GIStemp and data running from about 2009. I could likely get that chart from it for about that date. If that would be helpful, let me know.

    I might not be fast about it, though…

    FWIW, you can run GIStemp on a LINUX computer fairly easily. I have it running on an old “white box PC” with about 10 GB of disk and a 400 MHz or so CPU and about 128 MB of memory…

    The steps needed to “make it go” are not that hard (just a couple of programs that need a minor edit and install a compiler).

    I’ve not downloaded the newer version nor made it run, though, just the old one.

    Basically I’m saying that if you want your own “vintage” GIStemp, it’s possible.

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