Monday, July 7, 2014

Change in Hottest US Month Isn't a Conspiracy

Article: Change in Hottest US Month Isn't a Conspiracy: Here's Why

I am glad that NOAA adjusted the data to better reflect reality.

NOAA now has a 10 year data base from new weather stations, sited in "pristine locations," with standardized thermometers and data gathering methods, and with sites widely distributed throughout the US.

With this data at their fingertips, they found it necessary to decrease the 2012 temperature by 0.8 F. (Which is a large amount, as the entire increase over the last of 150 years is 1.33 F. Although that is not a fair comparison.)

They decreased the 1936 temperature by 0.6 F.

The changes make both temperatures almost the same.

The problem from my point of view is that all of the discussion of the need to change the data had to do with historical issues. Why is necessary to change recent data when a good set was already available? Or was it changed because the good set was available and the contrast would show that the adjusted data was the problem?

It may not be a conspiracy, but it does continue to add fuel to the conspiracy theories. There has been too much compromised data and "adjustments," too many retracted "hottest months" and "hottest years," and too much retracted or debunked research (for example, Michael Mann's "hockey stick").  This does not even deal with the real hiatus in warming.

Science genuinely proceeds in fits and starts. It produces hypotheses that are proven out or falsified. It makes grand announcements that are then retracted. And, occasionally, fraud is involved (or at least large doses of wishful thinking). This is normal. We are talking about human beings.

The problem is that the global warming advocates always err on the side of higher temperatures or dramatic predictions that do not pan out.

If NOAA and Goddard and East Anglia are all doing unbiased science, there would not be this kind of systematic error.

Update: this is a different issue, but still about adjusting climate data.
[H]e [Anthony Watts of "Watts Up With That"] believes that the researchers have likely succumbed to this confirmation bias in their temperature analyses. In other words, he thinks the NCDC’s scientists do not question the results of their adjustment procedures because they report the trend the researches expect to find.
From Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine quoted in Practicing the Dark Art of Temperature Trend Adjustment

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