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GISS's October Data. The large reddish-brown area in Russia is actually September readings.
Amateur team finds NASA error similar to one they discovered a year ago.

NASA'S Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is one of the world's primary sources for climate data. GISS issues regular updates on world temperatures based on their analysis of temperature readings from thousands of monitoring stations over the globe.

GISS’ most recent data release originally reported last October as being extraordinarily warm-- a full 0.78C above normal. This would have made it the warmest October on record; a huge increase over the previous month's data.

Those results set off alarm bells with Steve McIntyre and his gang of Baker Street irregulars at They noted that NASA's data didn't agree at all with the satellite temperature record, which showed October to be very mild, continuing the same trend of slight cooling that has persisted since 1998. So they dug a little deeper.

McIntyre, the same man who found errors last year in GISS's US temperature record, quickly noted that most of the temperature increase was coming from Russia. A chart of world temperatures showed that in October, most of Russia, the largest nation on Earth, was not only registering hot, but literally off the scale. Yet anecdotal reports were suggesting that worldwide, October was actually slightly colder than normal. Could there be another error in GISS's data?

An alert reader on McIntyre's blog revealed that there was a very large problem. Looking at the actual readings from individual stations in Russia showed a curious anomaly. The locations had all been assigned the exact temperatures from a month earlier-- the much warmer month of September. Russia cools very rapidly in the fall months, so recycling the data from the earlier month had led to a massive temperature increase.

A few locations in Ireland were also found to be using September data.

Steve McIntyre informed GISS of the error by email. According to McIntyre, there was no response, but within "about an hour", GISS pulled down the erroneous data, citing a "mishap" and pointing the finger of blame upstream to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA).

NOAA's Deputy Director of Communications, Scott Smullens, tells DailyTech that NOAA is responsible only for temperature readings in the US, not those in other nations.

The error not only affected October data, but due to the complex algorithm GISS uses to convert actual temperature readings into their output results, altered the previously published values for several other months as well. The values for August 2008, for instance, changed by 0.11C and the global anomaly as far back as 2005 increased by a hundredth of a degree.

GISS is run by Dr. James Hansen, a strident global warming advocate who has accused oil companies of "crimes against humanity".  Hansen recently made headlines when he travelled to London to testify on behalf of a group of environmentalists who had damaged a coal plant in protest against global warming. Hansen also serves as science advisor to Al Gore.

Dr. Hansen could not be reached for comment.

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RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By foolsgambit11 on 11/11/2008 5:38:59 PM , Rating: 3
Um, I think you mean had words of wisdom. I mean, come on, are we supposed to pay attention to a guy who couldn't even stay alive?

Enough irreverence about death. Of course consensus is what you have before something becomes more or less universally accepted. E=mc2 was only a consensus for a while. There were plenty of theoretical physicists who didn't think it was the way the world worked at first. But the evidence piled up, and they eventually had to accept it. Einstein himself was against quantum physics when it was just a consensus viewpoint. He eventually came around, but not before spending a good while as a naysayer and discovering weird quirks about the theory in an attempt to disprove it.

In the same vein, to all those global warming naysayers, I say bravo! Good work spotting errors in data, calculation, modeling, etc. You help to improve the science.

Of course, the ether model of physics was a consensus model for a good while, too. Until eventually the evidence was sufficient to refute it. Only time will tell which type of theory GW, and especially AGW, is.

As for consensus being the business of politics, you're absolutely right. But in the world of advanced science, there's only so much money to be had to advance human knowledge. At some point, decisions have to be made, and those decisions are about what the most fruitful uses of research moneys are. They are, at their heart, political decisions based on pragmatics and values.

On a total tangent, don't the consensus of scientists agree that many dinosaurs had feathers, and especially the compy's in Jurassic Park? I can't remember in the book if the dinosaurs were feathered. They certainly weren't in the movie.

By foolsgambit11 on 11/11/2008 5:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I should have previewed that - noticed the missed closing element

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By MattCoz on 11/11/2008 11:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
Feathered dinosaurs is a more recently accepted idea, which is why proto-feathers were added to the design of the raptors in JPIII. This was Jack Horner's influence though, not Michael's, so I'm not sure what this has to do with anything, heh.

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