Print 119 comment(s) - last by Andy35W.. on Nov 27 at 6:30 AM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By lucasb on 11/11/2008 6:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
You mean, other than the fact that the earth has been cooling the past 10 years?

Even supposing that this is completely right (it is partially accurate), where is the pile of evidence against AGW? Is there a new and improved theory which explains better the behaviour changes in climate and fits better in the body of evidence?

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By masher2 on 11/11/2008 6:52:44 PM , Rating: 4
> "where is the pile of evidence against AGW? "

A. Substantial research indicating our current warming trend began well before man began generating significant levels of CO2.
B. Research indicating the climate sensitivity of CO2 has been overstated by at least a factor of 3.
C. Zero statistically-significant warming of the Earth since 1995 (and a slight cooling trend since 2002).
D. Inability of models to explain any of the known past climate shifts, some of which were more rapid and severe than the warming we're experiencing today.
E. Basic AGW theory predicts a vertical structure to warming most prevalent in the troposphere (about 1.3X surface warming). Yet satellite data demonstrates the troposphere is actually warming slightly less than the surface.
F. The paleoclimatic record, which clearly demonstrates the Earth's climate system is governed by negative feedbacks. Were the positive feedbacks postulated by CAGW modelers truly in existence, the Earth would have long ago experienced runaway warming.
G. The inability of current models to properly account for clouds, the full hydrologic cycle, or other factors with forcing effects substantially greater than CO2's forcing.
H. The cooling of Antarctica, whereas original models predict polar amplification of warming. (and yes, while some *current* models do predict Antarctic cooling, that is due to adjustments made after the warming trend was already determined experimentally, i.e. it is essentially a fudge factor, not a prediction)

There are several other problems, but the above is a few of the more serious objections.

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By wookie1 on 11/11/2008 9:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that solar activity is mostly ignored in the models. They focus on irradiance and that it doesn't change large amounts but don't want us to think about other solar activity that could affect cloud formation, ozone hole size, etc.

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By kbehrens on 11/11/2008 10:09:28 PM , Rating: 5
Nice list! I guess we understand now why Al Gore is still burning 100X as much energy as the rest of us. He didn't really believe his own stories either.

RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
RE: What??? Say it ain't so Jim!!!
By dever on 11/12/2008 4:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! Is the EPA actually admitting the heat island effect skews readings?

While I wouldn't believe anything on a government site, I'm surprised there's a wee bit of temperance to the usual fear mongering done by those who stand to profit the most.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Related Articles

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki