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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: This is what I love about the scientific method
By Surak on 11/11/2008 6:32:21 PM , Rating: -1
Yes, what debate is a wonderful thing.

So let's debate the firm overall evidence a little longer every time minor data entry errors are discovered instead of correcting the error and carrying on with the bigger picture.

Let's make sure the 95% probability that we are inducing global warming becomes 100% so we have no doubt at all!

... just to make sure that when we finally try to fix the problem, it will be absolutely too late.

Vive l' environmental anarchy!

By SoCalBoomer on 11/11/2008 8:03:57 PM , Rating: 4
Yes lets.

But let's us also realize that this "minor" error of 1deg C is actually a significant percentage of the overall amount of warming that is being predicted - thus it's not minor.

That 95% probability that we are inducing global warming IS the issue and everything in the debate is specifically about that.

Are we contributing? Quite possibly, but the argument is really how much. I lean toward the lesser amount while those more extreme don't just lean, they jump to the greater.

When those who are in charge of providing data and analysis are acknowledged as on the more extreme side, AND their data shows both obvious and truly blatant errors it calls into question the data, his integrity, and thus the analysis.

Should we clean up after ourselves? DEFINITELY - which is one reason why I drive a high mileage (mpg. . .) car, as well as walk or ride to work, etc. I do not think that the two issue are one and the same. We take care of our home because it's getting gross and we need to do so.

However, I think saying we MUST because we're making our world into an oven and the day after tomorrow is going to kill us - I think that's not a true statement and is actually both disingenuous and hurtful to the environmental movement.

We should clean up the environment because we should be good stewards.

The climate has been warmer, has been colder, will get warmer, will get colder, and as a dynamic and, might I say, living entity, will not stay the same no matter what we do.

So we should plan for it, accommodate for it, but scare tactics about it? No. Manipulation of data to try to prove it? No.

And that's what this looks like - it looks like manipulation of data to prove warming that, if it actually IS happening, is not happening at the rate predicted.

vive sensibility.

RE: This is what I love about the scientific method
By Surak on 11/12/08, Rating: -1
RE: This is what I love about the scientific method
By rhuarch on 11/12/2008 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 1
Your argument doesn't make any sense, you are just restating an argument you already made which was addressed (I think) very effectively by Mr. Asher. Why do you persist on this fixation with volcanoes? Volcanoes aren't a significant source of atmospheric carbon; c14 or otherwise.

ANY long term carbon sink that released it's stored carbon would be significantly depleted of C14. Some examples might include carbon burps from the ocean floor, thawed permafrost, maybe that "unknown sink" that AGWs are always speaking of so fearfully.

Certainly the burning of fossil fuels is one contributor of C14 depleted atmospheric carbon. The fact remains however, that we just haven't emitted anywhere near enough carbon to account for even a significant percentage of the increase, much less the total. And since the earth has not really warmed significantly you couldn't even claim (honestly) that the fraction of a percent of the increase that we can be blamed for was the forcing agent leading to the "warming" that released the rest of the carbon from other sinks.

RE: This is what I love about the scientific method
By mmatis on 11/11/2008 9:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, 10 degrees off in one month is "minor data entry error". All hail the One True Mick! Filthy maggot swill...

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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