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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: Libertarianism and Anti-Environmentalism
By jgvandemeer on 11/12/2008 7:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why you are puzzled? Since environmentalists are rabidly anti-tech, a lot of techies are rabidly anti-enviromentalist.

All the major environmental groups are against genetic engineering, biotech, nuclear power, and the industrial revolution in general. Hell, a lot of them are even against nanotech and fusion power. With that kind of backwards thinking, its no big surprise that so many people are against them.

By Catalyst on 11/13/2008 5:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
I would say that environmentalists are anti-tech is either a mischaracterization or misunderstanding of their position. To be clear their are some Deep Greens that want to live by candle light in a cabin on the shores on Walden Pond, but they are hardly mainstream.

Most environmentalist are for anything that improves quality of life, but adhere to something known as Precautionary Principle. There is a technical definition you can look up, but basically it means look before you leap and unleash something onto the world. It is hardly backwards thinking, it is a clear step forward that shows we learned from the industrial and technological mistakes made by those who came before us. We don't use asbestos, we don't use lead in paint anymore, and we are moving away from any number of "duh" things that would poison and or kill us. Learn from your mistakes, a Environmentalist non-Luddite mentality.

All the technologies you mentioned have potentially serious and difficult-to-remediate drawbacks to them so proving that (at the very least) the obvious problems are accounted for is a no-brainer since tech is supposed to solve problems not create them. I think that is a position that all techies would support.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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