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Monday, June 30, 2014

Denier Weirdness: Desperately searching for denialist tidbits at WUWT

Sou | 11:10 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts is lashing out at all and sundry. He is desperate to find some remnant from past history that will prove that the world isn't getting hotter (archived here).

Today he's stretching way back to July 1936 in the USA. He's absolutely convinced that July 1936 was the hottest month on record in the contiguous USA. And he may be right. Who knows.

Anthony reckons that back in July 1936 the average temperature for the contiguous USA was 76.8°F. In July 2012 it was only 76.77°F. At least according to the latest NOAA data he found.

Not only that, but he's found proof, PROOF - in black and purple and white - that NOAA adjust past temperatures. Oh, golly gosh. Would you believe they adjust past temperatures downwards. Two years ago it was 77.4°F in July 1936 and now it's only 76.8°F. Not only that but they adjust recent records downwards, too. In July 2012 two years ago it was 77.6°F and now the record shows it as 76.77°F.

If there's one thing that Anthony Watts cannot abide it's change. Especially change to his most treasured possession, the average temperature in the contiguous USA for the month of July 1936. How dare anyone adjust the record. Who cares if there were time of observation corrections to be made. Who cares if someone decided to add some new data unearthed from some old ledger. The record is sacred and must not be touched at penalty of a blog article at WUWT.

Anthony's given up looking for hotter years, now he's down to months. Won't be long before it's weeks, then days, then minutes, then seconds.

Imagine the poor chap fifteen years from now, sweltering in the latest heat wave. He'll be hunched over paper records from the 1930s whimpering, "I know it's here. It's got to be here somewhere. I'm sure that one day in 1936, somewhere in the USA must have been hotter than today." You could almost feel sorry for the man if you didn't know he was such a shady character with a shameful record of unethical behaviour.

This is from the USA records, just in case you thought the USA was getting colder and was heading for an ice age. The average temperature for the entire year (not just one month) in 2012 was higher than any year in the 1930s. It was hotter than the hottest year in the 1930s. I've put a line across for comparison. The hottest year in the 1930s was 1934. But it was hotter again in 1998 and 2006 and much hotter still in 2012.

Data Source: NOAA

But it's not the "hottest" that's so important. It's the overall trend. Look at all those warm years bunched up together to the right of the chart. Keep your eye on that end as time goes by.

There were a few warmer than average years in the first half of the twentieth century in the USA. 1921, 1931 and 1934 stand out as being very warm years by comparison with the rest of the century.  After the 1950s it got colder for a bit, though nearly not as cold as some of the earliest years in the instrumental record. Since the early 1980s it's just kept getting warmer, with only one or two cooler years. The last time there was a year colder than the twentieth century average was almost twenty years ago in 1996. The last couple of decades is almost a solid block of warmer years. Quite different to the twentieth century and earlier.

And while Anthony has his nose buried in the 1930s in the USA, this is what's been happening in the rest of the world.

Data sources: NASA GISTempNODC/NOAA Ocean HeatU Colorado sea levelPIOMAS Arctic Ice

From the WUWT comments

The comments are pretty ordinary. Mostly they are just wailing that raw temperature records are adjusted. It's probably fair to say that most WUWT-ers are conservatives and conservatives don't like change of any kind.

NotAGolfer doesn't know what he's talking about but he's memorised the words of the meme he's meant to parrot and says:
June 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm
Anthony, wake up! It’s intentional. They are trying to make it appear that the warming trend is greater than it is. It’s beyond obvious. Do you still believe Clinton didn’t inhale?

Pamela Gray makes a more sensible comment for a change and says:
June 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm
On the other hand, this is kind of like the TSI/SSN data series. There are, as we have discussed, different reconstructions and observations that differ from one data set to another. The fact that it is being corrected is a matter of scientific correction. Not necessarily evidence of wrong doing.
Could this be a good sign when dealing with a very horrible set of measuring issues?

Lawrie Ayres complains that the keepers of the records are all warmists except for the Russians and Chinese (oh how sentiment has changed since the 1950s):
June 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm
The BoM in Australia has been fiddling the books for ages in order to arrive at “the hottest summer ever” and when an audit was about to take place cancelled that system and started another which was just as fraudulent. We do have a new government with a representative that’s a real scientist. He has been calling for another audit and will probably get it as many Coalition members are skeptics. The whole land based temperature system is in disarray as the keepers of the records all seem to be warmists except for the Russians and Chinese.

Lawrie might be interested in these charts of temperature trends in Russia and China, which aren't immune from warming any more than the rest of the world:

Source: Berkeley Earth


  1. Hmmm ... no one looking at raw data and comparing that to present day 'data' used to create graphs and charts? No one at all? Just pulling up other people's graphs and charts without looking at the difference in the data? Do you guys even know how to perform that kind of operation?

    Down load raw dataset A, then download adjusted dataset B, and compare some station data in A to station data in B ... doesn't sound too hard does it?


    1. I'm guessing it's too hard for you, Jim. Otherwise you'd surely have linked to your workings. And in true denier fashion, you left off the bit about explaining why an adjustment, if any, was made.

      What would be even harder for you, would be to do that exercise for every weather station on earth, then make the necessary adjustments to all those records so that you can compare them properly. Make sure each observation was made at a similar time of day (morning or evening). Make sure each record was corrected as necessary to account for shifts in where the weather station is located or for when the station was replaced by another one or for how a tree grew over it or for being affected by urban settlement.

      You'd then have to see how each record changed over time and compare all the changes over the world to see what's happening on a global scale. In other words, you'd have to select a baseline and work out how far the temperature shifted from the baseline over time.

      Then you'd work out what the temperature trends were on a local, regional and global scale.

      That's what scientists have done.

      Or you could be a conspiracy nutter and spout one-liners along the lines that all the world's scientists are members of a secret cult and have been conspiring against fake sceptics since Joseph Fourier in 1824.

    2. As an alternative, you could just use raw data and see what happens, like Berkeley Earth has done:

    3. Sorry Jim but if you have a point dear then why don't you make it? Looking at what you have written you appear to be drunk, highly medicated, or suffering from some sort of breakdown.

      Seriously, ok so we look at the raw data? Compare stuff? Its all been discussed, compared, dissected even, ad infinitum here and on other websites, and all we see is climate change deniers desperately trying to construct ludicrous theories about warmist conspirators when there's a simple explanation: the world is getting hotter.

      So that's it. The world is getting hotter. You people have undermined political support for action needed to protect the futures of billions of people. I suggest you try to learn to live with that.

      Thinking about it, I can see why you'd need to be drunk or on meds.

    4. Been there, done that, wore out my laptop:

  2. All the protestations over the time of day adjustments truly amazes me. It's absolutely, completely obvious why such adjustments are needed.

    So glaringly obvious that we all know full well that if the common practices were different this lot would have been screaming blue murder about it years ago. The modern practice could just as easily have been to record a single temperature at noon or later and the previous practice had been to record between 8 am and noon.

    What would these people be yelling about if the meteorology/ climate people drew graphs of increasing temperatures without adjusting those earlier records? The cry would go up across all the lands that everybody knows that midday and later is almost always warmer than early or mid morning. Therefore the trends showing up on graphs based on unaltered recordings would be biased towards cooler then, warmer now.

    As it happens, the time of day difference goes the other way. But it's just as inaccurate to use unadjusted recordings regardless of what the specific differences are in each location - and that's why the adjustments are done location by location, region by region, depending on what has changed at each location. Uphill v. downhill, early v. late, exposed v. shaded, old equipment v. new equipment. Maybe one, maybe all of those things have changed - and the net effect on the temperature record has to be accounted for. Well, we do if we want to use those records now, otherwise we'd put them in a display case and never use them again.


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