I don't have time for a long post right now, so I'll just comment on one of today's recycled conspiracy theories at WUWT (archived here). It relates to the newest version of HadCRUT4.
The trio of WUWT record-keepers, Werner Brozek, Walter Dnes and Just The Facts, are musing nefarious intent is behind the release of HadCRUT 126.96.36.199, which replaces version 188.8.131.52:
Why are they changing things so quickly? Do they want to take some of the heat off GISS? Are they embarrassed that Dr. McKitrick has found no statistically significant warming for 19 years and before the ink is barely dry on his report, they want to prove him wrong? Are they determined that by hook or by crook that 2014 will set a new record?
It's a strange question - to complain that improvements are made too quickly. Would they prefer that the scientists sat on the information for a few years? That they kept it hidden?
Their "nefarious intent" musing is one of the classic signs of conspiracy ideation. What this trio are implying that the Met Office Hadley Centre scientists are making up stuff, which is ridiculous. Their tossing in McKitrick's analysis is a distraction. They want to fool people into thinking global warming has stopped. It hasn't. That's probably why this trio are a bit concerned that 2014 might rival the previous hottest years on record - 2010 and 2005. Even without an El Nino (which might still emerge before the end of this year.)
Even without the new version, temperature records change as more data is added. This can effect records going back some years. Even way back in time, because of the way data is gridded and anomalies are calculated.
The newest version of HadCRUT4 (version 184.108.40.206) has more grids covered than the previous version. In particular, it now covers more of the high northern latitudes as well as more of Africa, South America and some other parts of the world. (The Arctic is warming faster than most places, so more coverage would be expected to raise the anomaly in more recent years.) You can see the difference in the animation below (h/t KC), in which I compare the grid coverage back in May this year (HadCRUT.220.127.116.11) with that in August (HadCRUT.18.104.22.168). I've added highlights to show some of the areas that now have more coverage:
|Source: Met Office Hadley Centre and older page|
As you can probably guess, the greater coverage in the high latitudes means that this version brings the anomaly in recent years a bit higher. The Arctic is warming faster than most places. This can be seen in the chart below:
|Source: Met Office Hadley Centre|
I won't bother with the rest of the WUWT article.
From the WUWT comments
Just a few. The WUWT crowd seems nuttier every visit.
mpainter talks about some "UHE- unadjusted". Could he be referring to the satellite data UAH? If so, that has to have a heap of adjustments like diurnal adjustments, calibration between satellites etc, before they even get to convert the readings into temperature anomalies. At least the ground records are mostly from temperature readings.
October 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm
You have put your finger on the very nub of the problem. These adjustments are why I no longer believe the thermometer record. And then there is the UHE- unadjusted. And thus the thermometer record becomes grist for the propaganda mill.
RoHa piles on with:
October 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm
Exactly. This is a point that should be repeated often.
I would also add that each adjustment means they got it wrong last time. The more adjustments, the greater the track record of being wrong, and there is no reason to believe they are getting closer to being right. So why believe them at all?
Stephen Richards piles on even more. Anthony Watts does cultivate a weird suspicious bunch, doesn't he.
October 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm
and these people were at “the dinner” pretending to be genuinely pleasant people !!
thinair adds his paranoia and wants to read the emails.
October 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm
There must be emails, somewhere, that will give the world good documentation on their motivations for upward revisions at this time.
The batty duke chimes in, talking through his ignorant hat as usual. rgbatduke writes a very, very long rambling, mostly wrong comment which shows he doesn't have a clue about homogenisation. I'll just copy the first paragraph. He's as big a paranoid conspiracy nutter as the best of them at WUWT. Dunning and Kruger would have a field day with him. (How does he hold onto his job?)
October 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm
I’m made the observation that if one tests the p-value of the null hypothesis “the major temperature anomaly adjustments have been unbiased” one essentially rejects the null hypothesis with extreme prejudice. And not just HADCRUT — if anything, GISS has been worse. HADCRUT also fails to even try to correct for the UHI associated with their data sources, and GISS’s correction — you might have guessed it — produces more warming by the time they are done with it. Amazingly, they found a way to make UHI into UCI to the point where it actually net warms instead of knocking off the 0.1 to 0.2 C that is the most plausible outcome of correcting for it.
Nick Stokes pops in to correct some misconceptions. However, I've read far enough. If you want more, then here's the archive.