Hottest October on record … was really a September

posted at 9:42 am on November 16, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The main statistical facility for global-warming activists compounded error with folly and have undermined their credibility entirely.  NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies announced that last month was the warmest October on record, surprising meteorologists who had seen colder temperatures and unseasonal snowstorms and wondered where all the heat originated:

GISS’s computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs – run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious “hockey stick” graph – GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new “hotspot” in the Arctic – in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

When outside analysts showed that GISS used September temperatures in Russia for its conclusions about October, GISS admitted that it has no quality control over the numbers is uses for its analysis:

A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen’s institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

And Dr. James Hansen, one of Al Gore’s chief allies on his global-warming crusade, has cooked the books before, as have his associates:

Yet last week’s latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen’s methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

Another of his close allies is Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, who recently startled a university audience in Australia by claiming that global temperatures have recently been rising “very much faster” than ever, in front of a graph showing them rising sharply in the past decade. In fact, as many of his audience were aware, they have not been rising in recent years and since 2007 have dropped.

NASA must investigate this episode at GISS and insist on reliable production of accurate statistics.  If they have scientists who can’t tell September from October and can’t recognize a cooling cycle in the Arctic, then they need new leadership at GISS, starting with Hansen.  The admission from GISS that they can’t verify their source data when reaching to conclusions should embarrass scientists throughout the profession, as verification of data is absolutely necessary before reaching any conclusions.  Without that, GISS may as well be studying the entrails of goats to make predictions about the future climate.

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The main statistical facility for global-warming activists compounded error with folly and have undermined their credibility entirely.

What credibility? This is James Hansen we’re talking about here.

Laura on November 16, 2008 at 6:11 PM

Without that, GISS may as well be studying the entrails of goats to make predictions about the future climate.
——————————————
No goats but will sheep entrails do instead? I can get those down at the packing house for sausage stuffing.

Now can anybody provide me with Hansen’s address? I can send him a couple of packages for good effect.

Dr. Dog on November 16, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Without that, GISS may as well be studying the entrails of goats to make predictions about the future climate.

But, isn’t that the way they are supposed to do it?

Johan Klaus on November 16, 2008 at 6:35 PM

Life imitates art Atlas Shrugged. Perhaps the GISS has become an offshoot of the “State Science Institute”. [shudder]

Logic on November 16, 2008 at 7:00 PM

I have always thought Al Gore was the Jim Baker in Church of Global Warming. He has enriched himself at the expense of others all the while live large with his carbon footprint. Now that he has turned down the chance to be climate change Tsar it confirms my suspicions. If he really believed in his own propaganda he would be living the kind of green life that George Bush does down in Texas and he would not pass up the chance to become the ruler of the US economy. Al Gore is the biggest phony of the modern era.

jerryofva on November 16, 2008 at 9:14 PM

It’s really astounding that some people still think global warming is a hoax. There is zero debate among scientifically peer reviewed articles that global warming is happening and that it is due to man. According to Milankovitch mathematical model the world should actually be undergoing a global cooling cycle right now instead of getting warming.

Having said all that, I don’t know how helpful it is to hamper our own economy to try and stop global warming. Since the use of fossil fuels is going to skyrocket because of the extraordinary growth of India and China, I think it would be more beneficial to invest in new energy technologies that will gradually wean us from fossil fuels.

Ric on November 16, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Ric – I think you forgot the /sarc tag. If not, you need to re-read the article, and go back and find out why the ‘hockey stick’ graph got debunked at the ‘Watts Up With That?’ blog. Zero debate? Sorry, not in THIS scientists world. The peers are reviewing, and they are finding the Global Warming fraud wanting. Apparently Al Gore’s Nobel came from the same bin where they got Carter’s and Arafat’s. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Try this one.

ANV on November 16, 2008 at 11:47 PM

It’s really astounding that some people still think global warming is a hoax. There is zero debate among scientifically peer reviewed articles that global warming is happening and that it is due to man.

Ric on November 16, 2008 at 9:54 PM

ROFLMAO

You’re a funny guy. Either that, or you’re just incredibly stupid.

progressoverpeace on November 17, 2008 at 12:05 AM

Tell ya what Ric, let’s put our money where our science is – I’ll bet you 100:1 (I win a dollar, you win a hundred). You can bet as little or as much money as you want with me at those odds. Here are the terms of the bet:

In 20 years (or any other period in our lifetimes, of your choosing), we’ll meet in Times Square.

At that time, if Times Square is under water, or if New York was forced to build dikes to keep out the water, I’ll pay you.

If not, you’ll pay me.

Sound fair enough?

hawksruleva on November 17, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Oh, and here’s some links to peer-reviewed articles skeptical of global warming. link

Note that I’m a believer in being a good steward of our natural resources. I just don’t believe in blind obedience to ideas.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Here’s some more articles, including links to several peer-reviewed ones link

I particularly like the polar bear population story. One area has seen their bear population grow from 850 to 3,000. And they’re fatter than ever. link

hawksruleva on November 17, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Without that, GISS may as well be studying the entrails of goats to make predictions about the future climate.

Come on, let’s not give goat entrail examination a bad name. It clearly has more validity than does the voodoo environmentofascism.

CV_Gas on November 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I just saw a morning show belaboring over global warming and the vanishing glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in which they show a “dramatic computer image of how the glaciers have receded in the past seven years.” Given that the global average temperature has gone down in that time, you think that maybe they should look for some other reason than global warming?

Count to 10 on November 17, 2008 at 11:15 AM

According to Milankovitch mathematical model the world should actually be undergoing a global cooling cycle right now instead of getting warming.
Ric on November 16, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Hun? Those cycles are on the order of tens of thousands of years. How do you expect them to account for the last decade?
The only thing that correlates well with temperatures is sunspot activity. I still haven’t heard of any new climate models that can accurately model the last century, let alone the future.
Whatever warming has been caused by burning fossil fuels is quite frankly lost in the noise, and claiming anything else is dishonest.

Count to 10 on November 17, 2008 at 11:23 AM

There’s definitely a better chance at arriving at the truth by using goat entrails. With the current ethic of the academic/scientific community we are assured of a 99-1 in favor of politically driven bullsh*t. Who knows what the entrails will predict, whereas I can pretty much write in advance the ‘scientific conclusions of the computer models’ anytime you want. The general public has been dumbed down to an incredible degree.

cjk on November 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Global warming isn’t about science. It’s about political ideology. They want to create an apocolyptic situation in the “sheeples” minds that only “they” can save us from thereby insuring they will gain power.

TrickyDick on November 17, 2008 at 2:08 PM

whereas I can pretty much write in advance the ’scientific conclusions of the computer models’ anytime you want. The general public has been dumbed down to an incredible degree.

cjk on November 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM

It’s amazing how someone with a little bit of scientific training can amaze and wow the ignorant into believing anything. Just throw up a few graphs & make wild predictions. No one cares if it’s true. This is how Al Gore can still make $$. So much ignorance….
I give up trying to explain the ‘science’ of the APGW scare crowd to people. Most don’t care or believe what they want to believe.
I just do my little part by teaching my high schoolers some objective critical thinking skills & pray most of them become critically thinking adults.

Badger40 on November 17, 2008 at 2:27 PM

According to Milankovitch mathematical model the world should actually be undergoing a global cooling cycle right now instead of getting warming.
Ric on November 16, 2008 at 9:54 PM

Hun? Those cycles are on the order of tens of thousands of years. How do you expect them to account for the last decade?

Count to 10 on November 17, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Basically the gist of Milankovitch model is how temperatures varies in the natural cycle due to these 3 factors: the Earth’s orbit around the sun 2. the tilt of the axis of the Earth’s rotation. 3. The position of the equinoxes in their precessional cycle. I got that from a class handout so can’t link it unfortunately. His model has been accurate in predicting the temperature of the earth in past history. And right now it says that we should be in a cooling cycle, not warming.

For those that doubt the Earth has been warming up, just go to any of the many glaciers that are receding throughout the world. I’ve been to the Athabasca glacier in Canada and its scary to seen how quickly its receding. Furthermore, we have a record of correlation between increase C02 levels and temperature rises in the ice cores in Antarctic. So if the glaciers are receding when they should be expanding, because the world should be undergoing a cooling period. And we have past records of how increases in co2 levels correlates with increases in temperature. How is there any doubt?

Oh, and here’s some links to peer-reviewed articles skeptical of global warming. link

Note that I’m a believer in being a good steward of our natural resources. I just don’t believe in blind obedience to ideas.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Thanks for the links, I guess I should refine my statement to say credible peer-review articles. But I’ll try to get my dean of science to look at them and tell me what he thinks. If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to offer a big mea culpa on this board. I live in Florida, so if global warming is a big hoax, then I would be ecstatic. Since warming ocean temperatures are catastrophic for my state economy due to increases of the number and severity of hurricanes that are brought about by warmer ocean temperatures.

Ric on November 17, 2008 at 4:34 PM

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