The “smoking gun” Darwin station temperature adjustments

[NOTE: Please see the update at the bottom of the post for a more detailed explanation]

The denialosphere and the ‘winger echo chamber would like you to believe that a weather station in Darwin, Australia is Undeniable Proof of Something Nefarious regarding the global temperature record. Their evidence is that the GHCN raw station data have been *gasp* adjusted.

Here is the “smoking gun” graph that is currently causing all of the pearl-clutching:

Don’t you see? The GHCN has taken the raw station data and adjusted them to create a false warming trend! In the words of the post’s author [frothing, breathless emphasis in original]:

indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming

Got that? Some nefarious individual or group responsible for the GHCN has deliberately and fraudulently inflated the Darwin station temperature record to produce warming, not based on what has actually been occurring but in order to buttress claims of global warming.

After all, if these kinds of adjustments were actually justified, you would see the warming reflected not just in the GHCN-globalwarmspiracy-adjusted data, but in the official station record as well!

What?! This can only mean one thing: BOM is in on it, too! The conspiracy is even bigger than we ever imagined.

In all seriousness, if you’d like to read about the homogenization adjustments, you can do further reading here, here, and here.

[Via RC]

[UPDATE: From Nick in the comments, Blair Trewin from Australia’s National Climate Centre gives a detailed explanation of siting issues with the Darwin station.]

12 responses to “The “smoking gun” Darwin station temperature adjustments

  1. “…bzxtxxst.. INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE…mrmnmbtl…CLIMATE CONSPIRACY…bnmugjbyx…SCIENTIFIC FRAUD….[insert additional raised-voice indignation over self-inflicted ignorance here]…mmrckirls….ad infinitum, repeat as needed to bolster your confidence.

    Or tune in to COP15 and listen to the adults.

  2. juris imprudent

    In the first paper you cite, they note two things: 1) the adjustment was quite large with respect to the trend observed, and 2) it was validated first by Mann’s 1994 work. If that work was based on faulty homogenisation/gridding, then it really shouldn’t be used as a reliable reference point.

    The “homogenisation” effort really does appear to be cooking the data to a desired consistency. That is not an OMG!!!! Evil Conspiracy, but it is some weak science.

    An adjustment makes sense when it is fundamentally and absolutely necessary, but that doesn’t seem to be the way this process was done. It was based on the assumption that discontinuities exist but cannot be directly accounted for, so an averaging technique was employed to see if any discontinuities appear, which was then the justification for an adjustment.

  3. Nice try juris. No fraud here, just criminally stupid incompetence all around. Surely you could do better right?

    If you had bothered to actually even look for more than 6 milliseconds at that first paper, you would see that Mann is not even cited. Rather, you are referring to Jones (1994), and then misinterpreting the authors’ statements regarding the data presented therein. Might that be because Jones and Mann ( and probably Trenberth, Wigley, and Briffa as well) are all lumped together in the “data manipulators” category in your mind?

    Did you read (other than the first paragraph of the discussion section) the paper you refer to? Do you in fact know anything about this topic at all?

    Seems to me you have chosen your username very well.

  4. In the Darwin airport graph, where are the downward adjustments for urbanization? Did they adjust upward for it? Wouldn’t that aggravate the error?

  5. My bad, Jones it was. No I am no expert, are you? If so, by all means explain the homogenisation process to me, and why that is a more valid approach to “adjustment” then actually tracking down problems in the raw data, station by station. It seems to me that it imputes error rather than correcting for it.

    Again, I don’t believe in any conspiracy, but I really do think there is some sloppy science in play. I’m all for continuing the scientific work, just not for jumping to doomsday cult conclusions as a basis for political decision making.

    Thanks for the comment on my handle (though the actual meaning seems to escape you), by all means let’s characterize the discussion by the least relevant aspects. Nothing proves a scientific conclusion like a little ad hom argument!

  6. Nice try #2 juris. Actually rather transparent.

    Could you explain to us how it is that you have an opinion on the “sloppy”-ness of the science, when by your own admission, you aren’t an expert on it?

    And no, I’m not wasting time explaining anything to you until you show that you have some real interest in learning, which like most who question or criticize the science you have not done. As with most such, you conflate scientific methods and findings with “doomsday cult” messages, showing that you don’t really even have the first idea of what scientists do and do not say.

    As for expertise, I know enough not to criticize science that I don’t understand or to wander into an issue throwing hand grenades, hoping that a lack of response will embolden me to do it again elsewhere.

    Now, please explain to us exactly why Jones’ 94 paper was the faulty work that you jumped in here claiming it was.

  7. Blair Trewin of Australia’s National Climate Centre made a very illuminating comment on the Darwin situation. This is reproduced in comment 203 of the Willis Eschenbach Caught Lying thread at Deltoid.

  8. Pingback: Scepticism’s limits | The Economist « mcX eXperiments

  9. You don’t have to be expert in a particular topic to be generally literate in science. You are arguing to authority, sort of like religious zealots do.

    Now, if you can’t explain, that is very different from you not bothering to do so – which I can safely assume to be the case here. You are the one that can’t divorce the political actions you want from continuing scientific investigation. For you it would seem, all the science is DONE, and we must politically DO something about climate – yet you don’t even really know anything about it.

    Too bad, I’d like to hear more about the homogenisation process from someone who has half a clue what it is and why it was done. I guess that isn’t going to be this blog.

  10. Juris and anyone who’s interested – the following PDFs describe the GISTEMP Analysis methodology, from original design to most recent updates:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1999/1999_Hansen_etal.pdf

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2001/2001_Hansen_etal.pdf

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates/

    Some of this stuff is tough sledding, but well worth the effort is you want to be able to judge accusations that surface temperature data are improperly manipulated.

  11. Pingback: Out of 13,950 only 23 article peer reviewed articles dispute Man Made Climate Change - Page 67 (politics)

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