Eli Rabett's Bait and Switch

Eli Rabett, a pseudonymous professor and blogger, fresh from simply inventing tittle-tattle about me (his fabricated story that my downloading of GISS data had “resulted in denial of service to everyone else”), has continued his descent with a bait-and-switch illustration of the supposed “Boulder station” in an effort to discredit the collection of microsite data by Anthony Watts and others. Rabett shows a picture of a site that seemingly meets all sensible standards of what a site should be. The trouble is that this site is neither the USHCN Boulder site, nor does it belong to the USHCN system. Indeed, it’s only been in operation since 2003.

The collection of microsite data has caused a surprising reaction. Nathan Rive, a climate scientist and blogger, sniggered against this effort to assess the quality control of the USHCN network, comparing it to a “worthy contribution to the world of Boring Postcards ” Now quality control is sometimes boring, but that doesn’t mean that climate scientists should ignore it. Unfortunately this attitude is all too common among the Team.

The Bait

Here’s the “Boulder station” as illustrated by Eli Rabett, a station that he challenged Roger Pielke to “hike up” to.

He went on to say:

Roger [Pielke] can hike up to the Boulder station. The stations are designed to be optimal, with respect to location, instrumentation and operation…

Eli sniggers that this sort of station is representative, while the Marysville station with its barbeque beside the thermometer or the Tahoe City station equipped with its own incinerator merely represent an “urban auditor” effect. In Eli world, the Team ventures to remote and dangerous USHCN stations (perhaps they could update some proxies when they go there) unlike the supposedly latte-drinking urban auditors, who Eli states have an “urban auditor bias”:

bias, nay more than bias, prejudice for photographing sites close to people, e.g. in developed areas. Folk are going to take pictures of sites near them, so they are going to get a sample heavily tilted towards sites near them.

(Although last time I noticed, Anthony Watts was the person on the dusty roads in northern California and Nevada.)

The Switch
Sounds good. But Eli has switched the pea under the thimble. Eli’s station has nothing to do with the USHCN Boulder station. The
period of record of the illustrated site is stated by USCRN to be:

Period of record is Sep 27 2003 to Jun 05 2007

The site is located at 40N, 105.5W and 9950 ft, while the USHCN Boulder CO site is located about 15 miles east and 4000 feet lower at 40.00N 105.27W 5484 feet; GHCN has the same coordinates. The GHCN metadata describes the site as “Urban”. The history of the Boulder weather station says:

The first recorded observations for Boulder were made for several months in 1893 to 1895. Records are essentially complete from 1897 to the present (except for 1 year from 1989-1990 where there was no official Boulder station). Station locations were at various points in the western part of the city to 1912, near the Colorado campus from 1912 to 1936, and on the University campus from 1936 to 1947. The weather observations were made from 1947 to 1989 by the Boulder Fire Department, on the roof of the old Central Fire station at the western edge of the main business district until 1958 and on the grounds of the New Central Fire Station north of the boulder business district until 1989. From 1990 onwards, records are from near the NIST building on the western edge of town south of the main campus.

I was unable to locate either the roof of the Boulder Fire Department or the NIST building in Eli’s photograph. The “NIST building on the western edge of town south of the main campus” appears to be the large building at 330 Broadway, Boulder CO, shown in Google Earth image below:

boulde9.jpg boulde10.jpg

Perhaps readers can identify the locations of the “New Fire Station” (perhaps this is the Fire Department: Administration & Fire Prevention Bureau – 1805 33rd St, Boulder mentioned here. The roof of the Old Fire Station would be nice to locate if it still exists. If the New Fire Station can be identified the above building, it appears in the following Google Earth Image:


Another CA reader has already identified Eli’s site as being Niwot Ridge, which appears on Google Earth in a dramatically different setting than the urban NIST building. (And yes, Eli, you can drive to it and still get back in time for your latte. Indeed, we’ve challenged tree ring collectors to brave the rigors of a trip to Niwot Ridge with their “heavy equipment” and update the bristlecones and limber pines.)


Temperature History
With all these changes in location, the Boulder station has had multiple adjustments. Here are 7 different versions of the Boulder temperature history: GHCN raw and adjusted; same for GISS and the 3 USHCN versions. The relationship between the 1930s and the 2000s is, as so often, very sensitive to the adjustments. Surprisingly, GISS, after its urban heat island adjustment. runs hotter than GHCN in the 2000s as a result of the GISS adjustment for urban heat island.


Anyway back to Eli: the weather station illustrated by Eli is classic bait-and-switch. Eli has shown a station from the brand new USCRN network, not the USHCN network used in temperature histories. However the temperature history in Boulder is not obtained from Eli’s bait, but from sites in downtown Boulder – the roof of the Old Fire Station, the NIST building at 330 Broadway. If the USHCN stations looked like the rustic Niwot Ridge site, then we could rely on this data. Eli shows a picture of a high-quality US CRN site and, with this picture fresh in the mind of the reader, states with a straight face that the 1221 of the “best” US sites from the USHCN network: this is classic bait-and-switch.

1221 of the best CO-OP stations with long records form the US Historical Climatology Network. USCRN is a part of GCOS whose stations can be found here ….

Unfortunately, instead of including the site shown by Eli, the actual USHCN network is marred by sites like the one shown below.

And while Eli praises Tom Karl for his stewardship of the station network, this particular site has deteriorated on Karl’s watch as described here . It used to be a decent site; it isn’t any more and the deterioration occurred on Karl’s watch.


  1. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    At the point when Anthony Watts site includes all the weather stations for even a few states, it will be hard to snigger about the latte drinking lazy urban photographers. At that point it will also be possible to compare which sites are included in the climate histories and which are truly good sites.

  2. jae
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    In Eli world, the Team ventures to remote and dangerous USHCN stations (perhaps they could update some proxies when they go there) unlike the supposedly latte-drinking urban auditors.

    Snigger, snigger, snigger.

  3. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Some of the remaining sites awaiting Anthony’s (or designee’s) perusal are nearby the “loneliest highway in the US – US 50, out east from Carson City. Not exactly latte country. Yeeeeeee-hah! 😉

  4. Gary
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Is this and other mocking of Anthony’s efforts a case of psychological projection? It’s hard to think of another rational reason why documented station inspection would cause such a reaction. I’m certainly hoping that all of the sites are inventoried so that accusations of cherry-picking bad examples are laughable. Such work by a network of “amateurs” would stand in stark contrast to certain peer-reviewed research much discussed on this blog. The station I’ll be adding to the database looks to be an example of how one should be set up. Whether its in the majority or not remains to be seen, but at least we’ll know rather than be guessing and hoping and wishing.

  5. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Anthony has already identified some sites with microsite features much more in accordance with standards e,g, Orland was identified as being a “better” site than Marysville. It’s not like there are NO decent sites. There are. But why mix decent sites with contaminated sites and say that they are all “high quality” sites. Obviously they aren’t all “high quality” sites. At this point, it’s hard to even guess what proportion are “high quality” sites, but my hunch is that about 1/3 will be pretty good, about 1/3 will be pretty bad, and that it will be pretty easy to agree on stations in either 1/3, That would still give a lot of usable stations. Maybe the results from the 1/3 good stations will be unchanged, but there’s no harm in finding out. At a first cut, the Orland station history is significantly different from the MArysville station history; it’s a valid hypothesis that miscrosite contamination at Marysville accounted for the difference.

  6. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Okay, I usually lurk, but I need to point out that Niwot Ridge is in the area where a lot of new diamond mining is going on. (There are several old, exposed, and eroded kimberlite pipes in the area.) I’m not sure how old that picture on Google is, but that might not be as “rural” as it used to be.

    I know this because my dad built a rotary pan (for alluvial diamond sorting) for a company located at 40.5N, 105.47W.

    I’m not claiming this station isn’t “rural”, but I’m just saying it’s not like this area isn’t trafficked at all.

  7. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    RE: #4 – If you are in the US and over the age of 35, you may remember a TV show called “Columbo.” It featured a seemingly unkempt, bumbler, who would be assigned to the toughest cases in LA. (please be advised, I am not comparing Mr. Watts to Columbo in terms of his nature, I am comparing at the end result level). Lt. Columbo would seem to befriend the various suspects in a case and be very amiable and supportive. He always carried a notebook and jotted down things – always. It was an accoutrement, like his threadworn old Burberry coat. He’d amass all sorts of facts, some seemingly relevent, and others seemingly arcane. As he moved in for the bust, he’d narrow the field of suspects, using his data. He’d then use various forms of what good managers would recognize as behavioral interviewing, to probe the mindsets of the remaining suspects. He’d discover their hot buttons. He’d essentially manipulate them into positions where they could no longer hide much of anything. At some point, the actual suspect would self contradict, and then, Columbo would home in on the contradiction. The suspect would break down and confess.

  8. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    In your anger, you have missed the entire point about the picture and US Climate Reference Network, which was posted

    The stations are designed to be optimal, with respect to location, instrumentation and operation. More information can be found at the web site. While the USCRN is just being set up it can be used to quantitatively check measurements made in the past at other stations

    In order to assess the performance of the network in addressing this goal a performance measure (PM) was developed. This PM is an assessment of how closely the current and past configuration of the network captures the “true” national temperature and precipitation signal as defined by an area-averaged time series of annual temperature and precipitation derived from 4000 U.S. Cooperative (CO-OP) Network stations scattered across the continental U.S. The configuration of the CRN for a given point in time is used to select stations from the 4000 CO-OP station network, one station for each operating CRN site (the one physically closest in location), and the time series derived from these stations is compared, statistically, to the time series derived from all 4000 stations. The result is a “variance explained” that measures how closely the “CRN” time series follows the “true” time series.

    In other words, here is a sensible way of checking the accuracy of older climate networks in the past and calibrating them in the future. Tamino had an interesting post on station adjustment using Switzerland as an example with much detail filtering into the comments. There is a complete (although in German) description of the station history and adjustments available.

  9. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    A quick addition. A single photo is a point in time. Since climate measurements are made as differences between local averages, what really would be needed for such an approach to work would be a series of photos. It is not that Anthony’s project is useless, it is that for climate science purposes it would not be very useful, of course for political purposes it would be very useful.

  10. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    # 3 Steve: The wife and I will need to pack up provisions (latte’s included) as we make our annual pilgrimage along highway 50 from Gardnerville, NV headed to Colorado. The only stations that I’ve noticed that would be along the way will be the Fallon and Austin sites. I fully intend to start my research now so we can document them along the way. I’m looking forward to it (little does the wife know she’s in for a scavenger hunt!)

  11. EW
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Maybe it’s useful to have at least some points first, no? Taking into account that until now there weren’t even points and climate science seemed not to notice…

  12. doug
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    I imagine people are scrambling to remove the barbeques and light bulbs before the inspectors arrive. We may never know how bad the record was, but it may clean up future data.

  13. MarkW
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:22 AM | Permalink


    Eli, that’s a very interesting position for you to take.
    You point out that anything less than a perfect record of the micro-site data is not very usefull. However, the record that Anthony is compiling is significantly better than what the Team has been using.

    So are you willing to admit that the Team is using bad data?

  14. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    RE8 Excellent point Eli, climate is in fact a time series, so the photography needs to be expanded when possible.

    There is already some metadata being gathered, for example at Tahoe City, a simple question to property management indicated that the tennis courts and condos were built in the early 1980’s and that seems to be reflected in the temperature record.

    So, while everyone is out there surveying sites, in addition to questions about site history, please ask the curator if any historical photographics exist to dicument site changes. Post them along with current photos. State climatologis may have these photos also.
    I’ll amend my “how to guide” to reflect this.

    An excellent resource for demonstrating chanegs around the station due to development is:

    Ok my last post for awhile, I’m loading up the lattemobile.

  15. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    I’m going to open a latte stand in the Black Rock Desert. I’ll make my entire till from Burning Man.

  16. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    I read a few exchanges at Rabett’s blog and began thinking that having an informative conversation over there might be difficult. I then looked up at the blog heading and found:

    Rabett Run
    Droppings along the bunny trail

    So it is not exactly like I wasn’t warned.

    In a more serious vain, I would like to see Steve M continue to pursue what he started when he reviewed what the more current temperature adjustments did to the calibration/verification correlations with TRW/MDX. Pointing out any deterioration of these correlations would certainly get the attention of the “interested” parties very quickly. It might be of interest to look at the quality of the stations used for some of the better known proxy studies.

    I suspect that the Rabett runners look at the examples of poor quality control at these temperature stations as anomalies and with no overall effect on the calculated global mean temperature, while CA participants might look at them as examples of a systemic problem of what could well be haphazard use of quality control procedure and a definite lack of auditing procedures.

    While the mean global temperature is weighted heavily by the SSTs (as Steve M suggested, he was primarily interested in SSTs and the quality control procedures and adjustment used in obtaining them), the local land station quality control and adjustments do have a bearing on many of the calibrations and verifications of temperature reconstructions and furthermore in determining the extent of the applicability of the observation that all weather is local ‘€” with or without AGW.

  17. Bill F
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Another resource that can be used for stations near small towns or urban areas is a local historical aerial photograph collection. Such collections are routinely perused by environmental professionals performing phase I environmental site assessments. Many libraries, city planning departments, and US Natural Resource Conservation Service offices have aerial photographs dating back to the 1930s on approximately 10 year intervals. Use of these could help to identify changes in development for sites where the station location has remained the same or where the changes in location have been documented accurately. If you are making a road trip out of visiting a station, call ahead and see if you can find a local collection that might cover the station location. Aerials are also a great way to view regional development patterns over time.

  18. John Lang
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    I fail to understand why the global warmers (who supposedly have proven science and a mountain of evidence on their side) have such a fit whenever someone decides to actually check into the evidence or questions some aspect of it.

    I mean do physicists have such a fit when someone tries a new physics experiment or proposes a new theory? Do physicians have a fit when someone runs yet another study on a new drug? No, they almost always welcome further introspection because it adds to the body of knowledge for the field.

    The only explanation I have for the extreme emotional reaction expressed by the global warming believers is they have much less faith in the theory than they are ready to admit (even to themselves.)

  19. Jim Johnson
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    This is assinine:

    “bias, nay more than bias, prejudice for photographing sites close to people, e.g. in developed areas. Folk are going to take pictures of sites near them, so they are going to get a sample heavily tilted towards sites near them.”

    These sites are bad sites. If there are any bad sites in the network, that is a bad thing. Its not an issue of bias, its an issue of quality. You cant compensate for a bad site with a ‘supernaturally good’ site, so it doesnt matter if all the ‘urban auditors’ find is bad sites. They are finding bad sites!

  20. Keith Herbert
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    RE: #8

    [w]hat really would be needed for such an approach to work would be a series of photos…

    At the very least this could be considered the first of the series of photos, yes? One has to start at some point in time.

  21. Paul Linsay
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    #18, Jim Johnson,

    You cant compensate for a bad site with a ‘supernaturally good’ site

    Exactly right. What’s more, you probably can’t compensate the data from a bad site at all since you have no independent physical theory that can tell you what corrections to make. The biases at each site are different since they depend on local conditions that are not replicated anywhere else and in many cases are unknown. All the corrections I’ve seen are purely ad hoc.

  22. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    RE: #19 – The immediate flaw in Eli’s argument is the assumption that auditors are themselves a sample biased toward urbanites. Or maybe it’s not a flaw in an argument but instead, intentional disinfo to smear the effort.

  23. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    re 8:

    Like this Eli for De Bilt?

    Population data:

  24. Bill F
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    #21 I believe you are incorrect when you say:

    What’s more, you probably can’t compensate the data from a bad site at all since you have no independent physical theory that can tell you what corrections to make.

    It is very easy to determine how to compensate for the data from bad sites. You add up all the sites and see if they match the answer predicted by the models. If they don’t, then you adjust the bad sites until they match the model output, because everybody knows that when actual measurements and model ouput diverge, the measurements must be wrong. 😉

  25. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    oops that was re: 9

  26. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    RE: #23 – Europe is the original “population bomb” – I reckon that this scenario has been repeated throughout Western Europe. Also, while certainly not as common as in the US, still, Europeans have somewhat adopted more suburban development patterns since WW2, with the corresponding coversion of thousands of square miles of farm land. Drive along any motorway, autobahn, autoroute or autostrada, and it is inescapable.

  27. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    From the comments at:


    Here is an example of the reason why there is no agreement between the surface temperature record and the satellite temperature record.The thing at the top of that pole, which is right next to a building framed with shrubbery, and right next to a sidewalk and asphalt parking lot, is one of the surface temperature measuring stations. This particular one is in Woodland Ca. and it is rated as a rural temperature probe, subject to a rural cooling “correction”.

    Papertiger ⵠ June 5, 2007 03:01 PM

  28. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    Re#19, using that same assinine logic you pointed out, one could make the same bias argument for proxies, or for the placement of weather stations in general.

  29. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    #9 — “A single photo is a point in time. Since climate measurements are made as differences between local averages, what really would be needed for such an approach to work would be a series of photos.

    This argument implies that the station sites are not stable to material changes over time. If that’s true, then neither are the temperature measurements. Perhaps you didn’t realize it, Eli, but your argument subverts the surface temperature record. Is it your intention to falsify the entire GISSTEMP?

  30. aurbo
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    A quick look at the comments on the rabett.blogspot site show a mixture of serious commentary, some clearly reflecting the posters’ POV, and many others that are little more than ad hominem attacks on CA, many of them suggestive to an outsider of classic projection…ascribing to others the character and attitudes one he/herself possesses. Most of these are titled anonymous, but there are clearly several posters using that same title.

    Only very recently is the climate data management community starting to develop “high-quality” data sites to be used in climate assessment. This is fine for the future, but for now we are stuck with what we’ve got and it is hardly an exercise in futility to retrospectively develop the meta-data for each site in any way possible. Simply making catch-all “adjustments” to the historic data without treating each site on an individual basis is little more than sophistic fudging.

    Notwithstanding, there are still a handful of “blue-ribbon” sites around the US which may not necessarily be representative of regional data but are at least internally consistent over periods of 100-years or more and can accurately show trends.

  31. Spence_UK
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    I believe the only reason Rabett put that blog post up was an attempt to falsify surfacestations.org.

    Dang! Is that allowed now or not? I thought bunny logic meant you aren’t allowed to try and falsify things. Perhaps it is okay for consensus scientists to try and falsify things. Mind you I particularly like this train of thought:

    A single photo is a point in time. Since climate measurements are made as differences between local averages, what really would be needed for such an approach to work would be a series of photos.

    Yes, a history of photos would be best. But because there is no history of photos, there is no point in starting one. As trains of thought go, this one’s a stopper.

  32. MarkR
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Seems like Bunny didn’t like having his naughty picture shown.

  33. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    RE: #7 – Fill in my placeholder of Mann with the name of any AGW salesman …..

    “Ah, Dr. Mann, I am so sorry to bother you again, but as I was walking out to the car, one more nagging question popped into my head. It’s just a minor detail but I must ask about it so I can put it out of my mind …. I’m hoping you understand … ”


  34. K
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    “What’s more, you probably can’t compensate the data from a bad site at all since you have no independent physical theory that can tell you what corrections to make”

    Seems right to me. Would the bias would always be upward? A station is supposed to be shaded and away from any substantial heat source, etc. So a bad station would seemingly almost always be too hot.

    I suppose a station regularly hit by automatic lawn sprinklers might be cooled.

    Does anyone have other ideas of how a cooling bias might occur?

  35. bernie
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Eli mentioned Tom Karl’s project. Does anyone have a copy of the “current performance measure status documents”? Why wouldn’t the status document be posted and accessible? Is not the choice of the 100 reference sites of critical importance? If chosen carefully, wouldn’t this project serve as an ex post facto audit tool?

  36. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Having been pelted personally by wabbit pellets in the past, and this is a really good thing going on here, maybe mr.rocks and I could try to visit the Newport Beach, CA- weather station on Anthony’s list since it’s very close by. According to some googling :

    “The Newport Beach Harbor Patrol office serves as the headquarters for the Harbor Patrol division and also as an official reporting station for the National Weather Service as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”

    I will check that list again, make sure this the place you want Anthony and do a google earth on it too, and follow the directions if it all possible for us.

    Newport Beach-it’s harbor was John Wayne’s beloved home for many years. Maybe Eli should take some of the Duke’s words to heart:

    “I’ve always followed my father’s advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I do insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intended to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble.”


  37. Charlie (Colorado)
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Folks, I live within a few miles of these sites. (39.92N 105.13W close enough.) What do you really want to know about them?

    One useful point, by the way, is that NIST is dead on 40.000 deg N; in fact, Baseline Rd in Boulder, which runs into the NIST, is called that because it was built along the extremely closely surveyed 40 deg N baseline established by the NIST (then National Bureau of Standards).

  38. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    The US Climate Reference Network station list is here. The first two stations on the list are Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska. Both cities are known to have significant urban warming … doesn’t bode well.


  39. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    Further investigation shows that both the Barrow and Fairbanks sites are located outside of the cities, and the sites look well chosen for getting representative temperatures unaffected by the heat islands of the repective cities.. This should be an interesting project to watch.


  40. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    RE #8 and #9.

    As Gavin has said we only need 60 good sites to estimate a global temp!
    I agree! How about you Eli? You agree too? Good! So lets agree to get rid of the bad sites.

    Sites located on asphalt are NOT good. Sites located near power stations
    are not good. Sites located by incinerators are not good. Sites located on roofs are not good.
    Sites located in parking lots are not good. sites located by the exhaust of air conditioners are not good.

    I think we can agree on that. Right? I mean you show the picture of Good site, so you get it!
    Right? The fact you post a picture of a good site Shows that you get the issue. Anthony gets
    it as well. See his post about Orland. A good site. I find it instructive that he posts a picture
    of a good site and then a bad site. Shows understanding. I find it instructive that he encourages
    others to check for themselves and provides GPS. Shows credibility. I find it instructive that you only show a
    good site. SOME (not me) could surmise a lot about people by how they present their case.

    So, Since we only need 60 good sites ( gavin’s words not mine) I think we can agree to the following.

    Delete the bad sites from the calculations. That would seem to be a good common ground Eh?
    You would not claim that it is reasonabe to include data
    from a site that is poorly situated would you? So Lets take Marysville for example.

    Dont trust Hansen.( it’s comforting, I know) Look for yourself. Is it a good site? huh?
    We provided the GPS coordinates. You can check it out for yourself. No bait and switch here.

    You have the following choices

    1. Defend the site as a reasonable siting, and be a micro climate sceptic
    2. Criticize it, and hypothesize that it just doesnt matter. ( see Bill Murray in Meatballs)
    3. Claim the photos are a fake and face endless ridicule ( kinda like gradeschool all over again)
    4. Ignore this post and claim the intellectual bankrupcy booby prize on your way out.

  41. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Is there anything in the Fresno / Central Valley / Western Sierra Nevada area I could check out and photograph?

  42. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    OK back online, stopped for a “latte” at Starbucks and they have WiFi

    RE41 SonicFrog YES I welcome the help:

    See the master list here:

    or just browse the photo database gallery here:

    Easy to spot the ones that have not been surveyed, as they have no thumbnails.

    One you could do to really help out would be:
    49855 YOSEMITE PARK HEADQUARTERS 0.4 NW CA 37.75 -119.58

    I’m planning to visit on this trip but its a detour…maybe you could get it first off? Easy to locate in the park I’m sure.

    Another is:
    43257 FRESNO WSO AP 5 ENE CA 36.78 -119.72

    Its probably been removed as a Stevenson Screen and turned into an ASOS station, but documenting the location of original screen is very important if it no longer exists. Be sure to check with airport operations office first, don’t go looking around the AP on your own without permission.

    and pick some that need to be added that are near you

  43. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    I’m having a lot of trouble accessing NOAA today. I managed to get at a few sites and now I can’t get on again. There are about 1000 GSN sites worldwide and these appear to be the backbone of up-to-date temperature measurements in all the gridcells. (Most GHCN sites haven’t been updated since the early 1990s.) The GSN sites are listed here http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/hofngsn/HOFNGsnStn in a non-ASCII format.

    Sites in CA and NV are: Fresno AP, Sacramento Ex, San Diego Lindbergh, Eureka WSO, Las Vegas Mun, Ely Yelland, Winnemucca. Any info on these sites would be nice to have as well, to complement the northern California sites from the USHCN network.

    I notice that the rustic site of Washington National AP is a GSN station.

  44. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Oh, I’ve been looking for an excuse to go up to Yosemite. It’s just around the corner. Give me a couple o weeks to get up to that one. Should be able to get the airport site this weekend.

  45. Anthony Watts
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    RE44 Sonic, sooner than better on Yosemite, if you can do it this weekend it would be very beneficial as there is a need for it specifically. Pls advise

  46. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps readers can identify the locations of the “New Fire Station” (perhaps this is the Fire Department: Administration & Fire Prevention Bureau – 1805 33rd St, Boulder mentioned here. The roof of the Old Fire Station would be nice to locate if it still exists. If the New Fire Station can be identified the above building, it appears in the following Google Earth Image:

    From the MMS data base is seems that the Boulder Station was located from
    1948 to 1970 at 40 01 59.988 N 105 16 59.988 W
    1979 to 1983 at 40 01 00.12 N 105 16 59.988 W (moved 3 miles NW)
    1983 to 1985 at 40 01 59.988 N 105 16 00.012 W (moved .2 miles N)
    1985 to 1989 at 40 01 59.988 N 105 16 59.988 W (moved 1.5 miles SE and .6 miles NE ???)
    1989 to 1991 at 40 01 59.988 N 105 16 59.988 W
    1991 to Present 39 59 30.84 N 105 16 00.12 W (NIST)

    I am not very confident of the accuracy of the MMS locations.

  47. snrjon
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Re #23

    The rabbits choice of De Bilt station photo is amusing; although portrayed as a small town or even rural, today it is a suburb of Utrecht, separated from that city (600,000 in the conurbation) by 1km of fields and the A27 motorway! The prevailing westerlies and southwesterlies blow right across the city of Rotterdam, then Utrecht on their way to de Bilt. If you wanted to track where all the waste heat goes from the world’s largest port, the world’s largest heated (glass!) greenhouse area and two of the four largest cities in the country, then de Bilt would be a good place to measure it!

    Even with all the population and industry growth and heat pollution in the area the GISS temperatures today stays stubbornly below the peaks of the first part of the 20th century! Darned inconvenient dutch!

  48. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    Even Bilt itself is the picture of post WW2 explosive growth, ever so typical of most European “near hinterland” areas.

  49. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    Re: 43

    Steve, I have Winnemucca and Lovelock, Battle Mt and Wells on my list for mid August, it is on our way to Idaho. I plan to get some of the Idaho station along the way as well, Including Salmon, Mackay, Challis, Jerome, and Ketchum.

  50. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    See what I can do.

  51. Posted Jun 5, 2007 at 11:31 PM | Permalink


    Does anyone have other ideas of how a cooling bias might occur?

    Yes, too heavy UHI adjustment, see Folland et al. 2001:

    However, because some cold biases are also possible in adjusted semi-urban data, we conservatively model this uncertainty as symmetrical about the optimum average

    conservative: tending to maintain existing views

  52. Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

    re 47:

    Even with all the population and industry growth and heat pollution in the area the GISS temperatures today stays stubbornly below the peaks of the first part of the 20th century!

    That conclusion is premature as you are refering to non-homogenised data:

    see here for details:
    Homogenisation of Uccle and De Bilt based on census data

  53. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

    And why do they need to be adjusted?

  54. Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    Because the observation location and method changed, as recorded in the metadata.

    Since 1950:

  55. bernie
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 5:59 AM | Permalink

    Do I read this right: the 1901-1950 gauges were by the dirt path but on the grass field? And they adjusted these temperatures downwards by nearly 0.5C compared to the new site! That strikes me as significant for the apparent minor potential UHI factors that are visible in the picture. If warranted, then that would argue for noticeable UHI effects for even modest development in the local area of a WS.

  56. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Re:#54 Hans Erren,

    I cannot read the language. What is the photo of the brick tower with the sensor arrays labelled 1963 showing? In the De Bilt 1932 photo above, are the sensors in the foreground at ground level or in the tower? Was it the gravel path in the 1932 photo that caused the temperature to drift up ~1°C(?) by 1950?

    Re:#34 K,

    Does anyone have other ideas of how a cooling bias might occur?

    Other than additional irrigation (as you sort of say) I cannot think of any other incidental anthropogenic cooling bias.

    (BTW… Does the last suit you’ll ever put on still fit? ^i°)

  57. Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    If we need only 60 sites don’t 40 of them (more or less) need to be on the oceans?

    Any pictures of the ocean measuring sites? Position data on those sites?

    I’m reminded of a line from an old black and white cartoon from the 30s. “You can’t fool me because I’m too stupid.”

  58. Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    re 54:
    The sensor was located under the open pagoda.
    Here are the adjustments for the GISS data.
    Before 1850 the measurements were in Zwanenburg house, close to Amsterdam, between 1850 ansd 1900 observations were in Utrecht at Bastion De Zonnenborg, after 1901 the observations were under the pagoda close to main building. In 1950 observations started in the open field in stevenson huts.

    Here is a link to a google map with plotted locations

  59. Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    These are the sensor locations in De bilt, before 1901 the sensor was in Utrecht, and between 1734 and 1850 the sensor was in Huis Zanenburg in Halfweg (Halfway between Amsterdam and Haarlem).

  60. EW
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    I see that the only Czech GSN station is Milesovka mountain.

    coordinates: 50.55N, 13.93E, 836.OM
    GHCN-D station code: 61100011464
    WMO station: 11464

    “The length of the series of meteorological measurements reached 100 years in 2005. At present, special physical and chemical measurements are maintained in addition to the routine ones because the air quality in the region is strongly influenced by industry (brown coal quarries, thermal power stations, heating plants, chemical factories etc.).”

    Although the station itself is sufficiently rural, the west winds from Atlantic carry the pollutants there.

  61. Frédéric
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    H. Simon,
    GHCN stations over oceans are spotted here : rather scarce hmmm!
    The procedure to scan them on Google map is described there (the forum is being set up and exchanges with Anthony Watts are underway).

  62. EW
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the GHCN list. And talking about improvements, they could “transfer” the stations
    61111735001 LEOBSCHUTZ CZECH
    61111643001 NEURODE CZECH

    from Czech Rep. to Poland! Of course, using recent Czech names instead of old German ones would improve the list accuracy mightily 😦 as well as enable to find the stations on modern maps.

  63. Bill F
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    I believe there was one on the USHCN network list that was called Galveston Jetties or some such. If this is where I think it is, it is over a mile offshore adjacent to the north galveston jetty where Galveston Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico. I should be out there sometime in the next few weeks, and if so, I will try to take a picture of it.

  64. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    Eli needs to stop acting so desperate and let the photographs of the stations continue. There might still be some warming left after everything is fixed. Steve, Anthony, good job. I gave you guys a post.

    Hope this problem can be resolved soon.

    [Steve: Kristen’s blog is here http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaunderg/ponderthemaunder/%5D

  65. jae
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve: link doesn’t work for me.

  66. Bill F
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Steve’s link includes the trailing ] as part of the link. Delete that and it opens fine.

  67. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink


  68. jae
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Great article by Kristen. But the burn barrel picture is not a good example of the problem, since the barrel is sitting on a wooden pallet. It is evidently just being stored there when not in use.

  69. John Lang
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Moving a station to a grass field versus next to a parking lot is obviously helpful, but the urban heat island effect extends several miles from cities of 20,000 people or more.

    Temperatures can be 4C warmer in a city centre which falls to 2C warmer in the extended suburbs for a major metropolitan centre. As more development occurs within the city, the UHI impact progressively increases.

    So a grass field next a city of 42,000 people like De Bilt is not immune to UHI.

  70. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    64 67 I suggest that the Kristen Byrnes blog deserves to be listed in the sidebar under Weblogs and Resources

  71. JoeS
    Posted Jun 6, 2007 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Kristen’s site isn’t coming up for me either.
    I hope she hasn’t exceeded her bandwidth allocation for June already.

  72. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Eli (AKA Josh Halpern) investigated the 159 proxies to no avail.

    see also:

  73. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #72

    If Eli Rabbet is so ashamed of his name that he won’t use it when posting then there is no need to bring dishonor upon the family name by associating it with his pseudonymous rants.

  74. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    RE: #73 – I reckon he was told by the University to stop using his real name when posting on forums discussing politics. Not that Univ admin actually disagree with him, more like, they don’t want people pointing to such things and claiming the University has political bias.

  75. NateL
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Re 73 — Respect for anonymity goes of the door when the anoymous uses the fake name to libel someone else.

  76. Frédéric
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    #67, maybe there is a problem with Anthony Watts’ siting of the Tahoe city station. So not so fast with the incinerator photos 😉

  77. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    RE: #76 – Well then go and check it out. Bring your camera. Let us know what you find.

  78. bernie
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Did we loose the messages on this thread between 12 and 5PM today. Some were ragging on Eli a lot so if these were defined as out of bounds that is fine – but if they were edited for cause can someone make a statement to that effect?

  79. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    Frederic # 76

    I looked at the station you pointed out and it is a short distance from the one Anthony documented. His graph shows the coordinates that are rounded off to a tenth. There are two stations in that area according to the NOAA link you posted with the same coordinates that are rounded off to a tenth. The station you point to only goes back to 1972. The one Anthony photographed goes back much farther. He also photographed the NOAA plaque if you look at the surface station page, this is backed up by the satellite photos on his page and on the NOAA page. I am certain that Anthony photographed the correct station. I am also informed that the incinerator is up to the local fire code and is used often in it’s photographed location.

  80. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    #78. the site was down for a while, but no excisions. I would have given notice anyway.

  81. Posted Jun 7, 2007 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    Found all that were actually used, found the lists of inputs to the model. Oh well

  82. Bob Koss
    Posted Jun 8, 2007 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

    I decided to look at Reno and found the combined data is the same as the raw. So I graphed the raw against the homogeneity data. Using the following data sets.
    GHCN raw + USHCN corrections id=425724880000&data_set=0
    Homogeneity adjusted id=425724880000&data_set=2

    I can’t comprehend how they can justify using a system like this. It almost seems like they are admitting the heat island effect, and rather than adjusting current temps down, which they’d only have to do for each current year as it comes along. Apparently they are intending to continue to adjust all past temperatures down every so often to reflect the effect of their estimate of the current year’s heat island. Eventually the temperatures in the mid 20th century will be freezing. Are these people for real??

    I also noticed they haven’t updated the data since March 2006. Probably because they’d feel foolish adjusting the temperature down from actual observations.

    These are the homogeniety adjustments by year for Reno.
    1890 .4
    1891-1899 .7
    1900-1911 .8
    1912-1922 .9
    1923-1933 1.0
    1934-1944 1.1
    1945-1956 1.2
    1957-1967 1.3
    1968-1979 1.4
    1980-1981 1.3
    1982-1983 1.2
    1984-1985 1.1
    1986-1987 1.0
    1988-1989 .9
    1990 .8
    1991-1992 .7
    Continued decrease one tenth each two years.

  83. Frédéric
    Posted Jun 8, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    #79 You’re right, the station spotted by Anthony (NCDC ID=10100121) has data back to 1931. I update the information on my site.
    Anyway, it is listed at the MMS site which only lists “high quality QC stations” lol!
    I just need to check that its NCDC STN ID corresponds to the GISS ID (don’t know how to do it, I’ll find out how but if someone can tell me how to do the conversion, it would help).

    #77 Steve S, maybe I’ll do had I lived in CA and … not in France 😉

  84. Melvin Jones
    Posted Jun 8, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    We should be trying to falsify the entire GISSTEMP. Whatever’s left that’s “Good” we keep. What’s marginal? Eh. What’s “Bad”? Off with its head!

  85. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted Jun 8, 2007 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    Fredrick # 83

    If I understand things correctly, a USHCN (United States Historical Climate Network) site has to go back farther than 1972. But one thing is for sure, you have to be careful when you look at those coordinates. I used the MMS coordinates for Lewiston Maine and my parents and I drove out there today. The map from MMS showed it on what looked like a white roof but the notes say it is on ground. Sure enough, there it was on the roof of a gas station. We went onto the building next door and took zoom photos of it and it looks like a satellite transmitter. We are waiting to call the owner of the gas station to see if that is really it.

  86. David Smith
    Posted Jun 9, 2007 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    RE #85 Kristen, this link also provides the direction and distance from the main post office (for Lewiston it looks like 0.3 miles NW of the post office). The main post office location can be found on the internet. I used this as a confirmation method for the Liberty, Texas station location.

    As always, there’s no guarantee that the direction and distance are accurate – post offices move. That is what I found for Liberty. The sensor was the stated distance from the old post office, not the new post office.

    It’s a bit of a detective job.

  87. mccall
    Posted Jun 9, 2007 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Dr Halpern = Mr Rabett ? This can’t be!
    Josh Halpern posts sometimes quote the Rabett blog (his own?) to support Halpern arguments in:

    Besides, Dr Halpern is “also the Co-Director of the NASA Faculty Fellowship Program at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD in odd numbered years. This program supports about 30 faculty each year to do summer research at Goddard,” according to http://www.chem.howard.edu/~jhalpern/. If the above link is still down — check googles cached version instead. This would indicate that he is or has been in the past, payed by NASA Goddard, and quite possibly has met/worked with prominent members of the team? Team member; team wannabe; team cheerleader; or just plain coincidence — Dr Wegmann might find this profession connention inces– ‘er interesting?

  88. mccall
    Posted Jun 9, 2007 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    correction: professional connection interesting

  89. Bill F
    Posted Jun 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Has anybody taken the data from the two Tahoe stations referenced above and compared them? It would be interesting to see if the two stations diverged at all over time.

  90. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 9, 2007 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    I’m not surprised that Halpern would try the sock puppet trick.

    However, I’m not going to ascribe bad motives to his name game.

  91. Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    FWIW, the only time I talked to Hansen he yelled at me 🙂 . Wanted to tell that story for years.

  92. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    Eli, when you used 🙂 did you mean 👿 ?

  93. Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Nope, it was a hoot, very non scientific and a whole lot of years ago. Meant 🙂 .

  94. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Ah, ” a hoot, very non-scientific”. I guess you meant 😈

  95. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink


  96. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Eli, I read your (I assume) reply at RC Comment by Eli Rabett ‘€” 6 Jul 2007 @ 12:25 pm

    the way that temperature records are made subtracts out the monthly mean over a thirty year period at a station (or a collection of nearby stations). This is called the temperature anomaly and is what GISS

    I was looking at this discussion of sites and wondered what proof would be available to show that the following should not be assumed to have occured?

    Over a period of thirty years, in human populated/maintained areas, except for farms, large parks, and forests, energy use W m-2 has steadily increased, natural soils have been replaced by materials with much different thermal properties, natural evapotranspiration (m2 and mass) have been been signicantly, and, in some cases, almost completely eliminated, resulting in a small but steady increase in measured temperature in such human populated/maintained areas. Due to costs and other factors, the largest fraction of temperature recording devices have been located in close proximity to human dwellings or activities. Statistical methods such as tesselization, satellite-derived night light observations to classify stations, and other computations, do not correct for the observed phenomena. Tesselization, and similar methods, will force the inclusion of this heat influence except in random cases. Using night light observations do not reflect, nor measure energy use, natural environment replacement, or biomass reductions. and only randomly correct this phenomena. However such corrections will not account for a significant decrease in this temperature increase since the number of sites without this pehenomena are small, and due to changes in instrumentation, and costs cuts, and increasing human induced changes, the number, of uninfluenced sites, has grown substatially smaller in this time period.

  97. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    re #96

    Nicely put. But I doubt you’ll get a straightforward answer from Eli or any other major warmer.

  98. John Knight
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    I think that would be “any other warm-monger”.

  99. BarryW
    Posted Jul 7, 2007 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    One thing I can’t grasp is this seemingly arbitrary adjustment of station data. I make a measurement and based on what appear to be rules of thumb (e.g., population) adjust the values. Since I can’t “prove” the adjustment is correct am I not inducing an error (bias) in the data set? For example, using gross population can only approximate UHIE since changes in transportation, industry,and power consumption will affect the amount of heat generated and even when it’s generated. I can see using this to estimate the uncertainty of my calculation (error if you will) but to just change the data seems just wrong. Even the new calibration network, while useful for calibrating other stations that overlap it temporally seems to be an incorrect methodology if applied to previous sitings of those stations or any other since I don’t really know the actual effects those sites might have had on the collected data. Even the site locations are not well documented!

  100. John Baltutis
    Posted Jul 8, 2007 at 1:17 AM | Permalink

    Re: #99

    But, without the adjustments, they can’t claim that the warming is unprecedented.

  101. BarryW
    Posted Jul 8, 2007 at 8:43 AM | Permalink


    I got that. I’m trying to figure out what “scientific” justification they have. Seems like the concept of error bars wasn’t taught in climate science.

  102. MarkW
    Posted Jul 9, 2007 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    This isn’t about science. It’s about saving humanity from the evils of unrestrained capitalism.

  103. henry
    Posted Aug 8, 2007 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    Re #34:

    “I suppose a station regularly hit by automatic lawn sprinklers might be cooled.

    Does anyone have other ideas of how a cooling bias might occur?”

    A lot of talk has been made of exhaust vents, etc. An INTAKE vent would draw cooler air across an instrument, too.

  104. Mike Roddy
    Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Issues with a few temperature stations are irrelevant in view of the BEST results. Mueller took billions of climate readings and concluded that it’s getting warmer at very close to the rate monitored and predicted by IPCC and Mann.

    Tree rings and temperature stations are irrelevant exercises, designed to mollify those who are made uncomfortable by actual scientific data- which included irrefutable evidence of continuous warming and human causation.

    What are you trying to accomplish, Steve? The detours and verbiage we encounter on this blog do nothing to detract from the evidence that has been so carefully collected by our best scientific minds.

    • MrPete
      Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

      Re: Mike Roddy (Apr 13 09:16),
      You truly don’t understand, do you Mike. Please take the time to learn what is significant about paleoclimatology. Nobody here disagrees that it has been warming for a few hundred years.

      If you want to learn something, you might begin with something more recent than 2007 (although it’s certainly worth going back and reading the whole site-story, as Skiphil and some others have done.) Here’s a good starting point. It references a study of climate history that carefully puts the present in context. The paper also demonstrates how real science works: with various scientists working through the issues, trying hard not to fool themselves or others.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Apr 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

      Re: Mike Roddy (Apr 13 09:16),

      A few quick points:

      (1) Given the immense magnitudes claimed for the climate perils, studies much like BEST should have been ocnducted from the 1990s onward. It is a disgrace and a scandal that it took so many years of criticisms from outside the field, and then climate science outsiders like Muller et al., to finally do something like what was required in the 1990s to make the kinds of claims being asserted.

      (2) Let’s grant (for the sake of argument) that BEST has succeeded in accurately describing instrumental temp. records about as well as we’re going to get for the existing records….. your pretence that this settles any debate about ECS (Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity) after 2xCO2, or about the range of natural variability on longer time scales, is premature and tendentious. A lot of discussions are not over but just beginning.

      (3) BEST studies are valuable but do not by themselves explain how to understand the past 15 years of levelling temps. nor can BEST results tell us what to expect in the future (without a lot of complementary analyses).

      (4) I have never yet seen a comment from Mike Roddy around the web to show that he is interested in better evidence and rigorous science, as compared with scoring rhetorical points.

      As Michael Mann himself asserted just this week, millennial paleo studies (and other kinds of studies of natural forcings etc.) may well be needed to help assess natural variability distinct from any putative human influences, so it is hardly irrelevant to continue to examine whether claims about pre-instrumental temps. are accurate or not.

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