Help Robert Rohde Locate Argentina

Several years ago, CA helped UCAR locate the lost civilization of Chile. UCAR was then receiving weather information from stations for which they were unable to determine latitude or longitude, including many mysterious stations in Chile. UCAR’s problem was complicated by the fact that it was receiving information from stations with locations unknown to them, but even from stations “with no location” whatever. Perhaps the signals were being transmitted faster than the speed of light. At the time, I noted the intriguing “Bogus Station”.

Berkeley has also encountered lost civilizations and even more Bogus Stations. 649 Berkeley stations lack information on latitude and longitude, including 145 BOGUS stations. 453 stations lack not only latitude and longitude, but even a name. Many such stations are located in the country “[Missing]”, but a large fraction are located in “United States”.

One of the weather stations that could not be located was the mysterious “Camp David” station in the United States, which operated between 2004 and 2008.

If any CA readers have any information on the location of Camp David (or for that matter, Argentina), Robert Rohde of the Berkeley project would, I’m sure, be very grateful for the assistance.

Meanwhile, I’m pondering how one goes about calculating spatial autocorrelation between two BOGUS stations with unknown locations (or perhaps even no locations.) Halloween tales from beyond the crypt.


  1. Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Oh, my … looks like BEST might not be quite as good as they thought.

  2. Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    Could Camp Davis be the Presidential retreat in Maryland, northwest of D.C.?

    • simon abingdon
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

      No. Camp Davis is a military use airport located 1 nautical mile (1.9 km) southeast of the central business district of Holly Ridge, in Onslow County, North Carolina, United States.

  3. Bruce
    Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t pronouncements on UHI wait until you actually know where all the stations are?

  4. Gary Miller
    Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Camp David is the Presidential Retreat located near 77 deg, 29 min West longitude and 39 deg, 49 min North latitude.

    Steve: My question was tongue-in-cheek. That’s why I picked such an obvious site.

    • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

      Great, now the Russians know the coordinates.

      • LearDog
        Posted Nov 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

        Ha ha ha! ROFL..! Ha ha ha!

  5. John F. Hultquist
    Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    Well, Argentina sounds somewhat familiar – just not sure. However, I know “Missing” well – been so there many times. Problem is I don’t recall any weather there, so likely there are not stations there either. Was in Berkeley once also. Weather was nice. As I recall the place is autocorrelated with places north and east somewhat. A center of fruits and nuts.

  6. Posted Oct 31, 2011 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    Very funny Steve. They indeed need a powerful sCrypting language on a night such as this.

  7. RB
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    Ha Ha

    Thanks Mr M,

    That gave me a good laugh at the start of the day.

  8. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    To be fair, this seems to be only a small part of the total information. I calculated a total of 3864 station-years data attached to stations with either lat or lon missing. There are 1499275 station-years in total. So there’s little loss in scratching the stations with unknown location.

    • Steeptown
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

      To be fair, it would be sensible to scratch the few stations with unknown locations. I calculated the stations with unknown locations to be only 2.577ppm.

    • Gary
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

      To be fair, there’s no excuse for being sloppy when you call yourself BEST.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

      While, as you say, it is only a small part of the information, it’s very sloppy and reflects poorly on the quality control. This is the most elementary sort of quality control on a data base.

      • BillC
        Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

        Sure but what was the choice? Delete those stations from the “raw” data? I can’t imagine they are carried through in any sort of analysis – per your tongue in cheeck comment.

        Having said that I am still puzzled by the release of “raw” data which is seasonally adjusted.

      • bernie
        Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

        Having spent many years working with large scale survey data and having found lots of discrepant data, I would argue that such anomalies need to be looked at carefully in case they reflect more systemic problems with the data set. I would hate to see the issue resolved by eliminating these records or subjecting them to some automatic default value rather than resolving the issue.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

      Of course “it does not matter” when the Team does it.

  9. Steven Mosher
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    you made me return to my mails to them over a year ago..

    the ones where I offered them help.

    with station metadata.

    free of charge.

    and they had it all under control…


    • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

      Making ‘release early’ look like ‘release too late’.

      But that’s always been true, in every agile project I’ve ever had a hand in. You can always see a more optimal path involving earlier deliveries – after the event. Sometimes that kills the project, sometimes customers are all over you with delight. The stakeholder situation with BEST is far from clear. But the IPCC has I think been mentioned. Oh well.

      • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

        ha tell me about it. try to do a open source mobile phone. half the hackers love the early release and the other half actually want a working phone.

        and then half love you and half hate you.

        been there done that.

  10. RC Saumarez
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 4:26 AM | Permalink

    I’m pondering the spatial correlation between two stations of unknown coordinates. Incredible. I suppose that if one ignores the distance between them, it might slip through a program. Otherwise, divide by zero? Divide by infinity?

  11. KnR
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

    Its a useful reminder of how poor the data on which so many claims are made actual is .
    No matter how clever the people or how smart sounding the theory nor the how big the mountain of research, if the method of data gathering is poor the rest will be poor . And when you don’t even know how poor the method is your really are sticking your wet thump up in hope being able to tell what the weather will be like .

    • Philh
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

      “thump.” Is that thumb or hump…ie., butt?

      • kuhnkat
        Posted Nov 2, 2011 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

        Maybe one with the other inserted?

  12. Mac
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Are Americans really geographically challenged as per their national stereotype?

    It would appear so!

  13. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    As the old saying goes…”BEST is the enemy of the good” 😎

  14. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t looked at this stuff in a while, but newcomers to your blog may find my animation from last year of temperature station locations in the GHCNv2: Dude, where is my thermometer?

    And, of course,I should look at GHCN v3 to see if things changed, but, according to the GHCN v2, at one point, we did not even know how warm it was in Central Park: Do you know how warm it is in Central Park?

    • Jeff Wood
      Posted Nov 2, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

      Sinan, many thanks for that. Goodness knows what I was doing last year to miss it.

      We laymen appreciate that sort of effort. You elucidate what gives us a headache when trying to understand difficult and technical descriptions.

      The later frames give a sad sense of something dying. I am relieved that the stations are mostly still live. Proper science will insist on their inclusion in future datasets.

  15. dearieme
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    OK, so the “B” in BEST stands for bogus. What do the E, S and T stand for?

    Might I suggest E for erroneous?

    • Gary
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

      “S” is for Sloppy.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

        “T” is for Team

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

          And “E” is, I suppose for Environmentalist, giving us Bogus Environmentalist Sloppy Team. Though BS ET might be a better order of words as the warmers do tend to beset the populace with regulations and costs that are out of this world.

        • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

          Clearly, “ET” phoned home when they should have called Mosher — for the station locations.

          I stayed up all night and believe I have found Chilly — where should I send it? Is there a reward?

        • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

          or peter o neill. he’s tireless on this stuff. mad props to him.

          wonder where he went to?

        • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

          Resurfacing shortly. Have been working on quantifying the effect on GISTEMP of station location errors in the GHCN metadata (and less than impressed to find similar location errors in the BEST metadata, as uploaded by Nick Stokes). I had submitted a comment on Hansen et al (2010) to Reviews of Geophysics, but it turns out that Reviews of Geophysics publishes reviews only, and does not accept comments or replies, and a stand-alone paper submission to GRL or JGR, quantifying the size of the impact of the corrections was suggested. The unfortunate side effect of this AGU policy is of course that a review describing a method based on metadata containing numerous substantial errors remains without comment drawing attention to the existence of such errors until such time that the impact of the corrections has been quantified, a non-trivial task in view of the number of stations involved. As resolution claimed

          “Station location in the meteorological data records is provided with a resolution of 0.01 degrees of latitude and longitude”

          is not matched by the actual metadata used, and as a result the urban/rural classification derived is substantially in error, a reader surely deserves to be made aware of this even before quantification of the impact of the corrections required becomes available. Some mention of these metadata problems is long overdue at the GISTEMP “Updates to analysis” page as well – Hansen et al are aware of these metadata shortcomings. I first brought a few such errors to their attention in December 2009, before the adoption of nightlights as the basis of classification, and suggested

          It looks to me as if changing to global lights is likely to introduce as many new misclassified stations as it corrects, and that the only way this classification can really be improved is by actually examining each location, painful as that exercise may be.

          (and painful indeed it proves to be: if you are aware of any GHCN station location corrections, perhaps you might check my page at to see if the stations in question are listed there)

          I hope to post a related comment later today at, which may be of interest.

        • Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

          mad props to him

          unfortunately I need a translation. This looks like predictive text gone wrong!

        • Earle Williams
          Posted Nov 4, 2011 at 6:38 PM | Permalink


          ‘props’ is an abbreviated form of ‘proper respect.’ The ‘mad’ modifier indicates that the recipient is due excessively proper respect.

  16. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    “Meanwhile, I’m pondering how one goes about calculating spatial autocorrelation between two BOGUS stations with unknown locations (or perhaps even no locations.)”

    That’s easy !!!
    Always trend up !!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. John T
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    “Halloween tales from beyond the crypt.”

    Not Halloween. Christmas.

    Its obvious those stations are located in or near Santa’s Workshop, and since that location is highly classified they’re not labeled. That’s why we know the temperature near the North Pole has been increasing so rapidly, even though it appears there aren’t any stations there.

  18. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Just for fun and an historical perspective on Camp David. It is located in Thurmont, Maryland and was given the name by President Eisenhower in honor of his grandson David who was to later marry Julie Nixon, the daughter of President Nixon.

    • BillC
      Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

      & has given rise to a unique national park, Catoctin Mountain park, good place for wildlife watching.

  19. David L. Hagen
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    That reminds me of when I asked the operator for a phone number in London and she asked if it was in Idaho.

    Have they discovered the meteorological station at London yet? See:
    London AZ
    London CA
    London KS
    London KY
    London OH
    London MI
    London MN
    London TX
    London UK

  20. Malcolm
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Maybe bogus is actually BOGUS – an acronym?
    Biological Oceanography Group United States, or something?
    They record SSTs with floating buoys.

  21. DocMartyn
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    “Meanwhile, I’m pondering how one goes about calculating spatial autocorrelation between two BOGUS stations with unknown locations (or perhaps even no locations.).”

    It is Schrödinger’s lesser known thought experiment; ‘Schrödinger’s Thermometer’. If you are aware of the maximum and minimum reading of a thermometer, but do not know its location, then the only place on Earth that it cannot be be is where you are located and as you occupy only a tiny fraction of the Earth surface, it follows that the temperature is the global temperature.

  22. Peter de la Billerie
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Ooops, sorry about Argentina ‘ol chap. I fear that might have been me back in ’82

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter de la Billerie (Brigadier)

  23. Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 6:17 PM | Permalink


    You misunderstand the modern climate scientist, they can all be trusted, they all tell the truth and all their papers do not need peer review. If they are peer reviewed it will pass anyway, so why do it to start with. They do not re-programme or change data in making computer models.

    I’m now trying to get my tongue out of my cheek. LOL

  24. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Nov 1, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    In April 2011 I sent Steven Mosher a corrected spreadsheet for 589 Australia stations that presumably originated from BEST. Of these, 32 had problems of location, name or no available data, e.g
    91009 50194958001 -41.07 145.95 BURNIE (ROUND HILL) Error- station coords at sea. That is 543 ppm eror rate from these causes alone. At the time I thought that Steven was working with BEST, but I now know that he was not, so this is not a criticism of him. I simply make the point that cleaned data were prepared over many, many hours for Australia. I do not know if BEST used them.

    • Posted Nov 2, 2011 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

      Put -41.07,145.95 into Google Maps on the iPad and it lands on Latteene Rd, Round Hill, just south of Burnie. Nothing wrong with the long/lat. Sen plenty of point objects inthe oceans around Tasmania over the years (transposition of numbers) but not in this case.

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Nov 3, 2011 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

        Sorry Simon, my error, wrong line of spreadsheet. Try Point Lonsdale. -38.3 144.62

  25. John Whitman
    Posted Nov 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM | Permalink


    Hilarious. Even more so because it is not a joke.

    The humor is like twisting the knife a little bit after your initial bold thrust at their metadata?

    Belated Halloween cheers.


5 Trackbacks

  1. […] Help Robert Rohde Locate Argentina […]

  2. […] The claims of the BEST program at Berkeley are under scrutiny….well worth the reading… here and click here. […]

  3. […] hot air doesn’t rise off concrete! November 1st, 2011   BREAKING: Steven McIntyre reports that “649 Berkeley stations lack information on latitude and longitude, including 145 […]

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