Sunday, March 6, 2011

Comparisons of closely spaced corrections

In many of the early posts on this blog, I compared the temperature records of nearby cities, those sited on similar settings less than 25 miles apart. One would think that the temperatures measured at two towns less than 25 miles apart should be quite similar. They weren't.

Today I am looking at the corrections applied to 3 nearby cities. One would think that there would be physical causes for the corrections applied. This doesn't appear to be the case. The three towns in question are York, Geneva, and Fairmont, Nebraska. The three towns are located north south in central Nebraska.



The spacing is something close to how I spaced them above.

One can download the raw monthly means and the final edited monthly means at this site by chosing the towns one wants to examinehere.

By subtracting the raw observations from the final edited data, one can get what the totality of corrections to the raw observation are. For Fairmont, NE, the corrections look like this:

The station moves are the jumps in the level of correction. These plateaus represented by the various station locations shows that there is an inherent 2.5 deg F variation in the average temperature measured due simply to where the thermometer is sited. Yet we are constantly told that we can tease a 1.1 deg F of warming out of this data. The fact that the corrections are 2.2 times that signal says that this data isn't good enough for what they claim they can do with it.

Geneva, NE shows the same kind of phenomonon. Merely subtracting the raw observed data from the corrected data shows a similar pattern.

Again, there is almost 2.5 deg F difference in the bias's simply due to station sitings.

Now let's compare the corrections made for these two towns, only 24 miles apart.

This chart shows some correlation in the step functions in the corrections. But the above chart raises some questions. Did both towns move siting spots at the same time? Why would there be a correlation in the bias if they did that? While one might initially think that the total correction to two nearby towns should be the same, or move similarly, they shouldn't do it in this pattern. It isn't likely that Fairmont and Geneva, NE decided together to move their weather stations at the same time, both to hotter and then both to cooler sites. This makes zero sense for these two towns which are 8 miles apart.

If we subtract the two correction series we find how the corrections alter the relative temperature streams from observed to final editing.

Looking at the above, you can see that from 1953 to the present there have been almost 3 degrees of warming added to Fairmont, NE compared to Geneva's temperature ust 8 miles away. The problem I have with this kind of correction is that it is very difficult to think of a physical cause for such a strange set of corrections.

Let's now throw comparisons of York and Fairmont into the mix. York is 18 miles north of Fairmont. When one subtracts the final edited temperature series from the raw observed temperature series it looks like this:

The red is York and I have compared its correction to Fairmont, 18 miles south. Once again, there is too much similarity in when the step functions occur. The chart below shows all three towns with 5 major bias changes all happening in the 3 towns very closely in time.

There are other funny things about these corrections, that seem to have no physical causation, that would make any sense. The high frequency part of the correction has the two nearest towns out of phase while Geneva and York, on opposite sides of Fairmont, are in phase.

The high frequency corrections are like marking the beak and wing tips of a bird. When both wings are hot, the beak is cold. When the beak is hot, the wings are cold. What physics could possibly cause this to be the case? I can think of none, yet this is what the GISS is doing to the data with their highly mathematical but non physical corrections to the observed temperatures.

To conclude, to believe that these corrections are valid, one must believe that all three towns re-sited their stations at nearly the same times for 100 years, and that when the central town, Fairmont is hot, the other two are cold and vice versa. This strains credibility.


  1. You ever think of going on a speaking tour?

    Imagine after each one of Hansen's events this post were read aloud for the public, be it to congress or state assembly. Hansen wouldn't last a week.

  2. I suspect Dr. Hansen would last just fine. As for reading this post after every event I'm not sure what good that would do. Since there is nothing really "hidden" being revealed here. The corrections to the data have been hashed out in the open literature since the middle 1980's. Further what happens at each individual station can be found out. If you like you can look up the station histories for all these stations here:

    Now it's kind of a pain (because you have to decipher the various codes and data positions, but there's a helpful readme file in that directory) but you can actually go through year by year and see what was done at each station. Here's what I have noted about the stations in question. If we take Glenn's second to last graph with the arrows and see what was going on at these stations this is what it appears to have been happening:

    EARLY 1900's

    1901 York adds a hydrothermograph and a minimum thermometer.

    1904 it appears (although hard to tell) that the Geneva observer changed observation time

    ABOUT 1920
    1919 Geneva appears to have a station move (3 miles ENE of earlier position) and a change in observation time.

    ABOUT 1950
    1949 York appears to have moved it’s station 2miles to the S

    1950 Geneva appears to have changed observation times

    1950 Fairmont also seems to have changed observation times

    ABOUT 1986
    1985 York appears to have added new equipment (probably upgrade to the MMTS system)

    1986 both Geneva and Fairmont appear to added new equipment (again, likely the MMTS system since this about when it was rolled out.

    I'm not saying this explains everything but it at least makes it somewhat less mysterious. And as in my previous discussion of the TOBS "cyclicity" discussions in previous posts I am left thinking there is no abuse of the data.

  3. No Nonymous it doesn't explain everything.

    Papertiger, going on speaking tours trying to convince those with a global warming religion is not likely to be of much use. Like trying to convince young-earth creationists that the earth is really older than 6000 years, the alarmists simply ignore problems and say things like: "I'm not saying this explains everything but it at least makes it somewhat less mysterious."

    Then they go on to believe what they want to believe.

  4. I have to add one more thing to my jab at Nonymous. It isn't people like Nonymous who actually download and look at the data skeptically. Nonymous is a believer and he trusts the pablum he is fed by those he trusts. Just like the Young-earther's who trust whatever their preacher says, not one whit or bit of skepticism. And when faced with the actual data, they put on a great game of mental gymnastics to avoid the obvious--if this is what the data really looks like, it ain't worth a bucket of warm spit! Notice that Nonymous made up his reasons for trusting the 'corrections', at least some of them. He doesn't know that Tobs is the reason for the bias step changes, he merely assumes it is what does it. As I said, he trusts and believes. Isn't there an old hymn entitled "Trust and Obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in warming but to trust and obey"

    That refrain captures the belief system of the alarmists.

  5. Oh well. If anyone is actually interested this data has been available for quite some time. If you want to know what has happened to any of the stations Glenn posts on here you can find the station history metadata here:

    The station.history.Z file should extract with WinZip (it did on my machine).

    The readme.txt file will explain what all the datafields are in the history file, down to the type of instrumentation that was installed and when.

    You can at least check out what you are being told.

    I've also already previously posted a link to the Karl 1986 paper to check out the TOBS correction protocol.

  6. About 1971
    Geneva station monitor had his vision checked and was fitted with glasses from Sears and Robuck.

    About 1977
    Geneva station monitor discovers LensCrafters.

    About 1983
    Geneva LensCrafters fires optometrist - starts contracting out to that nice Wilkens kid from down the street who just graduated optometry school.

    About 1986
    Lenscrafters Corp files chapter 11 bankruptcy.
    Geneva station monitor returns to Sears for his eye care.

    Fun stuff making up these histories.

  7. Papertiger: did you look at the metadata? Can I ask which parts you think I "made up"?

    It may sound funny, but indeed in the station history metadata (the link for which I have provided already) it is possible to even find the name of the observer (Data position 188-233).

    The way I was able to tell which specific pieces of equipment were on site or not was in data position 124-159. This is a string of 1's and 0's which indicate whether the equipment is on-site or not, depending on the location within the string.

    As for Glenn's "station moves" those too are also in the metadata. Specifically data postion 61-63 (distance of move from previous location)data position 65-67 (direction of move)

    I highly recommend digging into this data. It is an interesting insight into how much data is freely available about the various stations throughout their history.