NOAA/GHCN, the "Global Historical Climate Network", are crooks too

Willis Eschenbach (sounds like a pen-name of someone with a job to lose) has been looking in great detail at the work of one of the alternatives to the CRU. We know that CRU are crooks but what about the alternative sources of climate history? There are only two major alternatives and one of those is NASA/GISS run by Jim Hansen. So you have got the fox minding the henhouse there. That leaves only GHCN. So do they "adjust" their data in the same way that CRU do? Eschenbach uses the data from the Darwin area in Australia as a case in point. He presents the raw data -- which shows FALLINg temperatures -- and then the GHCN adjusted data -- which show RISING temperatures. And the adjustments done to achieve that are just plain weird. An excerpt from Eschenbach below followed by some comments on the risible "reply" to Eschenbach by Tim Lambert:

Then I went to look at what happens when the GHCN removes the “in-homogeneities” to “adjust” the data. Of the five raw datasets, the GHCN discards two, likely because they are short and duplicate existing longer records. The three remaining records are first “homogenized” and then averaged to give the “GHCN Adjusted” temperature record for Darwin.

To my great surprise, here’s what I found. To explain the full effect, I am showing this with both datasets starting at the same point (rather than ending at the same point as they are often shown).

YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celsius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celsius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C....

Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. What made up that strange average shown in Fig. 7? I started at zero with the earliest record. Here is Station Zero at Darwin, showing the raw and the homogenized versions.

Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero......

What this does show is that there is at least one temperature station where the trend has been artificially increased to give a false warming where the raw data shows cooling. In addition, the average raw data for Northern Australia is quite different from the adjusted, so there must be a number of … mmm … let me say “interesting” adjustments in Northern Australia other than just Darwin.

And with the Latin saying “Falsus in unum, falsus in omis” (false in one, false in all) as our guide, until all of the station “adjustments” are examined, adjustments of CRU, GHCN, and GISS alike, we can’t trust anyone using homogenized numbers.


Tim Lambert teaches computer science at the university of NSW (my old stamping ground) so he has a good brain. But, like most academics, he is a very conventional thinker much given to defence of Leftist pieties. He certainly displays the anger that is characteristic of the Left. He is as unhappy with the world he lives in as I am happy with it.

And his latest exudation, dependant on just one of Eschenbach's eight graphs, is in the usual Leftist style: Abuse, accusation, appeals to authority and ignoring the full facts. Most risibly, he accuses Eschenbach of "cooking" the books, even though he admits the fact that Eschenbach argues against making ANY adjustments to the raw data at all! That's "cooking" with the stove off! He justifies his assertion by noting something that Eschenbach dealt with at great length: The discontinuity of the various records. He fails to acknowledge Eschenbach's main point that none of the records show an upward trend -- with the records before 1941 tending clearly downwards and the post-1941 records pretty flat. He also accuses Eschenbach of not taking into account the apparent step-change around 1941 when Eschenbach in fact dealt with it at great length and looked at the effect and rationale of making allowances for it.

Lambert then goes on to to parrot the BOM line, perhaps hoping that people will be unaware that the BOM under their present leadership are committed Warmists. And to be a Warmist you have to ignore an awful lot -- the "local" medieval Warm period for starters -- a period so "local" that records of it can be found in such widely separated places as Greenland, Argentina and New Zealand. Only a Warmist would call that "local". But the Warmists are desperate, of course. They first tried to pretend that the MWP did not exist but when that didn't work, they just exchanged one form of dishonesty for another.

So Lambert's parroting of the BOM line is merely amusing. It is similar to a pair of thieves giving one-another an alibi. The BOM "results" are very similar to the "results" published by GHCN so are just as susceptible to Eschenbach's criticisms as are the the bizarre GHCN "results". Lambert makes no detailed effort to rebut those criticisms. He simply rejects them "a priori".

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

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