Jo Nova on HADCRUT

Jo Nova has a must read article on the first ever audit of the HADCRUT temperature records

It’s based on the doctoral thesis of John McLean who found a pile of steaming detritus where the world’s top scientists had been. A month in Romania at -45°C; 3 months in Colombia at 80°C; sea temperature readings hundreds of miles inland: it’s all in the data base, and no-one noticed until a PhD student took a look at the figures. Read it, buy the book for eight Australian dollars, and reflect on the folly of the world’s first outbreak of global scientific mass hysteria.

If dangerous global warming was a court case, the judge would throw it out. If it was a company quoted on the stock exchange, the board would be facing prison sentences. A historian who changed data from a century ago would face ridicule and ostracism. But hey, it’s only science.

We knew already that NOAA’s fiddling with historical data pushed temperature rise for the twentieth century up from about half a degree to one degree. If they hadn’t done that, the dangerous effects of warming already evident which the IPCC will announce today would have been due to only half the rise they are currently attributed to. Which means the danger would have been half as great. At current rates of adjustment, by 2040 the 20th century rise in temperature will be seen to have been 2°C, making the effects of a further one degree rise negligible.

Oh well. Today is the IPCC’s big day. The news is full of pictures of wildfires and polar bears. Let’s not rain on their parade. Enjoy it while it lasts, until we’re overwhelmed by the rising tides of the millions of climate refugees.


  1. Here’s what I don’t get. Suppose you want to measure long term change in something, say average human height. You take the best data you can find from the past, and compare it with the same data for the present, in this case the statistics for young males being called up for army service. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do.
    What you don’t do is divide the surface of the earth up into 100km squares and try and find, or make up, data for the population of each square, adjusting for age and sex. Yet that’s what the world’s top scientists do for surface temperature. And then they dilute the result with completely useless sea surface records, which measure something totally different.

    It’s like: “We haven’t got any data for height for Africa, but we’ve got good waist measurements from historical trouser sales.”

    “Oh good. Shove it in then, making the usual adjustments.”

    The temperature record is spotty, for the very good reason that you only get thermometers where there are people living at a certain level of civilisation, involving science, universities, air travel etc. The idea of an average surface temperature covering all the places where people don’t live is an impossible fantasy. Live with it. Find the best few hundred or thousand long term measurements and list them, and break them down by latitude, height above sea level, and a half a dozen other things. But don’t make up a totally meaningless global average.

    People don’t live in places where the weather is too extreme. We like it not too warm, not too cold, not too wet or windy. By extending measurements (or, mostly, by infilling with fantasy data) to the places we don’t want to be, you automatically produce the illusion of increasing extremes. And that’s even before you start finding frozen Caribbean islands and boiling South American cities.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Temperature is not even an extensive property.

    Would you accept ‘correction’ of temperatures in London using
    those measured in Dublin and Edinburgh? It is claimed that
    there is a regional correlation between temperatures upto 1200km
    – which is, I believe, what they use in Kriging temperature field.

    I accept the radiative GHE theory. I accept a certain amount of
    ‘data processing’. What I don’t accept is lack of acknowledgment
    that there is any uncertainty, that this uncertainty can be reduced
    by statistical methods and we can apply these methods to past
    data without any means of validation.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amazing. Thanks for finding this gem.
    Just like other apocalyptic claptrap cults, the evidence is merely stage props to support the scary story narrative. And the claim that the story tellers deserve more power and money.
    Think on this:
    How is it that so many other temperature graphs largely track HADCRUT?


  4. Enjoy it while it lasts, until we’re overwhelmed by the rising tides of the millions of climate refugees

    …Assuming they’re not unlucky enough to starve, drown, die of heatstroke or thirst, get sucked into a tornado or struck by some other horrible climate nasties – or end it all after reading they’ve got little chance of survival. That’s the IPCC version anyway.


  5. Oldbrew Enjoy it while it lasts, til we’re overwhelmed by the rising tides of the millions of climate advocates. The epicentre was Seoul.


  6. Sceptics should not get too excited about this audit IMHO.

    Obviously incorrect temperature values are likely few and far between, and much less common than missing values, and not obviously incorrect ones. My own method of regional temperature reconstruction is largely untroubled by outliers and missing values, because it uses median-based averaging across stations. The Berkeley BEST method is probably similarly resilient.

    The point about time-varying non-climatic influences is important if too much emphasis is placed on single stations, as happens for example in the Australian ACORN-SAT. If regional averages are used instead then such issues are suppressed simply by the averaging process, and further accuracy can be obtained easily by ignoring periods of data where non-climatic influences changed with time.

    I’ve only looked at around 5 regions of the world, but after finding the same general pattern of warming in all of them have accepted that “global” warming of around 1.0C in the 20th century is a reality, as is non-warming in the 21st … so far.


  7. CLIMANRECON (08 Oct 18 at 5:49 pm)
    I’ll take your claims for your methodology on trust. The question is not whether the global average temperature trend is altered by the errors discovered by Dr McLean, but what kind of organisation, what kind of scientists, can make those kinds of mistakes? This is a question for the philosophy or the sociology of science, rather than for the science itself.

    Of course, errors in a few dozen months in a half dozen places are not going to influence the overall figures much. Far more serious is Dr McLean’s criticism of the rationale for adjusting temperatures when a thermometer is moved to eliminate Urban Heat Island effects. Past temperatures are apparently lowered right back to the beginning of the record, as if the UHI effect had always been present, although the very reason for moving the thermometer was to counter recent effects (e.g. buildings, runways etc.) This is a logical error which, if made in a scientific paper, would result in it being refused, or retracted. But when it’s in a document which provides the basis for the trillion dollar policies of 195 countries, it’s simply ignored.

    Are the people doing this stupid or corrupt charlatans? There is no other possible explanation.


  8. Geoff, the problem of gradual urban encroachment is quite well known, Hansen described it in a paper in 2001, see here for a discussion in the context of ACORN-SAT:

    The problem is known, but solutions less so, for example ACORN-SAT (version 1) admits that the problem is ignored because, according to them, its too difficult to do otherwise. Maybe the delay in producing their version 2 is due to an improvement in this area.

    I thought I had a good example of the problem at Deniliquin in Australia, when the thermometer was moved away from a Post Office yard in 1970, but data and documentary evidence suggests that the “urban heating” came mainly from a wall, a wall that was indeed present all the way back to 1910.

    Climate science does seem prone to drawing conclusions first, followed by selecting evidence for those conclusions, but the treatment of instrumental data is maybe not the best area to attack, because while some of the statistical methods used are weak the outcome is probably not compromised very much.


  9. I’m not sure if it matters if the method is ‘sound’. The general
    point is if temperature field models constructed from point
    sources have any physical meaning whatsoever. Post hoc
    adjustments have to be validated – Is there evidence that this
    is done? For instance, it would seem sensible to use weather
    pattern data (e.g fronts) when trying to relate independent stations
    to one another – is this ever done?


  10. To add to the previous comment, temperature itself is not
    even that useful a measurement – even if we could measure
    it perfectly. It needs to be considered in the context of enthalpy
    to be remotely useful.

    OHC in my opinion is a far more useful estimator of planetary
    energy flux. Even then it’s difficult to relate that to
    climate as it’s most strongly influenced by tropical cloud cover,
    not CO2. It’s not just the science that sceptics have issues with,
    it’s the fact that everyone is so damn sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Is this what winning looks like…… ?

    Misleading dishonest pictures of starving polar bears don’t work….. And are counterproductive (and other misleading alarmist images)

    So Say.. Lewandowsky/Whitmarsh. !!

    (Suspect a bit of AJ corner influence as well.)

    Well.we ‘sceptics’ told you so years ago…
    ….But never mind.

    (Could someone point this article to wards Susan Crockford- vindication)


  12. Dr. Pielke, Sr. was run off for pointing out that OHC was the better metric of climate.
    Mostly because OHC has not cooperated with the apocalyptic claptrap of the consensus.
    But many fanatics seem to believe that OHC is important, since heat hiding away in the deep oceans has been used to explain away the pause, when they are not busy adjusting it or pretending it isn’t real.


  13. “The problem is known, but solutions less so, for example ACORN-SAT (version 1) admits that the problem is ignored because, according to them, its too difficult to do otherwise. ”

    Very interesting. Sawtooth effect took my attention couple of years back. There are probably other factors than new buildings and concrete walls. My pet peeve is vegetation. Grows slowly, cuts quick.

    Increases with increasing CO2.


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