Independent scientists to referee global temperature adjustments

terence kealey

Professor Terence Kealey.

Source: Inquiry Launched Into Global Temperature Data Integrity

London: 26 April 2015. The London-based think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation is today launching a major inquiry into the integrity of the official global surface temperature records.

An international team of eminent climatologists, physicists and statisticians has been assembled under the chairmanship of Professor Terence Kealey, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

Further details of the inquiry, its remit and the team involved can be seen on its website at

The NZ Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) intends to submit to the inquiry material about the New Zealand temperature record produced by NIWA, its adjustments and a review of the NZTR by Coalition scientists.

I hope we emphasise that NIWA has always refused any genuinely independent review of the NZTR. The only ‘peer review’ NIWA has published was no more than an in-house review by their mates at the Australian BOM which disturbed not a single item of data or methodology. In other words, it was furtive, shallow and firmly non-invasive—think x-ray examination by a blind radiologist.

We cannot ignore NIWA’s extraordinary assertion to the High Court review that NIWA has “no obligation to pursue excellence,” nor their insistence that there is no such thing as the official New Zealand temperature record.

Aside from that, we wish this blessed inquiry well.

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This new initiative looks positive!

Richard C (NZ)

Christopher Booker’s article on this inquiry in the Telegraph features the GISS adjustments to Puerto Casado, Uruguay: ‘Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures’ Puerto Casado is one of 3 stations GISS smeared all over central South America to get the anomaly that contributed most to their 2014 “warmest ever” year. Except when you look at the the GISS adjustments to Puerto Casado vs the BEST adjustments to the same station it becomes abundantly clear that the adjustments are shonky, to say the least. Paul Homewood at notalotofpeopleknowthat was the first to alert everyone to GISS Uruguay Paraguay, looks like Booker was following the trail. In the Temperature Records Open Thread in this blog (CCG) this situation is recorded and there is a cross link to the post ‘Scandel heating up’ where there is more detail: Covers GISS and BEST adjustments at Puerto Casado, Paraguay and Gisborne Aero, New Zealand along with links to the Climate Etc discussion of same (extensive, 1000+ comment thread) and a bunch of other stuff. The results from the respective adjustment methodologies are not consistent and produce some massive step changes but not from… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

>”looks like Booker was following the trail”

Actually, now that I remember better, Booker has been all over it. Booker:

“Back in January and February, two items in this column attracted more than 42,000 comments to the Telegraph website from all over the world. The provocative headings given to them were “Climategate the sequel: how we are still being tricked by flawed data on global warming” and “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest scientific scandal”. ”



Richard C (NZ)

Frankly, got my doubts that the inquiry team has the in-depth knowledge of the respective homogenization and adjustment methodologies of each group (GISS, BEST, BOM, etc) to identify shonky adjustments, let alone the the arbitrary adjustment application issues of particular groups e.g. GISS.

I just hope they don’t blow it. We’ve already had a local and “unnecessarily prolix” court case failure. A global inquiry that doesn’t get to the critical issues would be an immense and embarrassing failure on behalf of all those who have been digging into the nitty gritty and have the understanding. Not to mention the setback such a failure would be – imagine the mileage all the warmies would make of it.

Richard C (NZ)

From link:

Terms of reference

The panel is asked to examine the preparation of data for the main surface temperature records: HadCRUT, GISS, NOAA and BEST. For this reason the satellite records are beyond the scope of this inquiry.

The following questions will be addressed.

1. Are there aspects of surface temperature measurement procedures that potentially impair data quality or introduce bias and need to be critically re-examined?

2. How widespread is the practice of adjusting original temperature records? What fraction of modern temperature data, as presented by HadCRUT/GISS/NOAA/BEST, are actual original measurements, and what fraction are subject to adjustments?

3. Are warming and cooling adjustments equally prevalent?

4. Are there any regions of the world where modifications appear to account for most or all of the apparent warming of recent decades?

5. Are the adjustment procedures clearly documented, objective, reproducible and scientifically defensible? How much statistical uncertainty is introduced with each step in homogeneity adjustments and smoothing?

# # #

Of these I think 5. is (most) critical. Also problematic in terms of procedure and results comparisons e.g. GISS vs BEST.

Richard C (NZ)

>”Sounds like there could be a bit of collating and writing in your future…”

Not until after kiwifruit post harvest unfortunately. I’m working 10.5 hr nightshifts which doesn’t leave much time for anything else, doesn’t leave a clear head either.

Richard C (NZ)

Just recalling what’s already been raked over RT, nothing new. Writing it up in a coherent report scares me witless, there’s so many rabbit holes to go down but what’s really worth communicating?

Example follows of the difficulty of communicating the issues and another of BEST’s avoidance of same.

Richard C (NZ)

The following was studiously avoided by Zeke Hausfather (BEST, along with Mosher) at Climate Etc: Zeke, this would apply directly to BEST would it not? ‘Circularity of homogenization methods’ by David R.B. Stockwell PhD, October 15, 2012 The proposition is that commonly used homogenization techniques are circular — a logical fallacy in which “the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with.” Results derived from a circularity are essentially just restatements of the assumptions. Because the assumption is not tested, the conclusion (in this case the global temperature record) is not supported. I present a number of arguments to support this view. First, a little proof. If S is the target temperature series, and R is the regional climatology, then most algorithms that detect abrupt shifts in the mean level of temperature readings, also known as inhomogeneities, come down to testing for changes in the difference between R and S, i.e. D=S-R. The homogenization of S, or H(S), is the adjustment of S by the magnitude of the change in the difference series D. When this homogenization process is written out as an equation, it is clear that… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Example of the difficulty of communicating the critical issues with respect to Puerto Casado via the ‘Scandel heating up’ link upthread to Climate Etc: Me replying to Brandon Schollenberger: Brandon >”. BEST can find a breakpoint by examining a 10 year period even if that 10 year period is within a 40+ year period it doesn’t find a breakpoint in. BEST didn’t just compare 1951 on when looking for that breakpoint. It compared 1951 on, 1952 on, 1953 on, etc.” Firstly, be careful not to conflate break detection with subsequent adjustment accept/reject criteria. Secondly. 1971 is NOT an “Empirical break”, it is a “Station Move”: A station move is usually determined from the station history. I don’t know how BEST identifies station moves such as this but I don’t think it is from the station history i.e. their primary detection is by automated break-point analysis. Why and how a break detected in this way can be attributed to a station move without recourse to the station history is a mystery to me. But I’d like to be enlightened. Thirdly, The length of the period prior to the breakpoint is VERY relevant to… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

>”follow link to initial comment above” The “initial comment” (linked above) addressed to Zeke Hausfather was this (which was also sidestepped by Zeke): richardcfromnz | February 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Zeke [A] >”Technically the series is cut at breakpoints and every segment is treated as an individual station for the purposes of constructing the underlying temperature field. However, the general point is that it is the mean temperature of the segment, rather than its start or endpoints, that is relevant when combining it with other stations to estimate the temperature field.” [B] >”We also produce “adjusted” records for each station, though these are not actually used for the Berkeley temperature product and are solely for those interested in data from that specific station. These records are combined by aligning the mean values of each subsegment of the station record, as shown in the example above.” OK, case study. 1971 break PUERTO CASADO, Paraguay: Segments 1951-1971 (1) and 1971-2006 (2): I assume that segment (1) in [A] is an “adjusted” series, but an inference can be drawn from [B] that it is NOT adjusted, simply separated from (2). Can you… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Nice 12 month smoothing (running average) applied to GISS graph at Gareth Renowden’s Hot Topic: From Looks like REALLY scary warming in 2015 (although not so much in model terms). Rob Painting swallowed it hook line and sinker: Rob Painting April 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm “Of course a reversal could happen well before then.” It likely already has – hence the uptick in global surface temperature at the end of the above graph. The changes in ocean circulation bear all the hallmarks of the positive (warm) phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). We’ll find out for sure soon enough. Yes we will find out Rob but I think you’ll have to wait a while. Here’s the 12 months of GISS data for 2009/10 and 2014/15: 2009.33 0.59 2009.42 0.62 2009.5 0.66 2009.58 0.61 2009.67 0.64 2009.75 0.58 <<<<< Min = 2009.83 0.71 2009.92 0.58 <<<<< Min = 2010 0.65 2010.08 0.74 2010.17 0.87 <<<<< Max 1 2010.25 0.82 <<<<< Max 2 […] 2014.25 0.72 2014.33 0.78 <<<<< Max 2= (2014.33 contributes to the 12 month running mean plotted 2015.17) 2014.42 0.61 2014.5 0.5 <<<<< Min 2014.58 0.73 2014.67… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Dang, graph link should be:

>”Now adding RSS and 12 mean samples (centered 12 month smoothing) the GISS graph isn’t dramatic anymore (the 2010 El Nino barely a hump and no 2015 “uptick”):”

Richard C (NZ)

[Rob Painting] >”The changes in ocean circulation bear all the hallmarks of the positive (warm) phase of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO)”

ALL the hallmarks?

HadSST3 NH vs HadSST3 SH:

Appears to be a hallmark missing from the Southern Hemisphere (60% of total sea surface area). And the NH hallmark isn’t what it was either.

Richard C (NZ)

>”2015.17 0.84 <<<<< Max 1"

If you switch the GISS "Smoothing Radius" from 1200 km down to 250 km the anomaly drops from 0.84 down to 0.82.

There is no option for 0 km Smoothing Radius. One wonders what the anomaly would drop to if there was.

Richard C (NZ)
Richard C (NZ)

‘Unadjusted data of [USA] long period stations in GISS show a virtually flat century scale trend’
[1900 – 2000]

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