GISS & METAR – dial “M” for missing minus signs: it’s worse than we thought

GISS & METAR – dial “M” for missing minus signs: it’s worse than we thought“. Anthony Watts thinks this ‘alarmist’ post “might also be one of the most important” ever because it explains how people “can wreck a whole month’s worth of climate data.” His commenters, of course, agree and praise his insight.

Surprise, it’s nothing but cherry-picked examples of human error in recording negative temperatures and how such entries are handled by automated aviation weather reports. As noted at The Whiteboard, none of the 12 aviation weather report errors Anthony found made it into data-sets used by climatologists. Much more satisfying to rage about alleged errors that to actually make the effort to prove they’re significant. Standard Operating Procedure at WUWT.

Anthony prefers satellite measurements, presumably because of the automated nature of their collection. But I think his real reason is that the satellite record is still too short to conclusively represent long-term climate patterns. Can’t act on Global Warming until then, can we?

But wait, what is the satellite global temperature trend? The same as the surface stations trend. Both are… up.

Amusingly, it seems that Anthony though better of this incidental defamatory accusation (italics mine):

Around 1990, NOAA began weeding out more than three-quarters of the climate measuring stations around the world. They may have been working under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It can be shown that they systematically and purposefully, country by country, removed higher-latitude, higher-altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler.

The replacement text reads:

Around 1990, NOAA/NCDC’s GHCN dataset lost more than three-quarters of the climate measuring stations around the world. It can be shown that country by country, they lost stations with a bias towards higher-latitude, higher-altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler.

This is a long debunked meme of Anthony’s. Perhaps this new fabricated controversy serves to obscure the fact that he still hasn’t proven his charge against NOAA?

2 thoughts on “GISS & METAR – dial “M” for missing minus signs: it’s worse than we thought

  1. they lost stations with a bias towards higher-latitude, higher-altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler.

    Yet again Watts doesn’t understand (or just realizes his readers are too dumb to understand?) the difference between absolute temps and temp anomalies. The *last* thing you would do if you wanted to bias the temp record warm is get rid of stations in colder regions, because those are the regions that are warming the fastest. I’m sure his readers, ignorant as always, are lapping up his nonsense.

    [That pesky thinking is getting in your way again! – Ben]

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