December 22, 2009

Cooking Kirensk

Earlier today Steve McIntyre posted a paper drawing attention to a discrepancy in the CRU's treatment of Siberian temperature series may have a tendency to overstate the warming trend.

It turns out this was one of those papers that Phil Jones went to town on to keep critical papers out of the published literature. In that paper it mentioned the rural station of Kirensk as one that should be looked at because it has a long record and isn't subject to urban heat island effects. This is interesting because this station is one that the CRU released as part of their subset of recently released data and it is available in the GHCN records.

So I downloaded the data for both and compared them:

As you can see the GHCN and CRU versions agree fairly closely from about 1950 but CRU has a noticeable warming trend because it is significantly colder in the past. How they justify this sort of adjustment is interesting but unknown since they don't release their methods. I assume this is some sort of homogeneity adjustment that aligns the trend of this station with neighbours (which may be increasing due to urban effects).

Also note that GHCN also has an "adjusted" series for this station, but those adjustments are minor - usually less than 1/10 of a degree.

That graph provides no less than three temperature series for one station, but it doesn't tell us which one (if any) are actually right. There is actually one more series for that station, and that is the GHCN Daily measurements. The other series are already monthly averages, and have been processed somewhat. The daily observations, on the other hand, are supposedly completely raw, recording exactly what Ivan wrote down on his form as he trudged out into the Siberian winter to read the thermometer.

Unfortunately, that data is missing the records for the early part of the century, but plotting it is interesting nonetheless:

The station reliably reported from about 1935 to about 1999, after which it has a large number of missing values, which would explain the larger variance from the year 2000 on. Presumably CRU and GHCN estimate the missing days from neighbouring stations and calculate the monthly values from a mix of real observations and estimates.

But both CRU and GHCN show smaller variances from 1935 to 1999, too, even though there are essentially no missing values to estimate. So it appears that even the GHCN "raw" data isn't really raw, but has been subjected to a degree of homogenization.

So what is the "real" temperature trend of Kirensk and, by extension, southern Siberia? It looks like it can be whatever you want it to be.

Posted by Jaeger at December 22, 2009 9:59 AM

New Food Network show:

Cook-a-long with the CRU.

First episode: "Cooking up raw data for fun and profit".

Posted by: Jim at December 22, 2009 8:35 AM

Just goes to show that when a "scientist" refuses to cough up the raw data, one must assume they're not really scientists any more. How awesome is it we can check their work now, eh?

BTW Jaeger, how long did that piece of sleuthery take? Not more than a couple days right?

Pre-1980 that would have been several weeks of non-trivial work, with large and expensive tapes being sent by mail etc. Pre-1970 you probably couldn't have done it without access to a multi-million dollar university mainframe and a crew of grad students.

Then you'd have to deal with getting it published, which would probably crash the whole effort. That's what Jones et al have been doing to keep themselves afloat, after all. Now I get to read it hot off the CPU, as it were.

Truly we live in marvelous times. This is the Golden Age, and don't any of us cranky bastiges ever forget it. (I include myself, its so easy to get mired in the skulduggery I miss the beautiful sunshine sometimes.)

Posted by: The Phantom at December 22, 2009 9:23 AM

It doesn't matter how much data we put in the face of the warmists. They are stonewalling.

This is not about global warming. It is about the agenda of the likes of Bob Rae's uncle Maurice Strong. Deindustrialization of the west. Population control. And railroad engineers getting filthy rich.

Posted by: shaken at December 22, 2009 9:26 AM

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess" ----Ronald Coase.

Posted by: RFC at December 22, 2009 9:55 AM

This is their method everywhere. To mitigate UHI effects, you cool the past in the non-UHI affected stations.....cooling the latter day temps in UHI affected stations wouldn't exactly support their purpose, now would it...?

Posted by: jcl at December 22, 2009 9:59 AM

So much truth in one paragraph shaken. Beyond me how the bought and paid for Canadian media can't see who is behind the curtian. Thankfully a few like Lorrie Goldstein and Tim Ball try to wake the electorate up to the cabal from power corp. Follow the paths of previous prime ministers is all a so called investigative urnalist would have to do for a story/ to stupid or lazy all of them to connect the dots.

Posted by: bartinsky at December 22, 2009 10:00 AM
"HAMPTON, Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New measurements from a NASA satellite show a dramatic cooling in the upper atmosphere that correlates with the declining phase of the current solar cycle. For the first time, researchers can show a timely link between the Sun and the climate of Earth's thermosphere, the region above 100 km, an essential step in making accurate predictions of climate change in the high atmosphere. Scientists from NASA's Langley Research Center and Hampton University in Hampton, Va., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., will present these results at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco from Dec. 14 to 18.
Posted by: shaken at December 22, 2009 10:10 AM

When they compare raw data with CRU's data there always seems to be a massive difference. It makes me wonder just how much the world has been cooling? The only source of weather that seems to be worthy of the label, scientific. That source is Piers Corbyn and his Weatheraction company. No state funded weather group even comes close to his record. His companies predictions are running 85% accurate and they come out about one month ahead. He gives windows for extream weather events of only 3 to 4 days.

Posted by: kent at December 22, 2009 10:25 AM

make that extreme

Posted by: kent at December 22, 2009 10:26 AM

Bill O'Reilly (FOX) called Mann, Jones AGW Saga "The Key Stone Cops" of Science.

They are not Scientists of this world, or are they folks with a degree of integrity.

I have always considered the U of PA to have an excellent engineering reputation... not any more…….The U of PA whores is more like it

Posted by: Phillip G. Shaw at December 22, 2009 10:27 AM

The problem as I see it is that the people in public who debate such things in the media are not in the least interested to hear about "facts" as facts are hard to put into a logical order and require you to think.

Every time our side comes up with one of those pesky "facts" the other side simply pretends not to hear and repeats the same protest-sign logo ad nauseum.

Posted by: Jason at December 22, 2009 10:33 AM

And now for some green on green action:

Posted by: Greg at December 22, 2009 10:48 AM

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess" ----Ronald Coase.


Posted by: bob at December 22, 2009 10:49 AM

Makes ya wonder why all the CRU data adjustments/Data Torture/Homogenization activities always makes the new temperature higher than the raw data?

Posted by: Fred at December 22, 2009 11:17 AM

Julia Child would be proud.

Posted by: curious_george at December 22, 2009 11:20 AM

Greg, the obvious solution is the Khmer Rouge solution. Tell everyone in LA to pack one bag and give them six hours to leave the city. That way, there would be no need to violate the pristine desert environment with solar panels and windmills.

Posted by: albertaclipper at December 22, 2009 11:21 AM

Why do students have to show their work ?

So the Teacher knows if they arrived at the correct answer without cheating.

Pathetically, the CRU thugs do not show their work and got the wrong answer also. Ya think that is a fail ?

Posted by: ron in kelowna ∴ at December 22, 2009 11:44 AM

Steve McIntyre, a Canadian, is the one who will take down Maurice Strong, another so-called Canadian.

The mild mannered scientist taking down the most dangerous man in the world . (Despite the MSM covering for Mo)

Posted by: ron in kelowna ∴ at December 22, 2009 11:50 AM

A related positive note:
Carbon prices plunged yesterday in the aftermath of the Copenhagen conference on climate change, dealing a blow to the credibility of the European Union's carbon-trading scheme.

Posted by: Skyhook8 at December 22, 2009 12:02 PM

"Ya think that is a fail ?"

Only if they didn't feel good about themselves.

Posted by: Kathryn at December 22, 2009 12:43 PM

Don't know if I am reading this right, but it does not look like I would want to be in the carbon market right about now.

Chicago Climate Exchange

(can I sell my shorts here?)

Posted by: foobert at December 22, 2009 12:59 PM


Re: will note it was over $7.00 per tonne in May 08. Maybe people are starting to wake up and realize it is just a scam! This is the exchange people like Gore, Strong, Obama, etc are involved in.

On Vancouver Island where i live our district HAS to purchase carbon credits from the Campbell Govt at $25.00 per tonne, legislated by law! The money collected will then be dispersed to Campbell`s friends after he takes a cut. This plan really helps as it was just announced that BC`s co2 emmisions INCREASED over the past year!

I will say one thing, Campbell`s wealth transfer system does work!

Posted by: Al W at December 22, 2009 1:22 PM

All regulies lead to Rome; and, the moonbat can't even spell harbour correctly.

>>> "Eric Reguly recently returned to Rome after two weeks in Copenhagen providing daily coverage of the climate-change conference"

This is satire. Reguly is mockeling and lidicuring UNabomber AGWMo Strong. Tsktsk


"Climate-change action needs a Pearl Harbor moment"

"Copenhagen's dud status shows that perverse disaster psychology is alive and well – no disaster meant no action. That's unlikely to change until the climate change story has its Pearl Harbor moment, an event so catastrophic, so violent, that it instantly mobilizes entire countries. By then, of course, it may be too late."

Posted by: maz2 at December 22, 2009 2:40 PM

> Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL)
> from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia

That sounds soooo.... Wikipedian! LOL

Posted by: Aaron at December 22, 2009 2:48 PM

Thanks for the hard work displayed here. Without folks like you I would be lost. Economics, charts & graphs. Makes my eye's go to sleep. My brain power down.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at December 22, 2009 6:47 PM

Phantom - I had spent a few days familiarizing myself with the various data formats from GHCN and CRU while looking into something else regarding Canadian stations.

It took a couple of days to locate all the data and to write the R programs that analyzed it. I had most of that ready when Steve posted the Kamel paper, at which point it was pretty easy to process Siberian stations rather than Canadian ones.

The biggest part is the global daily observations file - a 1.6GB download (compressed). Passing that around with 1980s technology would be daunting indeed, but is easily processed with a home computer these days.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger at December 22, 2009 10:19 PM