Tweet from Gavin Schmidt on 4 February 2017: 'Hilarious screw up by @DavidRoseUK and #FailOnSunday 1st picture is 'evidence' of misconduct, 2nd shows diff when baselines are correct.' Graphic: Gavin Schmidt

By Zeke Hausfather
5 February 2017 (Carbon Brief) – In an article in today’s Mail on Sunday, David Rose makes the extraordinary claim that “world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data”, accusing the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of manipulating the data to show more warming in a 2015 study by Tom Karl and coauthors.

What he fails to mention is that the new NOAA results have been validated by independent data from satellites, buoys and Argo floats and that many other independent groups, including Berkeley Earth and the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre, get effectively the same results.

NOAA’s results are independently verified

The new NOAA record published in Karl, et al., primarily updated their ocean temperature record. While they also released a revised land record based on data from the International Surface Temperature Initiative (and the related Global Historical Climatology Network version 4 beta product – GHCNv4), the land record was largely similar to their prior record and was responsible for relatively little of the increase in warming they showed.

I recently led a team of researchers that evaluated NOAA’s updates to their ocean temperature record. In a paper published last month in the journal Science Advances, we compared the old NOAA record and the new NOAA record to independent instrumentally homogenous records created from buoys, satellite radiometers, and Argo floats. Our results, as you can see in the chart below, show that the new NOAA record agrees quite well with all of these, while the old NOAA record shows much less warming.

This was due to two factors: the old NOAA record spliced together warmer ship data with colder buoy data without accounting for the offset between the two; and the new NOAA record puts more weight on higher-quality buoy records and less weight on ship records (versus the old NOAA record which treated ships and buoys equally). You can read more about the study in Carbon Brief’s article.

Global sea surface temperatures from the old NOAA record (ERSSTv3b), the new NOAA record (ERSSTv4), and instrumentally homogenous records from buoys and satellites. See Hausfather et al 2017 for details, as well as comparisons with shorter Argo-based records. Graphic: Hausfather, et al., 2017 / Science Advances

The fact that the new NOAA record is effectively identical with records constructed only from higher quality instruments (buoys, satellite radiometers, and Argo floats) strongly suggests that NOAA got it right and that we have been underestimating ocean warming in recent years.

John Kennedy, a researcher at the UK’s Met Office in charge of their ocean temperature product, agrees that NOAA’s new record is probably the most accurate in the last two decades, remarking: “At a global scale, those adjustments really do seem to work and the ERSSTv4 adjustments [NOAA’s new record] work best of all.”

Rose’s claim that NOAA’s results “can never be verified” is patently incorrect, as we just published a paper independently verifying the most important part of NOAA’s results. [more]

Factcheck: Mail on Sunday’s ‘astonishing evidence’ about global temperature rise


5 February 2017 (The Great White Con) – Shock News! The David and Judy Show took to the road once again last night, aided and abetted by all the usual suspects. We’ll skip the Breitbarts, Hellers, and Watts of this world and head straight for the now ex Prof. Judith Curry‘s “Climate Etc.” blog. There we will discover “Climate scientists versus climate data“, a guest post by ex NOAA scientist John Bates. According to John:

he most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). The study drew criticism from other climate scientists, who disagreed with K15’s conclusion about the ‘hiatus.’ (Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown). The paper also drew the attention of the Chairman of the House Science Committee, Representative Lamar Smith, who questioned the timing of the report, which was issued just prior to the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan submission to the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

Regular readers of our humble scribblings will be well aware that here in Great White Con Ivory Towers we are firmly of the opinion that there never was a ‘hiatus’. Exhibit 1:

Global warming trend showing absence of a 'pause' from 1998 to 2016. Graphic: WoodForTrees.org / The Great White Con

What’s all the fuss about then? Perhaps our old friend David Rose can explain in layperson’s terms? In his latest article for the Mail on Sunday, catchily entitled “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data”, he assures us that amongst many other things:

The [K15] report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

Now “never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process” isn’t quite the same thing as “manipulated global warming data”, but Mr. Rose has more! [more]

Climategate 2 Falls at the First Hurdle?

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