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« Post-truth media | Main | Official skeptics imploding »

NASA rewrites the past

Lord Deben just asked me on Twitter why he should trust me and not official versions of "the science". I gave him a raft of reasons, but then came across this posting on Unthreaded from Brent Hargreaves:

GISS record of temperature at Teigarhorn, Iceland:

Feb 1901: 0.0C - reported Nov 2011
Feb 1901: -0.9C - reported Mar 2012
Feb 1901: -1.2C - reported Aug 2013

Brent has a full post about what he has found here, but for me his findings seem like a pretty good reason to distrust the official tale.

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Reader Comments (76)

As you replied to that question in the Select Committee hearing the other day, Bishop, you said you trust no-one really- everything needs to be verified. What a brilliant encapsulation of what science is all about, and a nullius in verba reminder to pompous condescending appellants-to-authority everywhere.

Aug 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I left the following comment on Unthreaded.

>  Your find looks to be important. I hope that you will take this further,
>  e.g. try to get copies of original records (perhaps from the
Icelandic Met Office). Also, you can get older versions of some GISS
>  data sets from the Internet Archive. Additionally, asking NASA for
>  an explanation would be good too.

I see that Brent Hargreaves has left a reply.


Lord Deben just asked me on Twitter why he should trust me and not official versions of "the science".

Perhaps note that in the most-recent IPCC Assessment Report, in the chapter on surface temperatures, the primary conclusion was this: “Global mean surface temperatures have risen by 0.74°C ± 0.18°C when estimated by a linear trend over the last 100 years (1906–2005)”. And, when his colleague in the House of Lords, Lord Donoughue, tabled a Parliamentary Question about the conclusion, the Met Office affirmed that the conclusion was true. Yet when Lord Donoughue tabled Questions asking about the statistical justification for all this, the Questions were refused—five times. Finally, Lord Donoughue forced an Answer, and the Met Office then effectively admitted that the IPCC conclusion was untenable.

Aug 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas J. Keenan

The astonishing thing is that GISS changed the January temperature from positive to negative! One could reasonably think that an Edwardian meteorologist living in ICEland might have been able to discern freezing water from melting ice...? The phase change pretty much acts as THE calibration point for thermometers I would say ha ha ha! ;-D

Aug 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterLearDog

More pertinent perhaps is why should Deben trust you when a large proportion of his income derives from a narrative much different than what you espouse?

Aug 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Just read that article, and added his blog to my read list. Good to see multiple lines of inquiry on this matter.

Aug 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter

"Lord Deben just asked me on Twitter why he should trust me and not official versions of "the science".

Because he's an ignorant ****** who doesn't know better?

But what is the "official" version? The NASA version, or the one emanating from the Icelandic recorders?
I would welcome a detailed update on similar matters (I have previously read mutterings about such places as Christmas Island that have about one remote thermometer representing a vast grid area.)

Aug 11, 2013 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Aug 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

These changes aren't alas that uncommon, and apply not only to the GISS data which is increasingly just taken from large communities. It is also not restricted to GISS. I compared the TOBS temperatures with the homogenized reported USHCN temperatures for the weather stations in each contiguous state of the Union on Bit Tooth Energy (you need to scroll down the right-hand side to see the state list) and the GISS data was almost always higher and steeper rising, while the USHCN historic data was adjusted downwards. They have always been fairly open about making the changes, and few have challenged them.

Aug 11, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterHeading Out

As John Silver's link shows, Steve Goddard's visited this on a regular basis.
GISS has routinely cooled the past, after all, there's only so much hiking to modern temps that can be done!
GISS has also prevented the Wayback Machine from revealing this tampering.

Aug 11, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

And don't miss this sectiopn:


For the past 30 years, NASA climate scientists under the leadership of Dr. Hansen have demonstrated nearly complete incompetence in forecasting, and they have tampered with data to try to hide their mispredictions."

Aug 11, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver


has a section - "Temporal stability of global air temperature estimates" under " Global temperatures"

The whole section is well worth a read as an example the following shows "Giss adjustments from May 2008 to July 2013 of August temperature 1935 and 2006:-

......" Based on the above it is not possible to conclude which of the above five databases represents the best estimate on global temperature variations. The answer to this question remains elusive. All five databases are the result of much painstaking work, and they all represent admirable attempts towards establishing an estimate of recent global temperature changes. At the same time it should however be noted, that a temperature record which keeps on changing the past hardly can qualify as being correct. With this in mind, it is interesting that none of the global temperature records shown above are characterised by high temporal stability....."

Aug 11, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

There is a long history of modification of historical temperature records which for some strange reason always seem to to result in reductions of the temperature recorded in the distant past and increases in that recorded in the recent past. There is an excellent section on Temperature Record Maturity on the Climate4U website - below is an extract of the main observations to be fund there ( with ample supporting data and analysis)>

Especially for surface air temperature estimates, a certain degree of change over time affecting especially the last few months is to be expected, as additional station data may be reported and incorporated in the database. But for the older part of the temperature record numerical stability over time would be expected. In this context, maturity would imply that, for example, the November 1985 temperature reported by a certain database in February 2009 would be identical to the November 1985 value reported previously by the same database.

It is interesting to note that the overall net adjustment shown by the HadCRUT surface temperature record since February 2008 (see figure <> ) is that of more or less equal warming for the entire record since 1850. This is in contrast to the net adjustment of the two other surface records, NCDC <> and GISS <> , which both display a net cooling adjustment before 1950-60, and a net warming adjustment for the more recent part of the record, resulting in an overall increasing temperature increase since 1880.  

Maturity diagrams showing net change since 17 May 2008 in the global monthly surface air temperature record are prepared by the National Climatic Data Center <> (NCDC), USA. The net result of the adjustments made are becoming substantial, and adjustments since May 2006 occasionally exceeds 0.1oC. Before 1945 global temperatures are generally changed toward lower values, and toward higher values after 1945, resulting in a more pronounced 20th century warming (about 0.15oC) compared to the NCDC temperature record published in May 2008.

Aug 11, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Whitehead

"Lord Deben just asked me on Twitter why he should trust me and not official versions of "the science"."

Because unlike him, your income doesn't depend upon what you say or blog.

Aug 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I have already forced one member of the House of Lords to admit a "mistake" and have to take his face out of one of his many (green) troughs. Can't say who just yet, but as soon as it is made "official" I will provide chapter and verse.

I also have a letter from the Met. Police, thanking me for my allegations against "Troffa" Tim and advising me that whilst some are been investigated by the Police, others are best directed to the House of Commons Parliamentary Commissioner. Letters have been written and I think I am making progress.

I would take on Lord "Dipin" as well, but family illness is now taking up much of my time.
I encourage you all to trawl "Hansard", amendments to energy and climate change bills, declared interests etc. and if you find any discrepency, or omission, make a complaint to either the HoL, or HoC Parliamentary Commissioner, as appropriate..

If enough people do this we can make these green rent-seekers lives rather less risk free.

Aug 11, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Climate science convincing = falling CO2. UK CO2 rising when imports are included. Science not convincing QED. Sceptics hold the key to science improvements.

Aug 11, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

If I remember correctly, GISS also have the habit of creating temperature data for sea areas that freeze up in the winter, such as in the Arctic, by "smearing" data from land based thermometers in the region. Since the land based thermometers are generally sited at airports with concrete and tarmac and possibly small towns, this gives a false warming. It would be more honest and accurate to leave the sea ice with no data.

I remember that about 3 years ago, Anthony Watts and E M Smith (The Chiefio) produced a lengthy report on blatantly adjusted official temperature records.

As a general comment, as one who has followed the actions of the official scientists and their organisations for a number of years, I am absolutely appalled by the spin, lies and misinformation that they spew out in support of their cause. Objective science and honest reporting seems to have no place in climate science. The situation is so bad that I don't mention it to friends and family, even during discussions about climate. They would find it unbelievable and start wondering if I was losing the plot.

The honest climate scientists, if there are any, just seem to keep their heads down and their mouths tightly shut. Those who don't follow the sites that compare the spin with the facts quite understandably don't understand what drives scepticism. Unfortunately this applies to the Government, the Royal Society, most of academia and just about everyone else.

Aug 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Aug 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Adam Gallon: "GISS has also prevented the Wayback Machine from revealing this tampering."

Some time ago on WUWT someone posted this link:

May be a useful tool for keeping track of any changes to known text files on any web-page?

Aug 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterunknownknowns

Another Lord with his head, neck and upper torso in the trough:

Aug 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

It's amusing to plot Iceland's version of Teigerhorn with GISS.

Aug 11, 2013 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Looks like TinyCO2 has found the requisite data: 3.3 °C! This should still be confirmed with the Icelandic Met Office: they should be asked if different years are directly comparable. I once obtained some data from the French meteorological office, Météo-France: the data turned out to be inhomogeneous, and they only told you about it if you explicitly asked them. The changes made to homogenize the data were arguably justified.

I also found that Google Translate translates Icelandic to English.

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDouglas J. Keenan

@TinyCO2: I have followed your suggestion and plotted Iceland's version against GISS's.

Taking Januaries 1900-1910, GISS is reporting temperatures a whopping 1.4C cooler.

Although it's nice to have data published in Iceland (thanks for the link), I still have the ambition to see the source data - ink-on-paper.

My posting attracting attention today is rather brief. A more thorough piece, showing how GISS generates its alarming "angry red arctic" maps is at:

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

When you compare Stykkisholmur to Teigarhorn it looks very similar and much closer to GISS version of Teigarhorn except for the first decade. Plus there are no gaps. Very inconvenient data. Shows slight cooling from the 30s.

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I've looked at two other data sets for the same station.

The NCDC gives 0.7 °C for data downloaded in 2008 and 2012.

The CRU gives 1.0 °C for for CTUT3 and CRUT4.

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon

When confronted with examples like this, what does NASA say? Examples like this have been occurring for many years. They must have a party-line answer. Has anyone asked them?

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPetras

Should a more pertinent question be:

Why should the public believe Lord Deben when he is so involved financially with the renewable industry?

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

"much closer to GISS version of Teigarhorn" should have read "much closer than to GISS version of Teigahorn".

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I posted the following on unthreaded, in response to Brent:

Martin, Douglas,

I will approach the Icelandic met office and ask if they publish raw temperature data, ideally images of the handwritten original records.

Aug 11, 2013 at 2:55 PM Brent Hargreaves

Brent - My suggestion would be not to ask that question.

I suggest simply putting in a direct request for photocopies of the handwritten original records.

I imagine that NASA GISS will get all hoity-toity if a non-US-national enquires about their shenanigans.

I would not assume automatically that they will be unhelpful. A simple question saying you had noticed the changes and wish to understand the reasons for the changes would be reasonable and it's conceivable they would give a convincing explanation.

At least the answer would be interesting, even if unconvincing. I have asked direct questions to US agencies a few times and have always received helpful answers.

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:53 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

We have seen similar adjustments so many times before, invariably adjusting early C20th temperatures downward to increase the apparent warming, and largely dismissing artifact warming in recent records via UHI and station urbanisation effects. Like Michael Hart, I have long been particularly suspicious when stations influencing extensive uncontrolled neighbouring grid cell values are adjusted. Iceland and New Zealand are prime suspects.

When CRU 'lost' (or lamely lacked storage facilities for) the original raw records, and indeed the record of adjustments, only keeping the 'value-added' version my suspicions intensified, and remain so, although it is as likely related to chronic data mismanagement rather than mischief in CRU's case. The GISS kind of adjustment invites suspicion that something more disturbing and deliberate is going on.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Question. If 97% say yes including sceptics, who are the 3% ?

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

Can I second John Silvers early comment?

It's quite astonishing how official bodies have (apparently) adjusted and manipulated data without anyone holding them to account.

Steve Goddard has been tireless and fearless expressing what appear startling allegations of data manipulation. It needs a bigger media platform than his blog.

GWPF...Dellers at the Telegraph?

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

And then, of course, there's the desperate attempts by NCDC to pretend that the 1920's and 30's were not hotter in the US.

For instance, the hottest year in Ohio was 1921, not 2012 as NCDC claim after they have cooled the past.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

As suggested, I have written to the IMO (Icelandic Met Office) asking them if the source data is available for Teigarhorn. Of course , this is but one location.

I invite others to join in and check for 'cooling of the past'. Here's how.
a. You're going to compare temperature data from NASA's Version 2 GCHN (which was frozen (hah!) in 2011) to the latest Version 3.
b. Go to the following v2 site: and click anywhere on the map - Iceland or elsewhere. This displays a list of the nearest stations, including length of record.
c. Having selected one of the stations, a graph is displayed. Under that graph a link offers you "download monthly data as text". This takes you to the very data we are scrutinising.
d. Repeat (b) and (c) with the latest v3 data at:
e. Tabulate the v2 and v3 data and see if "the past has cooled" in your chosen sample.

It's easy to get bogged down with the mass of detail, which is why I have studied samples at just a few arctic stations. But if you have the stamina or the IT skills, by all means show us the big picture. Or rather, report back with a single figure comparing 2 big datasets - how the v2 data before WW2 has transmuted into v3 (if at all) for your chosen location.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

As for the original data for Iceland, I have them already.

If anyone is interested, just log on.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Here is a link that explains how GISS generates their Temperature history using a climate model.
By using a model the numbers are not fixed but fluid and change with each model run. I would guess it is the same issue with the other groups that provide temperature records. It is the Assumptions the build their models on that create the results and each model run will provide different results.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermiked194765

I wouldn't waste too much time using reason, logic and VALIDATED facts to help Lord Debden
- I would guess some activist is writing his tweets for him
- Lord Debden opens by namecalling :
"Deniers fail to produce promised list serious scientific institutions which support their view. Diversionary tactics underline their failure"

other tweets are similar "the dismissers" .."the deniers" etc.

- Guess he has worked out that fracking means the end for his wind pig trough , and in a desperate last move he's handed the twitter keys to the activists.

BTW they can't believe skeptics, but will believe anything that spouts rubbish like fake 97% studies etc. isn't that #ConfirmationBias or #ConFormingBias ?

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Probably Henrik Svensmark, Jasper Kirkby and Nigel Calder. The Cern CLOUD update is due.

Aug 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Looking at Stykkisholmur on both GISS and Iceland glaring mistakes show up unless I've copied stuff wrong.

eg 1929 Jan a 1.8C has been converted to -1.9C, which doesn't even agree with the GISS at Teigarhorn
Mar 5.4C becomes -5.5C.
1923 Mar 3.7C becomes -3.8C
1935 Jan 1.6C becomes -1.7C
1935 Mar 1.8C becomes -1.9C
1942 Jan 1.5C becomes -1.6C
1942 Mar 1.3C becomes -1.4C
1945 Mar 2.9C becomes -3C
1946 Jan 2.5C becomes -2.6C
1946 Mar 1.5C becomes -1.6C
1947 Jan 3C becomes -3.1C

and so on. Gee I detect a pattern. Add a minus sign and nudge it a bit lower.

Then something hinkey happens in the 50s for both Teigarhorn and Stykkisholmur. eg for Teigarhorn:

Jan, Feb, Mar about 1.4C is subtracted. Apr 1C, May 0.7C, Jun 0.4C, Jul 0.3C, Aug 0.6C, Sep 1C. And finally Oct, Nov, Dec about 1.3C. It systematically cools the period.

How many stations are like these?

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Paul Homewood already has dozens of posts on the history rewriting of Iceland temps. See his blog notalotofpeopleknowthat. Here are a few of the important points
1. It is not GISS doing the adjustment, it is GHCN. (GISS add their own adjustment on top but that is much smaller than the GHCN one).
2. Paul H has already contacted the iceland Met office, and they have said that the adjustments are completely wrong.
3. The iceland met office set up a blog to comment on this, giving links to all the raw data.
4. Paul H and I both wrote to GHCN over a year ago asking about these incorrect adjustments. We were fobbed off with the statement that they would look into it.
5. The raw data from all the iceland sites shows a very consistent picture - a warm period around 1940s followed by a sharp cooling in the 1960s. This cooling is almost completely obliterated by the GHCN adjustments.

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

"Deniers fail to produce promised list serious scientific institutions which support their view." tweets Debden-bot

I think you'll find the real world doesn't supports the "activist scientists" view
Whereas The Thermometer has supported skeptics view for 17yrs
- I'll leave it for Bish to tweet back
.. Debden's bit snowed under & will call "harassment"

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:35 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Browsing the Bishop's tweets. Did Bob Ward draft the Royal Society's 2005 position statement on AGW? Retwardianistic clues? A stunning intuition if true.

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:38 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Bob Ward has posted a Tweet saying "The idea that you would never update past temperature estimates based on new evidence is profoundly unscientific."

I am very curious as to what would constitute new evidence regarding 110 year old thermometer readings? I am also curious as to why the details of this "new evidence" have not been posted alongside the adjusted data.

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Wilson

"Deniers fail to produce promised list serious scientific institutions which support their view." - Deben

This surely takes argument from authority to a new level!

I wonder who "promised" Lord Deben this list?

Aug 11, 2013 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Wilson

I wonder why warmists are so incurious to meet sceptics. If I was them I'd want to get to know the enemy so as to be better able to defeat them. You'd think his side was winning the way he dismisses sceptics. So much danger for the planet and the saviours of mankind won't confront the issues let alone those shouting about them. One might almost think that CO2 wasn't a problem the way they behave.

Aug 11, 2013 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

As Deben's twitter account describes himself as a Climate Change Champion, I don't think he'll listen to anyone here whatever evidence you provide. He seems welded to ret_ward, probably seeking support for his position.

Aug 11, 2013 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

A position statement is no more than a marketing ploy seeking to promote or recruit, and recognised as such. It describes one side of an arguable viewpoint. It has no merit in scientific debate, indeed the reverse.

Aug 11, 2013 at 11:23 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I dont think Lord Deben got the signal from CCHQ that Conservatives are supposed to be on a charm offensive right now.

Aug 12, 2013 at 12:04 AM | Registered CommenterPharos

"Send me a list of serious institutions support your case ?"

- none in the west (cos we haven't BOUGHT any...unlike. ..)
- however science is not VALIDATED by the OPINIONS of Institutions
It's VALIDATED by evidence of the real world

Qn. are we on the path to a runaway changes in climate?
Ans .. Global temperatures have remained about same levels for 15 years ..and all other factors are within the range of recent natural variability with the exception of measured atmospheric CO2

My testable model : I predict that for the next 3, 5 & 10 years temperatures and sea levels will not rise at any alarming level & other factors will stay within the range of recent natural variability ..with the exception of measured atmospheric CO2

BTW Debden-bot maybe you can supply me with a list of serious scientific institutions which can show any validated evidence to refute my basic assertions above.

Aug 12, 2013 at 12:08 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Here's the list of scientific institutions and societies that have issued statements agreeing with CAGW, and that surveyed their members to find out how many agreed with the statement prior to issuing it, and published the results of the survey:

Anyone want to see the list again?

Aug 12, 2013 at 12:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss McKitrick

Lord Deben just asked me on Twitter why he should trust me and not official versions of "the science"

Why does he seek some truth-sayer when there is plenty of things he could read for himself? I see comments here and at other websites where people say they used to believe the alarmism and then read the 'science' behind it as became less convinced. Perhaps he is afraid he'll read something that changes his mind.

As to GISS they need to be careful with these adjustments. If they cool the past too much it'll start looking like CO2 emissions were the only thing that got us out of the little ice age. <conspiracy ideation>(Or maybe that's the plan... to turn the end of the LIA into another piece of 'evidence' for CO2 induced catastrophic warming.)</conspiracy ideation>

Aug 12, 2013 at 1:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

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